Our Brand is Crisis

I went to a meeting in the morning and was thankful there was food there so that I had the energy to get through my shift. I checked my bank balance and was pleased at my big payday. I’ll be able to pay for my A’s season tickets now. I need new shoes very soon. The afternoon got pretty warm. I took the buses out to the Grand Lake Theatre, where I saw the Sandra Bullock movie “Our Brand is Crisis.” Her character was Jane Bodine, and she went over to Bolivia to manage an election campaign. Billy Bob Thornton was her rival and looked like James Carville. This film brought to mind “The Candidate,” and there was a reference to Robert Redford. I could not believe in Sandra Bullock as this character. I didn’t like the look of the movie. Sandra certainly wasn’t photographed in a flattering way, and I kept paying attention to her hair. I couldn’t picture her as someone who would cause trouble and be deceptive and vicious in achieving her goal. George Clooney would have made a difference if he hadn’t dropped out. I thought of other movies like “Missing” simply because they took place in Latin American countries. Billy Bob Thornton was good, although he’ll never improve upon “Sling Blade” or “Bad Santa.” Is that management of an election campaign a good subject for a movie. I think it’s a highly debatable question. I guess this movie has a timely quality, with all the discussion of poll numbers in the news concerning Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson. The suggestion of this movie is that voters are dumb, whether they’re in Bolivia, the United States, or anywhere else. Is someone like Jane really responsible for ruining Bolivia’s election and thus the country itself? I didn’t think the humor in the movie was especially funny, although other people in the audience laughed. I think those people were bigger fans of Sandra Bullock than I am. The movie tried to be different things, like a farcical comedy and a political statement, but I didn’t think it did either very well. One part of the movie that I will remember is the bus chase scene, which obviously represented the election. Do people really want to go out during the weekend to watch a comedy about campaign tactics? I’d prefer to get away from it all because I hear enough about politics during the week. I can’t recommend this movie, although I appreciated some of the shots of the country. It did problems right from the title, which is not too appealing. I didn’t think that the bit with the llama was too funny. It reminded me of the ceremonial release of doves on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I always wonder whether the doves can survive out there beyond the stadium. As I was watching this movie, I kept thinking about how difficult it is to be funny. The director was David Gordon Green, who is 40 years old and worked on “Pineapple Express.” I wouldn’t have hired Green based on “Pineapple Express.” I couldn’t see why Sandra Bullock and George Clooney wanted to make this movie. I didn’t see it as having much box office potential. One of the filming locations was Tulane University in New Orleans. The man who was Castillo, one of the candidates, reminded me of Geoffrey Rush. I thought of “Moon Over Parador” as I was watching him. I wanted to pay a visit to the Grand Lake Theatre, and I had already seen “The Martian” and “Bridge of Spies.” The movie ended before three o’clock. I listened to the World Series game on the radio as I made my way home. The Mets won the game easily, but they’ll have to win Game 4 to make the series interesting. I saw Yoenis Cespedes drive in one run with a fly ball out to left field. I found it somewhat hard to believe that Tyler Clippard was pitching in a World Series game. Everybody in the stadium seemed to know all the words to “Piano Man,” which I found hard to believe. It looked like Billy Joel was leaving the stadium early to beat the traffic. I watched the Partridge Family episodes “Love at First Slight” and “Princess and the Partridge.” I watched Match Game and saw Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Jim Nabors visit the set. I heard the news that Al Molinaro had died at age 96. I will remember him as Murray. People like him and Abe Vigoda seemed like they were going to live forever. I saw Stephen Colbert talk about razor blades in Halloween candy. He did a trick-or-treat routine and managed to work in a product placement. Charlie Rose was dressed as the Frankenstein monster, although he looked like a cartoon version. The Zombies were the musical guests. I think I know two of their songs. I watched the Banacek episode “Fly Me If You Can Find Me.” A plane can’t just vanish without people being on the inside of this caper. Sterling Hayden was one of the guest stars, and I flashed back to seeing him in “The Asphalt Jungle” with Marilyn Monroe. I rather miss George Peppard. When someone tries to kill Banacek, you know that he is getting close to the truth. I saw a Night Gallery episode that seemed like a rewrite of “Eye of the Beholder,” the classic episode with Donna Douglas. Some of the people who died on October 31 include Harry Houdini (1926), John Houseman (1988), River Phoenix (1993), Ring Lardner, Jr. (2000), and William Styron (2006). Today is a birthday for Larry Mullen, Jr. (54), Peter Jackson (54), Jane Pauley (65), and Dan Rather (84). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 31, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was released in 1962. In 1988, Debbie Gibson held a séance at her Halloween party to contact the spirits of Liberace and Sid Vicious. In 1991, Joseph Papp died of prostate cancer at age 70. In 1993, River Phoenix collapsed on the sidewalk outside the Viper Room in Hollywood, dying at age 23.  My choices for the Top 5 Biggest Jerks of October 2015 are Ben Carson, Adacia Chambers, Ben Fields, Benjamin Golden, and Donald Trump.

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