Marshall Allman Film Scheduled for DVD Release December 14th

December 4, 2010

The Man Behind Tommy Mickens Shares His Other Work

Marshall AllmanThe talented young actor who joined True Blood in Season 3 as Sam’s brother, Tommy, is also making a name for himself in movies. Marshall Allman starred in an independent film called The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, which is coming to DVD December 14th.

In this bizarre dark comedy, Marshall plays a janitor named Dory who, along with his coworkers, takes part in a market research study. They all get addicted to cookies that produce some very strange side-effects. The cast includes Tania Raymonde, Matt Smith, Tygh Runyan, and Vincent Vieluf.

Dizzle was an Official Selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where it was described as a “spirited and wildly imaginative debut feature” for writer-director David Russo. It has been compared by critics to films like Clerks and Eraserhead. Based on trailer, however, it looks entirely unique, and something you have to see for yourself.

SOURCE: technorati.com — The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle on DVD, December 14

(Photo credit: life.com)

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Why True Blood Fans Should Watch Terriers

October 26, 2010

Donal Logue, Michael Raymond-James, Terriers, True Blood, ReneIt’s been over a month since the Season 3 finale of True Blood, and by now I imagine most of you fans are suffering some serious withdrawal pangs. HBO summed up the feeling perfectly when it adopted the tagline, “Waiting sucks.” Many aspects of True Blood that are so addicting–colorful, engaging characters; sharp writing and an ability to evoke lots of different emotions; surprising plot twists that draw you into the story—they aren’t in abundance on television, which makes us love those shows that have them all the more. Terriers, which started airing its first season on FX this fall, is one such show.

Contrary to what the title suggests, this is not a show about dogs, though there is a dog in it (a bulldog named Winston). “Terriers” refers to the two main characters, Hank Dolworth and Britt Pollack–best friends who work as private investigators. They’re a bit rough around the edges, but they have a quality that can only be described as scrappy and tenacious. Hence, Terriers.

At least one, if not both, of the lead actors will be known to you–Britt is played by Michael Raymond-James (formerly Bon Temps‘ very own vampire-hating serial killer, Rene). His partner, Hank, is played by Donal Logue (Grounded for Life). Britt is a former thief, mischievous and charming, whereas Hank is more hardened, a former drunk and cop who lost his job and his wife. The chemistry between Michael and Donal is what gives the show its heart. Things can get pretty heavy for Hank and Britt, especially given some of the dark paths the story takes, but the light banter provides a nice tonal balance. They’re constantly teasing each other, but with an ease and familiarity that only comes from truly caring for someone and enjoying their company.

As I alluded to, there are some darker elements to the show. In the pilot episode, an old buddy of Hank’s gets mixed up in a situation we don’t even fully realize yet, involving a sex tape, a murder, and a shady land development. The guy ends up dead, and that has driven the continuing arc this season and several questionable acts by Hank and Britt. Yet, in spite of some of the bad things they do, they always seem wholly human—flawed, but relatable.

There is a grittiness to the show, not just in characters and content, but also the style in which it is filmed. San Diego is a beautiful city, but through the experiences of Hank and Britt, we see the good, the bad, and the ugly of the place. It feels unpolished, and that makes it all the more interesting. This is no surprise, given the creative minds that are driving Terriers. Ted Griffin (Ocean’s 11), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), and Tim Minear (Firefly, Angel, Dollhouse) all serve as writers and executive producers.

The show might be testosterone-overload, were it not for the presence of great female supporting characters. Their storylines may only go so far as their interactions with the guys, but they are well-developed and well-acted. Katie (Laura Allen) is Britt’s caring, beautiful girlfriend who is studying to be a veterinarian. She accepts him and what he has done in the past because of how much fun they have together (although a recent mistake of hers threatens to wreck their happy home). Hank’s ex-wife, Gretchen (Kimberly Quinn), is clearly the biggest regret of his life. It’s implied that his drinking (and the decisions he made as a result) caused their marriage to end. She’s moved on and preparing to marry someone else, but she hasn’t cut ties with him. It’s lovely and refreshing to see an ex-wife character who still cares for her ex and wants him to be part of her life. There is also Stephanie, Hank’s sister (played by Donal’s sister Karina Logue, who also happened to play Denise “No Good Backwoods Trash” Rattray on True Blood!). She lives in his attic for weeks without him knowing, having escaped from a mental institute. She’s crazy and hilarious. Karina and Donal are so brilliant together–it’s a real treat to watch them portray these characters built on a foundation of their own relationship.

I could go on, but I know it’s better for you all to just watch it yourselves. If you’re wondering about which episode to try to determine if you’ll like it, I would recommend one of the great standalone episodes: “Ring-A-Ding-Ding” is probably my favorite, followed by “Change Partners” and “Missing Persons.” Hulu currently has every episode available except for the pilot, so catching up would be really easy.

Terriers airs Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/PT on FX. Enjoy!

(Photo credit: FX)

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James Frain Talks Franklin Mott and Tron: Legacy

October 5, 2010

True Blood and Tron: Legacy

Franklin Mott, James Frain, True Blood, Tron LegacyFranklin Mott may have met the true death on True Blood, but actor James Frain’s career is on the rise. In a recent interview with Collider, James discusses his role in the highly-anticipated Tron sequel, and what it’s like playing a crazy character like Franklin.

In spite of some of the outrageous things he was asked to do as Franklin, James says it was never challenging because he was having so much fun playing a liberated psychopath:

“If it’s going well, meaning that the writing is good, the directing is good and the other actor is present with you, then it’s always fun. It’s make-believe. It becomes difficult when there’s something not working in the equation. What’s remarkable is when you watch stuff back afterwards and you go, ‘Oh, my god, that’s terrifying! I remember when we were doing that and it was really good fun.’ Especially when it comes to that intense stuff, sometimes it’s even more fun than not because it’s so absurd, over-the-top and extreme. But, Rutina Wesley is just a very open and generous actor, and we just had a blast.”

James went from True Blood to another big, exciting project–Tron: Legacy, the remake of the 1982 sci-fi classic. He stepped into the role of Jarvis, the right-hand man to Clu, evil overlord of the alternate game universe:

“Unfortunately, [Jarvis is] completely inept and he spends most of his time trying not to be killed. It’s a fun, comic character that’s a little off-beat. It’s an intense, overwhelming experience and one of the things that [director] Joe [Kosinski] did to mitigate that was build in as much human idiosyncracies as he could. Michael Sheen’s character, Castor, is a very flamboyant, comic character. My character is not flamboyant, but more human, in terms of being fallible and absurd.”

Anticipation for Tron: Legacy has been building, given how many actors from the original film are involved (including Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner) and because of the technology available today to create outstanding visual effects. James says that, as an actor, you don’t approach your work any differently now that so much is being filmed in 3D:

“The new technology comes in and it seems like it’s changed all the rules, but then, after awhile, it’s just how things are done. The thing that always applies is storytelling. Good storytelling, good characters, genuine reactions and all that stuff is what’s important.”

Even though there’s a lot of hype for the film to live up to, James definitely thinks it’s going to blow people away when it hits theaters this December. After his impressive, magnetic performance as Franklin on True Blood, we can’t wait to see James in his new role!

SOURCE: collider.com — James Frain Exclusive Interview TRON: LEGACY

(Photo credit: Disney)

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Read Our Exclusive Twitter Interview with Kristin Bauer Van Straten

September 28, 2010

Kristin Bauer, Abri Van Straten, Pam, True Blood

On September 14th, 2010, we interviewed True Blood‘s queen of fashion and snark, Kristin Bauer Van Straten, via Twitter. There were misspellings aplenty and the constraints of the 140-character limit, but it was a great new experience that gave thousands of followers a chance to witness the live interview with this wonderfully kind actress as she talked about her trip to South Africa, her love of animals, her involvement with The Amanda Foundation, and much more.

TBN.com: Tonight we’re pleased to be hosting the world’s first Twitterview with #TrueBlood’s Pam, Kristin Bauer van Straten!

Kristin is here to support The Amanda Foundation.

Kristin: YES I AM!

TBN.com: Hi Kristin, thanks for tweeting with us tonight!

Kristin: HELLO!

TBN.com: We hear you were in Africa last week, what was that like?

Kristin: Africa was stunning. Very different & very misunderstood by us Westerners. I will soon have some photos up on my site.

TBN.com: We can’t wait to see the photos!

Kristin: I am working with IFAW in Africa to try and stem the animal slaughter, poaching, ivory trade, and what I am researching is interesting.

All of these environmental things are very connected to the economy.

People do awful things at times because they don’t know better or it’s the only job they have—I fell in love with Africa for its wildness and want to see what could be done to keep it wild and beautiful.

TBN.com: Where did you go in Africa?

Kristin: We were in Cape Town, Stellenbosch (the wine lands), and then up the harden route to Plettenberg Bay. We stayed with family. Plett is unreal.

TBN.com: How exciting! Was it your first trip there?

Kristin: We went to an elephant orphan sanctuary. And on a Southern Right whale watch and saw baboons in the yard!

And yes, it was my first trip there. I had to meet my in-laws for the first time!

I had 55 family at my wedding and Abri had one friend. It was just too far for them all.

TBN.com: Elephants are so incredible. They are so intelligent and have deep emotions.

We’re very excited to hear that you’ll be informing us more about the poaching situation.

Kristin: Yes when I figure out what we can all do about poaching I will speak up! I hate to tell people of bad news without something they can do.

TBN.com: When you do, we’ll cover the story for all our readers.

Kristin: Great! Thanks for covering it!

We really can change things together. Alone and separate we’re doomed I think.

Amazing how we have this technology that can unite us for good.

Look what the Cove guys have done! 1.7 million signatures to Japan to stop slaughtering dolphins!

TBN.com: Yes, very inspiring!

For those interested in signing the petition against dolphin hunting: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/724/210/624/

So you got to meet all of Abri’s family. That sounds great!

Kristin: It was wonderful. I understand him even better now. It really fills in so many gaps.

TBN.com: Let’s get to why you are here tonight. The Amanda Foundation.

What does the foundation do exactly?

Kristin: Ok…Amanda Foundation. Run by Teri Austin, who was on Seinfeld and Knots Landing, btw.

TBN.com: I didn’t realize that! How wonderful of her to use her talents to help animals!

Kristin: Yes! Teri is amazing! It is really her calling. Tireless efforts and it makes her happy to save lives from the pound.

TBN.com: So they do animal rescues? Saving abandoned pets?

Kristin: Yes! Teri saves them from any and all situations, gives them vet care, food, shelter, walks, love, and will keep them their entire lives until they get a great home. Not just any home.

I’ve known Teri for 15 years. A GREAT woman! She’s saved 1000s and still remembers every single name of every single one.

TBN.com: Holy moly! I can hardly remember my own name some days!

And I hear they have a spay program as well, for strays?

Kristin: She has a spay and neuter mobile hospital they take to a different neighborhood over 300 days a year and give people vet care who can’t afford it. It also stems the tide of pet overpopulation.

I’ve seen the van. It’s amazing. Designed by Teri. She told me she’d rather have this van than a Ferrari!

TBN.com: Have you been involved with them for long?

Kristin: I have known them for 15 years. I do anything I can think of for them.

In this economy and with so many disasters overseas, many local charities are closing or down 70% in donations!!! I feel we need to remember to take care of those here too!

TBN.com: And how did you first get started with them?

Kristin: I adopted a cat when I first moved here. Then I took a friend there years later and reconnected with Teri. We became friends. We bonded over our love of the animals.

TBN.com: Can you tell us about some of your events? When you’ve worked with them?

Kristin: We did an event last year, “True Blood Hounds” on Rodeo in Beverly Hills. Michelle Forbes, Tara Buck, Rutina and Mariana (@Klavenofarmgirl) came. Chow too! It was very cool of everyone.

Then we also had one recently. A fashion show I did at the Pacific Design center. I walked a very cute dog who was dressed up down the runway.

TBN.com: Did you get your adorable dogs from The Amanda Foundation?

Kristin: I got my two dogs now from all over. One from a bad shelter here. My rottie mix. Then my other guy—I was fostering a litter and the rottie and the little lab/pit/jindo mix stayed!

They just find me from all over. I am so lucky! Now I am down to two dogs. Soon I bet another will find us. I really miss my cat, who I had found. He was awesome.

TBN.com: You’re so sweet to help all those fur folks!

Kristin: It really is so rewarding to rescue. It’s really a very selfish endeavor! I can’t imagine life without them!

They just love me no matter what. Pimples. Money, no money. Fat, thin…They just love us.

TBN.com: And you’ve got a very special item. You’re auctioning off for the proceeds to go to them?

Kristin: YES!!!

I did a drawing of Alex Skarsgard! AND we both signed it!! ALL proceeds go to the Amanda Foundation.

Alexander Skarsgard, Eric Northman, True BloodTBN.com: This is all very exciting, and you’re going to be doing more cast drawings to benefit Amanda Foundation?

Kristin: Who should I draw next?

TBN.com: I think a sexy Stephen Moyer might go over well…

Kristin: Also we have t-shirts, don’t we?

TBN.com: We will very soon! Maybe next week 🙂

Kristin: Yes! Ok! A sexy Stephen Moyer sounds great!!! Stephen said he’d love for me to draw him!

TBN.com: Heck, I might have to bid on that 😉

Kristin: And yes, I think I will just do one cast after the other! They’re all very drawable!

TBN.com: They are all yummy. That’s why our site’s motto is: Team True Blood. Why choose?

Kristin: Yes, why choose?!

Thanks SO MUCH for your help on this!

And thanks to all you folks bidding and tuning in, too!

And thanks to Abri who just brought me snacks 🙂

TBN.com: How wonderful for the fans and The Amanda Foundation, what a rare opportunity!

Can you tell us a bit about getting Alex involved? About posing etc.?

Kristin: First I asked him if he’d be up for it and of course he said yes! Then I found a photo of Alex online that I loved as he looks like an old movie star in it, a la James Dean. I then finished it and brought it to him to see. He said, “You’re good.” 🙂

TBN.com: A man of understatement 😉 You’re great!

Kristin: Alex is a truly great guy. He also did a Tails for Whales photo, and supports Janet Casdawan’s necklaces for whales for IFAW. He’s truly sweet.

It’s an amazing group of people that make up True Blood.

TBN.com: Is Alex an animal lover too, then?

Kristin: I don’t think Alex’s as crazy as I am about fur! But I think he’s a sweet man who wants to help.

Wow. I really cant ype!…I eman, type. I mean…I mean type.

TBN.com: You’re doing fine, everyone on Twitter speaks typo! Right, guys?

Kristin: Thank God. I never took typing in high school. The ONE thing I would still be using.

TBN.com: And you’ve both autographed the drawing?

Kristin: YES, we both autographed it. Alex even added the little Swedish sign, for the soccer team? Rugby?….It’s Swedish anyway!

BTW, sorry all you others that will get 1 billion tweets from me today. I don’t normally talk on and on like this anyone but Abri.

TBN.com: We’ll be giving out the web address for the auction in a few, folks 🙂

Kristin: GREAT!

I can’t tell you how great this rescue and so many are. They are doing the work we want done but are too busy doing our own lives. We can help them to help easily.

Are we doing the prints, too, today or later?

TBN.com: Later.

@BauervanStraten just loves leaking little tidbits to whet your appetites, guys. Yes, it’s true, there is more yummy Alex stuff to come!

So it sounds like charity work is a family thing for you. Your husband, Abri (who looks like a Norse GOD, BTW) cut a CD and is selling it to benefit the whales?

Kristin: LOLOL! Weeeellll….that might just beeee….MY HUSBAND!!!

And for the rest of this week, I will send an autographed Pam photo with Abri’s CD “Sunlight and Shadows” through Amazon.

You can hear it on www.abrivanstraten.com

He wrote “Monet” for me!!!

TBN.com: You are SO lucky! What got him involved with whales?

Kristin: I got him involved with IFAW and whales. Then he wrote the song “Voices” off this new CD and gave it to them. We donate proceeds.

TBN.com: What kind of music does he play?

Kristin: His music is like James Taylor, Sting, Chris Rea…classical guitar and a deep sexy South African voice! I heard “Rain” off his last CD and tracked him down and asked him out! I LOVE his music. It’s very romantic and soothing.

TBN.com: You go! Does he have any performances scheduled in the near future?

Kristin: Yes, I will let you all know when Abri plays out soon. Looks like he’ll be playing EyeCon in Orlando in November.

TBN.com: We’ll retweet them! 🙂 And cover them at EyeCon, of course.

So back to the CD. Where can a fan get a copy?

Kristin: Amazon.com—Abri van Straten “Sunlight and Shadows”

TBN.com: Click through TrueBloodNet.com to Amazon to help us out!

Kristin: I better go soon. Gotta walk those dogs and be up early to talk to a radio station in Milwaukee.

I can do an autograph with each CD for the rest of this week. Then we’ll resume when I am back in the US in a month.

TBN.com: Ok, sorry this went longer than expected.

Kristin: IT’S BEEN FUN!!!

TBN.com: We just can’t let you go without saying how great Pam has been this season!

Kristin: THANK YOU!!!

You guys rock! Anything else you want to ask before I go?

Thanks so much for so much help!

TBN.com: It’s really been our pleasure. Helping animals is a true love of ours.

Thank you so very much for your time tonight.

Kristin: My pleasure too! You are so awesome! THANK YOU!!!

TBN.com: *blushes* You da bomb, lady. Very brave to do the 1st Twitterview AND help all the creatures of the world.

So that’s it folks, be sure to bid early and bid often on Kristin’s beautiful drawing of the equally beautiful Alex and help out The Amanda Foundation and a lot of very sweet puppies and kittens!

Update: Last week, Kristin’s drawing sold for a winning bid of $1,005, all of which will go to benefit The Amanda Foundation! 100 prints of the Alex sketch are now available for auction. Details here.

(Photo credits: celebweddings.com; Kristin Bauer Van Straten; ifaw.org)

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John Billingsley Talks True Blood, Mike Spencer, and Nudity

September 20, 2010

John Billingsley, True Blood, Mike Spencer

John Billingsley Is Alive and Well

While we may not have seen Mike Spencer around Bon Temps very much in Season 3, but it’s still nice to know that he’s alive and well, able to show up for moments of creepy awkwardness or to do inappropriate things to a tree or Jane Bodehouse. This is oddly comforting because it means that talented actor John Billingsley still has a future on True Blood.

John is most well-known for his role on Star Trek: Enterprise, but he’s one of those actors that has been a guest star on just about every popular show of the past two decades. In a video interview from this year’s Dallas All-Con, John reminisces about the craziness of True Blood Season 2:

“Last season was sort of anomalous, insofar as we were all under the thrall of the demoness and led to do graphic, sexual things. That’s over now. Although I still have the nudity waiver I got to sign on my bathroom wall, which I framed.”

These days he’s in between jobs, having lost out on a part in a new AMC series to a guy who’s been his “nemesis” for years. John jokingly refers to himself as a “kept man,” and says that his wife, Bonita Friedericy, is working full time on the NBC spy comedy Chuck as General Beckman.

We wish him all the best in finding another exciting project and look forward to seeing him again on True Blood!

SOURCE: associatedcontent.com

(Photo credit: johnbillingsley.net)

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Anna Paquin Stands Out in All-Star Cast of The Romantics

September 19, 2010

Anna Paquin, True Blood, Sookie Stackhouse, The RomanticsIn The Romantics, Anna Paquin plays a role about as different from True Blood’s Sookie Stackhouse as she could possibly get. She’s a bride-to-be, engaged to the handsome Josh Duhamel, who’s struggling with feelings for his ex, played by Katie Holmes, who just so happens to be the maid of honor. The cast also includes Adam Brody, Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, and Dianna Agron.

Feedback on the film overall has been mostly negative. Over at TinyMixTapes.com, the reviewer writes that the backstory of these college friends who reunite for a wedding weekend of two of their own is never established. Instead, viewers are left with “remarkably banal conversations about which archetype each character represents and silent-save-for-soundtrack walks on the beach.”

Lest this discourage you from seeing the film, it has also gotten praise, such as this from the critic at the New York Post:

“With its tart dialogue and its perfect ending, it is sensitive as well as sagacious. It’s a rare combination.”

All this to say, it’s a matter of opinion. And even the bad report above goes on to praise one cast member in particular:

“Easily walking away with the film, Anna Paquin’s entitled bitch queen of a bride. Although she may be the ostensible villain, her aggression makes her sympathetic compared to the sulky shells around her; when she pussy whips the pre-wedding jitters out of Duhamel, we only wish she’d tear into the rest of the cast as well.”

So maybe that description isn’t totally foreign to Anna’s work on True Blood–we saw Sookie full of attitude in the latter half of Season 3! That might be reason enough for Truebies who are dying for a fix to go see it. The Romantics is currently playing in select US theaters.

SOURCE: tinymixtapes.com — The Romantics Film Review

(Photo credit: infphoto.com)

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Stephen Moyer a Potential Candidate for Dr. Strange Film

September 15, 2010

Stephen Moyer, True Blood, Bill comptonIt’s a sign of how much fans have come to love Stephen Moyer from playing Bill Compton on True Blood that they are suggesting him for a number of roles in upcoming films. We just can’t get enough of that man.

Last week there were reports that Stephen had a lot of vocal support for the part of Roland in the adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Hunter series. Now SciFiSquad.com is saying that people want him for the title role in Dr. Strange. At Dragon*Con in Atlanta a couple weeks ago, the legendary Stan Lee announced the adaptation from the classic Marvel comic book series, complete with a cameo from Stan himself.

Dr. StrangeIt is not scheduled for release until 2012, but we’ve all seen how much hype and publicity surround these comic book movies—and how the good ones become major worldwide blockbusters that launch their actors to superstardom.

Brad Trechak at SciFiSquad says he could see Stephen as the doctor (coincidentally, named Stephen Strange) “provided he could pull off the character’s required mustache.” Here’s hoping the casting director sees people talking about Stephen—he’s certainly talented enough to bring the master magician to life, and it would be great for his career.

SOURCE: scifisquad.com — ‘Doctor Strange’ Movie In The Works

(Photo credits: Marvel; HBO, Inc.)

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True Blood 3.12 “Evil Is Going On” Review

September 13, 2010

Anna Paquin, True Blood, Sookie StackhouseAnother thrilling finale, another frustratingly long wait for our next fix of True Blood! “Evil Is Going On” saw characters seeking vengeance, facing demons, and searching for direction. We got our first tease of the witches to come, the supernatural element that’s going to be thrown into the melting pot in Season 4 to stir up trouble. We also watched our protagonist disappear right before our eyes. As always, executive producer Alan Ball shook things up in typical style and left us wanting more!

The Coup d’Etat of Russell Edgington

Burning in the sun awaiting death, Russell tries to convince Eric how foolish it is to die over a stupid grudge–it’s not like Eric’s father was a great man or king. Godric appears to Eric as a spirit, urging him to find forgiveness, but Eric resists the words of his beloved Maker. Sookie‘s blood loss sends her on a brief run through fairy land while she’s unconscious. She awakens to Bill‘s face hovering over her and is NOT pleased to see him. She slaps him for betraying her again. “No, I only pretended to betray you to save your life, again.” True enough, but unfortunately Sookie has reached the limits of her tolerance for vampire nonsense. She hears that Eric has gone outside to kill himself and Russell, and pushes past Bill to go save him. With the help of Russell’s taunting words, she gets fired up enough to shoot energy from her hands to break the handcuffs and send Russell flying across the parking lot. She then drags Eric inside and, much to Bill’s dismay, gives him her blood to heal him.

Eric drinks from her wrist and then wipes the blood from his mouth in a way that is charmingly arrogant, before changing his mind about Russell. He wants to bring him inside, not out of forgiveness as Godric wanted, but so that Russell wouldn’t be able to find some sense of peace in the true death. Eric has other plans for the once fearsome vampire. Sookie takes a silver chain to get Russell, now blackened and extra crispy but grateful for her assistance. Eric, Pam, and Bill go to sleep for the day while Sookie watches over Russell. At first she protests, “I’m not babysitting this psycho while you guys take a nap.” But she agrees and even seems to enjoy her power over the fallen king. She toys with him about what it would take for her to make a deal–$5 million dollars, his mansion, etc.–but then she takes the jar of Talbot and pours the last remains of Russell’s lover down the garbage disposal. She laughs almost maniacally as he screams in grief.

Alcide arrives, summoned by Eric for the use of his truck to clear his father’s debt once and for all, and he and Sookie catch up over a beer. He admits that he’s been thinking about her, while Russell plays the part of the peanut gallery:

“I can’t help it that I’m a good guy.”

“Yet every full moon he turns into a wolf and eats his prey.”

“Rabbits and squirrels, not human beings!”

“Details…”

When the vampires wake up, Alcide smiles to hear Sookie’s attitude towards them so altered. She rescinds all their invitations as they leave to do whatever it is they’re going to do to Russell.

The Dark Side of Bill

At a construction site, Eric has devised a cruel punishment for Russell–wrapping him in silver and encasing him in concrete. It won’t kill him, and it won’t hold him forever, but he’ll probably be trapped for a hundred years or so to live in agony. Eric envisions Godric once again, who’s disappointed that his progeny is so full of hatred and unable to make peace. Eric snaps back at the empty air, “This is who I am, Godric. This is what you made!” Up until the end, Russell is making threats at Eric and Bill, swearing that they’ll regret this, although they’re both very happy about it in the moment. Once he disappears under the cement, Bill turns to Eric and offers his hand, seemingly in friendship, but then in a flash snaps the silver handcuff back on Eric’s wrist, tosses him in another pit, and pours concrete on him: “When fate presents one with such a grand opportunity, what else is one to do?” His dark turn doesn’t end there, as he immediately calls up a hit man on Eric’s cell phone and orders the murder of Pam.

Jason: Do the Right Thing

Jason goes to the police station and finds a team from the DEA preparing to raid Hot Shot. Despite Andy‘s warnings, Jason takes Crystal to help her family. Grumpy ol’ Calvin isn’t glad to see them, but at least he listens when Jason says he’s only trying to help these people who are dirty, hungry, and have “obviously got dental problems.” Calvin is in the process of destroying all the V when Felton drops in, clearly high. He shoots a cousin and his father without even blinking, before turning the gun on Jason. He’s going to take the V and Crystal, and ride off in Jason’s truck. With no other options, Jason kisses Crystal and promises to find her, and to take care of her family.

Andy sits in his office, feeling worthless because of the macho DEA leader and curiously examining the V that’s supposed to be in evidence, but thankfully he’s interrupted by Jason being hauled in for impeding the drug bust. Andy scolds him for this, as well as for spilling the truth to Tara, and says he’s wasted any shot he had at becoming something. On the contrary, Jason might finally be turning into a guy worth knowing. Then again, he might be up to his dumb antics soon enough, or he could surprise us and really grow up now that he’s got people depending on him. At the very least, he wisely tells Andy that this is bigger than the two of them, and that “sometimes the right thing to do is the wrong thing.”

Tara’s Ch-ch-changes

After their night together, Sam (who looks mighty cute in the morning, by the way) cooks breakfast for Tara. Casual conversation turns serious when Sam opens up about the secret he’s been hiding for a long time–he’s a shapeshifter. Tara sees this as just another freaky supernatural thing in a long list of them, and while she doesn’t seem to reject Sam’s true identity, she talks about how much she’d like to start her life over. Speaking as someone who’s done it, Sam says she could do that if she wanted to. There’s so much she wants to forget–Maryann, Eggs, Franklin–and the first person she turns to is her mother. She catches Lettie Mae and Reverend Daniels with their pants down. She doesn’t judge her mom but recognizes how deluded she is into thinking that this affair is a good thing and will make everything better in her life: “I’m finally gonna be happy.” Tara just smiles and says she hopes that’s true. I think the encounter makes her see that other people are messed up, too, and if she wants to change, she’ll have to do it herself. The first step: a haircut. She symbolically cuts away all her burdens (and it’s a very nice look for Rutina Wesley). Sookie arrives home and the two best friends share a quiet scene together before hugging and parting for what will probably be longer than either one expects. Tara says she’s just going to see Lafayette, but when she pulls up to Merlotte’s and takes in the familiar sight, she smiles and keeps on driving. Who knows where she’s going, but it’s clear that she needs a fresh start.

Lafayette: See No Evil

Lafayette’s post-V delusions continue. He sees Sam and imagines him, with hands bloody, saying, “Cross me, you’re a dead man.” Then in the kitchen talking to Arlene, Lafayette pictures Rene holding her throat, saying he’s inside her. He calls Jesus in a panic, who comes to Merlotte’s right away to comfort him. His reassurance turns out to be more shocking than Lafayette anticipated: Jesus recalls the first time magic was unleashed in him and he started seeing things before he could control it. He tells Lafayette that he’s a “brujo”–a witch. “You’re a witch who’s a nurse who’s a dude,” Lafayette says in astonishment. Surprisingly, though, he seems to be fine with the news about his boyfriend. It will be interesting to see what role Lafayette has to play in the story of the witches next season.

Jessica & Hoyt: Happily Ever After?

Hoyt drives to work and finds himself on the receiving end of an intervention. Maxine, Summer, and his high school guidance counselor sit him down to discuss what they perceive as his mistakes. Summer reads a note about how sad she is that he chose darkness over life, and Maxine threatens to kick him out of the house and take away his inheritance. Well, Hoyt has already moved out, and she has no money, so she really has no leverage. He’s in love with Jessica, and he’s finally in control of his own life. That night, he surprises Jessica with a house he bought for them, and a marriage proposal. They are really the brightest part of the entire show right now. Jessica says, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” “Lucky for you,” he replies, “you’ll never have to find out.” As Hoyt picks her up to kiss her, it’s a picture perfect moment of young love, as the camera pans out of the doorway…until it falls on the doll lying in the dark, a reminder of those who would break them apart. I’m not sure what doll-fanatic Summer is capable of, but Maxine showed the lengths to which she would go when she bought a gun with wooden bullets.

No More Mr. Nice Sam

Sam goes to apologize to Terry and Tommy for what he said in anger the previous day. Terry cries with happiness because of all the good things in his life, and the fact that he’s got his friend back. Sam seems a little uncomfortable at the display of emotion (Terry is quirky, but I think we could all stand to view life more from his perspective). Tommy’s house has been cleared out, and so has Sam’s safe full of money. He freaks out again, grabs his gun, and hunts his little brother down. When Sam catches up to him, Tommy cries about how Sam changed his whole life and is throwing him away now. When he finds no sympathy, he picks up the bag of money and stalks off, calling his brother’s bluff on the threatening gun. Sam lifts it and fires with a steady hand. Did he kill Tommy? Probably not, but the point is that he’s not taking people’s crap anymore.

Sookie’s Disillusionment

Bill shows up at Sookie’s to talk. He tells her about Russell and Eric, and how he’s going to kill any other vampire that finds out about what she truly is. They pose too great a danger to her–Russell was proof enough of that when he said her blood was heavenly delicious and that others wouldn’t be able to stop themselves from draining her. Bill explains that even if she doesn’t want to be with him anymore, he’ll always protect her, and will always love her. She almost stops him from leaving, but then Eric busts open the door, covered in concrete (Pam came to the rescue, yay!) and spills the dark secrets Bill has been hiding. He was sent to Bon Temps by Queen Sophie-Anne to find out more about her, and he allowed the Rattrays to beat her so that she would need to drink his blood to heal. Sookie is furious and devastated.  Bill tries to explain that he loves her for who she is NOT what she is and he was not going to “give her up” to Sophie-Anne. He tries to make her understand that although he was sent there by the Queen he DID fall in love with her. She feels like she was manipulated into loving him, and despite the words he has said and continues to say, so she kicks him out of her house and wants nothing more to do with him. It’s not like she runs into Eric’s arms–she screams at him to leave her alone, as well. “I’m sorry to see you suffer like this. I thought you had a right to know.” Eric return back to Fangtasia where Pam has tried to wash the cement out of her hair as she askes Eric if he killed Bill.  Eric simply responds that he created a fate far worst then the true death for him and this punishment will hurt him more.

Back at his own house, Bill opens the door to Sophie-Anne. She can barely contain her excitement about tasting fairy blood and walking in the sun. Bill dashes her hopes, saying he lured her there to kill her. She may be older, “but I have nothing left to lose.” They both rise up into the air, fangs drawn, and fly at each other across the room. Meanwhile, Sookie takes off running into the woods, echoing her first night with Bill, after Gran died. This time, however, she goes to Gran to mourn the loss of Bill. Kneeling in the cemetery by her grandmother’s headstone, she cries over how lost she feels. Claudine appears: “You are not alone. Come with us.” Encircled by faeries, her kind about whom she knows so little, Sookie takes Claudine’s hand, and they all vanish in a burst of light.

It was a well-written episode, to be sure–Alan Ball always delivers great dialogue and a compelling story. The general reaction, however, seems to be somewhat negative, at least from what I’ve seen on Twitter. I think people enjoyed it and got emotional over key moments, but if we’re comparing this finale to the previous 2 years, I think what may have been lacking was the element of excitement and tension to carry us into next year. Especially with the Season 2 finale, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’,” the characters took down Maryann in grand fashion, after which new, surprising storylines began. Exactly as a good finale should, there was resolution to the season-long journey, as well as a cliffhanger to leave us craving answers.

“Evil Is Going On” seemed to have the resolution part down with very little in the way of shocking twists and new doors being opened. We already knew Sookie was a fairy, so her disappearing with Claudine was more like a continuation of her quest for identity. It will lead to more revelations in Season 4, certainly, but it wasn’t quite on par with “Oh my, someone’s been murdered in the back seat of this car/someone’s taken Bill!” Both of those things seemed to come out of nowhere and leave us awe-struck with disbelief, in a good way.

Come next summer, I’m sure we’ll all be hyped up with anticipation as always. This episode hasn’t lessened my feelings for the show, by any means. As someone who loves True Blood but still wants to examine it critically, I’m just facing this hiatus not quite as full of burning questions as usual. Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments and let’s get the 9 month-long discussion started!

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll and Ryan Kwanten’s Films at Fantastic Fest

September 12, 2010

Deborah Ann Woll, True Blood, Jessica HambySee Deborah Ann Woll in Mother’s Day:

True Blood fans are preparing for another 9 months of withdrawal and wanting to know about other projects that the actors have worked on might be interested in Fantastic Fest 2010. Held every year in Austin, TX, it’s the largest genre film film festival in the U.S., showcasing horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and “just plain fantastic” movies from all over the world. This year, the festival takes place from September 23-30. Attendees will have a chance to see Deborah Ann Woll‘s new film Mother’s Day.

The plot summary is as follows:

After a botched robbery, three brothers, one severely injured, burst into their mother’s house, only to find that she lost it months earlier in a foreclosure. The new owners (Jaime King and Frank Grillo) and their guests, gathered for an ill-timed birthday party, become the brothers’ unwitting hostages. With the situation quickly devolving, the brothers have only one choice: call Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) to mastermind their escape.

Deborah plays Lydia, sister to the Koffin brothers. I’m sure it will be fascinating to watch her as a villain in this thriller.

Mother’s Day is not scheduled for release until 2011 (one would expect in May, around Mother’s Day, but no date has been set), so this is a special sneak preview.

See Ryan Kwanten in Red Hill

Another True Blood actor’s work will also be showcased at the festival–Australian film Red Hill, starring Ryan Kwanten. Other notable films at Fantastic Fest 2010 include Buried with Ryan Reynolds, Let Me In (the American adaptation of Swedish hit Let the Right One In), and RED with Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren.

Most badges have already been sold out, but other options are available, like purchasing tickets for individual screenings. Check out the Fantastic Fest website for details.

SOURCE: fantasticfest.com

(Photo credit: fantasticfest.com)

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Early Buzz for True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten in Knights of Badassdom

September 9, 2010

Ryan Kwanten, True Blood, Jason StackhouseTrue Blood fans will want to be on the lookout for a new Ryan Kwanten project generating some great anticipation. The actor known to us as Jason Stackhouse will be showing off his incredible talents in the film Knights of Badassdom. An article on the website Hey U Guys lists five reasons people should be excited about this movie, which is described as being in the same tone of An American Werewolf in London.

First of all, it was directed by up-and-comer Joe Lynch. His previous credits include only one obscure feature length film, but apparently Lynch’s “enthusiasm and love for genre cinema” promise to make Knights very enjoyable. In addition, the premise is very intriguing:

“A huge group of dedicated, costumed LARPers (Live Action Role Players), dressed like knights, elves and various characters, give up their cell phones and take to the woods for the Central New Jersey Knights of Badassdom Adventure Society, where they are set to re-enact a dungeons and dragons scenario right out of the mythical Middle Ages…when a make-believe wizard casts an all-too-real spell from an ancient book he bought on Ebay, releasing an actual demon with a taste for human blood — and souls — that starts systematically decimating the players in this suddenly deadly ‘game.’ “

Summarized by Lynch as a “heavy metal horror adventure,” the film will achieve this with vision with lots of gore and special effects, as well as the perfect accompanying music, with Bear McCreary scoring (whose work on Battlestar Galactica was hauntingly beautiful).

Finally, the cast offers much excitement. Ryan Kwanten is joined by Summer Glau, Steve Zahn, and Peter Dinklage. The article says this about Ryan:

“He seems to be destined to be a star with his popular performance in TV series True Blood and his fantastic performance in Red Hill and after the latter in particular I’m really looking forward to seeing what Kwanten does next.”

We certainly agree! For all the reasons listed, but especially for Ryan, Knights of Badassdom sounds like it will be really fun and worth seeing. No release date has been set, but we’ll keep you updated!

SOURCE: heyuguys.co.uk

(Photo credit: thetvrealist.com)

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