Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Hot Club


This is a savagely funny look at a grim subject - the tobacco industry and deaths from cigarette smoking. It is a twisted satire that will keep you amused as it burns a hole in your psyche.

Aaron Eckhart is terrific as Nick Naylor, the cool, confident and quick-witted apologist for "Big Tobacco". It's Naylor's job to be the smokes spokesman at a time when cancer concerns were still being shot down by studies from Big Tobacco.

Eckhart naturally has the better of the verbal jousting. He's aided and abetted by a strong cast including Robert Duvall ('the Captain'), Rob Lowe as a glib media mogul for EGO (Entertainment Global Organization), and Sam Elliott as Lorne Lutch, a conflicted ex- Marlboro Man. Also William Macy is a wonderful foil as Senator Ortolan Finistirre.

You'd think it would be difficult to wring humor out of the subjects of smoking, cancer and death, but damned if they don't. This is a very witty lesson in the art of the sell, the powers of persuasion and the slickest way to sidestep a negative and turn it into a positive. Eckhart is so good as Naylor that at times you're rooting for him, no mean task.

The movie is written and directed by Jason Reitman, Ivan's son. It's 92 minutes and rated R for language and some sexual content. From a book by Chris Buckley (William. F.'s son).

With the songs Greenback Dollar by the Kingston Trio, Smoke Rings by the Mills Brothers and Tex Williams' Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette.

IMDb trivia - Reitman spent 3 hours convincing Sam Elliot to follow the script regarding how his character handles the money. Also no one is seen smoking in the movie (except in a b/w movie shown). IMDb rated it 7.9 out of 10. For more from IMDb on it, go to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944/
Comments welcome: jdawson@ids.net


Brittan told me that there's a sports challenge between Wise and the Wizard. Who's better? The sport(s) to be used to compete hasn't/haven't been chosen. Wise told me there is no challenge. He's an athlete and Wiz isn't. I told Brittan that I thought Wiz would be good at chess. Brittan said that wasn't a sport.

We had the Fun Family present Sunday night. According to one of Wise's supporters, Bags looks like Wise's dad and 5 Angels looks like Wise's son. So that makes Bags 5 Angels' grandpa. Of course the woman who said this was 90 (blind in one eye I heard).

Bags asked 5 Angels how all his hair could be jet black at his age. Wise said, "He dips it in paint."

We were talking about the holidays coming up. Beau told me that he heard that there is a new holiday, Steak and BJs Day. He wasn't sure about the day in March. But the bartender, she knew it was March 14th. Might have to Google it.

An older woman was coming on to Jesse and he was having none of her advances. Contraire told her "He's available. Wait 'til closing." Jesse told Contraire, "I'll drive her to your house."

Mr. D.'s band Almond Joy had a great gig Groundhog's Day (the next is Cinco de Mayo or 5/5 at Cher's). He said some people came up to him and had requests, some of which were obscure songs. Said Mr. D., "We're not a jukebox!"

A woman was talking about trying a dating site called tickle.com. She said, "Those guys will never find women!" Mr. D. said, "Might as well be molesters.com."

Her girlfriend, the 'Swiss Miss', said that she held a dinner party and had 3 wines. Then she thought she'd try that pear vodka her friend was imbibing. After that she returned to her wine. Swiss Miss said she went from zero to retarded in a heartbeat.

Five Angels told me that Mike Nesmith of the Monkees wrote Linda Ronstadt's Different Drum. I didn't know that. And Wiz said that Jimi Hendrix once opened for the Monkees.

Of a girlfriend, Mr. D. said in the past, "I have a saint but I want a sinner. Or a saint that gargles with holy water." Then he called the Holy Trinity "3 in 1 oil". Say 5 Our Fathers and 5 Hail Marys.


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