Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Here Comes Mr. Beatty

Began the morning with breakfast and writing. Leia is incensed when Vader tells her that they're being held to trap Luke and the Sword of Light. Laurence is even less happy when he's told that Leia, Charel, and Clarence will be taken back to Coruscant. It wasn't a part of the deal they agreed on...and he's starting to realize that the only deal Vader ever makes is the one that benefits him.

Laurence makes his decision even before they get outside. He orders his concierge Maurice (Lobot) to call the local cops, who arrest the goons. Not that anyone but Clarence is grateful. Charel's big hands are around his neck before he can do anything...and the angry Leia isn't about to stop him.

Broke for an early lunch at 11. Did a cute episode of The Backyardigans while I tried that pineapple-ginger smoothie mix Rose gave me on Sunday. Pablo and Uniqua are the manservant of the Czar (Tyrone) and the head conductor on his private train respectively. They find themselves having to "Catch That Train" when it accidentally takes off without them.

(Incidentally, the "mix" is chunks of frozen fruit with herbs and spices. Not bad, but as Rose said, it was very gingery. It didn't really bother me - I love ginger - but it apparently was too much for her kids.)

Work went a lot better than yesterday. It was mostly quiet the entire afternoon. We did get a few small spurts during the rush hours, but they didn't last for long. I did carts during the first hour and the last hour, but I mostly did returns. (A teenager did the carts for most of the second half of the afternoon...but he's new and has no idea where to put anything. I spent 40 minutes getting the carts in the right places.) Also did the inside and outside trash, cleaned the bathrooms, and gathered baskets.

Did a longer Backyardigans episode when I got home and had leftovers and cucumber-tomato salad for dinner. Austin is a robot repairman in futuristic Mega City, where everyone has a robot companion. Trouble is, robots never break...until Tyrone, Uniqua, and Tasha's friends start acting very peculiar. Austin has to stop the evil Professor Bug (Pablo) from controlling the robots and using his screw-like "bugs" to set them on a "Robot Rampage."

Took a bath next. Ahhh. I so badly needed that. Everything has been so crazy lately. My stomach is in a permanent knot. I looked over Peace and Plenty and listened to Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi, by pianist George Winston.

Charlie called while I was in the bath. I called him back before I rinsed off in the shower. His garden is still overflowing. He said I could have a couple of the tomatoes on his front porch railing, and maybe some cucumbers and beans (presumably green beans) too. Good. Not only is it pretty decent of him, but it'll save me a bundle at the farm market.

Finished off the night with Heaven Can Wait. Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty) is a quarterback with the Los Angeles Rams who's mind is mainly on playing in the Super Bowl. He "dies" before he gets the chance. Actually, according to heavenly host Mr. Jordan (James Mason), he wasn't meant to die yet. They return to Earth, only to find that his body's been creamated. He temporarily takes the body of a millionaire whose cheating wife (Dylan Cannon) has been sleeping with his secretary (Charles Grodin). No one knows what to think when the millionaire turns up alive and suddenly wants to buy the Rams and play as their quarterback, least of all Betty Logan (Julie Christie), an environmental activist who had been fighting the millionaire's damaging policies. Joe falls for Betty and does get the Rams to the big game, but he's living on borrowed time. Not only will Jordan have to find him another body soon, but the millionaire's wife and secretary are determined to try again...and make his death stick this time.

As I've mentioned with Star Wars: A New Hope and Annie Hall, the late 70's were a good time for great genre pictures. Where New Hope revived space opera, Heaven Can Wait has fun with screwball comedy, and in fact is a remake of the 1941 comic fantasy Here Comes Mr. Jordan. A nice cast has a lot of fun with the slightly macabre premise. Beatty (who also directed with Buck Henry) did just fine as the poor guy who only wants to play in the big game; also liked Jack Warden as his mentor and trainer (and the only other person who knows is secret). If you're a fan of Beatty, the original film (or it's 2001 Chris Rock remake Down to Earth), or comic fantasy, you'll find this one to be a little bit of heaven, too.

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