Straight Outta Compton

I watched CBS This Morning for the chef segment. Some of Hans Rockenwagner’s signature dishes are jägerschnitzel, roasted cauliflower with pomegranate, raisins and hazelnuts, classic spätzle, roasted orzo risotto with summer vegetables, linzertorte bars, and das martini. I went out to do my laundry and visited the library briefly before taking the 12 bus downtown. There was a detour in the morning, so I didn’t get anywhere near the Grand Lake Theatre and had to walk for half an hour. I was there to see “Straight Outta Compton,” since I heard so much about it. Two people in the theatre recognized me, and they were the twins who frequent A’s games. What I remember about N.W.A. is Bill Clinton saying that Chelsea told him that he had to listen to them. I had to wonder about the struggle to have the people in the story portrayed in certain ways. Ice Cube is the one who saw everything clearly, according to the movie. Eazy-E fell under the influence of a Jew, Jerry Heller. There is a conventional quality to this success story. What I found more disturbing than the provocative song about the police was the punching, and the audience reaction. They seemed to view these rappers as heroes no matter what they did. They were flawed, and they made mistakes. Like everybody who hits it big and gains fame, their story is less compelling as time goes on. I didn’t care to see the sections of the story that involved fighting over money. Once they made their big money, they’re no longer regular people. I’m not going to root for anyone to earn their second million dollars. I would say that the actors who played Ice Cube and Eazy-E both did a good job. Ice Cube, Jr. was Ice Cube, in fact. One other thing I found not so exciting is all the footage in the recording studio. I don’t think that the recording of songs is such great subject matter for film. I didn’t especially like it in “Love and Mercy,” either. It’s funny to think of a few of the similarities between “Straight Outta Compton” and “Love and Mercy,” starting with the presence of Paul Giamatti playing similar characters in both films. The audience got excited over the scene with Tupac Shakur. Snoop Doggy Dogg and Chuck D. were two of the other figures who made appearances. This movie reminded me of “The Runaways” in the way it just tried to show what happened. One thing about the audience reaction to the movie that I found disappointing was that no one seemed to be skeptical about what they were seeing. I don’t know why they wear sports caps and jerseys when you could say that professional sports exploits athletes and gives them false hope. There were some moments that seemed to come out of today’s headlines involving the police around the country. The audience on this afternoon talked to the screen a lot and seemed like cheerleaders at times. It was practically interactive. During the Tupac scene, the power went out, causing a delay. A few people called out for a refund. They must be cheap individuals if they needed to get six dollars back. Is this a great movie? My reply would be no. It is somewhat better than the likes of “The Runaways,” but the fact that it’s about a controversial rap group doesn’t impress me. I got tired of hearing the word “dope.” I’m not sure I ever knew what a six four was before hearing it mentioned in one scene. In movies like “Finding Neverland,” when a character starts coughing, you know it’s something fatal. That happens here, too. Eric had some sad last moments on the screen. I got choked up because it reminded me of my brother’s last days. It also brought to mind movies like “Terms of Endearment” and “Philadelphia.” The movie covers the years from 1986 to 1995, which may seem like ancient history to the young people of today. According to the reports I read, “Straight Outta Compton” is a big hit. I compare this movie to “The Warriors” and “Colors” of years past. It was supposed to be dangerous to go to the theatre to see it, but the movie delivered less than the hype suggested. The audience cleared out of the theatre quickly, which I didn’t really understand because the afternoon was really hot. I took the bus out to the library and stayed inside until nearly closing time because the building was air-conditioned. I looked at the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on August 18, 1973 were “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “Uneasy Rider,” “Delta Dawn,” “Get Down,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “Let’s Get It On,” “The Morning After,” “Brother Louie,” “Live and Let Die,” and “Touch Me in the Morning.” When I got home, I watched a bit of a 49ers game on television, and the Star Trek episode “The Way to Eden.” Spock rocked out on that string instrument of his. I thought back on seeing Elton John last weekend and how the summer went by too quickly. Thankfully, it wasn’t this hot during the Outside Lands festival. I would have passed out if I stood out in these temperatures for five hours. They should have spent more on the fake ears in this episode. Spock said that he wanted these weird people to find Eden, and he said he knew they would find it. I realized that I forgot to listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and it was because of the bus that took a detour and diverted my attention. It was the kind of warm summer night that made me feel that I should watch “The Seven Year Itch” again. It was a great summer movie. It was a Mod Squad weekend for some reason. I liked watching Clarence Williams II and Peggy Lipton, but not in those plots. I saw John Denver singing “Annie’s Song.” He had a 12-string guitar. The program went on to Kenny Rogers and one of his hits that I didn’t like much. The Simon and Garfunkel concert program was also on KQED, but I didn’t want to see it again. I wished the station had programmed some kind of movie double feature for the end of the summer, perhaps something with “American Graffiti.” Some of the people who died on August 16 include Robert Johnson (1938), Babe Ruth (1948), Margaret Mitchell (1949), Bela Lugosi (1956), Elvis Presley (1977), Amanda Blake (1989), Stewart Granger (1993), and William Windom (2012). Today is a birthday for Steve Carell (53), Timothy Hutton (55), Angela Bassett (57), Madonna (57), and James Cameron (61).

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