It was fun chatting with Jeff Hilbert, founder and CEO of Starting Point. One of the oldest agents and managers in the videogame business (in terms of experience, not chronologically), Jeff Hilbert was also the founder of Digital Development Management (DDM). Think of him as the Ari Gold of videogame agents…but with less tantrums and profanity. At DICE Europe 2016, Jeff Hilbert will be talking about “Realistic Opportunities in AR/VR.” In addition to touching on that subject, he spoke to me about traditional movie and television agents entering the videogame business. My favorite part of the conversation was when he spoke about aspects of Hollywood he’d like to see come to games. Here’s an excerpt from my conversation with Jeff Hilbert.
I’m indifferent to Hollywood talent coming into games, to be honest with you. I don’t really see any individual that makes me care whether they make a game or don’t make a game. I just don’t care.
Now, there are some IPs I’d love to see in gaming. I love the fact that Robotech is being discussed. I think that would be awesome! I love that Marvel, DC, and Tolkien have been coming in. That’s been spectacular! I don’t see Kim Kardashian as an individual because of the way that she’s managed herself. She’s done a brilliant job managing herself as a brand and that’s great to have in gaming.
So, I’m not really into individuals coming in as much as I am into the brands. I love when new brands are introduced into the gaming industry, because they bring in new people that didn’t realize that they love playing games.
Additionally, he mentioned some videogame properties he’d like to see get a second chance in movies and television. He also had some great stories of the attitudes some Hollwood talent had when entering the gaming world.
Kindly check out my full conversation with Jeff Hilbert when you have a moment.
The Game of Thrones season 6 finale was mostly incredible. There were big revelations. There was an awesome green explosion. There was lots of character development. And there was some of the best acting and music the series has ever known. After two viewings, I’m still trying to digest it all. Naturally, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this year’s finale. For my part, here are 11 observations to get things started.
[Raise your spoiler shields, please!]
1) The Music Was Brilliant: The first sequence of the Game of Thrones season 6 finale felt different from any other scene in the series, simply because of the music. Game of Thrones music is normally string-heavy, but this composition featured piano and cello. The score helped make the sequence feel unique and more powerful.
2) Pycelle’s Death Will Haunt Senior Citizens: I’m pretty sure most people over 65 have this nightmare — a gang of children pummeling you and stabbing you to death. Or maybe this is what makes Santa Claus wake up in a cold sweat in the North Pole.
3) Tommen Would’ve Been a Great Pro-Wrestler: What did you think of Tommen Lannister’s Game of Thrones season 6 finale exit? Some are saying that he fell out of the castle. Others are saying that he dove out of the castle (in which case, he lost points for not sticking the landing). I’m saying that he went for a swanton bomb. His “suicide dive” totally reminded me of Jeff Hardy’s swanton.
4) Cersei Has Gone Full Sith: Cersei Lannister borrowed one of Maleficent’s gowns and fully embraced the dark side in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale. Her one redeeming quality (aside from her cheekbones) was how much she loved her children. With all of her kids pushing up daisies she probably thought, “F*ck it. I’m going to rule everything!!!” In previous seasons, her plans were never as clever as she thought they were. At the end of this season, she was completely victorious.
5) Ned Stark’s Character is Still Being Developed: My heart melted during the Tower of Joy scene, where it was finally revealed that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard and is really Lyanna Stark’s son. As fantastic as that reveal was, it really made me think about what an honorable man Ned was. He honored his sister’s last request, keeping an enormous secret from his wife and best friend. He (lightly) sullied his own name and let the world think that he disrespected his wife, all for Lyanna and her son.
Go back and watch the scenes from season 1 where someone bring’s up Jon’s parentage to Ned; you could tell the topic made him uncomfortable and those scenes feel even heavier with the official reveal.
6) Liam Cunningham, Actor: The scene with Davos Seaworth dressing down Melisandre was short, but boy was it heavy. Cunningham did the most with his time. You could feel Davos’ anger, anguish, and sorrow coming through. While it was “only” my second-favorite scene in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, it was definitely the most skillfully acted one.
7) Samwell Tarly Has an Orgasm in the Library: Sam walking into the Citadel library reminded me of the scene in Beauty in the Beast where Belle sees Beast’s library…but taken to the next level. I’m certain Sam had a walking wet dream upon seeing the thousands of books at his disposal. Hopefully he does some research on white walkers and doesn’t get lost in trashy romance novels written by lonely maesters.
8) Lord Wyman Manderly Should’ve Been Fatter: Yes, the showrunners got a large man to play Manderly, but he wasn’t large enough. In the books, he’s derided as “Lord Too Fat to Sit a Horse.” Television Manderly could easily ride on a (sturdy) horse. This was my biggest disappointment with the Game of Thrones season 6 finale.
9) Lyanna Mormont Should Rule Westeros: With a thrashing speech, the 10-year old ruler of Bear Island united the squabbling northerners and got Jon Snow declared as the new KingInDaNorf King in the North. This was my favorite Game of Thrones season 6 finale scene on several levels. First, Lady Mormont owns and should be ruling Westeros. Secondly, Jon Snow’s KingInDaNorf King in the North moment mirrored Robb Stark’s nicely. Lastly, I loved the bit of uncertainty thrown in at the end when Sansa stops smiling as she exchanges looks with Littlefinger. Was Sansa happy to throw a wrench into his plans? Or does she want power of her own? I’m curious to see what games, if any, she’ll play next season. She shouldn’t get too ambitious though, because Lyanna Mormont will annihilate her with a glance.
10) Jaime’s Having Bad Flashbacks: The Kingslayer’s return to King’s Landing must’ve been quite a shock. (Let’s assume someone clued him into recent events on the way to the throne room.) He comes home to find that the last of his children died and his sisterlover went all Mad King Aerys. Remember, he’s ridiculed as the Kingslayer, but few people in Westeros know about Aerys’ vile wildfire plans. With his children gone and his sisterlover doing the exact thing he committed regicide for, this is a huge turning point for Jaime Lannister. I’m looking forward to his redemption angle next season. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended becoming a Queenslayer as well. That would arguably fit into Maggy the Frog’s prophecy for Cersei.
11) Team Targaryen is Ready to Rock Westeros: Daenerys and Varys are fantastic recruiters. Just look at that fleet at the end of the show. You’ve got the Unsullied, Dothraki, and three dragons flying under the Targaryen banner. They’re joined by boats and troops from House Tyrell, House Martell, and House Greyjoy. While Cersei Lannister is sitting pretty in King’s Landing at the end of the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, a formidable force is coming for her from the east. I can’t wait for next season’s battles!
The penultimate episodes of Game of Thrones are almost always the best ones in a given season. With that in mind, “Battle of the Bastards” delivered. By most accounts season six has been a strong outing for Game of Thrones and last night’s episode was the best of the bunch. It was a marvelous blend of emotional moments, brutal choreography, and some of the best cinematography the series has ever seen. Here are some random thoughts on “Battle of the Bastards,” using the RPadTV binary system. Time to don your spoiler shields, please.
Good: This episode must have cost a fortune. Between the dragon CGI and all the people involved in the titular Battle of the Bastards, I don’t know that I’ve seen an hour of TV that looked so expensive to produce. (Leave a comment if you can think of any, please). Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s tackle the episode in a (somewhat) chronological fashion.
Good: The action kicks off in Mereen, which has been a dull destination this season…but not today! After a mildly amusing conversation between Tyrion and Daenerys, Dany’s crew has a completely amusing encounter with the wise masters (who are apparently masters of guyliner). After some clever banter, Dany goes into full Khaleesi mode with her three dragons and it’s absolutely glorious. Watching them burn down slaver ships instantly transforms you into a gleeful teenager. Dracarys motherf*ckers!!! On the ground, Daario and the Dothraki slice up the Sons of the Harpy. Back at the top of the pyramid, Grey Worm makes the slavers’ guards wet themselves with a few choice words. The head of the Unsullied then slices two of the slavers’ throats with one shot and (awesomely) takes a few seconds to adjust his vest. The opening is completely exhilarating, mostly because of the dragons, but I got a kick out of Grey Worm too.
Good: Outside of Winterfell, the bastards parley. Jon thinks he’s cleverly manipulating Ramsay, but he’s back in “You Know Nothing Jon Snow” mode. As expected, Ramsay is in psychotic dick mode and accentuates the word “bastard” while talking to Jon. Snow asks for a one-on-one battle, but Ramsay refuses. The Battle of the Bastards is on.
Good: Jon’s Battle of the Bastards war council devises a plan. It’s quite clear that Davos is the smartest person in the room (militarily speaking). They come up with a desperate strategy that hinges on them being patient and letting Ramsay’s forces charge. Sansa chides Jon for not valuing her knowledge of Ramsay. She tells him that Ramsay plays and doesn’t get played. Jon responds with, “Oh yeah? I fought white walkers!” Sansa is cold, dismissing her brother Rickon’s chances at survival. She’s also secretive, not telling Jon about her messages to the Vale and the forces that are coming. Some people dismiss this as idiocy, but I see it as her being manipulative. If the Arryn soldiers were already with Jon’s crew, Ramsay would have happily holed up in Winterfell and outlasted a siege. Showing up with a relatively small army gave Ramsay the confidence to come out and play. Sansa’s desire to see Ramsay dead is equal to her desire to reclaim her family’s home. That’s my theory, anyway.
Good: Davos and Tormund have a fun conversation before the former goes off to be alone with his thoughts. Jon visits the (still) despondent Melisandre. He asks her not to bring him back if he dies again. They wonder why the Lord of Light brought him back in the first place. Their exchange is meant to give Jon a sense of vulnerability in the Battle of the Bastards, but any reasonable fan knows that he’s going to survive. The scene shifts back to insomniac Davos, who comes across some snow-covered ashes and finds the stag toy he gave to Princess Shireen. He realizes that the little girl that taught him how to read was burned to death and it’s a powerful scene. The shot of him standing over the pyre, with the sun coming up and his cape blowing in the wind is just beautiful. It’s the Game of Thrones equivalent of Luke Skywalker staring at the twin-sun skies of Tatooine. Before Davos can dwell on this morbid revelation, the battle horns sound.
Good: Back to Mereen for a quick bit, Asha Yara and Theon have come to parley with Dany. They offer her 100 ships and their support, in exchange for granting the Iron Islands independence. Dany agrees on the condition that the Iron Islanders cease their rape-and-pillage lifestyle. There are several interesting things here. It’s nice to see both Tyrion and Theon comfortably slip into the role of valued advisor. The bigger thing is the connection between Dany and Asha Yara. They identify with each other — women in a male-dominated world, insane fathers, usurpers that killed their insane fathers, etc. They both admire what the other is doing and there’s an instant bond. Naturally, most immature male viewers want them to be a lesbian couple. This immature male viewer would rather see them form a Taylor Swift squad of kick-ass Westerosi women. Naturally, leadership would eventually go to Lyanna Mormont.
Good: The combatants in the Battle of the Bastards are lined up! Ramsay starts the skirmish in an expectedly sadistic way — releasing Rickon while firing arrows at him. Apparently Rickon never played tag as a kid, because moron runs to Jon’s side in a straight line. His chances of survival would have went up exponentially if he zigged and zagged. Serpentine, Rickon, serpentine! After a few playful misses, Ramsay shoots Rickon straight through the chest. More importantly, Ramsay played Jon as Sansa predicted. He idiotically leaves himself open in the middle of the battlefield. Inexplicably, Jon opts for a 1-on-6,000 battle and continues to rush the enemy. Thankfully, Davos is smart enough to realize that they have no choice but to cancel their plans and charge into battle, in order to defend their leader.
Good: From here, the Battle of the Bastards gets completely nuts. It appears as if Ramsay’s forces are going to slice up Jon, but Snow’s team rushes into the fray. The melee combat is chaotic and intentionally disconcerting. On the fringes of the battle, there’s a nice contrast between the teams’ ranged strategy. Davos opts to hold fire, since they’d end up killing some of their own men. Ramsay lets the shots fly, oblivious to any collateral damage. It’s also interesting that Jon chooses to fight with his men, while Ramsay calls the shots from a safe distance.
Five minutes into the battle, Jon is a bloody and dirty mess. He goes into beast mode, dealing death at a rapid pace while miraculously avoiding volleys of arrows (some call it plot armor, but I’m chalking it up to R’hlorr). The combat is visceral and frenzied (totally admired the choreography, filming, and editing). Ten minutes into the Battle of the Bastards, there are piles of dead bodies fertilizing the plains of Winterfell. It gets to the point where fighting is taking place on top of small hills of corpses.
The Battle of the Bastards escalates as Davos’ unit charges the field and Smalljon Umber’s does the same for Ramsay’s side. Unfortunately for the good guys, they’re encircled by Ramsay’s soldiers in a phalanx-like formation. The baddies keep closing in, stabbing Snow’s army with pikes while forcing them into a tighter space. Within the circle of death, Wun Wun gets to show off his giant-ness. More chaotic melee combat ensues. You see spilling guts and severed limbs. It’s all hypnotically awful.
The Free Folk try to retreat from the phalanx and attempt to charge over the hill of corpses. Jon gets caught in the charge in an amazing sequence. He’s drowned by bodies and the sensation of helplessness is palpable. He’s trying to make it through the dead bodies surrounding him and the live ones running him over. I actually felt claustrophobic as I was watching the scene.
It looks like a total victory for Ramsay…when suddenly the knights of the Vale arrive. Borrowing a page from the Rohirrim, they break through the phalanx. After getting his ass handed to him by Smalljon, Tormund bites out his jugular and stabs him with a tooth. Wun Wun starts smacking around Ramsay’s soldiers with a shield. The tide has turned, as Littlefinger and Sansa watch from afar, satisfied by their machinations.
Good: Ramsay retreats to Winterfell Castle, pursued by Jon, Tormund, and Wun Wun. The Bolton Bastard thinks he’s safe inside the castle walls, but a barricaded door is no match for a giant. Wun Wun breaks through the door, but takes a ton of arrows. He ends up looking liking a giant-sized version of dead Boromir. He’s moments away from death and has a nice unspoken scene with Jon…that’s ruined from a Ramsay arrow to the eye.
Jon and Ramsay go one-on-one. For some reason it’s bow-and-arrow vs. shield. Uh…okay. It ends with Jon punching Ramsay into a bloody pulp. He’s about to beat him to death, but spares him for his half-sister. After all that she’s been through, it’s Sansa’s right to deal with Ramsay.
And she does so in a satisfying though predictable way. With his predilection for feeding people to his dogs, I thought Ramsay would die by getting eaten by his own dogs or getting eaten by Ghost. Ramsay wakes up in the kennels, tied to a chair. Sansa says that the world will forget him and his house. She watches as Ramsay’s own dogs eat him, before walking away with a feint smile. It’s a remarkable turn for Sansa. She left Winterfell as an idealistic and foolish girl that dreamed of marrying the prince. She returned as a hardened and manipulative woman that didn’t think twice about her brother being a casualty of war or feeding an enemy to dogs. That’s quite the 180, don’t you agree?
Lastly, I totally marked out when the direwolf banners replaced the flayed man banners at Winterfell. I hope the change is made in the opening credits too.
Bottom Line: This was an amazing episode of Game of Thrones. The battle in Mereen and the Battle of the Bastards were fantastic. The action was incredibly well executed, while there was enough entertaining dialogue. There are some viewers that are saying the episode was predictable and derivative of The Lord of the Rings movies, but those are the kind of people that eat fun and crap misery. This is up there with the other huge battle episodes like “Hardhome” and “Blackwater.” It’s the best episode of a very strong of Game of Thrones.
Two nights ago in the RPadTV Google Hangout, RPadholic Tokz and I were discussing what an amazingly crappy boyfriend Oliver Queen (Green Arrow on The CW’s Arrow) is to his lady friends. If you go through his romantic history, you’ll find a list of women that have ended up dead, crippled, and jailed. On last night’s episode of Arrow, Laurel Lance (Black Canary II) became the latest victim. With her death fresh on comics nerds’ minds, I thought it would be a good time to go down the list of Oliver Queen’s girlfriends in order to illustrate why no woman should date him. It’s just dangerous.
Laurel Lance (Deceased): Arrow introduced Laurel as Ollie’s first love interest on the show…and promptly shows him running away on a boat to have a sexual cruise with her sister. For some reason, she decides to run back into his arms five years later. Once a lawyer with a promising future, Laurel has neglected her legal career to run around Star City as the least capable member of Team Arrow. As of last night’s episode, she’s dead.
Shado (Deceased): While Oliver was still a wuss during his early days on Lian Yu, this strong and capable woman was instrumental in his survival. Oliver returned the favor by electing not to save her life when she was held at gunpoint by the nefarious Dr. Anthony Ivo. Romance is dead…and so is Shado.
Helena Bertinelli (Jailed, Nuts): Oliver was kind enough to take this mentally unbalanced young lady and attempt to turn her into a vigilante. With Green Arrow’s “guidance,” she became the Huntress and went on one hell of a crime spree. She’s guilty of murder, theft, kidnapping, extortion, and more.
McKenna Hall (Crippled): A dashing SCPD detective, Ms. Hall exercised poor judgement in pursuing a relationship with Oliver Queen. In something of a crossover, Hall took and arrow from Arrow’s ex, the Huntress. This left her crippled. A few seasons later, Oliver has access to a cure for paralysis and never mentions helping out Hall. At least he’s consistently inconsiderate.
Isabel Rochev (Deceased): The situation with this woman is all kinds of messed up. Rochev was having an affair with Oliver Queen’s father, Robert. Years later, she returned to Star City as a pawn in an elaborate revenge plot against Oliver. She ends up boning Oliver. Later, powered by Miraclo Mirakuru, she attempts to kill Oliver, but ultimately ends up getting killed herself.
Sara Lance (Deceased, Resurrected, Nuts): Presumed dead throughout Arrow season one, the superior Lance sister returned in season two. After some initial reluctance, she resumed her relationship with her sister’s ex. Hardened by her experiences on Lian Yu and with the League of Assassins, Lance became the kick-ass vigilante known as the Black Canary. Unfortunately, she died…and was resurrected with mystical waters, only to become battier than ever. While she has to live with an insane bloodlust for the rest of her life, Sara made the wise decision to get the f*ck away from Green Arrow…and go time traveling with a group of heroes that pose far less danger than a relationship with Oliver Queen.
Felicity Smoak (Paralyzed, Healed, Emotionally Damaged): After pining for Oliver for three seasons years, Felicity gets her turn on the Arrow express at the end of season three. Their relationship features lots of secrets and lies, peaking with a bombing by a Green Arrow enemy that leaves Felicity paralyzed. Thankfully, she has a genius working for her at Palmer Tech and receives a “Terrific Chip” implant that enables her to walk again. She made the smart decision to walk out on Oliver Queen, figuratively and literally. While she has genius-level intellect, all signs point to her eventually coming back to the Oliver Queen nightmare.
Taiana Venediktov (Most Likely to Die Next): A character from the season four flashbacks to Lian Yu, all signs point to her having a fling with Oliver Queen. This also means that all signs point to her becoming a corpse before the season is over.
Bottom Line: Dating Oliver Queen always ends up in disaster. Certainly his life a Green Arrow has a great deal to do with that, but the guy was dangerous well before he donned the hood. Women should know that dating Oliver Queen means that there’s a great chance that they’ll die earlier than they ought to, a good chance that they’ll end up crippled, and a slight chance of them being jailed. To the fictional ladies of the CW Arrowverse — don’t do it!
Amazon has ordered a pilot for The Tick. The show will, of course, star Ben Edlund’s wonderful comic-book creation. In addition to excellent comics, The Tick has previously starred in an animated series and a live-action series. The live-action show was lauded for Patrick Warburton’s fantastic portrayal of the bumbling hero. While Warburton won’t be returning to star as The Tick on Amazon, he’s expected to be one of the show’s executive producers, according to Deadline.
For those of you not familiar with the character, The Tick is an incredibly powerful superhero that’s supremely kind hearted and supremely dimwitted. He was originally created as a parody of popular comics heroes. Fans loved his misadventures, attracted to the comedic tales of an amnesiac hero that always has the best intentions and seldom has an idea of how to optimally use his formidable powers.
While the protagonist hasn’t been cast, the sidekick has. Deadline reported that Griffin Newman will be playing Arthur. An accountant with a moth costume that enables him to fly, Arthur tries to serve as the brains of Tick’s operations, but is often exasperated by the hero’s stupidity. The two have a strong bond and their dynamic is one of the main ingredients of The Tick’s charm.
Ben Edlund will be writing and producing The Tick for Amazon. Wally Pfister is in negotiations to direct the pilot, which will hopefully be given the green light to become a proper series.
While I’ll miss Patrick Warburton as The Tick and David Burke as Arthur, I’m greatly looking forward to the upcoming Amazon pilot. There’s something about the character that just makes you feel good. The world is always a better place when new content featuring The Tick is being created. With some luck, the lovable blue hero will be starring on Amazon for years to come.
Embedded below is the red band trailer for the sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. There are some pretty cool reveals in the trailer. Before I get to that, let’s get the red-band content out of the way — there’s some blood and Melisandre starts to show her boobs. There’s a lesbian kiss too, but I don’t consider that “red band” material. As far as red band trailers go, this one is pretty tame. Now let’s move onto the big reveals! (Raise your spoiler shields, please!)
The first, and probably the most obvious, is that Jon Snow is not dead. Yeah, there are a lot of bits in the trailer that (amusingly) try to suggest that Ned Stark’s presumed bastard is sleeping with the daisies (or whatever flowers they have in Westeros), but if you pay attention then it’s pretty obvious that Jon Snow is alive. Some of the dialogue that suggests he’s dead is clearly mashed together from different scenes (that likely have little to do with each other). Most importantly, there’s a quick bit of a man with frizzy hair charging into a battle. I’m positive that man is Jon Snow. Actor Kit Harrington’s hair (which always looked like long pubic hair to me) is easy to spot.
The part that I’m most excited about is the Tower of Joy. Long rumored to be in Game of Thrones season six, the trailer has what appears to be two flashback scenes featuring a young Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy. As fans of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books know, what happened at the Tower of Joy is a huge deal. The books haven’t revealed the full details yet, but season six of Game of Thrones will have content that has yet to appear in print. Many book fans are hoping that the flashback scenes will show Jon Snow’s true parentage and what was behind the weight on Ned Stark’s shoulders all those years. As a fan of the books myself, I can’t wait for the Tower of Joy flashback.
There’s lots of other cool stuff in the trailer and I’d love to hear what stood out the most to you. Kindly give it a peep and let me know what you think in the comments section.
The lovely (and deadly) Elektra Natchios gets the spotlight in the latest trailer for Daredevil season two. Elektra was mentioned in passing during a flashback scene in season one. This year, she’ll be brought to life by Elodie Yung. (Don’t ask me why a Greek assassin is being played by a Cambodian-French actress. White people take roles from minorities all the time!) The new Daredevil trailer shows Elektra asking for Matt Murdock’s help, kicking ass alongside the hero, and getting some sexual healing. Hopefully she ends up reconnecting (biblically) with Murdock. That guy needs to get laid.
The two-and-a-half minute clip shows much more than Elektra. It also has clips of Matt having issues with longtime companion Foggy Nelson and nurse Claire Temple. The former laments walking up to Matt’s apartment and eventually finding him dead, while the latter chastises the hero and tells him that Manhattan is no longer his city. Bits of the Punisher and Karen Page are shown as well.
The juicy stuff is, of course, the ninja stuff. Elektra tells Matt that Daredevil didn’t defeat the Yakuza; they’re just hanging out in the background while DD beats up their enemies. The Yakuza appears to be back with a vengeance, accompanied by some menacing buddies — the Hand. In the comics, many of Daredevil’s best stories have to do with the Hand. The trailer shows the mystical ninja clan storming up a building. Daredevil’s mentor Stick makes a brief appearance, warning his disciple about the Hand. Glimpses of fight scenes are shown, with Daredevil and Elektra taking on Hand ninja.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Daredevil season one was its realistic and bone-crunching combat. While I’m greatly looking forward to glorious ninja battles in season two, I hope that the fights retain the impact of their forerunners and aren’t overly choreographed.
Anyway, please check out the new Daredevil season two trailer when you have a chance and share your thoughts in the comments section.