Not a Review of Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4

SPOILER ALERT, NOTHING TOO MAJOR

Unless you’re a Gendry fan.

In which case, self will say this: Go sell your stock on the Gendry train. It’s just not happening. Even a wee preview, with a two-second shot of a dark-haired someone being thrown to the floor, turns out to be of Podrick.

PODRICK?

Yes, innocent-faced Podrick, the delight of whores.

A Podrick sighting means a Brienne sighting will not be far behind!

What else?

Cersei and Jamie are in bed together. Naked. Someone knocks on the door and Jamie says Don’t but — really? Jamie? Isn’t it time to get past your reticence? After all, everyone knows (self read this part in a spoiler, so she knew Cersei wouldn’t bother hiding Jamie or anything). Repeat after self: EVERYONE KNOWS.

The one surprise (i.e., not mentioned on reddit) was that the knock on the door was delivered by a maiden. A pretty young maiden. Who has exactly the same kind of haircut as Cersei. lol

There was Melisandre standing on a very picturesque cliff, being her cryptic self. Talking to Varys. Which was quite a good scene. More of these two? Alas, Mel is leaving for Volaris. So, no more of these two.

Very brief glimpse of Greyworm’s face, in a helmet.

Much chewing of scenery by Cersei and Euron, followed by much blank, disconcerted staring by Jamie.

Ellaria Sand, oh Ellaria Sand. Self believes the episode belongs to her. Trying so hard to get to her cub Tyene. It’s a wonder she didn’t end up wrenching her arms out of their sockets.

Things could be worse. Tyene could have been handed over to The Mountain.

Thank the gods for small mercies.

There is a wee, infinitesimally wee preview of Episode 4. Dark-haired man being slammed to the ground threw Twitter into a frenzy last night. But, really, why did showrunners bother casting two men who look so much alike? Why not just combine their storylines, have Gendry and Podrick be twins or something.

Every time viewers see Podrick, they are reminded of his iconic scene with the whores. Even though, every season since then, he is never shown being with a woman. It is all just a big tease.

Mebbe Podrick should hook up with Brienne? With Sansa? With Arya? With Melisandre? With — Heaven forbid — Cersei? Or Dany?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

“American Sniper”

Just saw American Sniper.

You know what? Just go ahead and nominate everybody: Bradley, Clint, even Sienna. Particularly Sienna. Honest, self did not recognize her at all. In the movie she’s thin and colt-ish and might even be a stand-in for Michelle Monaghan. It’s the best self has ever seen her.

SPOILER ALERT!

Oh Clint. She hates your movies generally. They’ve been mostly “message” movies, in the past decade. This one was good, though. She’s so glad the movie included the manner of Kyle’s eventual demise. Mother of all ironies.

Self’s favorite line in the movie was uttered by a bit actor (The same tall dude who’s a colleague of Simon Baker in The Mentalist, the one who’s having a relationship with the sexy redhead. For the life of her, self can’t remember his name). Here’s the line (There is profanity — ha!)

Right side. Damn. Legend. FUCK.

That’s because Kyle just took out an enemy sniper and gave away the SEAL’s position, and the back-up units are still 20 minutes away. Can you imagine if the commander had instead said something like:

You gave away our position, meathead!

or

You’re going to be court-martialed for this! I don’t care if you’re a so-called ‘legend’.

or

You went against a direct order! You think you have all the answers?

And who is that guy who plays a buddy of Kyle’s in the SEAL unit? With his helmet on, he’s a dead ringer for a young Peter Sarsgaard. With his helmet off, not so much. But self loved his insouciant affect.

And Bradley. What can self say? He deserved that Oscar nomination, man! Self was skeptical when it was first announced he’d be playing the lead role, but — that focus! That intensity! That reluctance to “emote”!

She doesn’t have a TV in Mendocino. Alas, she wishes she could camp out in someone’s living room for the night.

BTW, self caught the preview for Mad Max: Fury Road. Hardy, Theron, Hoult. Oh, self can hardly wait.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Movie Quote of the Day: Saturday, 22nd of November (2014)

From Carla Meyer of the Sacramento Bee:

Team Peeta members will be disappointed that Hutcherson, who is such a reassuring presence in these movies, appears infrequently in “Part 1.” Hemsworth appears more often. But not only is Gale the less compelling love interest, Liam is the less compelling Hemsworth brother.

Speaking of Hemsworth brothers, yesterday, at Palo Alto Square off Page Mill Road, self watched Eddie Redmayne play Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” His performance was very, very good.

Before “The Theory of Everything” began, there were six previews, two of which featured People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, Chris Hemsworth.

In Preview # 1 Chris Hemsworth is a raw sailor on a whaling ship (The movie of course is In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard’s attempt to channel Peter Weir, which to self appears an unwinnable task LOL), and in Preview # 2 he plays a hacker. With the casting of Hemsworth in the latter movie, hackers of the world have with one stroke been elevated to the sexy. Bravo!

The final question is: Who is James Marsh?

She knows he directed “The Theory of Everything,” but who is he really?  Has he directed other movies that self has already scene? Indubitably. Good thing self has time on her hands today, Saturday. And it is raining. So she can spend time on the internet doing research on this fellow.

Stay tuned.

 

“Gone Girl”

Ludicrous.

Self can’t even.

Just.

Self has no words.

In the end, self was not the only one laughing.

David Fincher, shame on you!

Self still likes Rosamund Pike, though. Did the poor thing think she was in a serious drama? Because it became pretty hard to distinguish between the cheese and the drama, by the end.  Self almost choked on her scarf, she was laughing so hard.

SPOILER ALERT

This is a teensy tiny question but self has to ask it anyway: Why, at the end, after it has been determined that poor Amy has been the victim of a sado-masochistic creep (played of course to cheesy perfection by Neil Patrick Harris), after she’s been examined in the hospital and placed in a wheelchair — why is she allowed to give a televised conference, without any attempt to clean the thick layers of blood swathing her throat? What self-respecting hospital would allow a person to walk around still caked in buckets of dried blood? Allow her, in fact, to go home in that condition? And why, after arriving home, does this alleged rape victim walk out of her car — the wheelchair only went as far as the hospital driveway, apparently — and enter her house completely unaided? She’s not just walking, either — she’s gliding. Actually, gliding. Shoulders back like a queen!  Since Amy’s just gotten the media to swallow a line about her being used and abused, seeing her walk that way is just a little bit much.

Just saying.

And another thing:  that “Fifty Shades of Gray” preview? Self adores Dakota Johnson. But the guy — self could not suppress a feeling of chagrin at the thought of how well Charlie Hunnam (of Sons of Anarchy) would have filled that suit, and how he would have looked, smoldering at Dakota Johnson from across a desk.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

3rd Friday of January (2014): Also Reading DIVERGENT, by Veronica Roth

Oh, what a busy busy bee self is!

She is constantly reading.  Right now, student pieces.  As well as In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall.  As well as science fiction, like Divergent.

Divergent is all about how people make the choice to be one thing.  So far, the people in the book belong to:  1)  Abnegation (the heroine’s mother and older brother) or 2) Candor (the people who demand your seat on the bus).

Wait a minute, isn’t this supposed to be the future?  Why are there still buses?  And why do the buses sound so much like one of those Samtrans buses which pass in front of self’s house x number of times a day?

Divergent, p. 3:

The bus stinks of exhaust.  Every time it hits a patch of uneven pavement, it jostles me from side to side, even though I’m gripping the seat to keep myself still.

My older brother, Caleb, stands in the aisle, holding a railing above his head to keep himself steady.  We don’t look alike.  He has my father’s dark hair and hooked nose and my mother’s green eyes and dimpled cheeks.  When he was younger, that collection of features looked strange, but now it suits him.  If he wasn’t Abnegation, I’m sure the girls at school would stare at him.

In the preview (the film’s coming in March), you have a handsome young man tell Shailene Woodley something like:  “I don’t only want to be brave.  Or generous.  Or loyal.  I want to be all of those things.”  Every time self hears the line, she just wants to bust out laughing.  Yes. Of course.  Brave, generous, and loyal are extremely desirable qualities, so why limit oneself to just one of those???  Self agrees completely with the plaintive questioner. Because it just isn’t fair!

In the meantime, self can’t quit wondering about who gets to be:

  • Malicious
  • Murderous
  • Envious
  • Slothful
  • Disrespectful
  • Cowardly

etc etc etc?  Or have bad qualities been banned in the world of the future?  Guess she’ll have to read further to find out.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Riddick” vs. “Star Trek: Into Darkness”

The money piled onto J. J. Abrams’ lap for the sequel to the first “Star Trek” re-boot did us no favors.

What happens when Hollywood plies a talented director with money?  It’s rather hard not to resist piling on the special effects, like a little boy who is suddenly given too much candy.  Result:  less human story.

Which is sad!  “Into Darkness” opened with a pointless chase scene on a planet over-run by natives (When oh when will Hollywood ever get over the need to fetishize alien cultures by portraying them as mud-slathered savages) and had Spock suiting up in a suit that looked like something from a New York Fashion Week catwalk.  Ridiculous!  Spock should always be in uniform, at least the first sight of him should be.  He is the most cerebral character in the world.  No, we do not want to see him in action mode.  We want to see him snuggling up to Bambi!  Er, to Uhura!

On to discussion of “Riddick,” which is the second sequel to “Pitch Black.”

“Pitch Black” was a very inventive movie.  It had a “look.”

The first sequel, “Chronicles of Riddick,” was also gorgeous to look at.  Thandy Newton and Karl Urban had opportunity to wear the most fabulous costumes.  It also had Judi Dench floating around like a cloud, but her costume unfortunately was limited to white, vaguely Biblical attire.

Now to the sequel to the sequel, “Riddick.”

“Riddick” was on a much leaner budget than “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (naturally, since “Chronicles of Riddick” was a dud — in fact, self considers it a miracle of tenacity that “Riddick” was made at all) and the first half is pure theater.  Unfortunately, one cannot have Vin Diesel alone for an entire movie.  He has to engage in human interaction at some point, and self thinks it was extremely witty to have him, first, calling the hunters to him (as one of the mercs later says:  “He called a taxi”) by self-identifying and beaming out to the universe his presence on a planet we know only as “Not Furya.”  Naturally, this bit of chutzpah calls forth every two-bit merc in the vicinity, and we soon have two groups battling each other for the honor of putting Riddick’s head in a box.

And then there’s Katee Sackhoff who appears with the second group of mercs and keeps referring to the leader as “Boss,” which is interesting as she seems very “no-nonsense” and “take-charge” and calling someone “Boss” even though he actually IS a boss seems antithetical to the character.  But anyhoo.

Because of a rather limited budget, what happens is the characters never get off-planet.  This is great!  This is wonderful!

There is much macho posturing.  Also great!

There is an extended bathing scene involving Sackhoff, which reveals that this woman has quite a sultry figure (not apparent in “Battlestar Galactica,” the TV series which brought her recognition), and that her hairdo really sets off her neck and shoulders very nicely.  Super great!

After this bath scene (In the future, every movie and TV show should feature a bath scene, like the pivotal one in “Game of Thrones” Season 3 Episode 5), Riddick can be forgiven for — Heavens! — actually FLIRTING with Dahl.

Flirting is wonderful.  Especially in the middle of a David Twohy film.

All in all, “Riddick” gave self quite a pleasurable two hours.  Also because it was preceded by a preview for Keanu’s new movie, “47 Ronin,” which caused self’s jaw to drop all the way to the floor (The awesomeness of lines like:  “THEIR armies are infinite. And we are . . . 47 ronin!”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Currents: 3rd Monday of June (2013)

For the last month or so, self has been posting entries to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges.  It’s been a lot of fun.  She has a bona fide excuse to look through her photographic stash, and she can post random images that don’t seem to have anything to do with each other.

She’s been leaving links to the photo challenges on the WordPress Daily Post site, in the “Post a Comment” section.  Before, she’d see her comments, almost as soon as she posted.  But in the last week or so, she hasn’t seen any of her comments posted, at all.  So, last weekend, she finally put in a help request to WordPress, and the response came back today:  Stop numbering the posts that feature entries to the Weekly Photo Challenges.  In other words, she has to group all of the Photo Challenge entries, instead of posting one by one as she’s been doing.

Awww, what would be the fun in that?  Self likes looking at the photo prompt with fresh eyes, every day! She decides she’ll just stop posting her entries to The Daily Post website, but keep them going on her blog.

Anyhoo, self is still not even a quarter of the way through Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser.  She started a week or so ago, after she decided to return Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard, without finishing.  Granted, Dillard is quite a fabulous writer.  But she goes into rhapsodies over praying mantises and frogs and self just isn’t in the right head space for such paeans, not at the moment.  She has to clean her entire house without the help of good Mauricio, she has spider bites on both arms (from pushing into the deepest, dankest corners of her garden), and Sole Fruit of Her Loins and Jennie are coming up in a few days.

To tell you the truth, self adores Sister Carrie.  It’s the first book she’s adored since Little Heathens:  Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish, the book she began reading in Trieste.  Before getting to Sister Carrie, before even she attempted Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek, she put aside The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James.  That novel, she only got about 20 pages in.  If a character’s interior monologue does not strike her as helpful, self doesn’t see why she has to devote any more of her summer reading time to it.  After all, summer will be over in a couple of months, and then it will be fall.  The evenings will grow longer, the house will shut down and turn cold, and before you know it, there will be nothing to call her outside except for the bare branches of the apple and cherry trees.  Sand will run out of the hourglass soon enough:  Who can afford to spend weeks reading Henry James?

And, Lord, the movies this summer are pretty insipid.  She saw “Man of Steel” with The Man yesterday, and all she can definitively say is that Henry Caville has a very nice cleft chin and gorgeous eyes, and that Amy Adams ups the entertainment quotient of any picture she is in by about 900 %.  Self almost fell asleep during the apocalyptic confrontation (Everything’s apocalyptic in summer movies, ever since Michael Bay).  What. A. Waste. Of. Michael. Shannon.

The previews of the coming attractions did not exactly fill her with joy, as the movie that stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx is something she’d already seen, just a few months ago, with Gerard Butler performing the Channing Tatum character.  And she hates seeing all those masses of bodies streaming down a wall in the scenes they keep showing over and over, from “World War Z”.  The only upcoming big-budget movie she is interested in seeing, to tell the truth, is the one with Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger.  Because Armie Hammer knows how to play against type.  She thought he was hilarious in “Mirror, Mirror.”

Ah, where were we?  Poor Nigella Lawson was choked in public by her husband, and afterwards had to kiss him (which convinced no one that the aforementioned choking was simply a joke).  And self read in Vanity Fair how the model who was killed by Oscar Pistorius ended her life in a teensy toilet, huddling with hands crossed over her chest (even though this was not the way she was found; Pistorius carried her to the foot of the stairs of his house and that was how the police found her.  Afterwards, and before the police came, he washed his hands because they got all bloody while carrying her).  The policeman who was in charge of the initial investigation, who later resigned, told Vanity Fair that all the injuries suffered by the woman were on her right side, and one went through her shorts.  So she was pressed against the door, unusual for someone who was presumably using the toilet.  In addition, the door to the toilet had been bashed in by Pistorius; he used a cricket bat.  Self thinks we can all agree that is a pretty terrible way to go.

Finally, here is a passage from Sister Carrie, which reads as though it could have been written for Vanity Fair:

When some one of the many middle-class individuals whom he knew, who had money, would get into trouble, he would shake his head.  It didn’t do to talk about those things.  If it came up for discussion among such friends as with him passed for close, he would deprecate the folly of the thing.  “It was all right to do it —  all men do those things —  but why wasn’t he careful?  A man can’t be too careful.”  He lost sympathy for the man that made a mistake and was found out.

Further down, on the same page, Hurstwood muses about his wife:

Owing to his order of mind, his confidence in the sex was not great.  His wife never possessed the virtues which would win the confidence and admiration of a man of his nature.

Self doesn’t know why she finds the Hurstwood point of view fascinating, but she does.  Also fascinating are Dreiser’s descriptions of the burly city of Chicago as it was in the late 19th century, at the cusp of the American century.

She thinks she read in the Introduction (by Claude Simpson of Ohio State University) that Dreiser wrote the novel in something like three months.  It met with several rejections, but was finally published in 1900.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

10 Things Self Learned Today, the 2nd Thursday of May (2013)

  1. Olga Kurylenko’s acting abilities are extremely limited.  “Oblivion” was a halfway decent movie until she and Tom Cruise were together on-screen during an escape sequence, and she kept turning her head from side to side and opening her mouth —  this is a simulation of fear?  To top it all off, for five minutes she says nothing but “Jack” “Jack” “Jack” “Jack.”  We already know Tom Cruise’s character is called Jack.  So, cut it out, Olga, can’cha?  In another scene, she is called upon to scream in agony, and she sounds like someone just yanked her pony tail.   SPOILER ALERT!  Self simply COULD NOT believe it when they off-ed Andrea Riseborough’s character, because hers was the one compelling performance in the whole movie.
  2. Andrea Riseborough looks great.  Self particularly loved her use of eyeliner, and her gray shift dress.
  3. Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is in this movie and that is probably the only reason self saw it.  But he’s in only one scene.  He does look good as a Mad Max-type character, though.
  4. It’s been so long since the last time self got ice cream at the Redwood City Downtown Century 20 that the salesperson (who’s been there year-in and year-out for, maybe, five years) no longer says “hi.”
  5. Even on weekdays, it is difficult to find parking in Sequoia Station.
  6. Matt Damon made a sci-fi movie!  She saw the preview for it today.  It’s directed by the same guy who directed “District 9.”
  7. The price for the early show at the downtown Redwood City Century 20 has increased:  from $7 to $7.50.
  8. Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges made a movie together, and it looks like a knock-off of “Men in Black.”  Only, instead of battling aliens, Bridges and Reynolds battle the dead who try to pass as the living, who are really trying to take over the planet.
  9. There is a sequel to “300” appearing soon.  It seems like only two characters from “300” return:  Lena Headley (who played Gerard Butler’s wife) and Rodrigo Santoro (who was creepy/scary as Xerxes, Persian Conqueror)
  10. There is a new “Hangover” movie coming out.  This one is billed as “Epic” and “Final.”  Ho. Ho. Ho.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Several Things About “Looper”

Self doesn’t know why JGL had to wear prosthetics, because he didn’t look anything like the young Bruce Willis.  What was up with those heavy eyebrows!  Even when Bruce Willis was a young whippersnapper, in “Moonlighting,” with Cybill Shepherd, he never had those eyebrows!  They were so distracting!

Emily Blunt is great.  Whether she’s chopping up a tree trunk, gazing miserably at her blistered hands, wielding a rifle, mouthing cuss words, miming the smoking of an illusory cigarette, feeling wistful and hot for JGL, hiding in a safe, or protecting her weird kid from the entire world, she looks great doing it.  (Self also wishes she could say Ms. Blunt’s American accent seemed very authentic, but the memory of how convincing she found Tom Hardy’s supposedly backwoods accent in “Lawless” — an opinion apparently not shared by reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes — still reverberates)

The little kid was like something out of “The Omen.”  Seriously, he was like the Second Coming of Damien.

The whole time travel thing?  Self is so over it.  Having been present at the birth (with the first “Terminator”), she would like to preside over its demise.  The only time travel movie of relatively recent vintage that self enjoyed was the adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time-Traveler’s Wife.”  Self cried buckets after that one.  Well, technically “Midnight in Paris” is also a time travel movie.  But no, it wasn’t!  That was more like a Cinderella story!

Paul Dano, as a hapless looper, whose motorcycle is very integral to the plot (at least in the beginning) was also great.

Jeff Daniels, as an amiable Bad Guy, is wonderful.  Just flat-out wonderful.  His lines, even the silliest, were invested with so much droll wit.  Self remembers that he and JGL were in a movie together, some time back:  “The Lookout.”  Jeff Daniels played JGL’s blind mentor.  That was a really terrific movie.

Maybe it’s because self liked “Premium Rush” so much, she was disappointed by this one. JGL needs no special effects.  He is a good actor.  Please take the gun out of his hand.  Mebbe it’s time for him to do a comedy.

As for Emily Blunt, she and Jessica Chastain are now self’s favorite actresses, as of this moment.

Oh, before self forgets:  Piper Perabo is in this movie as well, and she is great!  Not only that, she must be one of the few dozen actresses in Hollywood today who do not feel it necessary to get a boob job.

(Thank God, today self did not have to sit through another preview of “Taken 2.”  How long can things keep going this way, with the family of Liam Neeson constantly being “taken” when they’re overseas?  In this one, the stakes are upped because it’s not just the daughter who’s taken, but apparently the entire family.  Well, at least in this one,  the daughter is apparently able to do some action scenes herself.  That is, the preview shows her driving a car during a high speed chase)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Hardy, Renner, In Brief

Today Blog Mistress went to see “The Bourne Legacy.”  And it was a mighty fine movie.  Miiiighty fine.

First of all, Jeremy Renner is the new secret super-secret agent.  His eyes get really big when he is being earnest, which is distracting, but he moves with surprising grace, especially when jumping over rooftops.  There’s poetry in that body, dear blog readers.

Secondly, Rachel Weisz is just so good.  She is beautiful, but one doesn’t think of that when one watches a Rachel Weisz performance.  One thinks of her mind, behind those darting brown eyes.  Yes, she is one hell of an actress.

And now to Hardy.  There were previews —  many previews, of course.  Considering “The Bourne Legacy” has been given so much hoopla.  There was a preview for “This is 40” (Paul Rudd is still sooo handsome!  And Lesley Mann is absolutely a knockout.  Self didn’t know what this movie was about until she saw the title:  “And they think they have problems?” she hissed to The Man.  Who gave an I-agree-with-you kind of snort)

There was also a very exciting preview for “Life of Pi.”  And then something with Shia LeBouef, Guy Pearce, and Tom Hardy!  And Hardy was sporting a very believable American accent!  How did he accomplish that?  The trademark Hardy growling manner of speech is nowhere in evidence.  He must indeed have had a very masterful dialect coach!

And now self is watching “Warrior” (Her Netflix movie:  She’s had it about two months and never found time to watch it).  And, damn!  That Tom Hardy is so hot!  He’s in a scene with ex-drunk and father played by Nick Nolte, and he’s talking about some Deep Dark Shame which happened “over there” (Iraq), and why he changed his name to Riordan, and he is just so full of rage, and his lips are so full, and he has that Keanu Reeves kind of look about his eyes, but crooked lower teeth (Never have your teeth fixed, Tom!  Never, never, never!  And in addition, stay away from Rom-Coms!  Especially the ones that have Reese Witherspoon!  And you would be smart to heed this advice as well, Chris Pine!)

When he throws a bucket of slot machine coins at Nick Nolte, self was just —  awestruck.

And may self just add:  Nick Nolte’s face is as ashen and graven as Mount Rushmore!

And she actually felt like crying!

Even though The Man was walking in and out and wondering why self’s face was so red!  And she hadn’t even had a margarita —  all day!

And, before self parts with dear blog readers for the day, she just has to say that the Bourne Director did a GREAT job shooting chase scenes in the totally chaotic, atmospheric, and fascinating megapolis of Manila!!!  Yes!!!  You go, oh Bourne Director!  Five Stars!  For shooting the best chase scenes in a movie since maybe Bourne # 2!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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