Mitch Tubisky Saga: Part Deux. A Siamese Dream.

I don’t know about Billy Corgan but MY latest siamese dream has Mitch and I attached at the hip. We plan to make beautiful music together.

Mitch&Me2 siamese dream

You can tell by the album cover that I’m still the Alpha Twin. We go to the bathroom when I want to go. Mitch has to hold it. He listens to creed.

 

Apologies for my terrible camera work, not my best.

There you have it folks, an almost full reversal based on only a handful of preseason snaps. Hey Hope is Hope. I’m an emotional rollercoaster when it comes to the Bears, right now we are undefeated. Emotions are high. Stay tuned for the lows.

 

New to Netflix: The Norsemen

norsemen

Game of Thrones has ended but the NFL is still a little ways away, so what do you watch to fill in that blank space. No, not time with your stupid family, I’m talking about more television. The Norsemen come to the rescue. I’m a sucker for all things set long ago. I’ve seen a lot of the show sets in the Viking age. The Last Kingdom, and Vikings are both good shows, but Norsemen is great. It’s an absolutely hilarious satire of the aforementioned programs. It blends the humor of a show like the Office with a Viking narrative, and the result is really fantastic. The show is Norwegian so you probably won’t recognize many of the actors but let me tell you they are great. The slave Rufus played by Trond Fausa is probably my favorite character. He looks at the Vikings as uncultured savages, and is prone to mouthing off too his captors. Behavior which often lands him in literally shitty situations. The Norsemen is a really short time commitment, only six episodes in the first season, I knocked them all out in one three hour sitting. This is a strong recommend for A-Train.

 

Friday Round-up with first round of 2017 season’s gambling picks.

FBS College Football kicks off tomorrow at 11:00 pacific with Oregon St. traveling to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State. It’s really the only game worth betting on Saturday. This weekend is a “soft opening” of the season. The really big games don’t start until September 2nd. That doesn’t matter to us degenerate gamblers. Football is Football and I’m gonna bet on it.

Oregon-State-vs-Colorado-State-Odds

This Season A-Train Sports is starting with a five thousand dollar bankroll. We will be documenting our picks and success. If there is money at the end of September it will be a miracle.

US-$5000-FRN-1928-Fr-2220g

A-Train Sports is gonna lay the 3.5 points and take CSU to cover over the Beaver. Colorado State is opening a brand new stadium and the crowd should be pretty raucous for a day game. I think I like the under too, but I’m not gonna bet it. Since it’s the first bet of the season let’s lay an even 100 bucks on the Rams. The guys out in Oregon were probably too busy eclipse watching and not watching the old playbook.

After that we got the Bears 3rd Preseason game. I’m hoping they actually let Trubisky play, I’ve been waiting to update the Mitch Trubisky saga, I feel like Mitch and I are connected at the hip now. Also I need a second look at Tarik Cohen who might be a poor man’s Darren Sproles for the Bears.

Grand Finale – Mayweather v Mcgregor. Rooting for Mcgregor, Mayweather is probably gonna win but I just have this inkling we might be in for a big surprise. If not it was all a bunch of hype for nothing. I have honestly never really enjoyed a Mayweather fight, I need blood and guts.

Last Thing I just want to give a (sarcastic) shout out to Bill O’Neill of the Ohio Supreme court for calling the Cleveland Browns players who knelt to pray for our country “draft dodging millionaire athletes” Gotta love a crotchety old man triggered so hard by a group prayer that he calls them “draft dodgers” Bill, buddy there isn’t a draft going on right now. The last one was in the 1970’s. I think mentally he is still there. Also since when is a group prayer a protest? I didn’t see anything disrespectful from Brown’s players. Just a bunch of man babies on the internet who can’t handle freedom of expression. Would I kneel?, probably not., but you are the biggest loser in the world, if you are triggered by it.

Throwback Thursday: Angels in the Outfield vs Color of Night.

I didn’t discover my cusping manhood in the age of the modern internet. I, like many young boys of my generation would go to great lengths to see a woman’s bare breast for even a split second. One surefire way to see a titty was in one of those 1990’s sexy psychological thrillers that don’t exist anymore, because internet pornography was invented. Movies like Basic Instinct, Jade, Showgirls, Bound, Indecent Proposal were all just basically the worst porno movies in history. They are all about 99% story, 1% boner but the only reason anyone bought a ticket was for that 1%. It was a guilt free 1% too, you weren’t watching a porno, you were watching a “sexy thriller.” Well, that’s how the adults of the time would frame it, I wasn’t even a teenager yet, so it was all pretty naughty to me.

The year was 1994 and for a preteen of the times, the movies was a place you get away from everything and just do you. Summers were long and almost all my allowance  money was spent at the local AMC movie theaters. Between 1994-1997 I saw just about everything that came out in theaters that I possibly could, often finding myself without a viable option. I even saw movies I actively didn’t have any interest in. Movies such as Powder, Phenomenon, and Junior. Haven’t seen Junior? Arnold Schwarzenegger gets pregnant and has a baby in it.  This particular summer I remember being not great for my movie watching. I was too young to get in to R rated movies, and the only way I could see one was with parental supervision. Supervision I was often granted for movies like Cliffhanger and other sex-less action movies. This particular summer day I had zeroed on Color of Night, the new “sexy” Bruce Willis movie that I heard had to be cut down to avoid an NC-17 rating. Back then hearing that a movie had to be cut to avoid an NC-17 was an absolute guarantee of nudity. Often these “sexy” thrillers were not sexy at all, or would feature almost no female nudity. When you were 12 there was no bigger disappointment of a boob denied. Color of Night looked like the real deal, but how to get in?

Enter Angels in the Outfield. Pretty much a kids movie that at age 12, I had decided, was much too old for me. The perfect plan as I saw it would be to buy a ticket for Angels in the Outfield, and make my way into Color of Night. At this point in my life I have done it all at the movies and never been caught. I’ve snuck in without any ticket at all. I’ve bought a ticket and stayed for 3 movies. I’ve bought the PG-13 ticket and gone to the R movie. I’m just doing it again. I made it though the doors and to my seat, I thought I was home free. False. Some snot-nosed usher comes up and asks to see my ticket. Busted.

You want to talk about a walk of shame? Cersei Lannister has got nothing on me. The walk all the way back up the aisle with the usher was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. I was walking past a bunch of dudes all there for the same reason I was. We all just wanted something to put in the spank-bank. It was like that scene in the movie Big, where Josh Baskin wasn’t tall enough to ride the ride. I wasn’t old enough to get a boner from Color of Night.

So true to my tradition of watching movies that held zero interest, I watched Angels in the Outfield. Color of Night would have to wait for video. (Probably a good thing for obvious reasons.) I would eventually see Color of Night about 6 months later which brings me to the blog topic. What’s the better movie? The for kids baseball movie with Danny Glover or the movie where you see Bruce Willy’s willy for the first time?

Rotten tomatoes has Color of Night at 22% critics 30% audience. Angels in the Outfield is at 33% critics and 49% audience. I watched them both again for this piece. I’m here to tell you guys that both of these movies are abominations and crimes against filmmaking but Color of Night is actually insane. Angels is just a terrible idea.

The Premise of Angels in the Outfield is that actual angels help out the baseball team the California Angels because Joseph Gordon-Levitt prayed or something.

The Premise of Color of Night is that it doesn’t really have one. It want’s to be sexy and have a twist ending. Spoiler Alert the sex was underwhelming even for a 12 year old. The most graphic nudity was Bruce Willis’s dick head.

My friends and I do a “bad” movie night and normally a movie like Color of Night would be a perfect candidate, but in reality almost nothing “thrilling” happens. It’s all very predictable from a 2017 perspective.

A-Train final analysis: Don’t see either of these movies, If you want kids baseball watch Rookie of the year or Sandlot, if you want to see boobs visit the internet. A-Train out.

 

 

Old Coke Zero vs New Coke Zero : Blind Taste Test.

Out with the old, in with the new. Coke has scrapped Coke Zero for well….Coke Zero. Fun fact about A-Train, I’m a HUGE diet soda guy. If I get cancer it will be because I consumed daily enough Phenylalanine to kill laboratory mice. I’ve dabbled in Coke Zero but I’m a Diet Coke guy. I went through a big Cherry Coke Zero phase in the early 2010’s but I’m back to the Original. Still if the good folks over at Coke Decide that Coke Zero needs to be reformulated, you better believe I’m gonna put it to the taste test.  Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 1.41.13 AM

My assistant poured while my back was turned and the taste test began. The first glass gave me a strong Coke taste almost no after taste, pretty good. I really wasn’t sure if that was the old or the new. The second glass had less Coke taste and more of an after taste. It was not as good as the first glass. My suspicion that the new formula was in the first glass was confirmed by my assistant. Overall the new Coke Zero (Pictured Left) Far out performed the Old Coke Zero in the A-Train taste test.

Now the question is will I buy this new Coke Zero over regular Diet Coke and the answer is only as a change of pace. Diet Coke will remain king. While I love that they replicated the Coke flavor in new Zero, it’s not the familiar taste that comes in the silver can. Kids coming up on diet soft drinks will love new Zero. If I had been weened on it the way I was with the classic Diet Coke, my views might be wildly different, but I’m a crusty old man now, and set in my Diet Coke ways.

Mizzou Basketball: The Great Unknown.

I spent a lot of time in Columbia, Missouri. Most of that time was spent drinking and watching Mizzou sports, chiefly football and basketball. Let’s be honest other college sports don’t matter. I managed to get a degree and get out, but I still love the Tigers, even if they are frustrating to root for. Last year the hoops squad went 8-24 under Kim Anderson. One of the games I managed to catch on ESPN was a 93-54 smackdown by the Florida Gators. This was an all-time low for Mizzou Basketball. It was coming on the heels of an abysmal season by the football team. All in all Mizzou Sports were in the honey bucket, with little sign of life.

I’m living out here in Seattle, where the University of Washington was also coming off of a disappointing season. Lorenzo Romar failed to get the Huskies into the NCAA Tournament despite having recruited the #1 player in the country Markell Fultz. Not far down the road at Nathan Hale High School, Michael Porter Jr. and his brother Jontay were fresh of winning the 3A state basketball title. The brothers had transferred to Nathan Hale from Columbia Mo. Their father Michael Porter Sr. had accepted a position on Romar’s staff. Nathan Hale, coached by former NBA all-star and UW graduate Brandon Roy had gone 30-0. Michael Porter Jr. was widely considered the top prospect of the 2017. He committed to play for Romar, opting to stay in Seattle for one season, before his probable declaration for the draft. Then the first Domino fell. Romar was fired and a chain reaction in Mizzou’s favor was about to get set off.

Kim Anderson was out at Mizzou, nobody stays after 8-24. Mizzou needed a great hire to turn this team around, they turned to former Cal coach Cuonzo Martin. Martin resigned from Cal to take the same position at Mizzou, this I found interesting. I didn’t think the University of Missouri job was more attractive than University of California. Cuonzo Martin is from East St. Louis so it’s kinda a return home and his job preceding Cal was at University of Tennessee. I guess a return to the Midwest and the SEC makes sense but I still found it curious.

It was less curious once I saw it all unfold. March 15th was a big day. Romar gets fired, Martin resigns and get hired by Mizzou all on the same day. This means Michael Porter Sr. is out of a job and Michael Porter Jr. is no longer set to play with his dad as an assistant. Porter Jr. asks to be released from his letter of intent which he is granted. The same day his release is official, his father takes a job on Martin’s staff. Porter Jr. is coming to Columbia. An 8-24 team just got the #1 recruit. This doesn’t happen often.

The dominoes would continue to fall. Blake Harris #99 on the ESPN top 100 also decommits from from Washington. He chooses to follow his potential teammate to Columbia in early April. Ok so we got another really good prospect. A-Train is starting to get excited. Meanwhile another firing has the potential to benefit Mizzou. The University of Illinois’ firing of Jim Groece led to Jerimiah Tilmon reopening his recruiting. It seemed a natural fit for the kid out of East St. Louis to go play for coach Martin. On March 15 Tilmon chose Mizzou, bringing his 6’10 frame to Columbia to form a formidable front line with Porter Jr.

At this point the irrational fan inside me is going a little crazy. Mizzou has never pulled in a class quite like this, with 3 top 100 players and the #1 overall. I’m giddy plus now I am hearing that MPJ’s little brother Jontay Porter is going to try to reclassify and join his brother in Columbia next year. That Domino would eventually fall, Jontay will be playing alongside Michael in Columbia next year. The irrational fan meter is at an all time high, throw in 3 star prospect C.J. Roberts and I’m having visions of Fab 5’s and Final 4’s.

It time to pump the breaks we were 8-24 last year remember? Don’t get ahead of yourself A-Train. Last year Washington had Fultz, they still missed the tourney. It’s not unheard of to see a team with a top 10 class miss the tournament. Last year Tom Izzo struggled going 19-14 and got only a #9 seed in the Tournament despite having the #4 ranked class. Mizzou as of right now has the #4 ranked Class in 2017 trailing only traditional powerhouses Duke, Kentucky and Arizona.

So what does Vegas think about Mizzou. I mean I have irrational confidence in this team but what about the odds makers? Surely their expectations are tempered. Nope. Las Vegas is possibly MORE irrational about the University of Missouri than even Truman the Tiger himself. The team that went 8-24 last season now has the 6th best odds to win the National Championship. That is insane.

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Vegas must know how many degenerate gamblers there are in Columbia. These odds are way too high. The North Carolina Tar Heels won the fucking title last year and they have the same odds as Mizzou? The point I want to make is that we truly have no idea how this team will perform. Expectations will be through the roof and I’m worried that a team this young might struggle with such lofty expectations. I guess when you get the nation’s top prospect there is no flying under the radar. Did I mention that they also added graduate transfer Kassius Robertson from Canisius? A feisty veteran guard who brings toughness and experience.

What I’m wondering now is, what kind of basketball team will Mizzou be? In theory they could start Tilmon 6’10 252lbs at C. Jontay Porter 6’11 240lbs at PF. Michael Porter Jr. 6’10 215 at SF. That would be an extremely young and talented front line, but also incredibly long. I have no clue how Harris and Roberts will perform but if they can avoid turnovers, learn from a veteran like Kassius Robertson and get the ball into the hands of those frontline players, then I think this team has a lot of potential. So, can they make a Final 4 after going 8-24? I think a lot will depend on MPJ. He will have to be dominant, better than Fultz was last year. He will need to impose his will on the opponents and make the other guys on his team a lot better. Young teams not named Kentucky don’t usually fare well in the tourney. If Porter Jr. can have a Carmelo Anthony like impact on his team, the Final 4 is in play. Young teams usually get better as the season goes along so I expect early struggles, but if they can make it into the NCAA Tournament, nobody will want to play them.

 

A-Train Story Hour: Goldifox and the 3 Bears.

 

Little John Goldifox was lost in the forest. The young lad had been out riding when his surly horse, a bronco named Elway, threw the boy from his saddle, and rode off. The child cursed the horse. Rising, he dusted himself off and tried to regain his bearings. Where was he? The horse had galloped onto unfamiliar land and left him here to ponder. Goldifox climbed the nearest hill to look for familiar landmarks, but all he saw was a small tendril of smoke climbing out of the distant woods.

“It must be a cabin.” Goldifox thought as he felt his belly rumble. The Bronco had ridden off with the saddlebags and Goldifox’s beloved snacks. Combinations of salty and sweet packed by his loving mum before his afternoon gallivant. Lost and Hungry, Goldifox resolved to find the cabin, hoping for a kind stranger to perhaps feed him and point him in the right direction.

It was an hour later when Goldifox finally came upon the cabin. Stopping abruptly his gaze fixed on the domicile, Goldifox gave pause. This cabin he knew was home to Bears. He thought it odd a first to find a Bear cabin so far at the bottom of the NFC Forest. Goldifox took a few tentative steps forward, but then remembered that Bears are not as dangerous as they used to be. In the past Bears had been proud defensive creatures, monsters almost, and they stood for no encroachment into their territory. This was no more, modern Bears were inept creatures, in a state of waking hibernation. Relived Goldifox walked right into the cabin as if he owned it and began to poke around.

The first door he came upon had the number 8 on the door. It was the tallest door Goldifox had ever seen. A giraffe could walk through it. If fact Goldilocks worried he got it wrong. Maybe this was a giraffe house and not a Bears house? No, it has to be a Bears house but one of these Bears must have giraffe like features. Everything was up high. Goldifox couldn’t reach anything. The bed was long and skinny, too firm for Goldifox to take a nap. If the darts on the dartboard were any indication, this Bear wasn’t very accurate either.

Door number 2 had a number 6 painted on the outside and Goldifox trotted in. This room was a lot different from the giraffe-Bear’s room. There was strange writing all over the wall. Goldifox went in for a closer look. “I AM THE SANCHISE, I AM NOT THE BUTT FUMBLE” was written in repetition all over the walls. Goldifox reflected “This poor guy must be a shell of his former self. Washed up even for a Bear.” The bed was a normal size but covered in pubic hair and the only food he could find was a half eaten, stale churro. “This won’t do.” thought Goldifox and he resolved to investigate the third Bear’s room.

The last door bore the number 10. This room looks like maybe it was a new addition to the Bear family. Goldifox could smell a fresh coat of paint and thought this room the most promising yet. This Bear’s room looked like it had a lot more potential than the others but Goldifox wasn’t sure. This Bear had a tiny bed. Almost a crib. “Wait is this a Cubs room?” thought Goldifox. “The owner of this room might not even be ready to be a Bear.”

Just then the three Bears walked in carrying a bag of Portillo’s and to Goldifox’s surprise they were far more afraid of him then he was to them. They offered Goldifox the Portillo’s and the boy began to chow down. Goldifox learned that this particular breed of Bears was known as the Crappy White Quarterback breed. One of the most overpriced breeds of Bear ever to exist. Goldifox got along with the Bears, the meek breed even made him their king. In return, Goldifox tried to teach these Bears a game called Football. Try as they might the poor Bears were not very good at the game. So bad in fact Goldifox was worried that he might be tied to a stake and set on fire for his failures. It wasn’t Goldifox’s fault, of course, these Bears were not up to snuff. The baby Bear might have a chance, but if it were up to Goldifox he would have chosen a different Bear. I wish I could say everyone lives happily ever after but they don’t. Goldifox is probably gonna burn.

The End

A-Train, Out.

Pickle Rick is a Masterpiece.

 

I’m obsessed with Rick and Morty. I have been since the pilot episode. I knew right away it was my cup of tea. It can be hit and miss on occasion, with way more hits than misses. Season 3, Episode 3: Pickle Rick may be the episode to date. It’s a masterpiece. Pickle Rick fits the plot of a full-length Hollywood blockbuster into a taught 22 minutes, without missing a beat. I don’t know if the common viewer understands how difficult that is. If Pickle Rick was a full-length studio movie it could be the best science fiction/ action/comedy of the last decade.

They fit what would be the entire first act into one hilarious scene that pretty much explains everything and sets the plot in motion. Rick Sanchez, the smartest man in the world, possibly the universe, has turned himself into a pickle. He is resting on his workbench calling for his grandson Morty. The family is about to go to a group therapy session and Rick now in pickle form is unable to go. Rick says he did it as a challenge for himself and has no clue how to turn himself back. He thinks it could take days.

Morty notices a syringe dangling from a string on the ceiling, a scissor wired to cut the string once a timer goes off. Ricks true intentions are clear, he didn’t do it as a challenge. He did it to avoid therapy. Rick denies the accusation, claiming the syringe is an unrelated project. Morty’s mother Beth, naively believes her father. She removes the syringe from it’s precious position above Rick as a safety precaution. Beth then puts the syringe in her purse and the family is off to therapy. Rick is both literally and figuratively left in a pickle.

We are thrust into the second act moments later when the cat jumps onto the workbench. The cat knocks Pickle Rick off the bench and he rolls into the driveway. Rick thinks he is going to wither away and die but is given deliverance by a summer storm. The downpour isn’t all good for Rick, at first it saves him, but the rain is soon strong that it sweeps him off the driveway, and he rolls deep into the sewers.

I won’t give away the rest of the episode but it somehow turns into a mixture of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Die Hard for the rest of the second act for Pickle Rick. Interposed with the Rick storyline is the family trip to therapy. The writers somehow address real family issues facing the family. Most of which is the dynamic between Beth and her father Rick, and the effect it has on the children. Simultaneously infusing laugh out loud comedy into the exchange making it fun the entire time.

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The third act is summed up in the last two scenes and the end is both satisfying and hilarious. I struggle to find a single flaw with the episode, it may be a perfect episode of television. The thing about Rick and Morty is…this isn’t their first perfect episode. But it’s probably the best one to date. Obviously, this is debatable and previous episodes such as “Total Rickall.”, “Look Who’s Purging Now.”, “M. Night Shaym-Aliens” all have a claim. Debating the best Rick and Morty episode is like debating the best Led Zeppelin Song for me. I love so many it becomes impossible to choose.

A-Train, out.

 

 

A-Train @ The Movies: THE DARK TOWER. My first and only experience with 4DX.

 

It was hot as fuck in Seattle today, a rare haze polluting the skies. Forest fires to the north in Canada have blown smoke into the city at the worst possible time. As a fat guy without air conditioning, this is problematic. I’ll take just about any excuse to escape to some AC. Realizing that it’s a Friday and new movies are out in theaters, I suddenly remember that The Dark Tower comes out today.

Depending on what you consider Dark Tower canon there are between 7-9 books that vary greatly in length all written by Stephen King. I read the first four novels of the series and I enjoyed them. I got bogged down in the fifth installment and kinda let it fall by the wayside years and years ago. They are the only Stephen King books of non-fiction that I’ve ever read. I think I more than enjoyed them, I thought they were cool as hell actually. I was shocked that of all the Stephen King books/novellas that were made into films, these had not yet been attempted. I kinda-sorta followed the Dark Tower rumors as they circulated the internet. It was gonna be a series of movies, then it was gonna be a mini-series, then it was gonna somehow be a movie that leads to a series. HBO was attached then they were not. This went on for years. First Russell Crowe was gonna play Roland then some other guy. Honestly, it was too much for my dumb brain to keep track of.

Cut to 2017 somehow this massive series is being released and it’s just a single movie. On the bright side, Idris Elba is in it. I don’t have super high expectations but the plan was to always to check it out. If you read over 1000 pages of the source material it’s kinda impossible not to see the movie. It doesn’t matter how much you are worried it gets butchered. At the realization today was the release day, it just seemed like I was meant to catch the matinee at the nearest Cinema.

Checking for theatres, it’s not at the closest three but the fourth is still within walking distance. I’m not gonna walk, but it’s in walking distance. It’s playing on two screens hmmm… one says 4DX. Again I have a dumb brain. “hey that sounds cool, I love movies filmed in 70 mm maybe this is something sweet like that” My dumb brain has decided on 4DX. There is a smart part of my brain and that tiny smart part spoke up and said “at least google it, dude.” Thanks tiny smart part of my brain. I google it. Here is the problem the dumb part of the brain did the reading and the dumb part skimmed… “Lets’s see augmented environmental effects, lights, yada yada, it’s not 3D. Good. I hate 3D. We’re good to go.”

Bus to the movie, ticket seems kinda expensive, the screen is tucked deep in this giant downtown multiplex. Outside where you walk in, on the walls there are a lot of bells and whistles advertising this 4DX stuff. I’m kinda wishing I didn’t skim, is this a big deal? I go to my assigned seat. I didn’t even know they did assigned seats at this theater. The seat is big and comfy it’s got a nice raised place to put your feet kinda like a barber/salon chair. I settle in, the previews start right away. I’m looking around wondering what the big deal. This is just a normal theater. The previews go on forever Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars, Kingsmen 2, it went on…I still don’t know what this 4DX is but the AC is on and I’m about to chill out and watch a movie, life is good. Or so I thought because then the 4DX kicked in.

I don’t know who green-lit this technology, but it should only be used as a torture device. As I type my back is throbbing in pain no doubt inflicted by abomination. It starts with a little preview of the technology kinda like before an IMAX show, but terrible. The ground and chair violently jerk you around unexpectedly, lights flash and you’re getting sprayed in the face with water mist. Why? Because on the screen there’s water. Smoke/steam pumps in from god-knows-where and I realize immediately, I’ve made a HUGE mistake. The very first jolt was uncomfortable, my back hated it. Whatever, I’m gonna tough it out. How bad can it be?

gob mistake

It’s bad. Imagine watching a movie except there is an earthquake happening while you try to watch. It’s hard to pay attention, because of the earthquake. That’s the 4DX experience with the occasional water spray in your face. There was an option to turn off the water spray. I took full advantage of that the moment it was discovered. No way to turn off the earthquakes. The movie had several earthquakes in it as part of the plot. Damage sustained by the Tower, a lynchpin of the entire universe, manifests itself in the form of earthquakes. Great. At one point Idris Elba gets stabbed in his shoulder area, and the friggin seats jab you in the back in the same place!

I want to talk about the movie but the 4DX kept taking me out of it. I kept looking to see if some of the seats didn’t move, they all did. Anytime there was any action, a loud noise, a jump scare, the room would move and shake. There was no rhyme or reason to it. It sucked. I checked the tomato meter before buying my ticket. The critics had it 16% when I walked in. The audience had it at 64%. As I type the critics have bumped it to 19% while the audience is at 63%. First let me say I give this movie Fresh on the tomato system. It was fine, I didn’t hate it. I just hated the room I watched it in. Second, if you want it to be anything like the books you will be very disappointed. If this is the only movie they make and there is no sequel then The Dark Tower will be a sad disappointment. I give the movie fresh because I was entertained from start to finish, if anything I thought it could have been longer. Usually I’m begging them to shave 20 mins off every movie. Considering I was in a bad Universal Studios ride during the whole screening, I was glad to get out when I did though.

I’m not gonna go into details about the movie’s plot. Other reviewers watching on solid ground are better suited to follow the plot. I know there was one, but all the earthquaking again was distracting. I liked this movie more than Wonder Woman which checks in somehow at 92%. It was better than Alien Covenant, I could at least suspend my disbelief for The Dark Tower in a way Alien Covenant made impossible. Kid acting is more often than not terrible but Tom Taylor played the role of Jake Chambers exceptionally well. I knew I had seen this kid in something else before. It turns out I had, as Tom had played young Uhtred on The Last Kingdom.

The first season of The Last Kingdom is a strong recommend by me if you like historical fiction.

Edris Elba and Matthew McConaughy are basically the only other actors who matter in this movie. Elba is fantastic as Roland. Fuck you, if you have a problem with a black man playing Roland. He was badass. McConaughy was okay I can see his performance being very polarizing. I thought he was fine. The writing was not great. A lot of the lines were heavy handed. Many were defiantly just for the sake of being like “See we sort of followed the books.” One line in particular about Roland’s guns being forged from excalibur was especially cringe worthy. It served no purpose in the story. The final showdown took a few liberties with physics, but what movie doesn’t these days. The 64% is much closer to truth than the 19% the critics are giving. The opportunity for a sequel was left open. I really hope it gets one, only a small part of the story has been told.

Final Score : Fresh 2.5 stars out of 5.

I’m finding out that there are only nine 4DX theaters in all of the United States, with any luck that number will one day be down to zero. A-Train out.

Tyrion Lannister is a Targaryen.

Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryn are the true parents of Jon Stark. This was a long believed theory better known as R+L=J, and it captivated the GOT audience until it was more or less confirmed by the television show. It had long been my feeling that sufficient evidence for R+L=J existed in the novels. Enough to all but put that theory to bed as truth. It’s not Jon Starks parents that concern me however, it is the Imp’s.

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I’m here to talk about the less popular theory: the MK+JL=I theory. Ok that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so well. Let me rephrase: The Mad King, probably by force or coercion, had sex with Lady Joanna Lannister, and thus fathered the Imp on her. This would make Tyrion a half brother to the Mother of Dragons, and a Dragon in his own right.

 

First let me say, I have no idea if the show will go down this path. All of my evidence of this theory comes from the books. The showed has cared very little about certain details that lend great support for my theory.

It’s not exactly “my” theory.  I did come up with it independently years ago, but after some internet research I was not at all surprised to see how many people felt the same way I did. If you do a google search in 2017 there are about 900 articles on it. I have yet to see one truly make a convincing argument, most just posit the theory.  So why do so many people feel this way, and why would someone watching the show have no clue? I feel the need to lay out all the evidence. It’s starts with Tyrion’s appearance.

Peter Dinklage is great in GOT, but Peter Dinklage looks nothing like Tyrion as he is described in the books. The first description of Tyrion comes from Jon Snow’s first POV chapter when the King has come to Winterfell:

“Then he saw the other one, waddling along half-hidden by his brother’s side. Tyrion Lannister, the youngest of Lord Tywin’s brood and by far the ugliest. All that the God’s had given to Cersei and Jamie, they had denied Tyrion. He was a dwarf, half his brother’s height, struggling to keep pace on stunted legs. His head was too large for his body, with a brute’s squashed in face beneath a swollen shelf of brow. One green eye and one black peered out from under a lank fall of hair so blond it seemed white. Jon watched him with fascination”

If you go back and watch the first episode of GOT, you can see they did a half-hearted attempt at an accurate appearance. That is to say they kinda dyed his hair blond for one episode. Please imagine if you will the book version of the Imp, with his one green and one black eye, and most importantly his hair that’s “so blonde it seemed white.” With this image in mind we will delve deeper into the theory.

dany+imp

We need to talk about appearance and how it relates to family traits in the ASOIAF series. GRRM places a huge emphasis on appearances relation to heritage. A quote from Illyrio about Dany in her first POV chapter:

“Look at her. That silver-gold hair, those purple eyes…she is the blood of old Valyria, no doubt, no doubt.”

I am putting fourth the proposition that Tyrion’s hair bears a much closer resemblance to the traditional colorings of houses with blood ties to old Valyria. Houses like Targaryen, Dayne and Velaryon, than that of house Lannister. I am also putting fourth the proposition that Tyrion’s black eye is not black at all but in fact very dark purple. Why does he have pale hair and a purple eye? His dad is the Mad King.

Now I know what you might be thinking right now. You think making his black eye into a purple eye is a bit convenient. Except there is very real precedence for confusing a black eye with purple. It comes from AFFC, the fourth installment of ASOIAF. Arianne Martel is in Dorne with Myrcella Lannister, and she is in the presence of a knight named Gerold Dayne, better known as Darkstar. House Dayne is also a family with Valyrian roots and they bear the same physical characteristics as Targaryens:

gerold-dayne
Darkstar by Mathia Arkoniel ©

He is highborn enough to make a worthy consort, she thought. Father would question my good sense, but our children would be as beautiful as dragonlords. If there was a handsomer man in Dorne, she did not know him. Ser Gerold had an aquiline nose, high cheekbones, a strong jaw. He kept his face clean shaven, but his this hair fell to his collar like a silver glacier divided by a streak of midnight black. His eyes seemed black as he sat outlined against the dying sun, sharpening his steel, but she had looked at them from a closer vantage and she knew they were purple. Dark Purple. Dark and Angry.

The physical characteristics that link Tyrion to House Targaryen are undeniable. He still has a green eye though, and green eyes are a Lannister trait. If Lord Tywin isn’t his father then why the green eye? This is a question you might be asking right now, and I’m glad you did. Let’s talk about Lady Joanna, mother to Cersei, Jamie and Tyrion. She didn’t marry into the Lannister family. She was already a Lannister, she was Lord Tywin’s first cousin. This is very important and why Tyrion despite being a Targaryen is also still a Lannister, and therefore bears Targaryen traits in both personality and physicality.

If you’re a smart author, like I believe GRRM to be, and you’re writing a character like Tyrion, a secret Targaryen, then you’re gonna want to leave little clues to the reader. You will also want to leave those clues very early on, so that the hint of truth was always there from the beginning.

An excerpt from about four pages into Tyrion’s very first POV chapter:

Tyrion had a morbid fascination with dragons. When he had first come to King’s Landing for his sister’s wedding to Robert Baratheon, he had made a point to seek out the dragon skulls that had hung on the walls of Targaryen’s throne room..he found the skulls in a dank cellar where they had been stored.

He had thought to find them impressive, perhaps even frightening He had not thought to find them beautiful.

Later in the chapter a conversation with Jon Snow:

“What are you reading about?” he asked.

“Dragons,” Tyrion told him.

“What good is that? There are no more dragons,” the boy said with the easy certainty of youth.

“So they say,” Tyrion replied. “Sad, isn’t it? When I was your age, I used to dream of having a dragon of my own.”

“You did?” the boy said suspiciously. Perhaps he thought Tyrion was making fun of him.”Oh, yes. Even a stunted, twisted, ugly little boy can look down over the world when he’s seated on a dragon’s back.”Tyrion pushed the bearskin aside and climbed to his feet. “I used to start fires in the bowels of Casterly Rock and stare at the flames for hours, pretending they were dragonfire. Sometimes I’d imagine my father burning. At other times, my sister.”

Is this something GRRM brings up but doesn’t revisit? Nope. An excerpt from Tyrion’s second POV chapter in ADWD:

If I drink enough fire wine, he told himself, perhaps I’ll dream of dragons.

When he was still a lonely child in the depths of Casterly Rock, he oft rode dragons through the nights, pretending he was some lost Targaryen princeling, or a Valyrian dragonlord soaring high o’er fields and mountains.

Once, when his uncles asked him what gift he wanted for his nameday, he begged them for a dragon.”It wouldn’t need to be a big one. It could be little, like I am.” His uncle Gerion thought that was the funniest thing he had ever heard, but his uncle Tygett said, “The last dragon died a century ago, lad.” That had seemed so monstrously unfair that the boy had cried himself to sleep that night.

We have some good evidence here but to make a baby two people have to have sex, or so I’m told. We know that Tywin had sex with Joanna but did the Mad King? Let us first ask the question did the Mad King want Joanna? Ser Barristan Selmy provides an answer in ADWD during one of Dany’s POV Chapters:

“And my father? Was there some woman he loved better than his queen?”Ser Barristan shifted in the saddle. “Not … not loved. Mayhaps wanted is a better word, but … it was only kitchen gossip, the whispers of washerwomen and stableboys …”

“I want to know. I never knew my father. I want to know everything about him. The good and … the rest.””As you command.” The white knight chose his words with care. “Prince Aerys … as a youth, he was taken with a certain lady of Casterly Rock, a cousin of Tywin Lannister. When she and Tywin wed, your father drank too much wine at the wedding feast and was heard to say that it was a great pity that the lord’s right to the first night had been abolished. A drunken jape, no more, but Tywin Lannister was not a man to forget such words, or the … the liberties your father took during the bedding.” His face reddened. “I have said too much, Your Grace. I—”

Here is the first real clue that the Mad King lusted after Tyrion’s mother. An eye witness to the King’s confession of wanting Lady Joanna. For a while this was the only real evidence that the Mad King lusted after Lady Joanna, that was until GRRM dropped A World of Ice and Fire. The book reads like a history book written by a maester, but it gives a very detailed account of the Reign of the Mad King, who closest friend and Hand of the King was Lord Tywin. This book broke the theory wide open because it gave a detailed account of the Mad King’s desire of Joanna.

The following is a timeline made from information given in A World of Ice and Fire:

259 – Joanna Lannister is a lady-in-waiting to the future queen and the mad king’s wife/sister, Princess Rhaella.

262 – Aerys II, later known as the Mad King assumes power at age 18 after the death of his father. Makes young Ser Tywin hand at age 20.

263 – Tywin Marries lady Joanna, his young cousin.

263-264? – Lady Joanna is dismissed from the Queen’s service. She returns to Casterly Rock.

266 – Lady Joanna gives birth to twins Cersei and Jamie at Casterly Rock. When news reaches the Aerys he remarked “I have appeared to have married the wrong woman.” As his own wife had been plagued by miscarriages after the Birth of her first son Rhaegar. He then tells Lord Tywin to bring Cersei and Jamie to court when they are of an age and to bring their Lady mother because: “it’s been too long since I gazed upon that fair face.”

267 – Ser Tywin becomes Lord Tywin after the death of his father, he takes leave to return to Casterly Rock. King Aerys leaves his wife in King’s Landing and uproots his court to go with Tywin. For a year Westeros is ruled from Casterly Rock.

268 – King’s court comes back to King’s Landing and friendship between Aerys and Tywin is fraying.

272 – Great Tournament to celebrate the first 10 years of Aerys II reign. Lady Joanna brings Cersei and Jamie to King’s Landing to present them at court. Aerys (drunk) asks her if “giving suck to them ruined your breast’s which were so high and proud.” Joanna is humiliated and Tywin so upset he tries to resign as hand.

It is during this visit in 272 that I believe Aerys II took Joanna Lannister to bed, most likely through coercion. Aerys had been known to have many mistresses and he had long been jealous of Tywin. Tywin as Hand got credit for much of the rule. This was well deserved, but it angered the King. It’s not far fetched at all to think that a monarch drunk with power would take a woman he’s long been lusting after to bed by force. He became known as the Mad King for a reason, taking Joanna seems on brand to me.

273 – Joanna Lannister dies at Casterly Rock, giving birth to Tyrion.

275– The Mad King swears off all women other than his wife.

276– Vicerous Targaryen born to King Aerys and Queen Rhaella

I could probably rest my case right here and now. If this was a court of law I would do just that. This isn’t court and all my evidence is admissible. The rest of my evidence is very circumstantial and could be written off as coincidence. I believe that there are too many of these coincidences to ignore.

Dany, Jon, and Tyrion all had mothers who died giving them birth. Remember “The dragon must have 3 heads.” This is a coincidence that lines up very nicely with the theory in question.

Another Targaryen trait mentioned in the books is one of immunity. Targaryens don’t get sick. Dany is able to be around the bloodly flux in Mereen without getting sick and admits she’s never been sick. We see Tyrion in ADWD swallow the river infected with greyscale, does he get grayscale? No. You know who does? John Connington, who merely  reached into the water to pull the dwarf out.

A Lannister always pays his debts. Let’s assume the theory is correct. That would mean that Jamie Lannister killed Tyrion’s true father when he slew the Mad King. When Tyrion kills Lord Tywin, he’s thinks he’s killing his father. He is actually killing Jamie’s father. The debt Tyrion owed Jamie unbeknownst to him, was inadvertently paid with the death of Lord Tywin.

 

imp meme

“You are no son of mine” – These are Lord Tywin’s last words.  What if he meant them literally? What if Tywin long suspected that Tyrion wasn’t his child. Perhaps that, and not the fact he killed his mother during childbirth, or because he is a dwarf, is the reason for his hatred. Let’s go back to when he first meets Jon Snow at Winterfell.

 

“All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes.”

“You are your mother’s trueborn son of Lannister.”

Am I?” the dwarf replied, sardonic. “Do tell my lord father. My mother died birthing me, and he’s never been sure.”

This is pure conjecture but it makes logical sense. If Joanna was raped by Aerys she would have tried to terminate the pregnancy. Pretty logical right? In Westeros drinking moon tea is supposed to terminate the pregnancy, it’s like a morning after pill but it works for days after. What if she was too late in taking it? What if the tea only served to deform the baby without killing it? It might be an explanation for why Tyrion is malformed.

The kin slayer is cursed by gods and men. Tyrion even after slaying lord Tywin does not seemed cursed. Bad things happen to him, for sure but he cheats death on multiple occasions. He survives the fight with the stone men, he survives being captured as a slave, he survives though a miracle the fighting pits of Mereen. Where he was supposed to be torn apart by Lions. Dany having no clue of the dwarfs identity forbids the folly to take place. Let’s look at the symbolism there, Tyrion about to be devoured by Lions, is saved by a Dragon.

For now this is what I got, if more evidence comes to light or I remember something that slipped my mind, I’ll update.   -A-Train out.