X-Men: First Class

I woke up early and watched CBS This Morning. The visiting chef, Frank Pellegrino, Jr., brought along his recipes: Rao’s Grilled Pork Chops with Hot and Sweet Cherry Poppers, Green Bean and Potato Salad, Rao’s Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil, Grilled Artichokes with Spicy Lemon Dip, Grilled Red Peppers with Pignoli and Raisins, S’mores Bread Pudding, and Cocktail – The New Yorker. I did my laundry while listening to the Beatles program on 103.7 FM. I looked on the Internet for the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on May 22, 1971 were “Chick a Boom,” “If,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Want Ads,” “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,” “Put Your Hand in the Hand,” “Brown Sugar,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” and “Joy to the World.” I listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on the radio. I wished that I could have a look at the Bill Bixby Thanksgiving Special from 1973, since The Raspberries appeared on that TV program. I watched the DVD of “X-Men: First Class.” It showed us the beginning of the whole X-Men story. One of the important things it did was to add many more names to the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. I actually rather enjoyed watching him. He may have been better than he was in “Footloose.” I don’t think of him as a villain type, but he was a very nasty Nazi. I knew January Jones from “Pirate Radio,” and I found it hard to think of her as a mutant. Is it easy to think of anyone as a mutant? I’ll say that the young Professor X was more convincing with his character than some of the young characters were in the Star Wars series. The girl with the wings looked like a pest you’d want to get rid of with a giant can of Raid. The group had to have an African American mutant, and he was a person who evolved to survive. He wasn’t around long enough to become the Freddie Boom Boom Washington of the first class. I noticed Rose Byrne recently in “Neighbors,” so I thought she was going to be funny in this movie. Other than getting down to her underwear, though, she wasn’t. She had a James Bond moment when she discovered a secret entrance. My question was what happened to the other women. Oliver Platt was a C.I.A. man. The security measures seemed inadequate. Jennifer Lawrence was in this movie, looking very different than she did in the current movie. Three years makes a big difference. She seemed to have a fondness for nicknames, but I hated the thought that she was the one who came up with all the names. I kept wondering why the mutants weren’t more powerful than they were for years. How could the Nazis keep a mutant imprisoned? I wondered what happened in those missing years. I’m not too crazy about the idea of mutants playing a hidden part in history, like the Cuban missile crisis. When the mutants make massive objects move with their minds, I find it unbelievable. When someone makes missiles stop and reverse trajectory, it’s nearly comical. I don’t think these mutant stories merit epic lengths, like this one at 132 minutes, but this movie went along at a good pace and didn’t feel too long. I didn’t really want to movie to get into the inner emotional lives of the mutants. Hugh Jackman did show his face briefly. He didn’t look any younger, and I thought his scene didn’t make sense. Well, seeing this movie did fill me in on some of these characters, although I didn’t want to spend a whole afternoon with all of this nonsense. I did appreciate Halle Berry and Ellen Page a little more in the end. These X-Men movies with their noise and long stories with a lot of conflict tire me out. I wonder what Stan Lee thinks of all these movies. Isn’t he afraid that there are too many movies out there, or is he too old to care about that question? Do people buy comic books anymore? The characters of The Big Bang Theory do. My favorite Marvel Comics of years past were Spider-Man and Iron Man. I couldn’t imagine Ghost Rider catching on with the movie public. I don’t feel like catching up on the X-Men. They’re made out to be too important in these movies. I had to go out and buy some groceries because my refrigerator was empty. When I got back, there was a Paul Newman movie called “Winning” on one channel, and a hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks on another channel. I went with the hockey game. I never saw many hockey fans in Los Angeles during the time I lived there, at least until Wayne Gretzky came to town. What was hard to believe was that the Kings lost their first three playoff games, and now they’re two wins away from reaching the championship series. The Batman hour on Me TV had Cliff Robertson as the villain Shame. The Wonder Woman episode had guest star Roddy McDowall. Nobody recognizes that Diana Prince is Wonder Woman, even when Diana Prince is not wearing eyeglasses. Her hairstyle changes in the middle of a hot afternoon in Mexico, however. I missed the explanation of how Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner were transported from World War II to 1976 with neither of them aging. The Star Trek episode was “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.” It seemed to be the longest Star Trek that I could recall. McCoy had a terminal illness. The Enterprise encountered people who were unaware that their planet was a ship controlled by a computer. It was not a surprise that McCoy did not die. Some of the people who died on May 25 include Gustav Holst (1934), Robert Capa (1954), and Charles Nelson Reilly (2007). Today is a birthday for Karen Valentine (67), Frank Oz (70), Leslie Uggams (71), Ian McKellen (75), and Tom T. Hall (78).

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