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‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ trailer leaks early

batmanvsuperman_3000944b

Is Superman a hero or a villain? Better question, is Batman a hero or a villain? These seem to be the main questions in the leaked ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ trailer. Well, that and “Tell me, do you bleed,” asks Ben Affleck in his best Batman voice, before following up with the words, “You will.”

The trailer is driven by voice-overs from Holly Hunter, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons’ Alfred Pennyworth. They all seem to be questioning Superman’s motivations and his morality. Check out the trailer here.

 

 


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Game of Thrones 5×1 Recap – The Wars to Come

Young Cersei

Before diving in, let’s start with the fancy updated intro. Winterfell is no longer on fire and we have a new addition, Pentos! We later find out this is where Tyrion has landed.

House Targaryen

The first Daenerys Stormborn moment of the season opens with the golden statue that sat atop the slave city of Meereen toppling down over the city.  Is this a symbol for the season to come?  Is Dany’s army beginning to fall?

This episode certainly doesn’t help my theory.  After the statue is successfully down, an Unsullied heads into town to visit a brothel.  Strange, I thought.  Why would he go there?  Apparently, he had visited this brothel before and has a regular request of the women there.  He lays down topless while a topless woman lays behind him and rubs his head.  He seemed so relaxed and innocent until…his throat is suddenly slit.  The women and the killer, a man in a golden V for Vendetta mask, stand above the body and watch as he bleeds out.

The mask is left on the body of the Unsullied for Dany to discover and it apparently represents the Sons of the Harpys, a group that is bad news bears for #TeamDany.  It turns out that Dany is not being heralded in the slave cities as a liberator but as a conqueror and citizens are rebelling against her and her Unsullied.  Dany tells Barristan Selmy and the rest of her Jorah-free Queen’s Guard to hold the burial of the murdered Unsullied, White Rat, in a temple – an action meant to anger those who are rebelling.

After this is decided, Missandei and Grey Worm chat in private per Missandei’s request.  She asks why White Rat and many other Unsullied are being spotted visiting brothels considering all Unsullied are also eunuchs.  Grey Worm does not know and leaves without providing any more insight.

Dany continues to deal with the politics associated with liberating the free cities.  Her ambassador from Yunkai returns with Daario Naharis and says the deal to establish a council of elders was agreed upon.  However, the former masters have a request – they want to reopen the fighting pits.  Rather than slaves fighting to the death, they suggest that free men be allowed to fight free men.  He argues that Dany making this decision would send the message that she respects their pre-established culture and traditions but Dany refuses.

Later, in the boudoir, Daario Naharis attempts to convince Dany that she should indeed reopen the pits.  Daario explains how he rose through the pits as a champion, which gave him resources to help his mother and lead him to become the man he is today.  He tells Dany he isn’t afraid to speak the truth to her and warns her that a sign of weakness will give her enemies the chance they need, therefore it’s imperative for her to show her strength now.  Dany points out that the Unsullied are patrolling the streets but she misinterpreted Daario. “You’re not the mother of Unsullied.  You’re the Mother of Dragons.  A Dragon Queen with no dragons?  That’s not a Queen.”  You go, Daario.

Finally, Dany braves the underground cage she created and enters the dragon lair.  At first, the room is silent and Dany cautiously calls out the dragons’ names.  Suddenly, fire erupts and the dragons are enraged, thrashing and spewing fire at their mother.  They don’t seem to recognize her but if they do, they definitely don’t care.  Dany runs out of the lair, visibly shaken and frightened of her full grown children.

House Lannister

We have our very first Game of Thrones flashback, LOST style in our season-opening scene.  Meet young Cersei Lannister – a rebellious blonde teenager who is still arrogant, bossy, and a little too confident.  Young Cersei guides her friend into a creepy house in woods near Casterly Rock.  The two girls enter per Cersei’s insistence and find a witch? a creepy woman? a sage? I’m not 100% sure.  But Cersei uses her Lannister name to force the woman into telling her future.  The woman licks a drop of Cersei’s blood then gives Cersei three questions.  Cersei asks when she will be married but the witch tells Cersei won’t marry a prince, she will marry a King and become Queen.  However, she won’t be Queen for long.  “You’ll be Queen for a time.  Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear.”  She also tells Cersei that the king will have 20 children but Cersei will only have three children and she will see them all die.  “Gold their crowns, gold their shrouds.”  Eeeeeerily accurate, if you ask me.

We cut to Cersei in the present day preparing to attend the funeral of the late Tywin Lannister.  She is wearing black to mourn her father as she marches through the streets of King’s Landing to the sound of the bells accompanied by a King’s Guard.  Cersei makes the funeral attendees wait so she can have a moment alone with her father.  Turns out Jaime Lannister is also with Tywin and the two share a not-so-tender moment.  They discuss their fears – Jaime’s fear that the lords and ladies of Westeros will try and steal everything Tywin has created for him and Cersei’s fear of where and what Tyrion is doing.  Cersei is completely focused on “the little monster” who killed their father.  She asks Jaime if he set Tyrion free.  When Jaime doesn’t respond, she tells him that at least Tyrion killed their father by choice.  Jaime helped in that killing by refusing to ever acknowledge that Tyrion was a problem.  It’s not surprising to me that Tywin, the man who stood between Jaime and Cersei for their entire lives, is continuing to drive them apart in his absence.  But it is surprising for me to see Jaime’s concern for the inheritance he cannot have and so boldly refused while Cersei is dismissing the inheritance we thought she’d go after.  Maybe Cersei really was the Lannister who contributed most to Tywin’s legacy.  With a farewell kiss from Cersei, we see the last of Tywin Lannister.  I cannot say I’m upset.

We immediately find ourselves in a box, peering through a wall of peepholes, moving awkwardly through a city.  Tyrion Lannister has finally arrived in Pentos, safe and sound though covered in poop, courtesy of Lord Varys.  Tyrion looks like shit as he struggles to stand after crossing the Narrow Sea in such dismal conditions.  Varys apologizes for the situation but reminds Tyrion the crate was necessary since Varys broke many laws by breaking him out of King’s Landing making them both wanted men.  Varys tells Tyrion he is at the home of a friend, Illyrio Mopatis (Reminder: this is the same man who housed Dany and her horrid brother, Viserys, before Dany was wed to Khal Drogo).  Varys goes on to explain that Varys, Illyrio, and a group of others were working in secret to support a Targaryen restoration of the throne by overthrowing King Robert, setting forth a chain of events that contributed to where they have ended up today.  Tyrion starts…continues…drinking and it’s visible that he’s being haunted by the murders of Shae and Lord Tywin.  He must come to terms with what he has done before he can begin to plan the next step for himself and for the Realm.

Later, Tyrion and Varys discuss how Tyrion ended up in a box crossing the Narrow Sea.  Varys sticks with the story that Lord Jaime asked him to save Tyrion’s life.  But then he adds more.  Varys saved Tyrion for the Seven Kingdoms.  Varys believes “men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.”  Tyrion is doubtful but Varys reminds him that Tyrion has instincts for politics coupled with compassion.  “What is it you want exactly?” asks Tyrion.  Varys wants peace and a ruler in place who will not spread misery throughout the lands.  They both agree that Tyrion himself could never sit on the Iron Throne.  “But you could help another climb those steps and take that seat.”  Varys goes on to explain the ideal Westerosi monarch – a strong ruler with a gentle heart; both intimidating and inspiring.  Leading to my favorite exchange of the episode:

Varys: “A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”
Tyrion: “Good luck finding him.”
Varys:  “Who said anything about him?”

Then, Varys asks Tyrion if he will ride with him to Meereen to meet Daenerys and find out if the world is worth fighting for.  Cue my insides freaking out on this possible character interaction.

Back at the funeral, Ser Loras Tyrell goads Cersei by pretending to fake deep remorse for her father.  Cersei pretends to listen while really focusing on Margaery Tyrell and her young, beautiful hands carefully grazing King Tommen.  As Cersei dismisses herself, she is stopped by a strangely familiar face.  Lancel Lannister returns but is almost unrecognizable, barefoot with a Marine-worthy buzz cut wearing nothing but a plain robe.  Cersei says as much before Lancel’s father walks over and breaks up the conversation.  Lancel’s father apologizes for his sons appearance and tells her that Lancel is now a part of a religious group that refer to themselves as the Sparrows.  Cersei excuses herself, grabs some wine, and seeks alone time.  But Lancel finds her again and, in a new deep voice, tells Cersei that he can be forgiven now.  He talks about how he tempted her into the darkness of their incestual bed and then brings up King Robert and the boar hunt.  Cersei feigns ignorance but Lancel insists that he is finally at peace for what they’ve done and Cersei can find peace in the Light of the Seven, too.  This conversation is strange but we gain a very useful tidbit of information.  Lancel blames himself and the Queen Regent for the death of King Robert.  Maybe the theory of Lancel pouring alcohol down Robert’s throat on purpose has some merit.

Queen Margaery interrupts Ser Loras’ sex-scapades/Martell history lesson (love what you did there, GOT) with a call for dinner.  Margaery has no shame and plops right down on the bed.  After Loras’ handsome lover leaves, she questions Loras.  Shouldn’t he be more discreet since he is set to marry Cersei?  Loras feels otherwise.  Now that Tywin Lannister is dead, he doesn’t think there is anyone living that can force Cersei into marrying him.  Unfortunately, for Margaery that means her mother-in-law will be stuck living in King’s Landing.  “Perhaps,” Margaery says coolly.  “Perhaps.”

House Stark and House Baratheon

We catch up with the Stark family first with Jon Snow. He’s training Olly to be a Man of the Night’s Watch. It feels a lot like Arya’s training in season one. Samwell Tarly and Gilly watch, “shouldn’t you be training too?” He replies, “How many men can say they’ve killed a White Walker and a Thenn.” Oh Sam, let’s not get too over-confident now. Ser Allister grimaces as he passes Gilly. We learn that a Lord Commander has not been chosen yet but Ser Allister is in the running. Gilly is worried that if he’s chosen she will be packing her bags. Sam replies, “Wherever you go, I go too.” Say it with me now, awwwwww.

Out of nowhere, Melisandre shows up. Jon Snow sees what we all see; she’s creepy as hell. He’s being summoned. On the way to see Stannis, Melisandre stares at him with her best bedroom eyes. “You’re not cold milady,” he asks. “Never, the Lord’s fire lives within me Jon Snow,” she says as she takes his hand and places it on her cheek. She the asks, “Are you a virgin?” “No.” “Good.” Now I’m the one grimacing.

Jon Snow and Stannis discuss Roose Bolton’s rule of Winterfell. Stannis asks if Jon Snow wants revenge for Robb’s death. “I want many a thing but I’m a sworn man of the Night’s Watch.” Changing the topic, Stannis and Davos ask about Ygritte. Why was Jon Snow seen taking her body north of the Wall? “It was where she belonged.” Davos brings up that some of the Night’s Watch think that Jon Snow has too much affection for the Wildlings. Stannis reveals that he wants to mount Roose Bolton’s head on a stake. Now that Tywin is dead there is nothing stopping him from taking over the North. He wants Jon Snow to help him wrangle the Wildlings to serve as his army. The best way to do that is to get Mance Raydar to swear his allegiance to Stannis. It’s up to Jon Snow to convince Mance or he will burn.

Later, Jon Snow visits Mance Raydar. They reflect on the irony of the situation. Jon Snow was once his prisoner, insert hearty laugh here. Mance already knows what Stannis is after, “I’ll give him this much, he’s bold.” Mance has no intention of even kneeling and he doesn’t want his people bleeding for Stannis Baratheon’s war. Jon Snow encourages him to reconsider by reminding him of how strong of a leader he is; after all he united ninety clans for one cause and he did it to save them. Isn’t their survival more important than his pride? Short answer, no. Mance Raydar believes that the Wildlings followed him because they respected him. The moment he kneels, that respect is gone.

It’s then that Jon Snow tells him that they plan to burn him alive. Mance Raydar doesn’t want to be remembered yelling from a stake but he’d rather burn then kneel. He will never enlist his people in a foreigner’s war. When Jon Snow says he’s making a mistake, he replies “freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted”

That night, he is marched from his cell. Stannis gives him the opportunity to kneel. He replies, “This was my home for many years. I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.” With a nod from Stannis, Mance Raydar is to be burned. As everyone watches Melisandre steps forward, “We all must choose. Man or woman, young or old, lord or peasant, our choices are the same. We choose light or we choose darkness, we choose good or we choose evil. We choose the true god or the false. Free folk, there is only one true king and his name is Stannis. Here stands your king of lies. Behold the fate of those who chose the darkness.” She lights him up. It definitely seemed like Mance is having second thoughts about his defiance. Jon Snow looks disgusted. Yep, Mance is definitely having second thoughts. I start yelling at my television, CUT HIM DOWN! Jon Snow storms off. Mance starts crying. Gilly hides her face. Stannis’s wife is really into it. Tormund Giantsbane is getting angry. All of a sudden, an arrow! Jon Snow shoots Mance with an arrow to put him out of his misery. Thank god.

With that, the show ends. I think it’s safe to say that yes, Jon Snow does have too much affection for the Wildlings.

We briefly catch up with Sansa. She’s with Littlefinger. They are dropping Robin off with Lord Royce for safekeeping. While they watch a pitiful Robin try to sword fight (a big contrast from Olly and Arya, he is actually whimpering) Littlefinger gets a secret note. With that, it’s time to go.

Brienne and Podrick are licking their wounds and planning their next steps. Podrick mentions going to Castle Black but Brienne is not having it. She’s feeling a bit discouraged and doesn’t know what she’s fighting for anymore. She’d like to dump Podrick right about now. Since she’s not a proper knight, she shouldn’t have a squire. Podrick reminds her of her promise; she has to find the Stark girls. Arya might not have been interested but there’s always Sansa. She replies, “I don’t want anyone following me, I’m not a leader. All I ever wanted was to fight for a lord I believed in. The good lords are dead and the rest are monsters.” Is this more foreshadowing for #TeamDany?

Well, lo and behold, there’s Sansa. Riding right by Brienne. Oh, Game of Thrones you can be so frustrating. In the carriage, Littlefinger and Sansa discuss whom they can and can’t trust. Dark Sansa is learning from the master. We learn that Littlefinger is taking her somewhere that Cersei will never find her.

Looks like next week we will get to visit Arya at the House of Black and White.

House Martell

No mention of House Martell yet but it looks like we will get to meet the new family next week. There was a quick mention of Dorne, in comparison to Loras Tyrell’s birthmark. What we know of its geography, there’s a Sunspear bit, mountains, and a place called Sandstone.

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 5×1:

Jenn’s Pick – “Can I drink myself to death on the road to Meereen?”  – Tyrion Lannister in response to meeting Dany.

Elizabeth’s Pick – “They were born on the wrong side of the wall. It doesn’t make them monsters.” – Jon Snow about the Wildlings

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark/Baratheon and Martell).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.

 


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Everything You Need to Know for Game of Thrones Season 5

the-sand-snakesMeet the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.

1. New House & New Location

We met our first member of House Martell, Prince Oberyn, last season.  (Who can forget his sultry voice, his disdain for Lannisters’, and his way with candles?)  Sadly, the Mountain crushed our handsome prince (pun definitely intended) during a battle by combat that resulted in the infamous Oberyn Headsplosion.  For those of you that didn’t read the books, House Martell is the head family in the Kingdom of Dorne ruling out of the castle of Sunspear.  Dorne, the southernmost point of the Seven Kingdoms, has been mentioned in Game of Thrones before.  You may recall that when Tyrion was serving as Hand of the King, he orchestrated a plot to have Marcella Baratheon (Lannister) sent away from King’s Landing.  The little lion princess is currently trapped living in Dorne.

Dorne is different from the rest of the kingdoms of Westeros in that it was never truly conquered by the Targaryen’s.  Dorne swore fielty to the Iron Throne by choice centuries after Aegon’s invasion.  Like their ancestors that came before House Martell, Dornish noble Houses follow gender-blind equal primogeniture, in which the eldest child is the heir regardless of whether they are male or female.  The words of the Martells are “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and bastard children assume the name of “Sand.”  The Martells are deeply resentful of the Lannister family and blame Tywin for the death of Elia Martell, wife of Prince Rhaegar Targeryen, and her children.

This season, we will meet even more members of House Martell.  Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria Sand, will be returning to report the dreadful news of Oberyn’s death to the reigning Prince of Dorne and Oberyn’s older brother, Prince Doran Martell.  We will also be meeting the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn and Ellaria.  The Sand Snakes are skilled fighters trained by their father and will most certainly be seeking revenge against the Lannisters.

Rumor has it that Jaime Lannister will be departing King’s Landing and riding south to broker peace in Dorne.  Bookreaders know this is a change in Jaime’s story and I’m interested to see how they fit this into Jaime’s character progression.  Perhaps the Kingslayer will arrive just in time to save Princess Marcella from the deadly grasp of the Sand Snakes?

Sand_Snakes_torture_with_scorpionsSand Snakes using scorpion torture. NBD

2. No Bran, No Hodor.

‘Nough said.  This season will not include Bran Stark or his gentle giant companion, Hodor, as the TV series has caught up to his storyline.  Who will be around to “Hodor” for us?!

3. Who Crossed the Narrow Sea?

When we left, Arya had set her sights on Braavos. For those of you in need of a refresh, remember Jaqen H’ghar? Jaqen helped Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry escape Harrenhal in season two and then he changed into another person like whoosh. That’s because he was a member of the Faceless Men, a trained group of assassins. Arya used the coin given to her by Jaqen to gain passage to cross the Narrow Sea. Is Arya on her way to become an assassin?  Will she soon be just as deadly as Jaqen?

The last we saw of Tyrion, he was being packed into a box by Varys and boarding a ship set sail for freedom. This was all after he killed Tywin on the toilet and strangled Shae with her own necklace. Can we all just have a slow clap for Tyrion?

But, where is he going? Judging by this season 5 poster, we can make one guess:

game of thrones season 5 dragon and tyrion

Also, in recent clips we’ve heard this exchange between Varys and Tyrion:

V: The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.
T: Good luck finding him.
V: Who said anything about ‘him’?”

4. The Wall is Getting Crowded

The Brothers of the Night’s Watch are no longer alone.

At the end of last season, we saw the arrival of Stannis Baratheon at The Wall where he saved Jon Snow from certain imprisonment and possible death at the hands of Mance Rayder. The goal here for Stannis is to protect all of Westeros from the White Walkers and prove himself the One True King.

The Night’s Watch also needs a new leader (RIP Lord Commander Mormont).  Who will be chosen to take the lead?  Will Stannis insert himself, or will he allow a new Brother to rise to the top?

Bonus, rumor has it Melisandre will set her eyes on Jon Snow. Man, this guy’s got a thing for redheads, I VOLUNTEER!

5. And everyone else?

Dark Sansa

Sansa has officially made a deal with the devil, as in Littlefinger. (Reminder: Littlefinger revealed at the end of season four that HE was the one who killed Jon Arryn, which instigated King Robert riding North and setting Game of Thrones in motion).  Now that she’s dyed her hair and decided to join the “game,” what’s next for these two? I don’t know but I bet it’ll be a little creepy.

Third time’s a charm?

Poor Margaery is set to marry a king, again. Will sweet, innocent Tommen survive the wedding? Only time will tell.

It’s a man’s man’s man’s world

…but all her men are gone! What will Cersei do without Tywin, Tyrion, or Jaime to manipulate and whine to, or about?  Will there be anyone to protect her when it’s time for her to pay for her many, many crimes?

This is a real mystery

We already know that Brienne of Tarth’s storyline is deviating pretty dramatically from the books. After taking down The Hound but losing Arya, what’s next for her and Podrick? Will she stay on her mission to find the Stark girls?

Oh, Reek

Things are still pretty bad for Theon/Reek. Our favorite Ironborn has spent the last two seasons as the tortured servant of Ramsay Bolton. Will he ever escape? Sometimes I watch season one of Game of Thrones just to remind myself of cocky, self-absorbed Theon. Gah, so attractive. Just me? Okay.

Trouble in Paradise

At the conclusion of the season, Daenerys finally learned the truth about Jorah Mormont’s original reason for seeking her out and “protecting” her.  (He was a spy for King Robert working to regain his freedom in Westeros.)  Dany banished Jorah from her encampment and sent him to the #FriendZone4Life.

Breaker of Chains Used Chains

After Dany learned that the dragons committed the horrific crime of killing a child, she was forced to put them in chains and lock them away. Something tells me this is not going to end well considering Drogon is MIA.

Budding Romance?

When we last saw Greyworm and Missandei she was teaching him the Common Tongue. As their lessons progressed, they bonded over the loss of their homelands. While swimming, Greyworm noticed Missandei bathing naked. When she notices him watching, she stands up slowly to let him get an eye full before covering herself. Later, he apologizes but she says she wasn’t uncomfortable. Is this the Westeros version of flirting?

And lastly…

Where in the Seven Kingdoms is Gendry?!

gendrymoving

6. In Memorandum

To the characters that didn’t survive season four, we remember you fondly (or not so much).

Tywin Lannister
Joffrey Lannister
Shae
The Hound (maybe, maybe not? I don’t believe it until I see him dead.)
Lysa Arryn
Oberyn Martell
Jojen Reed
Grenn and Pyp
Ygritte
Lord Commander Jeor Mormont

Game of Thrones recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera and Elizabeth Bond.  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.


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How Did ‘The Slap’ Land?

theslapAs much as it pains me to admit, all of the marketing that NBC’s The Slap forced on me while I was binge watching The Blacklist OnDemand worked and I was one of 5.1 million viewers to tune in to the live premiere last night.  I watched for two reasons – the ensemble cast and the intriguing premise.  The commercials leading up to the premiere revealed a dynamic family party featuring a fired up Zachary Quinto…slapping the shit out of a young child.  It’s not ideal behavior; it’s not normal for TV; it’s provocative.  I had to find out just why any grown man would behave in such a way.  I also had one burning question – how could this entire show be based on one crazed moment?  Turns out, there’s a whole lot more going on in Brooklyn.

So how was The Slap and is it worth your time?  I break down my thoughts about what worked and what didn’t work below.  You can decide if it’s the kind of thing for you.

What The Slap Delivered:

  • The cast really is phenomenal.  Peter Sarsgaard makes me giddy like a little girl.  After watching his breathtaking performance as Ray Seward in AMC’s The Killing, I knew that I would watch him in anything he did going forward.  Add Zachary Quinto, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton, Melissa George, and Brian Cox and you have the potential for a true knock-out success.

 

  • The show is about more than a slap.  This group of friends and family is twisted and their history, convoluted.  Each character brings something different to the table and their interactions are what will make this really interesting.  (Just to give you a taste, we have a man having an affair with his babysitter, an artist, an abusive husband, and a set of overbearing wealthy Greek parents.)  The storylines of the show already go way beyond child rearing and discipline.  In the first hour, the show introduces themes like adultery, social class distinctions, working man vs. rich man, relationships, career struggles, parental interference in relationships.  And that’s just some of it.

 

  • The show makes you think.  This is not an example of mindless television.  It’s the polar opposite.  Each theme, and each character, somehow forced me to think about how our own personal choices can deeply affect other people.  I’m also still trying to figure out with whom I’m empathizing with most.  I keep wondering things like, What would I do if someone slapped my nonexistent kid?  Would I have slapped a kid who kicked me?  Many people are also questioning the choice to make Hugo (the five-year old who gets slapped) a child that is still breast-feeding.  While I understand the aversion to this sensitive topic, I’m actually glad that they chose to include it.  It drove home the point for me that normal is relative and what I consider normal is far different from what someone else considers normal.  Despite that, respect must still be a two way street.  I still can’t decide if I think Hugo deserved the slap from Harry (Quinto), but the bottom line is that this show still has me thinking and questioning a day later.  I’m pulled in.

What The Slap Whiffed On:

  • The voice over narrator.  At random points in the episode, a third party voice chimed in with narrations about what was happening on screen and what the character was thinking.  It felt out of place and a little bit insulting, as if the audience isn’t smart enough to catch on to these things, or the actor wasn’t talented enough to convey it.

 

  • Confusion.  Family relationships aren’t 100% clear.  Right now, I’m still not sure if Harry is related to the child that he slapped, or if he’s simply a family friend.  While it was evident that most of this group of people were very familiar with each other, and some of their family ties were made clear, there is still some confusion.  In a show that is this driven by relationships, you would think they would have done a better job of letting us know exactly who was who.

While I’m still not convinced that this show will be winning any Emmy’s next year, I have decided I’m going to stick with it and see it to the end.  I think The Slap is smart and I appreciate any TV that has great acting and intriguing stories.  I’m invested in these people and this incident and I want to know what happens.  Though I do have to admit, I was relieved when I found out that this show is only going to be an eight-episode mini-series.  If it does turn out to be a let-down, I can forget it ever happened and let The Slap fade away like a real nasty bruise.


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New Trailers for Magic Mike XXL and Daredevil

Happy Trailer Wednesday!

03-magic-mike-2.nocrop.w529.h835.2x

Magic Mike XXL

When we last saw Mike, he had gotten out of the exotic dancing world to focus on his dream of becoming a custom-furniture designer, but old habits die hard. With that said, Magic Mike XXL seems to be giving the audience exactly what it wants and I’m totally okay with that. So bring it on. Let’s indulge with more of Channing Tatum’s dance moves and more of the guys. From the trailer, it seems we still have Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), and Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello). Thanks for the peep show!

Daredevil on Netflix

Confession time. I’ve had a crush on Charlie Cox since 2007’s  severely underrated Stardust. Also, Netflix is where it’s at. And this is coming out my birthday weekend. Since, I have no life let’s just pretend this is an early birthday present to me.

The trailer is dark, in both tone and aesthetics. It all centers around Matt Murdock’s confession to upcoming crimes. The trailer also offers brief glimpses at the supporting cast—Deborah Ann Woll, Rosario Dawson, Elden Henson, and Vincent D’Onofrio.


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Skimm Now, Thank Us Later.

  1. Have you ever felt lost in a conversation? 
  2. Are you frequently the last person to hear about just about everything? 
  3. Do you ever get excluded for wearing sweatpants on Monday?

cantsitwithus

If you answered yes to questions 1 and/or 2, like I did, then pay attention, because I have a solution for us. If you answered yes to 3, I can’t really help you.  Get new pants.

TheskimmLogoI introduce you to theSkimm.  TheSkimm is a daily news email that arrives in your inbox before 7AM, Monday-Friday.  It gives you a breakdown of the news with fresh and witty editorial content.

theskimmfounders

Skimm Founders: Carly Zakin (left) & Danielle Weisberg (right)

They Skimm the news, you read it!

TheSkimm was started by Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, who realized their friends and fellow millennials were too busy to stay in touch with what’s what in the world.  In July 2012, theSkimm was introduced and with it, a quick, sharp voice was born, one that speaks across party lines, gender lines, and subject lines to educate the digital masses.  I discovered it in that same summer and it’s become a crucial part of my work day routine.  I Skimm each morning on the train while commuting in to Philly.  My favorite part about theSkimm is watching it transform every single day.  I can honestly say, theSkimm just keeps getting better and better.

In today’s technology-driven world, we are flushed with constant streams of information on social media, on the interweb, and on television.  The endless debacle for humans has become deciphering between the essential and nonessential.  Now I can’t help you figure out which update on Facebook is really worth reading, or what pants you need to wear to keep your friends, but I can help you stay updated with current events.  The answer is TheSkimm.  It is the key to starting smart conversations and staying informed about the topics that really matter.  Yes, we all know that George Clooney’s wedding was a groundbreaking moment in history.  But it is equally, if not more important for us to know and understand what is happening with ISIS, with our government, and with the Ebola outbreak.  TheSkimm provides us with the essentials while simultaneously incorporating fun and fresh knowledge.

One of my favorite aspects about theSkimm, besides it’s ability to make me snicker every morning, is it’s dedication to covering both sides of the fence.  They try to speak to both sides – ya know, the Left AND the Right – while still offering the bigger picture for those stuck in the middle.   Today, for example, theSkimm recapped the history of the civil war in Syria by attacking the story from three angles: “What the ‘Told You So’ Side Said,” “What the ‘We Did What Made Sense’ Side Said,” and “What theSKIMM Says.”  They aren’t interested in who is right or wrong; they simply want us to know what the heck is going on.

I also love their endless efforts to add some fun to the morning.  Some of their new segments include:

  • Things to Know (like #X is the universal sign for ‘driving now, I’ll text later’);
  • Fantasy Football Thursday Tips (Ladies and gents, you do want to have Marshawn Lynch starting in your line up);
  • Skimm Reads (This week, you should be reading “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Ca);
  • Skimm the Vote (Yes, it’s almost time for Midterms); and
  • Guest Skimm’ers like Karlie Kloss (Fashion Week), Paul Pierce (NBA), and Zac Posen (CFDA Awards).

So stop what you are doing and Sign up now for theSkimm.  You can thank me later.  Happy Skimm’ing!

skimmonthego

 


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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Trailer React

It’s official, the wait is over. Yesterday morning, the Today show premiered the trailer for the erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey. Slated for release on Valentine’s Day 2015, the trailer offers the first look at the delicious Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and so so much more. Let’s not waste another minute,  Elizabeth Bond and Ashley Foster allow their inner goddesses to react to the long awaited glimpse into the Red Room of Pain.

 

Elizabeth:  So is it sad that I’m already assuming that for Valentine’s Day I’m driving down to Charlotte and we are going to see Fifty?

Ashley:  YESSS!! I was going to ask you the other day what we should do for Valentines day but I was like, “maybe it’s too early?”

E: Okay let’s talk about this trailer. The first meeting…

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer I Am

Anastasia describes him as “He was polite, intense, smart, really intimidating.”
Grey asks, “I’d like to know more about you.” Anastasia replies, “There’s really not much to know about me, I mean look at me…” “I am,” he replies, and with that we get our first look at Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey.

E: Can we just talk about how perfect he is?

A: I…I…I just wanna bite that bottom lip.

E: YESSSSS! Gah, where can I get me one of those?!

A: But seriously though. American accents aren’t sexy…somehow he manages to make his sexy?

E: One of the things that I always found attractive about Jamie Dornan after watching him in The Fall and Once Upon a Time was that British accent but his certainty when he looks at Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia makes me weak in the knees.

E: Let’s talk about Anastasia for a second. She’s much “frumpier” than I thought she would be in her mismatched outfit and shyness, but it works.

A: Yeah, I almost expected a little more “Joey Potter-esque” fashion. A little more girl next door…with a side of frump.

E: Definitely! Speaking of fashion, how about that grey suit and THE TIE!?

A: Yes! Loved the incorporation of the grey tie…but one thing missing from the scene was Anastasia tripping through the door….what’s up with that?

E: Is that gone? Or do we have to wait for the movie to see Grey catch her and the physical repercussions of their first touch?

A: I certainly hope not. I feel like some of the key scenes are definitely being saved for us to enjoy during the movie. I mean, they can’t give it all away in the preview. (Even though I wish they would)

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Elevator Anastasia Steele

E: The scene where she gets on the elevator, in the book, is plagued with sexual tension and I definitely felt it here. As I watched, I was like “oh man, he’s got her.”

A: I certainly enjoyed this. It’s just like you knew the OTHER elevator scene was just around the corner. I think my favorite part about this was the gleam in her eye. It was like, “OH…SHIT….”

E: Exactly! The only thing missing here for me was “Anastasia,” he says as a farewell. “Christian.” I reply. GOD THE FIRST TIME THEY SAY THEIR FIRST NAMES SPEAKS VOLUMES.

A: OH MAN. It really does, it’s almost like their names were code for, “Yep, this is about to get REAL in about two chapters.”

E: LIKE FOREPLAY.

A: I’ve got to say, I was a little skeptical about Dakota Johnson playing the role, but by this point she had convinced she could definitely fill the shoes of Anastasia.

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Christian Grey

E: Gah, he’s gorgeous. That brooding stare.

A: Aw! Jose! He’s like the Jacob of Fifty Shades! Honestly…I wasn’t paying attention to him. Talk about a man that can wear fitted suit! Ow owwww!

E: mmmhmmm!

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Taylor

A: Taylor! I’m so excited they showed his face in the preview. He was probably one of my favorite characters in the books.

E:  He’s like Anastasia’s confidant and sidekick almost. And I love this actor (Max Martini). He’s so good in these types of silent but strong background roles.

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Coffee Shop

Anastasia asks “To what to you owe your success?” and Christian replies, “I exercise control in all things Miss Steele.” “That must be really boring,” says Anastasia while Christian smirks.

E: At this point she’s still totally unaware of how much control he “exercises.” Girl, it’s hardly boring. Mwahahahaha.

A: Yadda, Yadda…Coffee…Tea…Okay enough of this. ONWARD! THE ELEVATOR SCENE!

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Hot Elevator Kiss

E: This is about the time that my brain just stopped working and I started thinking with other parts of my body…

A: Beside the fact my brain shut down as well…I loved that even early on he was like, “No, no, you can’t touch me. Don’t mind if I do…just going to pin you to this elevator wall.”

E: RIGHT! Like the second she reaches for the back of his neck, out of reflex, he swoops in and takes control. Their chemistry is incredible here.

A: Yep. My innards hurt.

E: And Beyonce didn’t help.

A: Can we just talk about the choice for Beyonce to be on the soundtrack? #NAILEDIT Her latest album is just SEX.

E: Evidently, this is quite the scandal. Several publications have expressed their disdain for Beyonce’s involvement but her brand just fits here. And the new recording of Crazy in Love is perfect. The crescendo of the chorus happening as he pins her to the wall of the elevator, my god.

A: Disdain? Girl is laughing all the way to the bank….Plus I’d just like to think Beyonce is putting her foot down and just relating to women everywhere like, “Yeah, this stuff turned me on too…”

E: I find it personally satisfying then that I have something in common with Queen Bey.

A: It’s like we are all besties with Queen Bey.

E: Gah, if only.

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Christian Grey

“I’m incapable of leaving you alone,” Christian says. “Then don’t,” replies Anastasia.

E: This is hands down one of my favorite parts of the trailer (as well as the book). You may remember, they are leaving the coffee shop and she almost gets hit by a car only to get pulled back onto the sidewalk by Christian at the last minute. In the book, she is in his arms briefly but her thoughts are pleading for him to kiss her. (“Kiss me damnit!” I implore him, but I can’t move. I’m paralyzed with a strange, unfamiliar need.) I love how in this scene, you see that Christian is struggling with the same damn unfamiliar need.

A: It definitely written ALL over his face. Side note: They never showed the hardware store scene! What a classic tale of duct tape and rope….

E: That’s gotta still be there, right?

A: I think some of the first photos that leaked from the set were scenes from the hardware store. Here’s hoping!

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Dark Brooding Christian Piano

“I had a rough start in life, you should steer clear of me.”

E: Tortured Christian, this is what I knew Jamie Dornan would be able to pull off well. He’s not afraid of complex characters and they don’t get much more complex than Christian Grey.

A: This is one of those things I didn’t catch until I went back and watched it the second time.

E: Well again, I left my brain back there in the elevator.

A: #realtalk

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Pushing Jose

E: This is a pivotal sequence featured in the trailer. First, Christian shows up only after knowing Anastasia a few hours and pushes Jose away as he tries to kiss Anastasia. A very public proclamation of his intentions. Then, the damsel in distress that she is, he takes her to his hotel and tucks her into bed. He lightly kisses her goodnight and leaves. When she wakes up there is a glass of orange juice and two Advil but no Christian. It’s the first time she experiences how tender he can be, but also how cold.

A: I love how instantly protective he is over her. They really do a great job of showcasing that in preview.

E: Exactly, moving on…

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer under the table

Over a series of scandalous shots we hear Christian tell Anastasia “I don’t do romance, my tastes are very singular. You wouldn’t understand.”

E: Now the good stuff!

A: Did you see how she squeezed her legs together and gave him that look! Hot damn!

E: All during a Grey family dinner too, my goodness! I think I started to blush. Side note, there should have been more Marcia Gay Harden in the preview. There should always be more Marcia Gay Harden.

A: I know! I can’t believe they only showed the back of her perfectly tamed coiffe! This scene get’s me really excited (ha-ha) for the benefit party in the second book….now that…is scandalous.

E: Elena hasn’t been cast yet right? I’m still holding out for Sharon Stone.

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Low rise jeans red room of pain
E: I was too distracted by his shirt off and those beautiful lowrise jeans to notice that he’s in the Red Room of Pain.

A: Just found my new desktop background. Man, let’s just talk about how that is EXACTLY what I pictured when reading the book. HOT DAMN. I salute you Levi’s!

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer sweatpants

E: Speaking of low rise…

A: Praises be….

E: Gah, that look he’s giving her, it’s like he’s begging her ‘please love me.’ God, my heart just melted. Leave me alone and give me chocolate.

A: Where are they during this scene by the way?!

E: My guess is his bedroom.

A: I just imagined it to be more white…and airy…but it matches his broodiness. Also, did you notice the sweat?

E: Also also, I love the intimacy that’s hinted at here. She’s in a big t-shirt, he’s in sweats.

A: So very sexy…lets be honest.

Fifty Shades of Grey Red Room of Pain

E: “Enlighten me then.” Ask and you shall receive Miss Steele! Here we go…

A: Dakota nailed the reaction…sort of, “wtf” mixed with “hmmmmmm….?”

E: “Ohh great, this is your hobby…”

Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Gif Red Room of PainSource

E: OH. MY. GOD.

A: *Gulps*

Laters, baby.

 

 

From your resident experts in all things sexyElizabeth Bond and Ashley Foster, thanks for reading!

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