Crazy Rich Asians – Crazy Good Fun and Romance


If you have a beating heart – have ever been young and in love and enjoy comedy you should sprint to take in Crazy Rich Asians (CRA).

CRA is the best “Rom-Com” we can remember since “Sleepless in Seattle.” Who will ever forget Meg Ryan dramatically faking an orgasm at lunch in a restaurant – seeing this the elderly lady at the next table over tells her server “I’ll have what she’s having.”
CRA will probably be the biggest selling Rom-Com ever because it is really a good flick – and it stars, was co-produced by really rich Asians and filmed in Malaysia and Singapore. It we win the lottery and can afford First Class Tickets this movie makes we want to see Singapore. It looks like NYC fused with Las Vegas to the 3rd power. I mention the City because it is the back drop that makes the concept of crazy rich Asians/Chinese seem so natural.
Back to why we liked this film: It has all the elements necessary for a Rom-Com to be successful: Romance – Some really funny dialogue – And a Happy Ending. In addition it’s like the Asian’s/Chinese are opening the window to a part of their world to show the rest of the us that not only are their population numbers big – they also have some really, really rich people and they are willing to put them in spectacular estates – parties – vacations – shopping trips and ultra expensive cars to let you know some of them have arrived.
My favorite line comes early in the film when a meager “multi millionaire” Asian family is having dinner at home and the kids don’t want to finish their food. The mother looks at them with scorn and says you finish your food and be thankful you are not like the millions of people who are going hungry in America. OK – there are some American’s going hungry but when I was a kid the standard line at dinner was be thankful you are not like all those starving Chinese. I still laugh as I remember my mother laying that one on me. Speaking of laughing – we laughed out loud more times than I can count. One or or two occasions I caught myself clapping and on several more tearing up during the “romantic” parts of CRA.
CRA is PG-13 but it is far tamer than what we see on TV in the “family hour.” There was no sex, nudity, cursing or violence. How could this kind of movie ever make it? As the equally old cereal ad says “try it – Larry and Marty like it.”

Mile 22 – This film is extremely violent, suspenseful and has an ending I never saw coming!


If the Motion Picture Association rated movies for violence they way they do for sex, Mile 22 is as close to X as I have seen. This film is not meant for most of you who read this review. That said, if you are of a certain mindset – an attraction and affinity for extremely realistic and graphic violence that comes at you so fast you can hardly keep up you can can not miss Mile 22. If you see this film you will never forget it.

Mark Walburg won’t win an award but he brought this hopefully fictional character to life. Iko Uwazs – who plays “the asset” Li Nor is the second coming of Bruce Lee on steroids. Jon Malkovich has a minor but authoritative role and fills the bill.

The movie started out at a good clip for about 10 minutes and then pumped the breaks for almost a half hour. I know they have to set the scene and flesh out the characters but it was just slow for a bit. Then almost without notice buckle up you seat belt for 40 minutes of frenetic action, sound effects, violence, suspense and boom – just like that the surprise ending.

I asked Marty how she liked the last half hour and she said “I got bored with the speed of how things were happening and the violence.” Many of you may feel that way. I, on the other hand allowed myself to be drawn in – and doing my best to keep up with each scene, who went down, what happens next, how will they escape and I found it very suspenseful – almost tension filled.

As I said this movie is violent, filled with suspense and not for everyone. If you like this kind of film – and you know who you are – you will be filled with the kinds of emotions that exhilarate you. Regarding the issue of paying ten bucks and seeing it now or waiting for home viewing I can take both sides of that argument.

Abhor the man – Respect the Actor – Love the Mission Impossible Films


Mission Impossible-Fallout. People who have High Anxiety, Nervous Disorders and or a Heart Condition should not see this film. There was no issue with going to sleep, losing interest or going to the bathroom. My only problem was on occasion I had to work on my deep breathing techniques to calm my nerves.

Here’s what we loved about this two plus hours of riveting entertainment: Suspense – Action – Adventure – Fabulous World Wide Cinematography – Unparalleled Realistic/Dangerous Stunts -Great Car Chases – a strong Female Cast – a good plot that left us trying to figure out who the real bad guy was – a surprise character addition towards the end and a little drama or is there a category called “Suspense/Drama?”

This may sound crazy but there were times in the film where I had to stop myself and think – Larry, this is just a movie, it ain’t real life. At one point the lady sitting next to us let out a gasp and threw her legs up in the air and I just ignored her because I was glued to what was going on. If there is a Motion Picture Category Titled “Suspense, Action and Adventure” Mission Impossible-Fallout raises the bar for the next big film to come.

Two of my least favorite people in real life – Tom Cruise and Alex Baldwin – are great in this film and play to “type.” I started to mention the women in the film by name but they were all good. There were five strong women in IMF Fallout and all did a great job in their roles.

At the end of the day the entire IMF Film series comes down to one thing: Tom Cruise and the almost unbelievable stunts and action adventure scenes he plays. Meaning no offense to my Jewish Friends – Tom really brings home the bacon in this one.

If you like Suspense, Action and Adventure you must see this film. If you are ever going to see “Fallout” make every effort to see it on the big screen. The scenes of Paris and London brought back so many memories for Marty and I. The long shots of the Mountains in Asia or where ever they were filmed were better than watching Nat Geo on Cable.

Marty and I both give Mission Impossible-Fallout an A and it would be an A+ except the crescendos of Suspense always seemed to lead to another crescendo greater than the last. Finally, I don’t read the “scab sheets” but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last Mission Impossible film. I can’t say why really but it had that air of closure about it that we almost never see in a big budget film where the ending sets you up for the sequel. In a positive way I really liked the ending because all the pieces came together – the bad guys were all killed and there were no “loose ends” left dangling.

Mama Mia Two – See It Again and Smile!


Marty and I saw Mama Mia Two today and we loved it. In fact we may see it a second time – but! For us this film was just the break from the reality of our every day lives that we needed. It was so much fun and so easy to relate to and get involved with the characters that we found it very entertaining, uplifting and surprisingly I got involved with them on an emotional level. Every actor brought a bit of joy to the film including Cher. I’m not a fan of hers at all but even she was enjoyable.

None of these actors will be nominated for any awards – possibly because they were so transparent and also because this movie has no depth – no deeper meaning – it doesn’t make any statements about the down cast or oppressed. It is simply FUN! And who doesn’t like to hear the Music of Abba? It’s like us being in our thirties all over again!

I was concerned the film was going to be a clumsy remake of the original. The screen writer did a great job of going back and forth in time – giving us more details about the life of Donna (Merrill Streep) – her daughter- her friends and the three possible “fathers.” Other than the last twenty minutes of the film I thought the flash backs were my favorite parts and they were very easy to follow.

Then why the “but?” We saw Mama Mia on Broadway and loved it. We saw the first film and loved it so we were primed for version “Two.” If I were going to suppress the joy I walked away with I  could say that the first 15 minutes or so were a little slow. Also, if you wait for home viewing you won’t miss hardly anything except the case of delayed gratification from the kind of film I wish there were more of today.

Finally, if you go you absolutely have to stay in your seats when it seems the film is over. At our showing not one person moved and the last five minutes or so of extra footage was the second most enjoyable part of the film for me. My personal favorite was the armada of fishing vehicles coming to the party with the whole cast joining in for a rousing rendition of “Dancing Queen.” Now if you don’t remember or like Abba’s “Dancing Queen” this movie is not for you. It was all I could do not to sing along. When it was over the audience clapped!

Take a moment from the drama of life, politics and the markets and go see Mama Mia Two. I hope you enjoy it half as much as Marty and I did.

Larry

Solo – Is Synonymous With Fantastic Entertainment


“Solo” gets Five Stars from Tony, Jenna, Marty and The Supreme Leader. I usually don’t let their household name for Uncle Larry slip out like this but considering how pumped I am right now about the latest release in the Star Wars Saga I am feeling it.

Please let me tell you what else I am feeling – like I just saw 95 Minutes of sharply written, directed, acted and most important – fast paced entertainment. Yes my friends real good old fashioned fun and entertainment from the first minute to the very last. I can’t tell you when I remember seeing a film that never once lost it’s pace and rhythm. I never thought about my missing prostate until the last shots rolled and I hit the back of the line in the Men’s room.

If you like Star Wars you will totally love this film. It brings back so many “future” memories and does it with style, humor, action and excitement it may be our favorite Star Wars film of all time. If you are modestly familiar with Star Wars and saw a few of them you will enjoy the show and appreciate the plot twists and turns, dialogue, humor and multiple crescendos of adventure.

If you are among those who just hate Star Wars my heart goes out to you and much of what you see and hear will be lost as the next sub plot begins and you’re trying to figure out who is who. Speaking of who is who – How far into the film will it be before you figure out which central character was played by “The Mother of Dragons?” I can tell you it wasn’t Woody Harrelson – but this role fit him perfectly and its the most I’ve enjoyed his work in years.

Solo is the most enjoyable film our family has seen in a long time. It is better than the most recent Star Wars and the Marvel Series, even the really good ones. Unless you are a Star Wars Hater don’t miss this movie on the big screen. The costumes, Droids, weapons, background scenery, fight scenes and flying through space will not be as impressive in home viewing. Speaking of the Droids and other “non human” characters to borrow a phrase from Obi-Wan Kenobi L3-37 “is the Droid you are looking for!” Some of the best lines and clever themes were offered by L3-37 and an invigorated Chewbacca.

We loved “Solo” and we think you will too!

The Supreme Leader

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear!” … The rest hear the words, but do not grasp the meaning; the multitude have no ears to hear, all will be wasted upon them.


The verses below from God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments are but a few of many verses that speaks to God’s blessings on the Children of Israel and being promised the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Kingdom of David and the City of David – Jerusalem in particular.

I send it to you today because as you know our President has made a God Honoring Decision by moving our US Embassy to Jerusalem – recognizing her as the true center of Israel. This decision will not sit well with those who do not Honor our God and his Word. It will no doubt stir world wide protest and violence and long term spiritual warfare from this world’s dark force – and I’m not referring to Star Wars. There is often a price to pay when we follow God’s Word.

“I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’ Ezekiel 37:14

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.”
Psalm 122: 6-9

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 12: 1-3

Other verses you may want to read for further insight into God’s Mind as presented in His Word are:

Numbers 6:27 and 24:1
Deuteronomy 26:15
I Kings 8:66
Isaiah 62: 1 and 6-9

In The New Testament we read the Words of Christ: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5: 17-18

Luke: 21:24
Acts 1: 6-8; 3:19; 11:1; 15: 14-16
Romans 11: 25,26 & 29

Larry

Avengers – Infinity War: Good but not as great as we had hoped!


Marty, Tony and I all enjoyed seeing Avengers – Infinity War today. We are happy we went to see it on the big screen but given all the hype and the ticket sales revenue we were expecting a little more. A little more “Pop!” Relatively speaking, we liked Black Panther and the latest Star Wars a little better.

Infinity is a BIG MOVIE! Several of the characters are very big! Even the “Dwarf” is BIG! The scenes of the Universe and the various battles are all BIG! I hate to say it but if you are going to see this film you really should see it on the BIG SCREEN to appreciate it as a production. To state it differently if you even remotely think you want to see this film you need to see it in the theater. It will lose a lot, even on a 60″ Ultra HD TV.

I read comic books when I was a kid but money was not sufficient to have a bunch of them so I am “not in the know” on several of the “Marvel Super Heroes.” I don’t know how many Super Heroes there were in the film but it had to be close to twenty and I only knew about 50% of them and only about 25% of the Female Heroes. Speaking of the Female Heroes they were all excellent. There was this one Red Headed gal who was literally “on fire” and all of them were very easy to look at!

The leading men all contended for the leading role but it was a shared process. If I had to pick a favorite it would once again be Rocket the Racoon. Not that his “pecs” were on display like Thor but he had the best of the “one liners.” Speaking of a cast of thousands – or more like twenty Super Heroes – I was amazed at how the Director or Writers or both managed to fit them all in quite seamlessly. In fact the “Bad Guy” (Josh Brolin) was even hard to hate.

No actor in this film is going to be nominated for any awards. That said the Writing, Direction, Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Track and Music were all very good and will most likely be nominated.

I hate to say it but 156 minutes – two hours and 36 minutes was a little bit too long. In particular from around minute 120 to minute 146 tested the strength of my bladder. The opening was strong and the finish was strong so plan on being in your seat from beginning to end. If you posses the patience of Job stick around for all the credits and see the final, final ending.

All that said if you like movies and Marvel Heroes in particular you should see this film in the theater.

Larry

The New Roseanne Show -It’s Funny


Quick – read the list below and pick the person you least admire:

1. Mother Theresa
2. Billy Graham
3. Roseanne Barr

OK – that was easy now read this question and then pick the answer below. The Old/Newly Released “Roseanne” Show premiered yesterday. We recorded it and watched it tonight. Marty and I thought:

4. It was as objectionable as Roseanne is in real life
5. We thought it was hilarious

The answers are: 3 and 5.

I know, you think I’m crazy right? When you can record your shows we take a lot of chances and if a show is bad we just hit delete and its gone. The new Roseanne started out funny and it was funny and sort of realistic at the same time. If you can get over your feelings for the real Roseanne you may find the show quite entertaining.

Larry

1000 North – An Exciting and Unique Dining Opportunity in North Palm Beach County


Marty, Tony and I recently had a grand evening at the very upscale 1000 North in Jupiter. Sitting directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, with an outside Bar, an inside Bar and a dining room that can best be described as the place to be seen in North County its hard not to believe you have arrived!

On a lovely evening the outside Bar is going to be tough to beat sitting almost right on the ICW. When air conditioning is calling the luxurious inside bar has four seating options. No matter your choice you can order from the special Bar Menu or the full dining menu. Both of these spots are going to be jumping with the young to middle age North County adult crowd and those that want to be.

Knowing we are seasoned senior citizens we opted for the main dining room and really enjoyed the walk-in directly in front of the open kitchen – which was jumping and well choreographed by the former Chef at The Palm Beach Grill and Brick Tops on Palm Beach – quite a resume. We passed by the Private Dining Room (Members Only) and saw Michael and friends enjoying the evening. The main dining room is open, very impressive and has a big city feel with a buzz that says this is where you can have a great time. We noted the patrons were sharply dressed and seemed to be enjoying the view, drinks and their food.

Speaking of food there are plenty of options. The feature of the house is their wide selection of very fine steaks. While the prices reflect the quality and portion they are on par with the fine Steak houses in West Palm and Palm Beach. While waiting for our winning lottery ticket to be punched we enjoyed an excellent selection of apps, shared two entrees and loved the desserts. The items we would definitely get again are The She Crab Soup, Steak Tartar, Mac ‘n Cheese (maybe the best ever – so rich) and who doesn’t love a Salted Truffle Fry. Marty is a Prime Rib gal and 1000 North’s Prime Rib may be the best I have ever tasted. It was so tender, moist, prepared exactly as we ordered it and could easily be cut with a dinner knife.

The Staff was very friendly, their service was excellent and they managed to avoid any new restaurant gaffes. 1000 North may not be in the budget for every North County diner but it is worth giving a try to see what all the fuss is about. If you are careful with what you order and avoid expensive wines you can have a great dinner you can afford to pay for – about on par price wise with Kee Grill and several of the Brand Name restaurants in the PGA Dining Corridor.

We all thought 1000 North was very impressive and are looking forward to their Sunday Brunch – reservations strongly suggested.

Wisdom and Discernment


Dr. Tim Keller, founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, prolific writer and renowned Theologian – along with his wife Kathy penned a Daily Devotional titled: “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life.”

Our good friend Jan sent us a copy for a friend and we ordered one for ourselves it was so good. I’ve always had great difficulty making any sense out of Proverbs. The meter and rythym of the writing always seemed odd to me and it’s propensity to leave the door open to different view points seems to me to be different from the rest of the Bible.

Dr. Keller points out in the introduction that Proverbs is difficult for English speaking people to fully grasp because it is written in a style of Hebrew poetry using “parallelism” or using two or more thoughts or phrases to reinforce each other. As a redneck from Between, GA I prefer for my “Books” to simply say what they mean and leave it at that. Dr. Keller points out that unlike the rest of scripture – which is composed of “absolutes” and “commands” Proverbs uses Hebrew Poetry to express thoughts about what life is really about – choices. For example when King Salomon writes about “discernment” in 1:2 he is not speaking of simply having the wisdom to know right from wrong but also to understand the difference between good, better and best. Real discernment/wisdom comes when we can choose from multiple options and discern the impact of those choices.

“God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life” is available on Amazon for $13.52 – about the same as an appetizer in most of Palm Beach Counties restaurants.

I particularly enjoyed The Keller’s perspective on “The Troublemaker” in chapter 6: 12 to 15. Here is the text:

A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart —
he always stirs up conflict. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” Proverbs 6: 12 to 15

The Keller’s observe that troublemaker’s “corrupt mouths produce decptive omissions, half truths, and inneundo.” When I read this line my mind immediately thought of the Media age we live in today. Depending on your perspective and political leanings theirs might be an apt description of CNN, MSNBC, NBC, The NY Times and God Forbid even on occasion on my favorite Fox News.