Archive for May 2015


I don’t know if 2 movies of the same genre are the start of a trend but I hope so. During the second week of May I went to see “Five Flights Up”, a movie about an elderly couple together  for forty years with neither dying of Alzheimer’s or any other ‘old people’ diseases nor were they battling with being an inter-racial couple. They were a pair who made and enjoyed a life together the only trauma being of the old man and their old dog having to climb 5 flights of stairs. The leads were played by Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman each looking and feeling comfortable in their long term relationship and the audience believed in them.

This week I saw “I’ll See You In MY Dreams” with Blythe Danner sparkling in her role as an independent woman, a retired school teacher, who, when younger, had dabbled as a band singer, now a widow for 20 years, has a daughter who lives on the other coast and they maintain a mother/daughter relationship and friendship. She lives in her own home having enough money to maintain it along with hiring a pool boy. Her major conflict at this point in life is that she may have to put down her beloved Hazel, a dog, of 12 years. Just watching the light go out of Danner’s blue eyes as the procedure is done is the dramatic moment of the movie though other things do happen.

Danner plays cards with her girlfriends June Squibb, Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place, all who are trying to get her to move into the retirement community where they live. These are women who have adapted to being seniors who can get goofy on medical marijuana, go on a speed dating romp, play golf, talk a little ‘naughty’, drink some, well a lot, of  wine.

When Mary Kay sees Danner’s pool boy leaving her house early one morning she is not above thinking what most women would think and when a handsome, virile looking, possibly Mr. Right in the form of Sam Elliot shows up in a meet cute scene you think you know where the movie is heading just as you might justifiably think you know what will happen between Danner and the pool boy Martin Starr when they go to a karaoke bar on what might be or not be a date.

Directed by Brett Haley, who also wrote it along with Marc Basch, this is not a Golden Girls television situation comedy or a cougar and young man story or woman desperate for another man to make their life whole. This is a film, like “5 Flights Up”, that looks at a group of people who have lived most of their life, are near the end,  and still find aspects to explore. Actually along with “Love Is Strange” starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, these pictures show professional actors who have always supported others with first class work now doing the same with and for others giving themselves a chance to be the stars they are.

PS No one ever made scarves look as good as Blythe Danner’s face and eyes do!


Posted May 31, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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WHEN YOU ARE SICK…   Leave a comment


 My dinner: 1/2 a chicken made in the crockpot with tomatoes, peas, corn and noodles (the half tomorrow!)–a salad with onions, tomatoes, Romaine, grated cheese and topped with blue cheese. Blueberries for dessert. Could use a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the berries but I am sick.
All the while watching a new movie about Marilyn Monroe which will probably be a retread. The best movie about her was “The Goddess” with Kim Stanley.
Being sick isn’t that bad–well except for the pain!

Posted May 30, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized


// OH MY! THE KLUTZ AND THE HOSPITAL! – greatmartin’s Blog – Blogster<!– socket libraries


Talk about clumsiness!! Allen was picking me up on Tuesday to go see the movie “The 100-Year-Old-Man Who jumped Out The Window and Disappeared” at The Gateway Theatre. Before he got there I wanted to stop at the Gateway apartment offices and inquire is if I was eligible to have my place repainted. I had lived in this apartment 11 years and my first one for 5 years and thought I deserved it but I wasn’t holding my breath! I, also, had a huge bag of garbage to throw out. In front of my building there is a handicap ‘drive’ for wheelchairs and walkers with 2 sides rising above the other two. I was not looking where I was going and tripped landing on my right knee scrapping the toes. I went upstairs, washed off the blood and put on a large no stick bandage.

We went to the movie and afterwards Allen wanted to get a bite to eat and I surprised him AND me!! He dropped me off at my place and he went ho e. I redressed the wounds and decided to take a nap. Long story short–the pain was going through my thighs and I was concerned. The not wanting to eat and the pain never stopped me from eating which told me something was wrong!

I was checked in at 8 PM and X-rays were taken as was medical information about midnight . The ER doctor told me it looked like my knee cap had broken into 3 pieces, that they would check me in and the Orthopedic doctor and take a look at. He mentioned a doctor might tie the pieces together with a wire. They checked me into a room on the fourth floor at around 3 AM. It wasn’t until 7 PM that the orthopedic doctor came to see me and said that surgery wasn’t necessary but that I would have to wear a special binder that would keep my leg, particularly the knee, straight. I would also have to wear it for 5-6weeks. It is not comfortable and when I bend the knees accidentally I get a searing pain!

With all that I did get to come home with a pain killer prescription for 32 cents at 9 PM on Wednesday!!

And now I am on the search for a wheel chair!

I do keep on getting klutzier!!

Posted May 28, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized


While watching “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared” (hereafter called 100!) I would flash on to Peter Sellers in “Being There” and Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump” more so the latter due to Robert Gustafsson’s performance as a man, Allan, who meets famous people in history and sometimes changes the course of that history.

The flashbacks to Allan’s earlier years, and his love of pyrotechnics at times, plays with your head and makes you lose track now and then though this movie doesn’t go as deep as the other two but we join him on his adventures after climbing out that window stumbling on a suitcase of money, rescues a elephant and wanting to live and see 101!

The biggest problem I had with the film was that it seemed to have been written by at least a dozen writers and had a feeling that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ so much to my surprise I see it was written only by the director, Felix Hemgren, who also directed, and Hans Ingemansson based on a best selling Swedish novel by Jonas Jonasson. There are 6 different languages used and characters come and go without explanation. One minute it is a comedy and the next it seems to be reaching for farce while a lot of slapstick is thrown in but it doesn’t quite gel. A lot of the humor fell flat for me though there was a guy in the audience was laughing constantly.

The cast is led by Robert Gustafsson who doesn’t seem to make the role he plays, that of Allan Karlsson, likeable and for a guy who blows up people, gets sterilized because he ‘must have some Negro blood due to the size of his penis’, kills people and walks away as if nothing happened, that likeability is missing. Allan goes through life seemingly not aware of all the chaos he creates around him and for other people.

I’m not quite sure who played who but I believe as his partner in crime Iwar Wiklander  seemed more solid than Gustaffson while Mia Skaringer as Gunilla exchanged some sharp dialogue with a few of the men particularly a ‘suitor’ who is ‘almost’ everything.

While Allen liked this film a lot more than I did I am inclined to put it on my 2015 ‘worst’ list.


Posted May 26, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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IT’S A JULIE ANDREW KIND OF DAY!   Leave a comment

Since the age of 13 when she made her debut on the London stage with the critics raving about her 4 octave clear as a bell voice Julie Andrews has been a star. From her Broadway debut in “The Boyfriend” at 19 in 1954 to her touring Australia and New Zealand for the first time at the age of 77 in 2013 she has always been in the spotlight mostly for good events but also for the heartbreak of losing her singing voice in an operation.

The list of her ‘hits’ from “My Fair Lady” on stage to “Cinderella” on television to concerts with Carol Bennett and Beverly Sills, Andrews has brought a lot of joy to all. She was in 4 big stage hits, over 32 films including her big hit debut in “Mary Poppins” some 29 television shows bringing her over 60 awards and recognitions such as being made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II and receiving Kennedy Honors along with writing 20+ children books many with her daughter Emma.

This year she was thrown into the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of her starring role in film “The Sound of Music” plus Lady Gaga saluting the film and her stunning the Oscar audience with a medley of songs from the show and Andrews coming out and getting a standing ovation.

Highlights of her singing many songs from her Broadway, television and movie appearances will make her beautiful voice available forever!

Posted May 24, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT


I’ve spoken about my tape collection in the past at one time having over 600 tapes. I sold most of them on eBay and gave a lot away but I held on to my gay tapes–no, not porno! I currently have about 84 tapes of which 33 were pre-recorded while the other were taped from both cable and network stations.

In any case I am looking to give them away either singularly or the whole lot and will only asked to be reimbursed for mailing them. If anyone is interested in knowing the titles of the ones I taped just drop me a line at

Here are the pre-recorded one and a comment here and there.

1. The Celluloid Closet–a history of gays and gay films before gay was acknowledged until the present.

2. Another Country with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth as gay British spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean

3. As Is–Robert Carradine and Jonathan Hadary–an ex-lover takes care of his AIDS ex partner when the latter’s young lover can’t deal with it

4. The Children’s Hour  Shirley MacLaine and Audrey are accused of being  Lesbians

5. Common Threads: stories from the quilt

6. The Birdcage with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane  An American version of the French film La Cage Aux Folles

7. Beautiful Thing  A British film about a love story between two youths

8. The Crying Game  Stephen Rhea, Forest Whitaker and Jaye Davidson with the latter as Whitaker’s  ‘exotic’ girlfriend

9. The Broken Hearts Club A gay baseball team starring Dean Cain and John Mahoney

10. Big Eden A man faces his unrequited passion for his high school friend–it is an American fable about home and family

11. Kiss of the Spider Woman  William Hurt won an Oscar as a gay political prisoner

12. Gods and Monsters  Ian McKellan as gay director James Whale with Lynn Redgrave and Brendan Fraiser

13. Gypsy of the Year–a tradition of Broadway musical theatre

14. It’s My Party  Eric Roberts is dying of AIDS and decides to throw a great farewell party for himself before he dies–Margaret Cho, Olivia Newton-John, George Segal, , Gregory Harrison, Lee Grant

15. The Lost Language of Cranes  The destructive sexual hypocrisy of one family– with Brian Cox, Eileen Atkins, Corey Parker

16. Maurice The film of E.M. Forster’s controversial novel with Hugh Grant, Simon Callow, Rupert Graves, Ben Kingley, Billie Whitelaw

17. An Early Frost the effects of AIDS on an average American family–Aidan Quinn, Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Sylvia Sidney

18. Making Love  A married man falls in love with another man with Harry Hamlin, Kate Jackson and Michael Ontkean

19. Midnight Cowboy the classic film starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight

20. Priscilla Queen of the Desert  the Australian classic starring Terrence Stamp

21. In & Out  Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Matt Dillion, Debbie Reynolds

22. Love! Valour! Compassion! The Tony award winning play by Terrence McNally

23. My Own Private Idaho River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as hustlers directed by Gus Van Sant

24. Midnight Express Brad Davis arrested in Turkey for smuggling drugs and receives a 4 year sentence.

25. Normal–Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson The latter confesses to the former that after 25 years he wants to have a sex change (Bruce Jenner anyone?)

26. Priest A young priest faces extraordinary events within his own congregation.

27. Philadelphia A landmark film dealing with AIDS starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington

27. The Opposite of Sex  Christina Ricci seduces her brother’s boyfriend Matt who jilted his ex-lover  Lisa Kudrow, Johnny Galecki, Lyle Lovett

28. Querelle Brad Davis as a gay sailor, Jeanne Moreau and Franco Nero in a film based on Jean Genet’s novel and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

29. Sunday Bloody Sunday–Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch both are deeply in love with Murray Head

30. The Sum of Us A father wants his gay son to be happy  Russell Crowe is the son

31. Six Degrees of Separation A gay hustler claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier works his way into a wealthy white family–starring Will Smith

32. The Twilight of the Golds  If there is a gay gene would you abort a pregnancy because the child might be gay? Brendan Fraiser, Jennifer Beals, Faye Dunaway, Rosie O’Donnell, Garry Marshall

33. Tea and Sympathy A teenager is wrongfully accused of being gay and his teacher’s wife proves to him he isn’t–Deborah Kerr and John Kerr directed by Vincent Minnelli

Posted May 23, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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Watching the 2 hour and 10 minute film “Tomorrowland’ I was amazed, amused, bored and puzzled with the negatives running about even with the negatives which also seems to be the theme of the movie and people‘s choices. 

The screenplay by Brad Bird, who also directed, and Damon Lindelof have quite a few funny lines but a story that is all over the place and actually stops to explain what has happened and what will happen. The director’s vision of the future, with photography by Claudio Miranda and production design by Scott Chambliss, is amazing with multi level swimming pools, a world of transportation that doesn’t need roads and glass buildings and homes in various shapes and sizes. Looking at Tomorrowland from a distance it looks like Oz from the poppy fields only here over wheat fields but at the same time can look like the Disney company logo.

Under the amazing part is Britt Robertson, playing Casey Newton who aside from looking and sounding very much like Jennifer Lawrence, makes the same impression as an actress and personality. Raffey Cassidy, in a very limiting role, does the best she can while Hugh Laurie, as a prize winning inventor, makes things rough for young Frank, played by Thomas Robinson and then the adult Frank played by George Clooney. Robinson does a good job but part of my puzzlement is why Clooney decided to be unshaven during the whole movie–hey this is a Disney film!–unless he thinks this is what all older curmudgeons looks like but still his natural charm comes through. Tim McGraw as Newton’s father doesn’t have much to do but is a presence whenever on the screen. Another puzzlement is why 10 minutes are wasted on a scene with Michael key and Kathryn Hahn, though they do a good job they don’t add anything to the screenplay being handled by other actors getting the same message across.

There are some dazzling special effects in the film and the Eiffel Tower scene is a standout. 

“Tomorrowland” is a feel good ending Disney film but can seem like a long time getting to the end. I have not seen Britt Robertson in her previous movie roles though looking up her credits I was surprised to see that she in in the television series “Under The Dome” which I have seen but don’t recall her part, so I would recommend seeing her in this movie.

Full disclosure, and you will understand if you see this movie, I worked as a server in the Gas Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York in 1964 and 1965.


Posted May 22, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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When I was young, about 1996 when I was 60, I had a collection of over 500 books and a collection of VHS tapes exceeding 400 movies plus I had taped all the Oscar and Tony award shows every year. One day I realized that I only read 7 of the books a few times each and, maybe, watched a dozen of the tapes more than once though I would watch the same movie if I saw it while surfing television.

As I learned when people get older they want less ‘things’ and when I was ready to move in 1999 I was tired packing, unpacking, building shelves, putting books and tapes in alphabetical order and decided that was it. I proceeded to sell all the movie tapes and all but those 7 books on eBay. I kept the award tapes and a bunch of  gay themed tapes. A few years later I gave my mailman’s son all the award tapes as he was going to film and theatre school. I still have the tapes but that is another post.

I don’t remember which was the first DVD I bought but I got those I wanted to see again and some I never saw and knew wouldn’t be on TV. Before I knew it I had 25 dvds and I knew it was time to stop because most of them would just be on the shelf collecting dust. I haven’t bought a DVD or taped a show in a couple of years now and that’s okay. One friend bought me some books and another bought me a collection of Rodgers and Hammerstein films.

My collection of DVDs and maybe a remark or two are:

The R&H collection consist of Carousel, Oklahoma, The King and I, The Sound of Music, South Pacific and State Fair.

Dreamgirls–I fell in love with the movie and saw it in the theatre about 15 times. I have watched the DVD about 10 times and have seen it on cable when surfing and coming across it.

De-Lovely–a good bio about Cole Porter starring Kevin Kline. I saw it in the theatre and watched the DVD once.

Every Little Step–whenever I need “A Chorus Line “ fix, and I refuse to watch the horrible movie version, I will watch this. A first rate documentary about my favorite ever Broadway musical.

Sordid Lives–one of the funniest films ever made with a first rate cast.

The Big Knife–a sterling cast at their best in an Odets’ play brought to life on film. 

A Beautiful Mind–Russell Crowe at his best

Boys Don’t Cry–a powerful film that seems to be forgotten

Stage Beauty–missed it in theatre and thought I should see it–bad thought

Angels in America Part 1 & 2–and DVD collector should have this in their collection.

Elaine Stritch At Liberty–if I didn’t buy the DVD I would never have seen it and I am glad I did.

Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows–Judy Davis in a brilliant performance

Vera Drake–missed it in the movie house and wanted to see it.

Chicago–one of the better musical films

Steal Magnolias–a classic film with excellent performances

Running On Empty–an unappreciated, underrated, moving film

Monster–Charlize Theron gives THE best performance ever on the silver screen.

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer  The part Theron played in Monster and after seeing this made me appreciate her performance even more than I did.

And that’s it folks–not buying anymore DVDs and might even sell/give these away– any offers? :O)

Now about those VHS tapes I have!

Posted May 21, 2015 by greatmartin in COLLECTIONS

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I SHOULD BUT I DON’T WANT TO!   2 comments

I am sitting here looking at a list I made this past weekend of things I should do and get done this week. There are 19 different items and all I can think of is, “So what if I don’t do it today?”

The world won’t come to an end if (#8) I don’t replant the plants today or plant the rest of the seeds I have. I suppose I could schedule my ultrasound (#5) for next Thursday but the doc didn’t make it sound as urgent and I am not sure if I need one but, then again, with the problems I am having with my legs maybe I should.

I, also, have to reschedule my appointment with my heart doctor (#3) that I had to cancel as it was on the same day that we were going to see “Anything Goes” plus make an appointment with my eye doctor (#19) for my yearly exam plus set up an appointment (#4) for new glasses but that means calling my insurance company and finding a company near me (that isn’t on my list YET!)

Then I have numbers 10, 11 and 12 all having to do with my Leap Year birthday party but that is 9 months away so it isn’t an immediate thing yet I know February will be here before I know it plus I have to get some idea how many people are coming to the 2 different events, particularly out-of-towners but will they even know now?

HA! I can scratch off #1 as I did that yesterday by going to the dentist! And then there are #s 13 and 14 which involves also calling the insurance company and getting new dermatologist and urologist doctors and then calling them to set up appointments. Altogether that are 5 insurance call plus 5 doctor calls and I am not really in the mood to deal with the phone today besides none are a life or death situation–at least today. Also after doing that I will have to arrange for rides (#16) to all of them so if I don’t make those calls today I won’t have to make the other calls!

#12 is to figure out what I did on YouTube that I made my videos private and how to undo it plus I keep putting (#2) delete some of my videos every week and still haven’t done it but then the Internet is still running in spite og it!

#15 is to get birthday cards ready for June, #17 is to pay bills, #18 make the lists for Winn Dixie and Dollar Tree for Thursday plus ‘over the counter items’. I, also, have to call (#6) in some prescription refills and speak to Grant (#7) regarding the great transportation he arranged for me last week.

The world, my world, won’t come to an end if I don’t do any of the above today as Scarlett said “Tomorrow is another day” and being retired I do have tomorrow and if I don’t it won’t make a difference whether I do any of those things or not.

Okay I am off to the beach–will do the list tomorrow–I just put that on the list!

Posted May 20, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

AND SHE IS NOT GOING!   Leave a comment

On Broadway there is a song known as the ‘11 o’clock number’ when a star does a show stopping number or a show stopping number makes a star. An example can be Ethel Merman as Rose in “Gypsy” singing “My Turn” but now it seems the 11 o’clock number has become a 9:30 or first act closing number such as Donna McKechnie as Cassie singing, dancing and acting “The Music and the Mirror” in “A Chorus Line” or Geoge Hearne as Zsa Zsa in “La Cage aux Folles singing “I Am What I Am” or in “Wicked” Idina Menzel belting out “Defying Gravity” and sailing up, up and away.

In December 1981, at the age of  21, Jennifer Holliday stunned the audience, and would continue to, singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” in the musical “Dreamgirls”. She won a Tony Award as best actress in a musical and a Grammy for the song, which reached number 1 on the charts. She peaked in the 1980s and continued performing on the Theatre stage, on TV and doing a concert.

Holliday became a favorite of the LGBT crowd and was constantly appearing at events and fundraisers and was honored as Marshall of Gay Pride Parades. 

She would continue to be loved for her iconic number 1 song and played in many versions of “Dreamgirls”. On July 26, 2012, she once again appeared in the role of Effie at the St. Louis Muny and said that would be the last time she would do the role.

Sadly she was not even offered a cameo in the movie version of “Dreamgirls” but Jennifer Hudson played the role and won an Oscar. In 2007 on the BET Awards both Jennifers did a duet of the song, not only stopping the show but immediately becoming a big hit on YouTube.

Jennifer Holliday is now residing in Atlanta and her night, opening “Dreamgirls”, will always be a landmark in Broadway history.

Jennifer Holliday sings ‘her’ song at the 1982 Tony Awards

The Jennifers sing ‘their’ song.

Posted May 19, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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