Archive for the ‘Reviews’ category

Good Boys

August 22, 2019

Good BoysSo last night was date night again. It’s a lot easier to do date night now that we have Mary living in a home in Long Beach. So we try to do date night on either Tuesday or Wednesday because one of our local theaters has $5 nights. $5 or everyone on Tuesday and $5 for seniors on Wednesday. I paid more for my popcorn than the tickets.

So last night we saw “Good Boys“. It is the story of three boys that were 12 years of age (Tweens). The three boys had been invited to a party where there would be boys AND girls in attendance. They were concerned that they didn’t know how to kiss a girl.

So the three lads skip school and go about trying to find out how the job gets done. So they they try to eaves drop on two teen age girl that live next door. They can’t quite see over the wooden fence, so they borrow their Dad’s drone to spy on the girls. However, the girls capture the drone. The boys find themselves deeper and deeper into trouble as they try to recapture the drone.

The film starred Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon. They did a great job. I expect that we will be seeing more of these lads.

So the movie is rated R for language (a lot of F words), sexual innuendo and alcohol consumed by tweens. It was fun to see the faces on the boys when they tasted beer for the first time. Perhaps you might remember what beer tasted like when you were as young as these boys. My mother or the good nuns would wash my mouth out with soap if they ever heard me using one of those F words.

I had to stretch my imagination to believe that 12 year old boys would be doing this sort of stuff. When I was in 7th grade, I certainly wouldn’t be doing these things.

We had hoped to see “Once upon a Time in …Hollywood” but timing wasn’t right. We’ll try to see that film in the next week or so. That film runs about 2 hours and 45 minutes. That meant that once we were done watching the film many of the restaurants we might want to go to would be closed. So “Good Boys” runs about an hour and a half.

TaxcoWe had dinner at Taxco Mexican restaurant in San Pedro. Taxco recently moved from their location at the corner of Western and Capitol to the Albertson’s plaza down the street on Western. Food was good, but they don’t have their new liquor license yet, so no margaritas for us. Maybe next time for the margaritas.

Lion King (2019)

July 24, 2019

lion kingTuesday again was date night. We went to see the new Lion King. Prices at the Terraces Cinema is $5 on Tuesday. That’s hard to pass up. Usually, the films that we see on Tuesdays are not that well attended. Yesterday (5pm show) was different from normal Tuesday’s. It was at about 50-60% capacity.

The theater was starting a new play about every hour. This week is early in its run. Film length is about 2 hours.

My first comment is “WOW!!!”. How’d they do that. All of the images of the animals looked really, really real. You can’t tell that this is CGI other than the fact that the animals are talking.

So one of the big things about this film was that Beyonce appears in it. All I can say about that is “Meh!”. I am not a huge Beyonce fan.

The story is more or less the same as the original. Young Simba is tricked by his evil Uncle Scar into believing that he (Simba) caused his father’s death. Simba grows up and understands his responsibilities as an adult. Simba returns to the pride, and takes his proper place.

So the film was rated PG for violence. Probably not too good for the little ones. Surprisingly enough, none of the animals ever bleed. Some of them die but they don’t bleed while that was happening. This is the magic of PG. If there was blood, it certainly would be PG13. We will need to be thinking about what to see next Tuesday.

I downloaded the sound track from iTunes. It’s kind of hard to figure out which of the albums is from the 2019 version. There’s a Broadway version and a 90’s version. It’s kind of hard to tell them apart.

We had a good time. Long line at the refreshment stand. Just as well, I don’t need any popcorn. We went out to “Marie Calender’s” for a light dinner. Very tasty

Call the Midwife

July 21, 2019

Call the MidwifeI just finished “Call the Midwife” by Jennifer Worth. “Call the Midwife” was the basis for a PBS series of the same name. This book is actually book one of a three book series, but stands alone pretty well on its own.

The books tells the stories of midwifes, nursing and medicine in the East End of London during the 1950’s.

Paula and I had watched the PBS TV series a few years ago and our friend Roberta recommended that we read the books that were the basis for the TV series.

Indeed, the TV show is still going strong with season 8 just released. I just checked the PBS web site and found that Call the Midwife is on season 9. Still going strong. Click here to see the PBS site for Call the Midwife.

I really enjoyed reading book one and I will probably go back and read books two and three when I get around to it.

One of the comments in the book is about family size. It says that women in the East End typically had about 10 children over their child bearing years. Indeed, I learned later in life that my father had about 10 siblings. I only knew three of his brothers who we saw often when we were growing up. Many of his siblings had never reached adulthood, having died of a variety of diseases that are preventable in this day and age.

The book probably goes deeper into the lives of her patients in the East End. It seems to me that there are stories in the book are a bit too much for television.

Where the Crawdads Sing

July 11, 2019

crawdadsWhere the Crawdads Sing” is a both a love story and a murder mystery. It is the story of Kya, the marsh girl, who lives deep in the wetlands of North Carolina. The book has been on the Amazon best seller list for 43 weeks now.

Kya’s story starts with her mother leaving her to be alone with her drunken father. She learns to adapt to the marsh lands of North Carolina. Eventually her father leaves her, never to be heard from again. The story follows her learning to adapt and survive in her surroundings.

The story jumps between Kya adapting to her situation in the wetlands of NC and a murder investigation of a young man who was romantically involved with Kya. Did Kya do it? You will have to read it to find out.

I would write more but that would give away too much. This is a great story. Definitely worth reading.

Toy Story 4

June 22, 2019

This weekend my wife and I are caring for our two grand-children while Mom and Dad take a much needed R&R trip to Hawaii. So yesterday, we decided to take the kids to see Toy Story 4, which had just opened. Click here for the trailer.

We saw the movie at a Regal cinema in Ranch Palos Verdes that has wide, comfy seats that recline. Plenty of leg room. One of may favorite cinemas.

I was wondering to myself how did the writers and producers manage to come up with yet another “Toy Story” episode. I am also am wondering if they will manage to come up with a “Toy Story 5”.

So Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Annie Potts are once again astounding in their voicing of their characters.

So Tom Hanks again plays Woody, Tim Allen plays Buzz Light-Year and Annie Potts plays Bo Peep. So the theme is similar but different. Woody and Buzz are once again facing being left behind by children growing up and moving away. And they get right into action to save the situation.

The adults in the room liked it and the kids did too. Definitely worth going to see it.

Booksmart

May 31, 2019

On Tuesday, Paula and I went to see the movie “Booksmart” based on several positive reviews. Also, we went out on Tuesday because the tickets were quite cheap ($5 per person for seniors). Can’t beat that with a stick. I know that Tuesdays are not a big night for going to the movies. But there were only three people (us included) that were in that theater.

The story is about two very smart high school seniors who decided that they had spent way too much time studying and that it was high time that they started to celebrate with the rest of their class.

So they manage to make their way to a party going on at someone’s fancy house where no parents were in attendance. There was much drinking and carrying on. By carrying on, I mean sex. Everyone was taking their clothes off. Rated R,  don’t you know.  It wouldn’t take much to make it X rated. So what parent on this good earth lets their teen age offspring throw a huge party and provide all the booze and drugs anyone might need.

I just didn’t like the movie. I’d give it one star out of 10. I’d give it zero if I could. What reasonable adult lets their teen age offspring have parties. Kids who do this, could end up very much dead.

So the movie started at 5 pm and done by 7 pm. Gave us time to go out for dinner. We went to “Burger City Grill” in Lomita. Excellent burgers with a glass of IPA to wash it down. I think that we will be making it a thing  to do movies on Tuesday evening from now on.

The Black Thorn

April 18, 2019

41lCC6CPC2LJust finished reading “The Black Thorn”  by John Desmond. John Desmond is also a history teacher at Billerica Memorial High School. Our son, Mike, had him for an AP History course back in the late 90’s.

This is the story of Eamonn McDonagh, a Irish tenant farmer in the 1850’s who struggles against his English landlord in his town. He creates a secret society called the “Black Thorn” that proceeds to fight the oppression by the English.

He son, Joseph, witnesses the death of his father at the hands of the English. Joseph leaves Ireland in a “Coffin Ship” bound to America. Then the story tells of Joseph’s life in a coal mine and then in infantry of the Civil War.

Then Joseph comes back from the war to the coal mine. He then proceeds to form a union to fight the unfair labor practices of the mine owners.

Then there is violence in the murder of one of the mine owners. Joseph and his men get the blame and go to trial.

If I said anymore it would be a spoiler alert.

The story is historical fiction. The characters are not real but are based on real events in the Irish potato famine and the civil war.

Great read. I learned much about the civil war and other events of the time. I could hardly put it down. It took me only about five days to read cover to cover.