Mother, Jugs & Speed

I watched CBS This Morning and its chef segment. George Duran’s favorite recipes include: Grilled meat with guasacaca sauce, lolli-kebabs, Caesar salad spring rolls, cornmeal crusted yucca fries with chipotle dipping sauce, chocolate chip cookie cake, and apple-strawberry sangria. I checked the playlist for the American Top 40 radio show for this weekend. The Top 10 songs on May 8, 1976 were “Disco Lady,” “Let Your Love Flow,” “Get Up and Boogie,” “Love Hangover,” “Show Me the Way,” “Silly Love Songs,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” “Boogie Fever,” “Right Back Where We Started From,” and “Welcome Back.” I recommended the movie “Austenland” to one of the girls at work, and I pointed out that Keri Russell was also in “Waitress.” I tried to talk about “Clueless” and Jane Austen, but I couldn’t remember certain facts. After work, I bought some food and had a late lunch while watching Goober and the Ghost Chasers. I went over to the theatre to see “While We’re Young” again. Some of the scenes were still meaningful through a second viewing. I watched the end of the Warriors game in Memphis. They got to within four points, but lost by ten. I think there is some concern now that they’ve lost two games. I watched “Mother, Jugs & Speed,” the forgettable movie from 1976. It was about ambulance drivers, and it seemed like the predecessor of movies like “DC Cab” and “Repo Man.” Bill Cosby was one of the drivers, and I found it uncomfortable to watch him on the screen at various times, considering his recent history. Raquel Welch was the secretary Jennifer, who had some things in common with the Jennifer in “WKRP in Cincinnati.” Harvey Keitel showed up, applying for a job. Larry Hagman was also a driver, but very creepy. Dick Butkus was part of the group, too. One of the awkward comedy sequences involved getting a heavy black woman into a stretcher. The director couldn’t turn pain into comedy, and it wasn’t so funny to see things turn into “What’s Up, Doc?” Allen Garfield was the boss, and he was reminiscent of Danny De Vito in the Taxi TV series. Raquel Welch was pretty good in roles in “Kansas City Bomber,” “The Last of Sheila,” and “The Three Musketeers.” This character didn’t give her many chances to do anything significant, but at least she was standing up for her position in the workplace. She was part of a dramatic sequence in which a person died. I don’t know about trying to introduce a serious moment into a movie like this. It didn’t work. Numerous things in the movie didn’t work, in fact. The director was Peter Yates, who would come up with an excellent effort with “Breaking Away” a few years later. It’s strange how some ideas can work, and others don’t. You’d think that some people with talent could have a higher percentage of success with their projects. The story had more violence than it had to. We see some people die, and I think three of them were from shooting. Charles Champlin thought it was an all-time worst movie. I wouldn’t go that far. Bill Cosby and Raquel Welch showed a bit of a spark. It certainly wasn’t the right mix of cast, concept, and story. Champlin’s comments made me curious about what kind of a movie this was. It wasn’t the total disaster that Lindsey Lohan has been in. To think that good movies like “Network” and “Rocky” were being made at the same time. The ending was hard to watch because it was so unpleasant and unsatisfying. It seemed like a movie that had a lot of the wrong decisions made behind the scenes. A decent cast was assembled, and they got some music for the soundtrack, like Peter Frampton’s “Show Me the Way,” which was one of the big hits of the time. There wasn’t much else to recommend this movie, however. The DVD included trailers for several of Raquel Welch’s movies. She could have done more with her career, and it’s too bad about what happened to her with “Cannery Row.” I thought about how Bill Cosby would go on to outrageous success and fame through his television show in the Eighties. Harvey Keitel would be in “Pulp Fiction.” It’s hard to forget that he was in Martin Scorsese’s films, particularly “Taxi Driver.” I saw the beginning of the Star Trek episode “By Any Other Name.” A group of advanced aliens set to hijack the Enterprise so that they could live in the Andromeda galaxy. I couldn’t see how Kirk and Spock could find a way out of this situation, especially with the low-budget action they had to settle for. The tricorders appear to give no useful information. Today’s phones are much more helpful than those bulky machines that only emit noises. I fell asleep, though, and thus missed the rest of the show. One of the movies that was on the television was “The Dark Past,” with William Holden and Lee J. Cobb. Psychoanalysis in the movies generally seems unsuccessful. Ernest Borgnine and Sterling Hayden were in something called “The Last Command.” I kept thinking about how much Ernest Borgnine lived, and how he was in both “Marty” and “The Wild Bunch.” “Victor/Victoria” was on KQED. I liked Julie Andrews in this one. One of the movies was “A Blueprint for Murder” with Joseph Cotten and Jean Peters, but I didn’t want to stay up all night. If it had been “Leave Her to Heaven,” I would have watched. Some of the people who died on May 10 include Joan Crawford (1977), Walker Percy (1990), and Shel Silverstein (1999). Today is a birthday for Bono (55), Donovan (69), and Dave Mason (69). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 10, the Rolling Stones recorded their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” in 1963. In 1975, Stevie Wonder performed in front of 125,000 people at the Washington Monument as part of Human Kindness Day. In 1977, Joan Crawford died in New York at age 73. In 1983, the last episode of “Laverne and Shirley” aired on ABC.

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