True Blood: Season 1

2 01 2010

With Twilight winding its way through the hearts of thousands and the movie Daybreakers coming out next week, I am surprised I had yet to watch the HBO show True Blood, yet another installment in the vampire craze right now.  Vampires have always been an exciting and seductive character in fiction throughout history, but today they seem sexier than ever.  If you think though that Twilight is too PG for yor taste (Where is all the blood, anyway?) and if you think that the Twilight vamps are a bit too ridiculous (They can go out in the daytime? Instead of disintergrating in the sun they glitter?), than True Blood is for you.  It makes a lot of similar plot parallels as Twilight, but in a much more believable, bloody, sexy and thrilling way (It harkens more to the recent Korean vampire movie Thirst intensity.). 

True Blood is based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris titled The Southern Vampire Mysteries (I have not read the books, but now I want to).  The story is set in a fictional Louisiana town called Bon Temps.  In the world of the show, vampires have the ability to co-exist peacefully with humans due to the development of synthetic blood, but some humans still regard vampires as dangerous creatures who have the capability to kill humans easily and the desire to do so for pleasure. 

In the midst of political and religious turmoil due to the fact that vampires have just recently made public their existence, telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) fall in love.   Similarly to Twilight, True Blood‘s biggest failing for me is the fact that the main love story’s characters are just about the least convincing.  That isn’t to say that the characters aren’t well acted (as much as I dislike Paquin, she does fine in this series).  I just feel like there is no chemistry.   

Bill and Sookie

Aside from them though, pretty much everything else about True Blood is fantastic.  The side characters are quirky and interesting, and the growing religious tensions and Christian fanatacism against vampires is revealing itself to be very promising.  Murder, drug addiction, sex, exorcisms, telepathy, deception, vampires, shapeshifters: What more could you want? 

Just give it a chance.  I give True Blood an 8/10.


2 10 2009

Thirst is a movie by Chan-Wook Park, the same director as Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy, and Lady Vengeance. Going along in the same strong vein of irony as in Old Boy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the main character, a priest by the name of Sang-Hyun, is transformed into a vampire during a botched blood transfusion while volunteering in an experiment to find a cure to a deadly virus. After his transformation he finds the desires of the flesh to be in direct opposition to his religous foundation, and when the wife of his childhood friend comes to him to escape an abusive marriage, the second shoe seems to drop. The most appealing aspect of Thirst is its sensual and physical aspects, both romantically and violently. Chan-Wook tempers a highly charged sexual relationship with a great deal of gore and blood-sucking. The tension surrounding both is worthy of sitting on the edge of your seat. Where Thirst lags though is in the in-between moments. Transitions between scenes sometimes became muddled and problematic, and certain parts just seemed a bit too long for no real payoff. Overall I really enjoyed this movie. It was highly entertaining and even had a few laughs. If you’re a fan of Chan-Wook, I would say it is definitely worth seeing.

My rating: 7.5/10