Archive for the ‘Films’ category

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.

RIP – Omar Sharif

July 13, 2015

 

I read that movie star Omar Sharif passed away last week. He was 83. Here is the link to obit in the NY Times. Mr Sharif had an Oscar nomination for his role in “Lawrence of Arabia”.  Here’s the link to his entry on IMDB.

So in our household we are doing an Omar Sharif film festival this week starting with “Lawrence of Arabia” Here’s the link to the trailer. Watching this film first because it was available for free on Amazon Instant Prime. We’ve only watched the first half so far. The movie is 3 hours and 45 minutes long. Oh my aching butt. Thankfully, they don’t make movies that long any more. This is a film that belongs on the big screen. Our 32″ TV just doesn’t do it justice. Here’s the link to the trailer on IMDB.

Then we’re going to watch “Funny Girl” which we just got on DVD. Buying older films on DVD is as about as cheap as renting on Amazon Instant video, Here’s the link to the IMDB entry. Also, Paula is a big fan of Barbra Streisand

And finally, we will be watching “Doctor Zhivago”. Here’s the link to the IMDB entry. This movie is also on the long side at 3 hours and 16 minutes. DVD ordered.

Other movies on our watch list include all of the Minions movies. (Despicable Me, et al.). Maybe the kid in me is breaking out to go see the animated films. Minions rock!

TTFN

Joe

High Noon

January 30, 2014

Last night we watched the movie “High Noon” on Netflix. High Noon starred Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Gary Cooper plays a retiring Marshall who is faced with meeting a bad guy from his past who has been released from prison. So the story starts with Cooper’s character getting married to Grace Kelly’s character on a Sunday morning.

High Noon (1952) Poster

Then he is told by the railroad station guy that the bad guy is coming on the noon train to meet up with his old gang. Of course, none of the cowards in the town are brave enough to help. Half the town is in the saloon, the other half in the church. So it’s only Gary Cooper and his bride to take on the four bad guys.

You’d expect Gary Cooper to face the four in the street, head to head. But no, he’s brave but not stupid. He picks them off one by one in the alleys and barns. Lloyd Bridges plays the Deputy Marshall who also won’t help.

Also starring in the movie are Harry Morgan (from MASH and Dragnet fame), Lloyd Bridges and Lon Chaney. Gary Cooper won the Best Actor Oscar for the film in 1953.

So what got us watching High Noon? That’s the real story here. I was looking for “Western” music to play at our LA Harbor Lodge meetings. That’s “Western” music, not “Country and Western” music. That lead me to several TV Westerns and Movie Westerns. Some movie themes don’t work so well when done on a piano. They only work well for a full orchestra.

So that led me to the theme from “High Noon”, written by the great Dimitri Tiomkin and lyrics by Ned Washington. Tiomkin and Washington won Oscars for Best Song and Best Score. It works well for piano. So I downloaded the lead sheet score from Musicnotes.com.

Here are the lyrics from High Noon.

Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’,
On this, our wedding day.
Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’,
Wait; wait alone.
I do not know what fate awaits me.
I only know I must be brave.
For I must face a man who hates me,
Or lie a coward, a craven coward;
Or lie a coward in my grave. 

Oh, to be torn ‘twixt love an’ duty.
S’posin’ I lose my fair-haired beauty.
Look at that big hand move along,
Nearing high noon. 

He made a vow while in state prison:
Vowed it would be my life for his an’,
I’m not afraid of death but, oh, what shall I do,
If you leave me? 

Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’:
You made that promise as a bride.
Do not forsake me, oh, my darlin’.
Although you’re grievin’, don’t think of leavin’,
Now that I need you by my side. 

Wait along, (Wait along.)
Wait along.
Wait along. (Wait along, wait along, wait along, wait along.) 

I particularly like the second verse “He made a vow while in state prison, Vowed it would be my life or his an”.

Finally, here is the link to the theme “High Noon” sung by Tex Ritter.

To the members of LA Harbor Lodge, you will be hearing “High Noon” at our next meetings.

TTFN,

Joe
 

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