Archive for April, 2010

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” isn’t bad for its genre

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I had seen the previews, and was familiar with the storyline, so I had my usual horror genre decision to make about “A Nightmare on Elm Street” since it is definitely classified in my least favorite genre.  I usually just don’t enjoy horror movies, and frequently find them boring, not scary.  With the scarcity of new movies released this week,  I took the plunge, gave AMC Boston Common my $10, and attended an early evening show.  Overall, it was just ok.  I did not find the movie suspenseful / scary at all which was probably due at least in part to my prior knowledge of the storyline.

On a positive note, I thought the movie was well made for this genre, and the actors did a nice job considering the roles this genre requires.  The editing seemed to be a bit above the normal for this genre, and I particualry liked the Everly Brothers song at the very end.  It was a nice “end of movie” audio transition.  Yes, I am old enough to remember when the Everly Brothers were a hit pop group in the golden era of 45 rpm records, and I did purchase some of their records when I was a teen.

Lost 54 pounds since November 29, 2009

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The good news is I have lost 54 pounds since starting my weight reduction on November 29, 2009.  The not so good news is I only lost 2 pounds between April 15, and April 30, 2010.  I have experienced lulls during prior weight losses, but then usually resumed an increased loss rate within a few weeks.  I will monitor my weight loss closely.  If my overall loss rate has indeed slowed to a rate of 4 pounds a month, I will definitely initiate additional eating modifications to ensure I continue loosing weight until I loose another 100 pounds or so.

One item I have to be more cognizant of is the amount of bread I eat.  The bottom line is I love bread.  The bread served at the Longhorn Steakhouse, which I eat at multiple times per week, is the best I have eaten at a chain restaurant.  Based on conversations with servers, many customers feel the same.  The rolls served at Kelly’s, and the bread sticks at the Olive Garden are delicious as well.  In all cases, I eat too much bread at all three restaurants, and must reduce my intake of bread at these establishments particularly since these three restaurants  account for 4 or 5 of my weekly dinners.  I do eat out daily.

During previous weight loss ventures, I also encountered periods of minimal weight loss, and then resumed a more rapid rate again.  I will watch closely to ensure I have not plateaued with my current eating behavior modifications, and adjust accordingly.

I had desserts on both Saturday, and Sunday this past weekend, and it was intentional

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

As you know form prior posts, I have been loosing weight, a little over 50 pounds since November, 29, 2009.  Part of my eating modifications for loosing the weight is the elimination of desserts.  When I started the weight loss, I did plan on rewarding myself with a dessert when I hit the 50 pound mark.  Although, I hit the 50 pound mark several weeks ago, I waited until this weekend to “cash in” the reward.  I also incremented my age clock by 1 this weekend, and had always planned an exemption to the no dessert rule for my birthday, hence two desserts this weekend without feeling any guilt.

I was 37 pounds lighter on my birthday this year than in 2009.  I am very pleased with that result, and plan on being at least double that difference when comparing my birthday weight in 2011 to 2010.  If I weigh at least 74 pounds less on my birthday next years vs. this year, I will be happy, and consider my goal met.  If I am closer to 100 pounds lighter next birthday, I will be ecstatic. 😉

“The Back-up Plan” is interesting, and funny

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

I have always enjoyed Jennifer Lopez’s movies so after a nice dinner at Longhorn, I went next door to the Regal Fenway, and saw “The Back-up Plan”  I don’t know for sure if this movie would be classified as a “chick flick” (no offense intended); however the majority of the audience was female.  If you have seen the previews, you know the story revolves around a women who decides to have a baby via artificial insemination, and then, as Murphy’s Law would dictate, meets a man she could easily fall in love with immediately afterwards.   I enjoyed Jennifer in this movie, and the male lead (Alex O’Loughlin) did an excellent job as well.  I don’t recall seeing him in other movies, but probably will after this fine performance.

There are many funny situational scenes in this movie revolving around Jennifer’s pregnancy, and the all-too-real miscommunications between men, and women.  I have always thought Jennifer was an attractive woman, and I think she is one of those lucky people who get more attractive as the years increment.

I did enjoy the movie a lot particularly since I am not the target demographic.  Come on guys, don’t let the fact many may think this is a movie for women only keep you from seeing this movie.  Chances are you will enjoy this movie, and if married, or have a significant other, you may relate to the miscommunications in many of the funnier scenes.

“The Losers” was just ok

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Saw “The Losers” at the Boston Common.  Although I usually enjoy action movies, and they are one of my favorite genres, I found myself almost bored at times even with all the action on screen.  I am not saying the movie is bad, it is ok, but I did not enjoy it as much as I anticipated I would.  If you like action movies, give it a try, you might like it better than I did.  The movie is based on a comic book which I never read.  Maybe if I had read the comic book, I would have enjoyed it more.

I have seen other action movies based on comic books I never read, and enjoyed them without prior knowledge of the storyline, or major characters.  Unfortunately, I can not say the same for this movie.

“Oceans” is an excellent Disney Nature Film

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

After a nice dinner at Longhorn, I went next door to the Regal Fenway for the Disney Nature Film “Oceans” released on Earth Day.  As usual with Disney Nature films, the cinematography is superb,  the film is interesting, and you always learn interesting facts.  One of the main themes of the movie is we do not know much about the oceans, and after seeing it, you realize how true a statement that is.  Since the movie was released on Earth Day, the movie also includes some info on how man is threatening the oceans, and its associated aquatic life;  however, the messages are not overbearing, and not insulting.  Whether you support Earth Day themes or not, I do recommend you see this film because it is an interesting,  extremely well done look at some quaint aquatic life many of us have never seen before, and the quality of the presentation is top notch.

“Are You For Great Sex” was certainly different, and it is not porn.

Monday, April 19th, 2010

After seeing “Mid-August Lunch”, I felt like another movie.  I had seen all the mainstream movies I had any interest in; however, the Boston International Film Festival was still in progress at the AMC Boston Common.  The next film was “Are You For Great Sex” certainly an interesting, somewhat provocative title.  Although some scenes are quite intense, and the language is direct at times, it is not porn.   The story revolves around a couple who have been in a sex only relationship for many years (physical sex, and then cyber sex after she married a different guy), and how that relationship progresses to a more emotional, more permanent level with an interesting twist to the end.

Overall, the story was interesting, believable, and the actors, all unknown to me, were fine.   Before the film began, the female director (Cynthia Hsiung) spoke.  Cynthia indicated the film is based on a true story, and some of the text messages used in the movie were actually exchanged between a couple who were having a sex only relationship in real life.  The director, and some of the actors were scheduled to speak at the end of the movie, and I would have liked to stay for the Q&A.  Unfortunately, I had to leave at the end of the movie to catch my bus home.

If you don’t mind a sexually tinged theme with strong, direct sex language, see this movie, but remember, adults only.

Update April 26, 2010
The Boston International Film Festival Awards were announced last night, and “Are You For Great Sex” won two awards.  Cynthia Hsiung won the Best Director for a Feature Film Award, and Jessica Caban won the Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film Award.  Congratulations to Cynthia, and Jessica for their well deserved awards.

“Mid-August Lunch” was entertaining

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I felt like a movie and I had seen all the mainstream movies I had any interest in attending.  I saw “Mid-August Lunch” at the Stuart Street Playhouse.  The movie is in Italian with subtitles.  The story is about a gentle middle age Italian man who takes care of his elderly mother.  Mid-August is vacation time in Italy, and most are anxious to go on vacation.  Our main character was not going on a vacation because he was devoted to his mom, and also did not have the money for one.  Due to a set of circumstances, he ends up caring for three other elderly women in his house so their sons could go on a short vacation.  Rather than treating the other women like the frail moms their sons did, they all eat what they want, drink wine, some smoke, and all have a grand old time while bonding as friends.  When it was time for the other women to go back to their sons, they did not want to go, and sent some Euros the way of our main character to help buy food for an additional dinner they could enjoy rather than the bland dinners their sons would serve them.  The main character would make excuses to the sons of the other women to delay the women returning home so they could enjoy another good meal eating what the women liked, not the bland, unappetizing meals their sons usually served them.

Overall, the movie was entertaining, and although I don’t understand Italian, it appeared all the characters gave fine performances.  If you like light, comedic entertainment without X rated material, take a look at this movie.

“Immigration Tango” is pretty good

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

I went to an early evening showing of “The Joneses”, and felt like another movie.  I had seen all the mainstream movies playing at the Boston Common;  however, the Boston International Film Festival was in full swing.  “Immigration Tango” was starting at a convenient time, and the description in the Film Festival’s newsletter sounded interested, so my $10 was swapped for a ticket.

I enjoyed “Immigration Tango”.  The actors (all unknown to me) did a fine job, the storyline was interesting, and it was an enjoyable romantic comedy.  I particularly liked the actress playing the female Immigration Officer, she was funny, and lovable.  The film takes place in South Beach which added a nice Latin flavor to the cinematic experience.  The story is about an immigrant couple (not married) who are in danger of being deported due to expiring green cards.  Their best friends are also an unmarried couple, but are US citizens.   To avoid being deported, the immigrant female marries the citizen male in a sham marriage and the fun begins.  Due to an investigation by the Immigration Officer, the sham marriage couple have to live together.  I won’t relate the rest of the story to avoid spoiling the movie for you.  I have seen quite a few romantic comedies, and, even though the plot may sound familiar, this one had a different take to it which was nice.

At the end of the movie, the four main actors, the director, and the editors were introduced, and took questions.  The movie was shot with RED cameras in about 22 days plus editing time.  Both of the actresses were dressed to the hilt, and looked stunning.

You won’t mistake this movie for a Hollywood blockbuster, but that can be a refreshing change.  If you like fine performances, minimum special effects, and an interesting storyline, see “Immigration Tango” if it is playing near you, or schedule the DVD if it is not playing at a theater near you.

“The Joneses” – excellent movie

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Saw “The Joneses” at the Boston Common, and I was impressed.  The story is about a family of cons, one of whom gets a conscience, flaunting expensive targeted items in their daily life.  The Joneses are paid quite well to influence the “well to do” of a community to buy the same targeted expensive items that the unsuspecting “keep up with the Joneses” crowd really don’t need, and may not be able to afford.  The storyline was excellent, the ending not predictable, and the time passed quickly.   There were some nice “toys” shown including the Audi R8, and very few special effects were needed.  Both David Duchovny, and Demi Moore gave top notch performances along with the supporting actors playing the daughter, and son of the unit.

If you like a good story which depends on acting, and not special effects, put “The Joneses” on your “movies to see” list.