Archive for January 2020

“Les Miserables”–movie review   1 comment

Les 3
Anyone expecting to see Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” whether the novel, the several films in theatres and on TV or the recent hit musical on stage and in film will be disappointed even though there is a Hugo quote and it takes place in the Parisian suburb of Montfermeil, an important part of the book. Also, women play very minor roles and there is no Fantine or Cosette.
The main story is that of a policeman, Stephane (played by Damien Bonnard) who joins the Anti-Crime Squad in Montfermeil teaming with Gwada (Djebril Zonga) and Chris (Alexis Manenti) and he is introduced to the many different groups from an African crime boss called ‘The Mayor’ (Steve Tientcheu) to Zorro (Raymond Lopez) the leader of a group of gypsies with a traveling circus, Salah (Almamy Kanoute)restaurant owner and Pasteur Marcello Tunasi as the leader of a Muslim group.
Very much involved with the adults are a couple of gangs of kids surviving the best way they can. At first we see them in the opening sequence of the movie reveling in their support of the French World Cup team contrasting with the way they live every day. The main youngster is Issa Perica who gives a strong performance as Issa, the one who gets everything in motion and gets the film off its slow start. Another young actor, Al-Hassan Ly, as Buzz, is into drones and not only provides the director Ladj Ly and the director of photography Julien Poupard with some beautiful shots while ugliness is at the heart of the screenplay written by Ly, Giordano Gederlini and Alexis Manenti but he is pivotal to what happens to everyone.
“Les Miserables” is a good film but obviously the first film based on a shorter film that he made which may explain why there are so many, too many, things, subjects and ideas thrown into this one instead of using some of the topics in his next film.


Posted January 31, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Dining out & ducks–not on ducks!   1 comment

Dining out and Ducks--not on ducks

It’s been a good month including eating out at 3 of my favorite restaurants having Linguini with White Clam Sauce at Cafe Vico, a good juicy cheeseburger at the Outback and topping it off with the great Jambalaya at the Quarterdeck.
As aside: At the Quarterdeck Katherine, our server, made mistake forgetting to order the dirty rice instead of the pasta in the Jambalaya and besides verbally apologizing she also wrote “Sorry” on the check. We weren’t going to penalize her for the mistake and instead gave her a 25% tip for the ‘sorries’! :O)
Last but not least how many dentist offices do you know that have guard ducks outside their office? My dentist does and they are there every time that I go to the dentist. Once in a while they will waddle over for a few pats!!
Leap year 3

Posted January 30, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“The Gentlemen”–movie review   1 comment

Within one movie I broke my 2 and only New Year’s resolutions: 1) I will not go to a movie just for the sake of going to a movie especially if I know I won’t like it and 2) I will walk out of a movie that I don’t like! Yes, I like Mathew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Strong and since “Crazy Rich Asians” Henry Golding but nothing could save this movie.
At first, it was interesting seeing Grant playing against type but 15 minutes in his heavy put on English accent (Yes, I know he is English but never like this) so I was glad he was working with/against Charlie Hunnam but that wasn’t enough.
I am not a fan of Guy Ritchie and believe I have seen only one of his movies but his having directed, produced and written the screenplay for this movie I have no desire to see them or anymore by him.  This is an old type gangster movie with a few twists and turns, a lot of violence, racial comments against Asians, throw in some anti-Semitism along with homophobic darts not to forget the f, the many c words plus pig porn and blood and more blood and then some more blood!
The theatre was full and a few people laughed at some of the lines I broke my 2 and only New Year’s resolutions!

Posted January 28, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

What I do for friends!   Leave a comment

Nabu collage Jan 23 2020
A little over a year ago I made the decision to have my 21st Leap Year birthday dinner at the Nabu American Fusion buffet and so to make sure it is worthy of my friends I eat there every once in a while just to check that the food is kept up to my standards! (As if I have standards when it comes to food–if it is edible I’ll eat it!)
This past Thursday Allen and I went there for lunch and I must admit it was as good as ever. Looking at the pictures above I see that I had:  tacos, clams, dumpling, noodles, chicken wings, sweet ‘n sour chicken and there was a third plate with the hibachi steak, sausage and vegetables.
After that was cold shrimp, a coddled egg, vegetable fried rice, caraway chicken, octopus and other noodles.
Last, but not least, I had 4 flavors of ice cream, pastry, cream puff and, of course, fortune cookies.
After finishing lunch we went to the Sweeter Days Bake Shop, the place that made my fantastic 2016 birthday, to order the cake for this dinner and I can’t wait to see what they come up with! Oh yes, they gave me a carrot cake cupcake and a chocolate one–the flavors the cake will be made of–as freebies! There went my diet!!
Now I just have to wait for RSVPs so I know how big a cake I need and how many seats I will need at Nabu!

Posted January 25, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“Clemency”–movie review   1 comment

Clem movie poster

There is no doubt that Alfre Woodard is the star of “Clemency” as the warden, Bernadine Williams, who oversees the execution of prisoners but Aldis Hodge as Anthony Woods is a prisoner convicted of killing a police officer and serving 15 years is going to be executed that gives her some stiff competition, especially in their scenes together.
Capital punishment is looked at from all angles starting with an execution going wrong and reflected in the face of Woodard. We hear from the mother of the dead policeman, Vernee Watson, and the crowds outside protesting the execution. We meet Williams’s husband, played by Wendell Pierce, and we are shown how his wife’s job is affecting their marriage, not to forget  Danielle Brooks as Evette, Woods’s high school girlfriend at the time he was arrested, distancing herself from him for the 15 years. Another point of view comes from Richard Schiff as a lawyer who believes Woods is innocent and the religious point of view, as the prison’s chaplain, is expressed by Michael O’Neill.
From the opening shot of Alfre Woodard supervising the execution that goes wrong to another shot focused on her face as she walks through the halls of the prison the actress, this is not an easy picture to watch. Chinoye Chukwu wrote the screenplay and directed the movie with a hard to see opening segment that draws you into the movie but at the same time using Woodward’s face to show what this woman goes through every time someone is executed!
Alfre Woodard will hopefully be remembered at the end of the year when award season starts and we should be seeing more of Aldis Hodge as a leading man.

Posted January 24, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

If you see me….   1 comment

in one of these outfits you know we are having a COLD SPELL!
Me cold weather Jan 21 2020

We define a cold spell as temperatures during the day in the 60s and the 50s/40s during the night and that’s where we were last night and today BUT we are going to start warming up tonight with going back into the 70s during the day tomorrow!
I can handle a cold spell like this!

Posted January 22, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“The Song of Names”–movie review   Leave a comment

songs 2

There have been many films about the Holocaust covering it from many different angles so a new film must be in the excellent category because ‘good’ isn’t good enough and though “The Song Of Names” has some interesting sections it has too much working against it.
One of the interesting parts is the name of the film itself and if there really is a song of names and after some research, I have to do more research because I haven’t found a definite answer yet!
The screenplay by Jeffrey Caine, based on a novel by Norman Lebrecht, goes back and forth from the 1930s to the 1980s with 3 different actors playing the 2 main characters Davidl Rapopart and Martin Simmonds when it could have easily been done chronologically.
The story is about a 12-year-old violin protege, Davidl who is brought from Poland to England by his father hoping to find a place for him to escape from the nazis. A music publisher, impressed by the boy’s talent, agrees to take him in and after a minor skirmish with the publisher’s son who is a couple of years younger, the 2 become fast friends. At the age of 21 Davidl is to give his musical debut completely subsidized by the publisher but never shows up and has disappeared. The film then follows Martin as he looks for his friend and tries to find out why he disappeared.
There are many awkward scenes and some that take your breath away such as the one where Martin and his wife walk through Treblinka, a Nazi death camp, where tall, standing stones memorialize the dead. Some in the audience may not be aware that Davidl having a bar mitzvah means he is now a man at 13. The musical moments shine while it is hard to really rate the performances due to the going back and forth through the decades.
“The Song Of Names” is a good movie but not quite good enough to attract enough of an audience.

Posted January 21, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

OUR Bette Davis–how could I not love her?!?   1 comment

Bette Davis Collage
Yes, our weather person is Bette Davis and she is great! But that’s not what this is about though it is about the weather.
This is ‘season’ in Fort Lauderdale when all the Northerners wanting to escape the snow, ice sleet, freezing temperatures come on down here. Well, the funny thing is that no matter how cold it gets to be there will be a picture on TV and on the front page of our newspaper of a fat Canadian (sorry fat people and Canadians but that is what the story will say and/or show) in a Speedo (yes a Speedo!) saying no matter how cold it is down here it is colder in Canada!
1) In the first picture if you look at Tuesday you will see a high of 80 and a low of 67. Now jump to Wednesday and you will see a high of 68 and the low of 50 but if you check out #3 Bette says it could get to 40 degrees in Fort Lauderdale but she throws in a kicker in the very last picture–POSSIBLE 30S OR 40S!!!
Picture #2 was taken at 5:30 PM today! It is already 30 degrees while it is 74 here but Memphians are used to it, we aren’t, so looks like no shorts or short-sleeved shirts for a couple of days for me.
At least we get back to the higher 70s by Friday!

Posted January 20, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Some people call it laziness   1 comment

I call it being efficient!!
Dinner makings
Though it is no secret that I like to eat out, except for theatre nights, I cook my own dinner at home.
Generally Saturday afternoons/evenings I mix in a big bowl 3 jars of drained mushrooms and 3 packages of cauliflower ‘rice’ plus 1 can of either corn or string beans. I add 2 jars of  Pace Salsa. I then divide it on 5 plates costing less than $2 a plate. I cover each plate with plastic wrap and put them on a shelf in the refrigerator. 2 nights a week I will put shrimp on the plates, another chicken strips and the other 2 nights Tilapia and/or Cod and/or Salmon. I do alternate with the sauce from salsa, bbq, mustard, etc.
At the same time I make 5 salads with greens, onions and red/green peppers, wrap them in plastic and will add the dressings when I go to eat them. (Hard to put a price on each bowl but using,usually, 3 heads of greens–Romaine which is usually 3 in a package for $2.99 and I grow the peppers plus buy the cherry tomatoes which are usually on sale ‘bogo’ and onions are very cheap now.
I finish up with a bowl of mixed fruits being strawberries, blueberries, melon and usually a couple of packaged fruits which add some ‘juice’ to the mix. Yes, I scoop them into 5 bowls and have them for dessert. Comes to a $1 a bowl.
Last, but not least, I have 4 cups of Snack Pac sugar free (2 strawberry and 2 orange) each 5 calories plus 2 (1 strawberry, 1 vanilla) 4 ounce of Dannon creamy nonfat yogurt. All come to a total of $1.50 (.25 each)
I do buy a majority of items, including fish, from the Dollar Tree!
Last, not least, I serve the main course, the salads and fruit in/on red
dishes. Now if I only had someone to clean the table, wash the dishes and put them away!

Posted January 19, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Yes, I like (LOVE) food and I like to eat out!   Leave a comment

Restaurant collage

1) Boston Market–could hardly find the turkey and the vegetables were ‘off’! $10.98 with soda & tax
2) Cabo Blanco–one of my favorite restaurants and their Shrimp dish is loaded with shrimp plus being   delicious. $11.99 plus tax and tip
3) The Cheesecake Factory–another one of my favorites–I had a $45 gift card which I got free from reading news!–check came to $29 with tax and tip after using gift card.
4) Moonlite Diner–always good but this time, just for a quick bite before the movie, the check plus tax and tip came to $15 for 2 bagels, one with cream cheese, 1 hot chocolate and 1 coffee–too much.
5) IHOP–always reliable and reasonable prices. For 2 of us the bill for both of us with tax and tip, came to $$27.
6) And yes I do eat at home–more than I eat out–a lot more!

Posted January 18, 2020 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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