Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Launches Tuesday

Move over, George Lucas. Mass Effect 3’s long-awaited special edition is due next week, and thankfully, Shepard still, and always, shoots first. On Tuesday, June 26th, Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be available for download, adding further exposition to the game’s controversial ending “through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue

True Blood Recap: Authority Always Wins

Greetings, fangbangers and faery lovers!  The second episode of this season, “Authority Always Wins,” was a bit of a dud, no?  We start with Tara trying to guzzle all of Sookie’s faery blood, but Pam, as her maker, commands her not to hurt Sookie or Lafayette. She instead runs into

True Blood Recap: Turn! Turn! Turn!

True Blood’s season five premiere picked up right where season 4 left off, with Tara a bloody mess and a shotgun hole through her skull in Sookie’s kitchen. Bill and Eric both registered her distress as they were cleaning up Nan’s untimely demise from the floor of Bill’s office, but as she’d just dissed both of them, they did not come to her aid.  Instead, it was a surprising Pam that showed up at Sookie’s with the one possibility of resurrection for Tara: to turn her into a vampire.  Both Sookie and Lafayette begged Pam to do the deed, with Sookie promising that she’ll be in Pam’s debt and fix the rift between her and Eric.  It will certainly be interesting to see how that plays out, especially since I’m sure Pam’s definition of ‘favor’ is a colorful one!  Much like the tacky yellow sweatsuit Pam donned to crawl into the dirt with Tara – I’d say that’s definitely taking one for the team, given Pam’s usual couture.

Perhaps if Bill and Eric had gone to Sookie’s aid, they would have missed their kidnapping by the vampire Authority, who knew of their treason almost instantly (how does that work?).  They were bagged in silver and tossed in the trunk of a black sedan, which I rightly predicted they would be busting out of sooner rather than later.  Let’s face it, when teamed up there is little Bill and Eric could no accomplish.  They need not have bothered, however, as one of their captors turned out to be Eric’s sister, Nora, who was planning to free them a few miles later. They promptly made out, you know, as siblings do, and Bill had to withstand listening to them have the sex after waking up for the night. Nora is pretty high up the foodchain in the Authority, but I’m sure her position is a little less firm since all were recaptured again at the end of the episode.

I certainly feel for Lafayette, awash in grief over the death of his boyfriend, Jesus. As you’ll recall, Lafayette, inhabited by the demon spirit of Marnie the witch, impaled Jesus and ‘took’ his magic.  When he and Sookie went to bury the body, it was missing – what’s up with that?  Lafayette sat alone in his fabulous house and cried…poor thing.  His one-liners are still a little bit intact, as he said the cops would surely believe that Sookie had acted in self-defense when shooting werewolf Debbie (thank God she’s dead, I hated her guts and had no idea why hottie nice guy Alcide was with her); she’s a white girl, after all!  Sookie said she had time to think and still pulled the trigger – Amen, girlfriend.  You did the world a favor.

Hit the jump for the full recap of the season premiere!

Wizard World Philadelphia 2012: 5 Captains Q&A

At Wizard World Philadelphia, Star Trek fans gathered for a momentous occasion: the gathering of the 5 Captains. William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, and Scott Bakula were on hand throughout the weekend to meet with fans, sign autographs, and take pictures, but it was Saturday’s Q&A panel that drew the most attention.

Sir Patrick, Mr. Shatner, and Ms. Mulgrew arrived in a surprising fashion, tooling around the aisles on a golf cart, much like a sight out of Mario Kart: Double Dash, immediately letting the crowd know what kind of an event they had just walked into.

Photo by Tomlin Campbell (Wizard World)

And, like our Chris Hemsworth Q&A, keep an ear out for the Wizard World Fridgecast — we’ve got a great excerpt from this panel that you have to hear!

Scott Bakula: [taps mic] Check. Check. The panel has been cancelled. Please arrest the drunk drivers wherever you see them. [laughter] And no one let Shatner in, whatever happens. [laughter] There’s another guy with a funny hat, I think he’s from England… [laughter]
Clare Kramer: Welcome, everyone. This is a monumental occasion. I’m Clare Kramer, and I will be hosting.
William Shatner: Clare, you are a monumental occasion.
CK: As are you. How about one more round of applause for the Captains. [applause] I know everyone probably has a plethora of questions. We’ll start it off up here and then we’ll go to the audience in a little bit. I hope you enjoy the 5 Captains Panel!
WS: You guys, back there, should come down in front here so we can see you. Come on down. Fill it up.
CK: I have a question for you, Mr. Shatner.
WS: For me?
CK: I do.
WS: My telephone number is… [laughter]
CK: When you were first approached…
WS: When I was first approached…
CK: …to do Star Trek
WS: Yes…
CK: There had been a pilot…
WS: The pilot had not sold.
CK: …and you received a call. What was your reaction to them approaching you for this role in this series?
WS: I was enormously enthused…to be offered a job. [laughter] The well-recounted story, that I’m sure most people know by now, is that I was in New York City doing something, and I received a call from Gene Roddenberry, who asked me to come to Los Angeles to look at a pilot called Star Trek, starring Jeffrey Hunter. So I came to Los Angeles and saw this wonderful piece of film that I thought needed a little adjustment here and there, but was really terrific, and I agreed to be in it. Then, some people made their suggestions, and I made some of mine, and we made the second pilot, which sold. That’s essentially the story.
CK: And that was the start of history.
WS: And we’re still making it. [applause]

Hit the jump to boldly go and see what the 5 Captains had to say!

Wizard World Philadelphia 2012: Chris Hemsworth Q&A

Wizard World Philadelphia has come to be known for its celebrity guests, such as Stan Lee, Bruce Campbell, and Patrick Stewart. But how do you top some of the biggest names in the geek fandom hierarchy? You summon a god.

One of the biggest draws at this year’s convention was none other than Chris Hemsworth, star of Marvel’s Thor and The Avengers. With fans practically breaking down the doors to get a glimpse at the Aussie heartthrob, Chris spent some time with host Clare Kramer and an auditorium full of fans, and answered any questions they had for him.

And keep an eye out for a Fridgecast coming out later this week, where we discuss all things Wizard World Philly — including this Q&A with Hemsworth. And if that alone doesn’t entice you, well, then maybe we saved a few of Thor’s best quotes from this panel exclusively for our podcast listeners…

Chris Hemsworth: Thanks to everybody for coming out here. I know a lot of you have come pretty far. I met someone who came from Germany and another from London. And to the rest of you from wherever, thank you very much. It’s much appreciated.
Clare Kramer: I am a huge fan and I have a ton of questions for you, but I know everyone here has been waiting patiently, and they are very excited to ask you some questions. So, I’ll turn it over to the first gentleman at the mic right here.
How are you, Chris?
CH: Great, thank you.
Since you were technically captain of a starship for 12 minutes [in Star Trek], did you try to make your case to get on the [5 Captains] panel later?
CH: They couldn’t get me a ticket. I tried. They’ll have to sneak me in the back.
Playing Thor, the god of thunder, did you find it challenging to make a god relatable to the audience?
CH: Yeah, absolutely, especially considering the character begins as the opposite of your normal superhero. He doesn’t earn his powers through the film or begin as a normal man. He’s already a god. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – we had to break him down and build him back up. Kenneth Branagh kept saying, “Make him truthful, make him real. It’s you talking to your brother. It’s you talking to you father. Don’t try to play a god. The sets and the costumes do that for us.” So, it was all about simplifying [Thor].
Hi. It’s my birthday.
CH: Happy Birthday!
Can I have a hug?
CH: Sure. [applause]
Cabin in the Woods was one of the best horror movies I have seen in years. If you had to choose one of the creatures from that movie to actually go up against, what would you choose and why?
CH: Uh, as me or as Thor? [laughter] If it was me, I’d try and find the least threatening one, probably the small, zombie-like girl. If I was Thor, I’d try to take on a bunch of them.

Hit the jump to hear more from the god of thunder!

Fringe Finale Recap – Brave New World, Part 2

Welcome to back to Open the “Fringe”! We’re taking a look at the final episode of season 4, “Brave New World,” Part 2!  If you missed my recap of Part 1, be sure to check that one first here.  There’s a lot that happens in this episode, so buckle up!  (And, spoiler alert!)

Now, onward to part 2!

“Brave New World,” Part 2, starts out in the holodeck. No, for reals! I do not lie. Bell is showing Walter a simulation of some awesome dinosaur-like creatures he’s going to create in the future, and I half expected the former Spock to say “computer, end program!” like they do on Trek. It was just a projection from the wall of Bell’s office on the freighter, and he says later that if he and Walter have the power to be gods, they should be!  He’s a bit power-crazed, yo.  Very taken with his own abilities. Just a tad.

Peter and Olivia make their way back to the lab (after “that Jedi mind trick Olivia pulled on the roof,” to quote Peter, who is full of the pop culture references today), only to find it empty. Their wondering about Walter and Astrid’s whereabouts are cut short when none other than Charlotte, she of the nanite-infestation, phones Olivia and says she thinks she’s being followed.  We see Charlotte at home, and September the Observer suddenly appears in her laundry room and some weirdo runes appear beneath his feet.  Peter and Olivia arrive at Charlotte’s place but that too is empty, and the floorboards where September was standing are missing.  Did he rocket up through the roof?  We’ll find out shortly.

Broyles rings the pair up and says that Astrid has been brought to the hospital, shot in the stomach, and Walter is missing.  They rush to Astrid’s side, where she is out of surgery and bemoaning her inability to protect Walter from Bell and his baddies. She tells them to go back to the warehouse and find him – which they do without any backup. What is this, amateur hour?  I am going to let it go, because this ep rules so far.

Showdown at the warehouse with a trapped September & evil Charlotte

The scene at the warehouse proves to be my favorite of the night, as our universe-crossed couple finds September there, still stuck to the floorboards, and Charlotte popping out from behind a crate aiming a gun at them!  Evil Charlotte is now evil (and cements this fact by declaring how much she actually hates kids, and was playing on Olivia’s sympathy when they last met) and working for Jones and Bell.

Hit the jump for the full recap for the final Fringe episode of season 4: Brave New World, Part 2!

Fringe Finale Recap – Brave New World, Part 1

It’s Fringe Friday here on Open the “Fringe,” although it’s sadly not Fringe Friday with an all-new ep on Fox (I miss our intrepid team of universe-hopping agents already, don’t you?) Don’t worry, I’ve got your fix right here, and might I add, greetings from the post-season-four meltdown!  I needed a bit of distance to ruminate on the intricacies of this two-part finale, hence my posting of it later rather than sooner.  Of course, if you are an Observer, you would be able to see this recap from any point in the timeline, so posting time is irrelevant! Oh, don’t you love Observer paradoxes? There sure were a few in this finale!  But that was not the main event – read onward for some sweet recapping goodness, some squishy Peter love, and even some literary analysis!

The first part of the two-part finale, entitled “Brave New World,” found commuters in a large retail/office complex bursting into flame (or, as we call it on Fringe, just another Tuesday). One woman, rooted in place, told others to stop moving, as it appeared that those who moved, died. Walter and Astrid were on the scene, with Astrid adorably mother-henning Walter and him calling the police and rescue workers ninnies and idiots. Ah, I love these two.  Our other favorite twosome, Peter and Olivia, were enjoying a morning in bed, reading the newspaper and looking for places to live – potentially with a nursery. AWWWW. So cute!!

Can you stand the adorable? CAN YOU?

They were also summoned to the spontaneously combusting crime scene, just as Walter was chatting up none other than guest star Rebecca Mader, aka Charlotte Staples Lewis of Lost fame!  Always in a fix, that one. She was quite distressed at the possibility that she might flame on at any second, and agreed to be the first one to test Walter’s idea for a cure.  The cure was for an infection of nanites, which were being dispersed via escalator railing, hence affecting most of the people who were on their way to work. It is here I am silently pleased that my perennial fear of down escalators leads me to seek out the stairs more often than not. Whew!  The nefarious instigator of the nanites?  Shockingly, David Robert Jones. We are all unsurprised, and turn our attention back to Charlotte (whose character, I’m sure, has a name, but all my notes say Charlotte. Once a Lostie, always a Lostie). [Rebecca Mader’s character was named “Jessica Holt.” –Ed. Note]

Hit the jump for the full recap of Part 1 of the season finale!