March 23, 2020 – Corona Strikes with Vengeance

I am in Corona/COVID-19 based 14-day self quarantine, having visited the US for March Break over the last week.   The world has been turned upside down.  The epicentre of this virus is now in Italy, with Spain quickly following.  France and Germany are next.   The US is only now realizing how ill prepared they were for all of this.  On Netflix, the movie Contagion seems to be the most popular.  Why people choose to want to watch a movie about what they are living in real time surprises me.  This is unprecedented.  On Saturday I flew through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world.   It was a ghost town as I walked from one gate to another.   Like being in one of those zombie movies which I don’t care to watch.

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I have been to O’Hare on a number of occasions, and it has never been like this.

At home, there is plenty of time to watch programs – too much time in fact, and i am limiting the screen time each day.   We are finding other things to do like puzzles and play games etc.   We will read more.   On the screen, we finished watching the new Stephen King series on HBO called The Outsider.   Finally finished I have to admit that I wasn’t as satisfied with the final few episodes.   It became all too much Stephen King-ish to borrow a phrase.   I was a King reader until I read Tommyknockers.   Then that prolonged book which accomplished nothing was a total lunchbag letdown.  Suffice it to say, as soon as aliens showed up, then I was checked out.

For The Outsider, I think that the performances were quite good all around.  The acting, the script etc was good.   It was overly long.  It didn’t need to be 10 hours.   it is more a traditional movie length which would work.   In the end, I wish this was shorter.  I also wish that the resolution wouldn’t be like the alien solution to Tommyknockers.   It seems like a cop out.   There is a moment when various characters go in to disbelief, and would echo much of how the audience is feeling.   I won’t describe it further.   But still, watch at your own risk.  You may love King and Tommyknockers.   You may feel he is at the top of his game, or you could be like me and feel that the aging King is selling out to the formats of overly long stories from streaming services desperate for content.

The other movie we saw this past weekend was the Tom Cruise classic Risky Business with Rebecca DeMornay.   My youngest had never seen this before.   I was about his age when I first saw it in the theatre.   As a high school teen, it had all that I ever wanted (action, swearing, naked girls and a Porsche).   It showed the fantasy of the teenager with parents leaving house (and Porsche) at home while he finishes up high school.   This was the star vehicle for Cruise, where he had begun in supporting roles in Taps with Timothy Hutton and then The Outsiders (ironically) with C Thomas Howell and Patrick Swayze but this was him as the star.   His scene with Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll playing and Cruise dancing in his collared shirt and underwear is famous.   The overall premise is teenage dreams, as outlined, but the acting is good and the ultimate place where it lands is fun and unexpected.   Tom flashes his winning smile and shows the angst of the time about getting into College and trying to make something of your life, as well as the general feeling that the “kids of the day” only cared about making money, and not worried about doing something for their fellow man.   There is the preppy waredrobe from Tom, complete with dock siders and bright coloured sweaters.   The 928 is a cool car.   I took a picture of one from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart back in 2018.   This movie was 1983.   Cruise went on to do All the Right Moves, Legend and then Top Gun in 1986!!!IMG_4105

 

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