A Game of Casting

Game of Thrones hemorrhages more characters in a single episode than most other series do in multiple seasons. No one is safe from George R.R. Martin’s bloodlust – the best most characters can hope for is a quick beheading or short trip out of the Moon Door. Without all those deaths, however, the number of new characters introduced in each book would quickly bloat the series, resulting in Martin’s publishing schedule going from “once every decade, maybe” to “when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, when the seas go dry and mountains blow in the

Queen Without a Throne

The scene takes place in a dimly lit chamber whose narrow stained glass windows cast a feeble light on the body of a dead boy: the former King Joffrey. But the scene’s first shot is not of Joffrey. It’s of Cersei and Tommen, Joffrey’s mother and younger brother. Cersei Lannister stands in the exact center of the shot, but it’s Tommen the camera favors, putting him in focus while a blurry Cersei stands in the background. Within seconds, Tywin Lannister, Cersei’s father and Tommen and Joffrey’s grandfather, appears. The camera switches to an angle behind him as he enters, his

Dune: Can There Ever Be A Good Adaption?

As a kid I was always fascinated by weird things. Like a lot of the children of the 80s, I was exposed to a wide variety of cinema at a young age, thanks to the proliferation of video stores. Most of this stuff we probably shouldn’t have been watching but we did anyway, often because it was a science fiction and/or fantasy film, or even a horror film if we managed to get an older kid to rent it (although the guy behind the counter usually didn’t care who was renting what).

Best TV of 2013

Even as The Lone Ranger and Man of Steel shook our faith in popcorn movies to the very core, there was sanctuary on our living room couches in what’s turning into the golden age of television. As Walter White’s life imploded, or as Don Draper broke his daughter’s heart, or as the Stark lineage shrank before our very eyes, our favorite characters’ misery gave us unprecedented joy in 2013. But it wasn’t all darkness and heartache: there was the triumphant return of Arrested Development and Eastbound and Down and plenty of laughs with goofy new kid on the block, Brooklyn

Panels and Frames: Turkey Time Machine

Thanksgiving is upon us, America. I used to think of Thanksgiving as the holiday sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas. Sure, there’s a great dinner in there, but it doesn’t have the taboo overtones of Halloween, nor does it have the gleeful anticipation that surrounds Christmas. Thanksgiving is centered on an enormous supper with family. Its practice is, ideally, wholesome (even if its storied origin may not be, but that’s a tale for another time). Over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate Thanksgiving in its own right. It’s a time of reflection – a time to be thankful for

It’s Just a Show, I Should Really Just Relax

I don’t scare easily. I can get as startled as the next guy, and the typical realms of death and gore usually manage to shake me, but getting a good honest scare out of me through a movie is tough. It may be because I didn’t really grow up with any of the classics – I saw The Blair Witch Project as a youngster and was frightened for a whole week afterwards, but I didn’t see Halloween, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street or any of the other classics until high school, when I started looking at them with a