Archive for the ‘Movies’ category

1 Second a Day for February 2018

February 28, 2018

The Post

February 9, 2018

The-PostDate night tonight. We went out to see “The Post“. This is a film about the Washington Post’s handling what became known as the “Pentagon Papers”. The movie stars Meryl Streep as Kay Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post.

Anytime I see Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks I expect that I will be seeing great performances. I was not disappointed this evening.

The movie is set in Washington in 1971. Daniel Ellsburg had stolen the pages that documented failures of the Vietnam war in a document that became known as the “Pentagon Papers“.  I have provided a link to the Wiki pages on the Pentagon Papers. The Nixon White house tried to block the publication but the case was heard by the US Supreme Court. And the rest is history.

Post 2

I loved the set decoration on the film. Where’d they get all of the dial telephones and the pay phones. I felt like I was going back in time. One really gets the feeling that you are in newspaper news room. Presses and Linotype machines too. Reminds me of a tour I took of the Boston Globe facility on Morrisey Blvd. in Dorchester when I was in high school. Only thing missing was the smell of machine oil and ink.

The film ends with the break-in of the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington.

Stopped at KFC for some chicken take-out.

Good film. Go see it.

Joe

Darkest Hour

January 28, 2018

Darkest HourLast week we went to see the movie “Darkest Hour” starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Of course, we had to get a sitter for Mary. It was good to get out with her.

I enjoyed the film, but the theater had the audio turned up a bit too loud. That made the audio a bit mushy and you combine that with the English accents one gets trouble understanding what’s going on. It seems that a lot of theaters run the audio loud on films (in this case it was an AMC theater.)

The timeline for the story is May 1940 starting with the sacking of Neville Chamberlain.  And carrying Great Britain through the days of exploring the idea of a negotiated peace with Hitler.

I was subliminally comparing the portrayal of Churchill in this film with the performance of John Lithgow as Churchill in the Netflix series “The Crown”. Both were fine performances but I kind of liked Lithgow just a bit more.

Interesting to read IMDB on the costuming and makeup for Gary Oldman. Another bit of trivia, film had a budget of $30,000 for cigars. They used about 400 cigars during the filming. Gary Oldman got nicotine poisoning from smoking the cigars.

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Anthony McCarten. Indeed, Anthony McCarten also wrote the screen play. I’ve just started reading the book. I think I would have been better off if I had read the book first. I wouldn’t have felt so confused at times during the film.

Oh, for fine dining, we ate at Denny’s. The film was about 2 hours long, so all the restaurants hadn’t closed for the evening when we pulled in.

Here’s a bit of information that I learned. The restaurants on the west side of Western Ave are in Rancho Palos Verdes. And as such, they are required to close at 9:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the Denny’s that we went to is open all night.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

December 28, 2017

Wednesday was date night here. We arranged for Dawn to come and watch Mary while Paula and I went out to see the latest Star Wars movie. Wednesday is bargain night at the Terraces Starlight Cinema. Tickets were $6 each for seniors. Indeed, I paid more for a medium bag of popcorn and a bottle of water than the tickets.

I got the tickets online which added a $2.50 convenience fee. I was concerned that maybe there was still a crowd wanting to see “Star Wars The Last Jedi“. Turn out that the theater wasn’t all that crowded. I could have easily bought the tickets at the theater and saved myself $2.50.

We had thought about going out to dinner after the show, but we struck out on three different restaurants that we tried. Everyone closed at either 9pm or 9:30pm. So we had to settle for the In’n Out drive through. I got a double-double and Paula got a protein style, double meet and one order of fries to share. Went home paid Dawn and opened a couple of beers. Paula had a Molsen and I had a Guinness. It seems that nobody goes out to eat late on a Wednesday.

Now to the movie. We both liked it pretty much. It is very fast paced and one can get a bit lost on all of the subplots that are going down. If you haven’t seen it, I would suggest doing a little research before you go to see the film to get an idea of what’s going on.

This episode introduces a couple of new characters and strengthens a couple of characters introduced in the previous episode. There were also a couple of new baddies to hiss at (to replace Darth Vader). Here’s a list from People Magazine.

There are many new critters that are introduced in this episode. The LA Times wrote an excellent story on their development. Click HERE. I particularly liked the puffin like birds (called “porgs”).

So the previous episode (“The Force Awakens”) introduced the location named “Ahch-To”, shot on location on the island “Skellig Michael” off of the coast of Ireland in County Kerry. This is the location that Luke Skywalker goes to get away from it all. an, you can’t get more away from it all than Skellig Michael, And Rey returns to get him back involved.

Here is a story about the many sites for filming Star Wars films. Click here.

I was saddened to see Carrie Fisher in her last performance on the Star Wars franchise. Rest in Peace.carrie-fisher-star-wars-celebration-1068x595

Dunkirk

July 27, 2017

Wednesday this week was date night. We called Dawn to come over and stay with Mary while Paula and I went to the movies. This time we went to see “Dunkirk”. This is the story of the Dunkirk Evacuation in June 1940 where the Allied forces are evacuated from the shores of Dunkirk across the British Channel.

This was a bit easier on the wallet. The theater is close by and Wednesday is $5 for Seniors Day (Woo Hoo). We went out to eat at a new Korean BBQ joint that opened up recently (Also nearby). More on the Korean BBQ later.

The movie is directed by Christopher Nolan and tells the story of Dunkirk from three points of view. Air, Sea and Land. For the most part, the actors were all unknowns with the exception of Kenneth Branagh who played the role of a British Navy Commander who was supervising the evacuation from a pier on the Dunkirk beach.

The constant switching of the main threads in the movie made it a challenge to follow at times. I also had a little trouble understanding the British accents. I was also confused due to the change from day time to night time depending on which thread was up on the screen.

Overall, I enjoyed the film. You really felt sorry for the soldiers who were waiting to be evacuated. Man did they look miserable. So close but so far.

** Spoiler Alert **

At the end of the film the last fighter pilot runs out of petrol (as the Brits would call it). It seemed like he was gliding for 10-15 minutes after his engine conked out. Why’d he land on the beach? He would be sure to be captured? Why not ditch next to one of the boats. Hated to see that beautiful airplane burn.

Okay, the film running time was 1 hr 45 min. Which meant that with a posted start time of 4:40 pm, it was still daylight outside when we came out of the theater. That meant we had time to have dinner, without running up the clock on the sitter.

Dinner

We ate at a new Korean BBQ joint on Western next to the US Bank. The name of the place is 3BBQ. I got the chicken rice bowl and Paula got a beef wrap and we got some appetizers to share.

Moonlight

March 10, 2017

MoonlightSo last night was date night again. Be still my beating heart. Our good friend Tamer agreed to watch Mary while Paula and I went to a movie.

So we went to the Regal Promenade Cinema at the Peninsula Center in RPV. Normally, I wouldn’t mention the theater, but this one is special. It has large, extra comfy king sized recliners for theater seating. Also, it had extra leg room. It’s sorta, kinda like the difference between coach and first-class. Once you’ve been in first-class, you don’t want to sit in coach. Plus, we had just about the entire theater to ourselves. Only one other couple in the theater.

Cost of food was outrageous. Paid $5.00 for a bottle of water. They always try to upsell to the larger size for $0.30 more. Next time the bottle of water goes in Paula’s purse.

So the movie that we decided to go to see was “Moonlight” starring Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp and Naomie Harris. Directed by Barry Jenkins. The film won three Oscars including Best Picture. The film was just getting to its end of run in theaters. It’s available on DVD or streaming video. Definitely worth watching.

The picture tells the story of a young black boy named Chiron in a ghetto neighborhood in Miami. Chiron is struggling with surviving in the ghetto. He has no father and his mother is a crack addict. He gets bullied at school. Juan comes along and takes Chiron under his wing and together with his girl friend/partner take him under their wing and become surrogate parents.

Chiron is played by three different actors for three different stage in his life. All well done.

It was a little bit difficult at times to follow the ghetto dialect. I suppose subtitles would have been helpful. If I was watching on streaming video I would have turned on the subtitles.

Excellent movie, but I think that La La Land should have received the Best Picture nod. But the Academy didn’t ask me for my vote. Though Naomi Harris and Mahersala Ali sure deserved Best Supporting Actor. Excellent performances all around.

The film is based on the unproduced play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney.

So to finish off the evening we stopped at KFC to get a bucket of chicken

La La Land

February 26, 2017

Date night last night. We arranged for a sitter for Mary. A night out can get expensive. We spent $60 for the sitter, $30 for movie tickets and $35 for take out Chinese food.

So we went to see La La Land. This film has been nominated for 14 Oscars. We wanted to see this film before the Oscars were telecast this evening. The film stars Ryan Gossling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring young actress. The movie tells the story of Mia’s accidental Meeting of Sebastian. They fall in love then sing and dance around LA. They seem to have found some of the most photogenic spots in Hollywood and Los Angeles.

So you think that is a boy meets girl, then they get married and live happily ever after. Think again. They discover that they have competing visions of what their future life is going to be like. Sebastian gets an offer to tour with a jazz band. Mia doesn’t/can’t want to go on tour with him and disrupt her vision of acting.  I won’t say more, because that would give away the plot.

So the music and dancing are superb. Ryan Gosling did an outstanding job on jazz piano. According to IMDB, no CGi or hand doubles were used in the performance. The outdoor dance scenes are done at some of the most outstanding LA locales. I think that I will add a couple of them to visit. One scene was at the Griffith Observatory, beautiful view. Read the Wiki list for the many films that used this beautiful locale. I told Paula that I was adding this to my bucket list. Need to drive up there one of these days. Of course, I think I’ll skip visiting the location for the opening scene on the LA freeways. Been there, done that.


I told Paula that some day I would get a nice convertable like the one the Sebastian drove in the film. She says, you going to tell your dermatologist? Maybe some day. Maybe I’ll have the top down at night.

After the movie was over, we stopped to pickup Chinese takeout at Peter’s Place Chinese Restaurant in Torrance. We would have loved to sit and linger over dinner, but the clock was ticking on our “baby sitter”. Peter’s Place is a small family run Chinese restaurant. It came recommended by my daughter-in-law Theresa. The restaurant was at capacity. Good sign on a Saturday night. So we ordered Kung Pao Chicken, Shrimp with Cashews, and a Noodle dish. All very tasty. The Kung Pao Chicken  had lots of those little hot peppers. My goodness, they will set you free. 

So after 20 minutes we left with our bag of food and headed home. We paid our sitter and sat down for a fine Chinese dinner.