SPECTRE

Early in the morning, the Marilyn Monroe movie “Let’s Make Love” was on television. I watched CBS Sunday Morning when I got a phone call from my mother. She talked about how cold the weather has turned in the past three or four days. I watched two Partridge Family episodes, “Soul Club” and “To Play or Not to Play,” before I took the bus out to Jack London Square. I thought it was going to rain, but it was barely more than a mist. I walked through the farmers’ market, but the taco stand was missing, so I headed back to the theatre. It looked like a lot of families were out to see “The Peanuts Movie,” but I was there for “SPECTRE.” The theatre gradually filled up, but no one took the seat next to me to my right until late, and the person who finally occupied the seat was one of those fools who laughed too loudly at everything, including people dying. Why did this person have to sit next to me? The opening sequence involved the destruction of a building and a helicopter stunt. It’s hard to be impressed with some of these action scenes anymore because you don’t know how much of it is real. In the Roger Moore days, the stunt men tried to do outrageous things. The theme song was not called “SPECTRE,” but instead was something called “Writing’s on the Wall,” sung by Sam Smith. I could accept Sam Smith in place of someone like Tom Jones or Shirley Bassey, but no one’s going to win an award for the lyrics of this tune. I wish that Bond was something more than a disobedient jackass in the hands of Daniel Craig. I didn’t really like these versions of Moneypenny, Q, and M, either. Why would we want to know that Moneypenny has a boyfriend? I didn’t want to see a Q who looked something like Harry Potter with a laptop computer. Ralph Fiennes as M really made me miss Judi Dench. This movie brought to mind other Bond films of the past, like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” at least in the snowy setting. The part on the train obviously was reminiscent of “From Russia, With Love.” The indestructible bad guy was something like Jaws from “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.” The one foolish action sequence involved an airplane. Lucia didn’t strike me as a great Bond character, and neither did Madeleine, who brought to my mind a mixture of Scarlett Johansson, Annette Bening, and Diana Rigg. She was played by one of the women who was in “Blue is the Warmest Color.” Christoph Waltz was a good actor to play the villain, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him again. He didn’t have one of those huge and absurd command centers like in “You Only Live Twice,” and that was something I was grateful for. The plot having to do with security and a system going online was not so exciting. I think that using a computer to save the world is not so great for a movie. I had the feeling I was getting tired of Daniel Craig as James Bond. This guy has no sense of humor, and he put Q in a difficult position. He also stole a car. A building gets destroyed at the beginning of the picture and at the end of the picture. There were three helicopters, I think. I kept thinking that if Madeleine and Bond stayed in one place long enough, they’d be killed. I thought about that net that I saw at the end, and I thought it was placed rather low for there to be any kind of a margin of safety. The movie felt a bit too long, and the plot was impossible to care about. I’d say that “Skyfall” was more enjoyable. The movie was on its way to being one of the all-time Bond successes just in one weekend. The Daniel Craig movies have been better than the Timothy Dalton movies, definitively, and he doesn’t make me miss Pierce Brosnan, either. Daniel Craig couldn’t be a worse Bond than Roger Moore was in “Moonraker” unless he really tried hard. It felt like the audience response to the movie wasn’t all that strong. I had waited for the sound of the twangy guitar on the James Bond theme song for two hours, and I didn’t hear it until the end credits. This movie wasn’t the huge event that past Bond films were. I was much more excited about “For Your Eyes Only” years ago. The crowd of people were slow to file out of the building, so I sat until the end of the credits before leaving. I miss John Barry. I walked over to the bus stop and listened to some of the details about the Raiders game in Pittsburgh. It was another of those close losses. They were vulnerable with their pass defense. I took the buses back home and watched the end of the 49ers game against the Falcons before listening to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. This edition focused on Jack White. I liked listening to “Seven Nation Army” and “My Doorbell” again. The big omission was “We’re Going to Be Friends.” I watched the 60 Minutes segment about the Large Hadron Collider. One of the other segments was about security clearances, and the flawed system of checking on people’s backgrounds. The Columbo episode of the night featured Anne Baxter and Kevin McCarthy, and it was called “Requiem for a Falling Star.” The director was Richard Quine. I fell asleep. It was too tiring to watch Peter Falk and his routine of pestering people. I thought I had a pretty good weekend. It didn’t rain on me, and I didn’t get sick. One of the television channels was concluding their Green Hornet marathon. I didn’t think they made too many episodes of that show. I wondered what happened to Wende Wagner after the show ended. It was amusing that they got Al Hirt to record the theme song. I don’t know how Seth Rogen ended up playing the Green Hornet in that last movie version. I didn’t want to watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” again, even with Audrey Hepburn in the public library. I find it difficult to watch Buddy Ebsen and Mickey Rooney in the movie. One thing I miss on Sunday nights is Dr. Demento. When he was gone from KMET, I knew that radio had gone downhill and would never recover. One station was playing the Allman Brothers’ “Rambin’ Man.” They went to Heart’s “Crazy on You.” Some of the people who died on November 9 include Dylan Thomas (1953), Yves Montand (1991), Art Carney (2003), and Ed Bradley (2006). Today is a birthday for Lou Ferrigno (64). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 9, Paul McCartney was rumored to have died in a car crash in 1966. In 1970, the Badfinger album “No Dice,” featuring “No Matter What” and “Without You,” was released. In 1975, Tom Petty released his first album. In 1984, Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” opened nationally. In 1988, the horror movie “Child’s Play” was released. In 1990, “Dances with Wolves” had its nationwide opening. Also in 1990, the IRS raided Willie Nelson’s house, seizing all his possessions but his guitar Trigger, to collect on a $16.7 million debt. In 2003, Art Carney died at age 85.

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