Thrones vs. the Avengers

Well, that was a helluva holysh*t weekend! We got a culmination of all things “winter” during final season ‘Game of Thrones‘ episode “The Long Night” on Sunday, and, more significantly, the Avengers finally got a shot at fixing the universe in ‘Avengers: Endgame‘ on Friday. And I was thinking, “Which did I like better of the two?”

As a long time fan of both franchises I figured I better break things down (Minor Spoilers):

  • The Launch: Coming off a strong character centric episode last week ‘GoT: The Long Night‘ could dive in from the first second. While ‘Avengers: Endgame’ needed a slower build-up to reacclimate audiences after a year long break. Therefore, ‘GoT’ wins.
  • Technical Achievement: ‘GoT: The Long Night‘ crafted its over hour long chaotic battle sequence working with much less. So despite the oft-lamented “dark cinematography” GoT’s accomplishment is simply more impressive than the hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of names in the credits ‘Endgame’.
  • Fan-service: Not only was ‘Endgame‘ brimming with MCU nostalgia and high profile cameos, but that “wow” moment during the final battle (you know the one) had me fist-pumping the air. Even Arya Stark as wight assassin extraordinaire and those dragon on dragon duels couldn’t hope to compete.
  • Dramatic Hits: ‘Endgame‘ achieved “whatever it takes” heights by actually killing off main players. While GoT, however, held back its big dramatic punches for later in the season.
  • Coolness Factor: Where Avengers came off as generic and predictable, GoT subverted expectations with genuine surprise and badassery beyond the fold. Those beautifully choreographed fire lit action set pieces are “must be seen to be believed” awesome. It was literally raining undead!
  • Villains: Thanos vs the Night King? As the complex villain from ‘Infinity War’, Thanos would’ve handily won. However, this “new” Thanos simply lacks pathos and grit. As such, the Night King wins–that gleeful rebuke of Dany’s attack (you know the one) is soul-stripping amazing.
  • Heroes: ‘Avengers: Endgame‘, by a landslide. The grey-area “heroes” of GoT didn’t have a chance against Earth’s Mightiest.
  • Resolution: Again, the Avengers. GoT has three more episodes remaining until its bitter end. While the emotional memorial(s) in ‘Endgame’ ensure a satisfying–if entirely messy–conclusion for the decade long “Infinity Saga”.

A tie by the numbers, four wins for each. However, I still believe ‘Avengers: Endgame‘ played it too safe, giving us pretty much exactly what we both wanted and expected. Where ‘Game of Thrones: The Long Night‘ went bigger than anyone could’ve hoped by presenting a compelling and nail-biting episode of television. Watch both and decide for yourself is my recommendation.

The Murray Doesn’t Die

I’m not saying we need another zombie movie. But,..if we’re getting one it might as well be a Jim Jarmusch flick, ‘The Dead Don’t Die‘. If anyone remembers his stellar 2013 vampire film ‘Only Loves Left Alive‘ (I believe about five people saw it in the theater :-( ) you can appreciate what this master filmmaker is capable of doing with horror deconstruction.

And just look at that cast. If it actually comes “to a theater near me” I’m going–just try to stop me. “I told you this wasn’t going to end well.” –But, I bet it ends awesome.

‘Deadwood’ Lives!

Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since the exceptional Western series ‘Deadwood‘ was unceremoniously cancelled by HBO. And with absolutely no resolution for many stories it left a bitter taste that lingered for years after that last episode aired. Hell, had it not been for ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘True Detective’ I might not have ever even given HBO a second chance.

Thankfully, the gods have answered our prayers and creator David Milch has finally been allowed to fulfill his once promise and give completion to this epic Old West saga with a feature lengther to air on May 31, 2019. Yay!!! Oh, how I’ve missed Ian McShane’s “Al Swearypants” and Timothy Olyphant’s “Sheriff Grouchyface.”