Oscar Isaac Show Me a Hero

The roles keep rolling in for Oscar Isaac. The Star Wars Episode VII actor has been set to star in HBO’s Show Me a Hero, from The Wire creator David Simon. Catherine Keener also boards the civil rights drama, based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin. Hit the jump for more details.

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Martin Luther King Jr miniseries

David Simon, creator of The Wire, has found his next project: a Martin Luther King Jr miniseries. Simon is attached to an upcoming HBO miniseries based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning history books America: In The King Years, by Taylor Branch. Oprah Winfrey‘s Harpo Productions owns the rights and will produce.

Simon will reportedly write the first episode and oversee the six-hour long show with his Treme co-creator Eric Overmyer. The novels cover the bulk of the civil rights movement from 1954-1968. Read More »

VOTD: The Visual Style of ‘The Wire’

Fans of The Wire jump at the chance to wax poetic about what some consider television’s all-time best show and this post is no different. A video has come online detailing the visual style of David Simon‘s landmark HBO drama which, if you’re familiar with the show, is kind of surprising. Ask anyone what they love about The Wire and “visual style” probably won’t make the top ten. The style, if it can even be called that at times, is largely clinical and straightforward, a crutch for the pitch perfect dialogue, characters and story. Or so we’re lead to believe.

In this 30 minute video essay, Erlend Lavik hypothesizes the visual style of The Wire is much more significant and impressive than generally considered. Check it out below. Read More »

For my money, The Wire is the best show to ever grace a television screen. I’ve watched I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, Seinfeld, M*A*S*H, The Sopranos, and I still think the The Wire towers above them all. For five amazing seasons, series creator David Simon created an intense, detailed and eye-opening cross-section of Baltimore’s beating heart by focusing on law enforcement, the drug trade, politics, education, shipping and the press. Praise for the show is almost universal, save for the Emmy voters who never gave The Wire a single award. And though it ended in 2008, fans still dream about the unlikely possibility of the show returning.

Among those fans is Attorney General Eric Holder who, last week, demanded that Simon and co-creator Ed Burns make another season. Or at least a movie. Friday, Simon responded to Holder with a simple request. He’ll do it, but first the Department of Justice must “reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug prohibition.” Point, Simon. Read the full quotes after the break. Read More »

boardwalk-treme

Two big new HBO shows are coming soon with significant talent involved. There is The Wire creator David Simon‘s new Treme, and Boardwalk Empire, with a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese. Each show gets a new trailer this week, and both are fantastic. I’m a bit partial to the one for Boardwalk Empire, if only because it has a killer line from Steve Buscemi.

Finally, you can watch the first episode of Band of Brothers follow-up The Pacific online for free, but you’ll have to give up some info to do so.

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treme

A simple — yet very effective — teaser for David Simon’s (The Wire, Generation Kill) new HBO series Treme has just popped online. Even at a mere fourty-seven seconds, it’s already giving me goosebumps. Hunter has covered some statements from Simon about the series last month. Here’s a primer: Treme is about a group of musicians and other folks living in the Treme neighborhood of post-Katrina New Orleans. The Wire’s Wendell Pierce, a New Orleans native, will play an accomplished jazz trombonist, and Clark Peters will portray the leader of a Mardi Gras Indian tribe. The rest of the cast includes Steve Zahn, John Goodman, and Melissa Leo.

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simon

There is little doubt in the minds of many critics and cultured viewers that any single season of The Wire would be perched near or atop the best films of the decade if it qualified. In a new eight-page interview with Vice, the writer and creator behind all five seasons of the HBO series, David Simon, offers characteristically solid, amusing no-bullshit insight into how The Wire was created.

Even post-finale, any casual conversation about The Wire is akin to slitting open the belly of a five-headed Jaws, and Simon dives in afresh. The series’ overarching theme, he says, is that, “Human beings—in [America] in particular—are worth less and less.” He also extends on why Charles Dickens “punked out” and why seasons weren’t set aside to tackle immigration and health care. What’s the main thematic difference between The Wire and his new, New Orleans set HBO series, Treme? Simon’s impassioned explanation, after the jump…

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In this week’s special episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam spend over 3 hours discussing one of the greatest cultural works of our time, The Wire. Special guests and TV critics Alan Sepinwall and Myles McNutt join us from their respective and wonderful blogs. The first hour is a general discussion about The Wire, its themes, and its impact, and is meant for general audiences including those unfamiliar with the show. The last two hours are a detailed dissection of each individual season (with sound clips). The entire series of The Wire came out on DVD this week. Buy it now at the insanely low price of $135 (I remember when they ued to be $70 each!)

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Love this type of special episode, or hate it? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993.

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Topics Discussed

  • (02:18) Why was The Wire the best show on TV?
  • (48:27) Season 1
  • (1:14:48) Season 2
  • (1:31:10) Season 3
  • (2:13:40) Season 4
  • (2:43:10) Season 5
  • (3:03:50) Closing Thoughts

Correction: In this episode, we mistakenly identified a character as Michael, when the correct person was in fact O-Dog. We regret this mistake. (Thanks commenters!)

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