Archive for July 2017

“Atomic Blonde”–a movie review   Leave a comment

 

In the 1940s and 1950s, in my teens, I thought Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth were two of the most beautiful women in the world and in the 1990s Charlize Theron took over that title. She also added one of the best actresses in “Monster”, at which time I swore if she didn’t win the Oscar I would never go to movies again (Whew! She did!), along with “Mad Max: Fury Road”. In her television ad for Christian Dior’s J’Adore perfume there is no one in the history of movies who walked, walks, as sexy as she does.

As much as I dislike violence the only reason I went to see “Atomic Blonde” was because she was in it and, yes. From first to last frame she is the center of violence. From kicking, hitting, kneeing, punching men in the crouch (OUCH!) to using keys, lamps, heaters, guns, knives, her hands and bodies she disperses her enemies like very few if any actions can or do.

Along with that she can look magnificent stepping out of an ice bath with bruises all over her body, a busted lip, a black eye and just take your breath away. Look at her walking in red stilettos, which she also uses as a weapon, or stepping out of a car with her long legs encased in leather high heel boots or her body wrapped in a sweater dress and you forget all the mayhem, murder and you know she is not only any man’s equal but, in most cases, their superior!

Obviously from her biceps, back muscles, firm, strong body you know she did most, if not all, of the stunts. She also could teach 007 how to make love to men and women!

No one walks like Theron does on screen and could have taught Monroe a few things!

Oh yes, there is a story in “Atomic Blonde”, written by Kurt Johnstad, which like in many action movies doesn’t really make sense and the director, David Leitch, puts his actors through the fights, car chases, interestingly, along with director of photographer, Jonathan Sela adding to the film as does composer Tyler Bates with his soundtrack and the addition of songs that fit each scene, sometimes with a laugh.

There is one long fight sequences with Theron battling one enemy after another, at times 4-5 of them in one shot that certainly will rank among the best on film.

There is a good supporting cast with James McAvoy as her partner standing out, James Goodman and Toby Jones, wasted, Sofia Boutella as a French spy who seduces or is seduced by Theron along with Eddie Marsan, Til Schweiger among others but it is Charlize Theron in every scene that owns the movie.

This is a film, first off, for Charlize Theron admirers, also for those not familiar with her, then action fans, masochists and sadists. Yes there is a lot of violence but I forgot most of it watching Theron hand ling herself and her enemies like she does it every day.

By the way some people left when the screen went black and missed the added on scene explaining what happened near the end.

 

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI7HVnZlleo

July 2017 Diary Part 1 Movies, restaurants and me.   Leave a comment

It’s been a busy and good July for me including an excellent health report. Discovered a new great restaurant that I have been back to already called Nabu. It is an American Fusion Buffet and Sushi restaurant. I also returned to a couple of favorites of mine: The Cheesecake Factory and Padrino’s.

And, yes, I did some home cooking and eating which is what I do mostly—eat at home.

Saw 7 movies with one, “The Big Sick” so far the best film of the year and “Girls Trip” which was very funny.

This was just a little part of July!

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0BK19AYRcE

Posted July 31, 2017 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

“Lady Macbeth”–a movie review   Leave a comment

Possibly because she has been in the news recently or the way the lead is dressed and the house is furnished, whatever, Florence Pugh in “Lady Macbeth” kept reminding me of Olivia DeHaviland in “The Heiress”, who plays Catherine, which isn’t a bad comparison for Pugh.

Florence Pugh plays Katherine, (with a K),  a 17 year old virginal girl who has been basically ‘purchased’ with a plot of land, who is married to a sexually dysfunctional man, Alexander , played by Paul Hilton, more than twice her age. He pleasures himself while she is nude facing a wall and therefore unable to bear the children forwhich she is bought. Not only does she have a brutal non-caring husband who will not allow her to go outdoors she also has to put up with his father Boris (Christopher Fairbank) another unpleasant man.

Alexander has to leave for a period of time allowing Katherine to go outside and walk in the nature she loves so much and has missed. At one point she comes across a group of men who work for her husband having ‘sport’ with her maid Anna ((Naomi Ackie) and becomes a witness to all that takes place when Katherine gets involved in a very heated love affair with Sebastian, ( Cosmo Jarvis) her husband’s servant.

At this point forget any idea of Shakespeare you might get just from the title of the film as it turns into both a ‘bodice ripper’ and a melodrama that includes murder, deception, revenge, a major character going mute, a cold blooded killing and a major betrayal leading to an unanswered ending.

Talking about unanswered questions there are many puzzles left just that as they are left like that such as why the husband is dysfunctional sexually.

The main reason for seeing this movie is the possibilities of seeing a new star emerge in the beginning of her career. Florence Pugh goes from a naïve, shy young girl to a woman who takes control of her life and in many cases those around her and how it changes her.

“Lady Macbeth” is a fairly short movie in these days with 2+ hour films in that it only runs 89 minutes, though it does seem longer at times.

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z0N8ULhuUA

“Girls Trip”–a movie review   1 comment

“Girls Trip” is rated R, justifiably, for “crude and sexual content throughout, pervasive language, brief graphic nudity and drug material”. After 30 minutes, watching that women can be as stupid, crass and vulgar as men, I was ready to walk BUT I am so glad I didn’t!

There is one of the funniest scenes I have seen in a comedy in decades and without giving too much away it involves Tiffany Haddish (as Dina,) half a grapefruit with the end cut off and a hole in the middle plus a banana! Yes it is crude, sort of adds to a stereotype about Black men but Haddish will be remembered for years just as the scene in “There’s Something About Mary” with Cameron Diaz and ‘hair gel’.

On the other hand there is a urination scene that puts any men have done on film to shame and debases the women and then repeat it even though it is so fake.

The main thing going for “Girls Trip” is the feeling you get that the 4 leads; Haddish, Regina Hall (Ryan), Queen Latifah (Sasha) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Lisa) have truly been friends since high school and all have problems to be dealt with which they eventually do. Regarding the latter there is a touching scene that eventually got the Black women in the audience to cheer, shout at the screen and laugh.

For each woman there is a man with the pairing of Lisa and Malik (Kofi Siriboe) with the latter, unknowingly, responsible for the grapefruit scene and demonstrating it, against his will, in a later scene while very successful Ryan is married to very successful hunky looking guy, Stewart, (Mike Colter) though Sasha’s ‘man’ happens to be a lamp—sorry, you will have to see it—while Dina will go after any male who is breathing! Julian (Larenz Tate) is a guy who has been friends with the women since childhood and, obviously, is in love with Ryan.

While there are many cameos including Common, Sean Combs, Mike Epps among them, both Deborah Ayorinde as the fierce ‘other woman’ and Kate Walsh, as a stereotyped White woman, stand out.

Yes the ladies get drunk, take a ‘trip’ on 200-year-old absinthe, do and say absurd, ‘dirty’ things, have a dance-off concentrating on the booties and breasts but you just know the actresses are having fun showing actors how to do it!

I must add having a large group of Black women in the audience added to enjoying the movie though I must add I observed a Black man with his wife(?) was not enjoying himself one bit!

I would say you could miss the first 30 minutes of this 2 hour and 2 minute movie but I don’t remember at what point the grapefruit scene takes place and you shouldn’t miss that scene as crude and gross as it may be.

“Girls Trip” is a movie to relax, laugh, enjoy and watch how women can be there for each other unlike men.

“Girls Trip movie trailer”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exGKVvTbdE0

Nabu American Fusion Buffet & Sushi–a review   Leave a comment


The Nabu American Fusion Buffet would be a 5 star restaurant if it wasn’t for some minor glitches, that could/should be fixed, noticed by someone in the business.
To start the staff greets you at the door , you are quickly seated, you order your drinks and off you go.
I didn’t count how many different items are offered by the cover the range from various fresh salads, hot soups, 3-4 different versions of shrimp, mussels both cold and in a seafood medley, tacos, noodles, Hibachi grill with beef, peppers and onions, lamb on a skewer, uncountable different variations of sushi not to mention more than a dozen desserts plus 6 different kinds of ice cream. It really seems like an never ending meal.
I won’t vouch for the sushi because I am not a sushi eater but most of the foods I did have were very good.
The glitches? As with most buffets a few of the dishes were not hot and the meat on the hibachi grill was beyond well done and dry. The servers were alert always refilling almost empty glasses and taking away dirty dishes but they should bring more napkins to the table plus fresh silverware every now and then.
The lunch buffet is $11.95 which is what we had and we can only imagine what the dinner buffet is like.
I will definitely be going back to try out the few sections I missed and might even give the sushi a try.
As the manager(?) said goodbye and added that he hoped to see us again soon I had no doubt he would–quite a few times!

The classic Gateway Movie Theatre yesterday and today   Leave a comment

When I first experimented taking videos among the first three I took were in 2012 of the Gateway movie theatre. It has been my favorite movie house to go to since I moved back to Fort Lauderdale in 1979. When I lived in Miami Beach in the 1960s we use to drive up to what was known as ‘the country’–Fort Lauderdale. We would always wind up going to the Gateway for a movie after a day on the beach and then dinner at one of the few restaurant choices available then.

If a movie is playing at one of the new, ‘modern’ fancy movies or The Gateway I will always choose the latter, for many reasons including their staff, the movie-goers comment board and the variety of movies they show at one time from independent films, to Hollywood blockbusters to foreign films, documentaries and so called ‘art house’ films.

Recently they made a few improvements including a new lobby floor, marque signs for what movie is playing in each auditorium, new comfortable chairs, etc., but they kept that comment board which alone is worth the price of admission!

The first three videos are those from 2012 and the last is one I took recently. (In 5 years my video making hasn’t improved.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5KYSit9gd8

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqn0omRw2EM

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YeENDnVIhE

 

“New” Gateway Theatre

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j56CNVmyrMI

Posted July 23, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Uncategorized

“Dunkirk”–Oscar worthy?–my review   Leave a comment

“Wings” won the first Best Picture Oscar in 1929 and since then 16 other war movies have been honored with that award. I have never been a fan of the genre, in fact missed seeing “Braveheart” and the 3 war themed movies that Clint Eastward made plus skipping the Oscar winning “The Hurt Locker” so I approached “Dunkirk’ skeptically hearing excellent word of month.

Christopher Nolan is a better director than screenplay writer. There are a lot of intense war scenes including some that will have you on the edge of your seat but emotionally you don’t become involved with the few characters he does concentrate on. In most cases very few have names, no or very little background. As an example in one scene a young man you get to know briefly dies and you sort of shrug your soldiers.

The cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema offers many haunting, striking images while the music by Hans Zimmer sometimes adds to the horror of war while at other times distracts from the sounds of war that have a rhythm of its own.

Nolan intertwines 3 story lines at first dividing them calling the first part “The Mole” representing the war on land as we follow Fion Whitehead and takes place over a week, part two is a day at sea as we join civilian Mark Rylance, his teenage son Tom Glynn-Carney and the latter’s friend Barry Keoghan along with a soldier they rescue from the sea Cillian Murphy while the third is an hour in the air seen through the eyes of pilot Tom Hardy. The director/screenwriter goes back and forth between the different parts and times and though it may add to the film it really isn’t necessary to give the time most thought.

Many people under 50 may not know the story of what happened at Dunkirk and they might not quite follow what it is all about but no matter what age you have seen the horrors of war before.

In 106 minutes “Dunkirk” moves quickly and while it doesn’t get boring, neither does it get you involved to feel what victory or defeat meant in the case of this particular epic part of World War 2.

I will probably be proven wrong but I don’t believe it is Oscar worthy!

 

 

 

 

Dunkirk trailer

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cmgiys2n1o

Starting my 10th year today!   Leave a comment

I started on my 12 birthday—my 3rd Leap Year birthday—in 1948. I thought it made me look more sophisticated, debonair and grown up. 48 years later, on July 21, 2008, I was being lead into the operating room to have an aorta valve replacement.

I started off smoking 2-3 cigarettes a day and at the age of 16 when I was going to the bars I was up to a pack a day. While in the Marines I cut back a bit but by the time I went to work as a server (called waiters back then!) in restaurants I was smoking 2-3 packs a day and would for the next 40 years until that July day when, before going into the operating room, I smoked my last cigarette and now it is 9 years since.

I have not smoked since then and being around smokers doesn’t bother me at all. I still miss a cigarette now and then like when I am on the computer or after a good meal but that only lasts for a second or two.

I consider myself very lucky that all I have from smoking all those years is a slight case of COPD and though my PAD is a little worse I am aware a lot more could have happened to me physically just because I wanted to appear more sophisticated, debonair and grown up 69 years ago!

Posted July 21, 2017 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

Indian Harbor Restaurant–review   Leave a comment

I went into the restaurant for lunch knowing little of Indian food except curries and I left knowing even less. Reading a couple of reviews here, and on a local site, I thought ordering the buffet would give me a selection of different tastes. It did but I have no idea what I tasted.

 

There were three people working in the dining room. I am not sure what the ‘titles’ of the young man and woman were but I’ll guess the female was the server and the male was the busboy though the busboy did most of the serving.. After waiting for awhile we finally sat ourselves and I stopped what looked like the owner–turned out to be the manager–to ask him about the buffet. He said it was $13 (and, I thought, it included a soft drink) and that was the end of the discussion.

 

Nothing further was explained about the buffet and it wasn’t until later when I asked about dessert I found out that the first thing I had tasted was a round ball of something so sweet I couldn’t eat it which was the dessert on the buffet. There were about 8 different hot dishes and I recognized the rice and next to it was a combination of spinach and mushrooms. The rest of the dishes, though having Indian names and one saying vegan, are still a mystery to me. There was a chicken dish in a heavy sauce and I think a tofu dish. By the way the hot dishes weren’t hot.

 

I wish I had written the names of the dishes down so that when I got home I could look them up. Oh yes, I know we had chicken tandorri or at least I think we did, from a review I had read but it tasted more like dried out meat. I did take pictures of the dishes I ate and tried to match them to the pictures the restaurant has on their web site but I didn’t do too good a job.

 

The place had a nautical theme, nothing Indian looking about it. The restaurant looked clean and sleek with butcher sheets on top of white tablecloths and linen napkins. Service was good in the realm of removing used dishes and refilling the water glasses.

I had a diet cola ($2)  and Anthony had a Masala Chai, which he liked, so for the 2 lunch buffets ($13 each) , drinks and tax our lunch check came to $33. 92 plus a tip.

 

I guess I will have to go to another Indian restaurant to find out more about Indian food but I won’t be going back to the Indian Harbor.Indian Harbor Restaurant July 2017

Posted July 19, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

“Catfish Dewey’s–restaurant review   Leave a comment

I have been going to Catfish Dewey’s for over 15 years but it had been awhile since I was there last. Robert wanted some catfish so there wasn’t any decision except to go there. I’ve always loved their all you can steamed shrimp so that’s what I ordered. The price of $20.50 is a ‘little’ higher then it was 15 years ago but it is still good. The all you can eat fried catfish has also gone up in price now being $16.50. The shrimp, though of a good size, seemed a little smaller but not that much different.

Both orders came with Cole slaw and a basket of hush puppies. You get a choice of fries, baked potato or rice pilaf.

We were having a late lunch, about 3 PM, so the place was on the quiet side. Andrew, our server, did a great job with refills of everything plus our drinks before we had to ask for any item. When we left–hey it IS all you can eat–about 2 hours later the place was filling up.

Walking into Catfish Dewey’s is like walking into yesterday with everyone the same, friendly as all get out, everything the same whether the furnishings or the food yet the former is clean and looks new and the food is good.

I really enjoyed the familiar feel good atmosphere and, of course, the shrimp.Catfish Deweys July 2017

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