Archive for April 2022


I was really looking forward to seeing “The Duke” for many reasons from the fact that it starred one of my favorite actresses, Helen Mirren, and her co-star, Jim Broadbent, always gives a good, sometimes great, performance. They were the leads in this film based on a true story and was being billed as a British comedy which is always a plus when it comes to movies! Also, in its favor it was only 1 hour and 36 minutes which meant it had to move fast. Last, but not least, there was included a story about one man fighting against the system with social overtones and, to a certain degree, showed how the British government did, or didn’t, work.

I was ready to relax and enjoy all the above.

The true story is interesting but not worth 96 minutes! Oh yes, that 96 minutes seemed like 4 hours. There was only one time I, or anyone else, laughed but I won’t tell you because might as well leave you something to look forward to. There is a twist that unless you know the story you won’t see it coming and might not believe.

Mirren and Broadbent are good but there is a whole story between them that is only touched on and could have made for a more powerful story.The trial section is entertaining to a point but not as funny as the spectators, the lawyers, judges, court personal and the prisoner to to think it is.

“The Duke” is really slow moving, not funny, not dramatic and not really a movie worth seeing on TV as it certainly is not worth paying admission to see it in a movie house!


This is the first time I have reviewed a series on streaming individually because I was so impressed with it!  It is Season 1–8 episodes–3 hours and 53 minutes—on Netflix

Season 1


Critics Consensus: An inclusive romance told with striking sensitivity, Heartstopper is so effortlessly charming that viewers won’t dare skip a beat.

2022, Netflix, 8 episodes, View details

Heartstopper is a British coming-of-age romance streaming television series developed for Netflix based on the webcomic and graphic novel of the same name by Alice Oseman. The series was released on 22 April 2022 to critical acclaim.

I usually don’t go for teenage coming out stories because I never went through the so many things they go through–hell, I never questioned my being gay going to the bars and baths in NYC when I was 13 & 14 BUT I was in tears through so much of this—happy tears, sad tears, heartbreaking tears–I mean I couldn’t see the TV screen the last episode–I wish they would show this in every high school AND LIBRARY in the USA. This is only a fraction of what the series is all about–I don’t want to give anything away–I want you to discover the kids as I did–as individuals–some knowing who they are, others guessing and still others having no cue–if you aren’t one of these teens then you knew them or of them

“They have done a really good job with casting teens that look a lot like how they are illustrated in the comics.  The series definitely has a British feel, which works really nicely. I am definitely looking forward to see if they stick with the plot all the way to the beginning. It is a a really well done romance that folds in some of the horrors teens face as well as the role social media plays in their lives.” (AJ Librarian)

If you don’t get Netflix get a trial period and watch this!! The two guys playing the leads Kit Connor and Joe Locke are dynamite!! And I was surprised to see Olivia Colman, in a smallish role, as Connor’s mother.

Ahead are just the headlines of the many positive reviews–to read the full reviews just go to


Teens Charlie and Nick discover their unlikely friendship might be something more as they navigate school and young love.

Starring: Joseph BalderramaKit ConnorSebastian CroftJoe LockeFisayo Akinade

Avg Tomatometer 


Avg Audience Score 


Saloni Gajjar
AV Club


Apr 25, 2022

Heartstopper aces this portrayal of the bashful hope and gutting anxiety that accompanies young love. But the show isn’t just aimed at an adolescent crowd.

Full Review | Original Score: A-

Drew Gregory


Apr 22, 2022

This show is lovely. Charlie and Nick’s friendship and possible something-more-ship is a joy to watch in a simple kind of way that will melt as many hearts as it stops.

Full Review

Rebecca Nicholson


Apr 22, 2022

Heartstopper may not quite live up to the dramatic promise of its title, but this adorable teen romance is a heartwarmer, at the very least.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Lovia Gyarkye
Hollywood Reporter


Apr 22, 2022

A coming-of-age story notable above all for its sweetness… Heartstopper’s dulcet tone is addictive.

Full Review

Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle


Apr 20, 2022

“Heartstopper” captures the joys and agonies of being a teen, when every stray text can make a profound impact, and being able to announce you are “going out with” someone means everything.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4

Apr 15, 2022

Heartstopper is a truly comforting, uplifting teen dramedy that’s so loaded up on subtle moments of friendship and romance that your ticker will likely cease functioning at points.

Full Review

Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper is a beautifully poignant graphic novel about identity, friendship, crushes, and the flush of first love. Most people in school seem to know that Charlie is gay. Heartstopper Vol. 1 definitely lives up to its hype of being a cute comic that is quick to read, one with diversity and a good representation with LGBT+ characters

Posted April 27, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, Netflix, Streaming


1, 2 & 3    We have had Spring in Fort Lauderdale since February–all in all great weather for the Spring-breakers, tourists and birds but it was the blooming of the Queen Myrtle Crepe trees that made it official!

4  All my pepper plants in the apartment are blooming–all have a lot of blooms but it seems only each plant will produce only 2-3 peppers

5  No, I am not a drug dealer–those are just some of the meds I take each day and a few, very few, ‘as needed’!

6  The lab I go to for c-scans, sonograms, etc., which will soon change—more about that in May!

7   You probably can’t read it but just above the  NO DIVING is rule #7 “DO NOT USE POOL IF YOU ARE ILL WITH DIARRHEA”  Welcome to Senior Citizen World!

8  Oh, just a little snack I threw in!

Posted April 26, 2022 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, FRIENDS, LIFE


Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill

I’ve always considered Gilbert’s 17th Street grill one of the better places for a good cheeseburger but I found myself disappointed this time.

I won’t make a big deal out of getting Sweet Potato fries for regular French fries as that could have been quickly fixed if I had wanted to change but it wasn’t an important item for me.

The burger itself was thick on a small bun, medium-rare as I ordered, and by the time the cheese, lettuce, tomato and the slice of onion I requested it was too thick to take a reasonable bite. The burger flattened a little and put on a slightly larger, not thicker, bun would have been a lot better to deal with.

Removing the top part of the bun, using and knife and fork it was a good meal but not a cheeseburger! :O)

By the way, the ‘runner-busboy-server was excellent!

Cold Stone Creamery

Haven’t been here for awhile so decided to go in for an ice cream. There were 4 customers in front of me and 2 came in right after I did.

Looking over the selections—many as usual–I decided to have one of the

‘Signature Creations’ called Chocolate Devotion consisting of chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips, brownie bits and fudge served in a waffle cup with chocolate around the edge but I had it in a plain cup.

Could have done without the last 2 items in it but it took care of my chocolate ‘fix’ for a few days!

There was one person behind the counter and she was doing it all–waiting on 8 people, making their orders, working the register—with a smile!

Posted April 25, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE

STREAMING REVIEWS APRIL 2022 PART 5   Leave a comment

1) “Heartstopper”–Netflix–British series–season 1–8 episodes–3 hours and 53 minutes–A MUST SEE–DESERVES A SEPARATE REVIEW WHICH I WILL POST DURING THE WEEK–WANTED TO GIVE YOU A HEADS UP!

2) “Servant of the People”–Netflix–Ukrainian–season 1–23 episodes–9 hours & 35 minutes–truth stranger than fiction? “Vasily Petrovych Goloborodko (played by Volodymr Zelenskyy–who also wrote the series), an absent-minded high school history teacher turns into an overnight sensation when he is elected President of Ukraine–the series running from 2016 to 2019! That is fiction while the truth is comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskyy  became the 6th president of Ukraine in 2019! His leadership and standing up to Putin, Russian leader’s invasion of Ukaine has won him international admiration and fame–watching the series today you have to wonder which is truth and which is fiction–if the former it is not as funny as if it is the latter but you will laugh at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’!

3) “Goliath”–Prime Amazon–season 4–8 episodes–6 hours & 35 minutes–this, the final season, is a mixed bag and nowhere near the sharpness of the previous seasons–it takes 8 episodes to have 1 hour be like the previous seasons–J.K. Simmons is excellent but Nina Arianda isn’t given near enough time as she had in the past to bring a lightness to the final chapter–Billy Bob Thornton delivers as Goliath even if the script doesn’t–he makes streaming all 4 seasons worthwhile.

4) “Cobalt Blue”–Netflix–Indian film–1 hour & 52 minutes–a brother and sister fall in love with the same guy each finding out something about themselves–there is a gay teacher who explains why it is so hard to be a gay person in India–a lot of ‘artsy’ cinemas scenes–Tennessee Williams’s “The Kindness of strangers” is said very early in the film and later he is referred to–art and writing is a secondary theme–Sachin Kundalkar directs the film based on his best selling novel about anyone not following normal sexual expressions staying in the closet and/or domestic abused and abuser can be manipulated.

5) “The Outlaws”–Prime Amazon–British series–6 episodes–3 hours & 50 minutes–a story about a supervisor of 7 low-level people doing community service for minor law infractions and the latter binding together to help one who will be facing a high crime charge–8 different people–some interesting, some not, but a lot of low level comedy makes for a somewhat enjoyable series.

6) “Dancing On Glass”–Netflix–Spanish film–2 hours & 19 minutes–Oh! The Drama! A wicked, evil ballet mistress, two ballerinas fighting for a role when the former lead commits suicide–all that is missing is a gay scene! Let’s all sacrifice and give up all for our ‘art’–Spanish melodrama in the American “Black Swan” genre but the best ballet film is still “The Red Shoes”–see that instead of this.


Posted April 24, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Series, Streaming

A WEEK IN APRIL 2022   1 comment

#s 1 & 2)  Things you learn as you get old–an 86 year old man shouldn’t move a bed around even if to do some Spring cleaning! I had to get some ‘bed stoppers–for those that can’t lift heavy things’—don’t get me wrong as once you get them around the wheel they work great but don’t try to take an easy way out–don’t lift the bed and lose a wheel! Actually just don’t lift the bed!#s

3 & 4) We have been very lucky with weather since the beginning of March! In the mid to high 80s during the day and in the low to mid 70s overnight. Oh,some–a little–rain here and there and an occasional dip into the 60s overnight but Spring Breakers, tourists and the Easter & Passover visitors have had great weather!

#s 5 to 8) All my pepper plants are beginning to sprout–green, red and orange. They all started from seeds about 5 years ago and I get a ‘crop’ of peppers twice a year!

#s 9 & 10) My ‘Christmas Cactus’ bloomed again just in time for Passover & Easter.#s

11 & 12) We go to Big Louie’s about 3 times a month for a pizza with pepperoni, meatballs, onions, mushrooms and olives plus once in awhile—just for Terry–I will order garlic rolls and eat them in his honor! I’m such a good friend!

Posted April 22, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, GARDENS, WEATHER

The Outback Restaurant Review   1 comment

I have been eating at this steakhouse for a number of years and have never had a problem. I love cheeseburgers but have never thought of ordering one here. We were going to the Quarterdeck for just that but because of rain the outside dining area was closed and there was a waiting line and I’m not one to wait on line to eat!
I know Allen likes the Filet Mignon at the Outback I suggested we go there.
No problem being seated right away and I reminded Allen to tell the server to not put any spices on his Filet.
I was going to order a cheeseburger but I made a mistake–I looked at an auxiliary menu and saw the Kingsland Pasta, a Steak and Shrimp special ($19.99) on pasta with Alfredo sauce and I forgot the cheeseburger—again! (Sorry but I ate most of the shrimp on the plate before I took the picture! LOL)
Allen was satisfied with his Filet (8 oz. $26.49)—whether they just didn’t add any more spices or just scrapped off what was on there didn’t matter.
The only complaint I had was with the server who was at the end of his shift and left before we were finished and the lady who took over for him made up for his ‘let me get out of here’ attitude.
Oh yes, they changed their rewards system but to me, that was always, and still is, just a bonus.
The check was about $30 each for lunch which is quite high but we know prices are always a bit higher than other chain steakhouses.
PS How can I not investigate this!!!


I LOVE #6–don’t remember where I first saw it or who originally posted it and where but I have never forgotten it!

#2 I have been going to the Gateway Theatre for so many years I have forgotten how many! We used to drive up from Miami Beach for a day in the ‘country’ also known as Fort Lauderdale. We did come up to see the opening of the movie “Where The Boys Are” and that was in 1960—OMG! 62 years ago–and I have been coming at least once a week since I moved back to South Florida in 1979 (43 years ago doesn’t sound any better!)

In any case new owners took over recently and I donated to their GOFUNDME campaign plus got a membership. They are a nonprofit organization and I was taken aback when I saw they raised their prices, even for matinees, including for seniors. I know COVID has really hurt the movie-going business but raising prices in not the answer nor is only showing Marvel movies as they are made for the BIG screen showings not for an intimate theatre like The Gateway. On the other hand the movies they are showing don’t attract people to matinees so why raise prices for those shows?

I will NEVER stop going to movie theatres to see movies but why should I pay over $9 for one movie when I can pay $8.99 for Netflix and see 100 movies? Theatres charged higher prices for the new Batman so why not charge lower prices for ‘art’ movies? I’m afraid—and hope I am very wrong—The Gateway won’t be in business too much longer.

#s 4, 7, 11, 12 are just a few pictures I have taken of The Point on Karen Bay. I think I have taken more pictures of The Point than I have taken selfies!! Really! It is just an ever changing great sight to see any time of night and day!

#s 1, 8, 9, 10 Ah yes, my indoor Cuban and Geranium plants are always a joy to see and how can you not smile when you are walking around and see a bird #3 just standing around and looking at the same view you are?

Posted April 17, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

Streaming Reviews April 2022 Part 4   Leave a comment

1) *”Disclosure: Tran Lives On Screen”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 45 minutes–As a gay man it is assumed (and we do know what assumed stands for, don’t we?) that I know what a trans person goes through–I don’t–I do know to a certain extent what any person who is ‘different’ goes though but just because I am human being it doesn’t mean I know what a woman, or for that matter, what any other human goes through–I know hate, discrimination, I know how being ostracized but I don’t know how a man feels wanting to be a woman or a woman who feels wanting to be a man–I never wanted to be a woman, never wanted to dress like a woman–I have liked who I am as a gay man since I can remember–I learned a lot from this movie and so can you–famous, infamous and people like your next door neighbor share their thoughts and lives!

2) “Master”–Prime Video–horror movie–1 hour & 38 minutes–I am not into ghost/horror stories but tuned into this because Regina Hall stars in it–yes, there is a haunted room, witchcraft and other ghost movies must but underlying it all is the racism that has infested this school where it takes place since the first Black person attended the school–If you like the horror/ghost genre movie than this is for you otherwise skip it.

3) *”Queen of the South”–Netflix–series–Season 5–6 hours & 51 minutes–this has been one of my favorite series ever since it started on the USA cable station–I have watched every episode since and now it is on Netflix–Alice Braga is dynamite in looks, talent and, certainly always the center of any scene she is in or missed as she is in the last episode of the series–a lot of wheeling and dealing, trust issues, chases, murders But it is Braga who is the  Queen of the south from the first season, first episode to season 5, the tenth episode–the end!

4) “The Bubble”–Netflix–2 hours & 6 minutes–a silly look ‘behind the scenes’ of a Hollywood sci-fi spectacular made during the pandemic so everyone involved in the making the film is more or less confined to a ‘bubble’–a waste of time unless you want to see some, not many, of the tricks done to make a movie.

5) *”Priest”–Prime Video–movie–1 hour & 38 minutes–the story is about a young priest going through a painful examination of his life, the community he is new to, his religion, and the world he lives in–at a certain point in the film it becomes emotionally horrifying to the viewer–at 1 hour and 5 minutes what was a 2-3 star film becomes a 5 star MUST SEE film!

6) “Metal Lords”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 37 minutes–WOW! Here’s a new idea for a movie–let’s get 3 misfit teenagers in high school, add some music—like hard metal–that only they like and get them to start their own band–oh, let one of the 3 be a female–mmmm–except for the music nothing new here–not bad–not good–but, oh yeah, a lot of LOUD music.


Posted April 15, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, Streaming

Tipico Cafe Restaurant Review April 2022   Leave a comment

Last I was here was in August 2021 and I really don’t know why except we discovered Jalisco and up until then Tequila Sunrise was my favorite Mexican restaurant which replaced Carlos and Pepe’s after they redid it. Regarding the taste and quality of food both Jalisco and Tequila Sunrise are equal with the latter having an edge always running a special of buy one, get one free for lunch and dinner (see and the former being right across the street from Winn Dixie where we go shopping every Thursday.

Basically we have been ignoring the Tipico Cafe though the few times I was there the food (and prices) were good so I suggested we go there for a change. The 4 window booths were taken—ah, if all restaurants had all tables by booths but they don’t so we sat further in the restaurant which wasn’t a problem. The prices were a bit higher like the special lunch Allen ordered—the Ropa Vieja had only gone up 50 cents which was more than reasonable. I ordered the Masas de Puerco which, sadly, was almost inedible though instead of returning it I ate it. (My bad!)

The server, only one, did a good job handling the 6 parties plus a to go order, the restaurant was clean but looks like we will go back to alternating between Jalisco and Tequila Sunrise, possibly giving Tipico another go in a year.

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