WELCOME TO MY WORLD–NOVEMBER 2016   Leave a comment

At the end of every month I look back at what I did and I always come to the conclusion that I am the luckiest, happiest guy around. Sure I don’t have monetary wealth and I can’t afford a car but I have a roof—a very nice roof—over my head, food in my belly and clothes on my back. Oh did I forget to mention friends, people who care for and about me? Everything else is a bonus!!

Just a few comments on the video ahead so enjoy.

  1. Allen got a new car and after the two Caddies this Chevrolet is so much roomier and better. I had the car for the last week of November when he went away and knowing that I made a list of things to do/buy/get (See #5) and did it all before he got back.

2) I am still working my way through the Cabo Blanco’s lunch specials—pictured are the Fried rice lunch specials with one having chicken and the other steak. Also went to Arby’s and tried their new ‘fajitas’ plus Boston Market and a new ice cream place called Chillin Nitrogen which I’ll post a review about.

3) I saw 9 movies and absolutely loved “Moana” followed by “Loving” and “Moonlight”.

4)  Had 3 attacks of gout—OUCH!—and having the car I was able to run out and get concentrate tart cherry juice which definitely helps.

5) Got new pillows which are another subject I’ll be posting about.

6) Treated myself and had David from Red Star cleaning come over and do my place.

7) And, of course, there is always Mother Nature! Can you spot the bluejay in the center of the tree in the first shot? Horses in the park, egrets on the lawns are just of the few delights she brings us all the time.

8) The past popped up in a few web pages from Piccolo’s where I worked on Miami Beach in 1956 and a few years before that my graduation picture.

9) Sadly once again I lost someone. Charlie Cinnamon , a very much admired press agent but also a first class act!

10) Ended the month with a visit to my new primary and the new medical center I am dealing with. Not quite comfortable with either yet.

11) Last, but certainly not least, part of my November ritual—the semi-annual crewcut!

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lKzjprqUds

Posted December 5, 2016 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“MANCHESTER BY THE SEA”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


“Manchester by the Sea” asks how do you survive an unimaginable tragedy?? People handle it in different ways and Lee (Casey Affleck) becomes a totally cold, uncaring person who cuts himself off from all those he loves, leaves his hometown, gets a job as a janitor in Boston, drinks a lot of beer and has fights in bars.

The first hour of the film deals with Lee before and after the tragedy, how he was a happy man, father, husband, brother and friend before he became the loner he is now. After his brother, Joe, (Kyle Chandler) dies, he comes home to find out that Joe has appointed Lee the guardian of his 16 year old nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) who in many ways is a typical teenager but is acting out upon the death of his father. At this point the director/screenwriter, Kenneth Lonergan, tells us what the tragedy was and it is almost to painful for the audience to hear and watch. 

For the next hour and 17 minutes we see how uncle and nephew interact and deal with life, Patrick with humor and sarcasm, Lee without emotions and staying as uninvolved as he can stay. We meet Patrick’s mother Elise (Gretchen Mol) who has been out of his life for years, her new husband Jefferey (Matthew Broderick) Lee’s ex-business partner and friend George (C. J. Wilson) but most important of all Lee’s ex-wife, Randi (Michelle Williams).

While Affleck is getting all the attention in the reviews I was more impressed with 20 year old Lucas Hedges as the 16 year old who can break your heart and a second later having you laugh. Affleck does a strong job especially since most of his scenes have to be done in a monotone, showing no emotion and fighting the pull his nephew on has him as a human being.

Michelle Williams has a very emotional scene, lasting about 5 minutes, with Casey Affleck but as easily as I am moved in a movie’s emotionally scenes, this didn’t move me.

Gretchen Mol is wasted and Matthew Broderick has a very thankless part. The rest of the supporting players including  Patrick’s main girlfriend played by Anna Baryshnikov are all above par.

I love heavy, family, movie dramas but the bottom line is that “Manchester by the Sea” is way too long by 15-20 minutes which doesn’t make for very much tension and though the scenery of Manchester by the Sea is excellent in all the seasons and there is no fault with the acting I don’t recommend it.

After writing this review and before posting it I read some reviews on metacritic.com and rottentomatoes.com which says I am definitely in the minority regarding the film.

MOVIE TRAILER

Posted December 2, 2016 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, Uncategorized

“ARRIVAL”–A MOVIE REVIEW–MAJOR SPOILER VIDEO AT END   Leave a comment

I went to see “Arrival” sort of reluctantly because I am not into sci-fi movies with aliens coming to take the world over and a war ensues between the good guys (us) and the Bad (the aliens) and we always win. It was a choice of seeing this movie or “Rules Don’t Apply” and I am not a fan of Warren Beatty’s and I understand it is really a flop so I decided on “Arrival”.

The main reasons I was interested in seeing “Arrival” was because I am becoming a big fan of Amy Adams and on YouTubeI saw a video titled “Arrival Ending Explained” which intrigued me though I didn’t watch it until after I saw the movie.

The first hour of the movie was like watching a foreign language film without subtitles and didn’t hold me interest at all. The second hour with the 12 egg-shaped UFOs all over the world set up the standard them versus us but that isn’t where it goes.

Amy Adams is Dr. Louise Banks, is a language expert, who had a daughter who died at the age of 12, and is called on to help make contact with the aliens who are named Abbot & Costello by the theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly, played by Jeremy Renner, who brings the  very rare humor in the movie. They work together in ways not exactly up to what Colonel Weber, (Forest Whitaker) and a CIA agent played by Michael Stuhlbarg want from them.

The film revolves around Adams and Renner with little time for the other actors except for an important cameo by Tzi Ma who plays the Chinese leader though it is Adams who holds your attention every time she is on screen which is through the whole film.

The film is not about them versus us but about time and how it can be looked at in different ways. We see many scenes with the mother and daughter from birth until her death 12 years later and by the ending these scenes all are looked at in a way that we weren’t aware while watching them.

The ending is done subtly by the director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Heisserer instead of hammering the audience over the head but I really wished I had watched that YouTubevideo before I saw the film.

Adams performance is constrained, as it should be, where it could have been melodramatic. When it comes to her what it all is about she calmly accepts and understands what is happening and what happened. Renner is very strong support for her performance.

This is not an ‘entertaining’ film in the sense you can sit back, munch on your popcorn and enjoy aliens invading earth but to which you have to think.

“Arrival” for the most part is a boring film except for the last 15 minutes and I didn’t think the time invested was really worth the first 101 minutes and time is what the film is all about.

 

 MOVIE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLO4X6UI8OY

 

MAJOR SPOILERS

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIFm4O2YvU

Posted November 30, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

CROCKPOT TURKEY   Leave a comment

thanksgiving-nov-24-2016-collage

After last year making my turkey in a crockpot I decided to do it again this year as it had turned out so tender. This one was just a bit too big but using a crockpot liner to cover the turkey worked.

First picture) Along with the turkey there was pumpkin pie, yams with marshmallows, mushroom soup (to use with stuffing), string beans, corn, mac ‘n cheese (which I use as stuffing and mixing in the string beans and corn, mashed potatoes and an onion.

2-4 pictures) is cooking the turkey in the crockpot, then when it was finished and finally on the platter

5) I always use hibiscus to ‘decorate’ the plates

6) Served at Sunset!

That’s enough cooking for awhile!

Posted November 28, 2016 by greatmartin in FOOD, Uncategorized

“MOANA”—MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed one hour and forty-three minutes, including opening and closing credits, as I did this afternoon watching “Moana” (pronounced Mo-anha). I laughed out loud 2-3 times, which is pretty rare for me seeing a movie, and had a big smile on my face for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes while in the remaining time tears!

There is so much to talk about while reviewing this film not least of all is the imaginative animation from the colors used, the many different characters, the variations of the sea btu most of all the expressions of each of the characters whether talking or not.

Dwayne Johnson, just voted the sexiest man alive, the highest paid actor in the movies and the star of the successful HBO series “Ballers” plays Maui and the drawing of his character, with animated tattoos all over his body, is fun in itself. Auli’i Cravalho debuts as Moana has a beautiful voice and plays the princess, though she insists she is not a princess as if that is a wrong thing to be. The banter, written by the screenwriter, Jared Bush, is not only fun but smart. Along with the two co-stars there is grandmother everyone would love to have voiced by Rachel House, the dumbest rooster you will ever see on the screen voiced by Alan Tudyk, Temuera Morrison as Moana’s father, JemaineClement as a crab that has one of the many excellent songs, Nicole Scherzingeras Moana’s mother, who is drawn too young looking more like her sister and my favorite, lovable creature, Puanani Cravalho as the pig!

The songs are infectious, strong and one or two might show up as an Oscar nomination. They were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, of “Hamilton” fame, Mark Mancina and Samoan Opetaia Tavita Foa’i.

The drawings and the animation of the characters are mind boggling as are the scenes on the ocean and islands.

Treat yourself, and take a kid along if you would be too embarrassed going into seeing a ‘cartoon’ . Animated films of today are not like your parents or even you knew and these are also by Disney with a little/lot of help from Pixar!

“Moana” is a delightful film that should seen by adults and kids of all ages!

MOVIE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKFuXETZUsI

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“ALLIED”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

“They don’t make movies like they use to,” is a cry you hear from older/old folks and “Allied” shows them to be right. Director Robert Zemeckis and writer Steven Knight seem to be doing homage to a certain spy thriller genre that was standard in Hollywood during the 1940s and production values from clothes, cars, sets, etc., are there but it is excruciating slow paced not having the speed, editing, that this type of movie should have.

There is Casablanca, a much more glamorous Rick’s Bar, a prettier Rick here called Max while IIsa is now a French spy but no one even close to Renault/Claude Raines, Ferrari/Sidney Greenstreet, a Nazi Major Strassi/Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre/Ugarte nor a Sam/Dooley Wilson to play an equivalent to “As Time Goes By”.

If you have seen the trailer you know that the movie is about two spies who fall in love when they meet for an assignment in Casablanca, marry, have a child, live in London and one has to prove the other isn’t a counter-spy. Finding out the truth takes about an hour and gives, maybe, 5 minutes of suspense and you won’t find/hear “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.

The film revolves around Max (Brad Pitt) and Marianne (Marion Cotillard) but, sadly, there is no chemistry between them and other characters, including Lizzy Caplan (from “The Masters of Sex” HBO series), who plays Max’s Lesbian sister, don’t add anything to the movie. Okay Knight wanted to make the movie more 2016 friendly but adding a Lesbian and a lot of the “F” word doesn’t help and neither does the very phony London blitz that looks like a fireworks show.

The only emotionally moving scene is a brief one between Max and a pilot going on his first mission behind enemy lines. The ending not only has a Hollywood ending but, is way too long and softens the impact of what takes place just before.

“Allied” runs 124 minutes, about 20 minutes too long, and seems to have its heart in the right place but shows they “don’t make them like they use to” though the director and writer tried with the production aspects achieving the goal.

 Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jlp94-C31cY

BEING THANKFUL   Leave a comment

We all have many things to be thankful for but every Thanksgiving (and many times over the year) I am most grateful for people who have added to my life and are no more with me physically–I know they are my Guardian Angels looking over my shoulder every day of the year–though YOU may not know them they are a part of my family.

In the 1980s I lost 76 friends to AIDS and as I get older I lose more and more. Living at Gateway, a senior citizen community where the average age is in the 70s, I lose friends every year.

The one lady I miss the most of all every day, is the lady who taught me how to give and how to receive unconditional love, is Flo who always there to defend me, slap me on the head or butt when I needed it, told everyone how great I was, who could curse like a sailor and get away with it and yet couldn’t hear a sob story without doing something for that person or persons. It has been 35 years since she died but I still hear her voice.

And the latest, and I hope the last this year, was Charlie Cinnamon, who with Charlotte, made it possible for me to go to the theatre the past 5 years. I miss you friend. 

Posted November 23, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

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