MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington

Wilmington on DVDs: Terribly Happy, Ride with the Devil, Chloe, Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 5, The Bounty Hunter … and more


Terribly Happy (Three Stars)
Denmark; Henrik Ruben Genz, 2008 (Oscilloscope)

A troubled cop with a dark secret named Robert Hansen (Jakob Cedergren) travels from Copenhagen to a small Danish town, where the citizens at the local bar tend to be sarcastic and vaguely menacing and the local drunken doctor, Zerleng (Lars Brygman) keeps hinting at something awful. A local looker, Ingelise Buhl (Lene Maria Christensen), seems to be promoting an affair with Robert, even while her abusive hubby, Jorgen, keeps wandering over from the bicycle shop, knocking loudly, and looking tough, dangerous and ready to explode. Meanwhile, people keep throwing things, including corpses, into the local bog.So, what have we got here? A Lars von Trier style Bad Day at Black Rock? A Danish take on Shutter Island? No. It turns out that this movie, scripted by Erling Jepsen and directed by Henrik Ruben Genz, is a full-blown Danish Coen Brothers-style neo-noir thriller homage, as reminiscent of the Coens’ work (and especially of Blood Simple), as Barton Fink was of Roman Polanski’s oeuvre. A little over-rated perhaps, and I‘m not sure how well the projected American remake will play, transplanted here. But it worked fine in Denmark, and it‘ll work on your DVD player here. (In Danish, with English subtitles.)

Extras: Commentary by Genz and producer Thomas Gammeltoft; Featurette; TV “showdown” and botched interview with Genz and Jepsen; Essay by Foster Hirsch.


Ride with the Devil (Three and a Half Stars)
U.S.; Ang Lee, 1999 (Criterion Collection)

A very good Civil War dramatic Western, set in Bloody Kansas and Missouri, following three young recruits (Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich and Jeffrey Wright) in Quantrill’s murderous Raiders. The Raiders, led by the fanatic and brutal William Clarke Quantrill (played by John Ales here, and, renamed and less realistically, by Walter Pidgeon in Raoul Walsh‘s 1940 The Dark Command) were a colorful band of Confederate Guerillas who fought with the Rebel-sympathizing Jayhawkers against the Union-favoring Bushwhackers, and gradually turned into a mercenary, kill-crazy gang that perpetrated one of the war’s worst massacres, in Lawrence Kansas.

The movie is based by Lee and his frequent writer-producer colleague James Schamus, very faithfully, on Daniel Woodrell‘s fine but little-known novel Woe to Live On. Maguire plays Jake “Dutchy” Roedel, the good-hearted but deluded protagonist who gradually develops a moral conscience. Skeet Ulrich is Jake’s dashing best friend, a mini-Rhett named Jack Bull Chiles, who leads him to war. And Wright daringly takes the film’s most fascinating and enigmatic role: freed black slave Daniel Holt, who rides with Quantrill, because of a longtime friendship with his ex-master and fellow Raider George Clyde (Simon Baker).

Also riding with Quantrill are two memorable killer-villains, the sadistic Pitt Mackeson (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who looks like a desiccated remnant of John Carradine‘s gallant Confederate outlaw Hatfield in Stagecoach, and the equally deadly Black Jack Ambrose, played by Jim Caviezel, whom Mel Gibson later cast as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. Further enriching the saga are singer-songwriter-novelist Jewel as Jack’s lover Sue, Tom Wilkinson as Jake’s and Daniel’s host and safe-harbored Orton Brown and Mark Ruffalo in a terrifying bit as Jake’s ex-friend turned avowed enemy.

Ride With the Devil was shot only a few years after Lee and Schamus, and cinematographer Fredrick Elmes, made the elegant and ironic 1995 Jane Austen adaptation, Sense and Sensibility, a Merchant-and-Ivory-ish film if there ever was one. In fact, if Merchant and Ivory had ever made a western, it might have probably looked, for good or ill, much like Ride With the Devil.

Still, one doubts that those classy, literary-minded collaborators would have ever staged or shot a scene anything like Lee and Schamus’s Lawrence, Kansas massacre, which explodes in your face with brutal force and somber realism, and with an unrestrained violence that takes us to the land of Peckinpah or Walter Hill. For decades, thanks to both Gone With the Wind and The Birth of a Nation, which were the most popular American movies in the first half of the 20th century, Hollywood seemed infatuated with the “romance” of the Southern side of the Civil War, a malady from which some Southerners have not yet recovered — including perhaps George W. Bush, who reportedly had a Confederate flag in his dorm room.

But Ride with the Devil shows the Southern side with both something often ignored in movie Civil War epics: a psychological realism and an epic power, along with an intelligence and moral probing that indict the bloody violence just as they bring us closer to the young men who committed it — rebel soldiers not gone with the wind, but swept up and lost in a windstorm of hatred.

Extras: Two Commentaries, one with Lee and Schamus, one with Elmes and other technicians and designers; Interview with Wright; Booklet with essays by film critic Godfrey Cheshire and historian Edward E. Leslie.


Chloe (Two and a Half Stars)
U.S.; Atom Egoyan, 2009 (Sony)

There’s some top-notch acting in Chloe — mostly by Julianne Moore as Catherine, a loving, but neglected academic wife who suspects her seductive, neglectful musicologist husband (Liam Neeson) of cheating, and hires a beautiful prostitute (Amanda Seyfried) to find out the truth.

Moore has one of those ideal, transparent actress’s faces that registers every emotion so cleanly, with such effortless naturalism, that almost nothing she does seems forced or calculated, even when her movies, as here, take wild dives into melodrama. Moore is also well-supported by Neeson, by Seyfried (in a noir baby doll femme fatale role) and by Max Thierot as Catherine’s obnoxiously self-absorbed piano prodigy son. Neeson is similarly skilled at making it real. And, as for Seyfried, well, what can I say? She may be from Allentown, Pennsylvania, but she looks Swedish to me.

Moore’s playing of the wounded, suspicious wife, Catherine Stewart, wins sympathy for a character who might otherwise seem pathetic, sinking into a neo-noir whirlpool with the enigmatic Chloe. And that sympathy is crucial, because of the self-flagellating misery of the character, the undertow of ruinous eroticism, and the nightmarish plunges Chloe keeps encouraging and Catherine keeps taking.

The story itself is an interesting neo-noir romantic thriller adapted from another interesting neo-noir: Anne Fontaine’s 2004 French drama Nathalie, where Fanny Ardant was the wife, Emmanuelle Beart was the whore, and Gerard Depardieu was the husband. Nathalie was better, though Chloe isn’t bad. At its best, it gets under your skin, a pickup more arousing and luscious-looking than usual.

Extras: Commentary with Egoyan, Seyfried, and Wilson; “Making Of” Documentary; Deleted Scenes.


Film Noir Classic Collection, Volume Five (Four Discs) (Four Stars)
U.S.; Various Directors, 1945-1956 (Warner Brothers)

Noir again. More rain-soaked streets and doom-soaked lives. More neon and destiny, guns and cigarettes, slinky femme fatales and hardcase killers on the loose.

Maybe the supply is inexhaustible. I thought the Warner Brothers were beginning to run out of top-grade or plausible noirs to anthologize, when they put out the last jam-packed ten-pack for Film Noir Classic Collections, Volume Four. But I was wrong. Drawing from the shadowy libraries of RKO and Allied Artists as well as Warners, Volume Five is yet another prize noir DVD set from the company that put Bogie and The Big Sleep on the street, plunged Mildred Pierce into darkest night, and made The Maltese Falcon into the stuff that dreams are made of — backed up by RKO, the studio that let loose the noir glories of They Live By Night, On Dangerous Ground and Out of the Past.

The titles in Volume Five are less familiar. But in a way, that makes them more of a surprise treat. I remember the thrill and delight of discovery I had back in the early ’70s, when I first stumbled across Richard Fleischer‘s Armored Car Robbery, Anthony Mann‘s Desperate, and Harold Clurman and Clifford Odets’ Deadline at Dawn (all in Volume Five) in the University of Wisconsin’s Warner Brothers collection, at the height of the prodigious UW-Madison ‘70s film society scene and the during the heyday of our gang’s independent film magazine, The Velvet Light Trap (under editors Russell Campbell and John Davis), a little indie journal put out then on Russell’s manual typewriter, with a fantastic contributing writers‘ roster and a strong taste for noir.

They were three movies I’d never heard of. But they were knockouts one and all. And I was almost as excited to discover, in the last Warners set, the little-known noir-buff discovery Decoy (by Jack Bernhard), or to uncover in this set the unknown-to-me not-quite-gems (but still very enjoyable) Backfire, by Vincent Sherman, and Dial 119, by Gerald Mayer. A mediocre noir is often more entertaining than a mediocre show from some other genre, and the latter two help prove it.

So the four stars I bestow here do more than average up the ratings of these eight movies, because noir is the genre with an extra kick, because the best streets are mostly the darkest ones, and because Volume Five remains me of happier times, greater days, and of the fatal charms of my good, sweet deadly lady friend J. F., who shoots straight, puffs an occasional (rare) cigarette, and whose favorite movie is Double Indemnity.

Includes: Cornered (U.S.; Edward Dmytryk, 1945) Three Stars. Four prime black list victims — director Edward Dmytryk, producer Adrian Scott (both of the Hollywood Ten), actor Morris Carnovsky and writer John Wexley (along with progressive fellow Murder My Sweet scenarist John Paxton), make this a classic post-war lefty thriller. Tough vet Dick Powell at his roughest, and occasionally most obnoxious, tracks down the French fascist who killed his wife, unveils a rat’s nest of fellow fascists in Buenos Aires, and trades quips with Walter Slezak as one of the great sleazy, insinuating heavies. (And when we say heavy….) With Micheline Cheirel, Steve Geray and a surprise guest fascist villain who isn‘t revealed until the end.

Deadline at Dawn (U.S.; Harold Clurman; 1946) Three Stars. Fiery dance hall girl Susan Hayward, confused sailor Bill Williams and philosophical cabbie Paul Lukas spend a packed New York night, unraveling one of novelist “William Irish”‘s (Cornell Woolrich’s) darker plots. Another classic lefty noir, scripted and directed by two of the big powers behind the Group Theatre: writer Clifford Odets and director Harold Clurman (his only movie). It could use a brisker pace, but it’s still something special. With Joseph Calleia and Jerome Cowan.

Desperate (U.S.; Anthony Mann, 1947) Three Stars. A nice guy trucker-mechanic (Steve Brodie) is unknowingly pulled into a botched heist by his sinister childhood pal (Raymond Burr, another classic noir heavy), and has to flee both the law and the crooks, to save his pregnant wife (Audrey Long). Mann co-wrote the story, which doesn’t really make sense. But this is a classic display of noir visual style, beautifully executed by Mann without his usual noir cinematographer John Alton, but just as punchily by George Diskant.

With Douglas Fowley, Freddie Steele and Jason Robards Sr. (J. R. Junior‘s talented dad) as a smiley cop.

Backfire (U.S.; Vincent Sherman, 1950) Two and a Half Stars. A really crazy noir murder mystery with a cast that might have been assembled in a nightmare: singer-turned-ex-soldier-hero Gordon McCrae (not exactly a Dick Powell) looks for vanished pal, noir mainstay and now murder suspect Edmond O’Brien and O’Brien’s phantom lady Viveca Lindfors, with the help or hindrance of Dane Clark, Virginia Mayo and Ed Begley. The whole plot, which is partly told in not-quite-Rashomon flashbacks, depends on the fact that we never see one key character until the end. Trust me, it’s fun.

Armored Car Robbery (U.S.; Richard Fleischer. 1950) Three and a Half Stars. Fleischer is the master of true crime movies, and here he makes a heist thriller so fast, lean and darkly realistic that it seems like it‘s really happening. William Talman (the hapless D. A. in Raymond Burr‘s Perry Mason TV series) is a vicious crook, Adele Jergens a heartless stripper/femme fatale, Steve Brodie and Gene Evans are fellow crooks, and Charles McGraw is a straight-arrow cop more brutal than all of them. This is a tremendous, hard-edged, perfectly plotted sleeper-thriller that you should not miss.

Dial 119 (U.S.: Gerald Mayer, 1950) Two and a Half Stars. A convicted killer/mental patient (Marshall Thompson) escapes, steals a gun, shoots a bus driver, and then takes hostage a bar full of colorful characters (played by William Conrad, Andrea King, Leon Ames, Keefe Brasselle and Virginia Field) hostage, while outside, a TV media event boils up and the killer‘s psychiatrist (Sam Levene) argues with the hardcase cops.

This one has dropped through the cracks for decades, and it’s no visual stunner. But story-wise it’s a grabber. The tight script is by John Monks, Jr., and the director (known mostly only for the 1953 pre-Carmen Jones Harry Belafonte-Dorothy Dandridge co-starrer Bright Road) was Louis B. Mayer‘s nephew.

The Phoenix City Story (U.S.; Phil Karlson, 1955) Three and a Half Stars. A noir masterpiece, based on the real life crusade against the famous vice mob in Phenix City, Alabama, a no-holds-barred fight in which ‘Bama’s honest reform Attorney General electee, John Patterson (John McIntire) was murdered and his hot-tempered son, John Jr. (Richard Kiley) takes over. (He’s a hero here, but the real-life John Jr. was a villain to the Civil Rights movement.)

James Edwards is a crusading bereaved dad, Kathryn Grant is a mole in the mob, and the usually comic Edward Andrews is an offbeat and amazing mob boss villain. As tough as they come, with a bizarre prelude showing real Phenix City citizens. Director Phil Karlson occasionally was as good as he is here, but never better.

Crime in the Streets (U.S.: Don Siegel, 1956). Three and a Half Stars. This one, dismissed for decades as a too-preachy, too-obvious crime drama, deserves serious upward evaluation. Based on his own TV drama by that classic ‘50s socially conscious writer Reginald Rose (working in his 12 Angry Men-era prime), this is a grim but idealistic and heartfelt urban youth gang drama echoing On the Waterfront (Brando is deliberately parodied in the street by one kid), with superb direction by Siegel, and great acting by John Cassavetes, in his film debut, as a brooding delinquent gang leader, by Mark Rydell (playing it daringly gay) and Sal Mineo (daringly ungay) as his sidekicks, James Whitmore underplaying more subtly as the determined pain-in-the-ass social worker, Virginia Gregg heart-wrenching as Cassavetes’ weary mom, and Will Kuluva, terrific as Mineo‘s tormented dad.

The street dialogue scenes with Cassavetes, Rydell, Mineo and the other j.d.‘s remind you irresistibly of West Side Story, which was written after Rose’s TV show and was probably influenced by it.

The one thing this movie needs is more exterior New York City shots and scenes. (Ten minutes or so would have done it). Crime was shot on the cheap on studio sets, but it still has a lot more pungency and atmosphere than, say, Preminger’s similarly set-bound 1955 The Man With the Golden Arm. The Franz Waxman score is a pulse-pounder, and the dialogue director was pretty damned good too. His name was David (Sam) Peckinpah.

Extras: Trailers.


The Bounty Hunter (One and a Half Stars)
U.S.; Andy Tennant, 2010 (Sony)

Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler team up here for a love on the run comedy so loud and over-physical that it often seems to have been cobbled together from old rejected Three Stooges screenplays — with Aniston playing Moe, Butler playing Curly, and the rest of the cast alternating as Larry or Shemp. If that doesn’t sound glamorous enough for you, be advised that Aniston always looks great here even when they dunk her in a golf course pool or lock her in a car-trunk, and that Butler, while unfortunately succumbing to constant spasms of the cutes, hasn’t really shaven his head like Curly, porked out or started incessantly crying out “Nyock-nyock-nyock!” — though that would be an improvement on the dialogue they do give him.

The idea here seems to be to combine the chase plot of the 1988 Robert De Niro-Charles Grodin skip tracer comedy Midnight Run, with the erotic sparks and badinage of a divorce comedy like the locus classicus, the 1937 Cary Grant-Irene Dunne The Awful Truth, on wheels. Butler plays Milo Boyd, an ex-cop who boozed his way out of a marriage with slick Daily News reporter Nicole Hurley, and now finds himself assigned to arrest and deliver Nicole her after she forfeits her bond by failing to show up in court for a traffic charge.

The reason: She had to hurry off to meet a snitch who has info for her on a murder and drug-dealing scandal. If that behavior sounds odd, it’s still consistent with every other nutty thing that happens in this movie, which seems to be set in the land of happy idiots. The happy couple rarely act as if they missed a court date, or as if they’re investigating a murder, or are on the lam from killers and cops. They act as if they’re hot to trot, or maybe running to a marriage camp and a bad joke contest.

There are so many bad jokes and bad ideas in writer Sarah (Twisted) Thorp’s screenplay, so ham-handedly realized by director Andy Tennant, that the movie almost rots and curdles and dies before our eyes. When the lovers are constantly reduced to handcuffing each other and running off, you feel for them. When Jennifer Aniston has to recite so-called gags about exposing her breasts to teenagers and getting a full-body tattoo of a panther with the paws on her bust and the tail on her midsection, you want her to find a few “friends” to save her. At one point, Nicole, locked in that car trunk by Milo, gets herself out by setting it on fire. Maybe that’s how the script could have been improved, by burning it up or handcuffing the culprits.

Extras: Featurettes.

Our Family Wedding (Two Stars)
U.S.; Rick Famuyiwa, 2010 (Fox)

One of my favorite movie sub-genres is the wedding ensemble picture, and I‘d definitely include Wedding Crashers. Some other great examples are Robert Altman‘s A Wedding (naturally), Krzysztof Zanussi‘s Contract and Mira Nair‘s Monsoon Wedding, which — along with Tracy & Hepburn and Poitier in Guess Who‘s Coming to Dinner — may have been one of the inspirations for Rick Famuyiwa‘s Our Family Wedding. (A more likely suspect: My Big Fat Greek Wedding.)

But Our Family Wedding isn’t up to any of those models. It‘s a howling embarrassment. Strange, because the idea seems good. An affluent black family, The Boyds, including hot-tempered L. A. deejay dad Brad (Forest Whitaker), is united to a middle class Latino family, the Ramirezes, including hot-tempered city tow-away man Miguel (played by Carlos Mencia, a good actor who kept absurdly reminding me of Chazz Palminteri). The reason? Smitten Columbia med student Marcus Boyd (Lance Gross) has decided to tie the knot with lovesick ex-Columbia law student Lucia Ramirez (America Ferrera). Good cast. Bad movie.

The happy couple have been hiding their happy coupling from their parents, and on the very day Marcus and Lucia announce their nuptials, the fun — to use the word loosely — starts. Brad’s meter runs out, and when Brad comes to unpark his car, he finds Miguel towing it away. They scream at each other. Later that day — that very same day — their kids announce their wedding plans, and the papas meet again and scream some more. And Lucia’s grandma takes one look at the groom and faints.

It’s supposed to be a comedy, so we keep meeting people who make funny faces and act silly. The couple breaks up, then reunites. There are many rancorous debates about what kind of wedding to have, salsa or soul, traditional or modern — and many, many food fights involving wedding cakes. In fact the mere sight of a wedding cake seems to be a constant cue for somebody to grab off a gob of one and heave it in somebody else’s face. The dads keep screaming. And guess who’s really coming to dinner? Somebody brings in a live goat to slaughter and eat, in traditional big fat Latino wedding style. But the goat escapes, runs to the bathroom, eats the contents of a spilled Viagra bottle, and then tries to rape one of the dads, who screams some more.

You want funny? I’ll show you funny. This movie makes Judd Apatow seem like Noel Coward, and the Farrelly Brothers seem like the Marx Brothers. (Or maybe the Brothers Karamazov.)


Finally the kids are hitched. Columbia’s reputation is saved. Everybody dances. A little salsa! A little soul! Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia stop screaming and become the best of friends. Somebody actually eats a piece of wedding cake, instead of trying to shove it down somebody else’s pants.


What’s the moral of all this? You got me. Maybe it’s that people are just people, that weddings are beautiful, and you should try to love your neighbor as yourself, unless he won’t stop screaming and trying to smash a hunk of wedding cake on your head. Or: Even if you hire Forest Whitaker and America Ferrera it’s no guarantee you won’t get a stinker of a movie. Or, for God’s sake, keep your goat out of the Viagra.

The Greatest (Two and a Half Stars)
U. S.; Shana Feste, 2009 (National Entertainment Media)

The Greatest, which is also the title of the 1977 Muhammad Ali bio-drama, is a good, decent moviemaking feature debut for writer-director Shana Feste. It’s a sometimes moving Ordinary People-style romance and domestic drama, in which a jolting tragedy happens in the first few minutes, and we get the whole romance in flashback.


Aaron Johnson is the title character, Bennett Brewer, a high school BMOC and heart-throb infatuated with pixie-cut/brainy classmate Rose (Carey Mulligan, who shouldn’t get typed in too many more heart-ache roles). Pierce Brosnan gets to cry, one of those Glenn Beck-style tearless crying jags, as Bennett’s math prof dad Alton. Susan Sarandon is Bennett’s possessive mom, unable to accept her son‘s death or the grandchild in Rose’s womb. And Johnny Simmons steals a lot of scenes as Bennett’s screw-up younger brother Ryan.


All these actors are good, and the production is smooth. This is the kind of compassionate realist drama I always like to like. But to tell the truth, The Greatest began to dissolve away as soon as I walked from the theatre. And, unlike Brosnan, I didn’t cry, real or faked.

– Michael Wilmington
July 13, 2010

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.


awesome stuff. OK I would like to contribute as well by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some amazing and easy to modify. check it out at All custom premade files, many of them totally free to get. Also, check out Dow on: Wilmington on DVDs: How to Train Your Dragon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Darjeeling Limited, The Films of Nikita Mikhalkov, The Hangover, The Human Centipede and more ...

cool post. OK I would like to contribute too by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some amazing and easy to customize. check it out at All custom templates, many of them dirt cheap or free to get. Also, check out Downlo on: Wilmington on Movies: I'm Still Here, Soul Kitchen and Bran Nue Dae

awesome post. Now I would like to contribute too by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some beautiful and easy to modify. take a look at All custom premade files, many of them free to get. Also, check out DownloadSoho.c on: MW on Movies: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Paranormal Activity 2, and CIFF Wrap-Up

Carrie Mulligan on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Great Gatsby

isa50 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell's Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rory on: Wilmington on Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

Andrew Coyle on: Wilmington On Movies: Paterson

tamzap on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Magnificent Seven, Date Night, Little Women, Chicago and more …

rdecker5 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Ivan's Childhood

Ray Pride on: Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Quote Unquotesee all »

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