Posted tagged ‘Movies’

Crazy Rich Asians

September 20, 2018

Crazy Rich AsiansWednesday night was date night again. This time Paula and I decided to go see “Crazy Rich Asians” still playing at the AMC in Torrance. It stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding. Been meaning to go see this movie but didn’t quite have the time or baby sitter availability.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.

This is a story of a young Chinese woman, Rachel Wu (played by Constance Wu) who travels with her boy friend from New York City to Singapore to meet his family. So you get the impression from the get-go that his family is very rich

He is in Singapore to be best man at his best friend’s wedding. They travel first class all the way.

The story begins with a scene where Eleanor Young travels with her three children to the Calthorpe Hotel in London where she is told that she doesn’t have a reservation (for obvious racist reasons). She is turned out in the rain to call her husband who proceeds to buy the hotel. She returns triumphantly to have the manager clean up the mud on the floor.

It was a fun movie. There was lots of pomp and rich trappings displayed. Major friction between son and mother. Go see the IMDB page for the full plot synopsis.

It was nice to get out without Mary. We stopped for KFC chicken on the way home.

Isle of Dogs

May 2, 2018

Last night was date night again. Our friend Roberta was visiting from San Diego and promised that she would sit with Mary so that Paula and I could have a night out at the movies. So Tuesday is $5 night at AMC theaters and Mother in law sitting free. You can’t do better than that. We paid more for the popcorn and bottle of spring water than we did for the tickets.

Isle of DogsSo we decided to go see “The Isle of Dogs“. This is a Japanese animated film that tells the story of dogs that had been exiled from the city of Megasaki to trash island. So, apparently Mayor Kobayashi is a cat lover and has ordered all dogs exiled to Trash Island.

The film tells the story of a boy who is search of his dog. So the boy (Atari) is aided by a pack of five dogs that together run into many obstacles along the way.

So the people spoke Japanese with subtitles, but the dogs all spoke English.

The film is PG13 for some violent images. Just because the film is animated, doesn’t mean it is suitable for children.

I was unimpressed. I would give it about 2 out of 5 stars. I would have been upset if we had paid full price. It was mercifully short (1 hr 41 min.)

chops and salsaDinner was at Taxco Mexican restaurant just around the corner at Western and Capitol. Excellent food as always. We both had Margaritas to wash down the food. Very tasty.

They had an excellent spicy salsa to go with the chips.

 

Staying Alive…

May 11, 2017

Last night was date night. So we saw an ad for “Saturday Night Fever” appearing on one night at several local theaters in LA. A show at 2pm and 7pm. So Paula calls up one of our baby sitters for Mom and we head out to  see the film that we last saw forty years ago. There weren’t many people in our theater. Probably not more than 10 people. No senior discount for this film. We had to pay full price. Here’s the link to the trailer.

This director’s cut of the movie was staged by a company called Fathom Events. The presentation at the beginning of the film alluded to other films that would be presented in the coming months. Typically the presentations would be on a Wednesday at 2pm and 7pm. Not sure how this is going to succeed with so few folks in the seats.

Here is a list of other classic movies coming to the big screen in the coming weeks. 

  • Smokey and the Bandit
  • Godfather
  • Some Like it Hot
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • The Fifth Element

What a joy to watch. We had forgotten so much about this film. The film starts with John Travolta’s character Tony walking down the street in Brooklyn wearing a pair of red shoes and carrying a can of paint. Strutting  to the Bee Gee’s great sound track. So good to see it on the big screen with the sound of a full movie house audio system.

There were parts of the movie that we had completely forgotten, like the 1963 Chevy Impala. The boys took turns using the back seat to have sex with whomever they managed to hook up with. They were each allotted 20 minutes after which the boys would come banging on the windows. Hurry up, they say. IMDB says that this was the first time that the phrase “Blow Job” was used in a motion picture.

We begin to see Tony’s bleak life with his hope of escaping by way of the disco dancing contests. Nice Italian family with a picture of the elder son (Father Frank) on the mantle. Then Father Frank comes home to tell everyone that he is leaving the priesthood. Oh no, not that. So then Frank goes out with boys sans roman collar. One of Tony’s pals asks Father Frank if he can ask the Pope for a dispensation so that his girlfriend could get an abortion. Father Frank says not gonna happen.

Oh and the fashions. Loved the white disco suit and the red shoes.

This was John Travolta’s third film, but it was certainly his breakout role.

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.

Hidden Figures

January 31, 2017

hidden-figuresAnother night out without Mary. We went to see the movie “Hidden  Figures” starring Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, and Janell Monae. We were going to see La La Land but the showtimes didn’t work for us.

This is the true story of three black women who worked for NASA in the early sixties as “computers”. This was what NASA called the women whose job it was to do the complex calculations that the engineers needed to vet their work.

One particularly amusing scene when the NASA manager asked Katherine Johnson what was taking her so long on her breaks. It turns out the only “colored” ladies room was on the other side of the campus. She had to run across the campus to do her business. They show Al Harrison (played by Costner) taking the sign down with a sledge hammer. No more colored bathrooms. Problem solved.

The movie is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly. Great film. Nominated for several awards including Oscars for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Katherine Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 by President Barack Obama.

Rogue One

January 24, 2017

So last night, Paula and I finally got out to see a movie. We left Mary home alone sleeping soundly. We went to an early showing of “Rogue One” at the Terraces Cinema. Can’t beat the price. $6 a person with senior discount.  We figured that we would see the show, then pick up a bucket of chicken takeout for dinner.  Got the chicken at “El Pollo Loco“. Chicken was kind of mediocre, but Mary really likes the chicken Tortilla soup. Next time we’ll probably go to KFC.

So the Oscar nominations came out this morning. Rogue One was nominated for sound mixing and special effects. No big surprise there. It’s a good movie but not best actor or best director material. 

There’s lots of action. Lot’s of shooting and fighter shots. So, why no love interest for Jyn? No time for the rebels to have sex? 

So the lead characters are Jyn Eros played by Felicity Jones and Cassian Andor played by Diego Luna. Other sorta well known actors among the cast, Jimmy Smits and Forest Whitaker. Of course, Carrie Fisher was in this one too, although only for a brief appearance at the end of the film.

Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) also made a brief appearance.  Also, cameo for R2D2 and C3PO. Can’t have a Star Wars film without them.

So I was struggling to figure out where this film fits in the whole Star Wars saga. Best I can tell that it is a time just leading up to the original Star Wars, heretofore known as Episode IV. Rogue One ends with the Death Star plans getting uploaded to the Rebel Alliance.

It’s a good film, but as always I have some issues (warning spoilers):

  • Why don’t the empire troopers have better personal armor? Those lasers seem to cut through the armor like it was butter. And while I’m on the subject, why are all the troopers dressed in white? Seems to make them a real good target. Only thing better would be a Red Bull’s eye on their backs.
  • When Jin finally gets the storage device, she climbs up to the top of the tower. She then plugs it in to a storage console that tells her to adjust the antenna. So she heads on out to the end of a walkway and adjusts the antenna. Then the walkway get hit by a laser shot. It seems that the antenna is destroyed. But then she goes back and successfully uploads the Death Star plans to the Rebel ship. How’d she do that without an antenna?
  • Okay, I’m an engineer by training so I know a lot about physics. So I see this portal gateway above the planet Scarif. There is supposedly a force field protecting the surface of the planet. How’s that work exactly? How do the get power to run the force field? It violates all known rules of planetary physics. I know joe, get over it. It’s fiction.

Next week, I think we will try to get to see “La La Land“. Stay tuned.

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