Golden State Warriors 125, Sacramento Kings 123

I heard the news that Peter Tork had died. After I was done with my lecture, I headed to the BART station to get abroad a train going to the Oracle Arena. I got to my seat about fifteen minutes before tip-off. A guitarist played the national anthem Jimi Hendrix style. Harrison Barnes got some applause when the Kings were introduced because he is a former Warrior. Kevin Durant got off to a fast start, scoring seven of the Warriors’ first fourteen points. Midway through the quarter, players from the 2007 team were shown on the video screen: Kelenna Azubuike, Adonal Foyle, Stephen Jackson, and Jason Richardson. Don Nelson was with them, and he sure looked different with a wild man appearance with facial hair. The first quarter ended with the Warriors ahead, 35-30. The second quarter didn’t go as well, as the Kings had an 11-point lead early and scored seven more points than the Warriors did to go into halftime ahead, 62-60. Kevin Durant had six blocked shots in the first half. Durant and Curry both had 17 points, and Curry scored a surprising dunk. The Warriors had eleven turnovers with some bad passing. The halftime show was a dance program featuring the Warriors Dance Team, the Hardwood Classics, the Jr. Jam Squad, and the Golden State Breakers with Motown music, including “Brick House” and “Please Mr. Postman.” The third quarter ended up being a draw, with both teams scoring 29 points. Durant kept scoring the points for the Warriors, finishing the quarter with a dunk and a three-point shot. The score going into the fourth quarter was 91-89. Curry made big three-point shots late in the game, and Klay Thompson contributed one of his own after missing quite a few shots, as it looked as though the Warriors had locked up the game. The Warriors were ahead, 123-117 with 25.5 seconds left. However, Buddy Hield of the Kings made two quick three-point shots to make the score 125-123 in the final seconds. It looked for an instant that the Warriors were going to turn the ball over, but Andre Iguodala grabbed the ball and was fouled. The fans would have preferred Curry or Thompson at the foul line in this situation, and Iguodala did make the fans groan when he missed both free throws. Considering those last two three-pointers, there was the distinct possibility that the Warriors could lose this game. Hield got the ball and passed the chance at three points for a closer shot, but he missed, and so that 125-123 score was the final score. Stephen Curry led the Warriors in scoring with 36 points. Durant had 28, Thompson had 18, Cousins had 17, Green had 12, Iguodala had 9, Cook had 3, and Looney had 2. Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie both played eight minutes but scored no points. Curry made 10 out of 16 three-points shots, and he scored 11 points in that fourth quarter. Durant finished with seven blocked shots and nine rebounds. We didn’t get a Jumbo Jack coupon as we left the building, but we did get a Jason Richardson poster. It was a cold night, and when I got to the BART station platform, I discovered that I would have to wait 17 minutes for my train to arrive. When I got home, it was past eleven o’clock. I listened to Stephen Colbert talk about Jussie Smollett, joking that he had paid his accomplices by check. Things are not looking too good for him. If he had staged this incident because he was unhappy with his salary, he is a fool. I don’t see how he expected to get away with this scheme, with all the cops investigating the incident. I wonder what kinds of ideas he has had about the police because he wasn’t showing much respect for their intelligence. I had to stop thinking about this incident, which certainly isn’t worth all this media attention. I had in my pocket my Oscar picks. I had spent too much time researching the choices. Some of the people who died on February 22 include Mabel Normand (1930), Florence Ballard (1976), Alexander Scourby (1985), Andy Warhol (1987), John Fahey (2001), Chuck Jones (2003), and Nanette Fabray (2018). Today is a birthday for Khalil Mack (28), Drew Barrymore (44), Kyle MacLachlan (60), Julius Erving (69), and Julie Walters (69). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 22, the John Wayne movie “The Conqueror” had its Los Angeles premiere in 1956. In 1957, the science fiction horror film “The Incredible Shrinking Man” was released. In 1971, David Crosby’s album “If I Could Only Remember My Name” was released. In 1983, the Journey album “Frontiers,” featuring the hits “Faithfully” and “Separate Ways,” was released. Also in 1983, the Styx album “Kilroy Was Here,” which included “Mr. Roboto,” was released. Marni Nixon was born 90 years ago today.

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day

I worked on my Oscar picks and made a few more decisions about “The Favourite.” I had a forgettable day at work. I stopped for a burger on the way home, as I usually do on Wednesdays, and back at the apartment I watched “Terminator 2” again. Reading about the filming of the movie, I didn’t realize that Linda Hamilton had a twin sister. I could see how having a twin might be helpful in a movie like this. I thought this was Arnold’s finest moment as an actor, and I wished he had never gotten into politics. He had great bits of Terminator dialogue, like “Come with me if you want to live” and “Hasta la vista, baby.” We’ll always remember him for riding off on the motorcycle with “Bad to the Bone” on the soundtrack. One of the good ideas in the movie was having a superior Terminator called the T-1000 be the villain. Robert Patrick will always be the T-1000 and nothing else in my mind, but he did appear in movies like “Wayne’s World,” “Walk the Line,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” and “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.” I wondered how the T-1000 got to John’s foster mother without the father knowing. Patrick is 60 years old now. I wondered what Edward Furlong has done over the years. It seems that he has gone through some personal problems. I actually couldn’t stand his acting in the movie, as he had to talk to himself with lines like “get a grip” and “easy money.” He never came up with a real reason why the T-800 should not kill people. Looking at the movie again and thinking about it some more, it seems that the Terminator should have done something at key moments to eliminate the T-1000. He could have destroyed it in the river or after it had been frozen. I wondered what happened after the Terminator exposed his arm to Dyson. I thought about whether he took his kids to Raging Waters. I thought I saw the police use a security card to get through one set of glass doors before smashing through other glass doors. I wondered where the card came from. It looked like some of the stunts were difficult and dangerous, and one of the wild stunts was the T-1000 driving the motorcycle through the window and climbing into the helicopter. A couple of other motorcycle stunts looked very exciting. One thing that was good about this movie was the spare use of CGI, considering everything that was in the film. How many vehicles were destroyed? I was wondering what happened to Dr. Silberman, leaving injured after he witnessed unbelievable things happening right in front of him. Linda Hamilton was married to James Cameron from 1997 to 1999. She has discussed her depression and her bipolar disorder. She is 62 years old now. I’m not sure that I ever got the timeline of events right in this Terminator movie. 2029 was the year that Skynet sent the T-1000 to the past. 1995 is the present, so as far as viewing the movie in 1991, it is the future. In the world of the movie, more than seven years have passed since the first Terminator, or at least that appears to be the case, because John Connor is clearly more than seven years old. He was born on February 28, 1985. Judgment Day is August 29, 1997. What really happened on that day? All I saw was the Air Guitar championship. I read that Sarah Connor was born between March 1, 1965 and February 25, 1967. In the edition of the movie that I saw, Sarah is alive on August 29, 2029. The people in the park wear what are supposed to be futuristic clothes, but this scene is only ten years away from now. After all the other Terminator movies, I now wish that it all had ended with “Terminator 2.” I don’t think that James Cameron handles death in his films too well. There was “Titanic,” and here we see a thumbs up at the moment of demise, which at the time in the 90s made us think of Detroit Lions player Mike Utley. I feel sadness watching this movie now because I saw it with my friend Kelly, who would die of cancer in 2003. While watching a Supergirl episode recently, I discovered that Alex Danvers’ favorite movie is “Terminator 2.” She also likes the television shows “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones,” and “The Wire.” I liked the special effects and Arnold’s presence, although the casting was not perfect. I heard on the news that Jussie Smollett is now under arrest in Chicago. I guess Smollett is too young to remember the Morton Downey, Jr. incident of 1989, in which Downey claimed that neo-Nazis attacked him at the San Francisco airport. If you try to stage some kind of fake incident and report it to the police, you are not likely to get away with it. If you don’t know history, you’re going to repeat it. Smollett is 36 years old and should know better. Some of the people who died on February 21 include Hieronymus Bock (1554), Jethro Tull (1741), Malcolm X (1965), Margot Fonteyn (1991), Robin Moore (2008), and Billy Graham (2018). Today is a birthday for Ellen Page (32), Kelsey Grammar (64), and Anthony Daniels (73). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 21, the big winners for Best Motion Picture at the 9th Golden Globe Awards in 1952 were “A Place in the Sun” for Drama and “An American in Paris” for Musical or Comedy. In 1968, “Child is Father to the Man,” the debut album by Blood, Sweat, and Tears, was released. In 1971, Sly and the Family Stone had the Number One single, “Thank You.” In 1975, David Bowie released his “Young Americans” single, which featured Luther Vandross. In 1988, the Robin Williams movie “Good Morning Vietnam” was the Number One film at the box office. In 1990, Milli Vanilli won the Grammy for Best New Artist. In 2001, Steely Dan won the Grammy Award for Best Album for “Two Against Nature.” Kelsey Grammar celebrates his 64rd birthday today.

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A Passage to India

I sat around the office grading exams and researching my Oscar picks.  I gave a reasonably good lecture to my class and returned home to have some chicken and rice and sit down to watch “A Passage to India” again.  It was the only David Lean film I ever saw in its original release in the movie theatres.  It was from 1984, when I still felt young.  Judy Davis was good in this film, although she wasn’t completely convincing in the courtroom scene.  Peggy Ashcroft won an Oscar for her role as Mrs. Moore.  Victor Banerjee played the role of Aziz very well, and he may be the person I remember most vividly from this film.  He would appear in Roman Polanski’s “Bitter Moon” in 1992.  I’m not sure why Lean cast Alec Guinness as an Indian mystic.  He looks way out of place in the role.  He also wasn’t getting along with Lean.  Judy Davis also fought with Lean.  Lean wanted Peter O’Toole for the part of Fielding, but it went to James Fox.  The scenery in India looks very beautiful in many shots.  I was impressed with how the train ride out to the caves looked.  I appreciated David Lean’s careful and thoughtful approach to filmmaking.  It shows in just about every shot in the movie.  I thought that Banerjee did a great job in showing Aziz’s change in personality after the trial.  Well, it wasn’t a complete change.  Seeing this film again made me think back on how much I liked Jean Renoir’s “The River.”  Roger Ebert’s review of “A Passage to India” said that it was one of the greatest screen adaptations he’d ever seen and that the screenplay was a model of clarity.  Lean was going to direct “Empire of the Sun” but dropped out of the production.  He then planned on making “Nostromo” with a cast that included Marlon Brando, Paul Scofield, Anthony Quinn, Peter O’Toole, Christopher Lambert, Isabella Rossellini, and Dennis Quaid.  Filming was set to start, but Lean died of throat cancer at age 83 in April 16, 1991.  I like taking those David Lean films off the shelf occasionally and watching them, especially “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago.”  Some of the people who died on February 20 include Frederick Douglass (1895), Robert Strauss (1975), Dick York (1992), Toru Takemitsu (1996), Gene Siskel (1999), Rosemary DeCamp (2001), Sandra Dee (2005), John Raitt (2005), Hunter S. Thompson (2005), and Curt Gowdy (2006).  Today is a birthday for Cindy Crawford (53), Charles Barkley (56), Patty Hearst (65), Jennifer O’Neill (71), Sandy Duncan (73), J. Geils (73), Buffy Sainte-Marie (78), and Sidney Poitier (92).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 20, the controversial film “Freaks” was released in 1923, leading to the end of the film career of director Tod Browning.  In 1969, “Goodbye Cream,” a documentary about Cream’s last concert, opened, getting poor reviews for its audio quality and its bizarre editing.  In 1974, the Steely Dan album “Pretzel Logic,” featuring “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” was released.  In 1976, the members of KISS placed their footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  In 1989, the Tom Hanks film “The ‘Burbs” was Number One at the box office.  In 1997. Ben and Jerry’s introduced their ice cream flavor inspired by the rock group Phish.  In 2007, Britney Spears entered rehab.

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Roma: More Notes

I went to see “Roma” again yesterday.  I like this movie a lot because Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood memories have similarities with my own memories.  Some more notes on what I saw:
  1. The Spanish name for Cocoa Krispies is Choco Krispis.
  2. When the kids get in the car, they argue about which radio station to hear.  La Pantera was featuring Creedence vs. The Beatles.  That took me back to the days of listening to AM radio stations that would have competitions between songs during holiday weekends.  Listeners would phone in their votes, and the winning song would last another round.  I remember one weekend when the big winners were “Good Vibrations” and “The Tears of a Clown.”
  3. One of the movies at the local theatre was “La Grande Vadrouille,” the most popular movie in France in 1966.  It was released in the United States in February 1969 and in Mexico in December 1969.  “Roma” is supposed to take place in 1970 and 1971.
  4. The boys in one scene talk about the Super Bowl that took place in January 1971, saying that the Cowboys won because Baltimore got too cocky.  Actually, the Dallas Cowboys lost the game, 16-13.  I couldn’t tell whether this was a mistake in the subtitle translation or if the kids didn’t know what they were talking about.
  5. Back at the theatre, the family goes to see “Marooned,” which was actually in color.  It was released in November 1969 in the U.S.  I was reminded of how in the old days it would take some time for movies to be released around the world.  I saw “Marooned” on television several years later.  It seemed to inspire Cuaron’s “Gravity.”
  6. That beach scene with Cleo rescuing the kids was remarkable, and I could hardly stop thinking about it since I first saw it.  It looked seamless, but I thought there had to be digital work done on it with editing together pieces.  I thought the elements in the background of the beach didn’t move.
I didn’t care for the male frontal nudity, a thought that I’ve had since I saw “A Room with a View” back in 1986.  I thought it was too much of a coincidence that Fermin went into the store while Cleo was there shopping for a crib.  I also wondered what happened to Fermin’s jacket.  I also wondered if the dog poop was real or if it was movie dog poop, and if it was movie dog poop, what was it made of?
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Terms of Endearment

When I woke up to a holiday morning, all I could think about was how tired I felt. I used my computer for a credit card payment. I watched “Terms of Endearment” again. It took me back to 1983, now more than 35 years ago. Debra Winger was a huge star after “An Officer and a Gentleman,” and she was great in this movie, although reportedly she was dealing with a cocaine addiction and didn’t get along with Shirley MacLaine. Her part was meant for Sissy Spacek, and I could see her in the part as a Southern woman. Jack Nicholson’s part was supposed to go to Burt Reynolds, who made the mistake of agreeing to be in “Stroker Ace” instead. Roger Ebert wrote a rave review, calling “Terms of Endearment” a wonderful film and saying that there wasn’t a thing that he would change. I would say that a few moments don’t really ring true. There was Nicholson as Garrett Breedlove, accidentally dumping his trash onto the ground and Aurora falling down as she watched him. I thought that was a movie action and reaction, and it didn’t convince me. When a woman approaches Emma and tells her that she was informed that she had cancer, Patsy Clark spits out a cocktail frank several feet, which seemed practically impossible. I didn’t really like the characters played by Jeff Daniels and John Lithgow. The first thing I didn’t like about Jeff Daniels’ character Flap was that he was an English teacher. English teachers may teach you how to write, but they don’t teach you how to think, and the way that Flap thinks is horrible, as he rationalizes what he does. He shows a lack of character and loses the audience’s sympathy, and so we don’t really care to see him at the end. Lithgow’s character Sam is weak and is too lovesick to be believed. He is willing to accept a photograph of Emma with Flap in it. He is stuck there in Iowa and thinks rude people are from New York. I did wonder what happened with Sam. The photo of Nicholson as an astronaut looked fake, like his head had been inserted into the picture. I think that there were quite a few young women who reacted negatively to this movie because they wanted to identify with Debra Winger’s character, and she puts up with a husband who fails expectations. Emma also doesn’t win over one of her sons. This movie has certain similarities with “Love Story.” I wondered what happened to the kids who played Emma’s sons. Troy Bishop was Tommy, and he would be in “Scream” in 1996. He is 46 years old now. Huckleberry Fox was Teddy, and he appeared in “The Blue Yonder” in 1985. I was wondering what Debra Winger has been doing these years. She was in the news for an interview with Andy Cohen. I read that she once farted in Shirley MacLaine’s face. It’s funny if true. Debra Winger is 63 years old now. Some of the people who died on February 19 include Adolfo Celi (1986), Michael Powell (1990). Charlie Finley (1996), Stanley Kramer (2001), Johnny Paycheck (2003), Lionel Jeffries (2010), and Harper Lee (2016). Today is a birthday for Benicio Del Toro (52), Jeff Daniels (64), and Smokey Robinson (79). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 19, Lou Christie had the Number One single, “Lightnin’ Strikes,” in 1966. In 1972, Paul McCartney released his single “Give Ireland Back to the Irish,” which was banned by the BBC. In 1980, Bon Scott of AC/DC died at age 33 after passing out during a night of heavy drinking. In 1983, Patti Austin and James Ingram were Number One on the singles chart with “Baby, Come to Me.” In 1993, “The Crying Game” was released. In 1999, “October Sky,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern, was released.

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GoodFellas

The morning was cold. My parents phoned, and my mother told me that her dog liked shampoo. I went out to buy groceries. I went to the record store and bought a Laugh-In DVD set. I took the buses out to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “The LEGO Movie 2” again. I bought a Beatles book at Walden Pond Books before returning home. I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. He played some of the songs from some of the best albums of 2018, including Brandi Carlile, Father John Misty, Chris Stapleton, John Prine, Jack White, Greta Van Fleet, The 1975, Leon Bridges, Soccer Mommy, and Ashley McBryde. I watched the latest Supergirl episode, and then sat down for “GoodFellas.” I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it in the years since it was released. I saw it back in 1990, and I liked it a lot back then. Ray Liotta fit his role of Henry Hill perfectly, but in at least one shot he reminded me of John Travolta. It’s rather funny today seeing him in that commercial talking about quitting smoking. You can’t watch this movie today without thinking of the links with the Sopranos television series. Lorraine Bracco was very good in the movie. I liked her scene at the prison visiting Henry. It felt rather strange to see Robert De Niro play a character who was not the boss. It was a bit like going back and seeing him in “Mean Streets.” My favorite shot of the movie is the most famous one, the tracking shot of Henry and Karen entering the Copacabana. The music on the soundtrack was the great record produced by Phil Spector, the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me.” There were other Phil Spector records used later in the film. One was the Ronettes’ “Frosty the Snowman.” It did strike me what the meaning of the song in the middle of all the drug dealing was. The Rolling Stones’ “Monkey Man” was used effectively, too. I couldn’t help thinking about how greed did in Henry Hill. In going into drug dealing, he had to work with more people, eventually unreliable people. This movie is so engrossing that it doesn’t feel long. This was one of Martin Scorsese’s top films ever, along with “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” I remember watching the end credits all those year ago as “Layla” was on the soundtrack, and I thought that I had seen a great film. It is still a great film after nearly thirty years. The real Henry Hill died in 2012. Some of the people who died on February 18 include Michaelangelo (1564), Frank James (1915), and Andy Devine (1977), Eddie Mathews (2001), Johnny Paycheck (2003), and Maria Franziska von Trapp (2014). Today is a birthday for Molly Ringwald (51), Dr. Dre (54), Matt Dillon (55), Vanna White (62), John Travolta (65), Yoko Ono (86), and Toni Morrison (88). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 18, Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published in 1885. In 1952, “The Red Skelton Show” won the award for Best Comedy at the 4th Primetime Emmys, while “Studio One” won for Best Dramatic Show. In 1959, Ray Charles recorded “What’d I Say.” In 1967, the Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” was the Number One single. In 1969, Maurice Gibb married Lulu in England. In 1977, George Harrison released his single recording of Cole Porter’s “True Love.” In 1979, ABC aired the first part of “Roots: The Next Generations.” In 1983, Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, was released. In 1990, Freddie Mercury made his final public appearance with Queen at the Brit Awards.

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Suspiria

I went off to work. I was anxious to be done with the shift, and afterwards I took the bus to Trader Joe’s. My refrigerator was nearly empty because I avoided grocery shopping in the rain. I returned home and watched “Suspiria,” the classic from 1977 directed by Dario Argento. The star was Jessica Harper, who turned down “Annie Hall” to be in this film. Argento wanted her to be in the cast after seeing her in “Phantom of the Paradise.” She looked very different from what she looked like in the last film of hers I recall seeing, which was “My Favorite Year.” Her character was Suzy Bannion, an American ballet student who arrives in Freiburg, Germany to attend the Tanz Dancy Academy. She sees mysterious behavior in the middle of a frightening atmosphere which is something like “Rosemary’s Baby.” One of the other students is murdered, and Suzy becomes ill during a class. One of the indelible ad sickening sequences involves maggots. I didn’t want to know the secrets of how Argento filmed it. One element in the film that I could not deny was impressive was the color photography, which had a rich look to it, apparently modeled on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It made me think of the old days of Technicolor, which I miss. There was a pool scene that brought back a memory of “Children of a Lesser God.” One scene showed a woman caught in barbed wire, which looked fake but was still painful for the actress. The dialogue was dubbed, and much of it was obvious in a way that detracted from the movie. The production couldn’t have everything in it. I read that the movies that influenced “Suspiria” were “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cat People,” “Blood and Black Lace,” and “The Witches.” Argento wanted Joan Bennett for the movie because she had appeared in Fritz Lang’s films from years before. She was also in the Dark Shadows television show. “Suspiria” would be her last movie. She died on December 7, 1990 at age 80 at her home in Scarsdale, New York. Dario Argento has become famous for his influence on horror films. He is 78 years old now. After her successful films up until “My Favorite Year,” Jessica Harper appeared in a season of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and the Steven Spielberg film “Minority Report.” I did not see last year’s remake of “Suspiria,” which did have Harper in a small role. Some of the other women in the cast were Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, and Chloë Grace Moretz. I did not see the remake, and I think I would find any comments that the nudity in the film was “empowering” to be highly questionable. Some of the people who died on February 17 include Geronimo (1909), Bruno Walter (1962), Alfred Newman (1970), Thelonious Monk (1982), Lee Strasberg (1982), Randy Shilts (1994), Mindy McCready (2013), and Tony Phillips (2016). Today is a birthday for Joseph Gordon-Levitt (38), Paris Hilton (38), Denise Richards (48), Michael Jordan (56), Lou Diamond Phillips (57), Rene Russo (65), and Jim Brown (83). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 17, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” had its Los Angeles premiere in 1965. In 1970, Joni Mitchell announced her retirement from live performances, although that retirement would be short-lived. In 1971, James Taylor made his television debut on the Johnny Cash Show, performing “Fire and Rain” and “Carolina in My Mind.” In 1972, Pink Floyd debuted the music from “Dark Side of the Moon” in a concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London.

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