A Few Good Men

I got up and ate my cereal with berries. I slowly got around to grading those exams. It took me until just after noon to finish. When I returned home for lunch, I discovered an envelope from UPS outside my door. It was the insurance claim form for my brother’s money. I went back to the office to prepare for class. I got tired of lecturing. After I dismissed the class, I went over to the record store, where I bought the mono edition of The Beatles’ white album on vinyl and the DVD box set of the fifth season of The Twilight Zone. I didn’t feel like watching basketball, so it was an easy decision to go out and see “A Few Good Men” on Flashback Feature night. I had totally forgotten that Rob Reiner was the director. I could not believe for a single moment that Tom Cruise could have made his way through law school. Was Demi Moore supposed to be a good lawyer? It seemed that she was the one who committed all the blunders. You’d think that she’d get booted off the case at any moment. I rather liked watching Kevin Bacon, even though I didn’t believe in him as the prosecutor. I couldn’t stop thinking of “Footloose” every time I saw him. It was odd that Kiefer Sutherland was in this movie. I associate him with his father, and I associate his father with “M*A*S*H.” Cruise’s character wasn’t one of your health nuts with his Yoo-hoo and his Cocoa Puffs. He went through his trademark moments like losing his temper, and smirking, and giving us his eyes wide open expression. The terrible thing about the trial was that almost nothing in it mattered. All those points that were debated and contested and objected to faded into the background. What it came down to was getting Nicholson to say something while he was on the stand. Tom Cruise didn’t show great eloquence in the courtroom, and he didn’t have any fresh insight into the evidence, except perhaps the unpacked items in the locker. The legal team supposed worked long hours to put together this case, but it seemed like a sloppy, pointless mess. It comes down to Nicholson blurting something out. I thought that there was a code of silence. How could he be suckered into talking by someone as foolish as Cruise? The only other time I recall seeing Nicholson play a military man was in “The Last Detail,” when he was an earthy kind of a guy. In this movie he was so high and mighty. However, he didn’t seem too smart. I don’t know if Demi was still riding some career momentum from “Ghost.” I thought her face looked pretty, but her hairstyle was not great. I guess kept thinking that this wasn’t one of your great courtroom dramas. The judge kept complaining about Cruise. If he were really good, he’d get to the point. You don’t want your lawyer to improvise during the trial. Kiefer Sutherland was one of the Marines. I thought he was hard to recognize after seeing him in “The Lost Boys” several years before. Cuba Gooding, Jr. was also part of the cast. There was no romance in the story. Nothing really happens between Demi and Cruise. The best military courtroom movie that I can think of is “Breaker Morant.” The ending of “A Few Good Men” was something of a surprise. Cruise’s reaction after the verdict seemed rather cold. I have never seen a Tom Cruise movie that didn’t make me sick of seeing him, going back to “Risky Business.” There is vacancy in his eyes. He seems to have no concept of the future, and he’s too self-absorbed to understand anyone else. I wondered for years when movie fans would finally get sick of him. Audiences liked watching the clash between Cruise and Nicholson. Cruise took a long pause at one moment, which made him seem thoughtful, but like a lot of things in this movie, I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that an officer like Nicholson couldn’t keep his mouth shut at the critical moment. It suggests that he has no personal discipline. He’s like a woman, itching to talk. I tried to think about on when Rob Reiner’s magic faded. He was going strong with “The Princess Bride” and “When Harry Met Sally.” “A Few Good Men” was a curious movie among his credits. I wouldn’t have thought he’d want to do a movie on the military. I would say that the movie showed signs of a creative slowdown. One reason that attendance for this showing was sparse was that the movie was showing on television just a couple of hours earlier. I did get a voucher for a free movie ticket, and I wished I’d bought an Icee. Next week’s movie will be “Aliens,” which I saw with my brother when it was originally in the theatres. The movie ended rather late, at 11:25. I walked home and caught a bit of the Jimmy Kimmel show. He was playing a drinking game with Guillermo. They took a drink every time the word “piñata” was said. Jimmy was visiting Austin, Texas. The show did not make me want to visit the city. The morning news featured Kiet Do visiting the new soccer stadium in San Jose. Anne Makovec and Michelle Griego were leading in NCAA bracket contest. Gayle King told Michelle that she should have picked Duke. Michelle was unable to spell the word “pickelhaube.” It looked like Anne was dodging traffic out in the street. Some of the people who died on March 20 include Chet Huntley (1974), Gil Evans (1988), and Georges Delerue (1992). Today is a birthday for Holly Hunter (57), Spike Lee (58), Louis Sachar (61), William Hurt (65), Pat Riley (70), Lois Lowry (78), Hal Linden (84), and Carl Reiner (93). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 20, Elvis Presley was Number One on the singles chart in 1961 with “Surrender.” In 1971, Janis Joplin had her only Number One hit, “Me and Bobby McGee.” In 1977, T. Rex played what would turn out to be their final show at The Portsmouth Locarno in Portsmouth, England. In 1982, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts had the Number One single, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

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