Archive for July 2018

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!” Movie review   2 comments

I went into seeing “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!” not expecting to be surprised and I was surprised in many ways.

First of all I saw Lily James in “Baby Driver” last week and didn’t recognize her and she floored me in this movie. Playing young Donna, the role played in adult hood by Meryl Streep in the first movie, Lily James is startling, beautiful, incandescent and an excellent actor.

Another surprise to me was Amanda Seyfried who had never impressed me before in the many movies she has made. In this film she looked different, more sparkling and more real

The biggest surprise for me was Cher! Not that she stole the film for the 15 minutes she was in it but because the first 5 minutes she looked bad, was dressed very unlike Cher and seemed very stiff singing “Fernando” but the last 10 minutes she was dressed as the Cher we know and stole all the closing credits from the rest of the cast, including Streep.

A major surprise for me was that I love musicals, especially the old M-G-M, Busby Berkeley choreographed, Astaire & Rogers, Gene Kelley type of movies as along with songs and dances they usually had a good book. “Mamma Mia 2” drove me crazy with a song every two minutes consisting of second tier ABBA songs plus putting in the 3-4 hits that were used in the first “Mamma Mia!” Most songs were sung for absolutely no reason except they were written by ABBA.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!” is 1 hour and 50 minutes long—go see “Mission: Impossible” and then walk into “Mamma Mia” at the 1 hour and 20 minute point!

Movie trailer

July Photo Diary Part 3 Home cooking   1 comment

As much as I love to eat out the economy and my income don’t allow for it too much so I make most of my meals at home.
I was/am an excellent cook–I make a Caesar salad from scratch–the best Shrimp Scampi you will ever eat–but cooking for one I don’t get that fancy BUT I still make dinner an ‘event’ for me.
Even if I have a frozen dinner I will put it on a plate and add some ‘color’ plus I do have a homemade salad every evening plus a plate of fruit after for dessert.
Each month I use a different base for my dinner meals as, for instance, this month I made a base of Jambalaya to serve main courses on plus I will add either Avocado or Salsa as a topper.

Posted July 31, 2018 by greatmartin in FOOD, HOME, Uncategorized

July 2018 Photo Diary Part 2 : Eating Out   5 comments

Posted July 30, 2018 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

July 2018 Photo Diary Part 1 Changes   1 comment


Livingroom new windows and blinds

Posted July 29, 2018 by greatmartin in HOME, LIFE, Uncategorized

“Mission:Impossible–Fallout”–movie review   1 comment


Walking into a “Mission Impossible” movie you know exactly what to expect and in the 6th go round called “Mission: Impossible—Fallout” you get more action, more chases on foot, motorcycles, cars, trucks and even helicopters plus fights of all kinds if not two too many not to forget all the stunts that Tom Cruise does whether by himself, with body doubles or special effects.

In addition this chapter has a few laughs, a few tender moments, spectacular mountain scenery not to forget a rarity in a Tom Cruise movie let alone a Mission Impossible movie which is very homoerotic encounter in the bathroom of the Paris Grand Palais.

Tom Cruise gives a more than accomplished performance which has many of the men in the audience shaking their heads at what this 55 year old movie star can do action wise and making it look so easily.

He is aided by returning Mission Impossible characters played by  Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Michelle Monaghan, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris with Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby and Henry Cavil added.

“Mission:Impossible—Fallout” is Tom Cruise’s movie and he shows that a 56 year old man can be a hunk, a hero, have a little boy’s smile and make all his action scenes believable as is his  belief that the world is a good place.

PS It is only 1 of two ‘action’ movies that I see a year! :O)

Movie trailer

“The Cakemaker”–movie review   Leave a comment

Many times I tell Allen to leave logic at the door when we go to see a movie and many times it will help make for a better movie but in the case of “The Cakemaker” the lack of logic makes you question everything about the movie, the characters, the story and people.

The basic premise is that Thomas, who owns a pastry shop in Berlin, has a married lover, Oren, who lives in Jerusalem with his wife and child, but comes to Berlin once a month for a few days for business and spends time with Thomas. Oh yes, his wife has opened a coffee bar. The fact that Thomas is not aware that Oren has died and the way he finds out are the first and last logical things that take place in the movie.

How the widow, Anat, and the dead man’s son and brother react to this man who appears at the door of her shop asking for a job makes no sense at all just as the possibility that no way could Thomas be Jewish because he is German is assumed by all. The brother is nasty to him one moment and extending a friendship the next.

The whole question of being kosher or non-kosher in business or at home or how one feels personally doesn’t make sense just as Thomas closing his shop, or maybe leaving elves to run it, to move to a country where he knows anyone to what looks like stalking his dead lover’s wife doesn’t make sense.

Is it mother’s instinct that Anat’s mother-in-law seems to be the only one who knows Thomas is Gay, though that word is never mentioned, and that maybe his interest in her son is more than anyone else knows?

The questions keep coming with every move made by the characters and the writer/director, Ofir Raul Graizer, of “The Cakemaker”, is of no help. He seems to have sanitized the picture so much for the straight audience plus not answer any questions that would have given the story some logic that he missed a real opportunity to get into subjects that hold a lot of interest in today’s world from sexual gender fluidity to why one married man would define himself as bi-sexual and another as gay. Does a gay man have to have images of his lover making love to his wife so that the gay man can perform with a woman? Are gay men more gender fluid than non-gay men?

Ofir Raul Graizer eludes the deeper subjects of grief, desire, sexuality, reaching out, or even the Israelites reactions to non-Jews.

BY the way I have a few more questions of those who saw this movie! :O)



Movie trailer

“Three Identical Strangers”–film review   Leave a comment

 The less you know about “Three Identical Strangers” the more times you will find yourself with your mouth agape asking yourself if you just heard what you thought you heard!

This is a film definitely ‘stranger than fiction’ and starts with the fact that boy triplets were separated at birth and each given to a different ‘class’ family, none of the adoptive parents knowing their son had 2 brothers. The story opens with how, just by chance, the 3 brothers meet 19 years later.

The “Why?” they were separated, the outcome of that separation and their reunion along with the results ranges from laughs to tears to truly tragic emotions. Much is made of whether nurture or nature is more important in raising a child and though that question is not answered examples of both are shown.

We do hear from and learn about the adoptive parents but though, by design, the boys are given to families that already have children we do not hear from the siblings. We, also, hear a bit about the birth mother though I don’t recall anything about the father.

The film leaves you with some questions but it certainly shows that, yes, it can happen here!



Movie trailer

Posted July 20, 2018 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS, MOVIES, Uncategorized

“Whitney”–documentary film review   Leave a comment

It looks like 2018 is a documentary summer with one about Supreme court Justice Ginsberg, another about children’s host Fred Rogers, this past week one telling the story of Whitney Houston and this coming Friday the story of triplets separated at birth that discover each other 19 years later.

I, generally, don’t go to see a documentary film in the theatre but due to ‘improvements’ being made to my apartment I’ve had to get out a few hours and what better way, whether hot and humid or raining, than going to a a/c movie theatre!?!

I admired Whitney Houston’s voice, though at times I felt she was screaming too much and after hearing “I Will Always Love You” for the 4th million time (you couldn’t escape it!) I sort of tuned her out.

In “Whitney” we hear from/about her brothers, mother, father, relatives plus several from the music and movie industry as the documentary director Kevin Macdonald sort of tilts the story to get the audience to feel sorry for this woman who had everything and lost it all, an old entertainment story. On one side it is said, and shown, to have had an idyllic childhood while on the other hand

At one point Houston signed a $100 million contract only a few years later having to make a movie because she was broke. How much her marriage to Bobby Brown was related to her drugs problems, though it seems she started to go grass and cocaine at 16, is sort of dismissed because he was jealous of her and though not proven it seems one of her aunts sexually abused her when she was a child plus she had a long affair with her best friend and assistant Robyn Crawford.

Whitney Houston is seen hitting bottom and she does just as we see her at the height of her success and she shows what made her a major talent.
“Whitney” is a must see for her true fans and a wait until it is on television for others.



“Boundaries”–movie review   Leave a comment

“Boundaries” is one of those movies that have a super cast with each individually enjoyable to watch and when they have interaction your eyes and ears will be glued to the screen. It is also a movie that has an equal amount of good and boring moments.

It is a road trip with Grandfather Jack (Christopher Plummer), his adult divorced daughter Laura (Vera Farmiga) and his grandson Henry (Lewis MacDougall) going to see his other daughter Jojo (Kristen Schaal). Both daughters are emotional wrecks because of their upbringing while the grandson is being expelled from school for drawing nude pictures of his teachers with the males all having extremely small penis’s. Oh yes, Grandfather Jack is being thrown out of the old folks home where he has been living and, unknown to them, growing marijuana and wants to sell. Oh yes Laura hasn’t met a stray dog that she didn’t love and take in whether at home or while driving in a car.

From all this a road trip takes place so the grandfather can make stops, sell the post and give money to Laura to send Henry to an expensive private school and in return be able to live with Laura in her big enough house while his other daughter lives in a studio apartment.

We meet Jack’s friends, hippie art forger Christopher Lloyd, wealthy friend Peter Fonda (looking good!) plus Leonard, (Bobby Cannavale) Henry’s father who left him and his mother years ago.

It takes an hour and 44 minutes to get everyone’s problems straightened out and have a ‘Hollywood’ ending.

Plummer is a joy to watch, more so then when he was young and I have yet to see Farmiga give a bad performance. Lewis MacDougal’s Henry seems natural though he certainly isn’t a ‘normal’ kid.

“Boundaries” is a good enough picture to watch in an air-conditioned theatre when it is 92 degrees out with high humidity.

Movie trailer

“Lunchroom–restaurant review–Ft. Lauderdale   Leave a comment

Lunchroom Restaurant

l  One of the ‘Be Nice’ restaurant group that also run Coconuts, Top Hot Deli, Red Cow, Foxy Brown and Brown Dog Eating.


We have passed and seen this place many times as it is on the south end of Allen’s primary doctor’s office strip businesses. I have also read some good reviews and considering I goofed trying to find Billy Jack’s Shack—don’t ask—we decided to try this place.

It is a fast casual restaurant meaning you order and pay for your meal at the counter and they serve the meal to you. Now I may be a little ‘picky’ here but a ‘club’ sandwich is defined as having 3 slices of bread and though the Turkey Club ($10) I ordered was made on a tasty roll I still wouldn’t call it a club!

Allen had the Meatball Hoagie (($9) and though he praised the meatballs and sauce he had a problem with the ‘Hoagie’ part. He couldn’t eat it as a hoagie nor did he have an easy time slicing the bread with a serrated knife or pulling it apart.

He had a fountain soda ($2) while I had a large coffee ($3) and the check with tax and tip came to $30.

All the crew was pleasant and with the exception of a very noisy smoothie machine disrupting the place the Lunch Room was ‘oaky’ but nothing special.

Oh yes, Allen ‘snuck’/bought a pastry when we were leaving and all he had to say was that he felt his fingers were filled with sugar!

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