The Uncertain Future of Game of Thrones

HBO renewed the highly successful ‘Game of Thrones’ with two seasons. The show scored HBO’s highest rated episode since ‘The Sopranos’ went off the air with the season four premiere. That doesn’t even include the millions of viewers who watch through alternative channels. Meanwhile the show’s marketing reaches the far corners of the earth and the dozens of actors are upgraded to the higher levels of stardom. ‘Game of Thrones’ is a global phenomenon in every way. Rightfully so. It’s one of the most consistent shows in quality on television. Last season’s unprecedented climax sent fans screaming into their pillows. The new season is as anticipated as the Super Bowl or a Hunger Games sequel. There seems to be no end to the show’s success. Yet, the future of the show is worrisome to say the least.

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Veronica Mars – Season 1

“I’m never getting married” a soothing but feisty female voice narrates as the camera pans over a seedy motel with flickering neon lights. The silhouettes of two lovers are visible through the drapes of one of the windows. A middle-aged man walks in a female bathrobe down the wooden stairs to the ice machine. It’s the kind of back-alley, noir realism that Veronica Mars excels in. There she is, staking out in her convertible, with a jar of coffee to help her through the night as she waits for the money shot, while preparing for the calculus exam in a couple of hours. The petite blonde lead is a lot of things at once. An unconventional protagonist. A feminist hero. A teenager. An outcast. A private detective. The list goes on and on. Even as the expositional narration, the faded colored t-shirts and the spiky hair reveal that both Veronica and her show live in the early naughties, it’s apparent that this girl should not be underestimated. 

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Waarom een 23-jarige geen StartUp kijkt

De NPO begint een kwalitatief onderzoek naar de teleurstellende kijkcijfers van BNN’s meest recente serie StartUp, zo bericht de Volkskrant op 15 januari. De serie, gericht op jongeren, is dagelijks te zien op het oude tijdsslot van De Wereld Draait Door. Met gemiddeld 65.000 kijkers is de serie over jonge ondernemers niet het success dat de omroep hoopte. Hoe kan dit? Om de onderzoekers een handje te helpen doe ik een hoogst subjectieve duit in het zakje.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)Filmmakers generally make films for the sake of art. Sure, there’s the whole putting bread on the table part, but most of the people on the floor working on a movie put their heart and soul into it. For a considerable part of the audiences, films are art too. There’s something quite unique about pictures capturing an essence unattainable through other platforms. But for the most part, people go to the movies to be entertained. There’s not always a need for relevant social criticism or revealing subjects. One does not exclude the other, art and entertainment can perfectly blend together. Unfortunately, not too often are movies that solely aim for entertainment considered to be ‘great films’ or even ‘good’ for that matter. There’s a taboo on praising purely entertaining films for their value. Somehow blockbusters that aim for the masses simply by focusing on spectacle or comedy, are easily taken for granted. Which is ridiculous, especially when it comes to one of the smartest, fast-paced and deviously entertaining films of the all time: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl’.

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Frozen (2013)

Frozen (2013)‘Frozen’ is a terrific movie that’s highly enjoyable through character, song and humor  What it is, is just as impressive as what is has accomplished on a larger scale since its Thanksgiving debut. From box-office records to powerful girls and entertaining boys, ‘Frozen’ is already a new kind of Disney classic.

Minor spoilers after the jump.

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The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)

Side note: There is a reasonable argument to be made that any episode in a series has individual value that might not coincide with the bigger picture. Surely, Peter Jackson’s adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien’s famous fantasy novels each have their own merit. But shot simultaneously, overlapping stories that are separated in the books and a decade of being viewed in marathons or sequenced airing, the three films are now best reviewed as one. Which is why this review focuses on the movies, though credit to Tolkien, where appropriate, is given.

Packing eleven hours of film, the extended editions of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ are long. Really long. almost painstakingly long. The story of Frodo and the Ring is a grand one, set in an extensive en elaborately described fantasy world. The details of Middle-Earth earn a careful, considerate treatment such as this one, but solely due to the effort Tolkien and Jackson put into its universe. Storywise, in a day and age when consumption is decisively quick, Frodo’s quest is too simple to take eleven hours. Lees verder “The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)”

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast (1991)There are few films that transcend beyond art, scope and financial success. They’re set free into the world and quickly stop being the work of their creators. They fall into the lap of the audience that embraces them like they do a dear pet. They become a part of their lives and remain that way forever because they defy time or pop cultural skepticism. They’re classics. True genre defining films whose few flaws are forgiven for the entertainment, and consequently sentiment, they bring. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for its few flaws, is a classic. It only just became an adolescent, with the fine age of twenty-one, but much more like a person this masterpiece, that confirmed Disney’s return to the throne of animation, is like a rose that never ages. Fresh, romantic and magical. Lees verder “Beauty and the Beast (1991)”