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Dinner and a Movie (No Spoilers) July 1, 2017

Posted by jkahane in food hut, movie hut, movies, personal.
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Had a good evening yesterday.

The Friday night group and I went out to see the new (well, not really these days) Wonder Woman movie. We went and saw the late afternoon show, as that was the only one at South Keys that wasn’t in 3-D. (Most of us can’t go see 3-D movies because frankly they cause us headaches.)

I’m not going to spoil the movie for folks, but will say that the acting in the film was better than I expected, Gal Godot was terrific in the title role, and it is the best film DC Comics has done to this point. Period.

After the movie, which ended around 7:15 pm or so, the five of us went to the Baton Rouge steakhouse, and had a fine meal with good conversation (discussing some of the movie elements, and explaining about the history of Wonder Woman, whom Ellie is now besotted with!), and then ended the evening with some ice cream at the local Dairy Queen.

Got home before 10:15 pm, and was pretty tired and sleepy.

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore (1936 – 2017) January 26, 2017

Posted by jkahane in movie hut, obituary, tv hut.
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Terribly sad news from the world of television and entertainment yesterday.

Mary Tyler Moore, Beloved TV Actress, Dies at 80

I have fond memories of Mary Tyler Moore from the 1970s in her role as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s, but she was iconic in her role as Mary Richards, a thirty-ish single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She had a good many other roles as well, but I also adored her appearance(s?) in Hot in Cleveland, where she was reunited with The Mary Tyler Moore Show co-stars Betty White and Valerie Harper.

I remember learning that she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 30, and kept up to date with her life after the MTM Show, though it was difficult at times.

Rest In Peace, Mary. You made it, after all.

R.I.P. Miguel Ferrer (1955 – 2017) January 20, 2017

Posted by jkahane in movie hut, news, obituary, tv hut.
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Sad news out of the entertainment industry once more yesterday.

Actor Miguel Ferrer Dead at 61

Miguel (José) Ferrer was an American actor and voice actor mostly known for villainous roles, notably Bob Morton, the designer of the title character in RoboCop (1987). He also voiced the antagonistic Hun leader Shan Yu in Mulan (1998) and Big Boss in Rio 2 (2014). His other notable roles include Dr. Garret Macy on Crossing Jordan (2001-2007), NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger on NCIS: Los Angeles (2012-2017), Vice President Rodriguez in Iron Man 3 (2013), and FBI forensic pathologist Albert Rosenfield in Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 2017).

I’ve seen quite a few of his works in television and the movies, but I absolutely loved his work in Crossing Jordan and Twin Peaks, and noticed his appearances in all sorts of other stuff that he worked on. A truly phenomenal actor, and a lovely man.

Rest In Peace, Miguel Ferrer.

You will be missed.

Movie Review: Passengers (No Spoilers) January 20, 2017

Posted by jkahane in movie hut, personal, review, Uncategorized.
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I went and saw Passengers last night, the science fiction-cum-romance movie that left me feeling…flat. What can I say about the movie that won’t include spoilers? Hmm…

Well… Passengers starts off with a bravura opening sequence of the interstellar ship Avalon (it’s a sleeper ship at best, not a generation vessel) passing through an asteroid field on the 30th year of its 120-year voyage to the galactic hinterlands, and to tell the truth, while the opening bit is impressive visually, the plot of this movie lets the film down. The film is so proud of really boasting its star power (Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence) that it takes a while for the viewer to notice that the romantic sub-plot of the movie is quite…lame. I can’t go into details on the plot here at all, but to be honest, the first act of the film had my attention, and was quite solid; the second act of the film is about the romance between the two leads, and that was all right to some extent. The third act, however, was a disappointment and almost unwatchable in so many ways. While it’s one thing to have the ship malfunction, my problem was that the absurd amount of reveals designed to make the viewer/audience gasp wasn’t warranted or necessary. There is a plot device that’s utilized throughout the third act that could easily have been removed from the entire film, without changing the film’s conclusion.

Having said that, I will say that overall, the film is one that I rather enjoyed, and it definitely doesn’t deserve the flack that it’s received, but the final product could have been great – and it wasn’t. It has some terrific space visuals, an interesting set in the Avalon, and two interesting, well-acted main characters in Pratt’s Jim Preston and Lawrence’s Aurora Lane. Director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) impresses with how easily he translated his visual prowess into the realm of large-scale science fiction, and the set design by Guy Hendrix Dyas (Inception) was immaculate, and had me really wanting to visit as many of the Avalon locations as possible.

If you have had high expectations and have yet to see this movie, I still recommend checking it out on the big screen, but I would definitely suggest lowering your expectations. Rating: 6.5/10.

R.I.P. Carrie Fisher (1956 – 2016) December 27, 2016

Posted by jkahane in book hut, in memorium, movie hut, movies.
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Terribly sad news today in the movie, writing, and life biz.

Carrie Fisher, the actress world famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars films, and who later penned award-winning books that included touching on her battles with addiction, has died at age 60.

Star Wars Actress, Bestselling Author Carrie Fisher Dead at 60

Words cannot express my sentiments at the moment, but the death of Carrie Fisher has hit me relatively hard in some ways, especially in light of the deaths of various other artists this year (and the ones that have struck in December so far, George Michael just a day or so ago). When the first (well, actually the fourth) Star Wars movie came out, my 20-plus-year-old self fell in love with Princess Leia, and while I can’t say that I followed her film career all that much, I did enjoy some of the other films that she’s been in (you can see the film list in the link above).

One of my favourite lines from the actress is…

I don’t want my life to imitate art, I want my life to be art.” — Carrie Fisher

May the force be with you Princess Leia, Queen Leia Organa, General Organa… Carrie. You will be truly missed.

Rest In Peace, Carrie Fisher. *sigh*

I really hate 2016.

Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (No Spoilers) December 21, 2016

Posted by jkahane in movie hut, personal, review.
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I decided last night that I was tired of feeling sorry for myself, and decided to make it a “movie night”, and high-tailed it over to the local theatres to see a movie last night. I went and saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

While I’m about to talk about the movie somewhat here, there will be no spoilers for the film. (I’m not that cruel.)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was pretty much everything I wasn’t expecting it to be. You’ve seen the trailers and must have heard/watched some reviews, so I will say that this movie is the lead-up to the first Luke Skywalker/Leia Organa/Han Solo film from 1978 or so. This movie was stunning in its look and feel, and while it was definitely a Star Wars film, it has a different feel and style than the original six films we’ve seen before, and in my opinion was better than movies 1-3 and movie 7 in so many ways. It doesn’t have any of the characters we know (except one or two, and no spoilers here!), the characters from the film have a familiarity about them that we all know and (maybe) love. This movie injected some new life into the franchise, answered some questions about A New Hope, but the viewer knows what this story is leading up, though it ends with a bit of a surprise.

If I had a problem with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story it’s that the movie has relatively shallow characterisations, which seem to be a by-product of the script, leaping from planet to planet and battle to battle with dizzying velocity as it does. That doesn’t make the movie any less enjoyable, nor does it detract from the things we’ve come to expect from Star Wars movies. Overall, I thought the movie was quite good, and worth the price of admission. Rating: 8.5/10.