The BFG

I watched the early morning news and worked a little bit on my writing.  I heard the news that Kevin Durant was coming to the Warriors, which was big news around here.  I didn’t feel sorry for Oklahoma City basketball fans, considering the way the team itself came to the city in the first place.  The people I actually sympathized with were the Seattle fans.  I ate my lunch and then took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “The BFG.”  I heard that it was a big box office bomb, but I thought it was a decent movie.  Maybe the giant was too strange and not good-looking enough to appeal to the children out there.  He seemed to be the Willy Wonka of dreams.  A big minus was the CGI.  When it looks too unreal, you don’t accept the movie.  I thought about this when I saw “Jason and the Argonauts” over the weekend.  The BFG also reminded me of the farmer in “Babe.”  He could read books but had a way of destroying the English language.  He was adept and quick in hiding from human beings, known as “beans” in this story.  Sophie was the little girl in all of this, and she was an orphan along the lines of Annie or Oliver Twist.  It’s rather interesting that she is reading a Dickens book.  She has eyeglasses that are always misplaced.  The BFG lives among giants who are bigger than he is, giving a bit of Jonathan Swift flavor to this tale.  The BFG meets the queen, setting up a funny scene with shades of “Blazing Saddles.”  You’ve got to have dogs involved.  It would have been funny if Helen Mirren played the queen.  The girl who played Sophie was above average as far as your child actors go.  I could hardly believe that this movie was so long in the making.  Robin Williams could have been the BFG.  I think he would have been very good, too.  It’s kind of a shame that people aren’t going out to see this movie, because I think it’s more enjoyable than Spielberg’s serious efforts.  It’s better when he isn’t trying to teach us anything meaningful.  I thought there was a Japanese monster movie feel to the end of the movie.  This is one of those movie that can develop a following after it goes to home video.  I like the Tintin movie more, but this was a good effort.  Sophie didn’t do a good job of staying hidden.  Bill Hader seems to be everywhere.  Spielberg couldn’t convince Gene Wilder to appear in this movie, which is a shame.  I think that “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is still the best Roald Dahl movie adaptation, with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” second.  The movie was pretty good in 3D.  The other 3D movie I really liked, thinking back on it, was “Hugo.”  Some adults in the audience laughed at the bits of humor.  I don’t know if the kids liked any of it, though.  Maybe “Finding Dory” was better for them.  A lot of kids don’t like eccentricity.  The threat of kids getting eating probably wasn’t too appealing.  Maybe this movie was too British, especially in the aftermath of Brexit.  Kids don’t relate to anything British other than The Beatles.  The movie ended at about three o’clock, so the A’s game in Minnesota had already ended.  I listened to the radio for the final score.  I was a little annoyed that the A’s decided to wait until they were on the road to end their losing streak.  Coco Crisp got a big hit.  I returned home to take a nap and watch some Dolly Parton television shows from 1976.  She sang songs like “Knock Three Times,” “Let Me Be There,” “Drift Away,” and “Takin’ Care of Business.”  She ended every episode with “I Will Always Love You.”  The episode I wanted to see was one with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.  I watched a DVD of a Rolling Stones concert from July 12, 1975 at the Inglewood Forum.  Ron Wood was a new member of the band back then, and the song selection included the “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” album, but not “Black and Blue.”  I thought one highlight was “Tumbling Dice.”  I think that “Wild Horses” was one of their best songs.  Billy Preston had a huge Afro.  I was sleepy and wanted to avoid the cold night at the Berkeley Marina, so I didn’t go out to see the fireworks.  I thought about movie trivia questions.  I wondered if anybody could name a movie star who is still alive who appeared in a Hitchcock film and also a Billy Wilder film.  Also, there was someone who was in a Hitchcock film and a John Huston film.  I saw a bit of the Dick Cavett Show with Neil Simon, who talked about “Chapter Two.”  Maybe Marsha Mason should have been on the show.  I felt much too tired to sit down to watch Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru,” even though I think that it is a great movie.  Some movies require your concentration, and this is one of them.  I didn’t sit down to watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy” again.  I felt bad for the people who got serious injuries from fireworks.  They were foolish but were suffering a lot.  It’s not like Star Wars and Luke Skywalker, where you can just get a new hand.  An ambulance went down my street.  I ate some pizza for the first time in quite a while.  The last five songs on the Rolling Stones DVD were “Midnight Rambler,” “Rip This Joint,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Sympathy for the Devil.”  They’ve all aged quite a bit since 1975, but I don’t see how Keith Richards is still alive.  I wished that “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” could have had the full blown treatment with the choir and all.  There was no “Satisfaction” on the set list.  They didn’t have large video screens back then.  Two of the people who died on July 5 were Leo McCarey (1969) and Ted Williams (2002).  Today is a birthday for Edie Falco (53), Huey Lewis (66), and Katherine Helmond (88).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 5, the 19-year-old Elvis Presley had his first Sun Records recording session in 1954.  In 1965, the Rolling Stones had their first recording session in Los Angeles.  In 1980, “The Blue Lagoon” was released.  In 2003, Harry James died in Las Vegas at age 67.

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