Movie Review: Winter’s Tale (2014)

Winter’s Tale
Written and Directed by Akiva Goldsman

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There are many thoughts that went through my head when I saw the cover art and poster for Winter’s Tale. First and foremost, Jessica Brown Findlay looks like she is the beautiful love interest with Colin Farrell as the dashing suitor and oh look, at the top it says that Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelley are in this too. I wondered if snowflakes would fall on their head while they kissed and declared their love for one another. Once I settled on watching it, the movie was nothing of what I had anticipated.

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Winter’s Tale to be succinct about the plot, if that is even possible is about a man named Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) who was the son of immigrants, who shipped him to NYC in a tiny boat, not sure how he survived that voyage, and who is now in the 1900’s both a practicing mechanic and thief. He lives in an attic of sorts in Grand Central Station, from the top he is able to see everyone coming and going and the hustle and bustle of city life.

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He grew up as an orphan and was raised by Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), with a giant scar on his face and his mob attitude; he is scary to say the least. Turns out he is actually a demon and is now fixated on destroying Peter. The problem is he does not know where he is, so he and his henchmen set out to find him. When they discover him, Peter is able to evade them by jumping on a magical horse that appears out of nowhere.

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Now Peter and his magical horse are ready to skip town, but the horse stops in front of a mansion and he believes the horse is trying to tell him that they should do just one more robbery and then get the hell out of dodge. Inside the house lives Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), she sleeps in a bedroom near the roof of the mansion so that she can cool off because she has consumption or tuberculosis, which causes her to feel consistently feverish. When she discovers that Peter is in her house, trying to steal from their safe, she offers him a cup of tea. How Downton Abbey of Beverly to offer her intruder tea.

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The two sit and sip tea and talk for hours and they both realize that they were made for each other. Now Pearly realizes that he is out gallivanting with this auburn haired girl and he seeks out to destroy both of them. In order to find them, Pearly has to request a pass to go past the city from his demon boss, the Judge (Will Smith). The whole ordeal shows that in the city both good and evil persists. Off to search for them he goes and the saga continues. This is where the movie goes from weird to weirder to a medley of what the hell is going on moments.

The movie then moves rapidly from the past to the present day. In Central Park, Peter connects with a little girl and her mother (Jennifer Connelley). Yes, Peter is still alive and let me tell you, he looks pretty hot still for a 100 year old man. When he sees the little girl, she reminds him of Beverly’s little sister and with this sudden memory he goes down to the library to look up the Penn family’s history. The mother works there, of course and she realizes that Peter is from a different century.

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The rest of the story revolves around saving the little girl, Connelley’s relationship with this strange, kind man and his realization that his destiny was to save this little girl. All the while, he employs his magical horse to help him.

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If at this point, you are reading this and are really confused, then you will know how it feels to watch this movie.  The plot is disjointed and all over the place. The film on the outside appears to be one that will be a love story, but that part of the story itself felt rushed and not properly told. I would have enjoyed seeing Peter and Beverly’s love grow for another; instead it was over before it even started. Beverly’s family story was also rich with details, yet those were touched upon very quickly and never properly divulged. I believe those details could have added a nice feel to the film and could have helped with the cohesiveness of the story.

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The film was adapted from Mark Helprin’s novel of the same name. The story is supposed to be magical, mixed with mysticism and fantasy and a love story underneath it all, but what ended up being told was a tale that seemed a bit silly and pointless. A magical unicorn and demons, as odd as that sound it could have worked, as it does in other movies and TV shows, but the fact that it was not done properly only added to the failure of the film. The disjointedness of the film made these magical like components seem like a mockery of what the author had intended.

Does anyone out there remember the sirens that went off on the island on the show Lost? I feel like those sirens should start blaring out around this film, in hopes of deterring anyone else from watching this monstrosity of a movie. If you haven’t seen it, please stay away from this film. If you have seen it, then I am here to console you and your sorrows of wasting 2 hours of your life.

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}}Melissa

Movie Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

The Fault In Our Stars
Directed by Josh Boone
Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

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Everyone thinks love is easy. Everyone thinks they deserve love. It’s what we hear about in fairy tales. The man of our dreams comes by, saves us from distress and then we look into each other’s eyes and live happily ever after. That’s how love is supposed to occur, right? At least that is what movies like Sleepless in Seattle, Say Anything and Dirty Dancing taught me.

What happens when you take the romantic notion of love and mix it with teenagers who have cancer? Love knows no boundaries and sees no disease, but if you were dying would you want to fall in love? Knowing that both people’s feelings would be at risk because you know you will be gone far too soon, would you still dive in? Is it fair to the other person and is it fair to you to hold onto something that will never turn into an everlasting, love story that ends in marriage and babies? In the movie The Fault in Our Stars, all of these questions and logic are put aside when two teenagers with cancer meet at a support group and fall in love.

The film, adapted by the John Green novel of the same name, takes a different look at love by giving viewers a type of story that is very familiar, yet completely unlike anything we have ever seen. Hollywood produces every type of movie out there, but movies just about cancer are a rarity. Yes, there are movies with the subtext of cancer, like in the film Beaches, yet it is not about cancer as much as it is about friendship. The Fault in Our Stars mixes two main themes, cancer being both fully up front and present and love. During the love scenes though, the story of cancer always lingers as an omnipresent character itself.

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The movie is about Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) who has had cancer ever since she was a small child and now as an adolescent, she still suffers from it, but she has learned to manage and live with it. For her it is part of her life, she carries around her oxygen take with just as much normalcy as her iPhone. On the outside she seems like any typical teenager, she talks back to her parents at times, checks her phone a lot, but unlike other teens she has to stay home more often than not due to her condition and her interactions with friends is limited.

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Seeing that she is cooped up in her house, her mother, Frannie (Laura Dern) pushes her to go to cancer support groups, so she can get out and talk to more people her age. The support group is boring and lame and she just looks around at the other kids like whatever, just biding her time to get out of there. One day Isaac (Nat Wolff) brings along his friend Augustus (Ansel Elgort) to the group to share his story, since he is a survivor of cancer himself. He lost his leg to cancer, but he never lets it bring him down, in a sense he is a breath of fresh air in a room full of depressing stories. All Gus can do the whole time is stare at Hazel with a sheepish, flirtatious grin. Every time he looks at her she cannot help, but smile back. What teenage girl wouldn’t?

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After their group session, he goes outside, they exchange phone numbers and they hang out together from there on forward. Check the box for normal teenage behavior right there. Hazel has an obsession with a book about cancer called An Imperial Affliction by Van Houten (Willem Dafoe). This book moves her so much because it deals with cancer in a different way and she persuades Gus to read it and together they discuss the ins and outs and their disappointment with the ending.

The two talk to each other a lot through text messages and phone convos and they hang out in his basement room, which for any teenager is the coolest thing ever. Hazel’s parents are surprised, yet worried about her relationship and they do try to warn Gus that she is sick and to not get his hopes up with her. This never dissuades him from falling in love with her. His willingness to fall in love with her is tender and sweet and would make any girl swoon.

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Gus uses his wish from a pseudo Make-a-Wish Foundation to send Hazel to Amsterdam to meet the author Van Houten and to talk about him about the ending of the book. The books ends mid-sentence and they never know what happened to the character of Anna. Hazel is obsessed with knowing this, so that fact that she gets to meet the author sends her over the moon with happiness. Every time she looks in Gus’ eyes, she feels so much love for him, yet the fact that she has cancer is always in the corner of her mind.

In Amsterdam, they have a wonderful, beautiful journey where they almost act like adults on their own. They go to a fancy dinner out and drink bubbly champagne and act as if they had no cares in the world. There love develops and becomes even stronger on the trip, one of my favorite scenes is when they visit the Anne Frank house. It was as if in the house, Anne was narrating and telling the story of Hazel’s own life. Both Anne and Hazel lived with tragedies in their lives, but despite the difficulties they faced, they both just want to be normal, teenage girls.

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Hazel’s mother is there with them, but she lets them be alone and enjoy themselves. She knows Hazel may never again have a moment like this in her life and she lets her go, she trusts that she will be okay with Gus by her side. That act of relinquishing and letting go and trusting her sick child is heartfelt and shows that her mother has put aside all her life goals in order to help her be happy.

The rest of the movie is their love story, the ups and downs and the rollercoaster ride that is teenage life and falling in love for the first time.

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I understood fully going into this that this is a teenage, young adult story, so it does have its moments of cheesiness, but those can be overlooked because the quality of the story stands alone. What stood out to me was that Hazel and Gus, never let their conditions take the best years of their lives away. As the saying goes, they stood up to cancer, looked it in the face and kept on living.

Woodley in this role stood out; she didn’t play the character to be pitied, nor to be martyred. She seemed like the average teenage girl who gets butterflies in her stomach when her crush texts her, she feels shy when he brings her flowers, dealing with love as a teenager is fun and confusing and she portrayed those sentiments flawlessly. She is and will be, mark my words her generations’ Meg Ryan. Not because she has short hair like her in this movie, but because she encapsulates and is able to express love almost effortlessly.

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Elgort didn’t come across as your typical teenage heartthrob either like Robert Pattison did in the Twilight movies; instead he seemed normal and quirky. On the outside, he was confident and behind closed doors he showed his vulnerable side and I think Elgort was able to nail that duality down.

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Wolff did a great job as well, he was able to portray the anger he felt as being a teenage guy, dealing with break ups and the sort and he also brought a sense of humor to the film. He continues to become one of my favorite young actors out there right now. Even when he is on screen for just a short amount of time, he is magnetic and I want to see more of him.

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Dern deserves some type of nod for her work in this film. She played the character of the mother with such warmth and depth and brought her forward to a new generation of people who have probably never seen any of her movies. I have to say that the majority of the time I cried, it was because of her, she inspired emotion and you could feel how strong her love was for her child. She wanted her to have a normal life so badly that it hurt and her acceptance of her daughter’s fate just made me cry even more.

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This movie came for me at a time when a few days before my family had rehashed a tragedy that happened with my cousin, who was 18 years old when he was taken from us. I couldn’t help, but think of him and everything he has missed out on in life. My mother also works at Children’s Hospital, so I have grown up with her experiences working there all of my life. After seeing kids and teenagers pass away, my mom has always told me not to sweat the small stuff and to remember that my worries are minuscule with what other people are facing out there. When I thought about all of these different things and in watching this movie, all I could do was become a big emotional wreck.

The probies have even made me part of the Crybaby Club. In no way shape or form am I even allowed to enter into the StoneColdBitches clubhouse. Yes, horror movies scare me, sad movies make me cry; don’t even get me started on We Bought a Zoo. It made me cry so much and I can’t believe I just admitted that. But I love watching these types of movies, so it is no wonder I enjoyed this film.

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Overall, it was a pretty good film and it was fun to watch and cry along with it. It sort of has that tenderness of a John Hughes movie mixed with a romantic comedy of the nineties.  If you haven’t checked it out already, please do. If you are sensitive person or a teenager at heart than you may totally dig this movie like I did.

I’ll leave you all with an ode to TFIOS.

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}}Melissa

 

June TV Favorites

June brought to an end a lot of my favorite shows, like Game of Thrones and Orphan Black and in between the month there was a lull with nothing new and fun to watch. I try to catch up on shows all the time, so when there is nothing to watch it feels like I have to resort to things of yesteryear like reading, talking to people and going outside. OMG the craziness of that, can you guys imagine?! All kidding aside, there was a few things I was loving last month, let’s check it out.

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1. Orange is the New Black, Season 2
If you haven’t binged watched it already, then you are probably not human. The minute this was released on Netflix, I polished it off in a few days. Much to my husband’s demise, he absolutely hated the show and said it was a show about prison made for chicks. To which I told him to just shut up and watch the show. Yes, he has a point, a lot of what happens on the show is intended I believe for women. I mean at one point, I think one of the inmates was reading The Fault in Our Stars. Sometimes being in prison there almost seems fun. LOL.

This season dove into the other inmates’ lives much more than Season 1. Piper’s story and her struggles almost played second fiddle to Red, Taystee and the new kid on the block Vee. I really enjoyed seeing Miss Rosa’s story come to life and how she ended up in jail and what a bad ass she used to be when she robbed banks. I have to say I missed seeing Alex Vause and her relationship with Piper, Alex is super sexy and manipulative and I wish they had given her more scenes. Overall, it was a pretty good season, not the best show out there, but definitely fun to watch.

Check out my review of Season 1

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2. Ladies of London
If you know me, then you know I am a reality housewives addict. Bravo aired the new Ladies of London, which is essentially, the Real Housewives in London. Come on Bravo, don’t hide the fact that this is a housewives show. This time the cast is half Americans living in England and half real Brits and this is where the division and arguments ensue. I know it is mindless and stupid, but I love seeing the fashions and the cool little places in London that they go to when they hang out. In one episode, they go to a castle and you can just imagine all the improper things they did and said there. My fave housewife is definitely Caroline Stanbury, she is totes crazy and bitchy! Does anyone who lives in the UK, know who these women are? As in are they pseudo-celebrities over there?

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3. The Goldbergs
I have mentioned it before I love, love The Goldbergs on ABC. I definitely am loving this show more than Modern Family, which in my opinion has gone downhill over this past year. At this point, every joke is the same on there and the family is a caricature of itself. I have been watching all the reruns of The Goldbergs when there is nothing to watch and I never regret re-watching an episode. The hijinks the family gets into is super funny and just watching the show brings back memories of the 80’s. From the furniture, to the toys they play with, think Rubik’s cube and Simon, and all the 80’s movies that are mentioned like Ghostbusters, Poltergeist and Star Wars, if you grew up in this era then it is bound to make you nostalgic.

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That’s all for now folks, July brings with it lots of new shows. Here’s some OITNB pics that I thought were funny.

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}}Melissa

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Directed by Ben Stiller
Written by Steve Conrad

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty took almost two decades to come to life, due to several actors and directors continuously dropping out of the project. In 1994, actor Jim Carrey was supposed to take the lead role, but it felt through. In 1997,  Ron Howard was in the driver’s seat to direct the film, but then chose to make EdTV instead of this one. The saga went on as Steven Spielberg signed on to make the film in 2004, and eventually that never came to light. Owen Wilson was next as the lead actor, and then dropped out, Mike Meyers and even Sacha Baron Cohen were rumored to take on the role. This bouncing of directors and actors went on until 2012, when Ben Stiller decided to take control of the project. He signed on to both direct and star in the lead role of the film.

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One of the main producers of the film, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., whose father produced the original 1947 version, has been one of the proponents of having the film live up to its’ original story. This has been one of the main reasons it could never come to light and be appropriately made. I believe that due to all the changes that occurred on the back end, the film ultimately suffered and failed to live up to the potential that it had set upon itself. Perhaps in the stress to get the film made, the narrative decisions that were chosen were not as fine tuned as they had hoped. The movie ended up as one with beautiful, creative images, but with all the effort that was put into that part, the substance of the film took a backseat.

The movie is about Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller); he is a day dreamer at heart and works arduous days at Life magazine as a photo editor. His office is located far from the buzz of a regular working room, it is quiet, dark and he is almost always alone. This gives him plenty of time to zone out and he goes to imaginary places in his head. He puts himself in scenarios that he would usually never have the guts to actually do in real life, like talk to his dream girl or travel to far off places he has only seen in the images he has viewed at work.

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Life Magazine suddenly gets thrown upside down when a company headed by Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott), comes to shut the place down and turn it into an online magazine. Ted is pretty much a jerk and pretends to know what he is talking about, but he really is just a pompous phony. He also sort of picks on Walter, preying on his weakness, this drives Walter crazy, so much that he fantasizes about punching and kicking him like a true bad ass.

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Walter works closely with the famed photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), he is everything that Walter is not. He is adventurous, has a wandering spirit and has the nature of a bad boy which women love.

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When he finds out about the closure of Life Magazine, he sends Walter a gift, a wallet etched with a cryptic message; telling him to essentially start living life. Walter doesn’t really get the gift and he tosses it aside.

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Ted sets up a meeting and says they will use one of Sean’s photos and tells Walter to go find the specific slide, in doing so, he realizes out of all the film he sent that is the one that is missing. This spurs Walter into motion, he decides the hell with it, and he will travel around the world and find Sean and ask him where the slide is located. He doesn’t tell many people where he is going and only divulges it to his co-worker Sarah (Kristin Wigg), who he has a major crush on and can’t muster the courage to ask out on a date.

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From here, Walter travels all over the world from Norway to Tibet, hiking mountains and traversing dangerous areas to get to Sean. The scenes that are shown through this portion of the film are beautiful. The shots are awesome and the CGI magic is fun to watch.

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Honestly, the story bored me and I couldn’t find myself really even caring where the story went and if Walter found the slide. The narrative started out interesting and then like Walter, traveled all around, up and down, without giving us much to sink our teeth into.

Wiig was adorable as the love interest and I enjoyed seeing her in a sweeter more vulnerable way, instead of how she is always making fun of herself or being goofy. This movie made her seem like a real person, not just a comedian out to make the audience laugh. Stiller was sweet and warm in this role and his ability to be relatable is what made his character likeable.

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Overall, it is not a horrible film, nor is it a great one. At points it is comedic, but not that funny and at points dramatic, but not really all that dramatic. Where to categorize this film, I am not sure? Regardless, it sits in a zone of blah, where given the choice to watch this movie or imagine it, I’d pick the imagining part in favor of sitting through this again.  The best part of the movie is the images themselves and it is the saving grace of the film. I don’t want to sound like I hated it, I thought it was okay. This movie may be enjoyed by kids for the fun, jet setting scenes and they probably wouldn’t care about the substance issue as much as adults, so it’s worth a watch with kids and teens.

Check out this cool poster that just made me laugh. Can I watch that movie instead?

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}}Melissa

What Character Would You Like To See On Game of Thrones?

Now that Game of Thrones has ended, all of us fans have to wait a whole year for it to come back. The wait is excruciating, to say the least. A lot of times when I am watching the show I think about characters from other TV shows or movies that are much needed to help out our favorite characters or those that fit in perfectly with one of the families. For example, Michonne from The Walking Dead would be awesome in Khaleesi’s side of the world. She could help protect her from any crazy people out there and even mix in with locals and get secret information. I mean Michonne walks tall and carries a big katana. I keep imagining her with a cape on and hood up ready to attack. Give her a Valyrian steel sword and she could kick some serious ass!

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I threw this question out to some of our friends out there and asked them, if you could see any character from another TV show or movie on Game of Thrones, who would you choose and why? Let’s see who our friends chose to hang out in Westeros.

Eric
Who would I like to see join Game of Thrones, eh…..? Well, I think the only logical and natural choice would be Ron Swanson. I know the whole show is a struggle for power and Swanson hates government, but who else could be the One True King? He would rule with Power and swift, effective Justice, constantly eating bacon and ribs and siring a horde of offspring to rule Westeros forever.

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ALL HAIL THE STACHE.

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Jonathan
If I could take a character from another television show, and place them in “The Game of Thrones” world, it would be Dexter Morgan. I would team Dexter with Arya Stark. She is my favorite character on the show, and I am happy that she hasn’t been killed off – at least as of the conclusion of season four. I haven’t read all of the books yet, so I am not sure what happens to certain characters in the novels.

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The reason I would team Arya and Dexter, is because Dexter could help Arya to eliminate everyone on her list. He could teach her his predatory process for eliminating those who have done wrong. By teaching her the code, after the names on her list have all been crossed off,  if she felt like continuing to right injustices moving forward, she would have guidelines that she hopefully would adhere to. In addition, there are people on Arya’s list, that there is no way I can visualize her being able to beat, such as, for instance, in a one on one sword fighting duel; so, Dexter could teach her to work to her strengths, and go about getting her revenge in a smarter way.

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Zoe
So when Melissa asked which character from another movie/television series I would love to see in Game of Thrones, I didn’t even hesitate or think about it. While watching the show, from time to time it has occurred to me that what this show needs is… Spartacus. That’s right, Spartacus. At least he will fit right in with how things look and are done, and let’s face it, he is hardcore. He would totally not have stood for Joffrey’s crap, and would have gotten that war into full swing a lot sooner and given a lot of people a run for their money. People would have mentioned his name and initially it may have been met with the same dismissal as people who have been speaking about Daenerys… the difference, though, is that in Rome they quickly learned that his name brings tidings with it, and Westeros would, too (sort of how Robb’s name eventually had people quaking in their boots – from boy to the King in the North).

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Anna
The character I’d like to choose to mash up with Game of Thrones is Woody Allen’s court jester character from the first vignette of his infamous film, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972). This choice seems like an obvious one, firstly because he’s already living within a medieval-style setting, so there wouldn’t be any awkward transition period and he probably wouldn’t get murdered immediately. Secondly, Allen as the court jester is pretty hilarious and the world of Game of Thrones is in need of some levity, post haste. However, this character does tend to crack some off-colour jokes and forms a habit of pursuing the queen for some romance, so he probably would get murdered sooner rather than later. Particularly if he attempts to get to know Cersei better. But above all, I think what the characters in Game of Thrones really need at this point in time is a good laugh. So Woody Allen it is!

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Ruth
Well as you know of course I’d love to see Toby in GoT as I think he can do practically ANY role, whether good or bad guy. But as far as character from another show… Well the only one I can think of is someone like Mr. Rochester, so someone who’s been heartbroken and betrayed by those close to him and harbor a deep, dark secret about his romantic past. He’s said that he loves playing antiheroes and I think every character on that show is basically an antihero right, they all have some kind of darkness in them, some more severe than others obviously.
**Mel’s Side note – I think Mr. Rochester could totally be part of the Tully family, especially with his ginger hair, he would fit in perfectly!

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Natasha
When Melissa asked me which character, either from a series or a movie, would I like to see in GoT, I immediately started shifting through my mind archives to get the best option.

Firstly, I just have to mention this brilliant new movie venture I just thought of: Can we please, please, have a new Hunger Games movie, with the following participants: Joffrey Baratheon, Dolores Jane Umbridge (Harry Potter) and Percy Whitmore (The Green Mile)? Just imagine for a second how much fun it will be to watch these skin crawling villains in a battle to the death? I even made you a poster!

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Back to the actual question: I would love to see Edison Cavani in GoT. You might be wondering where the hell you may have seen this fellow, and I will ease your confusion and tell you that he is a member of the Uruguay soccer team.

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Just look at that face: Doesn’t he look like he belongs in GoT, a Dothraki Warrior, following DAenarys Targaryen? (Meaning: he looks like a hot warrior).

Mr. Cavani made it onto this list because he as much as I love soccer, it is mostly a massive SHOW full of plotlines.

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The character I’d like to see on Game Of Thrones is Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. He could be a Stark and be all like “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya Stark. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” And then he could kill that little Joffrey bastard!!!!! (FYI people – I’ve only seen season 1 so far. Maybe that little prick is dead by now. I hope so! But don’t tell me!!!! Damn – I won’t be able to actually read Melissa’s post) ;-)
**Mel’s side note – Ummmm, hello! How perfect was her answer. We all know what part I am talking about here.

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Abbi
Jeff Murdock
Played by: Richard Coyle
Show: Coupling (2000 – 2004) Coupling was kind of like the UK’s answer to friends. although far filthier, with much more interesting characters. And socially awkward Welshman, Jeff, was easily the most interesting of the bunch. Although Jeff found it almost impossible to interact appropriately with anyone especially women, he sometimes had the most incredible insights into the mundanities of life and his little catchphrases, including the infamous “giggle loop” and the “melty man” were comedy gold. After he was written out in 2002, the show all but died.

Why would Jeff be great for GOT: Like most intense serious shows Game of Thrones is great when it adds just a little humour and Jeff is absolutely hilarious. I can imagine his talent for putting his foot in it would make for some excellent scenes interacting with everyone from Tyrion to The Hound… and can you imagine him under Cersei’s ruthless stare? Check out this scene where Jeff accidentally tells a woman he has a wooden leg.

He also has a tendecy to get stuck on the word “breasts”… and I mean there are so many bewbs in Game of Thrones he’d never run out of lady lumps to celebrate.

So here’s to Jeff… maybe he could make an appearance in season five!

Luke
Easy. Daryl. He could actually make it work too. He has a primal survivalist temperament, so he could feasibly handle it in the cut-throat world of Game of Thrones. He has the street smarts to not let anyone push him over and his only downfall would be not really letting a King of any sorts push him around. I couldn’t see him reacting very well to Stannis and as for Joffrey… well, let’s just say that Joffrey might realise that there is someone who could use his crossbow a lot better than he can.

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I even know where I would want him. I would have him as a member of the Night’s Watch, but it would never be brought up. A few eagle-eyed fans would spot Norman Reedus lurking in the shadows, especially when his character slowly became more than an extra and got a few lines of dialogue. Still, he could be hardly a major character. However, when the White Walkers finally attacked, he could become the centre-stage of the show, killing zombie after zombie. He would be the ultimate bad-ass, putting the rest of the Night’s Watch to shame. Because after all, this is what Daryl is best at: Walker killing; it doesn’t matter if they’re dead or White (see what I did there, MJ fans!!!)

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Brian
If there was one person who could unite the warring factions of the Seven Kingdoms, that man would be the Blue King, Walter White. If he could go from a humble high school chemistry teacher to the king of a meth empire that stretched throughout the Southwest, imagine what he and his top adviser Lord Pinkman could accomplish in Westeros. He can dispatch his enemies with such efficiency and cunning that he makes Tywin Lannister look like Badger. Sure, the Unsullied are a formidable force, but get them hooked on crystal and they become as useless as Lord Varys’s junk. And perhaps the best thing for Walt: dragon blood cures cancer.

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I’m not the only one who thinks Heisenberg would rule Westeros. Check out this seamless mash-up:

In addition, I would also like to suggest Hart’s mistress from True Detective as the madame/head courtesan of the brothel in King’s Landing.

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MovieRob
Hmmm.  My first thought would be a comedic character, but that wouldn’t work at all with the tone of GoT, so after a long deliberation, I think that if I had the power to do so, I would send Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) from Lost.  He can both handle himself well in a fight and can think on his feet if need be to get himself out of a sticky situation.

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Melissa (Moi)
I know I mentioned Michonne earlier, but now that I have been reading the book, I seriously have been wanting a prequel to be made for the show, sort of like Star Wars.  I would love to see how the Targaryens went down, how the Starks grew up and their relationships with the Tully and Barantheon families, all the past loves and losses. How cool would that be? Who’s with me? Let’s write HBO a letter to get this done LOL.

I think Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) from Downton Abbey would be a perfect addition to the Game of Thrones prequel and could definitely fit in with the Targaryen family or even with the Starks. Hello she could totally be friends with Lyanna Stark! And if not for the prequel, she would be an awesome addition to the Stark household in present times. Lady Sybil is strong, willful, and defiant, as when she decided not to adhere to a fixed marriage. She marches to the beat of her own drum and she could teach Lady Sansa a thing or two about how to live like a highborn woman, while still holding onto her independence.

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Mike
Ok, if you know Mike, then you know that he is a rule breaker, not a follower! With that in mind, let’s dive into the mind of Mikey and take a trip through Game of Thrones land.

Screenkicker Goes to Westoros
One of my favourite aspects of Game of Thrones is the setting. Westeros is such a wondrous place of beauty and brutality. We all love watching the opening credits because it gives a sense of place. Imagine being able to visit all of those crazy kingdoms for real? Well that’s exactly the tour I’m about to give you! You see, I’ve been to these places without knowing it. In other words – I travelled around Westoros before it was cool! Join me on the tour.

Kings Landing – Dubrovnik, Croatia
What a beautiful city with its views of the sea and its Mediterranean weather. The outdoors Kings Landing scenes are shot in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I went on holiday here a few years ago and walked around the walls of the city. It’s pretty much exactly how it looks in GoT apart from the extensive bullet holes in the walls from the siege of Dubrovnik in 1991. Almost a real version of the Battle of Blackwater.

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Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding – Gozo – Malta
I visited Malta last year. It’s a beautiful island between Europe and Africa. Parts of Malta were used for Kings Landing in season 1 until it moved to Dubrovnik. My memories of Malta are getting the worst sunburn of my life and snorkeling in a blue lagoon near where Khal Drogo and the Khaleesi were wed. If you look closely during the sex scene on their wedding night you can see the flip flop I lost in the corner of the tent.

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Everything else – Various places in Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones is based in Northern Ireland. I’m from Northern Ireland. Therefore, I’ve been to lots of Westoros locations! I’m from near the North Coast which is where a majority of scenes are filmed. This is due to the rugged landscape which has an old world aesthetic. It also suits GoT due to the country’s history of politically expedited murders.

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The Iron Islands is actually a place called Ballintoy which we had to go on a school trip to when we actually wanted to go to an ice-cream factory. It’s a lovely little fishing village, but boring as balls for a nine year old. I just wanted some ice-cream. Greyjoy? More like ‘Killjoy’! Am I right?! No.

Capture4  (This is actually how it looked before GoT arrived)

Downhill Beach is where Stannis Baratheon and that hot witch lady lit loads of fires and chanted some shit. Or the Burning of the Seven for you geeks out there. This was a popular barbeque place in my teenage years. ‘The night is dark and full of sausage fumes and teen hormones’. Sadly despite trying, my sausage stayed uncooked. I’m not even sure what that means. Also, just around the corner is the cave that Melisandre squeezed out an evil shadow baby.

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Next up we have the area surrounding the town of Ballymoney. This is my home land. I grew up a stone’s throw from the filming location and it served as the most unlikely of settings for the Dothraki Sea. Khal Drogo and his hordes marched around a town which biggest claims to fame is that I was born there and that it has the highest life expectancy rate in Northern Ireland. Don’t say I never teach you anything.

Capture6  (Just like my trip home from school everyday)

Finally, we have Belfast where all of the indoor scenes are filmed. Belfast is famous for building the Titanic, producing the worlds greatest ever footballer, and for being a sectarian warzone for over 30 years. They must be so proud! GoT is filmed in the giant building that the Titanic was painted in. I’ve been to Belfast loads and I’ve seen it slowly change from a bombed out shithole to a modern European city. You should visit sometime, it’s actually a lovely place.

Capture  (Not a Wildling in sight)

The stuff beyond the wall is mainly shot in Iceland, but I’ve never been there so I’m going to completely ignore. That’s the end of our tour folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and that you know a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes in Westoros. I have to go now, winter is coming and I’m currently nude. For some reason Melissa said that all her guest posters have to be naked.

Thank you guys for all of your input with this post. I appreciate it, you guys rule! Did we miss your favorite character, if so who? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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}}Melissa

 

 

 

 

Quick Update

Hey kids out there in Blog land! I just wanted to say hi, as I feel like I have missed you all!! Last week was chaos at work for me, moving offices and my crap was literally everywhere and dealing with family stuff. You guys know how that is sometimes. So I took a little break from coming on here and posting and reading everyone’s blogs, which I realized I sorely missed you all (and it was only 1 week). I don’t know how I could survive in The Walking Dead world without my blog friends or my trusty computer.

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I have a fun Game of Thrones post coming soon, just waiting on a few things and I think you guys will love it when you read it!! This should help get through the night shakes and sweating, that is detoxing and waiting for the new season of GOT to return.

tumblr_n80ovlq7BJ1qjnhqgo1_500 (LOL had to share this!)

I also saw The Fault in our Stars this weekend and I cried so much that I wasn’t even ready to write about it, I think I am now though. I had a heap of tissues next to me and it was so embarrassing I ran to the bathroom to wash my eyes out. Yes my stone cold women out there, I don’t know how you girls did it?! What is your secret to not crying with this movie?

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Looking forward to catching up with everyone!!

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}}Melissa

Palo Alto (2014)

Palo Alto
Written and Directed by Gia Coppola
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The city of Palo Alto is the hub for Silicon Valley, the infamous location where geeks can become millionaires and the home of Stanford University. In the movie, Palo Alto, neither of these distinctions is mentioned or even significant to the movie. The location of the movie could have been anywhere and the story at hand could have taken place in any city around the world.

Palo Alto marks Gia Coppola’s directorial debut, the granddaughter of France Ford Coppola and niece of Sofia Coppola, I assume has allowed her to draw inspiration from everything she has learned from her family. The screenplay was also written by Coppola and was adapted from James Franco’s collection of short stories in his book by the same name. The stories come from his personal experiences and those he gathered from high school students.

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The plot of the film revolves around the two main characters in the story, April (Emma Roberts) and Teddy (Jack Kilmer), teenagers who are trying to find themselves and figure out their way in the world. Along the way, they make mistakes, fall in and out of love and realize that becoming an adult is a road paved with heartache and lots of bumps in the way. Their friendships through the characters of Fred (Nat Wolff) and Emily (Zoe Levin) also give us different viewpoints into the lives of this group of teenagers.

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Both April and Teddy have families that don’t seem to be playing a significant part in their lives, it’s almost as if the adults are living in one part of the house and the teenagers in another. The parents show their love for their kids, but it seems very blasé and ineffectual. Fred’s dad (Chris Messina) seems to have a distant, odd relationship with his son and April’s step-father (Val Kilmer) is more preoccupied with correcting her term papers and smoking pot, then actually spending quality time with her.

Other adults like April’s teacher and soccer coach, Mr. B (James Franco), are people who don’t really seem to value these kids or care to be good role models. Instead he struck me as a bit peculiar and even creepy to say the least. I liked his storyline with April, I would have loved to have seen more of this play out in the film.

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The film feels like we are watching someone tell a story about their life, it sort of has that feeling like when someone says “remember that time when” or “how did I come out of that alive?” The sentiments and emotions that teenagers face are felt throughout the film and expressed through its main characters. There are many suspenseful moments in the film where we think, “oh, crap” is that kid going to be okay, but then nothing ever happens. The suspense is built and the loose ends never get finalized or feel important in any way.

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I have mixed emotions on this film, there were parts of that I enjoyed and some that I did not. The cinematography by up and comer, Autumn Durald, was beautiful, every still felt like a well composed photograph. Much of it the way it was shot reminded me of Larry Clark’s film Kids, especially the scene where Fred and Emily are in her child-like bedroom, getting undressed and hooking up. Throughout the film, it feels as if we are voyeurs watching these characters come into their teenage years, drinking too much, experimenting with sex and all the while when the doors are shut, we are left there to watch it all unfold. It doesn’t feel like the usual teenage drama, where things are assumed, instead we watch it happen and invade their space.

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I liked how everything felt like very real, the houses they lived in looked like anywhere in America, the rooms of the teens especially April’s reminded me of my own room growing up. The way that they behaved and felt was sensed and I am sure anyone that watches this can agree with that sentiment. This movie at some point will remind people of some part of their teenage years. The angst, the fear, the unknowing yourself and your own feelings that is all relatable and translated well through the characters and the dream-like quality of the film.

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What I didn’t like about this movie was the narrative and character development. Wait let me take that back, what narrative? Where is it, if someone knows where it’s at, please do tell. The story is disjointed and nothing ever really feels like it has importance or matters. If we think it will matter later, as in perhaps something is being foreshadowed, none of that ever comes to light. By the end I thought, why do I even care about these kids anymore, why did I waste my time watching this? I would have loved to have seen more of the April and Teddy narrative unfold or the story of April and Mr. B, instead we are just given nuggets of info and it’s up to the viewer to decide what happened or even why it happened at all.

Kilmer, who looks like half River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain, and is also the son of Val, Mr. Iceman himself, does a great job in his first on-screen role. He undeniably has a cool vibe and delivers feeling and emotion that is on point. I would love to see him in a more challenging role, I think he could nail it and capture the essence of his inner bad-boy.

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Roberts was great as well, we have become used to seeing her as the vapid, pretty girl in movies and TV shows, so to see her in this light, with a bit of makeup and revealing herself so emotionally was great. She took the words vulnerable and young and elevated them to another level, plus this film probably gave her some cool points in the indie world.

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My favorite had to be Wolff, who delivered probably the best performance of the whole movie. His emotion was raw and challenging and I wanted to see more of his story over everyone else. He is quickly turning into one of my fave young actors.

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Overall, this movie had the cool factor down, hip kids, a great soundtrack, unique photographic shots, but what it lacked was substance. All of the coolness overtook the main factor, the story itself, which in my mind was due to Franco’s wannabe-novel. What emanated from there, did not translate well onto screen or at least it was not told the way I would have liked. I love movies that are different and avant-garde, but when a director does one of those types of films, think Lars Von Trier, they have to be done and written to absolute meticulous perfection to work.

I didn’t hate or love this movie, I would wait to see this on DVD. I think it would be a fun movie to watch when you have nothing to do or you feel like relaxing and not thinking about anything at all.

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}}Melissa