Dracula Thoughts & Open Thread: Of Monsters and Men

Dracula[SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF DRACULA]

Grayson, out in the sunlight! That’s really the main thing that stuck with me from “Of Monsters and Men.” His motivations here are fascinating – on the surface of it, he obviously wants to be able to walk in the sun for convenience and to make it easier to keep the secret of his vampirism, but he also clearly enjoys walking in the sun for its own sake. For someone who is so into the power he gets from his vampirism, it’s clear that a lot of him really just wishes he were human. Of course, it’s not yet clear for how long he can be outside, which led to “I’ve never been quite so motivated to be concise in all my life,” obviously the line of the episode.

Elsewhere, Mina and Harker continue to get a bit more complex; I love how skeptical they are of Grayson’s interest in them. They anticipate their vows a bit – because Harker feels threatened? – and then Harker suggests eloping and also leaks a story to the papers; while he claims that the latter is because it’s in the national interest to have the information out there, and I’m sure that’s part of his motivation, I’m curious as to whether he’s deliberately sabotaging Grayson as well. We also learn a bit more about Mina’s motivations for her scientific studies – her mother died of cancer, and now she wants to “cure death,” which is a rather portentous thing to say on a vampire show. And just to make Mina’s life even more complicated, Jayne encourages Lucy to act on her feelings toward Mina, undoubtedly for her own nefarious reasons – trying to isolate Mina, maybe?

Elementary Thoughts & Open Thread: Internal Audit

Elementary[SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF ELEMENTARY]

I liked that the ramifications of what happened with Bell continued into this episode, “Internal Audit” – it’s nice to see a procedural bring up bigger issues and not let them take over the show but also not forget about them or paper them over within an episode or two. Watson is in an interesting position as she tries to take care of Bell, to help make up for Holmes’s behavior – but also swears to her complete trust in Holmes when she wants to share with him the fact that she knows a witness in the case of the week because the woman is a former client. Things covered by her confidentiality agreement become relevant to the case, but Holmes, to his credit, helps her preserve confidentiality and find a way to introduce the evidence without betraying anyone.

And, of course, Holmes takes a big personal step this week – his sponsor encourages him to start sponsoring someone, and after a lot of resistance, he finally gives in. I’ll be very curious to see how this arrangement goes; Holmes is obviously not very touchy-feely and he gets exasperated with people extremely quickly. But for certain people who can deal with or even appreciate his unconventional behavior, I’d imagine he’d be very helpful. I definitely hope we see more of this sponsoring relationship as it progresses.

Bones Thoughts & Open Thread: The Spark in the Park

Bones[SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF BONES.]

I loved “The Spark in the Park” – despite the novelty casting of gymnast McKayla Maroney, it just felt like a good, solid episode of Bones. The mystery itself was interesting, with both the gymnastics injuries and the body being struck by lightning, and Maroney did a fine job, especially considering that acting isn’t really her thing. And I liked the continuation of Cam’s identity theft storyline and particularly the explorations of the affects the crime had on her life and relationships.

But for me, the episode was all about Richard Schiff. He gave a masterful performance as a scientist father grieving in his own way for his murdered daughter, and his equations of Amanda’s life in movement – his very personal tribute to her – made me tear up a little. Brennan’s “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen” seemed perfectly apt. And while it wasn’t exactly fun or pleasant, the way their differing reactions to Schiff’s character made Booth and Brennan think about and start to deal with some of their differences fit in very well here. Of course the fact that Booth was unable to understand someone with whom Brennan closely identified would make her concerned about the way they can and can’t relate to each other.

Monuments Men Trailer: “Treasure”

Monuments MenHere’s a new trailer, “Treasure,” for Monuments Men, which will arrive in theaters in February. Based on a true story, it stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville, Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, and John Goodman.

Movie News: Paul Rudd as Ant-Man & More

Paul RuddAfter lots of rumors, Marvel has finally confirmed that Paul Rudd will star in Ant-Man, which will hit theaters on July 31 (my birthday!), 2015.

Hugh Jackman is reportedly in talks for the role of Blackbeard in Pan.

Chris Terrio (Argo) will write the Batman-Superman movie.

Men, Women & Children has cast Emma Thompson, Dean Norris, and Judy Greer.

Hailee Steinfeld is in talks for Ten Thousand Saints.

Sofia Coppola will co-write and produce an adaptation of Alysia Abbott’s Fairyland.

Fox 2000 is adapting Robert Crais’s Suspect.

J.K. Rowling Announces Harry Potter Stage Play

J.K. RowlingHappy Christmas to us! Author J.K. Rowling has announced on her official Facebook page that she is collaborating with producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender on a stage play based on the Harry Potter story. She said:

“Over the years I have received countless approaches about turning Harry Potter into a theatrical production, but Sonia and Colin’s vision was the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry’s story to the stage. After a year in gestation it is exciting to see this project moving on to the next phase. I’d like to thank Warner Bros. for their continuing support in this project.”

Excited??