Archive for September 2021

End of September 2021   1 comment

There are many things I love about Mother Nature including the changes of seasons and we have now, subtly, gone from Summer to Autumn. How do I know? Easy, as the high temperatures are no longer in the 90s–only the high 80s! Also, the humidity has dropped to lower than 60%! Go ahead and laugh but WE know the difference!!

Regarding the first picture, top left; I have a planter at the end of my desk and in it are odds and ends which I throw in there and yesterday I noticed a green pepper dead center and I don’t even remember throwing seeds in there!!Then there are the birds!! You can see the 3 different pictures and they were all taken after a rainfall as that is the only time we see the birds. The first 2 on top are the grounds behind my building and the one on the bottom is in front of building C. I don’t know where they go when it doesn’t rain for many days/weeks/months but we only see them AFTER a rain!

On the other hand there are canoes going up and down the canal every day/week of the year!There are 5 Holiday cactus pictures of which the two on the second row on the right and the second on the left on the bottom row are the ‘mother’ plant already blooming while the ‘pups’—which I planted by breaking off a piece of the mother plant–are starting to get buds and will probably bloom next week, just in time to welcome October!

Last, but certainly not least, is the mysterious orchid in the tree outside my window. We have no idea who originally planted it or when but every year, like clockwork, it blooms. There is a white one and a purple one and in a week or two they will be huge and all in bloom!

Life is never boring with Mother Nature outside my window!! (And plants inside!)

Posted September 28, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

Streaming Reviews September 2021 Part 5   Leave a comment

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1) “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 56 minutes–I had heard a bit about it being sort of an off-Broadway musical that was opening in London but the synopsis, “Teenage boys wants to become a professional drag queen”, turned me off but I decided to watch it for a few minutes–1 hour & 56 minutes flew by and I had watched the whole movie–Max Harwood is excellent as the teenager and Richard E. Grant is dynamite as his ‘drag teacher’, his professional Godmother–some very good production numbers–BE SURE TO WATCH THE END CREDITS AND ‘MEET’ THE REAL MOTHER AND SON THIS IS BASED ON–A MUST SEE MOVIE!

2) “Lucifer”–Netflix–series–season 6–10 episodes–8 hours & 44 minutes–as good as the first season–first rate all the way-a lot of fun while the serious aspects of the devil and G-d are handled straight and with feeling–you get to know all the characters and believe in Adam and Eve along with the various angels and children of G-d–THIS HAS BEEN A FIRST RATE SERIES AND ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE AND TOM ELLIS AS LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR, THE DEVIL, LEADS AN OUTSTANDING CAST

3) “The River Runner”–Netflix–documentary–filmed in Tibet–1 hour & 25 minutes–paddling is not an easy sport and though we are following 4 men wanting to be the first to paddle across 4 great rivers the film is interested particularly in Scott Lindgren’s quest and it becomes obvious why–SHOWS WHAT MAKES A CHAMP A CHAMP–EXCELLENT

4) “The Social Dilemma”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 34 minutes–though most of us are aware of how the Internet knows so much about us not many know how they are using that information and how media companies are starting, if not already, are ruling the world–THIS DOCUMENTARY MAY MAKE A LOT OF PEOPLE USE THE INTERNET LESS–I SUGGEST SEEING THIS WITH “CLICK BAIT” (SEE PART 4 REVIEW)–INTERESTING AND , POSSIBLY, FRIGHTENING DOUBLE BILL

5) “Open Your Eyes”–Netflix–Polish sci-fi series–season 1–6 episodes–4 hours & 41 minutes–absolutely crazy!–didn’t understand it or what was happening BUT I LOVED IT! I HAD NO IDEA WHO THE LEAD IS AND/OR WHERE SHE WAS NOR DOES SHE AND I WATCHED IT ALL IN ONE SEATING

6) “Sex Education”–Netflix–season 3–8 episodes–7 hours & 29 minutes–seems like a tired story about teenagers trying to find themselves–having or not having sex–trust issues–problems with adults–but it all feels fresh as WE GET TO KNOW ALL SIDES OF THE INDIVIDUAL TEENAGERS AND THOUGH SOME HAVE RUN OF THE MILL PROBLEMS THEY HANDLE THEM DIFFERENTLY AND IN INTERESTING WAYS


Posted September 26, 2021 by greatmartin in Documentaries, MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

“Dear Evan Hansen”–Movie Theatre Review   Leave a comment

Let’s tackle the Internet ‘problem’ that this movie has faced the pass couple of months. Anyone going to the movies has to suspend belief in many cases, especially when it comes to musicals. We easily accept that someone will sing and dance in the rain on a street or people will burst out into song and/or dancing on subways, in classrooms, Central Park, in the White House and everywhere else.

For awhile now there has been outrage expressed that Ben Platt, a 27 year old man will be playing a teenager in this movie which he took from a workshop at the age of 20 to being a big hit on Broadway with his winning a Tony award 2 year later in the role. Most of the lead students in the movie are in their 20s and ALL, including Platt make you forget they aren’t teenagers.

Another jab at Platt is that his father produced the show and that is why he got the role but when you consider he won 8 awards for his role including the Tony, Grammy and Emmy he, obviously deserved to cement his doing the role on film and let’s just say upfront whatever success the movie has will be due to his performance!

It is only when Platt is on the screen singing and/or dancing does “Dear Evan Hansen” become alive, moving and meaningful. The non-musical, straight drama scenes, the fault of screenwriter Steven Levenson and director Stephen Chbosky, are a combination of being boring, very low sound and hard to understand such as a scene between Amandia Stenberg and Ben Platt that is important to the movie but not understood by the audience.

The choreographer is sort of a mystery unless the director also did the choreography–and I searched and search but couldn’t find a credit for choreographer–and if he did than there is a great difference between his straight dramatic scenes and musical scenes with the former coming across flat and the latter presenting a life that lacks from the movie otherwise. Watching Ben Platt doing the opening number and later at an assembly honoring a dead student will make you understand that it was neither age or his father’s millions that makes him so successful as the title character in “Dear Evan Hansen”!

I recommend “Dear Evan Hansen” for Ben Platt’s performance, sweet and emotional singing voice captured on screen, not for its adaptation to the screen from the stage though it does handle the ending much different and better.

Posted September 24, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW

“We are going to FLOOD you Fort Lauderdale!!   1 comment

 It is the first day of Autumn and approaching 5 PM which is what time, usually, THE big black cloud takes over the blue sky and white puffy clouds and the first few raindrops fall BUT it has been like that the past 30 minutes so those raindrops may be all we will get! Meanwhile you can tell it is Autumn in South Florida–only 2 of the following 5 days will be 90 degrees or higher and our weather-caster, Bette Davis, says it will only be cooler!

Meanwhile the good old Holiday cactus (#1) keeps blooming both white and pink blooms while her ‘babies’ (#2), 3 of them, will probably bloom in 10 days to 2 weeks with different colored blooms. Never ceases to amaze me.

At the same time the tree orchid keeps on growing a deeper purple with larger blooms and now has a touch of white while (I’ll have to take another picture) on the hidden side the white orchid is doing its own thing!Okay, the dark cloud is breaking up and blue is sneaking through BUT that doesn’t mean it won’t pour later!!

Posted September 22, 2021 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

Birds, flowers and rain!   1 comment

It’s no secret that I love Mother Nature and she never ceases to amaze me.  From now until November we will have rain, usually early morning and evening, with sun in-between. All I have to do when I wake up in the morning (well, late morning) is look out the window and I know 1) if we had rain and 2) if it was heavy or light. If you look at the lower right picture with the 2 birds and the picture on the second row, second left, with the one bird you know we had a sun shower, a light rain while the other pictures (you can only see 3 of the flock in the second picture on the right) we had a heavy rain–a rain heavy enough for the birds to walk and peck at the worms, seeds and insects that the rain has brought up.  Oh, yes, the puddle the 3 birds are walking, and eating, across, which is out my front window, also lets me know it was a heavy rain!

Then there are the flowers! Indoors I always have blooms whether it is gardenias, geraniums, holiday cactus or Cuban yellows.  The Cuban flowers are very easy to grow as I originally started with a small branch I took off  an outdoor plant and since then, taking little bits of the ‘mother’ plant I now have 6 plants throughout the apartment that are constantly blooming. Sadly the bloom only lasts a day and has no aroma but they always add a little sunshine to my place.

Last, but certainly not last, I mentioned the orchid in the tree outside my rear window that has bloomed again a year later. It tells us it is Autumn every year right on time. It is a deep purple but today when I went outside I noticed a white bloom on the lower side which hasn’t been there before so I am keeping an eye on it–to see if it is a new plant, an offshoot of the old plant or??????????

Posted September 20, 2021 by greatmartin in birds, GARDENS, WEATHER

Streaming Reviews–September 2021–Part 4   Leave a comment

1) “Live Twice, Love once”–Netflix–Spanish film–1 hour & 41 minutes–as it started I thought this was just another picture of an old person getting Alzheimer’s but it turns into a sweet picture of love in many forms–hard to see someone getting Alzheimer’s at 85 but THIS IS A WINNER FOR ROMANTICS LIKE ME

2) “Happy Endings”–Amazon Prime–series–3 seasons–19 hours & 16 minutes–6 friends living in Chicago–I gave up after 13 episodes of the first season–POOR IMITATION OF “FRIENDS”

3) “Really Love”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 35 minutes–Kofi Siriboe is a dynamite find–excellent actor–imposing presence–has a lot of chemistry with his co-star Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing–boy meets girl–boy falls in love with girl–he is an artist–she is a lawyer–boy loses girl–she has to choose between love and her values–they are in love–WILL THERE BE  A ‘HOLLYWOOD ENDING’? YOU’LL HAVE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF–I DON’T DO SPOILERS!

4) “Clickbait”–Netflix–limited series–8 episodes–6 hours & 8 minutes–learn about technology and why you should NEVER put anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want everyone to see–I never had to worry about blackmail as my life is/was an open book known to all–STANDOUT CAST–ENDING REALLY SURPRISED ME–I DIDN’T EVEN COME CLOSE TO GUESSING WHO DID WHAT

5) “Agatha Christie’s Crooked House”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 55 minutes–nothing like a whole cast being ‘veddy English’, especially Glenn Close–it is Agatha Christie–FUN, PUZZLING AND YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHO DID IT

6) “Fractured”–Netflix–movie thriller–1 hour & 40 minutes–a couple and their child are coming home from a Thanksgiving dinner at the wife’s family and stop at a gas station where the 6 year old child has an accident–they go to a hospital and the child disappears–it holds you interest up to the 1 hour and, maybe, 30 minute mark–AT THAT POINT TURN IT OFF AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN ENDING–THE SCREENWRITER RUINS THE WHOLE MOVIE WITH HIS

Posted September 19, 2021 by greatmartin in Amazon Prime, ENTERTAINMENT, Netflix, REVIEWS, Streaming

An every holiday Christmas Cactus!!   1 comment

You want a plant that celebrates every holiday?? I got it!! 15 years ago I bought a “Christmas Cactus” and it did bloom every Christmas but a little over a decade ago—2008 to be exact–the cactus was in bloom for my 18th Leap Year birthday and each succeeding year it seemed to bloom for another holiday!!

This year it bloomed for Rosh Hashanah and and on Yom Kippur (see lower right picture) one white bud started to bloom! I can show you pictures from Easter, Passover, New Year’s Day, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day,, etc., of my “Christmas Cactus” in bloom.

It obviously will be in bloom for the first day of Autumn and, certainly, Thanksgiving. Wonder if next year it will add Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day ‘it’ being the Christmas Cactus as it was introduced to me but I really mean Mother Nature–she is always amazing me!

Posted September 18, 2021 by greatmartin in HOLIDAYS, MOTHER NATURE, PLANTS

“Cry Macho”–Movie theatre film review   1 comment

The choices of our Friday movie was either “The Eyes Of Tammy Faye” or “Cry Macho” and Allen picked the latter.Let me say up front that I neither like Clint Eastwood and/or Westerns but I am game for anything.

The movie is about Mike Milo (Eastwood) whose rodeo career was cut short by a horse throwing him and though he doesn’t show any physical injuries it ended that which happened after his wife and child dies–if they gave a reason I didn’t hear it–and he seems to have had a battle with booze.

A year after he is fired his ex-boss sends him on  a mission to bring his son back, who he hasn’t seen since the kid was 6 and has been living with his ex-wife in Mexico.It seems the boy is more or less a juvenile delinquent who enters cock fights with his rooster Macho Man and when  Mike finds him and convinces his father wants to see him we more or less go on a road trip with the ex-wife sending a couple of men after them.

The film isn’t bad but doesn’t bring anything new to the screen and, with all due respect to Eastwood at 91, he should stick to directing and leave the acting to younger men, especially if he is going to have a love story in the film. The age factor does throw the screenplay off track now and then, particularly the flirting scenes between him and Natalie Traven as his love interest and the vamping scenes of Fernanda Urrejola as the mother and ex-wife.

Aside from playing in the movie theatre it is also streaming on AppleTV and that may account for the Tammy Faye movie having a much larger audience, including Oscar talk regarding Jessica Chastain’s performance and not that much word of mouth about “Cry Macho”.

Posted September 17, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

Streaming Reviews–September 2021–Part 3   Leave a comment

1) “Q Force”–Netflix–Animation series–4 hours & 20 minutes–full of gay stereotypes starring the voice of Sean Hayes who should know better–PROVES GAY CARTOONS CAN BE AS UNFUNNY AS NON-GAY CARTOONS

2) “Blood Brothers: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour& 36 minutes–2 men in history who won’t be forgotten but how will they be remembered as individuals and/or as a team? A  GOOD DOCUMENTARY BUT A LOT IS ASSUMED AND/OR MADE UP

3) “Cinderella”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 53 minutes–each generation brings a different tale to this story and here Ella wants to be a fashion designer, independent, to compete–it is still the Cinderella story with the prince, the missing slipper and happily ever after–Pierce Bronson and Minnie Driver are the standouts–good musical numbers–Billy Porter is getting more hammy/outrageous with each movie–NOT THE BEST VERSION AND FAR FROM A MUST SEE

4) “JJ+E”–Netflix–Swedish movie–‘young adult’ movie–1 hour and 31 minutes–rich girl, poor boy, Swedish ending–not soapy but neglects one of the stories to the detriment of the whole movie–SWEET ROMANCE BUT CRAZY ENDING

5) “Hit and Run”–Netflix–Israel thriller series–season 1–9 episodes–7 hours & 10 minutes–Lior Raz, who certainly gets a workout, is a standout from the opening scene starting with his being beaten within an inch of his life and the violence continues from that point–a lot of fights, chases, killings, maiming, double crosses and some improbabilities–far too many dark lit scenes–an interesting story filmed in Tel Aviv  and New York city–THE ENDING SUGGESTS A SECOND SEASON AND, I HOPE, LESS VIOLENCE


Posted September 15, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

Streaming September 2021 Part 2   Leave a comment

1) “Black Island”–Netflix–German Thriller–1 hour & 44 minutes–scenic–very little suspense–okay but if you miss it you don’t miss much–ALREADY HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT IT WAS ABOUT

2) “Luis Miguel: The Series”–Netflix–Spanish series–2 seasons–total of 17 hours & 40 minutes–though I know of many Latin singers ranging from Cuban to Mexican to Spanish I have never heard of Luis Miguel and had to look up to find out if he was a fictional character or not and found out that ‘he is the most successful artist in Mexican history’–I watched the first 10 episodes and had to give up–a lot of ‘soap opera’ starting with what happened to his mother and then is dropped after his uncle tells him his father had something to do with it–none of the music was familiar and wasn’t particularly good–FOR ME TO STOP WATCHING A SERIES, MOVIES, READING A BOOK, ETC., IS SO RARE BUT I GAVE UP

3) “Misha and the Wolves”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 30 minutes–is it true? Is Misha the first to make money and fame off the Holocaust? Or should the question be why are we so gullible to believe in an impossible story? Did she really hide from the Nazis living with a pack of wolves? IS THE REAL STORY OF MISHA MORE MOVING? MORE BELIEVABLE? YOU DECIDE!

4) “Untold Crimes & Penalties”–Netflix–Sports Documentary–1 hour & 26 minutes–Part 4–(I only saw this one chapter of a series about sports and crooks) You want violence? The ‘mob’ sports? If you haven’t heard of The Danbury Trashers or Jimmy Galante or the Galante family this is a story of  17 year old AJ who was a hockey mad teenager and was given the team as a gift from his father! YOU COULDN’T MAKE UP A CAST OF CHARACTERS LIKE THIS WITH ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE TO BACK THEM UP

5) “Divos”–Amazon Prime–movie–1 hour & 38 minutes–it is an old fashioned ‘let’s put on a musical’ with senior high schoolers–even Judy and Mickey in the old MGM movies did better than this–HECK, ANYONE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS–EVEN ALL THE STEREOTYPES ARE PRESENTED BADLY

6) “Tell Me Your Secrets”–Amazon Prime–thriller series–10 episodes–7 hours & 41 minutes–a crazy all over the place thriller which holds your interest because it is so crazy! Maybe if I watch the last 15 minutes of the last episode 10 times I would get all the answers, especially the last 3 minutes. THERE IS A SEASON 2 COMING—MAYBE–REMIND ME NOT TO WATCH IT!

Posted September 14, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

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