Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s midday here in New Hometown, Florida on Thursday, August 19, 2021. It is going to be what they call a “scorcher” today. The temperature outside is 88˚F (31˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 49% and the wind blowing from the southeast at 5 MPH (8 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 98˚F (36˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 94˚F (35˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy, and the low will be 75˚F (24˚C). A heat advisory is in effect for much of our area until 5 PM. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 51, or Moderate.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that director Steven Spielberg is one of my favorite filmmakers. I do have other favorite directors, including Richard Attenborough, George Lucas, Nicholas Meyer, Ron Howard, John Huston, John Sturges, Kathryn Bigelow, and Alfred Hitchcock, just to name a few. But because I was a teenager and young adult in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, Spielberg’s films were an important part of the cultural zeitgeist. I mean, we’re talking about the guy who directed Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in a 12-year period.
It should come as no surprise, then, that if you look at my Blu-ray collection, I have 22 films directed by Steven Spielberg. (If you include films and TV miniseries which Spielberg produced or co-produced, the number of titles is larger still. For the purposes of this blog post, I am only counting films that are tagged A Steven Spielberg Film.)
Today my Spielberg film collection – on Blu-ray, anyway – will expand slightly when my copy of 2005’s Munich arrives. This action-thriller film was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director, and it is a fictionalized, highly speculative account of the Israeli secret service, Mossad, and its lethal response to the Palestinian terror group Black September’s kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany.
Munich – like Spielberg’s Schindler’s List – is not a film that I put on my viewing rotation often. I tend to prefer the director’s lighter, more “popular” movies like Jaws, his four Indiana Jones films, Jurassic Park, E.T., and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to his more serious works. This wasn’t always the case; before my mother’s illness in the early 2010s I used to watch Empire of the Sun, Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan at least once a year. Since I moved here in the spring of 2016 and especially since last year, I tend to seek out Spielberg’s escapist “popcorn” titles more than I do his historical dramas.
So why did I buy Munich on Blu-ray yesterday, you ask?
Well, for one thing, I do like Munich. I was nine years old and living in Miami when the tragedy at the Summer Games occurred, and I remember how shocked and sad most of the world was about the Palestinian terrorist attack at the Olympics that West Germans hoped would prove to the international community that it had put the nation’s dark Nazi era in the past and was worthy of being called a civilized nation. And even though I was too young to fully understand all of the nuances of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the kidnapping/murder of the 11 Israelis and the clumsy, fatally flawed response by the West German government made a deep impression on me that never quite faded.
The other reason is a bit more practical. I have Munich on DVD, but even though the older disc format is playable on my 4K UHD Blu-ray player, I prefer the Blu-ray format. And currently Munich is on sale at Amazon for $9.99, or 33% off its regular price of $14.99.
As I write this, my copy of Munich is marked Out for Delivery and should be here between 3:45 and 6 PM.
Other than that, Dear Reader, life goes on. My routine here rarely deviates, and since I am often left to fend for myself in a house and neighborhood that are not ideal for “self-reliance,” I derive whatever joy I can when I treat myself to a movie, book, computer game, the occasional Star Wars action figure, or music album. That’s not how I envisioned my life would go after my mother died, but that’s what I ended up getting.
Well, that’s it for today. I should go see what I can do about lunch without having to order food from a restaurant that delivers. Then, it’s back to the old desk-a-rino. So, Dear Reader, until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.