The cast of True Blood stopped by the San Diego convention center Friday to share a bit(e) about the Golden Globe-nominated HBO series' fourth season. The program blends the motifs of horror and romance in the wildly popular and allegorical adventures of Sookie Stackhouse, a "part-faerie" bequeathed with surplus of vampire company.
A Q&A session moderated by Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack featured Ryan Kwanten,, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Joe Manganiello, and Kevin Alejandro and more!
But first, the footage: A new season trailer previewed footage that included Bill trying to convince Sookie not to have sex with Eric, and then more clips of Sookie and Eric having sex. There was also some footage of Jessica getting naughty with...Jason? And Hoyt confronting her about the infidelity he knows is in her heart. Also, it looks like Marni is going to get a lot more powerful as we see her floating in the air during a ritual with fellow witches, and she'll do serious battle with the vamps as she apparently wishes they will all "meet the sun." Also, Sam looks like he'll have a deadly final confrontation with his leaching younger brother and Lafayette puts his hair down!
The cast was incredibly loose and casual as they discussed their characters and the story of the season. Alan Ball was tight lipped on much of the plot points, but did reveal that the vampires would stick together in the face of the threats they face this season, so even though Eric and Sookie will end up in bed together we're assuming that Bill will not do battle with him. However, he did reveal a lot about what when can expect from season 5. Speaking of Sookie and Eric, they will take a "weird, dirty" shower together, which should excite all fans of the show. Also, and this should please many longtime fans of the show, we will finally get to see how Eric made Pam. Though this bit didn't have a particular time frame regarding when it would air, Ball said that "nothing is ever done on this show" when asked about whether the romance between Sam and Tara is kaput. Finally, the creator said that "Spirits without bodies, which may or may not be ghosts, freakish demons and more unusual supernatural creatures never seen before" will enter the show's complex universe next year.
Stay tuned for updates including quotes from the cast in a bit!
Season Four of True Blood airs Sunday nights on HBO.
What's missing from the trailer for Shark Night 3D? Everything that Piranha 3D had. The Alexandre Aja-directed splatter-fest was fun because it didn't take itself seriously - at all. With Shark Night 3D, director David R. Ellis (The Final Destination) is going for more straight up terror than last summer's surprise horror hit - and the result is what looks like a generic Syfy channel Friday night flick. I think I'll wait for Piranha 3DD and skip this wannabe.
Check out the trailer below:
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Hollywood has produced some wonderful films set in the world of Major League Baseball, but many of them have been works of fiction. Bull Durham comes to mind, as does Field Of Dreams and The Natural, but in my opinion some of the best stories that can be told about America's Favorite Pastime are the one's about the real-life sluggers. This September, Sony and director Bennett Miller (Capote) are bringing audiences Moneyball, a drama about the Oakland Athletics' GM Billy Beane, and while the film stars Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright Penn, it faces the challenge of centering on a relatively unknown figure. Luckily for Robert Redford and writer/director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), their new joint effort will focus on one of the most well-known and respected baseball players of all time - Jackie Robinson.
The LA Times is reporting that the duo has struck a deal to collaborate on this ambitious biopic, which Redford has been trying to get made for years. He'll co-star in the film, alongside an as-yet-uncast actor who'll play Robinson, as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who discovered and signed the future star. The film is said to focus less on Robinson's role in breaking the color barrier in the MLB and more on his relationship with Rickey, who scholars believe integrated baseball for reasons of both idealism and economics. On their complex friendship, Redford was quoted saying, "no one really knows the Rickey part, the political maneuvers and the partnership they had to share. It's the story underneath the story you thought you knew."
Helgeland will write and direct the untitled film, though its script has already seen Redford and other scribes like John Adams' Kirk Ellis. Production is obviously way off for now, as there are many details that must be sorted out first - chief amongst them being choosing the right actor to play the legendary Robinson. I've long felt that the story of the rise of the Dodgers, from being constantly defeated by the New York Yankees at the World Series from 1947 through 1955, when the team finally beat the Bronx Bombers, is the ultimate baseball underdog tale and Robinson's story fits right into that period. Though I'd rather watch a rousing, decade-spanning rags-to-riches story about one of the most beloved teams in professional sports, Robinson's life is long-overdue for the big-screen treatment and I'm very excited that this film is finally moving forward.
As for who should play Robinson, my pick is Chiwetel Ejiofor, not necessarily because he's the best physical match for the slugger (though with modern make-up practices I could probably play Robinson), but because I strongly believe that there's nothing this fantastic British actor can't do. Still, I want to hear your opinions on who should take on this prized part. Sound off!
Source: The LA Times
Baseball has long been called “America’s Favorite Pastime” and for good reason. It allows people to leave the troubles of their mundane and often stressful lives at the gate so they can focus their attention on friendly competition for nine fun-filled innings. Baseball is still one of America’s most beloved forms of amusement, but throughout the twentieth century another leisurely activity has arguably become America’s Favorite (and certainly most affordable) Pastime – going to the movies.
Movies entertain the masses. Unlike baseball, however, motion pictures have the unique ability to capture reality with unflinching authenticity, or transport an audience to far off galaxies, turning two hours into an audio-visual escape from the ordinary. Over thirty years ago, Warner Bros. hypothesized that comic books provided the same escapist fantasies that films do and decided to combine the two mediums for moviegoers of all ages. The result was Superman: The Movie, one of the most successful films of its time and the first major motion picture based on a comic book. And so began a sub-genre of action, fantasy and science fiction films that I like to call “Superhero Cinema.”
Today, comic book source material is re-shaping popular culture, fueling the development of feature films, television shows, digital content and more. Superhero cinema is not only mainstream, it’s a lynchpin in the production plans of movie studios and filmmakers. Why? Because in these volatile economic and political times, consumers are more likely to spend their hard-earned cash on amazing fictional fantasies than dreary dramas. Comic book movies are the epitome of cinematic escapism and the fun doesn’t stop with costumed crime-fighters.
Films like 300, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Sin City have proven that you don’t need to have a cape and tights to make a cool comic book adaptation that affords an audience the same release as a Batman or Spider-Man film. Case in point: Summit Entertainment’s Red, based on a DC Comics mini-series by Warren Ellis, which follows a former black-ops agent who reassembles his retired field team when a high-tech assassin threatens his life. Ten years ago, audiences may have seen the trailer for this film (check it out below, if you aren’t privy to its awesomeness) and pegged it as “silly.” And you know what? It is. Especially since the majority of the cast, which includes Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Ernest Borgnine and Richard Dreyfuss, qualifies for AARP membership. But because our lives get more and more complicated every day with new natural disasters and congressional scandals, moviegoers have learned to lighten up and accept this romp of an action-comedy for what it is: all out fun.
And that, dear readers, is the whole reason why we go to the movies, isn’t it? To have fun. To retreat from the daily grind. To walk in the shoes of an assassin or superhero so that, just for two hours or so, we can forget about the responsibilities and pressures of real life and just have a good time. I bet that’s the same reason that Oscar winners like Mirren and Freeman sign up for a movie like Red, because as cool as it is to watch Dame Helen play with a sub-machine gun on the silver screen, I’m sure she had a hell of a time doing it for us.
Milla Jovovich is on a roll. With four films in post-production (including the fourth installment of the Resident Evil series) and five gearing up to start, she's one of the busiest ladies in Hollywood. You can add another one to that extensive queue as Moviehole reports that she's locked to star in David R. Ellis' upcoming supernatural thriller Bad Luck.
To be released in 3D, the film tells of a group of friends who find their lives changed when the superstitions they don't believe in begin to come true. David Schow wrote the script for the $30 million flick.
Bad Luck seems like a perfect gig for genre star Jovovich, who was most recently seen in a pair of thrillers last year (A Perfect Getaway and The Fourth Kind), but it's director David "Snakes on a Plane" Ellis who has me worried about the potential of the project. He made two of the four similarly-themed Final Destination films, as well as the 2004 dud Cellular. What he does best is stunts - which comes from his extensive experience as a stunt coordinator (his resume goes all the way back to 1975), so unless this picture is chock full of 'em, count me out.