Run All Night

I awoke feeling that I was almost completely cured of my cold. I watched CBS Sunday Morning and got a call from home. My father told me that my brother had left us a lot of money, and that I was no longer a poor person. My mother complained that she was not feeling right. I went out to Safeway to buy some fruit and some Chinese food. I bought a tuna salad sandwich from CVS but afterwards realized that I should have saved my money for the farmers’ market. I took the bus out to Jack London Square so that I could catch the 11:30 showing of “Run All Night,” the latest Liam Neeson action movie. Watching him made me think of watching Charles Bronson years ago. There has always been something strange about Liam Neeson trying to sound like an American. This movie starts off almost like “Bad Santa,” with Neeson’s character, Jimmy Conlan, reduced to being a drunken Santa. The story has stock characters and stale ideas. We see an estranged son. We see the little guy in crime Conlan having to face off against the big guy in Ed Harris. I saw for the first time Ed Harris as an aged man with this movie. He still has a very strong presence on the screen. Conlan has to shoot Harris’ son in order to save his own son. Conlan’s son is disgusted with his father for the crimes he’s committed, and I realized afterwards that this was the structure of a romantic comedy, except with a killer and his son. With the filming of this movie in Queens, it gives a good sense of New York City, although it doesn’t quite approach Sidney Lumet. The police corruption does give the slightest sense of “Serpico.” There was chase into the subway that was a bit like “The French Connection.” There was quite a bit of killing, or it would have been considered a lot in a Charles Bronson movie. When Conlan was chasing a police car, it was rather exciting, although hard to believe. It sure seemed like a risky way of trying to save his son. I could not believe that a man of Neeson’s age could shoot down so many people and take so many punches and still keep moving. I thought one of the best sequences had the police closing in on Conlan and his son in an apartment building. It seemed that a couple of the people seemed eager to call on the police. It seemed to me that the common people often distrusted the cops. It was too much of a coincidence that some kid in the limousine should have his phone camera on to capture the shooting. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, since everyone in America is always taking pictures of everything going on. The movie is engrossing in a rather cheap way, rather like “Dirty Harry.” Some scenes were not necessary. The kid with the phone video should have shown it much sooner in the story. If he did, a lot of people would have still been alive. He should have taken the blame for a lot that went on, although it’s easier to blame the old guys. The showdown between Neeson and Harris is like a clash of the titans. For some reason, it had to take place among railroad cars. When did I last see a scene like that? It might have been with Clint Eastwood. One pleasant surprise was seeing Nick Nolte as one of Neeson’s relatives. He sure wasn’t very helpful. Neeson and his son made some miracle escapes. There was some highly questionable and close to sickening in this whole episode becoming a bonding experience between son and father. I didn’t expect to suddenly hear a Cat Stevens song on the soundtrack. I thought there was something false in the scene where the New York Rangers fans were leaving their game while Neeson was going in the opposite direction. The extras were not natural actors, for one thing. It seemed that the whole world was revolving around this one hockey game for a while. The ending was not very good in my view because it lets Neeson off the hook. One of the characters is like Jaws in the James Bond movies or the second Terminator. We see an old photograph in the final shot, bringing to my mind “Cool Hand Luke.” I thought this not a great movie. We’ve seen Neeson in too many of these action movies. I think we’ve gotten tired of him. He could do other things. He was amusing in “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” so he could do like Leslie Nielsen and start appearing in comedies. The theatre was fairly empty for this showing. It seemed that everybody was going out to see “Cinderella.” I saw one little girl outside who was dressed as a princess. It was a decent afternoon of entertainment, although I missed the art of movies in going out to see all this product. I walked out to the bus stop, and I got home pretty quickly. I saw that Daiso was closed for an inventory count, so I went to another shop, where I bought a Star Trek T-shirt. It was to remember Leonard Nimoy. I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. He was playing tracks by Glen Campbell and Glenn Frey. The Glen Campbell songs I liked were “Gentle on My Mind,” “Galveston,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.” I thought Glenn Frey’s best songs were with the Eagles, “Lyin’ Eyes” and “New Kid in Town.” I returned home to watch the end of the 60 Minutes program, and then the Columbo episode “Mind Over Mayhem” with Jose Ferrer. Columbo had a dog. There was a robot. I saw that Sharon Tate was a guest on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” I ate a fruit salad. I thought that if I came into some money, I’d pay off my student loan and get new eyeglasses. I think my brother would want me to use the money for important things, and to avoid the frivolous. Some of the people who died on March 16 include Modest Mussorgsky (1881), Tammi Terrell (1970), Arthur Godfrey (1983), and Ivan Dixon (2008). Today is a birthday for Lauren Graham (48), Flavor Flav (56), Erik Estrada (66), Victor Garber (66), Chuck Woolery (74), and Jerry Lewis (89). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 16, the second movie version of “Lord of the Flies” had its release in 1990. In 1995, rapper Eazy-E announced that he had AIDS. In 2002, Liza Minnelli married David Gest.

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