Whether it is a professional, college, or high school basketball game, walk into any gym during the warm-ups and you will undoubtedly hear hip-hop music. The relationship between hip-hop and sports has been present for years. From the days of NWA sporting Raiders gear on their rise to fame to Allen Iverson having Jadakiss appear […]Continue reading
One of the greatest shows in television in history is taking its final bow. The worldwide phenomenon that is Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season on Sunday night. Let’s take look at the best moments and best scenes from GoT.
Ned Stark’s Death
Game of Thrones became Game of FUCKING Thrones after the death of Ned Stark. Ever since this moment, Game of Thrones played by different rules. No one was safe even if you’re a main protagonist and the most famous actor on the show at the time. Ned’s death set off a chain of events that shaped the lives of characters like Sansa and Arya. Did Ned deserve to die? Maybe. Although he was honorable, Ned was naive. The man trusted Littlefinger, who upon his betrayal, told Ned, “I warned you not to trust me.” Whether deserved or not, Ned’s death will forever be the scene that changed the face of the show and frankly, the rest of television.
The Battle at Blackwater may not be the best battle sequence in Game of Thrones, but it’s arguably the most important for television purposes. Blackwater showcased how a television show could provide the viewer with a grandiose and extravagant battle sequence that can usually only be seen in films.
Jamie and Brienne take a bath
One of my personal favorite scenes for a member of my Mt. Rushmore of GoT characters, Jamie Lannister. Up until this point, the Kingslayer was brash, cocky, and arrogant. To be honest, it was hard to root for him. Jamie was the Kingslayer who pushed Bran Stark out of a tower and practiced incest with his sister. However, my perspective completely changed when Jamie told Brienne of Tarth the story of why he killed the Mad King. Jamie had to make a choice. He had to keep his oath to the King and watch thousands of innocent people die or break his bond and kill the King. Maybe there’s no right answer, but for the first time all series, the viewer can sympathize with Jamie.
The Red Wedding
The Red Wedding made Game of Thrones must-see TV. I remember the Internet blowing up after this episode. This is when I believe a huge number of viewers jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon. Sure, Ned Stark died. One major character’s death is no big deal, but killing the King in the North, his pregnant wife, and the King’s mother all at once?! That’s just cold. From here on out, Thrones had to be watched live in order to avoid spoilers on the Internet.
Tyrion Confession / The Mountain and the Viper
“And I know I’ll get no justice here, so I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat!”
Tyrion Lannister did not kill Joffrey, but he (and the rest of the world) wishes that he did. I can’t blame Tyrion for demanding a trial by combat. His father and sister despise him so a jury was not going to prove him innocent. Instead, Tyrion went for a trial by combat. Although it seemed as if no on would fight for Tyrion, Oberyn Martell stepped up to the plate to take on The Mountain. This was personal because as Oberyn constantly stated in the battle, “I am the brother of Elia Martell. And do you know why I’ve come all the way to this stinking shit pile of a city? For you. I am going to hear you confess before you die: You raped my sister. You murdered her. You killed her children.” If only Oberyn finished the job instead of letting his arrogance take over. He might still have a head!
The Watchers on the Wall
This goes against the grain, but the Night’s Watch vs. Wildlings is my favorite battle in the series. Edge-of-your-seat action, nonstop fighting, and an emotional goodbye to Ygritte pushes this battle over the top.
Season Five is memorable for one reason and one reason only, Hardhome. Up until this moment, the true powers of the Night King and the Army of the Dead were unknown. After the massacre at Hardhome, for the first time in the series, the true battle of the living vs. the dead took precedent over the battle for Westeros. THIS is the true enemy. The last scene of the Night King resurrecting the dead to join his army as Jon Snow looks on from his boat is a top five image in the series.
Hold the door
I wish you could see the tears falling down my face as I revisit this episode. Why did Bran have to screw over Hodor? Hodor was so innocent and nice! It’s amazing how many times Bran fucked up in this episode. Although Bran learned how the Night King was created, Bran was marked by the Night King in his vision, which allowed the Night King to find the Three Eyed Raven. The Army of the Dead finds Bran and kills the Three Eyed Raven. When Bran wargs into Hodor to escape, he ends up causing psychological damage to Hodor in the past, which causes him to slur the phrase he hears from Meera in the present: Hold the door. Thanks a lot, Bran.
The Winds of Winter
THIS EPISODE RULES. Scene for scene, this is the greatest episode in Game of Thrones history. The bombing of the Sept of Baelor is a masterclass in editing and directing. Cersei might have been shamed in the streets, but she had the last laugh as she blew up the sept, killing Margaery, High Septon, and anyone who wronged her. This diabolical plot raised Cersei into the upper echelon of TV villains. Not to be outdone, the biggest reveal in the show’s history happened later in the episode as the lineage of Jon Snow was finally revealed as he is not the bastard of Ned Stark, but the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon has dragon’s blood. Plus, Dany sailed East and Tommen gave us the gif of the century. That’s one hell of an episode.
I love the Night King. There, I said it. Every scene that includes the Night King is meaningful. It doesn’t happen often, but it packs a punch. Hardhome, marking Bran, killing a dragon (!!!), and now, riding a dragon to destroy a section of The Wall solidified the Night King as the most powerful character on the show. The Army of the Dead is coming.
What are your favorite moments from Game of Thrones ? Comment with your thoughts below or join in the conversation on Twitter@UnAfraidShow.
Last Spring, Killing Eve, a drama series about a female British intelligence officer who attempts to track down a female assassin, premiered on BBC America. 2 Emmy nominations and 2 Golden Globe nominations later, television critics included Killing Eve in their Top 10 lists for 2018 more than any other show. That’s pretty good for a program on a channel that may be pretty hard to find in your cable package. It will be your favorite tv show in 2019.
Killing Eve was not only the best show in 2018, but it was the most addictive show on television. Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer who is searching for more satisfaction in both her work and home life. Eve begins to study a series of high profile assassinations and makes the connection that the killer is female despite little support from her superior officers. It turns out that Eve is right as the assassin is a female named Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, a highly-trained psychopathic killer that is both quirky and murderous. As Eve begins to track Villanelle, the brilliant Villanelle becomes aware of Eve’s scent, and both women realize that they share a fatal attraction despite wanting to kill each other. The ensuing cat-and-mouse game led to the best season of television in 2018.
With Season 2 premiering this Sunday night at 8 pm EST on BBC America and AMC, now is the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. Here are a few reasons why Killing Eve will become your new favorite show in 2019.
*This article will contain light spoilers. I’ll do my best to keep them at a minimum.*
Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s chemistry is off the charts
There is no Killing Eve without Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Their chemistry is spectacular together. Both women give the best performances of their career in Season 1. Eve and Villanelle are polar opposites in their profession, but they both want and need something more in their life. They both feel empty inside, but soon realize that they are obsessed and attracted to each other, both mentally and physically. Eve and Villanelle feel complete when they are hunting each other. This is a twisted and complicated love story between two obsessive, but strong female personalities. As the song in the trailer for Season 2 states, “Might as well face it you’re addicted to love.”
Villanelle is one of the best TV villains in years
The best villains are the ones that the audience roots for and sympathizes with.
Two Badass Women Doing Badass Things
Simply put, these are two badass women who do badass things. Villanelle might be a trained killer, but Eve is an intelligent officer who has a lot of guts. It’s a heavyweight fight and both Eve and Villanelle pack a serious punch.
Funny, Witty, But Violent
There’s not other way to say it. The jokes only go so far. Eve can provide comedic relief, but there are scenes that are downright violent and sadistic. Sorry to play captain obvious, but the title includes the word “killing.” Death is a common theme throughout the show. There are vicious death scenes, but but the humorous undertones ease the brutality. There is a scene in a club that will send a chill down your spine and make your jaw hit the floor.
I can’t recommend this show enough. It’s a spy thriller, love story, and dramatic series all wrapped up into one. Oh and Comer are worth the price of admission. The unexpected twists and shocking reveals will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire show. Take the journey with Eve and Villanelle. You won’t be disappointed.
Warning: Please sit down while watching this teaser. It might cause you to faint.
THE NORTH REMEMBERS! To say I am jacked up on adrenaline is an understatement. We are under two weeks away from the premiere of the final season for the iconic Game of Thrones. If that doesn’t move the needle, then you’re probably dead already.
The teaser’s title is “Aftermath,” and as the footage depicts, it’s a glimpse into Winterfell after the highly anticipated showdown between the living and the dead. The teaser showcases Winterfell as a barren wasteland with valuable possessions scattered across the castle. Arya’s sword, a Dragonglass arrow, Daenerys’s dragon chain, and the hand of the kingpin are some of the artifacts found in the teaser.
However, the three items that stood out to me were:
Jamie’s Golden Hand
A “Shadowy Figure” (Maybe the Night King?)
I don’t believe this is a real scene in the show. It would be unlike Game of Thrones to reveal a scene frame-for-frame in a trailer. I’m not saying that Jamie and Jon don’t die and the shadowy figure isn’t the Night King. However, the teaser is more of a metaphor for the aftermath of the battle at Winterfell. The White Walkers are coming to Winterfell and they are going to kill A LOT of people. Your favorite characters are in danger of dying at the hands of the Army of the Dead. That’s a fact that may be tough to swallow for some. Will Jamie, Jon, and the other main characters escape to the South? Or, will they be met with the wrath of the Night King? I’m nervous just thinking about it.
In an interview with E! News about the final season, Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, said, “You’re going to need therapy… I think just the show ending is going to send all of the world into professional help.” I’m starting to believe that Gwendoline is right.
Bring it on.
April is going to be an unbelievable month for entertainment. Two of the most anticipated events in film and television history will premiere within 12 days of each other. If you haven’t guessed by now, the two events on everyone’s calendar are Game of Thrones Season 8 and Avengers: Endgame.
The culmination of over a decade of movies and television seasons will come to an end over the next month and a half. That’s a lot of time to invest in two entertainment properties, but Marvel and HBO take up an important percentage of my life. These will be the two biggest viewing events of the year. “Must-see” is an understatement. The longer you wait to see them, the higher the chances it will be ruined for you with spoilers on the Internet. You can’t take that risk.
My question is as followed: If you could only watch one, would you pickAvengers: Endgame or Game of Thrones?
It’s a real catch 22. You can only watch one, and you can never watch the other. You won’t face a harder question all year. As I type out my reasons for each entity, I continue to question myself. It’s that difficult. Let’s break down the reasons to see each one.
Reasons To See Avengers: Endgame
–11 Year Culmination of The First Three Phases in MCU: The first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Iron Man back in 2008. 11 years and 21 movies is A LOT of time to invest in a cinematic universe. You make it this far and you’re just going to give up?
–May Be The Last Movie For A Few Popular Actors: It’s no secret that some of the actors in the MCU may want to move on. Chris Evans has hinted many times that his time as Captain America is coming to a close. Avengers: Endgame might be Robert Downey Jr.’s last time as Iron Man as well. I don’t want to miss their final appearances as superheroes that I have come to love.
–I Can’t Let Thanos Win: How is your last memory of the first three phases of the MCU going to be Thanos snapping away your favorite superheroes? The purple chin middle linebacker can’t get away with wiping out half of the universe’s population and get away with it. Not on my watch. I need to see Thanos fall.
Reasons To See Game of Thrones Season 8
–Final Season: After taking close to a two year hiatus, one of the most influential shows of the 21st century is returning for 6 final episodes. Need I say more?
–The Greatest Battle In Television History: Ever since the Night King and Army of White Walkers debuted on the show, you knew what was coming. A battle between the living and the dead was going to take place. Now, we have finally reached the end. Living vs. Dead. White Walkers vs. Humans. The Night King vs. Jon Snow. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peter Dinklage said that the battle between the living and dead “makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.” I’m not prepared for this moment.
–Dragons Doing Dragon Things: I mean… come on. They’re firing breathing dragons. It’s going to bring me so much satisfaction when the dragons torch the White Walkers.
I can’t miss both of these. It’s an impossible decision, but I’ve managed to come up with a reason that makes sense in my head as to why I’m picking one over the other.
I’m not a big reader, but both of these entertainment properties are based on books. Avengers: Endgame is based on The Infinity Gauntlet comic series while Game of Thrones is based on A Song of Ice and Fire series from George R.R. Martin. Here’s the catch. The Infinity Gauntlet was published in 1991. A Song of Ice and Fire has not been completed and at this rate, no one knows when the final two books will be finished. Although both the movie and TV series step away from their original source material at times, the major story arcs in the books are similar in the movies. So if I had to pick one of these to watch, I’m going with Game of Thrones Season 8 because I could read The Infinity Gauntlet comics and even though it would be a disappointing ending, at least it would be an ending. I can’t get that right now with Game of Thrones unless I watch the show.
I’m choosing Game of Thrones. What’s your decision? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @unafraidshow.
What is a “sophomore slump?” In film, a sophomore slump is when the second, or sophomore, film or effort from a director falls short or fails to live up to the standards of its first effort. Notable examples of the sophomore slump include Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka and Sam Raimi’s Crimewave.
However, not every director suffers from the sophomore slump. In some cases, a director’s second film exceeds expectations and ends up surpassing the first film in both critical acclaim and box office gross. With the release of Jordan Peele’s Us, the follow up to the iconic Get Out, here are a few of my choices for the greatest second films from directors.
*Note: These are all the second feature-length films from directors. The list does not count short films or television movies.
Quentin Tarantino: Pulp Fiction
You know you’ve made a memorable second film when it is widely considered a masterpiece. Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is one of most unique and original films of all-time due to its nonlinear narrative. The film depicts the lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits in Los Angeles and how their stories are intertwined. Tarantino won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and is credited with launching independent film into the mainstream due to Pulp Fiction‘s success.
John Hughes: The Breakfast Club
For my money, this is the greatest coming-of-age film of all-time. Up until this point, John Hughes was known for writing National Lampoon’s Vacation and directing Sixteen Candles. His sophomore directorial effort, The Breakfast Club, tells the story of five high school students from completely different backgrounds who spend an entire Saturday in detention. Despite being from different social cliques, the students end up forming a special bond and friendship by the end of the film. With “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” playing in the background, the film’s final scene ends with one of the most memorable shots in movie history, the Jon Bender fist pump. The Breakfast Club was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress.
David Fincher: Se7en
WHAT’S IN THE BOX? Director David Fincher is known for suspenseful films with huge plot twists. Fincher has directed some of the most thrilling films of the last 20 years including Fight Club, Zodiac, and Gone Girl. However, it’s Fincher’s second film. Se7en, that stands above the rest. In Se7en, a rookie detective (Brad Pitt) and a retiring investigator (Morgan Freeman) team up to track down a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who is using the seven deadly sins as his motive for the killings. Brilliantly paced and full of suspense, Se7en still keeps viewers on the edge of their seats almost 25 years later.
Sofia Coppola: Lost in Translation
Bill Murray is known for being one of the most influential comedians of the past four decades. However, Murray’s dramatic turn in Lost in Translation will go down as one of his best performances thanks to Sofia Coppola, who wrote and directed the film. Daughter of the legendary Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather series), Sofia’s second feature film stars Murray as Bob Harris, an aging actor who befriends a young married college graduate, played by Scarlett Johansson, in Tokyo. The film perfectly depicts a midlife crisis as well as a quarter life crisis and how both characters deal with their unknown futures. Beautifully written and directed, Lost in Translation was nominated for four Academy Awards and won for Best Original Screenplay.
Barry Jenkins: Moonlight
It took Barry Jenkins eight years to release his second feature-length film after his first film, Medicine for Melancholy, debuted in 2008. To say his second film, Moonlight, did not disappoint would be an understatement. Moonlight presents the story of Chiron in three stages: childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Jenkins’s film chronicles Chiron’s life in Miami, where he battles over issues of abuse and sexual identity. Moonlight received universal acclaim and received three Academy Awards including Best Picture.
Other great second films from directors:
- Paul Thomas Anderson – Boogie Nights
- Christopher Nolan – Memento
- Mike Nichols – The Graduate
- Steven Spielberg – Jaws (Spielberg directed many amateur and short films in the 1960s, but Jaws was Spielberg’s second feature film in theaters.)
- Ridley Scott – Alien
- Richard Linklater – Dazed and Confused
What are your choices for the greatest second film from a director? Let us know in the comments or tweet your answers to @unafraidshow.
When one door closes, another one opens. The 2019 Oscars closes the door on the films of 2018. The Oscars are so polarizing in the fact that every award will leave someone happy or disappointed. However, I hope you followed some of my gambling advice and threw some money down on Olivia Colman to win […]Continue reading
The Oscars have arrived! After months of buildup, the Academy Awards will finally air live on Sunday night. The Oscars are the Super Bowl for movies. I, along with millions of other fans, will tune in to have our dreams crushed when A Star Is Born loses almost every major category. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, folks. […]Continue reading
Sports movies are very tough to get right. Like any movie, the script, acting, and directing all have to be in sync with each other. However, the bigger challenge lies in the portrayal of the sport. In other words, how accurate is the play on the field, course or the court in the movie? Is […]Continue reading
The Oscars will always be the most prestigious ceremony for films. The actual ceremony will never be in trouble. However, it’s the television broadcast that needs to be fixed. Movie fans will always tune into the show no matter what the circumstances are surrounding the length of the broadcast or the host of the show. The challenge is figuring out how to attract the average viewer to tune into the show.
Last year’s ceremony had its lowest ratings in the modern era with 26.5 million viewers. To fix the ratings problem, the Academy decided to implement new changes to the broadcast, but the upcoming ceremony has been plagued with problems for months now ever since the Academy announced and later, scrapped the proposed award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. Then, the entire Kevin Hart controversy left the show without a host. Now, the Academy announced it will hand out a few awards such as cinematography and film editing during commercials as a way to keep the broadcast under 3 hours. Much to the surprise of no one, it has been met with serious blowback.
Luckily, I have a few ideas on how to fix the Oscars.
1. Start Earlier
Why does the ceremony have to start at 8 PM EST? The Super Bowl, which is usually the highest watched program in the United States ever year, starts at 6:30 EST. Why can’t the Oscars start earlier as well? The average length of Oscar ceremonies since 2010 has been 215 minutes, with telecasts ending between 11:43 PM and 12:19 AM. That’s ridiculous for any telecast. Most viewers are in bed by then on the East Coast. Starting the ceremony at 7 PM EST and ending at 11 PM would be ideal for all viewers.
2. Stream The Ceremony Globally
We are currently living in the digital streaming age. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon produce critically acclaimed films and television while livestreams on social media skyrocket in popularity. Why not take advantage of the digital age? Imagine if the ceremony was streaming on a platform like Twitter or Instagram in addition to ABC. This would encourage more interaction between viewers on social media. Television ads would still sell. Money would still come in. This would be just another way to view the show.
3. Introduce New Rising Star Categories
The popular film category was an example of “right idea, terrible execution.” Popular films can get nominated for Oscars cc: Black Panther. Adding popular, box office hits to the ceremony is smart, but there are better ways to implement them into a ceremony. Take the BAFTAs (England’s Academy Awards) for example. Two categories featured on the show are Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer and the EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public). If the writing category were added to include all writers, popular stars like Bradley Cooper or Bo Burnham might receive their Oscar moment. The rising star award at the BAFTAs was won by Letitia Wright for playing Shuri in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. If Wright won that award at the Oscars, it would give Black Panther a monumental Oscar win and leave many fans happy.
4. Announce Every Category On The Broadcast
As mentioned above, the ceremony will air categories during commercials. This is not a good idea. This is the Super Bowl for the film community. Although these categories are lesser known to the public, they are extremely respected positions in the film community. By not airing certain categories on the show, the Academy is stating that these awards do not matter. Ask anyone who has ever made a film. Cinematography and editing are two of the most important aspects of a film. Reward these gifted men and women with the ability to have their moment in the sun on live television.
5. Raise Salary For Host
Hosting the Oscars used to be a highly-sought out job. Now, it seems as if everyone far and wide are running from it. The pressure to succeed and deliver ratings as well as the low-pay for a huge workload has led to many entertainers avoiding the gig entirely. Jimmy Kimmel said that he made $15,000 to host last year’s ceremony despite ABC charging millions for a 30-second commercial. The Academy should work with ABC to significantly increase the salary for the host, which my lead to more entertainers saying “yes” to the gig. Months of work and insane stress should be counteracted with a fair, 6-figure payday.
Tune in on February 24 at 8 PM EST to see if any of my rules are implemented into the broadcast!