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Episode 177 - Game of Thrones Season 4 Recap Part 1

Okay, we are all getting ready for the new season of one of the most popular shows on television. Season five of Game of Thrones is coming to HBO on April 12, 2015 with a perspective of a number of characters. It has also been rumored that this season will either diverge from the books in The Song of Ice and Fire series or have parts of the tale that haven't been written by author George R. R. Martin yet.

Though minor that they may seem to be, series directors Alex Graves, Michelle MacLaren, and Neil Marshall are not returning for the new season, nor is George R. R. Martin writing one episode as he has in the prior four seasons. The new format includes five directors in which they will direct two each back to back, a first for Game of Thrones. So there are some interesting changes it seems both behind and in front of the camera.

With season four having arrived on disc, Dark Discussions decides to recap the prior season in gearing up for the new season. In this first of a two part episode, our focus begins with the story lines of Daenerys Targaryen, Jorah Mormont, and the dragons. Also we focus on Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, Arya Stark and Sandor "The Hound" Clegane and their adventures. Co-host Eric even makes a bold prediction of what he thinks may happen with the dragons.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 176 - Predestination (2015)

All you zombies. Well, that's the name of a short story by one of the most important writers in the 20th century. The author, Robert Heinlein, was a leader in the science fiction tale. His career spanned decades and encompassed the golden age of sci-fi literature. All You Zombies though was actually a time travel story and the title in some ways was more a metaphor of people and their loss of self. A pair of Australian film makers, the Spierig brothers, best known for the horror sci-fi film Daybreakers, are back with their take on the Heinlein tale, remaining the story in its movie format as Predestination.

The film stars Ethan Hawke and newcomer Sarah Snook in what some have said is a star making performance. When a bartender in a local Manhattan lounge serves drinks to the various regulars, a stranger enters and during their conversation admits he is the author of a self help column in the local paper. When the two make a bet over a bottle of whiskey, we soon discover that the bartender may be a lot more than what he says he is and the stranger's story may lead to something much bigger than any of them would ever think.

Though a VOD release and having only a minor theater run, the film has been unanimously received as a success by most critics. With its varying twists and larger plot that revolves around an unknown terrorist, the film has brought much talk on the internet of what it really is all about. Dark Discussions tries to tackle the elaborate plot and finally give their opinion of what are some saying is the first great genre film of 2015.

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Episode 175 - Karl Mueller Focus: 2014's Mr. Jones

Back in 2012, Xavier Gens, the French filmmaker, well known for his controversial French language film, Frontiers, had released his very first English language film entitled The Divide, an apocalyptic film that in many ways felt a bit like the Frank Darabont film, The Mist. The Divide's setup was a group of folks land up in the basement of a high rise apartment building after what appears to be a nuclear blast. Soon, mistrust and group dynamics begin to rip the survivors apart where their worst enemy may actually be lurking from within.

That film was a very dark movie that in many ways divided critics depending on their aptitude for the depressing and the malaise. The screenwriter was Karl Mueller who makes his directorial debut in the interesting 2014 film, Mr. Jones, both a found footage and documentary style horror film that in ways has the feel of a Lovecraftian tale. When a young couple head to the woods to make a nature documentary, they discover the home of the reclusive artist, Mr. Jones. Immediately they decide to drop the nature film and begin one on the notorious and mysterious sculptor.

The film has been compared to the 2013 film Resolution which not surprisingly, like Mr. Jones, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. Also the remoteness of the location and the sculptures presented have made Mr. Jones be evaluated alongside The Blair Witch Project. But all in all the film is its own distinct creature and though the third act becomes quite surreal, the film is a must see for both horror and genre fans alike.

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Episode 174 - Sons of Anarchy Series Recap

The mafia, gangs, crime stories, police corruption ... there never is an end to original stories on an old formula. When the FX show The Shield hit the airways, it broke ground with the very ambiguous morality of the characters. One of the writers of that show was a New Jersey native named Kurt Sutter. Having gained familiarity as a writer on The Shield, by season six he was named as an executive producer which gave him a foot in the door with the FX executives. As The Shield wrapped up its series, Sutter had an idea of his own. A show about a motorcycle gang that ran guns to various gangs in California. That show idea became Sons of Anarchy.

The Sons of Anarchy headed by Clay Morrow and his stepson Jax Teller are a criminal motorcycle gang working the underground gun running on the West Coast of the USA. When various powers outside their group begin to infiltrate their territory, potential wars breakout that comprise other gangs including the Mayans, the Triads, the One Niners, and various Aryan groups. Supply runs come from the Mexican drug cartels and the IRA which lead to even more trouble. And finally internal power struggles could also lead to the downfall of the so-called brotherhood.

Starring Ron Perlman of Hellboy, Charlie Hunnam of Pacific Rim, and Katey Sagal playing one of the most villainous characters on television, the show builds a suspenseful seven seasons that kept viewers wanting more weekly. Dark Discussions takes a look at the entire series. With the latest digital release of the final season of the show, your co-hosts give their final thoughts of the long running television series.

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Episode 170 - Come Back To Me (2014)

It's a new year and there are a whole list of new movies coming. Genre cinema is now mainstream with superheroes and teen sci-fi novels being brought to the big screen almost monthly. This year a lot of familiar film franchises are bringing new additions to their canon: Sinister, Insidious, James Bond, the Terminator, Jurassic World, Mad Max, Star Wars, the Avengers.

But there are a lot of small films that are coming that have been highly anticipated such as It Follows, Krampus, Rob Zombie's 31, Greg Mclean's 6 Miranda Drive, and Simon Rumley's The Last Word. Other original material includes the Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending, Neill Blomkamp's Chappie, M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit, Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea, Tom Hardy's starring vehicle Child 44, Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak, and Ridley Scott's The Martian.

Dark Discussions brings a pretty large list of a bunch of films that have been on their radar for the new year. Some are films that are so low profile that they'll be new to you. Others are higher profile but we discuss the actors, actresses, directors, and screenwriters behind them and also read into the trailers and blurbs that have been discussed throughout the internet. Get a pen and paper out and start jotting down these new films that may interest any genre fan.

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Episode 169 - 2015 Preview

It's a new year and there are a whole list of new movies coming. Genre cinema is now mainstream with superheroes and teen sci-fi novels being brought to the big screen almost monthly. This year a lot of familiar film franchises are bringing new additions to their canon: Sinister, Insidious, James Bond, the Terminator, Jurassic World, Mad Max, Star Wars, the Avengers.

But there are a lot of small films that are coming that have been highly anticipated such as It Follows, Krampus, Rob Zombie's 31, Greg Mclean's 6 Miranda Drive, and Simon Rumley's The Last Word. Other original material includes the Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending, Neill Blomkamp's Chappie, M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit, Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea, Tom Hardy's starring vehicle Child 44, Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak, and Ridley Scott's The Martian.

Dark Discussions brings a pretty large list of a bunch of films that have been on their radar for the new year. Some are films that are so low profile that they'll be new to you. Others are higher profile but we discuss the actors, actresses, directors, and screenwriters behind them and also read into the trailers and blurbs that have been discussed throughout the internet. Get a pen and paper out and start jotting down these new films that may interest any genre fan.

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Episode 168 - 2014 Year In Review

Dark Discussions brings you their year in review episode. 2014 seemed to start out very slow for horror films but by the end of the year, there were plenty of good films to see, all readily available and not just festival films or limited release. But co-hosts Eric and Mike had a very good point which is what is determined as other genre (sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, techno-thrillers, mysteries, and exploitation) was outstanding compared to horror itself. It could be argued that 4 or 5 thrillers and sci-fi flicks were heads and above the very best genre films of the year, even over horror as a specific category.

One of the many interesting aspects of the prior year's best horror films was the cost to make them. Out of Dark Discussions definitive top 13 horror films of the year (a 3 way tie for 10th), the total cost to make them was easily less than $30M USD. This shows outstanding small budget and independent cinema but it also is dire for wide release Hollywood horror films. And to put an exclamation point on it, only one of the films on the definitive list was a wide release film.

Films weeded down for consideration for our Top 10 horror list and Top 10 genre list were just under seventy total films. And unlike prior years, your four co-hosts were very close to having consensus with the choices on both lists. Rounding out the episode includes a quick recap of 2014's genre television, books, anime, and our breakout list and worst list.

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