Thank You for Smoking

Thank You For Smoking movie poster


A wicked contemporary satire, distant cousin to Lord of War, if a little less urgent. The level of public anxiety over Big Tobacco isn’t terribly high at the moment, but the larger theme of corporate and governmental spin is a timely one. Also like Lord of War, it kicks off with insane energy: one of the best opening title sequences I’ve ever seen, followed by flurry of pop-up infographics, freeze-frames, and ironic subtitles. Too bad that after the first half hour or so, it settles down into fairly straightforward family melodrama.

And now that’s what I call e-cards.

The Dork Report for March 8, 2006

The Dork Report for March 7, 2006

Portions of today’s Dork Report were brought to you by the letter A for Andrea.


Bubble movie poster


As a look into the lives of factory workers in an economically depressed town turns into a noir (as Steven Soderbergh himself notes on the commentary track), I caught a whiff of class anthropology. That said, I understand Soderbergh’s point that critics’ charges of exploitation are condescending; the non-actors are intelligent human beings who wholly knew what they were getting into.

With this project, Soderbergh is tackling several unknowns at once: high-definition video, the feasibility of simultaneous release, and the storytelling device of drawing on the real-life experiences of non-actors. How does one tell if an experiment is a success when there are so many variables?

Daily Dork Report for March 2, 2006

  • Wow, dude from Dominos is straight-up hard-core Catholic, baby. Watch your tail, Chick-fil-a.
  • Steampunk Transformers, with art by… Ted McKeever?! Isn’t that sort of like hiring David Lynch to direct G.I. Joe?
  • Mickey is now a one-button mouse.
  • My difficult-to-pronounce boy from Philly is certainly a big-spender.
  • This is simultaneously fascinating and enraging. I sympathize with parents who don’t have time to keep up with popular culture and need an unbiased information source to judge for themselves whether or not a movie is appropriate for their kids, but I don’t think this is it. Who are these people? Who appointed them? I’m worried they are indirectly censoring films, under the guise of informing parents. It’s about the children, you understand.
  • Let’s see, what did we get out of Apple’s latest extravaganza:
    • iPod Hi-Fi: No doubt a fun toy for flush audiofiles, but kinda useless for a New York City apartment-dweller like myself.
    • Mac Mini: Take out the video card, add a remote control, and it costs $100 more? Although to be totally honest, I must admit I don’t really understand what a video card does. While the whole concept of a Mac media center thingie on my TV sounds really neat, the price hike completely soured it for me.
    • Leather iPod Case: insanely overpriced cow-flesh sleeve with no access to the face. In other words, it’s designed specifically to scratch your iPod. I just have to join in the chorus here: What were they thinking?
  • Thank goodness that during the phenomenal catastrophe that was Katrina, Bush was watching a lot of television and asking a lot of good questions.
  • Absolute Sandman. Darn. Guess I wasted my time and money tracking down those first-edition hardcovers on eBay…

Portions of today’s blockbuster Dork Report were brought to you by Andrea & Dave.