Monthly Archives: August 2012

True Blood Review: Season 5 Raises The Stakes

by Dan Fields
First published August 28, 2012 by the California Literary Review

A word before we begin: The following is a comprehensive overview of the fifth broadcast season of the HBO series True Blood. It is primarily intended for those who have already watched the entire season. Plot details and surprises will be indiscriminately discussed with the aim of analyzing the narrative and thematic elements of the show. That said, this is not meant as an exhaustive synopsis either. There will be gaps, but hopefully those who have seen all or most of Season 5 will read and enjoy, and in some cases take violent issue with the opinions herein. I welcome dissent and debate, but dread spoiling the fun for unwitting souls who have stumbled in accidentally. If you do not yet wish to know crucial things that happen in this season of True Blood, please refrain from reading until such time as you have viewed the show to your satisfaction. Thanks to all. – DLF

Anna Paquin leads the cast of True Blood Season 5
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Movie Review: The Expendables 2

by Dan Fields
First published August 18, 2012 by the California Literary Review

The Only Prescription is… More Van Damme?

Sylvester Stallone chose not to direct the sequel to The Expendables, his 2010 class reunion of great action movie stars. In both films, Sly heads a team of edgy, ultra-dude mercenaries who excel at daring daylight raids and wholesale destruction. They butcher the terrorists and military oppressors of the world with alarming speed and ferocity, hardly ever putting a scratch on hostages or innocent bystanders. It sounds too outrageously fun to be true, and it is. What Stallone achieved two years ago was a pitch-perfect homage to the peak achievements of the boys-and-their-guns genre, which thrived in the 1980s and early 1990s. It was a return to the world of Tango & Cash, Delta Force, and Raw Deal.

For the sequel, Stallone handed the reins to British director Simon West. For a sample of West at his most focused and effective, try The Mechanic, a Charles Bronson remake starring Jason Statham as a vengeful hitman. The Expendables 2 leans closer to West’s problematic breakout feature Con Air, but are you really surprised to hear that? Continue reading