Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ep. 19 Recap: "Blackwater"



Previous Game of Thrones Season 2 episode recaps:
Ep. 11: "The North Remembers."
Ep. 12: "The Night Lands."
Ep. 13: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
Ep. 14: "Garden of Bones."
Ep. 15: "The Ghost of Harrenhal."
Ep. 16: "The Old Gods and the New."
Ep. 17: "A Man Without Honor."
Ep. 18: "The Prince of Winterfell."


Episode 19: "Blackwater"
Original Air Date:  May 27, 2012.
Directed by:  Neil Marshall.
Written by:  George R. R. Martin.

Tonight we get a real treat, folks. We get an epic film director in Neil Marshall, a super fan of the show who came in at the last minute to save HBO's bacon when the originally planned director bowed out. And lucky for us, too, since he would end up directing what book readers all knew was going to be an amazing battle-TASTIC hour of television! But best of all we get the author of the books himself, George R. R. Martin, adapting his own work in writing the teleplay. George wrote last season's episode 8: "The Pointy End," but could he do the impossible and write an episode to surpass that one?

Two words: HELLS YES!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Jobs I've Had Over The Years



For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted a job. You know, to work hard at something and be paid for my troubles. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to grow up and earn my way through life. I thought having a steady paycheck coming in was pretty much the end all of everything, and I wanted to be part of that law-abiding, tax paying citizenry which makes up the backbone of this country.

Unfortunately, I had no connections in my family. Zip. No one who knew anyone looking for a hard worker with no experience. So when I hit 14 years old--the legal age for working (albeit part time) in this country--I had very few options available to me. The only job opportunities for young teenagers with no work experience or family connections are pretty much limited to retail--and cashier positions at that. Unfortunately, everywhere I looked only wanted girls for cashiers. And I was too young to work in the stock room stocking shelves, a job relegated to the older boys who were bigger and could lift more.

Add to this the fact that I lived in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, which means I had to deal with a lot of competition for very few openings in the job market. It was not pretty. Still, through sheer determination and perhaps just a touch of obstinacy, I eventually did find a job and the rest was history.

Or was it?

What I didn't know at the time, but was about to embark on a long journey of self-discovery to find out, is that: sometimes just getting a job is not enough. Because there are jobs, and then there are jobs. And sometimes those jobs become careers. And sometimes you end up hating your career and going through a mid-life crisis. I'm not at the point where I've reached the latter (thankfully), but I have had a hard road of it to reach where I am today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Movie News Monday

Yes, I'm fully aware that today is not in fact Monday. But seeing as how I just got back from taking a few days off, it feels like a Monday to my mind. And one's state of mind is really what's important, wouldn't you agree?

Since I was out of touch with the interwebs for the most part during this brief hiatus, I was surprised by a couple of new developments in movie land while I was away. One good, one bad . . . and one interesting little tidbit.

I will, of course, start with THE BAD first. And it's an infuriating bad for me:


3-D Can Go Suck A Big One!

Yes, I regret to say that G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the second installment in the live-action series, has become the latest casualty of the idiotic 3-D push by Hollywood execs. Now, let me see if I can get this straight. See, this movie was looking pretty awesome. As some of you may recall, I gushed about it right here on this blog a few months back. Unlike the first film which was an all-around turd, I actually thought this one was shaping up to be the movie us fans had been waiting for. But now we're going to have to wait a very long time to get our Joe fix. A lot longer, in fact.

Originally slated to appear in theaters next month, G.I. Joe: Retaliation has now been pushed all the way back until March of 2013 -- that's NEXT YEAR, folks!

WTF?

And why is this being done? All so that the movie--already filmed and in the can, mind you--can get retrofitted with a new 3-D transfer. That's right. A film that has already finished being made and which was damn near ready to see release in theaters will be shelved for nearly 9 months so that the film execs can slap a 3-D certificate on it and charge a buttload more money on ticket prices.


I got your NO-DEE right heeere!


There's some other mumbo-jumbo the film execs are mouthing to justify this stupidity, but honestly talking about it here is only going to make me angrier. So, if you really want to read all the little details, check out the full story by clicking on the link right here.

This is some BULL SHIT!!!

And now on to the INTERESTING tidbit I mentioned earlier:


There Can Be [Maybe] Only One [Remake]!

Now normally the news of one of my most beloved 80s movies being rebooted would fall firmly under the "FURIOUS HEATED HATRED OF A THOUSANDS SUNS" category here on The Bimillennial Man . . . but honestly I've had a while to deal with this news and the remake of the 1986 cult classic, Highlander, no longer infuriates me like it did over a year ago when I first learned of this. But, what I am intrigued about is the most recent news over who The Powers That Be may cast as their titular hero. None other than Mr. Van Wilder himself--Ryan Reynolds!!!

This news seems to have met with a lot of anguish and hostile resistance from Highlander fans and non-fans alike, but I actually like the idea. Why? Well, because I always felt the franchise could do better with a little more thought and effort--and, hell, MONEY--put into it. Now RR being in the movie doesn't automatically mean we'll get either of these three things, but it's a good start. He's a fairly well-known name and has been in some big time popular movies (Blade III, Wolverine, Green Lantern . . . Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle). And plus, I actually like Ryan Reynolds! He's played some cool roles, and can do both drama and action perfectly fine.


He may be Immortal, but does he have inside him blood of kings?


And if he brings a little bit of comedic timing to some of the scenes, so what? Ain't nothing wrong with a little humor. Even Christopher "heh heh, what kept you!" Lambert infused a little mirth into the original role. So bite me, people! I for one would love for this news to be true. Unfortunately, Mr. Reynolds has only shown a cursory interest in the role. He's a busy dude these days, so it's possible he won't be taking on the kilt and fake brogue of our noble hero after all. But he has read for the role, and for that I'm hopeful. You can click here to read more if you like.

And now for THE GOOD:


The Name's . . . Skyfall.

Finally! As a huge James Bond fan--and an even HUGER Daniel Craig as James Bond fan--I'm so happy that they've decided to release a trailer at long last for the next installment in the franchise, Skyfall. It's slated to hit theaters on November 9th later this year, but get your sneak peek below to tide you over until then:





Oh man, this is just what I need! I'm so thrilled by what I'm seeing so far. I love the two shots fired while crossing laterally across the room in a suit. How freakin BOSS is that? I'm especially excited because Javier Bardem has been cast as the baddie this time around. And also because the director is none other than Sam Mendes, of American Beauty, Jarhead, and Road to Perdition fame. While his mixed pedigree of films might give some cause to worry, I actually have great confidence in this guy's talents. Can't wait to see if I'm proven right! Looking at the trailer alone, I get the feeling that this will be an even darker installment than the last two Daniel Craig-starring Bond flicks were.

And that, as they say, is music to my ears!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ep. 18 Recap: "The Prince of Winterfell"



Previous Game of Thrones Season 2 episode recaps:
Ep. 11: "The North Remembers."
Ep. 12: "The Night Lands."
Ep. 13: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
Ep. 14: "Garden of Bones."
Ep. 15: "The Ghost of Harrenhal."
Ep. 16: "The Old Gods and the New."
Ep. 17: "A Man Without Honor."


Episode 18: "The Prince of Winterfell"
Original Air Date:  May 20, 2012.
Directed by:  Alan Taylor.
Written by:  David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.


RECAP.

Again, I'm dividing up this week's recap not by scene, but by location. And whereas last week I started in Qarth and worked my way north to Jon Snow, this week I will do the opposite and start beyond the Wall working my way south. Since I gave you all free license to sound your disgust for this format in last week's comments section and only one of you did, you have only yourselves to blame if this arrangement doesn't exactly float your boat. Me, I think it makes for shorter recaps, which is a blessing on my fingers.

Now, let us begin . . .

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ep. 17 Recap: "A Man Without Honor"



Previous Game of Thrones Season 2 episode recaps:
Ep. 11: "The North Remembers."
Ep. 12: "The Night Lands."
Ep. 13: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
Ep. 14: "Garden of Bones."
Ep. 15: "The Ghost of Harrenhal."
Ep. 16: "The Old Gods and the New."


Episode 17: "A Man Without Honor"
Original Air Date:  May 13, 2012.
Directed by:  David Nutter.
Written by:  David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.


RECAP.

I'm going to do something a little different this week. Instead of a recap covering every single scene as they occur chronologically in the episode, I'm dividing it up by locations on the overworld map instead--taking a general northwesterly sweep starting from the continent of Essos across the Narrow Sea. I'm hoping this will make the recap portion much shorter. Not to mention it should be easier to connect plot developments specific to each location, and facilitate remembering certain key facts without jumping from place to place like a flea with Alzheimer's.

If you don't enjoy this format, please remember to sound off in the comments section at the end. I welcome all feedback. And so, let us now begin . . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Path To Becoming A Writer


Found this pic posted up on Facebook this morning by several writer friends of mine, and I just had to share here because of how remarkably apt it is--especially for me. I mean, wow! You wouldn't know it, but I'm amazed that I meet 7 of the 9 prerequisites here, and have come close to or will eventually meet the remaining two requirements.

Holy hell! Of course, I won't be giving away the details of just which 7 I meet. But I can admit that, sadly, all of the negative ones have already happened to me. And that's all I'm going to say on that front.

Still, this comic strip reminds me of something one of my writing instructors once told me; a poignant lesson I've never forgotten. It was after I had taken a huge break of some 8 years from writing after graduating from college. I asked this instructor why, after so many years of almost no writing, did I suddenly have so much to say and write about? And her response was that sometimes we have nothing worthwhile to write about until we've gone out into the world and lived real life for a couple of years. In other words, our every day experiences shape us--for better or for worse--in ways that can directly correlate to our writing. The more of life's harsh lessons you live through, the more your writing takes on a nuance and discipline you might never have enjoyed before as a novice student.

Now, this is not to say that you had to have personally lived through a Shakespearean tragedy in order to become a good writer, no. However, I will say that age and experience has certainly changed the way that I write my stories now. The stories I wrote in my teen years were whimsical and full of cliches. And while the stuff I write today is still on the far-fetched and tropish side of things to some extent, I have noticed that my writing is oftentimes morally ambiguous now. My protagonists are not always these white-bread paragons of truth and justice, nor are my villains so simply evil for evil's sake. Or at least, I try not to make them so. I still get burned every now and then by my critique group (especially for my thinly constructed antagonists at times), but for the most part my writing reflects the increasingly complex moral world I find myself co-inhabiting with roughly 4.4 billion other hairless apes on this planet. Do any of us really know what we're doing in life? Do we???

Anyway, enough navel gazing for now. In other news . . . expect my weekly Game of Thrones recap to be a little late. I simply haven't had a chance to watch last Sunday's episode yet. But when I do, you'll be the first to hear about it.

In the meantime: how about you? Does this comic strip reflect your own path to becoming a writer? I mean, is your cat really that loyal? Really?

Think about it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ep. 16 Recap: "The Old Gods and the New"


Previous Game of Thrones Season 2 episode recaps:
Ep. 11: "The North Remembers."
Ep. 12: "The Night Lands."
Ep. 13: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
Ep. 14: "Garden of Bones."
Ep. 15: "The Ghost of Harrenhal."


Episode 16: "The Old Gods and the New"
Original Air Date:  May 6, 2012.
Directed by:  David Nutter.
Written by:  Vanessa Taylor.


At the end of last week's review, I mentioned how there had been some rumblings among the general viewership that things were getting a little too dark in this show for some viewers to handle. And I remarked that nothing we've seen so far would come close to how dark the storyline will truly get if they continued to stick with the books.

This week we got a chance to see those words come true. Seven Hells, this was one brutal episode! And yet, it makes my heart sing. For this is exactly the tone of the books! This episode came closest to capturing the dark, twisted brilliance of the author's mind than any other this season and before. Yes, exactly.

So let us get started, shall we? Let us find out how . . .

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ep. 15 Recap: "The Ghost of Harrenhal"



Previous Game of Thrones Season 2 episode recaps:
Ep. 11: "The North Remembers."
Ep. 12: "The Night Lands."
Ep. 13: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
Ep. 14: "Garden of Bones."


Episode 15: "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
Air Date:  April 29, 2012.
Directed by:  David Petrarca.
Written by:  David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.


Oooh, a chilling title for what I'm sure will be a chilling episode, especially given how last week's showing, "Garden of Bones," ended on such a deliciously dark and horrific note. Knowing what I already know about which parts of the book tonight's episode roughly covers, I sat down in front of the tube already expecting a few more gruesome killings than usual for this show. And one notable death in particular. But, I'm getting ahead of things. Let us begin from the, er, beginning . . .

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