Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Thank You For Smoking
Viewed: 4:50pm 03/28/06
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Katie Holmes, Maria Bello, Adam Brody, Sam Elliot, William H. Macy, Rob Lowe, J.K. Simmons, Robert Duvall
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Fox Searchlight Official Site of the movie
There’s been a new wave of interrogations, stepped up after the release of Thank you For Smoking. The guards, during interrogation, have been using some of the ideas of debate and discussion from it. Sadly it seems they missed the big idea and took it all too literally… whatever. I can see why they liked it, but that they missed the point?
Smoking has a sort of universal appeal where it takes an idea that everyone can relate to, explains aspects of that idea in new and interesting way, making the viewer excited about understanding it. Not that they couldn’t or didn’t understand it before, but when someone relates the connection of cigarettes and second hand smoke to the connection of heart disease and cheddar cheese, it’s sticks with you. Because it’s clever. It’s funny. It’s “understanding” through cool. It’s “pointing out the obvious” and slapping a huge wrack on it. You always got it, now there’s a reason to make other people get it.
The beautiful thing is that this movie about spinning the truth uses the same exact technique to win over its audience. We sit comfortably and are lulled into a euphoric state as Smoking makes us feel smarter than we actually are, all the while the story being told to us is so cool, so hip, so flashy, that we completely miss the spin of filmmaking duping us into loving the movie.
Of course we wouldn’t otherwise. “Love it” that is. We wouldn’t love it without the fast-talking, fake smiling, monologued montages, not to mention cooler than cool supporting cast, convincing us that Thank You For Smoking is the best thing since smoking after sex. Is that the best thing? For some reason I get the feeling it is…
But that’s just how brilliantly layered the movie is. Using the idea of spin to spin a movie about spin into one of the best Satires existing on the planet – brilliant.
Aaron Eckhart stars as Nick Naylor, a representative for smoking. It’s his job to push forward the positives of smoking, and push back the… well… cancer. To push back cancer. Among other things. It’s his job to make sure that smoking stays cool.
And let’s face it, smoking is pretty damn cool. I’ve never been a smoker personally. I guess it hit me early that it wasn’t worth the health risks and I’ve avoided it, every now and then wishing I’d taken it up because it looks so cool. But according to Naylor I’m an uninformed loser.
If the idea of the dangers of smoking being a big political debate seems liked a dated argument, it’s because it is. Thank You for Smoking is adapted from the book written by Christopher Buckly in 1994. Even though the subject is behind the times the real theme of spin and character still hold true. You could toss these same characters and same ideas into themes of Alcohol, guns, disease, euthanasia, etc… Each one a serious subject that can be fit in to a sardonic spin. In that aspect the dated subject matter actually helps them because it let’s the audience move past the obvious and focus on the meat of the story.
I have issue with Eckhart. Mainly a little movie called The Core. My first reaction when seeing the trailer for Smoking was, “Eckhart? What, was Nick Cage busy?” But Eckhart sells it and becomes this likeable bastard that you can’t stay mad at, even if he is pushing death sticks on the world. He’s charming and quick, and slides with a smug gracefulness into the role of “the man every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with”. He’s too cool for school.
That doesn’t always hold up though. He opens the movie and definitely gets your attention but as they dart him off to meet the other characters, his presence bounces back and forth into the background. Reason being is that the supporting players take turns being awesome!
Nearly everyone that steps on screen steals the scene they’re in. Rob Lowe reminds us that he’s one of the best straight men in the business. J.K. Simmon’s hypnotizes you with cool talking a mile a minute saying things you completely disagree with, but can’t help but be enthralled by. And I loved the casting of Sam Elliot as the dying Marlborough Man. Completely bad ass.
The most difficultly good scenes are those between Maria Bello, Eckhart, and David Koechner as they steal the spotlight from each other debating which of their chosen defendants takes down more lives. Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms. Basically – don’t blink because nearly everyone that walks on screen will kick you in the stomach with funny.
Most of the buzz from this movie has been Tom Cruise related as reports have had him asking for love scenes between Eckhart and Katie Holmes to be removed or edited from the film. I’m not sure how much truth there is to that. There’s two loves scenes, far from sexy, but graphic enough. Sorry, no boobs guys. Go rent The Gift.
I think Holmes is funny though. She’s good in Smoking but not a stand out. I just like it that she’s only doing astounding movies now and playing forgettable characters in them. It’s cool though. I’ll take a beautiful Katie in Batman Begins over First Daughter any day.
As for the bigger controversy is concerned, smoking is no joke. I think people get that, and I think anyone that watches this movie will understand that it’s not what the movie is about. It’s different than that, but not so much so that the filmmakers are irresponsible enough not to address it. It’s a difficult line to walk but I don’t think Smoking went far enough to be considered disrespectful.
Rating: 8 out of 10
I loved it, but not completely. It was short, and I did feel like there were a couple of avenues left unexplored. Like Naylor being forced to quit smoking. That’s huge, but largely left undone. That lends itself to the quick pacing and dizzying story, which are simply spectacular so who am I to complain?
Yeah, I’m going to pick this one up. Engaging story that’s entertaining and smart at the same time. It’s serious enough to inspire consideration and discussion on the situation, but not so heavy that it turns into a full on harsh debate. Because in the end it’s more about spin then it is about cigarettes. Everyone likes to be convincing.
If you liked this movie check out: S.F.W.
S.F.W. is a satirical look at celebrity in media. It’s less obvious and in your face than Smoking with a different sense of humor, but the message is similar. And it’s a strong message well developed Jefery Levy and his two young stars Stephen Dorff and Reese Witherspoon. Definitely worth checking out.
Non movie related stuff:
I used to mention my MySpace page every now and then, but haven’t really pushed it in a while. You guys still find me though witch is really cool. It’s always nice to pop into MySpace and see a bunch of new friend requests.
A couple of weeks ago, one person befriended Yeo in MySpace and thanked her for her support and influence on the strip. “Woman behind the man” and all that. She liked it but it freaked he rout a little, and that amused me a great deal. So in the interest of my amusement I urge you to befriend Yeo on Myspace. She’s a cutie isn’t she?
Finally I’ve got the comic for Benchwarmers up over at Clickwheel. Wish I could say I loved or hated the movie passionately, but it got little reaction out of me. I’ll have the review up soon. Thanks!
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V