Archive for the 'Movies' Category


At the risk of outing myself as an uncommon churl, news of an HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart didn’t exactly ring my dinner bell with excitement. My response was more along the lines of “Why this? Why now?” Like an Arthur Miller classic brought down from the attic, another rollout of Kramer’s stage drama threatened to release the dust bunnies of a diligently worthy uplifting enterprise; it seemed like a noble gesture, a solemn nod from the premier pay-cable outfit that has stormed the ramparts with Game of Thrones and fished godless dread out of the mazy bayou with True Detective. Like a lot of us, I’ve gotten spoiled by HBO’s freshness. To be presented on HBO over Memorial Day weekend, The Normal Heart touts a quick-on-the-draw director (Ryan Murphy, he ofGlee and American Horror Story) and a Justice League cast (Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Alfred Molina, Jim Parsons), but the original material has none of the gold-lamé splendacity of HBO’s royal ta-da last Memorial Day weekend—Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace fandango, Behind the Candelabra, which went lawdy-miss-gaudy and enshrined Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in a rococo array of fall-of-the-Roman-Empire ensembles. The Normal Heart is a much squarer construction, which may account for its durability. It goes in no new directions, but the direction it goes drives fierce. Still, why this, why now?

Read more at the source.

I have added scans from the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter featuring the cast of The Normal Heart! I’ve teamed up with my friends Claudia, Kelly and Holly to buy the issue on the iPad. You can buy the digital issue on Zinio.

Matt Bomer, Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch share why they wanted to be part of Ryan Murphy’s drama that took 30 years to make.

“One of my big hopes is that people whoi did not experience it directly will A have an understanding of what people went through at that time, but even more importantly, that fact that gay mens health crisis and ACT Up really catalyzed the gay rights movement,” says Bomer. “We really stand on the shoulders of these people for the rights we have today.”


Even as Larry Kramer, the lifelong gay activist, worked with producer and director Ryan Murphy on the HBO adaptation of Kramer’s 1985 play The Normal Heart, which premieres May 25, Kramer kept asking the question: Why did it take so long? Why, he lamented, did it take so long to make the play into a film?

For Kramer, now 78, The Normal Heart — set in the early, terrifying days of AIDS when gay men in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles were dying of mysterious and rare diseases like Kaposi’s sarcoma — was always more than just a play. Its plot told of how Ned Weeks, Kramer’s alter ego, rallied then alienated his fellow gay activists who banded together in the battle against AIDS. It also served as a furious denunciation of the institutions — from The New York Times to the New York mayor’s office to the federal government — that Kramer blamed for initially ignoring the escalating epidemic; it was an urgent call for gay men to fight back to save their lives; and, nearly 30 years before the Supreme Court opened the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, it envisioned a world in which two gay men could wed.

You can read the full article here.

The Normal Heart, premieres Sunday, May 25th at 9PM/8C, only on HBO.

Filed under: Movies, The Normal Heart, Video

The film, which sold for around $7 million in Toronto, is now called “Begin Again”

Alas, audiences will now never find out whether a song can save their lives.

Filmmaker John Carney’s 80′s -set musical drama “Can a Song Save Your Life?” was the big hit at last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival, garnering a standing ovation and the biggest deal of TIFF: $7 million and a rumored $20 million marketing budget from The Weinstein Company. Apparently, the belief was that the movie, which stars Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley, would be easier to market with a new title.

Now, the movie will be known as “Begin Again,” and will begin its public push under that name as the closing night picture at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26.

About a pair of musicians (Knightley and Adam Levine) who move to New York, and the rise and fall of relationships that follow their move to the big city (that’s where Mark Ruffalo comes in), the film closes a festival that will be kicked off with “Time is Illmatic,” a documentary about NYC rapper Nas.

“This beautiful music infused New York story encompasses the spirit of Tribeca where music, film and performance play such a key part of this year’s program,” Jane Rosenthal, CEO and co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, said in a statement. “To be able to work with our neighbor and dear friend Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company to bring this film to U.S. audiences for the first time is a bonus for our entire community.”

This year’s festival slate is led by films written by Joss Whedon and Nicole Holofcener, as well the directorial debut of actors Courteney Cox and Chris Messina. Other stars with films in the festival include Elizabeth Banks, Aubrey Plaza, Robin Williams, Max Greenfield, and more.


The Avengers: Age of Ultron began shooting last month in South Africa, and the Hulk was front and center … at least, in spirit: A giant green Hulk head on a pole was used to terrorize extras and onlookers during a scene of mass destruction. Was the Hulk’s mild-mannered portrayer, Mark Ruffalo, on set as well? “The Twitter-verse is all alive with that [question]!” said Ruffalo last night when Vulture caught up with him at Peggy Siegel’s party for the HBO series Doll & Em. “I actually already shot a lot of that stuff, we did it on motion capture, so we did a lot of that on a stage. So they’re doing all the [background] plates for that now in South Africa, and then I start work in mid-April.” That will give Ruffalo his first opportunity to reunite with the newly pregnant Scarlett Johansson — “They’re going to shoot a lot of closeups [of her],” explained the actor — as well as Robert Downey Jr., whose rapport with Ruffalo in the first Avengers movie inspired the BFF-y Science Bros. fandom. Will we get more Bruce-Tony one-on-ones in the sequel? “I’m guessing you will,” teased Ruffalo, who just read the script. As for the rampant rumors that Bruce Banner may have a legitimate love interest this time around, Ruffalo’s wide grin told the tale. “That may or may not be true,” he said coyly.


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March 10, 2014

The Normal Heart, premieres Sunday, May 25th at 9PM/8C, only on HBO

Filed under: The Normal Heart, Video

Sky Atlantic HD will show the UK premiere of Ryan Murphy’s new HBO film The Normal Heart it has been announced.
Featuring an all-star cast including Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts, the film is directed by Ryan Murphy and Larry Kramer.

The Normal Heart is adapted from Kramer’s Tony Award-winning play of the same name and tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. It takes at unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

The supporting cast for the film include Jonathan Groff, Alfred Molina, Denis O’Hare, Joe Mantello, Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock and BD Wong.

The exact air date for The Normal Heart is yet to be confirmed by Sky Atlantic have stated that it will be shown this summer.


Filed under: Movies, The Normal Heart
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