S6E3 Oathbreaker Breaks the Usual Bones and Minds

game of thrones season 6

The third episode “Oathbreaker” finally zeroes in on three main story lines: the further misadventures of Daenerys,  the further misadventures of the Lannisters, and Jon Snow’s resurrection and guilt ridden revenge. Unfortunately, only the Lannisters were interesting this week, and that was mostly because Oleanna Tyrell and Kevan Lannister put the devilish duo in their place.

Other plot points that got too much screen time were Arya’s training montage (though the self-reflection as one is turning into no one was quite nice), Gilly and Sam, and Tommen and the High Sparrow.

Despite it’s title, there’s very little oath breaking in the actual episode.… Read more »

Game of Thrones: This Week On Deadliest Home

game of thrones season 6

Despite the water cooler discussion of Game of Thrones reaching fevered pitches, this season hasn’t been really doing it for me. Charitably put, season six episode two “Home” still feels like the chessboard is being set up. Uncharitably put, it feels like a whole bunch of disparate randomness that doesn’t take advantage of five seasons of setup.  

While we get to finally see some acting chops from Sweet Baby Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), the face off between the High Sparrow and Jaime Lannister was a lackluster showing. But before we get into this, when did Jon Snow go from least popular Lord Commander ever to MVP of the year? … Read more »

Season 6 Episode 1: The Mystery of the Red Woman

game of thrones season 6

Did you know in Westeros that blood is a woman’s favorite color? While one would think that the Red Woman would be an episode all about Melisandre (Carice van Houten), there are quite a few ladies who are wearing a little red. It was a pretty good taster of an upcoming season, and the only thing for certain is a whole lot of crazy sauce. The episode opens with a view of gray cliffs, but which gray cliffs are these: somewhere in Essos? the Eyrie? Nope, howling wolf signals the Wall and the Night’s Watch.

Season six picks up minutes/ days after the season five finale ends.… Read more »

Zootopia: Double Review

Zootopia-poster-2

I went into it having only seen a few early trailers of a Fox character giving a bunny cop a hard time. There was also that sloth DMV scene, which went on way too long. A lot people are going to talk about the references for adults (there is a great Breaking Bad reference), or about the themes (race, gender, stereotypes, etc.), but at its core, it’s a solid story and delightfully imagined and wonderfully cast. 

Idris Elba and J. K. Simmons are delightful as the tough as nails police chief Bogo and so smooth he’s greasy Mayor Lionhart. Nate Torrence stole every scene he was in as Clawhauser, the doughnut guzzling, Shakira loving leopard cheetah.Read more »

No god But God Review: Let’s Talk about Islam

no-god-but-god

I finished reading Reza Aslan’s book No god But God. It was a recommendation from John Green’s Gift Guide last year. It’s a fascinating read, but also kind of sad that someone would need to argue that a religion practiced by 2.2 billion people isn’t inherently evil, sexist, intolerant, etc. When I told a friend I had checked out this book, she joked that I was probably on a government watch list, which is disturbing a few different levels. 

The book is an interesting piece of scholarship and should definitely be read as part of a larger debate. Just how Aslan frames his argument shows that he’s responding to other pieces of scholarship.… Read more »

Unexpected Valentine: Deadpool

deadpool

After so many gritty, dark super hero movies, we finally get one that is still dark in material but macabre in approach. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool is a crude, irreverent, and surprisingly sweet movie.

I’m not a follower of the Deadpool comics, but I do know that Deadpool’s claim to fame is that he’s cognizant that he’s in a comic book. They didn’t go that direction with movie. He does take delight in breaking the fourth wall and having several meta-conversations about heroes. He also makes wry comments about the X-Men franchise, but the fact that he’s in a movie doesn’t seem to dictate his choices as a character.… Read more »

Hail, Caesar! is All Spectacle and Smoke

hail-caesar-quad

The Coen Brothers’ latest film Hail, Caesar! is an homage to classic Hollywood, but it is so zany that I never found its heart. Or better yet, it didn’t find mine. It didn’t ring true. And yet, many of its individual parts are funny and wonderful. It’s like the Coen Brothers made a list of their favorite things from the 1950s: Hollywood, Westerns, starlets in trouble, the studio system, Commies, etc. But it holds together like a weird jello fruit dessert.

The plot (not that the plot is particularly important to the movie) follows Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), head of production at Capitol Pictures and fixer extraordinaire, across four movies in various parts of production.… Read more »

Misery, Marriage, and Middlemarch

middlemarch

This is another 25 minute essay. It’s not as in depth as some of my other reviews, and more like some slap dash thoughts. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS Do not read any further if you do not want to be spoiled by George Eliot’s 1871-2 masterpiece Middlemarch: A Provincial Life. If you ever want to read this book, do not read any further.

When I last wrote about Middlemarch, I was at the halfway point, and the plot took a sharp left into Ruin Road. Where it looks like EVERYONE is going to be ruined by scandal, poverty, hypocrisy, and despair.… Read more »

Idle Thoughts: Hello, Grief! And Robert Louis Stevenson

A former colleague’s father recently passed away. I heard about it today, and realized with a chill that no one that I’ve known has died in years. I wanted to reach out to said coworker and offer my condolences, but worried that it would be awkward since we didn’t work closely together and when I searched my email, I realized I didn’t even have his email address.

Grief is also such a private thing. I didn’t know his relationship with his father, and it’s almost a vulgar feeling to be close to death and feel like you dodged a bullet. Kind of like the sad cousin of schadenfreude.… Read more »

Profiting Off the End of the World: The Big Short

The-Big-Short

I didn’t like this movie.

But first, here’s some context. Today, I went to the dentist and my reward (here’s a Freaknomics episode on reward bundling) was that I got to go watch a movie and spend the day at the mall. I like my dentist, but I hate going to see her. Even though my rational brain understands the value of regular visits, my kid brain is confounded that I must sit in a torture chair on a Saturday and then part with money. Also, if I’m particularly feeling sorry for myself, I feel that it’s bad for my soul as well.… Read more »

1 2 3 4 31