Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Hot Club

Priscilla told me that last year she saw Doc Rivers at South Side. No one seemed to recognize him but she went right up to Rivers and asked for his autograph. Doc gave her his John Hancock. "I'm a baller", Priscilla told Doc.

Contraire said that while I didn't misquote him last week, that I had left out what he said after Josh wanted to bet him the Sox would come back to tie. Contraire said he told us, "They might tie, but that doesn't mean they're going on to win."

It was so windy Tuesday that the canopy over Bar 5 blew away. Fortunately it was the temporary canopy.

The new Juke Box can play just about anything as you can search the web for a song ($1). I told Eben how much I liked the new music machine and now he no longer has to fill it with his CDs. Eben said that's the part that he'll miss.

Contraire was standing by the Hot Club doorway. I asked him, "Are you leaving or are you looking for trouble?" "Neither," said Contraire and added, "And don't misquote me."

What local celebrity was seen driving a dirt bike (Broad St.?) with a beverage? - Rascal.

After a female patron walked by, Contraire observed that some women wear too much makeup. "It's like wax", he said,

So I told Contraire that I just bought a new computer with my forthcoming $600 economic stimulus money. Contraire said, "You're already helping the economy." I asked him what he was going to do with his $600. "Gamble with it", he replied.

Contraire was talking about playing cards. He said, "Us professionals can't lose." Then, speaking of Francis and Beau, Contraire said, "They're my cash cows."

Wise was talking about Joe Girardi versus Joe Torre. I said, "Well the pressure is off Joe Torre. LA's a day at the beach for Torre. And the Dodgers just won a few in a row."

Can't remember to whom he was referring but Wise had this on a scary looking fellow:
"He looks like an ax murderer. How would you like to wake up to him at the head of the bed!"



Of these two, I liked Cloverfield better. The title is the military name for the event that has occurred in New York City. A camera has been recovered and it tells a tale.

Director Matt Reeves and cinematographer Michael Bonvillain have used the hand held camera concept employed in Blair Witch Project and made even better use of the device.

What starts out with a romantic trip to Coney Island ends with romance still in the air but permeated by the noxious vapors of Hades. Evil surrounds the wielders of the video camera. You, the viewer and the voyeur, are along for the ride.

There are some nice chills and effective use of New York City landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and Bloomingdale's.

IMDb says: The title "Cloverfield"; initially just a codename for the movie, is named for the boulevard in Santa Monica where the Bad Robot offices were located during the making of the film. IMDb rates the movie a 7.7 out of 10.

The decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty in the street is inspired by the poster for John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981), which depicts the head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the middle of the street.

THE MIST (2007)

This is one of the best movies based on a Stephen King work (here a novella). That's faint praise however since most of the movies based on King's material have been horrible.

The movie is directed by Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption) and he also did the screenplay. It's formulaic but still successful at providing some horrors that raise the hairs on your neck and arms. If nothing else, the ending is one of the most traumatic I've ever seen. But that's Stephen King's doing. Well, see the IMDb notes.

Thomas Jane stars as David Drayton. I liked him better in Dreamcatcher. Here he tends to mumble his lines. Two or three times I had to rewind in hopes of hearing his words.

Marcia Gay Harden is excellent as Bible toting thumper Ms. Carmody. Toby Jones is memorable as the supermarket manager Ollie Weeks. Andre Braugher is also quite good.

The creatures and effects are by KNB and up to their usual standards.

According to IMDb, the camera crew from The Shield was used to shoot the film. The TV crew was employed to cut down on production time.

Director Frank Darabont made the film with Dimension but only under the condition that the ending not be changed. He wanted it shown in black and white. The DVD has the B&W version.

The ending is Stephen King's but was adapted by Darabont who spelled out what King only hinted.

The posters for movies drawn by David Drayton are the work of Drew Struzan who has done many movie posters including those for Indiana Jones.

IMDb rates the movie a 7.5 out of 10.


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