Midnight Special

I watched CBS Sunday Morning.  Serena Altschul did a segment on Samuel Adams beer.  Hugh Jackman talked about coffee, and Anthony Mule talked about removing gum from sidewalks.  One story was about young people dropping out of school to try to make a fortune with apps and the like.  It’s like the modern version of the Gold Rush.  My parents phoned me.  My father mentioned the paperwork I received from the lawyers, a sign that I should be receiving some money soon.  I went out grocery shopping while the rain was light, and then I went out to do my laundry.  I felt that I wanted a slice of pizza.  I watched the Partridge Family episodes “For Sale By Owner” and “Aspirin at 7, Dinner at 8.”  One shot showed Laurie almost eating a piece of cake.  Shirley said that she was in the maternity ward of the hospital five times, which contradicted what she said before about Danny being born in Napa County.  I did go out for that pizza, which had bacon, artichoke, and chicken.  I walked over to the theatre to see “Midnight Special.”  To me, the title implies music.  It was actually a science fiction movie that reminded me of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T.,” and “Starman.”  It had actors who appeared in Star Wars movies.  Michael Shannon was the father.  I had questions about how he would be as Elvis Presley in that upcoming movie, but he was very good in this picture.  Kirsten Dunst was the mother, and she showed some age in her face, showing the years that have passed since “Spider-Man” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”  This movie made me think of what she did in “Melancholia.”  I wondered whether she had the strength to escape from the bathroom.  She did have a good last scene with the kid.  That kid was named Alton, and he has special powers and seems to be from another world.  I thought he was something like the kid in “The Sixth Sense.”  How could he be anything but an ordinary human with the parents he has?  There is no indication until the very end.  One of the people trying to catch up to Alton is Paul Sevier, played by the same guy who was Kylo Ren in the last Star Wars movie.  Why am I seeing him everywhere all of a sudden?  I never asked for that.  Another person in the movie was Sam Shepard.  Seeing him again on the screen for the first time in years, I was reminded of how long ago that period from “Days of Heaven” to “The Right Stuff” was.  The most surprising moment of the movie involved a gunshot.  I thought some of the violence was pretty strong for kids to see.  I don’t know how the men who got shot could continue in pain.  The buildings at the end looked fake in their CGI architecture, so it was comical to see everyone looking on in awe.  This was a pretty good movie, although I’m not sure why I should return to this movie instead of the classic movies that influenced it.  The previous movie by Jeff Nichols that I’ve seen is “Mud,” which I liked.  He was born in 1978.  His next movie is called “Loving.”  “Midnight Special” was not a display of originality, but it was enjoyable than something like “The Witch.”  I think that most people in the audience liked it.  I’m not sure that people would like to spend $8.50 to see it, as I did, but at least it might make for good viewing on Blu-ray.  It’s not one of those blockbuster movies that will appeal to the masses, but there are good things in it.  I walked home under the dark clouds, but it wasn’t raining.  The A’s faced their nemesis Felix Hernandez in Seattle and left with a win.  Sonny Gray will be starting a game against the Angels tonight.  Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN featured women in rock.  During the first half hour, we heard “Brass in Pocket,” “Dancing in the Street,” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”  When was the last time I heard Laura Nyro on the radio?  Two of the songs I liked in the second half of the program were “It’s Too Late” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”  The Columbo episode on Me TV was “Any Old Port in a Storm” from 1973, starring Donald Pleasence.  Pleasence was a wine expert.  I really liked this episode when I first saw it.  This was many years before I saw “Sideways.”  I wondered where that spot on the beach at the end was, because it looked like a great place to photograph a dramatic scene.  The Carsini winery sign looked like it didn’t belong on the building.  One thing about signs in television shows is that they always look too new.  Pleasence’s description of the Julie Harris character as an iron maiden was surprising and rather funny.  Vito Scotti plays many characters in the Columbo series.  The episode made me think about the Samuel Adams segment I had seen in the morning.  American beer went from tasting watery and terrible to not watery and terrible.  I thought about how my history teacher, a former alcoholic, told me that beer tasted bad.  I don’t trust anyone’s opinion about beer or how to vote or anything else.  I certainly don’t have any faith in what Michael Moore thinks.  The Tonight Show rerun on Antenna TV was from October 18, 1974 and featured Carl Reiner and David Brenner.  Johnny made jokes about the Dodgers’ loss to the A’s in the World Series.  Bill Buckner made a mistake running the bases.  He got thrown out at third base, ending the Dodgers’ last chance to win the game.  David Brenner liked talking about signs and airplanes.  He was a good comedian, and I miss him.  I heard that the Warriors won their 72nd game and have a chance to break the Chicago Bulls’ record on Wednesday.  They sure made it difficult by losing two of those recent home games.  They could have already won 74 games at this point.  They did manage to foil the Spurs’ attempt to go undefeated on their home court.  I didn’t think they would be able to beat the Spurs twice during this past week.  I wanted to look up some Nielsen ratings figures from the 1970s, but it seemed too time-consuming.  Joel Whitburn became an expert on Billboard chart information.  It seems that someone should be a counterpart with Nielsen rating information.  Some people who died on April 11 include John O’Hara (1970), June Pointer (2006), Roscoe Lee Browne (2007), Kurt Vonnegut (2007), Jonathan Winters (2013), and Jesse Winchester (2014).  Today is a birthday for Jeremy Clarkson (56).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 11, “Marty,” starring Ernest Borgnine, had its premiere in New York in 1955.  In 1966, Buffalo Springfield made their live debut at the Troubadour in Hollywood.  In 1997, “Anaconda,” starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, and Eric Stoltz, was released.  In 2013, Jonathan Winters died of natural causes in Montecito, California at the age of 87.

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