Sunday, September 1, 2013

Smoke (1995)

Smoke is a collection of short stories that revolve around a Brooklyn smoke shop.  It's a good movie, but it's not great.  I will give it a solid 6/10.

Auggie runs a smoke shop, and takes a photo every morning in front of his store.  So far, that's 4000 photos.  If he takes one photo each morning, he's been doing this for 10 years and 105 days!  He claims that's why he's never been on vacation because he's devoted to his hobby.  One story involves his ex-wife and his possible daughter (she's not sure of the paternity). Her daughter is a runaway and needs help.  He agrees to go with her and talk some sense into her.  His ex-wife is played by Stockard Channing and it looks like she hasn't aged a day since Grease.

Another story involves a loner writer who lost his wife to a stray bullet.  His life is saved by a teenager, who he offers a place to stay in return.  The teenager's goal is to locate his long lost father.  He finds him working at a garage in the country.  He gets a job working for him, but hasn't had the nerve to tell him yet.  The writer becomes concerned about the teen and goes looking for him, along with Auggie, who happens to be his friend.

The last story is Auggie's Christmas Story, which is easily the least interesting story but it's the one the entire film was based on.  I liked the acting, and I felt it was refreshingly natural.  Harvey Keitel did a great job as Auggie.  I was trying to figure out where I had seen William Hurt, the actor who plays the writer.  It turns out he's in a ton of dramas.  I think his best role was in Children of a Lesser God.  Anyway, the film was okay but it's not like I'm going to run out and buy it and keep it forever.

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