Posted tagged ‘Movies’

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.

 

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