Nichols film vs. Sorkin’s script

After seeing Charlie Wilson’s War last Monday night I wrote that I liked it, and I meant that. I said “there is edge and attitude in this Mike Nichols film — certainly irony upon irony. And it does stay with you.” I also said that if you can “kick back, chill down and enjoy what’s awfully well-crafted and efficient about it (which isn’t hard), you’ll be fine with it too.”

But the honest fact is that I like Aaron Sorkin‘s 5.25.05 version of his Charlie Wilson’s War script somewhat more.

I don’t know how much of Sorkin’s script Nichols actually shot, but it’s been said that Nichols cut, re-cut and then re-cut some more, and then did some extra shooting. Nichols’ game plan, in any case, seems to have been to water down the explicit political references and generally play up the charm and the heroism (while toning down the irresponsible boozing) of Tom Hanks‘ Charlie Wilson character.

The final version of Charlie Wilson’s War runs 97 minutes with credits, and Sorkin’s ’05 script runs 145 pages. Based on the page content, it’s obvious that the movie has been shaped in order to be less complex, much more upbeat and explicitly depoliticized, which to say scrubbed clean of all specific Al Qeada and 9.11 mentions.

If each scene in Sorkin’s 145-page script had been shot, the film would have at least run a solid two hours, or roughly 20 to 25 minutes longer. (Nichols shot the film at a fast pace, like a comedy, so figure less than a minute a page.) The finished film tells the same basic story, but it contains only about 70% of the material that Sorkin put to page.

The script reminds you that Sorkin is a fine screenwriter and a seasoned pro — he knows how to make a script tight and fat-free and tell a good story. And I just feel that what he wrote two and a half years ago is a denser, darker and more explicit thing than the film. I’m not putting Nichols’ movie down — it’s fine for what it is. I just wish he’d used more of Sorkin’s material.

I also wish Nichols hadn’t tried so hard to make Wilson, a real-life Texas Congressman who in the late ’80s almost single-handedly arranged to supply the Afghanistan Muhjadeen with arms that led to the defeat of the Russian invaders, into such a red-white-and-blue hero.

The movie begins and ends with Hanks being given an award for his valiant efforts along these lines, and I have to say that this scene feels over-sold, as if there was a determination to make sure the audience understands that Charlie Wilson’s War is an “up” movie about a true American patriot, which it mainly is. It just seems as if this was done to make sure audiences wouldn’t interpret the film as another left-liberal downer movie about the negative effects of American intervention in the Middle East.

Nichols and the producers were, I’m sure, particularly afraid of saying too explicitly that in helping the Muhjadeen we might have helped stir the pot and sew the seeds that led to the 9.11 disaster. Too dark, muddled and accusatory — better to serve up an amiable patriotic comedy that won’t alienate the moviegoers who’ve been avoiding Middle East flicks like the plague over the last couple of months.

There’s no “congratulations, Charlie!” scene at the beginning and end of Sorkin’s script, for one thing. And while Nichols ignores it, Sorkin depicts a drunken hit-and-run accident that Wilson actually got into in Washington, D.C., right before a second visit to Afghanistan refugee camps. (In the film the trip happens in order to persuade Ned Beatty‘s white-haired U.S. Senator character, Doc Long, to vote for funding the arms shipments.)

In a briefing scene on page 107 attended by Wilson and Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s Gust Avrakatos, a “briefer” makes an explicit reference to an anti-Soviet fighting group in Afghanistan “that we like… funded by a wealthy Saudi aristocrat. They call themselves The Base, which translates in Arabic to Al Qeada.” I’ve only seen the film once, but I don’t remember hearing this line in Nichols’ film.

And there’s a longer version of the scene between Hanks and Hoffman on the balcony when Gust reviews the possible blowback consequences of having shown a bunch of undeducated, “off-the-charts stupid” people who don’t get the New York Times delivered to their doorstep (and therefore won’t, he predicts, understand down the road that we helped them kick the Russians out of Afghanistan) how to take on a super-power.

Nichols’ film doesn’t ignore the after-effects of our Afghanistan intervention. The film says that in the end “we fucked up the end game.” It just plays down the specific 9.11 echoes.

At the very end of Sorkin’s script there’s a three-page epilogue that takes place in Charlie’s D.C. apartment on the morning of 9.11.01 — a scene absent in Nichols’ movie. We can tell that it’s several years later by Charlie looking grayer, being married and talking about being sober. He’s pouring coffee as he talks to his off-screen wife when the building is rocked by a loud boom. Charlie goes out on the balcony and sees that the Pentagon is burning. The phone rings and his wife picks up. She tells Charlie, “It’s Gust…he says to turn on the TV.”

51 thoughts on “Nichols film vs. Sorkin’s script

  1. Judging by this description, I would have liked the film a LOT more if it had hewn to Sorkin’s script — particularly the ending. You are right, the line about Al Qaeda is not in the film. I never expected such a flag-waving exercise from Mike Nichols. Surely the guy who made “Carnal Knowledge” could have gone a bit darker.

  2. It’s also entirely possible that Nichols, who is a man of the world and undoubtedly well versed in history, thought that Sorkin’s script (epilogue in particular) was making too simplistic and facile a point about supposed American culpability in the rise of Islamic so-called fundamentalism*. This is a movement, after all, that blames “us” for the Crusades several centuries before we existed and for whom the greatest catastrophe in history was Ataturk’s abolition of the Caliphate in the 1920s, an act we had about as much to do with as sandstorms on Jupiter. Yes, the aid we gave them against the Soviets helped bring a certain movement together, the Soviet collapse in the aftermath of Afghanistan gave them the conviction that they could bring down mighty Satans, but the jihadi movement had, remember, already taken over one major and various other secondary countries by the time of the events of this movie– read V.S. Naipauls Among Believers for a picture of it as an iron curtain falling everywhere before Afghanistan figured in the picture.

    History is full of moments when someone who was a minor player in one decade takes the lead in another. Ho Chi Minh attended the Versailles conferences in 1919. That doesn’t mean Woodrow Wilson created the Vietnam War– or the Iraq one– yet things he and others did there and then are undoubtedly anetecedents to both. (If only Gertrude Bell had drawn the borders a little different, we’d live in a very different world…)

    * A hopelessly inapt adaptation of a Christian concept to another religion, but one we seem to be stuck with.

  3. Maybe Nichols solicited Todd McCarthy’s advice before deciding on his final cut — McCarthy explictly applauds the film for running 97 minutes instead of 2:20.

    The brevity of Charlie definitely pegs it as “lighter” per McCarthy’s observation… maybe Nichols didn’t have the footage to make it work as a longer, more serious film. In any case, less Julia is always a cause for celebration.

  4. I don’t think those opening and closing scenes are as simple as all that – the failure and guilt is all there in Hanks’ eyes.

  5. “Charlie goes out on the balcony and sees that the Pentagon is burning. The phone rings and his wife picks up. She tells Charlie, “It’s Gust…he says to turn on the TV.” ”

    I think what Wells meant to say was that it was possible for CWW to be even more politically and morally illiterate than it already is.

    The Democrats won the Cold War and we brought 9/11 on ourselves. That’s just too funny.

  6. We did bring 9/11 on ourselves. Like, literally, man. I wish it weren’t so but the evidence is overwhelming that at the very least, our government had foreknowledge and “allowed” the events to occur. Why do you think the administration fought tooth and nail against an actual, open investigation? Explain this, please. Go ahead, make my day, tough guy.

  7. This seems like bad news. Who wouldn’t want to see the longer, darker, more political version? Part of what intrigued me about this movie in the first place was how they would portray everything that happened in relation to our current situation. That’s the tricky, and, to me, most interesting part. Hearing they’ve scrubbed Hanks’ character into a boring hero type sucks. It’s funny, this project is much more Hanks’ baby than Nichols’, correct? Hanks found the book, wanted to make the movie, developed it, and then essentially hired Nichols, right? So it seems strange now to read about Nichols nudging the project in such a different direction. Is this really the story Hanks originally set out to tell? I guess when you hire a heavyweight like Nichols you have to give him final cut? I wonder if Hanks and Nichols are on the same page with this.

  8. You don’t have to believe ‘we brought 9/11 on ourselves’ to engage in a little healthy self reflection about our place in the world.

    The movie is essentially saying we’re great at making war, but since WWII we have had a bad habit of getting bored and picking up our marbles and going home when the TV-genic shooting is all over. It sounds like the movie soft-pedalled the message, but it’s still there.

    Disappointing it doesn’t sting more though.

    The thing is Mgmax, the very arguments you’ve made before for staying in Iraq would’ve applied equally to Afghanistan. Are you really saying letting the Afghans twist in the wind after the Soviets left wasn’t a bad idea?

    And before you try to dismantle my argument from the back door, know that I’ve never advocated for a wholesale pull out of Iraq.

    There it is. Commence useless political shit storm.

  9. In other words, the film hews closely to the spirit of the book of George Crile, who actually did the research and interviewing, rather than the accepted views of left-wing film reviewers.

    We gave Stalin plenty of weaponry and financial support under Lend Lease. We were allies of Ho Chi Minh. Generally speaking, you fight the war that’s in front of you. You worry about the next one when it comes.

  10. It’s not just the movie that portrays the second trip to persuade Doc Long to support the Afgans, thats in the book and assume it’s real life as well.
    I haven’t seen the film, but I wish the very real weaknesses of Wilson’s character (such as the drunken hit and run) were included.
    But I agree that it is absurd to blame the US’s support of the Afgans for 9/11. The world is an amazingly complex place (yes, astute I am) and it is absurd to think that accurate predictions of all the remifications down the road. The Solviet invasion of Afganistan was a real evil as the Carter and Reagan administrations both recognized and it was right to fight it.

  11. We’ve seen the “Blame America” films and read the newspaper, books, and magazine “self-reflection” ad nauseum.

    Here’s an idea! Just came to me. A bit of the ole’ inspiration. How about a “Blame The People Who Actually Did It” movie??!!

    Imagine this: Al-Queda’s the bad guy. Osama bin Laden the lead bad guy. America is the victim. Bush and our brave troops kicks their ass all over the place? (Not in Iraq — don’t want to portray that positively yet — liberal heads will explode).

    America fucks up. America had it coming. America brought it on themselves… Got it that in MUNICH, BOURNE, MIGHTY HEART, etc, etc, etc… What say we moveon.org now?

    And I’m just curious, when did Hollywood liberals start opposing Communism? When did fighting Communism become a good thing? A movie with that theme might’ve actually made money, you know, when it mattered.

    I repeat: 20 years from now a 105 yer old Mike Nichols will look at a healthy Iraq and Afghanistan — both prospering and important allies of ours — say “whoops, wrong again” — and make a movie wildly out of historical context trying to give the Democrats sole credit for that as well.

    Let’s just hope it’s better plotted, doesn’t collapse into an episodic mess in the second-half, the characters are actually fleshed out, and the LIBERAL WHITE KNIGHT SAVING THE LITTLE BROWN SYMBOLS theme is less patronizing.

  12. Ok Harry, in 20 years I’ll be interested to see where we get between the finger pointing conservatives and the finger pointing liberals.

    Everyone’s got someone else to blame and no one is willing to look at themselves and wonder how they could be doing things differently. Meanwhile we keep circling the toilet bowl wondering who’ll be the last to go down.

    For those that have read the script, riddle me this: Does Sorkin explicitly or implicitly say that supporting the Mujahideen vs. the Soviets was a bad idea or does he simply say (like the movie) the mistake was leaving a vacuum?

  13. cj: The film also posits the arming of the Mujahideen was a bad idea. It’s implied with Ned Beatty’s God speech in the refugee camp when they all start chanting like a its a Jim Jones revival. Catch the uh,oh look between Hanks and Hoffman in the middle of it. You almost get the sense America’s fervent Christians planted the extremism seed in the Aghan rebels. Ugh… On-the-nose terrible.

  14. I thought WORKING GIRL was a pretty Reagansque era film.

    9/11 happened because of a confluence of bad foreign policy decisions — like it or not, OBL has stated that the attack was in response to US bases on Saudi holy land — and the rise in Islamic extremism. But it’s sad to hear people shut down any honest discussion of how 9/11 relates to our habit of getting into bed with bad bad people. On the GOP side, only Ron Paul gets this.

    I mean, do people really think it’s a coinky dink that the man who attacked America just happens to be part of a family whose friends include George Bush Sr? Come on.

    From a prescient 1998 essay by Eric Margolis:

    In 1986, I became the first journalist to learn the full story about the Islamic International Brigades that had been formed to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. The CIA, Saudi intelligence, and Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence(ISI) transported, trained, armed and directed the Islamic Brigades, whose story I covered in Peshawar, Pakistan, and in combat against the communists, inside Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden was employed by CIA as a chief recruiter, as was the Egyptian cleric, Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, who was jailed for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

    http://www.twf.org/News/Y1998/19980830-ReapTerror.html

  15. You didn’t find the shooting gallery business with the helicopters and Wilson’s first trip to Afghanistan to have tipped the scales in favor of intervention? Really?

    I thought the movie accepted the correctness of this act, but wasn’t beyond pointing out that it’s a double edged sword. Oh wait, that would be the self reflection part you’re not so fond of.

  16. cj: I love when people put words in my mouth. Please, please quote me where I wrote I:”didn’t find the shooting gallery business with the helicopters and Wilson’s first trip to Afghanistan to have tipped the scales in favor of intervention? Really?”

    You try to have a civil debate and a moron rises. However sarcastically I might be putting it, I am saying it’s nice liberal Hollywood finally sees fighting Comminism as a good thing.

    My point was not that the film opposed intervention, my point was to point out to you that there is IN FACT a moment in the film when the protags wonder if it wasn’t such a good idea. But they don’t blame Democrats “arming” rebels on 9/11 (that would be unforgivably blaming liberals for anything wrong in the world). It’s lamely implied that the arming of the rebels by CHRISTIANS was a bad idea. That the right-wingers involvement got them all ginned up for a Holy War.

    But I am most certainly saying that in 20-years those gunship shots of Soviets annihlating the Afghans will be shots of Al-Queda killing innocent Iraqis as soon as Hollywood says “whoops, wrong side of history again — let’s rewrite it and credit a Democrat for doing intervening in Iraq.”

  17. “We did bring 9/11 on ourselves. Like, literally, man. I wish it weren’t so but the evidence is overwhelming that at the very least, our government had foreknowledge and “allowed” the events to occur. Why do you think the administration fought tooth and nail against an actual, open investigation? Explain this, please. Go ahead, make my day, tough guy.”

    Yeah, man. Just like the overwhelming evidence “proving” global warming.

    I love this strategy of debating: Make an outlandish claim, provide no proof whatsoever, then leave it to your opponent to disprove it. If he/she doesnt, it is automatically true.

    I brush my teeth every day. I dont have cancer. Therefore, brush your teeth prevents cancer. Prove me wrong tough guy.

  18. I wasn’t quoting you Harry, I was asking you a direct question. You said the movie claimed arming the Mujahideen was a bad idea and I wanted to be clear that you didn’t think those scenes were meant to justify the arming.

    And I was being polite, but don’t call me a moron you hypersensitive twat.

  19. Hash, did you really write:

    “We did bring 9/11 on ourselves. Like, literally, man.”

    And then write:

    “I love this strategy of debating: Make an outlandish claim, provide no proof whatsoever, then leave it to your opponent to disprove it.”

    …just asking.

  20. Hash: My Supreme Bad. I didn’t catch the sarcasm. I was hitting the stop button when I did, but it didn’t catch.

    cj: This is polite? — “Oh wait, that would be the self reflection part you’re not so fond of.”

    Really, that’s polite where you come from? Were you raised on an asshole farm?

  21. “But I am most certainly saying that in 20-years those gunship shots of Soviets annihlating the Afghans will be shots of Al-Queda killing innocent Iraqis as soon as Hollywood says “whoops, wrong side of history again — let’s rewrite it and credit a Democrat for doing intervening in Iraq.”"

    This may be the liberal media influencing me, but how many members of Al-Queda were in Iraq killing Iraqis before the U.S. invasion? I’ve always heard their presence was pretty low.

  22. That was a little of the ol’ sarcasm Harry and it’s about as far as I usually go. Friendly? No. Impolite? At least it stopped short of a personal insult.

    Thank you however for reminding me why I try to stay out of these BS political arguments that accomplish nothing.

  23. cj: You’re more than welcome.

    AJW: Let me rephrase for those of you who don’t want to believe al-Queda was in Iraq. No need to argue. Let me simply restate the sentence in a way to avoid disagreement but make the same point:

    But I am most certainly saying that in 20-years those gunship shots of Soviets annihlating the Afghans will be replaced with shots of Saddam brutalizing his own people, filling mass graves with a million women and children, funding Palestinian suicide bombers, and waiting out the feckless UN to restart his WMD program so he can gas a few more thousand Kurds, after Hollywood figures out, “whoops, wrong side of history as usual — let’s rewrite it and credit a Democrat for putting a stop to that.”

    Better?

  24. There’s no sand on Jupiter.
    “Al Qaeda” and “Al Qaeda in Iraq” are two different groups.
    Harry, take a stress pill and come back later.

  25. Harry: I didn’t read the entire conversation because I didn’t think there would be much point in needlessly annoying myself. I just picked the two easiest points to refute that I saw on first glance.

  26. There’s no sand on Jupiter.

    That’s what Halliburton wants you to think!

    “Al Qaeda” and “Al Qaeda in Iraq” are two different groups.

    Ah yes, the middle east, that magical land where everything is connected to America doing something, and nothing is connected to everyone getting money from the same Saudis and Iranians to fight the same enemies.

  27. “I repeat: 20 years from now a 105 yer old Mike Nichols will look at a healthy Iraq and Afghanistan — both prospering and important allies of ours”

    Yeah, just like Korea and Vietnam.

  28. Wow Dirty Harry, when CJ Kennedy – perhaps the most polite, civil and genuinely good-natured fellow who frequents this board – when you’ve got him calling you a hypersensitive twat, that pretty much means you are.

  29. Mgmax: “It’s also entirely possible that Nichols, who is a man of the world and undoubtedly well versed in history, thought that Sorkin’s script (epilogue in particular) was making too simplistic and facile a point about supposed American culpability in the rise of Islamic so-called fundamentalism*.”

    Yes, them having easy access to weapons and training through us is just coincidence.

    “This is a movement, after all, that blames “us” for the Crusades several centuries before we existed.”

    True, but Bush chose to bring the tradition back into the 21st century.

    “* A hopelessly inapt adaptation of a Christian concept to another religion, but one we seem to be stuck with.”

    http://www.luciferianliberationfront.org/sf.html

    “Yes, the aid we gave them against the Soviets helped bring a certain movement together, the Soviet collapse in the aftermath of Afghanistan gave them the conviction that they could bring down mighty Satans, but the jihadi movement had, remember, already taken over one major and various other secondary countries by the time of the events of this movie–”

    Yeah, our oil money contributed to it.

    “Ho Chi Minh attended the Versailles conferences in 1919. That doesn’t mean Woodrow Wilson created the Vietnam War–”

    But the countries at Versailles weren’t funding his coup.

    PerfectTommy: “The Solviet invasion of Afganistan was a real evil as the Carter and Reagan administrations both recognized and it was right to fight it.”

    So two wrongs make a right?

    Harry: “Imagine this: Al-Queda’s the bad guy. Osama bin Laden the lead bad guy. America is the victim. Bush and our brave troops kicks their ass all over the place? (Not in Iraq — don’t want to portray that positively yet — liberal heads will explode).”

    But we still haven’t caught Bin Laden, and most Republican politicians have dismissed him as the “bad guy” by now…

    “I repeat: 20 years from now a 105 yer old Mike Nichols will look at a healthy Iraq and Afghanistan –”

    Isn’t that what you were arguing 20 years ago, too?

    “But I am most certainly saying that in 20-years those gunship shots of Soviets annihlating the Afghans will be shots of Al-Queda killing innocent Iraqis”

    Except that Al-Qaeda is actually recruiting those innocent Iraqis, because they don’t like us in their country.

    “shots of Saddam brutalizing his own people, filling mass graves with a million women and children,”

    With our weapons and money?

    “funding Palestinian suicide bombers,’

    The Sauds do, too. But they’re ok, because they whip women who get raped, while selling us oil cheap.

    “and waiting out the feckless UN to restart his WMD program so he can gas a few more thousand Kurds,”

    You mean those same Kurds we’re allowing Turkey to bomb, so the country allows us to bomb more Iraqis, because it doesn’t want to admit to its own little genocide?

    Hash: “Yeah, man. Just like the overwhelming evidence “proving” global warming.”

    The worst fires across the country in half a decade in fucking October don’t tell you anything?

  30. Thanks for unexpected back-up OddDuck.

    Jeffmcm, I’m sorry to say that in a way I hope DZ never goes away because some of your responses to him are endlessly entertaining.

  31. I wish I had a camera in DZ’s or Dirty Harry’s places to see what they look like when they’re typing. That would be good stuff.

    And have the two of them ever had a smackdown or would that be like trying to put two autistic kids in the same room together and they just ignore each other?

  32. “It’s also entirely possible that Nichols, who is a man of the world and undoubtedly well versed in history, thought that Sorkin’s script (epilogue in particular) was making too simplistic and facile a point about supposed American culpability in the rise of Islamic so-called fundamentalism*.”

    Thank you MgMax. Nichols simply chose to not engage in the simplistic yet dangerous philosophy known as “moral relativism”. Its a shame Mr.Depalma could not do the same. You can’t expect Hollywood to actually study history.

    D.Z.
    How is anybody supposed to take you seriously when you think the prospects of Indy 4 are based on box office of Rambo 4?

  33. “It’s also entirely possible that Nichols, who is a man of the world and undoubtedly well versed in history, thought that Sorkin’s script (epilogue in particular) was making too simplistic and facile a point about supposed American culpability in the rise of Islamic so-called fundamentalism*.”

    Thank you MgMax. Nichols simply chose to not engage in the simplistic yet dangerous philosophy known as “moral relativism”. Its a shame Mr.Depalma could not do the same. You can’t expect Hollywood to actually study history.

    D.Z.
    How is anybody supposed to take you seriously when you think the prospects of Indy 4 are based on box office of Rambo 4?

  34. “I repeat: 20 years from now a 105 yer old Mike Nichols will look at a healthy Iraq and Afghanistan — both prospering and important allies of ours — say “whoops, wrong again” — and make a movie wildly out of historical context trying to give the Democrats sole credit for that as well.”

    I was gonna say “just like Vietnam and Korea, then?” but Mgmax beat me to it!

  35. D.Z.: “The worst fires across the country in half a decade in fucking October don’t tell you anything?”

    It tells me that a few people played with matches. It would have told you that, too, had you read the policie reports.

    Although, we do have all those hurricanes that have been hitting recently. Wait…it hasnt been this slow in 50 years.

    Although, that hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger! Wait…not its not.

    The global warming “issue” has nothing to do with politics (in my mind) but everything to do with common sense.

  36. D.Z.: “The worst fires across the country in half a decade in fucking October don’t tell you anything?”

    It tells me that a few people played with matches. It would have told you that, too, had you read the policie reports.

    Although, we do have all those hurricanes that have been hitting recently. Wait…it hasnt been this slow in 50 years.

    Although, that hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger! Wait…no its not.

    The global warming “issue” has nothing to do with politics (in my mind) but everything to do with common sense.

  37. I don’t understand this conservative avoidance of global warming. Is it psychological? If all of us liberals said “we don’t think global warming is a big deal” would you start fighting it just to be spiteful?

    I ask because conservatives everywhere else on the planet are on board, pretty much.

  38. Hash: “It tells me that a few people played with matches. It would have told you that, too, had you read the policie reports.”

    We always get arsonists during warm weather. We don’t always get fires that destructive, though.

    “Although, we do have all those hurricanes that have been hitting recently. Wait…it hasnt been this slow in 50 years.”

    You have those historically awful droughts and forest fires in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, though.

  39. “Although, that hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger! Wait…not its not.”

    Wait! That’s not true! More Rush Limbaugh science.

    Here’s the facts from NASA:

    “The ozone hole was first discovered in 1985, is not natural, and at the current rate should be closed up by 2070, Newman said. Nearly 80 percent of the ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere are man-made.

    But those compounds stay in the atmosphere 40 to 100 years and the total amount of chlorine compounds in the air is only down 3.1 percent since 2001, Newman said. For the past 15 years or so, the ozone hole has been about the same size, going up slightly and down slightly, mostly based on the weather, he said. It appears from July to October.

    Warmer weather and more storms this year are the reason the hole is slightly smaller, Newman said.

    “There’s no way we could say we’re seeing real improvement, but it’s smaller because of the weather situation,” Newman said.”

    http://www.livescience.com/environment/071019-ap-ozone-hole.html

  40. Anybody seen the new CHARLIE WILSON FYC ads with the American flag in the Martini glass? Such a striking image, tells the story, paints a picture quickly. Why the fuck wasn’t that the one-sheet instead of the faux-Anderson monstrosity they foisted on us? They look like they’re walking to a LIFE AQUATIC photo shoot. Fuckers don’t want me to see this thing, obviously.

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