REVIEW: BLACK DEATH

CAST

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them)
Carice Van Houten (Valkyrie)
John Lynch (Sliding Doors)
Tim McInnerny (Automata)
Kimberley Nixon (Wild Child)
Andy Nyman (Dead Set)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Johnny Harris (Monsters: Dark Continent)
Emun Elliott (Filth)

Carice van Houten in Black Death (2010)The film takes place in 1348 in plague-ridden medieval England. Osmund, a young monk, has been separated from other people in order to see whether he shows any symptoms of having the plague. After he is released, he sneaks away to meet with a woman, Averill, whom he loves despite his vows of chastity to God as a result of being a monk. Osmund tells Averill the plague has reached the monastery and she must leave to escape the disease. Though Averill asks him to run away with her, he wants to stay at the monastery. She promises to wait for him for one week at a meeting place in the forest in case he changes his mind. Osmund prays to God asking for guidance on whether he can serve God outside of the monastery in order to join his lover Averill. Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, and Keith Dunphy in Black Death (2010)At that moment knight Ulric arrives with orders from the Bishop to take a monk as a guide on a quest into the forest. Osmund decides this is a sign from God and volunteers to go. After leaving, Osmund learns that Ulric and his group of mercenaries are tasked with finding a remote marshland village which has remained untouched by the Black Death. The town is said to sacrifice people in order to remain free of the plague, and they are rumored to be led by a necromancer who is able to bring the dead back to life. Their mission is to capture the necromancer, put a stop to the town’s sacrifices, and bring the necromancer back to the Bishop. Osmund is supposed to guide them to the village because he has knowledge of the surrounding forest and marsh from his childhood.Eddie Redmayne in Black Death (2010)On the way to the village, Osmund leaves the group while they are sleeping one morning in an attempt to meet with Averill at their meeting spot. Osmund finds Averill’s horse and her torn blood-stained clothing in their meeting spot. He also sees a group of bandits and thieves nearby in the forest and runs back to Ulric and the mercenaries. The bandits from the forest attack Ulric, Osmund, and the mercenaries. Though the bandits are defeated, one member of the mercenary group is killed and Osmund is stabbed (not fatally, but badly). Eventually, Ulric and his group find the village they seek beyond the forest and marsh. The village is an eerie disease-free utopia led by a beautiful woman, Langiva. Ulric’s group initially claims to be seeking shelter (hiding their true purpose) because they are unsure who the necromancer in the village is and want to draw the necromancer out with deceit.  Carice van Houten in Black Death (2010)Ulric does not trust the villagers. Ulric tells Osmund that an earlier group of four men had been sent by the church to find the village as well, none of the four men had returned, and Ulric found one of the group’s church-medallions being worn by a villager who claimed to have found it in the marsh. Langiva treats Osmund’s wound from the bandit attack and then leads Osmund to the body of Averill. Langiva claims that she had found Averill injured in the woods, and that Averill had spoken about Osmund just before her death. While treating Osmund’s wounds Langiva reveals that her husband had been killed by “men of God”. That night the town has a feast welcoming their guests. As everyone eats Langiva leads Osmund into the forest where many women are performing a ritual over the buried body of Averill. During this ritual Langiva appears to resurrect the dead body of Averill, and Osmund runs away upon seeing this. Osmund runs into the crucified corpses of the four men who had previously been sent by the church, and he is taken prisoner by the town. At the feast, Ulric and his mercenaries are drugged and then taken prisoner by the town. They all awake the next day tied in a pit of water.Sean Bean, Johnny Harris, and Emun Elliott in Black Death (2010)Langiva and the villagers tell the prisoners they know the men had come to the village to do them harm, and they had found Ulric’s torture machine which he had brought and hidden in the forest for the purpose of capturing and transporting the necromancer to the Bishop. They offer the men a choice of death or to renounce God and be allowed to leave the village. The first mercenary refuses to renounce God, he is crucified, and his stomach is split open. A second mercenary agrees to renounce God and is led away by the villagers while being told he will be freed at the edge of the village in the forest; in reality, once outside of the village they hang him by his neck from a tree until he is dead. Langiva then takes Osmund from the pit and says that she has brought Averill back to life, she says Osmund must renounce God, but then he will be allowed to live in the village with Averill for the rest of his life. She points him towards a hut where Averill is located. Osmund walks into the hut alone and finds Averill alive, but seeming to be possessed. She is drooling, she can not focus her eyes at all, she does not speak except gibberish, she does not react to or recognize his presence, and she is holding a knife which she stabs into a wooden table and into a wall. She even briefly seems to half-hardheartedly (though not vigorously) try to attack Osmund when he touches her. Black Death (2010)Osmund believes Averill is a zombie or possessed, or that her soul is trapped in purgatory, and he kills Averill in order to free her soul from purgatory and from the witch’s spell so that Averill’s soul may ascend to heaven. He carries Averill’s dead body to the villagers, and Langiva says that the Christians are so cruel that they kill the ones they love. Osmund slashes at Langiva’s face. The villagers stop Osmund and beat him bloody and near unconsciousness. During the beating, Osmund drops his knife next to the remaining prisoners. The villagers then take Ulric from the pit and tie his arms and legs to ropes attached to two horses pulling in opposite directions. Langiva attempts to make Ulric renounce God. Ulric calls for Osmund (who is permitted to approach), and Ulric orders Osmond to remove his shirt. When Osmund removes Ulric’s shirt it is seen Ulric is infected with the plague and that he has thereby brought the plague into the uninfected village. The villagers then whip the horses so that they pull Ulric’s body apart limb from limb.Black Death (2010)At that moment the remaining two prisoners/mercenaries grab the knife Osmund had dropped earlier and free themselves. The two mercenaries are battle-tested and manage to kill all of the untrained villagers that oppose them, though one of the two mercenaries dies in the battle. The last remaining mercenary takes the village’s second-in-command male as prisoner to be presented to the Bishop as the necromancer the group had been sent to find. During the final battle, Osmund chases Langiva into the marsh in an attempt to kill her. In the marsh, Osmund loses Langiva in the mist and fog, though they shout to each other through the fog. Langiva reveals that she is not a witch at all but simply a herbalist who is skilled with plants and drugs. She says that Averill had never been dead at all, Langiva had drugged Averill, and that Osmund killed her himself for the one and only time. Osmund asks why they had buried Averill if she had not really been dead, and Langiva says that it is because “people need miracles” and people worship the one who provides the miracles. Eddie Redmayne and Kimberley Nixon in Black Death (2010)Langiva had used drugs and fake ceremonies to make herself appear powerful in order to gain leadership over the village. She also did this to sway the villagers away from Christianity which Langiva believes is evil because it leads men to commit terrible acts in the name of God and religion. Osmund collapses from grief and shouts at Langiva to bring Averill back (seeming as if he does not believe or is unwilling to believe that Langiva has no powers). Langiva says that she can’t bring Averill back and that Osmund should pray to his God for help. Langiva disappears into the mist and escapes. Osmund and the last surviving mercenary return to the monastery with the male “necromancer” villager in tow as their cargo.Sean Bean in Black Death (2010)In the final scenes, the last surviving mercenary acts as a narrator. He says the village had been untouched by the plague because it had been remote and far removed from other towns (and not because of the “witch’s protection”). However, after the mercenaries brought the plague with them, the surviving people in the remote village and forest also fell victim to the plague. Finally he says that in the years that followed he heard stories that Osmund had lost his heart, had grown cruel, and took up the sword in God’s name. An older church-empowered Osmund sets out with soldiers to hunt and kill Langiva and other witches throughout England. The audience is shown scenes where Osmund appears to falsely mistake other women for Langiva, as well as falsely accuse many other women of witchcraft, all of whom are ultimately tortured and executed in the name of God.It isn’t a standout film, but it’s certainly an interesting one. It’s well made and acted and it leaves you with plenty to think about. Any film-maker who wants to truly convey the feel of the Middle Ages – brutal and squalid, and at once alien and familiar – should watch Black Death and take notes.

Advertisements

REVIEW: BLACK BOOK

CAST

Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones)
Sebastian Koch (Bridge of Spies)
Thom Hoffman (Luger)
Halina Reijn (Blind)
Waldemar Kobus (Russian Disco)
Derek de Lint (De Grens)
Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones)
Christian Berkel (Elle)

In 1944, Rachel Stein (Carice van Houten), a Dutch-Jewish singer who had lived in Berlin before the war, is hiding from the Nazi regime in the occupied Netherlands. When the farmhouse where she had been hiding is accidentally destroyed by an American B-17 bomber, Rachel manages to escape the area thanks to a local man, Rob (Michiel Huisman), and visits a lawyer named Smaal, who provides her with some of her father’s money so that she can flee, helped by a man named Van Gein (Peter Blok). Rachel and Rob are reunited with her family and try to flee by boat through the Biesbosch with other Jews from the Nazi-occupied part of the Netherlands to the liberated southern part of the country. However, it turns out to be a trap. They are ambushed on the river by members of the German SS, who kill them and rob the bodies of their cash and other valuables. Rachel alone survives, but she does not manage to escape from occupied territory.Using a non-Jewish alias, Ellis de Vries, Rachel becomes involved with a Dutch resistance group in the Hague, under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers (Derek de Lint) and working closely with a doctor in the Resistance, Hans Akkermans (Thom Hoffman). Smaal is in touch with this Resistance cell. When Kuipers’ son and other members of the Resistance are captured, Ellis agrees to help by seducing local SD commander Hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze (Sebastian Koch), bleaching all of her hair blonde. Müntze invites her to a party at the local SD headquarters, and there, Ellis recognises Obersturmführer Günther Franken (Waldemar Kobus), Müntze’s brutal deputy, as the SS officer who oversaw the massacre of her refugee party. She obtains a job as a secretary at the SD headquarters while also falling in love with Müntze, who, in contrast to Franken, is not abusive or sadistic. He realises that her hair is bleached and she is a Jew, but does not care. She also becomes friends with her Dutch colleague Ronnie (Halina Reijn), who collaborates with the Germans, working for them, being sexually available to them (particularly Franken), and accepting stolen gifts from them.Thanks to a hidden microphone which Ellis plants in Franken’s office, the Resistance realises that it was Van Gein who betrayed Rachel, her family and the other Jews to the SS in return for a cut of the profits. Against Kuipers’ orders, Akkermans and others decide to abduct Van Gein to expose the suspected traitor. The plot goes wrong when Akkermans’ chloroform fails to work; Van Gein begins to succumb to it, but suddenly fights back and is killed. Franken responds by planning to kill forty hostages, including most of the plotters, but Müntze, who realises the war is lost and has been negotiating with the Resistance, cancels the order.Müntze confronts Ellis and demands that she tell him her story, which she does. On her evidence he confronts Franken with a superior officer, Obergruppenführer Käutner, who orders Franken to open his safe, in a search for the money, gold and jewels stolen from the Jews he had killed. (Murdering Jews was not against SS regulations, but personally stealing their wealth was a capital offense.) However, the safe reveals nothing, and Franken tells Käutner that Müntze has been negotiating with Dutch resistance “terrorists” for a truce. Müntze is condemned to death and imprisoned, along with the members of the resistance cell Franken was already planning to shoot as a reprisal for the killing of Van Gein. Ellis agrees to participate in a rescue attempt for the resistance prisoners only on the condition that they free Müntze too and, albeit reluctantly, the others agree. The plan has been betrayed by an unknown insider, and the would-be rescuers find the prisoners’ cells to be filled with German troops. Only Akkermans and one other man survive the “rescue”.Ellis is subsequently arrested by Franken and taken to his office, which she had bugged. Franken has known about her and the bug for some time. Knowing that the resistance is listening in, he stages a confrontation to make the resistance group believe Ellis is the Nazi collaborator, responsible for the failure of the rescue operation. Hearing this, Kuipers and his companions swear to hunt her down and make her pay for her treason. Ronnie, having learned of Ellis’s role with the Resistance, helps Ellis and Müntze escape. When the country is liberated by the Allies, Franken attempts to escape by boat, but is killed by Akkermans who takes the loot Franken was trying to escape with. Suspecting Smaal is the traitor, Müntze and Ellis return to confront him. Smaal denies the accusations. He shows them the titular black book in which he had detailed all his dealings with the Jews he had ostensibly helped. However, both Smaal and his wife are murdered before they can leave the building. Not getting a good look at the killer, Müntze chases him into the street, only to be recognized by the triumphant Dutch and arrested by the Canadian soldiers. The Dutch also recognize Ellis and arrest her as a “collaborator”, but not before she grabs the black book.Müntze is brought before the ranking Canadian forces and finds that they have enlisted the assistance of Käutner in keeping order among the defeated German forces. Käutner convinces a Canadian colonel that under military law the defeated German military retains the right to punish its own soldiers. He produces the death warrant he previously issued against Müntze for his negotiations with Ellis’s resistance cell. Although initially opposing the idea of murdering a witness, the Canadian colonel finally agrees, and Müntze is immediately executed by a firing squad of German troops. Ellis is imprisoned with other accused collaborators, and humiliated and tortured by the violently anti-Nazi volunteer jailers, but is rescued by Akkermans, now a colonel in the Dutch Army. Akkermans brings her to his medical office, and tells her that he killed Franken when the Nazi tried to escape. He shows her the cash and jewels stolen from Franken’s Jewish victims. When informed about Müntze’s fate, Ellis goes into shock, and Akkermans administers a tranquilizer which is in fact an overdose of insulin. Ellis, feeling dizzy, sees the bottle of insulin and survives by quickly eating a bar of chocolate. She realizes then that Akkermans was a traitor who had collaborated with Franken and had killed the Smaals. While Akkermans is distracted, waving to a crowd that cheers him, she jumps from his balcony into the crowd below and runs away. He tries to follow her, but is blocked by the very same people cheering him as a hero of the Resistance.Ellis proves her innocence to Canadian military intelligence and to the former Resistance leader Gerben Kuipers by means of Smaal’s black book, which lists how many Jews (including Ellis’s brother) had been taken to Akkermans for medical help just prior to their murders. Together, Ellis and Kuipers intercept the fleeing Akkermans, who is hiding in a coffin in a hearse with the stolen money, gold and jewels. They quickly kill the driver, and while Kuipers drives the hearse, Ellis screws down the coffin’s secret air vents. They drive to Hollands Diep where the SS trap had been sprung, and wait until Akkermans suffocates. Ellis and Kuipers are left wondering what to do with the stolen money and jewels. The scene changes to Israel in 1956, and shows Rachel meeting her husband and their two children, and walking back into Kibbutz Stein, which a sign at the gate announces was funded with the recovered money stolen from Jews killed during the war. In the final scene the tranquility of Rachel and her family is interrupted by explosions heard in the distance; the siren announces an air attack and the Israeli soldiers position themselves at the front of the kibbutz. It is October 1956 and the Suez crisis has begun.

The film is daring for showing the dark side of the Dutch national history. However, the most valuable of the film is that it captivates its audience and sensitizes its audience for the misery of the historical event of World War II, but also the contemporary difficulties that affects human beings rather than countries. A must see, even though it makes you feel miserable

REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 26-28

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy)
John Ratzenberger (Toy Story)
Jane Fonda (Barbarella)
John DiMaggio (Adventure Time)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Katey Sagal (Married With Children)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Billy West (Doug)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
Will Forte (The Cleveland Show)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Eion Musk (The Big Bang Theory)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Christopher Lloyd (Piranha 2D)
Richard Branson (Superman Returns)
Yaya DaCosta (Tron Legacy)
Jon Lovitz (Big)
R. Lee Ermey (Seven)
Cat Deeley  (Deadbeat)
Glenn Close (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Carice Van Houten (Game of Thrones)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Johnny Mathis  (Lizzie)
Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Lena Dunham  (Girls)
Edward James Olmos (The Green Hornet)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Stephen Merchant (Logan)
Kaitlin Olson (The Heat)
Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills)
Natalie Maines  (Grand Champion)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Michael York (Logans Run)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Jay Leno (Family Guy)
Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Dana Gould (Gex)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Charles Barkley (Thunderstruck)
Common (Wanted)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
Keegan-Michael Key (The Lego Movie Movie)
RZA (Californication)
Snoop Dogg (Pitch Perfect 2)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Patton Oswalt (Dollhouse)
Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Michael Sheen (Passengers)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jennifer Saunders (Coraline)
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)

592024-338Two and a half decades on, the show’s status as a comedy classic remains untarnished, which is testament to the genius of its creator.

SEASON 26 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

26.1) CLOWN IN THE DUMPS

After being offended by a comedy cable channel roast of him, Krusty goes to his father for advice, only to have him die before he can say whether or not he found his son funny, causing Krusty to decide to retire. Meanwhile, fear of losing her own father causes Lisa to try to protect Homer from getting hurt in any way.26.2) THE WRECK OF THE RELATIONSHIP

Homer is tired of Bart not respecting him, so he attempts to parent Bart, by forcing him to eat broccoli. This goes nowhere, so Marge signs them up for the Relation Ship to solve their problems. Meanwhile, while Homer’s away, Marge takes over his Fantasy Football league. On board the Relation Ship, Homer does not enjoy sea life while Bart excels at sailing and becomes mid shipman, much to Homer’s dismay. Homer continues to disrespect his son’s new ship role until he eventually eats a piece of broccoli.26.3) SUPER FRANCHISE ME

After her sandwiches become popular at Springfield Elementary, Marge opens a sandwich store. It becomes a huge success, until the same franchise opens another store right across the street.26.5) OPPOSITES-A-FRACK

When Mr. Burns starts a fracking operation, Lisa brings National Assemblywoman Maxine Lombard to put a stop to it, only to have Burns and Lombard fall in love.26.6) SIMPSORAMA

In a crossover with Futurama, when a time capsule containing a sandwich with Bart’s germs in it, Milhouse’s rabbit’s foot, and radioactive ooze causes a catastrophe in the future, the Planet Express crew comes to present-day Springfield to stop the Simpsons from creating the mess in the first place.26.10) THE MAN WHO CAME TO BE DINNER

The Simpson family attend a trip to an amusement park named Dizneeland, where they go on a ride called “Rocket to Your Doom” and accidentally end up on Rigel 7, the home planet of Kang and Kodos.26.11) BART’S NEW FRIEND

Homer goes to a hypnotist and ends up believing he is ten years old. However, when the hypnotist is arrested, Homer becomes stuck in his new age, so he bonds with Bart and refuses entry back into the responsibilities of adulthood.26.12) THE MUSK WHO FELL TO EARTH

Elon Musk arrives in Springfield, where he and Homer become fast friends, but Musk soon incurs the wrath of Mr. Burns when his ideas become over-the-top, prompting Homer to try to end their friendship.26.14) MY FARE LADY

Marge becomes a chauffeur after she grows tired of chauffeuring her own kids around. Meanwhile, Moe becomes the Nuclear Power Plant’s janitor.26.15) THE PRINCESS GUIDE

A Nigerian princess named Kemi comes to Springfield, as her father intends to work out a uranium deal with Mr. Burns, and Homer is chosen to protect her. Moe, having recently lost his money to a Nigerian prince, believes Kemi must be related to the scammer, but soon starts falling for her.26.17) WAITING FOR DUFFMAN

When Duffman undergoes hip replacement surgery following an injury during a parade and retires, Duff Beer’s owner Howard K. Duff VII sets up a reality show presented by Cat Deeley in order to find his replacement. The competition is fierce until only Homer Simpson and one other competitor remained.64026.18) PEEPING MOM

Returning home with Maggie from errands, Marge discovers that a part of Springfield is now totally destroyed. As Chief Wiggum announces that Bart could be the culprit, Bart says that he was not involved at all in the incident. This prompts Marge to follow him everywhere until he confesses. Meanwhile, Homer meets Flanders’s dog named Baz.26.20) LET’S GO FLY A COOT

Bart begins using an E-cigarette to impress Milhouse’s cousin Annika. Meanwhile, the rest of the family learn about Grampa’s days in the U.S. Air Force.26.21) BULL-E

When Bart is bullied after a school dance, Marge gets the city to adopt a tough anti-bullying law that gets Homer arrested when Rod and Todd claim that he’s bullying Ned, but is Ned willing to turn the other cheek this time?HRHTRHRTHRTIt’s hilarious, comedy, funny, and one of my all time favourite T.V showS .. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. Modern Simpsons episodes are often both overstuffed and under-imagined, resulting in two indifferent, inadequately realized stories. Even though the show has dropped in creativity and in the joke department, it’s still worthy.960

SEASON 27 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

27.1) EVERY MAN’S DREAM

Homer and Marge go through a trial separation, during which Homer dates a pharmacist.27.3) PUFFLESS

Jacqueline decides to reveal the truth: her husband died because of lung cancer, but didn’t say so before because back then, people were reluctant to admit it. This revelation shocks Patty and Selma, who decide to quit smoking once and for all and burn all their cigarettes, which unfortunately causes Jacqueline’s house to burn down. However, Selma’s relapse causes an angry Patty to move in with Marge and Homer. Meanwhile, when Maggie makes some new animal friends, she must go on a rescue mission when one of them is taken by Cletus.27.6) FRIEND WITH BENEFIT

Lisa becomes friends with a rich girl named Harper, whose father becomes friends with Homer, but Lisa becomes concerned that Harper is a little too entitled.27.7) LISA WITH AN ‘S

Homer loses $5,000 that he doesn’t have in a poker bet, and is forced to loan Lisa out to Broadway star Laney Fontaine to pay back his debt. Marge and Homer later realize they’ve made a terrible mistake and must go to New York to retrieve Lisa.27.8) PATHS OF GLORY

Lisa tries to better the reputation of Springfield’s first female inventor by searching an asylum for her first invention. While in the asylum, she and Bart find a sociopath’s notebook, causing Bart to take the notebook home and pretend to be the sociopath that wrote it.27.10) THE GIRL CODE

When Homer loses his job due to Marge’s social media post, he begins working as a dishwasher at a Greek restaurant. Meanwhile, Lisa creates an app that can predict the effect any post on social media will have.27.11) TEENAGE MUTANT MILK-CAUSED HURDLES

Bart experiences early puberty after drinking a milk substitute filled with bad hormones, and ends up competing with Skinner for the affections of his new teacher, Mrs. Berrera.27.14) GAL OF CONSTANT SORROW

Bart and Lisa take in a homeless woman to live with them, where they discover that she is a talented folk singer. Meanwhile, Homer accidentally traps the cat in the walls of the house.27.16) THE MARGE-IAN CHRONICLES

Lisa signs up for the Mars One Space Colony, and Marge comes along to try and talk her out of it.27.17) THE BURNS CAGE

After Smithers is crushed by Mr. Burns’ lack of affection towards him, other characters attempt to find a boyfriend for him. Meanwhile, Milhouse competes against a new boy for the lead role in a school production of Casablanca, so he can act alongside his own unrequited love, Lisa.27.20) TO COURIER WITH LOVE

The Simpson family goes on a trip to Paris, and Homer becomes the courier of a secret briefcase.27.21) SIMPROVISED

After messing up a speech at work, Homer tries improv comedy. Meanwhile, Marge helps rebuild Bart’s treehouse. For the last three minutes of the episode, Homer does a live Q&A for fans on the East/West Coast.27.22) ORANGE IS THE NEW YELLOW

Marge gets arrested after Bart goes to the park unsupervised, which leaves Homer struggling to manage the household.

The-Simpsons-S28-PosterI absolutely love this show. It’s one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Ever. It’s so funny, and it keeps getting better and better. There is a reason why it has been going for as long as it has been.

SEASON 28 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

28.1) MONTY BURNS’ FLEEING CIRCUS

Mr. Burns puts on a variety show at the Springfield Bowl in exchange for rebuilding the town, after it’s burned to the ground. However, when the event brings back bad memories for the old man who bombed when he first performed there 100 years ago, Burns tries to muster up the courage to perform again in an effort to redeem himself.28.2) FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Homer finds a new friend in a woman who acts just like him, while Mr. Burns’ search for a clan to play his virtual-reality family leads him to hire Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, since Burns intends to play the father.28.5) TRUST BUT CLARIFY

Bart and Lisa investigate Krusty’s new “Krustaceans” candy, while Homer asks Marge to help him dress for a promotion at the nuclear plant and Kent Brockman deals with the changing media world.28.7) HAVANA WILD WEEKEND

The Simpsons go to Cuba to get Grampa cheap medical care, since the retirement home and the V.A. hospital can’t solve his health issues.28.8) DAD BEHAVIOR

Homer discovers a new app that makes his life easier, and Grampa learns he’s going to be a father again.28.11) PORK AND BURNS

Marge is inspired by a Japanese book on minimalism to adapt to a new way of living, so the Simpsons have to part with items that no longer bring them joy, which includes Homer finding a new home for the family pig, Plopper.28.12/13) THE GREAT PHATSBY PARTS 1 & 2

Mr. Burns plots revenge against the music mogul who conned him with help from the mogul’s ex-wife, rapper Jazzy James, Homer, and Bart.28.14) FATZCARRALDO

When all the fast food restaurants in Springfield become healthy, Homer is forced to turn to chili dogs for comfort. Meanwhile, Lisa tries to save the school radio station.28.16) KAMP KRUSTLER

Bart and Lisa return from Kamp Krusty, both traumatized. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a more productive worker.28.18) A FATHER’S WATCH

Marge goes to parenting experts for advice when she thinks that Bart is on the road to failure. Following their advice, Homer opens a trophy store.28.19) CAPER CHASE

Mr. Burns opens a for-profit university, with Homer as one of its professors.28.20) LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBART

Bart spends time with Principal Skinner’s mother, Agnes. Meanwhile, Homer and Lisa get addicted to Peekimon Get.28.22) DOGTOWN

After a legal issue, dogs become more important than humans, after which they start to take over the town.656UEven in the later seasons The Simpsons showed it still has staying power

 

REVIEW: VALKYRIE

CAST

Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible)
Kenneth Branagh (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Terence Stamp (Superman)
Eddie Izzard (Hannibal)
Kevin McNally (Pirates of The Caribbean)
David Schofield (From Hell)
Tom Hollander (Gosford Park)
Bernard Hill (Lord of The Rings)
Ian McNeice (The Black Dahlia)

During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is severely wounded during an RAF air raid in Tunisia, losing his right hand, the ring and little finger on his left hand, and his left eye, and is evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler by smuggling a bomb aboard the Führer’s personal airplane. The bomb, however, is a dud and fails to detonate, and Tresckow flies to Berlin in order to safely retrieve it. After learning that the Gestapo has arrested Major General Hans Oster, he orders General Olbricht (Nighy) to find a replacement. After recruiting Stauffenberg into the German Resistance, Olbricht presents Stauffenberg at a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler’s life. The members include General Ludwig Beck (Stamp), Dr. Carl Goerdeler (McNally), and Erwin von Witzleben (Schofield). Stauffenberg is stunned to learn that no plans exist on the subject of what is to be done after Hitler’s assassination.During a bombing raid on Berlin, he gets the idea of using Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency. The plotters carefully redraft the plan’s orders so that they can dismantle the Nazi régime after assassinating Hitler. Realizing that only General Friedrich Fromm (Wilkinson), the head of the Reserve Army, can initiate Valkyrie, they offer him a position as head of the Wehrmacht in a post-Nazi Germany and request his support, but Fromm declines to be directly involved, stating he will not side with them so long as Hitler is alive. With the rewritten Operation Valkyrie orders needing to be signed by Hitler (Bamber), Stauffenberg visits the Führer at his Berghof estate in Bavaria. Fromm’s influence allows Stauffenberg to bring the copy directly before Hitler, and in the presence of Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel and Albert Speer, his inner circle, Hitler praises Stauffenberg’s heroism in North Africa and signs the orders without fully examining the modifications, believing Stauffenberg’s changes “are for the best”.At Goerdeler’s insistence, Stauffenberg is ordered to assassinate both Hitler and SS head Himmler at the Führer’s command bunker, the Wolf’s Lair. At a final briefing, Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim (Berkel) instructs the committee members in the use of pencil detonators. Stauffenberg also persuades General Fellgiebel (Izzard), who controls all communications at Wolf’s Lair, to cut off communications after the bomb blast. On July 15, 1944, Stauffenberg attends a strategy meeting at Wolf’s Lair with the bomb in his briefcase, but with Himmler not present at the meeting, Stauffenberg does not get the go-ahead from the committee leaders, and by the time von Quirnheim defies the others and tells him to do it anyway, the meeting is over. Meanwhile, the Reserve Army is mobilized by Olbricht, unbeknownst to Fromm, to stand by. With no action taken, Stauffenberg safely extracts himself and the bomb from the bunker, and the Reserve Army is ordered to stand down, believing that the mobilization was a drill. Back in Berlin, Olbricht and Stauffenberg are threatened by Fromm that if they try to control the reserve army again he will personally have them arrested; Stauffenberg goes to the committee to protest their indecisiveness and condemns Goerdeler, who has been selected to be chancellor after the coup. When Goerdeler demands that Stauffenberg be relieved, Beck informs him that the SS has issued a warrant for his arrest, and that he must leave the country immediately.On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg and his adjutant Lieutenant Haeften (Parker) return to Wolf’s Lair. To Stauffenberg’s dismay, he discovers only after the timer has been activated that, due to the warm weather, the conference is being held in an open-window summer barrack, whereas the plotters had intended to detonate the bomb within the walls of the bunker for maximum damage. While his adjutant waits with the car, Stauffenberg places the briefcase with the bomb armed at the meeting as close to Hitler as possible. Stauffenberg then leaves the barrack, returning to the car. However, one of the officers at the meeting moves the bomb behind a table leg, which will inadvertently protect Hitler from most of the blast. When the bomb explodes, Stauffenberg is certain that Hitler is dead and flees Wolf’s Lair. Before shutting down communications, Fellgiebel calls Mertz about the explosion but cannot clearly convey whether or not Hitler is dead.As Stauffenberg flies back to Berlin, Olbricht refuses to mobilize the Reserve Army until he knows without a doubt that Hitler is dead (if Hitler isn’t dead, Olbricht will be arrested for having the reserve army mobilized without Fromm’s permission). Behind Olbricht’s back, Mertz forges his signature and issues the orders anyway. With Operation Valkyrie underway, Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters order the arrest of Nazi party leaders and SS officers, convincing lower officers that the Party and the SS are staging a coup. As Army soldiers begin to take control of Berlin’s government ministries, including SS headquarters, mid-level officers relaying the orders begin to wonder which side they should be fighting for. Rumors reach Berlin that Hitler survived the blast, but Stauffenberg dismisses them as SS propaganda. Meanwhile, Fromm learns from Field Marshal Keitel that Hitler is still alive. The General refuses to join the plotters, resulting in them detaining him. Major Otto Ernst Remer of the Reserve Army prepares to arrest Goebbels, but is stopped when Goebbels connects him by phone to Hitler.Immediately recognizing the voice on the other end, Remer realizes that the Reserve Army has been duped—rather than containing a coup, they have unwittingly supported it. SS officers are released and the plotters in turn are besieged inside the Bendlerblock. The headquarters staff flees, but the resistance leaders are arrested. In an ultimately vain effort to save himself, General Fromm convenes an impromptu court martial, places Beck under arrest, and sentences Von Quirnheim, Olbricht, Haeften, and Stauffenberg to death, contravening Hitler’s orders that they be kept alive. Given a pistol by Fromm, Beck commits suicide. That night, the ringleaders are then executed by firing squad one by one. Some distance away, General Von Tresckow commits suicide with a grenade. When Stauffenberg is about to be shot, in a last gesture of loyalty and defiance, Haeften places himself in the path of the bullets meant for Stauffenberg. When his turn arrives, Colonel Stauffenberg’s last act is to cry “Long live sacred Germany!”A brief epilogue informs that the conspiracy of July 20, 1944, was the last of fifteen known assassination attempts on Hitler by Germans. It also mentions Hitler’s suicide nine months later and that Countess Nina von Stauffenberg and her children survived the war. A shortened version of the dedication at the Memorial to the German Resistance is then shown onscreen.Valkyrie is a strong, enjoyable film. It is not Singer’s best but he can still pull it of.

REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 6

MAIN CAST

Peter Dinklage (The Boss)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Headhunters)
Lena Headey (The Purge)
Emilia Clarke (Terminator: Genisys)
Kit Harington (Pompeii)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Liam Cunningham (Dog Soldiers)
Carice van Houten (Black Book)
Natalie Dormer (The Forest)
Indira Varma (Human Target)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Fast & Furious 7)
Rory McCann (Hot Fuzz)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
Conleth Hill (Serena)
Alfie Allen (The Other Boleyn Girl)
John Bradley (Patient Zero)
Tom Wlaschiha (Valkyrie)
Gwendoline Christie (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Hannah Murray (Dark Shadows)
Jonathan Pryce (Stigmata)
Kristofer Hivju (After Earth)
Michiel Huisman (The Young Victoria)
Michael McElhatton (Blow Dry)
Iwan Rheon (Misfits)
Dean-Charles Chapman (Will)
Isaac Hempstead Wright (The Boxtrolls)
Jerome Flynn (Ripper Street)
Iain Glen (Tomb Raider)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Daniel Portman (Outcast)
Natalia Tena (Harry Potter)
Max Von Sydow (Conan The Barbarian)
Ellie Kendrick (An Education)
Alexander Siddig (Star Trek: DS9)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Keisha Castle-Hughes (Star Wars – Episode III)
Kristian Nairn (Ripper Street)
Gemma Whelan (Gulliver’s Travels)
Joseph Mawle (Abrham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)
Diana Rigg (The Avengers)
Julian Glover (Troy)
Finn Jones (Iron Fist)
Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold)
Owen Teale (King Arthur)
Patrick Malahide (Fortress 2)
Joe Naufahu (Power Rangers RPM)
Ben Crompton (All or Nothing)
Brenock O’Connor (Dickensian)
Charlotte Hope (The Musketeers)
Elizabeth Webster (Cockneys vs Zombies)
Tim McInnerny (Notting Hill)
Bella Ramsey (The Worst Witch 2017)
Michael Condron (High-Rise)
David Bradley (Harry Potter)
Tamer Hassan (Sucker Punch)
James Faulkner  (Underworld: Blood Wars)
Toby Sebastian (The Hollow Crown)
Clive Russell (The 13th Warrior)
Brian Fortune (The Inside)
Jacob Anderson (Adulthood)
Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist)
Ian Whyte (Prometheus)
Luke Roberts (300: Rise of an Empire)
Murray McArthur (The Last Legion)
Anton Lesser (Wolf Hall)
Roger Ashton-Griffiths (The Brothers Grimm)
Eugene Simon (Casanova)

Following their escape from Winterfell, Sansa Stark journeys to the Wall, while Theon Greyjoy returns to the Iron Islands. In Winterfell, Ramsay Bolton secures his claim on the North by killing Roose and Walda Bolton and his new-born half-brother. At the Wall, Melisandre resurrects Jon Snow, who is reunited with Sansa; they gather loyalists and a battle ensues. Aided by the Knights of the Vale, the Starks defeat the Bolton forces. Sansa feeds Ramsay to his hounds and Jon is proclaimed the King in the North. At King’s Landing, Jaime Lannister and the Tyrell army attempt to liberate Margaery and Loras, but Margaery capitulates to the High Sparrow and Tommen forges an alliance with the Faith. During Loras and Cersei’s trial, Cersei uses wildfire to burn the Great Sept, killing the High Sparrow, Margarey, Loras, Mace, Kevan, and Lancel, while Tommen kills himself after witnessing the events. Unopposed, Cersei is crowned Queen of Westeros. Ellaria Sand and three of Oberyn Martell’s daughters kill Doran and Trystane Martell and seize control of Dorne, and Olenna meets with Ellaria to discuss an alliance. In Braavos, Arya continues her training with the Faceless Men, and soon regains her eyesight. When she refuses to accomplish a mission, the Waif is ordered to kill Arya, who kills her instead. Arya reasserts her identity as a Stark and returns to Westeros. In the Riverlands, the Hound pursues the Brotherhood Without Banners for massacring the people who saved him. He finds Lord Beric Dondarrion executing his quarry, and is asked to join the Brotherhood traveling north. Jaime Lannister besieges Riverrun and takes the castle, killing the Blackfish after forcing Edmure Tully to order a surrender. Walder Frey celebrates the victory before being killed by Arya. Beyond the Wall, Bran Stark trains with the Three-Eyed Raven but alerts the Night King, who launches an attack of White Walkers. Bran and Meera escape and are rescued by Benjen Stark. Sam Tarly, Gilly, and Little Sam travel to the Citadel at Oldtown, stopping to visit Sam’s family. In Essos, Daenerys Targaryen is captured by Khal Moro who takes her before the khals; she burns them alive and takes command of the Dothraki. Tyrion Lannister brings a short-lived peace to Meereen, which is reinforced when Daenerys returns and flies her dragons into battle against the slavers. Yara and Theon arrive and pledge allegiance to Daenerys after Euron Greyjoy kills their father and usurps leadership of the Iron Islands. Jorah Mormont departs to find a cure for greyscale and Daario is left in command of Meereen, while Daenerys sails for Westeros. Game of thrones is without a doubt the best show on tv ever! Hooked from the very beginning. Season 6 is packed full of beautifully shot battle scenes and exquisite smaller moments, all of which showcase the immense talent of the entire cast and crew.

REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 5

MAIN CAST
Peter Dinklage (Threshold)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Kingdom of Heaven)
Lena Headey (Dredd)
Emilia Clarke (Termiantor: Genysis)
Kit Harington (Pompeii)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Charles Dance (Last Action Hero)
Natalie Dormer (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2)
Stephen Dillane (The Hours)
Liam Cunningham (Clash of The Titans)
Carice van Houten (Black Book)
Indira Varma (Human Target)
Conleth Hill (Serena)
John Bradley-West (Borgia)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
Hannah Murray (Dark Shadows)
Jerome Flynn (Ripper Street)
Alfie Allen (Agent Cody Banks 2)
Michiel Huisman (The Young Victoria)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Fast & Furious 7)
Gwendoline Christie (Star Wars – Episode VIII)
Kristofer Hivju (After Earth)
Tom Wlaschiha (16 Blocks)
Dean-Charles Chapman (Before I Go To Sleep)
Michael McElhatton (Blow Dry)
Iwan Rheon (Misfits)
Iain Glen (Tomb Raider)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Alexander Siddig (Star Trek: DS9)
DeObia Oparei (Doom)
Keisha Castle-Hughes (The Almighty Johnsons)
Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Mia and Me)
Jessica Henwick (Silk)
Toby Sebastian (Barley Lethal)
Nell Tiger Free (Mr Stink)
Diana Rigg (The Avengers)
Jonathan Pryce (Stigmata)
Julian Glover (Troy)
Anton Lesser(Charlotte Gray)
Roger Ashton-Griffiths (A Knight’s Tale)
Ian Beattie (Alexander)
Finn Jones (Iron Fist)
Will Tudor (Humans)
Eugene Simon (Casanova)
Daniel Portman (River City)
Lino Facioli (Get Him To The Greek)
Ian McElhinney (Hornblower)
Jacob Anderson (4.3.2.1.)
Joel Fry (10,000 BC)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost)
Charlotte Hope (les Miserables)
Elizabeth Webster (Call The Widwife)
Tara Fitzgerald (I Capture The Castle)
Kerry Ingram (Wolf Hall)
Ciarán Hinds (The Woman In Black)
Peter Vaughan (Chancer)
Owen Teale (Stella)
In Meereen, the insurgent “Sons of the Harpy” have started to revolt against Daenerys Targaryen’s regime by murdering citizens and Unsullied, also taking the life of Barristan Selmy. In order to regain peace and control, Daenerys complies with the request of re-opening the fighting pits. Tyrion Lannister arrives in Pentos along with Varys, and they begin their journey to Meereen together. They pass through Volantis, where Tyrion is abducted by Jorah Mormont, who takes him to Meereen as a way to redeem himself to Daenerys. Daenerys takes Tyrion as her advisor, but orders Jorah exiled once more. After the Sons of the Harpy mount an attack on Daenerys and her retinue at the fighting pits, Jorah saves her life. Drogon reappears and Daenerys flies away on his back. Drogon flies far away from Meereen and Daenerys quickly finds herself surrounded by Dothraki horsemen. Jorah and Daario Naharis leave to search for Daenerys, while Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm remain to rule Meereen.
At the Wall, Stannis Baratheon has Mance Rayder burned alive for treason. Stannis promises Jon Snow legitimacy and rule of Winterfell should he ride with him against the Boltons, but Jon declines the offer and stays at the Wall. As newly elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon forms an alliance with the Wildlings, much to the dismay of the rest of the Night’s Watch. They begin evacuating Wildlings at Hardhome, when the settlement suddenly comes under attack from White Walkers and their wight armies. Though many die and are revived as wights, the brothers still manage to rescue a large number of Wildlings and Jon leads them through the tunnel to Castle Black, south of the Wall. After Samwell Tarly and Gilly leave for Oldtown and Maester Aemon passes away, the majority of the Night’s Watch become disillusioned with Jon’s leadership and see him as a traitor. They lure Jon into a trap and stab him, leaving him to die.
In the Vale, Littlefinger puts Robin Arryn in the care of House Royce and leaves for Winterfell with Sansa Stark. Brienne, still loyal to the oath she swore to Catelyn Stark, and her squire Podrick follow them. In Winterfell, Sansa is reunited with Reek and marries Ramsay Bolton to form an alliance between the Vale and the Boltons. Ramsay subjects Sansa to physical and psychological abuse, including raping her on their wedding night while forcing Reek to watch. After Reek reveals to Sansa that he did not kill her brothers Bran and Rickon, the two escape together, jumping off the castle walls.
At his camp in the North, Stannis reluctantly acquiesces to Melisandre’s demands to burn Shireen alive as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. As a result, his wife Selyse is found hanging from a noose and half of his forces desert him. The remaining Baratheon forces ride for Winterfell, but are soon defeated by the Boltons. In the aftermath of the battle, Stannis is apparently killed by Brienne of Tarth. Melisandre flees for Castle Black.
In King’s Landing, Lancel Lannister returns, now a member of the devoutly religious “Sparrows”. Following the wedding of Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon, Cersei Lannister begins losing control of Tommen, and with him her power source. She tries to regain her status by authorizing the revival of the Faith Militant, the military wing of the Faith of the Seven. The Sparrows quickly begin imposing their puritanical views upon King’s Landing by ridding it of all “sins”, in the process also seizing Loras Tyrell for being homosexual. They proceed to imprison him, as well as Margaery and Cersei herself for committing various sins. Cersei is released after confessing to adultery with Lancel and being forced to march naked through King’s Landing.
In Dorne, the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, seek vengeance against the Lannisters for the death of their father. After a threatening message arrives, Bronn and Jaime Lannister travel to Dorne, planning to rescue Myrcella Baratheon. Oberyn’s brother Doran Martell discovers that Ellaria Sand had sent the message and allows Jaime and Myrcella to leave for King’s Landing, provided Myrcella’s betrothed Trystane Martell joins them and obtains a seat on the Small Council. En route to King’s Landing, Myrcella dies, having been poisoned by Ellaria.
Arya Stark arrives in Braavos and starts training with the Faceless Men, guided by Jaqen H’ghar and another young woman. She disguises herself as an oyster seller and is told to kill a dishonest insurance agent at the harbor. But after Meryn Trant’s arrival, Arya steals a false face from the temple and assassinates him instead. Doing so causes her to go blind.
The adaptation continues to hit its sweet spot of getting complex stories from the novels across on screen in a simpler form, but one that is also clearer, more concise and retaining the thematic essentials whilst paring away unnecessary  supporting material and characters. King’s Landing particularly benefits from this, with lots of minor politics involving new or vanishingly minor characters swept aside in favour of a more ruthless focus on Cersei’s growing hatred of the Tyrells and the arrival of the High Sparrow, played with flawless passion by Jonathan Pryce. This culminates in the excellent, distressing “Walk of Shame” sequence, in which Lena Headey knocks it out of the park as Cersei is humiliated to the point where even the most hardened viewer may feel sorry for her, despite her many crimes.

REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 4

51O0eQlv09L
MAIN CAST
Peter Dinklage (Threshold)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Kingdom of Heaven)
Lena Headey (Dredd)
Emilia Clarke (Terminator:L Genysis)
Kit Harington (Pompeii)
Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises)
Charles Dance (Last Action Hero)
Natalie Dormer (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay)
Liam Cunningham (Wrath of The Titans)
Stephen Dillane (The Hours)
Carice van Houten (Black Book)
Jack Gleeson (Batman Begins)
Alfie Allen (Elizabeth)
Isaac Hempstead-Wright (The Box Trolls)
Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Maisie Williams (Cyberbully)
John Bradley (Borgia)
Rose Leslie (honeymoon)
Kristofer Hivju (The Thing)
Hannah Murray (Skins)
Rory McCann (Hot Fuzz)
Gwendoline Christie (Star Wars – Episode VII)
Iwan Rheon (Misfits)
Conleth Hill (Serena)
Jerome Flynn (Ripper Street)
Sibel Kekilli (Tatort)
Iain Glen (Kick-Ass 2)
GUEST / RECURRING CAST
Diana Rigg (The Avengers)
Pedro Pascal (The Mentalist)
Indira Varma (Human Target)
Daniel Portman (River City)
Julian Glover (Troy)
Roger Ashton-Griffiths (A Knight’s Tale)
Anton Lesser (Charlotte gray)
Finn Jones (Wrong Turn 5)
Dean-Charles Chapman (Ripper Street)
Ian Beattie (Alexander)
Michiel Huisman (The Young Victoria)
Ian McElhinney (Hornblower)
Nathalie Emmanuel (Fast & Furious 7)
Jacob Anderson (4.3.2.1.)
Ciarán Hinds(the Woman In Black)
Thomas Sangster(Love Actually)
Ellie Kendrick (Being Human)
Kristian Nairn (Ripper Street)
Burn Gorman(The Dark Knight Rises)
Michael McElhatton (Intermission)
Peter Vaughan (Silk)
Owen Teale (Stella)
Noah Taylor (Powers)
Mark Stanley (Dickensian)
Ben Crompton (Doctor Who)
Josef Altin (The Young Victoria)
Charlotte Hope (Les Miserables)
Elizabeth Webster (Call The midwife)
Gemma Whelan (The Wolfman)
Kate Dickie (Tinsel Town)
Lino Facioli (Get Him to The Greek)
Whilst nothing in Series 4 comes quite as close to the sheer jaw dropping drama of Series 3 classic episode “The Red Wedding” the Series 4 finale has a quality about it that can only be found in great films like “The Godfather II”. The drama unfolds in almost a Shakespearian fashion and whilst loose ends are tied up a myriad of questions evolve out of the pulsating script. The acting throughout deserves Grammys by the shedload not least one of the most unlikely “buddy” pairings in TV history namely Ayra Stark (the brilliant Maisie Williams) and the strangely loveable uber thug “The Hound”. The scriptwriters have also played a huge role in this series with more deviations from George R R Martins books which makes the plot and storyline sharper and more dynamic. For example that gigantic Brienne and the Hound fight never happened in the novels, but it was stellar television. The other key dimension of the series is that the multiplicity of individual story lines are now merging ever closer so the overall plot line is much clearer and the context more powerful. Despite the ritual disposal of numerous major characters in Series 4 the deep fascination of the future of existing characters like the mystic Bran, the heroic Jon Snow, the Machiavellian “Littlefinger” and the worlds most popular dwarf (Peter Dinklage) is utterly engrossing. We also have nagging doubts emerging not least is Daenerys Targaryen’s unstoppable rise now threatened by her errant dragons, and whilst the key figure of Stannis Baratheon looms large was that also an alluring smile from the sinister but sexy Melisandre, the priestess of the Lord of Light to Jon Snow? Meanwhile beyond the Wall in the frozen north the Whitewalkers are massing.

Game of Thrones has been renewed for a further two seasons and we are informed that the day after the premiere of season 4, filming started in Belfast on the next instalment.The new season is scheduled to start on TV between the end of March and mid-April 2015. Can however the programmes show runners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, be asked nicely by all Amazon readers to get a move on and bring this true wonder back to our screens. Indeed this reviewer could be reduced to begging. Game of Thrones – Series 4 is absolutely essential television and the best current drama on the small screen.