Vegetarians – I just don’t get it!

Tony had an old college friend in town and he was joined by some other friends and we had a great time with them reflecting on the good old days. Tony’s friend’s name is Joe and he was a lot of fun.

While we were enjoying a wonderful seafood fest at Captain Charlie’s Reef Grill Joe raved on about how great the food was. I said to him – “next time you are in town bring your wife with you and we’ll bring her here.” He said something like oh no she would never like this place because she is a vegetarian. I asked what that means and he replied: “She doesn’t eat beef, pork, chicken or fish. However, she loves French Onion Soup.”

In a moment of clarity I said to Joe – so help me understand this. She won’t eat any of the things we enjoy because she doesn’t want to kill cows, pigs, chickens or fish but she has no whims about murdering thousands of Frenchies?”

I guess I don’t really understand the vegetarian thing or the contents in French Onion soup either!

James Bond: Spectre – Of all the Bond Films Marty and I rate Spectre a 4 out of 10. As a general interest movie we give it a very weak B Minus!

Christ said “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?” It could be asked what does a Director benefit if he takes two hours and thirty minutes to present what could have been more entertaining in one hour and fifty five?

Don’t get me wrong there were some great scenes in Spectre: The first time we saw the custom Aston Martin built for this film and then watching Bond race it through the streets of Rome. The dramatic opening scene in Mexico City where Bond saves the locals from a terrible bombing and narrowly escapes with his life. The times he turns and firing on instinct alone saves the innocent damsel, then breathing heavily on her neck he then must bed for her satisfaction – is anybody still believing that? We enjoyed the great panoramas of London, Rome and other exotic parts of the world where Bond travels – even though he has been deactivated from MI-6 and presumably had his “Double O” credit line suspended. The classic scenes on the train ride that I thought was going to last forever – the boredom of which was broken by Bond and his latest “Bond Girl” dressing for dinner and undressing for? Action and adventure – of course. Like all the Bond films there were some very, very good action sequences. I would guess they consumed thirty of the 150 minutes this film ran.

On the other hand for there to be a hero there has to be a villain. Christopher Waltz plays the evil “Spectre” who almost brings civilization to its knees. Yet when I saw him on the screen and heard his wispy voice I thought to myself – if we come across this guy in the parking lot and he gives me one of his threatening lines I would beat his skinny ass to a pulp. The Producers probably had to look far and wide for some one to play the “bad guy” that made Daniel Craig look more like Bond than Mister Rogers.

Pardon me for droning on but some of the scenes and plot lines were simply not believable. Late in the film James is secured to a high tech operating chair and two rapidly spinning needles drill into each side of his brain – to reach the area where he will no longer be able to remember his friends says the evil and scary Spectre – yet James does not bleed and within seconds he escapes and once again saves the day. The plot line that the entire “Double O” program has been decommissioned with “M” sadly thanking them for their service – Who is going to buy that? How is their going to be a new Bond Film in 2017 if there is no “007?”

OK, so does this review make you feel like I did seeing the film. Some of it was very good but like me and this review it just went on too long.

Wait for home viewing and trust that some where out there Sean Connery had a son we were never told about and he had a son who will once again restore the Bond Legend to the heights it once enjoyed.


It is with deep regret that Marty and I can not recommend Sandy Bullock’s New Film – Our Brand is Crisis

Those of you who know us well remember the early nineties when Caravan Productions used our condominium in Lake Point Tower in Chicago to film the scenes of the wealthy lawyer (Peter Gallagher) in Sandy Bullock’s second big movie – While You Were Sleeping.

Sandy was just a doll. She was sweet, friendly, kind to Marty and traded quips toe to toe with Uncle Larry. We love Sandy. We see every movie she does and have liked them all and recommended all of them to you until now.

The good lines and the clever humor in Our Brand is Crisis were indeed good and clever. Sadly however, there were just not enough of them and there was way too much down time in between the “good stuff” for us to recommend you see this film on the big screen.

With even more regret I feel obliged to tell you that unless you love Sandy the way we do that you should not spend $5.99 or what ever it costs on home rental – but rather wait for free viewing on which ever cable or broadcast outlet picks up Our Brand is Crisis.

While Our Brand is Not Crisis Marty and I feel like we are in one by giving Sandy’s movie a poor review.

Uncle Larry and Saint Marty

Woodlawn: A Faith Based Movie – Reviewed by my #2 Critic – Tony Stephens

Living here in Juno Beach in retirement can be stressful. What! Am I pulling your leg? How long is your leg anyway? Between losing tennis matches to my son – visiting folks in the local hospitals, home visits and Hospice – fulfilling my duties as your official Movie and Restaurant Reviewer – and counting the waves per minute during the Nor’easter we are having today sometimes I just can’t cover all the bases.

You may have read the internet sites saying strange things like: “Hollywood Awakening? Faith-Based Film Woodlawn gets A+ Reviews.” Perhaps you saw the first seven respondents from “Rotten Tomatoes” giving Woodlawn a score of 100. What! Are you kidding? A faith based film getting good reviews!

Marty and I had a full day but we knew it was critical to get a review coming your way. Hence my #2 Movie Critic and son Tony was called into emergency duty to screen Woodlawn for the team. After all it is a movie about teams so what’s more appropriate than bringing in the back up QB on this one. Here’s his to the point review of Woodlawn – which features in a small and modest way as the opposing Coach our good friend and Pastor Coach Tom Mullins. I hear from Critic #2 Coach has about 20 seconds of dialogue and maybe a full minute in the film.

Tony’s Review of Woodlawn:

“Dad – and other less important people of the world.

If you’re in the mood for a excellent inspirational feel good sports Christian movie then go see Woodlawn! Was it the best movie that I’ve ever seen? No but it was definitely one of the best inspirational Christian sports movies that I’ve ever seen.The end!”

OK, so he’s a little shorter with his words than I am but after all it was a text. I’ll tell you this – I’m darn sure motivated to go see it and soon.


The Woods: Tiger’s New High End Sports Bar in Jupiter’s Harbourside

If you are in town or live locally I think you will be pleased if you take the time to stop in and see The Woods – Tiger’s relatively new restaurant in Jupiter’s Harbourside.

The “build out” sends a message – welcome to the cool place in town. Once you get past the modest entry way the main room looks like what I would expect to see if Tiger had an apartment in Manhattan. It “says” modern and youthful with its sharp and clean lines and well blended colors of black and muted brown and grays. Seriously can black and muted browns and grays be called colors?

If it weren’t for the fifty or so flat screen TVs everywhere – including two in each booth that seats six – the Dining Room which surrounds the Bar – would really look like a modern and elegant restaurant. As a sports fan I find the TVs a plus and as a practicing ADD diner I’m always glad to have a sports program I can check on when the food is slow to arrive and or when I get tired of hearing myself talk. Yes, believe it or not I really do get tired of hearing myself talk occasionally but its never stopped me from rambling on.

Speaking of hearing myself talk as I looked around – other than the tall ceiling there is not one soft, sound absorbing material on any surface. When this place gets to jumping I’ll bet you the volume level will make the Palm Beach Grill sound like your High School Library.

If you would like to “see” what Tiger’s new place looks like before you go check out the two websites below. The first is the Official The Woods site. It opens with moving shots of the room and invites you to open the easy to read links. I encourage you to click on The Menu. That way I don’t have to waste your time telling you about what they offer or what it cost. I will say the items we had were slightly above average quality for Jupiter dining – which wouldn’t pass for low quality in Chicago or Manhattan. But hey – you won’t freeze your butt off waiting to get in for your 8:00 reservation at 8:45.

The second site is from Yelp and if you look just to the right you will see an option to open all 46 pictures. Once again sparing me the necessity of getting out my iPhone.

For now there is only one Menu – for lunch and dinner. I would say it’s fully priced for lunch but generally reasonably priced for dinner. Our personable male server from Syracuse (Go Orange) said they will soon be offering several daily “Specials” on the dinner menu.

Marty and I are huge fans of the Seafood Sandwich at the Ocean Bar in The Breakers. The Woods has something that sounds almost like it and comes with Truffle Fries so we all ordered that. Bad move! Its not cold, fresh pieces of lobster and crab but a luke warm “cake” of what could be mystery shell fish with that “fish taste” and a bun thick enough to require a teen ager to pull out their retainer to get their lips over it all. Sadly, the Truffle Fries were fried sometime today but had sit quite a while under the heat lamp waiting for them to turn their crispiness into limp but tasty potato strings.

On the plus side the fried Calamari were good – if not a little chewy – but we really like the breading. Finally one clear winner is the Chocolate Cake whose description sounds like a conglomeration of all things chocolate. It was excellent! We had one for the three of us and had a third of it to carry home.

I am losing to Tony at tennis tonight so I could not have a drink. However, Marty and Nancy ordered the Strawberry and Basil Margarita. They were smiling right away so I took a sip and for a slightly fruity Margarita for the Ladies or Men who want to be – it was pretty good.

Remember to open The Woods Site and Drink in the Corporate By-Line: Relax in Style, Eat Extravagantly and Play better on the weekends than Tiger.


The Intern – The Best Movie Surprise in Years – Larry and Marty and her Sister Nancy give this “people comedy” A 90+

“The Intern” is the best movie surprise we have had in years. We bought tickets for “Sicaro” – were seated in our reclining chairs in the new Jupiter Cinepolis when the manager came in and apologized but the projector was down. We came partly to show Marty’s sister Nancy the new luxury theater and The Intern was their choice so we moved to that theater and are we ever glad we did.

Do not miss this movie! If you like to sit on a clean toilet or dry your hands with cloth then wait for home viewing but what ever you do – see this with a friend, a wife, a lover or a date but don’t miss it.

Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway were fantastic. We are talking about really pulling off the role and filling the screen with chemistry and humor. It’s not a romantic comedy – it’s a “people comedy” and we laughed and laughed. I had no idea De Niro could be so straight and so funny all at the same time. I’m sure you know the plot so I’m not spoiling anything to tell you De Niro plays the role of a seventy year old retired widower who takes an internship in a “start up” high tech retail clothing firm – founded and run by Anne Hathaway.

The script is excellent. The plot all makes sense, it hits you with one or two surprises and we can not tell you the last time we laughed out loud like this. When it was over the people in the theater clapped with enthusiasm.

The highest praise I can give The Intern is that I was never bored or disinterested for one minute. The pacing of this people comedy was perfect and ended right on time on a high note.

There were four or five younger supporting actors who were excellent but I wouldn’t know them if they served me at Starbucks. One gal that really rang the register in her limited role is Rene Russo. I can’t say any more.

If you are not a “movie theater” kind of person there is no need to go because it will not lose anything on your home screen.

Cinepolis Luxury Movie Theaters

My Dad – who is famous for squeezing his nickels – once said why not go first class for a little more?

I guess the answer to that is – are we talking about:

1. A $700 Coach Ticket to Paris versus a $4,000 seat in First Class or

2. $8 for a Senior Ticket to a movie at Downtown at The Gardens or $14.75 for a Reserved Senior Ticket in a true LUXURY recliner, with a wide bottom, leather trim and automatic seat recliner – with the seats separated into groups of two – in a theatre with only six rows and 10 seats per row – make that five sets of deuces – and available food and soft or alcoholic beverage service available? Not only that but when you buy your ticket you pick out your specific seats.

If you are organized and know what you want to see and when – you can go on line at home and pick your specific reserved love seats for two – or however many you need – pay in advance – knowing where you are going to sit. If you get there before your showing you don’t stand in line – just go right into the beautiful lobby, sit in one of their sofa and chair groupings or pull yourself right up to the very attractive bar and get yourself in the mood for some romance or maybe some action and adventure.

Sure, it’s an 84% mark up but after all aren’t you worth it?

Forgetting about the money for a minute if you and your wife or special friend are going out together you have to try the new Cinepolis Movie Theater in Jupiter at least once. Marty and I felt like we had our own cozy seating area with a one foot side arm table between us and the people on either side of us and individual trays on a swivel for your food or beverage of choice. We could put the seat all the way back and there was still room for the server to walk in front – which surprisingly wasn’t a distraction because they kneel down to take your order and bring it quickly and quietly.

Even if you don’t order food – which we didn’t – the luxury seating for two was fun to try. We did, however, order the Patron Repasado Margarita and it wasn’t bad.

Just for fun Marty and I recommend you give it a try at least once.

Ticket Prices: Adult $16.75 – Senior $14.75 – Children under twelve $14.75.

Finally, Cinepolis Jupiter does have theaters with luxury seats that do not allow alcoholic beverage service.

ONE WORD OF WARNING: It was cold in theater six. As a joke I asked if they had blankets and the server said yes sir – they cost $10 and they are yours to carry home. What could I do? Saint Marty was cold so now we have a blanket in the trunk of our car in case we ever break down in the cold and snow and need to warm up.

Uncle Larry

The Martian: $55 Million on the weekend – A 94 by Rotten Tomatoes – Only an 80 from St. Marty and Uncle Larry

The Martian – When it was good it was really good and we were glad we came to see it on the big screen. Some parts of the film reminded me of the enthusiasm President John Kennedy inspired in us as a nation for Space Exploration. The attention to detail in the space ships and vehicles was impressive and for those of you who want to see this film the “big screen” is the place to do it.

On the other hand after the first thirty to forty minutes there was the traditional mid movie lag but sadly it came early and stayed too long – before rallying for the big finish. Seeing The Martian sort of reminded me of Combat in Vietnam or what it may be like to be a Police Officer in one of our big cities. When it was exciting it was really exciting and in between there were periods of expectant boredom.

Matt Damon is this movie! Other than the opening every scene on Mars was Matt being Matt and he did a good job. The supporting cast was also strong. We thought Jeff Daniel played the almost pompous head of NASA right to the line, Kate Mara is always cute and Kristen Wiig did a good job as a Space Center Exec but I couldn’t help but think of her in scenes from SNL.

Marty and I had high expectations for The Martian and we were disappointed in the inconsistency of the pacing. We really hated to give it an 80 grade because it is a big film with great cinematography and strong acting. However, when I dozed off for about five minutes at the two hour mark I knew I wasn’t going to give it a strong recommendation.

Uncle Larry

Cabo Flats – Jupiter – Sad – Like watching the wake of someone you don’t know!

In the history of restaurant management the decision to close the Downtown at The Gardens Cabo Flats location and move it to US One in Jupiter will go down as one of the top five worst decisions ever – ever – ever.

Cabo at Downtown always had mediocre food but it had a great bar scene – a place to see and be seen and the Bar Staff was friendly, professional and made great drinks.

Cabo in the dead zone on US One in Jupiter has worst food than Downtown and the drinks are below mediocre and weak too boot. The bar scene consisted of ten to fifteen retired guys sitting with their heads down sipping their drinks like Willie Lowman at the end of a bad day of sales calls. The most exciting thing that happened all night was when a bus-man dropped a tray of plates.

When I say “dead zone” I mean it literally. Since we moved here in late 1996 there have been five failed restaurants in this location and my money says it will be six by the end of season two.

If you live in North County your choices for Mexican Food are limited. As mediocre as they may be Rancho Chico and Calaveras Cantino at Harbor Side are better than Cabo Flats on US One in Jupiter. If you are limiting your driving range to North County and you want a good and strong Margarita try the Repasado Double at The Thirsty Turtle or the surprisingly good “straight up” Margarita at Schooners – sitting in the AC at the bar.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. The Impossible Mission Accomplished to My Full and Complete Satisfaction

When I consider the whole body of work – Action, Stunts, Script, Misdirection, Acting and Entertainment Value – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (MI 5) is the full package. MI 5 is an action film with a plot, sub-plots with twists and turns, scenes done live with real people/not computers and some really good one liners and interaction between the Actors. If that weren’t enough it takes you all over the world like a travelogue on steroids that almost never slows down.

Marty and I both feel this is not only the best film we have seen in 2015 but it may be the best purely Action Film of all times. If you factor out the romance, sexuality and love interest of the Bond films MI 5 is a better Spy Action Drama – but let’s be realistic who really wants to factor out the romance, sexuality and love interest?

Make no mistake this is Tom Cruise’s Movie. He is the film and the film is him. While I’m not a big fan of him personally or his cult – his physical presence, the bigger than life action scenes he actually filmed, the delivery of his lines and his work with the supporting cast could not have been better.

Speaking of the supporting cast Rebecca Ferguson is no “Bond Girl” but she is a classically beautiful woman and compelling character who stole many of her scenes – especially her fighting sequences. Jeremy Renner is polished and smooth as Tom’s Boss and biggest supporter. I had never heard of Simon Pegg but will not forget him. He was perfectly cast as the sort of “odd ball” side kick. I’m undecided about Alex Baldwin’s role in MI 5. Is he really a lousy actor rolling through life thinking he’s still on 30 Rock or did he do a great job spoofing himself as the insecure and overbearing boss in this film. Decide for yourself and let me know.

I’m sure you have seen the Official Trailer where Tom hangs onto the side of a plane. The movie opens with that sequence and they don’t drag it out but move right into the plot. As good as the plane scene is I felt the car chase and motor cycle riding were even more impressive. There was no rope holding Tom onto the cycle as it made high speed twists and turns down the Moroccan Roads. We heard Simon Pegg say in an interview on Jimmy Fallon that Tom actually did the driving. Impressive it is!

Obviously Marty and I really, really like MI 5. We strongly recommend it to you and it makes our list of “must see on the big screen” films. If you wait for home viewing you will miss a lot. Bring some sanitizer and pretend that crunchy stuff underneath your feet is the sand at the beach and not the last guy’s popcorn.