Tag Archives: tv

TV: Game of Thrones

Are you watching the HBO Original series “Game of Thrones”?

Here is why you may want to watch this series:

GOT is based on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of adult fantasy books written by George R. R. Martin and named after the first book in the series, “A Game of Thrones”. It is in the same genre as J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, and George Martin has been dubbed “the American Tolkien”. Strangely enough, they both have the two “R”‘s in their names. However, in an interview with Rolling Stone, George said that although he admired Tolkien, he criticised “The Lord of the Rings” for its oversimplication of its themes and Tolkien’s portrayal of power.

“I admire Tolkien greatly. His books had enormous influence on me. And the trope that he sort of established—the idea of the Dark Lord and his Evil Minions—in the hands of lesser writers over the years and decades has not served the genre well. It has been beaten to death. The battle of good and evil is a great subject for any book and certainly for a fantasy book, but I think ultimately the battle between good and evil is weighed within the individual human heart and not necessarily between an army of people dressed in white and an army of people dressed in black. When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey.”

“When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey.” George R.R. Martin

So if you love the LOTR, you should watch GOT for its contrasting themes and portrayal of power in all shades of grey. Who is “good”, who is “bad”? Neither. You have elements of real-world power-play, politics, seduction, incest, bravery, cowardice, loyalty, treachery and even how religion is often bent and used for Man’s (or Woman’s) own purpose and agenda.

The TV series has ended its Season 4 and all fans are awaiting the debut of Season 5. Who will die next?
And in case you’re wondering, yes, it’s getting unpredictable in the show from the books. Up to now, the 10 biggest changes as identified by Rolling Stone can be found here: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/lists/game-changers-the-10-biggest-changes-between-game-of-thrones-and-the-books-20120515

TV: Lilyhammer

This is a TV series that could easily fall below most viewers’ radar as it is quite unlike a typical Hollywood US blockbuster series. No, this is a Norwegian TV series, written and produced by Norwegians and with a Norwegian cast, except for the main actor and the occasional guest stars and shot on location in Norway. But consider these:

  • The main actor is Steven Van Zandt of The Sopranos fame.
  • It is rated 8/10 in IMDb.
  • The location is a Norwegian village, Lillehammer, featured in the 1994 winter Olympics, and the series title is an anglo-play on the village name. The location, scripts and cast provide a welcome relief from the usual Hollywood fare, nicely contrasting the peaceful, gentle lifestyle of the locals with the wild gangster of New York.
Lilyhammer is a Norwegian television series, starring Steven Van Zandt, about a fictional New York gangster, Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, trying to start a new life in isolated Lillehammer in Norway. Wikipedia

After testifying against his former Mafia associates, the New York mobster, Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano is put under the Witness Protection Program and resettles in the tiny Norwegian village of Lillehammer. His savvy cunniness and ruthlessness soon have him carving out a business empire in his adopted home. The series follow his exploits and the excellent casting and scripts make the series  very watchable.

The series started out as a Netflix original series that premiered in USA in February 2012. It has just started its second season run here on Astro.  A two-thumbs up must-see.

TV: Bullet in the Face

bulletinthefaceWhen I first watched this on Astro, I didn’t know what to make of it. The opening minutes already had buckets of bloody violence and layers of not-so-subtle profanities, such that my immediate instinct was to change channel. However, I was transfixed and amazed that somehow the gore and gory and vulgarity seemed familiar. I stayed glued to the screen.

Then it struck me that the characters and action and dialogue seemed to be a MAD Magazine episode. In fact, I began to enjoy the show immensely as soon as I view it as a spoof episode very much like a MAD Magazine story.

The setting is in a fictional city, Bruteville.  Gunter Vogler (Max Williams), a psychotic hitman was shot in his face by his lover, Martine Mahler (Kate Kelton) who is also the partner and lover of his Boss, Tannhäuser. When Gunter awoke in the hospital, he discovers that he was saved by the Police and given a new face; the face of the cop he killed just before he was shot by Martine. The Police figured on leveraging Gunter’s desire for vengeance to help them take down Tannhäuser.

Gunter’s police partner is Lt. Karl Hagerman (Neil Napier) who probably was his dead partner’s gay lover, and whose face is now transplanted on Gunter. The local police commissioner, Eva Braden (Jessica Steen) who is sexually frustrated may have been in love with Hagerman’s dead partner and now hits on Gunter.

The creator and producer is Alan Spencer and filmed in Montreal, Canada.

Catch the show before the censors start butchering it. It is a short series of merely 6 episodes.  Strictly above 18 only.

Video : Cloud Atlas

This is indeed a strange movie and an even stranger tale.

My son introduced this thought-provoking movie to me and I’m hooked.  You can read below the conceptual background of the multiple linked stories of the whole from Wikipedia. However, I imagine that each one of us will have differing ideas and opinions of the movie depending on where one’s belief and personal attitude.

Personally, I intend to watch the  movie again.


Ref: Wikipedia

Cloud Atlas is a 2012 German[8] epic drama and science fiction hyperlink film[9] written, produced and directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. Adapted from the 2004 novel by David Mitchell, the film features multiple plotlines set across six different eras. The official synopsis for Cloud Atlas describes the film as: “An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”[10]
During four years of development, the project met difficulties securing financial support; it was eventually produced with a $102 million budget provided by independent sources, making Cloud Atlas one of the most expensive independent films of all time. Production began in September 2011 at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany.
The film premiered on 9 September 2012 at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival[11] and was released on 26 October 2012 in conventional and IMAX cinemas.[12]
Cloud Atlas polarized critics, and has subsequently been included on various Best Film and Worst Film lists.[13][14][15] The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for Tykwer (who co-scored the film), Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil.[16] It also received several nominations of the Saturn Awards including Best Science Fiction Film, winning for Best Editing and Best Make-up.