Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

UCF Alum’s “Surrogates” in Theaters Friday

Filed under: Film and Entertainment,UCF News and Event — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:23

surrogates poster Bruce Willis by MyCine. Robert Vendetti, an alumni from the University of Central Florida’s College of Graduate Studies, sees the release of the motion picture based on his graphic novel on comic book series Surrogates released this Friday in movie theaters nationwide. Entertainment Weekly called this tale of people who live vicarious lives through their artificial (and artificially gorgeous) “surrogates” “a resplendently grimy commentary” on our times. “The minute I heard Bruce Willis was cast was the first moment I allowed myself to hope that this might actually get turned into a movie,” Venditti says with a laugh. “A producer who had just hung out his shingle called me up [Max Handelman]. He shopped it around, ran into a studio guy who had just seen Sin City and wanted ‘something edgy, comic-booky’ like that. So Mandeville Films got involved, then Jonathan Mostow [director of U-571, Terminator 3], with screenwriters from Terminator 3. “I’ve been involved, at least in the loop,” he says. “I looked at it from the perspective that these other people were creative minds in their own right. If they’re inspired by something I did to bring their own creativity to it, I’m taking that as a compliment and letting them do what they want. They were staying true to the themes and adding their own ideas and plot lines and characters. You know they’re going to add explosions. That’s Hollywood.” Surrogates releases Friday from Touchstone Pictures. To visit the ridiculously cool official Site for Surrogates: http://chooseyoursurrogate.com/.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretty Cool Advertisement

Filed under: Film and Entertainment — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:04

An amazing display of technology is hitting the shelves in next week’s Entertainment Weekly. An actual live video will be played when the reader turns to a 2-page ad promoting CBS’ primetime lineup and is being co-sponsored by Pepsi. See the video below of the ad “in-action.” This is REALLY cool. It might be worth the price of Entertainment Weekly just to see this ad!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NYC GLBT Homeless Shelter Named in Bea Arthur’s Honor

Filed under: Film and Entertainment,GLBT Social Issues and Civil Rights — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 17:27

The late television actress Bea Aurthur will be remembered for her hard work and dedication to the well-being of GLBT youth when the Ali Forney Center will name one of its residences after her after her memorial on September 14th:

In November of 2005, Bea flew to New York City from her home in Los Angeles in order to give a special benefit performance of her one-woman show. The performance raised over $40,000 for the Ali Forney Center. In an interview for Next Magazine Bea explained her decision to offer her support “I’m very, very involved in charities involving youth and the plight of foster children. But these kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay, or transgender – this organization really is saving lives.” Bea continued to offer her support, both as a donor and as an advocate. In one of her very last interviews, published in the New York Blade in May 2008, Bea spoke with pride of having done the benefit for AFC, and indicated that she would do anything to help gay kids disowned by their parents.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Musical Promises to be a Gay ‘Ole Time!

Filed under: Film and Entertainment — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:58

As if all musicals don’t have a tinge of gayness about them, a new gay-themed film The Big Gay Musical is tackling the stereotype of theater queens and Broadway buffs and looks like it will do it in a very funny way. Check out the film’s official trailer below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Outrage Hits Home

Filed under: American Life and Society,Film and Entertainment — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 03:08

The Girlfriend ExperienceI finally had the opportunity to see the documentary Outrage (directed by Academy Award nominee Kirby Dick) tonight at the Enzian Theater in Maitland. The movie highlights closeted gay politicians (which are 90% Republican according to the most prominently featured advocate in the film) who actively legislate against progressive laws which promote equality among gay and lesbian Americans. Mountains of evidence are brought to the surface against the common culprits (Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Idaho Senator Larry Craig, and shamed former Representative Mark Foley); but in addition, a large number of other politicians are outed in the film. In addition to the outing of the lawmakers’ sexual orientations is their voting records on gay rights issues–all of which are absolutely abysmal. Perhaps this film couldn’t have been released at a better time.

GLBT rights organizations are up-in-arms against the Obama Administration for its slow response to addressing GLBT issues, particularly elimination of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies. While I agree Obama needs to put some “pedal to the metal,” I am also willing to give him a little time given the massive amount of “mess” he inherited from our nation’s worst President ever. Still, action speaks louder than words and it’s time to start making some strides here.

In the end, Outrage highlights something research has long supported as evidence–Being OUT brings equality. Even my own doctoral dissertation research showed just how powerful being out can be. The Registered Nurses in my study who personally knew an openly gay or lesbian person as a friend or family member were MUCH less likely to harbor homophobic attitudes, perceptions, and discrimination. In this day and time, there’s simply no acceptable excuse for remaining in the closet. Outrage is an excellent film but hurry! It closes Thursday night at Enzian. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.enzian.org or visit the movie’s official Site @ http://www.outragethemovie.com/

Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodbye, Bea

Filed under: Film and Entertainment — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 17:14

If you haven’t heard by now, America lost one of its beloved television legends over the weekend. Bea Arthur, a Tony-Award winning stage and Emmy-Award winning television actress who is perhaps best known for her roles on Maude and The Golden Girls, succumbed to cancer on Saturday morning in her home in Los Angeles at the age of 86. I have loved The Golden Girls since I was a kid and had the honor of meeting Betty White and Rue McClanahan when I was about 12 years old. They were filming a pilot for a gameshow (which was never picked-up by the networks) called 20 Questions! and my dad and I went to see its taping on a visit to Los Angeles. They were both graciously nice and even provided me a kiss on the cheek and their autographs. This morning The Today Show held an interview with Rue McClanahan and Betty White, the sole two remaining survivors from The Golden Girls. The pair showered Bea’s memory with kind and loving sentiments.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Sunday, March 29, 2009

HBO Goes Behind the Scenes on Grey Gardens

Filed under: Film and Entertainment,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:11

HBO just released a behind-the-scenes snippet for their forthcoming motion picture Grey Gardens, depicting the story of Jackie O’s eccentric and mentally ill cousins who were once socialites but eventually lived a life of seclusion in a decaying mansion that was virtually uninhabitable. Scroll below for the complete trailer for the movie. Below is the behind-the-scenes snippet featuring interviews with the production team and stars Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Grey Gardens premieres at 8:00 pm on Saturday April 18th on HBO.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Longer Look at Grey Gardens

Filed under: Film and Entertainment,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:50

Not many know the secret lives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ cousins, who lived as a reclusive pair and experienced eccentric mental health illnesses. The Kennedy family kept them largely under rug swept from fear of familial embarassment. Now, HBO Films is bringing their story to the small screen in an original motion picture starring Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. HBO is by-far the best pay cable station available and have proven time and time again with shows with high quality productions like Six Feet Under and True Blood that when it comes to original programming, HBO simply can’t be beat. Here is the extended trailer HBO released last week:

Friday, December 19, 2008


Filed under: Film and Entertainment — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 03:51

milkposter.jpgTonight I was able to make it to a screening of the new Gus Van Sant film Milk at The Enzian Theater in Winter Park and I have to say, this is by far the best film of 2008. Harvey Milk was the first ever openly gay political candidate to be elected to public office. Milk became a member of the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco in 1977 and would face multiple anti-gay initiatives fiercely and “head-on” before his untimely death in 1978. He also worked to pass a strict anti-discrimination policy in San Francisco in a time when states all over the country were repealing civil rights initiatives for gays and lesbians and an aggressive California-based bill that would outlaw homosexuals as teachers within public schools (lead by Christian right wing-nut Anita Bryant) was being heavily pushed. If you don’t know anything about the life of Harvey Milk, I would encourage you to keep it that way until you see the movie. The film is an absolute masterpiece and Sean Penn continues to prove he is simply one of the best actors of our time. Penn has been nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his portrayal of Milk. Given the passage of Florida’s Amendment 2, California’s Proposition 8, and Arizona’s Proposition 102 this past election season, this film’s relevance is palpable. Milk was able to shine a light of hope in a time that was very dark for America’s gay and lesbian communities. If you’re gay, you will probably feel a strong sense of connection to the times of Harvey Milk and the times of today. While that is unfortunate, let it serve as an impetus to get you involved in your community and to live your life open and honestly to those you love, those you work with, and those who are significant in your life. If there’s one lesson Harvey Milk left us, it’s that no matter what, “you’ve got to have hope.” I loathe The Enzian and usually refuse to see films there given its pretentious atmosphere and expensive cost. But Milk is definitely worth the trip to The Enzian. Go see Milk… You’ll find the film amazingly inspirational and moving. Milk was released limited on November 26, 2008 from Focus Features. For showtimes in your area and for more information on Milk, visit the film’s official Web Site @ http://www.filminfocus.com/focusfeatures/film/milk/.

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