Rosanne and I try to take in a movie every Saturday night.  We don’t do pure adventure or pure chick flick together and we scour reviews for suitable dramas and comedies that leave chickflicks to her and my adult daughters and leave adventure, scifi, and mysteries to me and my male friends or me and my son.


Our last three weeks of flicks: Boyhood, A Most Wanted Man, and The Hundred Foot Journey.

The presence of Phillip Seymour Hoffmann in his last film aroused enough curiousity in Rosanne that she readily agreed to watch that spy movie.  Predictably, it was my hands down favorite of the three and her least favorite.  I had read the novel.  PSH was so good in the role that he changed my imaginary perception of the character for the better.  I wonder if LeCarre himself had that impression?

The other two movies were entertaining and by no means a waste of money.  Boyhood leaves you with enough to talk about over drinks afterward and the sense that the movie captured a slice of life very well, but it neither leaves a lasting impression nor requires revisiting.  However, because it was actually filmed over 12 years with the same actors naturally aging it will be a film school subject, I am sure.

The Hundred Foot Journey, like Chef, is at its heart a celebration of food.  A feel good movie, dressed up as a dramady, with terrific actors.  Chef, btw, was a feel good movie dressed up as a travelogue with good standup comics.

You may have noticed I am not, here, a harsh critic.  I could be.  I am capable of pointing out the flaws in three of the four movies I have mentioned so far, and if I did you would think I did not like them.  Let it be said that the best movies I ever saw were not coextensive with my favorite movies, and I am not writing here to prove my chops as a critic, if indeed I have any.

Finally, my first cousin’s daughter just starred in this Grade B horror flick.

I am required to watch it, probably today.  Wish me luck.




For Troll

Star Trek sequel review from Reason’s Peter Suderman.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is an apt title for a movie as empty as the vastness of space. The movie moves as if through a vacuum — fast and frictionless, from one scene to another, with a lot of nothing along the way. The warp-speed pacing only barely hides the fact that it never really goes anywhere at all, and doesn’t aim to either. The final frontier? Forget it. This soulless sequel to a reboot is only too happy to go where every generic sci-fi blockbuster has gone before, and not so boldly either.

What the @$%?! Disney buying ‘Star Wars’ maker Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion from George Lucas

Disney buying ‘Star Wars’ maker Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion from George Lucas
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 4:37 PM

LOS ANGELES — Disney is paying $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm Ltd., the production company behind “Star Wars,” from its chairman and founder, George Lucas. It’s also making a seventh movie in the “Star Wars” series called “Episode 7,” set for release in 2015, with plans to follow it with Episodes 8 and 9 and then one new movie every two or three years.

Sunday Open Thread

76,000 qualified nursing school applicants were turned away in the last 12 months.

My advice: don’t bother with the Danish raunch comedy movie, Klown.

Seven minutes of terror:

Despite speculation, the Castro twins are the future of the D Party in TX, if it has a future.  I will go further: they represent the future of the entire D Party, if it has a future.

Just why would Iranians have a “pilgrimage” to Damascus?

British jocks are performing so well in front of the home crowd.  Congrats to all the Brit medal winners.  Murray beat Federer.

3 Movies

Moonrise Kingdom.  Only slightly surreal comic instant mini-classic.  Two 12 year old first time actors are delightful as the central players.  Surrounded by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, the girl’s parents, lawyers who call each other “counselor”; Ed Norton as the boy’s scoutmaster, Bruce Willis as the town cop, the Englishwoman Tilda Swinton as “social services”, and Harvey Keitel as the scouting commander, the two kids have a misadventure-and-romance-on-the-hike on a New England island in the mid 60s, while the adults search for them.  It is identifiably Wes Anderson, if you know his stuff, especially Rushmore.   A

Bernie.  Not to be confused with Weekend with Bernie.  Linklater presents the true story of a murder in Carthage, TX.  It is the funniest murder pseudo-documentary you will ever see, with Shirley McLaine as the town’s hated banker and eventual victim and Jack Black, in what could be an award winning role, as the town’s beloved assistant funeral director and murderer.  Matthew McConnaghey plays the D.A. and a retired lawyer I have known since law school, Brady Coleman, plays the defense attorney.  But not to be missed are the actual citizens of Carthage, TX, who  provide continuing commentary as the story unfolds.  As one of them explains, Carthage is behind the “Pine Curtain” in east TX – the part of TX  that is in the South.  A-

MIB3  I loved it.  It cannot be critically reviewed.  Tommy Lee Jones.  B  Must see for fans like me.

I Recommend WaPo’s ‘Spring Cleaning’ – 10 articles for conversation starters

I liked Milbanks’ take on the Cabinet –  except for the Big Four, they don’t do anything.  The Departments may be important, but the Cabinet members are mere figureheads, he claims.  He may have exaggerated (what else is new?), but I got the thrust of it.

Statistical retrospective on Massachusetts health care revision just published

Health Affairs published a retrospective on Massachusetts Health care.

Some highlights: Coverage is broader than it was in 2006, outcomes are better, costs are still increasing.  However, what I found most encouraging yet most problematical for ACA was that the use of ERs for non-emergency treatment has been reduced, but only in the last couple of years.

If ACA is to obtain a savings for the taxpayer, IMHO its best opportunity will be to remove non-emergency treatment from the ER.  I will be the among first to suggest that could have been done, years ago, without federal intervention, and there are examples of this around the nation.  For example, the @45 neighborhood clinics in SF, funded cooperatively by major employers,  the City, UCSF, and the two large insurers in the state, have been successful at this.  Now Massachusetts has proven successful at the state level.

However, the fact that there was no relief for the ERs for 3 years in Massachusetts indicates to me the lag time to spread the knowledge of “where to go” to those who need treatment.  That lag time would seemingly be, under ACA, a dependent variable upon other functions.  Is the state, responsible for the make-up of the “essential” package, disseminating information or remaining silent?  Does the locality actually offer alternate choices? [There are huge areas of the Big Empty in TX that don’t offer any choice but a 90+ mi drive to an ER, or to an unknown alternate facility].

NoVAH, could you please address this aspect of ACA – how it is to be implemented re: moving non-emergency patient care out of the ERs?

Thanks, in advance,



Rosanne and I try to see one movie a month without our twin granddaughters, who will be 3 on January 23rd. Further, we each agree to let the other go see movies one of us would not see on a bet.  Here, in order, are the movies we have seen together as a couple since January, 2011, with my brief notes.

I hope it is useful for y’all and would like similar feedback on the movies we missed, for the purpose of Netflicking them at home.

We both would recommend all but one.

“The Social Network” B+.  Of current interest.

“Winter’s Bone”  A.  Suspenseful and spare with a great lead.

“Nora’s Will”  A.  How a funeral movie should be.  From MX.

“The Ghost Writer”  B.  Very suspenseful and well acted.

“The Kings Speech” A- or B+.  Well acted. Dramatic tension in a small place.  An Aussie accented Edward was a stretch, however.

“Inside Job”  A-.  Much more compelling than any Michael Moore documentary because it is not ham handed.

“Kids Are All Right” B.  Good chick flick, but tries too hard.

“Incendies”  A.  Suspenseful and terrifying.  Canadian.

“Page One: Inside the New York Times”  Documentary.  Skip it.

“Bridesmaids”  B or B+.  Funny chick flick.

“The Debt”  B.  Good suspense, good acting.  I was granted this as a date movie in trade for “Bridesmaids”.  Aside from the NYT documentary, “BM” was my least favorite and this is Rosanne’s least favorite, but we agree that both are worth a look.

“Midnight in Paris”  B.  Fantasy romance comedy chick flick.

“The Descendants”  A.  Works on three levels.

“We Bought A Zoo”  B.  Not in the class of “Descendants”.  But by no means a waste.  Bit of a chick flick, I think.

“The Artist”  B+.  Brilliantly executed gimmick.  Won’t survive as a TV rental.  See it in the theater.

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