“Our human spirits are immortal... I have matched my human spirit agains their emptiness, and I have won!” - Marnie
Tonight on True Blood, Antonia decided to let the sunshine in. Which is great- I was expecting them to drag the “meet the sun” plot out until the season finale. Three cheers for well-paced plotting! It makes sense that in the face of certainish death, our vampires would choose to stay close to those they love. Bill and Jessica hunker down for some sweet maker bonding before chaining themselves up in the basement (which sounds WAY dirtier than I meant, sorry.) Sookie and Eric do the same, endulging in another one of those sappy conversations assembled entirely from Livejournal icons.
Unfortunately, Tara isn’t feeling the love, as she must soldier on without her new girlfriend. She teams up with Marnie/Antonia, who may be a better replacement for “vampire hunting”, but not the “hotness” category which is so vital in a relationship. Tara seems to be falling for Mantonia’s female empowerment/wanton murder spiel, helping her assemble a crack team of idiots to power her spell circle. Tara says that vampires have killed every person that she’s loved, but to be honest readers, I’m drawing a blank. Jason and Sam are both (relatively) fine. Her only boyfriend who died (that I remember) is Eggs, and he got shot by Jason, not the undead. Undoubtedly, her relationship with Franklin was disturbing and awful, but I don’t remember him going after anyone but her. Is there someone obvious I’m forgetting? Or is Tara being a tad melodramatic?
Ep. 43 - Recap
“We’re seriously having this conversation? Now?” - Alcide
To be fair, it was a melodramatic episode on all counts, with all of the vampires chaining themselves up in the basement and crying and stuff. The newly-cuddly Eric is enjoyable, but his dialogue is getting embarrassingly sappy. Maybe for next week, I’ll compile a list of his quotes and mix them in with some of Edward’s from Twilight, and we’ll see who can tell them apart. But he also gets the funniest moment of the episode, having sex with Sookie all the way to the door of their house. Odds are there are some very confused boy scouts out in the woods getting a “birds and the vampire bees” talk. Maybe a “birds and mosquitos” talk. Who knows what wanton damage their love life will cause?
For instance, Eric and Sookie’s sexcapades puts a dent in Alcide and Debbie’s still-fragile relationship. After their werewolf bar-mitzvah, they go back into the conveniently small woods to make sure that Sookie isn’t getting murdered. Instead, they stumble into her glowey sex scene, which leads to some performance anxiety later on. It’s okay, Alcide, not everyone can have soft-focus sex scenes with a Neko Case-soundtrack. You’ve just got to make due.
“I wish I could forget every fucking thing about you.” - Sam. Also, the audience.
Sam gets an unpleasant surprise when his advances towards Luna are rebuffed, on account of Tommy’s shapeshifting sexytimes. Fortunately, the crack team figures it out, and while Luna runs off to take a whole lot of showers, Sam heads back to beat up Tommy. Tommy claims that the shapeshifting was an accident, which it was, but it’s not like his penis accidentally fell into Luna’s vagina.
Lafayette and Jesus finally left the brujo grampa behind, but not before establishing that Lafayette’s a medium- a witch who can speak to, and channel, spirits of the dead. Including the ghost lady who’s been following Arlene’s kid around, singing to him in french, and generally being disturbing.
“I am going to eat that fucking witch, starting with her face.” - Jessica
Ep. 44 - Preview
Despite Lala’s witchy prowess, he doesn’t get involved in Mantonia’s kind of crazy vampire murder plan. I have to assume that Tara, and the other people involved in the circle, don’t know exactly what’s going on, since they seem fairly cavalier about the whole thing. And Marnie’s speech, while dramatic, was vague on specifics. Tara’s been a bit of a jerk this season (for warranted reasons, sure), but it’s hard to imagine that she’d actually try to murder Jessica, and even Bill, in cold blood. I get that she’s afraid of Pam, but at this point, couldn’t Sookie ask Eric to order her not to kill Tara? I don’t know if Pam would listen, but Pam is honestly not the most intimidating vampire right now. She has no skin! Kudos to the makeup department for that incredibly cringe-worthy scene.
And it is Jessica who ends up in the most danger from Mantonia’s spell. Well, Jessica and that one vampire with the curlers who Hoyt’s mom knows. She has a sweet conversation with Bill, where she thanks him for being a good vampire dad, but he goes easy on her with the silver, out of sympathy. It ends up costing him, as Jessica breaks free, kills Bucky (not Bucky!) and walks out into the sun. Jason’s currently running to her rescue, and Bill spent something like half an hour in the sun that one time in the first season without any long-term damage, so I’m not too worried. I think for the first time, Russell Edgington might actually be happy that he’s trapped in concrete underground.
Looks like next week we’ll finally be getting that shower scene everyone’s been talking about.
“Holy crap, now there’s zombies?”
Sookie spends most of the episode in a sheer white shirt and a very pink bra. Someone call the fashion police!
“I’m going to shove my fist up your cunt and wear you like a hand warmer.”
“I swear to God I will burn this fucking taco stand to the ground!” You can’t blame Lafayette for being pissy, he still doesn’t speak Spanish, and must have no idea what’s going on half the time.
Good callback to the last time Eric got silvered, in season 2.
This week’s Eggs Benedict Memorial Award For The Biggest Waste Of Screen-Time goes to Andy’s date with Holly, which ended quickly and accomplished nothing. We get it, Andy’s addicted to V. Either come up with a better plot, or let poor Chris Bauer go. The man was on The Wire, for chrissake.
Superhero origin stories have been all the rage at the multiplex this summer with Marvel Comics alone accounting for two such films Thor and X-Men: First Class both of which happily surpassed critics’ expectations. Its latest Captain America: The First Avenger – so named as to provide us a helpful link to the Avengers movie coming next year – arguably faces the trickiest task of all three seeing as how Americans have not been in the most patriotic of moods in recent years. Could a flag-waving superhero really find purchase with a moviegoing audience that increasingly looks askance at such notions?
Surprisingly yes. That Captain America succeeds – and resoundingly so – is partly due to the producers’ decision to set the film during World War II a time where patriotism is a much easier sell. (And no viewer is too jaded to not enjoy seeing Nazis eviscerated en masse.) But proper credit must be given to director Joe Johnston who has crafted a breathlessly entertaining popcorn movie that unambiguously embraces its hero’s old-fashioned sensibilities and invites us to embrace them as well.
Chris Evans (The Losers Fantastic Four) plays Steve Rogers an earnest oft-bullied ectomorph whose lone wish is to ship off to Europe and fight on the front lines. But a plethora of physical ailments have combined to render him hopelessly unfit to serve however stiff his resolve. (To pull off the withered look of “Skinny Steve ” the filmmakers pulled off a nifty trick grafting Evans’ head onto the body of another actor Leander Neely.)
Rogers’ chance arrives in the guise of a government scientist the German émigré Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci as avuncular as a German-accented man can hope to be) who witnesses the young man’s idealistic ardor and recruits him to take part in secret military experiment. After proving his mettle in training Rogers is delivered a dose of Super Serum a PED that instantly makes him bigger stronger and faster than just about any other human alive.
Which is a good thing because on the other side of the Atlantic a renegade Nazi scientist Johann Schmidt aka the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving doing a tremendous Christoph Waltz impression) has happened upon his own supernatural power source and he’s used it to quietly amass a private army dubbed HYDRA that is bent on supplanting Hitler’s world-domination scheme with its own. Soon all that stands between defeat at the hands HYDRA and its arsenal of advanced weaponry is the juiced-up visage of the newly-christened Captain America.
Portraying a stalwart straight-arrow bereft of angst or ambiguity isn’t the easiest of tasks for any actor but Evans does a commendable job of bringing depth and humanity to a character that all too easily could have come across as bland and one-dimensional. Johnston seems to recognize this potentiality as he looks primarily to his supporting cast to supply the personality: Tucci and Weaving stand out as do Tommy Lee Jones and Toby Jones playing an irascible army commander and a timid HYDRA toady respectively. The film’s romantic spark comes courtesy of the principal cast’s lone female representative the excellent Haley Atwell playing Rogers’ military liaison Agent Peggy Carter.
More than anything Captain America is a triumph of tone. A former ILM technician Johnston did visual effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark and Spielberg’s 1981 blockbuster was a conscious touchstone for his film’s throwback feel and aesthetic. (Another less deliberate influence would be a previous Johnston film The Rocketeer.) Captain America embodies the spirit of the old serials melded with a tongue-in-cheek comic sense and punctuated by action sequences that deploy the requisite CGI fireworks with a welcome measure of restraint. The film is decidedly of its era but never feels gratuitously nostalgic. And its production design is gorgeous: Red Skull’s lair in particular is a treasure trove of retro-futurist designs all of which seem directly lifted from 1940s World’s Fair exhibits.