Category Archives: Reviews

Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs Webisode #2

Murdoch Mysteries

Episode #2 of the Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs was short and sweet, running only two and a half minutes.  After a short recap, we learn another murder has taken place. Our heroes find a hieroglyphic journal, which with some painstaking effort, is translated into english. We also meet “The Stout-Hearted Enforcer” Inspector Thomas Brakenreid. They learn that an angry deity “is coming” and find themselves face to face with something from beyond the grave.

Continue reading Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs Webisode #2

HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 10~Fire and Blood

And so it comes to an end. Season one of Game of Thrones proved that an adaptation doesn’t need to stray too far from the source material to be an entertaining, groundbreaking and exciting series. Episode 10 brings the first chapter (well, book actually) to a close and sets up some new surprises for the next season.  They gave us life (Dragons!) and death (Drogo) but what impacted us the most? Take a look…  Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 10~Fire and Blood

HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 9~Baelor

Episode 9 of Game of Thrones is the one book fans have been dreading since the inception of the series.  It will forever be rememberd as [SPOILERS] the one where Ned dies, and everyone else pretends to be frat boys–The Night’s Watch chanting for Longclaw, the Hill Tribes chanting for the halfman, Tyrion, Shae, and Bronn playing drinking game in the middle of the night….Here are the…

Top 5 Moments of Episode 9~Baelor

5. Jorah Gets Lucky

Context: Drogo is near death after last week’s fight. One of his bloodriders does not take kindly to Dany’s use of blood-magic and threatens the Khaleesi and her unborn child. Jorah decides its time to put on his armor.

Jorah Mormont
If only that sword was Longclaw…

Reasoning: Jorah Mormont is a character who never jumped off the page for me, but Iain Glen brings the disgraced knight to life.  Although much of this episode’s Dany-centric plot was poorly paced (so…how far along is she?) this scene stands out.  Jorah shows his skill with a sword (and with a little luck) takes down the Dothraki rider with a swift slice to the face. We also see his willingness to protect Dany, even though he’s been spying for the crown. The Dothraki might be badass, but now they know why armor is a good idea. Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 9~Baelor

Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs Webisode #1

Murdoch Mysteries

CityTv aired their first episode of the new webseries Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, earlier this week, and as promised, the Nerd Vortex is here to review it.  While I’m not usually a fan of motion comics (really animate it or keep it on the page, I always say) Curse of the Pharaohs does something a little different.  The webisode jumps between live action and animation seamlessly and uses the latter to emphasize character, drama, and move through scene transitions.  But, let’s take a closer look.

The Plot
The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs is a story within a story (meta!).  Constable George Crabtree (Johnny Harris), the title character’s eager sidekick, writes pulp style crime fiction on the side, and these webisodes bring one of them to life. Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), Crabtree and Julia Ogden (Helene Joy) find themselves with 6 dead Egyptologists, an empty coffin, and some deadly spores. Through the 13 part series, they must find the unsavoury culprit who committed these grisly murders, and find their lost mummy (which may or may not be loose in downtown Toronto).

The Execution
The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs amps up the pulpy nature of the early penny dreadfuls.  The characters are strict archetypes (and from what I gather, differ from the Murdoch Mysteries core canon).  Murdoch becomes The Fearless Leader; Crabtree becomes The Stalwart Sidekick; and Dr Julia Ogden becomes The Dangerous Beauty.  They use all the expectations of the genre and heighten them with sometimes silly dialogue and over dramatic readings (think a more over the top and light-hearted version of Mark Waid’s Ruse…set in Canada). The webisode also does a great job of introducing these characters.  I’ve never watched Murdoch Mysteries (meant to but it just never happened) and had no trouble following along.  They also morph the live action characters into their animated counterparts (a great effect) so there is no confusion.

The Verdict
Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs is a fun, light-hearted, pulp experience that could be a great introduction to the world of Murdoch Mysteries. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously and plays with the genre. If you like Holmesian mystery, take 5 minutes and watch the first episode of The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs.
And did I mention the artwork is great? The artwork is great.  Francis Manapul captures the perfect feel for the series. 

I’ll be watching Episode 2.  Let’s see if it can keep my interest.

Watch Webisode #1 of  The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs HERE

HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 8~The Pointy End

The circumstances become dire in the George RR Martin penned 8th episode of Game of Thrones. Ned is arrested for treason, Robb goes to war, and Khal Drogo proves once and for all you don’t want to make him angry. Which scene tops the list?  Here are the…

Top 5 Moments of Episode 8~The Pointy End

5. Ned Talks to a Spider

Context: After an accusation of treason and the slaughter of all his men, Ned finds himself deep in the dungeons of the Red Keep.  Varys, the Spider, pays him an unexpected visit.

Varys Conleth Hill Ned Stark Sean Bean
This Spider isn't itsy-bitsy

 Varys: I trust you know you’re a dead man, Lord Eddard.

Reasoning: Varys asks one of the questions we were all dying to know the answer of. Why on Earth would Ned tell Cersei he knew the truth?  Ned answers in a truly Ned way.  It was mercy and honour and all those things that make Ned, Ned.  But in Westeros, truth, justice, and honour doesn’t mean success, and seeing the great Lord Eddard defeated in a dungeon brings that to the forefront of the series. Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 8~The Pointy End

HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 6~A Golden Crown

Episode 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones may have been the best episode so far. A Golden Crown was filled with drama, humour, and the first major character death (of many). Here are the…

Top 5 Moments of Episode 6~A Golden Crown

5. Viserys and the Dragon Eggs

Viserys: I am the last hope of a dynasty. The greatest dynasty this world has ever seen, on my shoulders since I was five years old, and no one has ever given me what they gave to her in that tent. Never. Not a piece of it.

Reasoning: We could have chosen the flashy weirdness of Dany’s horse heart eating scene (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d use) but the simple interaction between Viserys and Jorah says so much more than a blood covered Khaleesi ever could. George RR Martin’s books are special because of the complexity of even the most minor characters, but if any were to be described as one-note it would be Viserys.  This scene gives him a soul.  We see inside his madness to the jealous, sad, and weighted man underneath. He becomes human.  If we’d been given more time, who knows, maybe we’d come to like Viserys…okay, maybe not.

Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones: Top 5 Moments of Episode 6~A Golden Crown

HBO’s Game of Thrones 1-5: Top 5 Daenerys Targaryen Moments

Daenerys Targaryen is a difficult part to play. She starts off as a meek young girl and grows into a Khaleesi of the Dothraki horse lords.  The actress playing her needs to be believable in both roles.  Fans were worried, and sceptical (and nitpicking about eye-brows), but newcomer, Emilia Clarke, has met all expectations. She’s vulnerable and strong and we can’t wait to see what else she can bring to the character.  For now, we’ve picked the

Top 5 Daenerys Moments

5. I Don’t Want to Be His Queen~Episode 1

 Dany: I don’t want to be his queen. I want to go home.
Viserys: So do I. I want us both to go home, but, they took it from us. So tell me sweet sister, how do we go home?
Dany: I don’t know.
Viserys: We go home with an army.

Reasoning: When we first meet Dany, she’s being sold off to Khal Drogo by her scheming brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd). This scene shows the dynamic between the two.  Emilia Clarke shows all of Dany’s fear and trepidation in her eyes and reaction to Viserys’ touch. Clarke and Lloyd play off of each other extremely well and are a joy to watch.  Continue reading HBO’s Game of Thrones 1-5: Top 5 Daenerys Targaryen Moments