Sunday, March 28, 2004

March 28, 2004
The Alamo finally premiered last night in San Antonio. I wonder how that went? On a related note, I finally saw The Missing last night on DVD. Kathy and I made a meandering car trip into Phoenix late yesterday afternoon. Ended up at Taco Villa on West Camelback and had the barbacoa (bar-b-qued goat head, a la Mexico City style) and a margarita ($32 plus $10 tip).

Stopped by Deena’s hotel in Scottsdale and gave her a bean burro enchilada style from Taco Villa, and then stopped at Blockbuster in Carefree and rented The Missing and I picked up Son of the Morning Star to study for the Custer article.

Regarding The Missing, Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blancett were just a joy to watch. Really strong acting. One of the cool things about DVDs is that we got to look at three different proposed endings. The first alternate ending to The Missing was way better than the one they chose to run in theatres. I’m guessing that some test audience swayed them (Ron Howard and Brian Grazer) to the weaker finale. The first alternate ending had closure, more tension and it paid off the whole trip. I can just imagine enough test dummy participants responding, “I didn’t get it,” or “that was stupid that he was still alive,” and so they cut the damn thing to fit the lowest common denominator. Huge mistake. The Missing (even with the weaker ending) is way better than Open Range but only managed some $20 mil at the box office while Range did $60 mil.

Yesterday’s quotes work even better here:

“How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?”
—Harry S. Truman

“Statistics are like bikinis: they show a lot but not everything.”
—Lou Piniella

Got up this morning and made two trips to the creek for rocks. Brought back about 25. Good ones too.

Dave and Doreen Daiss came by on horseback yesterday with another couple. It was great to see Dave in the saddle. He wants to go up and see the Tewskbury Ranch (which is coming up for sale). We may go up next week.

”No one ever found wisdom without also being a fool. Writers, alas, have to be fools in public, while the rest of the human race can cover its tracks.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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