This is the Smartest Move Yet

James Gunn.jpg

No one is more deserving of a second chance than James Gunn, who shouldn’t even have been fired from his job because alt-right trolls shouldn’t be getting anyone fired, dammit.

Warner Bros. have reportedly hired former Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn following his departure from the franchise.

Earlier this year, Gunn was sacked by Disney after a series of controversial tweets allegedly written in the past by Gunn, surfaced online.

Gunn is a proven commodity. He took the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise into the nether reaches and actually made films worth watching. They aren’t exactly my thing, but the heart and soul of these movies resides in the right place, and a weirdo like Gunn being given a second chance is a good thing. Yes, he said horrible things. He has paid the price for that and he deserves a shot.

From a business perspective, hiring him to make a Suicide Squad movie is a brilliant way to check the unstoppable growth of Marvel Inc.

No, No We Don't Answer That

COSBY.jpg

There is no contrition on the part of Bill Cosby. He imagines himself Jesus, and he has a view of himself that believes he is being persecuted so he can maintain the air of superiority that a PhD used to provide:

Bill Cosby was sentenced to several years in prison on Tuesday for sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago. 

Judge Steven O’Neill gave Cosby, 81, a sentence of between three and 10 years in prison for attacking Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand is one of more than 60 women who have accused the previously beloved comedian of preying on them over the past five decades.

The real tragedy is that this didn’t happen fifty years ago when it really would have taken a bite out of the quality of his life and prevented many more victims from having to experience what it was like to be drugged and raped.

It all started four years ago:

Cosby 2014.jpg

Camille Cosby smiles, uncomfortably shifting in her chair. Staring off camera, switching positions, silent. In the latest contribution to the Bill Cosby saga, we see husband and wife side by side as he addresses the very act of questioning about his numerous rape allegations in an AP interview (above). Mrs. Cosby continues to smile and looks away from the reporter several times, both she and her husband presuming that the cameras have stopped rolling. I will not read into her silence. I will not pull meaning about this woman and her thoughts and decisions other than to say that in the watching, the silence is palpable, wince-inducing and profoundly painful.

That exchange highlights the most meaningful currency in this 30+ year long drama that is just now seeing its climax unfold on the public stage: silence. At every turn, it is the silence that serves as a proxy for power in the story of Bill Cosby, his alleged sexual deviance and the current downward spiral of public opinion. Silence here, as in most cases, represents the power wielded and power taken by those who are seen as, well, powerful.

Everything went to hell after that interview. More women came forward. You could feel the momentum shift. Cosby and his legal team have done everything in their power to destroy every victim, delay the judgement of the courts, and keep him out of prison.

So long, motherfucker.


We Need Another Show Like The Sopranos

mg.jpg

The Deuce has a lot of things going for it, and this is as close as you’re going to get to actual adult programming these days:

“Who would have thought the most boring part of this whole thing would have been the fucking?”

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s prostitute turned adult filmmaker gets the line of the episode in Sunday night’s season two premiere of The Deuce, the ‘70s-set look at the sex workers and vagrants populating Times Square from The Wire’s David Simon and George Pelecanos

The quip doubles as a keen mission statement for a subtle, culturally mandated redirection in the series’ new season. To continue to merely titillate, scandalize, or expose the seediness of the sex industry, no matter what truths or humanities are revealed along the way, would be mundane to the point of problematic. 

This is a season that centers around female sex workers finding their agency, learning that they have a right to be protected, discovering their worth, and taking control of their rights and bodies. 

It’s a slight shift. Season one of the series was always headed in this direction, but season two accelerates down that path with showy purpose. And, despite his continued presence and entertaining dual performance as brothers Vincent and Frankie, you can’t help but suspect that the person—or at least the story—The Deuce is speeding away from is James Franco.

When The Sopranos appeared, it was actual adult entertainment for thinking people. It wasn’t just the sex and violence; it was the thinking that went into how the sex and the violence were used to tell the story. The same thing can be said of Breaking Bad and whatever else you like, but there is a real absence of television for thinking adults.

Anywhere you find David Simon, prepare to use your brain. My brain tells me James Franco probably isn’t going to make it to a third season, if it happens at all.