Top 10 LGBT Films

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What’s up, y’all?

Today’s blog post may stir up some controversy, but as I promised, I’m going to keep it 100% with y’all.  The LGBT community is a part of life, and deserves some recognition.  What better way to do that than to post my very first top 10 list of my favorite movies that are LGBT themed?  And yes, some of these films I’ve watched have been written off as, “Oh, that’s gay.  I’m not watchin’ that.”  Yes, these movies are gay, but they’re damn good, and I highly recommend them.  So, let’s get on and poppin’!

10.  Rent

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I remember first hearing about Rent when I was in 8th grade, and I really wanted to see the play.  I never had the chance to go to Broadway as teenager though, so I settled for the film when it was released on DVD.  The movie is really great, and delivers powerful messages about friendship, love and dealing with the AIDS virus.  The songs are also on point.  Idina Menzel loans her vocal talents to the film (this is before she struck worldwide fame in Frozen).  Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms sing their butts off, too (and they said they didn’t think they had great singing voices!  Girl, bye!).  I have to say though, if you’re not into musicals, this movie may not be for you.  The songs stay stuck in your head for years, and years, and years.  Trust me, nine years after I watched this film, I still remember just about all of the lyrics.  No lie.

9.  Kinky Boots

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This film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (one of my favorite actors, by the way), as a drag queen named Lola, that befriends a reluctant shoemaker named Charlie.  Charlie just inherited his father’s shoe factory and wants no parts of it, especially considering that the boring shoes he and his workers make hardly sell.  Lola pitches him a wild idea:  sell high heeled boots made specifically for transvestites and drag queens.  This movie is extremely funny, and as usual, Chiwetel Ejiofor does an outstanding performance.  I especially loved the ending (I won’t spoil it for y’all).  Another thing I loved is that there’s a scene where David Bowie’s original version of “The Prettiest Star” is played.  Y’all know I love David Bowie.

8.  The Crying Game

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OMG…I remember when this movie came out.  I was still in elementary school, and every time I turned on the TV, someone was talking about The Crying Game.  There wasn’t a soul (and I believe some of my classmates were talking about it, too) that wouldn’t shut up about how Dill, the leading lady, actually had a pickle.  A few years later, my mom and I checked the movie out for ourselves, and we were pleasantly surprised.  It’s a tense thriller, with an unorthodox love story, and I’m a sucker for love stories.  Y’all wanna know something else cool about this film?  Dill’s hair.  That child had some beautiful hair, and it sucks what happened to it towards the end (once again, I won’t spoil it).

7.  Dallas Buyers Club

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In 2014, I made it my business to check out nearly all the Oscar nominees for Best Picture.  Captain Phillips didn’t really do much for me until the end (Tom Hanks killed the ending).  American Hustle bored me a bit.  I couldn’t sit through Gravity (admittedly, I’m thinking about giving that one another chance…maybe).  12 Years a Slave was good, but damn depressing, and The Wolf of Wall Street was wild as all hell (but I still enjoyed it)!  Then there was Dallas Buyers Club.  For the longest time, I refused to watch it, because I knew it would depress me.  Then one night, it came on HBO…and I actually wasn’t depressed.  I was moved, and ironically enough, the Oscar movie nominee I thought I’d despise was actually the one I liked best.  Seeing a homophobic, ne’er do well promiscuous man use his fatal diagnosis to transform himself into a sensitive philanthropist sent a very powerful message.  Not only that, but I loved seeing how the relationship between Ron and Rayon (Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, respectively) goes from one of animosity to true friendship.  Check it out if you haven’t already.

6.  The Birdcage

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The premise:  Robin Williams’ son is getting married to a young lady with a conservative political family, so he and his fiancée fail to tell her mother and father that his parents are actually a gay couple that run a drag club in Miami Beach.  Think that’s weird enough?  The conservative parents make a trip to Miami to meet their future son-in-law’s family, including his “mother”…who’s actually Nathan Lane in drag.  Y’all, this movie is so hilarious that I watch it every time it comes on, and when I do, I laugh so hard my side hurts.  Everyone in the movie gives a great performance, and there’s never a boring moment.

5.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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VH1 played this movie for its 20th anniversary when I was in 9th grade (which shows how old I am), and it scared the shit out of me.  Why?  Because Meat Loaf got chopped up with a pick ax midway through the movie.  Hey, I love Meat Loaf (the man, not the dish.  Actually, I can’t stand that kind of meatloaf).  I didn’t touch this movie with a ten foot pole until I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s, and after I was done laughing my behind off, I couldn’t believe I was actually afraid of it (the red lips against the black background in the opening credits still creep me out, though)!  Most of y’all know the plot:  Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) have a flat tire and they end up stranded at Dr. Frank-n-Furter’s (Tim Curry) house.  The doctor’s a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania and he’s about to unveil his greatest creation…a human boytoy.  When Halloween comes around this year, be sure to pop this classic in the Blu-Ray or DVD player.  It’s funny as hell.  Also, if you haven’t had the chance, please watch The Rocky Horror Show stage play.  The audience participation alone will have you rollin’!

4.  Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

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I know what y’all are thinkin’, “You only have this movie on the list because David Bowie’s in it!”  As I always say, just because my favorite celebs are in a movie, it doesn’t mean the film’s good by default.  If that were the case, I’d consider Just a Gigolo to be cinematic gold (God, I hate that movie).  No, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is a very well made film with an interesting story about British soldiers trapped in a Japanese POW camp and both sides trying to work through cultural barriers.  I know what else y’all are thinkin’, “What’s this have to do with LGBT themes?”  The camp leader (Ryuichi Sakamoto) has a crush on Mr. Bowie’s character, which was a no-no in 1940’s Japanese society.  But hey, who can blame him?  By the way, Ryuichi Sakamoto not only plays the hell out of the lovestruck Captain Yonoi, but he also created the kickass score for the film.  I have two versions of the title track downloaded on my IPod.

3.  Milk

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No, this movie isn’t about my favorite dairy product/drink.  It’s the true story of the first ever openly gay politician in California, Harvey Milk, played by Sean Penn.  Harvey was a San Francisco supervisor during the 1970’s that fought for gay rights until he was assassinated in 1978.  Whether you’re gay or straight, seeing how Harvey fights for what he believes in and continues to get back up even when he’s knocked down (he lost three elections before he was finally voted into office) is completely inspirational.  Once again, this is another film I watch every time it comes on.

2.  Velvet Goldmine

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At its core, Velvet Goldmine is about a well renowned 70’s British rock star by the name of Brian Slade (beautifully played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, another one of my fantasy men) who fakes being shot, is made a pariah by his former fans and disappears into thin air.  In 1984, Christian Bale is tasked to do a story on the singer’s career and disappearance, which stirs up good and bad memories, since he was part of the glam rock scene during the previous decade.  I’m not gonna lie…Velvet Goldmine is strange.  Very strange.  The structure of the movie is completely non-linear, and there’s musical numbers scattered throughout that don’t make sense, but at the same time, they do.  Don’t get me started on the surrealistic aspects of the film (i.e. the spaceship that’s flying around in certain scenes).  The character of Brian Slade was based on David Bowie, whereas his love interest, Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor), has a combination of personalities from Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Marc Bolan.  Ironically enough, Mr. Bowie hated this film and refused to lend any of his music to the project.  I’ve always loved this film, though.  It’s weird, but it’s also interesting.  Plus, the movie has the extra added bonus of one of my favorite men playing a character based on one of my favorite men.  By the way, the costume and hair designer had Mr. Bowie’s looks down pat!  I can’t say this movie is for everyone, but I will say that the scene where Obi Wan Kenobi is gettin’ his freak on with Batman can’t be missed.

1.  To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything!  Julie Newmar

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C’mon!  What did you think would be number one?  I’ve loved this movie ever since I was 14, and yes, it’s another film that I have to watch whenever it airs.  Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze (may he rest in peace), and John Leguizamo killed their roles.  For those of you that haven’t seen this classic, it’s about three drag queens that travel cross country to a pageant and get stranded in a small town that’s near dead.  Naturally, the three vivacious ladies breathe life into the inhabitants of the town, all the while being pursued by a racist, homophobic cop, played by Chris Penn (may he rest in peace).  This is one of the sweetest, most heartfelt movies ever, and it’s damn funny to boot.  Every time I watch it, I forget that the three main characters are drag queens, and I see them as just women bonding during a road trip and using their flamboyant personalities to give some small town people life.  Plus, RuPaul makes a cameo.  You gotta love that.

—Written by Nadiya

Do you agree with my top 10 list?  What’s your favorite LGBT movie?  Give me your thoughts!

“The Broken Man” – Recap and Review

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This past episode of “Game of Thrones” was chock full of surprises!  Let’s do this!

A Beautiful Meadow With Nice, Happy Church Folk (Before the Opening Credits…huh?)

Yeah, you read that right.  I never remember any new scenes being shown before the opening credits, but this week, the show begins with happy, shiny people not holding hands, but building what appears to be a church steeple.  The equally happy, shiny leader is Ian McShane, aka The Guy That’s In Everything.  It’s true.  He was in Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides, Hercules, Snow White and the Huntsman…this dude is in everything!  As the camera shows groups of men carrying large logs of wood to be added to the steeple, we see one large, burly man carrying a log all by himself.  He drops the log and camera pans upward to reveal…The Hound!  The Hound is back, baby!

Then the opening credits start.  Dun-dun-du-du-dun-dun-du-du-dun-dun…

The story goes back to all the happy, shiny people…and The Hound.  It turns out Ian McShane is a priest (a Septon) and he found The Hound near dead.  Ian McShane was planning to give him a proper burial, but before the priest could put the big guy in the ground, he coughed, and here we are.  Turns out Ian McShane is a cool priest a la Father Bobby in Sleepers (shout out to Robert DeNiro), and can’t resist ribbin’ The Hound a little bit when he finds out that it was actually a woman that took the big man out.  Later, they have a spiritual conversation, where Father McShane (that’s what I’m gonna call him) admits that he doesn’t know everything about the gods, but he knows that there’s something greater out there and whatever it is has a plan for The Hound.  The Hound asks if the gods are real, then why hasn’t he been punished yet?  Father McShane tells him that he has been punished.

King’s Landing

Margaery is in the Sept, reading from the bible when The High Sparrow walks in.  On a side note, her hair looks blonder (is that a word?) in this episode.  Anyway, The High Sparrow starts asking why Margaery and Tommen aren’t bumpin’ and grindin’ like they used to.  Margaery tells him that she doesn’t have the desire to.  After all, that kid is like what?  16?  I feel like I’m about to get a visit from the folks at “Dateline NBC” every time I see the two of them together.  The High Sparrow tells her that she has a duty to her husband and her country, and the king must have an heir so “their good work” can continue.  He then tells her that she’s made a lot of progress, and he only wishes her grandmother would make the same progress…or else.  Later that day, Margaery meets with Granny Tyrell with Septa Unella, the psychotic nun.  Granny Tyrell is pissed that Septa Unella is hanging on to their every word, but Margaery won’t send her away.  BTW, I love Granny’s comments about Unella, “Can it move or talk?”  Granny’s also pissed that Margaery seems to be content with Loras still being locked up and being the new poster girl for The Seven.  She tries to make Margaery go back to Highgarden, but she refuses, and instead, Margaery pleads for her grandmother to go back home.  She slips a piece of paper in her grandmother’s hand and warns her, “Go home.”  Granny understands completely at that point.  They say their goodbyes, and when Granny goes outside, she looks at the piece of paper.  It has a rose (the Tyrell symbol) drawn on it.  It’s enough to put a smile on Granny Tyrell’s face.  Margaery’s playing them, and this ain’t over.

Somewhere in The North

Jon, Sansa, Tormund and Ser Davos meet up with the Wildlings to get them to fight in The Bastard Bowl (yep, The Bastard Bowl).  They don’t wanna do it; they promised they’d help Jon fight the White Walkers, not psychos that would make Ted Bundy shake his head.  Tormund reminds them that Jon literally gave his life for them, and if they don’t fight for him, they’re all cowards.  Wun Wun the Giant (I think that’s his name) stands up for Jon, and the others follow.  That’s a point for the Starks!

King’s Landing…The Land of Shade

Cersei approaches Granny Tyrell about leaving King’s Landing, and asks if she’ll really leave her grandson in a cell.  Granny reminds Cersei that it’s her fault that Loras is rotting in a cell, and it’s her fault that The High Sparrow rose to power.  Cersei actually accepts responsibility and admits it’s her fault all this has happened.  She says her stupid decision haunts her every day, to which Granny replies, “Good.”  Cersei practically begs Granny for help, but Granny remembers that signature smirk Cersei had on her face when Loras and Margaery were taken away, and she refuses to lift a finger for her ratchet ass.  Granny tells her that she’s leaving for Highgarden, and if Cersei had any sense (which she doesn’t), she’ll do the same.  Cersei refuses to leave Tommen.  Granny reminds Cersei that she has no support in King’s Landing anymore, and it’s the only joy she can hold to in all this misery.  Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Riverrun

Jaime and Bronn (Bronn’s back!) arrive in Riverrun, and see the Frey army’s piss poor attempt at trying to take the castle back.  Frey’s son and the other men are threatening to cut Lord Edmure’s throat if the Blackfish doesn’t surrender.  The Blackfish is basically like…

Look at All the Fucks I Give

Jaime can’t stand looking at these fools bumble around anymore and takes over the siege.  He also demands that Lord Edmure be cleaned and fed (Black Jack looks a hot ass mess).  One of the idiots tries to back talk to Jaime, but he quickly get bitchslapped with Jaime’s metal hand.  Ouch!  Jaime tells Bronn to get word to The Blackfish for a parley.

Bear Island

Jon, Sansa and Ser Davos meet up with Lady Lyanna, the head of House Mormont, and let me tell you…Lady Lyanna needs a belt to her behind.  The internet is lovin’ her, and I have to say, she’s much stronger than Tommen and Robyn, and smarter, too.  However, she’s a nasty little thing and could use a swift kick in her rump!  When Jon and Sansa ask her for help (all while making the mistake of trying to appeal to her as a child), the 10 year old quickly shuts them down, and uses a considerable amount of shade to do so, especially with Sansa, “Lady Sansa is a Bolton…or are you a Lannister?  I’ve heard conflicting reports.”  Ser Davos steps up to speak, and as we all know, he’s always had a way with children…even the difficult ones.  He tells her about the White Walkers coming, and how all the houses have to band together to fight them.  Lyanna finally agrees and allows Jon to use her soldiers…all 62 of them.  Massive.  Another point for the Starks (sort of).

Riverrun (Another Land of Shade)

Jaime and The Blackfish have their parley.  Jaime threatens to kill Edmure if The Blackfish doesn’t surrender, blah, blah, blah.  The Blackfish knows that Edmure’s dead either way, and he refuses.  Jaime tells him if he surrenders now, his men will be spared.  The Blackfish tells Jaime that he was born at that castle and will die there if need be.  Jaime asks why The Blackfish wanted to parley in the first place, seeing that he has no interest in negotiating.  The Blackfish says he wanted to measure Jaime up in person…and he’s disappointed.  BUUUUURRRRNNNNNN!

House Glover (Suck Castle)

Lord Glover refuses to fight for the Starks due to The Boltons helping him take his house back from The Ironborn.  Jon tries to reason with him, but the minute ol’ boy finds out that The Wildlings are fighting alongside The Starks, he wants nothing to do with the takeover.  Sansa reminds Lord Glover that his house pledged loyalty to House Stark.  He tells Sansa that when the Ironborn took over his house, Robb was too busy getting himself killed to protect his family.  His loyalty to House Stark died with Robb.  Interception.  The Starks lose a point.

Whore Island

Theon and Yara are on some unnamed island full of hoes.  Yara is havin’ a fine old time (yep, she’s a lesbian, or bisexual at the very least.  Seems a bit stereotypical if you ask me), whereas Theon is nervous around all the naked women.  In true Ironborn fashion, Yara makes it clear that she’s sick of Theon’s PTSD and makes him drink a mug full of ale to toughen him up.  She also reveals their plan:  they’re going to Meereen to make a pact with Dany to take back the Iron Islands and overthrow their evil ass uncle.  However, Yara needs the old Theon, not traumatized Theon (she also tells him that if he’s too broken to be himself again, he should slit his wrists.  Man, there’s no love for the mentally distressed with the Ironborn!).  Yara asks if he’s with him.  Theon looks up at Yara with a newfound confidence and nods.  In a show of compassion, Yara gives him a kiss on the forehead, and proceeds to go bang a ho, leaving Theon alone at the table.

Punk Ass Stannis’ Old Camp

Davos, Jon and Sansa arrive at Stannis’ old camp in the North.  Davos says it’s the perfect place due to the surrounding mountains, but Jon announces that he’s not staying there long, just in case a storm hits.  When Davos leaves the siblings to attend to some mess going down with the soldiers, Sansa lets it be known that she doesn’t exactly trust Davos, and that they need more men to take Winterfell.  Jon reminds Sansa that Davos is the reason he’s alive and that he served Stannis for years.  Sansa reminds Jon that Stannis was an asshole that lost Blackwater and later, his own head.  Jon tells her there’s no more time to get more men, and they have to make due with what they have.  Sansa secures a raven and sends a message to someone for further assistance.  I really hope it’s not who folks on the net think it is…

Back at the Beautiful Meadow…

Father McShane and the other happy people (and The Hound) are having a bible study (or maybe just plain church), where the priest speaks on his wrong doings before he became saved and sanctified.  He mentions that it’s never to late to stop robbing or killing people, and it’s never too late to start helping people.  The Hound appears to take the sermon in.  Then, up rides some folks that don’t look too friendly.  They ask for horses, but Father McShane tells them they have no horses or riches.  They ask for food, and Father McShane invites them for supper.  They ride off, but not before saying, “The night is dark and full of terrors.”  Afterwards, The Hound berates the priest for not being more wary of the men.  Father McShane says that fighting them wouldn’t be the answer, and besides, he’s done with fighting.  He feels that violence is a disease that shouldn’t be spread.  He invites The Hound to stop working and get some supper.  The Hound continues chopping wood, since it’s supposed to be a cold night.

Braavos

Arya comes across a Westerosi man and promises him two bags of coins for passage on his ship back to Westeros.  He agrees, and Arya walks off.  She reaches a bridge and takes a look at the city.  An old woman approaches her saying, “Sweet girl?”  Once Arya turns around the woman slices her across the abdomen and stabs her twice in the stomach.  She takes off her mask to reveal that she’s actually the blonde heffa.  Arya head butts the witch and jumps in the water.  The heffa looks over the side of the bridge to see if a body floats up, but it never does.  The blonde heffa looks pleased with herself and leaves.  Dummy.  Arya swims back to the surface, and walks through the city, badly wounded.  She’s scared out of her mind, as she clearly can’t trust anyone.  Any one of the people may be a Faceless Man…

The Not-So-Beautiful Meadow

The Hound finally finishes chopping wood when he hears a scream.  He comes back to the meadow to find everyone massacred.  The men, the women, the children…everyone.  Worse yet, he sees Father McShane hanging by his neck from the unfinished steeple.  The Hound grabs a nearby ax, and goes off in search of those three fools.

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And that, my friends, is how the story ends.

This episode was great, as usual, and I loved seeing The Hound’s return.  I can’t wait to see what he does to those three guys.  However, there was something that really disappointed me this week…Arya.  My girl is way too smart to do something that dumb.  You know you’re on the run from assassins that can disguise themselves as anyone and everyone, and you actually walk out in the open?  Then you don’t get suspicious of a random old lady that walks up to you?  Come on!  I’m a bit disappointed in Sansa too, if she did what we all think she did.  She took two steps forward this season, but if she sent that raven to the person we think she sent it to, she basically took ten steps back.  A minuscule gripe that I had this week is that Tyrion and Dany were absent from this episode, and this is actually the second time in a row that Tyrion didn’t make an appearance.  The previews show that he’ll be back next week, though (yay!).  Another cool thing that happens next week is that Jaime and Brienne meet each other again…only this time, they’re rivals!  I’m anxious to see what Arya’s next move is (even though she ticked me off.  Even I knew that old woman was the blonde heffa in disguise!), as well as Margaery’s.  I’m also curious to see if Theon really is the old Theon.  If modern psychology has taught us anything, PTSD and even acute trauma isn’t gone over night, and Yara isn’t exactly the type to sit down and listen to Theon discuss his fears.  Hell, she suggested he should commit suicide!  Lord willin’, I’ll give you guys another recap next week!

—Written by Nadiya

So what did you think about “The Broken Man”?  Did you like seeing The Hound again?  How do you feel about Riverrun?  Do you think Jaime and Bronn will take it?  What about Sansa?  Do you think she sent that raven to you-know-who?  Did you know all along that Margaery was playin’ The High Sparrow, or did you have some doubts like I did?  Did you think Arya taking in the city while she was on the run was a horrible idea?  Will Theon be himself again?  Also, did you miss Tyrion, too?  Give me your thoughts!

“Je Suis Prest” – Recap and Review

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Je Suis Prest means “I am ready” in French, for those of y’all that forgot (like me).  I did remember that it’s Jamie’s family motto, and it’s more than fitting for this episode.  So y’all get ready to get this party started!

Some more time has passed.  A few of the men have deserted Claire and Jamie due to their hatred of being bossed around by Lord Lovat.  Lovat’s son had to go back and persuade them to rejoin the ranks, with the promise of land after the war ends (40 acres and a mule, anyone?).  Claire, Jamie and their remaining soliders finally meet up with Murtagh and Fergus (last week, little Fergus insisted on joining them to fight), and set up camp.  The next day, Claire and Jamie get another blast from the past!  Angus, Rupert and shady ass Dougal McKenzie join the army (Willie married an Irish woman and moved to America, much to the fellas’ chagrin)!  Claire and Jamie are more than happy to see Angus and Rupert.  Dougal?  Not so much.  Dougal, on the other hand, is glad to see that Jamie’s taken up the Jacobite cause, but it’s short lived when Jamie lets him know that he’s in charge and that the men are going to to stay at the camp for further training, ’cause Lord knows they need it.  Dougal’s more hellbent on just charging in on the British as is.  Fool.

While the soldiers train, Claire begins to have flashbacks of her time as a nurse in World War II, which reveal that she’s struggling with a form of PTSD.  Jamie has his hands full not only trying to figure out what’s going on with Claire (she won’t admit that she’s reliving WWII), but trying to lead the soldiers, who are no where near ready to fight a war.  Oh, yeah…and Dougal keeps trying to undermine Jamie’s authority.  During another one of the soldiers’ bumbling training sessions (if that’s what you call them…I’m not well versed in military shit), Jamie gives a Braveheart type speech about the horrors of facing a real war with trained killers, and reminds them that they need to take training seriously.  Two seconds later, Dougal and his boys come running up wielding swords, scaring the shit out of the men and causing them to fall out of rank, despite Jamie and Murtagh telling them to halt.  Dougal starts braggin’ about how the real way to defeat the British is to surprise them just like he and his boys just did.  Jamie puts Dougal in check by letting him know that he’s the boss, and he’s the one calling the shots.  I heard that.

Dougal can’t resist the urge to start more drama, so he corners Claire in the kitchen and takes the opportunity to blackmail her into talking to Jamie about having him “help” with training the troops.  He reminds her of their little deal about marrying him if Jamie died in Wentworth Prison, how he’s so sure that Claire never mentioned it Jamie.  Claire is quick to remind Dougal that she already told Jamie about their deal, and he was fine with it.  She also tells him that he’s only concerned with his own self interests and should really stop pretending to be Barack Obama when he’s really Donald Trump.  Then she ends her rant in true Claire badassery:  “Fuck yourself!”

Little Girl Giving the Finger

Dougal admits he’s a narcissistic asshole, but he also admits that as much as he loves himself, he loves Scotland more, and would give his life to make sure King James takes his rightful place on the throne.  Claire appears unmoved.  Personally, I believe him.  Dougal is a jerk, but he’s proven that he loves his country time and time again.

In the meantime, the soldiers are getting better (they’re still not great, though), but Claire’s PTSD is getting worse.  She has another flashback while she’s going in on Angus for not taking better care of his feet, which is crucial for soldiers.  By the way, when the flashback ended, Claire dropped another F bomb.  18th century society will learn the meaning of that word yet.  Later that night, Dougal continues to be a douchebag, and forces a few locals to join the army, claiming they “volunteered” for the cause.  Jamie sees right through that and sends the men home.  Jamie has to pull rank on Dougal’s behind again, and reminds him that he is to follow orders, and places him and his men on sentry duty.  As for the sentries that let the men in without even saying a word, they’re gonna be punished.  The following morning, they each get six lashes from a leather strap.  It reminded me of all the times my mom put the belt to my behind.

When the men have target practice later, Claire experiences another flashback, and this one is much worse than the others.  She remembers her car being shot down by the Germans while trying to take some American soldiers back to their unit.  Claire and one of the Americans are hidden in a trench, while the other private is somewhere across the street, badly injured and screaming for his mother.  The Germans are patroling the streets with tanks, searching for the enemy.  The American solider tries to cross the street to get to the injured private, but he’s seen and quickly killed.  Claire stays in the trench for the rest of the night and is later found by another American soldier the next morning, clearly traumatized.  Jamie finds Claire cowering on the ground, just as she was in the trench.  She finally tells Jamie about how training for the Jacobite Rebellion is bringing back bad memories of the war.  Jamie offers to send her back home, but Claire tells him that leaving him is not an option.  If she goes back home, it’ll be like lying in the ditch again, because this time, people that she loves will be lost, and she’ll be helpless to save them.  Jamie promises she’ll never be alone again.  Awww…

That night, while Jamie’s takin’ a pee (ill…), he’s attacked by a young British guy.  The young Brit claims he saw the lights from the camp’s fires and went to investigate, when he came upon “Red Jamie,” a traitor to the crown.  Jamie tries to find out what army the boy marches for, but the kid ain’t talkin’.  Claire walks in and pretends to be a helpless English lady held prisoner.  She and Jamie put on a convincing show as a would be vicious rapist and a scared victim.  The boy starts talking immediately, and reveals that he is William Grey.  Jamie lets the boy go, but not before Young Grey states that since Jamie spared his life, he owes him a debt, but once that debt is paid, he will kill him (if I’m not mistaken, I remember the book readers saying that William Grey will be an important figure in this series).  Jamie, being a fair man, decides that he himself deserves an ass whuppin’ for not shielding the camp’s fires.  Murtagh does the honors (I don’t think he’d have it any other way).  Man, Jamie doesn’t friggin’ play in his camp.

After Jamie gets whipped, he and some of the men get ready to do some guerrilla warfare and sabotage William Grey’s army.  What I loved is that they went full on commando just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, baby!  They had the camouflage paint on and everything!  Dougal thinks he’s going to be in on the action, but Jamie lets him know that he’s on sentry duty, and he has to stay to guard the camp.  Shots fired!  Jamie reaches the British camp, but he doesn’t do too much damage.  He just takes the wheels from the cannons, and burns them, which is enough to cripple the hell out of them.  Jamie tells Claire about their victory and they get lovey dovey…but Jamie cuts the sexy time off, saying they have to move out before the British camp wakes.

The camp picks up and leaves, and reaches Prince Charles’ encampment soon after.  Jamie allows Dougal to ride to the prince and let him know that they’ve arrived.  He then turns to Claire and tells her that there’s no turning back now.  She responds by saying, “Je suis prest.”

This episode was better than last week’s.  It turns out that it’s more interesting to see these men prepare for war as opposed to seeing them talk about why it’s necessary, or seeing Claire, Jamie and Murtagh try to stop the war.  It was also really interesting to see Claire deal with her PTSD.  You can argue that she never showed any signs of it before, which she hadn’t, but at the same time, nothing had ever set her off to make her relive those traumatic moments until now.  I was reading an internet article about “Outlander” last week, where someone was comparing the first season with the second, and it was pointed out that whereas the second season mostly dealt with politics and intrigues, the previous season dealt mostly with human relationships.  This episode was one of the best ones (it ranks #3 in my list) so far this season because it dealt with human relationships:  Claire reliving the war, the soldiers slowly realizing that fighting is no laughing matter, Jamie and Dougal’s power struggle, etc.  Also, it was great to see Dougal, Angus and Rupert again, especially Dougal.  He always brings the drama.  My only gripe with this episode was once again, they cheated us out of a love scene.  I honestly believe that one scene in “La Dame Blanche” is the only one we’re gonna get.  Aside from that, it was a good ep.  Keep ’em comin’!

Jamie - Je Suis Prest

—Written by Nadiya

So what did you think about “Je Suis Prest”?  Was it a welcome relief to see some type of action, or do you long for the days of chess games and long conversations?  What did you think about Claire’s struggle with her PTSD?  Were you happy to see Dougal come back?  What about Rupert and Angus?  What about the arrival of young William Grey?  Do you think he’ll be an important character?  Give me your thoughts!

 

Idris Elba vs. Tom Hiddleston: Who Should Be the Next James Bond?

Tom and Idris

What’s up, y’all?

As you may or may not have heard, Daniel Craig is pretty damn bored with the James Bond franchise, and by the time the next 007 flick is released, he may not be playing the infamous spy.  It makes sense to me.  Despite the fact that Daniel Craig is my favorite 007 actor to date, he’s been playing the character for over 10 years, so I understand why he’d be a little anxious to do something different.

According to the internet buzz, the two actors that are the most highly favored to take the 007 reigns are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (who’ll always be Loki to me, because like most folks, I love Loki!).  Each man would most definitely be an asset to the franchise, so let’s break down their pros and cons!

Idris Elba

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Pros

  1. He has sex appeal.  Idris has always had a je ne sais quoi, even in the “Luther” series, where he’s playing a weathered cop (by the way, I highly suggest watching the past four seasons of that show if you haven’t already).  Also, I’ve always thought that Idris was sexier whenever he uses his natural English accent, which is a must for this film series.
  2. He looks great in a suit.  As evident from the picture above, Idris looks damn good in a suit.  Have any of y’all ever seen the movie Takers?  The film is borderline wack, but one of the best things about is seeing Idris in those fly suits (and he uses his real accent, too)!
  3. He’s a phenomenal actor.  This man can play everyone from a ruthless drug dealer to a holier-than-thou preacher, a suave thief, an evil commander, a loving single father, an unhinged psychopath, or an omniscient guardian of a distant land.
  4. He’s Afro-British.  It would be phenomenal to see a black 007 for the first time ever.  I’d love to tell my grandchildren that the first black president and the first black James Bond came to be in my time.  Okay, there’s really no comparison there, but I’d still love to have a black James Bond in my lifetime.

Cons

  1. He may be a bit too rugged.  There’s already been some talk about Idris not being “suave enough” or too “street” for the role.  That actually may be connected to another point that I’ll bring up later, but truth be told, Idris’ roles in “Luther” or Daddy’s Little Girls and other roles like them may turn the producers off towards hiring Idris as the dapper spy.
  2. He’s Afro-British.  I know what y’all are thinking, “How can that be a pro and a con?”  Easily.  I hate to play the race card, but I have to keep it 100%.  Racism is still alive and well.  For the five people that would love to see James Bond be played by a black man, there’s about ten people that would fight it tooth and nail, just because of Idris’ race, not his acting ability.  The “street” and “not suave enough” comments have been echoed by people that have seen Idris’ more gritty roles, but they’ve also been stated by folks that just don’t want to see a black James Bond, simple and plain.
  3. He played Denzel’s bitch once.  I’m sure y’all remember that scene in American Gangster.

Denzel Shoots Idris

‘Nuff said.

Tom Hiddleston

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Pros

  1. He has a huge fan base.  When Thor and The Avengers were released, something odd happened.  Loki had a larger fan base than Thor, and he was the bad guy!  I have to admit, I’m a Thor fan all the way, but that’s a story for another post.  Despite that, I’m a Loki fan as well (my mother has to be the biggest Loki fan on the planet), and since Mr. Hiddleston’s been doing more diverse work, his followers have increased in size.
  2. He’s proven he can play a spy.  You may have already caught Tom’s performance in the mini-series “The Night Manager” (if you haven’t, watch it), and when the action really got going, my boy was kickin’ ass and takin’ names!  Not only that, but he bedded nearly every woman that he came in contact with, and it was actually believable, which brings me to the next point…
  3. He’s got sex appeal, too!  Most of Tom’s fans are women, and in “The Night Manager,” he’s proven that he can definitely play a man that has a way with the ladies.  I always thought he was cute too, personally.  My mom pretty much wants to marry him.  Then I remind her that he’s my age.
  4. He’s a charmer.  Another cool thing about Tom is that he’s such a sweet, likable guy.  In “The Night Manager,” he not only proved that he can hold his own in fights and handling weapons, but he was able to infiltrate his way into an arms smuggling ring by true charm alone, captivating the fellas and the ladies alike.  Off screen, he seems to get along with all his co-workers, and he and Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor, one of my many fantasy men) have practically become brothers.

Tom Is One of the Hemsworths

Cons

  1. Not everyone was convinced by “The Night Manager.”  Jeffrey Bloomer, an associate editor for Slate, an online magazine, expressed the opinion that Mr. Hiddleston’s performance in “The Night Manager” actually proves that he should not be James Bond.  According to Bloomer, it’s not because Tom’s performance was bad, but it’s due to the fact that Tom played a man who felt he had an obligation to take down an evil arms dealer, and the anguish he dealt with was painfully obvious (the dealer killed Tom’s lover and he blamed himself for her death).  That’s nearly a 180° from James Bond, who gets some type of enjoyment from his spy work.  When reading the comments sections, not only did most of the readers agree with Bloomer, but many of them cast their vote for Idris.
  2. Some may consider him too skinny.  Despite the fact that Tom’s been bulking up for his recent roles, some folks may automatically remember his wiry frame in Thor, The Avengers and I Saw the Light, and decide that he’s not physical enough and/or has the wrong body type for the role.  No, James Bond isn’t a huge dude, but he’s not a buck 09, either.
  3. People may prefer to see him as a villain as opposed to the superspy.  It’s been argued that Loki is hands down the best villain in the MCU.  Tom also played a convincing villain (or you could argue that he was an anti-hero at the end of it all) in the film Crimson Peak.  Considering that he plays the bad guy so well, there may be some people that would rather see him as the antagonist instead of 007.
  4. He sucks at arm wrestling.  Can you imagine James Bond doing this?

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That’s an epic fail right there.

So which of these two men should be James Bond?  I have to be honest, as much as I love me some Loki, I’m slightly more inclined to see Idris as James Bond.  He’d pull it off beautifully, and like I said, I’d love to see a black 007.  Tom could be the villain along side him.  That’d be really cool.  However, if Idris isn’t chosen and Tom is, I’d still be happy.  Once again, I love both these guys.  Honestly, there’s a chance that neither of these men may be chosen.  There’s another article going around stating that Barbara Broccoli, the producer of the franchise, may choose the least expected actor for the job, and may not even consider Idris or Tom.  There’s also buzz about Tom Hardy or Aidan Turner possibly getting the role.  We’ll just have to wait and see!  In the meantime, break out those old 007 flicks and reminisce on your favorite Bond actor!

—Written by Nadiya

So who would you like to see play James Bond:  Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, or is there another actor you’d like to see take on the role?  If there is another actor you’d like to see, who is it?  Who’s your favorite James Bond to date (my mother loves Sean Connery; I’m Daniel Craig all the way)?  Do you agree or disagree with my list of pros and cons?  Give me your thoughts!