SHOW ME A HERO – REVIEW

SHOW ME A HERO – REVIEW – The guy who did The Wire directed by the ex-scientologist who did Crash starring the guy who’s now flying x-wings and everyone says Yonkers every two minutes. What’s not to like?

‘Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy,’ said the expert American tragedian F. Scott Fitzgerald and David Simon, who has turned prime time television into something of novelistic richness, returns with a true story about affordable housing in Yonkers.  Oscar Isaac plays Nick Wasicsko, a young Democratic councilman picked by his party to run against the popular incumbent (James Belushi). Without much of a hope or a particular vision – he agrees with his opponent about most things – he spots his opportunity when the Major decides not to appeal an unpopular court decision to build social housing in Yonkers, providing homes for hundreds of poor and inevitably black residents. Nick becomes the youngest major in America but soon discovers that the appeal he ran on is a non-starter and now it falls to him  to work a way out of the deadlock and face down the mobs of citizens who see him as a political opportunist and traitor.

Simon and co-writer Bill Zorzi, adapting Lisa Belkin’s book, spread the story around so we see the lives of the real people effected by the housing decision. This included a woman from the Dominican Republic who finds life so hard in the US she considers moving her family back to the DR; an old black lady who is going blind; young pregnant women with their men in various states of incarceration and a concerned resident who wants to protect her neighborhood without admitting to the racism of the movement of which she is a vocal member. As with Treme and The Wire, the central story is simply the inciting incident to discover the rich complexity of American urban life which is Simon’s recurrent theme. He is genuinely interested in these lives and those who would have been background in, say a Tom Hanks film of the same story, are resolutely in the foreground. To compete with these stories, you need a good lead and Oscar Isaac once more shows himself to be one of the best actors working in America today. Following performances in Two Faces of January, A Dangerous Year, Ex Machina and Inside Llewyn Davis, his young politician is a brilliantly subtle piece of characterisation. At once a bright-eyed decent man, he is also full of inglorious vanity and a desperate need – which perhaps lies at the heart of many a politician – to be loved. An ex-cop who likes his booze and his Bruce Springsteen, his moral compass is always having to be reset against his ambition and his good humor and optimism is gradually being chipped away by the complex compromises and the public loathing that are heaped on him. In a wonderful brief moment of triumph, he breaks into one of the building sites just for the pleasure of sitting in a digger, like a child, and thinking ‘I did this’.

If television is truly in a golden age – and I fully believe it is – then one of the main architects has to be David Simon and it is heartening to see that he is being afforded the opportunity to make intensely felt, intelligent and witty drama.

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THE WIRE MOVIE IS GO

BALTIMORE – David Simon‘s classic HBO crime series The Wire is finally going to hit the big screens next year after a long period in development hell.

Director Harmony Korine has been entrusted with bringing the multi-layered and subtly wrought socio-political portrait of inner city America in free fall to the screen.

He spoke exclusively to Studio Exec last night:

I really respect what David Simon did with his five seasons, but this is a movie and there are going to have to be some changes. Plus he’s like almost dead he’s so old. He’s fifty or something. And what kids want to see today is young voices like me. Uncompromising and unflinching, bringing a hard look to the world of hard drugs.

 How will the film differ from the TV show?

In the TV show there were all these old people, Idris Elba and Dominic West and what have you. None of them wearing bikinis, I’d note as well. None. So in my film James Franco will be the oldest member of the cast. He’ll be the drug king pin and then we have Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus as the girl cops fresh from the academy who have to pose as strippers in a lap dance joint where they make their entrances suspended above the stage on a … wait for it … wire! Right? As part of the..investigation thing.

The Wire will be released in 2015. 

FRIENDS MOVIE TO BEGIN FILMING THIS MONTH

NEW YORK – The long awaited motion picture of the popular nineties sit-com Friends looks like it is going to finally become a reality.

Tentatively titled Friends: Why Not? – the film will see the reuniting of Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica and David Schwimmer in their New York apartments and their beloved Central Perk coffee shop. David Simon of The Wire was brought in to do rewrites of the script.

‘It’s going to be a lot darker,’ he said. ‘The characters are all failures as they pass through middle age. And that’s funny because the actors’ own lives mirror that.’

What changes did you make?

I don’t think I wanted to make any because it has such a winning formula and who’s gonna mess with that, right? But the original cast have changed and so we have to write material which deals with the look of wretched disappointment etched into their faces. So do we have drug addiction? Yes, we do. 

Anal sex?

A bit.

The news comes as a relief to Matthew Perry who only last week was officially announced as being ‘no longer famous’ (for that story CLICK HERE). But other cast members have also expressed relief at being given another chance to be noticed as something other than a bit role in a gross out comedy. Jennifer Aniston said, ‘We’re all really excited about this opportunity. It’s going to be like old times. Next thing I’ll be going out with Brad Pitt again.’ She burst out laughing, which slowly became sobbing.

Friends: Why Not? will be released in 2016.