Archive for December 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL WHO ENRICHED MY LIFE IN 2012!   Leave a comment


My life is better because of your calls, your e-mails, your snail mails, your comments, your posts, your presents, your presence , your thoughts, sharing your life, your information, your knowledge, your kind and positive remarks.

I am lucky that I have EVERYTHING I need: a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back, friends, people I love and who love me–nothing else is important to me. Yes there are things I want but I don’t need them.

I will not make any resolutions except to remain as happy, positive, smiling and as fabulous as I was in 2012!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Posted December 31, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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WHO IS STEALING MY FOOD?   Leave a comment

If I didn’t know better I would think some people want to make me fat(ter)! On the 20th a package arrived and I emailed the sender to ask if it was perishable as I had already eaten too much that day and they said no so I put it aside until Monday (after I did my semi weekly weigh in!) and opened the box and I dived in!! It was a large snow scene tin split into quarters with cashews in one, chocolate walnuts in another, white frosted pecans in a third and the last quarter had honey roasted cinnamon pecans. Within an hour I had eaten at least half of each quarter even the cinnamon pecans which I didn’t particularly like, but in the spirit of the holiday while reading the nutritional information enclosed with the tin–as if anyone is really interested in the nutritional information as they are eating this assortment!!! Let’s face it, both nuts and chocolate are good for you though I don’t think you are suppose to eata years requirement in one hour!

And then that afternoon I received another package and something happened–it all disappeared and all I had was the empty woven basket it came in! There had been cheeses, crackers, chocolate cookies, assorted candies and small cakes in the package–now all gone!

I really have to call the exterminator because no one could eat ALL that–both packages–unless they were squirrels storing it or mice taking it all into a private hole. I did suspect Santa but he wasn’t due until that night.

This is a mystery—-mmmmmm–maybe I should call Olivia from “Law & Order” or one of the other police or Sherlock Holmes–Agatha Christie? Well before I call anyone guess I better get rid of some evidence–my scale doesn’t lie!

 

Posted December 30, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ARGIE GRILL–FORT LAUDERDALE–RESTAURANT REVIEW   Leave a comment

Seems we are the only, or very few, who ate at the Argie Grill and were sober as most reviewers mention bar hopping !
Argie Grill most hold some sort of record in that they are longest lasting restaurant in the white elephant known as the Las Olas Riverfront Center. As it was Friday afternoon we were going to the movies and though we usually eat afterwards we had extra time so any excuse to eat. I have passed the place many times but never eaten in it but that will change from now on.
The husband and wife(?) team were very pleasant and though it is somewhat of a fast food place the gentleman took our orders) got our soda, delivered the food and was also the cashier.
I had the beef empanada with chimichurri sauce ($3.95) and a soda ($1.75) so with tax it was $6 and change. The empanada, while good, really didn’t taste ‘homemade’ but the chimichurri sauce added a good ‘bite’ to it.
Allen had a chicken and cheese sandwich ($.5.95), soda ($1.75) and an order of fries ($1.95) so with tax  a total a little over $10. The sandwich was a good size and he said tasty while, after snatching a couple, the fries were very salty.
With over 19 different fillings there are an array of empanadas from beef to chicken, vegetarian to seafood, some spicy, most not and all served with the chimichurri, the Angie Grill is a good place for lunch or a bite to eat before or after drinking or while strolling down the riverfront.

Posted December 29, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

 

Bradley Cooper is not only People Magazine’s “Sexiest Guy Alive” for 2012 along with playing in two of the highest grossing R rated comedies, “The Hangover” and “Hangover 2” but he was just nominated for a Golden Globe award as best actor in a movie for this film “Silver Linings Playbook” and, in all probability, will get an Oscar nomination though his competition there is fierce. His co-star, Jennifer Lawrence,  was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for “The Winter’s Bone”, was in the “X Men” in 2011 and became the  highest grossing heroine in action films adding, and becoming a household name in 2012, after starring as Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games”. She was also recently nominated for a Golden Globe award for her performance in the “Silver Linings Playbook”.

 

Bradley is Pat, who we meet being picked up by his mother, Dolores, Jacki Weaver, from a mental institution where he was for 8 months after committing a violent act. In addition he is bipolar and feels he doesn’t need to take his medicine. His father Pat Sr., Robert De Niro, seems to be a little ‘off’ with his love for the Philadelphia Eagles and a restaurant owner who is also a bookie. Julie Stiles is Vernica, the bullying  wife of Pat’s friend Ronnie, John Ortiz, and a friend of Nikki, Brea Bee, Pat’s estranged wife. It is Veronica who introduces Pat to Tiffany, Jennifer Lawrence, who might be as ‘crazy’ as Pat such as when the both of them discuss what medicines they have taken and take.

 

The story revolves around Pat wanting his ex-wife back, Tiffany wanting to use Pat as a dance partner in a contest, Pat Sr using whatever good luck omens, including his son, to have the Eagles win games and everyone having a happy ending which is what the director and screenplay writer David O. Russell is aiming for.

 

It’s been awhile since De Niro had a chance to show the actor that he really is, and the versatility he has, with both drama and comedy. Jacki Weaver gives a sterling performance as the only ‘normal’ one in the film. Chris Tucker as a friend, and fellow inmate from the asylum, gives an effective performance while Julia Stiles is wasted. Anupam Kher, as Pat’s therapist, doesn’t feel/look comfortable in the comedy aspects of his role just as Dash Mihok as a police officer is too stiff in his role.

 

As most films today “Silver Linings Playbook” is too long by about 10 minutes and the whole Ernest Hemingway, though it does show an aspect of Pat, segment could easily be cut. The dance angle doesn’t come across as romantic as David O. Russell intended with no fault of Cooper and Lawrence, who have tremendous chemistry, though I hope Cooper is a better dancer than he shows in the film.

 

“Silver Linings Playbook” is not quite the romantic comedy that I was/am looking for but the performances by Cooper, Lawrence, Weaver and De Niro should be seen.

Posted December 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“LES MISERABLES”–MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

 

Having seen the musical version of “Les Miserables” four times on stage, twice when the 25th anniversary concert was presented on television  and now on the movie screen there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to each medium. The PBS anniversary brought the original 1985 and the current cast together in an encore that would be prohibitive for regular performances on stage and unthinkable on film. In the theatre version you have a cast filling the stage with song and your eyes are darting all over as the action is conceived between wide and high  but set walls. As the sung through story is the same in all 3 mediums the movie version proves to be the most moving as the maligned by critics close-ups are numerable but brings the audience into the story and into the characters.
Russell Crowe is getting a bad rap, undeservedly, for his singing  and brings the needed gravitas to his role as Javert and the moral problem he finds himself facing.  Both Hugh Jackman, as Jean Valjean, and Anne Hathaway, as Fantine, deliver the goods in both singing and acting departments.  Samantha Barks, as Eponine, and Eddie Redmayne, as Marius, present breakout roles in their careers. Sacha Baron Cohen, as Thenardier, and Helena Bonham Carter, as Madame Thenardier, are usually too much for too long in their screen roles but here they are reigned in as far as screen time goes and offer comic relief. Amanda Seyfried, as Cosette, pales against the rest of the cast.
The screenplay by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil,  Claude-Michel Schoenberg and Herbert Kretzmer based on the original stage musical by Boublil and Schoenberg which in turn was based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel hits all the necessary plot points while Tom Hooper, the director, brings you into the story with those close-ups and some dizzying editing. There are a couple of scenes that take you out of the story by being obviously done on a set and looking very fragile.
Another difference between the mediums is that intermission in the stage version gives you the  much needed stretch while in the film there isn’t any break and with the film a little over 2 hours and 30 minutes you could use one. In spite of the length the movie goes by at a fairly fast pace and you can almost hear when the audience recognizes one of the many known songs. The auditorium was full and stayed that way with applause at the end.
I will be seeing the touring company when it opens in Miami February 26 and I have a strong feeling I will be seeing the movie again before that date!
 
And yes I cried like a baby the last 30-45 minutes which I didn’t do in the stage productions except for maybe “Bring Him Home” :O)

Posted December 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL MY FRIENDS–AND A FEW ENEMIES LOL   Leave a comment

A LOT OF RED AND A LOT OF GARLANDS IN MY HOME

Posted December 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“SISTER ACT–THE MUSICAL”–TOURING COMPANY REVIEW   Leave a comment

 

When was the last time you saw nuns do a Radio Music Hall line kick routine or were warned that taking pictures in a theatre is a sin? Never? Get over to the Broward Performing Arts Center during the next two weeks and you will. Okay so they don’t kick as high as the Rockettes but then the Rockettes don’t wear the many different habits like the nuns in “Sister Act” do. From every metallic color to dripping sequins these nuns change habits like drag queens change outfits at Lips.

 

“Sister Act–the Musical” takes place in the disco-Philly soul era  and has a completely original score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater that help move the plot along and give the nuns a few gospel songs to raise the roof  and save the church from being sold.  The basic premise is that second rate entertainer Deloris Van Cartier (Ta’rea Campbell) has witnessed her married gangster lover, Curtiss Jackson, (Kingsley Leggs) kill a man and a policeman Eddie Souther (E. Clayton Cornelious), who had a childhood crush on Delores, hides her in a convent until she can testify against Curtiss. The show is about the effect she has on the nuns and the insights the nuns bring to her about herself plus the constant run in she has with the Mother Superior (Hollis Resnik).

 

It takes a few minutes to buy Campbell as Delores but even with just one solo number she sells the part in her way.  Lael Van Keuren, as novitiate Mary Robert, has the knock your socks off number “The Life I Never Lead”.  Joey (Todd A. Horman), Pablo (Ernie Pruneda) and TJ (Charles Barksdale) has the audience laughing with “ Lady In THe Long Black Dress” while the closing company number “Spread The Love Around” almost blasts the roof off the Performing Arts Center. Cornelious, singing “I Could Be That guy”, invokes Barry White and Luther Vandross while giving his spotlight number his own spin. The 14 piece orchestra conducted by Brent-Alan Huffman gives the cast solid backing.

 

The costume designer Lez Brotherston, the scenic designer Klara Zieglerova and the lighting designer Natasha Katz bring a lot of sparkle to the stage. The Rockette like nuns owe a bow to the choreographer Anthony Van Laast.

 

“Sister Act–the Musical” is an entertaining show but if you have seen the movie the latter will keep flashing before your eyes in many scenes.

 

Act 1:  1 hour and 2 minutes  Intermission: 21 minutes  Act 2:  57 minutes  

Strobe, flashing lights and gunshots are used during the production.

 

Coming up next: “Mary Poppins” at the Arsht Center in Miami, “Agatha Christie’s BBC Murders at the Parker Playhouse and  “Flashdance” at the Broward Performing Arts Center.

Posted December 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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