Category Archives: review

I spy a fun film

I finally saw The Man from U.N.C.L.E. today.

I’m so glad I didn’t let the critics dissuade me.

Since the stylized spy thriller opened counter to Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, critics seemed hell-bent to compare the two.  I’ve seen both; there’s really no comparison.

MI:RN was a wonderful sequel in the Mission Impossible franchise, but the storytelling and action sequences are distinctly modern. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a homage to the 1960’s television series, and the look, feel, pacing, soundtrack — you name it — are true to that era.

I also loved the very dry, British humor that director Guy Ritchie brought to the production. I’m not sure everyone in the theater today got it, but that simply made me feel smarter…and laugh all the louder.

As the trailers promised, everyone in this film is beautiful to gaze upon. Russian spy Armie Hammer is deadly gorgeous, especially in the close-ups, and American agent Henry Cavill is so chiseled, he doesn’t seem realistic. Hugh Grant has also never looked better. He should hire the hair and makeup people and keep them on staff.

I loved Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and I loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

I am so complex.

Room with a point of view

I have traveled to Chicago a lot over the years, and have stayed in what seems like every hotel, but tonight I discovered something new —

image

The Acme Hotel.

It’s not inspired by the coyote and roadrunner (like I first thought).  Instead, the owners are attempting an industrial look and feel — so said the marketing guy.

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The rooms definitely have a bit of whimsy. And every inch of space is efficiently used.

I can’t remember the last time I took pictures of a hotel room because it was pretty.  Or cool.  Or anything, for that matter.

Go Acme!

The coupon made me do it

I consider myself a bit of a risk taker…but not when it comes to pizza.

I like thin crust pepperoni. Period. To my taste buds, that is the perfect combination, and I don’t mess with it…or bother ordering much else.

But I had a coupon at Domino’s the other day, so I added one of their new specialty chicken dishes to my order, and wow — it was good.

DOMINOS-CHICKEN-PIZZA

I don’t want to sound like an ad, but the Crispy Bacon and Tomato Chicken was awesome.

So, if you usually wear blinders when it comes to pizza — perhaps you would never order from Domino’s even — consider giving them a shot. I love their thin crust pizza.

And now I even like chicken.

Go figure.

Second chance theater

the village

I had the opportunity to watch The Village again over my lunch hour today.

Okay, it went a tad over an hour.

After director M. Night Shyamalan’s huge hit The Sixth Sense, critics never really seemed to like any of his other films, including The Village.

But I loved it the first time I saw it in the theater, and it held up on the second viewing, too, even though I already knew the famous twist.

Plus, I was reminded of the wonderful performances by Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix and William Hurt.

So, if you initially dismissed it because it wasn’t The Sixth Sense — and let’s face it, there isn’t going to be another one of those — I urge you to give The Village another chance.

‘Cause it takes a vill…okay, I’ll stop.

A+ I

The media has been talking so much lately about the movies that are really bad (Hot Pursuit, Paul Blart 2) that we haven’t heard nearly enough about the great ones.

Like Ex Machina.

Ex-Machina-cast-bannerSci fi? Yes.

But it’s so much more. And I challenge any of you who may have dismissed its AI premise to give it another look.

For one, the performances are stellar. Alicia Vikander as the robot Ava is stunning. You can completely understand why Caleb, played by the equally compelling Domhnall Gleeson, is so taken with her, because you are, too. (And does anyone remember that the two were also romantically paired in the wonderful Anna Karenina? #PointsMe)

Oscar Isaac is also the most wonderful kinda crazy as Ava’s inventor.  “Isn’t it strange,” Ava asks him, “to create something that hates you?”

The cat and mouse game in this movie is wonderful. The film is filled with monsters, and it won’t be too long before you don’t know which is which. You’ll leave the theater talking about this film long afterwards.

For the right reasons.

Read my lips

Jimmy Fallon’s epic “Lip Sync Battle” has left its home at The Tonight Show and now occupies prime time Thursdays on Spike TV.

lip sync batle

The earlier time slot means the segment gets 30 whole minutes, costumes, backup ‘singers’ and dancers and racier trash talk (since it’s on cable). And the celebs are lovin’ every minute. The only thing that suffers?

The actual lip sync.

The celebs have a lot more bells and whistles to contend with, and limited rehearsal time, I would guess. So everything is messier…but who cares?

They’re making fools of themselves to music — just like on Dancing with the Stars — and it is magical.

One hour or less

Amazon one-hour delivery lives in Manhattan!

Amazon NowI learned that my neighborhood qualified for Amazon Prime Now a few months ago, and downloaded the app on my phone.

But today I took it out for a test drive.

I placed my order at 3:35pm, with guaranteed delivery by 4:35pm. At 4:11pm, the items arrived at my door.

It is as fast as my local pizzeria!

There is a minimum order of $15, and a $7.99 delivery charge for Amazon Prime customers…but for things you need right this minute —

It’s a deal!