TV Shows »Game Change

on HBO

Posters of Game Change have been promising that, at the least, the HBO movie will feature excellent makeup and costume. Ed Harris gets McCain’s creepy deep brown bat eyes and does a good job, but lacks the jowls and deep anger of John McCain.

Meanwhile, Julianne Moore makes a stunning transformation into one of my least favorite public figures, Sarah Palin. Beyond the up-dos, accent, and suit jackets, she is able to make the Vice President hopeful human and to my shock worthy of our sympathy.

While not exactly flattering, this portrait is much fairer and less parody than I expected. Though it probably is much more enjoyable viewing if you’re one of the many that howled with sad laughter at Palin’s Katie Couric interview.

Without transcending the tv movie genre, Game Change is a fascinating look at one of politics most recent dramas and reportedly was close enough to actual events to make some of the people involve squirm.

Makes the rather indulgent ordering of HBO worth more than the season of Game of Thrones we got it for.

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Posted on March 25, 2012

Movies,TV Shows »Hysterical Blindness

directed by Mira Nair

Hysterical Blindness, a 1980’s set HBO version of a Lifetime movie could have been nothing but hairspray and bad accents, but to every one’s credit involved, it’s a surprisingly nuanced, and touching portrayal of two party girls past their prime, standing guard at a local dive bar, waiting desperately for romance to change their Bayonne, New Jersey lives.

Uma Thurman is transforming as Debby, a character interestingly enough portrayed by the great Amy Ryan in the original 1997 Laura Cahill theatrical production. She contorts her exceptional beauty into a woman so needy and spastic that you wince as she awkwardly rockets around the screen between cigarettes, tears, freak outs and blow jobs. Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands, and Ben Gazzara all of whom are always, without exception, excellent round out the dream cast.

While it all ends a little too much on the cute side, it’s nice to see these women, icons of ironic tackiness and stereotype get a little happiness, whether in the form of new living room furniture or front yard parties all summer. And speaking of ironic tackiness, there is much here for thrift store shopping hipsters to get excited about: Shredded heavy metal tees, acid washed paint on jeans, spandex mini skirts, and lots of cheap rings.

I saw this when it first aired several years ago but recently felt the urge to revisit. I’m glad I did.

Click here for the rest of Hysterical Blindness

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Posted on January 10, 2011

TV Shows »Gia

Too Beautiful to Die, Too Wild to Live

When you’re playing the waiting game while pregnant, you’ve got to find things on a daily basis to get excited about. For me, the fact that Lifetime Movies Network was playing Gia, and that I had it taped was one exciting, alone time afternoon taken care of. The Angelina Jolie vehicle is the pinnacle of made for TV true stories and everyone is turned up to 11 with campy performances.

Faye Dunaway is channeling her most eye brow arching faux accent. Jolie is constantly growling and writhing. Mercedes Ruehl is spectacularly theatrical as the ignorant flawed mother. Even Juliet, that smirky doctor on Lost, is here, as a reluctant lover. Sprinkled throughout are token bitchy fashion gays, flamboyant photographers and even an embarrassing Anna Wintour type who declares stuff like “Now this is meat! This is sirloin!”

While the true story of Gia is quite tragic, she was one of the first casualties of AIDS, in HBO’s hands the lesson to not take drugs makes for entertaining TV. It’s definitely the most watchable thing Angelina’s been in. Campy gems like this only come along every once in a while.

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Posted on October 13, 2010

Movies »The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom

Originally aired on HBO (1993)

Tongue in cheek humor, true crime, American absurdity and a spectacular cast – of course The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom made for TV movie is one of my all time favorites. Everyone seems to have forgotten how totally awesome Holly Hunter can me (seriously, why is she not cast in any of these hip quirky comedies of late – she’s the queen!!) and here she’s outstanding as the certifiably nuts true life criminal, Wanda Holloway, who attempted to pay her brother in law to kill her daughters cheerleading rival and rival’s mother. Beau Bridges and Swoosie Kurtz also stand out as the down on his luck brother in law and his insane wife.

It originally aired on HBO in the early nineties but is available on DVD and worth putting to the top of your netflix queue.

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Posted on July 18, 2010