The Dark Tower

I awoke and watched CBS Sunday Morning.  I liked the segment on Kit Kat bars with Mo Rocca.  I went out to shop at Trader Joe’s before taking the buses over to Jack London Square to see “The Dark Tower.”  Some people did show up for the early screening of this movie, but they were attracted by the $5.45 ticket price.  I don’t know how many people knew about the Stephen King connection to the movie, but the group next to me to my right talked about it a lot.  The story had a familiar King element, a young person with special abilities, as we saw in “Carrie,” “The Shining,” and “Firestarter.”  This kid is named Jake Chambers.  He had disturbing dreams and draws characters and the tower that we’re going to see.  He teams up with the Gunslinger, who has skills that seem to come out of “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Matrix.”  Matthew McConaughey is the Man in Black, who is not Johnny Cash, but someone who leaves a trail of death in tracking down Jake.  He waves his hands and is pretty ridiculous.  There are portals, reminding us of “Time Bandits.”  Test screenings of this movie reportedly were very negative, and so scenes were reshot.  Whatever the details are, the film is messy and uninspiring.  The confrontation between the Gunslinger and the Man in Black at the end is forgettable because it’s almost bullets flying around in slow motion.  The ending has the bizarre feeling of “Back to the Future.”  It’s setting up sequels that I don’t think anyone wants to see.  The next adventure seems like it’s going to be more like torture for us than something we’d actually be willing to pay money to see.  I’ve seen worse movies based on Stephen King books, but this one seems disappointing for some of his fans who had high expectations for this movie.  One of them was the reviewer for RogerEbert.com.  The people next to me complained that it was a bad movie.  It certainly wasn’t worth paying full price to see it.  Most people would feel better about seeing “Dunkirk,” I would say.  I listened to the A’s game on the radio as I took the bus out to Best Buy in Emeryville.  I was there to buy The Twilight Zone on Blu-ray.  They gave me a $10 gift card.  The A’s fell behind by a score of 10-5, but Pinder and Khris Davis hit home runs on the way to a lead of 11-10.  Santiago Casilla seemed insistent on blowing the game, but he somehow got out of the jam with a strikeout with the bases loaded.  Blake Treinen got the last three outs for the win.  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN.  He played songs by people who lived in the San Fernando Valley, like Ritchie Valens, Johnny Cash, and Michael Jackson.  I watched the end of a Columbo episode where a suspect plots to poison Mrs. Columbo, and an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker with Phil Silvers.  Some of the people who died on August 7 include Oliver Hardy (1957), Peter Jennings (2005), Hal Fishman (2007), and Judith Crist (2012).  Today is a birthday for Charlize Theron (42), David Duchovny (57), Wayne Knight (62), and Garrison Keillor (75).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 7, the first movie with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, “Beach Party,” was released in 1963.  In 1965, Herman’s Hermits had the Number One single, “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.”  In 1970, “Soul Train” made its debut.  In 1974, Faye Dunaway married Peter Wolf.  In 1976, Elton John and Kiki Dee had the Number One single, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

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