Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Episode 1) (2019) – A Quick Capsule TV Review

Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Episode 1) (2019) – A Quick Capsule TV Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Star Wars: The Mandalorian is the first ever live action Star Wars TV series and, based on episode one, this is looking like a most worthy entry to the legendary film franchise.  Every bit a space western, this made for Disney+ picks up after the events of Return Of The Jedi and the fall of the Galactic Empire and focused on the titular Mandalorian, played by Narco’s Pedro Pascal in true Judge Dredd style… never taking his helmet off.  Episode 1 is a hoot – cool new space ships, classic franchise nods, an epic shoot out, Carl freakin’ Weathers and an ending that may play into the upcoming Rise of Skywalker.  A long way to go for sure but based on Episode 1 Star Wars: The Mandalorian could be pretty special.

Best Bit: The shoot out

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (via Disney+)

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars: Resistance 

 


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Chernobyl (2019) – A Quick Capsule TV Review

Chernobyl (2019) – A Quick Capsule TV Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Chernobyl arrived with little fan fare or hype.  A HBO/Sky Co-production that snuck out around the time of the much more hyped final season of Game Of Thrones you’d be mistaken for almost missing it completely. That would be a major mistake. Chernobyl is bloody brilliant – a super tense, well made and compelling slice of television that is deserving of the word of mouth and hype that the show has gotten (for the record it’s currently rated on some aggregators higher than even Breaking Bad).  It also benefits from not over stretching itself… at just 5 episodes it keeps the story tight and the pace remains super intense.  Add in a host of great performances, top notch direction and a compelling story and you have 2019’s best TV show.  A must watch!

Best Bit: Episode 1 is by far one of the most intense hours of TV ever

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Night Of, The Wire, Mad Men

 


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Podcast: Game Of Thrones Finale (2019) – Phil’s InstaTake

Podcast: Game Of Thrones Finale (2019) – Phil’s InstaTake

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this (solo) episode of the podcast Phil delivers his InstaTake on the last ever episode of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, whilst reflecting back across Season 8 and the series as a whole. Warning: SPOILERS!!

Hosted by Phil Hobden.

Discussed:  Game Of Thrones

For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Also check out @EvoFilmsUK online.

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

Latest Episode: 

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Grosse Point Geek – Top Ten Favorite Game Of Thrones Characters

Grosse Point Geek – Top Ten Favorite Game Of Thrones Characters

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years – Game Of Thrones is THE most popular show on the box  – and deservedly so. Now on its seventh season, audiences the world over have been captivated by its inter weaving story of dragons, white walkers, huge battles, ice covered wastes, and the eternal struggle  to rule over the fictional land of Westeros.

To say any more would be fruitless but if you like Lord Of The Rings, Excalibur, Conan The Barbarian plus  more than a small smattering of Star Wars all topped off with a serious amount of blood letting, decapitations, disemboweling and copious swearing then Game of Thrones is for you. Those with a more sensitive disposition need not bother.

Most of what makes Thrones so good though are its characters, the majority of which start out as utterly despicable or completely lovable and for the most part stay that way  – so just for a bit of fun ive complied my top ten favorites  – see below

 

(FYI Spoilers ahead!)

 

1.Tyrion Lannister (AKA The Imp). 

Played by: Peter Dinklage.

Hampered by his somewhat diminutive stature, affection for the demon drink, prostitutes and being loathed by his all powerful and admittedly horrible family, Tyrion is constantly forced to rely on his wits and cunning. You just cant help but love him – brilliantly played by Peter Dinklage, he gets all the best lines and manages to be in just about every episode so far.

Favorite scenes: Delivering a rousing speech just before the Battle of The Blackwater in Season 2 then killing his hideously smug father (Charles Dance – whilst on the toilet) with a crossbow in season 4.

Status: Still alive.

 

 

2. Bron Of The Blackwater

Played by: Jerome Flynn (yes him off Robson and Jerome and Soldier Soldier)

A whoring, wine swilling,  oik who’s also a dab hand with a sword. Started out as a small supporting character but now a firm fan favorite – mostly due to some very funny if unrepeatable one liners.

Favorite Scene: The loot train battle in S7 – brings down and almost kills Drogon the dragon with a giant crossbow then in the nick of time saves Jamie Lannister from being roasted alive by said beast.

Status: Still alive

 

 

3. Tormund Giantsbane

Played by: Kristofer Hivju

One of the so called Wildings from north of the wall. Initially a baddie but after being set free and pardoned by Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) he’s now properly on the side of right. Completely bonkers character, also a bit of a pervert –  all flaming hair, huge beard and mad eyes – making him completely brilliant – if a tad insane.

Favorite Scene: The look on his face when he first claps eyes on a very unimpressed Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)  and falls madly in love with her, then the utterly hilarious smile he gives her in a later episode that is so funny it has to be seen to be believed

Status: Still alive

 

4. Ramsay Bolton

Played by: Iwan Rheon

Quite simply – one of the greatest villains in TV history. A psychopath and a sadist of staggering proportions – the list of his evil deeds is legend – skinning enemies alive, stabbing his father to death, castrating Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), feeding his stepmother and her newborn son to the hounds, torturing Sansa Stark, plus numerous others that dont bear thinking about. Brilliantly played by Iwan Rheon – we will simply never see a baddie like this again and God help us all if we do!

Favorite Scene   – all of them  – but especially when he gets his comeuppance in s6

Status: Dead  – deservedly gets eaten alive by his own dogs but not before being given an utter shoeing by Jon Snow at The Battle of The Bastards.

5. Ser Jorah Mormont

Played by: Iain Glen

Disgraced knight of the realm, initially paid to spy on Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) but then falls in love with her from afar and becomes her most trusted and loyal adviser. A very sympathetic, heroic and rather lovely character, who you just cant help rooting for  – played with gusto by the very fruity voiced Iain Glen.

Best scene: S5  – The Dance Of Dragons  – fights tooth and nail in a massive gladiatorial battle then saves Daenerys from certain death with a well placed spear.

Status: Dead

6. The Dragons (Rhaegal, Drogon and Viserion)

Played by: CGI creations

I always considered that the best screen dragon of all time was Vermithrax Perjorative in Dragonslayer (if you havent seen it do so asap) that was until i saw these three. Giant fire breathing beasts – last of their kind  – the so called “children” of Daenerys Targaryen – all are a wonder of visual effects genius, look completely real and elevate GOT to unlimited heights of brilliance whenever they are on the screen – damn terrifying too.

Best Scene: Hard to pick but for me it was Drogon’s nick of time appearance in S5 Dance of Dragons, then the Loot train battle and the huge fight with the white walker army  in s7.

Status: 1 Alive, 2 Dead

7. Sandor Clegane (AKA The Hound)

Played by: Rory Mcgann

Horribly disfigured, foul mouthed and very bad tempered former kings body guard. Clegane goes from being initially a really horrible person who kills without mercy to becoming almost likable and extremely sympathetic. Another interesting, well drawn character, superbly played by Rory Mcgann,  with subtle, hidden depths that have been slowly drawn out over the course of 7 seasons.

Best Scene: The massive and very bloody tavern scrap in S3

Status: Dead

8. Joffrey Baratheon

Played by: Jack Gleeson

Teenage king of Westeros and a lying, spoilt, sadistic, cowardly bully. The kind of person that deserved a right kicking from every person he ever wronged. Horrible character in fact – but so brilliantly realized by the very talented Jack Gleeson that one simply cant leave him out of this top ten.

Best Scene: Hard to say  – for me it was the wedding feast after he weds Margaery Tyrell – behaves appallingly, humiliating his uncle Tyrion but not before suffering  death by poisoning – and God did he deserve it!

Status – Very dead

9. Jamie Lannister

Played by: Nicolai Coster Waldau

A very complex character, who starts out as a total swine, who is having an affair with his sister plus mercilessly cripples young Bran Stark by pushing him out of a window. Then in a stroke of very clever plotting becomes a guy you just cant help rooting for – despite the fact that he’s on the side of the villains.

Best Scene: Saving Brienne of Tarth from the bear pit.

Status: Dead

10. Jon Snow

Played by Kit Harrington

The main GOT character and clearly modeled on Luke Skywalker. Yes i know at times hes a bit bland – but he’s completely fearless, hard as a coffin nail, great in a fight and a total classic hero.

Best Scene: For me its in my two favorite GOT episodes – The Watchers on The Wall (S4) and The Battle of The Bastards (s6). He’s in every scene and kicks so much arse with that sword of his that its a joy to watch.

Status: Still alive

There you go then  – my top ten favorite Game of Thrones characters. If you havent watched GOT yet then i implore you to do so -admittedly it took Phil Hobden a great deal of effort to get me to stick at it, but im so glad he did as its now become my favorite TV show ever and i cantrecommend it highly enough.

Valar Morgulis!

 


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Game Of Thrones: The Iron Throne (S8E06) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)- A Quick Capsule Review

Game Of Thrones: The Iron Throne (S8E06) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Iron Throne had an impossible task.  How do you end a series where we’ve had long nights, red weddings, battles of bastards and much, much more.  It was never going to be an ending to suit everyone.  People would be disappointed.  And I was.  Sometimes.  Look the ultimate revelation of Bran as the new king felt pretty pointless and not particularly earned whilst the inevitability of Jon killing Dani was a let down.  But the last few scenes felt the most Thrones the show has all year.  From the comical bickering at the small council to Jon riding out North of The Wall, Ghost at his side… the final few scenes gave us hope whilst still remaining true to the core of the series.  It’s just a shame then that the rest felt so rushed.  You can’t help but think with a few more episodes you’d be able to buy into some of the more stretching choices that were made.  But ultimately whilst the journey may differ, the result is exactly what GRRM will lay down in his final books so maybe, just maybe, it was doomed to fall short from the start.

Death Toll: A few Lannister soldiers and a mad Queen

Worth The Wait: No.

Best Bit: Jon rides out… 

 


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Game Of Thrones: The Bells (S8E05)  – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Game Of Thrones: The Bells (S8E05) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
‘The Bells’, the penultimate were episode of Game Of Thrones ruined me.  From its crushing deaths (quite literally as it happens) to its shocking, brutal assault on Kings Landing… it was a super intense episode that highlighted both the best and the worst of Thrones season 8.   Let’s start with the best: this was a real tour deforce of direction.  Intimate, intense and visceral it had me shouting out loud and holding my breathe equally.  Seeing Jon realise that his troops and armies were no better than the Lannister’s or others was powerful stuff.  Also the Hound/Mountain fight was everything we wanted and more.  Worst? Well its speeded up storytelling makes certain choices harder to swallow – Daenerys for one.  I see why, I understand it but I just haven’t had enough time to buy it.  Also lets be honest whilst I get the air of poetry having Jamie/Cersei killed by rubble was a little unsatisfactory.  Gripes aside on an episode to episode basis this is thrilling, satisfying stuff.  Just one to go then…

Death Toll: Urm… millions?

Worth The Wait: HELL YES

Best Bit: The mad queen… 

 


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Game Of Thrones: The Last of The Starks (S8E04)  – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Game Of Thrones: The Last of The Starks (S8E04) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Last of The Starks is probably the most ‘Game Of Thrones’ episodes we’ve had in a long time.  Yes it has action and loss but it also has backroom machinations, plotting and sideways looks a plenty.  It also brings some of the issues that the previous season suffered from – namely the uber-compressed timeline making what could be very natural decisions  and choices seem rushed.  But to be honest any episode that followed The Long Night would struggle a little bit.  That said the two deaths here were a surprise and will prove very effective for the story in the long run.  So a solid episode overall.

Death Toll: Lots…. including a main character and a dragon

Worth The Wait: Yes.

Best Bit: Celebrations and machinations. 

 


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Game Of Thrones: The Long Night (S8E03)  – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Game Of Thrones: The Long Night (S8E03) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Welcome to one of the best hours of television I’ve ever watched.  From the opening charge and then haunting silence of the Dothraki to the epic and surprising fall of the Night King, this episode delivered tension, drama, spectacle, loss and a battle unlike anything I have never seen on screen before.  I genuinely felt like I failed to breathe for the hour and thirty minute run time, with fingernails dug firmly into my hand.  It was just epic.   As bodies fell (and rose and then fell again) and the situation became more hopeless, the drama and sense of hopelessness increased to an almost unbearable level.  I audibly called out ‘Fuck’ and ‘Holy shit’ more than once and was firmly swept up in the total awesomeness of the episode.   If I HAD to pick a fault it’s that no ‘A’ level character died here.  Yes we lost Jorah, Theon and a few others.  But Part of me thought that at least ONE of the major characters should have fallen here. Oh and whilst dark does equal atmospheric at times it was almost too dark.  But hell who really cares when it is THIS epic.   Just amazing.

Death Toll: Urm… thousands upon thousands

Worth The Wait: HELL YES

Best Bit: Dothraki charge

 


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Game Of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (S8E02)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Game Of Thrones: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (S8E02) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay so A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms does a lot of what Winterfell did last week… moving the final characters into position, reconnecting estranged friends and family, dropping a few story bombshells and, of course, scene setting for next weeks inevitable battle.   The difference was this time out there’s a sense of urgency and dread that was lacking last week.  In fact, in reality, I think Winterfell & A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms could easily have been one long episode as thematically they covered a lot of the same ground.  That said the fan service and forbidding here was much stronger and, if anything, it makes Winterfell look weaker in compression. Either-way A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is bloody brilliant – from Tormound being Tormound to Sansa/Daenerys to the returned of Theon and much more. As often with Thrones, it’s the quieter moment that make the show really special.  Anyone can do battles but making us care for characters who have killed, cheated and more… now that is art.

Death Toll: 0

Worth The Wait: Yes

Best Bit: Tormound. Always Tormound

 


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Game Of Thrones: Winterfell (S8E01)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Game Of Thrones: Winterfell (S8E01) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So after nearly 20 months Game Of Thrones is back.  A new, more intimate version of the title sequence welcomes in what was a much more intimate episode of the show.  Yup no war just yet (but a superb hint at what COULD be coming) but instead the show-runners deftly move the final chess pieces into position for what promises to be an epic finale.  And trailer fans – a hell of a lot of what we saw in the trailers came from this early episode meaning it’s fair game on pretty much any of our beloved characters.  We get armies arriving, Euron Greyjoy being Euron Greyjoy, many long awaited reunions (Arya/Jon, Arya/Hound, Arya/Gendry), get hints of what’s round the corner (Hint: War, Death, Snow) and finally Jon finds out he’s sleeping with his Auntie.  Awkward.

Death Toll: 1 (Well probably more but one for sure) 

Worth The Wait: Yes

Best Bit: Flying Dragons

 


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