A Dog’s Purpose

I went over to the Emeryville shopping mall and strolled around for a few minutes, looking at the shop windows.  A lot of families were out to see “Coco,” and they seemed to like the movie.  I headed over to the restaurant for my Thanksgiving dinner.  I liked the fried drumstick, the whipped potatoes, and the pecan pie, but the meal seemed too expensive for what it was.  I listened to the Cowboys-Chargers game on the radio as I made my way back to Emeryville to Best Buy.  I waited for an hour for the doors to open.  I looked for a computer, but the one I wanted was marked down only $20.  I bought 12 Blu-ray discs, 4 CDs, and a cover for the Amazon Fire HD 10.  My receipt said that I had saved $188.  “Moana,” “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” and “La La Land” were marked down quite a bit.  I finally headed home and sat down to watch “A Dog’s Purpose.”  The early scenes made me think of “My Dog Skip,” but the movie had an unusual view of life, as it used a theme of reincarnation.  It was a movie that was not too appealing to women, I would say, as the dog lives to make humans happy.  Especially in this atmosphere of sexual harassment, these ideas shouldn’t sit too well with women.  That first part with Ethan and his aspiring football career was so predictable that it was painful.  Come on, a good athlete should be able to avoid an injury from a fall onto soft ground.  If he’s that brittle, he wouldn’t make it onto the field as the quarterback at Michigan State, anyway.  The movie starts off in 1961 and goes through the decades.  The dog Bailey changes breeds and even gender and works with a police officer and becomes a companion to a college student.  This dog isn’t the best-behaved animal, although he’s not as much of a problem as Marley from “Marley and Me.”  There is a serious part of the story in which he is mistreated, tied to a tree most of his life and abandoned.  It felt almost like a Lassie movie at that point.  We see Ethan later in life.  He turns into Dennis Quaid, and it was surprising to see Peggy Lipton of The Mod Squad as his love interest, Hannah.  This movie became controversial because of some footage of a dog in a pool.  My prediction is that this movie will fade from view because it is average in quality when there are better movies about dogs, like “My Dog Skip.”  In fact, the story is supposedly showing the positive qualities in dogs, like loyalty and noble action, but it probably will turn a lot of people into cat lovers.  It’s not making a good argument.  It’s even implied that dogs are smarter than humans in some ways.  The dog is trying to get Ethan to realize who he is and even controlling his life to an extent.  It’s actually scary.  I think the movie could have been a bit better if Bradley Cooper had done the voice of Bailey, but how much could one person bring to this project?  The day was tiring, and I sat down with my purchases and thought about the rest of the holiday weekend.  I was going to spend a bit more money at the Warriors game, and then take a last look at Best Buy tomorrow.  All I really wanted was three or four more videos.  I thought about getting that new computer and a pair of speakers for the record player.  The weather forecast was for rain on Sunday, just in time for the football game at the Coliseum, and then the sun comes out on Monday.  Just my luck.  Some of the people who died on November 24 include Diego Rivera (1957), George Raft (1980), Big Joe Turner (1985), Eric Carr (1991), Freddie Mercury (1991), Arthur Hailey (2004), Pat Morita (2005), and Florence Henderson (2016).  Today is a birthday for Oscar Robertson (79).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 24, the Rod Stewart album “Blondes Have More Fun,” featuring the hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” was released in 1978.  In 1979, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer were Number One on the singles chart with “No More Tears (Enough is Enough).”  In 1991, Freddie Mercury died on AIDS with Dave Clark at his bedside, one day after announcing that he had the disease.

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Coco

I made my travel plans for Christmas week.  I wrote down the names of some of the people who mentioned David Cassidy in their tweets: Ben Stiller, Rick Springfield, Maureen McCormick, Brian Wilson, Mark Hamill, Micky Dolenz, Carnie Wilson, Richard Marx, Katie Couric, Harry Connick, Jr., Gloria Gaynor, Marlee Matlin, Kevin Smith, Danny Bonaduce, Julian Lennon, Jimmy Osmond, Bryan Cranston, Piers Morgan, Alyssa Milano, Corey Feldman, Belinda Carlisle, Donny Osmond, Brian Forster, Charlie Daniels, Tom Arnold, Larry King, Elton John, Vanna White, and Bobby Rydell.  Well, maybe not all of them were on Twitter, but their comments appeared on Twitter.  I went to work and had a productive five hours.  I had a cheeseburger and went to the office to submit an attendance roster for one of my classes, and I checked my bank balance.  I saw that in my mail was a package with the DVDs of “The Quest.”  I decided to go to one of my neighborhood theatres to see “Coco.”  It was the new Pixar movie.  I did go out to see “The Good Dinosaur” when it opened on Thanksgiving weekend, and I was glad to see that this one was not a sequel.  I was getting sick of seeing Pixar sequels.  Before we got to the main feature, there was a short feature that was a bit too long.  It had the characters from “Frozen,” and one of the noticeable flaws in it was the overuse of the word “tradition.”  It went on for long enough for a couple of kids in the theatre to get restless and impatient for the main attraction to start.  When I compare “Coco” with “The Book of Life,” I like this one better.  It seems somewhat scary and difficult for very young children.  The kid who did the voice of Miguel did a good job for the most part.  Can you really get used to the idea of characters in a movie being skeletons?  I liked the look of the movie, and the 3D effect of showing ripples in water.  There was a predictable quality to the story.  If this is a family-oriented story, ultimately, then it’s not going to end in devastation and despair, like Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”  You’ve got a young kid who goes against his family’s wishes, a plot twist that made me flash back to “The Magic Flute,” and a dog who is a friend and more helpful than Lassie.  I thought I heard Cheech Marin’s voice in there.  This was the Pixar movie with the longest production period, and the result is almost worth the wait.  It’s a more successful film than “The Good Dinosaur,” certainly.  The bit at the end with Miguel trying to get through to his grandmother wasn’t the freshest idea, along with the use of a song.  Some of what happens is alarming rather than comforting.  It’s a tricky thing to incorporate death into a story that kids are supposed to be following.  I thought there were a lot of positive qualities, however, and I’d like to see the movie one more time during this holiday weekend.  It was just past midnight when the movie ended, and I walked home.  I saw there Erica Hill talked about her experience with sexual harassment, which was distressing and sad.  I watched Elton John singing “Bennie and the Jets” on the Stephen Colbert show.  I saw the beginning of James Corden before I turned off the television.  I was supposed to be getting a good night’s rest so that I could have a good, enjoyable holiday.  I thought about the time that I was browsing through Tower Records when Shaun Cassidy arrived for an autograph session.  I thought about how tough it was to go through a holiday like Thanksgiving so soon after the death of a family member.  Some of the people who died on November 23 include Merle Oberon (1979), Judee Sill (1979), Roald Dahl (1990), Klaus Kinski (1991), Tommy Boyce (1994), Louis Malle (1995), Junior Walker (1995), Betty Comden (2006), Philippe Noiret (2006), and Larry Hagman (2012).  Today is a birthday for Miley Cyrus (25).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 23, “Doctor Who” debuted on BBC in 1963.  In 1966, the Elvis Presley movie “Spinout” had its premiere.  In 1991, Michael Bolton reached Number One on the singles chart with “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

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Le beau Serge

I watched CBS This Morning with Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell making statements about Charlie Rose.  I went on to the office and slowly did my work for the day.  I took a break to go to the library and look through their Blu-ray discs.  I had a burger for lunch and holed myself in the office to prepare for class.  I gave a rather short lecture and handed out the last quiz for the week.  I heard the news of the death of David Cassidy.  I thought back on those times when my brother and I would watch the show.  Those were certainly good times we had.  I watched the Claude Chabrol film “Le beau Serge,” which I must have seen sometime during the 1980s, but I had no recollection of it.  Francois is a sick young man who returns to his hometown called Sardent, and he discovers that his old friend Serge has become an alcoholic.  Serge had plans to become an architect, but he married a woman named Yvonne after she became pregnant.  The death of their stillborn child was a factor in turning Serge into an angry person.  Francois starts an affair with a young girl named Marie, which I could not understand at all, because she seemed to have no appealing qualities whatsoever.  The film has a strong sense of its setting because Chabrol lived there.  It feels as though we are walking down the streets as the characters are.  The film touches on religious themes, as the priest thinks that Francois is trying to be Jesus Christ.  I wasn’t sure why Francois was so intent on helping Serge, to the point past getting beaten up by him when he was drunk.  This film is supposed to be the first French New Wave film.  It does have youth as part of its theme, but it doesn’t feel like the free-spirited film that “The 400 Blows” was, as well as some of those other French films of the time.  The original running time was 2 hours and 35 minutes, edited down to 1 hour and 39 minutes.  I had to wonder how good that footage was.  The two principal actors in this film would also appear in “Les cousins.” I thought “Le beau serge” was a good start for Chabrol, but not exactly a masterwork.  Looking up some biographical information on the Internet, I saw that three members of the cast died at age 74.  I’ve seen only a few other of Chabrol’s films, and perhaps the best of those was “Violette.”  I saw “Merci pour le Chocolat” and liked it.  Even though everyone compares him to Hitchcock, Chabrol said that his greatest influences were F.W. Murnau, Ernst Lubitsch, and Fritz Lang.  Chabrol died on September 12, 2010.  The ending of “Le beau Serge” made me think of the Elton John song “The Greatest Discovery.”  Seeing this movie made me want to go back and see “Elevator to the Gallows” again.  That movie was in the theatres briefly not too long ago, and I missed it.  I fell asleep for a while, and when I awoke, Gayle King was a guest on Stephen Colbert’s show.  After some discussion about Charlie Rose, they talked about Oprah’s favorite things.  Colbert wanted to know if they were truly Oprah’s favorite things, as opposed to the favorite things that the magazine staff picked out.  Gayle did claim that Oprah had the final say.  She also said that they’re not giving Christmas presents to each other.  They already have everything, apparently.  Some of the people who died on November 22 include Jack London (1916), Lorenz Hart (1943), Shemp Howard (1955), Aldous Huxley (1963), John F. Kennedy (1963), C.S. Lewis (1963), Mae West (1980), Scatman Crothers (1986), Sterling Holloway (1992), and Anthony Burgess (1993).  Today is a birthday for Scarlett Johansson (33), Mark Ruffalo (50), Mariel Hemingway (56), Jamie Lee Curtis (59), and Billie Jean King (74).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 22, “Man of La Mancha” opened in New York in 1965.  In 1967, Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” was released.  In 1975, KC and the Sunshine Band’s “That’s the Way I Like It” was the Number One single.  In 1989, “Back to the Future Part II” was released.  In 1995, “Toy Story” was released.

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They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

I watched “Killer’s Kiss,” the Stanley Kubrick film that came before “The Killing.”  The film was done cheaply, and the sound was dubbed.  The boxing scene at the beginning gave a slight feeling of “Raging Bull.”  I thought that Irene Kane had a resemblance to a young Helen Slater.  The fight scene with the ax at the end didn’t feel authentic, but it did give the feeling that fighting was physically tough and tense.  Irene Kane worked for the New York Times and CNN.  She wrote books.  She died on pancreatic cancer in New York City on October 31, 2013 at age 89.  I went out to work a short shift, and then I returned to watch the Blu-ray disc of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”  The film did look noticeably better in high definition.  I could never understand why Jane Fonda was supposed to be the favorite to win the Best Actress Oscar for this performance, because it didn’t seem to fit her too well.  I don’t think the angry and bitter type is the best way for her to go.  Gloria is like the person at work who complains constantly and spreads the negativity so much that you want to be rid of her.  She went too far with her comments towards the pregnant woman.  I couldn’t imagine trying to dance for weeks on end with her.  It was the Michael Sarrazin character who should have been bitter at the end.  The movie had a great cast, with Susannah York, Red Buttons, Bonnie Bedelia, Bruce Dern, Al Lewis, and Gig Young.  The movie does show the sense of desperation these people had trying to survive through 1932.  The race sequences were wrenching, especially Harry’s last moments.  One unusual thing that was used in this film was the flashforward, which I thought was ineffective and actually just served to spoil the movie.  The movie that something like it, but it didn’t really intrude on the story.  Besides Harry’s last scene, the most devastating scene is the one in which Robert and Gloria discover what a sham the whole dance marathon contest is.  The ending at the pier is supposed to be the dramatic ending, but it is not convincing.  Gloria has been the strongest person in the building for the whole time.  It seems that she should have pointed her gun at Rocky and robbed him and made off with the money like a Bonnie Parker.  Bonnie Bedelia looks remarkably young in this movie.  It’s rather hard to believe that she would become best known for playing Bruce Willis’ wife in “Die Hard.”  This movie is loud and heavy-handed, but is pretty powerful.  I can imagine falling into poverty and being willing to do just about anything, like these characters.  I could feel how tired they were, with aching feet, and feeling hopeless.  Sydney Pollack went on to direct films like “Jeremiah Johnson,” “Tootsie,” and “Out of Africa.”  He worked with Jane Fonda again in “The Electric Horseman” and with Bonnie Bedelia in “Presumed Innocent.”  He died of cancer in 2008, and his ashes were scattered along the runway of the Van Nuys Airport, which I thought was very curious.  I think that I will remember Jane Fonda for that period from “Julia” in 1977 through “On Golden Pond” in 1981.  She will turn 80 on December 21.  When I awoke this morning, I heard the news that Charlie Rose is in disgrace over inappropriate behavior, and now CBS News and PBS have fired him.  You really don’t know what is behind the images of these people you see on television and the movies.  Some of the people who died on November 21 include Robert Benchley (1945), Max Baer (1959), Bill Bixby (1993), and Anne McCaffrey (2011).  Today is a birthday for Bjork (52), Nicollette Sheridan (54), Lorna Luft (65), Goldie Hawn (74), and Marlo Thomas (80).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 21, Elvis Presley signed with RCA Records after they purchased his recording contract from Sam Phillips at Sun Records for $40,000.  In 1960, George Harrison was deported from Germany for being underage.  In 1975, Queen’s “A Night at the Opera” was released.  In 1980, the “Who Done It” episode of “Dallas” aired, drawing 83 million viewers.  Also in 1980, Don Henley was arrested after a naked 16-year-old girl was found at his home suffering from a drug overdose.  In 1986, the animated film “An American Tail,” directed by Don Bluth, was released.

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Justice League

I watched CBS Sunday Morning.  One segment was about tiny food, and another was about Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. Nancy Giles visited a lunchbox museum.  I’m not sure that kids wanted a Laugh-In lunchbox.  The last metal lunchbox was the 1985 Rambo.  The last lunchbox Nancy showed was The Partridge Family.  I walked out to the plaza and sat down with my computer for a while.  I listened to the Sunday Puzzle with Will Shortz.  I found my way back home blocked because of a half-marathon.  I took BART over to MacArthur, and then took the bus the rest of the way to the movie theatre that was showing “Justice League.”  I thought I was going to get a free comic books for seeing it in the IMAX format this weekend, but I didn’t get one.  I don’t think I will ever like Ben Affleck as Batman, and I’m not sure I’ll ever like him in any other movie, either.  Wonder Woman comes off well in this movie.  She has a lot of ability, and she is one of the most powerful of the superheroes.  Aquaman is not exactly the most appealing of the group.  The Flash reminded me of Jimmy Fallon.  One thing he did in saving the family in the pickup truck I thought was impossible.  I thought it would kill them, snapping their necks or something like that.  I know that Bruce Wayne is supposed to be rich, but he seems ridiculously rich.  I don’t know how he can have all the money for all that stuff.  It would bankrupt most of the countries of the world.  Christy Lemire noted the violence in the movie.  Some of it seems really rough for little kids to watch.  I don’t know if kids are numb to violence because of video games.  I thought the action was going down a predictable path most of the way.  Superman was going to play a key part in all of this.  Amy Adams and Diane Lane try to bring some meaningful emotion into all of this.  I got a sense of “Awakenings” mixed with “Frankenstein.”  I couldn’t truly like a movie that was overloaded with CGI like this one.  This is certainly a different DC world than I knew as a kid.  It seems that none of the superheroes had secret identities.  The superhero names were like show biz names, like how Reg Dwight is Elton John.  The end of the villain was disturbing, reminding me of “Willard” or something like that.  It was something to talk to Christy Lemire about.  I thought the movie was big and loud and largely empty of content, although it tried to give us relevant angles on each of the superheroes.  Everything really revolves around Superman.  The Beatles song “Come Together” is used for the end credits, although it is a loud remake that pounds our ears.  One of the scenes during the end credits is a humorous bit with The Flash.  I can guess what the result will be when we hear about it in the next movie.  If you stick around until the very end, you see a setup for what the Justice League will face in the future, presumably.  “Justice League” performed below expectations as far as ticket sales went this weekend.  Perhaps all of this is getting slightly stale for the moviegoing public.  I think that people that there was dishonesty in the story preceding this one.  You can’t have the death of characters that you fully intend to bring back, like Spock in Star Trek II and Star Trek III.  The audience didn’t give it a thunderous response at the end.  There was mild applause.  I went over to Barnes and Noble to buy another Criterion Collection Blu-ray disc.  This time I chose “Moonrise Kingdom.”  I took the bus home to watch the Raiders and Patriots in Mexico City.  The game certainly felt like it was over when the Patriots made the score 17-0 on the last play of the first half.  I was glad that I didn’t travel all the way to Mexico City to see this game.  A shot of Mark Davis showed him eating a lot while his team was losing.  What was he eating, Cheetos?  I went over to the record store to browse.  I bought the American “A Hard Day’s Night” album, Cream’s “Heavy Cream,” and “A Crowning Glory,” an album that recounted the Raiders’ 1976 season.  I heard about David Cassidy’s failing health on the news all day on the radio, but they didn’t say anything new.  He was suffering some pain and went into the hospital on Wednesday.  He was conscious and surrounded by family.  Danny Bonaduce tweeted that he believed in the power of prayer.  I doubt that anything can save David at this point.  It was hard to believe that he was still performing concerts earlier this year until he couldn’t remember words to songs, but then Tom Petty was performing until the week before he died.  Cassidy and Petty were born in the same year.  I listened to a bit of the Raiders postgame radio show, and the callers were all disgusted and calling for Jack Del Rio to be fired.  The team sure looked terrible.  They do have their next two games at home against the Broncos and the Giants, so it would seem that they have a chance to win and get their record to 6-6.  I thought about those days when I would listen to Dr. Demento on KMET on Sunday nights.  We used to have fun listening to the radio on all those nights.  It would take some of the sting out of having to get up the next morning and have to go to school.  Some of the people who died on November 20 include Leo Tolstoy (1910), Robert Altman (2006), and Jim Perry (2015).  Today is a birthday for Bo Derek (60), Joe Walsh (70) Joe Biden (75), and Estelle Parsons (90).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 20, Isaac Hayes had the Number One single in 1971 with “Theme from ‘Shaft.’”  In 1982, Drew Barrymore hosted Saturday Night Live when she was seven years old.  In 1983, ABC aired the controversial movie “The Day After,” which drew more than 100 million viewers.  In 1992, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” was released.

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Bill Nye: Science Guy

I awoke and watched the chef segment of CBS This Morning.  Some of Timothy Hollingworth’s signature recipes are Fig and burrata tart, Roasted cauliflower, Butternut squash, Roast chicken, potato, shishito and aji verde.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on November 15, 1975 were “Low Rider,” “That I Want to Touch You,” “Feelings,” “This Will Be,” “That’s the Way I Like It,” “Heat Wave,” “Miracles,” “Who Loves You,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Island Girl.”  I went to work and got through a tiring five-hour shift.  I took the bus out to Trader Joe’s and stopped for a chicken burrito before walking over to the theatre that was showing “Bill Nye: Science Guy.”  The Bill Nye television program was not something that I saw too many times.  I was in college and paying too much attention to my classes to watch much television.  This documentary shows the Bill Nye after the television show, being serious about climate change and being a voice for science in a world of growing anti-science.  At least that is what his view is.  I can appreciate what he is saying, because I think a huge segment of the population rejects science because of its perceived difficulty.  A lot of people accept concepts that are easy to understand, and they think the truth is easy to understand.  My brother became interested in science through “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the moon landing.  Many of the people seen in the movie were inspired by Bill Nye.  Bill debates people who oppose teaching evolution in schools.  He visits a huge Noah’s ark and feels discouraged as he leaves.  He argues with a conservative meteorologist who believes that global warming is part of a natural trend.  There are hints of something underneath the Bill Nye persona, as he mentions his choice to pursue fame and not get married and have children.  I can understand that, since people are unreliable.  Bill talks about Carl Sagan and his concept of the solar sail.  It took a long time from the discussion of the concept on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to the failed launch in 2005.  One of the memorable sequences shows Bill with scientists studying the layers of ice accumulated over thousands of years.  I wished someone could have given the explanation of why their observations were valid.  One amazing thing that happened was a huge chunk of ice falling even as Bill spoke.  Watching even those few minutes of footage, I find it hard to fathom how people can believe that the Earth is only six thousand years old.  Many of the people in this movie call Bill Nye a hero for making learning fun and standing up for rigorous, scientific thought.  I wished the movie had been more about the questions of science and about the political divide of the country.  I suppose that just reflects these times.  We’re wasting these years of our lives arguing about nothing.  Jerry Seinfeld had a show about nothing, and now we have political debates and news reports that are about nothing.  The audience seemed to enjoy the movie.  I thought it was better than several of the documentaries I’ve seen this year, like “Manolo” or “Chavela.”  I walked over to Staples and bought some dry erase markers to use for the last three weeks of classes.  I was annoyed that the sale price wasn’t in their computer system.  I couldn’t tell whether the entire Staples system was shoddy, or if it was just this particular store.  I walked on home to see what was happening with the California-Stanford football game.  Stanford got a touchdown on a long running play.  Patrick Laird was running for a lot of yards for California.  I saw the news that David Cassidy is in the hospital in critical condition, in need of a liver transplant.  He has a failing kidney, too.  He appears to be close to death.  Some of the people who died on November 19 include Franz Schubert (1828), Joe Hill (1915), Alan J. Pakula (1998), Dick Wilson (2007), John Neville (2011), and Mike Nichols (2014).  Today is a birthday for Jodie Foster (55), Meg Ryan (56), Allison Janney (58), Calvin Klein (75), and Larry King (84).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 19, the animated television series “Rocky and His Friends” made its debut on ABC at 5:30 pm in 1959.  In 1990, Milli Vanilli was stripped of their Grammy for Best New Artist.  In 1993, the sequel “Addams Family Values,” starring Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci, was released.

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Lady Bird

I woke up and watched a bit of Match Game, then went out to do my laundry.  I went over to the office to get a little bit of work done before I went to a department meeting.  They gave us a good lunch, which was burritos.  I appreciated it.  I stayed at the meeting for a bit over an hour before I left to go see “Lady Bird.”  It was written and directed by Greta Gerwig, and I viewed it as an extension of the Sacramento sequence in “Frances Ha.”  The movie has a strong autobiographical feel to it, with shots of Sacramento scenery and the airport.  The story has the Greta alter ego Christine, who wants to be called “Lady Bird,” struggling with her senior year of high school, with low academic achievement, unsatisfying relationships, conflict with her mother, and the family’s financial problems.  Saoirse Ronan was Lady Bird, and she gives the movie a great deal of heart, and she even looks like Greta Gerwig in several shots.  Her mother is the unrelenting Laurie Metcalf, who plays the part of a tough mother quite well.  I could sympathize with her point of view.  I did think that she brought a little too much of The Big Bang Theory with her to this movie.  The father is Tracy Letts, someone I had just seen a bit earlier this week in “The Lovers.”  At one point, Christine says she lives in a big house that she only visited in order to impress one of the girls at school, a moment that reminded me of something I saw in “Fame.”  I noticed that on Lady Bird’s bedroom wall is a sign that says We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone.  There was also a Sleater-Kinney poster.  The prom plays a bit in the movie, as it did in “Paper Towns,” another movie that I saw earlier this week.  I thought this was a strong movie, and more meaningful than something like “Juno.”  If I were living in Sacramento, I think I’d want to get out of that place, too.  I don’t know how many movies Greta Gerwig has in her, if this is going to be her approach to making films.  However, we can just sit down I a movie theatre now and watch this movie and appreciate what’s in it, and the bravery it showed in giving us some personal moments and putting it out there for the audience to see.  I think this movie is something of a classic already.  It makes me cringe to think that I also saw “Baywatch” this week.  I went back to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “Murder on the Orient Express” again.  Some people found it more humorous than I did, particularly the joke about fudge.  I wait for the bus in the cold and headed home.  I went over to the record store and bought used copies of a CD of The Zombies and the Blu-ray edition of “Irrational Man.”  I watched the Partridge Family episode “Did You Hear the One About Danny Partridge?”  It has some of Danny’s weakest acting.  Morey Amsterdam was in it.  I thought that some who had been in show business for so long would have better jokes.  “All of the Things” was one of the better songs that didn’t appear on an album, and it had an organ solo that was beyond Laurie’s abilities.  Some of the people who died on November 18 include Chester A. Arthur (1886), Marcel Proust (1922), Niels Bohr (1962), Junior Parker (1971), Man Ray (1976), Cab Calloway (1994), Paul Bowles (1999), Doug Sahm (1999), and James Coburn (2002).  Today is a birthday for Chloe Sevigny (43), Owen Wilson (49), Kevin Nealon (64), Linda Evans (75), and Susan Sullivan (75).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 18, “Steamboat Willie” with Mickey Mouse made its debut at the Colony Theatre in New York City in 1926.  In 1959, “Ben-Hur” had its premiere at Loew’s State Theatre in New York City.   In 1978, Billy Joel had the Number One album on the Billboard chart, “52nd Street.”  In 1980, “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters” made its debut on NBC.

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