Game of Thrones (Season One)

o-official-poster-for-hbo-s-fantasy-series-game-of-thronesHBO (2011) 60 min. TV-MA

Creators: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; based on A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin 

Cinematography: Matthew Jensen, Marco Pontecorvo & Alik Sakharov; Editing: Martin Nicholson, Oral Norrie Ottey & Frances Parker; Production Design: Gemma Jackson; Costumes: Michele Clapton; Score: Ramin Djawadi

Stars: Sean Bean (Ned Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark),  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon), Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)

I know I’m way late to this party, but thanks to three free months of pay cable granted me gratis for being such a loyal FIOS customer, I recently started catching up with Game of Thrones, the hour-long HBO fantasy series, the first few seasons of which are available for download on premium pay-per-view. I never considered myself a fantasy fiction fan before. Maybe it was all the lewd illustration art featuring barely concealed buxom beauties suggestively brandishing heavy swords and surrounded by leering dragons. I was fool enough to believe this geekish world of Dungeons and Dragons was strictly for the enjoyment of horny teenage gamers. 

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mama-poster01Universal (2013) 100 min. PG-13

Director: Andrés Muschietti

Screenplay: Neil Cross, Andrés Muschietti & Barbara Muschietti; based on short film Mamá (2008)

Cinematography: Antonio Riestra; Editing: Michele Conroy 

Production Design: Anastasia Masaro 

Costumes: Mark Bridges

Score: Fernando Velázquez

Stars: Jessica Chastain (Annabel), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Lucas/Jeffrey), Megan Charpentier (Victoria), Isabelle Nélisse (Lilly), Daniel Kash (Dr. Dreyfuss), Jane Moffat  (Jean Podolski/Mama [Voice]), Javier Botet (Mama)

Jessica Chastain has proven herself a character acting chameleon over the last few years and her ubiquitous presence gives Andrés Muschietti’s feature-length adaptation of his 2008 Spanish-language short Mamá an aura of class that really isn’t warranted. You never know what hair dye the actress is going to be colored from one role to the next, and after her failed previous nomination, Chastain has gotten the Oscar formula down pat. On competing screens in the tony, high-concept, CIA thriller Zero Dark Thirty, for which she’s nominated for the Academy Award, she’s opened wide for more democratic appeal in the audience pleasing shriek fest Mama, about two feral girls whose adoptive parents discover they’ve brought something equally untamed back out of the wilds with them. Continue reading