Archive for August 2017

“Ingrid Goes West”–a movie review   Leave a comment

Just as I won’t stop reading a book no matter how bad it may be I find it almost impossible to walk out of a movie theatre until the end credits start.  I watched “Ingrid Goes West” for 90 boring, never-ending, slow dragging minutes wanting to walk out though I was sort of taken with Aubrey Plaza’s performance in the title role but the last 7 minutes made me glad I stayed as not only did her performance reach an even higher level but the whole picture crystallized into what the screenplay writers Matt Spicer, who also directed, and David Branson Smith wanted.

Up to that ninetieth minute, the film seemed to be aimed at the current generation and their total involvement with smartphones, Instagram, social media, mores, manners, and comments. We meet Ingrid, after time in a psychiatric hospital, whose mother just died leaving her $65,000. Ingrid is basically a cyber stalker and becomes intrigued with Taylor Sloane (played by Elizabeth Olsen) who is famous for having thousands of followers on her Instagram account and becomes even more famous shilling products.

Ingrid takes her bag of money, leaves Pennsylvania and takes off for Los Angeles, rents a house from Dan (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.) a screenwriter who is obsessed with Batman and is writing a film, so he believes the next Batman film. After concocting a plan to meet Taylor she becomes her BFF and insinuates herself with Taylor’s husband, Ezra (Wyatt Russell) who claims to be an artist of some sort. Then enters what is to become Ingrid’s nemesis, Taylor’s brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen) an amoral coke addict and alcoholic who is very aware he is a muscle gym guy without any inhibitions.

While we know Ingrid can be and has been violent in the past and we see her in all sorts of moods from feeling ecstatic to a deep sadness there is that sense of craziness about her that will come to the forefront, along with the violence.

The screenplay and the characters are all over the place and there are constant shots of smart-phones with Snapshots and Instagram lines but the focus is on Ingrid and her acts in the last 7 minutes show who she really is and makes up for a lot of scenes that don’t make sense or are just fillers for the film.

Aubrey Plaza makes the film what it is and though she has done TV and a few other movies this should be the one that makes her a star if the audience can sit through the first 90 minutes!

Movie trailer

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

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Posted August 30, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

“Good Time”–a movie review   Leave a comment

There are times when I wonder if the critics saw the same movie as I did such as the one I saw this afternoon, “Good Time”. This movie has an 83% (out of 100%) rating and there are many 4-5 star reviews and except for watching Robert Pattinson after the first 5 minutes of dying his hair bright blonde I couldn’t find any redeeming features. Yes it is interesting to see how far he has come, in the acting department, since the “Twilight” series but the screenplay by Ronald Bronsteing and Josh Safdie, the direction by Josh and Benny Safdie and the photography of Sean Price Williams are helter-skelter, with plenty of violence in most of the scenes.

There is some interesting acting by Pattinson, Benny Safdie and Buddy Duress but equally embarrassing ones by Peter Verby and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

As bad as the movie is, though Pattinson and Safdie do their best to make it good, the ‘music’ by Oneohtrix Point Never provides one of the most horrendous scores this year, if not decade.

In spite of the critic’s reviews I can’t/won’t recommend “Good Time”.

Movie trailer

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

Posted August 28, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

“Logan Lucky”–a movie review   Leave a comment

Is it me? Have I seen too many movies, including all the classics, since I started going to the movies, at least once a week, for 75 years? Yes, I am old and I do use the closed caption hearing when watching television though my NET doctor says all is okay. I have no problem when talking with people but I have problems understanding movie talk, especially when they use accents.

Having had a rough 5 days with sick friend I wanted to go see something light, funny and, possibly, a no brainer. I really enjoy Channing Tatum in movies and I have also enjoyed Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s 11, 12, 13” and their collaboration with “Magic Mike” plus I was somewhat intrigued by “Introducing Daniel Craig as Joe Bang” so I decided to go see “Logan Lucky”.

“Logan Lucky” is a redneck, Southern heist film along the lines of the Ocean films. Along with Tatum and Craig other members of the cast are: Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Farrah MacKenzie, Hillary Swank to name a few. The screenplay was by Rebecca Blunt along with some excellent photography by Peter Andrews. Though it takes place in West Virginia most of it was photographed in Georgia.

“Logan Lucky” is the second picture I have seen this past week, the other being “Wind River”, which were pretty much given high marks and I don’t understand why. I read most of the Rotten Tomatoes reviews and still shrug my shoulders.

I don’t/won’t recommend “Logan Lucky”.

I still don’t get the “Introducing Daniel Craig” unless it is to introduce him as a very funny guy and the opposite of James Bond but that’s stretching  it.

 

 

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPzvKH8AVf0

Posted August 25, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

When friends get sick taht’s what friends are for!   Leave a comment

A lot has happened in the past 5 days and I finally got a little relief today.

Allen had a stroke in his left leg and fell on the floor in the kitchen at 11:45 PM and had to crawl to his bedroom to get his phone and call 911–previously, the past 3 weeks he lost sight in his right eye.

I lost count of how many doctors he went to who sent him to another!

He had an MRI of the brain then of the body plus all amounts of blood extracted.

One doctor said he had a blood clot in his brain–another said he had cataracts that would have to be operated on but they feel there is something else and can’t do that operation until they find  out what—and on and on and on.

 

He really needed someone to live with him 24/7 and some friend suggested Tommy–a 19 year old kid who worked in a bowling alley 5 nights a week. Allen said he would give him free room and board plus $200 a month and that he would have free use of the car, etc.,  That lasted 2 days and then he had the kid come down and pick me up, take him where he wanted to go and I had the car.

 

I don’t want to get into Monday as it started at dawn and went on for 70 hours–well it seemed like that. We had to go to another eye doctor–3 hours there–then get prescriptions filled–then stopped at Winn Dixie because he needed food in the house–I won’t get into his NOT having meals delivered because it cost money–then there was the patient evaluator nurse who spent 3 hours asking questions and (poor lady) had to listen to Allen ramble on (telling stories I have heard at least 15 times)  I won’t get into her warning him that he can’t live alone–that he had a choice of 1) a nursing home  2) going into a living assistance place or 3) get someone to live with him or she would have to tell social services

 

She suggested (actually told him what I have been telling him for months) that he had to get a medical alert because even if someone lived with him they might go out somewhere and he could fall again.

 

I could go on and on and on but finally I made him call Mike who had said he would rent out his condo which he owned and would move in with Allen without charging anything–Mike has money left to him by his lover of many years and who died in his 90s so Mike knew/knows how to take care of someone.

 

All I know is I sighed a huge sigh of relief when Mike showed up and agreed to move in BUT Allen can be and is very bossy–his way or the highway—and so is Mike.

 

I am going up to talk to Mike on Thursday to tell him some of the things the social worker said he needs to get/have plus work out some routine, etc., etc.

 

I will probably take Allen to his doctor appointments and, of course, the Thursday routines we have been doing for years–I did talk him into using the walker (top of the line) that Phillip used and left when he died and Allen agrees it is better than the cane.

 

Oh yes did I forget to tell about on Monday after running errands coming home and he fell and hit the concrete right outside his door?

 

In any case with Mike in his place today he didn’t sound as depressed (rightly so) as he had this past 5 days.

 

Since December he has been going downhill but in the past 3 weeks it was very noticeable–I don’t know if that will change or will continue which sort of stays with me.

 

Okay enough–won’t bother you anymore unless it is major news.

 

PS I blamed Allen for the 10 pounds I put on this week!! :O)

Posted August 23, 2017 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

Tequila Sunrise–Fort Lauderdale–restaurant review   Leave a comment

Allen, Anthony and I went for lunch here as I had a groupon. I have been coming here for close to twenty years as when I moved to Gateway the mother of the owner of the restaurant lived here and mentioned it. I would go 2-3 times a month as I liked their fajitas but it had been a year or so since I was here last.

The 2 male servers were excellent getting our drinks right away along with chips and salsa, bringing extra napkins before we had to ask for them and all in all were all that servers should be.

The salsa served with the chips had too much ‘juice’ which made dripping all over a major problem. I had decided to try another dish that I use to have when I when worked at Who Song and Larrys—now closed. I had the dinner portion shredded beef Chimichanga ($13.95) while Allen had the lunch size with chicken ($9.95) and both were the same size. Since the diet cola news we decided to stick with water.
Anthony had the Enchiladas Rancheras ($11.49) with raspberry iced tea ($2.79) without ice which always cracks me up.

All the dishes were served with refried beans and rice topped with sauce and cheese. Though the Chimichanga was okay I should have stayed with the fajitas.

They have a small, very unappetizing salad and soup bar that comes with the lunch menu.

For dessert Allen had the Flan ($4), which he wasn’t too impressed with and I had the fried ice cream ($5) which was good and presented in a striking way.

The check came to a total of $50.01 and with the $15 groupon I paid being good for a $25 discount (actually a $10 total discount which is not a deal as they have a $10 coupon in whatever ads they take) so the actual check presented to us was for $25.01

Though the restaurant hasn’t changed much as far as décor goes but it is clean and contains mainly Mexican restaurant clichés.

The main difference from the previous owners to the new ones was the lack of welcome, feeling like a friend or a member of the family, which is what made the old Tequila Sunrise an above average Mexican restaurant and makes the current one just another Mexican restaurant.Tequila Sunrise 2017 Collage

Posted August 22, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, Uncategorized

“Wind River”–movie review   Leave a comment

Choosing between “Wind River”, “Logan Lucky”, “Hitman’s Bodyguard”, “Landline” or “The Only Living Boy in New York” I chose “Wind River” which was a huge mistake!

“Wind River” opens with the death of a young Native American teenage girl running barefoot in the snow on a Wyoming Indian reservation. From that opening, it is as if the violence never ends with wolves being killed, lions killing animals, men killing men, the leading man’s (Jeremy Renner), daughter, a friend of the dead girl, having been murdered like that girl, a girl being gang-raped, everyone both good and bad being hunters and hunted with the members of the audience being put through a lot, too much, pain.

Ther screenplay by Taylor Sheridan who also directed the film is all over the place in both departments while the score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis adds tension and helps one feel the cold and snow in the excellent cinematography.

The cast starting with Jeremy Renner as a trapper and Elizabeth Olsen as an FBI rookie who realizes she can learn a lot from the trapper along with Gil Birmingham and Tantoo Cardinal as the dead girl’s parents with her being played by Kelsey Asbille in a flashback along with Jon Bernthal as her older boyfriend, Julia Jones as the trapper’s ex-wife, Tio Briones as their son all do fine jobs though, either through the soundtrack, mumbling or whispers many points of the story are lost.

As bad as the violence is the role played by James Jordan is so appalling bad one has to wonder if the director hoped the audience would laugh at it to get the bad taste of rapes, murders and bodily destruction out of their heads as they left the auditorium.

“Wind River” is based on a true story and at the end credits there are some comments that I felt had very little to do with the story we had seen.

Unless you are a lover of human and animal violence I do not recommend “Wind River”.

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN9PDOoLAfg

Posted August 19, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

Olive Garden Restaurant–review   Leave a comment

 Olive Garden 2 collage

I don’t go to the Olive Garden for an Italian meal as we have too many real Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale for the true experience. The Olive Garden is a wanna be Italian restaurant with real Italian names for their food items but that is as far as it goes. I have yet to taste a sauce there that isn’t just bland, tasteless.

I had a $35 gift card plus a $5 off coupon so off we went.

Upfront, Marlanea, our server was excellent. The breadsticks were warm while the salad was good but the Minestrone soup was loaded with vegetables and very little taste.

We both had the Shrimp ‘Scampi’, ($16.49 each) at least that was what they called it.  Yes, there are many variations of Scampi but the basic Italian restaurant will make it in an oil and garlic sauce while this was in some sort of cream sauce. They did put it over Angel Hair pasta.

I had a diet soda ($2.89)–is there some theme I am missing with all items priced to end in a 9? Allen paying heed to the latest report on diet sodas stuck to water.

We did share a piece of Black Tie Mousse cake ($7.79) which was very good.

Altogether our check came to $45.98 including tax plus we left a $10 tip so minus the $35 gift card and the $5 coupon it cost us about $8 each out of pocket.

It has been about 5-6 years since I had been to an Olive Garden and after this meal, I remembered why.

I’ll stick to Cafe Vico, Big Louie’s, MezzaLuna Bistro, etc., for an Italian meal!

Oh yes, a big plus in their favor was that I didn’t see a television anywhere! LOL

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