The Black Panther – Good “Marvel” Entertainment


Marty and I are glad we went to see The Black Panther. We both give it a B+ for entertainment – better than average computer graphics – realistic fighting and action scenes and some well played humor – especially by The Black Panther’s younger sister and technology guru. The lead was definitely “The King” but four women combined to have more screen time and significant contributions to the film. I particularly enjoyed the role of “Women” as the Leaders and Warriors in the King’s Army. Their spear fighting scenes were well choreographed and enjoyable.

If you like the previous iterations of Marvel Comic movies then we recommend you see this one on the big screen.

Just as having a Black Action Super Hero in the lead is groundbreaking so is the Black Action Super Hero killing the almost bad Black Villain. In addition to the “color” difference the movie worked very hard to present several underlying themes – some of which you will like – some which you may not and some that are real issues in our world today.

Like Thor and really all the Marvel movies they do not present the actors with an opportunity to “act.” Rather, in my view they respond to the scene they attempt to visualize in their minds as they stand in front of a “green screen” and portray their role in the moment. My perception, therefore my reality, is this Genre of Film does not allow for significant character development. That said I liked the presentation of previous Super Hero characters and I liked the King – his mother – daughter – love interest and female warriors. The bad guy was not meant to be convincing as a “bad guy” in my view but rather the victim of his youth and circumstances. The women in the audience seem to respond well to the physique of the King and especially the bad guy. I, on the other hand related to the iron clad rhinoceros in the battle scenes. Sort of clumsy but very effective and distracted in the moment by a woman’s gaze!

In closing I share this thought. We sat next to a Black Couple from Riviera Beach. I noted with interest that he and I reacted verbally to the film in all the same places. Entertainment, Action, Fighting and Humor seems to transcend race. Additionally I walked off and left my hat and sweater and they picked it up and brought it to me.

Hostiles – An excellent Western – A film we are so glad I saw but some of you should put at the top of your list for Home Viewing.


Hostiles – this may be the hardest movie for me to review in some time. I was torn between given it an A and suggesting you see it now. That said I don’t think it will lose much if you have a really big screen TV and wait for home viewing.

It’s easy to say that Marty and I are pleased we went to see it – in some ways for different reasons. Marty loved the Cinematography of America’s West and the natural gritty feel of a classic Western. She thought Christian Bale carried this film and was strong throughout. She liked the female lead – Rosamund Pike – who we never heard of but did a really good job with her role as a wife and mother living in the later 1900’s that suffered yet survived her travails physically and emotionally. We both feel that not enough time and attention has been given to the strong, supportive women who “went west” and kept the family ranch or farm together. Kudos to a forgotten century of American Women!

Tony reminded me that there are similar themes in what I recall as one of – if not the best Western of the 21st Century – “The Unforgiven” – Clint Eastowood’s Masterpiece. Both were excellent but slowly paced in the development of their characters. Personally I was never bored and “Hostiles” kept my attention throughout. Not meaning to be crude but I believe this film may set a personal record for bladder discipline.

The theme of this film to me is the reality of battle hardened soldiers – from as far back as at least the 19th Century – who have taken life and seen life taken – as they near the end of their “expendable” life as soldiers. I hesitate to say that what we now call “PTSD” was the primary emotion of these men in America’s Western Cavalry. I suppose that since Cain slew Abel men who have taken life have wrestled with the consequences. A struggle that is immensely personal and complicated by the concept that “the enemy” was defined by the “powers that be” and the taking of life was “just following orders.” It may be easy for our liberal citizens and movie critics to minimize the depth of the personal emotion being felt and I thought expressed by Christian Bale and several of the supporting male actors in “Hostile.” My very strong personal feelings – and ones that I am now in Counseling for – are that you just can’t comprehend how it permeates your life having taken the lives of people that someone in Politics defined as your enemy.

All that said Marty and I recommend you see “Hostiles!” If you like Westerns and character development see it in the theater and pretend the popcorn was fresh and hot. If not, wait for home viewing but don’t miss it.

Larry

12 Strong – OUTSTANDING


As a Patriot I could not get home fast enough to recommend 12 Strong to you! If you are going to watch this film see it on the big screen. As you probably know it is based on the true story of Army Captain Mitch Nelson and his Special Forces Team that spearheaded America’s first Military response after 9/11. The Cinematography is outstanding. 12 Strong is the most dramatic Military Action film I have seen since American Sniper.

Having served I realize it is dramatized and the action condensed relative to actual combat but I could feel myself along with these men and I was drawn in and completely captured by this film. The cinematography and sound track are outstanding in the sense that it all seemed so real. The attention to detail was excellent. The intensity and violence are over the top. 12 Strong is not for impressionable minds or the squeamish.

While Chris Hemsworth is playing “to type” this is the best and most acting I have seen from him. His leadership and relationships with his men and the Afghan General were well played. The role of the horses was an added plus.

The pace of the film started out slow as they developed the characters as “people” – not killing machines – and the intensity built and built into a very strong and dramatic finish. I won’t spoil anything for you but if you are not moved by its ending I really do not want to know.

Marty and I give 12 Strong our highest possible recommendation – with the warning that it is definitely not for children or anyone who is sensitive about seeing and hearing men die in combat.

Jumanji – Entertaining but Adults should wait for Home Viewing


Marty and I thought Jumanji was cute, entertaining, humorous and suspenseful in a light hearted sort of way. The acting could be described as camp – especially by The Rock mocking himself and the characters were all likeable. Any aged audience could see this film and it had a really nice ending.

We are glad we went to see Jumanji in the theater so as an adult you don’t have to. It was slow in more than one place – including the plodding and laborious first 15 minutes. We think we would have enjoyed the movie much more at home where we could take a break or two and picked back up and or fast forward a spot or two.

That said if you have children or grand children between 6 and 12 I think you will be glad you took them to see it on the big screen and share a box of over priced popcorn and a soda.

Larry

Molly’s Game – An Enjoyable Human Interest Story


Marty and I just returned from seeing Molly’s Game – starring the very attractive and talented Jessica Chastain and we really liked it! It was a little longer than some films but I was never bored or tempted to take a potty break.

Molly’s Game is a Human Interest Story! Question? Can a human interest story be a successful selling movie or does everything have to be either “Green Screen” computer generated special effects and or colorful computer animation with famous actors doing voice overs? The answer to that question can be seen in the wonderful work that Adam Sorkin did in creating a terrific screenplay out of the Book of the same name by Molly Bloom herself.

Another Question? Can the central character in a Human Interest Story have both drive and ambition yet flaws and failures that lead to what might be considered a less than happy ending? Once again Molly’s Game answers this question by showing you the ups and downs of an attractive, smart, driven woman who like us all makes some mis-steps along the way.

Final Question? Can a commercially successful film be centered on one woman and can a female actor carry the entire body of work? In my view absolutely! I can not remember a film that was so centered on the lead actress. Molly – AKA Jessica Chastain – was in virtually every scene and she brought home the bacon. Additionally from a man’s perspective she is very easy to look at.

When you are in the mood for a more or less real life story with excellent dialogue and interaction between the actors shot on real locations and sets we think you will really enjoy Molly’s Game.

Uncle Larry

The Honor Bar, Palm Beach, Sorellina Palm Beach Grill, Open for Lunch and Dinner


The Hillstone Restaurant Group – owners of our favorite place – Palm Beach Grill (The Grill), Houston’s and several other fine Regional Restaurants has opened a great new spot called The Honor Bar, Palm Beach.

If I were Italian I would called it Sorellina The Grill – which I think translates in casual Italian as Little Sister of The Grill. Honor Bar is physically about 30 yards east of The Grill and shares valet parking in he evening. It also shares Restrooms and fortunately the same top flight Corporate Management Team.

The Honor Bar is a “concept” Hillstone has successfully opened in Aspen, Dallas and CA. It is cozier than the Grill but stands on its own with a warm, wood paneled atmosphere – two Bars – and very comfortable leather booth seating. We are so excited for it’s opening because now we can get the high level of food quality and drinks we are accustomed to at The Grill starting at 11:30AM each day with service continuing through dinner. Yesterday Marty, Tony and I stopped in for a late lunch around two o’clock and had a fabulous lunch/dinner.

The Honor Bar’s food menu is limited – relative to The Grill – featuring Small Plates, Appetizers, Small and Large Salads and four truly Great Sandwiches. We were also there Saturday night and over those two meals the things we loved were: Tuna Tartar – Hand Cut French Fries – Honor Burger (cut in half) – Crispy Chicken Sandwich (really great/like the one they serve at Houston’s in Boca) – French Dip and the Picnic Style Tuna Sandwich. Our friend Cousin Larry enjoyed The Macho Salad – which he said had a lot of chicken, great flavors and a nice dressing. They haven’t worked out the Desserts yet.

The two drink bars are NOT limited! The straight up Margarita made with Repasado is so smooth and delicious. In addition to wines by the glass they have “draft” wines and draft beers. Fortunately for me they have my personal favorite “Chamay” made by little porker Belgium Monks who test each barrel before it is shipped:)

We love the feel and vibe of the Adult crowd at Sorellina The Grill – aka Honor Bar. That said if you are in the mood for a full menu dining experience there’s no bitter place that the Big Sister herself.

Uncle Larry

Menu:http://hillstone.com/menus/honorbar/Honor%20Bar%20Palm%20Beach%20Menu.pdf

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/thehonorbarpb/

NFL – As Jerry Glanville once said NFL May Stand for Not For Long


NFL – as the old Coach of the Atlanta Falcons Jerry Granville once said to a referee you keep making calls like that one and the NFL will mean “not for long” for you.

Marty, Tony and I decided we will not support in any way a group of super wealthy athletes and owners who disrespect our Nation and support/allow this disrespect to take place in their work place.

We took out our Satellite and dropped our NFL Sunday Ticket. We have not watched an NFL game this year. Thanksgiving might have been a test of our will I thought but between food and devotions and going outside the day was enjoyable and just passed right on by. In our house professional football is already not for long if and until they develop leadership with a spine and do something about this issue.

If you are of like mind you will enjoy this song from a couple of rednecks on Youtube. See site below.

Larry

Is it Thanksgiving Already?


Is it just me or is life simply flying by far too fast? How can it be Thanksgiving already!

Again, is it just me or is there someone else out there who is caught up a little short on the time spent ruminating about being “Thankful” much less really being Thankful.

Maybe it’s all the sunshine and warm weather or that my ability to keep up with my schedule isn’t what it used to be. I was actually caught a little off guard today at Church when Pastor Todd started in talking about Thanksgiving this week. Not a couple of weeks from now but this Thursday!

I’m guessing its time for me to turn off the TV and or Computer and spend a little quiet time reflecting on all the Blessings in our lives here in Juno!

Either way I do hope that God will continue to richly bless you and yours with a spirit of calm and peace this Thanksgiving:)

Larry

Thor Ragnarok – One Comic Too Far!


How can 93% of the critics who write for Rotten Tomatoes be wrong? Doesn’t the $500 Million they say its made world wide mean its a great film?

Marty and I went to see “Thor Ragnarok” tonight and I still can’t figure it out. It’s not the plot or the characters I am having trouble with. Its the concept. Is it a spoof on the Avengers films that have gone before? Is it a spoof on the leading characters – especially Thor? What do you say about a friend that started out making some witty comments about his neighbors at a cocktail party and after one too many went more than one comment too far? Is he ready for Comedy Central or should he have packed it in and headed home?

If you saw this film on the blue screen without the computerized special effects you would not last ten minutes in your seat. I know computer graphics are used in most all films and especially in these type of block buster comic book recreations. But is that all there is? What happened to movies that were just good movies? This certainly is not one of them. Every scene – 100% of them take place in a special effects world. Enough already.

Marty gave “Thor Ragnarok” a D. I gave it a C. But would I tell you to spend $12 or more per person to see it in the theater? NO!

Larry

Alexa Echo Plus and Apple’s i8X – Uncle Larry Loves them Both


Just in case you forget my 72nd birthday on the 14th I bought myself two new technology wonders and am happy with them both. Here are my initial thoughts:

Alexa Echo Plus by Amazon – Where has Alexa been all my life? I have never had an entertainment and information device all three of us like as well as Alexa. Though it is a female name when you say it she listens – responds immediately and the range of responses is unbelievable. In short if there is a song or any piece of information anywhere on the internet Alexa will retrieve it for you – and pronto. As amazing as the availability of music and information is – almost equally impressive is the quality of the speaker. The range of the sound for a speaker no taller than 6” and as big around as a soda can is amazing.

Alexa Echo Plus comes with a light bulb that generates different 3 different rings of light on the top depending on her status. How great would it be to find a woman with a multi colored crown that tells you if she’s off – on and ready to receive instruction and or is actively doing something for you:) Then when you are done just say her name and OFF and she is! Amazing!

One last word on Alexa Echo Plus. If you buy one don’t bother to read the instructions. Assuming you have Wifi available at the location where you place Alexa just download the Alexa App on your iPhone and it guides you right through what to do. I made the mistake of trying to set it up using my Mac and that does not work. Download the App on your iPhone and Alexa will be playing music and answering your questions in minutes. Speaking of questions I think Alexa must be the younger sister of Siri. If you are bored just sit around and ask her questions and she is never stumped for an answer. This is bound to become one of America’s favorite drinking games.

Apple iPhone 8X – I just walked into the Verizon Corporate store on PGA and 30 minutes later walked out with Siri in a bigger home. The comments that follow are based on the differences I have seen already between my iPhone 6 and the 8X.

1. The size of the screen significantly increases my ability to read it and use the key board.
2. Siri has really matured since the i6 came out. If you sync it with your contacts there isn’t anything I’ve found yet that she can’t do – and with my tremor that is a real plus. I may be kidding myself but the Siri on the i8 hears me better and gets results quicker.
3. Speaking of hearing you won’t believe the speaker! I automatically put it on max volume and then on my first received call it sounded like they were on speaker phone – when they weren’t. When you put it on speaker phone it is really loud on max volume. I’ve had to turn it down just a touch. Something Marty has been trying to get me to do for years. When listening to music w/o the ear plugs the sound fills up a room. I’d estimate it’s almost twice as loud as my i6.
4. The screen picture quality is much improved – brighter and sharper. Speaking of brighter it has an option that you can choose to activate that automatically dims or raises it’s brightness based on the ambient lighting around you.
5. The battery life could take a Tesla around the block. It’s 3:45 PM as I write this and I’ve used the i8 as much today as before and I still have 91% battery power!
6. All those ios updates I’ve made to my i6 had left it working hard to keep up and the i8 is so much faster.
7. I have only taken one picture so far and it is so much brighter, clearer and sharper than my i6. Verizon encouraged me to go to YouTube and watch the video on all the things the new camera can do – especially in the world of portraits and motion. I’ll get to that later and let you know.
8. Storage – it’s not an issue. I have 650 songs and a bunch of apps and I was always bumping into the 16GB limit on my i6. The base/free storage is 64GB and for a “few dollars more” you can get 250GB. Not even President Trump has that many friends:)
9. Finally, the size and weight has not been an issue. It fits into the front pocket of my pants or shorts just fine.

Well that’s it. If your birthday is this month – or you aren’t sure those who love you the most are going to get you Alexa or Apple’s i8 get out there and treat yourself to these new electronic marvels. After all aren’t you worth it?

Uncle Larry