MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington

Wilmington on DVDs: The Rest. The Adjustment Bureau, Unknown, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Insignificance, The Long Riders, The Brass Legend


The Adjustment Bureau (Also Blu-ray) (Two and a Half Stars)
U.S.: George Nolfi, 2011 (Universal)

A rising young liberal congressman named David Norris (Matt Damon), running for the U.S. Senate and on a fast track to the White House, blows his chances when The New York Post publishes photos of his butt-bearing college high jinks days. At the concession, irrepressible David goes to the posh men’s restroom and runs into a sexy ballerina, Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), who’s hiding in a stall. Soon he’s making out with her, in fact, falling in love with her. But “others” don’t want them to be together.

Unfortunately, the “others” aren’t just the usual political buttinskys. They’re a group of seemingly supernatural beings called “adjustors” (from the Adjustment Bureau, natch) in matching ’50s suits and fedoras who basically run the world, who can travel all over New York City at lightning speeds through dimensional wormholes,  and who are bent on reorganizing David’s life, and especially keeping him away from Elise. Why? Precisely because he is prime presidential timber and his eventual successful presidency is fervently desired by someone (God?) who is running this shebang.

There’s a double catch, all explained to David by friendly adjustors Richardson (John Slattery of Mad Men) and Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie). One: David has to give up Elise, who apparently will ruin his chances somehow.  And if he ever tells anybody about the Adjustment Bureau, his memory will be scrubbed. To guarantee his cooperation, top Adjustment Bureau exec Mr. Thompson (Terence Stamp) will soon take over everything.

All of this, which frankly strikes me as nonsensical,  has been scripted and directed by newcomer George Nolfi, the scenarist of two other Matt Damon movies, Oceans Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum. And it’is supposedly based on a story by the great science fiction writer and chronicler of paranoia-taking-over, Philip K. Dick. I say “supposedly,” because the original story “Adjustment Team” is in Volume Two of the Complete Dick short stories, and, thanks maybe to adjustors, I only Have Volumes One, Three and Four.

But I have to say that, while this script is a perfectly competent, good-hearted job, and I would probably be happy to vote for Nolfi for the U.S. Congress, even if the New York Post has compromising photos of him, or even if he screwed up on Twitter like Anthony Weiner, this movie just doesn’t say Dick to me. (Or Weiner either.) I still insist that moviemakers should be adapting Dick’s novels, like The Man in the High Castle and Martian Time Slip and Ubik and Eye in the Sky and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Time Out of Joint and not repeatedly taking his early, less richly imagined and embellished  short stories and sometimes throwing most of them away. After all, it was Blade Runner, based on one of Dick’s best novels, Do Adroids Dream of Electric Sheep? that started the whole Dick deluge. not something like Dick’s “Beyond Lies the Wub” (Planet Stories, July, 1952).

When Dick is cooking, he doesn’t just make you root for two attractive lovers, in a Wings of Desire world, like this movie.  He makes you feel that the world is about to blow up in your face, that we’re in some alternative universe where everything is the reverse of what it seemed or should not seem, and that even the flies buzzing in the room may be part of a plot.

Manohla Dargis, who read “Adjustment Team,” says it has a scene where the main character opens a door and sees that the world has turned to ash. That sounds like Philip K. Dick. This movie is a sometimes sort of thrilling but (SPOILER ALERT) basically a really nice love story, (END OF SPOILER) and though I don’t want to be a spoilsport, or even a spoiler-alert-sport, there’s something awry in its fantasy. Namely, why can’t beings with this kind of power, beings who can just zoom all around Manhattan, and reprogram people and lobotomize them, just whisk Elise off to Patagonia? Or why can’t they hire out as special effects men and make huge political donations to David’s campaign? Or be like Republicans and just buy the election?

Also, to be unkind, these adjustors, including Stamp, don’t really do their job very well. If we’re really counting on them to save us from the next Ice Age, we may be screwed.

It’s a nice movie though. Well shot. Manhattan looks fine. Damon and Blunt are a keen couple, Stamp an icy villain. Boo. Yay. I don’t mean to be negative. I’ll go back to Volume Three of the complete Dick and read “The Days of Perky Pat“ or “If There Were No Benny Cemoli,“ or “Oh, To Be a Blobel!“ Great stories! It’s just that…I just heard a knock. I just opened the door to the hallway. There was no hallway any more. And there are these guys out there, in fedoras, raking ashes…

Unknown (Also Blu-Ray) (Two and a Half Stars)
U.S.: Jaume Collet-Serra, 2011 (Warner)

You’re well-respected, well-fixed, famous, married to a knockout lady, happy. You‘re Dr. Martin Harris — or so you think.

You’re the major character in a movie called Unknown. And in that movie, you’re a brilliant scientist with movie star good looks (Liam Neeson’s looks, in fact) and now you’re attending a very prestigious international biotechnology conference packed with world scientific stars, and a Saudi prince or two, comfortably lodged in a deluxe hotel in a glamorous but unfamiliar city (Berlin), along with your  gorgeous blonde, TV-star-looking wife Elizabeth (January Jones of Mad Men).

Life is good. It’s good to be the biotechnologist. But, very suddenly, the bottom drops out of your world, your life, your sanity. First, you mislay your passport, carelessly left on a luggage cart. Then, when you leave your wife (without explanations) to retrieve it at the airport, your cab swerves to avoid a collision and drops off a bridge. You’re just barely rescued from drowning by your beautiful Bosnian cab driver (Diane Kruger) who pulls you out of a smashed window in her sinking, flooded taxi.

You wake up four days later, after a four day coma, in a Berlin hospital where nobody knows who you are. Mysteriously, nobody seems to have been looking for you either. Ignoring your helpful doctor (Karl Markovics), and a friendly nurse (Eva Lobau), and very worried about your wife, you race back to the hotel, where a skeptical hotel manager informs you hat Dr. Martin Harris is already there, checked in, that the conference if proceeding smoothly, and that Mrs. Harris hasn’t reported any spousal absenteeism.

Worse, when you run into Liz (still January Jones), she insists she‘s never seen you before, she treats you like a stalker, and she‘s irritatingly accompanied by another movie star-looking guy (Aidan Quinn), a smug smart-ass who claims that he’s Dr. Martin Harris and you’re not, and who has the passport, the I. D., the Internet bio shot, the attitude and the intimate family photos to prove it. When you blow your cool, you’re threatened with police. And two mysterious bad guys start tailing you around, chasing you on the subway and over the rooftops, killing witnesses and displaying dire intentions of all kinds.

Well, there’s a superficial explanation. This is all part of a nightmare movie thriller — Hitchcockian, Polanskian, even Dickian — that starts well and collapses into utter balderdash, and it’s a movie with a classic plot twist — vaguely reminiscent of Polanski’s 1988 Harrison Ford-in-Paris suspense picture, Frantic (in which Ford lost his wife), of the fact-based 1950 British period thriller So Long at the Fair (in which Jean Simmons lost her brother), and of the great Alfred Hitchcock suspense comedy The Lady Vanishes (in which Margaret Lockwood lost Dame May Whitty‘s Miss Froy). The movie’s Dr. Harris, or whomever, has stumbled into an alternate movie life, full of skeptical witness, hired assassins, thugs, bemused scientists, arrogant putzes like the false Dr. Harris, and people who just don’t know who the hell he is (or say they don’t).

In this bad-ass bad dream of a world, Harris’ (your) only seeming allies are that Bosnian cabbie (who’s also an illegal immigrant), a friend from America (Frank Langella) and a sad-eyed ex-agent of the brutal East German domestic spy network the Stasi (Jurgen, a part wonderfully played by Bruno Ganz).  You’re in a nightmare mess that is going to turn you into a “wrong man” on the run.

Luckily, or unluckily (depending on whether you‘re an audience member or a bad guy), Dr. Harris is not just any biotechnology scientist who’s lost his passport, his wife and maybe (soon) his life. He‘s a film character played with quiet ferocity by Liam Neeson, who’s a movie star with a “Schindler”  or two in his back pocket, a prominent nose and musculature, icy eyes, deadly bad-guy-bashing skills, and a temperament full of controlled explosions —  and also lately, an exotic thriller specialist-hero of outlandish thrillers set abroad. When the killings and the car-chases and the explosions start piling on, anyone played by Neeson will always seem more than capable of doing to Berlin what he did to Paris in Taken.

Which is all to the good, unless you don’t like Taken. And I don’t — though I love The Lady Vanishes. Unfortunately, what’s vanished here is good sense, good writing, good thriller plotting. The movie’s  “Bourne Yesterday” script is based on Didier von Cauwelaert’s novel Out of My Head and written by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell — and you‘ll probably wish before it’s over that the movie was based instead on the Rolling Stones album “Out of Our Heads,” or written by Stephen’s father, David Cornwell, alias John le Carre.

The plot of So Long at the Fair — based on a true incident that I don’t feel like recording and “Spoiler Alerting” for you — has been done with variations (including Hitchcock’s) a number of times, and it usually works. It’s a logical-illogical nightmare, the kind of movie where much of the world seems to have turned against the main identification figure, where the choice of explanation for everything that’s happening seems to be paranoia or an actual vast conspiracy.

What goes wrong here — and the movie, after an intriguing start, and despite that excellent cast, goes very wrong — is that the eventual explanation for what’s awry with Dr. Harris and his life, is utterly, baldly, irredeemably preposterous. It makes no effing sense, and the more that various characters try to explain it, the less effing sense it makes. From the moment that Dr. Harris and his wife drive off from the briefcase on a luggage cart that contains his passport (What?) and his speech (What?) and some important  research data (What? What?) and various other things that may be vital to world peace and progress, or their opposite, and to Harris’ own peace of mind, as well as the progress of the story itself, the movie becomes so increasingly, madly absurd, that you just just can‘t swallow any of it. At least I couldn‘t.

Anyway, you’d probably prefer, as I would, some less daffy a reason for everything — like say, a revelation that the whole show is an elaborate practical joke being played on Liam Neeson by the rest of the cast and crew. I’m not going to tip any plot twists. But if I described to you what happened at the end of Unknown in the big payoff scene — and I won’t — you might want to start chasing me (or Butcher and Cornwell) through subways and over rooftops with dire intentions.

The director, Jaume Collet-Serra made the creepily frightening psychological horror movie Orphan, and he knows how to weave a mood, and turn a twist. He and cinematographer Flavio Labiano give Unknown a lot of dread and wintry atmosphere. But he can‘t really sell these goofy plot twists or make his car-chases or fights any more stylish, or sensible, than every car-chase or fight that suddenly erupts in any big movie thriller like this, in cities like this movie’s snowy Berlin, seemingly empty of traffic control or consequences, a city turned into a huge video game, played by psycho players with fast reflexes.

What else? The cast is good, and that includes Neeson, and it definitely includes Ganz and Langella. In fact, the best scene I’ve seen in any poor-to-middling movie recently is the eerily quiet confrontation between Langella’s Rodney Cole and Ganz‘s Jurgen, in Jurgen‘s dimly lit apartment: a  sequence that bristles with tension, weariness, melancholy and an embittered  Cold War nostalgia that seems positively le Carrean.

January Jones heats up one De Palmaesque art gallery scene, and she does her Hitchcockian blonde routine, albeit an ambiguous one, about as well as Tippi Hedren ducking birds or Eva Marie Saint heading northwest. I liked Markovics’ overworked doctor. Kruger’s cabbie Gina  has a shaggy sexiness and resilience. (It‘s amazing how together she stays when she does Dr. Harris a favor and her apartment and car are wrecked and two corpses are left behind.) And Quinn does a thriller fantasy villain here as well as he did a realistic literary one in the underseen The Eclipse.

As for Neeson, he’s good as ever, but though he  may have found his box-office metier, the metier cheats him here. Neeson is the right kind of actor for this kind of movie. He‘s become a solid big action star, and here he‘s believably hard-case as well as believably brainy (and believably befuddled as well). But this is ultimately the wrong kind of movie for him, in most respects except financial ones. Whatever the book Out of My Head was, the movie Unknown is just too damned improbable, too irredeemably silly. When you try to put the whole puzzle together, the pieces keep falling apart like stale little thriller cookies.

I’m usually happy when a good actor finds a bread-and-butter role, or franchise, or type of role (like Neeson in Taken), even if I hate the movie (like Taken), because it means he or she can keep financially viable and maybe do good, cheaper stuff on the side as well — though, to tell the truth,  Neeson isn’t now doing enough good, lower-budgeted stuff in his post-Taken, mis-Taken period, or making movies as interesting as the movies he used to do fairly recently, like Kingdom of Heaven, Kinsey, or Gangs of New York. At least he’s not doing enough to make penance for hyper-active dreck like The A-Team. Maybe, after emerging from a 109 minute coma like Unknown, Dr. Neeson needs to wake up and find that Aidan Quinn is standing there, smug, claiming that he’s Liam Neeson..

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (Also Blu-ray) (Two Stars)

U. S.: David Bowers, 2011 (Fox)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid — based on Jeff Kinney’s highly popular illustrated book series about a kid who complains a lot, the kid’s best buddy, his family and his tormentors at middle school — was a better than average family movie that took place in one of those squeaky-clean movie suburbs, where everyone has a bit more expensive-looking house than they should have, and the central character (Greg Heffley, the wimpy kid who keeps the diary) has a steady wave of comic mishaps until the SPOILER ALERT happy ending. END OF SPOILER.

It wasn‘t a bad movie — it wasn’t a particularly good one either — but it succeeded with audiences because it had a definite viewpoint (Kinney’s deadpan, somewhat dyspeptic take on boyhood) and because it had two marvelous, just-right actors in the roles of the smart–aleck little whiner Greg (Zachary Gordon) and his chubby, good-tempered best pal Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron).

These two were as good a pair of child actor movie chums as I’ve seen in quite a while. They were both smart and they had the kind of complementary personalities (Greg acid and Rowley sweet) that best friends often have. They also both had very good comic timing, lots of rapport with each other and the contrasting styles and personas of the classic comedy team. Faster-talking Greg was the smooth, manipulative straight man, slower Rowley was the over-enthusiastic clown. They clicked.

The rest of the cast wasn’t bad either: Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris as Greg’s parents, Frank and Susan, Devon Bostwick as Greg’s smarter-ass older brother Roderick, and a gallery of school chums, classmates and playground nemeses that included Grayson Russell as the freckled Fregley, Karan Brar as the diminutive Chirag Gupta, and Laine MacNeil as Greg’s thorn-in-his-side bully Patty Farrell. They’re all back, and the filmmakers have recruited a new face: cute little Peyton List to play cute little Holly Hills, Greg’s blonde dream girl. (One type we don’t have here is a male playground bully or two, which is strange, because that’s one movie cliché that happens to be true to life.) And the script and Thor Freudenthal’s direction were bright and zippy.

There isn’t as much of the kids in the sequel (also based on Kinney’s books, with Kinney as executive producer). And there isn’t as much of Greg-and-Rowley as a team either. The movie focuses instead on the contentious relationship between Greg and Rodrick. And though Bostwick is a good actor —  he‘s playing a party guy, lazy manipulator and wannabe rock n‘ roll drummer of limited talents for a group called Loded Dyper, and he wears lots of eye makeup — the chemistry and friction aren’t as strong between the two brothers as they were between the two buddies. Greg and Rodrick don’t even look like the kind of brothers who might hang out.

All of which says, I guess, that this movie isn’t written as well as the first. And it isn’t — though Sachs and Judah worked on the first movie, along with Jackie and Jeff Filgo, who are absent here.

Yet the movie still has Gordon and Capron, even if it keeps them separate for far too long. (They do join up for a funny malfunctioning magic act at the end.) Let’s hope these kids stay happy and don’t start feuding, like Martin and Lewis. Comedy teams, like childhood, sometimes last too short. Extras: Commentary by author Jeff Kinney and Bowers; Bonus shorts; Deleted scenes; Alternate ending; Gag reel.

Insignificance (Also Blu-ray) (Three Stars)

U.S.-U.K.: Nicolas Roeg, 1985 (Criterion)

Everyone has his time. Nic Roeg’s best films tended to come in the ‘70s (Performance, Walkabout, Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth), when his anti-establishment politics and experimental aesthetics were in synch with at least part of the movie industry. Roeg — a great cinematographer (he shot The Caretaker, Petulia, and 2nd Unit on Lawrence of Arabia) who became a great director — had a harder time of it afterwards.

 In Insignificance though, he’s still able to fight the good fight. It’s a super-theatrical, very political piece about the power and perils of celebrity, based by scriptwriter Terry Johnson on his play. The excellent cast plays four juicy unnamed characters who are obviously modeled on Marilyn Monroe (Theresa Russell), Albert Einstein (Michael Emil), Joe DiMaggio (Gary Busey) and Senator Joe McCarthy (Tony Curtis).

 Russell looks and acts sensational; she has Monroe’s baby-talk and movie mannerisms down pat. Emil (Henry Jaglom’s brother and occasional movie star) seems perfect casting, as Einsteinian as E=MC2. Busey nails DiMaggio’s star athlete bravura and husbandly anguish. And Curtis’ Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy suggests a wearier Sidney Falco, without a Hunsecker to bully him. Most of the movie takes place in The Professor’s hotel room, with his notes strewn on the furniture and a Picasso painting of Mother and Child on the wall — and Will Sampson, the chief of One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest, is an elevator men who keeps ferrying the characters up and down, like Chiron.

 But, if the cast is first-rate, I don’t think the play is all that good. Its certainly provocative and intelligent. But, to me, the artifice and archness of the writing (never mind the casual sense of history) blunted and sabotaged its potential power.

 Compared to Roeg’s best, richest work, Insignificance seems light — while Performance (co-directed and written by Donald Cammell) and Roeg’s other ‘70s classics look more and more impressive as the years pass. It must have been hard to get even projects like this together in the greed-crazed, ultra-conventional ‘80s. But though I don’t think Insignificance is good enough material to unleash Roeg‘s special genius, all the actors are at their best. The show also has a charming opener (Russell’s Marilyn doing the Seven Year Itch subway grating, blowing white dress scene), and it has a real Roeg mind-bender of an ending.

 Extras: Interviews with Roeg, producer Jeremy Thomas and editor Tony Lawson; “Making of” documentary; Original trailer; booklet with a good Chuck Stephens essay and a conversation between Roeg and Johnson.

The Long Riders (Blu-ray) (Three stars)
 U. S.: Walter Hill, 1980 (MGM/Fox)
In one of the all-time great pieces of family movie casting, writer-director Walter Hill retells the oft-filmed tale of Jesse James and the James Gang with four bands of real-life movie actor brothers playing the various historical outlaw siblings of the story. James and Stacey Keach are Jesse and Frank James (the Keaches also co-wrote the script and co-executive-produced); David, Keith and Robert Carradine are Cole Younger and his brothers Jim and Bob; Randy and Dennis Quaid are Clell and Ed Miller; and Nicholas and Christopher Guest are Robert Ford and his brother Charlie. The Carradines alone are worth the price of admission and/or the DVD, and all the other brothers do a Hell of a job too. Jeff and Beau Bridges probably couldn’t have done better — though I would have liked to see them try.

     It’s a pretty good movie too. It looks even better when you remember the long dry spell of American movie Westerns, off and on, up to the recent semi-renaissance of True Grit and Meek’s Cutoff. Back in 1980 though, I gave Riders a more middling, nit-picking  review, and, though I hate to admit it, I probably downgraded it then because I thought it was perfect material for Sam Peckinpah and I was frustrated that he didn’t direct it. (Peckinpah also needed work back then.)
While it’s pefectly true that Peckinpah could have made a better movie from almost any Western script than almost anybody, it’s also true that Hill did a very good job here — and in the Peckinpah mood, with occasional Peckipah slo-mo, if not the Peckinpah tension and pace. Now I miss Hill. (He’s done Deadwood and a few others in recent times.) And I miss Westerns. Let’s hope the Coen Brothers have brought them back for good. There are some talented non-brothers in the Long Riders cast too, including Pamela Reed (wow), James Remar and Harry Carey, Jr., and a fine twangy score by Hill regular Ry Cooder.  Extra: trailer. 

The Brass Legend (Two and a Half Stars)

U.S.: Gerd Oswald, 1956 (MGM Limited Edition Collection)

A seemingly standard low-budget ’50s Western from that neglected auteur, director Gerd Oswald.  In a small Western town, Hugh O’Brian is a lawman tempted by domesticity; Raymond Burr is a famous outlaw hiding out nearby. When the pesky 11-year-old brother (Donald MacDonald) of O’Brian’s fiancee (Nancy Gates), follows Burr’s dance hall moll (Reba Tassell) to his hideout, the boy is set to learn which legend is brass, and which is gold.

It doesn’t sound like much, and truth to tell, it plays like no more than an above average episode of The Virginian or Bonanza. But the stable of directors for those two shows included Sam Fuller and Robert Altman, and Oswald — who directed this taut little programmer the same year he made his film noir masterpiece, A Kiss Before Dying  — is very good at dark moods and prickly tension. A lot of his best work was done for that classic  ’60s TV horror/sci-fi show, The Outer Limits, which Stephen King said was the best of its kind, and Oswald, who was the son of the sometime German Expressionist silent filmmaker Richard Oswald (Der Lebende Leichnam, or The Living Dead),  was probably the Limits’ star directior. He was also a regular on The Twilight Zone, Star Trek and Perry Mason (starring Raymond Burr).

Burr, who played mystery story writer Erle Stanley Garder’s lawyer/sleuth Mason, was an unbeatable TV defense attorney — at least as long as William Talman was the prosecutor. But he was an even better film noir villain, one of the best, in fact. (Have you ever seen him in Pitfall or Raw Deal?) And he’s at his most dourly evil here, with a terrific last scene. As for Hugh O’Brian, TV’s “brave, courageous and bold” Wyatt Earp, he was known as the fastest draw among all the innumerable ’50s TV cowboys — which is probably why the movie starts with an O’Brian quick-draw exhibition. Sammy Davis Jr., no cowboy but apparently an aficionado, was said to be even faster and more accurate (even with only one eye), and they both could probably both have outdrawn Rawhide’s Clint Eastwood — unless Leone was directing the scene.)

By the way, if you want to do some enjoyable Gerd Oswald research, open up his IMDB page, and click on “Videos” up near the top. Fourteen Oswald-directed Outer Limits shows, complete, are available for free viewing. (Click on “Alfred Hitchcock” and you’ll be amazed at how many complete features and TV shows are available on his item. No Richard Oswald films unfortunately, but check out Fritz Lang. )

There, don’t say I never did anything for you.

    No extras. (Made on demand, and available through Amazon and other Internet outlets.)


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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