Hot Sheet: Mormons, Miley, and Mirren
8: The Mormon Proposition (limited release) — Filmmaker Reed Cowan digs really deep to uncover the lengths to which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints went to repeal marriage equality in California. The film was narrated by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who was also raised in the Mormon Church.
Jonah Hex — Josh Brolin steps into a starring role as Jonah Hex, a scarred bounty hunter who makes a deal with the U.S. military to stop a terrorist. But we all know why you really want to see this movie — maybe bisexual, maybe just all talk poster girl Megan Fox trying to prove yet again that she can indeed act.
Cyrus – Only in Hollywood would John C. Reilly have to prove to Jonah Hill that he’s a good enough man to marry his mother — played by Marisa Tomei. Yes, that Marisa Tomei, who stripped on a pole in The Wrestler and hosts her own hula-hoop workout video. Gay favorite Catherine Keener costars.
I Am Love — Tilda Swinton stars in a love story set at the turn of the century in Milan. The semiandrogynous actress always turns in interesting performances, and this film, written and directed by Luca Guadagnino, is getting rave reviews.
Can't Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus — Can't Be Tamed, what some have termed Miley Cyrus's coming-out album, is expected to feature the Disney star in a liberating light. With freedom as a common theme, songs such as "Can't Be Tamed" and "Liberty Walk" feature strong lyrics that emanate independence. Cyrus gives a shout-out to her gay fans with "My Heart Beats for Love," a song for Cyrus's gay best friend and hairdresser, aimed at encouraging inclusiveness and fighting homophobia.
Recovery by Eminem — The rapper once known as Slim Shady is back from his Relapse with new album Recovery. "Not Afraid," the rapper's new single, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it only the second rap single to ever debut at the top. Recovery also features guest appearances by Pink, Rihanna, and Lil Wayne. Shady recently surprised many by voicing his support for same-sex marriage, possibly showing he's matured a little since his Slim Shady LP days.
Memphis Blues by Cyndi Lauper — Instead of receiving birthday presents, Cyndi Lauper is giving a gift with new album Memphis Blues. The blues album marks a change in style for the pop icon but promises to be gritty and full of life. It features covers such as Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" and appearances by artists including B.B. King, Jonny Lang, and Allan Toussaint.
The Sellout by Macy Gray — Macy Gray's new album, The Sellout, has been a work in progress since 2008. Gray said the album is about the struggles she's faced and is her best work to date. "Kissed It," a song featuring Velvet Revolver, is part of Bravo's summer campaign. Expect hints of soul-pop and new wave along with emotional ballads.
Hung: The Complete First Season — High school basketball coach Ray Drecker (the always beguiling Thomas Jane) is broke, depressed, divorced, living in a tent ... and extremely well-endowed. What’s a guy to do but become a hooker? Despite the title, the comedy is a surprisingly gentle treatise on loneliness and self-esteem, and while Anne Heche and Jane Adams register as Ray’s unhinged ex-wife and pimp, respectively, Charlie Saxton as ambiguous son Damon who “doesn’t like labels” stands out.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager – A cross between 7th Heaven and Juno, The Secret Life of the American Teenager isn’t exactly all saccharine and sweet, but the characters pleasantly seems to lack quite the bite of those in Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning film. As gay BFF Griffin, Brando Eaton is a total find — and offers a nice distraction from the men on the show who are usually hanging out with girls just for the sex. Gay fav Molly Ringwald as the family matriarch (and now grandmother) is another reason to watch this well-written show.
The Last Station — The final year of iconic Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who became a leader in the nonmaterialist movement, might not sound like compelling film material, but The Last Station is a rarity — a lively and accessible historical tale filled with high drama, sex, and unexpected humor. Christopher Plummer and gay fave Helen Mirren give formidable performances as Tolstoy and tempestuous wife Sofya, while James McAvoy nearly matches them as Tolstoy's worshipful assistant.
A Star Is Born (Deluxe Edition) — Gay director George Cukor created bona fide movie magic with this great 1954 showbiz saga about the colliding careers of a self-destructive veteran movie star and a talented young newcomer. While a major suspension of disbelief is required to believe 32-year old Judy Garland (here at the height of her power as a performer) as an novice singer, and though she notoriously lost the (much-deserved) Best Actress Oscar to Grace Kelly, this is undoubtedly the tour de force performance of her legendary career. James Mason (possessor of perhaps the movies' most debonair speaking voice) is equally memorable as her downward-spiraling husband. The film has been lovingly remastered in this new Blu-ray and two-disc DVD set that’s loaded with bonus content.