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.


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