Bellflower

My mom called me and talked about seeing Paul McCartney in the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  My mother may be the only person on Earth who doesn’t know the song “Hey Jude.”  She also told me that she ran into the mother of one of my old friends while shopping at Wal-Mart.  My friend’s wife had died, and his brother was suffering from health problems.  I did my laundry.  I like having clean socks.  I also went out to the grocery store, where I bought a package of hot dogs and a salad.  I used the Internet to listen to Police’s “Ghost in the Machine” album.  I waited around for Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN.  This week he focused on the best albums of the 1980s.  The songs he played were by R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, Prince, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Guns N’ Roses, U2, and Public Enemy.  I caught the six o’clock news on CBS.  Rebecca Jarvis briefly talked about auto companies.  I wondered how much time she’d spent on a few comments about decreased auto sales in Europe, and General Motors’ strong presence in China.  I watched “Bellflower,” a movie that shows us a glimpse of the current young generation.  Woodrow and Aiden are two friends who spend their time building flamethrowers and cars.  Their inspiration is “The Road Warrior.”  I would have thought that it would have been nearly impossible to make your own flamethrowers, but then I read on the DVD cover that director Evan Glodell actually did create these devices we saw.  I wondered if he had any accidents.  I could stop thinking about how unsafe all that fire was.  I also had the uncomfortable feeling that a major reason for making this film was to show off all this stuff.  There was a 1972 Buick Skylark in the movie, too.  I could see how watching “The Road Warrior” 100 times could influence your thinking.  I saw it several times during the year it was originally released, and I quoted many of its lines, like “You’re out there… with the garbage.”  Later in the year, many theatres showed it on a double feature with “Blade Runner.”  I don’t know if I enjoyed watching Mel Gibson in any other movie, except perhaps “The Year of Living Dangerously,” and that was because of Linda Hunt.  The young people in “Bellflower” do crazy things like entering a cricket eating contest and driving to Texas to eat bad food.  Woodrow falls in love with a woman named Milly, who is something like a young Melanie Griffith, or maybe Christina Applegate, at least.  She has the strongest screen presence of anyone in the movie.  I liked the movie until the point where Woodrow has an accident that sends him to the hospital.  That seemed like an indication that the story was getting out of hand.  Predictably, the relationship between Woodrow and Milly goes wrong.  If anything should set off an alarm in a woman’s mind, it’s a guy who makes flamethrowers.  I didn’t like the idea of an overwrought relationship story being thrown into the middle of flamethrowers and cars.  I liked watching the flames, which reminded me of the end of “Apocalypse Now.”  I thought the best moments in this movie had a quality that was like “Badlands.”  I have to wonder if Evan Glodell has many ideas for films, or if he’ll end up like John Singleton.  After you’ve done that first film, you might run dry.  I thought the movie could have used some more humor.  I would have preferred that the movie go down the direction of either “Two-Lane Blacktop” or “The Road Warrior.”  We see two characters go to Texas but come back, and a car that shows flames but doesn’t really go anywhere.  The Medusa car has more in common with the Batmobile than anything Mel Gibson drove.  Evan, you’re a young guy.  You should entertain us, not try to tell us something about life.  The problem is that it’ll take several years for you to realize how stupid you were back in 2011.  I thought the best extra feature of the disc was short film on the Medusa car.  If Glodell put so much money into this car, I can see how much difficulty in putting together the money to make this film.  The movie doesn’t show off the Medusa to look its best.  I saw Dennis O’Donnell on KPIX news telling us that he thought the tide had turned in the National League West race.  He thought the Dodgers would be aggressive in making trades.  If Dennis jumps on the A’s bandwagon, that will be the Kiss of Death for them.  I saw Kim Coyle at the sports desk on Friday.  I watched the 60 Minutes segment on the death of Vincent van Gogh.  The theory was that he didn’t commit suicide.  I saw that the first song of the KOFY Dance Party was Duran Duran’s “Rio.”  The Columbo episode of the night was “Murder By the Book,” with Jack Cassidy and Martin Milner.  Cassidy certainly didn’t know how to deal with Columbo.  He immediately brought suspicion onto himself.  He had to open his mouth and try to direct Columbo’s attention onto some other suspects.  I watched a couple of the swimming and gymnastics events in the Olympics.  The first Twilight Zone episode of the night was “And When the Sky Was Opened.”  Rod Taylor and Jim Hutton were in it.  The second episode was “What You Need,” which originally aired on Christmas of 1959.  I heard songs like “Kodachrome” and “Down on the Corner” before I went to sleep.  Four people who died on July 30 were Claudette Colbert (1996), Michelangelo Antonioni (2007), Ingmar Bergman (2007), and Bill Walsh (2007).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for July 30, the Troggs had a Number One hit in 1966 with “Wild Thing.”  In 1969, “Midnight Cowboy” was released.  In 1971, George Harrison released his “Bangla Desh” single.  In 1972, “Deliverance” was released.  In 1998, Buffalo Bob Smith died at age 80.

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