Thunderball

I watched a bit of CBS This Morning coming to us from the new World Trade Center. I spent the morning with my computer. I updated the software and went on Amazon to order the Blu-ray of “Persona” and the old video game “Tomba!” I returned home and baked some fish sticks and ate them with my salad. I watched the James Bond movie “Thunderball” on Blu-ray. It was still quite enjoyable, particularly the underwater battle at the end. There were some process shots that didn’t look convincing after all these years. I wondered how Connery got that helmet and jet pack on so quickly with the bad guys coming after him so quickly. The Aston Martin spewing out that water seemed like a waste in the middle of this drought, and I kept wondering how those men couldn’t move off to one side and avoid the water. Bond had to waste precious moments on things like tossing some flowers on a body or plucking a grape. I think it took about 40 minutes for Bond to get on the case. I didn’t like the whole coincidence thing which led Bond straight to the center of the action. There was a lot of sex in the water in this movie. I rather liked Patricia. Wherever Bond goes, he seems to encounter a lot of dead bodies. The whole bit about hiring the guy to impersonate the pilot was not a great part of the plot. He was dumb enough to demand an increase in payment from $100,000 to $250,000. I thought about the money I’ve come into this year, and I am in good shape. The main flaw in “Thunderball” was the dubbing of the voices of two of the main characters. I could tell the voices weren’t theirs, and it made the production seem like it was from Sergio Leone or someone like that. I found it hard to believe that when Bond was in the pool with the sharks, the stooges didn’t keep an eye out. It also seemed impossible that he would know when to turn around just as someone was shooting at him. One scene I found especially strange was the one where Bond uses the spear gun to kill someone. He and Domino kiss with the sight of a dead man right in front of them. Some of this behavior is very savage. I don’t know how Felix Leiter managed to find Bond with that homing device. It seemed that it would take all of the last fourteen hours of the mission just to get that done. I wondered about Bond and Domino at the end, being taken away on that line. I assumed they would be reeled in before the plane landed, but I would have liked to see someone doing it. I was imagining their bloody, broken bodies on a runway somewhere. I think I would have enjoyed seeing Julie Christie, Raquel Welch, or Faye Dunaway in this movie. The women in “Thunderball” have passed in and out of my memory. The one thing that Domino did that was dumb and clumsy was fumbling around with the camera that was a Geiger counter. There were shades of Britt Ekland in “The Man with the Golden Gun” in that moment. “Thunderball” was the top box office movie of 1966, followed by “Doctor Zhivago.” It was a shame that they followed up this movie with the forgettable “You Only Live Twice.” I returned home from work with a couple of items people gave to me, a poster of the old Coliseum, and a cinematography book by Leonard Maltin. People continually ask me questions about sports tickets, making me wonder if I should pay more attention to them. I stayed up to watch the Letterman show. Somehow, I didn’t really want to see the Gerald Ford starting off Dave’s last show. When Dave showed old video of him working fast food, it made me think that the show had better days. I came to hate the references to people in the audience that were incomprehensible. I wondered why the last show had to be on a Wednesday. The video clip of Dave with Michael Keaton on Mary Tyler Moore’s variety show, in which she was singing “With a Little Luck,” changing the word “damn” to “darn,” was really hilarious. I had almost forgotten about Farrah Fawcett’s appearance on the show. I miss Warren Zevon. I wished that parts of the montage hadn’t flashed in front of our eyes so quickly. I wanted to remember some of the guests from the past. They could have made the montage about fifteen or twenty minutes, and it would have been great. I thought that Julia Louis-Dreyfus had one of the best moments of the night. One of the retro stations was showing “The Bold Ones: The Senator” again, but I slept through it. The episode was “George Washington Told a Lie.” They shouldn’t show these programs at two in the morning, although I saw that the series will be available on DVD for the first time on June 16. Apparently, it will come on three discs, and will include the pilot, which I have never seen. I can pre-order it. I wonder if the new Harper Lee novel will be worth buying. The bookstore people seem very excited about it. I have a final exam to give my class tonight. Just as Letterman said goodbye to his audience, I will say goodbye to my audience. I was debating whether or not to see “The Godfather” afterwards. I’ve seen it plenty of times, and I have it on Blu-ray already. I wasted some time watched some Letterman video clips. I should have been watching all the shows since last week. Some of the people who died on May 21 include John Garfield (1952), Kenneth Clark (1983), Alejandro Rey (1987), and John Gielgud (2000). Today is a birthday for Judge Reinhold (58), Mr. T (63), Al Franken (64), and Leo Sayer (67). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 21, Chuck Berry recorded his first single, “Maybellene,” in 1955. In 1959, the original Broadway production of “Gypsy” with Ethel Merman debuted at the Broadway Theatre and would run for 702 performances. In 1971, the Marvin Gaye album “What’s Going On” was released. In 1990, the last episode of “Newhart” was aired on CBS.

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