Mad Max, Fury Road – Somewhere in between the violence, action, and fantastic automotive creations the Relationship between Furiosa and Max comes through.


Mad Max, Fury Road is definitely not sweet “Adeline.” If a film were rated solely on violence Mad Max would be “X” for Extra Action Scenes all filled with high speed violence and death. If you are a fan of the original Mad Max movies you know what to expect and you will love this film. If you are new to the genre I strongly suggest you park your sense of reality at the door and turn your “humor” switch up to full volume. It’s almost like the Director is trying to inundate the viewer with long dizzying sequences of maddening action just to test us to see if we can spot the development of the characters and the relationships that clearly build as the film intensifies and a few plot twists develop – including the ending.

Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa looks anything but beautiful but knocks her role out of the park. Tom Hardy (Inception, Band of Brothers, Blackhawk Down, Star Trek) surely made Mel Gibson proud as he time after time stepped in at just the right moment to save the day but never took a word of credit or had much to say -except that he in fact must be “mad.” The rest of the cast filled their space adequately and the Bad Guys are over the top Mad Max Bad.

The plot you ask? What plot? This is Mad Max! Most of the Good Guys win and all the Bad Guys lose!

Other than the characters and the action the two things that were most impressive in this film were the automotive and truck mechanical creation/wonders – and the Desert and Salt Pan of Namibia. Think taxis in Havana and raise it to the tenth power and you will still be surprised by the mechanical wonders that were actually created for this film. I read on the net and heard Charlize tell Jimmy Fallon that almost all of the action scenes actually took place and there was minimal computer manipulation.

In the midst of all this action packed violence how could Mad Max have themes? How could it not? It’s Mad Max! Relationships – Respect without words – Retribution and Hope shine brightly if you are looking for them. That said – this Mad Max – like all the ones that preceded it has no socially redeeming value.

Should you see it in the theater? If you like 3D I’ll bet the action scenes were off the chart in your face. Marty and I get a little dizzy watching 3D and Mad Max in regular D was still a “big film.” If you can spare the time and you are not feeling socially conscious I’d vote for the big screen.

Finally, and to no ones surprise they already have the name for the sequel and I can’t wait to see it.

The Age of Adeline – A Wonderful, Wonderful Film


The Age of Adeline (Adeline PG-13) is a wonderful film for anyone and everyone to see. It reminds Marty and I of how movies used to be, in a time gone by before computer simulations, violence and graphic sex. Back when acting and building characters and relationships were at the core of a film.

I cried, I laughed and in the last fifteen minutes I cried even more as the beautiful and talented Blake Lively (Adeline), her love interest (Michael Husiman), Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn all did a masterful job of the lost art of “acting.” The script was tight and the actors did a superb job of bringing the characters to life as they developed what gives us all hope – love in intimate and long lasting relationships.

The opening scenes that detail how Adeline no longer “ages” requires a combination of innocence, acceptance and trust. Isn’t that a combination of the blessings we all must have to believe that when we meet that certain someone there is hope for a “love that grows old together?”

Maybe its just Marty and I – approaching 70 and having been in love and married for almost 47 years and facing the same unknown future that we all deal with – that moved us to the core of our being. For me personally when I left the theater I felt a sense of calm and peace like I can never remember from a film.

Whether you see Adeline in the theater or wait for home viewing all depends on how long you want to wait to see what I believe will be a film with great word of mouth and “legs” in the rental and DVD purchase market.

We strongly recommend you see The Age of Adeline with someone you love or want to!

Uncle Larry and Saint Marty

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Too much of a Good Thing?


Other than true love is there such a concept as too much of a good thing? Could you ever have too much Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne? Can a husband buy too many Roses for his wife’s anniversary? Has a woman ever turned down just one more luxuriously delicious piece of rich Belgium Chocolate? Can a sports car ever be too quick from 0 to 60?

Is it possible this $250,000,000 Avengers: Age of Ultron had too many fabulously produced, technologically brilliant action packed scenes? In an Action Adventure movie can the good guys ever kill too many bad guys? Can there be a few too many suspenseful and miraculous moments where the poor innocent civilians come within an inch of losing their lives only to be saved by two guys dressed in tights and wearing cups? OK, forget that line.

Marty and I liked “Ultron” and it truly is a technological wonder but it didn’t grab me. There were moments when I was bored with the bloodless killing of evil machines and just a few too many really well done computer generated action scenes. I just can’t bring myself to tell you this is a must see flick. However, if you like this genre you will not want to miss it. On the other hand after awhile I found myself longing for some dialogue, some human interaction. At one point I even asked myself why didn’t we see The Age of Adeline with Blake Lively instead.

Damn I must be getting old!

Larry

How God May Bless The USA


All Americans appreciate Lee Greenwood for writing and performing for what many believe is the most Patriotic song written in our life time. I really enjoyed the version in the link below of Lee’s song by The Texas Tenors because they have strong voices, harmonize and there was some excellent video as well.

These days, Marty and I never hear “God Bless the USA” that I don’t think about how great America has been and how God has blessed us.

It was the same way in a similar relationship between God and Israel thousands of years ago when Israel began to “follow after other gods.” To get their attention God withdrew His hand of special blessing that made them great in the land at that time. He didn’t stop loving them but as a Father disciplines a child he withdrew His special hand of blessing to get their attention.

We read in I Timothy that we are to “pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” When Marty and I have our devotions I have that passage marked and I almost choke on my words because I can’t think of hardly any political leaders I want to see returned to office. So we pray for better leaders, men and women who love God and serve Him and us so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives.

To me it seems our best hope is to follow the advice given us in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

May God continue to bless the USA!

Larry

The Father of Lies and His Children


Did you by any chance read the Opinion Piece in the Wall Street Journal a few days back – the theme of which is that the Clinton’s – both Bill and Hillary – have been master liars for so long they not only are comfortable lying – they find their constituency of Democrats and The Left accept what they say without question. Even more unbelievable is that their hearers not only believe their lies but they become angry and hostile towards Republicans and The Right for not accepting what Hillary is lying about at the moment.

It just amazes me that so many people – perhaps the majority of American citizens could be so gullible, so willing to believe something that is not true and to be offended when someone from my side of the street disagrees.

I was pondering this conundrum when in our Daily Devotionals Marty and I came across the passage below from John – Chapter 8 – verses 41 to to 46.

We encourage you to read the entire chapter for yourself. To set the stage for the moment Christ was speaking to the people in the Temple at The Festival of Booths and a group of the Political Establishment of the day accused Him of being a liar. Not only that, as we know they were plotting to kill this voice from God. Picking up in the middle of the discourse:
“They replied, We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

Christ says that lying as a tool of communication and manipulation has been around since the creation itself – it started with the devil and he lies – why – because it is consistent with his character.

Uncle Larry – not Christ – says to you: Hillary and many others that are cut from the same cloth frequently lie. Why? Because it is consistent with their character.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Blend Bistro – The most promising new small restaurant opening in North County in the 21st Century


Marty and I had time to kill before a movie at Downtown at The Gardens and we walked past a new place called The Blend Bistro. They have a menu posted on the front door and the food looked very interesting but then the phrase “Organic Food and Wine” caught my eye.

At seventy I’m not concerned about the effect of GMOs in food on my aging body and Organic anything isn’t in the top 10,000 things that I am concerned about in life.

When it comes to food I care about mouth feel and taste. Fast forward to our second meal at Blend and I am a convert. Their fresh organic foods taste better than it’s counterparts. Here’s a sampling of the items we have ordered and really enjoyed at Blend: Onion Soup Gratinee – very tasty. Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs – I’ll be asking Linda to cater them for our next Super Bowl Party. Roasted Stuffed Poblano Chile – there is no way something could be this flavorful and good for you at the same time.

Finally I saved the best for last – Blend’s two Flatbread offerings. Roasted Mushroom & Goat Cheese – Caramelized Eggplant & Brie. The folks at Buccan on Palm Beach would be proud to offer these two crispy, rich and delicious flatbreads.

For dessert the Fudge Cake brought smiles to Marty and our friend Emily – who with her husband Scott treated us for lunch.

We can safely say Blend serves excellent food for the health conscious diner and for us clean eating meat lovers.

Though we did not try any of them “Blend” has a wide-ranging variety of Smoothies and Fresh Press Juices. They serve wine, beer, Sangria and you may bring your own wine for a corkage fee of $15.

We met Linda, one of two owners and she humored an old man who is set in his ways and talked to us about the concept of “organic food.” Her perception of organic is two things: First – organic foods must not have any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). I sort of liken that process to Monsanto altering the DNA of our food for what I’m sure they feel are good reasons. Second – foods that are only served “within season.” If they are not being harvested now Blend isn’t serving them now. Hence, don’t get too attached to the current menu because as season changes so will the menu.

I may not understand what organic food and wines are but I can assure you the food and service is excellent at The Blend Bistro in Downtown at The Gardens. Also, believe it or not they offer a red and a white Sangria that are both excellent. I have never liked Sangria but it was light, crisp and had fresh organic apples bites floating on the top that were very tasty.

Blend’s pricing is very reasonable. “Small Plates” range from $8 to $14 – Salads $12 to $15 – Entrees from $15 to $18 with one Sirloin Steak at $28 – Smoothies are $9 and Juices are $7.

Here’s to healthy, happy and great tasting food! See below for three pictures of items we had Wednesday.

The Blend Bistro – 561-331-8766

Uncle Larry

Cinderella – We made it for 37 Anxious and Boring Minutes


This is it! Marty and I have been officially declared old and cranky!

Perhaps it is our reaching 70 this year. Maybe its living in Florida almost 19 years. What ever the cause – in a sparsely filled theater Marty and I did everything we could to find the entertainment value in the human version of Cinderella but the boredom and telegraphed lines and general corniness overcame us after 37 minutes.

We knew that if we could not find joy and happiness in this classic Disney tale it would officially mean we are now old and grumpy super seniors. We carefully prepared by having a late lunch/early dinner at an excellent new restaurant in Downtown at the Gardens – “Blend.” We shared a bottle of “organic” sparkling wine and very much enjoyed the rich and delicious flat bread and a gluten free and very tasty meatball appetizer.

Alas it just wasn’t enough to overcome the absolute sheer boredom and aggravation we felt watching Cinderella.

I don’t know who the cast is and as a real adult once said “Frankly my friends I don’t give a Damn!”

Great Grand Father Larry – the person formerly known as Uncle Larry

The Kingsmen: The (Really) Secret Service – Take equal parts of James Bond, MI-6 and Austin Powers – Stir Slowly and Serve Straight Up for Fun!


Marty and I loved “The Kingsmen: The Secret Service.” It was like going to a party that you weren’t sure you were going to like and if you didn’t take the other guests too seriously you really enjoyed the evening. Kingsmen is a delightful blend of Fun – Action – Comedy – Well Choreographed Violence – Humor – Adventure – Clever Dialogue and an Explosive Ending. If my description of the film seems balanced between fun and adventure that’s because it was. There was never a steady diet of one or the other.

While there is a strong ensemble cast the three stars of note are Colin Firth – Samuel L Jackson and Michael Caine. If you are the kind of viewer who really pays attention try and pick out Mark Hamill. Hint – he isn’t carrying a Light Sabre.

The Screenwriter for Kingsmen should be nominated for all the big awards next year. His blend of almost self mocking humor – outstanding fighting sequences that left you feeling charged up – clever and subtle dialogue between Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson – a believable plot that allows you to develop empathy between the younger actors and a very strong and explosive ending made for an enjoyable evening.

I know it sounds odd to praise the fighting and violence but it was all so well technically produced and choreographed – with the good guys winning – it didn’t have any of the negative emotional feelings that violence can generate.

Marty and I think “The Kingsmen: The Secret Service” is a film you should see on the big screen. If you do – don’t get up out of your seat when the credits roll. We got almost out of the theater and the real ending began. In a James Bond flash back if you like well shaped pears you won’t want to miss it.

Larry

Every American sixteen and older should see American Sniper and it offers something for everyone.


Marty and I got to the theater for the 11:30am showing of American Sniper today (Saturday) at 10:55 and there was a line like I have never seen before. It snaked out into the walking areas of the Mall. Our theater was packed. I read later the film set a record for a Friday opening. If attendance means anything Clint and Brad have a real box office hit on their hands.

On the ride home Marty and I tried to verbalize our feelings about the film. Typically I have some strong emotional response to one part or another of a movie and its easy to write a review with catchy and memorable words. None came to mind. What is memorable is the whole movie – the entire body of work – from beginning to end.

American Sniper is significantly different from most of the movies we have seen about the wars in the Middle East. Yes, it has a lot of action scenes and coming from a Veteran I can tell you they were realistic, violent and not appropriate for children or people who are sensitive about hearing the sound of a bullet penetrating the human body. That said, the killing was not glorified and it was not puffed up with Hollywood style technology. In fact I felt the film underplayed the role of Military Technology and Fire Support. Under Clint’s steady hand they emphasized the role our young men play – putting their lives on the line daily – in this type of urban door to door warfare.

That said, the film and Bradley Cooper in particular – playing Chris Kyle – America’s most effective sniper – didn’t come across like an action adventure hero but a normal person with certain skills and human frailties. A large portion of the film delved into his life before the Military and after. Most important of all his wife – Taya Kyle – played by Sienna Miller – had a significant impact, disproportionate perhaps to the number of minutes she was on the screen. Marty related to the role she played as the woman who stands and worries and waits.

If you’ve read the book or seen reviews of the film you of course know how it ends and it left us with a heavy heart. There was no joy in the theater at the end of American Sniper but a feeling that somehow we got to know this man, his fellow soldiers, his wife and family and most important the horror of war and the significant impact it has on those young men and women who become the human instruments of defending our freedom.

Marty, Tony and I all highly recommend you see American Sniper. If you consider yourself a Patriot this is an absolute must see film on the big screen. I obviously don’t know what films we will see in 2015 but I am certain of this one thing – none of them will impact you and your feelings about our Soldiers – their families and these Wars than this one.

Larry