Catch Me If You Can

I went to work during a cold morning and was pleased at how much I got done. I saw the streets decorated with holiday banners, so I guess it’s Christmas already. I went over to the record store and bought the Blu-ray edition of “The Last Temptation of Christ.” The cashier told me that it was a hilarious movie. I was surprised at the comment, but then I came to think that he thought the movie was “Life of Brian.” I saw on Facebook someone informing us that Susan Dey had moved back to New York. If it means that she’s stopping being blonde once and for all, then it is good news. I answered a lot of questions from my students before going to my lecture. I was done early, so I had the chance to go to the Flashback Feature of the night, which was Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.” Partly because of Tom Hanks’ presence, the movie reminded me a bit of “Bridge of Spies.” I couldn’t stand Hanks’ accent, which was so sickeningly fake. He must be the biggest actor in the world who is terrible with accents. This was one of the best of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances that I can remember. I couldn’t stand him in “Titanic.” In Spielberg’s hands, I wondered how true this true story was. It shows the F.B.I. as a group of blunderers. In the years since this movie was released, the whole check forgery business must have changed a lot. Hardly anyone writes checks to stores anymore, but the ones who are out there are always right in front of me in line at the stores. Did anyone notice the PanAm decals on those fake checks? Some of those tricks were truly outrageous, like pretending to be a doctor or parading with women through the airport. I’m not sure I could truly picture Christopher Walken as Frank’s father. I never really pictured him as an actor who would be in a Steven Spielberg film. I could understand his appearance in a Quentin Tarantino film, though. Jennifer Garner has a small part. I wouldn’t say that she was the best fit for her role. Amy Adams was believable in her role. I even sympathized with her when she told Frank that she believed in him. According to what I read on IMDB, Spielberg told her to think of a cheeseburger in a kissing scene. The opening of the movie was interesting because it was a bit of Forrest Gump mixed in with the To Tell the Truth television game show. It sounded like Spielberg got the older Joe Garagiola to read and record some lines of dialogue to make the scene seem more realistic. It was amazing how much a person could get away with during the 1960s, partly because of a lack of communication. I’ll have to say that this was a pretty interesting Spielberg film. I still don’t know what attracted him to this story, or why he felt compelled to make this film. It’s about a person who in his youth got away with some crimes, and he apparently reformed. He had some things in common with the person pursuing him, and he seemed to need the thrill of doing these deeds. One bit that I thought was overdone was Frank walking down the street, making the women turn their heads admiring him in his pilot’s uniform. It was a big deal to be a pilot in 1964. It didn’t make sense for someone who didn’t want to be caught to phone an F.B.I. agent on Christmas Eve. In real life, there was no showdown with the agent and Abagnale. Someone recognized him while he was grocery shopping. I had seen this movie before, and it was still a good movie on the second viewing. It was rather long, too, because it was past 11:30 when I got home. As I was walking out of the theatre, I overheard one person say that next week’s Flashback Feature, “Risky Business,” was a lame movie. I watched Hillary Clinton on the Jimmy Kimmel show. She seemed like she might be a reasonably good president. She implied that Bill would still have the remote control for the TV if she should return to the White House. Jimmy made the suggestion that she say some crazy stuff to score points in the polls, since that seems to work for Ben Carson and Donald Trump. I stayed up for some of James Corden. He sent his parents to the NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills. They went into the locker room after the game and saw players completely naked. I thought it was one of the more amusing segments in the brief history of the show. Corden had a resemblance to his mother. Before “Catch Me If You Can,” we were shown trailers for “The Peanuts Movie” and “Spectre.” Well, during the night, I heard a report that both of those movie had received negative reviews. I think I’ll still go out to see them, but now my enthusiasm has been dimmed. There was a slightly uncomfortable chill in the air this morning, and so I hated the idea that I had to go out to work. I heard that the Bengals had won again for an 8-0 record. There are four undefeated NFL teams. I’m thinking that I wouldn’t be too excited about a Super Bowl with the Bengals in it. I think I’d prefer to see the Patriots in the game. I heard the news about the student who turned violent at UC Merced. He had a manifesto, which was not unusual. The report made me feel a bit of fear about the students I deal with. It would be terrible to be killed by some mediocre student. The thought of his getting kicked out of a study group made me flash back to “The Paper Chase.” That is a movie that a lot of college students should see. Some of the people who died on November 6 include Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1893), Charles Münch (1968), Gene Tierney (1991), and Mario Savio (1996). Today is a birthday for Emma Stone (27), Lori Singer (58), Maria Shriver (60), Glenn Frey (67), and Sally Field (69). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 6, “Meet the Press” made its debut on NBC in 1947. In 1967, the fourth album by the Monkees, “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.,” was released. In 1971, the first album by The Stylistics was released.

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