Magic in the Moonlight

I watched CBS This Morning.  Their movie reviewer liked “The Witch.”  I watched the chef segment with Kelly Fields, and her signature dishes included Hanger steak and panzanella, Apricot-pecan panzanella, Mint and basil pesto, Stone fruit salad, BBQ shrimp toast, Marinated crab claws, Dirty water cocktail, and Devil’s food cake.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on July 30, 1977 were “Whatcha Gonna Do,” “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher,” “Margaritaville,” “Do You Wanna Make Love,” “Best of My Love,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “My Heart Belongs to Me,” “Looks Like We Made It,” “I’m in You,” and “I Just Want to Be Your Everything.”  I went off to work and had a discussion about “Ghostbusters” and teaser scenes.  When I returned home, I saw part of a Kung FCBS This Morning.  u marathon on one of the television channels.  I fell asleep while listening to a Giants game and listened to the first inning of the A’s game in Cleveland.  I watched “Magic in the Moonlight,” which was released two years ago today.  I think I liked it a bit more than when I originally saw it, although I didn’t believe the relationship between the main characters.  Colin Firth plays the magician Stanley Crawford.  He calls himself a man of science and rational thought, which seems contradictory to what magic is about, which is deception.  Stanley is too angry and talks too much.  He would be a terrible poker player.  I couldn’t see him as being easily fooled.  It seemed that he was committed to his beliefs.  In fact, without commitment, he would have belief.  He wasn’t the wishy-washy type to change his opinion every few months.  The idea is that love makes him waver.  It is an appeal to emotion of a sort.  Emma Stone is the psychic Sophie Baker, the person Stanley sets out to debunk Houdini-style.  You could say that Emma Stone’s real role is as a bad actress.  The main reason that the relationship between Stanley and Sophie is hard to accept is the age difference.  It’s difficult for magic to overcome some realities, although that is what is always supposed to happen in romantic comedies.  There were two scenes that made me laugh.  The first was Stanley’s discussion of the way Sophie looked attractive in the proper light.  It felt like a reference to filming movies, and it made me think of “Chinatown.”  The second was Stanley’s offer of marriage to Sophie.  He says that it’s an offer that he’s about to take off the table.  I can’t say that the scene was perfectly written, but the angry, unromantic nature of the moment was very funny.  This was another movie that used an idea that was used previously in “Manhattan.”  This time it was getting caught in the rain and stepping into an observatory.  I wondered if the 1928 car was ruined by the rain.  I liked the way the film looked with its greenery and a move away from the city.  This isn’t one of Woody Allen’s greatest films, but it’s still a good movie to watch on a summer night.  Stanley’s character could have been adjusted a bit.  He could have been less grouchy and more witty.  When directors get older, their movies move slower and feel like they are lacking in ideas.  I watched the Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action.”  I wondered how Captain Kirk picked up so much of the gangster terminology.  The people on the planet were smart, but I couldn’t see how they were able to make cars and guns so skillfully.  I watched a Kung Fu episode with Lynda Day George.  Caine was shot and left in a pit.  He managed to fight, however.  He sure went through a lot of flashbacks.  Some of the people who died on July 31 include Andrew Johnson (1875), Mary See (1939), Bud Powell (1966), Bobby Van (1980), Mitch Miller (2010), and Gore Vidal (2012).  Today is a birthday for Dean Cain (50) and Wesley Snipes (54).

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