Nashville

I spent the morning getting some work done. I watched Robert Altman’s “Nashville” again, but this time on Blu-ray. The movie does look better in high definition than on DVD. I noticed similarities in style with “M*A*S*H” with the large cast and the episodes. I hadn’t noticed before that Jeff Goldblum was in the cast, and this was before his famous scene in “Annie Hall.” The opening scene reminded me of what I thought was the chief flaw in the movie, and that was the music, which I didn’t think was too good as satire or not. I was really annoyed with the long sections of songs with unexceptional singing. I don’t know why you’d show so much footage of a woman who can’t sing. I think the spirit of country music is missing. I saw that some character were based on real country music stars like Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, and Kris Kristofferson. One of my favorite scenes is the cameo appearance of Julie Christie. I remembered that she was in “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.” I thought that Louise Fletcher should have played the character of Linnea. Somehow, I don’t see someone like Lily Tomlin doing what she did. She should have seen through Tom’s act. Does a real artist write lyrics like “I can’t put bars on my insides”? Another person I didn’t really notice from previous viewings was Scott Glenn. I thought that Michael Murphy’s character was one of the more interesting ones, even though he seemed despicable. Somehow, I’ve always liked watching Karen Black, ever since “Five Easy Pieces.” I liked seeing Keenan Wynn, too, although I could only think about how much older he looked than in “Dr. Strangelove.” Geraldine Chaplin is around as a BBC radio reporter. She has a memorable moment with Elliott Gould, although I wished her scenes were funnier. Keith Carradine was also in “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.” He won an Oscar for the song “I’m Easy,” which I never understood. It seems like you can’t have a Robert Altman film without Shelley Duvall. I think she might have been best in “Three Women.” Henry Gibson, Ned Beatty, and Barbara Harris are some of the other notable people in the cast. Bette Midler would have been great in the Harris role because of her ability to sing. There is no real story to the story. The movie follows twenty-four people over five days in Nashville. I was reminded of “Smile,” which was about a beauty contest. I also thought of Altman’s last movie, “A Prairie Home Companion.” We see a presidential campaign going on for the Replacement Party candidate, Hal Phillip Walker, and a concert rally at the end of the film. The movie comes after the Watergate scandal, which invites us to think that the sleaziness of politics and the music business are the same. I think the character I remember most vividly is Sueleen. She has no talent and goes on ahead with an embarrassing and humiliating situation. She doesn’t recognize good advice when she hears it. One other scene that was painful to watch was Barbara Jean’s rambling on stage. It really goes on and on long after we get the point. I wonder what the original but of this movie was like. I think it’s a good movie, although I have stronger feelings for “M*A*S*H.” I looked up some information on the cast. Gwen Welles appeared in “California Split,” “Star 80,” “Nobody’s Fool,” and the Henry Jaglom films “New Year’s Day” and “Eating.” She died of cancer in 1993 at age 42. I didn’t know that Geraldine Chaplin was still alive because I hadn’t seen her in anything in years. I think I would have liked Robert Duvall in the role that Henry Gibson. The presence of Gibson and Lily Tomlin gave the movie a bit of Laugh-In. I also didn’t know that Barbara Harris is still alive. I remember her for “Family Plot.” She was in “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” She was 79 years old now. Roger Ebert’s review describes “Nashville” as the best American movie since “Bonnie and Clyde.” I don’t think I will go along with that statement, although I liked most of what Robert Altman did during the 1970s. It’s impossible to forget the first time I saw “M*A*S*H.” I think back on Altman and always think about what a huge difference five years makes in a person’s life. Altman went from “Nashville” to “Popeye” in that span. After getting back home after work, I was so tired that I fell asleep right away, but I awoke in time to catch Cher and Martin Short on the Letterman show. I found it difficult to look at Cher’s face. What has she been doing to it? Dave showed an old bit with a car phone. Norah Jones sang “Don’t Know Why.” Her first appearance on the show was thirteen years ago, which is an indication that Dave has done the show for a long time. I read that Oprah Winfrey and Bill Murray are two of the guests on Dave’s last show. I don’t know if he needs any more guests than those two. I can understand Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin being there. I heard about the A’s losing to the Twins, 13-0. I was hoping that Scott Kazmir would pitch a good game. I heard the news that “The Mindy Project” was cancelled. I didn’t watch it very many times. I read a little bit about Grace Lee Whitney. I didn’t know that she had appeared in “Some Like It Hot.” It seemed like she deserved to be in more than just eight episodes of the original Star Trek series. Some of the people who died on May 7 include Antonio Salieri (1825), Dawn Addams (1985), and Eddie Rabbitt (1998). Today is a birthday for Traci Lords (47) and Michael Rosen (69). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 7, “The Black Cat,” the first movie to feature both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, was released in 1934. In 1941, Glenn Miller recorded “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” In 1987, the fifth season finale for “Cheers” featured the departure of Shelley Long.

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