Boyhood

I didn’t feel like getting out of bed and going to work.  I watched two episodes of Match Game with Loni Anderson and winced at MacLean Stevenson’s attempts at humor.  I watched “Boyhood” again, this time on Blu-ray.  I l really liked the movie up until the camping scene, when Mason was younger.  As he got older, the movie wasn’t as fun, and he had too many uninteresting discussions of things.  He kept saying he didn’t know what he was, and he said “I don’t know” constantly, and he looked downwards a lot, apparently conscious of the camera.  Some of the comments we hear from Ethan Hawke’s Dad are out of date all these years later, like his admiration for Roger Clemens when he was with the Astros, or the continuation of the Star Wars movies.  It was pretty cool, though, that the camera caught a home run at an Astros game.  Two things I thought were very meaningful were the daughter Samantha saying goodbye to their house, and the bad marriage the mother had.  Don’t get involved with your teacher.  Richard Linklater’s daughter Lorelei was Samantha.  She left the movie for a while, as she supposed lost interest in the project, before she returned.  Perhaps her loss of interest came from the way her character seemed self-absorbed without much to say.  One of her big scenes had her mother chided her for not picking up her brother.  She also made a trite comment about what college was like.  Would the father actually have his kids going door to door asking people if they could put Obama-Biden signs in their yards?  He was a Democrat in Texas.  The main female characters don’t make a good showing in this story, as the mother gets into bad relationships, while the daughter should become more important with the passage of time, but she fades away.  Mason’s photography teacher has a talk with him about motivation and talent, which rang true to me, but it seemed like one of your standard scenes that was thrown into the stew.  When Mason was in a sinking situation with his girlfriend, I perked up when a scene had Ethan Hawke or Patricia Arquette in it.  Shy and inarticulate youth does not go over too well on film, as we saw again with “Your Name.”  It seemed that the characters talked a lot about things that they had read, and photographs were prevalent in some scenes.  Something in the movie that I really wanted to talk about was The Black Album, which in real life was a gift from Ethan Hawke to his daughter Maya for her 13th birthday on July 8, 2011, following Hawke divorce from her mother Uma Thurman.  The tracks from Disc One are “Band on the Run,” “My Sweet Lord,” “Jealous Guy,” “Photograph,” “How?,” “Every Night,” “Blow Away,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Woman,” “Jet,” “Stand by Me,” “No No Song,” “Junk,” “Love,” “The Back Seat of My Car,” “Watching the Wheels,” “Mind Games,” “Bluebird,” “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy),” and “What Is Life.”  Disc Two has “God,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” “Crippled Inside,” “You’re Sixteen,” “Let Me Roll It,” “Power to the People,” “Another Day,” “If Not for You,” “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Let ‘Em In,” “Mother,” “Helen Wheels,” “I Found Out,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “Instant Karma!,” “Not Guilty,” “Heart of the Country,” “Oh Yoko!,” “Mull of Kintyre,” and “It Don’t Come Easy.”  Disc Three has “Grow Old with Me,” “Silly Love Songs,” “Real Love,” “My Love,” “Oh My Love,” “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth),” “Pipes of Peace” “Imagine,” “Here Today,” “All Things Must Pass,” and “And I Love Her.”  You can definitely debate the song selections, and the exclusions of songs like “Working Class Hero,” “My Brave Face,” “Awaiting on You All,” and “I’m the Greatest.”  Anyhow, the title “Boyhood” didn’t exactly fit because it looked the story extended beyond boyhood into adulthood.  Mason got too old.  I guess if you’re observant, you can see continuity problems like Mason’s hair shortening when he goes from the house to the car.  I wondered how he felt about getting a Bible and a shotgun for his birthday.  He doesn’t show his feelings too much, except when he got his forced haircut.  When your main character becomes less interesting on the screen, that definitely hinders the pace of the film.  This is a strong movie, but it’s not flawless.  The ending wasn’t exactly compelling, with the mother and father not in the last scene.  If this movie was twelve years in the making, you would expect it to be packed with great footage from start to finish.  I thought it had flaws, but was more inspiring than “Mulholland Drive.”  After I returned home from work, I watched the Avengers episode “Castle De’ath” and the Police Story episode “The Violent Homecoming.”  I stayed up to watch Emmylou Harris on the Stephen Colbert show.  Some of the people who died on July 11 include George Gershwin (1937), Robert Ryan (1973), Ross Macdonald (1983), Laurence Olivier (1989), and Lady Bird Johnson (2007).  Today is a birthday for Mark Lester (59) and Giorgio Armani (83).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 11, “Alley Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles was the Number One single in 1960.  In 1969, the Rolling Stones released their single “Honky Tonk Women” in the United States.  In 1973, the John Wayne movie “Cahill U.S. Marshal” was released.  Today is also a birthday for Tab Hunter, who is 86.

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