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Milk
BLU-RAY disk
03.24.2009 By: Sturdy
Milk order
Director:
Gus Van Sant

Actors:
Sean Penn
Emile Hirsch
Josh Brolin

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A homosexual man decides that heís had enough of his closeted lifestyle and with the help of his partner, he packs up and moves to San Francisco. When he gets there, he gets involved in the political movement for gay rights.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Before I saw MILK, all I heard about the film was that it was a one man show and that it was a very ďimportantĒ film. All the praise in the world should be given to Sean Penn and his remarkable performance and the film should get equal credit for itís importance. However, what gets lost in the praise is the fact that this is actually a really good film. Itís not a one man show and itís relevance isnít what makes this film great.

When thinking about reviewing this film, I had planned to talk about how far weíve come with gay rights and how movies like this need to be made to remind people of the struggles of the gay community. Then I realized that saying that would belittle the film. This isnít a gay film targeted to the homosexual community, itís a political film that covers a point in history that doesnít get much attention. To be honest, I wasnít aware of any of the events depicted in the film and Iím not very familiar with the struggles of the gay community.

But the film is a success from start to finish. Gus Van Sant does a fantastic job of covering the life of Harvey without getting bogged down in minute details. We pick up with him right before he comes to San Francisco and the next 8 years are covered extremely well. The major events get the attention they need and then we move on to the next one. I also liked having Milk narrate the events in a tape recorder. That pushed the story along and was better than having a direct narration.

We all know Sean Penn did a great job, but the rest of the cast was also spectacular. Gus Van Sant is a master of getting the most from his actors and he was successful once again. Emile Hirsch gave one of his better performances and at times, I forgot it was him behind those big rimmed glasses. Their performances, coupled with some great directing and overall great filmmaking made for a very powerful film.
THE EXTRAS
Remembering Harvey (13:21): This was pretty cool because it featured interviews from people that actually knew Harvey Milk. I watched this right after the film and it was nice to put real faces to the characters. They also happen to tell a lot of good stories and overall it made for a really good featurette.

Hollywood Comes to San Francisco (14:32): This is actually a lot loke the previous featurette, but features interviews and comments from the actors. This got a little preachy, but actors tend to sound like that when they start talking politics. Strangely enough, we never heard from Sean Penn.

Marching For Equality (7:58): The big marches in the film get their own featurette where they focus on how they filmed the scenes and why the events happened in the first place. It has a lot of interviews from people that were actually there and that made the featurette more enjoyable.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I think some audiences will be turned off by MILK, thinking itís a ďgayĒ film. But thatís a shame because itís a film that should appeal to everyone. With some remarkable performances and wonderful filmmaking, MILK is definitely one of the better films of 2008.
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