Archive for February 2019

I DON’T have a birthday this year!!   2 comments

No birthday collage!


Don’t believe everything you read/see on the web!
I was born February 29th–there is no February 29th this year so I don’t have a birthday!
Now next year there is a February 29th on a Saturday–and I will be 21 years old!

Posted February 28, 2019 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

“Fighting With My Family”–movie review   1 comment


Sometimes you walk into a movie not expecting much and get completely caught off guard in a good way and that is just how I felt about “Fighting With My Family”. Based on a true story we follow the tight-knit wrestling Knight family in Norwich, England, particularly brother Zak (Jack Lowden) and sister Saraya-Jade Bevis aka Paige (Florence Pugh) who both have the same dream of fighting for the WWE. They are finally given a chance to try out for a chance to go to the WWE’s development league in Florida and there it will be decided who will go on to fight for the WWE.
Let’s say I know so little about wrestling that what I know is from the early days of TV when it was shown in black and white and everyone ‘knew’ it was fake! Let me just add that after writing it 4 times I had to google the definition of WWE!!  (Yeah, yeah, I know you all know but for the 2 besides me who didn’t it is World Wrestling Entertainment.)
Without giving too much away Paige is chosen while Zak has to go home and deal with what he sees as being a failure plus becoming a father. The Knight family also consists of another brother serving time in prison and a father (Nick Frost) and mother (Lena Heady), not your common parents except they have involved their children in the family business–wrestling–since the day they were born. An important figure in Paige’s life becomes the talent scout/coach Hutch (Vince Vaughn–I didn’t know he was in the picture!), who is aware what makes a star in the ring.
Director/writer Stephen Merchant based the movie on a documentary of the family and he does a fine job dealing with the cliches of the sport, adding humor when needed and shows all the choreography that goes into a wrestling match. The only problem I had was understanding the accents in many scenes.
As Paige Florence Pugh does a star-making turn and Jack Lowden holds his own in some tough emotional scenes. As the parents, Nick Frost and Lena Heady are in a class of their own though going through the end credits where you see the real people the actors are very mild compared to the actual parents. Vince Vaughn really does a fine job as the all professional coach who can get the best out of the trainees by being tough and empathetic.
“Fighting With My Family” is the Rocky of wrestling and just as enjoyable though even if it is faked the ‘sport’ can cause some major injuries. When you get a chance, see it. I know I want to follow up watching the film by watching the documentary.

Movie trailer

“Waitress”–review of touring company   1 comment

waitress ad


With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles along with a book by Jessie Nelson based on the movie by Adrienne Shelly “Waitress” will be celebrating the start of its 4th year on Broadway this April.

A story about an abused waitress who finds herself pregnant doesn’t immediately shout ‘musical comedy’ but there is plenty of comedy, along with drama, in this show. Jenna ( Christine Dwyer) finds an outlet in her job at Joe’s Diner with friends Becky (Natasha Williams) and Dawn (Ephie Aardema) where she works as a waitress and a baker, in the latter job making 27 delicious pies with wicked names. As an escape from her abusive husband Earl (Matt DeAngelis) she hopes to win $20,000 in a pie contest in a nearby county.

Her OB-GYN Jim Pomater (Steven Good) is new in town and his wife is doing an internship at the local hospital. He and Jenna, though basically decent people, give in to their feelings and he betrays his wife.

We, also, meet the diner’s owner played by Richard Kline and cook played by Ryan G. Dunkin. Dawn meets Ogie (Jeremy Morse) via the Internet and they play off each other so perfectly you know there is going to be a ‘happily ever after’ for them.  By the way (Morse) singing and dancing “Never Getting Rid Of Me” is a show-stopping number the audience loves. Rheaume Crenshaw as Nurse Norma adds to the professional cast along with the ensemble and we certainly can’t forget Hailey Belle Malvin who is making her musical Broadway debut, having been discovered in Miami!

Director Diane Paulus and choreographer Lorin Latarro worked very closely together giving the cast intricate scenes that depend on split timing while scenic designer Scott Pask keeps the sets moving as the songs, dance and story goes from the diner to Jenna’s home, the doctor’s office and the hospital. Conducter Lilli Wosk, with the musicians on stage are as much a part of the ensemble as anyone on stage.

The music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles are tuneful, meaningful when need be and funny, moving the show along, telling about the characters and adding to the thin story.

The #metoo moment in the show gets an impressive reaction, deservingly, from the audience as do the performers when they take their bows.

“Waitress” is a warm, funny and moving musical that tackles a lot of problems still be faced today.

“Waitressruns 2 hours and 35 minutes with a 20-minute intermission


Yes, I’m pointing the finger at Chuck–AGAIN!   1 comment

Told you before about Chuck who got me started on this road of the Internet that lead to a technical hell and a never ending of google. The next craziness was a cell phone which I had to get to use the lyft, uber and moviepass apps only to have my phone stolen and someone using the lyft & uber apps to take $43 worth of rides.

Sooner or later it leads further down the road to hell and I stepped into it today! Last week I decided (well it was sort of decided for me–Chuck had nothing to do with that!) to ‘cut the cord/cable’ and I bought an antenna and then decided to get a “smart fire edition” and get into ‘streaming’!! I have googled and binged more in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years!

In any case the TV came today and John came over to help me get it in working order and start seeing what I could see, what I couldn’t see, what kind of streaming package(s) I might have to get, etc.

All I know is I spent Saturday night watching the first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”! And, oh yes, look at the pictures–I am now surrounded by monitors, TVs or whatever the technical term is.

What’s next Chuck??? LOL

Posted February 23, 2019 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

“Run the Race”–movie review   Leave a comment

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“Run the Race” is a faith-based movie about brothers, young love, family and beliefs. Brothers Dave (Evan Hofer) and Zach (Tanner Stine) are the brothers who lost their mother to cancer two years ago and their father Michael (Kristoffer Polaha), unable to handle the death, walked out leaving the boys to fend for themselves while he sought solace in alcohol. Their godmother, Nanny (Frances Fisher) supports them by having the boys work in her store while football Coach Haily (Mykelti Williamson) has their backs, believing in them and helping them to reach their goals.
The brothers have an unbreakable bond, with Dave being religious and Zach losing his faith both, wanting to succeed and leave their small Alabama town when Zach wins a football scholarship. When Zach hurts his leg he meets a nurse intern, Ginger, (Kelsey Reinhardt), in what becomes a delightful cat and mouse chase where religion enters the pictures with both a negative and positive force.
While religion adds heft to the drama of the story a little less would have allowed for expanding for more about the main characters, such as the father and Zach and Ginger’s relationship,  but since the writers Jake McEntire, Jason Baumgardner and Chris Dowling, basically, follow the cliches of religion and relationships some people may roll their eyes but more will just go with where it leads.
Chris Dowling also directed the film which strays now and then while the soundtrack has a few winning songs.
All the actors do a first-rate job. Hofer and Stine are quite believable as brothers, athletes, older teenagers who have that unbreakable bond. The romance between Stine and Reinhardt has the needed chemistry with his charisma and her beauty adding to a predictable story with one exception.
It was good seeing the familiar face of Frances Fisher who truly loves the boys as if they were her own and all boys should have a coach supporting them as Mykelti Williamson. It would have been nice if Kristoffer Polaha had more screen time but what he does is impressive.
“Run the Race” was an unexpected film that I found much better than I thought it would be having both laughs and tears along with a story, for the most part, will hold your attention.

“Isn’t It Romantic?”–movie review   2 comments

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With Valentine’s Day, a double issue of Entertainment Weekly devoted to romantic-comedies and now the film “Isn’t It Romantic”, February is obviously the love month, not to forget two lovely people born in that month, but I’m not mentioning names, just saying one is a Leap Year baby.
The film is a homage to the genre of, at least, the past 30 months including “Notting Hill”, “Love Actually” and starting off with the theme song “Pretty Woman” sung by Roy Orbison only we are in New York City instead of Beverly Hills. Along the way you will see Rebel Wilson dressed in the famous white dress suit and, oh yes, that red dress! There is a karaoke salute to “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and a dance scene in Central Park!
From watching a young Natalie (Alex Kis) being told by her mother that there is no happy ending for girls like her we segue into adult Natalie (Rebel Wilson), an architect,  working into work where we meet various co-workers who treat her indifferently or worse. We also meet her co-workers like Josh (Adam Devine) who is also her BFF along with Whitney (Betty Gilpin) her assistant, addicted to watching romantic-comedies while working. Along the way we meet the mandatory next door gay sidekick Donny (Brandon Scott Jones), the must-have hunk potential lover Blake (Liam Hemsworth) not to forget the beautiful model Isabella (Priyanka Chopra) who may, or may not, steal the true love Natalie is destined for (and if you follow the genre you know who that is!)
The premise is Natalie being robbed and knocking herself out running away only to wake up in a Hollywood version of life, especially in romantic comedies. Manhattan changes from a dirty, smelly, ugly city to one that is freshly washed and scrubbed with flowers on fire escapes, street curbs and picture ready for Martha or Oprhey’s magazines. We are now in a romantic Hollywood comedy and all that goes with that, including lessons learned. There is a segment filmed at Park Avenue and East 40th Street that is absolutely sparkling–Hollywood magic? :O)
“Isn’t It Romantic?”, because of all the cliches, follows the rules but here we have a different type of heroine and Rebel Wilson grounds the negative aspects by being a woman not swayed by the glamour of her surroundings. I did not see her “Pitch Perfect” movies so this was a, more or less, introduction and she has a powerhouse voice.
Though not a must-see movie “Isn’t It Romantic” is a fun movie that doesn’t overstay its welcome in a fast moving 90 minutes.

Posted February 19, 2019 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

This mean but…   1 comment

With another storm going across the USA I really shouldn’t be posting this but it is my answer to the two questions I am constantly asked: 1) Don’t you miss the 4 seasons? 2) How can you stand the heat and humidity? My answers are always the same. As to the first not at all. I can see all the snow, sleet, ice and snowbound people I want on television or in magazines and papers. When it comes to the second question–first of all New York City and other cities get a lot more humidity plus, folks, have you heard of air-conditioning?? It is everywhere you go (except on the beaches) and besides tourists you won’t see anyone else outdoors only to go in and out of restaurants, movies, an office, bank, etc. Yes we have hurricanes–1 in the past 12 years–and we have a rainy season when it remembers to rain. I haven’t seen an alligator since 1979–oh yes, once when we went to the Everglades and the tourist trap boat ride but…… This week our weather has been absolutely perfect with sunny days, a cool breeze and temperatures in the lower 80s during the day and in the lower 70s at night. Just look at the pictures that I took today down at Karen Bay at the east end of the Gateway Terrace apartments where I live. Miss the 4 seasons? NO WAY!

Posted February 18, 2019 by greatmartin in WEATHER

Miami Grill–Restaurant Review–Ft. Lauderdale   Leave a comment

The last time I went to a Miami Grill I believe it was called Miami Subs and was located on East Sunrise on a site that is now a bank so it has been quite a while and, sadly, this restaurant now on West Sunrise has probably the worse food either of us had.

For Allen to not finish his fries is unheard of but he remarked had bad they were not to mention that his ‘chicken wings’ were the size of a marble engulfed in a heavy breading.

I had the meatball sub–well there were 3 round tasteless things in an absolutely oblong of tastelessness what I think was supposed to be bread.

The only nice thing I can say about the place was the woman behind the counter was pleasant.

“Never Look Away”–movie review   Leave a comment

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The film is based very loosely on, and called mostly false by him, the life of artist Gerhard Richter, here called Kurt Barnert, and his struggle as an artist and with life discovering just who he is and we go along on his journey.
We meet young Kurt (Cai Cohrs) in 1937, about 5 years old, and follow him through the next 3 decades. In the opening scenes he goes to see the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition in Dresden, Germany, with his much-loved aunt Elizabeth (Saskia Rosendahl) who tells him “everything that is true is beautiful” and “never look away”.
Shortly after Elizabeth, due to a couple of ‘incidents’ is hospitalized and then sterilized under the Nazi regime policy of ‘cleansing’ the races. This all takes place under the supervision of Professor Carl Seeband (Sebastian Koch), a top gynecologist and Nazi.
We next meet Kurt as an art student, played by Tom Schilling, who meets Ellie (Paula Beer) studying clothes designing, they fall in love and she becomes pregnant. Her father wants her to abort the baby because discovering who the father is, wants someone better for his daughter and, if nothing else, believes that would end the affair. It doesn’t and the couple marry. They had met at the Art Academy where Kurt is studying modern art which doesn’t quite fulfill the inspiration he needs/wants.
Just as we meet quite a few interesting fellow students at the Academy there are also many other characters that come and go through the movie but to say anything would create spoilers and would take away from the movie.
“Never Look Away” follows many stories from Nazi Germany to communism, the Berlin Wall, a divided Germany, changes in society, biological facts of life but most of all it is a love story between two people and a story of art, what it represents, how it changes over time and like life the more things change the more they stay the same.
Though epic in theme and running a little over 3 hours the only negative I have to say is that as interesting as I found this film I watched it as an observer not getting involved, mainly because of Tom Schilling. He does an excellent job as the artist in his search for meaning in his life and the love story is the backbone of the film but something just doesn’t work between him and Paula Beer.
P. S. In the fight for equal rights full frontal nudity by females should be met with the same amount of time by frontal nudity by males or just eliminate both!

Movie trailer


HappyValentine’s Day   1 comment

Happy Valentines Day 2019

There is a young lady of 75 who said she had never received a Valentine’s Day card. She was very happily married to a guy who, as she says, “……was not a candy and flowers type of guy,” He recently passed away and she is doing the best she can which appears to be pretty good.


After reading her post I thought of the many people who, for whatever reason, don’t get a Valentine’s Day card and in my own way I don’t want that happening today.


To all people, single, married, partnered, male, female, gay or nongay, religious or not, who believe or don’t believe in Valentine’s Day and Charlie Brown who has been waiting for one for 50 years, who won’t be getting a Valentine’s Day card or chocolates or flowers or a phone call these guys in the slideshow below got together and want to wish you a VERY HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.


PS Just want to throw out there that one of the best days of the year to get chocolate cheap, well comparatively, is on February 15 when all the drugstores, supermarkets, wholesale stores, sell their packages and boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolate for 50-75 percent off!


Posted February 14, 2019 by greatmartin in LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

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