Movie Movie

I went out to the office for a couple of hours before heading over to the Grand Lake Theatre.  My original intention was to see “The Secret Life of Pets” again, but I discovered that it had already left the theatre.  Instead, I saw “Star Trek Beyond” again.  I thought that the only members of the crew who proved that they were good at their jobs were Scotty and Sulu.  I hated the use of loud music at the end and how it was somehow called “classical music.”  No crew member should have a hand at writing a Star Trek script.  If Zachary Quinto were to have a hand in writing the next script, I would have to consider not seeing the next movie at all.  The audience was small and rather lifeless for this screening at 1:15 in the afternoon.  They laughed only once.  As I rode the bus back home, I thought about “Finding Dory,” and how the fish could talk underwater and be heard clearly.  Outside my door, I found a UPS package containing A’s promotion items like socks and a Stephen Vogt jersey.  I went over to the record store and bought used Blu-ray copies of “Paris, Texas” and “Blue Jasmine,” and vinyl records of Southwind and Procol Harum.  I looked around for DVD of “The Andersonville Trial,” but could find nothing.  Back at home, I watched the Blu-ray disc of “Movie Movie,” the Stanley Donen film from 1978 that was a double feature of “Dynamite Hands” and “Baxter’s Beauties of 1933.”  In the previous times I’d seen this movie, the first part was in color instead of the intended black and white.  I thought that “Dynamite Hands” had more dialogue that was laugh-out-loud funny.  There was a comment about the sister’s eyes that was particularly funny.  The plot was essentially part of Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights,” with a boxer trying to raise the money to buy for a girl’s eye operation.  Art Carney plays a doctor in both parts, and Ann Reinking was the bad girl in the first part.  She showed her real talent in her later films, “All That Jazz” and “Annie.”  George C. Scott was excellent in both parts.  He was so good in “Patton” that it would have been easy to forget that he was able to do comedy, as in “Dr. Strangelove.”  Trish Van Devere was the good girl in the first part and the bad girl in the second part.  She works for the New York Public Library, although she exits through a small door that looks like it leads to nothing.  Harry Hamlin was the future law student who went into boxing to help his sister.  I guess there is a setting aside of reality when he graduates law school and immediately finds a job as a district attorney.  His character showed the personality of a John Garfield.  I am so glad that I got to see “Dynamite Hands” in black and white before I died.  The only boxing movies in color that were worth noting in my memory were “Fat City,” “Rocky,” and “Million Dollar Baby.”  Eli Wallach was very good.  I would have been really funny if Donen had used exactly the same cast for both movies.  If you’re familiar with the old movies, you can appreciate this one much more.  “Baxter’s Beauties of 1933” was in color, and at times reminded me of “Singin’ in the Rain.”  It had the singing and dancing and colorful production numbers, plus characters coming up with spur of the moment ideas.  It also does make use of the Hollywood device of the ridiculously impossible coincidence.  The plot was of the Show Must Go On variety.  There was the dying character going on nobly.  In the movies, a single cough usually indicates that the character has a terminal illness.  Barry Bostwick is the songwriter who comes up with an entire score overnight.  Red Buttons was in both parts playing virtually the same character.  Barbara Harris was more likable than she was in “Family Plot.”  Looking at the way the stage was photographed, I couldn’t help thinking back to the end of “Charade.”  This movie is still very enjoyable all these years later because it reminds me of my childhood, watching old movies on television.  It also made me think about Quentin Tarantino with “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof,” which was a double feature of a different sort.  The disc of “Movie Movie” had interviews with Harry Hamlin, Barry Bostwick, and Kathleen Beller.  Hamlin would become known for his television work, although he was also in “Clash of the Titans.”  Barry Bostwick was in “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Megaforce.”  Kathleen Beller was in “Promises in the Dark.”  They talk about how great it was to work on “Movie Movie.”  It was the best film that any of them did.  It’s kind of a shame that Audrey Hepburn wasn’t in it, since I associate her with Donen, but she would have been out of place in these low-grade American movies.  Gene Kelly wasn’t in this movie, but he would end up being in “Xanadu.”  I’m glad that this movie was released on Blu-ray because it’s an improvement on the editions I’ve seen in the past.  I thought this was a better movie than Mel Brooks’ “Silent Movie.”  It’s something that I can see again and again over the years without getting tired of it.  The only things missing were a newsreel and a cartoon.  I stayed up to watch The Dick Cavett Show with guests Dick Clark and Walter Matthau.  Clark said that he went through a period of drinking to deal with a failing marriage.  Matthau told a cannibal joke which was quite funny.  This was in 1985.  It’s sad to think how Dick Clark eventually did age and fall into bad health before dying.  I saw that Morgan Freeman was on one of the talk shows, but I was starting to feel very drowsy at this point.  This weekend the Cubs will be playing the A’s at the Coliseum.  The Outside Lands Festival will be in Golden Gate Park, but I won’t be there this year.  I like Radiohead, Kanye West, and Lionel Richie, but not enough to pay the high price for a ticket or wristband.  I have to admit that I have good memories of Paul McCartney and Elton John in previous years.  I wonder if Lionel Richie will have “You Are” on the set list.  I have strong memories of “Sail On” and “Three Times a Lady.”  During the 1980s, I thought he was going to continue churning out the big hits forever.  Some of the people who died on August 5 include Carmen Miranda (1955), Marilyn Monroe (1962), Richard Burton (1984), Alec Guinness (2000), and Chick Hearn (2012).  Today is a birthday for Maureen McCormick (60).

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