The Good Dinosaur

I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “The Good Dinosaur.” I arrived too early, so I took a walk to Safeway and bought two sandwiches and a mango drink. I sat on a bench across the street from the theatre before getting in line to buy a ticket. Several families were out at the theatre on the holiday. I guess they were the eager fans of Pixar movies. A comet missed the Earth, and so the lives of dinosaurs are spared, and after millions of years, dinosaurs and humans are living at the same time, at least according to the Pixar evolutionary timeline. Arlo is an Apatosaurus, and a child who has difficulty dealing with his fears. He is clumsy and awkward and is a pain in the ass to his family and to the viewers of this movie. The animation is very good, although I don’t think I liked looking at any of the dinosaurs’ heads. Arlo finds himself separated from his family along the lines of a Lassie movie. The story has elements from other animated films. We have a relationship between a human child and an animal. I can’t say that I’ve never seen that story done before. This was a Pixar production that did not go smoothly, with story changes, and cast and crew changes that affected the film. It’s not one of your brilliant Pixar films. I was really thinking this during one the Tyrannosaurus scenes that went on forever and a lot of talking. Also, the whole story is dependent on a very young character being compelling on the scene, and I don’t think many young people are up to the task. One of the visually beautiful scenes shows Arlo and his father in a field with fireflies. I don’t know if the kids in the audience were impressed with any of this. I thought the very young children might have been a bit bored at times. Do they really think that a joke about the harmonica playing in a Western is very funny? There was another funny bit that looked like an upside down view of sharks in the water. It is a lot to ask a young character and actor to carry a movie, and I don’t think it quite happens. Arlo just wore me down. The danger in showing him to be like an ordinary kid is that the audience may not think that he is especially worth watching. There is no guarantee that he is going to win us over. The last scene with Arlo and Spot seemed to go on forever. The final scene made me think back to “Sounder.” I think this film shows a lack of a creative spark that has been apparent in recent Pixar movies. They probably should have rejected the idea of dinosaurs altogether. With “Finding Dory,” “Cars 3,” and “Toy Story 4” in the works in the next few years to come, it looks like there is trouble ahead for Pixar in sustaining the quality of their work. The movie was preceded by a short film called “Sanjay’s Super Team,” a kind of culture clash scene. It was agreeable, although the outcome of the story didn’t seem convincing to me. This early afternoon wasn’t quite satisfying. The audience said they admired the animation with its images of nature and of flowing water. I went home to have a late lunch, and then I took the bus into Emeryville to stand out in the line outside the Best Buy store for two hours. I listened to the radio and was glad to finally get inside the store. I searched for the external hard drive I wanted. I did to protect my work documents and my many music files, which seem to be in some dander in my current computer. I looked through the Blu-ray discs. I bought “Inside Out,” “Birdman,” “Moonraker,” “Octopussy,” and “A View to a Kill.” I looked around for “For Your Eyes Only,” but I didn’t see it anywhere around, so I gave it up for another day. I was very tired at this point, and so I waited for the bus to take me home. I had a chocolate pudding pecan pie in the refrigerator. I had missed all the football games. The game between the Panthers and the Cowboys wasn’t the exciting contest I had hoped it would be, anyway. Movies like “Annie,” “Memphis Belle, and “Oliver!” were on television, but I had seen enough of all of them lately, so I waited for the Glen Campbell special to come on KQED. I saw him singing “For Once in My Life.” He sang “Carolina in My Mind” with Linda Ronstadt, who was barefoot. “Let It Be Me” is a very good song that I heard on an Everly Brothers album. I watched a bit of the local news, which had a camera crew at the Best Buy in Emeryville. They must have showed up after I had already left, because I never saw their truck. My plan was to go out early in the morning and buy a new pair of shoes. I think that the shoes I have now are just about at the end of their usefulness. Some of the people who died on November 27 include Ada Lovelace (1852), Eugene O’Neill (1953), Lotte Lenya (1981), John Carradine (1988), David White (1990), Irvin Kershner (2010), and Ken Russell (2011). Today is a birthday for Samantha Bond (54), Caroline Kennedy (58), William Fichtner (59), and Bill Nye (60). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 27, the last episode of the “Have Gun – Will Travel” radio program was aired on the CBS Radio Network in 1960. In 1965, Herb Alpert reached Number One on the album chart with “Whipped Cream & Other Delights.” In 1978, Gloria Gaynor’s “Love Tracks” album, featuring the Number One hit “I Will Survive,” was released. In 1985, “Rocky IV” was released.

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