Season 8: Episode 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones was the most anticipated event of the week. After the Battle of Winterfell, we needed to see how Daenerys was going to rally her depleted army in order to take King’s Landing and ultimately the Iron Throne. We reached a pivotal point in the episode where Dany was trying to regain support and declared Gendry Lord of Storm’s End. This received a massive applause. But right after this, she noticed how Jon Snow was being looked at by the people of Winterfell and realized that she would never have that kind of prowess among them.
This was supposed to be a very serious moment and revelation for Daenerys, but it was ruined by a vanilla latte from Starbucks.
How are we supposed to take this seriously? Was coffee even discovered in the year this is supposed to take place? Now, instead of wondering if she is really as spiteful as her father, the Mad King, we will all be wondering if she just hasn’t had her coffee that day. And how do we know that isn’t just Arya in a Starbucks mask.
I can’t decide if this or the obvious truck in the background was worse.
But in case you were wondering what name Daenerys gave to the Starbucks barista, here it is:
If I have to be honest, this might be my favorite non action episode of GOT ever. Jon finally tells Daenerys that he is a Targeryen and thus making him the rightful heir to the throne. Gendry lays the pipe on our girl Arya. Tyrion is scared. Brienne of Tarth makes me cry, and Podrick is the Thrones equivalent to Shawn Mendez. I don’t have enough words to explain the happiness that this episode brought me.
The episode starts with Jamie making his plea that he is there to fight against the White Walkers despite the fact that Cersei pulled a not surprising wildcard move and didn’t show up. Danny goes savage as always calling him out and also Tyrion when he goes to defend Jamie. She is questioning Tyrions loyalty to her against his defense of his brother…who Danny’s dad. Brienne pulls a power move and says she would fight along Jamie and that he has helped her along the way. Then Bran steps in as well as Jon to say they need as many men as they can to defeat the White Walkers. Danny agrees to let Jamie stay, but follows this by essentially telling Tyrion he is losing his touch. She soon forgives him and says that he is extremely vital, but we can all see, he is scared and with an unknown foe, one he doesn’t know how to outsmart, he is lost.
This is followed by an epic reunion of my guy Tormund jumping in and giving Jon the biggest hug in all of the Seven Kingdoms. Also he has bad news, Ned Umber got got by the Night King and he’s going to be there in the morning. Which set up the most epic anticipation of any show ever. This cuts to the most rag tag planning session of how to defeat an impossible foe that will be arriving by dawn. Hurricane Bran talks up and says their best strategy is for him to be at the Weirwood and for the Night King to come to him. Theon try’s to make up for all of the horrible things he has done by saying he will hide in the tree’s like Robin Hood and protect Bran. So they’re all going to die for sure.
The Night King has the connection to Bran, ever since the touch on Bran’s arm he has been chasing after him. Bran has all of the history of the world, as the Three Eyed Raven he knows all that has ever happened and all that will. Losing Bran means losing all history that is either known or unknown, like Jamie pushing his ass through a window after he caught Jamie and Cersei making babies. Theory – I still somehow think the Night King is actually Bran because their faces look a lot alike even though they have explained that he’s the first of the White Walkers from a long time ago.
After this there are long talks at a round table of Tormund, Jamie, Tyrion, Ser Davos, Podrick (the goat), etc. Tormund tells the story of how he got the name “Giantsbane” which I’ll leave to everyone’s viewing pleasure instead of writing it out. Tyrion is pouring everyone drinks at the fireplace talking about how he never thought he would end in Winterfell after his family had feuded with the Starks for so long. He also hilariously heavy pours Podrick some wine when Brienne says a half cup for him, not important but pretty funny. In a last ditch effort to tear our hearts out before everyone dies in tonights episode, Jamie Knights Brienne of Tarth and you can see the emotion on her face that this is all she has wanted all her life. Jon pulls his ultimate dumbass move and decides to tell Danny all he knows about how he is truly a Targaryen right before the fight. You see her reaction, the anger, the betrayal, and then a horn is sounded. It is time.
I am not spiritually ready for tonights episode. In the end I am now thinking that Jon is going to die and that eventually Danny might as well. I have no idea what’s going on anymore and honestly anyone could die at any minute. I decided to make a list of who I think will die in the most epic battle scene in all of cinematic history. So here we go;
DEAD: Jon, Theon, Brienne, Podrick, Davos, Beric (fire sword guy), The Hound, Varys, Night King, Jorah, Greyworm, Ghost, Rhaegal (one of the dragon’s), Gilly, and the little girl that said she would protect the crypt.
Let me know what you think is going to happen in tonights episode! Please leave some comments and follow myself on twitter @soft7pork as well as our main page @soft7sports. Winter is here.
Since I am most obviously the Home team in said debate, I decided to fire the opening salvo against Porkchop. I proposed the debate when I, in a fit of wanting to watch good movies, watched two of my favorite movies in one day. Why are they my favorite? Simple; the villains are spectacular.
For me, one of the best things about a movie is the conflict, whether the movie is a comedy of any form, a suspenseful, horror thriller, or a bloody, action-packed adventure. One of the purest forms of conflict (while I do not believe it is the best plot line for movie entertainment) is between a perceived hero and villain. What makes a good conflict even better? A super sinister, well-written villain.
I do not want to go to much into the dynamic that exists in story-writing, where the goal in creating a good conflict is not having a a super evil villain do evil things only to just be thwarted by the hero in the knick of time. That is a super boring, non-interesting story that has been overdone as long as story-telling has existed itself. To quote a villain that will appear on this list, “This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you, huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness, and I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”
Kind of beautiful in its simplicity; the fact that a villain is simply doing this for the ‘shits and giggles’ of it all. No matter how hard the hero tries, the villain is always either a step ahead, or willing to accept his fate more so than the hero is willing to beyond his moral compass to end it. I’ll go more into the dynamics later per villain, and why they meant a lot to Pork and I. To me though, that quote provided above was the baseline for every villain, and helped guide me through this. I had a tough time justifying the addition of a villain that is just “evil for evil’s sake” or a “maniac madman”. I do believe that the actor’s portrayal of a character can unhinge my perception of a villain. I tried not to factor in sequels into my list, and tried to keep my list solely to my first impression. However, I could not let some elaborations of villains go unpunished (looking at you Barbarossa or Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean).
So, without further adieu: “Here we go.”
Per Porkchop – Chucky (first seen in 1988 release of Child’s Play) – Chucky just sucks. He’s a cult classic, murdering doll that scared me as a child until I was about 12. I couldn’t even hear the name Chucky without screaming and feeling faint. In all honesty, I didn’t like the movies. I thought they had their funny moments, but, other than that, I’m not a fan. Chucky was ruthless and sinister as it gets. I mean, all he did was smile, laugh, and love killing people. – The Collector (first seen in The Collector) – Growing up, this two film franchise was one of the scariest things I had ever seen. The Collector was deranged like Jigsaw, but a lot more hands on. Really the first film in the house is what made me think of the Collector as pure evil. It was like if Home Alone was made for a psychotic killer. It was a wild film, and one of the more evil characters I have faced. He had a creepy mask, too. – Dr. Hannibal (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, The Red Dragon) – One of the most famous of the villains, and one of my personal favorites, this was hard to rank him here. Depending on the film, Dr. Hannibal is a savior, a cannibal, a murderer, or a genius. In most of the movies, he was all of those at the same time. I loved the dichotomy of his internal character, and how he was able to portray his evil and intellect all at once. – Calvin Candie (Django) – Honestly, I just threw this one in here because I loved Leo in this role. He was able to play a villain but seem so sinisterly innocent at times too. The way that Calvin was okay to Django but so horrible to the rest of the slaves in this movie made me sick. He was able to portray how a character like his would be in that day in age so well, it shook me to the core.
Per Buck – Nazis (Schindler’s List, The Pianist, Saving Private Ryan) – This is kind of a cop-out, I know. However, one of my favorite time periods of history is the WWII era. All these movies occur then, and the Nazis are painted as the ideological villains they are. Schindler’s List and The Pianist show the horror of the Holocaust and the Warsaw Ghetto, and how truly evil the Nazis (and humans) can be to those they view as ‘sub-human’. In Saving Private Ryan, a particular Nazi begs and pleads to the group’s humane side. What does he do after? Leads more Nazis after them, and proceeds to help kill the men who spared his life. All in all, logic was very simple: despicable and truly evil people. – The Predator (first seen in 1987 release of Predator) – This movie freaked me out because I knew all of these action heroes that were in this protagonist group. And what happens to this bad ass group of heroes? SPOILER: every single one died. A solitary, death machine-like hunter, that can be invisible, tore through this group and skinned them alive (LITERALLY). The clicking noises it makes while hunting still sends a shiver down my spin. Hunting for the thrill of the hunt, the Predator was a great villain because the sole purpose of him is to hunt and kill. Nothing else. There is no ulterior motive besides the thrill of the hunt, and having these amazing action heroes be viewed as no more than inferior prey to it is jarring. – Bane (in the The Dark Knight Rises) – Tom Hardy’s Bane had a tough, tough, TOUGH job ahead of him trying to follow up Heath Ledger’s Joker. He rose to the occasion admirably, and was able to make himself not only viewed as a great villain in his own right, but has cemented himself as one of the better villains in my mind. Taking the moral, ideological purge stance, he was able to “make Gotham equal” while also doing something most villains cannot: he beat his archenemy (the hero) soundly. Bane was able to succeed while exuding an air of dominance and calmness that befit a man not mad with unquenchable rage, but a man with a plan and the will to carry it out. Bane showed how a man could carry out the ending of a hero solely by having one of the best plans a villain could have. While he lost because of cinema writing, he was still a great villain. – Emperor Palpatine (first seen in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, elaborated on in Star Wars Prequels) – Emperor Palpatine was, upon first viewing, the evil that is typically painted upon in cinema: an evil, autocratic emperor that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and cruel.
THE ACTUAL TOP 5 LISTS
Porkchop’s Top 5 Baddies of All Time
5) Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series) – My absolute favorite, but still lands at number 5. I love Harry Potter, and Voldemort is my mortal enemy. He has been trying to kill Harry since he was a legitimate infant. But failed to do so. Fam couldn’t kill a baby. But his intentions are pure evil. So he easily makes my list, but lands sat 5 because he couldn’t even kill baby H.
4) Jigsaw (first seen in Saw) – Jigsaw is pure unadulterated evil. A vigilante that torments the wicked and makes them come to terms with their demons. I love and hate him because although he wants people to accept their fate and to own up to their actions, he does so with impossible and disgusting tasks. He has no remorse for any of the people and the torture that he puts them in. As a villain he might be the most ruthless, but he lands number 4 on my list.
3) Darth Vader (first seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, present in the original trilogy, and expanded upon in the prequels) – Darth Vader is the essence of evil. He is a good person turned to the dark side. He controls people, choke slams people, and has possibly the greatest twist in a movie series of all time. People celebrate how evil he was and his asthmatic voice will haunt Jedi’s for all of eternity.
2) Thanos (first seen in Avengers: Infinity War) – Thanos is one of my more controversial villains. He’s a tyrant who, in his own mind, has good intentions. He believes that, by destroying half of the universe, he can save humanity. His epic strength and ability makes him an unstoppable force (for now) and lands him second on my top villains list.
1) Heath Ledger’s Joker (in The Dark Knight) – The Joker is one of the most quintessential villains in all of movie history. Health Ledger played this psychotic enigma to a tee. He ingrained himself in the role of the Joker, and was able to perform on the screen what others have dreamed of. He fully became the Joker. Watching him in The Dark Knight was chilling, and at times disturbing. It was acting perfection.
Buck’s Top 5 Baddies of All Time
5) Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter book and movie series) – The scariest villain I knew in the 2nd grade was the one I had read in the Harry Potter books. After watching the first movie? Boy was he cemented. His singular desire for immortality and power were unmatched, as his extent of power was never truly revealed besides in the horrible acts he committed. He was more of an educated dog to me, rapidly pursuing his own wants and wishes than truly exacting vengeance. After all, he was thwarted by three kids how many times, despite his army of followers and his own willingness to shed blood? For those sole reasons, I cannot have him any higher on my list.
4) Alien Xenomorph (Alien, Aliens, etc.) – The first alien movie genuinely scared the absolute piss outa me. No joke, I peed myself a little (just a lil squirt, not a fire hose) when the first person died in the movie due to the alien. I truly believe this movie, along with this “villain”, is why the horror genre can never truly grasp my attention. Sure a Jigsaw and those kind of mind-twisting “geniuses” can have you trying to think of ways to outmaneuver them (unsuccessfully), but they always had a purpose. The expansion of the Xenomorph is Aliens and other sequels only propels their truly horrific nature: a parasitic one. An enormous, silent, semi-intelligent parasite that has acid saliva, three mouths, and can blend in anywhere easily? Dealt with those nightmares for easily a week.
3) Thanos (first seen in Avengers: Infinity War) – We all have those friends that hold wildly ludicrous notions/ideas in their heads. Some believe the moon landing is a myth, others believe that Walt Disney is a floating head trying to control all media. However, almost everyone doesn’t believe the easiest way to solve overpopulation is through mass genocide, and no one is willing to go through the lengths in order to carry out such a monumental task. That’s why Thanos, even though he is a fairly recent movie villain, is able to grace my top 3. Super intelligent, super strong, and super determined, Thanos single-handedly beat an entire group of super heroes by himself through sheer will and determination. He sacrificed his daughter for his goals, and even took a lightning-infused ax to the chest in order to complete his task. The best part of his character arc was the fact that he knew he was going to be a villain to people, and yet he was okay with it. He was even patronizing to everyone, doing his best to explain why he was doing what he was doing. Hell, he told them how every time, and was completely okay with admitting when he was bested..but only for a moment. Sure his character has been built up to over the course of multiple movies, but which great villain hasn’t? After all, in his one onscreen appearance to date, he is regarded as one of the best written characters in cinema history. The other two I have above Thanos, of course, are ranked higher than him…
2) Heath Ledger’s Joker (in The Dark Knight) – A lot of you will be mad at me, I know. Many will consider this a snub, and I somewhat agree. This was a difficult thing to do, but I cannot, in my right mind, put someone so fresh and new (in regards to who is number one) at number 1. Heath Ledger’s Joker iteration may be the best ever, and he showed the power of mystique for developing menace. From the opening bank robbery scene to the final hanging ultimatum he gave Batman, he was absolutely astounding. Being in the movie for less than 30 minutes, he commanded the direction of the entire movie AND WE DIDN’T KNOW HIS ORIGIN (sorry Joaquin Phoenix, we don’t need your origin movie) OR HIS MOTIVES. His insanity is scripted, and not really true. His whole goal is just to break the Batman, and he doesn’t use well-thought out, meticulous plans. He starts something in motion, and adapts quickly to the chaos around him, painting his adaptations as the grand master plan itself. And let’s be honest, every scene he is present in, he is portrayed as solely being in the background, and then slowly commanding attention until BAM, he is now in control of everything. It took me well over a dozen watch-through’s to even finally grasp he is in the movie for less than 30 minutes, and even now I still don’t believe it. I hope to God no one attempts to play this iteration of the Joker again, because it clearly drove the person who played it insane. Maybe that is why this villain terrifies me, since the role called for one to dawn the mantle of insanity in order to fully enrapture the audience.
1) Darth Vader (first seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, present in the original trilogy, and expanded upon in the prequels, seen for a few scenes in Rogue One) – Darth Vader may be the most expanded upon villain in this ranking, and none of it was forced at all. Every movie he has been in has been well thought out in terms of developing his character arc as well as his evilness. The man enter our lives by casually walking over dead bodies of enemy troops and his own, not even looking around or caring to do so. Then we are greeted later by him…choking the captain of the ship while interrogating him until he dies? Then he murders his old master later on, and personally flies a fighter to try and end the rebellion? Then in the subsequent movie, while he is trying to lead an attack on a hidden rebel base, he force chokes an Admiral ON A DIFFERENT SHIP THAN HIS PERSONAL FLAGSHIP. We see throughout the movies how evil he is, and how he was willing to cut off his own son’s hand and try to kill him just for his son trying to save his friends. He’s not above hiring bounty hunters or contracting out dirty work to others, and will kill those who fail him. Not only is his viciousness on display, but his intelligence. Multiple times he demonstrates how he is able to outmaneuver his enemies, and is even willing to blow up an entire planet in order to destroy them. His background was handled poorly in the prequels, but expanded the depth of the character and his motivations. However, in Rogue One, his scenes sent chills down my spine for how well they were handled. He was not ruined like many of the new Disney Wars have done to other characters, but enhanced. His evil lair was brillant, and the hallway scene in the ship boarding legitimately sent a shiver down my spine. I actually believe Darth Vader is the best villain ever not because he is all-powerful or all-knowing, but because he is cold, calculating, and rational. His intelligence is paralleled only by his evilness, and that is saying something considering some of these villains are that way. No villain can beat Vader that’s currently in cinema right now, and I don’t see anyone unseating him from his throne atop this list.
Let me start by saying, I was all on the hype for this movie. When I saw the trailer and saw baby Drago getting ready to get cracked by Adonis Creed, I was ready. This movie revives the rivalry between Drago and Creed after the devastating Death of Apollo Creed at the Hands of Ivan Drago. If I’m honest, I was a little dissapointed by this movie.
Let me explain, I loved the first Creed. I honestly thought it was the perfect amount of action to heartbreaking drama when Rocky gets cancer and Adonis helps him back to health. This movie though, it didn’t do it for me. It felt like it was all rushed and not as much storyline as the other one. Now this isn’t me saying that I didn’t like it. I think the story of Drago vs. Creed being brought back for a second chance at redemption could have been very powerful. For those of you who live under a rock and haven’t seen Rocky 4, spoiler alert, Apollo dies and it is gutting.
Now this “redemption” is somewhat drowned in all of the drama of Adonis’s personal life. I understand that being the premise of all of the movies, however, it didn’t seem to flow with the storyline that is supposed to finish on fight. In this film, Adonis has to figure out who he is truly fighting for, his father, his fiancé, his daughter, or himself. In reality it is al of the above, but he truly does it to prove who he is, not who he came from. Also, not a fan of the Max Kellerman cameos in these films but that’s an argument for another day. What I would’ve loved to see in this movie is more about the two, more talks between Drago and Creed instead of Creed and his life, then a pinch of Drago during the fights. Also, this is just a personal tidbit that I didn’t like, but the fact that they bring Ivan Drago’s ex wife into this and that they’re fighting to regain their lost lives seemed like it was poorly executed.
With all of that being said, I still enjoyed the film. I would give it a 6/10 and I honestly think that might be a little generous. I want more of the anger, more of the fight, more of the story between the fighters. At the end of the day this is a movie about boxing. There was emphasis on the desert training and Rocky coming back to be his trainer after Creed’s brutal first loss to baby Drago, and those parts in all honesty were strong. However, I want more of the original story between the two. I wanted more of the grind, more of the anguish, less of the filler. If I could have had more dialogue between Drago and Creed I think it would have been a lot stronger. Oh, and now there are reports that Apollo’s ghost almost appeared in this. This isn’t Star Wars, I’m glad they had the intelligence to not bring Apollo’s ghost into this like a quick Yoda cameo. If that would have been part of the movie I think it could have killed it in an instant. Other than that, good movie, absolutely worth the watch, and I hope there are more Creed movies in the making.
Let me know what you think, leave a comment and a suggestion for the next movie I should review. As always follow @soft7sports and myself @soft7pork on Twitter.
Sports movies have a special place in all of our hearts. Films such as the ones I will be ranking have made me cry, laugh, and be inspired to be the extremely mediocre athlete I once was. Today, I will be giving my undeniable Top 5 ranking of the best sports movies of all time. Again, this is 100% my opinion, but it is 100% correct.
5.We Are Marshall
Now here is a movie that I know not everyone is going to agree with me on. We Are Marshall is one of the toughest stories based on true events. After the Marshall football team’s plane crashed and 75 players, coaches, and boosters tragically died, the team was suddenly no more. There was no more football, no one wanted to think about the tragedy that had occurred, until Jack Lengyel arrived. Coach Lengyel wanted to bring this team back. To bring back a community so ingrained with the university and this team, and to show people that this pain will pass, but the men that were lost will never be forgotten.
This one pulled deep at me, because the loss was so great. Jack was able to bring this sport and this school together and while facing backlash, never backed down. This is another example of “bigger than sports”. Jack understood that, and although they went 2-8, they ended with the support of not only the Marshall community, but even competitors and those around them. One personal reason that I also am drawn to this is because one of my coaches in High School was on that 1971 team, I remember him talking about Marshall and always wearing his Thundering Herd shorts to practice. He was through and through a Marshall man and this story is something I will never forget.
This one may be controversial, but the film Glory Road combined everything a great sports movie needs; Sports, Brotherhood, and Struggle. I have never had to endure anything like the guys from Texas Western had to endure, from ignorant racism to constant oppression from their peers, these men were inspirations to the game of basketball. When new Head Coach Don Haskins brought black players such as Bobby Joe Hill and Harry Flourney to Texas to play basketball, it was a recipe for disaster. However, these men started a revolution and brought truth to everyones minds. Sports aren’t dictated by the color of ones skin, it’s about determination, strength, and character. These men fought for what they believed in, and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history to win the NCAA championship in 1966.
If you don’t like the Italian Stallion you can just get out. Rocky is what I wanted to be growing up. A rough, tough, fighting machine that wouldn’t let anything bother him or knock him down. Sylvester Stallone’s incredible screenplay is still one of the biggest surprise box office smashes of all time. I mean, there’s a damn statue of him (Rocky not even Stallone) in Philly. Rocky was a boxer that just didn’t understand the word “can’t”. He took on the best fighter in the world in this film and in my opinion and everyone else’s, he won the fight. Fighting the superstar Apollo Creed, not a person believed in him except for Mick, Pauly (kinda), and Adrienne. RIP Mick. What an incredible movie and inspiration to never give up no matter what the odds, what the obstacles, and if you wanna see some low quality punches thrown with no one getting confused for real contact on the punches, this is the movie for you. Easy top 3 for me and always a joy to watch.
The Sandlot is a completely different film from the previous, but has a special place in my heart. I have seen this movie probably 100 times, and every time it is just as good as the last. If you haven’t seen this film, you’re essentially not American. Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez and the rest of the squad battle against the biggest monster in history. The Beast. After Scotty “Smalls” makes the genius idea to take his Step-Dad’s BABE RUTH SIGNED BASEBALL and play ball with it, the ball gets launched over Darth Vaders yard and the Beast takes it as his own. The boys try anything from a vacuum to hanging Squints as a human chew toy to get the ball back. Obviously not a true story and in all honesty, not even a great movie. To me, it’s an easy top 5 though. This movie got me interested in sports as a kid, and the appreciation I have for it goes beyond words.
1.Remember The Titans
Last but not least, my absolute favorite sports movie of all time, Remember The Titans. Another movie where race and eventual brotherhood are the centerpieces of the story. I don’t have enough time to write about this movie and you don’t have enough patience to read the capstone I could write on it, but it is a masterpiece. Denzel taking on the head coaching job of a town struggling with racial separation is a triumph in its own, but it just explodes from there. From making the white players sit on the bus and room with a black player, to making them struggle and fight as a team, I know I have overused this word in this post but it really is inspirational. Still the best part of this movie in my opinion is Denzels character telling Gary Bertier, played by Ryan Hurts, “who’s your daddy”. Classic. The T. C. Williams high school football team set the tone that they would not stand for the blindness people had when it came to acceptance of others. Having played football in as a kid and having the brotherhood that these guys shared, it really strikes a chord with you while watching. These guys fought for each other, even after the tragedy Gary suffers, his “brother” Julius, (i really struggled putting quotations because they were just as real brothers as it gets) was there for him when Gary needed him most. Go watch this film, let it crush your heart and warm it at the same time. My favorite sports film, easy.