March 19, 2012

Prometheus is Set to Melt Our Minds This Summer

You feel that? That's me strapping a jet engine to the hype train for this movie. Easily my most anticipated movie of the summer right now. Way more than Batman or Avengers at this point.

March 14, 2012

24 Movie Delayed Again...The Great Beeping Clock of Life Goes On


It is with great timely sadness that I inform you all that the 24 Movie has been delayed yet again. According to Deadline Hollywood, FOX doesn't know if it will have enough time to do the movie and shoot the second season of Kiefer Sutherland's new show "Touch," which as I pointed out does not have Bauer biting off terrorist's heads, but rather him doing math or helping his kid do math. But for all you Bauer junkies out there, the deadline article also reports that the film was to be the start of a trilogy of films and it is not "dead" just delayed. From being rumored to being a Die Hard crossover/teamup to script re-writes the project has been through a lot. Then again, so has Jack, and he's still going. I'm confident the movie will come out one day, I just hope Jack hasn't gone too emo yet.

March 9, 2012

TPG WIRED: In Praise of Slim Charles

I have finished watching "The Wire" and simply put, it is the best TV show I have ever seen*. I enjoyed the show on so many different levels, I've decided to share my various perspectives on it with you guys here. So, if you haven't seen the masterpiece I will be talking about the the show as a whole, which is complicated way of saying SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERSThat being said if you have seen it, please tell your friends about these series of posts, and if you haven't gazed about the power of epic TV, allow me to say that the hype is real.

It seems like I finished "The Wire" just in time. Thanks to the popular site Grantland's March Madness inspired bracket for the show, my facebook feed has been blowing up with people chiming in with their favorite moments and characters. Yet besides my man Carver being left off, there is one character that I feel is one of the most underappreciated on the entire shebang. I'm talking about my man Slim Charles, who TV critic Alan Sepinwall calls a "samurai" in one of his excellent recaps of the show. He may not be as flashy as other people on the show (I'm looking at you Omar) but got dayum if he isn't the wisest, toughest, and loyal in the entire thing.

Everyone's always talking about Omar! Omar is the shit, Omar is the most badass character on The Wire/Earth/Any fictional Universe, yeah yeah, please! You know who is the first to thwart a Omar Stash house robbery? Slim Charles! At the start of season 2 Dude is lurking upstairs and starts a major gunfight with the shotgun savant. The fact that he goes up against Omar, and seemingly even outsmarts him, when he's at the height of his powers should show you that Slim is not to be taken lightly.

But that's not what makes him such an incredible character in my eyes. Slim is like the walking embodiment of the code of the "streets" and in some ways the world. Throughout the show he drops serious knowledge that is in fact so deep, you think he's almost some type of B'More prophet. Back in Season 3 it is him that scolds the young shooters for going at Omar and his Grandma on a Sunday. It's also him that tells Stringer he doesn't want any part of "this assassination shit" when the Kingpin orders him to put a hit on Clay Davis. But it's not until Slim drops some serious truth on Avon after Stringer's death that the corn-rowed gangster shines through.

Besides Avon's crisis of identity, this scene is notable because Slim Charles is not only tackling the war with Marlo, but very obviously tackling the real world war with Iraq that was raging in 2004 when this episode aired. Sure, it's not subtle, but it's effective and further proves just how wise the man is.

But let me be real with chu. Slim Charles is probably most well known in "Wire-Lore" or "Wiore" (is that weird) as the dude that so refreshingly kills Cheese in the series finale. Over the course of the show there are only two characters that I despised. The first was Scott Templeton, the lying sleazy reporter from the Sun and the second was Cheese Wagstaff. He sold out Prop Joe to Marlow, tries to act tough all the time, goes up against Brotha Mouzone and survives (totally un-earned). So when Slim, the legend, the Baltimore Street Jesus ices him, it's not just Slim doing it, it's for everyone on the streets and us watching the show, that hate fake ass gangsters or as 50 cent once said  wankstas." When the dealer who kind of looks like Spike Lee says: "This sentimental Motherfucker just cost us money," he's shrugged off. He iced Cheese as everyone knows for Joe, but he also puts one in his dome him because Slim Charles is the greatest character on the Wire and only he was worthy to kill the most annoying. His reward for the noble deed, good sir, is inheriting the co-op and control of the streets of Baltimore.  Slim. Charles. Legend.

March 5, 2012

TPG WIRED: The Show As A Cop Story

I have finished watching "The Wire" and simply put, it is the best TV show I have ever seen*. I enjoyed the show on so many different levels, I've decided to share my various perspectives on it with you guys here. So, if you haven't seen the masterpiece I will be talking about the ot as a whole, which is complicated way of saying SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! That being said if you have seen it, please tell your friends about these series of posts, and if you haven't gazed about the power of epic TV, allow me to say that the hype is real.

Throughout each of the 5 seasons of "The Wire," there are cops and everybody else. Supporting characters shift between dock workers, teachers, and newspaper reporters, but the police officers remain the same for each season. Characters and personalities may change, but at the end of the day, the cops are at the center. The shows creator, David Simon, who was a reporter in the 80's spent a year shadowing the Baltimore police department and his deep knowledge of how a city's boys makes all the differences. He knows how police departments work and he knows about the value of "the case."

Ahhh yes, "the case," the focal point of every season. Most cop shows are procedural with a "case a week" structure, but "The Wire" is different because it follows as "case a season" or maybe arguably a "case a series" structure. This focus on the larger narrative makes it feel kind of like super mythology heavy shows like "Lost" and "Game of Thrones," and that's a good thing. The cops are investigating the dealers, but the dealers are connected to the Greeks, who are working with the dock workers, who's union is tied to the politicians, who may or may deal with the drug kingpins. In the words of the show, "all the pieces matter." This is detective work on a gigantic scale, something which you rarely ever see on TV and it's totally fantastic. I mean someone like Clay Davis, who is just a side character in season one, turns out to be a huge character in later seasons. Everything is connected.

But even as a procedural the show works extremely well. Each episode shows how the police use technology, smarts, and just plain police work to solve the case. On the show you have the "Major Crimes Unit," which is kind of the police super team that does all the super cool surveillance stuff. It's a thrill seeing the unit in action and the lengths they to go to get the titular "wire" up on the bad guys, but that's just part of it. There are drug dealer codes to be cracked, favors needed to be called in to the FBI, warrants that need to be issued by judges, undercover missions, police tails on cars, interrogations, you know all that awesome cop shit that is fun to watch but you don't want to have happen to you! It's all in there!

Like any good police narrative, you got your colorful cast of characters. Everybody from Da Bunk with his suits and cigars, Greggs with her strict moral code, and Lester with his wood shaping hobby and almost superhuman knowledge of surveillance technology are just a part of a the perfectly written police department. You have hyper aggressive cops who just want to kick down doors and bust faces, you have smart detectives like McNulty who want to work the case, and you have some guys that fall somewhere in the middle. During the series, you can see how each police officer's experience working the beat changes them. Some people like Carver (my fave character) go from being a cop who might snag a little drug money during a raid on a stash house to being cops who do the right thing aka "good poolice," and he's just one of the many cops who go on this journey.

And that's what the show really is, a journey both into the heart of a police force and it's characters, but also a journey with police on a badass solving cases saving the day way as well. It's also dope that it's on HBO so there is plenty of gritty language and violence, but that's just part of the game, it's the characters and the journey of the police that count!

Stay Tuned for the next installment where I focus on the drug dealers

*I've never seen The Sopranos