Posts Tagged ‘directing’

Neal in “Out in NJ” Magazine

I had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed by Out NJ!  Please check out their site because they do such amazing work!

Special Thanks to the amazing staff at Out NJ and especially staff reporter William R. Loschiavo

You can also view it online here: http://www.outinjersey.net/images/Magazine_PDF/Current/web_Jan_10.pdf

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Top uniformed officer: Gay ban should be lifted

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – The military’s top uniformed officer on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for allowing gays to serve openly in uniform, telling a Senate panel it was a matter of integrity and that it is wrong to force people to “lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”


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Archbishop of York attacks Uganda’s anti-gay bill

From http://seattletimes.nwsource.com:

A top Anglican cleric who was born in Uganda spoke out Thursday against a proposed law in his native country that would impose the death penalty on some gays. (more…)

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Mario Lavandeira aka Perez Hilton forces Meredith Baxter into admitting she is a lesbian.

From rPulse.com:

Meredith Baxter said, “To come out and disclose stuff is very antithetical to who I am.” I sure hope you’re proud of yourself Mario. (more…)

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Former ‘Family Ties’ Star Meredith Baxter: ‘I’m A Lesbian’

From Yahoo.com:

NEW YORK, New York — Former “Family Ties” star Meredith Baxter has revealed she is gay. (more…)

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Govt-backed gay bar fails to attract customers

From: http://www.chinadaily.com

The idea was simple: Set up a bar to attract gay men and then use it to distribute information on AIDS/HIV prevention.

The media loved the idea – but all the attention kept the gay men away. (more…)

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China city government opens gay bar to fight AIDS

From http://www.reuters.com:

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) – A Chinese city with one of the nation’s highest rates of AIDS has opened a government-funded gay bar in an outreach effort that has stirred debate over the use of taxpayers’ money. (more…)

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On Friday, October 30, 2009 I went to see Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg film their new movie “The Other Guys” in New York City.

Click the pictures to see more pictures and video!


"The Other Guys" Video

"The Other Guys" Click to Watch the Video








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Obama signs first major federal gay-rights law

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, a milestone that activists compared to the passage of 1960s civil-rights legislation empowering blacks.

The new law adds acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list of federal hate crimes. Gay-rights activists voiced hope that the Obama administration would advance more issues, including legislation to bar workplace discrimination, allow military service and recognize same-sex marriages.

Congress passed the hate crimes protections as an unlikely amendment to this year’s Defense Authorization Act. In a signing ceremony in the White House East Room , Obama said that the gay rights protections represented a “long-awaited change” that would protect people who are victimized because of “who they love . . . or who they are.”

Legislation barring firms from firing employees on the basis of their sexual orientation could win passage in the House of Representativesby year’s end, gay-rights advocates said. More than half of U.S. states currently allow employers such freedom.

Obama has promised to push Congress to repeal the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that prohibits being openly gay while serving. A Senate panel is expected to hold a hearing on that issue next month, and legislation could be debated next year.

Gay-rights activists also hope for repeal next year of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which would give federal legitimacy to gay marriagesrecorded in states that allow them.

The amendment signed into law Wednesday was named partly for Matthew Shepard , a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who died after a 1998 beating targeting him because he was gay, and whose parents were instrumental in leading the fight for such legislation. The law also was named for James Byrd Jr. , a black Texas man dragged to his death in a racially motivated killing the same year.

The measure also extends protections to those attacked because of their gender or disability.

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As an educator and a fellow kid at heart, I wanted to go loving this movie! Unfortunately, this movie falls flat.  Based on the less-than-ten-sentences popular children’s book by Maurice Sendak, this is not a children’s film.  At times it tries to be, but the subtleties are way over the heads of most children.

More below . . .


It is beautifully shot and amazing job making everything look and feel realistic –but what is lacking is in the writing.  The sound is simple OK.

From the start, we are supposed to feel empathy for Max, because of his neglect.  We are hit over the head with it, and expected to immediately feel bad for the kid.  I would have preferred more dimensional situations, which will make us feel for our main character, instead of having these scenes that scream, “you must feel sorry for him”.

The whole movie feels a bit contrived for me and again I am not buying the writing.  THIS IS NOT REALLY A CHILDREN’S MOVIE, but I think there should have been more of a morality.  Here there are great teaching lessons about anger, your emotions and how to deal your negative feelings.  They could have really presented this to children and I think they would have taken away a lot.  There are themes about acting out, family, and love.  Also, coming away thinking families come in different shapes and sizes and appearance would have been two key themes that would make for great writing.
There were only a few moments where I actually felt touched, rather than feeling like I SHOULD be.

This movie is more violent than I thought –especially based on a children’s book. Catherine Keener (who I love) is underused and the big WTF is how Mark Ruffalo got a huge screen credit for the whole 20 seconds he was in the film.  All the actors go a great job with making the voices colorful and rich.

With the right directing (and Spike Jonze –I’m surprised!) this could have been a movie for kids without watering their emotions.

Bottom line:  DVD or Blue-Ray it!  Or if you see it, go see this movie without a lot of expectations.  It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t the masterpiece I expected.

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