The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) drives to the basket during Texas A&Ms game against Nebraska in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
How Tyrece Radford can catch the attention of NBA scouts
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • July 10, 2024

After 5 years of college basketball at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, Tyrece Radford is furthering his athletic career with the San Antonio...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Puff on this

 
 

For cigarette enthusiasts, the only thing more refreshing than the cool taste of a cancer stick is the thought that a major motion picture might actually stick up for the smoking inclined.
Swimming upstream against the anti-tobacco sentiment sweeping the nation, “Thank You for Smoking” humanizes an industry that is all too often portrayed as a mustache-twirling villain. With equal parts satire and spite, writer-director Jason Reitman combines a talented cast with a top-notch script to make “Thank You for Smoking” a funny, funny film.
Based on a novel by Christopher Buckley, “Smoking” explores the tobacco lobbyist industry through the eyes of Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart). A morally flexible spin-doctor, Nick is the spokesman for big tobacco and a manifestation of all that is evil about corporate America.
So why does Nick do what he does? Because he’s damn good at it. From utilizing a young boy’s cancer for the goodwill of the tobacco industry to bribing a dying cigarette spokesman, Nick can turn any misfortune into the silver lining of a corporation’s wallet. Eckhart steps up to the plate and hits a home run with his performance. Whether it’s his smooth-talking charisma or his genuine affection for his young son, even the most bleeding-heart environmentalist will find Mr. Eckhart charming despite the serpent-tongued opportunist that lies at the surface.
Mirroring reality, the film’s humor is found in the strangest of places. Never above using the easy jokes, “Smoking” combines standard Hollywood fluff with the smart and edgy to create a mainstream film with art house sensibilities. “Smoking” offers enough laughs to keep middle-America entertained without becoming a pretentious, preachy snoozer. For those with tastes a bit more refined than Larry the Cable Guy, the film excels at off-color gallows humor.
Meeting for dinner and drinks, Nick surrounds himself with his peers, the M.O.D. Squad, or Merchants of Death. Played by Maria Bello and David Koechner, these alcohol and firearm lobbyists share trade stories and compare death counts over a nice American dinner. Never afraid to laugh in the face of death, the film utilizes America’s cultural juxtaposition of middle-class conservatism and the moral bankruptcy that shines beneath to remind audiences that humor is a valid way of coping with life’s troubles as any other.
The film is full of small, yet memorable roles played by Hollywood’s top actors. J.K. Simmons, William H. Macy, Robert Duvall, Katie Holmes, Rob Lowe and Sam Elliott all lend their talent to the film and breathe life into the world Nick Naylor inhabits.
Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, has apparently inherited his father’s funny bone as he continues the family tradition of directing timely comedies that hit home. “Smoking” is exactly what America needs right now – a wake-up call in the face of looming political correctness overkill.
Is the movie going to offend people? Oh, yes. But it’s also going to make them laugh despite themselves – and that’s the way it should be. Nothing’s funnier than the truth. A good comedy will not only provide an hour and a half of escapism, but it’ll point out our own faults while it’s at it.

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