Now See This: Sean Penn & Josh Brolin in MILK

Perhaps it is because of the current political climate, or perhaps it is that I used to live in the Castro District where this film takes place and was filmed in San Francisco, but the trailer for Gus Van Sant’s new movie Milk gives me goosebumps.

There is no question in my mind that both Sean Penn and Josh Brolin will be receive Oscar nominations for their performances in Milk.  I haven’t seen other actors even approaching Heath Ledger’s level in any other film this year, but this movie looks to be quite a contender during awards season.

Milk, which also stars Emile
Hirsch, James Franco, Victor Garber and Diego Luna, will be out in wide
release on December 5.  The film’s producers include Bruce Cohen and
Dan Jinks, who are the executive producers of Pushing Daisies.

For the uninitiated, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man in California to be elected to public office; he was on the SF Board of Supervisors.  In 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were murdered in cold blood by Dan White, a conservative member of the Board who had resigned and was disgruntled. 

Before he was killed, Milk campaigned to defeat Prop 6 (The Briggs Initiative), which would have banned gays and lesbians from working in public schools.  Thirty years later we sit on the precipice of eerily similar discrimination with Prop 8, an attempt to deny gays and lesbians the fundamental right to get married. 

I applaud Van Sant for bringing this story to life, and I really look forward to seeing Milk; to support the memory of a man who represented real hope and true change

[Insert the sound of a recognition bell going off in your head, and please vote next week]

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(Cranky) Letters to Famous People

Dear Lionsgate

Are you serious? Looking to replace Mad Men creator Matt Weiner would be like removing JJ Abrams from Lost, David Chase from The Sopranos, David Milch from NYPD Blue. I’m sure you catch my drift. Your little cable-show-that-could just won the Emmy. I think you’re insane.

Mad about the Ad Men & Peggy,

Dear Bud Selig

You have officially made me lose interest in the World Series. Don’t be so passive aggressive, and start communicating your rule changes with the fans.

No Rays of sunshine in Philly,

Dear Joaquin Phoenix

Please do not quit acting. Gladiator, schmadiator; Quills ruled. Loved you in Space Camp when you were still named Leaf.

Walking the line,

Dear CW

I can see how tempting it would be to remake Melrose Place, given the tepid ratings of the revamped 90210. But if your master plan is to lure back the nostalgic audience with guest appearances by Andrew Shue and Daphne Zuniga, I’d  reconsider the idea entirely.

I heart the other Shue,

Dear Elizabeth Hasselbeck

You are now officially my least favorite former reality TV star ever. Good luck with your c0-hosts after Obama wins.

Survive this,

Dear Zac Efron

I don’t fit your demographic and I haven’t seen any of the High School Musical movies.  You were surprisingly good in Hairspray. But you’re no Kevin Bacon. I will not see a remake of Footloose.

Kicking off my Sunday Shoes,

Dear Heroes

You’re clearly seeing far too many other people, which is disconcerting and distracting.  I feel like our relationship has changed, but I just can’t let you go.

Powerless in Northern CA,

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Moving On: Life after HBO

Call me loyal. I tend to follow baseball players after they leave ‘my’ team (the A’s) on the money trail to greener outfields. Along the same lines, I am more apt to watch a show featuring actors who formerly starred on some of my favorite HBO series’, even if only for a guest stint.

Case in point…

Dayton Callie (Sons of Anarchy)
Kim Dickens (Lost)
Garret Dillahunt (Damages, Life)
Paula Malcomson (Lost)
Timothy Olyphant (Damages; 2009)
Molly Parker (Swingtown)
William Sanderson (True Blood)
Robin Weigert (Lost, Life)
Titus Welliver (Life)

Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty)

Kirk Acevedo (Fringe)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost)
Zjelko Ivanek (Damages)
Harold Perrineau (Lost)
Lauren Velez (Dexter)
Dean Winters (30 Rock, Rescue Me)
David Zayas (Dexter)

Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Peter Krause (Dirty Sexy Money)
Freddy Rodriguez (Ugly Betty)

Edie Falco (30 Rock, Nurse Jackie; 2009)
Drea De Matteo (Sons of Anarchy)
Michael Imperioli (Life on Mars)

Obviously there are more actors from these shows who have appeared on others, but even I don’t have time to watch them all. I tried but never got into Big Love or The Wire, and I did not watch Carnivale or Rome.

It’s quite sad that I only watch 2 HBO shows now: Flight of the Conchords and True Blood. With fantastic fare such as Dexter, Weeds and next year’s The United States of Tara on Showtime, I can only imagine the pressure behind the scenes at HBO these days.

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Read Before Viewing: WATCHMEN

You don’t have to be a fan of comic books and graphic novels to enjoy and appreciate reading Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. It is easily one of the most engrossing reads I’ve ever experienced, and I recommend it to every teenager and adult, male and female. So order your copy now, give one to your favorite person for Christmas, and make sure to read it BEFORE the film comes out…

On March 6, 2009, the highly anticipated big screen adaptation debuts, and I am very much looking forward to director Zach Synder’s (Dawn of the Dead, 300) visual interpretation of the novel. In the meantime, I will not grow tired of watching the mesmerizing trailer!

Bookmark and visit the official movie site and also the official movie blog to view the ‘making-of’ Video Journals. You won’t be disappointed.

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Welcome to the ‘United States of Tara’ with Toni Collette

Toni Collette is the latest Academy Award nominee (Best Supporting, for The Sixth Sense) to make a career transition to the small screen and join a television series. I am a big fan of many of her films, especially Muriel’s Wedding and About a Boy, The Hours and Little Miss Sunshine, so her name alone is a huge sell for me.

The United States of Tara, debuting on Showtime after the holidays, is scripted and executive produced by author/ Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno). The pilot was actually based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, and his involvement with the show appears to be as a co-executive producer.

As evidenced by both the trailer
and promo photo above, Collette plays a character who suffers from
dissociative identity disorder (no longer referred to as multiple personalities).
This series looks to be an intriguing dark comedy with great potential; it follows her family as they cope with the dysfunction caused by Collette’s behavior. Co-starring John Corbett (Northern Exposure, Sex & The City) as her husband, it will air in half hour episodes beginning January 18, 2009.

My interest is piqued and I will be setting a Season Pass. Watch the trailer and let me know what you think.

Happy Saturday!

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