Atomic Blonde

I sat down and used the Internet to order Criterion Collection Blu-ray discs from Barnes and Noble while they were still on sale.  I took the buses out to Emeryville so that I could catch the early showing of “Atomic Blonde.”  The ticket price was $7.09, and I used my pennies.  The ticket taker said that “Atomic Blonde” was a lot of movie to be seeing at 11:00 in the morning.  There were twenty minutes of advertisements before the movie began.  One of them made me want to buy an Icee.  The star of the show was Charlize Theron, and she showed a commitment to her role, which included some very rough fighting scenes.  Reportedly, she suffered injuries like cracked teeth during filming.  What was very distracting was her fake accent.  It destroyed the illusion.  This is all taking place in 1989, as the Berlin Wall is about to come down.  Thankfully, it is before cell phones and social media.  It also allows for the use of songs from the 1980s, like “Cat People,” “Der Komissar,” “London Calling,” and “Under Pressure,” which all brought back memories, like the Paul Schrader movie.  The flashback structure had the great drawback of telling us some of what was going to happen.  The plot revolves around a precious list of names and a wristwatch.  We barely care about who gets this list.  Charlize takes and gives a lot of punches, more than Rocky Balboa, I would say.  The violence is overwhelming, reminding me of “Sin City.”  When the main character intentionally flips over a car and uses a corkscrew as a weapon, you know you’re going to see some unpleasant sights.  There is a plot twist at the end, or the lack of a twist at the end, that made me think of Kevin Costner in “No Way Out.”  John Goodman is one of Charlize’s superiors, but I couldn’t take him seriously in drama.  I couldn’t take him seriously in “Sea of Love.”  One unusual thing we see is a crowd of people carrying umbrellas.  I could imagine seeing this in a graphic novel.  I find it hard to believe that audiences will respond favorably to this action character so that they would want a sequel.  Fans of Charlize Theron want to see someone warmer and more like an actual human being.  Some of the people who died on July 29 include Vincent Van Gogh (1890), Mama Cass (1974), Harold Sakata (1982), Luis Buñuel (1983), Jerome Robbins (1998), Pat McCormick (2005), and Tom Snyder (2007).  Today is a birthday for Wil Wheaton (45) and Sharon Creech (72).

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