May 4, 2015 |
There's something wonderfully preposterous about Showtime's Penny Dreadful , an exciting nouveau-Gothic series about a group of characters from 19th-century novels who band together to fight evil. Eva Green plays the pivotal role of Vanessa Ives, a luscious Catholic sinner and psychic medium whose best friend, Mina Harker (from Bram Stoker's Dracula ) is taken by a devilish vampire-demon known only as the Master. Vanessa joins forces with Mina's father, renowned explorer and mountain climber Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton at his virile, thunderous best)
June 7, 2014 |
Bob Newhart will be remembered centuries hence as one of the greatest straight men in American comedy. The soft-spoken stand-up comic and actor who has the deadliest deadpan in the biz and the driest of humors was singularly brilliant in his first major sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show , which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1972 to 1978. In a great character choice, Newhart plays a therapist, Dr. Bob Hartley. Consistently calm in the midst of chaos, Bob listens in each episode to the strange and hilarious problems of a slew of series regulars who bare their souls to him. Florida Friebus has gone down in TV history for playing one of Bob's patients, Lillian Bakerman, an elderly woman who spends her therapy sessions knitting.
May 18, 2014 |
SLIGO, Ireland - "The landscape isn't, strictly speaking, necessary," said Helen Vendler of Harvard University. She has written about and teaches about Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats and other great writers and had some advice about the presumed pleasure of combining place with poetry - a lure to which all too many literary junkies fall prey. My librarian wife and I knew the wordy part about Ireland fairly well, and where to find some of its low-land temples.
October 25, 2013 |
* DRACULA. 10 tonight, NBC10. * SPRINGSTEEN AND I. 9 tonight, Showtime. NBC SETS the wayback machine for Victorian London tonight in "Dracula," a lavish-ish new costume drama with a cold, dead heart at its center. That would be Vlad/Dracula himself, who, in his latest incarnation, is played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors") in one of the dullest outings yet for both character and actor. I blow hot and cold on vampires, getting perhaps a bit too excited a few weeks ago to receive a review DVD set of "Kindred: The Embraced" - which lasted just eight episodes in 1996 - but rolling my eyes through "Twilight," longing for a sequel in which "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" slapped some sense into Bella.
October 25, 2013 |
It's hard to blame Jonathan Rhys Meyers for signing up to star in - and produce - NBC's neo-Gothic, Victorian-period thriller, Dracula , which premieres Friday at 10 p.m. following Grimm 's third season opener. The Tudors heartthrob, who gave female fans shudders as Henry VIII, looks so good in those billowy white shirts that thesps since Valentino and Errol Flynn have worn in period dramas, it would have been hard to pass up the chance to play another monstrously ravenous, impeccably-dressed seducer and killer of women.
October 31, 2012
By Douglas Brode The annual observance of Halloween as an unofficial American holiday makes one wonder: Why are many supposedly normal people attracted by the dark side? The success of The Twilight Saga , The Vampire Diaries , and other current vampire tales raises a more specific question: What's behind the allure of this particular creature of the night? Vampires are not new. In Western culture, this unique beast can be traced back to the Bible. In its unexpurgated form, the Hebraic Torah contains a "first wife" of Adam, Lilith, who subsists on human flesh.
October 26, 2012
IN OCTOBER, we enjoy vampires in all forms, from live performances of "Nosferatu" to screenings of campy films such as Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows. " But nothing can outdo Bram Stoker's original opus, "Dracula. " Watch a performance of the tale in an unexpected form this weekend, produced by West Chester's Brandywine Ballet. The ballet, choreographed by the company's own Nancy Page, takes one liberty with Stoker's original plot: The story is reimagined as a tragic romance between the characters Mina and Dracula.
November 18, 2011 |
Zombies can eat you alive. Vampires can drink your blood. Werewolves can tear you to shreds. Witches can turn you into a frog, or anything else for that matter. Despite the horrible fates that these monsters and others can force upon a human, the fear people once had of such mythical figures has gone way down even though Hollywood has made them more real than ever before, with movies and TV shows that depict vampires and company walking among us. Burt Raifsnider is essentially an expert on making monsters come alive.
October 28, 2011
'FIGHT' FANS BE 'DAMNED' With a name as recognizable as it is unpronounceable, cult author Chuck Palahniuk has gained fame for writing delightfully disturbing novels about a fight club, aging porn stars and a man who pretends to choke in restaurants. He will read from his new book, "Damned," at a Free Library event tomorrow. Palahniuk's shock-value work has been hailed as the voice of Generation X, a generation of men raised by single women and a generation for whom sex, because of HIV, would always be linked to death.
October 20, 2009 |
The vampire whose unquenchable thirst for blood Bram Stoker chronicled in the 1897 classic, Dracula, has returned. Again. And once again, history's ultimate revenant has oozed into our world out of the dread pen of a Stoker. The count's postmodern, postmortem return was engineered by Stoker's great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker - coauthor, with Dracula expert and screenwriter Ian Holt, of Dracula the Un-Dead, a terrific and terrifically bloody sequel to Bram's book, set in London 20 years after the first book closes.