Monday, April 02, 2007

Do we really want to go there again?

It takes a lot to get me to watch TV news. Nothing against the medium itself, it's just not my cup of tea.

After the 2000 election up until the end of the year, however, I watched it for about 2 hours every day and was just fascinated, as was almost everyone in the world. No matter who you were rooting for - and I freely admit I didn't back the winner in this one - it was a political junkie's dream (or nightmare).

Now, just in time for our next big presidential bout, HBO is getting in the ring with its own take on the 2000 debacle, with Sidney Pollack on board to direct. The cable channel has greenlit "Recount," a scripted take on the events that will appear on TV rather than in theaters.

And just who was this script written by? Danny Strong. While Variety lists him as a star of "Seabiscuit" and "Pleasantville," he's much better known to me as having recurring roles on two of my favorite TV shows; he played Jonathan Levinson for 29 episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and has played Doyle McMaster for 17 episodes now on "Gilmore Girls." If you watch TV at all, he's probably a familiar face.

But back to the matter at hand: Is this a good thing? It will surely be high drama, and Pollack is a sure hand at this kind of thing. Plus, with none of the parts yet cast, it should make for a great D.C.-style parlor game in guessing who will play who. Any suggestions? The few people who bothered to watch the deliriously funny "That's My Bush" know that Timothy Bottoms plays a mean W.

But does anyone remember what happened the last time Hollywood got involved during an election year? "Fahrenheit 9/11" certainly made for entertaining viewing, but if anything it only served to invoke the ire of W's supporters at the polls. Now, for the 2008 elections, we'll be getting not only "Recount," but possibly "Against All Enemies." A movie based on Richard Clarke's expose of our intel shortcomings has been rumored for some time, but I couldn't find out much about the status of it at IMDB.

No matter the impact of these flicks on the political realm, for strictly entertainment value, I can only say bring 'em on.

Busy Phillips stays busy

I went to see "Blades of Glory" on Sunday. I won't bother with a full review, but can report that if you like Will Ferrell movies, this is a good one. And, for the first time since "Napoleon Dynamite," Jon Heder appears in almost every scene without being thoroughly annoying.

One thing I did note, however, was that Busy Phillips was credited with coming up with the story. Busy, like Danny Strong, is a name and face that should be very familiar to the TV faithful. She's had long stints on "Dawson's Creek" and, more recently, "ER," but she will always be known to me as Kim Kelly on my all-time favorite show that only managed to last less than one season, "Freaks and Geeks."

While two other people, Jeff and Craig Cox, are credited with the actual screenplay, here's hoping that Busy gets at least a little chunk of that fat $33 million opening weekend box-office bounty.


carrie_lofty said...

Hey Reel, put this one on your must-watch list! Sweet Land has a DVD distribution deal. I'm happy!

Reel Fanatic said...

I definitely will, Carrie ... My parents and brother went to see it in a theater in Minneapolis, and like you they just raved about it