This Annoyed Me Today: Spike Lee’s Instagram

I use Instagram for a combination of interests: first and foremost, seeing and being inspired by great photography (which doesn’t seem to be the priority for most users), but then for following filmmakers, actors, musicians and athletes so I can actually SEE what they’re up to away from their work (and while they’re at work- both interest me), a few brands that I like who post good photos and video, LOL’ing at some comedy/meme accounts, and of course looking at pictures of fitness and bikini models and not buying a single thing they get paid to promote. Oddly enough, my last priority on there is following people I actually know and “socializing.” I prefer to use Facebook for that. Instagram is for photos first, and if I know you and you don’t post interesting photos, I’m not following you on there. It’s what it is.

So as I scroll through the ‘gram, there’s absolutely no logic to it (thanks, algorithm), which I guess is part of the appeal. Instagram is like a box of chocolates; I never know what I’m gonna get. I might see a post from the Boston Celtics about last night’s game, then something from one of my favorite photographers that makes me jealous, then an Australian model wearing a bikini in her bedroom (as one does), a video from Jessica Chastain goofing around on the set of whatever movie she’s currently shooting, then something random from a filmmaker like Spike Lee. Well, Spike Lee did show up for me the other day, posting an odd photo, and I just had to read what nonsense he came up with for a caption. He did not disappoint:

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Review, Reaction, Retrospective: GAME OF THRONES Series Finale, “The Iron Throne”

GoT season 8

GoT 8.6 - Tyrion quits.gif - spoilers

Game of Thrones is over. Believe me, I’m as sick of hearing about it as you are. I mostly blame the internet for that, not the show itself. My own passion for this story and these characters has not faded in the slightest. That said, I can’t stand to hear one more thing from every entertainment site, blog, YouTube channel, podcast and blue checkmark on Twitter bitching and moaning about their dissatisfaction with this final season week after week after fucking week. It’s omnipresent. When Barstool Sports, that haven of geek discussion, starts obsessing over every detail of every new episode, you know a shark has been jumped. I’m fed up. I can’t open my laptop, turn on my TV, or check the time on my phone without hearing about somebody’s disappointment with Season 8. Now that the show is over, I can’t wait for the Game of Thrones reaction industry to die the miserable death it deserves.

This is the first pop culture phenomenon where I understood what it meant to truly hate a bandwagon. You see this a lot with bands who hit the big time. “I prefer their earlier work” is the common refrain that’s now basically become a meme. I’ve been watching GoT since the series premiere back in April, 2011 and loved it right away. It began airing right as Entourage was wrapping up and I needed some new HBO in my life. In fact, I was able to dig up the post on this blog where I first reacted to the pilot episode. It’s a one-paragraph quick reaction as part of THIS post, where I was “very interested to see how these characters interweave going forward”, very excited about the potential of R-rated fantasy, and instantly in love with Emilia Clarke.

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I Wish Game of Thrones Would Slow the Hell Down

Benioff Weiss Iron Throne
I was inspired to write this post after reading THIS article at The Ringer by Ben Lindbergh. It’s becoming clear to me that if Game of Thrones delivers an unsatisfactory conclusion, it’ll be because of the hurry they were in to get to the finish line, not because it was executed poorly or the drama wasn’t good. That sucks. But worst of all, it was avoidable.

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Review: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

Infinity War poster

Avengers: Infinity War is at once something familiar and something new. Familiar in that it’s the 19th movie in the now 10-year old interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise of franchises unlike anything Hollywood has ever produced. It’s the culmination of films involving probably 50 central characters and the diverse creative storytelling of dozens of different writers and directors. We’ve seen most of these characters before and we know what to expect from them. There have been other movies with these characters. There have been two previous Avengers movies. Infinity War is new in the sense that nothing like it has been attempted in the history of film on this scale: to bring together dozens of characters from more than a dozen previous films all in one story. I thought that no matter the end result, it’s incredible that something like this is actually a reality and is actually being attempted. Going into its late April release, this was easily one of my all-time most anticipated movies. I hadn’t been this excited to see a movie since probably The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 15 years ago. And now it has to all come together for this grand crescendo.

Now, having seen the film multiple times, I’m happy to say THEY FUCKING DID IT. Here’s how…

[SPOILERS AHEAD. But if you haven’t already seen the movie by now and are reading this anyway, the hell with ya.]

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The Sad Fall of Morgan Freeman

morgan-freeman
Until recently, Morgan Freeman was my favorite actor. Had been since I was kid. I used to call him “the god of acting”. Then he went and played God in Bruce Almighty. It was almost too perfect. Back when he actually cared about acting, any performance of his, no matter how small, was worthy of going out to the theater and watching. The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, Unforgiven, Glory, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Lean on Me are among my favorite movies of all time, many of them directly due to his performances. And I could name 20 more movies I love where he featured prominently (Kiss the Girls, Deep Impact, Nurse Betty, Under Suspicion, Amistad, Million Dollar Baby, the Nolan Batman films, Lucky Number Slevin, etc.).

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My 10 Favorite Game of Thrones Characters

GoT logo.gif

WHICH GAME OF THRONES CHARACTER ARE YOU?!?! Just kidding. You’ll have to go to Facebook to find that out. Spoiler alert, though: you are none of them.

With season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones ended and withdrawal setting in, I’ve decided to hop onboard the GoT thought piece/clickbait bandwagon. I’ve delved through the show’s long, long list of characters, old and new, to figure out who I like and relate to most and least. Some of my choices may surprise you, but one of the best aspects of George R.R. Martin‘s world is that its characters are far grayer than in other filmed fiction, and I find things to like about even some of the sleaziest of the bad guys. Game of Thrones has some of the richest, most complex characters you’ll come across in modern fantasy (or fiction of any genre, really), and that made putting this list together a lot of fun.

I realize this post would work much better as a 15-minute YouTube video, but I don’t have the time nor the energy nor the editing software to put that kind of video together. Sorry. You’ll just have to read instead. This post will contain spoilers for the show, but if you haven’t already seen all 67 episodes, you’re probably not reading this anyway. Enjoy!

Note: My rankings are based on the TV show only. As always, click on any photo to see the full-size version.

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