LBJ

(Re)Casting Call: “The Butler” – Pt. 2

Last week, we looked at the odd casting of “The Butler,” an upcoming film about a White House butler who served seven consecutive presidential administrations. We have already fixed the casting problems with the Eisenhowers and the Kennedys. Today, we look at LBJ and the Reagans. Lyndon Johnson Who they Cast: Liev Schreiber Who they…

Olivia Munn

“The Newsroom” – Episode 6: “Bullies”

There is a YouTube video that made the rounds after the pilot episode of “The Newsroom” that demonstrated how writer/creator Aaron Sorkin likes to reuse his best lines. This video was an arrow in the quiver of those critics who sought to take down “The Newsroom” from the beginning – only a hack would reuse…

Eisenhower

(Re)Casting Call: “The Butler” – Pt. 1

A few months ago, I questioned the wisdom of casting Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan in the upcoming Lee Daniels film, “The Butler.” Fonda is a fine actress and, all things being equal, is up to the challenge of playing Reagan, but it seems clear that her personal politics will be distracting. As the film’s…

Emily Mortimer

“The Newsroom” – Episode 5: “Amen”

I remember this feeling from “The West Wing.” A great episode of that show – and of any Sorkin show – was so tightly crafted. Current events blend seamlessly into character arcs. Seemingly random conversations from early in the episode find their way into the denouement. I find myself feeling real joy as the show…

Dark Knight Rises featured

Politics and Revolution in “The Dark Knight Rises”

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead. No movie exists in a vacuum. Every film is subject to political interpretations and various levels of expectations. This is especially true for the so-called “serious film,” which injects social, political, or cultural criticism into an art form created for the masses. For the American viewing public, “The Dark Knight Rises”…