Get On Up (2014)

Get On Up

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS

Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Boseman is joined in the drama by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd.

Source: Official Movie Website

REVIEW

Very interesting! The movie did an excellent job portraying James Browns genius and life.

His genius was apparent from the scene where, as a kid, he gets knocked out. In his daze he hears the music, similar to an audio dyslexia that was remarkable in his music. I really liked that scene. Another scene I liked was the one where he is castigating his black audience to act with more dignity/integrity during one of his concerts; I found this scene to be very representative of the current racial/police climate. I applaud the movie for making it clear to me how his childhood years influenced his character and lifestyle. Finally, I had recently seen a story on the news about how the most popular songs were one in which a key phrase is repeated, and made that connection to James Brown’s music as well.

Enlightening!

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS

Disney’s heartwarming comedy will have your entire family laughing out loud. Based on the best-selling book, it follows the exploits of Alexander as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life and wonders if bad things only happen to him. But he discovers he’s not alone when his dad (Steve Carell), mom (Jennifer Garner) and family live through their own terrible – and hilarious – day. It will tickle everyone’s funny bone and warm their hearts as they discover how even on rotten days, families can grow closer.

Source: Official Movie Website

REVIEW

This was a heart-warming comedy to watch. I am a big fan of Steve Carell, so that was a plus that he appeared in this movie. Dylan Minnette was not bad too look at either, reminding me of Sue’s boyfriend, Darrin, on The Middle.

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Still Alice (2014)

Still Alice

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

Source: Official Movie Website

REVIEW

I would say the journey projected was very antiseptic. I can just imagine the hilarious and the devastating scenarios surrounding such a diagnosis, but the movie kept an even kilter, perhaps because they were portraying the decline of a professor.

I think Julianne turned in a superb performance and it was for her win of the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, which fueled my desire to see this movie.

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Mother’s Day Lunch at Cafe Brasil

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There was no way my family would go to a restaurant on Mother’s Day…way too many people and when one is hungry, waiting for your table can be endless. So on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 we decided to go out to lunch. My first choice was Father’s Office in Culver City, but a review of the website indicated a little higher cost than my budget would allow and they were only open for dinner. My next choice was Puclic School 310 in downtown Culver City, but mother and father had already been there.

As we were driving over, I remembered that I had never been to Cafe Brasil and it is very close to home; neither dad nor mom had been there either. Mom says, “Ive always loved their flowers.” The exterior is cute, noticeable every time I ever passed it.

The interior is brightly colored and with and array of care-worn wooden benches, clean and cozy. I believe all the vases had fresh exotic flowers: proteus, tuberose?, and in hindsight, lilies.

I was not in the mode to wait on my own self and I was stupid enough to leave a $5.00 tip ($4.71 to be exact)! The cost was a little more than I am used to spending, but not intolerable, had I not had the opportunity to retrieve my food and drink. Lunch for three cost $50.00, including the tip.

I apologize for the half-eaten image, but I had the hungrilys…I always forget to take a picture of the food first…next time.

The food was good and a little different for my taste. Of note is the mustard dressing on the lettuce/carrot shaving (yes, only one) salad. Perhaps if it had more oil it might have tasted better.

The Rancheira – Skirt steak was yummy – a little skimpy by my standards, unless I am confusing flank with skirt – with a generous serving of grilled onions, a pico de gallo/mustard again? sauce, white rice and a cup of black beans, and two plantains – mmm, mmm, good! Being a fan of bread and cheese, I ordered the Pã0 de Queijo: the taste and the crunch were spot on, but the texture from the yucca flour was too chewy for me.

Still, by my cheap-ass standards, a little too expensive to be serve-yourself.

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Channing Tatum: Foxcatcher

This is Channing in Foxcatcher.

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Foxcatcher (2014)

Foxcatcher

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS

Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is struggling in obscurity and poverty in Wisconsin when he is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to his lavish estate to form a team and to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Schultz seizes the opportunity, eager to step out of the shadow of his revered older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), a prominent wrestling coach and Gold Medal winner himself.

With his vast financial resources and state-of-the-art training facility at Foxcatcher Farm, du Pont appoints himself head coach of the team, eager to win the respect of his peers and the approval of his condemning mother (Vanessa Redgrave).

The dynamic between Schultz and du Pont deepens as Mark embraces his benefactor as a father figure. But du Pont’s mercurial personality and psychological gameplay begins to weigh heavily on Mark’s shaky self-esteem, undermining his abilities on the mat. When du Pont’s favoritism shifts to brother Dave – who possesses the authority and confidence both he and Mark lack – the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.

From Academy Award® nominee Bennett Miller (CAPOTE, MONEYBALL) comes a searing true-life account of three men grappling for their versions of the American Dream.

Source: Official Movie Website

REVIEW

I was shocked when I discovered – prior to watching the movie – that the lead role of John du Pont was Steve Carell, and this increased my desire to see this movie. As I watched, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Channing Tatum was also appearing.

This movie was on the creepy side and kept me engaged. I did not completely understand the relationship dynamics between John and Mark because I am not that deep a person. Of course, this is my own opinion, but once I saw drugs were a part of it, I suspected some degree of homosexuality on du Pont’s part. The closest I can come to Mark’s change in affection for Mark, was that he finally saw that du Pont was a poser. As for the outcome of the movie, I suspect jealousy on du Pont’s part. Du pont obviously had mother issues that factored into his desire to be greater than he actually was.

Glad I finally got to see it. Interesting movie.

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The woman who inspired “Rosie the Riveter” has died at 92 – Quartz

Source: The woman who inspired “Rosie the Riveter” has died at 92 – Quartz

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Betty Willis, Whose ‘Fabulous’ Sign Defined Las Vegas, Dies at 91 – NYTimes.com

Ms. Willis’s 25-foot-high neon sign blazingly and irrevocably linked Las Vegas with fabulousness.

Source: Betty Willis, Whose ‘Fabulous’ Sign Defined Las Vegas, Dies at 91 – NYTimes.com

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The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS

Starring Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”) and Felicity Jones (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen,” by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”).

REVIEW

Wow! I found this movie very moving. While watching, I kept thinking: What variables to I need to enter into the theory of everything to find out why I am a fat, single gay? However, by the end of the movie, my understanding is that the theory has not been discovered yet. Which leads me to wonder why Stephen Hawking is so famous. A little research revealed that “Hawking was the first to set forth a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics1, stuff I would have no way of comprehending.

I remember Redmayne from My Week with Marilyn and enjoyed his performance in that movie, but not as much as I admired his performance in The Theory of Everything, where I thought he was amazing and I am not a bit surprised that he won an Oscar for his performance.

Despite the heady mathematics, the movie held my attention. It was moved by the fact that he developed Lou Gherig’s Disease and admired all that Jane went through with him. I did not think it was fair that their relationship ended when Stephen asked Elaine (Maxine Peake) to go to America with him, especially since Jane had refrained from developing a relationship with Jonathan (Charlie Cox).

Good movie.

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The Boxtrolls (2014)

The Boxtrolls

source: impawards.com

SYNOPSIS

A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator. Based on the children’s novel ‘Here Be Monsters’ by Alan Snow.

Source: Internet Movie Database

REVIEW

I was not crazy about seeing this when I first started seeing the preview, but to complete my DVD selections to obtain the discounted price persuaded me to rent it.

I am glad I watched it because I really enjoyed it and the animation despite, what I deemed to be a plot discrepancy: how did Eggs learn how to speak English when the boxtrolls speech was unintelligible. The story was intriguing enough that I watched with rapt attention to discover how the secrets of the boxtrolls.

Voice talents included Ben Kingsley and Tracy Morgan. Cute and entertaining.

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