Ladies and gentlemen, werewolves and fairies, vampires and shifters: Welcome to the Season 6 Premiere of True Blood. The waiting sucked, but it's finally over… And can you believe we've already been glamoured for six seasons?! Woah.Although it's felt like a Vampire-lifetime since we last were sucked into the blood-ridden town of Bon Temp, the first episode of the season, directed by vampire Bill himself (Stephen Moyer), doesn't skip a heartbeat, and starts up in the gory mess we last found ourselves in: some whacky sh*t going down at The Authority's headquarters. Now let's discuss all those bloody little deatails.
Meet Male-Lilith Bill!After Bill guzzles the whole effing vile of goddess Lilith's blood, he's left as a puddle of bloody goo. Gross! Just when we think Bill's a goner, he is reborn as a fang-bearing male-Lilith (Jason calls him a "naked evil Superman"). The emergence of Lilith-ified Bill sends Eric and Sookie running for refuge. The troubled-trio of Nora, Jason, and Tara, who relinquished Pam and Jessica from the Authority's jacked-up jail, are looking for a way out of the brewing chaos at The Authority, too. Before a blood-drenched and naked Bill can create a blood bath, Eric and Sookie roll up with perfect timing for the rest of their buddies to jump in their car and zoom the hell out of the fire-blazing Authority compound.
R.I.P. Speaking of fleeing from the Authority, Luna and Sam are on a rescue mission to save Emma (who Reverend Newlin had kidnapped to be his little were-pup), but chaos ensues when Luna involuntarily shifted from her disguise as Reverend Newlin to her gorgeous self. We teased that the Grim Reaper was coming for one of the beloved True Blood castmates, and it's here we find out who's saying adios.
The last time Luna shifted, it almost marked her death, but she had the not-so-bright idea to do it again…completely blanking on the fact that maybe you shouldn't try the same sh*t that almost killed you the last time around. Just how Sam's brother Tommy died after shifting too many times, Luna's fate was no friendlier. It was a total tearjerker watching Luna die as Sam promised to look after her Emma. Sam then turns to Lafayette (who's like the best dude to chill with when you need a proper cheering up sesh) for help on hiding Emma now that shifter community has been exposed on live television. Ruh roh!
There's a New Sheriff… Well, Governor In TownGovernor of Louisiana, Truman Burrell, holds a press conference declaring that despite the human's superb Southern hospitality towards the vamp population, the recent spike of human lives lost calls for a new vampire curfew to be enforced and all vampire run businesses to be shut down. Gov. Burrell later sneaks a meeting with a True Blood company executive to form a silent partnership. He claims he'll give the company a bottling facility free of charge for the sake of simply giving vampire's sustenance other than feeding off humans, but eh, we don't really believe that's your sole motivation, Governor. It doesn't seem like a full-scale war vs. vampires is too far down the line. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife! They Grow Up So Fast!After Sheriff Andy Bellefleur knocked up fairy lad Mirella, she left him high and dry with four fairy babes. Considering Andy is nowhere near father of the year status, Arlene and Terry help out with raising the kiddies. Right when you think there are still normal problems in Bon Temps like learning how to change a diaper, Andy's babies drastically sprout from babies to toddlers. Wowza! Full-blood fairies grow up damn fast!I Summon TheeUpon escaping the Authority and Bill mayhem, the crew, comprised of Sookie, Eric, Nora, Pam, Jess, and Tara, (who desperately need a shower since they are decked out in blood) try to make a game plan… but instead tensions rise: Jess get's pissed after hearing Nora suggest that if Bill has indeed resurrected as Lilith, Bill must die. Before Jess can angrily storm off, Bill summons her, which induces some serious torment. Sookie escorts Jess to Bill's mansion where bloody footprints are all over the place - someone seriously needs to call a cleaning service.
Bill is just chilling on the porch until Eric and Nora charge in. Bill leaps but before he can properly attack Eric, Sookie stabs her once beloved! What a twist! This new Bill can clearly take a few stabbings though, he just yanks the wooden stake right out like it was merely a toothpick. So, Bill's no longer just your average run of the mill vamp. (We even learn he has telephonic power. Like what!?) In a powerful scene, Sookie tells Bill that the ole vamp she once knew and loved isgone, and she wants Lilith-y Bill nowhere near her or her pals. Unlike Sookie, Jessica's allegiance to her maker runs strong and she defends Bill and relentlessly sticks by him. (Cue the Pussycat Dolls tune Stickwitu).
I Want My Old Life Back!Eric walks Sookie home and they have a heart-to-heart about Sookie staking Bill to save Eric. They share an intimate moment reminiscing over Sookie's innocent days as the simple Merlott's waitress in the white dress. Eric even does Sookie the courtesy of putting the rights to Sookie's home back in her name. But all the sucking up doesn't seem to cut it, and Sookie ends up rescinding Eric's exclusive invite to her home in an effort to reclaim her once non-vampire filled life.Nothing Wrong With a Three WayAlcide, who's all amped up on V, which is so not the "live above the influence" Alcide we know and love, emerges as the new werewolf to beat. But before he can properly take on the title as packmaster, he first inherits the flesh a.k.a. chows down on the former packmaster's arm, which doesn't sound appetizing in the slightest. And with a werewolf promotion, comes benefits… sexual benefits! After a breathtaking a** shot of Alcide in all his naked glory, he starts aggressively hooking up with one werewomen, Nicole, before Rikki barges in for a little Ménage á Trois action. Besides all the sharing and caring in the works, Rikki makes sure to remind Alcide she's his number one biotch! Fiesty, mama!Farewell Fangtasia With a rift between Pam and Eric since Pam feels completely replaced by Eric's baby sis Nora, Tara tries to steal Eric's spot in Pam's heart… but Pam's not really down with Tara taking the spotlight. Government guards bust into Fangtasia to shut down the vampire joint in accordance to Governor Burrell's order. Tara tries to come to Pam's rescue, proving herself to be a loyal protégé, but winds up getting herself shot in the chest. Oh snap! What's with Tara always having the ultimate level of worst luck? Get In, Loser! Jason's gone cray ever since he accidentally was blasted with a fairy ray and started seeing his dead parents, who he learned were killed by a vampire, Warlow, Lilith's original progeny. Jason hitchhikes after he can no longer tolerate chilling with Sookie and her vampire gang and getting "brain-rapped". Before you think why the f*ck would someone pick up Jason, whose perfectly sculpted jawline is soaked in blood, we soon understand that this isn't just any driver.
Jason, who can't keep his mouth clamped, learns from the eerie driver that Sookie can't hide from Warlow, whose haunted Sookie since we learned last season that Sookie contractually belongs to Warlow. For once in his life, dumb*ss Jason is clever and questions the driver for knowing Sookie's name before he even mentioned it. The creepy driver then mutters "Who the hell do you think I am, Jason?" Jason then fires at the driver thinking he must be Warlow. But then poof! The driver disappears into thin air. So is he Warlow? Is he flat-out a magician? Or is he something else?
Three Girls, One BillJust like Jason, Bill is seeing things! Bill has a quick chat with Jess before her bedtime, which convinces us he still has the heart that Sookie (and we) once fell for... but we are instantly reminded that male-Lilith is no longer plain old Bill. Bill starts hearing whispers and chattering and soon enough faces three blood-lathered Lilith-women that sprint towards Bill and wiggle themselves inside his body…. and we're left with Bill gasping, and me yelling "what the f*ck!"
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It's not often one hopes that Jim Carrey revisits his work in Batman Forever. His Eternal Sunshine tour de force? Absolutely. (Why doesn't he do more stuff like that and Truman Show?!) His pre-digitally-hitting-on-Emma-Stone-weirdness days? Please. His Dumb & Dumber-era fame? God or Hollywood willing we may get a taste of that again.
But the widely panned Batman Forever? Probably not so much. (Though, in its defense, at least it's not Batman & Robin and Carrey was actually a pretty fun Riddler). Of course, fans haven't really been given a reason to hope to see the 50-year-old slap on some green spandex for a superhero flick until now.
According to Deadline, Carrey is being courted to appear in Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall as The Colonel, a character who "helps galvanize the team of misfit superheroes assembled to fight evil." Hollywood.com reached out to Carrey's rep and Universal for a statement regarding the report, but did not immediately get a response.
This is where "stunt casting" could pay off in a big way. Not only is Carrey reportedly a big fan of the original Kick-Ass (who wasn't?) but it's been far too long since the actor has been able to let loose in the same manic way he did in the 90s that isn't in a standard mainstream comedy (Yes Man, Fun with Dick and Jane) or kiddie-friendly fare (Mr. Popper's Penguins, A Christmas Carol).
With the exception of the Stone blunder and the unforgivable How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Carrey seems to be one of the 90s superstars fans want to see and has the chance for a comeback. Hence — if this news turns out to be true — why this is such a brilliant move on Universal's part.
Putting Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages did that movie no favors (the Broadway adaptation earned a measly $38.5 million at the U.S. box office) and talk of putting Mel Gibson in The Hangover Part II for a cameo aroused more discomfort than excitement. (Director Todd Phillips ultimately decided to pass on Gibson for the hit sequel.) It's that very reason Carrey hasn't had even close to the same level of personal missteps that Cruise and Gibson have that make him a wise choice. We miss the Gibson and Cruise of the 90s for entirely different reasons than we miss Carrey.
Another reason why Carrey may want to get back in the fight for the Kick-Ass sequel: look what wonders the "stunt casting" of Drew Barrymore in Scream did for both her career and the appeal of that film. Barrymore was in the horror hit for all of ten minutes, but her turn in it was unforgettable and the attention the film got helped Barrymore launch the second wave of her career. (She followed up Scream with other 90s favorites The Wedding Singer, Ever After, and Never Been Kissed).
While Carrey has projects on his horizon, a role in the eagerly anticipated Kick-Ass 2 could be just the thing to jumpstart a comeback. Or, at the very least, another much-needed MTV Movie Awards acceptance speech.
[Photo credit: DailyCeleb.com]
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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
The director, writer and producer passed away at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California on Wednesday night (15Dec10) after suffering complications from pneumonia.
He had been hospitalised for two weeks and was already battling knee problems, according to his longtime publicist, Gene Schwam. The rep added Edwards had been "pretty much confined to a wheelchair for the last year-and-a-half or two".
His wife and other family members were by his bedside when he died.
Born William Blake Crump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Edwards began his career as an actor and screenwriter, penning seven scripts for late actor/filmmaker Richard Quine.
He landed his big break on Orson Welles' production of War of the Worlds and went on to create screenplays for detective series Richard Diamond, Private Detective and Peter Gunn.
He later established himself as a director, working with Audrey Hepburn to bring Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's to the big screen in 1961, before taking on Days of Wine and Roses in 1962.
But he will perhaps be best remembered as the comic genius behind the Pink Panther series, teaming up with Peter Sellers for six of the hit movies in the franchise.
His other comedy credits include 10, Victor/Victoria and black comedy S.O.B., all starring Andrews, his wife of 41 years.
In 2004, he was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his extensive body of film work.
Edwards is survived by Andrews, his two children Jennifer and Geoffrey from his first marriage to Patricia Walker, and two adopted kids from Vietnam, Amelia Leigh and Joanna Lynne. He was also stepfather to The Sound of Music icon's daughter Emma, from her previous union to Tony Walton.
After starting what he thinks is just another day by methodically brushing his teeth the way he always does IRS Agent Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) gets a visit from an uninvited auditory guest--Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) the author of his life. Little does she know while writing a book about a character named Harold Crick that the real Harold can hear her narrations loud and clear; little does Harold know that her novels don't have happy endings--that is until he hears it in her narration which states that he is to die. Luckily she's in the midst of writer's block so he has some time to find out well how much time he has to live. He immediately consults a literary professor (Dustin Hoffman) who instructs Harold to further pursue a relationship with an anarchistic baker (Maggie Gyllenhaal) he is currently auditing in order to learn more about the course the novel will take. The relationship flourishes and he’s happy for the first time in a long time but will art imitate--or end--his life? Ferrell seems to be mimicking the exact path of his direct comedic-superstar predecessor Jim Carrey even down to his first serious-ish role: Carrey’s first dramatic foray was the equally quasi-existential though much better Truman Show. Ferrell has no problem whatsoever making the transition--that’s just what abundant natural talent affords certain actors. But his crossover attempt should’ve been more subtle since audiences have come to expect at least one “streaking” scene per Ferrell film. As Ferrell’s heavily tattooed love interest the ubiquitous Gyllenhaal scores again. Fresh off roles as a stripper single mom (Sherrybaby) and a frantic pregnant 9/11 wife (World Trade Center) she proves that no matter her character’s physical appearance or mindset she can do no wrong. Ditto for Thompson who spends much of the film in pajamas and the throes of writer’s block--the "writer" prototype--much to the dismay of her publisher-appointed assistant played well by Queen Latifah. Rounding out the cast is Hoffman whose professor isn't totally unlike his answer provider in like-minded I Heart Huckabees. His character’s quirky humor is child’s play at this point for the veteran but a select few scenes between him and Ferrell are extremely satisfying. To liken Stranger Than Fiction to a Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Adaptation et al) script/movie is not totally without merit. Fiction captures the “vivid yet distant” essence that is common with Kaufman’s stories and subsequent movies. But whereas Kaufman doesn’t go out of his way to coddle audiences’ minds amidst his often obtuse movies writer Zach Helm and director Marc Forster seem to have audience appreciation (read: box office) on the brain. Helm’s idea is nothing short of genius in a way that’s different from the oft-mentioned screenwriters he’s compared to but somewhere en route he and/or Forster (Finding Neverland) compromised the vision. Because what starts out as a complex intriguing movie turns stale quickly especially given the inexplicable ease with which it transitions from a metaphysical story into a straightforward one. And Forster's tendency in the movie to undercomplicate is just as detrimental as the opposite extreme. The dialogue also falls somewhat flat often neither funny nor off-kilter enough buoyed only slightly by superb cinematography set direction and indie music featuring Spoon (whose frontman Britt Daniel reworked some of their best songs for the movie)--but we’ve come to expect that trifecta from similar movies.