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Benjamin Bratt Inspired by Injured Vets' Courage

Wednesday, 17 August 2005 12:00 AM

THE LEFT COAST REPORT
A Political Look at Hollywood

Benjamin Bratt Inspired by Injured Vets' Courage

Benjamin Bratt, whose TV series "E-Ring" debuts on NBC this fall, may be best known for playing Detective Reynaldo Curtis on the hit NBC series "Law and Order." 

Now Bratt is getting some well-deserved recognition for his portrayal of Col. Henry Mucci in "The Great Raid."

Following the Washington, D.C., premiere of the film, Bratt headed over to Walter Reed Hospital to spend some time with injured soldiers who had just returned from a tour in Iraq.

"There were men missing legs and others had lost an arm in Iraq. There were young men who had been blinded," Bratt told the Chicago Sun Times. "I could only think to ask them, ‘Are you happy to be home?'"

"Without exception, they each answered, 'If I could, I'd want to get back to the field to help the rest of our guys get back,'" Bratt continued.

He was struck by the unselfish bravery displayed by these extraordinary souls.

"It's the same courage and self-sacrifice that our fathers had in World War II and it's beautiful," he said. "I don't care what your politics are or your opinion about war or foreign policy or how we ended up at the war. It's about the men and women putting their lives on the line. They do it with love in their hearts for other soldiers."

The Left Coast Report joins Bratt in a hearty "Hooah!"

Now Bratt is getting some well-deserved recognition for his portrayal of Col. Henry Mucci in "The Great Raid."

Following the Washington, D.C., premiere of the film, Bratt headed over to Walter Reed Hospital to spend some time with injured soldiers who had just returned from a tour in Iraq.

"There were men missing legs and others had lost an arm in Iraq. There were young men who had been blinded," Bratt told the Chicago Sun Times. "I could only think to ask them, ‘Are you happy to be home?'"

"Without exception, they each answered, 'If I could, I'd want to get back to the field to help the rest of our guys get back,'" Bratt continued.

He was struck by the unselfish bravery displayed by these extraordinary souls.

"It's the same courage and self-sacrifice that our fathers had in World War II and it's beautiful," he said. "I don't care what your politics are or your opinion about war or foreign policy or how we ended up at the war. It's about the men and women putting their lives on the line. They do it with love in their hearts for other soldiers."

The Left Coast Report joins Bratt in a hearty "Hooah!"


Johnny Depp's Bright Porn Idea

Johnny Depp is a successful Hollywood A-lister with a string of box office successes. 

Is Depp happy? Not really. He's worried about being pigeonholed as a weird guy.

Depp says that he doesn't "want to become typecast as an eccentric."

The actor has come up with what he claims will avoid a quirky classification: Act in a porn film.

"Maybe I should do something totally different and film a cracking porn with Tim [Burton]," Depp says.

Depp is apparently uncomfortable with his success, because he adds, "That would really send my popularity to the depths."

The Left Coast Report has an easier way for Depp to send his "popularity to the depths": Just keep on talking.


James Woods Dissects Hollywood

James Woods has been out promoting his latest movie, "Pretty Persuasion." In the film, he plays the racist father of a troubled teenager.

The actor recently revealed the reason why he believes Hollywood is suffering from box office blues.

Woods explained that movies today are "just horrible, as everybody knows now. They've gotten so bad."

According to Woods, most movies are deficient due to political correctness.

He explained to Zap2it, "In this politically correct era, the middle-aged heterosexual white guy gets to play one part, he gets to play the a**hole in the suit," Woods noted.

Woods went on to illustrate his point. "That's the only part they make anymore. That's the only part there is for a white heterosexual guy. Sorry, but it's the truth," Woods said.

"Even when he's the hero now: Like Tom Cruise in 'War of the Worlds,' he's the hero, right? Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, H.G. Wells, how do you top that? They do a remarkable job of how they make the movie and so on, but he has to be a father who's a lousy parent, a terrible ex-husband, blah blah blah," the actor added.

"You can't be a heterosexual white guy and be a hero anymore. You've gotta be really flawed and really bad and a piece of crap. Otherwise, the marketing department says, 'You can't have white guys be decent people. They're the enemy. They only put a man on the Moon and wrote 'Hamlet.' Why should we let them have any cred?'" Woods said.

Woods sees a silver lining in the independent film.

"Independent films are a conservative's dream," Woods explained. "They're a meritocracy. You either gotta do the work or you get fired, because you don't have time to give somebody a free ride and you don't have the money, so you've gotta actually do the work. You can't have nepotism and all that stuff. You've actually gotta do the job - get the job because you deserve it and do it well and get out."

The Left Coast Report wonders when Woods is going to stop beating around the bush and just speak his mind.


Greenpeace's Tiff With Tucker Carlson

Some remarks Tucker Carlson recently made apparently have some Greenpeace members in a snit.

In June 2005 on his show "The Situation with Tucker Carlson," the host praised France's energy policies and said he was "objectively pro-France."

"You know, France blew up the Rainbow Warrior, that Greenpeace ship in Auckland Harbor in the '80s. And I've always respected them...," Tucker said.

In a letter, Greenpeace foolishly requested that the Federal Communications Commission investigate Carlson's "grossly offensive broadcasts."

Greenpeace executive director John Passacantando claimed in the letter that Carlson called him and "was unapologetic and reiterated his admiration of France for the bombing."

Greenpeace's next move was to post on its Web site a letter to NBC News President Neal Shapiro saying Carlson should be fired for condoning terrorism.

It seems that Greenpeace has a little problem, though. The FCC has no jurisdiction over cable network programming.

The Left Coast Report suspects that Greenpeace is really miffed because Tucker doesn't wear a biodegradable bowtie.


News Story Stars

In my latest book Hollywood Nation (September 2005 release date), I demonstrate how Hollywood is influencing the news and vice versa.

The way I see things, story selection in the news biz is simply a harbinger of the docudrama to come.

When Natalie Holloway, a young beautiful college-bound blonde, disappears while vacationing on the island paradise of Aruba, the story has mini-series written all over it.

Just like in Hollywood, casting of a starring role is critical to an ultimate production. Consequently, in the news and entertainment hybrid programming that's going on, the news story selection seems to be favoring the telegenic victim.

Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, who faked her own abduction, has also been a media fixation favorite. As part of her community service, and our supposed "info-tainment" proclivities, the media enabled us to relish the grass-mowing moment with Ms. Wilbanks outside of a probation office. The words on her embroidered cap, which, incidentally, stylishly accented her orange vest, said it all: "Life is good."

Not that long ago, images were etched into our memories via news coverage and a made-for-TV movie of another beautiful young woman, whose life and that of her soon-to-emerge baby boy were cut short. Laci Peterson's husband Scott was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Laci and her unborn son.

Now Scott's former mistress and witness for the prosecution Amber Frey is launching a new career as a motivational speaker. Perhaps Frey will get the chance to do an infomercial or hit the road with Anthony Robbins.

No one would deny that news exposure can be extremely helpful to families who are searching for missing loved ones. But something strange seems to be going on. Somehow the news media "casting directors" appear to be limiting their focus to victims who are young, attractive and white.

For instance, we haven't heard much about the disappearance of two 24-year-old women of color: Tamika Huston and Latoya Figueroa who is pregnant. Both women have been missing for awhile and their families desperately need the same assistance and comfort that has been shown to the families of other victims.

The Left Coast Report says most would agree that their stories are newsworthy, but evidently, in Hollywood Nation newsrooms, not everyone agrees that they have the prerequisite star quality.

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THE LEFT COAST REPORT A Political Look at HollywoodBenjamin Bratt Inspired by Injured Vets' Courage Benjamin Bratt, whose TV series "E-Ring" debuts on NBC this fall, may be best known for playing Detective Reynaldo Curtis on the hit NBC series "Law and Order." ...
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Wednesday, 17 August 2005 12:00 AM
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