Archive for August 2021

Streaming Reviews–August 2021—Part 8   Leave a comment


1) “Blackspace”–Netflix–Israel series–8 episodes–6 hours & 10 minutes–thriller–a good mystery–fast moving–good cast–I was right about one of the guilty and being wrong about others made it more interesting–MODERN TECHNOLOGY ADDS A GOOD TWIST

2) “9 to 5: Story of a Movement”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 29 minutes–women are still fighting for equal pay and rights in the business world with so much more to do–that is true of any group looking for equality whether it be gender, race, one’s sexuality, etc.,–THIS SHOWS ONE SUCH STRUGGLE AND A GROUP WHO STARTED IT AND AFTER 40 YEARS ARE STILL FIGHTING

3) “Flack”–Amazon Prime–British series–2 seasons–total 8 hours & 40 minutes–smart, sassy, bitchy series about a PR firm–what they do for their clients including coverups for scandals–ONE OF 3 SERIES MAKING A NAME FOR/OF SOPHIE OKONEDO WHO PLAYS THE BOSS–THERE HAS TO BE A SEASON 3

4) “Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age”–PBS PASSPORT–documentary–1 hour & 21 minutes–sequel to the award winning 2003 “Broadway: The Golden Age–By the Legends Who Were There”–a look at Broadway from 1959 to early 1980s including scenes and conversations about at that time the longest running show on Broadway “A Chorus Line”–FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN BROADWAY, MUSICALS, THEATRE AND ENTERTAINMENT

5) “Betty White: First Lady of Television”–Netflix–documentary–56 minutes–a look at her 80 year career and all the barriers she broke–her love of performing and the audience is and has been visible for that 80 years–A ONE OF A KIND ENTERTAINER WHO CAN MAKE ANY LINE FUNNY–ROSE NYLUND ANYONE

6) “Modern Love”–Amazon Prime–season 2–8 episodes–4 hours & 20 minutes–based on the series in the Sunday New York Times by readers submitting true stories–each has a different theme and cast–Sophie Okonedo sparkles in her segment as does Minnie Driver in the first story–EACH SEGMENT IS A GEM ON ITS OWN–A WINNER

Posted August 31, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

Last Week of August 2021   Leave a comment

We have been lucky so far as far as storms go as we have had 11 around or near by but except at late nights/early mornings we have escaped all storms, have light rain showers, which right now is not good for us.
Looking at the first picture the second half shows that we normally have 5.66 inches of rain in August but have had only 2.84 inches. We are going to need rain soon but I hope it doesn’t come in the form of a tropical storm or hurricane! As the other pictures with number 1 they show we are having hot, hazy and dusty (from Africa) days, temperatures in the  90s which usually ‘feel like’ is around 100 degrees though without rain the humidity does stay down—a bit!

\#2 pictures–Fort Lauderdale doesn’t have a ‘thing’ for history–if something is old that just means tear it down and/or remodel it! Right now they are putting the finishing touches on the Parker Playhouse, one of my favorite theatres anywhere and I am hoping they aren’t ruining it. The Parker (as it is now being called—playhouse being old-fashioned!) is in Holiday Park and was built in 1967. Also at Holiday Park the War Memorial,  erected in 1950 as a tribute to members of the military, the city is now redoing it as a skating rink for the Panthers hockey team and also to be made available to the public. I am hoping they will leave the Memorial Wall honoring members of the Coast Guard.

#3 In the past few years the city has been painting the many water and electric power tanks around the city reflecting the areas of the city they are in such as this one is near the performing arts center.

#4 And, as always, Mother Nature has her job to do. In our backyard, a few years ago, Irene who lives on the ground floor planted an orchid in the tree outside my window and every year it blooms! The picture next to it had me a little concerned because these egrets usually only show when it has rained but, of course, by the time I get up in the morning the rain is gone and they are looking for their worms and crabs!  In the last picture we have a bluebird (I didn’t get close enough to show its color) keeping an eye on the parking lot–hey, everyone has  a job here, including birds!August 2021 has been a good month!

Posted August 29, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

“FREE GUY”–MOVIE THEATRE REVIEW   1 comment

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The two main positives of “Free Guy” as a movie are Ryan Reynolds and the special effects–not necessarily in that order. The main negative is that not being high tech and never having played, or been interested, in video games I was more or less lost the first 50 minutes of the film.

Non-people (aka non-player character or NPC)  in video games are loved by their creators and so it happens that ‘the guy in the blue shirt’, also known as Guy, who we see getting up every morning, saying hello to his goldfish, dressing the same every day, picks up his coffee order on the way to work and, as a bank teller, is in the bank every day when robbers come in to rob it then………….

Jodie Comer, of “Killing Eve” does a super job as the creator of Molotovgirl and does even better playing her! Now if only Ryan Reynolds had played the co-creator even though also portrays Dude, with his face superimposed onto bodybuilder Aaron W. Reed through visual effects.

Regarding the special effects there is no way this movie can be as effective on a television screen, no matter how large it might be, as it is on a average 30 to 90 feet by a 10 to 30 feet wide movie screen. The effects are wild, crazy, chases, killings, a take-off on Star Wars, things melting away, buildings disappearing and then it gets better!

This has a large cast and all are engaging but from the opening shot to the closing it revolves around Reynolds and I must say he is a charming guy–no pun intended–and I will remember the movie because of him.”Free Guy” is not a classic nor a movie I would want to see again and again but it was fun and I learned about video games!

Posted August 27, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW

Have a cuppa   1 comment


In British English, a “cuppa” is acup of tea!In 1972 when I entered Transactional Analysis Therapy one of the first things pointed out to me was that I had an addictive personality. Part of that was an all or nothing at all attitude whether it be on a diet or not, whether it be drinking a case of diet cola a day, smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day, drinking alcohol until I was drunk or as it has been not smoking a single cigarette since July 2008 or not a drop of alcohol (not even in cooking because though it may evaporate my thinking would be, “Oh well, I had wine I might as well…….”), not a sip of cola, diet or otherwise, since science came to the conclusion in interferes with losing weight—hey, I need an excuse for the weight gain, though my doctor doesn’t buy it!I didn’t drink any coffee until I was in my twenties and then it was coffee every moment I was awake and not drinking alcohol!

I used to be a iced tea drinker but not too often and then I found out that I was becoming addicted to Aleve PM and Lorazapam for no reason at all as I didn’t need help to sleep. I did stop drinking regular coffee except 1 cup when I woke up or when I went out to eat, filling in with decaf.
I read an article about chamomile tea (which I still don’t pronounce correctly!) and decided to give it a try. I used 2 teabags to a cup plus a sweet ‘n low (okay, another addiction!) and a ‘shot’ of lemon juice. I stopped the Aleve and Lorazapam and all was going good.A few weeks after I started the tea I noticed The Dollar Tree was selling the chamomile tea plus others like peppermint which was caffeine free so I bought a couple of boxes and started to have 1 bag each of chamomile and peppermint (plus the lemon juice and sweet ‘n low!) If that wasn’t enough a few weeks ago they were selling a variety of teas and Winn-Dixie was having specials on tea from both Bigelow and Celestial but it was the new teas from The Dollar Tree that got my attention and, all of a sudden, during the day I was having the following:1) Herbal Helpers Detox Boost which had Tumeric, Chai Masal, Rosehip and Hibiscus plus green tea  2) Herbal Helpers Immunity Boost which contained Corlander, Ginger, Cinnamon and Clove 3) Herbal Helpers Energy Boost containing Aswagandha, Licorice and Cinnamon.  All contain natural antioxidants and none caffeine.

After checking out what the various herbs were—come on–do YOU know what Aswagandha is?!?!—and going to their web site: ceylonfoodvalley.com I started a routine of having the various teas at home and winding up the day with the chamomile and peppermint mix.Of all the teas the only one I didn’t like was called “Get Burning” which has a touch—too much of a touch—of chili pepper spice and black pepper which has too much of a ‘kick’. It also is made of Rooibos–an herb only available from South Africa–which sounds interesting and I would like to try without the other herbs and spices mixed in it.

Okay, I am doing the addiction thing again but all these are supposed to be good for my health and I am asleep before my had even hits the pillow. Mmmmm—wonder what my cardiologist will think of my mixing all these herbs with my meds???

Meanwhile want to come over and have a cuppa???

Posted August 23, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Teas

Streaming Reviews–August 2021–Part 7   Leave a comment


1) “The Chair”–Netflix–series–season1–6 episodes–3 hours–breezy story–sharp cast–life in upper academia with gender and race problems along with loss of funding and enrollment–Sandra Oh, Holland Taylor and Jay Duplass are the major players–if there is a second season will they bring the other actors more into the forefront?–WILL THERE BE A SECOND SEASON?

2) “The Show Must Go On”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 25 minutes–about Adam Lambert joining Queen–it is interesting hearing the band members of Queen talk about Lambert joining in, how he would fit and the ‘ghost’ of Freddie Mercury–THIS IS FOR FANS OF QUEEN AND/OR ADAM LAMBERT WHICH ARE MANY

3) “Coming Out”–Amazon Prime–Documentary–1 hour & 12 minutes–coming out stories are different for everyone and I wish all their stories could be like Alden Peters–sadly they aren’t–Peters hits on some important points regrading family and their reaction–THE BOTTOM LINE IS HOW THE ONE COMING OUT REACTS TO THEMSELVES

4) “Zero”–Netflix–Italian series–season 1–3 hours & 12 minutes–I am completely confused but loved every crazy minute–okay, I don’t like/care for the invisible man aspects but the basic story is just that–basic–is it an Italian series filmed in Milan and in the part of the city called the Barrio?–I DON’T KNOW BUT WATCH IT AND TELL ME AND I AM WAITING FOR THE SECOND SEASON

5) “Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes”–Netflix–Documentary–limited series–1 hour & 25 minutes–what makes this different from the murder documentaries being shown all over streaming companies are the tapes that the notorious Scottish killer made tapes telling his story–HOMOPHOBIA SENSATIONALIZED THE TRIAL AND THE TAPES DON’T ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS THEY RAISE

6) “Dogs”–Netflix–Documentaries–series–2 seasons–season 1–6 episodes–season 2–4 episodes–total 8 hours & 21 minutes–each episode follows a different true tale (no pun intended) regarding dogs from a dog trained to alert parents when their child is about to have an epilepsy fit to a priest in Italy who rescues dogs to a dog grooming competition among the 10 stories–DOGS & HUMAN BEINGS IN INTERESTING STORIES–HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE IT?–NOT FOR DOG LOVERS ONLY

Posted August 22, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

Streaming Reviews–August 2021–Part 6   Leave a comment


1) “The Accompanist”–Amazon Prime–French Movie–1 hour & 33 minutes–Frederick Keeve stars, directed, wrote the screenplay and wrote 4 of the songs plus performing one–now if he had hired a director, writer and some actors this might have made sense–or even a movie–GUESS FREDERICK KEEVE KNOWS WHAT THIS FILM IS ALL ABOUT–I DON’T/DIDN’T
2) “Inventing David Geffen”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 54 minutes–there is a lot said about Geffen being a wheeler and dealer, competitive–mean spirited–a ‘get even’ type–but it is never shown–all we do is see him smiling, being mister nice guy–INTERESTING DOCUMENTARY IF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT DAVID GEFFEN BUT ANYONE FAMILIAR WITH SHOW BUSINESS WON’T LEARN ANYTHING NEW HERE
3) “Grace & Frankie”–Netflix–7 part series–part 6, 13 episodes and 7, 4 episodes–8 hours and 21 minutes–this has been a fun series with Tomlin and Fonda a great team as are Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston as their exes–it is fast moving and touches on a lot of subjects–STREAMING, WITHOUT ADS, IT MOVES FASTER AND IS BETTER TO WATCH 4 PROS AT THEIR BEST
4) “Boys”–Amazon Prime–Dutch film–1 hour & 17 minutes–English subtitles handled very badly so watching film depends on your understanding what’s happening and that is very basic–NOTHING SPECIAL–ANOTHER FILM ABOUT TEENAGERS AND SEXUALITY –DIFFERENT IN THAT THERE IS NO SEX
5) “Tennessee Queer”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 30 minutes–Jason Potts returns home to Smythe, Tennessee, after living in New York City a few years–decides to have a Gay Pride Parade–CORNY OLD-FASHIONED FILM THAT WILL DRAW YOU IN AGAINST YOUR BETTER JUDGMENT
6) “Lady Boss”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 36 minutes–who was Jackie Collins? Her public image? The famous and best seller writer? Mother of 3 and wife of 23 years to a man who adored her? The sister of a famous Hollywood star?–“LADY BOSS” IS A PR PRODUCTION AND YOU WON’T KNOW ANYMORE THAN YOU DID ABOUT JACKIE COLLINS–NO SCENES BETWEEN HER AND JOAN BUT THE LATTER SAYS NICE THINGS ABOUT HER YOUNGER SISTER

Posted August 18, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming, Uncategorized

Fred, Grace and Henri   Leave a comment


It is a combination of rainy and hurricane seasons which means hot, humid and wet days.  For a week Fred, first a storm, then a tropical storm and maybe when it gets to Florida a hurricane. It was supposed to hit sometime over the weekend and everyone got prepared. Friday came and a little shower in the morning (well, someone told me as I sleep in the mornings!), Saturday came and went and on Sunday there was talk of another system in the Atlantic and it would be called Grace and possibly head to Florida.

On Monday it seems that Hurricane and/or Tropical storm Fred decided that they didn’t want to stop in Fort Lauderdale and went into the gulf and turned north heading for the northwest coast of Florida and going through Louisiana up through the Carolinas. Instead we were presented with Grace and Henri with the latter going towards Bermuda and then north over water but Grace might be a threat to Fort Lauderdale.

On the 6 PM news Bette Davis shows Grace going south of us and I looked out the window, the sun was shining a group of gliders and canoes was going by so, even though I know the weather here from now until November can change on a dime, I decided to just sit back, relax and maybe, just maybe, plan a walk tomorrow!

Posted August 16, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

Streaming Reviews–August 2021–Part 5   Leave a comment


1) “Hal Sparks: Charmageddon”–Prime Amazon–one man standup comic show–1 hour & 3 minutes–very clever with words; definitions, how to use them, when misused, etc.,–done in 2010 so a bit, well a lot, outdated–HE IS SMART BUT NOT FUNNY AS A COMEDIAN
2) “Poms”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 31 minutes–everybody loves old folks–oh, you don’t?–oh you are not old!–we all laugh at old people who do foolish things, right?–oh, that’s right  you are not old–I forgot so you may not laugh–I AM OLD AND I DIDN’T LAUGH THOUGH I DID LIKE THE CAST
3) “Akron”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 27 minutes–very ‘straight’ (no pun intended) gay themed film told with many underlying factors–2 young collage boys fall in love and both families, friends, school mates accept this as if it wasn’t Akron, Ohio!–I WOULD RECOMMEND SEEING “HOLD THE MAN”–SEE REVIEW AUGUST 2021 PART 3–A MORE MEANINGFUL AND MOVING LOVE STORY
4) “Brash Boys Club”–Amazon Prime–one night stand of 3 gay comics–1 hour & 22 minutes–granted I am not a standup comic fan but with 3 completely different identifying gay men I would at least laugh once–3 COMICS–30 MINUTES EACH–0 LAUGHS
5) “Everything is Free”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 31 minutes–I have no idea why this movie was made, what it was/is about or why people put up money to make it–WATCH IT AND MAYBE YOU CAN ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS
6) “Consequences”–Amazon Prime–Slovenian movie–1 hour & 35 minutes–writer/director Darko Stante says the film is based on his work in detention centers and he spends more time on the ‘love story’ than the centers–THE MOVIE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT THE SPINELESS ADULTS RUNNING THE CENTERS AND WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
IF YOU HAVE TO WATCH ONE OF THESE THE ONLY ONE I CAN SUGGEST IS “POMS’ AS AT LEAST IT IS PROFESSIONALLY MADE WITH A STRONG CAST–OR BE SMART AND WATCH THE NEW EPISODES OF “GRACE & FRANKIE”!

Posted August 15, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Streaming

“Respect”–Movie Theatre Review   1 comment


In 2004 I was cheering (and voting) for Jennifer Hudson to win that season of American Idol. She didn’t but do you remember who??  In 2006 I walked out of the Gateway Movie Theatre after seeing “Dreamgirls” and said that if she didn’t win an Oscar I would never go to the movies—whew! She did and I am still going to the movies! (In fact I haven’t understood why her movies haven’t done much better including a great performance as Winnie Mandela in the picture of the same name.)

It is well known that Aretha Franklin picked Jennifer Hudson to play her in the film of her life and it is easy to see why because Hudson is perfection in the role, not imitating her but being her. I was never a fan of Franklin’s, not disliking her but never going out of my way to see her or buying one of her albums and this picture doesn’t change my mind about that but Hudson makes me want to listen to Franklin’s records again and see if I have changed my mind.

In 2008 Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were killed by her brother-in-law knowing tragedy at at a time when she should have known none but then Aretha Franklin’s tragedies started earlier at the age of 12 being raped by a friend of her father and giving birth to her first son. She, like her mother, was abused by her father, not physically but mentally, who also raped a 12 year old girl and got her pregnant but was never accused due to the laws at that time.

Franklin was attracted to abusive men and didn’t make it big until she took charge of her career and sang what she wanted to sing, not what and how the men in her life wanted her to sing.

Aretha Franklin’s career is what make legends and Jennifer Hudson puts across the pain and joy the woman felt as going through the phases of her personal life and career while she also uses her powerful voice to show how the star became a legend.

There is a strong supporting cast with 6 time Tony award winner Audra McDonald in an almost cameo role as Aretha’s mother though she does get to sing one song briefly and simply plus Mary J. Bilge plays Dinah Washington, also in a cameo, not singing but showing how a woman has to have strength to survive in show business.  Kimberly Scott as her grandmother, Haily Kilgore and Saycon Sengbloh as her sisters and back up singers while Skye Dakota Turner, who recently played Tina Turner as a child on Broadway plays Franklin as a the child ‘with a big voice’, all give effective performances while among the men Forest Whitaker as her father, Marlon Wayans as her abusive husband and Marc Maron as a record producer who believes in her all do standout jobs

.Leisl Tomm, making her first feature film, has a few missteps but, obviously, loves working with actors and certainly lets her star do her ‘thing’.

“Respect” is 2 hours and 25 minutes long—and one must stay for the last song which is sung by Aretha Franklin–but it is the 2 hours of Jennifer Hudson that makes this movie whether it is her singing or acting or her just being Aretha.

Posted August 13, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

Streaming Reviews–August 2021–Part 4   Leave a comment


1) “Mulligans”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 32 minutes–many older men come out after getting married and having children—some knew they were gay before getting married and can give you many reasons why they married while some don’t understand, realize their attraction to men later on in life–in this film Tyler’s dad finds himself falling in love with his son’s friend who is gay and the consequences–AN INTERESTING AND DIFFERENT STORY WRITTEN BY THE MAN IT HAPPENED TO

2) “How To Become a Tyrant”–Netflix–series–6 episodes–2 hours & 35 minutes–are one of the traits of a tyrant is being born one or is “Tyrants” just boring?–strange that a man who can take over a country and rule for years can be so non-charismatic–THE FILM FAILS TO SHOW THE “IT” OF THESE 6 MEN

3) “The Pursuit of Love”–Amazon Prime–limited series–3 episodes–3 hours–a modern story taking place in the 1920s regarding the friendship of two women during childhood, marriages, pregnancies who are there for each other–Dominic West is a standout–NOT A “BRIDGERTON” OR “THE CROWN”–I COULDN’T GET PAST THE SECOND EPISODE

4) Outer Banks”–Netflix–series–2 seasons–total 17 hours & 48 minutes–as I wrote about season 1; teenage drama isn’t very original but entertaining in an old fashioned way though the sex is definitely 2020–SEASON TWO WAS HARD TO GET THROUGH

5) “Those People”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 28 minutes–many scenes of Manhattan at night when it looks beautiful and rich–just as what 4 leads are yet the one who isn’t rich holds the screen and story together–TOO BAD THE STORY DOESN’T REVOLVE AROUND HIM

6)  “Tab Hunter Confidential”–Amazon Prime–documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–his last film was in 1992–was with his partner 35 years–died in 2018 at the age of 86, 3 days before he would have celebrated his 87th birthday–avid horse owner and winning rider–based on his autobiography about being gay without coming out in the Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s–A SALUTE TO THE RARE SURVIVOR OF BEING A ‘HOT’ IDOL IN HOLLYWOOD AND LEADING HIS OWN PRIVATE LIFE

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