Author Archive

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette”–movie review   1 comment

Inline image

There are some actresses that even when quiet still are acting up a storm and you can almost hear what they are thinking and Cate Blanchett is certainly one of those. In “Where’s You Go, Bernadette” while talking, listening, acting, reacting, smiling, serious, crying, etc., makes no difference her whole body mesmerizes you making it impossible for you to not get involved with her and her character!
The first half of the film takes its time setting up why Bernadette disappeared leaving her brilliant computer smart husband (Billy Crudup) and a daughter (Emma Nelson) who loves her and sees her as her best friend. Twenty years previously the very successful and admired architect , Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) and her husband left Los Angeles moving to Seatle where Elgin can advance his career with Microsoft while Bernadette, after a few tries, gives birth to Bee and devotes her life to both while working, slowly, on an old former reform school. Aside from fixing the house and taking care of her family Bernadette seems to have no friends or life and when Bee calls them on a promised trip to Antarctica for her school accomplishments Bernadette disappears.The screenwriters, Holly Gent and Vincett Palmo, Jr., the director Richard Linklater and the actress Blanchett, hints at why she disappears but all 3, and the supporting cast, in telling you where she disappears to and the reasons makes the second half of the film fast moving and involving.There is an extraneous story line that seems far fetched regarding a scam and the ending is too much ‘Hollywood’ but Blanchett is a marvel, it is good seeing a mature Billy Crudup with that little boy’s grin and newcomer Emma Nelson as their daughter is a find.“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is not a must see fil but is certainly a film worth seeing.

Movie trailer


Based on the runaway bestseller, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an inspiring comedy about Bernadette Fox (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett), a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.


Posted August 16, 2019 by greatmartin in FILM REVIEWS

The Cheesecake Factory–restaurant review   2 comments

On February 29, 2000, celebrating my ‘Sweet 16th’ Leap Year birthday I started the celebration with a group of friends for cheesecake and coffee in the early afternoon out at the Sawgrass Mall and as soon as it opened on Los Olas Boulevard I became a ‘regular. The Cheesecake Factory is my favorite corporation chain restaurant.The service is always excellent, the menu changes enough to keep it interesting and the Godiva cheesecake is ‘to die for’.

We went there this past Thursday and, as always, the food was good and a bit different. I had the Pasta Napoletana ($15.50) which was a mix of meats on pasta with 2 different sauces which was very tasty but next time I would tell them to go easy on the cream sauce. Allen had the Lemon Garlic Shrimp ($17.95) very tastefully presented. He had a ‘little’ house salad (($5.95) on the side. For dessert I had the Godiva Cheesecake ($8.50) with coffee ($3.50) and he had the Pineapple Upside Down cake ($8.50) with a soda ($3.50).

With tax and tip the check came to $83 which is a bit much for lunch being members of the ‘99% club’! The server Therese was excellent coordinating everything and keeping check, not in an annoying way, that everything was okay.The Cheesecake Factory is always on my list of restaurants to go to but at current prices I am going there less and less.

Posted August 13, 2019 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Rainy Tourist Season in South Florida   1 comment

Inline image

When I lived in Miami Beach in the late 1950s, or right after the FountaineBleau hotel opened, the theory was that it rained around 4 PM to get the tourists off the beaches and pools so they could go up to their hotel rooms, take a shower, a nap and then get dressed up to go out to eat dinner or see one of the many sights available.

The only problem with that theory was back in the 1950s there wasn’t a tourist season due to the hot, humid weather and/or the rainy season was June 1 to November 30. It was mainly in the 1960s that teachers who were off in the summer learned how cheap the fares and hotels were, offering a respite from their job that they could afford and started coming down with others following.

Theory or not you can depend on the sky getting very dark every day around 4, heavy rains coming down for an hour then the sun would break out and we would have about a 30 minute ‘sun shower’ and within an hour everything would be dry as if nothing happened!Yes, the rain cools things off but it also raises the humidity after the sun comes out again! Still you will see tourists and natives walking around with light jackets or sweaters.

Back in the 50s most of Miami Beach was closed from the end of Easter to the beginning of Thanksgiving so life was quiet, peaceful and not a line of people to be seen anywhere.Then air conditioning came in big and South Florida became an all year round resort but because of that a/c walking indoors going to movies, eating out, shopping in stores required most people to wear some light sweater or jacket indoors. Oh, yes, and to get used to glasses fogging up when you walk out of doors!

Welcome to our ‘rainy season’ where the weather forecaster will predict at least a 30% chance of showers and when a hurricane heads this way they will broadcast from the beach being battered with sand and rain.  It is a sure thing just like seeing a picture of a fat French-Canadian (sorry Canada but that is always who the picture is of) in a Speedo sitting on a beach chair in the rare day in winter when it is 70 degrees proclaiming, “Well it is warmer here than where I am from!”

Posted August 11, 2019 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

“The Kitchen”–Movie review   1 comment

Inline image

The main reason for seeing “The Kitchen” is if you really like the 3 actresses who star in the film. The one who impressed me the most was Elisabeth Moss who I have seen now and then but not her acclaimed “The Handmaiden’s Tale”. Here, as the abused wife of a gangster, she has the best arc in the film and does an excellent job.I like Melissa McCarthy but have sort of rationed myself in the work I have seen her in. I love her appearances on Saturday Night Live, have watched and enjoyed a few of her “Mike and Molly” television episodes. I became aware of her first in “The Gilmore Girls” and thought she did a riveting portrait of Lee Israel in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and was a standout in “St. Vincent”. I, generally, skip movies she is in that has been written and/or directed by her husband.I can understand the third lead, Tiffany Haddish, making as many movies as she can, doing television shows and specials in what seems every week as she came on the screen, quickly becoming the ‘flavor of the month’ and was everywhere and annoying me with her loud, brash, cursing, blue comments so I started avoiding her. I must admit she does good work here and you can see her potential as a serious actress who can be subdued when needed to be and can sustain a believable character.The film about 3 women who take over their husband’s ‘gangster’ business, offering protection in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York city when they are sentenced to jail is sort of far fetched but does include a lot of the violence that would come with the job.Talking about the violence, aside from showing the occasional shooting, it was different in today’s cinema world whereas like in the old days it was indicated instead of being shown though I am still wondering why there were laughs during the explanation of cutting up a body in a bathtub, showing knives and blood, to get rid of it!The director/screenwriter Andrea Berloff did a good job sort of taming McCarthy and Haddish while offering the three strong actresses a male supporting cast who aren’t blown away in their scenes with the women. Surprisingly Margo Martindale,  having a one note role doesn’t impress as usual.“The Kitchen” isn’t as funny or as dramatic as it should be but for a rainy afternoon in Fort Lauderdale it is a good way of staying dry.Just a note: though the movie takes place in the last 1970s and the cars, clothes and building facades all are realistic the scene of 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Avenues with all the movie marquees does not have the Lyric theatre where I had one of my first jobs (in the 1950s)! :O)

Movie trailer

THE KITCHEN – Official Trailer



“The Kitchen” stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition literally.

Posted August 9, 2019 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

Cutting the cable   1 comment

During a recent discussion with neighbors this was brought up:Am I just lucky??? Or smart?? I have AT&T for my IP and never have a problem. I also cut the cable and bought an indoor antenna, order netflix and prime video–3 months now and not a problem. I bought a fire stick TV on sale at Best Buy (49″ $229) not a problem. I’ve have binge watched Orange is the New Black, Dear White People, Special, watch the Sunday CBS slate, watch ABC (Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, late news) Fox (Empire) etc., and not a problem. My TV ‘bill” is about $25 a month (Okay, granted I get senior citizen discounts) and if I prorate the new TV, indoor antenna, etc. I am spending about $35 a month over a year for TV and Internet and, so far, not a single problem–well except for some stupid mistakes I make! :O)A question from a neighbor:no you don’t sound lucky but smart. However, I do question your costs per month. To help us out add 1) the ISP cable fee, 2) the ISP internet fee, 3) Amazon Prime fee (prorated), 4) Netflix per mo, 5) any monthly fees to access “extra” channels (if you are)? My guess is your monthly fee at least double? TY!!
My response:
Okay—I pay $10 a month for IPS from AT&T–$6.06 for Amazon Prime video, $9.72 netflix (ad free) (If I split the ATT bill between Internet & TV that would be $5 each—divide the $229 I paid for the TV and the $30 for the indoor antenna over 12 months to pay for them and it comes to about $21 a month so I pay $41.78 a month and in 9 months I will deduct the $21 and it will come to $20.78 a month–if my math is right!! :O)
His last remark:Awesome! Smarty pants. LOL!
With all this I don’t know a mega bite from a cookie bite–I don’t know about fast or slow speeds–what’s my hurry?

Posted August 7, 2019 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“The Farewell” movie review   Leave a comment

As effective as “The Farewell” is on the huge movie screen I think it will be even more effective on the television screen. It is what use to be called  a ‘small’ film but in reality it covers a lot of subjects all families deal with which brings laughs and tears and major differences no matter how small or big a family is.I have seen Awkwafina in both “”Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8” and I vaguely remember her ‘wacky’ roles but here she becomes a major player in movies and should get an Oscar nomination if not more. In the pivotal role as Billi, a daughter and granddaughter, she is rarely off screen whether in the New York or Changchun, China. Starring opposite her and, at times, stealing the picture from everyone, is Zhoa Shuzhen as the grandmother Nai Nai who has kept a close relationship with her granddaughter.The film opens with “based on an actual lie” and it is a whopper of one as Nai Nai has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer without too much time left and the whole family conspires to keep the news from her and, yet, as in all families little lies are brought to light as we get to know the characters.In more than one way “The Farewell” is a family movie, for any family of any nationality and background. This is a film the whole family can see together and in many cases will see themselves in how they relate to the various relatives from parents to siblings to cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.The film is based upon the true story of the director’s, Lulu Wang, family and she does a great job of drawing you into the story without any melodrama, keeping  the lie real and except for two scenes keeping it all low keyed making it more moving not to forget bringing in a lot of humor.Has not knowing of her diagnosis did Nai Nai live longer and if she had known would she have died sooner? Be sure to see the ending credits which, in a way, answers that question but, in any case,  be sure to see “The Farewell”!


After learning their beloved matriarch has terminal lung cancer, a family opts not to tell her about the diagnosis, instead scheduling an impromptu wedding-reunion back in China. Headstrong and emotional writer Billi rebels against her parents’ directive to stay in New York and joins the family as they awkwardly attempt to rekindle old bonds, throw together a wedding that only grandma is actually looking forward to, and surreptitiously say their goodbyes


1 hr. 38 min.

Movie trailer

Posted August 4, 2019 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

My July 2019 Diary!   Leave a comment

Posted August 3, 2019 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

%d bloggers like this: