Author Archives: bookshelfbattle

I Will Miss Game of Thrones

Hey 3.5 readers.

Just want to say that win, lose or draw after tonight’s episode, I will really miss Game of Thrones.

Not that you want to hear my life story, but the past decade was hard for me, due in large part to some not so bright moves I made at the end of the previous decade.  I spent the last decade digging myself out of a hole (or climbing out of a hole?) and long story short, this show was always the one constant I could look forward to.

Come spring time, every Sunday night, I could turn on HBO and for a solid hour I could forget about all my problems and just get lost in the fantasy.  Honestly, the time when Boardwalk Empire was on before it was great.  And for awhile True Blood was on, I forget, before or after it so really, Sunday nights were great for a while.

What is HBO going to replace it with?  Does anyone know?  Come to think of it, from the Sopranos to True Blood to Boardwalk to Game of Thrones, HBO has been my required Sunday night viewing for a long time now and I wonder what is coming next.

I know a lot of people are down on what happened with Khaleesi last week and it will be impossible to make anyone happy with the ending this week.  Part of the problem is that the show is, indeed, going to end and endings are always sad and leave you wanting more of what you can no longer have.

I do think the past couple seasons felt a little rushed but overall I have a feeling that the ending will be unexpected.

My prediction is that invaders from a yet to be explored land will come in and take it all.  Arya mentioned there is more unexplored land a couple seasons ago so it is possible.

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Movie Review – A Dog’s Journey (2019)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  So, this movie is the sequel to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose” and it continues with author W. Bruce Cameron’s tried and true formula of pulling on the heart strings of pet owners.  You might remember in the original, Bailey died and reincarnated over and over, becoming a different dog each time, helping a slew of owners along the way as he pined to return to his original owner, Ethan (Dennis Quaid).

In this go around, Bailey croaks again and again, reincarnating over and over so he can help Ethan’s grandaughter, CJ, as he finds her again and again throughout numerous dog lives.

You cry when the dog dies.  You rejoice when the dog lives again.  Honestly, these movies are one step above being Hallmark films but somehow they make you care about the characters and the dog and I suppose the message is we all need unconditional love in our lives and dogs are better at providing that than humans.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Who Will Sit On the Iron Throne?

Theories:

1 – Dany.  The various power players will decide as hard as that may be to stomach, it wouldn’t be worth putting the kingdom through yet another war for the throne.

2 – Jon Snow.  He pretends like he’s cool with it then kills his aunt with his penis….or somehow uses sex as a pretext to get close and kill her or something.

3 – Invasion from Afar – Arya said a couple seasons ago that there was land far away that no one from Westeros had explored.  I felt like that was a big thing to just leave dangling there.  So maybe an army from far away will land and take it all.

4 – Jon Snow and then a governing counsel after he croaks.

5 – No throne.  It goes straight to a governing counsel.

6 – Sansa – I think she’s like the oldest member of any remaining house that isn’t a bastard or a three-eyed raven.

7- Varys.  He would never let himself get burned up like that.  He had a stunt double get burned.

8 – Littlefinger.  He also would have never been bested.  He had a stunt double killed in his stead.

9 – Arya will use her faceless man skills to pretend she is Jon Snow at her chamber on the pretense that he needs khaleesi sex.  Once in, Arya will reveal herself and chop up Dany to pieces.

10 – Ser Davos because why not.

11 – Tyion because why not.

12 – Governing council – Tyrion, Snow, Davos, Greyworm.

13 – Greyworm.

14 – Nobody is left.

15 – It’ll be like the ending of Hamlet where an outside invader enters the castle only to find everyone is already dead.

Who do you think will sit on the iron throne, 3.5 readers?

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Movie Review – John Wick 3: Parabellum

Prepare for war, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of “John Wick 3.”

John Wick was such a breath of fresh air when it came out so many years ago now.  I say that facetiously because the air was laden with a smelly, corpse stench but you know what I mean.  In a sea of sequels, prequels and reboots, it was something new to latch our hooks into.

And to date, Hollywood hasn’t managed to screw it up…yet.  This third installment doesn’t disappoint, though it does promise a fourth.  Truth be told, this one was good enough that I look forward to a fourth and I suppose that’s the name of the game.  When the movies start to stink, it’s time to call it a day, until the next reboot comes along.

Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run following a terrible offense he committed against the all knowing, all seeing high table of hitmen that, at least in this universe, control the actions of all assassins for hire.

The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon of “Orange is the New Black” fame) is on the hunt for vengeance and she puts Wick’s fanboy, Zero (Mark Dacascos) to the task.  With martial arts flare, Zero and company track Wick on a worldwide hunt, with Halle Berry, Angelica Houston, Laurence Fishburne, that guy who plays Ser Bronn of the Blackwater on Game of Thrones, and Ian McShane either reprising their old roles or stopping by the first time, depending on who you might be referring to.

It’s a highly artistic, super choreographed blood bath.  The body count is high and all done with stylish flare.  It’s not something easily described so you’ll just have to watch it.

Overall, this is the best new franchise to come around in a long time, so I hope they keep it up but also manage to end it with the same style as they’ve employed in past films.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Every Which Way But Loose (1978)

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I’m still on my Clint Eastwood kick, 3.5 readers.

This time I rented his iconic comedy.  I’d been meaning to see it.  I heard good things and there have been so many references to it in pop culture, especially to Clint’s sassy pet orangutan, Clyde.

Gotta say, I was not impressed.  Seems like blasphemy as I like all the other Clint movies I’ve seen so far, but I didn’t really get the point of this movie, or if it even had one.

Clint stars as Philo Beddoe, a hard living truck driver by day who fights in underground fist fights at night.  One night while at a club with his best buddy Orville (Geoffrey Lewis), Philo meets up and coming country western star Lynn Halsey-Taylor.

The tough guy falls instantly in love and upon learning she’s leaving town, he follows in the hopes of catching up with her again.

The rest is a road trip film gone awry.  While in pursuit of the babe, Philo offends the lamest biker gang ever as well as a pair of bumbling cops.  Both pursue Philo in the hopes of getting revenge and Philo stymies them at every corner.  Meanwhile, Orville’s foul mouthed mother, Ma. fends off more bikers with her profanity and her shotgun.

Clyde is utilized as an ongoing gag, making all kinds of fart jokes, sticking up his middle finger and so on.

I think had I been an adult in 1978 I might have laughed at this, though I’ve seen other films from this time and earlier that will billed as comedies that have made me laugh.  I think this one just falls flat.  The jokes are kind of cheap and though I hate to give the ending away, there isn’t really any kind of conclusion that makes you glad you watched the damn thing.

One thing that gets me is the 1970s were Clint’s prime years and he was in his 40s then.  So much lush hair.  I guess it really pays to work out and eat right and take care of yourself.

A young Beverly D’Angelo joins the gang as Orville’s love interest, Echo.  Think about it.

I get a lot of people like this movie but me, I don’t see it.  And to be honest, I can’t make this accusation for sure, but the whole vibe seems like it was a little too inspired by Smokey and the Bandit – just two hayseeds out trying to have a good time and stick to the squares.

Clint’s longtime girlfriend Sondra Locke was in a lot of Clint movies and she plays his love interest here.  I guess she was considered a hottie in her day and I’m sure she was a nice enough lady but I’m not sure I get her.  I’ve seen her in three Clint movies and she’s always cast as a character who is always pissed off at Clint, yelling at him and cussing him out.  Then again, their relationship did end with 10 years of litigation so maybe this foreshadowed that.  I don’t know.

STATUS – Hate to say it, but not shelf-worthy.

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Do You Agree With What Happened to the Khaleesi?

SPOILER ALERT

I think I’m the only one who thought the last episode of Game of Thrones was good.

I get it.  We all cheered Khaleesi on the past 8 seasons.  She was the underdog.  She started from the bottom and now she’s here.  She suffered every bump in the road and set back and she managed to move across a fantasy continent, free countless slaves and turn enemies into allies and recruit top advisers.

But still…you had to see something like this coming.

First, the show has always had an air of real life or as close to real life a fantasy world can get.

In real life, you hope to be great but then you suffer all kinds of setbacks.  Same thing in GRRM’s fantasy world.  Yes, you want a person to be good but shit happens.

Khaleesi has been through some shit.  Let’s review:

#1 – Exiled as a baby across the Narrow Sea.

#2 – Sold as a sex slave wife to a nomadic warlord by her asshole brother.  The wealthy man who took her and her brother in as their guardian allowed this to happen.

#3 –  Trusted Ser Jorah.  He turned out to be a spy.  Eventually, she trusted him again.

#4 – I forget the details but a lot of shit happened in her travelling years.  Her husband croaked.  The dothraki turned on her for awhile before getting behind her again.  Evil dudes tried to steal her dragons.  She conquered cities but if she went too soft, bad guys would start shit.

#5 – More recently, she delayed her assault on King’s Landing and brought her Army north to help defeat the Knight King.  You might argue she had to do that anyway to save the land she wanted to conquer, but she could have also sent her full army at Kings Landing first, allowed the Night King to destroy the North and then made a stand at them from a strong position in Kings Landing.

Note that her reward for doing so was that the Starks start bitching about how Jon Snow should be king.

#6 – Tyrion and Varys are her chief advisers and yet they are always doing shit behind her back.  They think it is for the greater good but they always get found out and exposed as a-holes.

First, I didn’t buy that Varys would go right up to Snow and tell him to be king.  Varys is smarter than this.  He is the spymaster.  He would have orchestrated a coup from behind the scenes if he wanted Khaleesi gone.

But if you count that, plus Tyrion telling Varys about Snow’s claim to the throne which is a big betrayal and then also count Sansa up her ass and the Northmen and Wildlings giving the credit for the white walker victory to Jon and then losing her second dragon (two she lost in the name of protecting the North, a land of assholes who benefit from her protection yet openly talk shit about her) and losing Missandei?

I mean, what was Missandei’s last words?  Dracarus.  What’s that mean?  It’s the word you tell your dragon when you want him to burn some shit.  BFF was telling Khaleesi to burn that shit down.

I think HBO has moved these past two seasons way too fast and we deserved a little more development and build up, but if you take a look at all of this, it’s not that unlikely that Khaleesi might just say, “Fuck it.  I tried to get these people to follow me out of respect, but they’re all doing their own shit behind my back so I’m just going to set this shit on fire.”

What say you, 3.5 readers?

 

 

 

 

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Game of Thrones Review – Season 8, Episode 5 – The Last War

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  What an episode!  SPOILERS!

Well, here are my thoughts:

#1 – It’s hard to complain because it was riveting, edge of your seat and really grabbed your attention.

#2 – But I’ll complain anyway.  The complaint I keep seeing is wasted character development.  Khaleesi has spent 7 seasons being good only to go berserk at the last second.  True, I suppose the capacity to snap is in all of us.  Her second dragon and best friend were just killed.

Still, the set off of her snap was Varys’ treachery?  I don’t know.  Seems weak.  Then again, I suppose there have been inklings throughout that she might flip out.  Her father did flip out and there was always a fear that she might flip too.

Also on character development, Varys was long portrayed as the realm’s top spymaster, like an old fashioned CIA chief.  Ergo, it’s hard to believe that he would just walk right up to Jon Snow and tell him what’s what.  If Varys wanted Khaleesi out, he wouldn’t have told her boyfriend.  He would have orchestrated some kind of intricately detailed behind the scenes coup that left him 20 steps away from it all.  He would have had a servant poison the Khaleesi’s soup or something then would have been all like, “What treachery is this?  Oh, shit.  Our beloved Khaleesi is dead.  Oh well, Jon Snow, hate to say it but you’re up now, buddy.”

#3 – I think we have to be honest that the show always promises A then delivers not even B but Z.  So we should have never really expected a happy ending where Khaleesi farts rainbows out of her butt.

#4 – There were some payoffs that longtime fans have been waiting for, from the Cleganes finally duking it out, to the wildfire deposits getting burned up to Arya looking to check Cersei off her list.

#5 – In true form for the show, they managed to make you feel bad for Cersei.  She’s done some bad things over the years and yet, in her final moments you’re like, “Well, maybe her ass shouldn’t be ate the hell up by a damn dragon.”

CONCLUSIONS:

Snow, Tyrion and Davos all look sad at the side they chose.  And there’s still a few episodes left so where this goes next will be interesting.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Escape From Alcatraz (1979)

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Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

I don’t know if this will be much of a review.  Just that I have been on a Clint Eastwood movie kick lately.  He is one of my favorites and I only got to know him as an actor when he was old.  When he was young, he was so cool.  Shame what age does to us, though I suppose in many ways, he has retained his coolness.

“Escape from Alcatraz” is based on the real life escape by Frank Morris (Clint Eastwood) from the legendary prison.  In many ways, it is the same old prison story, though now I wonder if this wasn’t the film that started all the other prison movies.

Clint as Morris gets hassled by a pervert, makes friends, gets upset when one of his pals is wronged and ultimately, figures out an escape plan.  They do forget to elaborate on the evil doings that got him locked up in the first place.  Ironically, the escape plan mirrors the plan that happened in real life and as shown in Showtime’s recent “Escape at Dannemora.”  One wonders if those inmates had seen this film.

Good movie and a running theme in Clint movies is that he is tough and stands up for himself.  He doesn’t start shit but doesn’t accept it when shit is slung at him.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Rewatching Game of Thrones

I rewatched the first episode of Game of Thrones and was surprised at how far the show has gone.  So many characters that were important to the show then are long dead now.  Today’s main characters were so young.  The younger ones were mere babies.

Ned, Catelyn, Robb, Khal Drogo, all gone.  So sad.  At least Khaleesi was willing to show off her butt then.

Game of Thrones Review – Season 8 Episode 4 – The Last of the Starks

This was another talking episode.  A lot of talk around the post white walker battle dinner table.  A lot of advancements though.  Gendry is an official Baratheon and there’s a mounting problem with John Snow’s claim to the Iron Throne.

Khaleesi lost another dragon.  And her BFF.  She is not happy.

Thoughts?

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