Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo

I watched CBS This Morning and saw an interview with Michael Stipe. I saw Elvis Costello performing a Basement Tapes song. I checked the Internet for the American Top 40 playlist for the week. The Top 10 songs on December 11, 1971 were “Desiderata,” “Brand New Key,” “All I Ever Need is You,” “Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves,” “Baby I’m-a Want You,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Got to Be There,.” “Have You Seen Her,” “Theme from ‘Shaft’,” and “Family Affair.” I heard Patrick Stewart on the radio. I took the bus and went to the record store. After a lot of browsing, I bought only Ringo Starr’s “Sentimental Journey” CD and the Beatles Rock Band video game. I took the bus back, stopping in downtown Oakland to see a big crowd of protesters blocking part of the street. I went out to shop for groceries. I ate a tuna sandwich with soup, which I used to eat when I was a kid. I watched “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” on Blu-ray. It was certainly the best Sergio Leone movie that I’ve seen. Clint was interesting enough, although I couldn’t understand why he didn’t take back the coat from the dying man. I tried to count the number of times a fly landed on his face. After he suffers the sunburn, his face clears up quickly, like he is a cartoon character. Lee Van Cleef was a good character. I couldn’t understand how he could have allowed Blondie to wander off to kill his men. Eli Wallach was Tuco Ramirez, and he adds a lot to the picture, showing the humor and the greed. One of his famous lines is “When you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.” He crosses himself a lot. I was amazed at how dirty Eli and Clint looked at various points. They seemed to change their clothes a lot. Eli wore some worn out clothes. I wondered about the locations of this movie. I sure didn’t think these people were in the American South. I wouldn’t have known it was the United States if I didn’t see a flag. Ennio Morricone’s music was brilliant. I’ll always remember “The Ecstasy of Gold” with Eli running around the cemetery. When the original version of a movie is edited for length and then supposedly restored, you have to wonder what it was that we saw years ago. This was the type of movie that I would enjoy seeing on a Saturday afternoon at the UC Theatre, and it would play with another feature so that it would be an all-day thing. I didn’t care about Clint’s political beliefs. You could say that “Kelly’s Heroes” was a variation on this movie. You’ve got shooting, greed, gold, and a bridge being blown up. That explosion sure looked dangerous with those boards and rocks flying through the air. Eli had his ass stuck up in the air for a long time. The relationship between Tuco and Blondie was either unusual or typical of two males. They hated each other enough to nearly kill each other, but they were friends when they needed each other to get rich. It was hard to believe that the dying man would tell Blondie the name on the grave just as Blondie arrived on the scene. I thought that Blondie was at the point where he couldn’t get up anymore. When they arrived at the bridge, you’d think that a guard would have stopped them from coming so close to the troops. The bridge sequence was one of those instances where Leone stretched out the content. Sometimes he wears down the audience as he constantly goes for these lingering shots. I do like how Leone lets us see things, in contrast to the way current movies are edited. When Blondie and Tuco were placing the dynamite on the bridge, I questioned whether it was going to work. I also thought a lot of soldiers were going to be killed from the blast. I didn’t see women and children in this movie. I can recall only the family that Angel Eyes invades. He was a very bad character in that scene. Actually, Blondie wasn’t such a good character, and Tuco wasn’t unbearably ugly. He could have cleaned himself up a bit, though. It was funny that bathing didn’t make him seem any cleaner, though. He dried off in an instant, though. He was funny when he greedily ate the food in the prison camp, but after that he got beaten so that I wondered how he could keep the food down. He also urinates in one scene, or at least says that he needs to urinate. The showdown at the end has three men instead of two, another breaking of the Western rules by Leone. As I watched, I thought about what my strategy would be if I were either Tuco or Blondie. I thought that Angel Eyes was the biggest threat, so I would shoot at him. Angel Eyes had a dilemma. Blondie was the better marksman, so he would have to shoot him and hope that Tuco would miss him and that he could get off a second shot. That reminded me of one thing. One of Angel Eyes’ men had a clear shot at Tuco and missed. Two of his other men stood still in the dust, making themselves ripe targets. Good help is hard to find. Eli was so lively that he made this movie something different. It was sad to think that he died recently. This is the type of movie that you talk about with friends, and it stays with you for years. I watched the beginning of the Star Trek episode “The Conscience of the King.” Actors in the future were still playing Macbeth. I didn’t feel like staying up to watch horror movies or to play any video games. I feel that I’m getting old because I want to sleep all the time. Some of the people who died on December 14 include George Washington (1799), Dinah Washington (1963), William Bendix (1964), Myrna Loy (1993), Norman Fell (1998), Jeanne Crain (2003), and Ahmet Ertegun (2006). Today is a birthday for Patty Duke (68). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 14, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman were separated in 1947. In 1970, “Little Big Man” had its New York premiere. In 1977, “Saturday Night Fever” had its New York premiere. In 1984, the Richard Burton film “1984” was released.

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