Archive for the ‘ENTERYTAINMENT’ Category


“Rent” was never a favorite show of mine but I understood how Jonathan Larson’s show brought change to Broadway and also the legend of his death the night of its first performance off-Broadway. What happened before that night is what  “tick,tick…BOOM” is about, a show Larson wrote the book, music and lyrics for–a story of a writer wants to ‘make it’ before he is 30 and he hears the clock ticking away.This is a movie for anyone in their twenties who are dreaming of success in whatever chosen field they have picked whether it being in show business or any other business or whatever road they might take. It is a movie for anyone over thirty who made it or didn’t.I didn’t really get into the film until it was about halfway through and then it completely took me over. I was back to being in my twenties, working as a waiter, writing books and plays, seeing myself as a successful writer. On the screen were words that I had thought, might even had said, both negative and positive. Now, 60 years later, I could laugh and/or cry, watching a guy about to be thirty seeing himself as a failure, thinking life ended at thirty.

While I don’t remember a single song I remember listening to each one as a story being told. You can hear Jonathan Larson’s voice telling you how and what he felt as he reached for success and, possibly, seeing failure.I don’t know how much of the screenplay are actually Larson’s words and what Steven Levenson contributed but it runs smoothly covering all points of a creative mind. Director Lin-Manual Miranda, in many interviews, has credited Larson for making it possible for him to write and get “In The Heights” on Broadway to be followed by “Hamilton”. In a way, here he is thanking Larson for that and in turn does fine work in his first turn as a director.The acting is first rate from Andrew Garfield as Larson to one of the many cameos where if you blink you will miss Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters, Joel Gray, Brian Stokes Mitchell to name a few, even Miranda as a cook!

The cameos in no way distract from Judith Light as Larson’s agent or Bradley Whitford as Stephen Sondheim, in a way Larson’s mentor. Alexander Shipp as Susan, Larson’s girlfriend and Vanessa Hudgens as Karessa, as a singer in the show within a show are highlights of the cast while Robin de Jesus as Larson’s best friend is a standout.

I was so taken in by the second half of “tick, tick…BOOM” that all I remember is being awash in tears. THIS IS A MUST SEE MOVIE!

Posted November 21, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, ENTERYTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Streaming


From the very first time I saw Melissa McCarthy on television in the series “The Gilmore Girls” playing Sookie I became a big fan of hers and continued to watch her in her “Mike and Molly” series. I was looking forward to her in movies when I would spot her in supporting roles and I was thrilled with her breakthrough role in “Bridesmaids” though I saw something I didn’t like that was becoming trendy among female comic actresses in movies.

There is no denying the true comic timing she has plus her ability to get into physical humor like very few male or female comics can. (I sometimes worry about what the results of all this will be on her body when she gets older.) She is fun to watch whether standing still and giving a look or gets as aggressive as any human being can be without thought to what can happen to them.

Little by little though she was doing what other comic actresses were doing in films with using foul gestures and words as if to say “We can be as gross, uncouth, vulgar and low down as male movie comic stars can be.” Am I a prude? I don’t think so but to hear a woman using the F word over and over among other street words, telling genitalia jokes, groping men and women, vomiting up profanity continuously quickly runs thin and is no longer funny but makes you shake your head asking why did she get into this.

With McCarthy’s talent is it very easy for her to rise above the material but when she is working with a screenplay below her strengths it all seems to be a string of foul abrasive lines thown out to garner a laugh but it doesn’t.

Melissa McCarthy can be a funny subtle actress as she proved in “The Gilmore Girls” and did fine work in a supporting role in ‘St. Vincent” but, and I am probably in a minority here, she is losing me as a fan trying to show how much lower she can get than any man in the business.

“The Boss” was directed by her husband Ben Falcone and co-written byFalcone, McCarthy and Steve Mallory. It was produced by her, her husband, and why am I not surprised, Will Ferrell among others.

McCarthy is a strong actress, a comic with extraordinary timing, and physical ability to throw herself into a set-up, but she needs people to push her to higher heights that her ability to go shines through at moments instead of sustaining a whole film. There is a brief cameo by Kathy Bates, who shows she can talk as ‘dirty’ as anyone, that makes you want to see them co-star and battle each other in a film for 90 minutes instead of 4 minutes. 

I really have no desire to see any more McCarthy films if they continue on this track and I don’t recommend “The Boss”.

P.S. I understand McCarthy is returing in her role of Sookie to the new “The Gilmore Girls” remake!  Trailer



Larry Kramer is my hero as an activist and as a writer. It is due to him and ACT-UP in 1987, which he organized, that AIDS drugs prices were brought down and made available to many who couldn’t afford them. It is due to him, in 1983 that the Gay Men’s Health Crisis was founded to help people with AIDS.

In 1978 he wrote a book called “Faggots” that warned gay people because of their promiscuity there would come a day of reckoning.

In 1983 he wrote an essay “1, 112 & Counting” that pointed the finger at the government and gay people for their failure to not recognize AIDS as an epidemic.

In 1985 his played “A Normal Heart” brought AIDS to the stage and tears to the eyes of everyone who saw it just as the revival on Broadway a couple of years ago and the film of it last years still brings tears to the eyes of those watching it.

This year he published “American People: Volume 1 Scenes For My Heart”–an 800+ opus seeing our country through gay eyes.

He had a liver transplant in 2001, is a long time AIDS survivor, and married his partner in the hospital not knowing if he would ever walk out of that room.

Larry Kramer is known for his anger, an anger that turned off many gay people, but first and foremost he is a man who believes what he is saying and says it to everyone including presidents, governors, doctors and/or anyone who doesn’t want to hear him or his message.

He celebrated his 80th birthday this past Thursday,  June 25, and the Supreme Court gave him a birthday present the next day.

WATCH “LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER” ON HBO, TOMORROW, MONDAY, JUNE 29, AT 9 PM (and to be repeated during the month of July)

Posted June 28, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERYTAINMENT, GAY

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