Black Mass

I awoke and watched CBS This Morning for the chef segment. Amanda Cohen’s signature recipes include portbello mousse, truffled toast, grilled Portobello mushrooms, balsamic reduction, pear and fennel compote and tomato cake with smoked feta. Over at the coffee shop, I had a mango smoothie and checked the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs for September 18, 1971 were “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get,” “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “I Just Want to Celebrate,” “Smiling Faces Sometimes,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “Maggie May,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Spanish Harlem,” and “Go Away, Little Girl.” I went to work for five hours. One of our people was having his last day, and so we had a chocolate cake in the back room. Afterwards, I took the bus over to the Grand Lake Theatre to catch the 4:15 showing of “Black Mass.” I arrived about thirty minutes early, but then I fell asleep for a while in my seat. Fortunately, it felt me feeling fairly fresh and ready to see the movie. I was glad to be out of the heat of the afternoon. The feeling of this movie reminded me of “American Hustle.” Johnny Depp must have liked being in this movie because he got to kill people on camera, and in a sadistic fashion, too. Maybe he was considering his chances for an Academy Award. This role was like his Vito Corleone. I can’t imagine him winning the big prize for this role, however. What did he do this this part, except for not have hair on top, speak in a Boston accent, and act like a loathsome human being? One reason why I thought of “American Hustle” while watching this movie was while that earlier movie had Christian Bale, the one had an equivalent in Benedict Cumberbatch, the man I last saw in “The Imitation Game.” If Johnny Depp, was hard to believe with a Boston accent, this guy was impossible to believe. I think the audience was more interested in the crimes than in the inner workings of the FBI. The evidence is in the popularity of the Godfather movies and the Sopranos on television. I thought that one of the best scenes in the movie was Whitey’s advice to his son about how to deal with the other kids at school. Kevin Bacon was in the cast, and his early scenes had him with hair that looked so unreal that it was distracting. The girl who is Melanie Griffith’s daughter and Tippi Hedren’s granddaughter was also in this movie. This is a story where the walls are closing in on the guilty parties. The question is who will wind up dead and who will get sent to jail. I’ll remember this movie for the scenes where Whitey kills people. They give us a chance to hate this man. John Connolly was really terrible. The FBI certainly didn’t look too good. The story focuses on the years when Whitey was out doing the evil deeds. I was interested in his Santa Monica years, but that would have been a separate movie, and probably a less interesting one. We would be seeing him past his prime of evilness. I had to wonder what the movie would have been like in the hands of Martin Scorsese. The scene with Whitey and Connolly’s wife was uncomfortable in that trademark Scorsese way. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this movie. I figure that I’ve seen plenty of other gangster movies that I liked more in the past. This one didn’t even feel like a gangster movie for the new millennium, because the protagonist was already an old guy, with the story starting in 1975. I didn’t want to see Whitey walking around Santa Monica, through the mall where Pee-Wee Herman once shopped or the merry-go-round in “The Sting.” I rather miss the Johnny Depp from the Tim Burton movies because I didn’t see him in “Big Eyes.” As end credits rolled, my thought was that this movie was probably better than the new Maze Runner movie. I was frustrated with having to wait for a 1 bus to take me home. I noticed that some of the light bulbs at the theatre were not working. It would be nice if they had the money to keep everything just right. I ate a leftover burrito and watched the fourth quarter of the game between California and Texas. Cal tried to blow the game by allowing two late touchdowns. However, a missed extra point was the difference in the 45-44 score. At least the Bears didn’t give away the ball on two onside kicks. I watched an episode of The Big Band Theory with the graduate student named Ramona. I don’t have any students as smart as her. I wished that KQED were showing a movie. I was too tired to watch “Funny Girl” again. The news was about the valley fire and Donald Trump. Some of those people gone from their houses for a week got the chance to see their home in ashes. I saw some people with Donald Trump piñatas. They were not accurate likenesses. Unfortunately, I saw the A’s score in Houston, as they lost, 10-6. I had enough of listening to Linda Ronstadt. I had been listening to “When Will I Be Loved,” “Heat Wave,” “Different Drum,” and “The Tracks of My Tears.” I wished that The Beatles had recorded more Smokey Robinson songs than just “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.” It’s too bad that Warren Zevon wasn’t around to give Linda a couple more songs. I wonder if she got one of those Calvin Klein shirts that he had collected. It’s a good thing that I didn’t have a second piece of that cake. It was too much sugar. I saw a copy of the “While We’re Young” DVD in the library but didn’t borrow it. I felt like seeing the Mad Max movie again because I didn’t get enough of it during the summer. Thinking about the trailers I saw, I would like to see “The Martian,” not because of the title, but because of Ridley Scott. Matt Damon’s presence reminded me of “Interstellar.” I watched a news report on the surge of sales of vinyl records. I thought about how much I liked having the Beatles’ albums on vinyl. I also liked The Raspberries. I don’t think I’ve ever owned an album by The Jesus and Mary Chain on vinyl. I think that 1986 was the pivotal year in my record collecting. I wished that I still had enough time on a Saturday morning to watch Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Schoolhouse Rock, and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Two people who died on September 20 were Jim Croce (1973) and Paul Erdos (1996). Today is a birthday for Kristen Johnson (48) and Sophia Loren (81). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 20, the Elizabeth Taylor movie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” was released in 1958. In 1964, The Beatles wrapped up their first American concert tour with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. In 1966, George Harrison traveled to India for his first visit with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In 1973, Jim Croce died at age 30 in a plane crash in Louisiana.

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