Archive for the ‘MOVIES’ Category

STREAMING REVIEWS—JUNE 2022–PART 1   Leave a comment


1) “Emergency”–Prime–2022 movie (many movies and series have this title–be sure to get this version)–1 hour & 45 minutes–from the beginning we think we know where it is going and it does but then it changes and we hope we are wrong–a tenseness enters our brain without us being aware–there are some laughs–some funny some not–Strong performances in a strong movie–last shot of Kunle will haunt you!

2) “The Pursuit of Love”–Prime–season 1–3 episodes–3 hours–2 women are friends for life as different as they may be from each other and as different as their lives become–takes place in the 1930s and 1940s in England & Europe–being co-dependent the women each are progressive in their own way–nothing special but enjoyable.

3) “Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The unheard Tapes”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 44 minutes–I must admit I was never particularly a fan of MM (as she was known) though I did see most of her pictures and read the gossip about her–might attract those over 60 and/or movie addicts–the screenplay tries to make a big mystery of the tapes and her, especially her death but I doubt you will learn anything new about MM even if you are 20 years old–unless you want to find out the basics of her life this really isn’t worth your time.

4) “The Invisible Thread”-Netflix–Italian movie–1 hour & 45 minutes–Leone is the son of 2 fathers and at that time two men couldn’t get married or legally adopt a child so they found a surrogate woman to have a child for them and is very involved in his life though she lives in the USA–by the time he is 11 the two men can have a legal civil union and when a teenager both names of his father was allowed on the birth certificate–sounds like a happy family but what kind of movie would that make?! Let’s throw in a possible divorce, Leone falling in love with a girl at school but how can that be–he must be gay with 2 gay fathers!–a mixture of drama and comedy and when the question of who is Leone’s biological father you will find yourself rooting for one or the other but it will be Leone who takes a beating with all that is going on.

5) “Ricky Gervais: Supernature”–Netflix–standup comic film–1 hour & 4 minutes–do you want to hear a crude, rude comic explain comedy poorly this is for you–all it did was make me vow to NOT see any more standup comic shows!

Posted June 6, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series

STREAMING REVIEWS—MAY 2022—PART 4   Leave a comment


1) “Blood Sisters”–Netflix–Nigerian limited series–4 episodes–3 hours & 44 minutes–Uduak, (played by Kate Henshaw-Nuttal) is like no other mother you have ever seen–including Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest”!! She is evil, nasty, bitchy–name it–and she excels at the drama–her clothes are WOW as many of the costumes and accessories are but HER outfits, attitude, jewelry and the looks she gives, as mother of the groom who doesn’t approve of the bride, are none you have never seen before–the themes are relatable to families everywhere if not as melodramatic–and the series is full of melodrama–there are a couple of good twists in the series but the whole show belongs to Kate Henshan-Nuttal–a must see to believe!

2) “Bordertown”–Netflix–Finnish series–3 seasons–season 1–11 episodes–10 hours & 27 minutes– the leading man is on of the most boring characters I have seen in years–as he is in charge of the murder investigation of young girls, which is not new to the first story called the “Doll House”–whether he is boring or written that way I don’t know but I gave up by the 6th episode–it is good if you want to be put to sleep!

3) “The Kids in the Hall”–Amazon Prime–8 episodes–3 hours & 23 minutes–maybe the ‘kids’ gave their all when they first came on the scene but it seems they have nothing more to give–anyone, like me, who aren’t familiar with them won’t understand why this was made and those who did see them when they were young will wonder why this has been made!

4) “Our Father”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 37 minutes–Doctor Cline inseminated at least 94 women with his sperm who have had a child by him and not their consent–he truly believes he did it in the name of God–he told the women the sperm was donated by a pool of medical students–we hear from many of the siblings not knowing each other about their health problems, mental problems among other things all this has caused by this one doctor (and, eventually, at least 44 others who did the same thing). We only hear from the women and except for his belief that God made him do it we learn nothing about the man–there were no laws against what he did and he received a one-year suspended sentence, a $500 fine and ultimately, served no prison time–this is a horror story with the monster walking away.

5) “Operation Mincemeat”–Netflix–British film–2 hours & 7 minutes–based on the true story of an elaborate subterfuge during WW 2–the title was based on a beginning author who served in the outfit–Ian Flemming–it is a high class production with, as expected, excellent acting–the last shot after the ‘what happened to…?’ is as fitting an ending to a true story as you can get–as much as I love American movies only the English can make a movie like this and make it so good!

6) “David Spade; Nothing Personal”–Netflix–standup special–1 hour & 6 minutes–he is a professional who has been around over 30 years–yet I felt I was watching a guy trying standup comedy for the first time–yes the “F” word, penis jokes, crass stories–nothing funny–nothing memorable–all forgotten 2 minutes after whatever he says–even the crudeness regarding Sly Stallone and others–a complete waste of time!

Posted May 24, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, Series, Streaming, TELEVISION

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” Movie Review   2 comments


No matter what reviews may say if you are a Downton Abbey fan you will see this movie! It was one of the biggest audiences I have seen at The Gateway Theatre at a Friday matinee since before the  COVID epidemic! (I am wondering how the crowd next Friday at “Top Gun; Maverak” will compare–I’ll let you know!) Plus it is never too late, even if somewhat confusing to who is who, for a newcomer to be introduced to the goings and comings of a family and their servants.

Upfront I must say I enjoyed this latest chapter of the aristocratic Crawley clan and their servants, a highly rated and watched series on PBS and a winner of their first made for movie theatres taking in a box office of $194 million though I have a few negative feelings the first being that this seems to been have made for TV where it could have run in 8-9 episodes covering all the multi part stories they tell here.

The main story revolves around Dowager countess Violet Grantham, played by the perfect Maggie Smith, inheriting a villa in the South of France which brings up an episode in her past. There is also why she will be leaving it to her granddaughter while also bringing up the question of who really is the father of her son Robert. The latter with his wife Cora and a bevy of servants leave for France as the Duchess is to ill to make the trip herself.

At the same time a film crew is invading  Downton Abbey to film a movie in exchange to paying  for the leaking roof. Throw in a possible romance between the director of the film and Lady Mary along with the change of silent movies to ‘talkies’ and the problems it may or may not cause the two stars on the movie. Oh yes, let’s not forget the possible romance between the  lead actor of the silent movie and the butler of the house. Throw in the wife of the man who left the Duchess the villa and her son’s reaction to the inheritance and to who it was left to and why.

And we haven’t even gone into all the servant’s problems and the bridge between them and the various Crawley family members or the retired butler’s presence or the current butler’s homosexuality or the former footman turned schoolmaster who is very knowledgeable about the new movie ‘business’ in the multi screen stories.

While not a MUST SEE for those who aren’t familiar with the Downton Abbey series it is a more than entertaining film with an excellent cast, some laughter, a few tears and an honest look of the division of the poor and rich in a period of English history, their changing of positions and adjustments made by both as the 20th century advances.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” is worth the money and time to see in a movie theatre!

Posted May 20, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

Streaming reviews–week of March 1, 2022   Leave a comment


1) “Midnight In Paris”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 36 minutes–if you could go back in time when and where would you go? In this fantasy Woody Allen (Owen Wilson) picks Paris in the time of Cole Porter, Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Scott F. and Zelda Fitzgerald, to name a few he meets, hangs out with and finds himself–of all the stars involved Marion Cotillard, as Picasso’s current lover is truly a standout, giving the beauties of Paris competition–it is a fantasy world and story and picture–get lost in it!

2) “Adrift”–Netflix–movie–true story—1 hour & 36 minutes–Shailene Woodley & Sam Caflin are a young attractive couple with good chemistry in the love scenes part of the film–water scenes, no pun intended, are crystal clear–unless you know the true story the ending will be a surprise–stay for the credits and what happened after!

3) “In From The Cold”–Netflix–series–season 1–6 hours & 28 minutes–a good thriller but little is made of important parts of the script, especially the ‘morphing’ which did turn me off–the mother and daughter aspect lends some humor and heart to the series–action, heart, humor, physical action, a professional woman who can beat any man makes for a good but not quite believable thriller.

4) “Donkeyhead”–Netflix–Canadian film–1 hour & 45 minutes–does every family member keep secrets from each other? With their father dying 4 siblings come together and, yes, each have their secret–a good cast, humor, touching and filmed in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, (a place I am not familiar with) all make this a winner!

5) “The Hand of God”–Netflix–Italian film–2 hours & 9 minutes–though I was impressed with the scenes of Naples I was not at all impressed with the story of a kid who wants to be a film director and becomes one as an adult–it centers around a rude, crude and large family of which I could only ‘like” one of them–a waste of time except for the Naples scenes which were filmed better in the ‘old’ Italian movies with Sophie Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, etc.

Streaming Reviews February 27, 2022   Leave a comment

1) “Anxious People”–Netflix–Scandinavian crime series–season 1–6 episodes–2 hours & 51 minutes–a comedy thriller that is not funny or thrilling–the solution to the crime is interesting but way too late–I suffered through all 6 episodes so you wouldn’t!

2) “Bird Box”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 2 minutes–watch the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes and you have seen the movie–I love Sandra Bullock but……use the 92 minutes between the beginning and end to do something with your life
3) “A Madea Homecoming”–Netflix–11th(?) Madea movie–1 hour & 47 minutes–I am a huge fan of Tyler Perry as an actor, director, writer, producer, etc., but, sorry, I can’t stand his Madea character and movies–I did laugh—once–near the end at the sheep ‘joke’ and, yes, dropped a few tears , also near the end, in the graduation speech where he got his message across–if you have to, watch the last 20-30 minutes–I gave Madea another chance but never again

4) “Harlem”–Amazon Prime–series–season 1–10 episodes–5 hours 45 minutes–about 4 girlfriends making it in the Big Apple–they live, laugh, love, have sex, fun and are interesting–of course, the 4 are completely different so why they are friends are not really explained–it is fun and interesting to watch and I will probably tune into season 2 without feeling I am wasting my time (See 3 movies above!)

5) “The Edge of Seventeen”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–I was/never will be a 17 year old girl so I can’t identify with Hailee Steinfeld–for that matter I wasn’t a typical high school teenager as I was too busy living my other life but this gives me a good idea how ‘the other half’ lives/lived–a better than average teen story with Steinfeld a good lead–enjoy!

6) “Munich: The Edge of War”–Netflix–movie–2 hours & 10 minutes–a very timely movie–it is also a very politically and talky film about Hitler & Chamberlain a year before they would be at war making an agreement not to go to war–the love story/personal stories could have been eliminated for a much better film–a historical drama very timely with good acting and, considering what happened, an ironic true story, definitely worth seeing

Posted February 27, 2022 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

Streaming movies, series and a new Streaming service reviews   1 comment


1) “A Hero”–Amazon Prime–Iranian film–2 hours & 7 minutes–Oscar nominated for best picture 2021 tells the story of Rahim, who is in prison for failing to repay a loan he had taken. After getting a leave from prison, Rahim tries to execute an audacious plan to repay his creditor but faces a moral dilemma in the process–lies are an important part of this film and they come constantly–social media is the ‘star’ of this movie

2) “Dark Desire”–Netflix–Mexican/Spanish thriller series–season 2–10 episodes–5 hours & 8 minutes–sex, sex and, oh yes, sex, soft porn–your choice

3) “The Kindness of Strangers”–Netflix–American film–1 hour & 55 minutes–Clara, wife of an abusive policeman, mother of 2 boys, takes the kids and runs away to Manhattan–without even a nod to Tennessee Williams and certainly nothing to do with “A Streetcar Named Desire”–a different kind of film with many different people to hold your interest,except Clara and the boys, all the characters are ‘characters’ but we only get to know the flimsy surface roles they are playing as if written before the main story was

4) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”–Amazon Prime–series–season 4–each Friday, through March, 2 more episodes will be shown–if you liked the first 3 seasons you will like the 4th–sort of defeats the idea of streaming versus cable or broadcast viewing

5) A new streaming service REVRY for the LGBTQRSTUVW (just add your own letters) mainly for the Gay & Lesbian community–I, basically, watched 2 examples of their ‘product’ 6) “Steam” the musical–a 19 minute film(?) about a conductor falling for a train robber and 7) “Hot To Trot”–documentary–1 hour & 28 minutes–about the Gay ballroom dance contest scene–I cancelled my 1 week trial and would suggest subscribing either to Netflix, Amazon Prime or HereTV if interested in watching Gay (or LBTQRSTUVW, etc.) content

Posted February 21, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, Series, Streaming

One Movie Theatre and 2 Streaming Reviews!   Leave a comment


1) “The Worst Person In The World”–Gateway Theatre–Nowegian movie filmed in Oslo–2 hours & 1 minute–as tempted as I am to call this movie the worst film in the world I honestly can’t just as I wouldn’t call the lead Renate Reinsve the worst actress in the world because if it wasn’t for her there wouldn’t be a film and she is playing opposite two strong males, Anders Danielsen and Herbert Nordrum–is the worst person in the world a 30 year old who doesn’t know who she is, what she wants or has  affairs the two aforementioned actors? I don’t think so–the film is told in 12 chapters plus a prologue and epilogue–don’t look for a ‘happily ever after’ Hollywood ending–just look for the chapters to go by but don’t applaud when it gets to 10 or 11–two women in the audience called it tedious while one guy called it boring–I think all 3 were being kind!

2) “My Bride”–Netflix–a Egyptian film in Arabic–1 hour & 33 minutes–the first half is a typical old fashioned Hollywood romantic comedy than all of a sudden turns into heavy drama including spousal abuse–it is a look at arranged versus ‘accidental’ meeting marriages–an old time rom/com/drama done in a fairly short film with bad subtitles–do something else for an hour and 33 minutes!

3) “The Stolen”–Netflix–a New Zealand Film–1 hour & 38 minutes–it is a western, a thriller, a road film, with twists here and there–it is beautifully filmed but that is a fair representation of New Zealand–sadly the stories try to cover too much and with the novelty of it being a female western the villains are men and the women are called ‘whores’–shocking? NO!–if more time had been spent on the women’s stories and the female western angle it would have at least been interesting!Sorry folks but I don’t recommend any of them though getting out to see a movie in a theatre is still fun for me!!

Posted February 18, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, Series, Streaming

Streaming Reviews February 17 2022   Leave a comment


1) “Inventing Anna”–Netflix–limited series–9 episodes–10 hours & 3 minutes–I am a fan of Shonda Rhimes series but there is a very big misstep here and that is she takes 9 episodes to tell what could have been a very interesting, somewhat true, story by wasting a lot of time on a secondary story–that of the pregnant reporter–of the many relationships Anna Delvey, a scammer who ‘took’ many wealthy, smart people the one with the reporter was the most uninteresting–she should have spent more time on the 3 women who thought she was their friend–we never do get to know who Anna is!

2) “Holding The Man”–Netflix–Australian movie–2 hours & 5 minutes–Second time I’ve watched this–about a male couple who meet, fall in love, are together 20 years–taking place at a specific time–a true story written by one of the men who died a year after his book was published–a good feeling tear-jerker that will move you

3) “Loev”–Netflix–film from India–1 hour & 32 minutes–another film I have seen a second time–2 childhood friends who have taken different paths reunite–they are in love with each other but love can be shown and mean in many ways–sometimes in violence that the violator knows is wrong–this movie still leaves me very puzzled at the end

4) “My Best Friend”–Amazon Prime–Film from Argentina–1 hour & 30 minutes–2 teenagers discover themselves as they become friends–nothing new here but still very moving

5) “Just Friends”–Amazon Prime–Dutch film–1 hour & 24 minutes– a sweet story about falling in love–a romantic gay movie–mothers know best and in this case their mothers and one grandmother know that they belong together–“You don’t control love–love controls you”

Posted February 17, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, REVIEWS, Streaming

Streaming Reviews February 11, 2022   Leave a comment


Another Friday and no movie in a theatre I really want to see—except maybe the new “West Side Story” for the third time! I can see where streaming can spoil it for movie going people!

) “Sweet Magnolias”–Netflix–Season 2–10 episodes–8 hours & 24 minutes–picks up where season 1 ended as we follow 3 women in the south who have been friends since childhood and are there for each other whether involving drama, families, love affairs, divorce, humor, working, etc.,–yes, it is ‘cheesy’ but you will love it and/or follow it to the end.

2) “Reacher”–Amazon–Series–Season 1–8 episodes–6 hours & 32 minutes–starts off very, interesting especially with Alan Ritchson as Reacher, but after an hour it goes into familiar territory, as we leave getting to know Reacher better and instead goes into the old chases, shoot-outs, nothing you haven’t seen before many times–there is the diversion of his interaction with police officer Roscoe Conklin who will become his ally but is her own woman and won’t take guff from anyone whether a criminal or Reacher–their give and take add sparkle to the series.

3) “My Father’s Violin”–Netflix–Turkish film–1 hour & 52 minutes–a tearjerker–an uncle ‘inherits’ a niece he didn’t even know he had–some excellent music–many ‘cute’ scenes–you’ve seen this story in many a Hollywood movieand the Turkish have learned well–moving but a little too cold to really hit the heart.

4) “Murderville”–Netflix–season 1–6 episodes–3 hours & 17 minutes–UNBELIEVABLE! Even more unbelievable is that actors would get involved with this, even if they needed the money to pay their rent–how this ever got approved to be shown to the public boggles the mind–it must be seen to see how bad, how desperate(?) streaming companies are to fill time!

5) “Tinder Swindler”–Netflix–1 hour & 54 minutes–documentary–One never thinks they can be so stupid as to be swindled out of thousands of dollars, in one case a half of a million dollars, but this shows they are–if not stupid than lonely and willing to do anything for ‘love’–the 3 women who were swindled by this guy still believe they can find ‘love’ as they dream it to be are realthough you will shake your head through this whole documentary it will keep you watching.

Posted February 11, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIES, SPRING HAPPENINGS, Streaming

Spielberg’s “WSS” second viewing, Big Louie’s and Cathy!   1 comment

(See my complete original review of THIS version https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/24801332/8007468552029230706  )

“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.”

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This is my second viewing of the Spielberg version of “West Side Story” and for some reason of all the stage productions I have seen and all the times I have seen the first version I was most deeply affected watching it today–a beautiful film which I do want to see again and again!

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Before the movie Emir and I met Allen at Big Louie’s as I wanted the two of them to meet–we had a large pizza with olives, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms and sausage–each had 3 slices–delicious as always!

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To top it all off when I got home Cathy had made a plate of meatballs, sausage and rigatoni for me for supper!

Some days are better than others and this was one of the better days of the past 4 months!

Posted February 6, 2022 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

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