The Wire aspect ratio

We started to get bent out of shape earlier this week when HBO announced that the aspect ratio of The Wire HD remasters would be set at 16:9 rather than the original 4:3 broadcast ratio. Series creator David Simon quickly weighed in to provide a great deal of information on the remaster process, and we learned that in most cases these remasters would be using more information from the original camera negative, rather than cropping information from the top and/or bottom of the original presentation.

The gif above shows the basic result of this process, thanks to a couple example videos Simon has provided on his own site. Below, we’ve got a couple more examples, and some larger images you can check out to see the differences between the show’s original presentation and the new HD remasters. Read More »

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The Wire HD remasters

The Wire is coming to HD at last, but perhaps not quite in the form you want. The show was formatted for a 4:3 aspect ratio when originally shot and broadcast, and that’s how it was released on DVD. But for The Wire HD remasters, which will first be available on HBO Go and for digital purchase before eventually appearing on Blu-ray, the show has been formatted for a 16:9 presentation. Note the word “formatted” there rather than “cropped,” as the choice is intentional and important.

Reaction to this news, especially coming so soon after The Simpsons debacle on FXX and the Simpsons World portal, was quick, and very negative. In short, seeing such concessions made to a project like The Wire — a creator-driven, serious drama that originally played to a limited fanbase —  is a sign that the aspect ratio war is basically over, and we’ve lost.

But in the case of The Wire, the situation is more complicated than that. Let the show’s creator David Simon explain. Read More »

Aidan Gillen as Tommy Carcetti on The Wire

HBO’s The Wire ended its run in 2008 after 60 episodes across five acclaimed seasons. But if creator David Simon had had his way, he might have stuck around that universe a little bit longer. In a recent interview, he talked about his discarded plans for a The Wire spinoff centered on Tommy Carcetti, the Baltimore politician played by Aidan Gillen.

Hit the jump for more details about The Wire spinoff that never was, including Simon’s explanation of why it never was.

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The Wire Season 3 Header

Rumors exploded all over the internet Tuesday that the legendary HBO series, The Wire, was being remastered into high definition for an upcoming marathon. Well, sorry to burst the bubble of all you Bubbles fans out there, but the statement is only half true. HBO has confirmed that, yes, the David Simon series – which originally aired and was released on DVD in standard definition, full screen –  is in the process of being remastered for high definition widescreen. Unfortunately, that process is still ongoing and will most certainly not begin airing later this month as rumored. Read More »

Kevin Wilson - Se7en

Some of our greatest art has to do with crime. People who commit it, people who fight it, people who study it, these are stories that very easily provide gripping emotion. Innumerable classic movies, music, television and more are based on crime and a new gallery exhibit celebrates it all.

The Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles presents an exhibit called I Am The Law/A Life of Crime opening Friday August 15. Dozens of artists from all over the world have dramatized their favorite movies and television shows where someone either breaks the laws or enforces them. That opens up a pretty wide spectrum, from Sherlock, The Wire, The Blues Brothers, Luther and Hannibal on TV to RoboCop, Lethal Weapon, The Killer, The Godfather, Se7en and Die Hard at the movies. They all are represented plus many more. Below, see just a tiny selection of art from I Am The Law/A Life of Crime. Read More »

Even movie fans would agree some of the best entertainment made during the past two decades has been on premium cable. Whether it’s HBO shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City and Game of Thrones or Showtime shows like Dexter, Weeds and Homeland, movies are regularaly getting schooled by TV in terms of character, story and scope. Plus, even if you love a movie, it’s only two hours. A great TV show can be hundreds.

And while we’re all very used to seeing art inspired by movies, art inspired by TV always elicits a slightly more excited response which is why the brand new Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY has picked premium TV for its first exhibit. More Than You Imagined: Art Inspired By Premium Cable opens September 7 and features work by Mark Englert, Kevin Ang, Brandon Schaefer, Joshua Budich, Tim Doyle and many others.

After the jump, check out a huge gallery of work from shows like all the ones mentioned above as well as The Kids in the Hall, Flight of the Conchords, Tales from the Crypt, Boardwalk Empire, Party Down and others, plus find out how you can see it yourself and see how you can buy a print for charity too. Read More »

This edition of TV Bits has casting, rumors, Lego and even some controversy. After the jump read about:

  • Joel McHale will join FX’s Sons of Anarchy for a multi-episode story this season.
  • Broadway actor Sebastian Arcelus joins Kevin Spacey and David Fincher‘s Netflix show House of Cards.
  • Watch classic scenes from The Wire in Lego. It’s even better than it sounds.
  • Guillermo Del Toro offers an update on the Hulk pilot.
  • Emmy nominee Giancarlo Esposito has some interesting thoughts on this season of Breaking Bad.
  • Fred Willard has been fired from his PBS show Market Warriors after being caught in a XXX rated theater.

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This month marks the 10-year anniversary of HBO’s The Wire, which naturally means it’s about time for a remake. Enter The Wire: The Musical, a stage show that retains all of the original series’ thoughtful examinations of weighty sociopolitical issues and unflinching sense of realism, only with more twirls, high kicks, and showstopping solos.

… All right, so it’s a Funny or Die video, not a real production. But it does feature several of the real stars, including Michael K. Williams (Omar), Sonja Sohn (Kima), Larry Gillard Jr. (D’Angelo), Andre Royo (Bubbles), and Felicia Pearson (Snoop).

After the jump, watch a video for The Wire: The Musical and read about Community‘s six nominations for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

Read More »

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