Thank You For Smoking

Cover Art: 8/10
Smoking has been the Bain of my existence for my whole life, so a cover that looks like a cigarette package, at first glance, was a bit of a turn off..but then I tucked away all those horrid memories of car rides with my smoking parents, disgusting meals in restaurants before the segregation began (smokers vs. nonsmokers), and I saw the humor and I appreciate it. It’s appropriate. It looks cool. And it taught me a valuable lesson in life, “Don’t judge a DVD by it’s cover.”

The menus are excellent. It’s great when a DVD author makes the effort to create an overall viewing experience for a DVD lover. The menus are animated graphics that mimic non-smoking signs, but without the NO part, if you get my meaning. Thank you for NOT smoking? Get it?

Extras: 6/10

  • Director & Cast Commentary – This guy (director Reitman) likes to talk. Sometimes he sounds a bit pretentious, but I enjoy his whole hearted devotion to being a filmmaker. He’s a bit dry but not boring. If that sounds appealing..haha
  • Deleted Scenes – A few cut bits and bobs, nothing special.
  • Charlie Rose Interview – A good feature that more DVD’s need to add into the mix. Charlie Rose, while being somewhat of a film industry love bunny, does ask a few interesting questions and his deadpan approach is just plain hypnotic.
  • Making Of Featurette – Not a making of, just a promotional package that is more of an infomercial than a feature.
  • America Living In Spin Featurette – Just interviews with the cast talking about how we are all fed a load of crap in our society. Do they think we don’t know that? It’s ok, but short and flat. Not worthy of featurette status.

The Movie: 8/10
I hate smoking. There I said it, but wait, I hated smoking 30 some years ago when I was riding hopelessly in the car with parents who’s idea of clean air was 2 packs of cigarettes and a handful of cigars to get them through the drive to grandma’s house. cough cough. I hated smoking before it was cool to hate it, so if you are all pompous and righteous and want to boycott my review because you are sick of politically correct anti-smoking zombies giving you a hard time…read on.

I hate smoking, but that’s a way of thinking. A way of thinking I developed on my own from my own personal experiences. I never cared about the health aspects, or the cost. I have always despised smelling like a burnt pile of dog shit. Simple as that. SO, how does a chick who has such a relationship with the number one chemical dependant habit in the world react to a movie called “Thank you for Smoking.” The title freaked me out, and then I was interested, very interested.

I loved it. It’s based on a novel that unravels the impact of how spin and political correctness is used by the media, the government, and everyone else in the world to brainwash your little mind into thinking and doing what they want. The smoking is just the tool, the gadget used to stir the pot.

We are introduced to our hero, the man who claims to be the spokesperson for cigarettes. He’s despised, hated, compared to horrible people in history, and then we find out he’s charming and a little bit sexy. Yea, sexy in a sleazy kind of way.

I love three specific things about this film:

1.) The cast is amazing. You can read the list above, it’s jam packed with big names. Not just BIG names, but quality big names who take on their roles with the exact right amount of satire and humor, with the twist of “ewe” that’s just right.

2.) The look of the film is exciting with different visual styles poked in here and there, great sets, exciting editing, and a few fun add-ons you have to see to understand what I mean.

3.) The message of the story is simple, THINK FOR YOURSELF. It sounds simple, but when you think you are not brainwashed by all the crap that gets spoon-fed you from morning to night, you might want to consider what YOU really think. You are told all day everyday what to do, how to think, how to dress, how skinny to be, how to live your life, what habits to have, how to drive your car, how to eat, how to sleep, how to talk to people at work, how to raise your kids…and by whom? Are the people telling you all this information someone you trust? Do they really know what they are talking about. I’m not saying go out and be a binge drinker, smoke a carton of cigarettes, have unprotected sex with a hooker, crash your car into a store front, become a thief, hit your kids, microwave the cat, or put large oddly shaped objects into orifices in your body where no object should ever go. I’m just saying sometimes all the flood of information might not be useful or helpful, just meant to control you.

That’s what the story says to me. This guy is spewing such horse wallow to the world about how the cigarette industry isn’t THAT bad, that they would rather keep a teenage cancer victim alive and smoking than to have him dead, and he’s so charming while he does it it all sounds just fine. That’s spin my friend.

I say this movie isn’t amazingly made or anything, but it’s message and the style in which it delivers it wins me over big time. There are flaws, but when you are laughing every two minutes and in the end you might even think about a few things for yourself…that’s a class act right there.

By the way I still hate smoking, but as long as you are there behind your little monitor thousands, even millions of miles away from me, puff away. 🙂

Value: 5/10
This movie has a great heart. It’s just a shame they didn’t make more effort to make it a great DVD package. It looks good, but the extras are not worthy of the 20 bucks you are expected to shell out. If they had done some kind of extra documentary on the turn of opinions in the world due to the spin they are commenting on, that might make me loosen my debit card using finger..but as it is, I say rent it and have a great night at the movies and spend the rest of the cash on a pizza or six pack.

Overall Score 7/10