Archive for December 2021

What happens to people? Do they die? Disappear? Or what??   1 comment


For 21 years Peter and I have been exchanging emails, commenting on each other’s blogs and discussing everything from politics to people to social issues but I hadn’t heard from him for a month and I started to get worried.  I emailed him a few times and no response. I tried to get hold of his book publishers and then I started to wonder if something had happened.  He and his partner Hans have been together for over 50 years but I only know Hans from a picture of the two of them. I don’t know if he has Peter’s passwords or even uses a computer.With snail mail chances are if the receiver is deceased you will get a notice to that effect IF the person you live with informs the PO–with email it just piles up in the inbox! I thought I had their home address but I can’t seem to find it but I will keep on looking.In any case I started to think about the many people who have touched my life over the years and all of a sudden all communication stopped and I wondered what happened to them. Did they just change their life and didn’t have time to keep in contact with old friends? Were they so busy they didn’t have time? Okay, granted, most were old now so there was always the possibility they died but if they had a partner wouldn’t the partner inform their friends via social media?I thought back to my teenage years and my next door neighbor Jerry who really helped me when I needed help but when he? me? moved away we stopped communicating. There were the ‘Joes’–redhead Joe from the Bronx, Joe Dorcette from the Brass Rail, Joe the Greek from Miami Beach–I was close to all of them but haven’t heard from any of them in decades!There were the WW/OW ‘girls’–Margie, Barbara, Carole, Bella, Elaine, Shirley, Bonnie Giem, just to name a few who I haven’t heard from since 1979 when I left Tennessee.Talking about Tennessee I haven’t heard from that Joe nor after Issac Searcy visited Micheal and me here in Fort Lauderdale I never heard from him again just as I haven’t heard from anyone in Chattanooga or Memphis (okay Nina and Jean live in Texas now and Glenn lives in Georgia). Close friends I made in Hollywood, California and Hollywood, Florida, are no longer in my life.Jose (Pepe) Cuesta who was very important in my life in the 1960s never missed my birthday, even when I moved to Memphis in 1969 he acknowledged it and even came to Memphis to see me and Johnny in 1975 but he never showed for my 10th Leap Year gala in 1976 and I have never heard from him again.
Bob Kingsbury, Bob Barry, Bernie Abraham are a few I know have died but how many else have and I don’t know!Surprisingly recently I was contacted by Mark and Emir who I haven’t heard from in years, the former who I met in Memphis but surprised me by coming to my Leap Year birthday party in 1992 in Fort Lauderdale, due to their seeing me on Facebook. I was thinking of just listing names and downloading pictures on my facebook page as I had done a brief, very brief, search once there years ago and I did get in touch with 2 women I knew as girls in the Bronx–whatever happened to Susan Schwartz???I could go on for pages naming names and asking what happened to them but I don’t think many people would read them. I do know I arranged for a small comment to be made on my posts about my dying when it happens so people will know whether they care or not–at least they won’t wonder “Whatever happened to GreatMartin?”

Posted December 19, 2021 by greatmartin in personal life

Winter? Summer? December 2021   1 comment


This coming Tuesday, December 21, 2021, my calendar states “First Day of Winter” but I think someone didn’t get the message! I just came back from sitting and reading on The Point while watching people swimming and water skiing in Karen Bay.This is what the temperature is now at 5 PM:  81 degrees with some light–very light–rains coming in on the ocean breeze! We know winter is coming Tuesday because the temperatures will be a high of 80 degrees with a low of 73 degrees at night or so our local weather people say on the maps above and they wouldn’t lie, would they??

PS Ignore my crying for mittens, earmuffs and heavy sweaters when we go below 70, maybe even below 60!– for a couple of nights in January and/or February because by the time they get here it will be warm again!

Posted December 18, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

“Don’t Look Up”–Movie Theatre Review   Leave a comment


Adam McKay wrote, produced and directed “Don’t Look Up” using farce and star names to get his ideas–too many ideas–in this 2 hour and 18 minutes of which an hour could have been cut and made for a much better picture. From a take-off of Trump, in the form of Meryl Streep, a blonde in this movie just in case people didn’t get the idea of who McKay was making fun of, he adds the crowd chanting, wearing hats with DLU on them, to a president who doesn’t believe in science and just happens to be narcissistic, the writer throws a hundred ideas in the movie with, possibly, 5 landing with the audience!

His throwing in a different ‘name’, every few minutes doesn’t help, though all do their job, as the audience just waits to see who will show up next instead of what the one on screen is trying to get across. The standouts in the cast are Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchette, Melanie Lynsky and Mark Rylance, the latter strictly because his character is very annoying and he gets that across from his entrance!

I don’t know if McKay or Leonardo DiCaprio decided that the latter playing an astronomer should be the most sexless, non-good looking man possible, which isn’t easy but they succeed and is very distracting to the film especially when Blanchette and Lynsky are involved with him.Jennifer Lawrence, as one of two astronomers who predict, accurately, that an asteroid will land on earth demolishing all life in 6 months and she takes command of the movie in every scene she is in no matter who is appearing with her.

There are many special effects, too many extended for too long, just as Adam McKay threw too many ideas in one film for it to be successful.

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

STREAMING REVIEWS DECEMBER 2021 PART 5   Leave a comment

1) “The Unforgivable”–Netflix–film–1 hour & 53 minutes–not the pretty, fun, life living actress you know–we meet Ruth (Sandra Bullock) as she is being released for good behavior after 20 years being in prison for murder of a sheriff–little by little we learn her story and what happened that day but meanwhile she is being stalked by the sons of the sheriff, the older son (Tom Guiry) a hothead, the younger (Will Pullen) more reasonable–she becomes involved with lawyers (Vincent D’Onofrio and Viola Davis) and their two mixed race sons–he responds to Ruth’s bewilderness while his wife turns her back on her–Davis is almost wasted in her small role but delivers when she has to–WHILE NOT A MUST SEE FILM WATCHING SANDRA BULLOCK DELIVER IN A SERIOUS ROLE MAKES THE PICTURE IS WORTH SEEING

2) “Hattie”–Prime Amazon–British film–based on a true story–1 hour & 25 minutes–Hattie (Ruth Jones) and her husband John (Robert Bathurst)) are actors, with Hattie, a bit more successful–she is very lively and the first to make fun of her being overweight–at a charity event Hattie attends alone while John stays home with the kids–she is driven home by a much younger man (Aiden Turner) also named John, who scolds her when she makes fun of her weight–the two shortly fall in love and have a very physical affair–due to circumstances the younger man is thrown out of his home when his wife learns of the affair and Hattie and her husband invite him to stay with them before the husband realizes what is going on–A GEM OF A FILM WITH RUTH JONES A JOY TO WATCH

3) “Still Out of My League”–Netflix–Italian film–1 hour & 40 minutes–this blew my mind in many ways–it is a sequel (I never saw the first)–starts off as a funny rom/com and without any warning turns into a heavy drama and ends with ‘to be continued’–Ludovica Francesconi, as Marta, in spite of a lethal lung illness and waiting for a lung transplant, is lively and goes though life with a positive attitude enjoying her friends and falling in love–there is a running joke about her gay friend going on a sex app and also a serious look at work sexual harassment but the film revolves around Marta and her new boyfriend Gabriele (Giancario Commare) who is transferred for 10 months to Paris–anything else I saw will be a spoiler–I HOPE THE 3RD PART—THE ‘TO BE CONTINUED’—COMES SOON—I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS

4) “God’s Own Country”–Revry TV (A Gay streaming service)–British film–1 hour & 40 minutes–Martin Saxby (Ian Hart) has had a stroke and his son, Johnny (Josh O’Connor) and Martin’s mother, Deirdre (Gemma Jones)  are running the farm owned by the family–the father insists that Johnny hire extra help during lambing season which is how a Romanian migrant comes to the farm–Johnny sneers at the ‘gypsy’ Gheorghe Ionescu (Alec Secareanu) one time too many and they fight which ends in angry sex–Gheorghe is excellent at his job and Johnny learns to respect him watching the man resuscitate a lamb when the ewe delivers a unconscious runt–when Martin has a second stroke it is clear that Johnny will have to take over the farm but he is overwhelmed and acts out in a destructive way–there is so much to see in this movie from a tender scene between father and son without any talk to the beautiful moors and rugged country adding to the movie’s drama and the use of music being only used when needed–the 4 leads are excellent but it is O’Conner and Secareanu that mesmerize the viewer as they change who they were–A MUST SEE FILM ESPECIALLY FOR THE LAST HOUR5)

5) “Nicole Byer: BBW Big, Beautiful Weirdo”–Netflix–standup comic–1 hour & 5 minutes–I keep trying–it is just me who doesn’t find comics funny anymore?–LOUD, VULGAR, NOT FUNNY–COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME

Posted December 13, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, SPRING HAPPENINGS

“WEST SIDE STORY” 2021 MOVIE VERSION REVIEW   4 comments

I was very apprehensive of seeing the new movie version of “West Side Story” as I saw the original 1957 Broadway production 7 times–don’t know how many times I have seen the 1961 movie–plus how many remakes can you say are even as good as the original let alone better but I’m just a ‘Broadway baby’ so I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would completely surprise me. It did surprise me even possibly more than when I saw  “West Side Story” the first time on stage or on film.
Initially I compared what I was seeing on screen in the 2021 version to what I saw in the 1961 version but that was thrown out the window when I saw the apartment buildings that were torn down to rebuild the area as the Lincoln Center shoving families out of their homes. Summing up WSS/2021 is a more realistic look at New York City in the 1950s including the people that inhabited Manhattan.
There are many differences between the two movies but none are shocking, jarring or off-putting and only 2 may be called ‘spoilers’. Some minor examples are shown here https://www.imdb.com/video/vi1469563673?ref_=tt_eds_center-3_ecw_s4s_westside_cta&listId=ls025720609 not including any spoilers.
I was as moved by this version as I was by the first movie and any live production I have seen.  To revive my memory and see the differences I plan to watch WSS/1961 on Prime Video tonight.
It would not surprise me to see the Spielberg version receive as many Oscar nominations as the Robert Wise/Jerome Robbins did if not an extra one with Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose both vying for best supporting actress.
The 2021 “West Side Story” should be seen by anyone who hasn’t seen a stage version or 1961 film version plus anyone who has seen either or both of the previous versions!

Posted December 10, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

STREAMING REVIEWS DECEMBER 2021 PART 4   Leave a comment


1) “Harlem”–Prime Amazon–series–season 1–10 episodes–5 hours–it seems 4 is the magic number now for situation comedies–in Harlem we have 4 women with all their woes–after the first 2 episodes you know who will say and do what–after these 10 episodes they will be showing a new episode every Friday–MOST EPISODES ARE INTERESTING AND FUNNY EXCEPT FOR THE CONSTANT ‘I’M A HO’ LINE

2) “Closer”–Netfix–movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–a 2004 movie starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman in a play adapted to film–cast is strong–sharp direction and dialogue–a lot of loving that could be called sex/love affairs/relationships/marriage with changing partners happening quite often–TIME PERIODS ALL OVER THE PLACE CAUSING CONFUSION BUT EVERYTHING EVENTUALLY ALL FALLS IN PLACE–CAST A JOY TO WATCH

3) “Surviving Christmas”–Netflix–British Christmas film–1 hour & 44 minutes–the family gets together for the holidays–NO SURPRISES BUT BRITISH WIT AND FIRST RATE ACTORS

4) “High on the Hog”–Netflix–documentary–season 1–4 episodes–3 hours & 28 minutes–how many foods from Africa became part of the American every day menu–many surprises–INTERESTING AND LOOKING FORWARD TO SEASON 2

5) “Gypsy”–Tubi (free streaming)–filmed live performance at London’s Savoy–the role of Momma Rose is often seen as an actresses equivalent of an actor’s Hamlet–I have seen Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daley, Bette Midler, Patti Lupone and Ethel Merman (who originated the role) all play Rose with each bringing something different but Imelda Staunton is the strongest actress with the powerful voice used when needed–WITH A STRONG LEAD, A STRONG SUPPORTING CAST, MEMORABLE SONGS THIS IS A SHOULD SEE

6) “Voir”–Netflix–season 1–6 episodes–2 hours & 2 minutes–6 visual essays of movies and movie going–opens with the violence of “Jaws” and closing with the violence of “48 Hours” and looks at Eddie Murphy becoming a star–movies also include “Lawrence of Arabia”,  clips of James Cagney movies and scenes from movies over the past 100 years–THOUGH NOT SPECIFICALLY ABOUT VIOLENCE IN MOVIES IT SHOWS A LOT OF MEMORABLE VIOLENT SCENES

Posted December 8, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS DECEMBER 2021 PART 3   Leave a comment


1) “Coming Out Colton”–Netflix–commentary–6 episodes–3 hours & 15 minutes–this really surprised me–I thought ‘just’ another coming out celebrity thing–he hits a lot of subjects but the most important/impressive segment to me is where he speaks to his old school coach about the adults at school, including him, disregarded and/or added to the suicide rates among young gays and making kids, young adults, hate themselves more by allowing the calling of names, using the q word, using gay as a negative, etc., which made life so tough for him–after he was on “The Bachelor” he did some despicable things and they are talked about—COLTON UNDERWOOD IS ON HIS JOURNEY DISCOVERING WHO HE IS–GAY OR STRAIGHT YOU WILL SEE YOURSELF–JOIN HIM NOW

2) “Father Christmas is Back”–Netflix–British Christmas movie–1 hour & 45 minutes–the Christmas family gets together every year for the fair–UNLIKABLE FAMILY BICKERING ALL THE TIME IN UNLIKABLE FILM

3)”Single All The Way”–Netflix–Christmas Movie–1 hour & 39 minutes–people falling in love, Christmas carols, snow, lights, fun, joy, tears, misunderstandings, romance–add great chemistry between the leads and you have a Christmas movie gem–with a difference–the romantic leads are two men and except for a few stereotypes–LOVE IS IN THE (CHRISTMAS) AIR

4) “Spoiled Brats”–Netflix–French movie filmed in Monaco–1 hour & 35 minutes–a silly, funny movie about what the title says and their father trying to ‘unspoil’ them–NOTHING NEW OR DIFFERENT BUT THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT A PLEASANT FILM TO WATCH

5) “Scenes of a Sexual Nature”–Netflix–British comedy–1 hour & 31 minutes–only the British can make a light,frothy comedy like this and make you care about all the various people–we are spending a day in the park with couples ranging from a pair who are divorced, an interracial couple, another couple who knew each other years ago, a man dumping his girlfriend, a gay couple talking about adoption, another couple whose relationship I can’t figure out and let’s not forget the couple on a blind date plus 1 single guy and a single woman who never couple–A COMEDY AS ONLY THE BRITISH CAN MAKE

6) “Power of the Dog”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 7 minutes–the film is getting raves and though I agree as far as the acting is concerned I have no idea where the excitement is coming from–except for 1 brief scene that might explain everything who Cumberbatch is was left up in the air—THIS MOVIE IS TOO ENIGMATIC FOR ME

Posted December 5, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Streaming

December 4, 2021 week   Leave a comment

We have had perfect weather in Fort Lauderdale this week from cool–50s and 60s overnight with high 70s and low 80s during the day–daytime provides a bird overlooking The Point as if he owns it and the sunsets every night are really breathtaking and leave an orange glow over the city as it gets dark.In the center of the collage you will see the Rainbow Bridge which is a symbol of Wilton Manors–next time I will get closer and get a better picture but meanwhile these two web sights will show you pictures and tell you more about the area:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/rainbow-bright-streets-and-bridges-show-off-pride-colors/ar-AAKUI7nhttps://www.garylanhamgroup.com/real-estate-blog/wilton-manors-florida-the-epicenter-of-gay-life/

You may have noticed the the 4 food pictures—hey, I’ve been sick and I need substance to get strong! (Mmm–that’s a new excuse for getting fatter!

Cabo Blanco is one of my favorite restaurants and they have a shrimp dish over linguini that I could eat 7 days a week! Talking about shrimp and linguini we went to Divalle’s and after looking over their menu I asked the server if their chef could make me a shrimp scampi as I was really looking for a good one and had been disappointed in the last 3 restaurant’s versions. This chef made a great one!
Yesterday we went to J Mark’s and I wanted something different than steak which I usually have there and I ordered a New Orleans seafood dish thinking it would be along a jambalaya–WRONG! Besides it wasn’t good–back to steak next time I go there! Last, but not least, we discovered a little gem of a place called Ferdo’s specializing in kabobs which we have been going to often for lunch and last week I had the steak kabob which was very good.

Good food, good weather, coconuts on palm trees and lets not forget my 2 December dogs plus rainbow bridges–who wouldn’t want to live here?!?!? Oh yes, my holiday cactus is getting ready for Christmas!

Posted December 4, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

STREAMING REVIEWS DECEMBER 2021 PART 2   Leave a comment

1) “Rocco”–Netflix–French Documentary–1 hour & 45 minutes–supposedly the number one porn star is retiring to work behind the camera–a lot of talk–he doesn’t really seem to know himself–DUBBING IN VARIOUS LANGUAGES IS PRETTY BAD AS ROCCO SEEMS TO BE IN HIS JOB

2) “A Castle For Christmas”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 39 minutes–at this time of the year there are dozens of rom/com Christmas movies and each one has to have a ‘gimmick’ so Castle has a few with the primary one being filmed in Scotland plus the chemistry between Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes–nothing like a duke meeting a commoner–a Christmas song–WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? OH YES, ONE OF THE BEST DOG ACTORS EVER.

3) “Procession”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 58 minutes–6 men sexually abused by priests as children tell what happened–the church tries, as one of many diversions, by calling them homosexual acts which they aren’t–these are acts by pedophiles which really doesn’t make it any easier to hear but it does divert from the criminal aspect–NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU READ AND/OR HEAR ABOUT CHILD ABUSE IT NEVER GETS EASY TO HEAR/SEE BUT IT MUST STAY IN THE NEWS

4) “A Boy Called Christmas”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 46 minutes–the ‘gimmick(s)’ in this Christmas movie are having Maggie Smith telling the story, a boy called Christmas, a talking mouse, a reindeer named Blitzen, elves, snow, lights, children and, oh, did I mention Maggie Smith?–COME ON THIS IS CHRISTMAS–HOW DO I SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT A MOVIE WITH MAGGIE SMITH AND A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS?

5) “Vita & Virginia”–Prime Amazon–movie–1 hour & 49 minutes–based on a true story–the production values of this British film outshine the story and the lives of these two women–HOPEFULLY VITA AND VIRGINIA WERE MORE INTERESTING IN LIFE THAN THEY COME ACROSS IN THIS MOVIE

6) “Yara”–Netflix–Italian film–1 hour & 36 minutes–true story of a 13 year old girl who is murdered just before the beginning of DNA is used to solve crimes–except for the description of how the young girl was killed there is no other violence in the filmA GOOD TRUE CRIME STORY

Posted December 3, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

STREAMING REVIEWS DECEMBER 2021 PART 1   Leave a comment

1) “My Dad’s Christmas Date”–Netflix–Christmas Movie–1 hour and 31 minutes–it’s a Christmas film–a good one–though listed as a comedy it has a twist–his wife, her mother had died a few years ago and the daughter puts her dad’s profile on a dating site–yes, the laughs come but soon the tears will flow–IT IS A GOOD CHRISTMAS FILM

2) “On My Block”–Netfix–series–4 seasons–season 1–10 episodes–4 hours & 33 minutes–we follow 4 (3 males and 1 female) through high school from freshmen to senior year–completely different families, backgrounds, problems–THE 4 LEADS ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO HOLD YOUR ATTENTION THROUGH ALL THE SEASONS

3) “True Story”–Netflix–limited series–7 episodes–4 hours & 15 minutes–I am not a fan of Kevin Hart but he does a good job here–Wesley Snipes is getting the good reviews but he seems a little ‘off’ to me–they are brothers with Snipes always ripping Hart off–A GRADE B MOVIE EXTENDED 4+ HOURS–WASTE OF TIME

4) “Just Short of Perfect”–Netflix–Brazilian Film–1 hour & 34 minutes–she is VERY tall while he is VERY short and they fall in love causing problems with her family–POLITICALLY INCORRECT, SILLY, FUNNY –ENJOY

5) “Timeout”–Netflix–Indian film–1 hour & 38 minutes–a brother idolizes his older brother who is much admired in their high school–when he finds out his hero is gay he doesn’t know how to handle it–NOT A NEW IDEA BUT HANDLED BEAUTIFULLY AND WILL LEAVE YOU CRYING AT THE END

6) “Snowbound for Christmas”–Netflix–Canadian film–1 hour & 24 minutes–completely “G”–if the two male leads had changed roles this would have been a much more interesting film–A HOLIDAY FILM SO LET’S LEAVE IT AT THAT

Posted December 1, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, Streaming

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