The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Watching CBS Sunday Morning, I was rather sad to hear of the death of Uggie, the dog that was in “The Artist.” My mother phoned me. I went out to buy some groceries before I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre. People were lined up to see “Straight Outta Compton,” but since I had already seen it, I was there for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” It was on one of the small screens. I watch the television show sometimes on Sunday nights, so I have the theme song imprinted in my brain. I didn’t like the main actors as much as Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. I thought Gaby was the girl who was in “Ex Machina.” I thought it was a good idea to set the movie in the 1960s, so we didn’t have to see cell phones. I kept reading that Tom Cruise didn’t do the movie in order to do Mission: Impossible. That was good for him but not so good for this movie, because it suffers from a lack of star power. After “Top Gun,” it would be hard to see him working with a Russian. I did get rather tired of seeing these two trying to outdo each other. I agreed with Illya Kuryakin’s assessment that Napoleon Solo was not a good spy. However, Illya also had problems. Hugh Grant was Alexander Waverly. I didn’t really want to see him in the spy business. He was like the Simon Pegg of this movie. I thought the 1960s fashions were amusing. The women more interesting clothes than in the typical spy movies of today. The whole story is about the atom bomb. I guess it’s really just an excuse to insert all this action and other stuff. I cannot recall a Guy Ritchie movie that I liked. This one had its good moments, but it’s nothing exceptional. I’m not eager to see the next movie in this series. It seemed that this movie made less at the box office than was expected. Perhaps it will pick up some fans when it is released on DVD. I stuck around to watch the end credits, which gave us some facts about the main characters. The music credits said that Solomon Burke’s “Cry to Me” was on the soundtrack. It was one of the best songs I’ve heard used in any movie so far this year. I thought the entertainment value of this movie was fairly good, considering that it took me out of the summer heat for two hours, and it cost me only six dollars. I waited for the 57 bus to reach the corner. It took a while to get home. The Partridge Family marathon was over, but the Mod Squad marathon was continuing. I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. He played songs from three of the best albums of the year so far, which were by Jason Isbell, Florence + the Machine, and Sufjan Stevens. I watched a 60 Minutes segment with Lara Logan which was about ocean exploration. I was impressed with the efforts to map out the underwater territory. The Columbo episode was “Last Salute to the Commodore” with Robert Vaughn. The episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” had Maurice Evans and Vera Miles for guest stars. I like shows that remind us of who the guest stars and their characters were during the end credits. I wished that all of the episodes had been in color. The same is true for The Avengers. It’s funny how “Mission: Impossible” follows on the Me TV schedule. I liked Barbara Bain in this show. The heat wave was in the local news. The air quality has been bad, too. I hate to think that pollution in China is making its way here. I heard about the death of Julian Bond. Carol Merrill was born in the same year as Bond, and she is still alive. I’ve been curious about the people I’ve been seeing in the old game shows. One of the channels was showing several Elvis Presley movies because of the anniversary of Presley’s death. Some of the people who died on August 17 include Vivian Vance (1979), Ira Gershwin (1983), and Pearl Bailey (1990). Today is a birthday for Sean Penn (55), Belinda Carlisle (57), Robert De Niro (72), and Maureen O’Hara (95).

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