Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Hot Club

Wise was talking to Josh Miller, co-owner of the Hot Club. Josh, who is running for state senator from Cranston, told Wise that the Hot Club is getting 2 new flat screen TVs. Wise told Josh that he's not supposed to use campaign funds for TVs. Josh said he didn't even have enough campaign money to feed his workers.

So I saw Tom Bates, the other HC co-owner, and we were talking about the new TVs. Tom said, "The TVs should be on sports or off."

Mr. D. remembers when there were no TVs in the Hot Club. There was a World Series and Contraire brought in a small TV so the regulars could watch the Series.

Beer keg had told me that a trip to Atlanta had led to zipless luck with a willing woman. He went back to Atlanta this week with his hand stamped for a return with her. Except she made several excuses and then finally admitted that she just got engaged.

So Beer keg said he feels like the Ed McMahon of Romance. He warms up the crowd.

When I told Adam that he was in the 'Zine, he asked if he had a nickname. I told him, "No, you haven't done anything wrong yet." He suggested a nickname for himself like 'asshole cook'. I told him I wouldn't call him such. CJ offered a nickname - Mr. Moody.

Adam read what I wrote and said, "Now everyone will think I liked Invasion USA. I was being sarcastic." I told him that wasn't conveyed. Adam said "Drenched in sarcasm".

Mr. D.'s mom smoked all her life right up until her recent passing. She got her cigarettes from the Narragansett Indians. The State of RI just sent her a tax bill on the cigarettes for $1600. Mr. D. says they buried the bill with her.

Grant and I agreed that Stanley Kubrick's film of Clockwork Orange was one of the few times that a movie matched the book. I told him that I read Anthony Burgess' book without realizing there was a glossary in back for the Droog talk. Grant said that the Droog talk was slang Russian.
One other good job of book to movie was Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Grant agreed.

Erica said her photography business has been in a lull since the summer ended. She only has one wedding coming up. Majordomo said, "Find someone for Bags and you'll have another."


This is one of Martin Scorsese's best efforts ever, and that's saying something. The director of Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and GoodFellas has wrought what may be his best film. It is 152 minutes in length.

The tale of Irish mobsters in Boston is propelled not only by Jack Nicholson as the boss, Frank Costello, but by Mark Damon (Colin Sullivan) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Billy Costigan) who heist the movie with their performances.

That is not to say that Nicholson isn't good. He is. Nicholson conveys the ruthlessness of a man who always gets his way, and may the Devil take the hindmost. But we have seen many of these mannerisms before in Nicholson's parts. I couldn't help but think of him axing in the door while grinning "Here's Johnny" in The Shining. Victoria especially felt that Nicholson was doing his usual shtick. I wasn't as critical but I know what she means. Nicholson's character Francis is supposedly based on Whitey Bulger.

In truth this movie is based on a Japanese film called Infernal Affairs. Scorsese's screenwriter is William Monahan who adapted a story by Siu Fai Mak and Felix Chong. Because I knew of the Whitey Bulger connection, I thought the film would move in a certain direction because of that connection. It didn't and boy was I surprised. You will be too.

Damon is very strong in his role. However it is DiCaprio who steals the show. The energy from both fills the screen. There are good performances also from Martin Sheen as Detective Queenan (related to Pawtucket's own Q, Tom?) and Mark Wahlberg as a nasty Sgt. (Dignam) who verbally castrates all comers. Wahlberg reminded me of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. You won't soon forget him. Victoria and I saw this at a Showcase Cinema and when Wahlberg appeared someone shouted out "Marky Mark". Not here.

The only thing in the movie that disappointed Victoria was the love interest Madolyn, played by Vera Farmiga. V felt she was miscast and didn't pull off her scenes. I had to agree that when Madolyn had to show 'double emotion' (see the movie and it'll make sense), she wasn't able to handle it.

However that quibble took nothing away from my appreciation of this movie. Scorsese has hit a homerun, maybe even a grand slam. See it and judge for yourself.

Scorsese once again uses existing rock n' roll to good effect in the film. He started doing that in Mean Streets (one of the first to do it) and he's been doing a great job ever since. Scorsese may just win his first ever Oscar for Best Director. It's way past due.

For more info on the movie, go to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407887/


The newest chapter in the Saw series is at once the best of the lot (the ending) and the weakest (the middle slows down to a crawl). There is also a little too much return to yesterday footage (the first two). The film is 107 minutes long.

The complaints I had heard were about the grisly deaths of failed contestants in Jigsaw's 'let's play a game'. The expiration dates of these doomed losers is up and you are witness to death by chains, wheels and corset. Gruesome is a good word to convey the gory demises of several players.

My daughter Cara saw this the day before I did and used the same word - 'gruesome'. However veteran voyeurs of cinematic shivers won't be put off by this.

Darren Lynn Bousman is back as director with writing credits to mainstays Leigh Whannell and James Wan who worked on Saw and Saw II. This movie unfolds in a different way and crosses back and forth between the present and the past. All the time shifting is noticeable and slows down the passage to the film's dénouement. If you stick with the movie, it will skewer you and surprise you at the end. Will there be a Saw IV?

IMDb (go to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489270/) has the following trivia: 1000 special posters were made and were sold for $20 each in support of Saw III and the American Red Cross. Tobin Bell donated 2 vials of his own blood to be dumped into the red ink vat. All 1000 posters were then printed with the red ink and later sold. However, the first print was put up for auction. It was also signed by the entire cast and crew. All proceeds from both sales went to the American Red Cross.


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