15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever ,Watchable Satire.......
This movie the debut of Jason Reitman son of Ivan is a clever,witty satire on the spin machine which is an everyday occurance in this media driven world.Aaron Eckhart plays a slick tobacco lobbyist who basically defends the indefensible on talk shows and tries to get his product into movies etc.
His two friends who also are lobbyists for the alcohol and...
Published on 19 Jan 2007 by shansu69
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "If you argue correctly, you're never wrong"
Thankyou for Smoking starts with a few on screen graphics, witty dialogue and 'to camera' narration - it's a quirky start and it gives the film a fun and stylistic feel.
Nick is a spin doctor for the tobacco industry. It's his job to exploit human nature and twist words in order to say things without actually saying them. He's a chess grand master, the media is...
Published on 27 April 2009 by @GeekZilla9000
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever ,Watchable Satire.......,
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)This movie the debut of Jason Reitman son of Ivan is a clever,witty satire on the spin machine which is an everyday occurance in this media driven world.Aaron Eckhart plays a slick tobacco lobbyist who basically defends the indefensible on talk shows and tries to get his product into movies etc.
His two friends who also are lobbyists for the alcohol and firearms industries and call themselves the MOD squad MOD standing for Merchants Of Death (the argument in the bar about whose product kills the most is one of the highlights of the movie by the way).
Anyhoo the cast is uniformely excellent,Eckhart,Katie Holmes Bob Duvall and the ever watchable J.K Simmons along with William H Macy as a senator who wants to put skull and crossbones poison labels on cigarette packets and whose come uppance again is fantastic .
Watch this movie if you like smart intelligent well made movies which make you think.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think, sorry, laugh!,
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)This is a genuinely funny and clever film, without ever being self important. Everyone in this film is excellent and plays thier part understatedly, I even liked Katie Holmes performance and that's not something you'll hear me say often.
A clever film about the tobacco industry, and made me wonder, as a non-smoker, whether I'm missing out on something!
I will definitely be buying this film as it certainly deserves repeat veiwings, if only to catch the bits I missed while I was laughing!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark entertaining satire that lights up the screen,
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)Adapted from a 1994 novel "Thank You For Smoking" which in a rare instance of common sense the studio haven't changed( Incidentally why do they adapt novels into films and then change the title?) this movie like that novel is a satire that actually possesses a cutting edge. In fact it's so sharp it should qualify under the dangerous weapons act.
The film is essentially about how if someone doctors the truths, or more pertinently lies so well that he/she begins to believe the lies, that they convince other people that their version of the truth is the truth even though it's fundamentally a lie and maybe that the other guy is not only wrong but is the one telling the lies even though he/she is probably telling the truth. It's called spin doctoring and the fact that the source novel was written just before the coming to power of the Labour Government, spin doctors so fiendish they make Shane Warne look like Ashley Giles, is so prescient it's downright spooky. The film of course is set amongst the tobacco lobbyists of America and is brought forward to the present day but otherwise director Jason Reitman has pretty much left the source novel unaltered.
Set in Washington the movie sees Tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor( Aaron Eckhart) who is the spokesman for the grandly titled "Academy of Tobacco Studies "and whose job it is to counter all the health organisations , particaully "The American Lung Association " with counters-studies, double speak and gross perversions of the truth so people keep buying the cancer sticks.
Nick is very good at this and has no compunction about the fact that he targets teenagers as customers because "Get em young and you got em for life". However his life gets more complicated when he starts dating a newspaper reporter Heather Holloway ( Katie Holmes) who is working on a story about him which complicates thing with his 12 years old son (Cameron Bright) Then Senator Ortolan Finistirre ( William H Macy) introduces a bill that would mean every pack of cigarettes would contain a warning label of a skull and crossbones and the word "Poison" in large black letters while Nick is trying to obtain some product placement in a new movie with an unhinged producer ( Rob Lowe).
Full of great lines and a redemptive story arc that is actually believable the films greatest triumph is in the casting which is flawless for virtually every role. Anyone who has seen Aaron Eckhart in the film "The Company Of Men" will know he can play charming duplicitous charismatic schemers superbly and he is perfect as the quick firing Nick. Even the normally bland Katie Holmes is fine. Add to that Macy as the fussy senator and memorable cameos from Robert Duvall as a tobacco company patriarch , David Koechner as a deranged speaker for the forearms lobby, Sam Elliot who has one memorable scene as a former Marlboro man dying of cancer and the gorgeous Maria Bello as a lobbyist for the alcohol companies. Best of all is J.K. Simmons( Who played JJ Jameson , Peter Parkers boss in "Spiderman") who is again voluble and brilliant as Nicks boss barking out lines "We don't sell Tic Tacs , we sell cigarettes, they cool, addictive and available. The job is almost done for you".
Cigarettes, cool, addictive and available ...hhmm, a bit like this excellent darkly entertaining film then.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny movie: looks at ALL sides of the debate.,
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)Thank You for Smoking is, in fact, a darn good satire - one of the best I've seen since "Election". Aaron Eckhart holds the picture together with a witty, charismatic performance as a tobacco lobbyist. The film is basically about his profession as he spins the news, pitches a movie idea, dodges a subpoena, has an affair with a reporter (Katie Holmes), tries to spend time with his son (Cameron Bright), and has lunch with an alcohol lobbyist (Maria Bello) and a firearms rep (David Koechner) - where they literally compare body counts. The performances are excellent across the board, from William H. Macy's crusading Senator to Rob Lowe's smirking Hollywood agent who struts around his office in a kimono. Even Adam Brody is enjoyable as Lowe's hyperactive assistant whose in-joke with a co-worker earned one of the biggest laughs of the movie.
The majority of the credit, however, needs to go to first-time feature director Jason (son of Ivan) Reitman. Adapting from Christopher Buckley's novel, Reitman has fashioned an enormously clever script, consistent and strong in character, yet not forgetting to be incredibly funny. The style is also perfect - brisk, light-hearted, with impeccable timing marred only by a tangental subplot including Sam Elliott that is, sadly, not very funny. Overall, however, the pace is fast enough where the laughs keep coming.
Reitman also does the unthinkable: he keeps the satire dark and funny to the very end. While most comedies stray blindly into the sentimental, "Thank You" avoids unnecessary emotional tripe and - thankfully - avoids sermonizing about the dangers of smoking or of the flaws of the political process. Eckhart's flawless performance and Reitman's wonderful screenplay anchor an uncommonly perceptive comedy, provided you take yours black.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We sell cigarettes. And they're cool, available, and addictive",
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)This wonderful line of dialogue is the rationale for a glorious satire, even the title sequence with its great sequence of pseudo cigarette pack designs is part of the fun.
Aaron Eckhart turns in a career best performance as Nick Naylor the smooth talking fast thinking lobbyist for the tobacco industry. Nick is one of a trio of lobbyists calling themselves "The Merchants of Death" promoting alcohol and firearms, tobacco holding pride of place as the largest killer.
Considering this is a satire Naylor is a brilliant fully rounded character, we see all sides of his personality especially his love and parenting skills with his son Joey (Cameron Bright).
Even more remarkable this appears to be Director Jason Reitman's first feature film.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sharp as tacks,
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This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)Beautifully clever, quick, touch of sentiment, exceedingly likeable, topical, funny (of course) and for a film about smoking, there's very little, if any, actual smoking! Incidentally, most effective extras I remember seeing on a DVD. Only one thing seemed particularly weak: Rob Lowe - poor fellah's losing his voice; shame...
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant satire that smokers and non-smokers alike can enjoy,
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)This is an intelligent, excellent satirical film, so don't get caught up in the title, for I think it can be misleading. Smokers, for example, will likely suspect this film of being a vengeful attempt to make Big Tobacco look like Satan's most loyal servants, while anti-tobacco's attack dogs may suspect some hidden agenda to actually make smoking look cool. Neither would be correct. Thank You For Smoking launches its barbs into both sides of the tobacco conflict, shining a good bit of the harsh light of truth onto both. No matter which side you're on, you can enjoy this brilliant little film.
The sad fact is that the debate over smoking oftentimes has nothing to do with cigarettes; it's really all about money and power and politics. Look at Al Gore, who could cry about the loss of his sister to cancer even as he profited from tobacco, or Bill Clinton (who did things with a cigar that even Big Tobacco would never condone), whose attack on Big Tobacco conveniently served him as a smokescreen to distract the public from his many personal problems. Obviously, many people do oppose smoking for very sincere reasons, but some politicians jump on board merely as a means to power and influence. In this movie, they're represented by Vermont's Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre (William H. Macy), who is leading the effort to put a large poison label on cigarettes. He's not exactly all heart, though: berating his assistant for not choosing someone obviously on death's door for his "cancer boy," lamenting the fact that one of his enemies didn't actually die after being attacked by anti-smoking vigilantes, and generally engaging in the same kind of self-profiting spin as the representatives of Big Tobacco.
Finistirre's nemesis is Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), the smooth-talking de facto spokesman for the tobacco industry. Eckhart's brilliant performance keeps the film far away from the many pitfalls that would seem to dominate the landscape for this kind of satire. Naylor is almost untouchably good at his job, able to deftly and quickly take a hostile crowd and win them over (or at least stave them off) with his defense of freedom and personal choice in America. What does he do what he does? That's never definitively answered, but paying the mortgage is alluded to by Nick and several other characters. One thing that Nick alone has, however, is a human and sympathetic persona, as revealed in his relationship with his son. The presence of the boy adds to the story's otherwise absurdist atmosphere, as we watch the boy look up to and begin to emulate his father's debating skills. More than that, it shows us a human side to Nick, and that is something this film almost had to have in order to succeed.
Nick's character is sort of morally ambivalent, but you can't help but like him - and he certainly comes off in a better light than Senator Finistirre and a certain reporter played (passably at best) by Katie Holmes. Nick should have known better than to sleep with a journalist, as Heather Holloway goes about doing her job much the same way Nick goes about doing his. Her only concern is the story and the attention it will bring her. She and Finistirre, much more than Nick and his fellow spokesmen from the alcohol and firearms industries (who jokingly refer to themselves as the MOD [Merchants of Death] Squad and argue over which of their products is more deadly) are the real villains of the story. Even if and when they might do the right thing, they do it for all the wrong reasons. Nick may engineer good spin for Big Tobacco, but at least he doesn't pretend to be someone he isn't.
The film features a surprisingly good cast (excepting Katie Holmes, of course, whose "steamy" scene with Eckhart is almost too far away from the camera to be seen with the naked eye), including the likes of Eckhart, Elliott, Macy, Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe, and - in a really funny cameo - Dennis Miller. Jason Reitman may be a young filmmaker, but he really nailed just about every aspect of this film. Making a film about Big Tobacco that never deviates from its satirical position to moralize either for or against smoking, skewers all concerned parties equally, defies the dangerous modern-day obsession with political correctness, and maintains a consistently intelligent, funny atmosphere throughout, is quite an accomplishment indeed. Unless you simply can't take a joke (or you're the reviewer from the LA Times or some similar leftist rag), you're going to enjoy this movie.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top-notch,
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)One of the bravest and most effective comedies ever to come out of the USA, this film has a grasp of irony that is lacking in most examples of its genre.
It does make you sympathetic to the obstacles that the lead character (Nick Naylor) has to overcome, but at the same time makes you realise what type of propaganda you are being subjected to, making you better equipped to resist its effects.
Of course, dealing with such a high-profile health issue, it has to have a serious message, but this is done without any of the saccherine-sweetness usually employed in these situations. There are no tearful reunions, no sweet little children cooing 'I love you, daddy', and no cries of 'I've learned my lesson, I'm going to work for the lung cancer foundation'. Thank god.
Definitely watch it more than once; there are several subtle lines that you will miss first time round, and many that you'll wish you'd thought of.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favorite film of all time.,
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This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)I'm not normally the kind of person who submits his views on things on the internet. I find it hard to see the point; Why waste time and effort critically analysing something when it'll have basically no affect on anything as no-one will ever see it? That's my standard philosophy anyway.
But today I am writing a review. Why? Because when I see something that inspired me beyond unrecognisable doubt, when an object or concept or film moves me to such a level that I watch it over and over again recieves less than the maximum possible rating I have to intervene.
Jason Reitman is a genius, this film is cinematic gold and should be rated so much more highly than it already is. Buy it, give it a watch and hopefully it'll inspire you as much as it's inspired me over these past few months, and probably for the majority of the rest of my life.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Everybody has a talent. Mine is talking",
This review is from: Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  (DVD)"Thank you for smoking", directed by Jason Reitman, is a wonderful satirical comedy that is likely to offend some people, but that is nonetheless witty and entertaining. If you merely want to watch a feel-good film, I strongly urge you to avoid this dvd. On the other hand, if you are eager to think a little bit more, and don't mind a sometimes acerbic sense of humour, this is the right movie for you.
The main character is Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a lobbyist and spokesman for the American tobacco industry that is a master of media spinning and doublespeak, and that is glad of having "a moral flexibility that goes beyond most people". Nick has a son, Joey, and thus has to try to be a role model to him, despite his polemic job. That is specially difficult after a beautiful reporter (Katie Holmes) with whom he had an affair betrays his trust, writing a tell-all article about him.
It is pretty interesting to watch Nick as he twists logic in order to defend the right of everybody to smoke, saying that has to do with freedom of choice. In his words, "that's the beauty of arguing, because if you argue correctly you are never wrong". This film has fictional characters, but is also based on some real facts, something that makes it specially interesting. From my point of view, "Thank you for smoking" is a caustic and ironic film, but also a must see for everybody that is interested in the power of words. Recommended!
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Thank You For Smoking [DVD]  by Jason Reitman (DVD - 2007)