Licence to Kill

I woke up and watched the second hour of CBS This Morning. I paid attention to the chef segment. A Steve DiFillippo’s recipes included Roasted tomato soup with goat cheese and chive crostini, Warm spinach salad, Tagliatelle Bolognese with braised veal, beef, pork, and tomato sauce, Kobe meatballs, Hand-rolled potato gnocchi, Wild mushrooms, truffle oi warm, Chocolate cake, and a Mistletoe martini. I checked the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on December 5, 1970 were “Share the Land,” “Heaven Help Us All,” “No Matter What,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Fire and Rain,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “I’ll Be There,” “Gypsy Woman,” “The Tears of a Clown,” and “I Think I Love You.” I looked through the New York Times Book Review and saw that one of the recommendations was “Beatlebone.” I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre for “The Good Dinosaur” again. I couldn’t help finding Arlo an annoying character for all of his fear. The screenplay was by a woman, which I thought figured because it didn’t show a boyhood of playing sports and being bad at school. I always noticed that the father got the child into a dangerous situation through a macho insistence, and he wasn’t around at the end, but the mother was always there. I took a trip to a Staples store for dry erase markers and red pens, and then I went to buy groceries before I returned home. I watched the James Bond film “Licence to Kill” on Blu-ray. I think one of the reasons it wasn’t the most successful film was that it takes a long time to get going. It’s an hour into the film before we see Moneypenny and Q. The story lingers on in one location for a long time, and some of those shots are not terribly exciting. It’s as if Bond is just driving down normal streets like he’s in a Miami Vice episode. Two of the characters get treated brutally. How many people in Bond films have been fed to the sharks, piranha, or alligators? Bond quits his job so that he’s not an agent with a license to kill. He’s headstrong and doesn’t seem like he can work with M for much longer. How many fans out there want to see an angry Bond who doesn’t want to do the job he’s doing? Timothy Dalton’s insistence on being realistic and dark wore down the audience, I think. I suggest that if Dalton got sick of playing Bond after only two movies, then he couldn’t have been that great of an actor. He should go out there and show some ideas. I didn’t notice before that Benicio Del Toro was in this movie. I guess you could say that he had the Oddjob role. Wayne Newton was one of the bad guys, too. Jimmy Dean was in “Diamonds Are Forever,” and David Bowie was meant to play the villain in “A View to a Kill.” Bond goes around with five million dollars in cash and does things with the money. The way that he was handling the money, I thought that he was going to get robbed. In the Timothy Dalton Bond movies, it seems that he always hanging onto a car roof or an airplane wing. One thing that was disappointing was that Bond’s ability as a spy was questionable. He got some people killed with his tactics. The action sequence at the end reminded me of “The Road Warrior.” About the most clever thing that Bond did was retrieve information from a CD, although the computer was rather laughable in what it couldn’t do in 1989. There was a touch of “Thunderball” with an underwater sequence. Bond keeps saying that he works best alone, but he needs help the whole time. It’s like he’s a bad judge of what it takes to get things done. We also see a contrast of two women, the one who is close to the villain, and the other who is a woman of action with similarities to Bond, in the Diana Rigg vein. She somehow felt the need to cut her hair short in that Audrey Hepburn “Roman Holiday” way. I thought the whole revenge motivation detracted from the movie. Good spies are professional and don’t get personal. I thought it was the Americans who were the loose cannons. The exotic locations of this movie didn’t seem all that exotic. We saw a familiar location that we saw in “Key Largo” and “True Lies.” Anthony Zerbe was one of the few actors that I recognized. I kept looking at his left eye. He wasn’t given a chance to be an interesting bad guy. What happened to him was nauseating, and it was something that we saw before in “Live and Let Die.” Franz Sanchez was not one of the memorable Bond villains. He wasn’t the most perceptive person. I don’t know what Pierce Brosnan could have done with this material, but I think he would have been more fun. I know that I had enough of Timothy Dalton after this movie. We wouldn’t get another Bond film for another six years. Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby were the two Bond actors who have faded from our memories. Out of their three movies, I liked “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” the most. This movie had another rather weak ending. I thought that ending up splashing in the water was like something out of a romantic comedy. I wasn’t what you’d call suave. Actually, the beginning of the movie had a bit of Peter Falk and Alan Arkin from “The In-Laws” to it. It was a movie that felt like a long two hours. I’d rate it as one of the Bottom 5 James Bond films. There wasn’t much life to it. I pretended that it was the 1970s and watched the All in the Family episode “Archie Gives Blood.” Lionel didn’t help the situation with his jokes. I also watched the Mary Tyler Moore episode “Keep Your Guard Up” with John Schuck. I thought he was pretty funny. I really couldn’t bear to watch the college football games or the news about the San Bernardino incident. I don’t want to hear anyone else say that the couple seemed normal. I watched the end of the Carpenters program again. Karen went from getting married in August 1980 to dying two and a half years later. I wondered how frequently Paul Williams talked with her in those days. The Rolling Stones video from 1971 was pretty good. I liked the way they performed “Dead Flowers.” I hoped that it wouldn’t rain through the entire morning. Some of the people who died on December 6 include Leadbelly (1949), Roy Orbison (1988), Don Ameche (1993), Werner Klemperer (2000), and Dobie Gray (2011). Today is a birthday for Judd Apatow (48) and Janine Turner (53).

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