Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Hot Club

A leftover from St. Pat's Day - Louisiana Steve called Jameson's 'Irish Wine'. Said Steve, "Because when the bottle is empty, the Irish whine."

Conversations overheard: A guy spots a young thing in stripes and says, "If I was 20 years younger…" Behind him a voice says, "30 Years."

Brendan popped in and said, "Sex is evil. Evil is sin. Sin is forgiven, So baby let me slip it in."

My spy tells me that some of the cast members of The Sopranos were at Pane E Vino on Federal Hill having dinner. Two couples were dining together when one of the men spotted the entourage and screamed out "Big Pussy!"

Foot Joy asked me if I knew how President Bush would handle the bird flu epidemic. FJ said, "He'll bomb the Canary Islands."

Brendan likes movies and challenged me to stump him with a line from a film. So I gave him an easy one - "What we have here is failure to communicate." He knew it was Cool Hand Luke. So then I gave him a tougher one - "Mook. What's a mook?" Brendan was stumped even when I gave him the hint that it was by the director who is the king of Mafia movies. And the first film starring Harvey Keitel and Robert DeNiro. It's from Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.

Contraire had a movie question for me: What was the name of the gorilla film that came out after the original King Kong? I said, "Mighty Joe Young." Later Contraire admitted to me that he doesn't ever go out to movies nor does he rent them. He waits until they show up on TV.

So we got into movie talk and I said that Burt Reynolds has had a long career for an ex-Florida State running back. I mentioned Deliverance as putting Reynolds on the map. Wise remembered The Longest Yard, which he thought was earlier but I said Deliverance came first. Foot Joy agreed saying that they came out within a couple years. He was right. Deliverance was 1972 and The Longest Yard 1974. And FJ knew that the first King Kong remake was out in 1976.

Then I pointed out that Burt Reynolds got his start as the young blacksmith on Gunsmoke (he replaced Dennis Weaver who played Chester). Foot Joy recalled Burt in the buff for Cosmo.

We moved on to William Shatner and the great Twilight Zone episode where he's just out of a mental hospital and sees a creature on the airplane wing trying to tear up the engine. Joking Joe recalled it was "Terror at 32,000 Feet". John Lithgow had the same role in Twilight Zone - The Movie. Joe said Shatner was on Lithgow's 3rd Rock from the Sun. Lithgow remarked that during his plane ride he saw a creature tearing up the engine. Shatner said, "You, too?"


This recent effort by Dario Argento stars his daughter Asia (pronounced A-sea-a). She is a cop with the Stendhal Syndrome, which causes a person to become disoriented and even hallucinate. The movie has elements of Vertigo and Freeway. Asia as Anna Manni (Animal?) is hunting down a serial rapist named Alfredo Grossi (Thomas Kretschmann).

Argento produced, directed, and wrote the screenplay. The Master of Giallo (yellow) - horror with colors - has delivered another interesting effort. Giallo supposedly has to do with the yellow tape that police put around crime scenes.

Ennio Morricone of spaghetti western fame does the music. And for the first time in memory, Argento employs computer-generated special effects done by Sergio Stivaletti.

At one point Asia Argento wears a blonde wig and looks like a young Ellen Barkin.

This is well worth a look as are most of Argento's movies which are strong on color and atmosphere.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Hot Club

Last Friday, St. Patrick's Day, was that unusual but welcome confluence of interests when the NCAA basketball tournament coincides with my celebration of Green Day. And as you might expect, it winds up with me lounging at the Hot Club.

Arriving about 2:45 at the HC, I had a few beers on the sunny side bar. I remarked to CJ that it was a lot quieter at the HC than the place I left (Murphy's Deli - too many kids). No sooner had I said it than there was an onslaught of guys wearing green shirts and whooping it up. It wasn't quiet any longer.

It turns out that these celebrants were from Johnson & Wales and belonged to fraternity Zeta Beta Tau. Their T-shirts read 'Drink 'Til You're Irish'. They were well behaved and well mannered. The ZBT's called CJ "Ma'am" and me "Sir". They were on a pub-crawl and the HC was their 5th stop. Hopefully none of them got green later.

Comments overheard: "Where's short fingers and deep pockets?" and on the whereabouts of a male member, "He's either dead, in a meeting or with a woman."

Brock bopped into the HC. I said to him, "Good to see you." "I know", he responded.

Congratulations to Erica and husband Angelo on the birth of their daughter Ella Elizabeth. EE weighed in at 8 lbs., 10 oz. on March 4. Word is that the worried father tells all that would hold EE to wash their hands and asks them, "Do you know how to hold the head."

Recently I was talking to someone who worked in Utah. I mentioned that Brittan Bates used to work in Salt Lake City. The friend asked me if Brittan had to promise to join the Mormon faith to get promoted. Brittan told me that she worked at Westminster College, the only private non-denominational school in Utah.

There was more talk of a casino being built in Rhode Island. I noted that the vested interests don't want one in Rhody. Someone told me that people have been paid off just to keep a casino out of RI. They called it a 'business incentive'. To which I responded, "I call it a bribe. That's why we're still 'Rogues Island'."

Ran into Mr. Contraire. Asked him whom he liked in the NCAA basketball tourney. He said, "Shockers." Yes, Contraire likes Wichita St.

And what regular is known by the nickname 'Q tip'?


There was an online review of this movie from Sweden that led me to believe that it was pretty good. It isn't. It's just pretty goofy. The problem is that director Anders Jacobsson and fellow writers Christer Ohlsson and Göran Lundström don't find the right mix of humor and mayhem. It apparently is Jacobsson's first directorial effort.

This is about a film editor working continuously on gore - sex- Psychotronic type movies. It leads to bad effects (FX). Ed (Johan Rudebeck) is moved to the Splatter & Gore department to work on the 'Loose Limbs' series. His boss Sam Campbell (Olof Rhodin) tells him to "keep those heads rolling".

Later when Ed realizes he's becoming Evil Ed from his film work, he tries to warn his boss but Campbell tells him: "I'm your boss. I don't need to know your state of mind."

Wrong, ducko! We'll save the splatter specifics for those of you who'd still like to sample this Scandinavian stew.

There are posters in the house where Evil Ed goes off. I spotted one of The Fly and another of Cape Fear.

The music includes that old chestnut Dry Bones ("the knee bone's connected to the…"), this time done by The Happy Nite Quartet. There is also a version of Amazing Grace by Aresta Gospel and Doughnut Lady by the Mango Kings. Post-production sound was courtesy of Deaf by Dawn.

The movie includes an amazing continuity error. After Ed is visited by his boss, girlfriend and some trespassers, the driveway is shown and none of the vehicles is present.

With Memory Garp as an office girl, Gun Forss as a senior neighbor, Carina Tell as a stripping neighbor and Bill Moseley (House Of 1000 Corpses) doing a special voice over.

There are some inside jokes for horror fans. The title Evil Ed is a takeoff on Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. And Ed's boss' name is Sam Campbell, a combination of Sam Raimi and his Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell.

The Providence Journal (3/5) had an Arts section on the Oscars with the headline "They'll be few surprises in tonight's Academy Awards".
I e-mailed them to say that the contraction 'they'll' (they will) made it grammatically incorrect.
The response from Alan Rosenberg, Assistant Features Editor, "Ouch. Sorry about that. I've no defense to offer."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Hot Club

Old friend Ulysses Grant stopped by the HC. He introduced me to his two buddies who also work for the state. When he introduced me, Ulysses told them, "This is Jim, a friend of mine. He's retired. That's why I hate him."

So I was telling the guys that I just booked a trip to Florida for Victoria and me. I said, "I need a vacation." They howled and hooted at me - "You're retired. You don't need a vacation!" Mimicking me, Foot Joy said, "I have to get up at the crack of ten."

It's hard not to overhear conversations in the HC men's room. The urinals are so close you can shake hands or other objects. That's why I use the stall. One guy was telling another that in military service they had stainless steel urinals not the porcelain ones that the HC has. "These break", the guy said. "We had stainless steel. We had to clean them."

A woman came in rolling an airline clothes carrier. I said, "She's either just coming from the airport and needs a drink or she's heading out and hates to fly."

Ran into Jim Kelly who is a Leo Kottke fan like I am. Jim said the first song he heard by Kottke was Monkey Lust. My first was Machine #2. And as I learned there is a predecessor called Vaseline Machine Gun.

A woman walked into the HC wearing a fur coat. I remembered Mr. D.'s admonishment: "It looked better on the animal."

Brock walked by and said, "I need to speak with Sybil." Which reminded me of Ian Hunter's old LP You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic.

Louisiana Steve said that all the guys back home carry guns. He said the uncle of his ex capped a guy trying to carjack him.

Bernie Watson stopped by the HC to say that his and Linda's place, LJ's, has moved to the Pawtucket - Providence line (East Avenue). LJ's opens at its new location March 15 (with a liquor license). It's in a little mall just past the Cumberland Farms at East and Pidge. LJ's has great Southern food using Bernie's grandmother's family recipes.

And I'd be remiss not to mention to all my readers to also pay a visit to Mike Solomon's place - Wes' Rib House at 38 Dike Street in Providence. If you're planning a party, Mike does a great job catering the affairs and serves up much more in addition to his ribs.

BOUND (1996)

This movie, written by the Wachowski Brothers (Andy and Larry), is also their directorial debut. Not much later (1999), they came out with The Matrix, their breakout blockbuster.

This is well worth the look though I liked it much more than Victoria. She felt that Joe Pantoliano, who is great, carried the film. However I thought that the Jennifer Tilly - Gina Gershon connection was an important component and worked well too.

Some nice visuals from the Brothers W. (including the opening). There is some graphic violence not for everyone (Victoria couldn't watch). And the plot involves a hookup that would offend some, but not this writer.

The cast includes Chris Meloni who is now doing one of those CSI shows. Meloni is good as a gangster's son. He was also good as a villain in the NYPD Blue series.

The twists and turns will keep your interest as will the performances of the tortured three.
Leonard Maltin noted that Susie Bright, a lesbian author of erotica, was a technical adviser and appears in the movie. A check of IMDb.com shows that Bright plays Jesse, a bar hookup.