Monthly Archives: April 2019

Avengers: Endgame

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It’s nearly impossible to review a film like this, where it is the culmination of over ten years of story, through nearly twenty-one films prior (a lot of the previous films have an important role to play in this one, in ways they never had before). At a certain point, everything about the film is a spoiler, and I won’t be a party to that, but I’ll do a quick spoiler-free commentary and will follow up in a couple weeks with more specific thoughts.

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Shazam!

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There are really three different movies at work in Shazam!, the latest effort in the DC film universe. It’s part family drama, part horror flick, and part superhero fluff, and really only the superhero part of that works to some degree. Thankfully, eschewing the broody nature of the Zack Snyder era of films, and echoing the lighter approach of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the film is cute and fun, but also convoluted and forced, elevated by two main performances, and hindered by nearly everything else.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 8.2 “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

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Synopsis: Jaime is brought in front of Daenerys, Jon and Sansa who are operating as some sort of triumvirate of leadership for the North. Daenerys recounts the stories she heard growing up about the man who killed her father. Jaime tells them that Cersei lied about helping them but he still rode to offer his services as promised. Tyrion defends Jaime but Dany isn’t having it. Sansa agrees, Jaime fought her father as well. Bran throws in a little shade reminding Jaime he shoved him out a window once. Brienne stands up and defends Jaime’s honor, reminding Sansa about Jaime’s oath to Catelyn. Jon shrugs and says they need every man they can get and Daenerys concedes. Jon bitches out before Daenerys can talk to him directly and Bran creepy stares at Jaime some more. After, Dany chides Tyrion for his screwup with Cersei. Gendry continues to make weapons as Arya visits, questioning if he’s made the one she wanted yet. Arya asks about the dead and what it was like to fight them, while also showing off her targeting skills. Jaime visits Bran at the Godswood and apologizes for what he did. Jaime says he’s not that person anymore and wonders why Bran didn’t tell anyone. Bran says he would be no help in the fight if he let Jaime get murdered. Later, Tyrion and Jaime reconnect, laughing about their circumstances since the last time they were in Winterfell. They talk of Cersei and Daenerys, with Tyrion taking comfort in knowing if he dies in the battle he will at least deny Cersei her vengeance. Jaime finds Brienne and asks to serve under her command. Jorah pushes Dany to forgive Tyrion for his mistakes. After, Daenerys visits Sansa. The two have a downright cordial meeting, with Sansa realizing Daenerys truly cares for Jon, but when she questions Dany’s plan for the North, Stormborn turns cold. They are interrupted with the return of Theon. He updates them on Yara and offers his support in the battle. Sansa is happy to see him.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 8.01 “Winterfell”

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Synopsis: A young boy runs through the streets aiming to get a better view of the coming march to Winterfell of Jon Snow, Daenerys, and their entourage. Arya is nearby and gets a look at the Hound. Tyrion rides with Varys in a carriage. Missandei and Grey Worm get looks from the crowd. The North doesn’t trust outsiders, as Jon notes to Dany, but her dragons flying overhead awe everyone, including Sansa, waiting with Bran at the castle to receive them. Jon embraces his siblingcousins, and introduces Daenerys to Sansa, who is chilly. Bran tells everyone that the Night King has the dragon, the wall has fallen, and they ride. The Lords of the North meet with all the leaders. Young Lord Umber, whose home, the Last Hearth, is the nearest homestead to the dead army, asks for help evacuating the rest of his men. Lyanna Mormont calls out Jon for supporting Daenerys. Sansa questions supplies as she was not intending they would have to feed two new armies and dragons. Later, Sansa and Tyrion reunite. Sansa thinks Tyrion is foolish to believe Cersei would help. Arya and Jon reconnect at the godswood tree. In King’s Landing, Qyburn tells Cersei that the dead have broken through the wall. “Good,” Cersei replies. Euron taunts his prisoner, Yara, who is tied up on his ship. In the throne room, Cersei meets with Euron and Captain Strickland, the leader of the Gold Company army she just hired. She is disappointed that he hasn’t brought elephants. Euron suggests he and Cersei might seal the deal, but she tells him after the war. As she walks away, she rethinks her position and invites him back to her chambers.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 7.7 “The Dragon and the Wolf”

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Synopsis: The Unsullied and Dothraki armies arrive at the gates of King’s Landing. Bronn and Jaime ready their men. On a ship, Tyrion, Jon and Davos pass Euron’s fleet. The Hound checks the box with his dead prisoner. Still kicking. Cersei tells the Mountain to ready himself should things go south. Tyrion, Missandei, Davos, Jorah, Varys, The Hound, and their Dothraki honor guard march to the Dragon Pit. On their way, they run into Bronn and the Lannister support staff with Brienne and Podrick in tow. Tyrion reunites with Podrick, Brienne with the Hound. The group arrives and awaits the arrival of the queens. Podrick and Bronn take their leave. Cersei arrives with Qyburn, Euron, Jaime and the Mountain and we have a shitton of main characters reuniting or seeing each other for the first time. The Hound threatens the Mountain. Cersei questions where Daenerys is, but she soon arrives on dragonback. Tyrion begins with the presentation, but Euron interrupts, telling Theon he’s got Yara and making fun of Tyrion. Cersei orders Euron to sit. Tyrion lays out the history, and Job explains the army of the dead. You have to wonder if they rehearsed this power point on the ride over. Cersei says she doesn’t believe the stories and she will not agree to a truce. The Hound enters with his crate and kicks out the wight, who charges toward Cersei (no one, it should be noted, jumps up to protect her). The wight is held back by chains, and the Hound chops him in half, but he keeps coming. Qyburn examines a severed hand, still moving. Jon sets it on fire, demonstrating the ways to kill them, finishing the wight off with dragonglass. Daenerys says she didn’t believe it herself until she saw them, and says there were a hundred thousand at least in their army. Euron nopes on out of there, saying he’s taking his fleet back to his island. Cersei says she will agree to the truce if Jon Snow agrees that the North will remain neutral. Jon says he can’t do that, he’s already sworn allegiance to Daenerys. Everyone winces because Snow couldn’t trouble himself to lie just a little bit. Cersei says no deal and storms out. Brienne asks Jaime to talk to Cersei.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 7.6 “Beyond the Wall”

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Synopsis: Jon and his crew travel beyond the wall (natch), in search of dead things. Gendry is excited to see snow for the first time (the white stuff, not Jon). Jon updates Tormund on Daenerys. Gendry whinges about Thoros selling him to Melisandre, which the Hound calls him on. Jorah and Jon bond over Jeor Mormont, and Jon tries to give Longclaw, the Mormont sword, back to Jorah, but he refuses. Some redshirts flank the crew. In Winterfell, Arya and Sansa talk fondly about their father, until Arya accuses Sansa of betrayal and shows her the note she found. Sansa says she was forced to write it, but Arya doesn’t believe her. She thinks she wants the power of her temporary station, and threatens to share the note with the Lords of the North. Tormund tells the Hound he’s crushing on Brienne. Jon and Beric bond over dying and coming back. They approach a mountain and the Hound says it was the one he saw when he looked in the flames. Tyrion and Daenerys talk about Jon, with Tyrion suggesting Jon is crushing on her. They discuss Cersei and the plan for their meeting. Tyrion recommends caution and reminds Dany that she wanted to break the wheel, not become a part of it. The once again argue over her killing the Tarlys. Tyrion wants to know about a plan for succession, but Daenerys tables any discussion until she’s taken the throne.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 7.5 “Eastwatch”

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Synopsis: Bronn and Jaime come up for air a fair distance away from the battle. At least they didn’t let us linger on the idea that Jaime was ever in danger. Bronn chastises Jaime for putting himself in danger. Jaime notes that they only saw one dragon. What sort of damage can she do with two more? Tyrion surveys the damage of the battlegrounds, mostly covered in ash. The remaining soldiers are brought in front of Daenerys (and Drogon). She says she is not there to murder them. She is not Cersei. She says she will spare them if they bend the knee. Some do, but others wait until Drogon gets testy. The Tarlys still remain standing and Tyrion questions their allegiance to Cersei. Tyrion tries to dissuade Dany from killing Randyll outright, but she refuses, leaving Drogon to burn them where they stand. The remaining men kneel. Disheveled, Jaime returns to King’s Landing to update Cersei. She asks the damage report, but Jaime says they haven’t even finished counting. Jaime says this isn’t a war they can win. He also tells Cersei that it was Olenna who killed Joffrey. Cersei is upset that Olenna’s death wasn’t brutal enough. Daenerys and Drogon return to Dragonstone where Jon Snow is waiting for them. Jon marvels at seeing the dragon up close, even getting close enough to touch him (he is a Targaryen after all even if he doesn’t know in, but hey, didn’t Tyrion also touch one of her dragons?). Dany updates him on the battle, and they talk about the brutality of war. They are disrupted by the Dothraki who present Daenerys with a returning Jorah Mormont. Jon tells Jorah he knew his father. Dany welcomes Jorah back with open arms, ecstatic that he found a cure.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 7.4 “The Spoils of War”

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Synopsis: After sacking Highgarden and raiding its coffers, Jaime sends the bounty along to the Iron Bank (per Cersei’s promise in the previous episode). Jaime orders Bronn to gather food from the local farmers as they prepare to head home. Cersei meets with her rep from the Iron Bank. Having paid him back, she wonders if he’s amenable to new deals. Baelish gifts Bran with the dagger that was used to almost kill him. Weird gift, and since we haven’t seen it since Ned had it suggests he took it back from him after he captured him for Joffrey. Bran asks if he knew who it belonged to, but Baelish says he does not and that not knowing that is what started the War of the Five Kings. Bran makes a comment that “chaos is a ladder” referencing a comment that Littlefinger said to Varys many years ago (season 3 to be exact). Meera tells Brandon she’s going back home and he coldly says okay. She is upset by his lack of emotion after all that they’ve been through, and losing Summer, Jojen and Hodor to help him. Bran says that he’s not really Bran anymore and Meera thinks he died back in that cave. She leaves. Arya has another troublesome encounter trying to get through the gate at Winterfell. The guards don’t believe who she is, but she manages to sneak in regardless. The guards tell Sansa who says she knows where to find her sister. In the crypt, Arya and Sansa reunite for the first time since season 1 (episode six to be exact). The sisters are cordial, talking about their father, Jon, and their time apart. Arya mentions her kill list, which Sansa scoffs at. They embrace, but realize they have both changed a lot since they last saw each other. Sansa takes Arya to Bran at the Godswood. Bran mentions Arya’s list, he’s like a rolling TBT machine. Oh yeah, he has a wheelchair now. Bran gifts Arya with the Valyrian steel dagger. The Starks return to the castle as Podrick and Brienne look on. Podrick tells her she should be proud, her vow to Catelyn has been fulfilled, even though she didn’t have much to do with it.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 7.3 “The Queen’s Justice”

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Synopsis: Jon and Davos arrive at Dragonstone and Tyrion and Missandei are there to greet them. Tyrion and Jon catch up as Jon marvels at the dragons flying around. Melisandre watches from afar, which Varys makes not of. She says that as much as she did to broker this meeting, she’s got some issues Snow and Davos. The Red Woman is taking off for Volantis, but says she will be back as she has to die in Westeros, as will Varys. Jon meets Daenerys in the throne room and it does not go well. She is adamant he pledge loyalty to her. He refuses. He tells her about the threat of the White Walkers, but she has trouble believing it. Varys interrupts and the meeting is cut short. After, Varys tells them about Euron’s siege. Theon is pulled out of the water by some of Yara’s men. He tells them she was captured. In King’s Landing, Euron marches through the streets with his prisoners, Ellaria, Tyene and Yara. Euron presents his prisoners as his gift to Cersei. She graciously accepts, riling Jaime. In the dungeon, Cersei ties up Ellaria and Tyene. She poisons Tyene with the same poison used on Myrcella and leaves Ellaria to watch her daughter die. After, Cersei is quite horned up and she takes Jaime in her chambers. In the morning, they are awoken by a servant. Cersei has a visitor from Braavos. Cersei meets with the representative of the Iron Bank and negotiates for another two weeks to repay their debt.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 7.2 “Stormborn”

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Synopsis: As rains drown Dragonstone, Daenerys and her council make their plans. Tyrion notes that Dany could win right now if she wanted to destroy the city, but that wouldn’t be the best approach. Dany confronts Varys for his shifting loyalties, and how he served Robert when he tried to have her killed. She challenges him to tell her first if he ever thinks she’s failing the people. In return, she vows to burn him alive should he ever betray her. Before they continue, Grey Worm announces that Melisandre has arrived to meet the queen. The Red Woman discusses the prophecy of the “prince that was promised,” but multilingual Missandei says that the translation isn’t quite accurate. The gender isn’t specified so it could mean prince or princess. Melisandre speaks of Jon Snow, the first time Dany becomes aware of his existence, and Tyrion speaks of him favorably. Daenerys asks for a letter to be sent to the King in the North, inviting him to Dragonstone to bend the knee. Jon receives the letter at Winterfell, thus becoming aware of Dany’s existence, and wonders with Davos and Sansa if he should go. Sansa is opposed by Davos thinks there may be a benefit. Cersei invites the Tarly’s to join forces with her against Olenna. Jaime pushes Randyl Tarly to be one of his leaders, but he has always been faithful to the Tyrells. Sam and Archmaester Ebrose examine Jorah’s greyscale. Ebrose says that there is no cure and Jorah will be gone, maybe in a few months. Qyburn shows Cersei a weapon he’s developed that can pierce a dragon’s skull. They may not be at such a disadvantage.

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