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Posts posted by Wetcoaster

  1. Side Effects - the latest film from Steven Soderbergh (Magic Mike, Haywire, The Informant!, The Girlfriend Experience, Oceans 11, 12 and 13, Traffic, The Limey, etc.). with Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    A depressed woman goes through the usual pharma solutions and when they do not work she is put on an experimental drug called Ablixa by two psychiatrists. Her use of Ablixa has unanticipated side effects not only for her but for the doctors, and the story becomes a puzzle in which nothing is quite as it seems. Lots of twists and turns.

    The first half of the movie is superb and better than the last half - overall 7.5/10.

  2. Apparently the ratings for Game of Thrones continue to climb with each episode - the last episode ironically was titled "The Climb".

    For the fourth week in a row, HBO’s Game of Thrones hit a series high in the ratings.

    Sunday night’s 9 p.m. telecast delivered 5.5 million viewers. Across two plays, viewership also hit a new gross nightly high with 6.8 million viewers, surpassing the third season’s debut evening for the first time (premiere night had two replays instead of the usual one).


    We are half-way through Season 3.

    The Climb was an exciting episode and despite the ascent up a cliff of ice, was one of the few episodes that did not end with a cliffhanger, although the brief glimpse of Danaerys and her army on the march looks to set up a major story line for next episode

    This episode illustrated that being a woman in Westeros can suck. The solution to this male dominance it seems is to get yourself three dragons as Danaerys has done.

    Sansa's day dreams of her life with Ser Loras Tyrell is dashed whn Tyrion has to tell her of their arranged marriage. Tyrion arrives, the bearer of bad news. Sansa insists on having Shae stay in the room. "This is awkward," Tyrion says...

    Probably a good thing considering his preferences. Lady Sanas Stark once again proves that while she may be a beauty she is less than perceptive when it comes to judging men. Just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. And Ser Loras??? Loras talks about how he's always dreamed of getting married just like Sansa. Too much like Sansa -- he's dreamed of all the little details, the wedding dress. Everything but the girl.


    Lady Olenna, the Queen of Thorns is out-manoeuvred by Lord Tywin Lannister and the Tyrells are now under his control.

    Ygritte is literally leashed to a man she knows will betray her people but hey that thing he does when they are alone makes up for that.

    And a working girl can even end up being the target... literally when Ros begins and ends as target practise for King Joffrey and his new crossbow.


    And Cersei remains unhappy with her forced "choice" of husband. Tyrion and his sister have a moment of bonding over their forced marriages. "We can have them both killed," Cersei suggests.

    Then Tyrion notes: "It's hard to say which of the four of us is getting the worst of this arrangement." Cersei finally gives Tyrion something he's been longing for -- credit from his family for defending King's Landing during Blackwater. So he stops trying to ask everybody except his sister whether she tried to have him killed and just asks outright. Since only Cersei or Joffrey could have given the order, she cannot answer his question without implicating her son, the king. But Tyrion reads her -- it was Joffrey. And who can blame him? Remember Tyrion slapping Joffrey?

    Tyrion is worried his life is still in danger. "Probably," Cersei says, but says Joff won't do anything while Tywin is around.

    And this episode contained some of the best CGI work as Jon Snow and the Wildlings begin their ascent of The Wall. The climbing sequences reminded me somewhat of an older Clint Eastwood movie - The Eiger Sanction.


    Ygritte states that she knows Jon is still loyal to the Night's Watch. Of course she does -- he's not a very good liar and he comes off far too noble to be a traitor. But Jon doesn't have to worry about her tattling, only her wrath if he goes through with his plan. "You're going to be loyal to your woman," she decides for him, noting the The Night's Watch and Mance don't care if they live or die ... "it's you and me that matter." Of course if he betrays her... well then she will cut off his man bits.

    And when on the ascent up The Wall Orell cuts Jon and Ygritte loose from the climbing safety rope and nearly sends them plunging to their deaths, clearly Ygritte was onto something when she says it is her and Jon Snow against the world as he saves her life.

    As Sam and Gilly are on the run she instructs him on the proper way to build a campfire and is more than a little intrigued when she learns Sam is "high born". Suddenly not being able to properly build a fire seem much less important.

    So we did learn some useful outdoors skills... how to climb a sheer ice wall, how to build a campfire and the best way to skin a cat rabbit - after the cat fight between Meera and Osha refereed by Bran. Oh yeah and apparently those visions can be accompanied by what looks like epilectic seizures as we see with Jojen thrashing about.

    And Aryana adds to her skills - she has been instructed in sword play by a master and now she is learning archery.


    Probably not a good thing to be on her bucket list. And it seems that the Red Woman Melisandre made it when she buys Gendry and carts him off.

    And why Gendry?? Remember her telling Stannis there are others with the requsitie bloodlines blood that she could potentially use to work her magic (Gendry, you'll recall, is one of ex-king Robert Baratheon's bastard kids). The Red Woman assures Gendry as he's being shoved into a cart, "You will make kings rise and fall."

    Arya hates Melisandre on sight. She grabs her and spins her around. Melisandre is shocked at being handled in such a manner. "You're a witch," Arya says. "You're going to hurt him." Melisandre snatches Arya's face and peers into her soul, or something, then puts New Order into my head by saying: "I see darkness in you ... brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes -- eyes you'll shut forever. We will meet again."

    Meanwhile back at the dungeon Theon Greyjoy is being tortured physically and mentally... but by whom and why? After holding out hope of release his captor says "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention," And then proceeds to skin his finger... not a rabbit but nonetheless not much fun for Theon.

    And we get another arranged marriage - this time overseen by Robb Stark who commands his uncle Edmure to marry a Frey daughter - you know the family that Robb rejected for his wife but whom he needs to fill out his army. Edmure is less than thrilled but Robb appeals to his (non-existent) better nature and tries to guilt trip him "I've won every battle, but I'm losing this war," he says. "If we don't do this, and do it now, we're lost." That seems to have little effect so Brynden “Blackfish” Tully intervenes and basically tells his nephew Edmure to agree or he will take a beating. That does work and Edmure agrees to the marriage.

    The Harrenhahl scene at dinner was excellent as Jaime and Brienne dine with Robb Stark's bannerman Roose Bolton. Jaime is trying to learn how to cut meat one-handed while the Lady of Tarth has been put in pink dress, Bolton agrees to send Jaime back to King's Landing -- without Brienne, who will be charged with abetting treason.Jaime tries to save Brienne, just like he did last time. Bolton shuts him down with one of the episode's best lines:

    "I would hope you'd have learned your lesson about overplaying your ... position."


    And in a duel of another sort we have Tywin, the Hand of the King imposing his will on Lady Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns. And another couple of great lines.

    Tywin wants Cersei to marry Loras. Olenna objects that Cersei, whom Tywin describes as the "most beautiful woman in the kingdoms," is too old to have children. Twyin counters that the marriage will keep Loras' sexual orientation a secret. But Olenna doesn't seem to mind that Loras is, as she puts it, "a sword-swallower through and through." She then tries to rattle Tywin by asking if he's engaged in any such behaviour himself -- if not sword-swallowing, then perhaps some sword-sheathing or mutual sword-polishing. "Never!" says Tywin. So Olenna then plays her strongest card: Cersei's scandalous incest with Jaime. He's ready for that. He says if she refuses the marriage he'll appoint Loras to the Kingsguard, a position where he will be forbidden to marry or breed, thus potentially halting the Tyrell line. He knows Olenna will never allow that to happen. He's got her. Olenna is impressed: "It's a rare enough thing, a man who lives up to his reputation."

    Up next week Episode 7 - The Bear and the Maiden Fair. This is the name of a popular song in Westeros - Locke and his men earlier sang the song as they made their way to Harrenhal after capturing Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth.

    And the promo for Episode 7:


  3. "Kissed by Fire" was another strong episode in what is shaping up as very strong season with one of the best one on one duels and with a flaming sword no less - said sword being kissed by fire. And maybe the best scene thus far in 3.5 seasons between Jaime and Brienne when we learn the back story of how he came to be called The Kingslayer and all was not as it seemed.

    The episode could easily have been musically themed by that classic 60's girl group The Dixie Cups - "Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get married" with advertising spots by Hot Tubs 'R Us.

    The opening scene in the cave of the Brotherhood Without Banners features a mano-a-mano sword fight to the death between Sandor "The Hound" Clegane" and Beric Dondarrion former Lord of Blackhaven ( and currently the Lightning Lord) maybe the best one on one duel we have yet seen in GoT. Beric cuts his hand and his blood turns his broadsword into a GoT version of a light sabre which given The Hound's pathological fear of fire as he was scarred with fire as child by his sadistic brother gives Beric the initial advantage. However just when it seems Beric will prevail and dispatch The Hound his flaming sword shatters and The Hounds cleaves him through shoulder to the torso and that has got to hurt. It seems the Thoros of Myr the Red Priest to the Lord of Light is administering some version of last rites to the fallen Beric


    The fact that The Hound prevailed in the trial by combat enrages Arya and she grabs a knife to take her revenge directly as the Hound for killing her friend, the butcher boy as he lays exhausted on the ground but she is stopped. As she is expressing her displeasure the suddenly resurrected Beric tells her that The Hound is free to go this time and the he is the second Clegane to have killed him ( twice earlier by the Hound's brother Gregor - impaled on a lance and sword through the eye so this makes a Clegane brothers trifecta). Resurrection ??? Talk about your Jedo mind tricks the Lord of the Light's power - Arya is astonished and asks if it is possible to resurrect her father Eddard Stark who as we saw lost his head to King Joffrey. Nope sorry no can do says Beric. He notes this is his sixth resurrection and each time back he loses a bit more of himself.

    And Arya discovers the Brotherhood's plan to take her to her brother King Robb and ransom her - not really but they want to do but they do need gold after all.

    Later we get a different sort of mano-a-mano action featuring Loras Tyrell and yet another of Littlefinfger's sex spies - this time of the male persuasion.

    And the various wedding plans proceed apace although there is apparently going to be some surprises when it is revealed who is intended to end up married to whom.

    Littlefinger (on his way to his marriage of convenience) is disturbed to learn that there is plan afoot to marry off Sansa Stark to Loras Tyrell which Magaery tells Sansa that she will have Joffrey consent to once she is his queen. Littlefinger's plans for Sansa seem in danger after all he will have a spare feather bed on his ship. He renews his offer to take her away from King's Landing by way of his boat anchored in the harbour and she (thinking about her impending marriage to Loras) declines. It seems everyone in Westeros realizes that Loras is gay, maybe it is time someone told Sansa who has shown herself to not be the sharpest knife in the drawer in the past.


    And speaking of the impending Royal Wedding - it is going to be an extravagant and costly affair which Tyrion as Master of the Coin objects to when meeting with Lady Olenna. She points out that a Royal Wedding is a great distraction for the common folk so they do not rise up and kill the better class of folk. Sort of a riff on the Mastercard commercial - The cost of an extravagant Royal Wedding... prohibitive - but the cost of avoiding being on the wrong end of a revolution of the people... priceless. After a crack about Tyrion being noting but a "browbeaten bookkeeper" Lady Olenna offers for the Tyrell's to pay half of the cost of the wedding but in return Tyrion will owe her in future. Not realizing that he has been played and that maybe Tyrion is not the smartest person in this room, he is greatly pleased with himself at saving the treasury a huge sum.


    He then heads off to a meeting with his father but is surprised to see Cersei at the table as well looking inordinately pleased with herself having conveyed the Littlefinger intelligence of the planned marriage between Sansa Stark and Loras Tyrell. The family that plots together, stays together, eh???


    Tyrion begins to proclaim how he has saved the treasury a great deal of money when his father interrupts and basically dismisses his achievement. And then the big surprise... Tywin decrees that Sansa will not marry Loras Tyrell but instead be wed to Tyrion who is shocked and says to his father this is incredibly cruel - to inflict him upon Sansa thus showing some empathy for her. Too bad, marry her and get her with child ASAP says Dad. This is all about politics. If they marry, the Lannisters will have “the key to the north” – i.e. heir-to-Winterfell (if Robb dies) Sansa – and will be much more powerful than the Tyrells.

    Meanwhile Cersei looking like the cat that swallowed the canary having been responsible for alerting her father to the impending Sansa/Loras nuptials notes that getting Sansa as his wife says to Tyrion “This is more than you deserve.” She is vastly amused by her brother's discomfiture at being ordered to marry Sansa. But then her father smacks her upside the head and decrees that she will marry Loras Tyrell - despite his apparent preference for "different bits". She is horrified at yet another political marriage. Cersei begs Tywin, “don’t make me do it again, Father” Too bad, so sad says dad - just do as I command. Oh yeah says Dad and this will put “an end to the disgusting rumours about you (and Jaime), once and for all.” Cersei looks like she has taken a club over the head.

    Jaime and Brienne are brought to the home of one of Robb's bannermen, Roose Bolton. Jaime is taken to Qyburn, that sole survivor at Harrenhal that Robb discovered in the season premiere. We learn he was a maester but was stripped of his license for performing medical experiments that were "too bold." They debate how to handle Jaime's wound and he insists on having Qyburn treat him without any Milk of the Poppy. And the soul baring by Jaime to Brienne about the real events that led to him killing the Mad King who first ordered Jaime to kill his own father and then was about to burn everyone in Kings Landing with wildfire that he had stored about city in the other hot tub scene sans sex. This has to be one of the most powerful scenes thus far in the 3.5 seasons of GoT.


    We meet Stannis' neglected wife, Selyse and deformed daughter, Shireen. Selyse is even more devoted to the Fire God than Stannis is, seeing herself as a failure for not being able to give Stannis a living son - while keeping her dead babies in jars. She knows all about Melisandre and Stannis and is not upset but rather in awe. Meanwhile, Shireen is lovely but she has "greyscale" on her face as she offers to keep her friend, The Onion Knight company and teach him to read while he is incarcerated for treason.

    Robb Stark had a choice: be reasonable or be honorable but shows that he has inherited his father's prickly sense of honour at all costs when he executes Lord Rickard Karstark for murdering two Lannister children. He is acting against the advice of his mother, his wife and his uncle Lord Edmure who point out he will lose the Karstark alliance and troops. The beheading scene hearkens back to the pilot episode ("Winter is Coming") when his father beheads a ranger of the Night Watch who fled in terror of the White Walkers. In this case the execution costs Robb half his army. Strategically he looks to be between a rock and hard place - he cannot attack King's Landing and he cannot draw them out to a field of his own choosing. What to do? He hits upon the plan of taking the Lannister family home of Casterly Rock but to do that he must make peace with the father of the girl he declined to marry after being betrothed. It seems some broken oaths can get you killed but not others.


    The Danaerys Stormborn story arc shows her continuing to grow into a legendary leader when she offers the Unsullied their freedom to take whatever names they choose rather than the ones forced on them by the slavers. And Grey Worm elects to keep his name to honour the day he was freed by Danaerys:


    Ser Barristan wonders if she will be the sort of ruler he can serve who truly deserves his loyalty. He served the Mad King and King Robert who was a great warrior but a bad king as he ponders the bounds of honour and loyalty.


    There are some great lines in this episode:

    After the apparent death of Beric and Arya being held back from killing The Hound:

    “Burn in hell!” she screams. “He will. But not today.” comes the voice of Beric who has been miraculously resurrected.

    And when Arya learns that Gendry has decided to stay with the Brotherhood as their smith and not travel on with her.

    “I’m done serving, I never had a family.” She says plaintively “I could be your family“ He is obviously touched but points out "You’d never be my family. You’d be m’lady.”

    Thoros has brought Beric back from the dead six times but as beric notes:

    “Every time I come back, I’m a bit less.”

    Arya asks thinking of her father and all she has lost:

    “Could you bring back a man without a head? Not six times, just once.”

    During the meeting between Tyrion and Lady Olenna on why there should be such a costly Royal Wedding in the first place and how to allocate the costs, Lady Olenna notes of Tyrion:

    “I was told you were drunk, impertinent and thoroughly debauched. You can imagine my disappointment at finding nothing but a browbeaten bookkeeper.”

    On Tywin's plan to marry of Cersei again in another political marriage as with Robert Baratheon - this time to Loras Tyrell whose taste in partner's lies with the other gender, well so what:

    "She's missing some of Loras' favorite bits."

    Ygritte after noting her red hair means she is "kissed by fire" says to Jon Snow while they are pampered in the local spa (well a cave with a hot spring at least):

    "You swore some vows — I want you to break them. So much for Jon's vow of celibacy although she is proved mistaken when she says to him "You know nothing, Jon Snow!" and he demonstrates to her that like Podrick he truly does know what he is doing at least in certain endeavours.

    Robb when he orders Karstark locked away in dungeon pending execution and his henchman hanged for murdering the two Lannister children as vengeance. One pipes up that he only watched the guards and didn't really do anything so Robb considers for a moment and then orders:

    "This one is the watcher. Hang him last so he can watch the others die."

    Jaime negotiating with the Maester Qyburn who is to try to save him from his infected arm and wants to give him Milk of the Poppy to knock him out- Jaime having little trust in the mad doctor says no... do it without:

    Q: There will be pain.

    JL: I'll scream.

    Q: Quite a bit of pain.

    JL: I'll scream loudly.

    And the second hot tub scene where Jaime explains to Brienne the real reason he broke his oath of loyalty and killed the Mad King after gratuitously insulting her about her failure to protect Renly (it seems the loss of his sword hand has not taught him that sometimes it is best to not be glib and insult people) he then actually apologizes to her and complements her fighting skills noting:

    “You’ve protected me better than most,” he admits, then asks for a truce. “You need trust to have a truce,” she says warily. “I trust you,” he responds quietly.

    Jaime Lannister on Ned Stark's swift but mistaken judgment that he was The Kingslayer when he comes upon Laime with the dead Mad King stabbed through the back.:

    "By what right does the wolf judge the lion?"

    And when he collapses in exhaustion she calls for help for "The Kingslayer" and he says plaintively to her:

    "My name is Jaime".


    Contrast Jaime's decision to kill the Mad King to that of Ser Barristan:

    "A man of honour keeps his vows, even if he's serving a drunk or a lunatic."

    Next week "The Climb"

  4. The Thing (1982) - 7/10

    First time watching it. Definitely holds up to films today. Didn't know how it would end going in, expected something a little different, but still like it nonetheless.

    I'm always pumped when Wilfred Brimley pops up in something.

    I much preferred the 1951 original - The Thing from Another World.

    How can you go wrong with Marshall Matt Dillon as The Thing and Daniel Boone (Dewey Martin) as the crew chief???

    And Howard Hawks carefully keeping the team film making going with many classic Hawks touches throughout. As this review points out pretty much every bloodthirsty alien picture that came afterwards in some way is indebted to the original



  5. The episode was titled "And Now his Watch has Ended" - it should have been titled "Enter the Dragon(s)". ::D

    It was easily the best episode thus far this season and IMHO ranks up there with some of the best in the series.

    Plus this was a very Varys centric episode with Varys the spy master and The Spider spinning his web - his back story and some insight into his motivations. I find Varys one of the more interesting characters and was happy to see him featured.

    The theme of the episode was revenge and betrayals - revenge is a dish best served cold (Varys) or served hot (with the Night's Watch and spectacularly with Danaerys) and planning for revenge is good (Tyrion) and may give you a reason to live (Jaime) or be considered just desserts (Arya Stark and The Hound).

    And as we saw revenge can be done quietly and with clever manipulation (Varys and Lady Olenna Redwyne, the Queen of Thorns and the matriarch of House Tyrell as played so well by Dame Diana Rigg).


    And sometimes revenge plans can go wrong as Cersei discovered when she tried to manipulate her father to act against the House Tyrell. And what revenge is being visited upon Theon and by whom and for what reason - the betrayal scene is great.

    All in all an excellent episode. If you just ignore Bran and the three-eyed crow as that story line would be glacial, if it sped up.

    The episode was named for Lord Commander Mormont whose end as Commander in the Night’s Watch comes in a dramatic betrayal at the hands of his own brothers. Lord Commander Mormont forgot that the Watch is mostly comprised of thieves, rapists, and killers rather than honourable men or the bastards of noble lords. And he paid for that oversight. At least the thoroughly despicable Craster was dispatched with him and Sam manages to get out alive with Gilly and her son.

    The scenes with the the Brotherhood without Banners and their notion of upholding the ideals of Ned Stark and dispensing justice are well done. An interesting glimpse into the character of Sandor “The Hound” Clegane who was says he was just carrying out orders of kings and lords. He denies being as cruel and murderous as those he serves or as his brother - mind you Arya has a different take on things because of his killing of the butcher boy although it seemed to give The Hound pause when he learns that the boy he killed in fact did not strike Joffrey as he was led to believe which gave him cause to act. The interrogation scene is very well done.

    The opening shot of Jaime with his new fashion accessory (his severed sword hand) hung around his neck was jarring. When he tries but fails to use his other hand to wield a sword but is driven in the mud and ends up drinking horse piss, you can literally see the desire to live draining out of him. It is up to Brienne who after noting that she knows what he did to stop her being raped and Jaime saying his sword hand was in essence him, that he needs to quit whining like a woman and plan to take his revenge on those who have wronged him. And surprisingly he actually listens. They may not like each other all that much but they have developed a healthy respect for one another - a very interesting dynamic. A new fantasy version of The Odd Couple?

    And it illustrates another background theme in the show - people are complex and that no one can be pained in black or white. Who would have thought after Seasons 1 and 2 we would have felt sympathy for Jaime Lanister???

    And betrayals great and small as a theme.

    Tyrion seeks to find the truth of his betrayal on the battlefield from Varys and if there is proof his sister Cersei was behind it. He learns of "actual revenge" from Varys and that it can take time as shown in the crate scene where Varys has contained the wizard who made him a eunuch and watched his bits burn.


    Ros betrays Littlefinger, spying on her employer for Varys.


    Mormont is betrayed by his own sworn brothers and stabbed in the back - literally.

    Theon trying to come to grips his betrayal of the Starks - “I chose wrong,” he admits when recounting his sacking of Winterfell and then he is betrayed in turn by who he thought was his mysterious benefactor and rescuer.

    Smaller betrayals - Lady Margaery’s clever manipulation of Joffrey making him think the people are actually cheering for him. Lady Margaery’s part in Lady Olenna Redwyne's planned manipulation of Sansa Stark to set up a line of succession for House Tryrell and incidentally thwarting Littlefinger while protecting Sansa. Interestingly Varys loyalty seems to be to places and ideals rather than people as evidenced by his warning about Littlefinger. Varys admission of great admiration for Ned Stark and his warning about Littlefinger being extremely dangerous seems to signal that he has ideals and that his plans and manipulations are for the greater good of the kingdom

    Tywin’s brusque dismissal of Cersei and dismissing her with one of the best lines in the episode when she tells him that she was the one who actually took in his lessons on how to rule - not Jaime and not Tyrion.

    And the grandest betrayal and taking revenge on a grand scale - Daenerys on the slave masters of Astapor, turning the Unsullied’s spears against them and burning the chief slaver with her dragon. The "what you speak my language" moment by the chief slaver was priceless after she has taken the whip signifying her control over her new troops. And then Danaerys delivers her version of war by "shock and awe". Dragonfire is Game of Thrones’ version of a weapon of mass destruction and we get a taste of what is to come.


    And for Ser Jorah and Ser Baristan as she deals with the slavers and frees her slave army who then pledge fealty to her, their worries about the fighting spirit of a slave army disappear and it seems to be dawning upon them that this is one very smart and dangerous woman. And that perhaps they do not have as much to teach her as they originally thought. The final scene with the army marching out of the burning city and dragons overhead was fitting end to a great episode.

    Some questions are being answered but we still do not know why Podrick made such an impression on the three ladies in the brothel that he serviced such that they would not accept payment and cannot articulate what he did. Maybe a GoT version of the Kama Sutra???

    Some excellent dialogue throughout the episode.

    Tywin to his daughter Cersei (echoing what Tyrion said to her earlier) when he chides her for losing control of Joffrey and being transparent in her plans against house Tyrell:

    "I distrust you because you're not as smart as you think you are"

    And Cersei stung by her father's criticism of her inability to control Joffrey says

    "Perhaps you should try to stop him from doing what he likes". And Tywin dryly states with conviction:

    "I will."

    Varys tells Tyrion of how he became a eunuch: paralyzed by a warlock who “sliced [him] root and stem,” then burned his genitals in a brazier, igniting a blue flame from which a voice issued. “I still dream of that night. Not of the sorcerer, not of his blade. I dream of the voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, a conjurer’s trick? I don’t know.”

    And then a reference to those burned parts in the meeting between Varys and the Queen of Thorns who asks if Varys is trying to seduce her and noting it is not likely to work all that well:

    "What happens when the nonexistent bumps against the decrepit?" :lol:


    Jaime Lannister:

    "My sword hand... I WAS that hand."

    Brienne putting resolve to live back in Jaime:

    “You have a taste—one taste—of the real world where people have important things taken from them and you whine and cry and quit. You sound like a bloody woman.”

    Theon Greyjoy realizing what he has done and who he has betrayed - just before he himself is betrayed:

    “My real father lost his head at King’s Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. Now I’ve burned everything down.”

    Sandor "The Hound" Clegane to the Brotherhood without Banners:

    "Stark deserters, Baratheon deserters. You lot aren't fighting in a war, you're running from it."

    Daenerys Targaryen to the chief slaver just before he is flambeed:

    “Dragons are not slaves,”

    “Valyrian is my mother tongue… Dracarys!”

    Next episode - "Kissed by Fire":

  6. The last episode "Walk of Punishment" was vast improvement over the prior episode. Mind you given the stultifying pace of the prior episode a video of paint drying may have been about as exciting.

    And the ending has a shocking twist that changes one character forever.

    The funeral of Caetlyn's father Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverun was one set piece and had a couple of great scenes.

    The scene with Robb Stark and his uncle Edmure Tully, the new Lord of Riverrun upon the death of his father (younger brother of his mother) and with Caetlyn's uncle , Brynden “Blackfish” Tully looking on was excellent. Edmure was all puffed up because he had won a battle and taken a mill rather than following Robb's orders to not engage the enemy. As he was preening Robb walked up to him, got in his face and told Edmure that his failure to follow orders had resulted in the escape of an army led by Gregor Clegane that Robb intended to encircle and destroy who were then able to withdraw from the trap before it could be sprung. "I could have had that head on a spike by now, instead I have a mill," Robb says disparagingly. Pretty clearly the next time Lord Edmure chooses to not follow orders may well be the last breath he draws. Robb Stark was looking very dangerous.

    And when we next encounter Edmure it is on the dock as his father's funeral barge is pushed off on the river. It is his duty to fire a flaming arrow into the barge as the current takes the barge and cremate his father. O f course he flubs it in spectacular fashion after several attempts and as the barge is about to disappear around a bend in the river, Brynden “Blackfish” Tully pushes him aside, grabs the bow, lights an arrow, checks the windage and distance and makes spectacular shot just as the barge is about to slip from view. Caetlyn is glaring at Edmure while Robb allows himself a smirk.


    And another humorous scene takes place in the new Small Council Chamber at King's Landing where Tywin, now the Hand of the King is waiting at the head of the table with all the chairs arranged to his left. Varys, Littlefinger and Pycelle enter and are little nonplussed before scrambling to secure their places at the table. Littlefinger literally leaps in front of Varys to get the chair immediately to Tywin's left, Varys takes the next one and Pycelle dodders to the third chair. As Cersei now enters she surveys the scene, grabs a chair and moves it around the table to sit at Tywin's right hand. Meanwhile Tyrion has entered and watched his sister's performance. He carefully considers the seating arrangements but these are huge chairs. Tyrion tilts back the empty chair and slowly and obnoxiously drags it across the floor -- sarcastically mocking the jockeying for position that has just transpired -- and then places his chair at the opposing end of the table from Tywin. Absolutely priceless. And perhaps a play on the show's title - A Game of Thrones.

    At the meeting Tywin sends Littlefinger off to become a lord by marrying Caetlyn's nutty sister (the one breastfeeding her older son) and cause problems for Robb Stark and names Tyrion Littlefinger's replacement in the thankless accounting job, loftily titled Master of Coin.



    Meanwhile back on the road after the capture of Jaime Lannister and Brienne after their abortive sword fight on the bridge last episode (sword fightus interruptus???) where she was beating him, they are now bound together as prisoners of the men from House Bolton. We get some nice byplay as Jaime makes excuses for his losing performance in the swordfight and Briene gives a good as she gets back. Suddenly Jaime switches gears and tells Brienne that she's going to get raped tonight by their captors and he advises her not to resist - his advice is "Close your eyes pretend they're Renly," Some well-written dialogue.


    And the show's title? Meanwhile back with Danaerys Targaryen and the slave master in the city of Astapor - he has created a scenic attraction called The Walk of Punishment where disobedient slaves are crucified for public display which horrifies her.


    Then back to negotiation for her slave army, She wants all 8,000 unsullied AND the ones in training . "I will have all or take none," - not enough money so how about a dragon - she has three after all? They barter: "Three." "One." "Two." "One." Sold to the sleazy slave trader and he throws in the translator as a nice parting gift. All this over the objections of her advisors Ser Barristan and Ser Jorah. "You'll win the throne with dragons, not slaves!" Then in scene reminiscent of the Godfather where Vito tells Sonny to never argue in front of strangers, she makes it clear who is really running the show.

    And because we missed the usual dose of nudity last week, there is a brothel scene where Tyrion and Bronn pick up Littlefinger's financial ledgers - what does not every accountant keep them there??? Tyrion also decides while in the brothel to reward his squire Podrick with three of the top ladies in the brothel as a gift for having saved his life during the Battle of Blackwater. As a bag of gold is tossed to the ladies on the way out and Broon offers a word of advice to the obviously inexperienced Podrick - "Pace yourself lad," Bronn advises helpfully.

    Tyrion then reviews the ledgers and realizes that Littlefinger has them horrendously in debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos. Bronn's advice, just do not repay the loan and Tyrion remarks that is precisely why Tyrion does not loan him money.

    And the follow-up scene the next day Podrick returns and tosses the bag of gold to Tyrion who says that was his to pay for the services of the three ladies. Did he not partake of the gifts?? Nope he did but after they refused payment. Tyrion and Bronn as regular patrons of such services are stunned and both are clear this has never happened to them. They then sit Podrick down and begin to question him as to exactly what occurred - scene fades out.

    Meanwhile Theon is rescued by the mysterious stranger from the torture device in the castle and escapes on horseback but is recaptured. Just as one of the captors is about to do "something unnatural that couldn't possibly result in children" (as Margaery would say) to Theon, the stranger reappears and dispatches the captors.

    The final scene back to the woods where Jaime and Briene are tied up as captives and the men come for Brienne. She's apparently decided to resist -- she screams and struggles as they carry her off and gets in a terrific headbutt. "You know who she is don't you?" Jaime says spins a story that Brienne is from "the sapphire isle" and her father would pay her weight in gemstones to see her returned "unbesmirched." Jaime then explains "unbesmirched" means "not defiled." Being condescending is a huge mistake for Jaime to make but it does result in Brienne being brought back to the fire "unbesmirched". It seems Jaime has developed grudging admiration for her and is trying to protect her as best he can in the circumstances.

    Seeing that it worked once, Jaime goes for twice -- dangling his own father's wealth in exchange for his freedom. Then he tries to play his captor three times -- attempting to convince him to unlock his chains. It seems to work as Jaime is unchained and brought to a tree stump where it seems he is about to eat a meal.

    No such luck as his captor fed up with his airs and arrogance says "You think you're the smartest man there is. You're nothing without your daddy and your daddy ain't here." And Jaime instead of saying something to mollify him just smiles... and whack Jaime's sword hand is chopped off in a rather startling conclusion to this episode as the screen fades to black.

    Next week: "And Now His Watch Is Ended"

  7. The GOT episode last night "Dark Wings, Dark Words" has to rank as about a 9.0 on the DULL SCALE - one of the worst episodes thus far in the series IMHO. As one reviewer put it quite succinctly it was "a themeless pudding" of an episode that meanders all over the place.

    The sliver lining - it can only get better next week with "Walk of Punishment", eh?

    The best scenes?

    Hands down... when Lady Olenna, the Queen of Thorns (played wonderfully by Dame Diana Rigg) has sit down with Margaery and Sansa and after dismissing the her husband and son as oafs gets Sansa to say what she really thinks of her rotten little ex-fiancé, Joffrey. He is a monster and Olenna responds "Hmm. That's a pity.". BTW for those who have read the books this scene is lifted pretty much straight out. For Margaery forewarned is forearmed as she does a little sexual byplay by way of the King's new crossbow. And there is more foreshadowing of an all out cat fight between Cersei and Margaery over who controls Joffrey.

    The Shae and Tyrion scene in his chambers was good as she taunts him and Shae telling Tyrion that they need to shield Sansa from Little Finger. As was Brienne giving Jaime a lesson in sword fighting.

    But the rest... not up to par but we did catch up the story lines with Arya and Theon with the first appearance of Theon's mysterious captor. (not sorry to see the little weasel tortured) as well as Bran and his dreams with the introduction of new characters Jojen Reed (a dreamer like Bran - Yoda to Bran's Luke Skywalker perhaps??) and his sister Meera who acts as his bodyguard mirroring the relationship between Bran and Osha. OK Bran... BE THE RAVEN!!!

    And Caetlyn's mea culpa speech over her inability to accept and love Jon Snow the bastard child of Ned Stark just did not really ring true.

    Next episode promo - "Walk of Punishment"


  8. These week we had Ciarán Hinds (Julius Caesar in the series Rome) join the cast as Mance Rayder and next week...

    Emma Peel


    Oops... Dame Diana Rigg, DBE - she played the only Bond girl to get James to the altar but it was short lived honeymoon.


    In GoT she portrays Lady Olenna Tyrell née Redwyne - otherwise known as The Queen Of Thorns. Per the Wiki:

    Lady Olenna, better known by her nickname The Queen of Thorns, and rarely shies from stating her opinion. She is described as a wizened, cunning old woman with a wicked wit and a sharp tongue.


    Not only does Diana Rigg may her first appearance but we get to see what is happening to Aryana who was MIA in the premiere episode of season 3.

    Here is the promo for next weeks episode - "Dark Wings, Dark Words"


  9. Let the Games begin... again.

    A good set-up episode for the season... lots of journeys and arrivals. The episode is titled “Valar Dohaeris” which means all men must serve and it is the traditional response to the greeting, "Valar Morghulis" -all men must die.

    Despite going head to head with the season finale of The Walking Dead the GOT season premiere was a ratings blockbuster. http://insidetv.ew.c...iere-ratings-3/

    The episode starts where it left off beyond the wall where one of Sam's Nightwatch brothers has encountered the other Walking Dead and seems to have lost his head - literally. Sam is about to suffer the same fate when Robb's direwolf and the remainder of the Nightwatch scouting party arrive on the scene. Time to head back and warn those sout of the wall what is coming. In a rousing speech sure to lift the spirits of his men Lord Commander Mormont says:

    “We have to make it, have to warn them or before winter’s done, everyone you’ve ever known will be dead.”

    But Tyrion again steals the episode.

    Best lines in the episode between Tyrion and Cersei in their meeting as Cersei is worried that he will tell their father about who the real father of her children is:

    Cersei on seeing Tyrion's facial wounds sustained in the Battle of Blackwater (from an attempted assasination put in mottion by Cersei) that is healing - “They’d said you lost your nose, but it’s not as gruesome as all that.” In the book he does in fact lose part of his nose, not just an impressive scar across his cheek and nose.

    And the witty repartee continues:

    Cersei: “You’re a clever man, but you’re not as clever as you think you are.”

    Tyrion: “It still makes me more clever than you.”

    Perhaps a better episode title would have been “Tyrion: Still More Clever Than You”???

    And Bronn gets in on the witty remarks as well as he needs better compensation for watching Tyrion's back - he may be a friend but as a "sell-sword" (mercenary) it just would not do to not be paid and since he is now a knight, his price has gone up. About double he thinks is fair.

    Tyrion: “I don’t know how much I’m paying you now,”

    Bronn : “Which means you can afford it,”

    The meeting with Tywiin, Tyrion's father (now the current Hand of King Joffrey) does not go well. Tyrion wants Casterly Rock, the stronghold of House Lannister for his services in saving the kingdom. Tywin tells Tyrion in no uncertain terms that he will be rewarded for his services as befitting his position, but Casterly Rock? Not a chance. Oh, and the next whore that Tywin finds in his bed will be hanged. Dad really shows respect for his boy Tyrion noting he is an “ill-made, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust and low cunning.” Tyrion is not pleased with Dad and as we have seen when he is not pleased one should probably watch out.

    And Maergery Tyrell does her best Princess Di personation - charity work, bringing food and the scene at the orphanage in Flea Bottom...


    At dinner Cersei realizes that Maergery is way more clever than Joffrey's previous intended Sanasa and the girl is dangerous - maybe more dangerous than she herself may be. King Joffrey sides with Maergery. At the most awkward family dinner Margaery takes a few swipes at Cersei’s age and increasing obsolescence, and adds that it’s the Tyrells who’re supplying the food keeping the Lannisters alive! Poor Cersei she just keeps running up against clever people.

    Oh yeah and the dragons are growing up but not fast enough to suit Daenerys who is journeying to get a slave army of fearless eunuchs known as "The Unsullied" but she is disturbed to find out the initiation rite for each of the 8000 soldiers involves murdering a baby ripped from the mother's arms. I get the feeling the slaver who trained this army may not be long for this world. The chapter title for these scenes should be "Nipplegate".

    And the scene with the little girl and the "scorpion" in the ball assassination attempt was well done. She is saved by a mysterious cloaked man who reveals himself to be Ser Barristan Selmy, Robert Baratheon’s and her father’s former kingsguard who was dismissed from service by Joffrey. Ser Jorah Mormont does not look pleased to have Selmy around so lots of tensions here to play out as Selmy pledges himself to Daenerys on bended knee.

    Jon Snow makes his journey to the camp of Mance Rayder - the King Beyond the Wall and it looks as if his plan to infiltrate will not be ended prematurely with his death.

    The one scene that was a clunker was Robb, arriving in Harrenhal and finding the people massacred except for one. That could easily have been left out.

    The other journey? Davos alive and journeying back to see Stannis but that did not work out well.

    And a glaring omission? What is Arya up to... apparently next week is a lot of Arya.

  10. And no guarantee that they will be able to land.

    11:36 AM

    TwitterJim Jamieson @JamiesonCanucks

    RT @BradZiemer: Am told the #Canucks charter still planning 12:45 departure and will circle back if it can't land in Calgary.

  11. Canucks were supposed to fly out last night to play in Calgary but still here.

    10:13 AM

    TwitterJim Jamieson @JamiesonCanucks

    RT @CBCLarsen: Bad weather in Calgary means the #Canucks couldn't fly out last night and have yet to leave Vancouver. Play at 5 pt.

  12. HBO has a behind the scenes look at Season 3 - note may contain spoilers:

    And for those having problems keeping everything on the show straight see:



    As one blogger notes:

    Last summer it was revealed that the upcoming third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones will only depict the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Fans of the books could readily see why: a lot happens in A Storm of Swords, even if you don’t count the shocking game-changer that appears about three-fourths of the way through.

    Now that the third season premiere is nearing (and we have our first trailer) I sat down with the book to puzzle out what we’ll see and what will wait for Game of Thrones season 4.

    Complete spoilers for Game of Thrones and ALL Song of Ice and Fire books ahead. Seriously, turn back now if you want to be at all surprised.


  13. Perhaps the quintessential Woody Allen joke

    My favourite film director/writer hands down. That movie has some really great scenes, but some other bits (nightclub scene) are just so bizarrely dated that they become funny for the wrong reasons

    One of my favourite Woody Allen scenes from "Take the Money and Run"

    Or Woody Allen as sperm in Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex?

  14. After pounding the US Northeast and southern Ontario the massive snowstorm is hitting Atlantic Canada with up to 40 cm of snow coupled with winds of up to 100 kph moving in..

    There are power outages and dozens of flight cancellations today in Atlantic Canada, which is in the path of a major snowstorm.

    It appears Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will get the worst, with up to 40 centimetres of snow expected.

    Forecasters say in some areas, the snow will be whipped by winds of up to 100 km/h, cutting visibility to almost zero. Severe whiteout conditions are reported for Nova Scotia's Cobequid Pass, the toll highway.

    They also warn there could be some flooding along the Nova Scotia coast between Halifax and Yarmouth.

    Over 5,000 customers woke up without electricity Saturday morning in Nova Scotia.

    The power outage stretches from Yarmouth to St. Margarets Bay.

    Nova Scotia Power said it hopes to restore electricity by 11 p.m. The utility says high wind and snow in the Barrington, Pubnico and Shelburne areas have crews working hard to restore service.

    In New Brunswick, about 600 people in the St. Stephen area are in the dark this morning.

    So far in Prince Edward Island, the lights are still on.

    Travel challenges

    Most of the flights flying out of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport have been cancelled.

    "We've got two crews working to keep the runways clear. But the issue is the blowing snow and the visibility. Of course visibility is a huge concern for pilots. The airlines will see what the visibility is when the time comes and that will be their deciding factor," said airport spokeswoman Ashley Gallant.

    All Marine Atlantic crossings have been cancelled today.

    The region's inter-provincial bus service, Maritime Bus, has also cancelled all its scheduled routes today.

    Most wharfs on the eastern side of Cape Sable Island are under water and Route 330 is impassable as a result.

    Dick Crowell, emergency measures co-ordinator in Barrington, said about a metre of water is covering the highway.

    "There was a roof on one of the older homes lying in the middle of the road in Clark's Harbour. I believe that's been cleared up. There are lots of lines down. There are trees that are down and one of the fish plants has about three feet of water all around it," he said.

    Atlantic Canada is being pummeled by two fierce snowstorms that are combining.

    One storm hit southern Ontario and Quebec on Friday, leading to at least three deaths in Ontario — two on the roads and an 80-year-old woman who was shovelling her driveway.

    The other snowstorm hammered the northeastern United States, sweeping across the New York-to-Boston corridor.

    The storm has dumped 47 centimetres of snow in parts of central Connecticut. More than 40 centimetres of snow is covering Mansfield, Mass., just southwest of Boston.

    The U.S. National Weather Service says more than 90 centimetres of snow is expected in Boston, threatening the city's 2003 record of 70.1 centimetres.

    Throughout the U.S. Northeast, 500,000 homes and businesses had lost electricity by Friday night as wet snow, freezing rain and howling winds caused havoc. Most outages are in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

    Thousands of flights have been grounded. New York City's airports are closed.

    There's about 30 centimetres of snow east of the city.
  15. Not only snow but also freezing rain in some areas and icy road conditions... YIKES!!!

    Accidents all over according to Global BC News and the road crews were not prepared for this.

    Per CKNW twiiter traffic report:

    RT @MEESHjCali: @news1130traffic 14 car pile up at 15th st. Nvan due to icy conditions. Avoid downhill street period!!!!!!!

    8:22 #DELTABC Nordel Way is closed from 112th to the bottom of the hill because of icy conditions

    8:13 #VANCOUVER Accident on 49th Ave eastbound just east of cambie in the right lane

    RT @IamKGB: @news1130traffic car accident on west 12 at Oak east bound in left hand turn lane - police car in middle lane - traffic back ...

    RT @Janni_Joy: @Janni_Joy @News1130Traffic - ICY ICY roads in langley - vehicles sliding up & down 208th - stay away

    RT @ellensmith1029: @news1130traffic its snowing in Richmond

    RT @amariey_: Avoid 41st. Westbound traffic is blocked off from Fraser st. Take 49th or 33rd instead. @news1130traffic

    RT @goodguygraeme: @news1130traffic there's a couple accidents in Burnaby, southbound on Gilmore Diversion and Canada Way. Drive safe!

    RT @MEESHjCali: @news1130traffic BLACK ICE WARNING!!! 41st main and fraser! Too many accidents... Slow down you won't know till it hits you!

    7:44 #COQUITLAM There's a rear ender on #BCHwy1 westbound just after the Cape Horn in the middle lane

    RT @amkisses: @news1130traffic two accidents on North Fraser Way - it's like a sheet of ice so definitely slow down. Police & ambula ...

    7:25 #SURREYBC A vehicle ran into the back of a bus on 68th Ave eastbound just before King George Blvd in the right lane

    RT @redoktobre: @news1130traffic There's an accident on 49th Avenue & Boundary Road in Vancouver/Burnaby. Northbound traffic in Bou ...

    RT @worldserious42: @news1130traffic prince ed @41st buses lined up. It's a no go zone. http://t.co/EhdUzBex

    RT @xdipp1: @news1130traffic @aja_mir all of 41st is black ice. Upto 15 buses r stopped Aswell. Their power lines r possibly frozen

    RT @Emerg_Info: @news1130traffic - SLOW DOWN - its black ice - you should be crawling - cause you won't know your on ice until you hit ...

    RT @aja_mir counted 12 accidents on 41st between main and fraser. Stay away!

    RT @dramajawanda: @news1130traffic cars galore stuck on black ice going up the nordel hill towards Scott road

    7:06 #VANCOUVER Accident on Knight St northbound near 38th in the right lane

    7:04 #BURNABY There's an accident on Gilmore Ave just north of Canada Way affecting both directions

  16. I saw an advance screening of 'Gangster Squad' on Wednesday night. I really enjoyed it.

    I'm seeing a lot of negative reviews on it though and the main theme is, "too much violence".

    It's a gangster movie, but I promise you that movies like 'War' and 'Inglorious Basterds' had more violence than 'Gangster Squad'.

    Just look at Rotten Tomatoes audience percentage and that will give you a better indicator.

    I have no problem with violence - I do have problems with badly scripted movies.

    Gangster Squad is a B-picture with a A-List cast.

    Sean Penn chewed up the scenery as Mickey Cohen (fun to watch but not really the scary guy that Cohen was reputed to be) and Ryan Gosling was quite good. Josh Brolin? He can act so what the heck happened to him? And Emma Stone as Grace??? - well she is no Kim Basinger (LA Confidential) or Jennifer Connelly/Melanie Griffiths (Mulholland Falls) or Virginia Mayo in 1949's White Heat.

    However the dialogue and pacing, just not there. It looked good but was not substantial in other ways. The cinematography was great but then that was to be expected given it was filmed by cinematographer Dion Beebe, who earned an Oscar for his work on "Memoirs of a Geisha" and was nominated for "Chicago". He knows how to do period pieces.

    Basically an action picture with only sporadic action and without much of a story. And it cannot seem to decide if it is to be heavy weight drama or less weighty with some comedy (director Ruben Fleischer's forte - think Zombieland). With the right director it could have been a classic gangster movie but as it stands... not so much.

    A generous 6 out of 10 - because it looked great.

    Apparently the scene of a machine gun battle in a movie theatre were cut after the Aurora Colorado shootings and that necessitated re-writing, re-shooting and re-editing.

    The latter also resulted in a postponed release: A scene involving machine guns in a movie theater was cut after last year's tragic "Dark Knight Rises" multiplex killings in Aurora, Colorado, and other scenes were rewritten and re-shot to fill gaps in the narrative.

    LA Confidential and Mulholland Falls did the time period in LA way better and I recommend them highly. Gangster Squad is but a pale imitation and it could have been so much more.

    As one reviewer wrote "Bottom of the barrel, Ma" in a riff on the classic James Cagney line in White Heat where he proclaims defiantly "Made it, Ma . Top of the world" as gangster Cody Jarrett goes out in a blaze of glory.

  17. And in the vein of memories of my (misspent) youth after the Bowie post... one word


    Well two words actually.

    Although he died September 18, 1970 the legend lives on.

    On March 5th, 2012... 12 previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings from 1968 and 1969 studio sessions will be available as People, Hell and Angels. The legendary guitarist was experimenting with new sounds and musical directions for First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the planned double-album follow-up to Electric Ladyland,


    And a single from that coming album has been released.

    "Somewhere," Hendrix sits down with Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass for a far-reaching psychedelic blues jam. Recorded in 1968, "Somewhere" rides signature Hendrix wails, long exploratory solos and free-flowing wordplay.


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