Game of Thrones 4th Season – Two Swords

GameofThrones

The fourth season of the epic fantasy television series Game of Thrones premiered on April 6, 2014, on HBO. It is based on the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, of which the series is an adaptation. David Benioff and D. B. Weiss serve as main writers and showrunners for the fourth season. They co-wrote seven out of ten episodes. The remaining three episodes were written by Bryan Cogman (two episodes), and the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin (one episode).

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Two Swords

The first episode from the 4th season, “Two Swords”, broke the viewership record for Game of Thrones, which was set by episode six last season. 6.64 million people watched the premiere airing, and when coupled with encore airings, that number rose to 8.2 million total viewers. This is HBO’s highest ratings for any show since the finale episode of The Sopranos.

With this episode, Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) are promoted to series regulars. The episode saw the introduction of new recurring cast members Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell) and Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), while Michiel Huisman replaces Ed Skrein as the recurring character Daario Naharis. Owen Teale (Alliser Thorne), Dominic Carter (Janos Slynt) and Tony Way (Ser Dontos) make return appearances after an absence of several years (Teale in the first season, Carter & Way in the second).

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Starring cast members Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon), Aidan Gillen (Petyr Baelish), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Joe Dempsie (Gendry) and Conleth Hill (Lord Varys) do not appear and are not credited. Actor Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) is given a “with” tag at the end of the opening credits lineup for the first time. Contrary to earlier press reports, Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) remained credited solely as a guest star in the episode.

Episode: Two Swords (401). Date of Exhibition: 6 April, 2014. Directed by D. B. Weiss. Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss. Summary: Tywin Lannister oversees the reforging of the Stark ancestral sword into two new swords, one of which he gifts to his son Jaime, who tries and fails to return to his earlier life before the loss of his sword-hand. Prince Oberyn, brother of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne, arrives in King’s Landing to attend the royal wedding in his place and is welcomed by Tyrion Lannister, and later reveals his true plans for his visit: revenge against the Lannisters for the rape and death of his sister. In the North, while Styr and his group of cannibal Thenns reinforce Tormund Giantsbane and the other wildlings, Jon Snow has returned to Castle Black and is released after confessing what he did during his stay with the wildings. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen leads her army on a march towards Meereen, the last of the three great slave cities. While, in the Riverlands, Arya, accompanied by Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, reclaims her sword Needle from Polliver, and uses it to kill him the same way he murdered Lommy Greenhands, to get belated retribution for her friend. 

Source: Wikipedia.

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Carl & Ellie Part 2

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To read the Part 1, please click here.

Some facts about Up:

1. All characters in “Up” are based upon circles and rectangles, except for the villains who are triangles. Not only are Carl and Ellie based on squares and circles, but objects around them are based on their shapes, like their chairs and picture frames. When they both appear in a photograph, the frame is both circle and square.

2. The villain Charles Muntz is named after Charles Mintz, the Universal Pictures executive who in 1928 stole Walt Disney’s production rights to his highly-successful “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” cartoon series. This led Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse, who soon eclipsed Oswald in popularity. Muntz is the fifth animated Disney villain to fall to his death – following the Wicked Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937), Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective, 1986), McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under, 1990), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast, 1991), and Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996). He is the first Pixar villain to do so.

3. In June 2009, 10-year-old Colby Curtin from Huntington Beach, California, was suffering from the final stages of terminal vascular cancer. Her dying wish was to live long enough to see “Up” (2009). Unfortunately, Colby was too sick to leave home and her family feared she would die without seeing the film. A family friend contacted Pixar, and a private screening was arranged for Colby. The company flew an employee with a DVD copy of “Up”, along with some tie-in merchandise from the film. Colby couldn’t see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed, so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film. Seven hours after viewing the film, Colby passed away.

4. If Carl’s house was approximately 1600 square feet, and the average house weighs between 60-100 pounds per square foot, it weighs 120,000 pounds. If the average helium balloon can carry .009 pounds (or 4.63 grams), it would take 12,658,392 balloons to lift his house off the ground. (20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off.)

5. Carl Fredricksen’s face and gruff personality are based on actors Spencer Tracy and Walter Matthau.

6. Dug’s ‘point’ pose, where his entire tail, back, and head is in a perfectly straight line, is an homage to the identical pose that Mickey’s dog Pluto often makes. Dug also shares a similar color scheme to Pluto.

7. “Up” was the first film produced by Pixar to be shown in 3D. “Up”‘s musical score has become the 9th musical score (and the 3rd from an animated film) to win the Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for “Best Original Score”. The other previous winners are “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), “Jaws” (1975), “Star Wars” (1977), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), “Aladdin” (1992), “The English Patient” (1996), and “The Lord of the Rings: The Retorn of the King” (2003). “Up” was the first film to be nominated for Academy Awards for both Best Picture and Best Animated Feature.

8. Film debut of Jordan Nagai, who voices Russell. Originally, his older brother Hunter was auditioning for the part, and Nagai simply came along with him. About 400 children had showed up for the auditions, but Nagai stood out because he would not stop talking. Director Pete Docter later said that “as soon as Jordan’s voice came on we started smiling because he is appealing and innocent and cute and different from what I was initially thinking.”

9. When the dogs start attacking Russell with airplanes at the end, this aerial fight literally becomes a ‘dogfight’. Also, the dogs refer to each other with “Grey leader”, “Grey One”, “Grey Two”, etc. This is a nod to “Star Wars” (1977), where pilots referred to each other with Red Leader, Red One, etc., and it also jokingly refers to the myth that dogs cannot see colors, only black, white and shades of gray.

10. All of the dogs except for Dug are named after letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc) although this could relate to rankings in a dog pack, where the lead male is known as the Alpha, then Beta and so on. This is supported by the fact that when Dug puts Alpha in the Cone of Shame, all the other dogs begin referring to Dug as Alpha. The voices of both Dug and Alpha are performed by the same actor, Bob Peterson. The three main dog characters, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, as well as being named for the Ancient Greek alphabet, also reference three classes of workers in Aldous Huxley’s novel “Brave New World”. It is also worth noting that Muntz’s “chef” is a dog named Epsilon, another class of worker from “Brave New World”.

Source: IMDb.

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Carl & Ellie Part 1

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“Up” is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an elderly widower named Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner) and an earnest young Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai). By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America and to complete a promise made to his lifelong love. The film was co-directed by Bob Peterson, with music composed by Michael Giacchino. Docter began working on the story in 2004, which was based on fantasies of escaping from life when it becomes too irritating. He and eleven other Pixar artists spent three days in Venezuela gathering research and inspiration.

The designs of the characters were caricatured and stylized considerably, and animators were challenged with creating realistic cloth. The floating house is attached by a varying number between 10,000 and 20,000 balloons in the film’s sequences. “Up” was Pixar’s first film to be presented in Disney Digital 3-D. “Up” was released on May 29, 2009 and opened the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first animated and 3D film to do so. The film became a great financial success, accumulating over $731 million in its theatrical release. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, making it the second animated film in history to receive such a nomination (and Pixar’s first Best Picture nomination), following “Beauty and the Beast” (1991).

Carl Fredricksen is a shy, quiet boy who idolizes explorer Charles F. Muntz. Muntz has been accused of fabricating the skeleton of a giant bird he claimed to have discovered in Paradise Falls, and vows to return there to capture one alive. One day, Carl befriends Ellie, who is also a Muntz fan. She confides to Carl her desire to move her “clubhouse” — an abandoned house in the neighborhood — to a cliff overlooking Paradise Falls. Carl and Ellie eventually get married and grow old together in the restored house, and they planned to have children, but Ellie was diagnosed as infertile, so Carl wanted to fullfill their promise of travel to South America. They repeatedly pool their savings for a trip to Paradise Falls, but end up spending it on more pressing needs. An elderly Carl finally arranges for the trip, but Ellie suddenly becomes ill and dies.

This is just the begining of the “Up’s” plot, but these minutes pay all the rest of the movie. I think that “Carl & Ellie” is the most heartbreaking sequence of a Pixar’s movie ever. If you never seen “Up” don’t wait more time and go watch it. And if you already watched, remember the Carl & Ellie’s love story with the YouTube video below. And you can drop a tear if you wish. Or maybe two.

Text: Wikipedia. IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1049413/.

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Click here to see Carl & Ellie Part 2.

R.I.P.D.

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R.I.P.D. is a 2013 3D American supernatural comedy film directed by Robert Schwentke, based on the comic book “Rest In Peace Department” by Peter M. Lenkov and published by Dark Horse Entertainment. The film stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as Nick Walker and Roy Pulsipher, respectively. Filming was completed on January 28, 2012, and the film was originally set to be released on June 28, 2013 in United States by Universal Pictures but was pushed back to July 19, 2013. The film received negative reviews from critics and performed poorly at the box office. Basically, it seems something as “MIB meets Ghostbusters“. According to the Rotten Tomatoes “it has its moments — most of them courtesy of Jeff Bridges ‘rootin’ tootin’ performance as an undead Wild West sheriff — but R.I.P.D. is ultimately too dimwitted and formulaic to satisfy”.

R.I.P.D. grossed $33,618,855 in the United States, plus $44,705,365 internationally, for a combined gross of $78,324,220. The film has been labeled a box office bomb, with the opening weekend bringing in less than 10% of the film’s $130 million production budget. If you have nothing better to see watch R.I.P.D. on DVD. Or you can just see the gifs because they are what better have in the movie. Source: Wikipedia.

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790736/.

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RoboCop (1987)

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The future of law enforcement

RoboCop is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner. The film stars Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, and Ronny Cox. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan in the near future, RoboCop centers on police officer Alex Murphy (Weller) who is brutally murdered by a gang of criminals and subsequently revived by the malevolent mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer known as “RoboCop”.

RoboCop includes themes regarding the media, gentrification, corruption, authoritarianism, greed, privatization, capitalism, identity, dystopia, and human nature. It received positive reviews and was cited as one of the best films of 1987, spawning a franchise that included merchandise, two sequels, a television series, two animated TV series, a television mini-series, video games and a number of comic book adaptations/crossovers. The film was produced for a relatively modest $13 million.

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Some Facts about RoboCop:

1. RoboCop was written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner. Edward Neumeier stated that he first got the idea of RoboCop when he walked past a poster for Blade Runner. He asked his friend what the film was about and his friend replied, “It’s about a cop hunting robots”. This then sparked the idea for him about a robot cop.

2. RoboCop marked the first major Hollywood production for Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. Although he had been working in the Netherlands for more than a decade and directed several films to great acclaim (e.g. Soldier of Orange), Verhoeven moved away in 1984 to seek broader opportunities in Hollywood. When he first glanced through the script, he discarded it in disgust. Afterwards, his wife picked the script from the bin and read it more thoroughly, convincing him that the plot had more substance than he originally assumed.

3. Before Peter Weller was cast, Rutger Hauer and Arnold Schwarzenegger were favored to play RoboCop by Verhoeven and the producers, respectively. However, each man’s large frame would have made it difficult for either of them to move in the cumbersome RoboCop suit, which had been modeled on hockey gear and designed to be large and bulky. Weller won the role both because Verhoeven felt that he could adequately convey pathos with his lower face, and because Weller was especially lithe and could more easily move inside the suit than a bigger actor.

4. Filming started on August 6, 1986, and ended on October 20, 1986. The scenes depicting Murphy’s “death” were not filmed until the following January (1987), some months after principal shooting had ceased.

5. The task of creating the Robocop suit was given to Rob Bottin. Having come off doing the special effects for John Carpenter’s The Thing, the studio decided that Bottin would be the ideal person to create the RoboCop suit. A budget of up to a million dollars was given towards the completion of the suit, making it the most expensive item on the set. Six suits were made in total: three regular and three showing damage.

6. The original gun for RoboCop was a Desert Eagle but this was deemed too small. A Beretta 93R was heavily modified by Ray Williams of Freshour Machine, Texas city, Texas, who extended the gun barrel to make it look bigger so as to be proportional to Robocop’s hand. The gun holster itself was a standalone piece that was not integrated into the suit. Off screen technicians would operate the device on cue by pulling cables that would force the holster to open up and allow the gun to be placed inside.

7. The 1986 Ford Taurus was used as the police cruiser in the movie, due to its then-futuristic design. As of May 2012, RoboCop’s Taurus is on display at the Branson Auto Museum in Branson, Missouri.

8. The ED-209 stop motion model was designed by Craig Davies, who also built the full size models, and animated by Phil Tippett, a veteran stop-motion animator. As one of the setpieces of the movie, the ED-209’s look and animated sequences were under the close supervision of director Paul Verhoeven, who sometimes acted out the robot’s movements himself. ED-209 was voiced by producer Jon Davison. Davies and Tippett would go on to collaborate on many more projects.

9. In one scene, Emil (Paul McCrane) attempts to run down RoboCop but instead accidentally drives into a vat of toxic waste, causing the flesh to melt off his face and hands. These effects were also conceived and designed by Bottin, who was inspired by Rick Baker’s work on The Incredible Melting Man, and who dubbed the RoboCop effects “the Melting Man” as an homage to the production.

10. The movie was originally given an X rating by the MPAA in 1987 due to its graphic violence, in sharp contrast to most other X-rated movies that received the rating due to strong sexual content. To appease the requirements of the ratings board, Verhoeven reduced blood and gore in the most violent scenes in the movie, including ED-209’s shooting of Kinney in the boardroom, Boddicker’s gang executing Murphy with shotguns, and the final battle with Boddicker (in which RoboCop stabs him in the neck with his neural spike and Boddicker’s blood splatters onto RoboCop’s chest).

Source text: Wikipedia.
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093870/.
Recommended reading: 10 Reasons Why The Original RoboCop Can’t Be Beaten By The Remake.

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