Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Hot Club

Hooks had gone on an Internet date and was grumbling about paying for a $60 lunch. She had 2 mimosas and a crème brulee. He didn't even get thanks. Hooks said he was looking for a FWB. I didn't know what FWB meant. 'Friends with benefits.' I asked him if his lunch date provided any 'benefits'. "None", Hooks said.

So the Lovely Lisa said that Hooks got PFN's. PFNs? "Pays For Nothing", she said.

When the Wise Man came in, I asked him if he knew what a FWB was. Wise said, "Friends without Benefits." When I corrected him and told him it was Friends with Benefits, Wise said, "Oh right. I thought you were talking about Hooks."

The talk turned to MILF. The regulars were surprised that until recently I didn't know what that meant either. It stands for 'Mothers I'd like to f**k.' Erica said John Dempsey gave her a glass that reads #1 MILF. Many of the regulars agreed with John. Erica said she was honored.

Lovely Lisa was talking about how Bags had some interest in the mother of a local beauty. I asked if the two had tangoed. LL said, "There was a tango but no dip."

A guy walked by wearing a blue work shirt that read Boot Hill Saloon. I said that I wouldn't want to go there. Chuck D said, "Yeah that's like buying Reverend Jim Jones Kool-Aid." I added, "We only have that in grape."

The Herbster wanted to know how much Buff Steve was paying me to call him that.

We were talking about concerts missed and I admitted that I didn't see Derek and the Dominos in St. Louis because I didn't want to go alone. I told Fleet Feet Pete that Layla is one of my favorite songs and I explained to my daughter Cara that it's about Patty Boyd, George Harrison's wife, whom best friend Eric Clapton stole away. Pete said that the Allman Brothers' Eat A Peach double album was called that because when Duane Allman died he had crashed his motorcycle into a peach truck.

ORic said that those sunglasses the monkey stole actually cost $650 not $150. They're prescription. Last year ORic went on a safari in Kenya. I asked if it was dangerous. He said if you got out of the cars (Land Rovers) it was. They'd get stuck in the mud and the tourists would get out to push. ORic said that some were swiped by the lions.

A new patron came in on Sunday. The Silencer commented on how hot it was that day. The Patron suggested she take off her top. "You don't really know me", said the Silencer.


Thought I'd check out the new James Bond flick since Daniel Craig has been getting a lot of buzz about what he brings to the role. And I can tell Bond lovers that Craig is quite good. Understand however that for me there is only one James Bond - Sean Connery. That said, Craig does a good job and brings his own machismo to the current Bond.

Craig is much more brash and bold, amoral and feral than those who have preceded him. And he takes his shirt off a lot for all the beefcake loving ladies out there. This Bond is introduced to us in black and white as we learn how James became 007.

The problem with this movie is not Craig - it's the script. After a good start and some witty repartee between Craig and Judy Dench as M, the story doesn't deliver the goods. The screenplay is by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and the ubiquitous Paul Haggis (of Crash fame). It's directed by New Zealander Martin Campbell, who did the Zorro movies (The Legend of Zorro and The Mask of Zorro).

There's a couple decent villains - Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) and Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), but the plot disintegrates much like that building in Venice.

Also I didn't much care for Eva Green as Vesper Lynd. There was little chemistry between her and Craig. In fact I thought Craig emoted better with Mrs. Dimitrios AKA Solange (Caterina Munro).

The film uses some exotic locations - Madagascar, Montenegro and Venice. And of course the exotic looking women like Munro and Ivana Milicevic as Valenka.

There are the usual action sequences and the ones here are just too much. An early 'foot chase' is just too unbelievable for words and goes on much too long. The tanker truck scene is also beyond belief. And the collapsing 'house' is done in virtual seclusion (no one in town seems to notice).

The movie is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity. It runs 144 minutes, which according to IMDb makes it the longest Bond movie.

In this film, James Bond actually drives a Ford! IMDb did say that the Ford Mondeo Bond drives is a special hand-built prototype that will be in production sometime in 2007. But it's still a Ford!

IMDb notes that the movie switches from Ian Fleming's original Casino Royale in that the card game is not Chemin de Fer/Baccarat but Texas Hold'Em.
And the style of running by Mollaka the Bomb Maker (Sebastien Foucan) is parkour the style created by David Belle and used in Luc Besson's District B-13 (which I reviewed).

A good start for Mr. Craig as Mr. Bond. Now we need a better script.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Hot Club


Finally got to see this movie which Tricky Ricky had e-mailed me about recently, extolling its virtues. He was right. This movie just blows you away. It is a powerful movie that packs an emotional punch.

At the beginning, Graham (Don Cheadle) says, "In LA nobody touches you…I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something." You will be touched if you see this movie.

At first the film focuses on our fears - of each other, of the unknown, of those that are different from us. With each slight, each rude remark, each verbal shot to the gut, we become aware of how much we've lost our humanity. We have lost our ability to see the similarities in each other rather than concentrating on the differences.

What results is man's inhumanity to man. Woman's inhumanity to woman. Our collective loss of self. A loss of our souls. We don't see our neighbors as human beings. We see them as our scapegoats. It's as if we need to look down on someone else to make ourselves feel better.

And then the movie gives you moments of hope, glimpses of a better world when we treat each other with respect. If someone doesn’t deserve that respect, it will become evident. However first we need to show our respect for that other human being. Different is not bad. Different is just different. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same. But those differences don't mean we can dump on our neighbor.

This movie is a series of vignettes that intertwine. There are strong performances from an All-Star cast but two memorable scenes involve Matt Dillon as Officer Ryan with Thandie Newton (Christine) and Ryan Phillipe (Officer Hanson) with Terrence Howard (Cam).

According to IMDb, Crash was released in May of 2005 but won Best Picture at the 2006 Academy Awards. And director Paul Haggis and co-writer Robert Moresco won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. Haggis also wrote the screenplays for Flags of our Fathers, Casino Royale and Million Dollar Baby. Haggis wrote the story for Letters from Iwo Jima. I noticed that he also did the words and music for Gonna Buy Me A Rope, one of the songs in Crash. Very impressive body of work.

Don Cheadle, who is excellent as Graham, put his money on the line with the movie as he is listed as a producer.

The movie is 113 minutes (115 for the Director's cut) and is Rated R for language, sexual content and some violence.

There is a sense that at the end the characters (and we as viewers) find themselves (ourselves) in the film. When it's all done and you can breathe again, you'll say, "That was a damn good movie." IMDb viewers gave it an 8.2 out of 10.


Sunday the Hot Club was visited by a local who just returned from the War in Iraq. As the Wise Man noted, he is one of our heroes, one of our local heroes (LH). LH is in the Army National Guard and spent a year in Iraq, returning in October. ORic and Wise heard that LH's unit is on Airport Road, so they suggested that he stop at Hooters. ORic and Wise predicted that LH would be greeted as a hero there, and treated like a king.

LH told us that he likes to hunt wild boar and that there's a place in Vermont where for $750 you are guaranteed one. But he said if you don't hit the boar, you're headed up a tree because those tusks are long and large.

Kenny mentioned an immigrant who joined the US military and fought in Iraq. He was made a citizen as a result. I said that my dad, who came from Accrington, England, fought in WW II and was made a citizen right after he went in. Local heroes.

Foot Joy said his cousin served in North Dakota during the Vietnam War. FJ said his cousin protected us from the crazies in Canada.

ORic told me that he's been away on a trip to the Indian Himalayas. He had some adventures. He visited a temple, which could only be reached by climbing many stairs. On the half-hour walk up, his guide asked if ORic wanted to rent a stick "Why?", he asked. "The monkeys", said his guide. "Look out for your glasses too", he was advised. After he saw the temple, he stopped and rested on a bench. As soon as he did, a monkey jumped on his head and stole his $150 Armani sunglasses. The guide threw down some food and the monkey dropped the shades for the food. ORic tipped the guide $20.

Back at the hotel, ORic wanted to relax and ordered a massage. The masseur massaged him all over and started to fondle his jewels when ORic told him to stop. When the guy persisted, he sent him packing. ORic said the masseur called him the next day and wanted to come back!

So I told ORic that when I was stationed in Turkey we used to take the ferry to Istanbul. The only hotel that had toilet paper was the Hilton. All the other places had 'bombsites'. A bombsite was a cutout hole where you deposited your duty. There was a cold water faucet on the left to wash your hand after you wiped. That's supposedly where the ignominy of shaking hands with your left hand arose. So what happens with lefties?

Thanks to CJ and Patti for making my Friday celebration of St. Pat's Day a fun one. And to the DDS gang, my thanks for meeting up at Blake's. I dedicated it to Cal Hopkinson who passed away in 2006. Cal was thin, a runner, and yet he passed away at 56. One wag said, "Fat and grumpy is the way to go" Another added, "Yeah, plus size coffin." RIP Cal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Hot Club

Chuck Doherty told me that he has the lead in the Neil Simon play I Outta Be In Pictures. The Attleboro Community Players will run the play on Friday and Saturday nights 4/20, 4/21, 4/27, 4/28 and 5/4, 5/5 (also 5/6) at the Ezekiel Bates Masonic Lodge in Attleboro. Good luck, Chuck.

Mr. D. said that with all the problems that I've had lately with water in my basement that my new nickname is Noah.

Grant was back at the HC feeling a little better. He had me listen to a song on Obasie's i Pod by Nina Gordon - Straight Outta Compton. I was familiar with the LP by NWA, which my friend Computer Mike introduced me to many years ago.

Speaking of the Computer, I told Buff Steve, another computer savvy soul, about when Computer Mike and I used to go to Boston to see movies. A couple times we went to the Orson Welles theatre in Cambridge to see the 24-hour Sci-Fi Festival on Washington's Birthday. After the Orson Welles burnt down, the festival was moved to the Brattle Theatre. Buff Steve said he found a great bar that was downstairs right near the Brattle. He's not sure if it's still there.

Wise was away last week in West Palm Beach until Friday. The Hot Club certainly missed him. Foot Joy noted that by Thursday the Hot Club had run out of Dewar's. Said Foot Joy, "How do you run out of Dewar's on a Thursday when Wise hasn't been there since Monday?"

Fleet Feet Pete came in and I asked him if he knew why marathons are usually 26 miles. Peter knew it was because that's the distance between the cities of Marathon and Athens in Greece. When the Greeks won an important battle against the Persians at Marathon, a runner was sent to tell Athens of the great victory. When the runner reached Athens he yelled 'Nike', which means 'Victory'. The runner then collapsed and died from exhaustion. It was on the History Channel.

We were talking about the opposite sex when Buffalo Steve said, "I'll twist your knobs and my antenna will go up."

Hooks was knocked out when he learned that Rick Barnes (VA's coach) lives near Michael Dell. Louisiana Steve wasn't so impressed and said of Dell, "He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like us." Hooks said, "No, he doesn't. They're computerized." FootJoy said, "He has a valet to put them on." Wise added, "And they're gabardine."

A glass was knocked off the bar top. Contraire observed. "It was a rear-end job."

Overheard at the Hot Club: "Wiz stepped up to the plate - he's the father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter.


Adam and Grant of the Hot Club had alerted me to this movie which is quite good. It's straight forward Sci-Fi with the usual battle between Good an Evil. This is an outer space Western and so it's not unusual that the hero wears a holstered gun. Adam had noted that the movie is based on the series Firefly (2002) from whence all the characters come. It was about a 16-episode series. I have never seen Firefly but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the movie.

Nathan Fillion, who starred in Slither, is our shining hero Mal, the captain of the Serenity, a spaceship that preserves law and order in the universe, while fighting the enemy, which consists of both the reigning government and the renegade Reavers. There's a lot of humorous wordplay.

Adam Baldwin (Jayne) is along for comic relief and brute force. Summer Glau is River and Chiwetel Ejiofor is great as the 'Operative', a killing machine who smiles while sticking you with his saber. Ron Glass is here though I didn't realize he was the one playing Shepherd Book.

The movie is the directorial debut of Joss Whedon who also wrote the screenplay. Whedon was the writer/director of the Firefly series. The movie is 119 minutes and rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, and some sexual references.

Amongst IMDb's trivia: the original set for the spaceship Serenity was destroyed after the Firefly series ended despite pleas by Whedon that he'd use it again. So the set had to be totally rebuilt.

The movie shares a connection with Forbidden Planet, which was loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. 'Miranda' is named for a character in The Tempest.

And the command 'Eta Kooram Nah Smech!' which puts River to sleep is Russian and literally means "This is for hens to laugh". Figuratively it means, "This is very ridiculous."


My daughter Cara had seen this movie and wondered what I would think of it. Cara had some conflicted feelings about whether it was good or not. I can answer unequivocally that it fails the test of credulity. Not surprising since it was based on a comic.

The movie has some nice touches and is clever in its own way though derivative of George Orwell 's 1984. It was directed by James McTeigue. The screenplay is by the Brothers Wachowski (Andy and Larry) who are most famous for the Matrix movies. I liked Bound better.

Hugo Weaving stars as V and Natalie Portman is Evey. You don't see Weaving until the end (the group scene) because of the mask that V wears. And let's just say that it would be tough escaping totalitarian thugs while wearing a cape and mask, but we are supposed to believe that no one notices. However a plot device central to the character of V, once it is revealed, leads the viewer to dismiss the rest of the movie as so much posturing.

It is 132 minutes long and is Rated R for strong violence and some language. IMDb noted that James Purefoy was to play V but was replaced by Weaving at the last minute when Purefoy had trouble breathing behind the mask.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Hot Club

The discussion was about The Rifleman, Chuck Connors. We all knew he played for the Celtics but Wise and Foot Joy also knew that Connors played baseball for the Cubs and Dodgers. Wise thought the Rifleman was a pitcher and FJ said he was a 1B. Wiz made a cell phone call. - 1B.
Supposedly Connors was the first to break a backboard but it was with a 2-hand set shot. There was no dunking back then.

Wiz asked the Constable "Can you marry your widow's sister in RI?" Wise wasn't sure while I said you could since you aren't related. Wiz smiled and said "If it's your widow, that means you're dead." Wiz followed up by asking how many of each animal Moses brought on the ark. It was Noah of course.

Foot Joy and I were talking about Bronson Arroyo being on the cover of the Cincinnati Reds' media guide. I recalled being with Victoria at Pawtucket when Arroyo pitched his perfect game. On the last play, there was a bouncer off the first base bag. Arroyo had to have the presence of mind to cover first, which he did, and the throw to him barely nipped the runner at first. Good for Arroyo. Now and then.

We were talking about the recall of Peter Pan peanut butter after some consumers got salmonella poisoning. "Salmonella", said Jokin' Joe. That's my aunt and uncle. Sam and Ella."

The first baseball exhibition game was on. However when I entered the HC, a few of the regulars including Wise were watching Jackass #2 on the new DVD player. Jackass over the Red Sox!

Joe and Jackie just got back from Florida, God's waiting room as Mr. D. likes to call it. Joe said they're building condos and hospitals in Florida and the pricier condos are the ones next to the hospitals.
Joe said that the Atlantic coast of Florida is where all the grandmothers live and the West Coast of Florida is where their grandmothers live.

Ed and Jesse (not Murphy but the former HC employee) were talking about seeing crazy things at baseball games. Jesse mentioned a karate kick and I immediately thought of Izzy Alcantara doing it to the opposing catcher so he could go after the pitcher. My daughter Cara and I witnessed that bizarreness. And last year, I saw Delmon Young (Durham) throw his bat at the home plate umpire (the replacement ump). You have to be there.

Overheard at the Hot Club: "Need a roof job? I have the shingles."


The Independent Film Channel is one of my favorites. Last week I caught Festival Express (2003), the documentary of a 1970 concert train trip thru Canada by several musical groups. And what a collection! Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Band, the Flying Burrito Brothers (without Gram Parsons who had left by then), Ian and Sylvia, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Buddy Guy and ShaNaNa. Great music including a scorching version of Cry Baby by Joplin and a dynamite The Weight by the Band. Someone on IMDb said to get the 2 DVD set because there are extra songs not on the documentary. What I saw lasted 90 minutes. Excellent!


Victoria and I caught this on PBS and it's magical. The Stones with Brian Jones (his last live appearance just before his death). The Who with Keith Moon and John Entwistle. Marianne Faithful, Jethro Tull, Eric Clapton (whom I didn't recognize!), Taj Mahal and John and Yoko Lennon. Sympathy for the Devil, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Even the number with Yoko caterwauling like some banshee is amazing.
IMDb says it was filmed in 1968 and intended as a Christmas TV special promoting Beggars Banquet. The Stones weren't happy with their performances and it wasn't released until 1996.