Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday, Monday


I guess I always forget how good THE THIRD MAN is until Harry Lime shows up. Boy, you can't overestimate the power a good villain brings to a story. And Welles was terrific in this one. And it is shot so beautifully and has so many good touches, like the woman who is speaking in German off and on the entire film and we can only guess at what she is saying. Or that small boy who chases after Lime.

 I also watched MOONSTRUCK but was not knocked out by it. The best thing in it was Olympia Dukakis who underplayed her part amongst all the other actors who were playing to the balcony. I guess that is what they were going for so it was a directorial decision. Or maybe it's my preference for quiet acting. 

Not sure about THE DEFEATED yet. Too many scenes about torture for me. And Taylor Kitsch's Brooklyn accent seems off. What about it, Jeff?  Also watched an episode of THE CHAIR with Sandra Oh but too soon to tell. NINE PERFECT STRANGERS didn't cut it either. Pretty soon I am going to be watching Me TV and reliving my past. I did like the first two episodes of MODERN LOVE.

Rereading THE FRIEND for my book group. Have hardly been out of my house between my late summer allergies, the heat, and Delta. I am pretty sure my vaccine is no longer any good so back to my life of a year ago, I guess. I am better at being alone after two years of this but it does get darn lonely. Be glad for your spouses. 

What about you?


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Haven't been watching much tv except for the Tiger games. Cabrera finally hit his 500th home run. Too bad it was at an away game. Rewatched a few favorite films- The Emperor of the North and Point Blank. Both with Lee Marvin.
I love The Third Man. Great movie. Never been a fan of Moonstruck or Cher.
Finished Billy Summers by Stephen King. May have been a decent thriller at 300 pages but at 500 it feels too padded out. I rank mit one of his worst, alongside Cell and The Tommyknockers. Am now reading some short fiction and Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. After this I will have read all of Swanson's novels. One of my new favorite writers.
Hot last week and hot is predicted for this next week. Fine by me. I like it hot.
My oldest daughter has Covid. Luckily she has had the vaccine and it is a mild case. I haven't been around her for a month so I'm safe. Getting tested Tuesday. They regularly do my apartment building. I do live in a county with a high level of vaccinated people. Around 75%.

Margot Kinberg said...

I'd forgotten about The Third Man, Patti. You've made me remember that I've always wanted to watch it, but haven't. I need to do that.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is pretty close to perfect for me. Harry Lime doesn't turn up until the last third and manages to dominate the movie after that. Was surprised to see how many films the female star Alida Vali had made.
I think I read one Swanson. Will have to check.

Jeff Meyerson said...

The Third Man has always been a favorite of mine too. When we went to Vienna in the mid-70s I was constantly looking around for places from the film, hearing the music in my head. The closest we came was going to the Prater and riding the giant Ferris wheel. No Harry Lime, though.

Haven't started THE DEFEATED yet, so will have to check out Kitsch's Brooklyn accent. He's from British Columbia and I don't remember him trying to do Texas in FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

No one could ever say Nicolas Cage or Cher were subtle in MOONSTRUCK, that's for sure. Of course, we knew that neighborhood well so liked it for that. I remember driving Bill Crider from Bay Ridge to Brooklyn Heights to show him the MOONSTRUCK house, not to mention the bakery where his favorite, Cage, supposedly worked.

Will start THE CHAIR tonight. We finished KATLA. No cliffhangar, but they clearly left it open for a second season. Interesting (to me, anyway): Vik, where this is set, is the southernmost town in Iceland (according to Wikipedia) and the warmest place in the country. Yet, as always in these Icelandic series, there is snow everywhere. (TRAPPED, by contrast, was set in the northernmost town in the country.) We finished the sixth series of SEASIDE HOTEL (WWII is about to start). Also started the second series of HANNA and THE BREAK (Belgian; the cop from the first series has retired and his former shrink wants his help to investigate another patient of hers that she believes was wrongly convicted of murder). Also watching HIT & RUN (Israeli-US), THE SINNER (season three; Matt Bowmer is seriously creepy), series three (the second heist) of MONEY HEIST (Spain).

December 17, 2019 was the last time we were in Manhattan, for a Steve Earle benefit concert at Town Hall. Tomorrow we'll be taking the express bus to the city (and staying at a Marriott on W. 25th Street) for The Eagles concert at Madison Square Garden. Everyone has to be vaccinated and masked, but I am still not thrilled at the whole idea.

Weather sucks. Torrential, almost Biblical rainfall over the weekend, and we are back to near 90 degree heat the next few days, with high humidity. This has been an extremely rainy summer here.

A couple of books to recommend: RAZORBLADE TEARS by S> A. Cosby, who is just a terrific writer. Also STEEL FEAR, a Jack Reacher-like thriller set on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf (and on the voayage home), bu Brandon Webb and John David Mann. I raced through both. The new Sharon McCone by Marcia Muller was a disappointment.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Matt Bomer

George said...

Patrick and Katie survived the first brush with Henri in Boston, but they may have more rain and wind to contend with today when Henri heads their way again.

Meanwhile, Western NY faces another hellish week of high temps and humidity. Fall can't arrive soon enough!

I'm slowly catching up on Library books. It didn't help that most of them are Big Fat Books (500+ pages).

Diane and I enjoyed SHIMIGADOON on Apple TV. We're still entertained by TED LASSO. But, you're right, there's a lot of visual junk on the streaming services. Stay safe!

Todd Mason said...

No, MOONSTRUCK bites, and has always bit. Because who knows more about Italian-Americans than a scriptwriter named Shanley, writes the quarter-Italian Mason. But I, perhaps unlike Shanley, have known actual Italian-Americans as opposed to watching sitcoms and other films about them.

Too many crises and smaller problems around here I can't get a handle on. Or help others get a handle on.

Stephen King prolix? Most of the time. His fans love him for it.

The first season of THE THIRD MAN television series, starring Michael Rennie as a rather different sort of Lime, is rather good...till Jonathan Harris shows up, playing Jonathan Harris as Lime's assistant. His fans love him for it. The Suzanne Pleshette episode "Listen for the Sound of a Witch" was particularly amusing (and Harris-free). The film is one of Welles's best performances, certainly among those where he's working for someone else (see also, THREE CASES OF MURDER, the third short film within the anthology).

ANIMAL KINGDOM remains a fine series. Which helps, since all the premium cables are currently giving up on Sunday nights.

Rick Robinson said...

Why would your vaccine be no good? Seems to be working for the rest of us who got vaccinated. Haven't watched anything, and haven't read much either, except a few short stories. Waiting for the new Kent Krueger novel coming tomorrow.

pattinase (abbott) said...

By the time your vaccination is six months old, the efficacy is estimated to be at 40% for Pfizer. I know a half a dozen people with break-through Covid infections vaccinated in February. Most of the cases were mild but not two of them. If not for the antibody therapy, they would have been hospitalized.

Todd Mason said...

Alida Valli, of course, had a career in Italy...had even been in an Ayn Rand adaptation produced during the Fascist dictatorship, of WE THE LIVING (easy joke alert). I think I first saw her in EYES WITHOUT A FACE, but in THE THIRD MAN not long after.

The Jannsen vaccine, fwiw, seems to be holding up better (in the few current studies) against the Delta variant than it did against the initial C19 viruses. Small favors.

Jerry House said...

We will be getting the third vaccine shot as soon as it becomes availble. The vaccines do not prevent one from getting Covid but significantly reduces the effect. The Delta variant is a sneaky one and is responsible for most vaccinated people developing new cases.

The time has come for me to finally have my teeth removed, which I wil doing tomorrow morning. Kitty figures that I will be laid up for months with pain because I am a wimp. I figure I'll be all right in a couple of days. We may have to settle on a happy medium.

A plethora of dolphins at the beach on Saturday. It was Erin's last beach day before heading off to school, so I guess the dolphins were saying goodbye and wishing her well. The weather has been great and the storms, hurricanes, and downpours of frogs have all passed us by. So far.

Erin settled into her dorm room yesterday. Although she's a junior, this will be her first time on campus. She completed her first year of college while in high school, and the pandemic had her learning online from her bedroom last year. Happy she is finally getting a true college experience and that FSU Tallahasse is only three hours away.

The most enjoyable film we watched on television last week ws KILL BEN LYK, a 2018 British comedy about a slacker podcaster named Ben Lyk, who finds that all the Ben Lyks in London are being murdered. The bodies pile up, both intentionally and unintentially, as our Ben Lyk tries to avoid being murdered. I could have done without the opening scene, though. The flick was a welcome break from Afghanistan, Covid, DeSantis, Cuomo, and the threatening weather across the US.

Still reading from my pile of John Creasey mysteries. The d***ed things are addictive. Hoping to finish a few more as I eat soft food for the next few days.

Have a safe week, Patti!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I truly wish I had done that, Jerry, before sinking about $30,000 into implants with more to come. I hope she enjoys campus life after waiting so long for it.
Valli was kind of like the B version of Ingrid Bergman for me. Not quite as memorable but certainly adequate.

TracyK said...

I get confused watching THE THIRD MAN but enjoy it anyway. Glen likes it especially for the cinematography, of course. I never have seen MOONSTRUCK, and the comments here don't encourage me to see it.

This weekend we watched STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT. I like a lot of The Next Generation cast, but Alfre Woodard is very good, and James Cromwell too. Also the version of DEATH ON THE NILE with Peter Ustinov, which also features Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, David Niven.

Currently reading: THE MOUSE IN THE MOUNTAIN by Norbert Davis, a book I have been meaning to read for nearly 10 years. It is humorous and in the past I avoided humor in mysteries, but now am OK with it.

Just finished reading: THE WOMEN IN BLACK by Madeleine St John, set in Australia in the late 1950s, in a department store. It was adapted to film fairly recently, titled LADIES IN BLACK; director was Bruce Beresford. In a review of a new edition, the New York Times called it "A Love Letter to Old-Fashioned Department Stores."

The more people here talk about John Creasey's books, the more I think I need to find some to read. They are not new to me, but it has been a while.

YA Sleuth said...

Also staying home more, and thinking of the booster shot... I'm high risk. Not much exciting stuff on TV lately either.

Gerard Saylor said...

I saw a couple John Creasey novels in a used bookstore a few weeks ago but I did not bite.
Boy #1 and I went backpacking in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park last week. 3 nights and four days. Not a lot of hiking because I was limited to booking the available campsites. That meant we had some short days of only 2 to 3.5 miles and one long day of 11 miles. Hot weather in the 80s but the low-ish humidity helped. I got to hang out by Lake Superior for a time and my son got to try out a new tent.

School starts next week for both children. My wife and I take Boy #1 to U of MN and Boy #2 restarts high school a day after. The local school district is not requiring masks and my wife is extra ticked off about that.

I continue to do more audiobooks than print. Blake Crouch's RECURSION was a pretty decent time travel thriller. His WAYWARD PINES novels were fun and I quite enjoyed the two seasons of the television adaptation starring Matt Dillon and others.

I read a Mack Bolan ebook while in the woods - I intended to bring a paperback but forgot it. The Bolan books have an absurd amount of violence and a hero who bests everyone. Not a lot of character development, not a lot of setting, but not too much different from big name geopolitic thriller authors I've read.

Todd Mason said...

We didn't have quite the option of college in high school in 1978-82 in New Hampshire or Hawaii, but taking four AP exams in junior and senior years did get me 28 core credits at George Mason University, where I eventually took a BA...after the AP Exam results sat in one administration office rather than the other for more than a year, delaying my official graduation by a year. My friend Laura was one of the students in my Honolulu HS class who dropped out to attend college early, in her case to go to the Annapolis campus of St. John's College halfway through junior year. (Another finished junior year and headed off to the University of Chicago, iirc.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Department stores interest me, will look for it. My grandson started school last week. His school starts two weeks earlier than the rest of the state. He won his first JV tennis match, which he goes back to his neighborhood school for. His poor Mom will be do a lot of driving for the next six weeks.
I wonder when that AP stuff began. My kids took 3-4 of them too.
I must have read Creasey but have little memory of it.

Gerard Saylor said...

I finished HS in '89 and there were a handful of AP classes available. My wife's rural HS offered none.
Boy #1 took a few AP classes over his junior and senior years. Whether a university accepts the AP scores for credit is an issue. He likely has enough credits - and scores of "5" - to get almost a year of credit.
Boy #2 will be a HS sophomore and is taking one AP class.

Gerard Saylor said...

A COVID related comment.
I had no allergy problems in the northwoods. I came home and they allergies returned. I don't know what sets off my reaction but it was nice to not have the random thoughts of, "I sure hope that is my allergies and not COVID."

Jeff Meyerson said...

Jerry would have gone nuts at this warehouse place a friend took us to in Southampton (England)some time in the '80s or '90s. (If it mattered I could look the date up.) They had HUNDREDS of books from Creasey's personal collection of his own publications, including at least one of his elusive westerns, though I can't swear it was the one where the hero looks up and sees a flock of coyotes go by. I remember all kinds of things under many of his pseudonyms. Creasey co-published a series of small paperbacks - similar to the old Pocket Books and other early American paperbacks - called Jay Books. Some were white but most were yellow-covered and they published books by Michael Halliday, Anthony Morton, Norman Deane, Gordon Ashe, Jeremy York, all of which were pseudonyms of Creasey.

Jerry House said...

Jeff, the bit about coyotes flying overhead in a Creasey western appears to be a myth, perhaps perpetuated by Creasey himself. Those who have read all of Creasey's westerns (29 of them, by my count) have claimed there was no such description. Of course, it is entirely possible that Creasey did include it in a first darft and an editor caught the mistake.

Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Creasey's best books under a pseudonym were probably the J. J. Marric ones.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Gerard-that has occurred to me nearly every day since April.

Todd Mason said...

'The AP exams grew out of programs initiated in 1951. Part of the rationale for advanced placement given in 1952 was that "advanced standing at the normal college-entering age after high school graduation is more desirable, for many reasons, than acceleration of able students out of high school at age 15½ or 16..." The first Advanced Placement exams were administered in 1954 by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to students limited to 27 schools participating at that time. In 1955, the College Board assumed leadership of the program and testing, deciding on curricula and pedagogical approaches, while retaining ETS to design and score the tests. The exams were given nationally for the first time in May 1956, and students could take whichever tests they wanted for a single $10 fee. The 2020 exams were taken as 45-minute online at-home exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.'

Gerard Saylor said...

AP exams as an alternative to sending a 16-year-old away to college makes perfect sense to me.