The Lion King

I watched CBS This Morning.  They had a report on the death of Marilyn Monroe 55 years ago.  I also watched the chef segment.  Some of Kevin Adey’s signature recipes include Scarpinocc with pork and fennel ragu, Marinated tomatoes with avocado puree, Cauliflower salad, Tuna tartare, Chocolate olive oil cake, and Pepper ice cream.  I looked up the American Top 30 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on August 3, 1974 were “Sideshow,” “Call on Me,” “Please Come to Boston,” “Rock and Roll Heaven,” “The Air That I Breathe,” “The Night Chicago Died,” “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” and “Annie’s Song.”  Out on the street, an A’s fan complained to me that Kendall Graveman was not ready to pitch again.  I took the buses out to Emeryville.  There was an early showing of “The Lion King” at the theatre there.  I bought an Icee and took a seat.  The only other people who showed up were a young couple with their bratty little son.  There is something to be said about digital projection.  This movie from 23 years ago looked clean and immaculate.  The main voices were James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Matthew Broderick as Simba, and Jeremy Irons as Scar.  This does give the movie the feeling that we have Darth Vader, Ferris Bueller, and Claus von Bulow mixed together in the story. I’m not so sure that Broderick’s voice was the greatest choice for Simba because he sounds as out of place as he was in “Ladyhawke.”  I thought this picture had a low budget look to it, although the artists did considerable work on getting the lions to look right.   However, I did think that the fight between Simba and Scar looked terrible.  You can’t have the hero actually kill the villain in a Disney movie.  Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin are hyenas.  I thought their voices fit in very well into this movie.  The later screening of this movie was supposed to be the sing-along screening, but I didn’t see too many kids getting excited about these songs, which weren’t up to the quality of “The Little Mermaid,” even though I love Elton John.  The story was a painful one for the children to sit through.  They had to sit through a traumatic death, and things look bleak when Scar takes over and Simba disappears.  Jeremy Irons is great at doing villainous voices.   The bratty kid was too restless throughout the movie, and the parents took him away before Simba’s return.  I’m amazed that this movie made so much money because there is a lot of talking and not so much action.  There is a serious tone through the whole story, with some Hamlet running through it, and plotting, betrayal, hunger, and desperation.  It looks like Scar has run down the place to the point of no return.  What would Simba do if he gains power, anyway?  Is he going to magically revive this wasteland?  I did like seeing this movie again and thinking back on the 1990s.  I was surprised at how differently I saw this picture today.  I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre and stopped at the farmers’ market, where I bought a jerk chicken sandwich.  I watched “Dunkirk” again.  The movie attracted quite a few people on a Saturday afternoon.  I was glad to see Christopher Nolan doing something very different from the Batman movies, “Inception,” and “Interstellar.”  I could have seen a third movie in “The Little Hours,” but I decided that I had seen enough for one day, even for a summer day.  I browsed through the record stores.  I saw that neither of them had a video of “The Lion King” on their shelves.  I went home and watched some television before falling asleep.  Some of the people who died on August 6 include Preston Sturges (1959), Cedric Hardwicke (1964), Everett Sloane (1965), Harry Reasoner (1991), Jorge Amado (2001), Rick James (2004), John Hughes (2009), and Marvin Hamlisch (2012).  Today is a birthday for Vera Farmiga (44), Michelle Yeoh (54), Catherine Hicks (66), and Peter Bonera (79).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 6, The Beatles released their album “Help!” in the U.K. in 1965.  In 1972, the Woody Allen movie “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” was released.  In 1993, the Harrison Ford movie “The Fugitive” was released.  In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley made their first public appearance after their marriage.

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