99 Homes

I watched CBS This Morning and their chef segment. Some of Tiffani Faison’s signature dishes are Tiger Chili Crab, Farm Salad, Pineapple Pumpkin Curry, Meekong Thai Tea, and Butterscotch Pudding. One of the segments of the show was about movie locations that were tourist attractions, like the baseball field in Iowa that was in “Field of Dreams.” I looked for the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs from October 22, 1977 were “Swayin’ to the Music (Slow Dancin’),” “’Star Wars’ Theme/Cantina Band (Medley),” “I Feel Love,” “Brick House,” “Cold as Ice,” “Boogie Nights,” “Keep It Comin’ Love,” “That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Nobody Does It Better,” and “You Light Up My Life.” I went to work, and it was a rather tiring six hours. We did have a talk about the bed bugs that invaded the library in Palo Alto. The librarians said that the bugs got into the books, which was very disturbing, not to mention disgusting, too. I went over to Arinell Pizza for a Sicilian slice, and then I walked over to the theatre to see “99 Homes.” It was a story of desperate people, home foreclosures, and selling your soul for some money. Andrew Garfield is a construction worker who is evicted from his house, and Laura Dern is his mother. That scene where the police come in to make sure he leaves is extremely powerful. Afterwards, I did think of Will Farrell in “Everything Must Go.” I thought that Andrew Garfield was terrible in the Amazing Spider-Man, but here he is far better, if not quite flawless. With his beard, he looks rather like Bradley Cooper. I can’t believe in him as a hard worker. I don’t know why the Michael Shannon character would offer him a job. For a good stretch during the first half of the movie, I sympathized with Dennis’ plight. I feel that my own housing situation can go down the toilet in a second. He very readily agrees to anything for some money, which I can understand given the fact that the situation looks bleak. It’s a disturbing look at the economy in the days of 2008. It’s terrible that people are ready to profit from misery. Dennis knew that he was doing wrong, and eventually, like in a Bernie Madoff scenario, it was going to come crumbling down. You could saw that this was like a low-level version of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” This time, the hard-working and honest worker turns out a loser, but the same goes for the real estate person. No one wins except for the people at the top, and we barely get a glimpse of them. The screenplay supposedly has some truth in its events, but the ending is something of a letdown. We expect something explosive because of all the intense emotion. One memorable scene shows an old man being evicted, and he has nowhere to go. One thing I didn’t understand was why Dennis doesn’t move his family out of the motel either before or after he feels a threat. He could have moved into a hotel for those two or three crucial weeks. It makes you wonder what happened to the days of decency. Life in 2015 isn’t like a Frank Capra movie. Watching Laura Dern, I thought about how it didn’t seem that long ago that she was in “Jurassic Park,” but her face has aged, and now she’s playing a role of a mother of a grown man. She’s not given too much of a chance to display any emotional depth or range. It goes from obliviousness to fear to outrage. I’m a little surprised that she didn’t know the ways of the world at her age. It’s tough to make a buck. You can’t get anywhere unless you get your hands dirty. I thought this movie was pretty strong enough, very compelling for most of its length. There was also a bit of mystery with the main characters and their personal histories. It seems that in modern times the social structure is deteriorating, and we’re a step away from total disaster. I don’t see any redemption at the end, as we usually do in these movies. It seems more like everyone is a loser at the end. I wanted to know what happened to Laura Dern and the kid. This was taking place in Orlando. Somehow Florida seemed like the right setting for these scams and corruption tales, because we still remember the election of 2000. At the end, the small audience gave the movie a bit of applause. It was definitely a cut above average and had a strong sense of purpose to it. It was very admirable, even where I usually hate movies with messages. It was too bad that they couldn’t get a bigger star than Andrew Garfield. I felt good about ending my work week and finishing it off with this movie. It did, however, make me feel nervous about my invested money. I felt that nothing, even my cash, was safe. I took the bus home and listened to the end of the game between the Mets and the Cubs. I’m rooting for the Cubs to not win the series. The Royals had won the early game impressively. They rallied in the late innings against a pitcher who had been throwing the ball well. I thought that the Royals had the look of a champion in the playoff games in which they came back late. I made me think of the Mets in 1986. I saw the Green Hornet and Kato in the Batman episodes that were on Me TV. Batman and the Green Hornet were about even, but everybody could see that there was a mismatch between Robin and Kato. Kato obviously had superior fighting skills and was letting up because he didn’t really want to hit Robin. Kato was a real man. The Wonder Woman episode showed a woman with the ability to control insects. I guess you could say that she was the female counterpart of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. The robot named Rover looked incapable of doing anything. Every episode seems to end with a shot of Lynda Carter smiling. On the sports highlights, I saw Michigan lose their game in a terrible way, on a punt play gone wrong as time ran out. The Star Trek episode began with everyone wear red space suits that looked cheap and unable to protect anyone from anything. On top of that, one idiot removed his glove. Why do all these stories hinge on someone’s stupidity? The title of the episode was “The Naked Time.” Some of the people who died on October 18 include Charles Gounod (1893), Thomas Edison (1931), Walt Kelly (1973), Julie London (2000), Gwen Verdon (2000), and Kam Fong (2002). Today is a birthday for Wynton Marsalis (54), Erin Moran (55), Pam Dawber (64), Martina Navratilova (59), Mike Ditka (76), and Dawn Wells (77). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 18, John Lennon was arrested in Ringo Starr’s apartment for marijuana possession in 1968. In 1969, the Temptations had the Number One single, “I Can’t Get Next to You.” In 1988, “Roseanne,” the television show starring Roseanne Barr, debuted on ABC. In 1990, Los Angeles declared the day “Rocky Horror Picture Show Day.”

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