A Million Ways to Die in the West

I was sleepy while watching “The Bold Ones: The Senator” in the middle of the night. Burgess Meredith played a key part in the episode, and he seemed like an old geezer in 1970. I don’t know how he managed to go on to become Rocky Balboa’s trainer. I worked on some solutions to test questions and returned home for lunch. I watched “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” Seth MacFarlane’s attempt to put his comedy into a Western. I liked the aerial shots at the beginning of the picture, and some of those locations in New Mexico looked quite good. However, I felt restless in seeing this movie drag on for nearly two hours with a minimal number of truly funny jokes. The point about how dangerous it is on the frontier in 1882 is made too many times. The repetitiveness made me feel like tuning out after a while. I liked Charlize Theron, although she should have looked better in the film. I wonder if being in the Mad Max movie changed her at all. I also liked seeing Liam Neeson in this movie, too. He should have a sense of humor after appearing in all those overinflated action movies. Generally, I like watching Sarah Silverman, but I think that this time her character doesn’t have much in the way of funny dialogue. The script mixed in some modern relationship observations, which I thought were mostly trite, and some pop culture references and guest cameo. One bit that I did not find funny at all was a reference to a Back to the Future movie. It seemed like something you’d see in a Family Guy episode. Does MacFarlane think that we’re going to burst out laughing at all the bits that he throws out there? I wonder if he is drifting out of touch and running out of ideas. Neil Patrick Harris is someone I’m getting tired of, but what I really found unfunny were the attempts at humor involving his mustache. I thought a lot of the scenes felt dead. I could just sense the audience getting restless in the theatres, wishing they hadn’t spent their money on a marginal picture. The county fair scene was not too funny, except for the photography part. Even if the West is hazardous, the American spirit has that we’re tough enough to take it. Who wants to hear a lot of complaining about how everything sucks? I started to get sick of Anna telling Albert what a great guy he was. It got to be worse than John Hughes dialogue. I kind of wished that I was back in time watching “Blazing Saddles” again. Cleavon Little was funny in that movie. I wondered how Albert and his horse got on that train. It would have been funny to show it. How much time did MacFarlane spend on the script to this movie? It seems like it wasn’t enough. MacFarlane is doing too much of everything. I did like “Ted,” but I wondered how many more movies he had in his head. I find it rather painful to think that he has fans out there who think that he is a genius. I did see a trailer for the Mad Max movie recently, and I’ll have to say that it did capture my interest. I am rather nostalgic about the 1980s. I was afraid, though, that the CGI in the movie would become too much. I would say that my favorite comedy Westerns are “The Paleface,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and “Blazing Saddles.” I rather liked “Rango,” and “Goin’ South,” too. “Rustlers’ Rhapsody” was not great, but I’d like to see it again one of these days. Tom Berenger, Fernando Rey, Andy Griffith, and Marilu Henner were all in it. I’d like to see a good Western with maybe a couple of good songs in it. It’s too bad that Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are not around anymore to be in this kind of movie. Some people like the third Back to the Future movie. Perhaps I should go back and see that one again, too. I had to go back out to lecture to my class and regroup to find the time to grade some papers. The afternoon got pretty warm. I overheard a couple of students talk about which teams were likely to win the NBA championship. I also heard some news about the matchup between Duke and North Carolina. Radio Shack was closing down many of its stores, although I didn’t see what was happening to the store nearest my apartment. I actually bought a couple of things from them in recent months. I got a pair of headphones in November, and then a cord for my guitar amplifier a few weeks ago. It was a business that was around since 1921. One of my last memories of it was the commercial that Weird Al Yankovic did. It sounded like the end of many of these Radio Shack stores was ugly. I imagined what it would be like to lose my income and have to hustle again to make some money when the cost of living is outrageous. I’m not that far away from being very poor. I gave some thought to the movies I wanted to see this weekend. I think I’d like to catch “McFarland, USA.” How many more sports movies does Kevin Costner intend to do before his career is over? “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” does not sound promising, but I might be willing to see it for five dollars. I miss those peaceful Sundays when I could go out to a movie and not care about my work or my problems. Going to school didn’t seem so bad the next day. I wondered if Jackson Browne was any good these days as a concert performer because he is coming to the Greek Theatre. What do “For a Dancer,” “The Pretender,” and “Running On Empty” sound like these days? The sidewalks seemed so crowded this week with people trying to capture your attention and ask you for a spare dollar. Some of the people who died on February 20 include Dick York (1992), Gene Siskel (1999), Rosemary DeCamp (2000), Sandra Dee (2005), Hunter S. Thompson (2005), and Curt Gowdy (2006). Today is a birthday for Sandy Duncan (69), Sidney Poitier (88), and Gloria Vanderbilt (91). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 20, “Jesus Christ Superstar” was Number One on the album chart in 1971. In 1986, “9 ½ Weeks,” with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger, was released. Kurt Cobain was born 48 years ago today.

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