A Summer Night at the Movies

Alas, the only special effect was the so-called "butter" on the popcorn.

So, it’s next week for the and then the following week for Mt. Diablo School District. Which means, ladies and gentlemen, please use extra caution when driving to work in the morning — we have rookies out there walking to school, and they’re assuming you know what you’re doing. Prove them right, OK?

I took the wife and kid to a movie last night — one of those final summer family nights out on the town, as it were. We saw The Help, after making sure to hurry through the novel so we could watch the movie and compare.

I love , especially for the digital projectors they use in every theater. I love messing with the kid taking my money (“three for The Help, please, and we’d like the DBox seats…” acting all sad and outraged when he told me there were no DBox seats for The Help).

I'm not a fan of the business model of the modern-day movie industry. The studios are less and less inclined to take chances with stories and character-driven films, opting instead for sure-fire winners that cost millions to make. Meanwhile, the theaters have to pay exorbitant rates to rent the films, and the only way to make their rent is to charge thousands of dollars for popcorn and soda.

Since I was taking my (admittedly truncated) family out last night, I also opted to pick up the snacks. We had a medium popcorn and a large diet Pepsi, and it was $10. OMG, indeed. That little snack probably cost the theater less than $1. But this is where they make their money, that’s just how it is now. But it’s why I long ago got out of the habit of snacking in the movies.

Anyway, the movie. I liked the book a lot. I grew up in the deep South during the early 1960s, and the author did a good job of taking me back there. I thought it was a tough, loving look at a difficult subject. And the movie was a fairly decent adaptation of the book, with a couple of glaring exceptions, which I won’t get into so as not to spoil the film for you if you haven’t seen it yet. But I will say this — if racism is a central plot point of your film, try not to gloss it over. Institutionalized racism in the South at that time was a very real and not so distant fact of life. It’s less so now, but it’s not over, by any means. And I thought the movie was far too easy on the subject, especially since my 13-year-old son was viewing this film as an accurate depiction of what happened, as kids tend to do with movies like this.

But with that exception, I recommend this film for its acting, compelling storyline and overall kindness of heart.

But it should so have a DBox option.



The Park, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission meets at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 525 Henrietta St. Among the items they will discuss is the placement and display of the Blue Eagle.


The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. in closed session in the City Hall Council Chambers, 525 Henietta St., to discuss the sale of 630 Court St. to a private investment corporation, which wants to use it for a restaurant.


TODAY IN HISTORY (from Wikipedia):

1841 – U.S. President John Tyler vetoes a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Enraged Whig Party members riot outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in U.S. history.

1906 - An estimated 8.2 MW earthquake hits Valparaíso, Chile, killing 3,886 people.

1942 - World War II: The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears without a trace on a routine anti-submarine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crash-lands in Daly City, CA.

1960 - Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300 m), setting three records that still stand today: high-altitude jump, free-fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft.


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