Thursday, January 22, 2009

True Blood Goes to the Movies : Alex in Zoolander

Alex Skarsgard stars in this film ...

Zoolander is a 2001 comedy film directed by Ben Stiller. The film is based on a pair of short films directed by Russell Bates and written by Drake Sather and Stiller for the VH1 Fashion Awards television specials in 1996 and 1997. The short films and the movie feature Derek Zoolander, a dimwitted male model. The title role is played by Ben Stiller, and in the feature film (which Stiller directed), Zoolander's agent, Maury Ballstein, is played by Stiller's father Jerry Stiller.

Alex as Meekus

Searching for the Perfect Vampire Anthem

I was also at this Charlaine Harris event and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet "Jeff with one fin" but i did enjoy his post

Recently, my wife and I made our way down to the Houston Public Library to hear a talk with Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Now, I am admittedly a bad Goth in that I am as sick of modern vampire fiction as I am of modern vampires. I prefer my nosferatu as blood-bloated corpses mouth-hugging and dry-humping virgins, not as angsty Tolkien elves trying to make friends by looking sad in the corner.

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed Harris' Dead Until Dark and True Blood, the HBO series loosely based upon her books and starring the occasionally naked Anna Paquin. (The amazing music selection by creator Alan Ball is another plus, to be discussed at another time.) The show lacks one aspect of the books, thus far, that I had to ask Harris about: Where, oh where, is her cat-eating vampified version of the King of Rock and Roll, referred to in the novel only as Bubba?

With Elvis Aron Presley turning 72 this month, wherever he really is, I just felt that his noble, if somewhat brain-damaged, fictional counterpart deserved a little advocacy. Well, said Harris point blank, "I can't comment on Bubba showing up on the show," which tells my spider-sense that an appearance may be in the works. Even better, when I followed up the question by asking who she would choose to play Elvis, she answered, without hesitation, "Bruce Campbell, of course."

All I can say is if I can see Bruce Campbell play Vampire Elvis - Bubba Ho-Tep, holla! - I will blow my cable box. Which transitions, however awkwardly, into the subject of vampire music and what is the best vampire anthem?

Skipping the painfully obvious choices, like Concrete Blonde's "Bloodletting" and Bauhaus's "Bela Lugosi's Dead," we consider Sting's ode to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, "Moon Over Bourbon Street." Or how about a great vampire movie theme song like "Cry Little Sister" from The Lost Boys, or perhaps Rasputina's "Transylvanian Concubine" from the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Read on

Things I've learned while watching True Blood (2)

That Hoyt doesn't mind going to baby showers and playing pass the orange

That Lafayette looks much better with his funky scarves on his head.

That Big Pattie's Pie house is down 549 a ways south of Bunkie ...

Taking 'V is better than LSD.

Getting over the horrible murder of your Grandmother only takes one day, and sex with a Vampire really helps too.

Being attacked in a bar is no reason to call the police.

Walking all over a murder scene is A-OK.

All kinds of dead

Sonya at The Work(s) in Progress writes

Like any red-blooded girl, I like me some vampires, so of course I had to check out the Southern Vampire mystery series by Charlaine Harris.

The Southern Vampire novels are now an HBO show called True Blood, starring Anna Paquin (Rogue!) as leading lady Sookie Stackhouse. HBO being out of reach of my budget, I opted to try out the books instead. The series begins with Dead Until Dark, and so far I’ve also read Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, and Dead to the World. Sookie is a waitress in a small town Louisiana bar, and she can read minds, which isn’t as much fun as it might seem. She’s either bombarded with random stray thoughts from everyone around her, or exhausting herself to shield her mind from the onslaught. When a handsome newcomer to Bon Temps fills her head with blessed silence instead of chatter, it’s no wonder she’s attracted to him. Why, you ask, can she not read Bill Compton’s mind? Because Bill’s a vampire, of course. And in the world Harris has created, vampires are out of the coffin (there’s a lot of funny to be found here and that line is one of my favorites.)

Charlaine Harris’s vampires are not like your standard vampires: no endless brooding, no Hot Topic wardrobe, no epic backgrounds and exotic names. Bill lived in Bon Temps when he was human, in the Civil War era, and wanted to come home and live a normal life, fix up the old house some long gone relative built. Pam is a fan of the twin-set look, and Eric…okay, Eric’s pretty hawt. The Central Casting agent in my head had him looking like Brad Pitt. There are laws governing vampire and human interaction. For instance, vampires and humans can’t intermarry, which I thought was a clever way to make a point without using a ball bat. There’s also a secret vampire underworld, with regions of the United States divided into kingdoms. And there are other supernatural creatures as well, like werewolves and other shapeshifters. Sookie’s initial relationship with Bill brings her into contact with this strange world and her paranormal ability makes her useful to Eric, who is both a businessman (he owns a bar called Fangtasia in Shreveport) and a High Sheriff in the vampire hierarchy.

Harris has done a great job creating a supernatural world that is entertaining and funny, while still maintaining a deep vein of otherness. What I found even more remarkable, though, is her depiction of small town Southern life. She nails it, spot on. Time after time I found myself shaking my head, thinking I know someone just like that, I know a place like that, I know people that talk like that. Even today the rural South has more than its share of little communities like Hotshot. And Sookie’s grandmother inviting Bill to speak at a meeting of the Descendents of the Glorious Dead, a Civil War-centric genealogy group…that was just priceless. You might have to be Southern to truly appreciate that one, but if you are, trust me, you’ll love it.

Harris fills her rural canvas with so many rich little details, I wish the books were longer. The several that I’ve read are all about the same length so I’m guessing her contract requires a certain word count – they need to let her up her word count and stretch that canvas a little, see what she can do. There were several times when I felt that a scene worth lingering over a little was a bit rushed. That’s really my only complaint, that and Bill could be a real jerk at times. In the first couple of books, Sookie kept getting the hell beat out of her, and that did make me uncomfortable. She may be able to read minds but she does not have super-strength. Sookie herself decided her New Year’s resolution would be to not get beat up again, and in the one’s I’ve read so far she’s able to keep that resolution. I’m all for tough female characters but who wants to read about a character who doesn’t have the sense to know when enough is enough? Sookie does have good sense, and she’s likeable, too.

Read on

True Blood Music Video of the Day

Pain by Three Days Grace

Anna on the list of 99 most desirable women

Popular online site has just revealed a list of the 99 most desirable women in the world.

Victoria's secret supermodels scored highly, as did singers and big screen stars from both Bollywood and Hollywood.

New Zealand's own Anna Paquin even made the cut at number 71.

More than 10-million men and women casted their vote, and the most desirable woman in the world this year is actress Eva Mendez.

Video and complete list here: