Get Shorty

I woke up and watched CBS This Morning and their chef segment. Terrance Brennan’s signature dishes include: watermelon and arugala salad with feta and tapenade, grilled corn with manchego and smoked paprika, wrinkled “seawater” potatoes with two sauces, grilled lobster and chanterelles and rhubarb vinaigrette, pavlova with summer berries and blackberry gin fizz. I listened to part of the American Top 40 program for this weekend. The Top 10 songs from June 17, 1978 were “Love is Like Oxygen,” “You Belong to Me,” “On Broadway,” “Feels So Good,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” “It’s a Heartache,” “Baker Street,” “Grease,” and “Shadow Dancing.” I watched an episode of Goober and the Ghost Chasers called “Mummy Knows Best.” I saw the value of keeping your DVDs clean, as I got the disc to play better than before. My friend and I took a drive out to Bodega, stopping first at Petaluma. We browsed through a bookstore and had lunch. I had a BLT. We got back on the road and stopped at the Bodega Country Store. I posed for a picture with the Hitchcock figure out in front. On the television inside the store, they were showing “Marnie.” They had many photos of Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, and Jessica Tandy, stars from “The Birds.” I thought about buying a photo for $19, but I ended up getting a postcard for 65 cents. The bay was nowhere in sight, and in fact was five miles away. We walked over to a house that was in the movie. We took a long drive and stopped at Guerneville. We waded across the Russian River. We took until seven o’clock to get back to my apartment, where we parted ways. I went over to the record store and bought a vinyl copy of the “Yellow Submarine” album, and then I went out for a turkey burger before going home. The Star Trek episode of the night was “Wink of an Eye.” I fell asleep for a while, and watched “Riot in Cell Block 11” before “Get Shorty.” It seemed like yesterday that this movie was released, but the deaths of James Gandolfini and Dennis Farina were evidence that a lot of time has passed since then. I thought that Farina wasn’t suited to comedy, overplaying his part. Gene Hackman was very good, as was John Travolta. Rene Russo was not the most brilliant actress. I enjoyed seeing Travolta pitch his movie idea and tell his boss that he was in Los Angeles. He was playing a character that was similar to the one he played in “Pulp Fiction.” The funny assessment of screenwriting was that all you needed to do was put the commas in the right places and put “fade out” at the end. Travolta was a terrible member of the audience during “Touch of Evil,” talking through the whole thing. The Hollywood humor was that every jackass in town is a fan of movies and wants to make movies. It’s funny for movie fans, but not everybody. Do actors always ask “What’s my motivation?” I could imagine Kim Novak asking that. I don’t think of Danny DeVito as a real movie star, although he was in “Romancing the Stone” and “Throw Momma From the Train.” James Gandolfini was lighter than he was in The Sopranos. I don’t know how he got through all those years of doing that show. The links that the script makes with crime were funny but not all the way through the picture. The story feels like a fusion of Elmore Leonard with “The Player.” Of course, Elmore Leonard wrote the novel the movie was based upon. Bette Midler showed up. She still had some good moments left in her acting career. I kept wondering about Elmore Leonard and his sense of humor. A lot of people get hit in the nose. There is too much pain in the comedy. There is death in the comedy, too. I kept wondering how long it took Gene Hackman’s character to recover from his injuries. It felt like I was watching part of “Pulp Fiction” through most of the picture. There was a little bit of “Rio Bravo” on the television near the end. I never knew why Dean Martin was in that movie. I did like seeing Harvey Keitel and Penny Marshall, although I thought that Penny Marshall would not be right for that project. It is so hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since “Get Shorty” was released. That last aerial shot was an expensive way to end things. I also wondered how much it cost to put up that billboard on Sunset Boulevard. I noticed a reference to “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” on a magazine cover. I kept comparing “Get Shorty” with “Inherent Vice.” I slept through “The Bride of Frankenstein.” One of the movies that was showing on television in the middle of the night was “Johnny Allegro.” George Raft and Will Geer were in it. I watched part of an Avengers episode and wondered who Laurie Johnson was. The game shows on Channel 2.4 had Vicki Lawrence and Tom Poston for celebrity guests. I didn’t want to stay up and watch “The Barefoot Contessa.” Before I went to sleep, I watched a bit of “The Party” with Peter Sellers again. I thought it was kind of sad to see Carol Wayne in it. I thought about Henry Mancini and that television show he did. I really loved his music for a long time. Some of the people who died on June 14 include Allan Jay Lerner (1986), Peggy Ashcroft (1991), Henry Mancini (1994), and Carlo Maria Giulini (2005). Today is a birthday for Boy George (54) and Eric Heiden (57). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 14, Paul McCartney recorded “Yesterday” in 1965. In 1970, the Grateful Dead released the album “Workingman’s Dead.” In 1972, fans tried to crash the gate at a Rolling Stones concert in Tuscon, Arizona, causing police to use tear gas. In 1989, Zsa Zsa Gabor was arrested after slapping a Beverly Hills police officer.

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