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Happy New Year!

So we’re here finally, 2017 was a hell of a year for a number of reasons, not the best year for everyone but I’ll take the good with the bad, there were ups and downs, pleasant surprises and disappointments but here’s to 2018 and the hope for things to be better. Personally I want to focus on progression and development of my own ideas (especially with creative stuff) and I want to try and stay positive in my thinking as much as I can – trust me it helps!

Anyway Happy New Year to you and yours, to everyone about to cross over and everyone already in the future in the new year, I hope you have a great night tonight, whatever you’re up to and theDoc will see you next year.

Merry Christmas!

So I’ve made this post ahead of time as to not spend time on the blog posting and whatnot on Christmas itself but yeah Merry Christmas all, I hope you’re having a fantastic day with your loved ones, whoever they are and whatever you’re doing I hope you’re enjoying it.

It’s important to think about family and people close to you on any day, not just December 25th so yeah, cherish them, cherish the lovely food you have and the gifts you’ve received and the lovely people around you. So, everything said and done, enjoy your day y’all.

Game of Thrones season 7 x 6 – Beyond The Wall recap

So the penultimate episode of season 7 is here and we’re following the band of unfortunate brothers who are travelling up north, by Eastwatch to go and try to catch a Wight, going by Jons rather crazy plan devised in the last episode, the ‘suicide squad’ as I’ll call them is an interesting mix and Jon and Tormund have a little discussion at the front of the pack, over how crazy this idea is. And over Mance Rayder and him refusing to bend the knee and we all know what that got him.

Gendry complains to Thoros and Berrick over their past actions, i.e. selling him to Melisandre, who wanted to sacrifice him and all, so yeah fair dos’ to Gendry being annoyed, though The Hound is having none of it, Gendrys interactions with characters are quite fun so far, unsurprisingly. And for another interesting interaction, Jorah and Jon Snow, Jorah had bad blood with Ned Stark but all is forgiven now, more or less, with Jon respecting Jorah and his house greatly.

At Winterfell, Arya and Sansa have a bit of a bonding session, talking about past memories and their childhoods and memories of Ned in a rather charming moment… that turns sour after Arya reveals the infamous note that Sansa was forced to write, to ask for Robb Stark to come back to Kings Landing. So things are a bit tense and I’m sure Littlefinger’s happy with this wedge being driven between the two Stark sisters, Arya is not happy at all, admitting she would have rather die than have written the letter and yes she was there but also did nothing, as Sansa points out. The two of them are at an impasse, it seems, Arya wants to keep a hold of the letter and seems to be using it as leverage against Sansa because she’s angry but yeah, we don’t need any more dead Starks, so stop fighting kids!

Back up North

Tormund and The Hound have a fun interaction over The Hounds backstory and how he got burnt, they also quite humorously talk about Brienne, who as you know tried to kill The Hound, who Tormund now fancies…. awkward but I’m loving it.

Berrick Dondarion and Jon discuss the lord of light and the purpose of their mission up north. “So what are you fighting for?” Jon asks, “Life”, Berrick replies, a pretty to the point answer and a clear laying out of what he’s fighting for, death (the White Walkers) is the enemy apparently and needs to be fought against.

In Dragonstone, Dany and Tyrion discuss Tyrion  and his demeanor, namely on his intelligence, which has kept him alive so far, unlike Khal Drogo, Daario, Jorah and Jon Snow (and hey two of these people are still alive at this point). The conversation turns to Kings Landing and what the plan is, if and when Dany wants to go there, Cerseis manner of ruling is highlighted in comparison to previous conquerors like Aegon, who was pretty traditional as Tyrion points out – though Dany wants to break tradition and do things differently.

The two then disagree over Danys emotions and how she reacts to situations, the recent execution of the Tarlys comes up, a controversial event for sure. And interestingly, long term planning comes up, namely Daenerys plans for Westeros after she rules and eventually dies, with there being no clear plan in place, Dany is reluctant to even entertain the idea for now.

And back north again

The squad trudges through a blizzard and can comes across a bear…. an undead bear that is and so it begins, killing a bear is one thing but it’s undead so that’s a bit difficult, even though it gets set on fire and everything. And Thoros, while injured by the bear is still okay for the time being.

In Winterfell Sansa confides in Littlefinger over the situation with Arya finding the letter, she’s worried the Northern lords will defect over news of the letter coming out and she has a valid point, with Sansa being married to and in the Lannisters presence in the past for a while. Littlefingers mind games seem to be taking shape here, with him seemingly trying to set up Brienne as a protector of Sansa, in case Arya goes full rogue. Back beyond the wall, the squad comes across a curious site and what do you know, it’s only part of the army of the dead, but where’s the rest of the army? Good question.

In what seems like a trap (that they’re setting up), the undead march to a river crossing and then clash with the squad and the dead apart from one Wight are all dispatched once their local leader is killed by Jon but not before it lets out a particular cry, so the dead Wight is captured and they can all leave. Wait…. that cry was a distress cry most likely and the whole army of the dead is coming, the rest of the squad without Gendry tries to get away but runs onto some precarious thin ice and they are swiftly surrounded, though a break in the ice takes a few of the undead and holds them, things are not looking good.

Gendry makes it back to the wall in record time and is taken in. Meanwhile of the rest of the squad essentially waits for their inevitable doom (or maybe not)…. Thoros passed away while the men were waiting sadly. And now what, I wonder what was going through Jons head, faced with all the wights around them and seemingly no hope, they still need to take the wight with them though and get back alive.

The Nights King is also present though, kill him and game over for the wights…. or so the idea is, though things won’t be that easy of course.

Further drama afoot

At Winterfell, Sansa receives an invitation to Kings Landing (by the Lannisters of course), Sansa refuses to go but calls for Brienne to do so, seemingly wisely while Brienne wants to leave protection for Sansa while she leaves, for her not to be swayed too much by Littlefinger. And really, Sansa, are you siding with the little scrote again?

At Dragonstone, Dany decides to set off to go to the North to help out the remaining squad and off she goes with her other two dragons, in what would be a fairly long trip I imagine but hey short season, characters teleporting etc.

Back beyond the wall, the squad remains waiting, while the Hound mocks them by throwing rocks, a lone wight ambles forward while others do as well, is there a plan or method to the wights attack? Maybe not but I’m sure the Night King has something in mind. Anyway the hordes of the undead march on and combat ensues in what seems like the most one sided fight in Game of Thrones since Hardhome. Tormund is almost, so closely taken down (and what a shame that would have been) but saved by The Hound.

And I mean things have looked bleak before but the fight seems hopeless, until dragonfire…. Dany and her dragons arrive (short season, it’s cool) and help to clear out large swatches of the wights in rather spectacular fashion. But not so fast, the Night King himself takes up a weapon and heads to the squad, throwing a spear at one of the dragons and killing it rather dramatically, as it sinks underwater….. Dany is devastated to say the least and now a dragon short.

Jon is taken down by some Wights and falls underwater but survives, as the remaining wights leave the area.  But he is of course noticed as the lone living person by the army but holy unexpected plot point, long lonst uncle Benjen arrives in the nick of time and sacrifices himself to save Jon in the second most selfless act of the day (after Dany).

The Wall

The remaining squad arrives at  the wall with a wight in tow, while Darnerys thinks over the days events, still mourning her lost dragon clearly, it’s so odd seeing Dragons in the frozen wastes of the north but it makes for some great spectacle. Jon arrives on a lone horse and is taken in, just in the nick of time – no Jon, no dying for you again.

And at Winterfell, Sansa searches Aryas room out of curiosity seemingly, finding her literal face masks, though Arya finds her in typical faceless man sneaking fashion, she wants to play the game of faces with Sansa and oh how little Arya has grown and I mean it is pretty weird you have a bag of faces Arya. She seems to threaten Sansa but only appears to be doing so to intimidate her and well, it worked Sansa is aware of Aryas abilities and power now, how will she act? Will she side further with Littlefinger?

Back out at sea, Jon and Dany have a little talk, with the latter seemingly now a bit smitten with Lord Snow but importantly, she now knows the dead are real and a real threat and driven by the death of her dragon, she seems driven to action, time to unite some armies am I right? Jon accepts to bed the knee for Dany figuratively and finally, you should’ve done this like 2 episodes ago, dude.

And back up north again, the Wights have giant chains somehow and are pulling something rather large from under the ice sheet, a dead dragon that is…. an undead ICE DRAGON!? This was fan fiction for a while but it’s now reality, the Nights king walks up to the dragon and brings it back to life. Now that’s gonna be an interesting thing to deal with.

. Dany’s now onboard to fight the undead, where does Kings Landing lie in importance for her?

. So the undead Ice dragon, will breathe fiire? and The White walkers also have a way over or around the wall now so…. everyone’s screwed, presumably.

. What is Arya planning exactly, to make Sansa aware of her abilities, then kill Littlefinger? Is sansa now too scared of Arya?

And phew there is is, a long re-cap for a long and exciting, great episode with some expected Deus ex machina moments but a lot of thrilling moments as well, can’t wait for the season finale in what should be something pretty spectacular.

Game Of Thrones season 7 – official trailer

Winter is here and so is the official Game of Thrones trailer, after some interesting teasers and a teaser trailer, we’re just days away from season 7 now and we have

our official look at things to come. We start with some already heard dialogue – Cersei talking about the current situation in Westeros, with enemies to the north, east, south and west, basically the Lannisters are screwed… but Cersei remains defiant.

War seems to be a big theme here and that’s no surprise, with the major players for the Throne all that bit closer to clashing for it, we see Daenerys seemingly in Westeros as well (in Dragonstone?) seeking her claim as well, that Targaryen blood in her is driving her forward for sure, hopefully not driving her crazy though. And we see the Unsullied army or parts of it, in a clash of some sort, will we see conqueror Daenerys even more this season?

Littlefinger makes another appearance, seemingly trying to influence Sansas for some presumably nefarious means, while Jon Snow seems to have his followers rallied but we know not everyone believes in or cares about White Walkers, though Ser Davos clearly does and wants to make a point of it, calling for people to rally together. And what follows is a montage of what to expect from this season, war, battles, Dothraki, dragons, the whole lot really and that’s some pretty exciting stuff to be honest. One interesting thing to me is the lack of Greyjoys in the trailer, though we get a glimpse of Theon, I wonder how important they’ll be this season….

And while we don’t get a tonne of new information in the trailer and already knew what to expect, it’s cool to see some new footage just a few days before the season premiere. Season 7 premieres on Sunday the 16th of July and I can’t wait.

Pirates Of The Carribean – Dead Mans’ Chest – review

The Pirates franchise continues with its 2nd instalment, Dead Mans' Chest, as Jack Sparrow and his crew strive to find a chest containing Davy Jones' heart in order to control him, as Davy Jones himself, among others search for it, the film stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce.

Dead Mans' Chest does what every great sequel should do, expand on the original film in an interesting, engaging way, feature better action, better dialogue and in my opinion, a better plot, we get the typical sequel tropes in more characters, a more prominent big villain but the film effectively ups the ante without suffering from the downfalls an expanded film typically might. Jack Sparrow is back in all his half drunken glory and is again a highlight of the film, his interactions with Will and Elizabeth are again great to watch but we see new sides to him in the ordeals he has to go through, now being beset by the menacing Davy Jones, played adeptly by Bill Nighy who puts in a very enthusiastic performance.

The visuals are also of note, maybe looking a bit dated today but the CG for Davy Jones and the Kraken at the time, was pretty ground breaking, which works in tandem with some creative set pieces and sequences that you've probably never seen on film before, or just not quite in the way the film does them at least, Gore Verbinski both pays homage to classic slapstick and creates fun sequences on his own with memorable events like the sword brawl in the Windmill wheel and Jacks' human kebab scene. What makes these scenes so memorable and fun is that again, they're not taken too seriously, they're obviously over the top and that plays into the fantastical nature of the story, the characters are all played straight as well, which makes certain scenes even funnier, especially as the actors play off of Johnny Depp and vice versa. The soundtrack definitely adds to the sense of fun and adventure and excitement in certain sequences, timed expertly to various scenes and being curated by Hans Zimmer, it's no surprise how iconic and well known the score now is.

The stakes being upped for the film also add to its engagement, with almost magical elements being present in Davy Jones, The Kraken and so on, guns and swords aren't of much use but it's interesting to see how the characters rely on wit and cunning to try and gain the upper hand over each other, though you know people will probably double cross each other, Jack especially.

Dead Mans' Chest is a fantastic action, adventure film and an example to follow for any sequel to a trilogy or franchise to be, expanding on, characters, ideas and themes from the first film in productive, entertaining ways, featuring great action, a great soundtrack and an engaging plot that will keep you engaged throughout.

8/10

. Brilliant set pieces, great, inventive action sequences

. Fantastic soundtrack

.  Fun, engaging plot