Archive for September 2016

“THE DRESSMAKER”–A MOVIE REVIEW–A GUILTY PLEASURE   Leave a comment

Judy Davis, as ‘Mad Molly’, almost, at first funnily then smartly, steals the movie right from under everyone’s noses but then gorgeous Liam Hemsworth lets all his masculinity, and bare chest, out and noses are forgotten. The only one who can upstage them, and anyone else on screen, is Kate Winslet, Mad Molly’s daughter, arriving in this isolated town with the first words heard being “I’m back you bastards!”

“The Dressmaker” takes place in 1951 and is constantly swinging back and forth from comedy to drama to satire to melodrama, a tale of revenge, murder, paternity, brutality just as Kate Winslet is Susan Hayward from “Back Street” in one scene and then within another scene she is both Mary Astor from ‘The Maltese Falcon” to Rita Hayworth in Gilda and that’s only in the first 10 minutes of the film.

There doesn’t seem to be a ‘normal’ person in Dungater from the local policeman who is a secret course dresser, played by Hugo Weaving, to the town councilor, played by Shane Bourne, who goes to any woman he can get but has a deeper secret. Oh and talking about women this one town has a representation of every woman you can think of with most types of men, too.

The story starts off as a simple one with Tilly, Kate Winslet, having been exiled from the town 25 years previously when a schoolmate, Stewart Pettyman, played by Rory Potter, the son of Evan Pettyman, played by Shane Bourne and Marigold Pettyman, played by Alison Whyte, when he dies with a cracked head and she is the only one to witness it.  Tilly doesn’t remember anything about what happened and after spending the years traveling to Spain, England, France and becoming a dressmaker she returns to take care of her mother and try to find out what happened that day.

“The Dressmaker” is all over the place with a lot of evil and a lot of laughs competing, especially in the second half, but many fine performances and very easy to follow with all that is going on though occasionally the Australian outback accent might be a little hard to understand.

There is a scene worth the price of admission alone where Davis, Winslet and Hemsworth are in a movie house watching Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” and you will never be able to watch that film without hearing Davis’s comments in your head.

In many ways “The Dressmaker” is like one of those films ‘they don’t make anymore’ like they did in the 1950s but it will definitely be seen as a guilty pleasure, as I did, and enjoyed every minute but not admit it!

 

The dressmaker movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMEu-1CIB_I

Posted September 30, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Uncategorized

KELVIN 3200–A FORT LAUDERDALE RESTAURANT REVIEW   Leave a comment

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Right up front let me say that I went to Kelvin 3200 not knowing their ‘grand opening’ was 2 weeks away. They have a lot to do, and fix, before that date and I suggest they start by fixing the entrance to the left of the door that use to hold various kinds of beers. Yes, this was another restaurant and it failed and before that another restaurant that was a success up to a point. The outdoor section is nice and a ‘southern garden’ would be perfect in that empty beer section!

Oh did I mention that Kelvin 3200 is NOT a high priced steak house though the name might suggest it. It is a Southern bistro/cafe/restaurant with a menu boasting many of grandma’s recipes.

Right now the only thing that is perfection is the server James! He is a gem who knows how to sell food, interact with customers and made everything seem more of an experience than it was. He knew the right thing to say and do without putting the place or the cook down when it came to the food.

There is nothing ‘southern’ about the decor as it appears the interior has not been changed a bit since the last place closed except they have white butcher paper on the tables now.

The food? We started off with an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes ($6) with a good coating but tomatoes that weren’t firm enough for a dish the South is proud of! We both had the fried chicken ($12)—2 pieces with your choice of white or dark meat– which came with 2 sides Anthony having mac ‘n cheese and broiled okra and I had the grits and corn bread stuffing.  Our drinks were Iced Tea–no ice!!! That’s the way Anthony likes it!–and I had a Diet Coke, each $2.49

The chicken had a tasty, but too thick, coating while the grits were tasteless as only grits can be if they aren’t ‘jazzed up’ Southern style which can be done in many different ways.

The check came to $37.08 with tax plus we left a $10 tip because James was that good!

Kelvin 3200 made a mistake by opening too soon and we made a mistake by coming to eat there too soon. I am hoping they fix things by their official opening date. If not let us know where James is working!!

 

(Oh yes, though there is plenty of free parking though it can be a little tricky entering and leaving the plaza using Dixie Highway.)

Posted September 28, 2016 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized

MR & MRS SHTICK MAKE THEIR PUBLIC DEBUT   Leave a comment


On Saturday October 1, 2016, Mr & Mrs Shtick will be making their debut at Art Serve 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 The actual exhibit is October 5-November 4 and 

(ArtServe Mission:To provide programs, events, business opportunities, and facilities that help local and emerging artists turn their art into business.ArtServe Purpose:To create valuable cultural experiences for artists as a means to creating vibrant communities and creative place making.ArtServe Vision:To continue being the leading provider of cultural arts support programs in Broward County, stay ahead of the curve, offer innovations and measurable impacts.)

John Black, a local Gateway resident, a remarkable artisit that I have written about before made the 4 foot tall wooden sculpture to be used as a center piece for Halloween but stands on its own as a work of art all year long!

In between doing his volunteer work for the world famous televised Broward Baptist church Christmas Pageant making all the stage settings and props plus just recently doing a stage set for a local Boca Raton theatre he started a new project of what I call spinning tops, each a work of art of its own. Taking wood he finds here and there he has made the following pieces sanding, buffing, shining works of art that with a touch of the finger will send a major piece of the owrk spinning.

     

With the holidays coming up they make great gifts. If you are interested get in touch with me and I will send you his email address as he has never thought of selling them but they are taking over his place! :O)

If you live in the Fort Lauderdale area be sure to go see Mr & Mrs Shtick–you might want to buy it!!! In any case be sure to vote for it as a winner!!

Posted September 27, 2016 by greatmartin in ARTIST, Uncategorized

RANTS, RAVES, ODDS & ENDS   Leave a comment

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In reality it is such a beautiful day and I am at such a good point in my life I really have nothing that demanding to rant about. That title really should just be rant, not rants, and I very seldom rant in my posts but I will rant on people’s posts who just write stupid things! Right now I am thinking of 3 people who would swear they aren’t bigots, racists, anti gay, etc., and yet the majority of their posts and/or comments are either racist, bigoted, anti gay and, not even realizing it, anti Christian though they claim to be Christian. I just had to explain to one to do research before making a comment showing they don’t really know what they are talking about just like the one from Australia has no idea how America ‘works’ but is raedy to tell us what is wrong with America and Americans at the drop of a hat. Okay, enough about rants!

The first time I saw Barbra Streisand (1) was at the Bon Soir a small club on 8th Street in Greenwich Village across the street from Mary’s, a gay bar that I use to go to in my teens, in the early 1960s. (I, also, saw Carol Burnett there.) Then I saw her in “You Can Get It For Wholesale” and then the show that made her a Star “Funny Girl”. I would also see her in the evening concert in Central Park plus during the decade I lived in Memphis I flew to Las Vegas to see her 3 times.

Now she is appearing in Fort Lauderdale and Miami during ‘season’ and though I would love to see her one last time (she maintains that she will no longer tour) with a price of $1,250 for the best seats (including a gift package!) and $895 in the rest of the orchestra and the lowest being $95 in the last rows guess I will have to skip it.

On Thursday, after getting my new glasses (16) I introduced Allen to Cabo Blanco (3-5) and he was impressed as I was!

With summer ‘over’—HA!!! Only 91 degrees this afternoon!—we are getting heavier rains (6-7) though it is hard to tell how wild the wind and rain are blowing in these pictures. It looks like we may get away—keeping my fingers crossed—for a 12th year without a hurricane! Three months to go.

I am going to have to get a better picture of John’s new hobby (page 8). I have written about how artistic he is before—and two of his pieces will be shown for sale at Art Serve in Fort Lauderdale Saturday October 1- and all these have spinning parts that will just hypnotize you! They make great presents and with the holidays coming up keep it in mind!

If you ever come across #9—Kale Krunch—RUN!!! They are awful.

#10 a picture in the park while 11 & 12 are plants on the sill in my apartment. Can’t forget the green pepper plants (14 & 15) that started with seeds from some peppers I had bought to cook with. Right now they have about 10 white blossoms so I am hoping I’ll get some peppers!

Next door to the Metro PCS store that I got the new phone from was a Jimmy John’s hero store #13 and they certainly live up to their boast about making the ‘freaky fast’ heroes but I prefer the taste (and breads) of Subway.

Last, but not least, the 20th anniversary tour of “Rent” (#2) opens at the Broward Performing Arts Center on Friday, October 7 officially starting our Bank of America Broadway Tours 2016-2017 season! (Look for a post on a new web page I will be writing in conjuncture withthat.)

Posted September 26, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

“WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment


The saving factor of “When The Bough Breaks” is that the three leads are attractive and good actors but that suns it up. This supposedly psychological thriller holds no surprises and basically follows Hollywood’s screenplay 101 template.

After 3 miscarriages (didn’t Alicia Vikander in “The Light Between The Ocean” have the same thing happen to her?) Laura (Regina Hall) and John (Morris Chestnut) Taylor decide to hire Anna (Jaz Sinclair) a young candidate from a surrogacy agency to carry their last viable embryo and give birth to the child they both very much want. He is a lawyer, she a chef’s assistnt who travels for him, both a well to do couple with two inherited homes adding to their comfortable life.

Now I know when you enter a movie theatre you have to check your logic at the door but when you are hiring a 21 year old woman to carry your baby it seems to me, especially if one is a lawyer who has access to a high powered investigator, you would do a lot of looking into the background of the girl. Especially after meeting her somewhat scheming, not particularly likable boyfriend, you know some bad things are going to happen and they do just as you expected.

The writer Jack Olsen and director Jon Cassar can’t even be bothered to bring suspense to take a take off from “Fatal Attraction”. In fact neither bring any suspense, let alone interest, to what you know will happen, that you have seen before. The big failure of this film is not showing the male of these attractive people to better advantage not that the two women are treated much better though a red dress makes stunners out of both–the women that is!!

“When The Bough Breaks” is not a ‘bad’ picture but belongs more on Lifetime than in a movie theatre.

MOVIE TRAILER  

The saving factor of “When The Bough Breaks” is that the three leads are attractive and good actors but that suns it up. This supposedly psychological thriller holds no surprises and basically follows Hollywood’s screenplay 101 template.

After 3 miscarriages (didn’t Alicia Vikander in “The Light Between The Ocean” have the same thing happen to her?) Laura (Regina Hall) and John (Morris Chestnut) Taylor decide to hire Anna (Jaz Sinclair) a young candidate from a surrogacy agency to carry their last viable embryo and give birth to the child they both very much want. He is a lawyer, she a chef’s assistnt who travels for him, both a well to do couple with two inherited homes adding to their comfortable life.

Now I know when you enter a movie theatre you have to check your logic at the door but when you are hiring a 21 year old woman to carry your baby it seems to me, especially if one is a lawyer who has access to a high powered investigator, you would do a lot of looking into the background of the girl. Especially after meeting her somewhat scheming, not particularly likable boyfriend, you know some bad things are going to happen and they do just as you expected.

The writer Jack Olsen and director Jon Cassar can’t even be bothered to bring suspense to take a take off from “Fatal Attraction”. In fact neither bring any suspense, let alone interest, to what you know will happen, that you have seen before. The big failure of this film is not showing the male of these attractive people to better advantage not that the two women are treated much better though a red dress makes stunners out of both–the women that is!!

“When The Bough Breaks” is not a ‘bad’ picture but belongs more on Lifetime than in a movie theatre.

MOVIE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f5a0MfhY3A

Posted September 23, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

Summertime in Fort Lauderdale Part 4   Leave a comment

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The calendar may say autumn but the weather hasn’t gotten the message yet though we did go all the way down to a high of 91 degrees yesterday!!

We are now past the hottest part of the year in South Florida. Aside from the heat, humidity and sun feeling like it is cooking you we get very heavy rains at least once a day either early morning or late evening which makes you feel like you are in a sauna! Have I convinced you to NOT come to Florida in August or September? GOOD!!!

Those two months are a delight for people who live here as we don’t fight crazy drivers from the North or tourists causing lines at favorite restaurants. Traffic flows freely, why some of us even walk—in the shade of trees, of course.

To me one of the amazing things about the hot summertime in Fort Lauderdale is what Mother Nature gives to human beings to make life so much better.

We get smooth waters for people to go canoeing (3) or skim the boat over the bay leaving white tails of foam (5). At night she gives us a full moon and sometimes throws in a startling lightening show (8). And then there are flowers of all colors, sizes and shapes not to mention some I have never seen before or even know the name of them (9).

It will cool off later in September—okay, okay. The temperature will be in the high 80s, low 90s and we will keep our fingers crossed that November will bring the end of hurricane season and we will have made it through a 12 year of not seeing Mother Nature’s wrath.

Complain of the heat if you must but know that one person at least is loving it!

Posted September 22, 2016 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE IT WAS 70 YEARS AGO!   Leave a comment

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(In 2007 a full page ad cost $104,000–the ads for Hello Dolly, The Front Page and The Glass Menagerie are double pages–wonder what they cost today!)

After living more than half of my life in Florida I miss New York City only one day of the year and that is when the New York Times Sunday edition comes out with their “The New Season”, this year in 5 part sections covering the theatre, television, art, dancing, video games, music and film. This past Sunday—thanks Bob & Christine—I got the paper and just laid it out on my table and seeing Bette Midler going to open in Jerry Herman’s rival of the musical “Hello Dolly”, Nathan Lane in BenHecht and Charles MacArthur’s classic comedy “The Front Page”, Sally Field starring as Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ memory play drama “The Glass Menagerie” plus in other shows CateBlanchett, Mary-Louise Parker, Liev Schreiber not to forget revivals of “Falsettos” and a new musical version of  Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory just to mention a few ‘happenings’.

It took me back 70 years ago as a kid and as a teenager and a young adult in my 20s and 30s. I could talk for hours, days and, yes, even years about seeing my first show “Oklahoma” (1944?) and my parents taking me to see the original “Death of a Salesman” (1949), “Come Back Little Sheba” (1950), going on my own to see Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire” when I was 11 and in my teens seeing Ethel Merman, Mary Martin and all the STARS on Broadway, the prize winning playwrights, the best musicals and dramas and when I was living in Memphis in the 70s going up to New York and seeing 10 shows in a week every year and the two performances I will never ever forget: the first time I saw “A Chorus Line” at the Shubert theatre in 1976 and then at the same theatre 7 years later when it became the longest running show on Broadway with in-between, and after, becoming a “ACL” groupie seeing the show all over the USA for a total of 101 times.

I just look at the front page of the NY Times Arts & Leisure and I am flooded with 72 years of good memories, even of the few bad shows, including the two I walked out on, and as I type this I am thinking of the next trip I will take to New York in 2025 as I am sure there will be a 50thanniversary of “A Chorus Line”!

And now I wait patiently for the start of the Broadway Across America touring shows starting on October 7 with the 20th anniversary revival of “Rent” on its national tour!

Posted September 21, 2016 by greatmartin in THEATRE, Uncategorized

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