Max

I waited for a phone call from my financial advisor. I went out to the library, and there were a few people protesting the trashing of hundreds of books there. I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre. Some people showed up to see “Jurassic World,” but I went to see “Max,” not to be confused with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” The Max of this more recent movie is a Malinois Shepherd, a military dog from Afghanistan adopted by a Texas family, the Wincotts. We see the obligatory unhappy teenager in this family, disrespectful towards his father and spending too much time with video games. Oddly enough, he is a teenager without a cell phone. Maybe he just wants to be left alone. A Latina girl named Carmen is around to help him deal with the dog, giving a little bit of “Harland, USA” to this story. With the kids on the bikes riding around to save the day, it felt a bit like “E.T.” There was already a bit of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin with the heroic dog. The only two people in the cast I recognized were Thomas Haden Church and Lauren Graham as the parents. I knew them from the comedies “Sideways” and “Bad Santa,” so it was unusual to see them in this drama. Church was an ex-Marine who reminded me of Robert Duvall in “The Great Santini.” He worked in a public storage center. I couldn’t see how he could afford to hire anyone if only half the units were being used. I think the movie is most entertaining when we’re getting to know the dog. The teen romance angle was rather stale, and the crime part was too wild. It was like this movie was three different movies rolled into one. When I look at the writing credits, it seems that there were too many people working on the screenplay, and it shows in the final film. Another idea was that this adolescent was becoming a more mature person through caring for this canine, giving a bit of “The Red Pony” to the story. I thought the teen actors were awkward. I liked Church and Graham, although I didn’t see them as husband and wife. Josh Wiggins is faintly like Matt Damon, although I didn’t think he projected much personality. I thought that Mia Xitlali could have a big future in the movies. Since “Sideways,” Thomas Haden Church has been in “Spider-Man 3” and “Easy A.” “Bad Santa” was 12 years ago. Since then, Lauren Graham was in “Evan Almighty” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” She was born in 1967, so she is older than I thought she was. Boaz Yakin was the director, who previous made “Remember the Titans.” He is 49 years old now, so I thought he could have shown some seasoned judgment in his direction. He was a high school classmate of Jon Cryer in the Bronx. Roger Ebert gave “Remember the Titans” three stars. This movie is rather messy, and it doesn’t hold up under analysis. It’s not bad as a family film, although it makes me appreciate “Inside Out” much more. The things I liked about it was that it tried to be about real people, and it didn’t use CGI. When it comes to young people and animals, I think I’d rather see “The Black Stallion” again in its Criterion Collection edition. A lot of critics did not like “Max,” but it seems to get a positive response from audiences. The Bob Dylan song “Forever Young” is played over the end credits, which I thought was very curious. One of my favorite children’s animal movies was “Ring of Bright Water.” I took the buses out to Trader Joe’s before I returned home. I watched “A Most Violent Year” again. It took place in 1981. I saw it again because I was drowsy when I saw it in the movie theatre, but it seemed that I didn’t really miss anything. I liked the scene with the raid during the birthday party. I wondered what happened to the kids during the rest of the movie. One of them found a gun. I found it odd that a bullet could easily make a whole in the tank at the end. What would this movie have been if the cast was made up of Javier Bardem, Charlize Theron, and Stanley Tucci? I think it would have been more interesting. I enjoyed watching Charlize Theron in the recent Mad Max movie, and so I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next. Three of the cast members were also in “Interstellar.” “Max” was fourth at the box office in its opening weekend, behind “Jurassic World,” “Inside Out,” and “Ted 2.” I played some Super Mario Galaxy 2 and made some good progress in the game. I watched a half hour of Match Game. Three of the celebrities were Dick Martin, Elaine Joyce, and Fannie Flagg. I didn’t realize how popular this foolish television show was from 1973 to 1977. Gene Rayburn died in 1999. Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly both died in 2007, and Richard Dawson died in 2012. I didn’t know that Elaine Joyce was married to Neil Simon. She was married to Bobby Van from 1968 to his death in 1980. I read some news about the death of Suzanne Crough. It was her heart and natural causes. I listened to a Ringo Starr album before I went to sleep. My favorite songs were “Photograph” and “I’m the Greatest.” Scott Pelley showed a report on the milestone birthday on the CBS Evening News. Barbara Bach was there next to Ringo. I heard that the A’s won their game in Yankee Stadium, with Brett Lawrie getting the big hit. Now they have as many wins as the Mariners, but two more losses. I also heard that Sonny Gray and Stephen Vogt were named to the American League All-Star team. Some of the people who died on July 8 include Vivien Leigh (1967), James Franciscus (1991), Dick Sargent (1994), June Allyson (2006), Betty Ford (2011), and Ernest Borgnine (2012). Today is a birthday for Beck (45), Kevin Bacon (57), Anjelica Huston (64), Wolfgang Puck (66), Jeffrey Tambor (71), and Steve Lawrence (80). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 8, “The Everly Brothers Show” made its debut on ABC in 1970. In 1978, Gerry Rafferty’s “City to City” reached Number One on the Billboard album chart. In 1994, Dick Sargent died of prostate cancer at age 64. In 2012, Ernest Borgnine died of kidney failure at age 95 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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