Tag Archive: Romance

Review: True Blood

TV-MA (strong sexual content, language and violence), HBO. Seasons 1 & 2 available on DVD. Season 3 currently airing.

Created and produced by Alan Ball. Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Kevin Alejandro, Marshall Allman, Chris Bour, etc.

True Blood is an american television series created and produced by Alan Ball, (creator of Six Feet Under). The show is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional small Louisiana town. The show centers on Sookie Stackhouse, (played perfectly by Anna Paquin) a telepathic waitress at a bar, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton, (Stephen Moyer).

Following the vampire craze of Twilight, this is a seriously sexed up and adult themed drama series that is really a guilty pleasure to watch. True Blood is into it’s 3rd season now and has been airing on HBO since September 7 2008, however I only recently got into the show because of all of the accolades it kept receiving, (including winning a Golden Globe and Emmy last year).

The show has such a broad ensemble cast of regular central characters and a rotation of supporting characters, that it gets hard to keep up with them all.

The other most notable characters in True Blood are: Eric Northman, (Alexander Skarsgard) a charismatic vampire who is also the Sheriff of “area 5” and is fascinated with Sookie’s strange abilities. Sam Merlotte, (Sam Trammell) owner of “Merlottes” bar and admirer of Sookie, who also has a secret of his own. Jason, (Ryan Kwanten) Sookie’s horny brother who gets addicted to V juice (vampire blood which acts like a narcotic to humans), Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), the obnoxious best friend of Sookie and Lafayette Reynolds (Nelson Ellis), a flamboyant gay cook and cousin of Tara, (who also sells V juice on the side).

As I said above, there are all kinds of story lines aside from the central love story between Sookie and Bill, including a mystery surrounding a series of murders that start happening in Bon Temps, a look into vampire culture and even sorcery.

The show offers plenty of raunchy sex scenes for those who like that kind of thing–and since most of the woman are beautiful, i’m not complaining much.

I think I already summed up this show with two words: Guilty Pleasure. 3/5 stars


Movie Review: The Switch

PG-13, Mirimax Films, 101 Minutes.

Directed by Josh Gordon, Will Speck. Cast: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson.

The Switch is not what it seems. The trailer makes it look like another romantic comedy. But truthfully this film is not that funny at all.  It’s more of an adult dramedy and overall is slow and has several plot faults. That said, there is still something here that makes it watchable.

The premise is a simple one: Wally (Jason Bateman) and Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) are platonic best friends. Worried about her age she announces that she is going to have a baby through a sperm donor. Wally objects as he has always secretly been in love with her, but he doesn’t have the courage to say it.  Patrick Wilson plays the sperm donor, who is a married man at the time of the donation.  At a party celebrating this occasion, Wally gets hammered and in a drunken haze, he switches his own sperm with the original. Kassie then gets a job out of state and moves away and neither of them really stay in touch much.

Cue 7 years later. Kassie moves back to New York with her 6 year old son Sebastian (played by the adorable Thomas Robinson) in tow, who just so happens to exhibit the same mannerisms as Wallie, because he is in fact his son. The sperm donor comes back into Kassie’s life too, who happens to no longer be married.

What happens next is quite predictable, but even so I found myself willing to continue watching and was even pleasantly moved by a few scenes.

This is ultimately Jason Bateman’s film, who offers a subtle and touching performance. The moments where he bonds with his son and how he handles his own insecurities are very real and something you can actually relate to. I have nothing against Jennifer Anistion (who I loved in Friends) , its just she keeps being typecast  in the same role, and i’ve grown tired of it.

The film is given an extra boost by supporting roles from Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis (both brilliant and underrated actors in my opinion), as Wally’s and Kassie’s respective best friends, who have some of the films best lines.

If you want laughs then I don’t recommend The Switch, but if you DO want to see Jason Bateman in top form and watch a sweet and touching movie made for adults, then this is worth the trip to the cinema. 2/5 stars.

PG-13, Universal Pictures, 112 mins.

Directed by Edgar Wright. Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman.

Scott Pilgrim VS the world is an over the top, super cheese puff ball of a movie that plays like a computer game throughout the entire film. In fact only computer geeks will truly appreciate all the game references and I guess that makes me one of them.

I’m actually saying this as a compliment. The movie is dazzling and original and there is even some wit beneath all the corn.

Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim a 22 year old geek that plays bass with his band “Sex Bob-Omb” and still manages to be a kind of babe magnet. While I actually like Michael Cera, I do feel his characters are becoming stereotyped. That said, he does a good enough job that you are still rooting for him.

The movie takes off when Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who is literally the women of his dreams. In order to win Ramona over, Scott discovers that he must battle and defeat her seven evil exes who are out to kill him.  As ridiculous as they are, the fight sequences done to a computer game theme are actually very entertaining. References to Super Mario Bro’s, Pac-Man, Street Fighter etc are just plain fun.  Chris Evans gives an amusing appearance as Lucas Lee the 2nd evil ex as does Brandon Routh (yes that is Superman), as Todd Ingram the 3rd evil ex.  Jason Schwartzman plays Gideon the 7th evil ex and mastermind of the battle of the exes.

Other notable appearances are from Anna Kendrick who plays Scotts younger sister Stacey Pilgrim and Kieran Culkin in a stand out role as Scotts gay room-mate Wallace. It’s nice seeing the Culkin family represent! Where are those guys?!

Scott Pilgrim VS the world moves at the speed of texting so it keeps you entertained throughout. I had honestly not planned on seeing it as the preview looked too corny, but don’t let that dissuade you. This is a film that does not take itself seriously at all and that is its winning formula. Great fun. 4/5 stars


Yeah i know, i’m a dude. So what? Maybe i’m missing a bunch of mushy “chick flicks” that I never saw but there are still plenty of romantic movies out there that had real depth and heart to them. I aint ashamed in the slightest to say that I thoroughly enjoyed them.  Here are the ones that made my top list:

1. Jerry Maguire (1996)

2. The Graduate (1967)

3. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

4. Grease (1978)

5. Love Actually (2003)

6. Pretty Women (1990)

7. The Princess Bride (1987)

8. The Wedding Singer (1998)

9. Four Weddings & a Funeral (1994)

10. Ghost (1990)

11. Dirty Dancing (1987)

12. Say Anything (1988)

13. Crocodile Dundee (1986)

14. As Good as it Gets (1997)

15. My Best Friends Wedding (1997)

16. The Notebook (2006)

PG-13, Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning.

When the first Twilight movie came out, I had no idea what to expect. I had not read any of the books and did not know there was already a rabid following of 20 millions fans (majority female).

That said, I walked out of the cinema pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the movie and I ended up watching it another 3 times. I bought all the books and read them before the next movie, New Moon came out.

Twilight is infectious. It pulls you into a whole new world and involves you with characters you start to really care about. Some people may say its lame, but I understand all the commotion over “team Edward” and “team Jacob”.  The author, Stephanie Meyer is to thank for creating a world where Vampires and Werewolves really do exist.  In the footsteps of Star Trek and Harry Potter, we have another truly global phenomenon.

Eclipse starts off where New Moon ended. Bella (Kristin Stewart) is reunited with Edward (Robert Pattinson) much to Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner) disdain. Edward is trying to convince Bella to marry him and in turn she wants him to turn her into a vampire.

Meanwhile, Victoria is still out for revenge and has been building an army of new born vampires in Seattle, which she intends to bring to Forks to destroy Bella and the Cullens. When Jacob finds out that Bella is in danger, he agrees to protect her. The werewolves and Vampires unite to engage in a climatic battle against the new born army and Victoria.

The soundtrack to the film is a highlight as it has been for both previous films and the action sequences are shot with awesome camera angles and slow motion effects to build the suspense. There is also a cool sequence where Jaspar is training the Cullens on how to kill the new borns.

You get a bit of history behind Jaspar and Rosalie in this movie, which had not been explained before. There is also more history behind the wolf tribe of which real Twi-hards will appreciate.

The only thing that I found annoying (as I did in the book too) was the back and forth love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob. Bella who is meant to be the heroine of the series, becomes more and more obnoxious in this one and unfortunately Kristin Stewart plays it just a little bit too well in the film.

Dakota Fanning is deliciously evil in her small role as Jane a member of the Volturi and I wished that there had been more written into her character.

We are now ready for the adaption of the last book Breaking Dawn which is being released in two parts.

If you’re one of those people who is just not “into” Twilight, I would recommend that you give it a shot. Its pure escapist entertainment and the whole reason that movies exist in the first place.  Why miss out on all the fun? Especially since your lady is likely to be a fanatic anyways. 4/5 stars.

PG-13  Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Paul Dano,  Peter Sarsgaard.

First of all, I have to say that I have been a huge fan of Tom Cruise since his first performance in TAPS. Yes, he has done some great action films (notably the Mission: Impossible franchise) but for me, where he really shines is when he takes on a more meatier role. Magnolia, Rain Man and Jerry Maguire are films where he just got to act his pants off and I think we need to see more of that again.

So with that said, there is nothing wrong with Knight and Day, but in my opinion it is also nothing that we have not seen before.

Tom Cruise plays a special agent who has gone rogue and who may also have a few screws loose. He “accidentally” bumps into Cameron Diaz at the airport, who plays a ditzy hot blonde on the way to her sisters wedding.

While on the plane they both engage in flirtatious banter and then before you know it Cruise is shooting up everyone on board while Diaz is fixing herself up in the bathroom. From here the movie pretty much continues a fast pace with Cruise and Diaz on the run from agents and arms dealers who are trying to get ahold of a nuclear device that Cruise has in safe keeping.

Paul Dano has a small supporting role which he does well as the young scientist (who developed the nuclear device) being protected by Cruise. Peter Sarsgaard plays a secret agent that used to be Cruise’s partner and is now trying to bring him in.

The film has a number of spectacular action sequences, the highlight being a motorcycle chase through the streets of Spain also involving a herd of Bulls. The film is also nicely shot with interesting camera angles from James Mangold (who directed Walk The Line) that caught my attention.

The chemistry between Cruise and Diaz is a winning factor and there is plenty of amusing dialogue between them.

As I said, the film is entertaining enough and a nice date movie. But I doubt it will stay with you for long.  I personally am longing for the film where Tom Cruise will finally win the Oscar that he has deserved for a long time.  2 /5 stars