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Flash Movie Review: Puzzle

THIS WEEK I WAS LOOKING AT a recipe for a cherry tomato tart. It was in the newspaper and it sounded interesting to me. As I was reading the list of ingredients and directions I visualized how I would prepare it. I need exact measurements listed when it comes to cooking and baking; I am not one of those people who can eyeball a recipe and put a dash of this or a pinch of that into the mix of ingredients. With this tart recipe there was one direction that caused me to have second thoughts. After I was supposed to cook the onions, butter, parmesan cheese and spices in a pan on the stove; I was to pour the mixture into a pie crust. Here is where I got tripped up; the recipe then said to place the cherry tomatoes on top of the mixture and overfill it because the mixture will settle down as it is baking. How much is overfill is my question. For me taste is not the only thing that is important in a food dish, it also is the look of it; it must be visually appealing to me. The way foods fit together on a plate means something to me. In fact, it is more; the way things fit together in everyday life mean something to me.      THERE ARE SOME INDIVIDUALS WHO use their closet as a repository. Their clothes hang haphazardly with no continuity; work and play items mingle together, so they must search all through their closet when seeking one particular item. Maybe I am showing my OCD tendencies, but calmness comes when wardrobes are grouped for specific functions. Even with relationships, isn’t the goal when dating to see how each of you fit together as a couple? There are some people who meet and easily fit their lives together as if they had been together for years. Others find themselves in different spots yet have the awareness of how things could be. I would like to say being in a relationship is like starting a garden. One needs patience first of all and an idea of what they want their life to look like as they grow older. Then they need to choose the foliage and the placement of it to fully maximize its growth. A person would have to have commitment to their garden, tending to its needs and requirements. It is the same way for a relationship; working to see how each piece fits together to continue its growth. This dramatic film festival winner does a beautiful job in showing the viewer how things can fit together.      AGNES, PLAYED BY KELLY MACDONALD (No Country for Old Men, Goodbye Christopher Robin), had no idea what she needed to spark her into living life. She would find it in a simple birthday gift. With David Denman (Logan Lucky, The Gift) as Louie, Irrfan Khan (The Lunchbox, Jurassic World) as Robert and Austin Abrams (Brad’s Status, Paper Towns) as Gabe; watching this movie was like taking a leisurely walk through a garden. I thought Kelly and Irrfan were completely devoted to their characters and did a wonderful job of acting. The story quietly unfolded in a way that matched the game that was being played; at least that is how I interpreted it. There were a few passages where I felt a lull taking place, but then the script would move out of it. I especially was fascinated with the dynamics that played out between the characters. The director really spent the time needed on each character to allow them to develop before our eyes. Though I was left with a couple of unanswered questions; for the most part, I enjoyed the way the pieces of the story were put together in this lovely film.

 

3 stars           

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Flash Movie Review: Inferno

SEEING the digital clock was less stressful than watching the second hand of a clock dial counting down the seconds. Traffic was unbearable with construction slowdowns and drivers distracted by a car pulled over to the shoulder due to a flat tire. Finally I made it to the airport parking lot only to find out it was full. How was that possible!?!? I was directed to an unmanned remote lot that was automated; where I had to insert my charge card to get in. My irritation was rising since I was already anticipating being stuck at the security lines inside the airport. Finding a parking space at the outskirts of the lot I had to wait for the free shuttle to pick me up and take me to the airport terminal. Time was ticking down and I refused to look at my watch. What would be the point, there was nothing I could do about it.   MY years of commuting on public transportation gave me an advantage over the other passengers on the train; I was able to maneuver to the exit door that I remembered would stop right next to the UP escalator. The train came to a halt and the doors slid open. I ran out and quickly made my way to the departure gate area. The lines were not as long as I had expected but I did get stuck behind a family that kept setting off the metal detector, delaying my turn. I knew the airlines shut the doors of the plane before the departure time so I would have to run through the terminal to get to my gate. It was not easy with a heavy backpack and a carry-on bag that had a broken wheel. The sweat on my forehead was trickling down as I reached my gate only to become disappointed; my flight had been cancelled. The way I felt back then was similar to the way I felt watching this sequel.   SUFFERING amnesia from a head wound Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks (Sully, Bridge of Spies), would have to depend on Dr. Sienna Brooks, played by Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Like Crazy), to fill in some of the missing blanks while being chased by a killer. This action adventure film was set in some beautiful locations such as Florence and Venice, Italy. With Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Hell of High Water) as Bertrand Zobrist and Omar Sy (The Intouchables, Jurassic World) as Christoph Bouchard; I thought the supporting actors were stronger on screen than Tom or Felicity. The reason being there was no chemistry between these two, besides the script offered very little to help them. I have to tell you this crime movie was one long series of chase scenes that had no sense of excitement or drama. The story which was a bit confusing did not offer anything substantial for character development. It was not until the last portion of the film where I felt things were improving. My favorite parts in this movie were the Italian and Turkish settings. With all the time, money and effort put into this film I wonder if the movie studio is experiencing disappointment now.

 

1 ¾ stars    

 

 

Flash Movie Review: Jurassic World

The clanking metal sound still reminded me of an anchor being pulled up ship. Looking over at the roller coaster I recalled how that first steep drop took my breath away; literally, I was so tensed up I forgot to breathe as we dropped into what felt like a free fall down the tracks. Today there would be no way I would go on that ride again. As I have gotten older I no longer find heights attractive. I did go on the virtual spaceship ride, noticing the seat seemed smaller with my knees now reaching the back of the seat in front of me. Though I still enjoyed the ride I knew now when to brace myself before the ship engaged in a pretend aerial dogfight in outer space. Walking through the amusement park that I had last visited years ago, I still enjoyed going on the rides and attractions. Some of the larger rides had been freshened up with new parts or simply just a coat of paint. There was one ride where the computer graphics finally looked futuristic compared to the ones they had previously. I think part of the fondness I still had for the park was the memories from my previous visits that accompanied me during the day. There was no need to run from ride to ride, I could take my time and be more selective since the surprise factor was gone for me.    OVER twenty years have passed since the tragic ending to Jurassic Park. Updated and marketed to a new generation, Jurassic World park attendance had been strong. However market research had shown for the park to remain profitable it needed to come up with a bigger and better attraction to keep people coming back. Its newest attraction had something else in mind. This action adventure film had incredible special effects; the dinosaurs seemed like actual live creatures being filmed alongside the actors. Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Recreation-TV) as Owen and Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, The Village) as Claire were the main characters, both did a good job. I did not mind any of the actors to tell you the truth, even though the script did not give them any room to grow; they were pretty much two dimensional. If you are not familiar with Jurassic Park, then I believe you will get more out of this science fiction film than I did. I found it predictable, especially when some scenes were similar to ones in the previous movie. With that being said, there is no doubt in my mind that you will find this picture fun to watch and even exciting in parts. It was marketed to be a summer blockbuster and it will succeed. Wait a second, wasn’t that the same marketing idea the park had for their newest attraction?

 

2 3/4 stars

 

 

Flash Movie Review: The Lunchbox

It only took a couple of dates and I knew there was something special going on. There was an easy laughter and a nice flow of bantering between us. I was enjoying the direction both of us were going, into a possible relationship. However, suddenly a detour appeared in the middle of our road; they were being assigned to a work detail that would take them out of state anywhere from 6 to 12 months. We were so new to each other that we decided not to place any pressures on ourselves and to let fate play a hand in this new direction. Not only did we stay in touch by phone after the move, we started up a dialog that was carried out by cards and emails. Being a big fan of greeting cards, I had bought a huge stack of different types of cards and began a process of mailing at least 1 to 2 cards a week. I did not know if it was the cards that sparked our way of communicating, but the cards and emails took on a deeper level of emotional depth. I was allowing myself to be more vulnerable in the things I was writing, while the correspondence I was getting had a new flirty flavor that was intoxicating to me. Though we did not have traditional date nights, we both began to feel a special bond between us. In this dramatic romantic film I loved the way a simple mistake was able to unlock a person’s buried feelings. Nimrat Kaur (One Night with the King, Peddlers) played neglected housewife Ila. Using Mumbai’s lunchbox delivery system every day to send a meal to her husband’s office, one day her prepared meal was accidentally given to office worker Saajan Fernandes, played by Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, The Amazing Spider-Man). Confused at first, the scrumptious packaged meal was a special treat for Saajan. With the start of a simple thank you note with the containers, a written dialog began between the two strangers. This delicate film festival winning movie carefully layered the story out from scene to scene. I enjoyed the clever way the writers used the character Shaikh, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur), to play off of Saajan as his new replacement. The pacing tended to be slow at times but I did not mind it. A little more editing could have solved it. This film was such a sweet treat in the way it conveyed its message, showing me how there are no rules when it comes to love. The dialog was in Hindi with English subtitles.

 

3 stars

Flash Movie Review: Life of Pi

I wish I would have seen the 3D version of this exquisite movie. The fact that I am not a big fan of the 3D fad we have been experiencing, should tell you something about the visual aspect of director Ang Lee’s (Taking Woodstock, Brokeback Mountain) incredible masterpiece. Under his watchful eye both actors and animals commanded their scenes, placed perfectly for optimal effect. Based on Yann Martel’s best selling novel, the story was about the survivor of a shipwreck who found himself in a life boat with 4 animals from his family’s zoo. Newcomer Suraj Sharma was amazing as survivor Pi Patel. I found his ability to emote emotions without the use of his voice to be fresh for someone new to acting. Irrfan Khan (Taking Woodstock, Brokeback Mountain) did a beautiful job in his role, being properly confident yet reserved. Now I must talk about a third actor in this film, the tiger. I read that there were 3-4 Bengal tigers used in the picture except in scenes deemed dangerous. One would not have to take a big leap of faith here to realize a live tiger would not be used in scenes when Pi was in the same boat. The fact that I had read about the use of CGI effects made the computer graphic tiger more astounding to me. The big cat was so real looking I could not take my eyes off the regal animal. There was only one scene where the cat looked computer generated. Truly, the level of realism for all the animals was remarkable. I believe this movie will be a topic of conversation due to the different views the audience will walk away with from the open ended story. A breathtaking piece of work that I plan on seeing again in 3D.

 

4 stars

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