Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Hot Club

Contraire was talking about polenta. "That's a peasant dish," I said. Contraire agreed (a rarity). "Like tiramisu, the dessert", I said. Contraire disagreed (naturally).

In talking about food, I mentioned how much I liked Chinese Szechuan food, and especially Louis Yip's China Inn. Contraire said that his company hosted some Chinese customers. Contraire said that the only Chinese restaurant they liked was China Inn.

We were trying to get the TV on the inside bar to show the Celtics' game in HD. Foot Joy knew it was Channel 727. Dan the chef tried but it kept going back to Channel 55. FJ then said he tried the remote but nothing happened when he pushed the buttons. I asked Foot Joy, " How long have you been here?" He gave me that scathing look of his.

Finally Foot Joy and I got to watch the Celtics' game in HD on the Hot Club's TV. It showed Kevin Garnett looking fierce with sweat dripping off his bald head. I told FJ, "Victoria thinks that Garnett looks like the creature in Alien." At first Foot Joy was stunned by the suggestion, but then said he had to agree.

Paul Lancia made an appearance at the HC with his friend Bo from Finland. Paul was on his way to Ft. Myers for a few months to be joined soon by Jarna and son Rocco.

Contraire told Lauren to watch what she said around me because I quote people in Sportzine. Said Contraire, "After a few drinks, he misquotes some things. Get him early"

Foot Joy was telling Avery about Dizzy Dean, a pitcher from the '30's. FJ said Dizzy would say that a player 'slud' into 2nd base. Then FJ told Avery that Dizzy had a brother named Daffy. Avery said, "Oh like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee?" Foot Joy said, "No, more like Tweedle Dum and Dumber."

CSNY's Ohio was playing. Mr. D. said that the same day the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1970, the students closed down the campus at RI College. Mr. D. said he stayed on at RIC even after he graduated. Mr. D. said he was both an inside and an outside agitator.

Don't forget that Mr. D's band Almond Joy is playing this Saturday (2/2, 7:30) at Patrick's Pub (381 Smith St., Prov.). Fleet Feet Pete is in the band too. Hope to see you there.

Mr. D. said, "I predict that for the Super Bowl Uno Mas will drink 31 beers." Mike Module replied, "What's the over/under on that?"

Overheard at the Hot Club after a patron knocked over a bar stool which hit the floor:
"I did some stool."


Victoria and I finally got to see this Coen Brothers movie at the Showcase in Seekonk. It smacks you in the head like a pressurized air punch. The film gets your attention in a hurry and then keeps it.

Javier Bardem is riveting as Anton Chigurh, a man on a mission. God help those poor souls that cross his path in the pursuit of his prize.

This is the best Coen Brothers movie since Blood Simple, their first film. It grabs you by the lapels and won't let go.

Josh Brolin is very good as Llewelyn Moss, a Texas cowboy who is in way over his head. Tommy Lee Jones is charismatic as a sheriff who is wise beyond his years, and knows that time is running out on him.

The cast also includes Woody Harrelson who doesn't show up until 55 minutes has passed. The movie is so mesmerizing that you don't even notice.

The film is based on the book by Cormac McCarthy. Victoria, a voracious reader who has read McCarthy, surprisingly had not read it. She will now. Joel and Ethan Coen did the screenplay, which has many memorable lines from different characters.

Cinematography is by Roger Deakins and is stunning to behold. His work captures both the beauty and the barrenness of the Texas/New Mexico landscape.

Once you see this film, you won't forget it, especially Bardem who steals the movie with his sly smile and ominous presence. This is not a man you want to meet. An early scene with a gas station owner who makes Bardem cross is notable for its brutality with neither a gunshot nor a slap occurring. Just words.

Some may not like the ending of the movie, but it is understandable given the context. And if the movie is faithful to McCarthy's novel then it's his conclusion.
No Country For Old Men is rated R for strong graphic violence and some language. It's 122 minutes.

IMDb says of this movie:
"The Coen Brothers used a photo of a brothel patron taken in 1979 as a model for Anton Chigurh's hair style. Looking at its weirdness after getting the hair cut, Javier Bardem said 'Oh no, now I won't get laid for the next two months'."

IMDb states that the Coen Brothers' script is very faithful to Cormac McCarthy's novel.

The Coen brothers wouldn't let Josh Brolin do an audition tape for the movie. So Brolin got Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino to do one for him and got the role of Llewelyn Moss.

Heath Ledger was considered for the Llewelyn role but bowed out to take time off.

The movie was shot mostly in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Tommy Lee Jones got the Coens to shoot a few scenes in West Texas.

The title of Cormac McCarthy's novel No Country For Old Men was taken from the William Butler Yeats' poem Sailing to Byzantium.

The movie theater experience has markedly changed. Before the feature presentation, we were subject to a number of commercials and ads for TV shows. They showed one preview of a coming attraction. One!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Hot Club

An irregular who does not want to be named attended the recent Fetish Fest at the Convention Center and Westin Hotel. He told me about the 'Pony barn' where men and women dressed in leather and not much else as they whinnied like horses. They even have their own magazine Equus Eroticus. Irregular said he's seen it all now. He told me he went to the Fetish Convention right from church.

In talking to Citizen Caroline about a beef she had with another person, I suggested that she 'bury the hatchet and not in the back'. Foot Joy added, "The head is better."

Foot Joy wasn't happy about his inclusion in last week's Hot Club section. I asked why. Because he was quoted saying nice things about Contraire. Foot Joy said, "It'll ruin my reputation."

After reading Sportzine, Contraire pointed out that 'devo' (pronounced dev-o) is a word in Italian. It is from the Italian verb devore. Devo means 'I must.'

Alexander the Great was warbling. I asked him if he knew Priscilla and he said he did. I suggested that he do a duet with her. Alex said Priscilla did a great Amy Winehouse, but he wanted to hear her do Styx.

A guy was wearing a cap with the words 'Anti-Hero'. If you were an anti-hero, I don't think you would advertise it.

Jokin' Joe was talking about a past trip to Poland for a friend's wedding. He tried to learn a few words in Polish. While on a train, he noticed a couple who was eyeing him. He figured they knew he was American and not Polish. He made believe he was reading a Polish newspaper and when they departed the train he said 'Goodbye' in Polish. Feeling pretty good about himself, he asked his Polish friend if he had come across as Polish. His friend said, "No, because you were reading the newspaper upside down."

Buff Steve and I were talking about black humor, that perverse type of comedy that gave us dead baby jokes and things like the baby being born as a huge ear (and it's deaf). Buff Steve remembered the punk group Dead Kennedys. Many people didn't like that name.

Patriot Pat told me she was sick with the flu. I said 'You're a Germ." Pat replied, "People have called me much worse."


The Hot Club's Adam had recommended this movie for its non-stop action. The film starts with a bang and ends with a bang. Bullets fly fast and furious. Plot is sacrificed for non-stop mayhem.

The film stars Clive Owen who says of himself: "I'm a British nanny and I'm dangerous." Owen or 'Mr. Smith' likes to chomp on carrots (and use them in creative ways). He tells one bad guy to 'eat your vegetables'.

It always helps when you have a strong villain and here Paul Giamatti (Hertz) has a field day delivering death and one-liners with equal frequency. Both Giamatti and Owen throw around barbs like bombs. This isn't just an action movie. The amusing dialogue delivers as much as the action.

The Hot Club's Adam called this a Bugs Bunny movie. Clive Owen is Bugs and Giamatti is Elmer Fudd. Boy is he right!

The director is Michael Davis who also wrote the amusing script. Davis has only done a couple other movies. Monster Man (2003) and Girl Fever (2002) are his most recent.

There is a scene atop a building with neon lights that spell out Faulk Truck & Tool. The shooting changes it into a different message.

The love interest is embodied in Monica Belucci (Donna Quintano) who holds her own, but whose accent is hard to understand at times (unless you know Italian). Donna's not the kind of girl you take home to meet Mom, and is not a good guy's usual 'companion'.

There is a baby involved (Baby Oliver Twist) and some of the action sequences reminded me of the Japanese Lone Wolf and Cub series (see Shogun Assassin). Except here there is no weapons-filled baby carriage.

Veteran character actor Stephen McHattie (Hammerson) is in it but is near unrecognizable due to the aging process.

IMDb had this on the movie: The ringtones for Giamatti's cell phone (his wife keeps calling) are from Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.

Clive Owen was 'The Driver' in recent BMW ads. In the movie he drives 2 BMWs.

The movie is rated R for 'pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality (and nudity - Yes!) and some language. So sit back, suspend your disbelief and enjoy this Shoot 'em Up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Hot Club

Buffalo Steve was talking about a female friend from Rochester of whom he's very fond. Steve said she liked sports, loved jazz, especially John Coltane, and didn't like to shop. Steve said you hold onto a woman like that. "You couldn't make one better." I said.

Sunday I met Charlie Clancy. We were discussing the #1 pick that the Patriots had to give up to get Bill Belichick from the NY Jets. Said Charlie of getting Belichick, "A #1 pick never had more value."

Earlier Charlie was rooting for the Giants and when Eli Manning helped NY win, Charlie had a mock phone call from Eli to brother Peyton, "What are you doing next weekend?"

Foot Joy reminded me that the New York Giants got Eli Manning by sending Philip Rivers to San Diego. And I added that Ryan Grant, who ran for over 200 yards in Green Bay's playoff game vs. Seattle, was traded to the Packers by the Giants during the season.

Contraire walked by as he left the HC. I said to Contraire, "Good night." Buff Steve added, "Or not." I think Buff Steve was taking on Contraire's persona.

Foot Joy and I agreed that Contraire really is a nice guy and has a good heart. FJ remembered Contraire picking up friend Charlie in Boston. I recalled Contraire giving me a ride home one St. Patrick's Day. Foot Joy said, "He'd give you the shirt off his back and wonder why it was cold."

The Buff One reminisced about Mary Tyler Moore's role as a detective's secretary on an old TV series. You never saw Moore's face - just her legs. And you heard her sexy voice answering the phone. Steve thought it was Sam Spade but I thought not. Moore's character was 'Sam'. It was Richard Diamond, Private Detective. However I thought it was Richard Denning as the detective. It was David Janssen before his Fugitive days.

Mr. D's band Almond Joy is playing Patrick's Pub (381 Smith St., Providence) on Groundhog Day. When's that you ask? It's Saturday, February 2 from 7:30 PM on. As Rudy and Chip would say, be there or be square.

The Fightin' Seabee says that the best hangover cure is lots of water. Says that a hangover is mostly from dehydration. He suggests lots of water before bed. Gatorade in the morning to replace the electrolytes is OK too. Seabees know.

Fox TV showed the 2nd game Sunday. At half they never showed the highlights of the earlier game (Indy vs. SD). Instead we got a promo for the Sarah Connor Chronicles.


This is an interesting Korean movie about a monster squid from the Han River. Seems that those evil Americans have been instructing their Korean employees to dump toxic chemicals into the Han River. Result - a huge squid-like fish that moves on flipper feet allowing it to dine on the local denizens on land.

A strange, dysfunctional Korean family (glad to see they have them too) tries to come to the rescue as they search for the missing daughter who has been saved by Squidface for a later fish fry.

The girl's father is a goofy guy who makes Ted Bundy look normal. There is a lot of humor in this almost 2-hour movie (119 minutes), much of it at the expense of its characters who are damaged if not demented.

The Host is directed by Joon-ho Bong and is wonderful escapist fare. The mayhem caused by the monster is fun as is the family and their attempts to save their relative from the watery wonder.

There are some plot twists that will surprise you (they would never allow the major one here in an American movie).

This movie was very enjoyable and introduces a welcome addition to the pantheon of mutant monsters.

According to IMDb, the Korean title of the movie is Gwoemul. Director Joon-ho Bong as well as the creature's creator nicknamed the monster 'Steve Buscemi'.

The movie is based on an actual event. In 2000, at a US military facility in Seoul, formaldehyde was dumped into the sewer system that led to the Han River.

The Blockbuster clerk said my copy was subtitled but it was dubbed (decently).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Hot Club

Sunday night the lights weren't on out front of the Hot Club. I thought that was odd but parked anyway. There was a sign on the front door that the Hot Club was closed. Disappointed, I started to walk back to my car. Then I heard Eben and Sarah calling from the deck. They told me that the Club was closed for the annual HC employees' party. Then Eben asked if I wanted to come in and join them. I was thrilled and honored to be with this august group.

Other than that I can't tell you anything that went on at the party because my lips are sealed. Or will be if I say anything that can b e misconscrewed. But there are pictures out there. That I can tell you.

Well I can tell you that Eben had a great party CD with a lot of booty shaking songs. Eben is into George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic.

And Lauren made some terrific chili that had good heat to it because of the habaneros and jalapenas she used. My understanding is that all the food was good. I only had chili.

And someone (Eben and Tom I think) fished a monkey out of the water near the Hot Club. It was a huge stuffed monkey and there are pictures to prove it.

Scoop of the Year: Brittan Bates told me that she has met the man of her dreams and is engaged to be married. The young man's name is Todd Manni and I met him Sunday night. My best wishes for a lifetime of love, good health and children (if they so desire).

Met a friend of Beau's named Levon, who was wearing a shirt with all 16 championship Celtics banners on it. I asked him if there was room for a 17th and Levon said there was.

Levon's buddy TP is a big San Francisco 49ers fan. So I suggested to TP that the Patriots would be willing to trade that #1 pick they got from SF for their rookie linebacker Patrick Willis. This suggestion was not to TP's liking. He called Willis 'the franchise'.

The Wizard and Bags were busting me about standing in the rain during the Jets- Patriots game. I told Beau that a lot of guys don't like to go to the Patriots' games, preferring the comfort of their living rooms. Beau said those guys were "Girly Men".

Talking with Josh (not Miller, but the HC chef), I noted that we used to stand up in church and pledge not to see any movies on the Legion of Decency's list of B (Morally Objectionable) or C (Condemned) movies. Dr. No was the first B movie I ever saw. Josh said his mom used to work as a secretary for the Providence Visitor, which ran the list.

Mr. D. and I have always said that the Hot Club is like the Hotel California - you can check out but you can never leave. We have seen regulars and employees leave over the lifetime of Sportzine and the Hot Club section. And they always seem to return. Sandy said she was leaving but filled in recently. Tom the Actor/Chef has been spotted. Derek and Leo have stopped by. The Pixie, the Poet of Providence, Megan and the Caustic Cutie have all resurfaced.

Here are some names of one-time regulars who haven't been around. Remember them?

Dot.com ME The Falcon Ramrod Bob Blue Cross Bill Dumpster Dolly Biker Bob
Cementhead Smurf Melinda Phil on the Grill The Shack

Here are some nicknames of Guys and Dolls who have helped make the HC what it is.

Burger King Baby Photo Genic Irish The Inspector The Silencer
Sable Siren Girl With A Hurl CC Rider Melina

Kanary Pops Roberto Weasel Consigliere No Penetration
Punchy Fightin' SeaBee K Man

Stories that linger on in the memory banks

The Poet of Providence's story on 4 HC Regulars Rats on the Deck
Black BVDs on the Men's Room Floor The Men's Room Expansion
Who Picks the Sports Shown on the Hot Club TVs?
If Wise Buys A Radio Station 2 New Shows-Minglin' With Mario and Fishin' With Fredo


On What's Required of Women (by Men) at the Hot Club:
"8 to 80. Blind, crippled or crazy. Not dead over a week." (Buff Steve)
"2 to toothless." (Mr. D.)

At my St. Patrick's party, my mom sees Bags with Mike Solomon and she asks me:
"Is that Mike's bodyguard?"

"Don't argue with me while I'm arguing with myself." (Contraire)

"What if Little V is taking it, but really doesn't have a girlfriend." (The Warden)

"So how married are you?" (Ming the Merciless)

"So with all the makeup on, I asked her if she was going to the circus." (Punchy)

"I'm Italian. I don't need it." (The Warden)

"Look into my eyes." (Guess who?)

"No I don't need a drink, but I'll take the cash." (Hooks)

And finally thanks to all the Hot Club regulars and employees who have made this possible, especially Tom, Eben (and Sarah), and Brittan Bates, Josh Miller, Mike Solomon (who gave me my first ad and then got me two more), as well as the love and support from Victoria, Cara, my Mom, my brother Brad (and Dee Dee), Chris DeSessa Paul Beaudette and everyone who has had a kind word over the years. And thanks to Terry Nau, Sports Editor of the Pawtucket Times (and Woonsocket Call) for mentioning Sportzine in a 2007 column.