Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

I went to work yesterday and dealt with a lot of tasks that had been left undone over the past two or three days.  One person asked me if I was at Sunday’s A’s game.  He wanted to know if I stuck around to see Derek Norris getting hit with the Gatorade, ice water, and shaving cream.  One other person was too young to realize that “Eye of the Tiger” was not from “The Karate Kid.”  I didn’t know who Survivor was back then, and I still have no idea today.  I took the bus over to the post office, where a trigonometry textbook was waiting for me.  Back at home, I watched some of the special features of the “Viridiana” DVD before I headed for the 1R bus stop.  I got to downtown Oakland and walked over to Jack London Square.  A lot of people were taking advantage of $5 Tuesday.  The workers doing the cleanup frantically went from one place to another with their brooms and trash cans.  They didn’t let us in until about five minutes before showtime.  It seemed that the big attraction was “Brave.”  I was there for “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”  We didn’t get a message to put on our 3-D glasses, but we say that the trailers were in 3-D, starting with the sequel to “Despicable Me.”  “Madagascar 3” started with a sequence that a kid near me instantly said was a dream.  While the kid’s comment was very annoying, he was right, and that was a problem with the movie.  It was so predictable that children knew exactly where the story was going.  It’s a Ben Stiller movie that has Ben Stiller as an animal.  There’s a big chunk of the story that’s missing.  How does this gang make its way over to Monaco?  With all these people working on the script, at least one of them could have come up with something clever.  To escape the animal control officer played by Frances McDormand, the animals hide in the circus.  I thought I was seeing a movie with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, and Sophia Loren.  Maybe there was a bit of Anthony Quinn with the tiger.  Stiller has to lie to get everybody into the circus, and so of course it comes back to haunt him, with a special message for the children about lying.  I hate any hint of a message in a stupid movie like this.  The only voices that stuck in my mind in this movie were Ben Stiller and Chris Rock.  One of the Friends was in this movie, but none of the Friends has ever done anything that has stuck in the memory.  A sexy European feline named Gia attracts Stiller’s attention, kind of in the tradition of an Elke Sommer.  Stiller is like a Bob Hope or a Jack Lemmon.  One other character brings to mind Roberto Benigni.  It was Stefano, with Martin Short’s voice.  I liked some of the elements taken from the classic movies, like the action on the train, and the intrigue of what goes on behind the scenes at the circus.  I thought the grand finale was a bit stale, although there were some amusing 3-D effects included, with all that stuff that was flying around in the air.  I didn’t think the animal control officials were too unreasonable.  It’s dangerous to have lions and tigers roaming the streets of the city.  What is so terrible about having people capture the animals?  We get this life lesson that is dubious.  You find that what you wish for turns out not to be what you really want.  Adventure is preferable to a comfortable life.  Are the children absorbing any of this?  A movie like this just encourages them to change their minds more and aggravate their parents.  The audience didn’t like the Francis McDormand character much.  She was drawn to look like an evil witch, and she was like the Terminator in “Terminator 2,” relentless in her pursuit.  She did an Edith Piaf routine that nobody understood.  The song was “Je ne regrette rien.”  I thought “Madagascar 3” was pretty good as family entertainment, though not as good as art.  It’s not worth paying full price for, especially if you’re taking along two children and buying popcorn and soda.  My favorite character was the bear with the tiny bicycle, because she did not talk.  I couldn’t see how a bear like that could instantly command a motorcycle.  I have the feeling that I am not going to want to watch “Madagascar 4.”  I think this franchise is going to dry up before then.  It will be like “Police Academy 4.”  It was about nine o’clock when I left the theatre, and the sun was going down.  I walked around to see where I could catch a bus to take me home.  The 18 was a good line.  It would get me home before 10 o’clock.  I saw the second half of “Love American Style.”  I did not stay up for The Twilight Zone or Letterman.  Letterman asked LeBron James if he was ready to go back to Cleveland to play some ball now that he got this Miami thing out of his system.  This morning, Lawrence Karnow said that he was back on Facebook.  He is one of the people on the KPIX morning news who supposedly does not have much knowledge about technology.  Anne Makovec was out reporting on the new Google tablet.  She claimed that she didn’t have much knowledge about gadgets, either.  We heard that Stockton was declaring bankruptcy.  I knew that city was going downhill.  They spent too much money on a lot of nonsense.  An umpire made a bad call on Jack Hannahan’s foul ball in Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees get all the breaks.  The whole system of umpires is crooked.  I saw Charlie Rose and Gayle King interview Tyler Perry.  I’m not rushing to see everything that he does.  I heard about Nora Ephron’s death.  Erica Hill repeated the thought that “When Harry Met Sally” was her favorite movie.  “Heartburn” was a good book.  Charlie Rose interviewed Nora Ephron several times over the years.  He said that he tried hard to get her to like him.  She died of leukemia at age 71.  Some of the people who died on June 27 were Jack Lemmon (2001), John Entwistle (2002), Shelby Foote (2005), and Gale Storm (2009).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for June 27, Elvis Presley began taping his television special for NBC in 1968.  In 1989, The Who performed “Tommy” at Radio City Music Hall.  Also in 1989, Tom Jones received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  In 1993, Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.

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