Sure, it's a great cause, and we're sure director Paul Haggis will do it justice. Still, we have a feeling that Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion and all the rest will show up on an episode of 'The Simpsons' (Sun., 8PM ET on FOX) real soon.
Watch the video after the jump.
What makes this remake so exciting is that here it is 25 years later and an entire new group of musicians took part, including Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Pink, the Black Eyed Peas, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Harry Connick, Toni Braxton, Snoop Dogg, Jason Mraz, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett, LL Cool J, Jonas Brothers... whew! The news might be that Lady Gaga couldn't make it.
The lineup of the ensemble drama includes Dennis Hopper, D.B. Sweeney, Ross McCall, Clare Carey, and Luis Chavez, among others. I also appreciate the fact that Paul Haggis and Don Cheadle, who worked on the film, are producing the TV series. So whatever else happens, I have to think they'll keep the integrity of the film intact.
The Crash press kit is now online, and it's interesting to watch the trailer and hark back to the movie. Some of it looks the same -- like the shot of a cop feeling up a woman -- and the racial tension is definitely in place.
Now I have even more reason to be excited, because Tom Sizemore has joined the series in a recurring role. He'll play Detective Adrian Cooper, whose unorthodox methods cause havoc when he investigates a police-involved shooting. Sizemore joins Dennis Hopper in the series, with Paul Haggis serving as executive producer.
I've had a major crush on Sizemore since he played Sgt. Vinnie Ventresca on China Beach during the 1989-1990 season. Sure, he's had some challenging times. According to his IMDB.com page, in February, 2005, he failed a court-ordered drug test after he was caught trying to use a prosthetic penis to fake the results. And that was the second time he was caught trying that.
Quick -- how many '80s sitcoms can you name that featured three future Oscar winners amongst their cast and crew?
We're not talking about 'Charles in Charge;' it's 'The Facts of Life,' the 1979-1988 boarding school comedy that gave us wise-crackin' teens, a roller-skatin' Tootie and that trio of Oscar-caliber talent.
Who were those Academy Award-worthy 'Life'-ers? Read on.
According to the press release, the show "will continue to focus on an ensemble cast of characters" and "will explore the complexities of social tolerance in contemporary America by digging at the meaning of what it takes to reach the American dream." Hopper will play Ben, a veteran, maverick producer in the music biz who is looking for his last big score. Other stars include Clare Carey, Luis Chavez, Ross McCall, Jocko Sims, Brian Tee, and Arlene Tur. Crash will come to Starz in October.
Watch your backs, HBO and Showtime! This show looks good. And Paul Haggis is on the team of executive producers. He didn't just give us Crash. He gave us thirtysomething and The Black Donnellys. Don't mess with the Hag.
Three years later, a TV series is finally starting to gain some steam. The Hollywood Reporter just posted a story that five actors have joined the cast of the series produced by Don Cheadle, Paul Haggis (pictured), Mark R. Harris, Robert Moresco, Tom Nunan, and Bob Yari, all of whom were involved with the movie. Produced by Lionsgate, the series is anticipated to premiere on Starz in 2009.
Here's a rundown on the actors who've just signed. It's interesting that most of these folks are not big-name actors, which I find refreshing in an era where many mega-movie stars are crossing over into TV:
The controversial film, which dealt with the intersecting lives of a myriad of people living in Los Angeles in just 48 hours, centers on the character of Detective Graham Waters. Waters, a police detective, is struggling with his career, his drug addict mother and a criminal brother. The role was played by Don Cheadle (Picket Fences), who was also one of the film's producers. He is expected to reprise the part in the Starz production and may even direct a few episodes. In addition, director/co-writer/producer Paul Haggis and others from the film are also on board for Starz.
In fact, I don't think I'd really want to know or do business with any of the shady characters on this show; well, with the exception of Jenny Reilly for obvious reasons.
I live in relatively sheltered Oklahoma. While sketchy people no doubt exist, I rarely found myself encountering them in day to day life. It makes me realize that I'd have a pretty difficult time trying to make it in a city where this stuff actually occurs on a regular basis.
(S01E05) Was it me or did Tommy Donnelly look borderline stalker crazy sitting across the street from Reilly's Diner Shop waiting for Jenny? If I didn't know his character better, I'd have been certain he was on the verge of assasinating her with a box.
Of course, we all understand two things. Tommy is madly in love with Jenny and Tommy has already crossed that fine line between being a good citizen and being a bad citizen.
This is why he was the absolute last person who needed to hear that Jenny's diner was in the midsts of a cash crisis because her dad can't tell the difference between a giant blue box that says U.S. Postal service and the night deposit drawer at his local bank. I wonder if he hails hot dog cart vendors when he needs a cab...idiot.
(S01E03) Let me be the first to say, I'm tired of show recaps. I'm referring to that first two to three minutes of a show where, in this instance, Joey Ice Cream rants about what happened in the first few episodes.
I realize it serves a purpose. It helps loyal but forgetful viewers recall what happened in previous weeks and it helps newcomers catch up on the show if they're just getting into it. I understand all that, but being an extremely impatient person I find recaps annoying.
However, I do applaud this show's intro. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang - done. If there's a category for "Most Concise Show Intro" at the Emmys this year, The Black Donnellys will win hands down.
Of course, that would probably be the only category they'd win...
(S01E02) Murder, sex, and gratuitous violence - the things I love most about television - and this episode had them all.
That being said, does anyone else think it was a mistake not to stick this series on a Showtime or at the very least FX? If this were the case, maybe the producers wouldn't have to do things like air special web episodes of the show so that material deemed too "edgy" doesn't get stuck on the cutting room floor.
Like not being able to look away from a train wreck, I found myself watching again. If you have this episode TiVo'd, do not continue to read on because there is a big spoiler ahead.
(S01E01) I have a confession to make.
I'm an idiot and didn't re-prioritize some Season Passes My TiVo failed to record the first 15 minutes of The Black Donnellys and I missed it. Not the gesture of someone who is supposed to write up a review, I know.
Luckily for me, NBC has been like the pushy neighborhood crack dealer with this show and airs no less than 10 promos an hour and has a healthy web presence, which has already spawned a number of fan sites which made it easy to familiarize myself with what I missed.
If you are a born and raised New Yorker, you might find it initially hard to relate to the creators insistence on piecing together different but real geographical areas and their claim that it's one fictional neighborhood, unlike other shows using a New York backdrop such as The Sopranos, Law and Order or even Sex and the City.
If you are Canadian, you might be even more confused by the creators choice of the title, which until recently has been a famous historical reference to one of the most gruesome murders in Canadian history.
Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis, the Oscar winning team behind Crash and the creators of The Black Donnellys implore you to throw pre-conceived notions out the window when you watch the premiere Monday night and want to remind us that although the show is heavily based on their personal experiences growing up in New York City's Hell Kitchen, the story and places are indeed fictional and should feel timeless.
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