Movies and Cooking ……

…… seem to be occupying my time lately.
Well, not really cooking. But I’m going to a cooking class tonight. Before you get too excited, it’s not anything cool like a Sushi class, or how to cook Thai.
Nope. It’s called, “Easy Meals Straight From Your Pantry”.
It sounds pretty dull, but I thought it beat sitting at home with no Olympics to watch.
The funny thing is, I think this will be a huge challenge for me. Not the class itself, but coming home and using whatever I learn.
That’s because my pantry is …… well, it’s just plain pathetic.
And pathetically plain.

You see, Daughter #1 is getting ready to move this week so her items in the pantry are dwindling.
And Daughter #3, well, Daughter #3 is eating …… “clean”.
HUGE ugh.

So, as long as this class tells me what to do with bananas, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, barley and a can of tomato soup …… I’m golden.

We also have a little tequila and vodka.
Maybe I’ll just stay home and have a banana margarita screwdriver.

On the movie front …… I saw three of them last week.
On Friday, to be exact.
Oh, don’t even! You know that if you had a foggy, yucky day to do nothing but go to three movies, you’d totally do it.

And just because I’m a nice person …… I’ll share my thoughts/reviews of these films.
You’re welcome.

So, in no particular order (other than the order I saw them), here are the movies:


This movie/documentary was terrific.
I want to be her when I grow up. Elaine Stritch is one of the most “real” celebrities I’ve ever seen. I think she always has been, which is why she’s had a rather, shall we say ‘less than positive’ reputation. She cuts to the chase and accepts no B.S. And she doesn’t take it, either.
Yes, she has a mouth like a sailor sometimes, but she’s had an amazing career and she’s still here …… at 87.
This movie follows her as she plans a new show to do here in NY and on the road. It shows the positive things in her life and the oh, so scary things that come with getting older (not “old” …. she hates that term, but “oldER”).
She’s one of a kind and the world will a less colorful place when she’s no longer in it.


This movie will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked it. You have to be able to completely surrender any thought of reality to watch it …… if you’re going to like it. You have to just let it be what it is, without trying to scientifically explain anything that happens.
It has a great love story and it goes beyond that to become a love of humanity story. Collin Farrell is nice o look at, Russell Crowe is fun to hate and Will Smith makes an interesting, if rather hokey, surprise appearance.


Now I happen to like Kevin Costner. I’m not sure what he’s been doing over the past few years, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie of his.
I’m guessing that maybe he was home, spending time with the kids, who are all now either in, or ready for, college.
That’s because the only reason I can come up with for him making this movie, is the need for money. College-costing money.
Because oh … my … word the pain of sitting through this movie.

I knew from the point the theme music started that this movie had an up hill battle. That’s because the music sounded like something out of a 70’s movie. Seriously.
And that’s not good.

The story was lame, the lines were sometimes horribly hokey and the film editing was awful. There were quite a few scenes where one of the actors was talking, but the words you heard didn’t match his/her moving lips.
No kidding.

I’d like to have my $14 (yes, that’s how much a movie in NY is, can you believe that?!) back, as well as that 90 or so minutes of my life.
See it at your own risk.
Or avoid it all costs.

So there you go. I’m not a professional movie critic, but I love movies. I think that’s the only qualification you need to offer a review.
This doesn’t mean that everyone’s going to agree with me. So if you go see one, two or all three of these movies and end up totally disagreeing with me …… I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that you don’t have more taste.

I was invited to another movie screening last night, so of course I went. It, as usual, was a movie that hasn’t been released yet. They screen it before audiences to get their reactions. You have to fill out a long survey afterwards and sometimes you get invited to meet with the film makers afterward, as a focus group, to discuss your thoughts with them.
I was invited to do that last night.
Until after the movie ended.
And I gave it a “poor” on my survey, rather than a “good” or “excellent”.
My invitation was revoked.
I thought about changing it to “good” so that I could still go, but in the end I decided to take the high ground and not cave in to rate it better than it deserved.
A lot of good that got me.

I wish I could tell you which movie it is, but they make you take a blood oath that you won’t discuss/write/blog about it until …… or IF …… it comes out.
For your sake, I hope it doesn’t come out.
I will try to warn you as soon as I know it’s premiered.

Until then, go find this movie, which was the first screening I attended, and see it. I think it’s Oscar-worthy, in more than one category.
Maybe that’s just me, but I’m ok with that.

This is a very, very good movie. It’s visually beautiful and Colin Firth is always a good bet. He does a fabulous job here. The actor who plays his character at a younger age, Jeremy Irvine, is amazingly good.
Nicole Kidman gives a good performance, although I didn’t truly understand her character, or the relationship. But I could let go of that to go with the rest of it.
It’s difficult to watch sometimes, but that goes along with the topic (being in a prisoner of war camp run by the Japanese during WW2).
But it’s also a beautiful, beautiful story.

OK, that’s all.
It’s time for me to bundle up and head out into the freezing cold/bitter wind to go learn what dishes I can make with bulgar wheat and fresh spinach.
Oh, and either almond milk or soy.
Wish me luck!

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