Blinded by the Light (2019 film)

Continuing the string of recent Hollywood films inspired by classical musicians.

I liked it.

Cheesy and lightweight, but still a feel-good film.

Blinded by the Light is a 2019 British comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha, inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen. …

Set in the town of Luton in 1987 Thatcherite Britain, the film tells the coming-of-age story of Javed, a British-Pakistani Muslim teenager whose life is changed after he discovers the music of Springsteen. …

I discovered Springsteen in about 1974. Influential music critic Jon Landau declared him the future of Rock and Roll that year.

This film is set in 1987. The Boss is no longer new and cool.

Nor are his fans.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Born Standing Up – Steve Martin

With friends in Idaho, summer 2019 I saw Martin Short and Steve Martin LIVE in An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.

It was hilarious.

That was Steve’s return to stand-up after decades.

Steve is age-74 now. Everyone of my generation loved his comedy. Indeed, I thought he was an overnight success — like Robin Williams.

Not so as I learned in his 2007 memoir Born Standing Up. Steve Martin paid his dues. He had many, many very hard years breaking into the business.

It chronicles his early life, his days working for Disneyland, working at low tier coffee shops and clubs as a comedy act … and the reason why he quit stand-up comedy altogether at the height of his fame in 1981. …

The audiobook is read by Steve. I recommend it.

Brittany Runs A Marathon

This charming little movie is 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is a 2019 American comedy …

It stars Jillian Bell  and  Utkarsh Ambudkar.

Jillian Bell is FUNNY. A former writer for Saturday Night Live.

Utkarsh is hilarious too.

The film follows an overweight woman in New York City who sets out to lose weight and train for the city’s annual marathon.

The story of Brittany was inspired by a real person – Brittany O’Neill, who appears in photos before the end credits.


The Mule – Clint Eastwood

I can’t recall a Clint Eastwood film I didn’t enjoy. He is a master storyteller.

He’s a curmudgeonly Republican in real life. And is very believable as a politically incorrect old man in his recent films.

It is Eastwood’s first acting project since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve, and his first starring role in a film directed by him since 2008’s Gran Torino. …

He is facing financial ruin and is estranged from his ex-wife Mary and daughter Iris, for always putting work before family. … Desperate for money, he … becomes a “mule” transporting cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Once upon a time in Hollywood

Once upon a time in Hollywood is a fictionalized version of the Manson murders.

I’ve seen all the Tarantino films.

My reaction to this one is similar to the rest. He’s a talented director with important things to say — but each movie would be better if he wasn’t so self-indulgent.

The highlight is his version of Hollywood 1969. It was a weird and special time and place.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I did enjoy the ensemble cast.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% …

The Hollywood Reporter said critics had “an overall positive view”. Some calling it “Tarantino’s love letter to ’60s L.A.'”, praising its cast and setting. Others were “divided on its ending.”

Blood Work by Michael Connelley

Blood Work is a novel written by Michael Connelly which marks the first appearance of Terry McCaleb.

The book was used as the basis for the 2002 movie of the same name, starring Clint Eastwood. …

McCaleb was a top man at the FBI until a heart ailment forced his early retirement.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.