Archive for January 2018

“The Commuter”–movie review   3 comments

In ‘the good old days’ when they had double bills in the movie theatres consisting of 2 movies, a cartoon, a newsreel, coming attractions among other things “The Commuter” would be the B feature on the double bill.

“The Commuter” is a ‘popcorn film’ where you check your logic at the door, sit back in the auditorium chair, eat your popcorn or whatever you buy, enjoy and forget as you walk out the theatre.

Liam Nesson is our hero who can do no wrong and even lies for no reason by saying, in the movie, that he is 60 when in real life he is 65! Guess what? He is a commuter, which is shown in the first few minutes, married, has a kid and gets married after 10 years on a job and at one time had been a police officer.

When the movie settles down he is on his way home and after sitting in his chair and opening a book to read he is approached by Vera Farmiga with an offer he can’t refuse, as only happens in a movie. The logic goes out the air with the proposition just as we see Neeson in fights that would kill normal men while he just gets up and fights the next guy or does minor, compared to other, deeds like falling off a train and jumping back on!

Just recently Liam Neeson said he is too old to keep on making action movies but keep on he does and makes it look easy. I, personally, wish he would make a ‘serious drama’ like he used to now and then.

The cast has the usual suspects but anyone with crime movies will guess the villain before it hits the halfway mark. I have yet to see Vera Farmiga give a bad performance and though she is seen briefly on screen just hearing her voice for a lot of the screen time is intriguing. With a fine supporting cast on the train, Adam Nagaitis as conductor Jimmy offers needed humor.

Director of photography, Paul Cameron, along with director Jaume Collet-Serra, offers some dazzling camera work including a fight on the train that uses everything on hand along with arms, legs, train seats, windows, an ax, a gun, etc., constantly moving from train car to train car.

“The Commuter” is for Liam Nesson fans, crime/thriller fans, train fans, B movie fans and a film to see on a rainy day to forget whatever troubles you might have and giving your brain a rest!

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDshY43Ol2U

 

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Posted January 30, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

Another tree——-GONE! :O(   Leave a comment

Posted January 29, 2018 by greatmartin in LIFE, MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized

Ki’Na–restaurant review–Fort Lauderdale   Leave a comment

Ki Na restaurant Jan 25 2018

Thanks to nextdoor.com posts I kept on hearing about this restaurant which had taken over the building from a short-lived enterprise of a not so good restaurant. The new owners also run the Temple Eatery next door. On the top of their menus (both a lunch and dinner menu) is the following:

“Inspired by the memories growing up, Ki’Na, meaning “little kids” in Taiwanese, pays homage to the traditional Chinese cuisine. Our style of cooking startsfrom the freshest ingredients. We source non-gmo, hormone & antibiotic-free products as locally as possible. Currently, we proudly carry products from Harpke Farms, Sunfresh Farm, Springer Chicken Farm, Bio Farm Organics, Swank Specialty Produce, Cascade Organic, & Foods in Season.”

Daryl (called Darling on the receipt) the server was fast and efficient, answered what questions we had and made a few suggestions. We came in at 1:30 and there was one other couple but they soon left and the place remained empty though some did come in to look at the menu or read the one on the outside and left. It could be the prices seemed a bit high for lunch.

 

I had Spicy Sesame Noodle soup made with: ground chicken, soft egg, greens, wood ear mushrooms, scallions, chili oil with cucumber salad $14

Allen had Chicken meatballs: 2 meatballs, soft egg, braised Daiken, daily Asian green, soy glaze with cucumber salad $14 and Chocolate chili ice cream $5 of which I had a bite and just shrugged off.

Allen enjoyed his dish and I certainly liked the big bowl of soup filled up with tasty items but we both felt the cucumber salad consisting of 3 very small spears, along with the ice cream, was a major disappointment.

Also I appreciated the bottle of water, served in steel cups, with the bottle left on the table.

With tip and tax the check came to $40, about par for lunch in a full-service restaurant.

The service was good, the pleasant surroundings added to the enjoyment of the meal and the food tasted fresh and for a first time visit I would recommend it but, anddont ask me to explain why because I can’t, we probably won’t go back! 

Posted January 28, 2018 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized

The Fort Lauderdale Broadway Across America 2018-2019 season   Leave a comment






Posted January 27, 2018 by greatmartin in MUSICAL THEATRE, THEATRE, Uncategorized

“Hostiles”–movie review   1 comment

I haven’t seen a ‘western’ in at last 20 years and I can do without seeing one again after “Hostiles”. ‘They’ certainly don’t make them like they use and John Wayne would be embarrassed, let alone not know how to act, doing Christian Bale’s role!

The only westerns I have liked are “Shane”, the campy “Duel In The Sun” and “Johnny Guitar” and though Bale is excellent I couldn’t/wouldn’t watch this 2 hour and 13-minute film again even if you gave me all the carrot cake I can eat!

In spite of the fantastic scenery, whether it is in mountains or forests or streams or desert to open plains, there isn’t much new in “Hostiles”. Let’s go over the checklist: Indians raiding and killing all the white settler family except the mother—check, a white man getting scalped—check, women being raped—check—the black soldier getting shot—check—a very wise Indian chief—check—people dying and being buried—check—people dying and being left to rot—check—an Indian being hung from a tree—check. Should I go on?

By the way, the above aren’t spoilers as you have seen these scenes in almost every western!

There are two things that are new in this movie and that is basically understanding Bale’s character though you are told very little about him and, in spite of the fact that I love a ‘happily ever after’ ending this has one of the most ludicrous ones I have ever seen. This also isn’t a ‘spoiler’ because it is so unbelievable!

Christian Bale is excellent and though there was talk of his getting an Oscar nomination he didn’t which is as senseless as Denzel Washington getting one for his role in “Roman J. Israel, Esquire”. Rosamund Pike does what she can with the ‘damsel in distress’ role while no one leaves an impression in any of the other roles.

“Hostiles” is in the same category as “Phantom Thread” in that except for the leading actor neither are worth seeing.

 

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M5cj4UmscE

And now at peak of coming movies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBpCN8303NY

Posted January 27, 2018 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

Crazy, noisy day.   Leave a comment

Copters 2 Manatee
(those are 2 helicopters, not birds!)

For a guy who goes to sleep around 3 AM and gets up at 11 AM today was NOT my day.

It started with 2 lawn mowers cutting grass near my building followed by the leaf blowers. Somewhere along the way one of those loud machines that turn tree limbs into mulch joined the crowd!

While this was going on another machine made its appearance and before I knew it I heard a sidewalk being smashed to pieces. I wasn’t too far off as they were doing something in front of the office adding to the mosaic of din!

Just when I thought that was all the noise that would batter our ears suddenly two helicopters were flying overhead and coast guard boats were roaring up and down the canal! It seems a Manatee with a Life Jacket tied around him. (They don’t think it was done by someone purposely but that had somehow or other ‘dived’ into it and it expanded while on him.) It seems it took them 2-3 hours to rescue him, take off the Life Jacket and let him get on with his business. (It is mating time folks!)

To top it all off, another helicopter, having nothing to do with the Manatee helicopters, crashed in downtown Fort Lauderdale near the Broward Performing Arts Center and Discovery Museum, after taking off from a helipad a block away. Unbelievably no one was hurt, including the pilot!

By now it was 6 PM and I was ready to move to downtown Manhattan in New York City for some quiet!!

Posted January 24, 2018 by greatmartin in LIFE, Uncategorized

“Phantom Thread”–movie review   Leave a comment

Being this is, supposedly, Daniel Day-Lewis’s last movie before he retires I wish he had retired after doing “Lincoln” and winning an Oscar, though he is retiring with an Oscar nomination for his role as Reynolds Jeremiah Woodcock.

Woodcock is at the center of British fashion dressing royalty, movie stars, rich women and socialites with the House of Woodstock along with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) who manages the business and, to a certain extent, him. He is, and seems to boast about it, a confirmed bachelor and has women coming into his life and his sister getting rid of them when he is tired of them.

Taking a break he goes to his out of town cottage and in a restaurant, he meets a clumsy waitress, Alma, played by Vicky Krieps, starts dating her and she becomes his muse, lover and then wife. His falling in love with her disrupts his life and his work. As Cyril tells Alma her brother likes quiet in the morning, especially at breakfast, and she is noisy such as scraping and cutting her toast, noisily pouring her tea and stirring her spoon just for starters.

Soon he is using all this ‘noise’ as excuses to end what they have and looking at his sister to do her job which is to send Alma away but then he gets sick and she takes care of him only endearing her to him.

At that point, I lost it. I lost what was going on. I lost interest in the film and Daniel Day-Lewis and the two women and the fashions but, also, where it was going if it was going anywhere.

When I got home I read three rave reviews to see what I had missed and one reviewer referred to Hitchcock’s “Rebecca”, another to Gene Tierney in “Dragonwyck” while another mentioned films made in the 1940s and 1950s and I could understand those references. The film starts with the song “My Foolish Heart” from the 1950 movie starring Susan Hayward and Dana Andrews, which was a favorite of mine and I wish I had seen that instead of “Phantom Thread” which takes place in the 1950s probably the reason for the song.

For the record it was announced today that “Phantom Thread” received the following Oscar nominations:  1) Best Picture 2) Best Actor 3) Best Director Paul Thomas Anderson 4) Best Supporting Actress Lesley Manville 5) Best Costume Design Mark Bridges and 6) original score Johnny Greenwind.

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESxpCVT6_nY

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