Archive for the ‘MOVIES’ Category

Streaming Movies for Gay Pride Month June 2021 Part 4   Leave a comment


1) “Shared Rooms”–Hulu–American film–1 hour & 15 minutes–frontal nudity–3 gay couples–Christmas holiday–how they make families (or not)–WASTE OF TIME

2) “I Want Your Love”–Prime Amazon–American film–1 hour & 11 minutes–with nothing to say it throws in soft porn and MAKES MOVIE SEEM LIKE 71 HOURS

3) “Trade”–Prime Amazon–film–1 hour & 53 minutes–Coco Shawn (played by T. Ashanti Mozelle) is a hustler and Michael (Austin Miller) a lawyer–the former educates the latter– COCO’S STORY MORE INTERESTING AND MORE REALISTIC THAN MICHAEL’S

4) “Naz & Maalik”–Prime Amazon–American film–1 hour & 26 minutes–2 Black Brooklyn Muslim boys confront their sexuality–aspect of gay life with people not usually seen in a movie–RIDICULOUS FBI STORYLINE THAT GOES ASTRAY BUT MAKES IT MOVIE LENGTH

5) “BWOY”–Prime Amazon–1 hour & 27 minutes–a married man, has an affair with a young Jamaican man starting online–except for ‘soft porn’ this shows an aspect of gay life very rarely spoken about–anyone familiar with this storyline knows where it is going–YES THERE ARE GUYS LIKE BRAD WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER

6) “CIAO”–HERETV–American film–1 hour & 27 minutes–two guys have a friend who recently died–Andrea, a cyber friend of Mark, from Italy, is invited to visit Texas by Jeff who was Mark’s best friend–too many ‘fillers’, unnecessary scenes, makes IT SEEMS TOO LONG AND BY THE TIME YOU GET TO ‘CLIMAX’ IT IS ANTI-CLIMATIC–PUN INTENDED

7) “I Am Michael”–Netflix–American film–1 hour & 45 minutes–is he Gay? Straight? Bi?–who cares?!–BASED ON A TRUE STORY–JAMES FRANCO MORE BELIEVABLE AS GAY MAN THAN STRAIGHT PASTOR IN HIS TRANSFORMATION–TRUE (?) STORY

Posted June 22, 2021 by greatmartin in GAY, MOVIES, Streaming

Streaming reviews for week of June 6, 2021   Leave a comment


1) “I Am All Girls”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 47 minutes–human trafficking is a huge problem but not much is being done about it–yes, it is a delicate topic but it has to be talked about and the trafficking stopped–AN INFURIATING AND ABSORBING MOVIE WITH A STARTLING PERFORMANCE BY HLUBI MBOYA!

2) “Machines”–Hulu–documentary–1 hour & 11 minutes–for a guy with 0 mechanical ability (see my NYU aptitude tests if you don’t believe me) I don’t know why I turned on a film with the title of “Machines” but I did and stayed to the end–kids and grown men work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for a pittance–most can’t afford to buy a cigarette and never talk about food–most are so skinny it is hard to believe they work so hard–YES THE MATERIALS THEY MAKE ARE STUNNING BUT WHERE IS THEIR BEAUTY–NOT EASY TO WATCH BUT YOU WON’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE SCREEN

3) “Pink: All I Know So Far”–Prime Amazon–documentary–1 hour & 39 minutes–up until seeing this film all I knew about Pink was that she was a singer and that was that–as a mother she is very much admired but as a singer I don’t like and/or remember her big numbers–when she sings by herself I like her but not her songs–OBVIOUSLY ALL 80,000 PEOPLE IN THE STADIUM LOVER HER

4) “Solos”–Prime Amazon–series–season 1–7 episodes–3 hours & 5 minutes–people see themselves in the future looking back on their past–sci-fi–most are monologues hence the title–TOP ACTORS SUCH AS HELEN MIRREN AND MORGAN FREEMAN SHOWING A RANGE OF EMOTIONS BUT WILL THERE BE A SECOND SEASON?

5) “Framing John DeLorean”–Hulu & Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 49 minutes–with Alec Baldwin playing DeLorean in reenactments–he doesn’t come across as the villain he seems to be making for a ‘quiet’ documentary–IF A MAN’S DOWNFALL INTERESTS YOU SO WILL THIS FILM

6) “Blue Miracles”–Netflix–movie based on a true story–1 hour & 35 minutes–if you don’t know where this story is going and/or if you don’t get choked up by the 80-minute mark and/or if you don’t want to make a donation and/or if you can’t believe this is a true story I DON’T WANT TO KNOW YOU–THIS IS A MUST SEE FILM & WAIT FOR THE END CREDITS

“In The Heights”–Movie Theatre Review   Leave a comment

It is very hard to imagine the musical numbers in “In The Heights” being half as exciting or as effecting on a TV screen–no matter what size–as on a movie screen. The choreography by Christopher Scott outdoes anything Busby Berkeley (ask your grandparents or google him!) ever did in his heyday. The singing by all is very strong and the joy and professionalism of each and every cast member make each frame of the film stand out!

The main problems I had with the movie were the length, 2 hours and 23 minutes, and the story in between the musical numbers. On stage there is a 15-20 minute intermission so the length is easier to handle while the screenplay by Quiara Alegria Hudes and  Lin-Manual Miranda, based on the book they wrote for the stage version has been changed in many ways and not for the better.Today Miranda is mainly known for the stage musical “Hamilton” for which he wrote the book, lyrics and music but “In The Heights” was his first show and it introduced his use of lots of varied music from typical Broadway tunes to rap which he extended the use of the latter in the former show.I am a minority in this opinion but I find “In The Heights” more entertaining, more moving and with a much better score than “Hamilton”.

Many years ago in Hollywood movies at the end credits would show a picture along with their movie name and role they played and though there are many veteran performers is this film there are many new ones whose characters I knew by name but not the actor who played the role. Among the vets was a minor role played by Miranda who sells shaved ices with a cart, Marc Anthony as the father of the lead’s store helper, Jimmy Smits as the widowed father one of the female leads and Daphne Rubin-Vega, who, on stage, would stop the show with her “Carnival del Barrio”, just to name a few.

Among the new faces to me is Anthony Ramos, the lead, who plays the role that Miranda originated on Broadway, Cory Hawkins, who impressed me the most, Leslie Grace as his girlfriend, Melissa Barrera as Ramos’s girlfriend, George Diaz IV as the store helper who represents the  DACA group plus Olga Merediz, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanca, Patrick Page, Noah Catala and others showing the striving working-class of Latins who live in a special section of New York, called—you guessed it!–Washington Heights.

The resilience of this group of Latins shines through the many musical numbers whether the joyous upbeat numbers or the quieter numbers mainly sung by the women.

I cannot comprehend the musical numbers and/or the reaction of those watching this film on a TV screen with, maybe, 2-3 other people, can be as meaningful and entertaining as I experienced watching it on a movie screen with a movie audience and, someday, I might give it a look at the former way.

Posted June 11, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

Gay Pride Movies for June 2021   Leave a comment

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1) “Breaking Fast”–Prime video–DVD can be also rented ($2.99) or bought ($4.99)–movie–1 hour & 32 minutes–I love a good love story and from their first meeting you know where this film is going and how it will end but the trip to get there is really a good one! (The towel scene, lasting less than a minute is worth seeing the movie!)

Mo (Haaz Sleiman) is a Moslem doctor whose family accepts and supports him as a gay man–he lives in West Hollywood where he meets an American actor, Kal, (Michael Cassidy) who is also an excellent cook and the complete opposite of Mo in that what little family he had was extremely dysfunctional–Mo does have the standard Hollywood rom-com very effeminate friend, Sam (Aminel Gamal)–oh yes any Superman fan already knows one of the jokes–when was the last time you heard “The Trolley Song” sung in a movie or “Climb Every Mountain”? Where else will you hear references to Maria of both “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music” plus “Into The Woods”?Yes, this is a Gay love story but before that, it is a love story! The laughs come, the tears come and when it is over you will want to see it again!   A MUST SEE FOR GAY & NON-GAY PEOPLE!

2) “Hating Peter”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour & 31 minutes–Do you know who Peter Tatcher is? I didn’t and I was taken completely by surprise. There is so much history people don’t know about and I am talking about gay people who owe so much to this man and non-gay people could learn a lot about being an activist from this man.There is so much I learned from this documentary about a man born in Australia to a very religious family and though his mother could not accept his sexuality she was by her son’s side from day one and still is! He made/makes his home in England and became a man who stood up to world leaders, was beaten, didn’t take anything from the Archbishop or Margaret Thatcher and at the age of 54 is still facing up and fighting for rights for those who can’t and those who don’t. ABSOLUTELY A WINNER!

3) “Pride”–on FX and FX ON HULU–6 episodes–the best documentary I have seen about gay people—there are 6 episodes—first starts with the 1950s (and gets it right–especially about all the fun that was had!!! In spite of the harassments!)Each decade has a different narrator–generally someone who was involved with that decade–it is also a good reminder of how the 1950s-1970s prepared the gay world for AIDS and how the 1980s-2000 changed the world and is still changing it. WITH #2 A HISTORY OF A MOVEMENT THAT IS FAR FROM OVER AND AFFECTS EVERYONE!

4) “Special”–Netflix–Season 2–8 episodes–3 hours and 50 minutes–easy show to binge in 1 or 2 evenings–story is written by and based on Ryan O’Connell’s life–he is a gay guy with Cerebral Palsy and how people, gay and straight, interact with him and his strained relationship with his mother–SHORT, TOUCHING, SWEET AND FUNNY

5) “Freak Show”–HULU and Prime Video–1 hour & 30 minutes–Adults already know that teenagers are freaks–DUH! Nothing really new but small things like using Bette Miller in a small role being hammy and funny–Laverne Fox, who if you don’t know who she is, you won’t know how funny her lines really are–and shame on you for not knowing who she is! ALEX LAWTHER IS ONLY ALLOWED TO SHOW ONE SIDE OF BEING A ‘FREAK’ BUT HE DOES IT WITH STYLE & BRAVELY!

6) “Port Authority”–movie theatre–1 hour & 34 minutes–first movie I went to see since The Gateway has reopened–the nicest thing I can say about it is that the dialogue and camera work makes my videos look professional–DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY–SEE #1 INSTEAD!

Posted June 3, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Streaming

15 months later finall 2 NORMAL Days!!   1 comment


As a creature of habit, for 20 years of Thursdays, I would go to The Dollar Tree, CVS, Winn-Dixie,  and, sometimes if I needed things, also Office Depot and Home Depot topping it all off with a late lunch at Big Louie’s, Quarterdeck or Cafe Vico!On Fridays, it was an early movie, usually at The Gateway Theatre, and then Subways or Arbys for a ‘snack’.

Also about 16 times a year we went to either the Adrienne Arsht Theatre in Miami or the Broward Performing Arts Center on Tuesdays to see touring Broadway shows which abruptly stopped in March 2020 as did dinners at many different places before the shows!

Then the epidemic came!!!  ARGH!! No movie theatres, no touring Broadway shows for 15 months and no restaurants, old or new for about 13 months.

About 2 months ago, and a vaccine, we started to tiptoe back into restaurants for lunch, generally going to those we were familiar with, knew would be following the rules, such as the new 17th Street Quarterdeck, IHOP, Arbey’s, Big Louie’s and after our second vaccine started to try new ones like the Brazilian steakhouse Rio Minas.

Then the good news came–The AMC and Regal chains were reopening but the best news of all was The Gateway Theatre, under new owners, was opening up!NORMAL came back this week!! Did the old routine of shopping on Thursday and WENT FOR LUNCH at Big Louie’s and yesterday, Friday, WENT TO THE REOPENED GATEWAY THEATRE TO SEE A MOVIE ON THE BIG SCREEN AND THEN A SNACK AT SUBWAYS! Okay so it wasn’t a good movie but next week it will be official when “In The Heights” opens up–a show I loved when the Broadway touring company appeared here and the coming attraction trailers really have me excited!! (Ironically, I will be using the gift certificate I got on my 21st Leap Year birthday, Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Nabu American Fusion Buffet restaurant–which didn’t survive the epidemic!)

Now just waiting for the touring Broadway shows to return to Miami and Broward and my life will be normal plus I can start looking for a new, good restaurant to plan my 22nd Leap Year birthday on Thursday, February 29, 2024!

Posted May 29, 2021 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, MOVIES, RESTAURANTS

Streaming reviews for week of April 25, 2021   Leave a comment

1) “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me”–Netflix–series–season 1–8 episodes–a 1950s sitcom for 2021?? Jamie Foxx is talented BUT NO THANKS & I HOPE NO SEASON 2!

2) “The Stand-In”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 41 minutes–Barrymore playing 2 characters does a good job in both roles BUT FILM DOESN’T KNOW WHETHER IT WANTS TO BE A COMEDY OR DRAMA AND FAILS AT BOTH!

3) “Genius : Aretha Franklin”–HULU–miniseries-8 episodes–6 hours & 29 minutes–ended too abruptly–goes back and forth too much in time–both Shaian Jordan (as a young Aretha) and Cynthia Erivo do star turns as Franklin–GOOD DOUBLE FEATURE WITH “AMAZING GRACE”

4) “Making a Murderer”–Netflix–documentary–10 episodes–10 hours & 13 minutes–a man is wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years or was he???–THOUGH TOO LONG AND A BIT CARELESS HERE AND THERE THE MAIN CHARACTER HOLDS YOUR INTEREST!

5) “Another Round”–HULU–movie–1 hour & 57 minutes–Oscar-nominated film that Leonardo DiCaprio has bought the rights to make an American version–IT IS A STAR TURN FOR THE LEAD BUT WHY WAS IT OSCAR

NOMINATED AND WHY IS DICAPRIO REMAKING IT?
6) “Deux” (aka “Two of Us”)–HULU–movie–1 hour & 39 minutes–two women in love who keep it hidden from their families until they can’t anymore–A DRAMATIC LOVE STORY THAT IS TRULY ABOUT LOVE AND NOT SEX!

Posted April 29, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming, TELEVISION

Streaming Reviews–week of February 1, 2021   Leave a comment

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1) “London Spy”–Netflix–British limited series–5 episodes—4 hours and 47 minutes– originally on BBC then PBS and now Netflix–as the first episode finished all I could think of was “WOW”! I was hooked and though I hoped it wouldn’t be disappointing I am so glad to report I wasn’t. The center relationship (one of many) captures you just as the spy aspect does. A DEFINITE MUST SEE–AS EXPECTED FIRST-RATE ACTING FROM COMPLETE BRITISH CAST–WHERE AND/OR WHEN IS SEASON 2?
2) “Black Rose”–Netflix–Nigerian movie–2 hours–First hour and 45 minutes is a good film, love story, comedy, look at how other people live and then it all falls apart, especially the last ‘explanation’–DISAPPOINTING
3) “The Highwaymen”–Netflix–Hollywood movie–2 hours & 12 minutes–a true story about 2 lawmen going after Bonnie & Clyde-I would suggest you watch the 1967 “Bonnie & Clyde” starring Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty, directed by Arthur Penn, which is much better in telling the story!
4) “Queen of the South”–originally on USA and now on Netflix–adapted from a Spanish novella–6 seasons (4 on Netflix as of now)–10 episodes each season–running approximately 6 hours and 50 minutes per season–underlying the violence involved in running a drug empire this series has a lot of heart, mainly provided by Alice Braga, who is dynamite, as Teresa, running from Mexico and setting up a narcotics organization in the USA–Alice Braga is a STAR, not to be missed and the series keeps up with her!
5) “The Dig”–Netflix–British movie–1 hour & 52 minutes–based on the true story of the excavation in 1939 on the estate of widow Edith Pretty lead by Basil Brown a self-taught archeologist–it is a typical British film which is a good thing!
6) “Triple Frontier”–Netflix–American film–2 hours & 5 minutes–if you like thrillers with chases and shootouts this might be for you–I don’t so I fast-forwarded through at least an hour–some of the heist scenes were fine but the character interactions aren’t.
7) “The Mess You Leave Behind”–Netflix–Spanish series–8 episodes–6 hours & 3 minutes- -I watched all 8 episodes thinking I have seen all 8 episodes before and I still don’t know if I have!! Looking to see if I reviewed it before!

Posted February 7, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

Like it was Friday 2019–a THEATRE MOVIE REVIEW “Supernova”   Leave a comment


A year ago February–when I reached 21–I got, as one gift, a gift card to the AMC theatre and a week later the movie theatres shut down, as did the restaurants. For 20 years I went to a movie and then after a bite to eat and now,  all of a sudden, it was watching movies on a TV while eating at home.
After 11 months I was ready, and taking all the precautions, we (Allen and I) decided to go for it. I had to go to Broward General hospital for a COVID-19 test for an outpatient test on Wednesday. My appointment was for 2 PM and the moving picture started at 4:30 PM so it was the appointment, then a bite to eat followed by the movie.
We went to the Peter Pan Diner for a late lunch and to add to the celebration I had a piece of carrot cake! The diner was doing a nice business with all the help wearing masks and only every other table being used. On a plus note, our waiter was one who knew me from the Denny’s on 17th Street where I had at one time worked and where he usually waited on me in later years. I will say neither Allen or myself were pleased with what we got served but that’s another review.
I had read a few excellent reviews of “Supernova” and Terry, in Memphis, said he and Chuck really liked it. It is basically a story of long-term lovers facing the tragedy of one living with early-onset dementia and how they are dealing with it.
The performances of Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as the couple are excellent but, sadly—no pun intended–a 20-25 minute movie is expanded to 93 minutes with way too many hillside shots and road scenes, of their taking a trip in a RV, in spite of the stunning scenery in the English Lake District.
Yes they bicker, banter, show their love for each other but the movie should have started showing 10 minutes of this and then going into the pivotal turn of one of the men hearing a recording as the last 20 minutes are very emotionally moving. The piano solo at the end added time but nothing to what we had just gone through.
“Supernova” is worth seeing for Firth and Tucci’s performances and the last 20 minutes.
By the way, all help at the AMC wore masks, there were hand sanitizer stations all over, distance markings on the floors and the auditoriums are restricted to 40% capacity though I will say only 4 people–2 besides us–were in the auditorium we were and the rest of the theatre looked about the same it was a safe enviroment.

Posted February 6, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

Streaming reviews week of January 10, 2021   Leave a comment


1) “LUPIN”–French Mystery Series–Season 1–5 episodes–2 hours & 51 minutes–first I was extremely impressed by the actor Omar Sy, including his acting, as the gentleman thief Arsene Lupin based on a series of French books written in 1905–I was ‘lost’ a few times by the story but I am definitely ready for season 2–A MUST SEE
2) “Pieces of a Woman”–American Movie–2 hours & 6 minutes–opens with a 28-minute harrowing segment watching a woman giving birth at home which ends in tragedy–the rest of the movie is about what happens to the woman–Vanessa Kirby is excellent and the movie has been getting rave reviews but after that opening, I kept waiting for something to happen–I am still waiting!
3) “Rich In Love”–Brazillian Movie–1 hour & 45 minutes–no difference between a Brazillian and Hollywood romantic comedy–losing a bet a rich kid plays poor–if you enjoy the latter you’ll enjoy this–nothing special but okay.4) “San Pa Sins of the Savoir”–Italian Documentary–season 1–5 episodes–5 hours–I tried, I really tried, but couldn’t get past the 3rd episode so just went to last 15 minutes–about heroin addicts and a man who tried to save them and became a controversial figure–boring.5) “Pretend It’s a City”–American documentary–limited series–7 episodes–3 hours & 23 minutes–Martin Scorsese interviews and follows Fran Lebowitz around New York–Lebowitz, in many ways, is the stereotypical New Yorker–it could have been an episode or two shorter but then it wouldn’t have been about New York or New Yorkers–I enjoyed seeing a lot of the places I used to hang out–this is for New Yorkers and/or those who don’t know any New Yorkers.
6) “Alice Junior”–Brazillian Movie–1 hour & 27 minutes–Alice, a transgender teenager, finds herself in a small, conservative town and in a co-ed Catholic school–a sweet, short movie that covers a lot of territories. 
7) “Equinox”–Danish series–season 1–6 episodes–4 hours & 30 minutes–a fantasy mystery thriller that was recommended to me–wish I could remember who recommended it because I won’t ever watch another show they recommend!

Posted January 15, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Series, Streaming

Streaming reviews–week of November 15, 2020   Leave a comment

1) “The Crown”–Netflix–series–Season 4–10 episodes–5 hours and 50 minutes–the best season so far–strong performances by Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II, Gillean Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana commanding the main roles with the latter going from a shy, deer in the lights, a girl growing into a woman with a secondary Emerald Fennell as Camilla, who certainly will be more in front in season 5. Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Tobias Menzies as his father Prince Philip shows the weaknesses and strengths of men ruled by women with the former almost making you feel sorry for him.  A MUST SEE!

2) “Diana In Her Own Words”–Netflix–Documentary–1 hour and 52 minutes–There is no way a person can NOT feel sadness for and about her. I watched this after “The Crown” which was a smart move–watching a fictional series like The Crown you know that private scenes and conversations between people are made up by the writer and you hope there is some reality in what they say and do–Diana In Her Words makes a lot in The Crown more real. A MUST SEE!

3) “The Life Ahead”–Netflix–Movie–1 hour & 34 minutes–how dare Sophia Loren get old?!? Most people who watch this will remember the Oscar-winning actress at the height of her fame and her ‘lusty’ appearance–she still has that ‘what made her a star’ glow and the movie is a ‘small’, sweet, entertaining film–I originally saw Simone Signoret in the first movie version of this, called “Madame Rosa”, and Loren’s performance is as effective as Signoret’s as the Jewish former prostitute who takes care of sex workers children and still bares the number given her in a concentration camp–a must-see for those who remember Loren in her fame days.

4) “Dash & Lily”–Netflix–Season 1–8 episodes–3 hours & 22 minutes–Dash is anti-Christmas while Lily loves everything about it–through puzzles in a red notebook the two finally meet–a cute, fun series and a good ‘get in the Christmas mood’ start for the holidays–wonder what season 2 will be about–enjoy.

5) “I Am Thinking Of Ending Things”–Netflix–Movie–2 hours & 14 minutes–don’t waste a minute seeing this unless you want to see Toni Collette give a very rare bad performance!

Posted November 20, 2020 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Streaming

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