Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Recommend: '8' (Prop 8 Play) & 'Recount' Film

(Image courtesy of American Foundation for Equal Rights)
Jeff Dodge's Recommendations:


When this one-night only play based on the whole ordeal surrounding California's Prop 8 in 2008 was released on YouTube earlier this year, I couldn't wait to watch it. Unfortunately, time slipped away from me and I ended up not getting to it until not that long ago, in the latter half of the summer. But even though it took a while, I am still glad I saw it.

Prop 8 was on the ballot in California in 2008 and passed, meaning that the short-lived law allowing same-sex marriage in the state was overturned. This play, 8, is taken from transcripts of the federal court proceedings that took place to see if Prop 8 was constitutional or not. And it seems like every celebrity under the sun appeared in the play, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Chris Colfer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, James Pickens, Jr., John C. Reilly and George Takei.

8 is very raw, funny, emotional, tragic, uplifting, every emotion and feeling under the sun. Adding to that raw feeling is that the stars were reading from their scripts (this event was considered a live reading as opposed to a full production of a play). Just looking at this from more of the entertainment side of things, some of my favorite moments were seeing Jane Lynch and George Takei play people who are against same-sex marriage when these two stars are gay themselves. And Lynch sure knows how to put everything into a role. And because we all know she's gay, there were certain lines she said that made it even more funny considering what her sexual orientation is.

The opponents of same-sex marriage in this play, who support Prop 8, said some of the craziest things in these court accounts. You would think that these actors were doing a sketch on Saturday Night Live, but they were saying things that were actually said, certain arguments and positions that didn't really have any basis in anything and made the audience and myself crack up.

I've gone on long enough, so I urge you to watch 8 for yourself. (And to make it easy on you, I've embedded the YouTube video below.)

I've said on this blog before that I'm a political news junkie and I follow major political news from around the country. And Prop 8 is definitely a big one. I've also said here that I don't want to make this a political blog. So I'll try not to go wholly into that territory here. But everything surrounding Prop 8 is hugely important for our country and has ramifications beyond just California, since the issue of same-sex marriage will likely reach the United States Supreme Court in their upcoming session. (On a related note, same-sex marriage will be on the ballot this November in three states, including Washington State, where I live.)


(Image courtesy of HBO)
I've already gone on long enough above, so I'll try to keep this one fairly short. But speaking of politics, not that long ago I watched for the first time HBO's Recount: The Story of the 2000 Presidential Election, which goes through all the chaos and scandal surrounding the Bush vs. Gore election. I've been wanting to see this for a while now, and I figured now would be the best time considering we're deep in another election year as we speak.

If you don't know all the inside details surrounding the 2000 election, then definitely watch this film. I was 12 years old at the time, and while I was aware of what was going on, I really didn't know all of the details--because I was only 12. Recount goes deep into both campaigns and what each side was trying to do to make sure their candidate won, from the Bush people trying to stop the recounts from happening since the governor was ahead in votes at the time, to the Gore people who pushed and pushed for the recounts to happen and to keep them going until all votes were counted because they were realizing there were certain counties that they could win in if the votes there were counted.

At first, I wasn't sure what to make of Laura Dern's portrayal of Katherine Harris, Florida's Secretary of State at the time. It seemed to me like Dern was doing a sort of caricature where you really go overboard on their mannerisms and such. But right after watching the film, I went on YouTube to watch a video of the real Katherine Harris, and she got it spot on.

Like I said, I won't go on and on here because my first review above is already long enough. But since we're in an election year now, with only 38 days to go until we find out who wins, watching a film like Recount right now gives a real insight into the behind-the-scenes process and what politicians will do to win an election.

TV Watch Online (@TVWatchOnline)

Jeff Dodge Blog:
I Recommend: 'Harry Potter Page to Screen' Book & 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Film
I Won 'The Land of Stories' Book (ARC), Autographed by Chris Colfer
Jeff Dodge's 2012 Emmy Predictions
Emmys 2012: My Predictions vs. Winners

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#1 Recommendation: 8

Sometime in the upcoming week, I'll be finishing up reading Chris Colfer's The Land of Stories novel, and today I just watched Katy Perry's docu-concert DVD, Part of Me. So expect recommendations and reviews on those two next.

Follow me on Twitter @TheJeffDodge. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, either tweet me, e-mail me or leave a comment below.

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