Archive for April 2015


I have been a big movie fan for over 70 years–going back to the days when you went to the movies and saw a double feature plus a cartoon, plus a newsreel plus coming attractions (maybe, just maybe, if movie houses went back to this they would get more customers)–and never tire of them. I do not buy–I don’t rent– a DVD of a movie until I see it on a movie screen like a movie should be seen first. Even now I go to movie houses a minimum of once a week, generally twice a week.

No way could I pick a favorite movie–would even have a hard time picking ‘my favorite 100 movies’!

I tend to see dramas, love stories, ‘weepies’ (as they were called) over comedies and do not go for most sci-fi, violent and comedy movies. And, yes, I preferred movies of yesteryear where they hinted at sex (fireworks, curtains blowing, horses rearing up, etc.,) then the gratuitous sex they have on the screens today.

I feel most movies today are at least 15-20 minutes too long with the director wanting to show off what he can do instead of concentrating on the story and moving it forward.

And, yes, I am from the old school, when movies were told in 3 acts with a beginning, middle and end in a linear fashion and not so ambiguous as so many are today. I don’t mind thinking in a movie but movies were originally attended to escape from the real world, if only for 90 minutes or so. And I LOVE a ‘happily ever after’ ending.

I love the ‘magic’ of movies which is why I avoid many of the DVD extras–I don’t want to know how something is done–I don’t want to know the actor brushed the ‘blood’ (or what the blood really was!) off after he was shot dead and then got up after the scene was over and went to his trailer. I want to believe the actor is THE person I am watching. Naive? Sure!

Which movies have I seen unaccountable times? What stars draw me to the movie houses?  The list is endless!

How many don’t you know? How many have you never seen?


Posted April 30, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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On Friday April 24, 2015, I was walking home and decided I would take a video of the  sunset though it was far from the usual spectacular ones we have. Near the end one of the cats from the boats that dock at Gateway came over and you will meet him at the end of the first tape and the 5th tape.

Before I knew it I had made 6 tapes!! The first one is the longest at 2 minutes and 12 seconds and I haven’t posted the 3rd and 4th and let me explain why. In the second the police boat came into view and I have never seen one this far up. I had seen a couple of kids across the way and wasn’t sure what they were doing though it seemed they were having a party. I watched for awhile but nothing really seemed to be happening though I did make a couple of more videos figuring if anything happened I could always sell them to the TV news!!! LOL

The 3RD tape is 17 seconds long of the cat.

The last tape was taken when I got off the elevator to walk to my place–sorry it is so noisy but I will solve that problem eventually.

Hope you enjoy them–if not sorry! I’ll make THAT movie yet!!

Posted April 29, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, “The Water Diviner”, shows that he has learned enough about films after being in them for 25 years not to embarrass himself plus he shows a good hand at directing actors including himself. He, also, as a first time director, makes the usual mistakes.

“The Water Diviner” is, basically, an anti war and father-son saga, telling the story of a father who goes looking for the bodies of his 3 soldier sons lost in the battle of Gallipoli during World War 1 to bring their bodies home and bury them next to his wife (Jacqueline McKenzie) who commits suicide over their death.

The story is based, very loosely, on the true event of Joshua Connor (Crowe) being the only father who came looking for the bodies of his sons of the millions lost there. In flashbacks and/or imaginary scenes we meet his sons Arthur (Jack Patterson as a young boy, Ryan Corr as a soldier), Henry (Ben Norris/Ben O’Toole) and Edward (Adian Smith/James Frasier).

Along the way we meet Orhan, a preteen played charmingly by Dylan Georgiades, and his mother played by Olga Kurylenko, leading to a completely unnecessary romance between her and Connor, though she is used to show some of the ways women are treated and are expected to live in Turkey at that time. Steve Bastoni, as her brother-in-law, is a stereotype of Turkish males. 

Along with the romance, director Crowe and writers Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios, bring in some very cryptic and mysticism regarding Connor’s ability as a water diviner in his attempt to find the bodies of his sons. There is also the introduction of the father reading “The Arabian Night” to his young sons that really doesn’t pay off.

Along the way we meet military men such as a British officer, Dan Wyllie, who tells the father to return home , Jai Courtney who attempts to help him, and Turkish war veterans Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz are standouts, especially the former, supporting Connor. 

Aside from some fake, extraneous war scenes and one very ‘Hollywood’ love scene director Crowe does a good job while he reigns in actor Crowe’s tendency to be a ’star’.  

Next time Russell Crowe directs a film he should pay more attention to the story line and what is believable and what isn’t. Oh yes, though the production is fine that bombastic score is jarring.


Posted April 28, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINER

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DON’T MISS THE NEXT ONE!   Leave a comment

Since I haven’t celebrated my birthday in 3 years I am now getting ready for Monday, February 29, 2016, but more about that in another post!

To me my birthday is February29–not February 28 or March 1–so I only celebrate it on February 29, once every 4 years.  It was 39 years ago that I celebrated my 10th Leap Year Birthday and it was one of the biggest of all I celebrated.

Long story short–I lived in Memphis, Tennessee and I had a party, in 3 parts, for 300 ‘of my closest friends’ at the Hilton Airport hotel. It started with a jazz cocktail hour followed by a prime rib dinner and ended with a full band, dancing and dessert. There is a whole epilogue to tell but that is another post. All 300 of my ‘friends’ have disappeared from my life!

In any case since then I have had 9 additional Leap Year celebrations and am looking to my 20th birthday next year.

I made this slideshow of the last 10 celebrations and here are the years as mixed up as they are!

1. 1976  2. 2008  3.  1984  4. 1992  5.1996  6. 2000  7. 2004  8. 1976  9. 1980  10. 1984 11. 1984  12. 1976  13. 2000 14. 1996  15. 1996  16. 1984  17. 1976  18. 1976  19. 1988  20.2012

They were 10 great celebrations but the best is yet to come! (And if you want to come let me know–remember it is February and in the rest of the USA it is cold and snowing while here in Fort Lauderdale it is in the high 70s and low 80s with sunshine!)


Posted April 27, 2015 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY

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First and foremost the best thing about Foxy Brown was our server Kaitlyn who from beginning to end had a smile on her face, knew what she was doing, was all over the place helping every one but at the same time paying attention to her tables giving refill of drinks without having to be asked, checking back to make sure everything was okay and when we had mentioned we were going to split our sandwiches made sure to bring two extra plates.

We walked in near the end of lunchtime and more than half the tables had to be cleaned but it was good to see a working manager hard at work doing just that. In spite of the gray walls, a high ceiling and the tables all in a L shaped row Foxy Brown has an intimate, warm feeling. There is a narrow row between the tables and the semicircular bar but you never feel you are being crowded just as though the tables are right next to each other you don’t feel like you are with the next party. The tables are wide, even the deuces, the chairs comfortable and seeing the restaurant’s motto, “Be Nice”, on the inside wall, the entrance and on the menu gets everything off to a good start.

I ordered the patty melt, $12,  “the sandwich that inspired the menu” and Allen ordered the meatball grinder, $12, chicken and porcini mushroom w/ tomato gravy + provolone, and we were going to split an order of fries but Kaitlyn told us each came with a side so we ordered the French fries and tomato wedges in oil and parsley. I had a diet coke, $2.50, and Allen had a chocolate shake, $7.

The patty melt was served on marbled rye with a good, tasty thick meat patty, and provolone cheese, served at the temperature ordered. Though it was good it wasn’t better than most other patty melts I have had. The only thing wrong with the grinder was that the hero bread was way too thick. Allen said the shake was good and at that price it should be. There was a nice touch of being given hot towels when we were finished.

Altogether the check, with tax, was $35.15 and we gave Kaitlyn a $10 tip.

The sandwiches are all $12 and their main courses run from $18 for bangers and smash to $26 for sea scallops or crab cakes, which to my way of thinking is a bit high for lunch prices though they seem to cater to the downtown business crowd, being right on the fringe of downtown. Most of the crowd were gents in business suits with what looked like a neighborhood couple sitting next to us.

They have a large parking lot behind the restaurant along with a pleasant outdoor dining area.

Though the prices are a little too high for me Foxy Brown is nice restaurant a little off the beaten path, easy to get to, decent food and with a server like Kaitlyn you won’t go wrong.

As I was leaving I thought what a great downtown evening piano bar it would make but there isn’t room for a that piano!



Posted April 26, 2015 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS

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Though I am a great list maker regarding things I have to do and things I must do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. My problem comes when I am asked to make lists of my favorite actors, actresses, movies, plays, musicals, books, etc. I look over these lists and I see so many names I have left out plus how many if I were making the lists today wouldn’t be on it or at least the position they are on.

I’ll stick by these lists for now, especially the ‘yesteryear’ categories, but the new ones can change from day to day. All lists are arbitrary but there are two things I am sure of with the first being that Charlize Theron gives/gave THE best performance on the silver screen ever given and “A Chorus Line” is THE best stage musical I have ever seen but that’s for another day!


1. Marlon Brando

2. Gene Kelley

3. George Sanders

4. Jeff Chandler

5. Claude Raines

6. Ryan O’Neal

7. Jack Lemmon

8. Rod Steiger

9. Laurence Olivier

10. Robert Mitchum


1. Ralph Fienes

2. Michael Fassbendor

3. Jake Gylenhaal

4. Edward Norton

5. Matthew McConaughey

6. Ian McKellan

7. George Cloooney

8. Viggo Mortissen

9. Al Pacino

10. Dustin Hoffman


1. Ava Gardner

2. Lana Turner

3. Rita Hayworth

4. Cyd Charisse

5. Hedy LaMarr

6.Kathryn Grayson


1. Bette Davis

2. Susan Hayward

3. Kim Stanley

4. Joan Crawford

5. Jennifer Jones

6. Vivian Leigh

7. Judy Holliday

8. Judy Garland

9. Ida Lupino

10. Melina Mercouri

11. Geraldine Page

12. Betty Hutton

13. Doris Day

14. Ingrid Bergman


1. Jennifer Lawrence

2. Rosemary Pike

3. Glenn Close

4. Russell Crowe

5. Barbra Streisand

6. Charlize Theron

7. Shirley McClaine

8. Shailene Woodley

9. Judi Dench

10. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

11. Matt Damon

12. Daniel Day-Lewis

13. Hugh Jackman

14. Michael Caine

And a dozen more! :O)

How many of the following do you know? Have seen?

Posted April 25, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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By default instead of seeing “The Water Diviner” we went to see “The Road Within” a ‘small’ independent movie that wouldn’t be made by one of the big studios.

The film opens with Vincent (Robert Sheehan) in church  at his mother’s funeral ceremony sitting with his father (Robert Patrick), a politician, when all of a sudden he bursts into twitches and out loud foul language which includes calling the priest a pedophile, a faggot, telling the other people that the priest dyes his pubic hair. These are expressions of his Tourette’s Syndrome that he claims his brain controls.

In the next scene we see him being checked into an experiment treatment center in Nevada run by an experimental therapist (Kyra Sedgwick) as she introduces him to his roommate Alex (Dev Patel) who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder along with a severe germ phobia. Very soon Marie (Zoe Kravitz), who is anorexic and has already had heart failure because of it, comes to Vincent’s room to tell she is to show him around.

Before you know what is happening Marie steals the keys to the therapist’s car and the trio are off on a road trip to spread Vincent’s mother’s ashes on the ocean in California. The center of the movie revolves how the 3 youths react to, and with, each other. In a way this is a triangle but not in the way you may think.

Kyra Sedgwick is wasted in her role and though Robert Patrick has 2 effective scenes it is the 3 young stars who save the movie that doesn’t really know whether it wants to be a  comedy or not and is hesitant to deal with what is known about the illnesses. 

Dev Patel, at 24, is building an excellent resume with his Slumdog Millionaire, the 2 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films, this film and his role in the television series The Newsroom. I was not familiar with Zoe Kravitz, 26, before this film though she does have 2 famous parents plus having been in 26 films including 2 X-Men films and Insurgent: the Divergent series and will be in Mad Max opening in May. The most impressive is 27 year old Irish actor Robert Sheehan who I am certainly looking forward to seeing more of in future movies and will look into the 12 films he has already made.

“The Road Within” probably won’t be seen by many people but should be if no other rason the acting of the 3 young leads.


Posted April 24, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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