Game Of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Winner: Episode 10

It’s the rise of the Blacks, and the fall of two precious babies. But first, who wins?

The Winner

While it isn’t without two deep sad losses, Rhaenyra really kicked ass this episode. After become Queen, she curbed her warmongering husband, (While this blog is Green Leaning we are not Anti Rhaenyra or the Blacks in general. We are anti Daemon though. Fuck that guy) stood up to Otto Hightower, and did her best to bring this whole thing to an end with minimal carnage.

She failed, but gets tonight’s win for the attempt.

I Ship It

Alicent sending the page of the book as a sign of her goodwill broke my heart.

Dragons Are Great

SO MANY DRAGONS. The devastating battle between Luc and Aemond, Syrax threatening the Greens on Dragonstone. Caraxes just being around. Daemon naming and numbering their dragons, and then trying to catch the wild ones. SO COOL, you guys, I love dragons.

Queen Alicent Hightower Is Not In This Episode

It’s OK though, because I shared by “She’s Blair and Rhaenyra is Serena” thoughts with my friend Lora this weekend, as Lora is also a fan of both shows and she was so happy to get on board with it.

Also, listen to Taylor Swift’s new song “Vigilante Shit” and try not to think of our girl, dressing for revenge.

Prophecy Corner

DAEMON DOESN’T KNOW. He doesn’t know the Song. Well, now he does, but he didn’t. He does not care for this.

But In The Book

Oh boy…just seeing the emotions behind these decisions and moments really hit me. I enjoyed this so very much.

And Now MY Watch Is Ended (Or At Least Paused)

I really loved sliding back into Westeros and my winners you guys. I don’t know how long HBO will make us wait for more, but be assured I’ll be here, ready to make jokes, talk about dragons, and Stan our Queens.

104 New To Me Movies: Barry Lyndon (1975)

Stats

Title: Barry Lyndon
Release Year: 1975
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Stanley Kubrick from the novel by William Makepeace Thackery
Recommended By: Blank Check With Griffin and David
Star Rating: 4

Review

I’ve never read The Luck of Barry Lyndon but I have read and watched many adaptations of Vanity Fair, so I am familiar with Thackery’s gleeful dislike of the society he was writing about.

Kubrick’s movie is stunningly shot, deliberately paced and blindingly nasty. Steeped in nihilism, a term that didn’t really exist when Thackery was writing but describes his viewpoint perfectly, Ryan O’Neal plays the feckless protagonist with vapid languidity until punctuated with moments of violence.

This movie is a triumph and I will never watch it again because it is three hours long and really boring, but it’s a phenomenal piece of art.

Game Of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Winner: Episode 9

I loved this episode, it was a lot of fun! And while I had a winner picked early on, the last few minutes changed everything.

The Winner

Princess Rhaenys Velaryon wins. By interuppting Aegon’s coronation by landing on Meleys in the middle of the crown and literally burning the celebration down, to express her disapproval of this circus and support of Rhaenyra. This was incredible. I loved it.

Do I Ship It?

sigh Guys, we have to talk about Larys and Alicent’s feet.

I mean we don’t, but that happened. I do not ship it, btw, to be clear.

Dragons Are Great

In addition to Rhaenys’s brilliant entrance, Aemond talked so more about his dragon riding, and that was pretty great.

Queen Alicent Hightower Is Just Going To Do It Herself, I Guess

Alicent is really stretched, y’all, and that one of her main advisors wants to look at her feet and jack off is like, the least of her problems, though it is quite disturbing. Her father is all, “I know, let’s kill your stepdaughter in the dead of night” and her husband died, and her son is off running around in brothels and doesn’t even want to be king, and she’s trying her best! Oh, also Rhaenys called her a girl boss which is never fun.

Mysiria and Her Accent Are Back!

She doesn’t do much, but she’s here, helping Criston Cole and Aemond find Aegon, with her weird accent and veiled threats

But In The Book

Like last week, not a lot of change here, except we know Alicent is kind of losing it, trying to juggle everything. She’s not an evil mastermind, she’s just got way too much on her plate.

104 New To Me Movies: Bedknobs And Broomsticks (1971)

Stats

Title: Bedknobs And Broomsticks
Release Year: 1971
Directed By: Robert Stevenson
Written By: Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, Songs by Richard and Robert Sherman, from the book by Mary Norton
Recommended by: RIP Angela Lansbury. Truly a One Of A Kind Icon
Star Rating: 3.5

Review

There are some stars who shine so brightly for so long that the idea of them going out is impossible to conceive.

So it was with Dame Angela Lansbury who passed this week. An absolute icon of theater, television and film, she was simply incredible. And, I’d never watched this movie, so it seemed a fitting tribute.

Bedknobs And Broomsticks is absolutely totally OK. Lansbury is wonderful in it. “The Age of Not Believing” does that thing that the best Sherman Brothers songs do, which is make you nod along with it pleasantly in the moment, and then think about twenty minutes later and start crying. (See also “Feed The Birds” and “Hushabye Mountain.”)

But mainly, it’s a wonderful showcase for Lansbury. Her version of English Middle Class warmth is so suited to this material. (An single woman in World War II England decides to become a witch to help the war effort, has a family of evacuated London children dropped on her doorstep) She’s luminous and funny and wonderful in this role.

She will be deeply missed.

Note

Blank Check is still doing Kubrick but I’ve been a little down lately…so I didn’t want to watch A Clockwork Orange. Sorry if you were looking forward to me once again saying, “Ugh, I get why this is amazing, but I DON’T LIKE IT” again.

104 New To Me Movies: 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Stats

Title: 2010: The Year We Make Contact
Release Year: 1984
Directed By: Peter Hyams
Screenplay By: Peter Hyams, from the novel by Arthur C. Clarke
Recommended By: God, I loved 2001, how was I supposed to NOT watch it’s sequel.
Star Rating: 4

Review

Set nine years after the events of 2001 this movie is a much more straightforward though still rewarding sci fi story.

A Russian mission to see what happened to The Discovery leads Doctor Haywood Floyd (Roy Scheider!) to a cosmic encounter with the being that was once astronaut Dave Bowman, and the birth of a new sun just past Jupiter.

There’s also a weird subplot where we learn that HAL’s psychosis was caused by a programming directive that broke his circuits, which is a bummer, because I loved the idea that HAL went nuts because contact with The Monolith gave him sentience and he couldn’t handle it. (I’m always going to prefer an existential explanation to a practical one, it’s simply my nature)

This movie is really interesting. If it were completely divorced from the masterpiece it’s sequelizing it would probably be remembered as a classic. Scheider is absolutely fantastic, the idea of a the gift of a new sun is a really cool, “we are not alone” detail.

Game Of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Winner: Episode 8

Sorry this is late everyone! I was at New York Comic Con and so I was a little bit wiped out when it came to watching the episode, forget writing it up. But, we’re here now.

The Winner

While it’s going to lead to a lot of problems down the line, we have double winners!

Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, this epic series tells the story of House Targaryen.

Jaecaerys and Lucerys Velaryon (Strong) really got some big wins this week, event though everything is a mess. Luc is declared the heir of Driftmark, thus solidifying, officially, that he and his brother are indeed Velaryons, not bastards born of adultery. This is of course, a lie, but for the moment this is good for them. They also become betrothed to their cousin/step sisters, which is great news, for them and their mother, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen.

Do I Ship It?

It can’t last but the brief reconnection between Rhaenyra and Alicent really made me feel awesome.

I also like Jace and Baela! They seem to really like each other. These two crazy kids might just make it work!

Dragons Are Great

We see no dragons. Few dragon banners too. During the intervening years, Alicent has found Jesus…er, I mean The Seven, and now The Red Keep is just covered in The Seven Pointed Star, AKA the Westerosi version of a John 3:16 sign on your front lawn.

Queen Alicent Hightower Is Blair Waldorf and I will Not Be Taking Further Questions At This Time

Rhaenyra is her Serena.

But In The Book

From my recollection, the historians basically got this whole situation right, especially Aemond’s outburst at his nephews, and Aegon’s basic disinterest in Helaena and his mistreatment of other women in the Red Keed.

Prophecy Corner

Oh…I am have thoughts and feelings about the prophecy right now, and I will do my best to articulate them. So, while he’s zonked on Milk Of The Poppy, Rhaenyra asks Viserys about The Song of Ice And Fire. This conversation never finishes, but later, while dying, a confused Viserys babbles about Aegon, and dreams and The Prince and the great enemy to Alicent. She thinks he means their son, obviously. But as Viserys talks about Aegon, and promises, someting popped into my head.

Promise me, Ned.

Aegon. The Prophecy. PROMISE. A painful death, a secret and a misunderstanding from it that dooms so many.

Here I was thinking the show was staunchly “Team Dany” when we’re now presented with some of the strongest possible textual foreshadowing for Jon. Who is, you may remember, actually named Aegon. While I think it’s actually quite possible for the prophecy to not matter nearly as much as Viserys and Aemond and Rhaegar and as a result, we think it does, or for it to mean something completely different than we think it does (prophecies are tricky like that, so is George RR Martin.) But oh boy, I’m having fun going nuts about this. (Might have to reread A Game Of Thrones and make some notes…)

104 New To Me Movies: A.I. Artificial Inteligence (2001)

Stats

Title: A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Release Year: 2001
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Steven Spielberg, from the short story by Brian Aldiss
Reccomended By: So, this is a little convoluted…I, like many film nerd, have Spielberg on the brain, with the oncoming release of The Fabelmans, so I’ll probably be filling in some of the stuff I missed in his filmography. I decided to pair this with 2001, as Kubrick was developing this before his death and Spielberg took over the project
Star Rating: 4.5, wow, this is really good

Review

Besides finding a bunch of new favorites, my favorite thing about this project has been being pleasantly surprised by stuff I’d prejudged.

I’d always skipped A.I. because it always felt weird to me that Spielberg picked up a Kubrick project. The two men made such different movies! But A.I. is pretty wonderful. (I do not agree with my friend Gabe that it’s Steve’s best, that’s crazy talk, but it’s certainly higher on my list than expected) The story about a creepy robot child who wants to be a real boy so that his mommy will love him, and his odyssey through a dystopian future is…really cool.

It’s visually absorbing, and philosophically complicated and Haley Joel Osment is incredible as David, and those he meets along they way are also pretty great, especially Jude Law as a charming sex bot named Gigolo Joe.

This is a moody, emotional and savvy piece of genre storytelling. I’m actually really glad that these two masters blended their voices for it, you can feel Kubrick in this movie, but it’s still a Spielberg movie. I’m glad I watched it.

104 New To Me Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stats

Title: 2001: A Space Odysesey
Release Year: 1968
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clark
Recommended By: AFI 100 Greatest American Films, Blank Check With Griffin & David
Star Rating: 5 Stars (YES I FINALLY LOVE A KUBCRICK MOVIE! WOO!)

Review

As I sat on my couch on Saturday a little grumpy because I had planned on going out but I lost my wallet on Friday, so was stuck until I get my replacement credit cards and IDs, I figured I might as well watch 2001, based on the last few weeks I was going to be kind of bored and annoyed anyway. Might as well lean into the irritation.

Not the case. I loved this one. As I watched I thought of my beloved Fantasia quite a few times. After all the pairing on mind blowing images with classical music. The way the film is sectioned off with multiple narratives mixed in with those images. The pure terror of the missing link, the mysterious monoliths that bring forward that birth of evolution. The existential horror of consciousness that leads inevitably to violence. As the apes become men, they wage war, as HAL 9000 becomes sentient, he grows paranoid and controlling, as the Galaxy Child is born, what horrors will it create?

I loved this movie, and it made me badly wish I could see it it on a big screen.

Game of Thrones: House Of The Dragon Winner: Episode 7

The internet is talking about how dark this episode is. (Like, the actual colors, though also the content.)

I’m going to talk about one of our poor Dragonless Babies getting his dragon.

The Winner

Aemond Targaryen COME ON DOWN.

Sure, this little prince lost an eye after ACURATELY calling his nephew a bastard, but her also gained a dragon, as his paternal grandfather perkily out to his mother. He claims and rides the mighty Vhagar, after Laena’s funeral.

Do I Ship It?

No real shipping news. Daemon and Rhaenyra are finally together, this is nice for them. I don’t care which of her brothers wind up with Helaena but that’s coming, mostly, I’m hoping that when Dune (Part 2) comes out in a few years, Alia is anywhere near as awesome as Phia Saban is playing her here.

Dragons Are Great

So much good dragon stuff, the fight in the pit, the claiming of Vhagar. Dragons are great, you guys.

Queen Alicent Hightower Is OUT OF HER GODSDAMNED MIND THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Between the continuing to deterioate Viserys calling her AEMMA (RUDE!) Ser Criston becoming more useless than ever and Larys creeping around her, it’s really no wonder that when her son loses an eye and everyone is all, “boys will be boys, lol” she LOSES HER SHIT and tries to stab Rhaenyra with the dagger that hold the prophecy.

Look, Twitter is not fond of Alicent, but I still love her. I relate very strongly to that sense of injustice when you do everything that everyone has asked of you and then the people who break the rules get ahead, and for some reason, you’re STILL THE BAD GUY AND THE BITCH for not being happy about it. This is a HUGE double blind for a lot of women.

But In The Book

Easily the coolest thing this show has done is be a “correcting of the record” by taking the biased perspectives of the fictional historians cited in Fire & Blood out of the equation. Thus we learn things like, Laeno didn’t actually die, but Rhaenyra and Daemon planned with him to fake his death and escape across the narrow sea with his lover to a happy(ish) ending.

This simply rules. I love it. I love everything about this development.

Prophecy Corner

Look, Alicent wielding the literal prophecy against Rhaenyra while screaming about duty and sacrifice, in an episode preoccupied with legacy, might be a little on the nose. Rhaenyra knows her duty, and it has very little to do with the immediate future. It’s all about getting to Danaerys (or Jon) (Or Tyrion? Seriously, I’m not fond of “secret Targ Tyrion” as a theory but it’s fine, and applicable here)

104 New To Me Movies: 61* (2001)

Stats

Title: 61*
Release Year: 2001
Directed By: Billy Crystal
Written By: Hank Steinberg
Recommended By: On Wednesday night, Aaron Judge hit his 61st homerun of the season. This is a supremely important thing for baseball fans in general and Yankee fans in particular. Seemed an opportune moment to watch a movie about why.
Star Rating: 4, for purely sentimental reasons.

Review

In the summer of 1961, a pair of legends got into a race, to beat another legend. Only one of them succeeded. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth, maybe in the imagination of the world, and mythical legacy, Mantel’s the one who caught him, but in the realty of achievement, it was Maris, beating his season home run record. (61, though the expanded season required the record to have an asterix)

Billy Crystal made this movie and he might be the only person in the world more sentimental about The Yankees than my grandfather was, so I enjoyed myself. It’s not a great work, but it lives and dies in the relationship between Maris (Barry Pepper) and Mantle (Thomas Jane), two athletes of incredible skill, two men who couldn’t be more different, and friends none the less.

It’s a sepia toned love letter to the game, and to the men who made it special. It’s fall now, the time when baseball is at it’s most exciting, and another Yankee just hit this tremendous milestone. Life is good.