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Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington

Wilmington on DVDs: Inglourious Basterds, The Hangover, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 500 Days of Summer and more…

Inglourious Basterds (Three and a Half Stars)
U. S.; Quentin Tarantino, 2009 (Universal)

Quentin Tarantino shoots the works in Inglorious Basterds, a wild movie-movie-lover’s blend of WW2 action film pyrotechnics, subtitled art cinema romance, inside-movie allusions of every type and description, grand spaghetti-operatic Sergio Leone stylistics, and a brash Let’s-rewrite-World War 2-and make-it-a-De Palma flick ending so crazy it keeps blowing emotional and technical gaskets as you watch it explode on screen.That last demonically loony Tarantino set-piece is about a star-Nazi-studded movie premiere of a German patriotic blockbuster called Nation’s Pride held at the last minute in a Paris theater run by vengeful Jewish femme fatale, Shosanna (Melanie Laurent), with Hitler and Goebbels in the audience and two assassination/massacre schemes in operation inside. (One plot involves Shosanna and the bloody and misspelled Basterds of the title: a Dirty Dozenish wild bunch of Jewish Nazi-scalpers ramrodded by the cheerfully sadistic Lt. Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt with Southern-fried tongue deeply in cheek.)

The show is certainly a lot of fun to watch, especially if you share many or some of Tarantino’s madly eclectic movie tastes (I do, mostly), and it contains sequences of real brilliance and high cinematic gusto, and a crackerjack (mostly) cast. Everybody on the tech side, is in high gear here, especially Natural Born Killers cinematographer Robert Richardson, and the score is assembled lovingly from Ennio Morricone music, a dash of Mike “The Wild Angels” Curb, and the somewhat mushy Brothers Four-cut theme song from John Wayne’s The Alamo, Dimitri Tiomkin’s The Green Leaves of Summer.

Inglourious Basterds, which takes its title from Enzo Castellari’s much different piece of WW2 kitsch, the 1978 Inglorious Bastards. It’s obviously a labor of both mad love and commerce for Tarantino, who has Pitt sign off the movie by saying I think this just might be my masterpiece, and seems to have been in a position to realize every Guns of Navarone-ish fantasy he’s had for the last few decades. The cast seems to be having a ball, one and all, especially Pitt, Christoph Waltz as the viciously ingenious Jew-hunting Nazi Col. Hans Landa, Laurent as the Jewish vendetta bombshell, and Til Schweiger as macho-man Sgt. Stiglitz.

It may seem simply perverse when I say I didn’t enjoy the picture as much as Reservoir Dogs — which, like Basterds, is based on a mangling of a foreign film title (in that case, Louis Malle’s WW2 era drama Au Revoir les Enfants, as mispronounced by a Tarantino date). But I did. Reservoir Dogs is simpler, shorter, cheaper, much less seemingly ambitious. But it has more pleasurable shocks, more relentless narrative inevitability and more sense of its own wacky anti-reality than Basterds, which tends to be a grandly nutty genre-bender without enough prep and context for its nuttiness. Sergio Leone himself of course certainly put real life, history and credibility through the wringer in his great Eastwood and Bronson horse operas — remember the Civil War in Tarantino’s favorite movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? But the diversions from reality weren’t so bizarre, so exaggerated, so entertainingly but flabbergasting inexplicable.

Is Inglorious Basterds taking place perhaps, in the dream-laden mind of an L A movie and war buff and WW2 obsessive who gets hit in the head Red Skeltonishly and Dubarry was a Lady-ily, with a sandbag, while watching a double feature of Where Eagles Dare and Dario Argento’s Blood Red? That might explain why Rod Taylor pops up as Winston Churchill and why Mike Myers is General Ed. But it still leaves us reeling at the attendance of Hitler and Goebbels, in wartime, at a Parisian theater, run by the vendetta bound Shosanna, attended by the movie’s star and actual hero: the Third Reich’s supposed answer to Sgt. York. On a day’s notice yet.

You either go with all this or you don’t. I could most of the time. But you may want to get a reality recharge afterwards, perhaps by watching The Sorrow and the Pity.

Tarantino’s movie begins with one of its best scenes, the Leone-saturated suspense sequence about hidden Jews in a French farmhouse, which introduces Shosanna as well as the perfidious and multilingual Col. Landa, and which establishes the whole reigning mood of rampant movie allusions and rampaging violence. Allusions? Pitt’s Aldo Raine, of course, recalls the quintessential WW2 sadist Aldo Ray and there’s an Omar Ulmer (for Edgar Ulmer) and a Major Hellstrom (The Hellstrom Chronicles?) The other terrific show-scenes are another of Tarantino’s Mexican standoffs (Who shot Nice Guy Eddie?), this time involving a turncoat German film star (Diane Kruger), and of course, the movie premiere bloodbath.

If Inglourious Basterds has a notable lack, it’s that its own Dirty Dozen — the head-ripping band run by Pitt’s Aldo — are not particularly distinctive or interesting characters. Or even very scary. Why do the Nazis here have all the good lines?

But at least there are good lines. Tarantino here displays his genius for spiky, punchy, clever genre dialogue, as we haven’t heard it for a while, since the great gab of Pulp Fiction and Jacky Brown. It’s obvious he’d like be Leone, but its nice and nasty to hear his Elmore Leonard side again. And, crazy as Inglourious Basterds may seem, it’s alive.



Trapeze (Three Stars)
U.S.; Carol Reed, 1956 (MGM)

Burt Lancaster was an acrobat and circus performer before his acting career kicked in, and he paid tribute to his past in this moody, exciting romantic melodrama about a love triangle among three European circus trapeze artists: Lancaster as the glum, tormented catcher, Tony Curtis as the brash young flier, and Gina Lollobrigida as the sexy trapeze girl they both love.

It was a huge hit back in 1956, and the movie’s success was probably responsible for the next Lancaster-Curtis pairing, 1957’s scalding New York classic, Sweet Smell of Success, in which the two take on the even more dangerous professions of star gossip column writer and tipster. A box office disappointment in its day, Success is now regarded as one of the great ’60s noirs. But the relatively neglected big-screen-and-color Trapeze, which Carol Reed shoots with some of the moody, arty, decadent Europe air he lavished on his 1949 masterpiece The Third Man, is still a good movie, and the crackling Lancaster-Curtis competitive chemistry was already in evidence. So were Lollobrigida’s Eurobusty va-va-voom credentials, which make her a suitably sultry flying femme fatale.

Somehow this movie, though not a classic, brings back the edgier moods of the era just as well as many other, better pictures. And it allows the sometimes amazingly athletic Lancaster to show off the skills he used when he and his acrobat partner (and later supporting actor) Nick Cravat wowed the crowds.



Taking Woodstock (Three and a Half Stars)
U.S.; Ang Lee, 2009 (Universal)

Ang Lee and James Schamus show us Woodstock from the fringes and the backstage. And — since Michael Wadleigh’s great documentary has made main-stage images of the celebrated 3-day 1969 festival of peace and love on Max Yasgur’s farm so familiar — that turns out to seem a bracing place to be.

At the center of their film is Eugene Tiber (Demetri Martin), a young Woodstock Chamber of Commerce type whose parents the Teichbergs (Henry Goodman and the incredible Imelda Staunton) are local cheap shop restaurant owners. Eugene tries to bring the Festival to Woodstock, where it faces some hostility and conservatism. And he finally makes the connection between the fest’s ultra-laid back organizer Michael Lang (another incredible performance by Jonathan Groff) and the crafty White Lake farm-owner Max (Eugene Levy, having a ball). From then on, the Woodstock festival and the music itself is a background that Eugene keeps missing, while wandering off on the edges of the vast crowd to a pot and sex-heavy coming of age.

This film’s sense of period is phenomenal, and the cast is mostly superb. If you’re tired of revisionist conservative agitprop that tries to revile Vietnam War opponents (while excusing war avoiders like Bush and Cheney) and to paint Woodstock itself as a degenerate wallow in the mud, this sharp, affectionate film is a good antidote. It feels real. Peace and love, brothers and sisters.



AK100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa (Four Stars)
Japan; Akira Kurosawa, 1943-93 (Criterion)

One of the finest DVD box sets ever assembled, even though, of course, most buffs will own most of the films it contains already.

This magnificent collection gathers together 25 gems from Akira Kurosawa, the sensei (or master)– one of the three giants of the Japanese Cinema’s Golden Age (with Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi) and the father of the modern action-adventure movie.

Kurosawa, the samurai film champion, was a devotee of American action cinema, especially the films of his friend, mentor and mutual admirer John Ford — whom he loved so much, he wore dark glasses in emulation of the director of Stagecoach. But, beginning with ’50s-’60s masterpieces Rashomon, Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo, Kurosawa pioneered an explosive, ingenious style of multiple camera use and brilliantly cadenced rapid-fire editing that revolutionized action moviemaking, enormously influencing Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch), Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde), Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars, which is an unabashed knockoff of Yojimbo), John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven, a knockoff of Seven Samurai), Don Siegel (Dirty Harry), Clint Eastwood (The Outlaw Josey Wales), and many, many others.

But, if he had never shot an action scene, Kurosawa would still have been a great moviemaker. A master also of dark-hued drama, lusty comedy and poignant romance, he was a widely read and richly endowed artist whose major literary influences included the Russian novelists (he adapted both Dostoyevsky and Gorky) and Shakespeare’s plays. His transformations of Macbeth into Throne of Blood and King Lear into Ran are among the most celebrated and justly admired of all Shakespearean films.

Kurosawa’s incandescent scenes of violence and combat do not exist in a moral, dramatic or human void — as is all too often the case, unfortunately, in many modern action movie epics, even the most virtuosic. Instead, the sensei’s films are infused with a truly adult and humane perspective on life, a mature observation of character and humanity, and a deep sense of the tragedy that faces us all. His movies are alive with galleries of remarkable performances by great actors like Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Takashi Shimura and Isuzu Yamada. And almost all of Kurosawa’s films, whether contemporary or period (as he told me in a 1985 interview), illustrate or are affected by a profoundly disturbing 20th century theme: humanity in the face of nuclear annihilation or apocalypse.

Kurosawa has his cinematic peers. But he has no superiors, not even his idol Ford. This Criterion collection is expensive, and it contains few extras and only four films unavailable elsewhere. But as a rich compendium of an extraordinary, unparalleled career, it is, like Kurosawa himself, matchless.

(All the films in AK100 are Japanese productions directed by Kurosawa, in Japanese, with English subtitles.)

Includes: Sanshiro Sugata (1943) Three Stars. The Most Beautiful (1944) Three Stars. Sanshiro Sugata: Part Two (1945) Three Stars. The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tale (1945) Three and a Half Stars. No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) Three Stars. One Wonderful Sunday (1947) Three Stars. Drunken Angel (1948) Four Stars. Stray Dog (1949) Four Stars. Scandal (1950) Three and a half Stars.

Rashomon (1950) Four Stars. The Idiot (1951) Three and a Half Stars. Ikiru (1952) Four Stars. Seven Samurai (1954) Four Stars. I Live in Fear (1955) Three and a Half Stars. Throne of Blood (1957) Four Stars. The Lower Depths (1957) Three and a Half Stars. The Hidden Fortress (1958) Four Stars. The Bad Sleep Well (1960) Four Stars.

Yojimbo (1961) Four Stars. Sanjuro (1962) Four Stars. High and Low (1963) Four Stars. Red Beard (1965) Four Stars. Dodes’ka-den (1970) Four Stars. Kagemusha (1980) Four Stars. Madadayo (1993) Three and a Half Stars.

Cast members include: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai, Machiko Kyo, Kinuyo Tanaka, Setsuko Hara, Masayuki Mori, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada, Maxim Munzuk, Tatsuo Matsumura, Yoshikata Zushi, Kamatari Fujiwara, Ko Kimura.

Extras: Book The Warrior’s Camera: the Cinema of Akira Kurosawa.


The Hangover (Also an Unrated 2 Disc Edition) (Three Stars)
U. S.; Todd Phillips, 2009 (Warner)

Recipe for a Hangover: Four male buddies — or actually, three buddies and a hanger-on who desperately wants to be one of the bunch — take off for Las Vegas and one last bachelor bash, driving a 1969 Mercedes borrowed from the bride’s dad (Jeffrey Tambor). Reading right to left, they’re Phil, the studly but married English teacher (Brad Cooper), Stu the nerdy dentist (Ed Helms of The Office), Alan the slobby and somewhat wacked out brother-in-law-to-be (Zach Galifianakis), and Doug, the very tolerant, very likable, but elusive groom (Justin Bertha).

Shake and mix well. Once in Vegas, our fun-loving quartet check into a deluxe hotel villa suite and begin their night of revelry with a toast up on the roof, and also with knockout libations that have been, unfortunately, secretly spiked with what one of them thinks is Ecstasy, but is actually the date-rape drug.

The next morning , three of them wake up in the suite, hung over and unable to remember a single damn thing that happened after they imbibed drink and drug. Here’s what they see: the apartment wrecked, booze on the furniture, a baby in a bassinet, one of dentist Stu’s front teeth missing, the Mercedes gone, pizza on the sofa, a mattress speared on the pole outside, a live tiger in their bathroom. And, oh yeah, the groom mysteriously missing, with barely hours for the guys to find and deliver him to the wedding and his beaming bride. Pretty soon they’ll see Doug’s mattress speared on a roof pole and they’ll run into the cops whose squad car they stole, the gay Chinese gangster whose blackjack loot they accidentally glommed, the friendly stripper/hooker named Jade (Heather Graham) whom Stu married last night at The Best Little Chapel, Black Doug, and Mike Tyson, who happens to own the tiger.

What happened? Where is Doug? What about the impending nuptials with Tracy (Sasha Barrese)? And who the hell is Black Doug? (Since he’s played by Mike Epps, we at least know he’ll get some laughs.) Despite myself, I’ve got to admit this is a terrific premise, at least for exactly the kind of raunchy, male-bonding comedy that usually plays to knuckleheads, but occasionally delivers the goods. (The last one I remember that worked this well was Wedding Crashers, with Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Rachel McAdams, and a dirty-minded cameo by Will Ferrell. The memory of that last will help you forgive him for Land of the Lost, and The Goods.)

The Hangover is an example of a movie genre I often hate: the Daffy, Goofy Sex-Crazed Guys Comedy (an 80s mainstay) — a picture in which we’re privy to the horny, boozy, pants-dropping antics of a gang of guys out for a smashed-but-keep-going, party-till-you-drop high-old-time: a knowingly crude, lewd-minded crew that often includes the stud, the nerd, the slob/weirdo and the nice guy/author surrogate (or variations thereof).

There have been hundreds of movies like this, and most of them stink. This one works.

Why? Director Todd Phillips, who has made at least one funny male-bonding comedy, Road Trip — as well as some others (Old School, Stansky and Hutch) that I’d rather forget — has a real flair for this wild and crazy guys kind of situation. There’s a knowing edge to his handling of this very familiar stuff, the progressive revelations of their crazy misbehavior — that humanizes the story. Writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who were guilty of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Four Christmases (Take them back, guys) have dreamed up lots of funny bits, most of which work. But they’ve also given the whole thing a neat structure that makes the story more interesting.

Instead of showing us the wild night as it happens, one blitzed catastrophe after another, they turn the whole show into a film-noir-in-reverse detective story, where the three guys left behind have to piece everything together, and suffer while they recall what irresponsible clowns and assholes they were.

This device makes the story more entertaining, funnier and also less offensive (than usual), since the guys are paying for their misdeeds after indulging in them, and since we don’t see the orgies that got them in Dutch until a rapid-fire end-credits sequence of the photos that recorded their blacked-out blowout. The movie suggests that there is such a thing as a morning after, and that there are consequences to every orgy.

Besides, it is always funnier to recall this kind of stuff afterwards, sober. Did I ever tell you about the night one of my friends walked out in the middle of W. Gilman street, stark naked and chugging a bottle of Aqua Velva, and two police cars pulled up around him? Or the time somebody’s girlfriend started a water fight inside our apartment house that lasted for an hour and ended up waterlogging the first floor? Then there was that drunken night time trip to the zoo when…. (The joke is: You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.)

Finally, the element that really makes The Hangover is the cast. The three leads are perfect clown adventurers. Bradley Cooper’s Phil recalls every ultra-glib ladies man and take charge guy who ever got as party hopping and a bed creaking. Ed Helms, as the defanged dentist Stu, is a dream of an angst-ridden straight man and guilty hen-pecked nerd, with a classic worried shockeroo look that suggests Harold Lloyd crossed with Charles Grodin. Zach Galifianakis (Dave the Bear in the lousy What Happens in Vegas) makes such a funny oddball out, like early fat-demonic Jim Belushi crossed with a delusional touch of Don Knotts, that he even manages to survive one too many peeks at his butt. And Justin Bertha is a terrific likable vanished fourth friend — and a good sport too, since he has to miss most of the action.

The rest of the cast is okay, especially Rachael Harris as the girlfriend from hell, Heather Graham as the hooker form heaven, Epps as B. D., and Ted Cheong as the kind of gay Chinese gangster you don’t want to share a stall with in a Turkish bath. Even Mike Tyson makes you laugh.

I’ve knocked off a half star here for the cop car and blackjack scenes, and the sometimes mushy ending, none of which makes the wicked comic sense of the rest of the movie. But, audiences for this type of show will get everything they want, while audiences who normally wouldn’t go near a picture like this will get more than they bargained for. I’m usually not fond of movies partly inspired by TV commercials. But this is one case where we’re lucky that what happened in Vegas didn’t stay there.


The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (One and a Half Stars)
U. S.; Neil Brennan, 2009 (Paramount)

Will Ferrell may be working too hard, living too hard, selling too hard. This particular producer-chore for George Bush’s walking nightmare and doppleganger, is awful, awful. The usually funny Jeremy Piven, trying misguidedly to follow in the footsteps of Used Cars’ Kurt Russell, stars as a super-macho car dealer gun-for-hire named Don Ready, nicknamed The Goods, and hired to save James Brolin’s ailing dealership from the predatory clutches of the bank and his competitors.

A lot of good actors and comedians are sunk in this swamp — not only the miscast Piven, but Ving Rhames, Ed Helms, Jordana Spiro and Charles Napier (playing the kind of ultra-tea-bagging guy who might show up at a town hall political meeting with an Uzi) and Ferrell himself, who does a skydiving scene with a non-existent parachute. That pretty much sums up the plight of the movie too, which is a clunker of clunkers. As Kurt Russell once said, “Trust me.”


The Girl from Monaco (Two and a Half Stars)
France; Anne Fontaine, 2008 (Magnolia)

Another woman director who’s very sharp at observing, and making dark drama, of male moods, foibles and eccentricities is French actress-writer-director Anne Fontaine (Nathalie). And she’s good at delineating modern femme fatales as well, as she definitely shows in The Girl from Monaco.

In Fontaine’s catchy, engrossing contemporary neo-noir, a famous, repressed and rather prissy bourgeois defense lawyer, Bertrand Beauvois (Fabrice Luchini), takes a case in Monaco, defending an enigmatic murder trial defendant, Mme. Edith Lasalle (Stephane Audran, the icy belle of many a Claude Chabrol thriller).

For Bertrand, the case may be a snap, but life in Monaco — especially life in the fast lane — definitely causes problems: He and his preternaturally calm, sturdy, expert bodyguard Christophe (Roschdy Zem) are thrown into deeper and deeper mess-ups and mixes by a nymphomaniac TV weathergirl and blonde, leggy femme fatale Audrey Varella (the very funny and enticing Louise Bourgoin), who crashes into his life, pulls in a lot of sleazy, high-life compadres and seems destined to wreck the counselor — despite Christophe’s best efforts to protect him.

I liked Girl for about 90% of the way. But…

It starts very well and gets you on the hook fast, especially when the cool Christophe and red-hot Audrey are dueling emotionally over the brainy yet susceptible celeb twit Bertrand (played, as only he can play this type, by Luchini, whom I first met in Eric Rohmer’s classic Claire’s Knee). Despite its Monaco setting, the movie is not especially visually striking or attractive. But the actors are mostly super-fine and the show is engrossing, until the bizarre surprise ending, which I thought was ridiculous.


Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (One and a Half Stars)
U.S.; Stephen Herek, 1991 (HBO)

And don’t tell her to watch this crude, crass Home Alone botch of a comedy either. Awful stuff, with Christine Applegate and a bunch of clichéd kids going it alone after their sitter kicks the bucket. With, as so-called adults, Joanna Cassidy, David Duchovny and, God help us, Christopher Plummer. A much better, very classy thriller on this theme — the 1967 Our Mother’s House, directed by Jack Clayton, with Pamela Franklin, Dirk Bogarde and the pre-Oliver Mark Lester — is not on DVD, and should be.


The Group (Three Stars)
U.S.; Sidney Lumet, 1966 (MGM)

Mary McCarthy’s novel about a group of friendly fellow graduates from a classy women’s college (think Vassar) and what happened to them all, was a very popular book in the era when you could find more New York Times bestsellers that weren’t pop swill ghost-written for phony politicians and show biz/TV celebrities who could no more write a book than they could perform a vasectomy or fly unaided to Mars. (For God’s sake, Saul Bellow’s Herzog was a bestseller back in the ’60s, though they never made a movie out of it. There was a superb film made out of Nabokov’s best-selling Lolita, but it took a Kubrick to do it.)

The ensemble here includes a number of highly talented young ’60s actresses, including Shirley Knight, Joan Hackett, Candice Bergen (in a stunning debut as Lakey the lesbian), Jessica Walter, Elizabeth Hartman, Mary-Robin Redd, Kathleen Widdowes and Joanna Pettet. Their men include James Broderick, Richard Mulligan and Hal Holbrook. Most of the young ladies were ticketed for stardom, though only Candy really made it. (Some others should have.) Lumet handles it all with his usual knowing snap and expertise, though Pauline Kael, doing a rare interview piece, made fun of them all. The script was by ex-blacklistee Sidney Buchman (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) and what’s left of McCarthy is far more tart, smart, adult and entertaining than we tend to get now in movies. Or on most bestseller lists.

– Michael Wilmington
December 15, 2009

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon