7 items from 2016
The sixth season of HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones demonstrated one of the key differences between novels and television. The mass medium of television brings with it certain expectations by its audience and producers, hoping to curry favor for repeated patronage, sometimes ignore their instincts and give the fans what they want. Authors rarely so succumb, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle being the best known example of giving the readers what they wanted.
In the five books released to date, Martin has continually confounded, angered, and relentlessly surprised his readers. Characters succeed, fail, survive, and die as the story dictates, not because fans have made certain characters popular.
Therefore, this season is a mixed bag with incredibly strong storytelling undercutting its strength by not surprising us. No one, except readers of the novel, expected Ned Stark to die or what was to happen at the Red Wedding. »
- Robert Greenberger
Sony Pictures and Square Enix revealed the official E3 trailer for their upcoming CG video game adaptation, “Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy Xv.”
The action film has an incredible voice cast and stars Aaron Paul voicing the character of Nyx, Lena Headey as Luna, the princess who is entrusted to deliver a royal ring to Prince Noctis, and Sean Bean as Regis, the King of Lucis.
Read More: ‘Assassin’s Creed’: Michael Fassbender Goes Behind the Scenes in New Footage from E3
Lucis is a magical kingdom and home to the scared crystal, which the evil empire Niflheim is determined to steal. When the enemy is on the hunt for the prized possession, King Regis commands an elite force of soldiers called the Kinsglaive to fight and protect it. But the enemy’s army is strong and to save his kingdom King Regis must decide if he is to accept an ultimatum: cede all lands outside the crown city, and see his son, Prince Noctis, wed to Lady Lunafreya, the former princess of Tenebrae now captive of Niflheim.
This is the third film in the “Final Fantasy” franchise. The first was 2001’s “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” and the second “ Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children” came out in 2005.
“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy Xv” will be released in select theaters on August 19 and digitally worldwide before the video game launches on September 30.
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Related stories'Game of Thrones' Photos: Bronn and the Blackfish Return in 'The Broken Man''Fathers and Daughters' Trailer: Amanda Seyfried Learns To Love Again With The Help of Aaron PaulGreat Moments on Hulu's 'The Path' That Taught Us About Faith »
- Liz Calvario
This review contains spoilers.
6.8 No One
The sixth season of Game Of Thrones has been a course correction for the fifth season (and before). There were complaints about violence against women; now women are firmly in charge and the ones doing the violence rather than being on the receiving end of Ramsay Bolton. There were complaints about Theon's torture; Arya's similar breaking and rebuild at the hands of the Faceless Men ends up being triumphant, rather than depressing (though to be fair, Arya didn't lose any important body parts). There have been lots of dropped characters, and it seems like they're all coming back this season for various reasons. Even the stalled Daenerys plot in Essos seems to finally be paying off, if only because she's got her long-promised Dothraki horde.
There are going to be three scenes in this episode that everyone will be talking about. One of them is the resolution of Arya Stark's adventure in Braavos. In a show where there are routinely massive action sequences (this episode features at least one battle involving dozens of ships), the way Game Of Thrones is able to boil things down to a personal level is remarkable. The episode's most exciting moment is the clash between Arya and the Waif, who has been tormenting her for months and has now been sent to kill her. It's a thrilling chase through the streets of Braavos triggered by the death of Arya's new friend the Lady Crane, and it terminates with a candle being snuffed out courtesy of a skilled slash from Needle. Unlike Reek, we've seen enough of Arya's training to know what she went through, but not so much that it became a snuff film. We've seen enough to know that when Arya rolls down a flight of stairs and gets up, leaving a deliberate blood (or blood orange) trail, that the Waif is walking into a trap. Needle plunging the fight into darkness is just icing on the cake. Mark Mylod has another great fight scene to his credit; the chase between Arya and Waif was Terminator 2 levels of awesomeness, and it made sure to check every chase cliché on the list while still being surprisingly brutal (just listen to the landings Arya has and try not to wince).
Arya has learned a valuable lesson. She knows how to be a Water Dancer, and she was good at chasing cats, and she's now able to combine that skill with the dirty fighting skills taught to her by the Waif and Jaquen during her time training as a Faceless Man. At her core, she's still Arya Stark of Winterfell, but now she knows just what to do when it's time to stop being chivalrous and start slitting throats in the dark. It's a lesson that she's learned well; it's also a lesson for Pod to learn from Bronn. While the two are on opposite sides of the Riverrun debate, Bronn is willing to teach Pod all the things he won't learn from someone like Brienne, who is one of the most honourable knights in the kingdom despite not being Ser Brienne.
That's chivalry, albeit in a different way from the type Brienne and Jaime have between one another. Yes, they have fought in the past, and they're possibly still going to fight since Brienne serves the Starks and Jaime is a Lannister, but throughout the episode, their scenes are wonderful in their interplay. Jaime is nothing if not honourable, and yet he's also the guy who shoved a child out a window and who has committed terrible atrocities in the name of the only love that means anything to him: his love for Cersei. Brienne might be on Jaime's good side, and it's clear that he cares about her on some level, but as Edmure says, Jaime is still an evil man.
Everyone in Westeros has the capacity for evil; even noble Brienne fought dirty to best The Hound. Similarly, everyone in Westeros has the capacity for good. The Hound, for example, has made a complete turn around thanks to the good work of Septon Swearengen. Whether you're good or bad seems to depend on who you're trying to kill. If you're The Hound, cutting off heads and genitals with an axe (this is another scene everyone's going to be talking about), then you're good because you're getting revenge on the thugs who killed your friend. If you're the Brotherhood Without Banners, you can be either good or bad depending on what you do: killing villagers is bad, hanging villager killers operating in your name is good. Cersei is even capable of occasionally doing good things; as Jaime says, her love for her children is her most redeeming feature, and it puts Cersei in the company of Cat Stark, who once freed none other than Jaime Lannister and who started Brienne's mission to serve the Stark family.
Everything seems to come around in the end. Everyone seems to realise this except for perhaps Cersei Lannister. Her whole defence against the High Sparrow has been predicated on her access to Qyburn's Monster, Aka FrankenMountain, and her plan to have a trial by combat. Unfortunately for her, as usual, she tips her hand and gives away her secret killing machine, and all it took was one ripped-off head in front of cousin Lancel to let the High Sparrow know that a trial by combat against an unstoppable killing machine is a bad idea, and since the Sparrow has King Tommen's ear, well... Cersei once again chose short-term satisfaction over long-term success. (“I choose violence.” is a delicious line from the pen of Benioff and Weiss, and it's knocked out of the park by Lena Headey).
Game Of Thrones has set up some interesting conflicts for the next episode; according to the preview images, it's going to be a doozy on par with the other famous ninth episodes. Daenerys and her dragon against a fleet of ships? Arriving Greyjoys versus the Masters? The Boltons face Jon Snow and his wildling army? The Hound killing some more people? Some combination of all of these things?
Whatever happens, I'm excited; for all the criticism Game Of Thrones took in the fifth season, it's clear that the folks behind the scenes have learned and adapted, and the sixth season is all the better for it.
Us Correspondent Ron Hogan still believes in the power of the Cleganebowl to bring the world together. What is hype may never die. Cleganebowl forever! Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.
See related Game Of Thrones season 6: 8 questions about The Broken Man Game Of Thrones season 6: breaking down Blood Of My Blood's vision Game Of Thrones season 6: 9 questions about The Door Game Of Thrones season 6: going back to square one Game Of Thrones: the rules of magic in the Seven Kingdoms TV Review Ron Hogan Game Of Thrones 13 Jun 2016 - 16:00 Game Of Thrones season 6 Ron Hogan »
Writers: Bryan Cogman.
Directors: Mark Mylod.
Synopsis: The High Sparrow eyes another target. Jaime confronts a hero. Arya makes a plan. The North is reminded.
In ‘The Broken Man,’ everything is coming together. Or at least, that’s the sense that’s lingering in the air. It’s very much an episode where a lot happens, but nothing really does. Recently we’ve just been so used to dragons, rampaging ice-armies, and general badassery that an episode without these things feels slow, or potentially boring – and whilst it may feel it – ‘The Broken Man’ isn’t any of these things. This episode starts, rather unusually before the opening credits, with an idyllic scene located somewhere within the Vale, where a small encampment – led by Brother Ray, (Ian McShane) a septon of the Seven-Pointed »
- Matthew Ceo
There are just four episodes left in Season 6 of HBO's Game of Thrones, which continues in a few short days with The Broken Man, airing Sunday, June 5 at 9 Pm Et. Following the brief preview that debuted after Sunday night's episode Blood of My Blood, the network has released six new photos, which reveal two reunions and the return of Brynden "Blackfish" Tully (Clive Russell), who hasn't been seen since Season 3. Naturally, if you haven't watched last week's episode, Blood of My Blood, there will be plenty of Spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
Perhaps the most interesting photo in this gallery shows Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) meeting with an unknown character. We saw in the preview that Sansa is meeting with a number of unspecified characters, who are most likely her family's northern allies. The trailer showed sigils »
Following his success with 20th Century Fox's The Martian, which was nominated for Best Picture and made over $630 million worldwide, director Ridley Scott is reuniting with the studio and The Martian writer Drew Goddard for a new project. 20th Century Fox has closed a deal for the rights to author S. Craig Zahler's Western novel Wraiths of the Broken Land, which Ridley Scott will direct from an adapted script by Drew Goddard. Both the writer and director are also set to produce, alongside Michael Schaefer, Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood.
Wraiths Of The Broken Land is set at the turn of the 20th Century in a town near the Mexican border. The story follows a group of men who team up to find their sisters, who have all been taken captive. As these men cross treacherous badlands to find their beloved siblings, their lives, ethics and sanity are put on the line. »
“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably.
Spring is bringing some Tiff 2015 holdovers and a couple Hollywood hopefuls to take down the juggernaut that is Batman v Superman despite its bad reviews (I proudly hold firm on thinking it fun). Disney may have a hit on their hands with one of their old properties turned new (the one that isn’t pretending it isn’t connected to the film it’s a prequel of), but the success of the rest is up in the air.
Except for Barbershop: The Next Cut (April 15) and the aforementioned Disney rehash, »
- Jared Mobarak
7 items from 2016
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