Around the World in 80 Days

I watched the news about soccer and headed out to work. It was a difficult day, and I just wanted to leave. I stopped at Safeway to buy some strawberries. I took the bus over to the Grand Lake Theatre, where I saw “Inside Out” for a second time. I enjoyed it a bit more this time around. I didn’t notice the first time that Paula Poundstone was one of the characters. I returned home and watched “Around the World in 80 Days.” I may have seen it before many years ago, but I don’t remember. David Niven seemed like just the right person to play Phileas Fogg. The opening of the movie reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode about a bet that one man couldn’t refrain from talking for one year. In this age of high definition video, I wished this movie looked better on my television set. Cantinflas’ character Passepartout was irritating, and I didn’t know why Fogg kept him around. He got the chance to show some bullfighting and dancing skills. It sure seemed unsafe to fly in a balloon, and the two of them looked like they were going to freeze to death. There were gaps in the scenery. We didn’t get to see too much of France. For a movie that was supposed to show off the whole world, I thought it looked cheap at times. Michael Todd is said to have invented the term of the cameo appearance to appease movie stars. There were actors I didn’t recognize, but the ones I liked seeing the most were Marlene Dietrich and Buster Keaton. Passepartout was hungry in Japan, and he was respectful at first in not stealing apples, but I guess that was just setting up a bit of wackiness. David Niven was like the man on the stage when the streaker struck the Academy Awards in 1974. The whole challenge of going around the world in eighty days seems not too interesting now because they do things like that on reality television shows. I don’t think there is a great deal of urgency as far as the contest goes in this movie. Fogg had to travel 300 miles a day to get it done. We see Frank Sinatra in San Francisco, though it was not quite the same as seeing him in “Pal Joey.” I kept thinking that this was the second movie of the day in which San Francisco was not the greatest place. I wondered how they got those shots of the balloon floating across cities and the train getting across the bridge. Shirley MacLaine sure did not look like an Indian princess to me. It seemed that outside of England, people were a bunch of savages with backward customs and violence. With all the stars popping up in scenes, I was reminded of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” It seemed that given three hours, we should see more of the world. We got to see only a few places. The end of the story was curious because Phileas Fogg seemed like a man who would carefully think of everything. If I was the one traveling around the world, I would be constantly thinking of the time element. I guess I never really thought of why Fogg didn’t travel west. I guess he could have gone south or north if he really wanted to, but it would have made for a terrible novel and movie. I don’t know how movies like “Around the World in 80 Days” and “The Greatest Show on Earth” won Best Picture Oscars. Shirley MacLaine looked very young, and this was one of her first movies. She is the only one in this movie I know is still alive. I would have liked a look at Africa or South America. This movie had an intermission, so people seeing it in a theatre in 1956 spent the entire night watching it. I don’t see it as a great film. I thought it should have better, more impressive images. I didn’t want to watch Cantinflas waving a red cape in front of a bull. I wanted to see the wonders of the world. Cantinflas had to learn to ride the bicycle for the beginning of the film. He made it look easy, but it must have been difficult. Actors like Donna Reed, Gregory Peck, and John Wayne could have appeared in film, and it would have been fun to see them. Michael Todd died in a plane crash in New Mexico. In 1977, thieves broke into his casket looking for a diamond ring. Cantinflas’ name was Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes, and he did seem like Mexico’s Charlie Chaplin in this movie. He died of lung cancer at age 81 in 1993 in Mexico City. David Niven began experiencing health problems in 1980, and he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. An appearance on The Merv Griffin Show alarmed his family and friends. He died at age 73 in 1983. I played a bit of Super Mario Galaxy 2, and I was glad to gain another star. I saw on the news that the Giants lost again to the Mets. The A’s had two players named to the All-Star team, Sonny Gray and Stephen Vogt. I saw an episode of Blue Bloods. A movie called “Two of Us” was on channel 5.2. I couldn’t watch two actors pretending to be John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It didn’t looking very interesting. They were sitting around talking a lot, and not sounding like John and Paul. They weren’t singing or playing guitars. I could imagine them sitting around watching Saturday Night Live together. I could not see Aidan Quinn as one of The Beatles. This reminds me that today is Ringo Starr’s 75th birthday. During the night, I heard the very disturbing news about Bill Cosby. I wonder if I should throw out the albums of his that I have. I can’t listen to anything that he did without think of all these allegations. When I was a kid, I thought he was hilarious. I didn’t watch much of his television show during the 1980s. Some of the people who died on July 7 include Arthur Conan Doyle (1930), Veronica Lake (1973), Dore Schary (1980), and Bill Cullen (1990). Today is a birthday for Michelle Kwan (35), Jim Gaffigan (49), and Ringo Starr (75). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 7, Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles” was the Number One single in 1973. In 1977, “The Spy Who Loved Me” had its premiere in London. In 1984, Prince had the Number One single, “When Doves Cry.” In 2006, Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd died of pancreatic cancer at age 60. In 2011, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” had its premiere in London.

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