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Everything posted by Fez

  1. Well, firstly there's a difference between good actors and good acting. There's a gazillion beautifully produced films with good actors that are because of bad writing AND bad acting. When they are beautifully produced with good acting and bad writing, you get something like Pirates of the Caribbean, which is perfectly fine entertainment. And when the acting and writing is bad, but the production values are great, there's still something worth seeing for spectacle usually. Secondly, I think there's tons of examples of things with great writing and acting that are ruined by terrible production values. The first thing that springs to mind for me is Babylon 5; everyone says its great but the CGI and sets are so terrible that I can't watch more than 15 minutes. I just listened to the the How Did This Get Made about ConAir, so its on my mind. But there's plenty of other examples. Take Daniel Day Lewis in Nine; he was great as always, the writing was not.
  2. Firstly, your last point, I strong disagree. John Malkovich has said several times that he has no idea what his character was actually doing in ConAir, and yet he was still fantastic. Good and great acting can elevate writing far beyond what it otherwise is; and the original Star Wars trilogy is another perfect example of that. Shows can be done without a glamorous production and be great, sure. All the outdoor shots that GoT has are a luxury that few other shows can afford; but its not just that sort of thing. Its the nuts and bolts stuff of costuming, set design, prop departments, lighting, sound design, etc. that pull shows together. All of that is important. BBC dramas from the era before they spent money can be delightfully good, but they are never great. I, Claudius sure did have wonderful writing and acting (and Brian Blessed just doing his thing, which worked); it also took place in about five rooms and never captured the scope and grandeur of what was going on. So I'd probably give it an 8/10 (3/3 for acting, 3/3 for writing, and 2/4 for production values because I'm willing to grade on a scale for different eras of TV and at least the costumes were pretty good).
  3. I somehow doubt that a bottle episode exclusively featuring Pycelle's brothel adventures would have the same production values that the show has had up to this point. On the other hand, Julian Glover really is a fantastic actor, so it would be great to see him showcase that. But yes, I truly don't consider the writing to be worth more than 30% of the show's value and I don't consider fidelity to the novels to be worth any of that 30%; only fidelity to the show's internal characterizations. Its nice when the show follows the novels, at the least on the big stuff, but I don't care at all when it doesn't.
  4. Even if you hate absolutely everything else, the production values alone are impressive enough that no episode of the show should be rated below '4'. Then there's the acting, which is usually good for another 2-3 points, meaning that only 3 out of 10 points should really be about the writing; which is the primary issue that some people here have with the show. So even if you despise everything D&D have written, I don't think its defensible to rate the show below a '6' unless you legitimately dislike the acting as well, and then maybe a 4 or 5 could be given.
  5. 9/10. It should probably be 8/10 but I'm so happy to not be in Meereen that I'm boosting it an extra point. It still felt a bit slow, but at the same time, the contours of the season-long plotlines finally felt like they were becoming clear. And I appreciate that a great deal. The Wall, Braavos, and Volantis were the highlights for me.
  6. To me, it looks like the season 2 polls still have slightly more ratings, and Seasons 3 and 4 have a lot more (the Rains of Castamere for instance has over 1,200 ratings); which makes sense since the show was getting ever more popular (in terms of viewers). Its even more popular this season, and the board continues to have technical issues from all the people coming, but I think there are less people here than the past couple seasons, and I think that's due to a lot of people who really like the show not posting as much anymore. I know I don't (at least, not in the show forum), because the people who don't like show are so... let's say exuberant, in their dislike. There are many other places where people can discuss the show online, and in all the ones I've seen, the show is significantly better received than it is here. There's some dissatisfaction with the pacing so far this season, a complaint that I also have, but that's pretty much it.
  7. 8/10 It was tighter than the first episode (except Meereen, which I continue to despise, but I don't penalize the show for that because that's an anchor from the books). I don't think the start or reasoning of Jaime's mission to Dorne was handled well, I thought the night watch election was a little too fast (granted, I'm also glad it didn't drag out), and the reversal of Jaqen/Kindly Man's decision to let Arya in wasn't explained well enough. Everything else I liked; particularly Kevan's brief yet memorable scene.
  8. I think having Mance be glamoured would undercut the weight and impact of the burning scene to an enormous degree, enough so that, were that to happening, they wouldn't have spent so much time on it and it wouldn't have closed out the episode.
  9. Well if they didn't they're the exception. The show had 7.997 million live viewers Sunday night, breaking the old viewership record by 800,000.
  10. That's interesting. Even though I only gave this a 7, I don't think it was anywhere near the worst episode of the series (that'd probably go to one of the mid-season 3 clunkers; full of Theon torture and stalling for the Red Wedding). I wonder if many people, myself included, were so hyped for the return of the show we forgot how slow-paced the premieres usually are and ended up being harsher than usual.
  11. 7/10 Some good scenes, no great ones, and the whole episode was just too slow. I know that's par the course for season openers, so I'm not too disappointed, but it still felt a bit like stalling. I think the extended "previously on" covered enough ground that it would've been okay for this episode to move forward on storylines rather than sit back and take stock of where everything was post-ep10 of last year. And the thing is, the storylines that did have that forward movement, the Wall and Tyrion-Varys, I think were by far the best part of the episode.
  12. 9/10 one of my higher ratings of the season. I don't mind any of the major changes from the books, and the episode wasn't as rushed as I was worried it'd be. It did have some pacing issues that made me took a point off what was otherwise an excellent episode. I still think Stannis' arrival was oddly placed and should've gone at the end of the last episode, Bran's gang spent too much time fighting and not enough introducing Bloodraven, Dany's scenes felt repetitive of earlier ones, and Tyrion's initial escape moved way too quickly.
  13. 5/10, which I believe is the lowest rating I've ever given an episode (it may be a tie though, not sure). There was lots of action, but it just felt hollow. I was always concerned about making the battle a full episode, much less an episode 9, and those fears were justified. The entire episode was a long tease, where the Watch never felt in much trouble, and the whole thing ended anti-climatically. I'm also rather concerned now about just how much is okay in the finale now. Sure its 66 minutes, but it still needs to have: -Jon with Mance, and Stannis arriving -Bran meeting Bloodraven -Tyrion's escape -Dany's season conclusion -Arya's season conclusion -Brienne's season conclusion And I don't see how that's done. Jon, Tyrion, and Dany's stories look like they each need at least 15 minutes, Bran and Arya at least 10 minutes, and Brienne at least 5 minutes. That's 71 minutes, and from the preview it looks like there's still going to be some at least some other scenes, like a Tywin-Cersei one. This episode went short, they should've included Stannis' arrival in it; it would've helped two episodes.
  14. I am a bit concerned about that myself. Everyone seemed excited for Blackwater, but it certainly seems like most reviewers at least (I don't know many unsullied) either don't like, or at best don't care, about the Wall. And if people aren't invested, then it just becomes a technically proficient battle scene; incredibly impressive by TV standards, but only reasonably so compared to what we see in movies all the time.
  15. 1) Tyrion isn't always nice; he made fun of a simpleton to fit in. 2) Tyrion can be overly obsessive. 3) Its an analogy, the gods are cruel and there's no meaning to when people die. 4) Its an analogy, GRRM is cruel and capriciously kills his characters. 5) its an analogy as above, but note that Tyrion doesn't kill the bug he picks up. Sometimes bugs (people) live, even if you don't expect it; foreshadowing his escape. 6) It shows how overwhelmed Tyrion and Jaime are by the current circumstances; talking about nonsense at 5am. 7) Its another reminder of how close Tyrion and Jaime are, and that Jaime is spending an awful lot of time in that cell; helping setup that Jaime will set him free. The scene works on lots of levels, and I loved it.
  16. So, was that Winterfell or the Dreadfort that the Boltons were coming up on at the end there? Because it looked an awful lot like Winterfell to me, and if that's the case I think its pretty much confirmation that the battle of ice will be next season. I can't see the Boltons and Theon just sitting there for over a season waiting for Stannis to show up.
  17. 8/10 And that's mostly because of the duel. The rest of the episode was pretty underwhelming. I liked Arya laughing, Tyrion's speech (meta tip: Orson is GRRM and the beetles are the characters), and the Vale stuff. And there was nothing wrong with Theon/Boltons. But the rest was way too dull and filler-y. I legit could not stand the Missiandei/Grey Worm stuff (which was goddamn endless), Jorah's exile did not seem well-handled, the check-in at the Wall was okay but pointless, same with the attack on Mole's Town. Usually when I glance up at the clock and see that its (roughly) 9:30, I think "wow, how is it only 9:30? So much has happened!" this time I thought "wow, how is it already 9:30? There's been nothing going on"
  18. I really do. I mean, there might be a couple storylines that won't be done (Sam if his arc doesn't change, possibly the Kings Landing plot, etc.), but for most part I think Feast and Dance are done by the end of the next season. The way I see, regardless of whether the show is 7 or 8 seasons (and I think it'll be 7), D&D are going to want to spend more time on the conclusion, not the middle-ground. If its 7 seasons, then they have to get to TWOW by the end of season 5, and if its 8 seasons then that's time better served as an extra season for TWOW/ADOS (which are presumably going to be very plot heavy books). Also, imagine how bad it'd be if they planned on 8 seasons, and only got midway through Feast and Dance by the end of season 5, only to be told that nope, HBO needs it be 7 seasons, and then they only have two seasons for two and a half books.
  19. TWOW? Although, I think its more likely that she reaches Jaime at Riverun around episode 7 (having not shown up much before then in the season), hangs out with him in ep 8, isn't in 9, and they leave together in ep. 10. Or something like that. It really depends on how quickly Jaime's plotline moves next season I guess.
  20. 9/10 Which may be the highest I've given so far to an episode that's pretty much entirely set-up. However, there were just too many incredibly strong scenes to go lower, with Oberyn/Tyrion being the highlight.
  21. 9/10 Everything Stannis/Davos and Kings Landing was great, really great. The Dany stuff was good, the Dreadfort was kinda 'meh.'
  22. Season 1 is the highest rated? I am definitely way out of step with the majority on this site. I understand that it was most faithful adaption, but in nearly every other sense it is significantly weaker than everything that came after it. Less crisp writing, too many actors not fully settled into their roles yet, less impressive set designs and visual effects, etc. The only other thing it really had in its favor was a more focused narrative, as so many characters were either in the same places or not introduced yet.
  23. I seem to recall reading once that the actor playing Barristan isn't in good enough shape (or possibly it's a matter of a previous injury/surgery, and not lack of fitness) to do a believable fight scene, which is why he never does anything physically challenging on the show. Do you know anything about that?
  24. I'm somewhat surprised as well (only somewhat, I know this forum). The episode wasn't great, but it was consistently strong (except Sam), and far better than a couple of real duds that are in previous seasons.
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