Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Game of Thrones is Coming Edition


Thank goodness – the long national nightmare of waiting for Game of Thrones to return is almost over. I always say that the fastest 10 weeks of the year are when Game of Thrones is on and then time seems to stand still until the next new season. This year has been a particularly brutal wait, as the new episodes are starting much later in the year than normal. That legitimately hurt my heart. But now we’re T-minus 4 days and I’m practically giddy with anticipation. I’m going away this weekend, but you better believe that I’ll be back in time to be in front of my TV at 9 pm sharp, hopefully with a glass of the new Ommegang Game of Thrones beer in my hand. This is nonnegotiable, so I hope Amtrak understands that if there are any delays Sunday they may have their own Red Wedding situation on their hands.

But it isn’t Sunday yet, which means that my attention is still focused on giving you the best pop culture roundup possible. As always, I’ve searched high and low to bring you the best that the world of pop culture has to offer. So while you countdown to the time when we are all transported back to Westeros, see what pop culture goodness that you might have missed in the last seven days.



Battle of the Sexes




Time for some trailers…..

  • One final Game of Thrones trailer before the new season:


  • The Magnificent Seven:


  • Birth of a Nation, which was a huge hit at Sundance:


  • Inside Amy Schumer, season 4 (NSFW):


  • Hands of Stone:


  • Our Kind of Traitor:


  • Hulu’s Deadbeat:


  • Mr. Robot, season 2:


  • Welcome to My Life (Chris Brown documentary):


  • Equals:


  • Lightningface:


  •  How to Build a Time Machine:


  • The Neon Demon:


  • For the Love of Spock:




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As always, we end with the supercuts and mashups….

  • Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner recites Adele lyrics as Jon Snow:


  • The first and final frames of TV series:


  • Lincoln mashed up with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter becomes a Kung Fu movie:


  • 100 best post-kill one-liners:


  • 100 years of cinema with 100 iconic movie scenes:


  • The Real Masters of Eternia:


  • Cats in famous movie scenes:


  • Captain America: Civil War gets the Ken Burns treatment:


  • Suicide Squad meets Friends:


  • And finally, The Muppets cover Snoop Dogg:


Heather’s Trailer Park

We’re flipping the script a little this week; poor advance planning and a late night at the Springsteen concert last night (and yes – I still tear up during “Badlands”) means that I still want to tweak this week’s pop culture roundup. There have been so many trailers released recently, especially highlighting the new network shows for the Fall, that I figured that I would swap posts for this week. Hope no one is traumatized by this derivation; I know change is hard.

I have to say, seeing what the networks have planned in way of new programming does not instill a lot of confidence. I know that a trailer is only a small representation of a film or TV show, but it is also supposed to show the program/film in the best possible light. If this is the best possible light for some of these shows, it might have been better to leave them in the dark.

Check out the trailers below and see if there is anything that you want to add to your viewing queue. For those of you that aren’t big on TV, there’s also plenty of movie trailers for you to enjoy. And hopefully the pop culture roundup will be worth waiting an extra day for.

State of Affairs, a new drama on NBC:


Constantine, based on the DC comic Hellraiser:


Marry Me, starring Casey Wilson and Ken Marino:


Bad Judge with Kate Walsh:


The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing:


A to Z with Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti


How to Get Away with Murder, the newest from Shoda Rhimes over at ABC:


Secret and Lies with Ryan Phillippe:


Galavant, a comedy/musical/ fairytale:


Manhattan Love Story:




The Whispers:


American Crime:


Fresh off the Boat:


Selfie – aka Karen Gillan deserves better:


Cristela, from stand-up comic Cristela Alonzo (whom I enjoy):




Gotham over at FOX:


Mulaney, from stand-up John Mulaney (who I dug at the Oddball Comedy Festival):


Gracepoint, the U.S. version of that fantastic British show Broadchurch:


Will Forte in Last Man on Earth:


Wayward Pines from M. Night Shyamalan:


Backstrom, from the creator of Bones:




Empire with Terrence Howard:




A first look at the second season of Masters of Sex (which I need to catch up on this summer):


A promo for The Maya Rudolph Show:


The Librarian on TNT:




Public Morals:


Transporter: The Series:


Angie Tribeca on TBS (starring Rashida Jones):




Your Family or Mine?:


Switching to the big screen……..


A new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer:


A red band trailer for Snowpiercer, starring Chris Evans:


Good People with James Franco and Kate Hudson:


And So It Goes with Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton:


An extended trailer for Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise:


Steve Carell in Alexander and the Terrivle, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:


Rage with Nic Cage and Danny Glover:


Another trailer for Tammy, starring Melissa McCarthy:


V/H/S Viral, the third installment in the franchise:


And finally, a new red band trailer for A Million Ways to Die in the West:


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – A Review

More like Extremely Manipulative and Incredibly Annoying.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close uses the tragedy of 9/11 to manipulate the audience into feeling emotions that the writing and acting are unable to generate on their own and to cover up that this is a fairly frivolous film.

Nine year old Oskar Schell is different. The movie makes sure you know this by loading this kid up with eccentricities and neurosis. A throwaway line in the movie indicates that he may be somewhere on the autism scale. His beloved father (Tom Hanks) devises games and adventures to try and socialize Oskar and force him to interact with people, a skill that he struggles with. A year after Oskar’s father is killed in the World Trade Center attack, Oskar discovers a key hidden in his father’s belongings. Imagining that is it one last game from his father, Oskar sets off to find the owner of the key and what it unlocks. His mother (Sandra Bullock) cries a lot and seems oblivious to the fact her child is going off into the city by himself and knocking on stranger’s doors.

As written and portrayed by newcomer Thomas Horn, Oskar is fairly annoying. I feel bad even writing that; here is a character that lost his father and desperately wants to keep the connection alive and all I want is for the kid to shut up once in a while. This is not an ideal quality for your main character to have. I’m not sure if it is all the quirks that he has been saddled with, his precociousness or the fact that he yells a lot, but it was difficult for me to connect and honestly care about Oskar and his quest. A much more nuanced portrayal of a child with Asperger’s (if that is indeed Oskar’s diagnosis) can be found on the TV show Parenthood. I think it was a mistake to give the role to a child that was discovered on Kids Jeopardy! He just is not up to the task.

The film does try to get you to care about Oskar, but it does so by relying on 9/11. A lot. The director never lets you forget how Oscar’s father died. You hear the panicked messages left on the answering machine before the collapse of the towers. Planes flying overhead are filmed to give the illusion that they are going to crash into a building. It is all a cheap attempt to tap into the well of sadness and grief that people have about that day. The filmmakers are using a shortcut to generate emotion, but it is all unearned. It is highly likely you will cry watching this film, but they are tears of remembrance. They have very little to go with what is actually happening in the movie.

The one bright spot of the film is Max von Sydow as the mysterious man who rents a room from Oskar’s grandmother and accompanies him on the search. The character does not speak and von Sydow does a masterful job using his facial expressions and posture to convey his thoughts and emotions. He makes the most of the limited script, but even his character is not fully developed.

There are stories to be told about September 11th, the grieving process and recovery. This just isn’t one of them.