Eye in the Sky

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning.  I saw segments about Patty Duke and Anderson Cooper.  My parents phoned me, and my father talked a little more about helping me with my retirement.  I went grocery shopping.  I decided not to go to Jack London Square for a movie.  I watched some television, like the animated Star Trek series, All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and M*A*S*H, and the Partridge Family.  When it got to one o’clock, I started walking towards the theatre.  I was there to see “Eye in the Sky.”  The director was Gavin Hood, known for “Tsotsi,” which I thought was a movie that had a lot of problems.  This one was more effective, although it felt like “Dr. Strangelove” at times with the absurdity of legal concerns affecting military decisions.  The lesson seemed to be that lawyers and politicians are ruining everything, making anything impossible to get done.  Helen Mirren’s role was originally conceived for a man, and I think I can see that in the thought process of the character towards the end.  The film is about modern warfare with drones and people around the world who never meet each other.  It looked to me that it would be difficult to control those devices that looked like a hummingbird and a beetle.  It would seem that a necessary skill for being in the military would be to operate video games.  Helen Mirren gave a steady performance as a Colonel Powell.  I hate to think of her as a person who would put a mission above human lives.  This is all supposedly taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.  Alan Rickman died on January 14.  We remember him for “Die Hard,” of course, but he was quite good in this movie.  He has a scene where he’s buying a doll for a child.  He has to do this, of course, because later he will be part of a decision involving a young girl’s life.   The dilemma is in whether to attack this building where individuals are preparing a suicide bombing and accepting the collateral damage, which might include this girl selling bread out on the street.  Another person in the cast worth mentioning is Barkhad Abdi, who we saw in “Captain Phillips.”  He controlled the device that looked like a beetle.  Aaron Paul was a pilot named Steve Watts, although he was on the ground the whole time.  He was hesitant to fire the weapon.  Well, it brought back the thought of how hard it is to kill people, as in “Unforgiven.”  Aaron Paul was in the Breaking Bad television series, and now it seems that he is everywhere.  The movie does become tense, and it does matter to us what happens to the girl.  I had to stop and think of how I would feel if I lived in the same building with a group of terrorists, and I could be part of the collateral damage.  I think it would be more important for someone to stop the bombers than to save my life.  This movie has to end in a painful way.  Colonel Powell shows some ugliness in the end.  The scenario brought to my mind Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Watching the story unfold, I couldn’t keep track of the number of people who were in on this mission.  An entire committee was involved in a single decision, making us wonder how anything gets done when it comes to government and the military.  There was a contrast in technology and simplicity in the helicopter attack sequence in “Apocalypse Now.”  Since then, technology has made some incredible things possible.  Those drones and devices must have had all sorts of automatic features.  It was rather frightening to think of what is possible and what could be used against us in the years to come.  Can we be safe from drones?  I wonder what people around the world are going to think of this film.  I actually hope that this isn’t the future of the war movie.  The drone was CGI, and no one was heroic.  There was just argument and no one taking responsibility.  I’m not too sure I liked the title of this movie, which made me think of helicopters used for traffic reports in the morning.  I think the audience liked this movie.  The 45-year-old woman behind me who couldn’t stop talking before the movie started stayed quiet and paid attention, so the movie had some merit to it.  The subject matter is timely, and I think a lot of people will end up seeing this movie.  It’s almost like a reference book that some people are going to turn to.  I headed home, but stopped at Dollar Tree first to buy some soap for the dishes and soap for the hands.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN.  He played records by people whose birthdays are in April, but he was mistaken about John Lennon, whose birthday was October 9. Some of the songs he played were by Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Al Green, and Arcade Fire.  The Tonight Show rerun was from May 1, 1974, and Buddy Rich, Gabe Kaplan, Cindy Williams and Kreskin were the guests.  Cindy Williams talked about her musk oil perfume.  The Columbo episode was called “Dagger of the Mind,” and it had Honor Blackman in it.  It seemed that she should have done a lot more after “Goldfinger.”  One channel was showing The Doris Day Show, in honor of her birthday, I assumed.  She is 92.  I heard on the news that the Warriors won their game against Portland, pushing their record to 69-8.  They still have to play the Spurs, so there is no guarantee that the Warriors will reach 73 wins.  I missed the Sunday nights with Dr. Demento, and hearing songs like “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.”  Some of the people who died on April 4 include William Henry Harrison (1841), Martin Luther King (1968), Edgar Buchanan (1979), Gloria Swanson (1983), and Bob Clark (2007).  Today is a birthday for Robert Downey, Jr. (51) and Hugo Weaving (56).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 4, “Rio Bravo,” directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, and Walter Brennan, was released.  In 1963, the film adaptation of “Bye Bye Birdie,” starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, and Ed Sullivan, was released.  In 1979, the remake of “The Champ,” starring Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Ricky Schroder, was released.

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