Hidden Figures

The clouds looked threatening, but the rain didn’t come down.  I went over to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “Hidden Figures.”  Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe play the roles of Katherine Goble, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, respectively.  I would say that none of them convinced me that they understood what Gram-Schmidt coordinates were, but then neither did Jim Parsons or Kevin Costner.  What I really noticed was that the cars in the movie looked too shiny and pretty and beautiful to look as though they were being driven every day.  My thought about Kirsten Dunst was that her face has aged since the first Spider-Man movie.  The movie feels like it was a good behind the scenes of “The Right Stuff,” and one key shot seemed to reference that movie.  The real-life Katherine supposed said that she didn’t know why anyone would make a movie about her.  I can see the point, because this story is about supporting players.  I winced at what Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons were asked to do with their characters.  Kevin Costner’s character and John Glenn were portrayed as heroes in the story.  The movie is supposed to be pretty accurate.  It shows segregation within NASA.  I thought it was rather funny that Glenn said that he trusted a person more than a computer.  This movie has a timely quality, coming so soon after John Glenn’s death and at the very end of the Obama presidency.  What I thought was sad as I watched the movie was that at present good college students in math and science are rare.  Hardly anyone want to tackle difficult concepts.  This movie, and no other movie, really conveys what it takes to have a deep understanding of math and science.  Maybe people should watch “The Paper Chase” again.  It would be a good thing if this movie inspires some people to read more about these women’s lives.  I thought about my brother, who did work for NASA.  If these three women were geniuses, then my brother had to be one, too.  The movie got a good response from the audience.  I wouldn’t put it in my Top 10 of the year, but it was better than seeing “Fantastic Beasts” or “Sing.”  The director, Theodore Melfi, is known for “St. Vincent” with Bill Murray.  I saw that one, but I wouldn’t say that it was the most memorable movie.  I took the bus back towards home.  I stopped at the record store and bought used copies of “Children of Paradise” and “Payday.”  One of the channels was showing episodes of “The Lucy Show.”  I was interested in seeing Joan Crawford’s appearance, but I was just too sleepy.  Laugh-In had Davy Jones, and he made a joke about giving his eyes to Richard Burton after his death.  Some of the people who died on January 14 include Lewis Carroll (1898), Humphrey Bogart (1957), Barry Fitzgerald (1961), Peter Finch (1977), Donna Reed (1986), Shelley Winters (2006), Ricardo Montalban (2009), and Conrad Bain (2013).  Today is a birthday for Carl Weathers (1986) and Faye Dunaway (76).

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