War of the Worlds

When I watched the morning news, I discovered that Gayle King didn’t know that the Super Bowl was going to be played in Santa Clara. I thought she was supposed to be a good journalist. I headed to the office and worked on my class materials. I was happy that I got a lot done, and so I walked around outside for a place to buy a sandwich. I decided to wait until after I finished up with my early class. I gave a brief lecture and then headed to Bongo Burger for a cheeseburger. I went to the record store to look around, and I bought the CD of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Live 1969.” I went back to the office to prepare for my evening class. I gave a better lecture, and I felt a bit lighter. I read a message of congratulations for fourteen years of work. I skipped the Flashback Feature, which was “The Godfather Part II.” I headed home and watched Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.” The narration by Morgan Freeman did remind me of Orson Welles. Remembering the Tom Cruise from the days of “Risky Business” and “Top Gun,” I found it hard to accept him as a father, and it was strange to see Dakota Fanning as the daughter. It was annoying that her performance consisted largely of screaming because it made me flash back to Kate Capshaw in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Even a negligent father like Cruise should have known about his own daughter’s allergy to peanut butter. I didn’t like that faded look of the photography that I have seen in so many movies over the years, which I may have first noticed in “Gladiator.” I thought I saw bits of other Spielberg movies in this one, like the family problems that were at the beginning of “E.T.” There was the separation of child and parent that we saw in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” I guess you could say that the bloody parts were like something out of “Jaws.” I couldn’t help thinking of the old version of “War of the Worlds” that I saw a few times when I was a kid. I had fond memories of it, like what I felt for “Jason and the Argonauts.” I felt that I didn’t really need to see this movie, but I appreciated how it was meant to entertain us. I generally don’t like the Steven Spielberg who hits us with messages about Nazis. The sentimental Steven Spielberg can be very nauseating. I found it painful to watch the scene where the crowd wrecks the car and Dakota is screaming inside. I didn’t think that the Hudson Ferry was going to save anybody. I recalled the line in “Jaws” about needing a bigger boat. It was a bit like “Titanic” for a while. I thought it felt very strange to see Tim Robbins in the movie as this very odd person. The scene where they’re hiding from the aliens was a highlight. I liked how it was done without dialogue. The movie was too bloody and loud for me to truly like. I had to think about the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.” I thought of this movie in the same way as “World War Z.” I think, though, that I liked this Tom Cruise more than the one who was in “A Few Good Men.” I’m not sure I ever liked Steven Spielberg as much as I did back in the time of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He certainly didn’t win me over with “The Color Purple” or “Amistad.” The special feature of the disc was “Designing the Enemy: Tripods and Aliens.” For a movie that made so much money, “War of the Worlds” has a lot of critics. I didn’t think it was a bad movie, but it didn’t make me care about the characters. I didn’t believe that anyone in Cruise’s family was going to die. I watched a bit of Charles Bronson in “Breakout” and Gene Hackman in “Uncommon Valor.” I had forgotten about the movies that Patrick Swayze was in besides “The Outsiders” and “Dirty Dancing.” It’s sad to see him in his youth, before he was even in “Ghost.” Fred Ward and Robert Stack were also in the cast. I was waiting to watch the beginning of “The Goddess.” It had Kim Stanley and Lloyd Bridges in it. This movie channel had a good schedule, but with things like “Taxi Driver,” the editing would make certain movies not so great to watch. I listened to the Simon and Garfunkel album. My favorite songs were “Homeward Bound,” “The Boxer,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Kathy’s Song.” I saw the commercial for “The Martian” quite a few times. It seemed interesting, like a companion piece to “Interstellar,” although I don’t know if I really want to watch Matt Damon. I watched a bit of the Joe Biden interview. I found it hard to sit through it, though. It was discussed on the news quite a bit. I heard the ABC World News Now anchor say that we shouldn’t eat granola, yogurt, or muffins in the morning. They talked about the movies “The Visit” and “Sleeping with Other People.” I was not planning to see “Straight Outta Compton” again this weekend. The Patriots won their game against the Steelers. I’m hoping this is not a sign that the Patriots are going to be in the Super Bowl in Santa Clara. I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to go to the Super Bowl again. The A’s will be playing the Rangers this weekend. I would like to see Serena Williams win. California has a home game tomorrow, and the Raiders have a home game on Sunday. Some of the people who died on September 11 include Lorne Greene (1987), Peter Tosh (1987), Jessica Tandy (1994), Kim Hunter (2002), John Ritter (2003), Jim Carroll (2009), Larry Gelbart (2009), Harold Gould (2010), and Kevin McCarthy (2010). Today is a birthday for Moby (50), Kristy MacNichol (53), Virginia Madsen (54), and Lola Falana (73). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 11, “Little House on the Prairie,” directed by and starring Michael Landon, had its premiere in 1974. In 1977, Bing Crosby and David Bowie recorded their duet of “The Little Drummer Boy.” In 2010, Kevin McCarthy, star of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” died at age 96.

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