Whiplash

I watched the chef segment on CBS This Morning. Louis DiBiccari’s signature dishes were pork shoulder, seared brussels sprouts, maple white sweet potato puree, burrata salad, and pumpkin cheesecake. I checked the American Top 40 program playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs from January 15, 1977 were “Stand Tall,” “After the Lovin’,” “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright),” “Dazz,” “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show),” “Car Wash,” “I Wish,” and “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.” I put in five hours of work before returning for lunch. I went out to the theatre to see “Whiplash.” The stars were Miles Teller, who seems like a young John Cusack to me, and J.K. Simmons from Spider-Man movies, insurance commercials, and “Up in the Air.” It was a movie about a young man trying to develop his musical talent, and the unreasonably hard driving teacher at his school. Miles Teller did the best job of playing a musician in a movie since Sean Penn in “Sweet and Lowdown.” He played the drums until his hands bled. I wouldn’t say that he adequately told us why he wanted to become a renowned musician. I’m not sure that I’ve ever noticed a drummer outside of Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and Charlie Watts. Simmons was like the football coach who screams at everybody, only he screams at musicians. J.K. Simmons had what was the most memorable role in his life. He was like Lou Gossett in “An Officer and a Gentleman. I actually believe that a teacher like him isn’t necessary to develop talent. People with real ability usually have strong self-motivation. Wasn’t Miles Teller in another movie where he was in a car crash? Paul Reiser was the father, but I couldn’t picture him as Miles’ parent. The Simmons character, Fletcher, was a real turd. It was impossible to picture him as a musician. If he was that tough on everyone, no one would have played for him. Did he really expect great talent to come his way when his students were so young? The movie creates several very tense situations, and watching them may take you back to days when you were at college. You can think of this story as being like “The Paper Chase,” except that it centers on music instead of law school. The teacher takes most of the joy out of making music. He tells the musicians to have fun, but it never is. He focuses on one aspect of music, and that that is the work and practice. You have to have something to express, something coming from inside. If you’re an empty, miserable person, than all you can share with the world in emptiness and misery. One thing that is undeveloped in the story is the love interest, a girl who works in a movie theatre. They spend a little bit of time eating pizza and talking about college. It is a male-dominated world. I think there were two female musicians. Fletcher lied, manipulated, and humiliated for the sake of music. He reminded me of one of your maniacal movie directors. It was an extremely powerful performance that audiences are going to remember. The small theatre was sold out of the showing. I hung out in the lobby for a few minutes because I noticed somebody I knew. We talked about the intensity of the movie. My friend told me that his heart beat faster during the critical scenes. This movie does draw you in completely, and it has a great quality to it. You’ll keep thinking and talking about for days after you see it. J.K. Simmons deserves an Oscar. I noticed that he’s done a couple of movies about the power of music. He was in “The Music Never Stopped.” “Whiplash” was the last of the Best Picture Oscar nominees that I hadn’t seen. I went out grocery shopping. When I got home, I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory that was about Leslie Winkle. I don’t really enjoy watching Sara Gilbert in this show. It seemed that the mistake Sheldon made was with an inequality and not an equation. I was not convinced that Sara Gilbert knew anything about anything. I read a couple of chapters of “Gone with the Wind.” I had plenty of unseen DVDs, but I didn’t want to watch any of them while I was writing. I saw that Wonder Woman was in an amusement park looking for a bomb. I missed the Star Trek episode, which I think was about lizard people. There was an Abbott and Costello movie on Me TV, but I watched only a couple of minutes of it. I didn’t get the chance to get over to the record store. I fell asleep while listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on the radio. I woke up to see Bob Denver in “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” I didn’t know that Bob Denver had done anything before “Gilligan’s Island.” The show was in black and white. Sunday morning was relaxing. I had tasks like doing the laundry as I waited for the football games to come on television. Is there something wrong with Charles Osgood’s left eye? On the Today show, they had a segment telling us that car CD players have become a thing of the past. I still have to have at least my Beatles CDs. Lester Holt said that he hasn’t bought a CD in years. Erica Hill was still absent from the show. I don’t buy the Sunday newspaper anymore, so there’s no reason for me to walk out to the drug store to get my Sunday comics page. They’re not funny anymore, anyway. Some of the people who died on January 18 include John Tyler (1862), Rudyard Kipling (1936), Curly Howard (1952), Sydney Greenstreet (1954), Carl Betz (1978), Richard Crenna (2003), and Bobby Fischer (2008). Today is a birthday for Kevin Costner (60) and Bobby Goldsboro (74). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 18, Johnny Preston had the Number One single in 1960 with “Running Bear.” In 1973, Pink Floyd began recording their album “Dark Side of the Moon.” In 1995, Jerry Garcia crashed a rented BMW into a guard rail. In 1996, Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson.

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