Archive for the ‘Movies’ category

Onward

March 11, 2020

On Monday, Paula was working at the Assistance League Gift shop and I decided that I would go to the movies rather than sit at home surfing the web. So we discussed what movies that she would like to see when we go to the movies together. So I decided to see Disney/Pixar’s new movie called “Onward” Rated PG.

Weekday matinees are dirt cheap. I paid more for popcorn than I paid for my ticket. Monday’s price was $6. The theater was pretty much empty. There was a young family with two kids. First kid was about 3 and the second was a baby in a stroller.

The film runs about 1 hr 40 minutes which is about the maximum a child can manage. The story is about two teen age elves go on a quest to see if there is any more magic in the world.

So it is the 16th birthday for the younger elf named Ian. He is given a magic wand for his birthday that will allow him to regenerate his dead father for 24 hours. So the wand only works for regenerating his father’s lower half (from his waist to his shoes).

So Ian, his older brother Barley and the half-father go on a quest to find the magic jewel that will complete the magic that will allow Ian to meet with his father. Barley owns a beat up old van that has seen its better days.

Okay, that’s enough. If I wrote any more it would give away any of the film’s surprises. This wasn’t the best Pixar film that I’ve ever seen. I would give it about a 4 stars (out of 10). But, it was worth $6.

I will probably do this again next week when Paula is busy at Assistance League. Maybe I’ll go see one of the scary pics like perhaps the Invisible Man.

So as always, the links that I’ve provided take you to IMDB.COM

Call of the Wild

March 5, 2020

We went to the movies on Tuesday afternoon. Weekday matinees are dirt cheap. We paid more for popcorn and drinks than we did for tix. $5 per person.

So we saw “Call of the Wild” starring Harrison Ford and the dog. So the dog is an animatronic creation of CGI and a good one at that. It is the story of the dog’s travels from sunny California as a pet dog to the wild Alaskan frontier.

I read the book a few weeks ago after I saw the advert at the theater. The book is in the voice of the dog (named Buck). How are you going to do that in the film. They just did voice-over. Click here to order the book. Or borrow for free from your local library. (Libraries are now lending ebooks that you can view on the Kindle app.)

So the film was pretty faithful to the book. You of a certain age probably read the book in high school, right? It’s worth going back for a re-read. Read the book before you see the film.

The movie had some really great visuals of the Alaskan country side. We liked it. Buck was pretty cool.

Little Women

January 31, 2020

Little WomenLast night Paula and I went to see “Little Women” at the movies. We went to the 5 pm show so that restaurants might be open after the show. Besides, 10 pm is way past my bedtime.

It would have been helpful if sometime in my life I had managed to read the novel Little Women. It would help me understand all the characters what they were about.

So in case you haven’t ever read Little Women, let me explain some of the basics. The story is about four young ladies in the March family living with their mother in Concord, MA. Their father is off acting as a pastor in the civil war. (I didn’t quite understand this until he appears late in the film.)

The story is told by Jo March (played by Saoirse Ronan). She tells the story as she writes her novel about she and her sisters and how the are determined to live their life on their own terms.

So the four sisters (Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth) are living with their mother (played by Laura Dern. They live in a small brown house in Concord, MA. The house still exists and is available for tours. I had some trouble keeping the four girls straight. Reading the book beforehand would have helped immensely. One last thing, if you haven’t read the book and aren’t intending to, go read the synopsis in Wikipedia.

So our goal is to try to see all of the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the Oscars are awarded. So we’ve seen 1917, The Irishman (actually Paula only saw half, I saw the whole thing on Netflix), The Two Popes (once again Paula didn’t care about seeing this one, I’ve seen it on Netflix spread over a couple of days), Ford v Ferrari. Probably won’t see the Joker or Jo Jo Rabbit. We will probably see “Once upon a Time in Hollywood” next week on Amazon Prime.

In other upcoming movies there is “The Call of the Wild” starring Harrison Ford due for release on Feb 21. Paula and I are interested in seeing this. I’ve even started reading the book. This is based on the book of the same name by Jack London. The promo banner at the theater kind of had us hooked.

Call of the Wild

 

1917

January 25, 2020
1917 (2019)

Thursday was movie night. This time we went to see “1917“. 1917 is the story of two British soldiers in WW1 who have been given the task of delivering a message to another infantry unit across enemy territory. The message is intended to save the unit from an enemy trap.

The film was written and directed by Sam Mendes.

There are two things that stand out for this film.

First is the set design. Truly impressive. One really believes that you are in the trenches of WW1.

Second thing (or maybe first) is the cinematography. The movie is shot using a technique called “One Shot”. You never lose sight of the two main characters as they make their dangerous journey across the no mans’ land to get to their final destination. In order to do the one shot they had to rehearse for about six months before they could begin shooting. Click here for a Wikipedia entry on One Shot Cinematography

The film has been nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Directing. We saw the movie at The Terraces in Rancho Palos Verdes. Tickets on Tuesday and Thursday are $5. We went to a 5 pm showing so that we could go out to dinner after the show. It seems that most of the restaurants in this area close at 9 pm on weeknights. Go see this film, it’s worth it.

Ford vs Ferrari

December 28, 2019

We got back to going to the movies last night. We went to see “Ford vs Ferrari” starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale and Jon Bernthal.

This is the story of Ford Motor Co. working on challenging Ferrari to win the Grand Prix motor race at .Le Mans.

Matt Damon plays Carroll Shelby as the designer of the race car and Christian Bale plays Ken Miles the driver of the car.

It depicts the struggles between Lee Iacocca and Henry Ford and Caroll Shelby. There is a lot of car racing action, crashes and spin-outs.

Film runs about 2.5 hours. A little bit long but a fun movie to watch.

We saw the film at the Regal Promenade Cinema in Rolling Hills Estates. This theater has wide seats that recline. Very comfy. Took us a while to get up to Rolling Hills Estates but the comfort was worth it.

I would give the film a thumbs up.

Only downside was it started at 6:15 pm and ran 2.5 hours. Early closing times are typical here for a week night. Which meant that most of the restaurants we were interested in for going for a bite after the film were closing or already closed. So, we had to settle for Coco’s. They were shutting off the lights as we were getting ready to leave.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

November 28, 2019

Last night we went to the movies to see “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks.

I should say this right at the beginning. This is not a movie to take the kids to see. It is rated PG and tells the story of relationship problems

This is the story of a writer for Esquire magazine who was tasked with writing an article on Fred Rogers for the magazine. The writer’s name was Lloyd (played by Matthew Rhys). Lloyd was having problems with his father. Lloyd was not happy about the assignment.

So Lloyd tries to blow off Fred Rogers attempts to help him get right with his Dad. Mr Rogers persists and manages to get Lloyd right with his father.

So Tom Hanks nails the performance of Fred Rogers. All the mannerisms and affects are there. By the end of the movie, one really believes that you are watching Fred Rogers.

We went to an early show so that we could have time to go out to dinner after the show. Wednesday’s are usually $5 for Seniors, but not last night. Apparently producer has rule about no bargain nights on first two weeks of theater run. So price was $10.

Dinner at a small Chinese restaurant in San Pedro. Hot and Sour Soup, Moo Shi Chicken and Beef Chow Mein. Now we have leftovers for this evening. We were the only people dining in the restaurant, though lots of take out orders getting picked up.

Downton Abbey

September 25, 2019

Downton AbbeyLast night we went to see the movie “Downton Abbey“. Tuesday is a good night to go to the movies around here. Regal Cinema has $5 tickets for everyone on Tuesday night. The ticket taker wanted to see inside Paula’s purse looking for contraband. They didn’t see the bulge in my pocket that had a bottle of spring water.

Still not very crowded even at those prices. So this is the continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside.

So we have been waiting to see this for a long time once we heard it was being developed. If you followed the series that was broadcast on PBS from 2010-2015, you will love the movie. If you didn’t follow the series you might still enjoy but maybe not.

All the characters on the TV series made it into the movie. I read somewhere that producer Julian Fellowes struggled to get all of cast together for the shoot because of many conflicting schedules of cast mates.

So the story line is that the King and Queen are coming for a visit to Downton. First everyone had to get the joint scrubbed clean, then the royal maids, cooks and butlers arrive to take over the operation for the visit. The regular Downton crew are none to happy to pushed aside for their day in the glory of the visit. Much trickery is planned to take back the staff’s operation of Downton.

Downgon Abbey mansion

So the movie ends after all the royals go home. The movie closes with a long shot of the mansion in the darkening skies. The Crawleys and their staff live happy ever after. So I was wondering, how did they light the castle (remember this is circa 1927) with out any flood lights showing?

So, one of my problems that I had was understanding all of the dialog. I have hearing problems and I wear hearing aids. The hearing aids didn’t seem to help, perhaps even made it worse. The dialog often sounded muddled. British accents didn’t help any in that regard. I have a hearing test scheduled in October

I hear that the Downton Abbey mansion has become quite a tourist draw for Brits and Americans. They apparently do tours. If you were a fan of the PBS series, go see the movie. You’ll enjoy it.

After the movie, we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in San Pedro. Taxco still hasn’t managed to get their liquor license back after they moved a few months ago. No matter, the food was excellent.