Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Hot Club

Contraire made a rare appearance at the Hot Club Wednesday. He recently fell off a ladder while prepping his house for a paint job. Contraire suffered a broken rib and fractured pelvis. We were glad to welcome Contraire back to the HC.

Wise asked Contraire if he had fallen from a 3-foot ladder, Contraire indignantly responded that it was a 6-foot ladder. Contraire said he was on the corporate ladder to success. Wise pointed out that he had fallen off that ladder. Contraire said that he was doing aerobics at the top and "I took a dive." Foot Joy responded, "Now that I believe."

So Wise recalled a time that he was using a ladder three stories up. He was on the roof of the house and slipped. He kicked the ladder, slid off the roof and just managed to grab the wooden gutter. Wise said he held on for dear life until the guy on the ground put the ladder back up and he was able to get down.

So The Bear, who had come out of his cave to visit, asked Wise if he was using a wooden ladder. Wise said, "How old do you think I am? It was an aluminum ladder."

Later Wise said that Contraire, who luckily fell on grass, hurt himself because he has brittle bones. Wise added, "He's not an athlete." So I asked, "Wasn't he the team manager of the Mt. Carmel Midgets team?" "No", said Wise, "he was the water boy."

A warm welcome to new bartender Avery who got her baptism by fire on Wednesday.

Regarding the Grande Dames of the Hot Club (Sandy, Patti and Britt), Beau pointed out to me that he started working at the Hot Club just before Patti. And his brother Broc began at the HC one year before that. But Beau thinks that Augie may be the longest tenured employee of the Hot Club. Beau wasn't sure who started first - Augie or Sandy.

Fleet Feet Pete was telling me I should try a typing program to improve my word processing skills. Peter said, "Even old dogs like you can learn new tricks." Piped up The Bear, "And you are old. And yes you are a dog." "Hey some friend," I said. "You're supposed to be defending me."

The Warden stopped by. He didn't stay long. Said he had to store his nuts for the winter.

Inquiring Minds want to know who has the longest tenure amongst the HC's male employees. Eben thought Marty and Beau thinks its Augie. We'll find out.


These movies were released under the Grindhouse moniker by Robert Rodriguez and his buddy Quentin Tarantino. The movies are an attempt to return to yesteryear when we went to drive-in theaters (the Rustic is still open) or to the twin bill Saturday matinees. Both movies bear 'film scratches' like the nicked up copies we saw as kids. There are artificial picture jumps, end of reel x's and o's, a celluloid burn and even a 'missing reel'. We won't reveal in which movie the latter occurs.

Planet Terror is the better of the two. It has a 'Prevue of Coming Attractions' and a great fake trailer for a 'movie' starring' Danny Trejo (long-time B actor) called Machete. It will knock your socks off and get you laughing. It also is the perfect intro for Planet Terror, which is as over the top a movie as you'll see.

Robert Rodriguez directed Planet Terror, which is a great sendup of the action/horror movies. Ruth McGowan (who's also in Deathproof) stands out as a zombie victim who loses a leg but gains pluck. Her swinging savior is Freddy Rodriguez (of 6 Feet Under fame), who is short but stout in battle.

Director/Writer/Producer Robert Rodriguez was so taken with Ruth McGowan's performance that he has since taken up with her.

The rest of the cast is excellent with Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens), Jeff Fahey (The Lawnmower Man), Michael Parks (Then Came Bronson), and a surprise cameo by Bruce Willis. Quentin Tarantino also has a small role as a sicko intent on having sex with McGowan. There is also an effective performance by Stacy Ferguson ('Fergie') of Black-Eyed Peas. I also liked the woman who played Dr. Block (Marley Shelton)

This movie has a bit of everything - actually make that a surfeit of everything - gore, violence, sex (the scene with Tarantino is beyond belief) and cheesy dialogue. There's even some nudity.

This movie was great fun and I expect to return to it many times. Interestingly, I rented it and watched it Wednesday afternoon. That night Eben brought in Planet Terror, which he had just bought, and played it at the Hot Club. The patrons were suitably impressed.

On the other hand, I found Quentin Tarantino's entry in the Twin Bill, Deathproof, to be disappointing. There's a lot of female talking as we eavesdrop on some characters who aren't all that interesting other than their frankness. The dialogue comes off as macho male delivered by damsels in distress. With each other. With Stunt Man Mike, Kurt Russell, looking anything but a pretty boy. More like Snake Plissken.

The whole setup is to stage a wonderful battle between two cars and two carloads of loonies. Tarantino tries to make the cars the stars but his adulation doesn’t quite carry over to this viewer who has seen his share of car chases and crashes. That said, it was some kind of perverse fun which just took too long to begin.
Rent Planet Terror which may be Rodriguez's best work since El Mariachi. You can skip Tarantino's weak effort which isn't up to his usual snuff (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown)


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