Do You Feel Lucky?

Bill and I have seen more movies at the theater than we ever saw in a short period of time, even before COVID. We’ve gone almost every week for the past month or so. I am reminded of when I was a child growing up in Columbus with its one-screen theater. At that point, the movie would change every week. The current system of rating movies didn’t go into effect until 1968, so we kind of had free range. The Catholic Legion of Mary had its own rating system, but fortunately for me, Mom wasn’t a member and paid little attention to their recommendations. As a result, I was frequently there in the middle of the theater, munching on popcorn, and watching Jerry Lewis or Doris Day overact and/or sing and dance. My brother Dave recently reminded me that I volunteered to take him to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, though I have no recollection of that act of kindness on my part. He added that he was so excited that his big sister was taking him to the movies that he was careful not to mention that his 9-year-old self didn’t understand a thing that was going on in the movie.

The movie theater was across the street from the bakery, so we had easy access. Sometimes Grammie would give us some money to go buy candy at the concession stand, without seeing a movie. Milk Duds was my favorite choice. Suck the chocolate off, then keep the candy in your mouth until the caramel got soft, a concept that Bill still can’t understand.

Our most recent movie adventure was seeing Cry Macho, the latest (and likely, last) movie featuring Clint Eastwood, who also produced and directed it. The movie has gotten mixed reviews, and I would lean towards the less positive reviews. Lean, not fall into. Because it’s Clint Eastwood playing the guy that Clint Eastwood plays. But older. But even old, he’s fun to watch.

Going in, I knew that the actor was 91 years old. No matter, because I expected him to ride up on a horse with a cheroot clamped between his snarling lips. To my surprise, it was an old man who shuffled up to the horse, and stunt doubles who did most of the riding.

It was a charming — if not terribly realistic or well-acted — story in which Eastwood plays a former rodeo star who is asked by a friend to drive to Mexico City and pick up his illegitimate son. The boy has been neglected by his mother and is running wild on the streets of Mexico City, spending most of his time entering his rooster — whose name is Macho — in illegal cockfights. As the story progresses, the predictably grouchy Eastwood’s heart softens towards the boy, who has a change of heart as well. There is even a love interest for Eastwood, though we are thankfully not provided a love scene.

It is a quiet and slow-moving movie, and I recommend it if you like Eastwood. I love the man. I was reminded that he once served as mayor of the town of Carmel, California, where his biggest accomplishment was changing the law that prohibited the consumption of ice cream cones on Carmel’s streets. He didn’t run for reelection, because how could he ever beat that accomplishment?

Do you feel lucky Punk? Well, do you? Shut up and eat your chocolate dip cone.

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