Archive for the ‘Films’ category

Wonder Woman

July 7, 2017

Wonder WomanLast night was date night. We hired a baby sitter for Mary and went to see “Wonder Woman“. The cost for our baby sitter was three times as much as the price to see the movie. Here’s a link to the official trailer.

The movie stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as the dashing pilot/spy Steve Trevor. The film was directed by Patty Jenkins. It is interesting that the film was directed by a woman. And she is the first woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million.

Okay, first and foremost this movie was about a half hour longer than it needed to be. Run time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Butt getting sore and beginning to wonder when the big finale scene is going to start.

So here’s the basic story. Trevor’s plane crashes into the sea off the coast of Amazon Island and Diana saves him from certain death by drowning. Steve Trevor tells Diana about the war that is raging in the outside world. The war is WWI of course. Interestingly, the comic book version, the war is WW2. The first battle is between the Amazons and the Germans who are chasing Trevor on Amazon Island. Seeing as this is a PG-13, movie there is little blood spilled. Soldiers get shot but don’t seem to bleed very much.

There’s an amusing scene early in the movie where Steve is recovering from his wounds in a hot tub somewhere on the island. Then Steve gets out of the tub and stands there buck naked in all his glory for Diana to see. The look on her face says that she has probably never seen a naked man before. Oh my… Luckily for the kiddies present, the scene is back lit and you can’t actually see Trevor’s (ahem) equipment.

So Amazon Island is located somewhere off the coast of Italy or maybe Greece. Think warm blue Caribbean waters. So Princess Diana begins to discover her super powers. And then Steve persuades her to go with him back to England. The two of them find a small fishing boat and set sail for England.

So the pair arrive in London after a brief voyage. Steve helps Diana get some new clothes that would meet the approval of the Londoners of the era. Anyways, to make a long story short, the pair manage to make it to the battlefield in France where Wonder Woman proceeds to kick serious ass. The film has some real nasty German baddies that get their comeuppance. And finally, we get to the finale battle between Wonder Woman and the evil lord Ares. And of course, you know who wins that battle.

Overall, it was a fun film though a little bit on the long side. We stopped at KFC’s drive thru to pick up some fried chicken for our dinner. Going out to an actual restaurant would be nice, but tick tock.

 

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Don’t Bogart that Joint, My Friend

November 10, 2016

So it seems that California and Massachusetts voters have approved a ballot measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. So that brought to mind the title of this blog post. So what exactly does that mean? How does one “bogart” a joint? Is is it a good thing or bad thing. Read on and I shall explain.

The term “bogart” is a reference to the actor, Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957). Bogart (the actor) was known for his performances in movies like Casablanca, The Big Sleep, and The Maltese Falcon. Click here for his complete filmography. In Casablanca, Bogart always seemed to have a cigarette in his mouth. Take a look at the trailer and you will see what I mean. By the way, Bogart died of esophageal cancer in 1957.

Another reference to “bogarting” a joint can be found in the movie, “Easy Rider”, starring Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholoson. Here’s a clip.

And finally, here is the link to the song “Don’t Bogart that Joint” by the Fraternity of Man. A veritable one hit wonder.

Date Night

April 24, 2016

Jungle BookSaturday was date night. We really needed to get out without Mom even if only for a couple of hours.

So, we went to see the movie “The Jungle Book“. I guess we are getting cheap in our old age. Jungle Book was available in iMax 3D, Regular 3D and old plain 2D. 2D was $7 a person for Seniors. iMax was $17. We did the old fashioned 2D. Characters were voiced by Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and many more fine actors and actresses.

The film is rated PG and rightly so. There are parts that are pretty violent and might be a bit scary for little kids. I wouldn’t take a kid to see it under the  age of 8 or 9.

We loved it. We went to a 4:45 showing and there were a lot of families with kids in the theater. I particularly liked Baloo voiced by Bill Murray where he starts singing the “Bare Necessities”. We also liked the scenes with King Louie.

Here’s the Bill Murray version from Youtube. I will be playing this tune at Lodge in a couple of weeks.

When you compare this version with earlier versions you can readily see how far the animation technology has come. This film was filmed completely in Los Angeles.

I would give the film 8.5 stars out of 10. We loved it.

And by the way, you can download the Kindle version of the Rudyard Kipling Book from Amazon for $.99. What a deal.

Now for dinner part of date night. We had hoped to try the Hopsaint Brewery restaurant in Torrance. Saturday night was not a good time. We couldn’t even find a parking space. We’ll try another time when it might be less busy.

We came up with a plan B. We decided to go to the “San Franciscan” in Torrance. I was itching to have a good steak. We don’t have a barbeque grill at our place (forbidden my HOA). It was busy too, but at least we found a parking space. Had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

I had a 9 oz Filet Mignon. Paula had something called a “Drunken Sam”. The menu descrbes it as

“Filet mignon, pan fried in burgundy wine and brandy. Served atop fried eggplant and topped with an Ortega chile and jack cheese”

I had a taste. It was very good. Paula cleaned her plate. This is not fancy and the decor is rather plain but food is excellent. This is our place to go to when we have a hunger for steak.

Date Night

March 31, 2016

zootopiaFinally, we had the chance to have another date night last night. Paula and I went to see Zootopia at the Terraces. We went to the 4:30 pm show for  $4 each for seniors. Price for regular folks was $6. Sometimes it’s just fun to go to a kids movie without the kids. Zootopia was no exception. There were many jokes that were clearly aimed at the grown-ups in the audience.

Zootopia is the story of a young rabbit who goes into the big city of Zootopia to become a rookie cop. The rabbit named Judy Hopps doesn’t want to stay on the carrot farm with her parents anymore.

So rookie Officer Hopps joins forces with a cynical con artist fox named Nick Wilde to solve a sinister conspiracy in the great city of Zootopia.

They do a really great scene where the pair goes to the DMV (Department of Mammal Vehicles) to look up a license plate. Of course the clerks at the DMV are all sloths. They work so slowly. What a hoot. Wonder where they got that idea?

Good film, take the kids too. Runs about an hour and a half.

20160331_020800030_iOSSo we were done with the movie by 6:30 pm. Time for dinner. Date night dinners are a chance for us to unwind and talk about how things are going with Mary’s care without her listening.

We decided that it had been a long time since we’ve had Chinese food. So we decided to try the PV Palace on PCH in Lomita. Restaurant was pretty much empty when we arrived. Decent service. We had Mu Shu Pork, Shrimp Fried Rice, and Kung Pao Scallops. All very tasty. The waiter even filled the Mu Shu pancakes for us. We both had a glass of chardonnay. Plenty left over for lunch tomorrow.

Today we are off to the storage locker to clean out a few more boxes of junk (or treasures).

Brooklyn

February 14, 2016

BrooklynTonight was date night. We’ve got to stop going out on Saturday night. Too many people. Too few parking spaces. But this was the day that we were weren’t very busy. So Saturday night it was.

We went to see the movie “Brooklyn” starring Saoirse Ronan (Ellis) and Emory Cohen (Tony). It was directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby.

It was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screen Play. Paula and I both loved this film. I’ll give it 4.5 stars. Go see it while it’s still in the theaters. It’s a great movie to see for Valentine’s Day.

Saorise plays a young Irish immigrant that lands in Brooklyn in 1951.  She leaves behind her sister and her widowed mother to come to America.

Okay, I promise no spoilers in this post. That would spoil the fun. Saorise has the most beautiful blue eyes that I ever looked at.

So she is living in a boarding house of all young single women. She finds a job in a fancy department store. So she meets a nice young man of Italian heritage. They fall in love. Eventually they secretly get married at City Hall. So far, so good.

So Ellis receives a letter from her mother telling her that her sister (Rose) has died. So Ellis goes back to Ireland to grieve with her mother. So she hasn’t told anyone about the marriage. While in Ireland, she meets another nice young man.

So now you’re thinking does she stay in Ireland or go back to Brooklyn? I’m not telling. You’ll have to go see the movie to find out.

After the movie, we went out for dinner. I’ll do a post on the dinner later.

TTFN

Joe

 

 

The Revenant

January 23, 2016

RevenantTonight was date night. Paula and I went to see “The Revenant” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Handy. We saw it at the AMC on Crenshaw. We didn’t spring for the iMax version. Senior price was $10 something per ticket. That was a little pricey for our taste.

Okay, here’s the deal. Leo plays a mountain man who is out trapping for furs with a bunch of his buddies. I guess it is in Colorado or thereabouts. So the trappers get attacked by indians. Lots of bullets and arrows flying through the air.

Somehow our mountain man gets separated from the main group and gets himself attacked by one huge grizzly bear. And in the process, he gets himself mauled up pretty good. His pals leave him for dead. So any normal human being without antibiotics would have died from the wounds. No, not Leo, he survives. And now recovered somewhat he seeks revenge.

So he slowly makes his way back to the fort/outpost with the help of some friendly Indians along the way. He goes for a 2-3 minute swim in an ice cold rushing stream. By this time any normal person would have died from hypothermia.

Cinematography was excellent as well as the makeup. I read where Leo did five hours in the makeup artist’s chair to get ready for filming. Dialog was a bit difficult to understand. I kind of knew what was going down. Of course, the Indians’ dialogue was subtitled. So we knew what they were saying.

Good picture, but a bit on the long side. Picture ran 2.5 hours. Add in the 15 minutes of trailers and you get one (or two) sore butt. We were also annoyed by the young people that were sitting next to us. Person sitting next to Paula was texting through half the picture plus they were getting up crawling over us to head to the popcorn stand. Eventually the texter got up and left. Apparently, the movie was not her cup of tea. PITA

I’d give the movie 3.5 stars (out of 5). Theater ambiance was – 2 stars for allowing idiots to be texting.

Fanoos

Chicken Kabobs

We went to dinner at Fanoos Persian Restaurant in the same shopping center as the movie theater. Just a small cozy bistro. Not too pricey. I had a chicken/lamb kabob combo. Paula ordered an appetizer plate with all kinds of tasty stuff. Good service. Reasonable prices.

Got home at about 10:30. Mary soundly sleeping.

Good night all.

Joe

 

Star Wars – The Force Awakens

December 27, 2015

Okay, I paid my $6 (plus $1.35 convenience fee) and went to see the latest Star Wars movie. The theaters are packing them in. Our theater was full for the 4:30pm showing. Last night was date nite for Paula and me. Dinner at Taxco Mexican Restaurant after. 

 Okay, Paula liked it, but I wasn’t impressed. Decidedly Meh. For all of the big name talent, I expected more. I kind of expect more from George Lucas and JJ Abrams. I expected a sequel and all I got was a remake of episode I.[my error, Lucas didn’t work on SW-VII]

I had a couple of problems with it. First, it felt like a reimagining of the original Star Wars. Yet another “Death Star”, another evil “Darth Vader”, another “Rebel Alliance”. I mean it was different actors and different photography, but it felt the same.

Sure they brought the original characters out of retirement for a cameo. We’ve got Princess Leia now General Leia. We’ve got Han Solo and Chewbacca back in the same old Milennium Falcon. I was amazed they didn’t have to call AAA to get a jump start. The only cast member missing was Yoda. Sure we have a new heroine named Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), and a new hero named Finn (played by John Boyega)

So it’s been almost forty years since the original Star Wars hit the silver screen. You’d think that they’d be flying new space ships, by now. But no, same millennium falcon, same rebel fighters, same trooper uniforms. What Air Force is still flying the same aircraft 40 years on?

Even the new Death Star has a vulnerability just like the Death Star of episode I. It’s the capacitor. Wasn’t it Scotty in Star Trek complaining about the “flux capacitors”?

Spoiler Alert.

The last scene where they finally find Luke Skywalker was filmed on the Skellig Michael Island, off of the southwestern coast of Ireland. The idea was that Luke had fled to the far off reaches of the Galaxy to escape the reach of the empire. It would be hard to find a more remote looking place on this earth than the Skellig Islands. Paula and I got to see them from a distance during our tour of Ireland in 2012. It’s hard to believe there was a settlement of monks living here.

 The Skellig’s can only be accessed by boat and I believe you need special permission from the Irish government. The monastery on Skellig Michael Island was established by monks some time in the 8th century and operated until the 12th century. I would assume that George Lucas paid the Irish government a ton of money to use the site.

I give it 6 stars out of 10.