Inherent Vice

I got over to the office and worked on my writing. I had to make a phone call to have my shower fixed. I went over to Radio Shack to buy a cable so that I could listen to my radio through my guitar amplifier. I watched an episode of “Edward the King.” It was 2:30 when I took the bus over to the Grand Lake Theater. It looked like a lot of people were there to see “Selma,” but I was there for “Inherent Vice.” It seemed to take the Los Angeles private detective story from the Raymond Chandler or “Chinatown” mold and push it into the 1970s, somewhat in the manner of the Robert Altman version of “The Long Goodbye.” Joaquin Phoenix is always an interesting actor, and I rather liked watching him in this incomprehensible story, although his weed-smoking character seemed too removed from reality to be a good private detective. I think you want to see someone on the case who is quick-witted and cool under pressure. Imagine Marlon Brando doing the investigation. He was hard to understand with his mumbling, and so was Joaquin. This movie brought to my mind “Choose Me” from 1984. Some people got into the spirit of the movie and laughed at these weird characters, while others were stone silent. I didn’t think the movie was too successful. It dragged on, and the mystery wasn’t compelling. Josh Brolin as the cop made me think of the Nick Nolte of the time period of “48 Hours.” His attempt at speaking Japanese in asking for more pancakes wasn’t too good. I heard some mispronounced Spanish words, too. Reese Witherspoon is around to make things a little more interesting, along with Benicio Del Toro. One of the strange moments is the appearance of Martin Short as a dentist. It was almost as though he’d dropped in after working on “Three Amigos.” One indication that this was the 1970s was the beer cans. They looked almost like cans of food. I really liked the use of Neil Young music on the soundtrack, although I questioned whether it was from the correct year. I heard The Association and Sam Cooke, also. Eric Roberts showed up to remind us of what a promising actor he was in the days of “Star 80” and “Runaway Train.” Joaquin did do something rather cool in escaping a pair of handcuffs. He didn’t really compare with Harry Houdini, who was a master at escaping handcuffs. Josh ate a lot of chocolate covered bananas. Maya Rudolph from “Bridesmaids” and Jeannie Berlin from “The Heartbreak Kid” were in the cast. I felt that I was waiting too much for Joaquin to say something in his scenes. One of the funny things was Josh’s appearance in an Adam-12 episode. It was a digital insertion that actually looked pretty good. The movie was based on a novel by Thomas Pynchon. I wondered if he could have understood what was going on in this movie. I’d say this movie has some potential to develop a cult following. For most people, it stands as weak entertainment. I imagined what it would have been like if Quentin Tarantino had been the director. The ending of the movie is flat and forgettable. I’m not sure what the point of the entire movie was. It felt like a long movie. The showtime was 3:45, and I got out of the theatre at 6:21. One of the trailers was for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which I predict will be a terrible movie. It brought to mind “8 ½ Weeks,” only it looked worse. The other trailers didn’t look very promising, either. I took the 57 and 1 buses to get back home. Fortunately, my shower was fixed, so I’d get to wash my hair. I read through a couple of chapters of “Gone with the Wind.” It’s a good book, but it’s a thousand pages. I watched the Big Bang Theory episode with Penny accidentally firing a paint ball at Sheldon’s spot on the sofa. I went out to Bongo Burger to have a turkey burger. I kept thinking that I missed the days of movies like “The Big Sleep.” Lauren Bacall lived for a long time, and it was hard to think that she died last year. I watched a bit of “The Mindy Project.” I thought that I should check it out after I’d seen “This is the End.” The show did not excite me. I watched the news. There was a lot of discussion about Kamala Harris. Young people were using cold medicine to get high. The Warriors won another game. I’m sick of seeing that commercial for The Grammys with Lorde and “Royals.” Letterman had Anderson Cooper as a guest, while Jimmy Kimmel had Jessica Chastain. I liked Jessica’s hair. I don’t think I really wanted her to mention Julliard. I didn’t think that I would miss Craig Ferguson, but now that he’s gone I do. A photo of Paul McCartney was visible on the set. I see that shows like “I Spy” and “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” are still showing on some of these television stations. Robert Culp looked so young in “I Spy.” I stumbled upon an episode of Banacek. I’ve seen all of them, but I still like to catch at least the ending of each one. I liked watching George Peppard from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “The Blue Max.” I couldn’t take him seriously after The A-Team. He had all those good scenes with Audrey Hepburn. The episode involved an experimental car that disappeared while being transported by train. You can imagine the solution to the mystery if you can picture precise timing and manipulation of the train car. I listened to some Phil Spector songs like “Then He Kissed Me” and “You Baby.” I’ve never been able to tell the difference between The Crystals and The Ronettes. The cable that I bought was a good purchase for me. I can listen to the news all night using it. Some of the people who died on January 14 include Edmund Halley (1742), Lewis Carroll (1898), Humphrey Bogart (1957), Barry Fitzgerald (1961), Peter Finch (1977), Kurt Gödel (1978), Donna Reed (1986), Ron O’Neal (2004), Shelley Winters (2006), Ricardo Montalban (2009), and Susannah York (2011). Today is a birthday for Carl Weathers (67) and Faye Dunaway (74). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 14, David Bowie released his first single, “Can’t Help Thinking About Me,” in 1966. In 1977, Peter Finch suffered a heart attack in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel and died at age 60. In 1986, Donna Reed died of pancreatic cancer at age 64.

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