First, a teaser for a teaser for Ben Stiller's upcoming film, "Tropic Thunder." NCSA's own Danny McBride (a.k.a Fred Simmons), co-stars in this film along with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black, and gets his name in big letters (as well as a line) in this teaser-teaser. This from Moriarty's aintitcool post:
"I’ve been hearing great things about this script ever since last year’s now-legendary round-table reading, where guys like Bill Hader and Danny McBride were destroying with regularity, and where I hear this thing really came to life."So "Thunder"'s got Robert Downey Jr. playing a self-absorbed actor doing blackface, Danny McBride "destroying with regularity", and what looks to be a hilarious cameo by Tom Cruise. Should be a lot of fun. The full teaser is supposed to be released a week from Monday. Teasing teasers teaser.
Second, the fifth and final season of "The Wire" wraps up tonight on HBO. The show's writers put out a statement this week which is, in part, an attempt to turn the questions they've asked, the angst they've felt, and the anger they've carried in researching and writing the show into political action. You can read the entire statement here; the most pertinent snippet is below:
"If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun's manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens."
After having seen read what I've read about the failed drug war, and after watching four seasons of David Simon's deeply-researched show, this declaration of "jury nullification" for non-violent drug offenses makes a lot of sense to me. Though some drug policy folks in Washington might sniff at the idea of TV writers sticking their nose into this complicated problem, I think they'd do well to listen closely. What these TV writers have done for the plight of the American inner city with five seasons of this show, is not dissimilar to what Dickens did for the plight of the poor in Victorian London with his many novels. For that Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, and David Simon (the "Wire"'s writers) have a right to weigh in on the issue, and their protest against this wrongheaded and unjust war deserves, I think, consideration.