I love going to the movies.
It's the way I grew up.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, we'd go to The Fox Theater on Broadway in Redwood City. Pre-drivers license, we'd walk down Woodside Road, through Union Cemetery (it still makes my hair stand on end a bit thinking about it), up El Camino Real, then right on Broadway. Redwood City's changed, but the cemetery and the theater are still there.
I remember seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid, M*A*S*H, and plenty of other movies the Fox. It was a great place to go on "date." Remember those?
Factoid - President Obama gave a fundraising speech at The Fox in 2012. Our pursuits were less high falutin'. We were escaping parental supervision and getting up to no-good. It wasn't criminal no-good. It wasn't bad-guy no-good, it was more or less useless annoying teenage angsty hi-jinx.
Fast forward to the last six years. On St Thomas, you have to have something to do beyond boats, beaches, snorkeling, tiki bars, and rum. Without appropriate diversions, your liver would run screaming for cover at the closest rehab facility.
I'm glad to report I've avoided cirrhosis and rehab. I credit the Caribbean Movie Theater.
Our island movie theater was near the grocery store, Cost-You-Less, which, if you live there, you know, it costs you more. The theater there had first run movies cheap on Tuesday nights, and because I like cheap, it became an entertainment staple. I loved our little Tuesday night at the movies.
Since Irma ripped the guts out of that plaza, I don't think Cost-You-Less or the theater have reopened. They hadn't when we were last there. I need to put my liver on suicide watch when we go back.
Which brings me up to here and now, Monday we went to the movies.
The big screen! The bright lights! That's entertainment!
We saw "A Star Is Born" with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I was impressed with both their performances. I thought it might end up being a cheesy knockoff of the 1976 Barbara Streisand / Chris Kristofferson flick, but it wasn't.
I was surprised in Surprise!
I enjoyed it, though I think Bradley Cooper may have been channeling his inner Kristofferson.
Lady Gaga was unrecognizable. I thought Gaga would be a horrible actress. I was pleasantly surprised that she did an excellent job. I liked the look of this movie Gaga much better than her flashy blonde singer Gaga.
At one point in the film, her manager wants her character to go blonde, and she says no, “I am who I am." Then, a few scenes later her hair is unreal bright orange. Well, I guess, at least it's not blonde.
I'm sure there are plenty of critics who will rip the movie apart. Me, I liked it. I could relate. You know the aging, famous, drunk artist. It so hit home. Sniff sniff.
I didn't realize there were three other versions of A Star Is Born. I only knew the 1976 version, and, of course, the one I just saw. There are also one from 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredrick March, and one with Judy Garland and James Mason from 1954.
I haven't seen the pre '76 versions. I'll have to look them up.
You might want to skip the saccharin love-fest interviews on YouTube. But if, like me, you can't help yourself, put on your cringe vest and click here. Nine out of ten dentists say sweet videos like this can rot your teeth. Make sure you brush your teeth afterward. Just warning.
I still like the big screen. It's a different experience entirely. So, until I can afford a thirty-foot screen in my living room, or afford a house big enough to house said thirty-foot screen, I'll be seein' ya at the movies ... hopefully good ones.
Until next week, I wish you peace.