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Gary Dretzka

By Gary Dretzka

The DVD Wrapup: Ant-Man, Minions, Blind, Girl King, Speedy, Lucky and more

Ant-Man: Blu-ray/3D
Although Ant-Man was introduced to the world in 1962, via Marvel Comic’s Tales to Astonish No. 27, the shape-shifting superhero made his first live-action cameo in 1979, in the hilarious “Superhero Party” sketch, with the original cast of “Saturday Night Live.” Newlyweds Superman (Bill Murray) and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) invite their superhero pals over for a cocktail party, during which the Hulk (John Belushi) and Flash (Dan Aykroyd) ridicule Ant-Man’s comparatively meager superpower – he’s able to shrink to the size of an insect, while retaining his human strength — and Lois confides in Clark Kent (Murray, again) that she’d been unfaithful to the Man of Steel. Like all of the other superheroes, Ant-Man (Garrett Morris) took full advantage of Lois’ dissatisfaction with Superman’s underwhelming sexual prowess. Thirty-five years later, Morris would be cast as Cab Driver – not a superhero – in Peyton Reed’s big-screen adaptation of Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby’s venerable comic book. Here, Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas both play iterations of the original Ant-Man character. In the 2015 Ant-Man, though, while the character still shrinks to the size of an insect, his powers increase proportionally. Morris’ cameo is shorter than his Ant-Man turn on “SNL,” but about the same as the one traditionally accorded Lee.  It’s almost too easy to dismiss Ant-Man, by suggesting that the eight-minute sketch is more entertaining than the 117-minute movie, which cost an estimated $130 million to make. Considering that I’m old enough to remember the first cast of “SNL,” and with no small amount of fondness, I don’t suspect that my opinion matters on the subject much, one way or the other. What the sketch didn’t have, of course, are world-class special effects, armies of killer ants and the certitude of a 2018 sequel, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” because it did very well at the worldwide box office.

As Scott Lang, Rudd was caught burgling the laboratory of Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), where, instead of money, he grabs a prototype of the Ant-Man suit the scientist is hiding from his rivals, whose size-shifting experiments aren’t going so well. With the cat out of the bag, as it were, Lang and Pym join forces to work out the kinks in the costume and save the planet from bad guys, represented by Darren Cross (Corey Stall). While in shrink-mode, Lang is confronted by representatives of several of the 12,500 ant species known to exist on Earth. Just as the residents of every little boy’s “ant farm” are amazing to watch – until they escape, anyway – the non-human characters here a fun to watch, too. The story, however, is predictable and almost beside the point. Because of Ant-Man’s 12-year gestation period, during which Disney bought out Marvel Studios, many of Edgar Wright’s original ideas were altered to modulate Pym’s less than kids-friendly characteristics. As a merger of Honey I Shrunk the Kids and The Fly, it may actually be too kids-friendly for fans of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and other less-compromised superhero flicks. The handsome Blu-ray presentation adds the featurettes, “Making of an Ant-Sized Heist,” “Let’s Go to the Macroverse” and “WHIH NewsFront,” with newscast clips from the film’s world; deleted and extended scenes, with optional commentary by Reed and Rudd; a gag reel; and feature-length commentary with R&R. Not having seen the 3D version of Ant-Man – on either the big or small screen — I can’t comment on it.

Minions: Blu-ray
Is anyone surprised to learn that Universal’s family-oriented Minions sailed right past the movies from which it was spawned, Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, on its way to an astonishing $1.157-billion worldwide box-office haul? I was. Clearly, we haven’t seen the last of the little boogers. For the uninitiated, Minions are small, yellow critters that have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single-celled organisms into beings with only one purpose: to seek out, serve and destroy the most unctuous villains they can find. In 2010’s franchise-opener, Despicable Me, the Minions attached themselves to Gru, a super-villain so despicable that he adopts three little girls to help him shrink and steal the moon. It didn’t take long for Universal to foresee a time when the Minions could be spun off to a franchise of their own. A series of short films – once known as cartoons – was almost immediately launched. Minions speak in a language, Minionese, that consists of funny sounding words from Italian, Korean and other languages best appreciated at 78 rpm. If you liked the Chipmunks, you’ll love Minions. If not, well, caveat emptor. As directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and written by Brian Lynch, Minions serves as a prequel to Despicable Me. It’s 1968 and the Minions are living in self-imposed exile in Antarctica, absent a host villain to torment. After hitchhiking to Orlando for the annual Villain-Con convention, Kevin, Stuart and Bob hook up with London-based Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first female supervillain. As is his wont, Kevin immediately invites the other Minions to pack their bags and leave Antarctica, where they had befriended, then unfriended a Yeti. Scarlett and her husband, Herb (Jon Hamm), assign them to infiltrate the Tower of London and steal the Queen’s treasures, so she can have a coronation of her own. Things don’t work out as planned, of course, but, being 1968, the oldies’ soundtrack is great. It’s at this point, too, that a young Gru (Steve Carell) makes his presence known to the Minions. The Blu-ray package adds a deleted scene, a trio of clever “mini-movies,” an around-the-world interactive map, “Behind the Goggles: The Illumination Story of the Minions,” “Jingle Bells Minion Style” and a theatrical trailer for “The Secret Life of Pets.”

The Girl King
Not having watched Greta Garbo, in Queen Christina (1933), or Liv Ullmann, in The Abdication (1974) – and not being a student of advanced Scandinavian studies in college — I was unaware of the existence of Christina, Queen of Sweden (a.k.a., “Minerva of the North”), who reigned from 1632 to 1654. At the age of 6, Christina succeeded her father, King Gustavus Adolphus, upon his death at the Battle of Lützen. That fact, alone, wouldn’t make her all that noteworthy in the history of the crowned heads of Europe or worthy of two major English-language movies. Those films could only tell half of her story, however, because the rest of it has for centuries been relegated to the realm of conjecture, gossip and rumor. In his fascinating period biopic, The Girl King, Finnish filmmaker Mika Kaurismäki (L.A. Without a Map) attempts to fill in some of the holes left unfilled by previous filmmakers, but, by necessity, only was able to take it as far as Christina’s voluntary abdication, at 28, and her setting out for Rome. Pope Alexander VII saw Christina’s conversion as a great boon to the counter-Reformation, describing her as “a queen without a realm, a Christian without faith, and a woman without shame.” Kaurismäki presents the Queen as an atypically educated and worldly monarch, who shocked her advisers by calling for an end to the Thirty Years’ War and having no interest in marriage.  He also elaborates on Christina’s admittedly intimate relationship with her lady-in-waiting Ebba Sparre and determinedly androgynous approach to dress, manners and discourse. Malin Buska, who closely resembles Christina’s portraiture, balances her portrayal of gender ambiguity with a pre-feminist approach to leadership. Her constant companion, Sparre, is more overtly feminine and trapped between the expectations of her parents and queen. If there’s one thing that filmmakers have always done well, it’s approximating the grandeur of life at court in the sets and costume design. Likewise, the filmmakers’ Scandinavian background works in the favor of providing a contrast between Christina’s environment and those of the more familiar courts of Henry VIII and Marie Antoinette. The fact is, Christiana’s life outside Sweden, post-abdication, is every bit as fascinating and provocative as the 20-year span covered in The Girl Queen. Just knowing that she’s one of only three women and, possibly, the only lesbian, buried in the Vatican grotto makes it worthy of consideration for a mini-series.

It’s taken for granted that the human body is able to compensate for the loss of a sense by making at least one of the others stronger than it might have been, otherwise. Although recent studies suggest this phenomenon is limited to people who weren’t born without sight or hearing, circumstantial evidence is easier to believe than scientific papers. So, why not in the movies, too? In his erotically charged drama, Blind, writer/director Eskil Vogt (Oslo, August 31st) demonstrates how the imagination of one beautiful blond woman, Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Pettersen), kicks into overdrive after a genetic condition leaves her without sight. At first, the former teacher spends most of her time at home adjusting to her environment and trying to answer the rhetorical question, “Why me?” While her architect husband, Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen), is supportive of her situation, Ingrid’s emotional withdrawal eventually takes its toll. He compensates by turning to porn and occasionally spying on Ingrid before announcing that he’s in the apartment. She doesn’t seem to mind that his eavesdropping includes checking out the stories she’s been writing, which are surprisingly titillating. In one story, Ingrid describes the loneliness and frustration of an unattractive Oslo loner, who occupies his time at home peeping on a blind neighbor and devising ways to ingratiate himself into her life. As time goes by, the author begins inserting Morten into this scenario, giving her husband a sex life away from home, however fictional. Ingrid’s writing reveals something within herself that prompts her to expand her own narrowed horizons, adding yet another layer of make-believe to the game Vogt is playing with the viewer. Vogt won the Screenwriting Award for World Cinema/Dramatic and was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance festival.

Speedy: Criterion Collection: Blu-ray     
To borrow a line that could have been, but probably wasn’t found on posters promoting Harold Lloyd’s final silent feature, “Speedy: Come for the laughs, stay for a bite of the Big Apple.” The same slogan applies to the Criterion Collection’s impeccable 4K digital restoration of the wonderful 1928 comedy, for which director Ted Wilde was nominated for the first and only Academy Award as Best Director of a Comedy. Speedy is first and foremost a tremendously entertaining movie in the great tradition of Hollywood silent comedies. What’s most fun about this Criterion Collection edition are the bonus features, in which historians describe how Lloyd and Wilde succeeded in making an action-comedy under extreme circumstances, most of which couldn’t happen today. Shooting in New York has never been a piece of cake, at the best of times, but, in the 1920s, crowd-control restrictions and permits didn’t exist. Lloyd’s elaborate stunts with horse-drawn trolleys would be conducted on the busiest streets of the busiest city on the planet, making them exponentially more dangerous than they already were. In character and at the height of his popularity, Lloyd was as instantly recognizable on the streets of New York City as he was in the backlots of Hollywood or on any screen in the world. Because Lloyd wanted Speedy to look as realistic as possible, cinematographer Walter Lundin frequently was required to hide his camera inside a box. This was the case in scenes shot at Coney Island on one of the hottest and most crowded days of the year. It’s interesting to learn how Lloyd and Ann Christy were able to partake in the amusement park’s rides and other attractions, more or less unrecognized, while completely surrounded by paying customers. (It’s here, too, that Lloyd famously flips the bird to himself in a funhouse mirror.) Another highlight of the film is an extended cameo by Babe Ruth, who, two weeks later, would hit his record-setting 60th homerun.

The story describes the attempts made by the scatterbrained New Yorker, Speedy, to helps his sweetheart’s grandfather either save the city’s last horse-drawn trolley line or be compensated for its demise. A greedy would-be monopolist doesn’t want to fork over a dime to the old-timer, preferring to hire thugs to convince him to call it quits, before a court-mandated deadline. The trolley’s fictitious route allows for a scenic tour of Manhattan, which was supplemented by inserts added in Los Angeles. To fully appreciate this conceit, viewers should take advantage of the audio commentary featuring Bruce Goldstein, director of repertory programming at New York’s Film Forum, and Turner Classic Movies’ program director Scott McGee. Goldstein also hosts a documentary about the New York locations – then and now – and the L.A. replications. Other highlights include a 1992 musical score by composer Carl Davis, synchronized and restored under his supervision and presented in uncompressed stereo; truly rare archival footage of Ruth, presented by David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio; a new visual essay featuring stills of deleted scenes from the film, narrated by Goldstein; a selection of Lloyd’s home movies, narrated by his granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd; “Bumping Into Broadway,” a 1919 Lloyd two-reeler, newly restored and with a 2004 score by Robert Israel; and an essay by critic Phillip Lopate.

Ballad of the Weeping Spring
The Dealers
I don’t pretend to understand all of the vagaries of film distribution, except to the extent that it defines the military-slang acronym FUBAR and, outside of a handful of niche companies, festivals and YouTube, rarely works in the interest of consumers. From SISU Entertainment comes Ballad of the Weeping Spring, a truly remarkable musical drama that transcends cultural and political borders, but has only been shown outside Israel in a few Jewish film festivals. Whatever the reason, it’s a crime. In very different ways, Benny Toraty’s film reminds me of Buena Vista Social Club, The Pied Piper of Hutzovina, Rembetiko, Genghis Blues and, even, The Commitments … movies about the transcendent properties of music and the people who maintain its integrity. If all anyone knows about Israeli folk music is “Hava Nagila,” Ballad of the Weeping Spring will come as a stunning, if wonderfully pleasant surprise. In most ways, it’s a universal story of loss, redemption, reconciliation and a reaffirmation of one’s roots. The roots here, however, extend through countless generations of Jewish life and tradition, outside the mainstream of its prevailing environment. With his father on his death bed, Amram Mufradi (Dudu Tassa) knows that he is running out of time to make a dream come true for the once famous Mizrahi musician. To accomplish this, however, Amram is required to locate Jossef Tawila (Uri Gavriel), the legendary tar player of the band Ensemble Tourqouise, and convince him to break out of a shell that’s been calcifying for 20 years. After the debut of Tawila and Avram Mufradi’s “Crying Spring Symphony,” the band was involved in a terrible, if entirely preventable automobile accident, in which two of the orchestra’s members were killed and the singer was crippled. Even if Amram is able to convince Tawila to pick up his instrument again, after two decades, they’ll then be required to recruit musicians capable of performing the symphony, using traditional instruments. Nothing comes easy in these sorts of stories, of course, even if a happy ending is assured from Minute One. The music of the Mizrahi Jews is informed by a long history of life in predominantly Muslim countries. It is more easily associated with Arab and Gypsy music, than the klezmer bands of eastern Europe. Like the earthy rembetes culture of Greek refugees from Asia Minor, it derives from a certain economic and cultural demi monde, populated by denizens of the night. Amram and Tawila’s mission takes them through parts of Israel not typically seen in movies from the region and in venues more related to juke joints of the American South or Gypsy weddings.  The brilliant musicianship was supervised by composer Mark Eliyahu and enhanced with an emotionally charged performance by singer/actor Ishtar.

If nothing else, Oded Davidoff’s slacker comedy, The Dealers, reveals a side of life in Jerusalem that rarely finds its way onto news reports from the Middle East. Almost nothing that doesn’t involve violence and religious intolerance is able to cut through the noise. Set in the residential neighborhood of Ramot, the 2012 release introduces us to a group of young-adult slackers, who spend most of their afternoons and nights smoking grass and hashish, dropping ecstasy and drinking American booze. The guys, at least, spend their mornings practicing for a city-wide soccer tournament. It’s a mixed group of Palestinians and Jews that doesn’t look as if they could play an entire match, without calling periodic time outs for oxygen and shots of Novocain. The women among them seem only marginally less useless. Because Rami and Avishay, both 27, owe money to a local gangster, much of the intrigue here involves their struggle to come up with the cash, without actually having to work terribly hard to get it. Also participating are some older friends from the same neighborhood, who’ve been to war, prison or both. What makes The Dealers different than any number of other slacker films extant is the firestorm its posters ignited, before the movie even opened. The marketing campaign was altered to remove images of its female stars because some ultra-Orthodox Jews believe pictures of women that distract men’s attention are unacceptable. The incident follows escalating tensions that have seen other film posters and publicity torn down.  (Recently, in anticipation of angry protests, images of Jennifer Lawrence on publicity for The Hunger Games were removed in some heavily Orthodox Israeli cities.) It’s gotten to the point where some films are made by women, specifically for female audiences, and they’ve even been withheld from the DVD market to ensure they don’t fall into the hands of men. Not surprisingly, this has created a backlash from more liberal Israelis, who feel as if their rights are being subordinated to placate the overzealous arguments of fundamentalists. They responded by demanding that The Dealers be allowed to continue its original marketing campaign and restrictions on the visibility of women be rescinded. If only the movie were as interesting as the debate.

One Eyed Girl: Blu-ray
Likely inspired by the suicide cults that developed around the quasi-religious rants of Jim Jones, David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite, One Eyed Girl is a technically proficient and occasionally disturbing first directorial feature by Aussie cinematographer Nick Matthews (2:37). Mark Leonard Winter plays Travis, a young psychiatrist haunted by the death of one of his patients. On the brink of a nervous breakdown, Travis meets Grace (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) as she’s trying to hand out brochures promising spiritual salvation to commuters. She isn’t all that convincing, but something about Grace’s frail, but determined demeanor causes Travis to accept one. Desperate for redemption, he follows her to a rural compound outside Adelaide, where everyone appears to be just as messed up as he is. The church is run by the charismatic Father Jay (Steve Le Marquand), who, before trying religion, could have hosted infomercials on TV. Selling utopia to neurotics is far easier. Not surprisingly, Father Jay has a past life that about to catch up him. The flock’s questionably violent methodology also will come into play. Even if One Eyed Girl is all too familiar, the actors are convincing and Matthews knows how to build and maintain tension. His surprise ending works pretty well, too.

Journalist Laura Checkoway’s debut documentary is about a young woman named Lucky, whose life has been anything but lucky. Petite in stature and covered in tattoos and piercings, Lucky Torres was born into poverty and raised by the state. A hundred years ago, she might have made a living in a midway freak show or appearing alongside Groucho Marx, as he sang “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.” Today, however, she’s just one of a million other kids who’ve buried their pain and lack of self-esteem in top-to-toe ink and metal protuberances. Unlike most of them, however, her tattoos don’t stop at the wrist and neckline. Lucky’s covered her face, neck and hands with the kind of skin art that tells everyone in the square world that she doesn’t give a shit what they think of her appearance. If Lucky can’t find a job that pays enough to take care of her son, rent, clothes, drugs and booze, it’s only because she doesn’t live in New Zealand, among the Maori, and employers here don’t care to have their customers insulted by the self-deprecating language etched on her face (“Bitch”), “fuck” and “you” on the back of her thighs, or numerous images of rapper L’il Wayne. Checkoway’s Lucky is exceedingly sympathetic to the titular subject, even as she threatens to self-destruct before her camera. The journalist followed Torres for six years before finishing the documentary. They met at the Christopher Street Pier, in Greenwich Village, where LGBT kids hang out in a community based on alienation, solidarity and friendship. Her sister, Fantasy, also has tattoos but they can be easily hidden by clothing. Neither is she as openly hostile to authority figures. While it’s difficult to feel sorry for Lucky – and she isn’t begging for pity — Checkoway’s intimate portrait demands that we live in her world for 72 minutes, and it isn’t easy. Maybe someone at Suicide Girls could find something for Lucky to do.

Women’s Prison Massacre: Blu-ray
There are a couple of things going on Women’s Prison Massacre (a.k.a., “Blade Violent”) that make it different than other women-in-prison pictures. Foremost, it combines the Emmanuelle/Emanuelle and WIP subgenres, with Laura Gemser adding her consider talents to the mix. Gemser’s presence classes up any piece of garbage to which she’s attached herself and Women’s Prison Massacre is crappy, even by the standards associated with a subgenre that’s migrated from Hollywood, to the Philippines, Italy and Japan. The other noteworthy thing is that the 1983 made-in-Italy grindhouse non-classic is almost a carbon copy of Caged Women (a.k.a., “Violence in a Women’s Prison”), except that Gemser only disrobes in the former. In the 1982 Caged Women, Emanuelle (one “m”) is a journalist who voluntarily goes undercover in a women’s prison to expose the corrupt officials, horrible living conditions, the guards’ poor treatment of the prisoners and prisoners’ poor treatment of each other. In Women’s Prison Massacre, Emanuelle is on the verge of breaking a big story about a corrupt politician when she gets framed and sent to a women’s prison, where the administration is dirty, the facility filthy, the cops are brutal and the prisoners feral. After four dangerous men are temporarily transferred to the facility, the sadists overpower the guards and torment the prison population. It’s up to Emanuelle and her fellow inmates to re-take control of the prison. It’s worth noting that the original “Emmanuelle” (two m’s) series, was palpably erotic where the single-m sequels feature gratuitous sexuality and violence. Although Gemser is a legitimate cult goddess, the people who wrote and directed her “Emanuelle” titles couldn’t be bothered with class and style. Bruno Mattei directed both pictures under two different pseudonyms, while co-writer and AD Claudio Fragasso would go on to direct Troll 2, one of the “best worst movies” of all time. (Gemser is credited as costume designer.) The Blu-ray restoration is better than it has any right to be.

Dora and Friends: Season 1
CPO Sharkey: The Best of Season 1
Unlike so many other popular television characters, Nickelodeon has given Dora an opportunity to grow older and evolve alongside her fan base. In the bilingual “Dora and Friends: Into the City!,” the Latina heroine moves into an urban environment, where she attends school and makes friends with kids who work together to give back to the community. Armed with a magical charm bracelet and trusty Map App, Dora is always ready to solve problems, speak and teach Spanish, and go on real-life adventures. The four-disc “Dora and Friends: Season 1” offers more than seven hours of edutainment, including the never before-aired episode, “Dragon in the School,” a Nick Jr. bonus disc, doggie adoptions, puppy princesses and beautiful mermaids.

Just for the record, “CPO Sharkey: The Best of Season 1” delivers only six complete episodes culled from the complete-season package released in May by Time Life/WEA, so, if you have one, you don’t need the other, unless as a stocking stuffer. Episodes include “Oh Captain My Captain,” where the chauvinistic Sharkey (Don Rickles) meets his new commanding officer, who turns out to be a woman; “The Dear John Letter,” in which Chief Robinson (Harrison Page) suspects Sharkey to be a smooth ladies man; “Goodbye Dolly,” featuring an inflatable doll that causes a ruckus in the barracks, until Sharkey deflates the situation; “Sunday in Tijuana,” with some South of the Border jail time for the men of Company 144; “Sharkey Boogies on Down,” where Rickles tests his dance moves at a disco for Chief Robinson’s birthday; and, “Sharkey’s Secret Life,” in which the recruits are convinced that Sharkey may be gay after he purchases a toupee from a mysterious, shoulder-purse-toting wig salesman.

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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