Eddie the Eagle

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning. They started with a segment on movies that were based on true stories. I guess we should never expect accuracy from movies. During the segment on Elton John, my parents phoned me. I went grocery shopping before taking the bus over to Emeryville. I wanted to stop at Barnes and Noble to buy a magazine, the special edition of Rolling Stone about David Bowie. I got to the farmers’ market at Jack London Square and had two fish tacos before going over to the theatre for “Eddie the Eagle.” The bad reviews for “Gods of Egypt” pushed me away from that movie. “Eddie the Eagle” was reportedly not an accurate telling of the Eddie Edwards story. I can barely recall now what happened during the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988. I have never been much of a follower of winter sports to begin with. This movie was along the lines of other sports films like “Hoosiers,” “Cool Runnings,” and “McFarland, USA.” You’ve got the underdog athlete and the burned out coach, the supportive mother, and the unsupportive father. The Eddie of this movie is shown as clumsy and not much of an athlete, but determined and full of dreams. He wants to compete in the Olympics, but he gets booted from the skiing team. He decides to take up ski jumping, and he crosses paths with Hugh Jackman as Bronson Peary, a former competitor who now is more like Bill Murray in “Caddyshack.” I don’t think that Jackman has perfected the American accent, but he is game. He gets Eddie to improve his technique by getting him to think about Bo Derek. That was a curious choice for Eddie’s favorite actress, although it provides a reason to use Ravel’s Bolero on the soundtrack. I don’t see how Eddie could even attempt some of those jumps without some coaching. Taron Egerton, the actor who plays Eddie Edwards, gives us a reason to root for this character. We do reach a point in the story where it’s looking like he’s being foolish, like an Evel Knievel about to face disaster. He does have injuries. I guess there wouldn’t be a story if Eddie failed to qualify. Some of those shots showing the slopes would discourage me from even going to one of these events as a spectator. Much like the Jamaican bobsled team in “Cool Runnings,” Eddie didn’t deserve the attention he got for not being too good at his event. He just found a way to get there, and in real life he wouldn’t qualify in future attempts. Christopher Walken makes a very unusual appearance in this movie. I’m not sure that I would really want to listen to him if he tried to instill in me lessons about achieving your goals by never giving up. I think that he just scared me too much in movies like “Annie Hall,” “The Deer Hunter,” “The Dead Zone,” and “Pulp Fiction.” He comes into the locker room for a dramatic moment. It’s hard to believe that things like that happened in real life, along with some of the things that Peary did. All of these elements are part of the formula for this type of sports film, and it is somewhat tiresome at moments, but it does lead to one good scene showing Eddie’s parents and the well-wishers greeting Eddie at the airport. I’m not too sure what the ending was like in real life because he couldn’t get back to the Olympics in later years. I had the feeling that this movie would gain some fans because on the whole it’s rather enjoyable. It may not be original, or the real story, but I imagine that it was much better entertainment than “Gods of Egypt.” I would say that it was similar in quality to “Cool Runnings” and “McFarlane, USA.” It was not brilliant, but it’s something that people can watch and not be embarrassed to watch, except maybe a couple of suggestive scenes. It’s almost a family film, but rated PG-13. Two of the key songs on the soundtrack were “You Make My Dreams” and “Jump.” There was a 1980s feel to the music which I didn’t miss. The 1988 Summer Olympics took place in Seoul, but I don’t remember much from that time. I remember seeing movies like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “U2: Rattle and Hum,” “Bull Durham,” and “Married to the Mob.” I took the buses back home and went into the record store to buy a CD of Junior Walker because the Oscars program started. I listened to Chris Rock’s monologue and waited for him to make a comment on people who were neither white nor black, but I didn’t hear anything. I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN paying tribute to Glenn Frey. One of the songs I liked was “New Kid in Town.” I watched most of the Tonight Show from July 20, 1973, featuring Jack Benny, Elke Sommer, and Joe Namath. Jack Benny didn’t have much longer to live, as he would die on December 26, 1974. Elke Sommer talked about how much she liked being married, and how possessive she was. Her marriage would continue for another twenty years, but she did get divorced. Joe Namath was thirty years old, and he said he thought the Jets would have a good season in 1973, but they would end up at 4-10. He was evasive about the condition of his knees. The last thing I remember him doing was telling that reporter that he wanted to kiss her back in December 2003. Even with the names crawling on the bottom of the screen, the Oscars program was taking a long time to wind down. I suppose that Leonardo DiCaprio was as deserving as anyone else of an Oscar, although I think I may have liked him best in “The Aviator.” I thought that “Spotlight” was a good film. Was it the best film of the year? I would have voted for either “Brooklyn” or “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I saw that Mark Ruffalo was happy. Michael Keaton has had some magic. Did I see him bite into a Girl Scout cookie on that stage? The Columbo episode of the night was “Murder Under Glass.” Louis Jourdan was in the cast, and the episode was from 1978. Some of the people who died on February 29 include Pat Garrett (1908), Melvin Purvis (1960), Frank Albertson (1964), Earl Scheib (1992), Wes Farrell (1996), Jerome Lawrence (2004), and Davy Jones (2012). Today is a birthday for Ja Rule (40), Frank Woodley (48), Tony Robbins (56), Jonathan Coleman (60), Joss Ackland (88), and Michele Morgan (96). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 29, “The Sound of Music” was broadcast for the first time on network television on ABC in 1976. In 1980, Buddy Holly’s trademark eyeglasses, lost since his death in 1959, are found in a police file in Mason City, Iowa. In 2012, Davy Jones of the Monkees died at age 66 of a heart attack in Florida.

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