The TV Column: HBO announces new McCain/Palin film, ‘Game Change’

Julianne Moore to play Palin

March 9, 2011

Julianne Moore is going to play Sarah Palin in HBO’s new flick about Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.

You might know Moore from her co-starring role in the Oscar-nominated flick “The Kids Are All Right” (she has also starred in films such as “A Single Man” and “An Ideal Husband”). On TV, Moore played Nancy Donovan — high school crush of NBC suit Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) — on NBC’s “30 Rock.”

“Game Change,” based on Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s 2010 book about the 2008 elections, follows the Arizona senator’s presidential bid from the time of his selection of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate to their November defeat.

The project reunites members of the team behind HBO’s flick “Recount,” which was about the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. Danny Strong, who wrote “Recount,” has written the “Game Change” script. And Jay Roach, “Recount” director, also will direct “Game Change.”

Sheen’s ‘Korner’ shtick

“Good evening. What occurred yesterday was completely and entirely illegal, unconscionable and, to quote my lawyer, really [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] [expletive],” the newly booted “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen said by way of opening his fourth, and last, “Sheen’s Korner” webisode late Tuesday — sponsored by Ford.

Sheen, looking far less like a dead man talking than he had during Episodes 3, 2, and 1, wisely stuck to a script this time which, for pure entertainment value, works so much better than babbling with pals, which was his format on earlier episodes.

“Now that I have your lazy [expletive] attention, world, sit back and rejoice for the Malibu Messiah, the Condor of Calabasas, the [expletive] Warlock of the Jealous Face that is before you!” he greeted viewers.

Naturally, the talk turned to CBS and Warner Bros suits.

Sheen, in case you missed it, got sacked from his hit sitcom Monday in a longish letter from Warner Bros. That’s after the show was shut down temporarily while Sheen went into rehab — or so CBS and Warner Bros thought. Only then, Warner Bros. said in the letter, they found out that the “rehab” facility was Charlie Sheen’s House. And rehab at Charlie’s house left him lots of time to call various radio programs and rant about CBS and Warner Bros. suits. So then they shut down the show for the rest of this TV season. And then, what with one thing after another, they decided to part company with Sheen on a more lasting basis.

“Oh, how they once begged to attend my perfect banquet in the nude; now they just beg for the keys to my gold,” Sheen explained in Episode 4.

“Here is my Unwanted Guest List,” he said. We did not know he was throwing a dinner party.

The names, he explained, have been “slightly altered to keep their stench from polluting my magic daiquiri — or even worse, stealing my favorite pony. A pony named Steve, his orange mane painted blue, blue like the evening sky, as he gallops into their basement to acquire the ancient flatware and a rotting cheese-board covered in the mold of their moral dysentery. But, of course, a serving tray for the pungent snacks they must now choke down.”

The names, as changed to protect Steve the Pony, are also unprintable in this paper.

“No. 1 [CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves] — part scoundrel, part my hair on the side. You gave me your word; so in turn, you gave me nothing,” Sheen said.

Something about pool boys rejoicing later. Sheen wrapped up his thoughts about Moonves with, “Sizzle! Losing! Bye!”

“No. 2 [Warner Bros TV President Peter Roth], who I will not call ‘sloth.’ I spare you this revelatory maelstrom of pure exposure, as your heart was always rooted in fairness and hug-bonding good tidings,” Sheen said.

(FYI, Roth is a big hugger.)

“Trust not your evil overlords,” Sheen advises Roth. “They will discard you and then abandon your precious family. . . . Get out while you can good sir! ‘Sheen’s Korner’ could use the bright and sterling presence you led with from Day One. You have my digits — use them. Show your courage, Peter. Come dance in my gold.”

“No. 3 [Warner Bros. Television Group President Bruce Rosenblum] — Shame you, you much-shorter-than-average fool! Shame on your invalid attempt to shell-game this grand magician!” Sheen scolded.

We’ll skip over the rest of what Sheen had to say about Rosenblum — let’s just say he’s not a fan.

“No. 4 [‘Two and a Half Men’ co-creator/exec producer Chuck Lorre] — Where ya hiding, silly clown?” Sheen asked.

A few “Chucky Cheeseballs” and “you worms,” later, Sheen wishes Lorre “good luck with those tin cans (that’s what Sheen calls Lorre’s “Men” scripts) and the mush-mouth of some pathetic carcass you so arrogantly attempted to trade out for this warlock.”

Those carcasses are said to include John Stamos and Sheen pal Rob Lowe.

Sheen wraps up his notes on Lorre with “My power will consume you every day, you ugly [lady of the night].”

“Moving along now to our next item in hand,” Sheen continued.

“I will now allow my precious tiger blood to be extracted. . . . Those who deserve it now possess it. Use it wisely and I trust you will.

“As I stated earlier, a high treason has occurred; the scales of justice are in a state of radical disarray,” Sheen continued, flitting from subject to subject like a butterfly in a meadow of poppies.

“Together we must right this infantile wrong.”

“One final note,” Sheen said about eight minutes in, for which we were grateful.

“ ‘Sheen’s Korner’ is now for sale. As a sports bar. You know where to find me. So I bid you adieu.

“Stay tuned, good soldiers. I’ll see you very soon.

“On the battlefield.”

At press time, the series finale of “Sheen’s Korner” had gotten nearly 700,000 views. That’s a strong showing, but Episode 3, in which Sheen ranted into the phone, smoked a cigarette through his nose and drank a secret elixir — which he refused to name unless he got paid to do so — remains the record-holder, with 1.5 million views.

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