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“The Sun Is Also A Star”—movie review   Leave a comment

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“The Sun Is Also A Star” has everything going for it so why does it just miss being an exciting love story? The leads, Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton, are an attractive couple who meet ‘cute’–he saves her from being run over–and the premise is an interesting one. He believes in love, she doesn’t and, via the screenplay, he has 24 hours to prove it to her. DUH! Guess what happens?
 
His parents are immigrants from South Korea who own a successful black hair care product store in Harlem and she has been living in New York for 9 years with her Jamaican parents who are about to be deported.
 
A lot of successful love stories have been filmed in New York City and “The Sun Is Also A Star” takes advantage of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs with aerial shots, walks through the city parks and streets and even a tram ride from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island and many glorious shots of the Statue of Liberty.
 
The soundtrack, except for a karaoke scene, adds a lot but….
 
There isn’t a reason this movie shouldn’t involve the audience’s emotions but it doesn’t. Maybe if more had been looked into regarding the immigrant aspect it would have rounded out the story of the lovers more.
 
John Leguizamo should have been brought more into the story because the scenes with him would have given more meaning to the fact versus fate argument that motivates the love story.  (Besides they never explain the accident he was in which was distracting!)
 
“The Sun Is Also A Star” has a lot going for it but just not enough, none of the ‘magic’ that makes ‘happily ever after”.
 
PS Don’t leave when the screen goes dark or you will the ending.
 

Synopsis

Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. She is not the type of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when her family is twelve hours away from being deported. Falling in love with him will not be her story. Daniel has always been the good son, the good student, living up to his parents’ high expectations. Never a poet. Or a dreamer. But when he sees her, he forgets all that. Something about Natasha makes him think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store – for both of them. Every moment has brought them to this single moment. A million futures lie before them. Which one will come true?


 
 
 
 
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Will they ever get it right??   2 comments

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Over a decade ago I bought a small plant and was told it was a Christmas/Passover cactus and for 2 years in a row it did blossom around Christmas/Passover and then, in the third year, it was my Leap Year birthday and I saw a couple of buds in mid-February and, yes, they bloomed on the 29th!
 
A couple of years went by and the plant grew huge so I decided to cut off a few branches and re-pot them and within a year I had 6 ‘Christmas/Passover Cacti’ and as each year passed they bloomed on another holiday until now and this week they really blew my mind! With 12 days to go until Memorial Day both the parent plant and one of the ‘pups’ started to show buds getting ready to bloom.
 
They now have only one holiday they haven’t bloomed on and that is July 4th!!
 
After they bloom I am going to have to explain to them that they are Christmas/Passover plants and shouldn’t be blooming whenever they want or they will get a bad reputation–let alone drive me crazy(ier)!

Posted May 20, 2019 by greatmartin in GARDENS, MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized

Longhorn Steakhouse–restaurant review   1 comment

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I hadn’t been to a Longhorn since the one on Federal Highway (I think between Sunrise & Oakland–been a long time!) and since we were going to the Regal and I had a coupon for the Longhorn I decided instead of the usual good Sweet Tomatoes and the great Cabo Blanco we would give it a try.

Started off bad with waiting 5 minutes to be seated and even though 3 employees saw us none acknowledged us let alone say something to the effect that they would be right with us. After finally getting seated we once again had to wait about 5 minutes to be greeted by our server. Is it asking too much to at least let us know you are aware we are sitting on your station? After that the service was fine but wish we could say the same thing about the food.

We had a Firecracker Appetizer($9.99)  which was pre-made and probably had been frozen but was okay. Allen had the 12-ounce strip with a salad ($21.49) and a side of Cauliflower Au Gratin ($1.99) which I don’t think he knew was extra but thought counted as one of the sides with the steak. I had the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger ($14.49) with the seasoned fries (which were not seasoned as I had requested). We both had water to drink.

Allen didn’t say anything about the steak but thought the cauliflower could have used a little seasoning. The burger I had a  bun that tasted stale and was stacked on one side instead of the middle. Possibly there was a mistake either on my or the server’s part but I am sure I ordered the “$12.99 830 cal , Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger* Thick, juicy and expertly grilled, topped with applewood smoked bacon and your choice of cheese on a toasted potato bun.”  but I don’t see the BBQ Bacon on the web menu nor do I see a $14.49 burger! Also, mine came with fried breaded onion strips which I would never order ON a burger. Though I don’t think so I’ll take the blame for the order, something I would never order again.

For dessert Allen had the Chocolate Stampede ($9.49) and the server did say it served two but I decided not to have dessert (see the halo over my head?) even when she brought 2 plates and silverware! He didn’t make any comment good or bad about it.

With 2 discounts our check came to $45.44 including tax plus we left a $12 tip.

Next time we go to the Regal movie theatre we will go to Cabo Blanco or Sweet Tomatoes afterward. Also, comparing chain steak restaurants I would rather go to the Outback for a burger or steak when cost enters the equation.

Posted May 18, 2019 by greatmartin in RESTAURANTS, REVIEWS, Uncategorized

“Long Shot”–movie review   1 comment

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1) Many years ago I was taught to leave logic at the door when I go to the movies.
2) Have you ever seen a couple that made you question how/why they ever got together?
3) Is there another woman, besides Julia Roberts, as beautiful to look at in print and film as Charlize Theron?
4) In 2003 I said that if Theron didn’t win the Oscar for “Monster” I was never going to the movies again–WHEW! She did!
 
Okay, now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk about “Long Shot”. Take away the ‘F’ word, a ‘fluid’ shot and a not quite nude sex scene and you have one of those delightful, romantic comedies of the past. Though there doesn’t seem to be any chemistry between the leads Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, his beard doesn’t help, nor the fact that at the age of 16 she baby sat him at 13, they are both excellent players and Theron adding another genre in her performance here as a comediane.
 
The comedy lines work better than the romantic scenes but together it makes for a pleasing, charming movie. Supporting performances like those of Seth Rogan’s best friend O’Shea Jackson Jr., or Theron’s assistants Claude O’Doherty and Ravi Patel with Bob Odenkirk as the President of the United States all work well and know their way with the zingers supplied by screenwriters Dan Sterling and Paul Scheer. The direction by Jonathan Levine but could have cut the movie sharper to move it a little faster.
 
The only one I question in the movie is Alexander Skarsgard who in normal circumstances would have been Theorn’s romantic interest but in this is just charmless, by design(?) or 100% miscast.
 
“Long Shot” isn’t a classic but it is a lot of fun and you get to look at, admire and, maybe, be jealous of Charlize Theron for 2 hours! :O)

synopsis

When Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter. A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamourous lifestyle in the limelight. Sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents. 

 

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKsc2I4Tgsk

Copper Branch–restaurant review   2 comments

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Though I love vegetables and eat more than the average person, including vegans, I have yet to find a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that I would go back to after going to 4 of them.

We went here mainly because I had a coupon and because I like to try new places.

I asked the lady to order something for me, adding that I eat anything and I do, and she asked “Sandwich or salad?” and I said the former so she ordered me a smoked maple tempeh sandwich (marinated organic tempeh, sweet potato, zucchini, caramelized onions, vegan cheese, tomato, lettuce, BBQ mango sauce ($9.75) and not into ‘fancy drinks’ such as ‘power’ ‘organic’ ‘fuel’ or anything besides coffee, tea or water I asked for a glass of water.

Allen ordered the  general copper bowl consisting of shiitake mushroom General Tao, broccoli, avocado, organic brown rice, sesame seeds, srisacha coleslaw, General Copper sauce ($14.25) and a bottle of something on the receipt saying Liv ($3.99) that I couldn’t find on the menu.

I finished the sandwich–as I said I eat anything–but in spite of spices it was tasteless to me. Allen like the shiitake mushrooms but left most of the rice. The water I had to help myself to was warm on the verge of being hot. I was given a glass of iced water when I asked for it.

With the coupon the check came to $14.97 which certainly was a fair price for a fast-casual restaurant if only the food had been good and the place air-conditioned! (I hope the latter was only temporary!)

Posted May 16, 2019 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized

“The White Crow”–movie review   1 comment

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Since I saw the preview I had been wondering what the title was about and it opens with the definition:  Someone who is an outsider, unusual, extraordinary, unlike others.   There is no denying Rudolf Nureyev was just that from his dancing and his personality. The former captured the world while the latter turned off and betrayed all those around him. Basically, he was not a nice man.
 
The film centers around the time Nureyev who at the height of the cold war in 1961 was dancing in Paris and made the decision to defect from Russia. This was before facebook, Instagram, twitter and all the media coverage something like that would draw 24/7 but it did with what was available. Along with the defection he partnered with Margot Foynton– though she has another name in the movie–older than he was, and already a major star in the English ballet, to both their advantages.
 
Ralph Fiennes directed the movie and stars as Nureyev’s first major teacher. The dance scenes are excellent as is first-time actor Oleg Ivenko doing them and conveying Nureyev’s look but is not quite up to the line readings though the screenwriter, David Hare, doesn’t really help him with some pretty lame lines.
 
The biggest mistake Fiennes makes is not telling the story in a linear matter but jumps back and forth between the 1940s, 50s and 60s going from Leningrad to Paris back to Leningrad and though Nureyev was 22 when he defected we see him at many different ages which really doesn’t add to the movie. The last 20 minutes, the defection scene is edge of the seat filmmaking even though the ending is well known
 
The movie is rated R for frontal nudity and for a change it is not female but male full nudity!
 
“The White Crow” is much better than I expected with an excellent cast, better dancing, and shows an artist gives everything on stage leaving nothing for relations off stage.
 

Synopsis

Ralph Fiennes’ THE WHITE CROW was inspired by the book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanaugh. The drama charts the iconic dancer’s famed defection from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him.

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BklqjGWxNMs


 
 
 

Before and After! ARGH!!   2 comments

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All the resident’s gardens are gone as are the fruit trees and 3 story white Birds of Paradise plants.
All in the name of uniformity!!

Posted May 13, 2019 by greatmartin in HOME, LIFE, Uncategorized

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