Two Movies* and a “Blog-cation”

Catching up on “Pizza and a Movie”: We saw two movies* recently, one of which I loved (Baby Driver) and the other for which I didn’t really care (Beatriz at Dinner.) I was glued to the screen watcing the first one (and as a bonus, it was set right here in Atlanta); I was intrigued by the second, but hated the ending. I can’t recall our exact pizza toppings either time, but I do remember feta cheese, and anchovies…

The next two films* on our list are The Big Sick (this week) and The Beguiled. But I’d also like to see Paris Can Wait, Dunkirk, The Exception, Girls Trip, and Despicable Me 3. Not sure we’ll make it to the theatre to see all of them, though. Recommendations?

However, “Pizza and a Movie” – and all blog posts – are now on indefinite hiatus, or what I call a Blog-cation (à la “staycation”). Instead, I’m focused on some upcoming author events, and on writing my next novel. For updates, stay tuned under News & Events, and sign up there to receive my bimonthly newsletter. The next edition is in September 2017.

 

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Get Out

Last weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Mushrooms

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It was a beautiful evening, so we sat outside on the patio. I had the V-8 salad (tomatoes + other fresh ingredients but no lettuce).

Movie:

Get Out

If you know anything about this film, you know it’s basically Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner meets horror film. I’m not a big fan of the latter, but the former is one of my all time favorite movies. I thought that film’s story was wonderful, and the acting was super.

Not so much with this movie. My husband liked it better than I did (and he is more okay with horror movies), and though I admit it was cleverly done, I don’t think it’s destined to be a classic. There was one scene in particular that truly horrified me, and – spoiler – it had to do with brain surgery. If you’ve read my third book, ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER (or even if you haven’t yet) you’ll know why.

So, I came out of the theatre a bit shaken. But I guess that was the idea.

 

 

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: The Lego Batman Movie

Last weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Arugula
  • Jalapeños
  • Artichoke Hearts

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I had a wedge salad, but since it was the first Friday of Lent, I skipped the bacon. So it was basically iceberg lettuce, tomato, and blue cheese dressing. My husband joked that it reminded him of the salads his mom used to make. (But he doesn’t remember blue cheese dressing…)

Since I haven’t mentioned this in a while, let me say that the pizzas at Corner Pizza are very good. When I achieve my weight loss goal, I may have a slice or two. Until then, I’m happy just to take photos of them.

Movie:

The Lego Batman Movie

Whoever thought of making a movie using Lego pieces/characters? Someone did for the first one (The Lego Movie, I think), and because it did so well, they came along and did another. This one was clever, if a little silly, but it was well done and entertaining. A bit of a change from movies we’ve seen lately, and a welcome one.

Now – it’s old news that La La Land didn’t win the Academy Award for Best Picture (and how it didn’t win). I’m glad it didn’t, but we haven’t seen Moonlight and don’t really want to. I’m kind of over the Oscars, anyway, except maybe for the gowns on the Red Carpet. Staying up past midnight to see the announcers (or whoever it was) mess up the biggest award of the night – well, I’m glad I didn’t.

[I did wake up in the middle of the night though and checked Facebook (!) to see who won that award. I saw a post that said “That was nuts. #Oscars”, but for some reason, I wasn’t curious enough to look further. I went back to sleep and found out what happened the next morning.]

Incidentally, Bonnie and Clyde is one of my all time favorite films. Too bad its actors had the misfortune of being the ones who got the wrong card that night!

 

 

 

Pizza, Salad, 4 Movies and the Oscars

Last weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Shallots
  • Jalapeños
  • Portobellos

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For me, a spinach salad.

(Recent) Movies:

Hidden Figures

Gold

Fanny’s Journey

Lion


The OSCARS are coming!

Not surprisingly, La La Land has received lots of nominations. Although I enjoyed it, I don’t think it should be awarded Best Picture (but I expect that it will). There was much about that movie to like, but the story just didn’t do it for me. It was the ending that killed it – not to mention some aspects of the plot. A recent Wall Street Journal article sums up my feelings almost exactly (note: spoilers!)

I saw the four films listed above after seeing La La Land. Each are based on true stories, and I loved all of them except Gold (and I liked that a lot). What I didn’t like about Gold: the way Matthew McConaughey looked (he gained weight for the role), and the fact that I found the film too long.

The other 3 movies were fantastic, in my opinion.

Fanny’s Journey was in French with English subtitles (I saw it during the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival), so you may not know about it. I highly recommend it. Hidden Figures and Lion were very, very good, and I think each should win some awards. My pick for Best Picture? It’s a toss up between the two.

We’ll see what the Academy decides, tomorrow night.

 

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Manchester By The Sea

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Capers
  • Jalapeños
  • Chicken

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I tried a new salad: “The V-8.” It was great!

Movie:

Manchester By The Sea

What can I say about this film, other than that it was sad? My husband said it reminded him of Ordinary People (which I liked better than this). Once I got used to the Boston/northern accents – which took a few minutes – I was involved with the characters. But overall, I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I had hoped to. I knew it was a drama, and would probably be a tragic story, but I was looking for something else, something that just never happened.

And it left me feeling unhappy.

Let me know if you see it and you have a different reaction. I’d love to know what you thought.

 

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: The Girl on the Train

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Arugula
  • Jalapeños
  • Banana Peppers

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Movie:

The Girl on the Train

You’ve read the book, but have you seen the film?

My husband and I finally read it over the last few days. I had wanted to for awhile, and had the perfect chance while we were on a beach vacation earlier this month. He read it after me, and we both really liked it (and, comparing it to other suspense novels we’ve read, understood why it’s sold so well). Perhaps because I’m a writer (or, just because we like to talk about books), we talked about the characters, the plot twists, and the unreliable narrator, Rachel.

Though the movie has had mixed reviews, I wanted to see it as soon as possible after reading the book, so we could see it for ourselves and discuss the film adaptation. Since it’s been out for awhile, we had to go far from our neck of the woods for a showing at the right time (after our early dinner). I’m glad we did, but I agree with those who think the film wasn’t nearly as good as the book.

But I think it could have been.

It wasn’t just that they moved the story from England to Connecticut (or somewhere up north), and that the houses weren’t as I pictured them; they seemed too far from the train tracks, and too far apart. They also cut a lot of important scenes (and some key dialogue), and added some things that weren’t in the book, and weren’t needed.

Even so, if you see the movie, I strongly suggest you read the book first. Or – just read the book.

Oh, and I had a wedge salad, and (oops), one very small piece of pizza. But now I’m back “on track” on my diet, so to speak.

Reliably.

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: The Accountant

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Anchovies
  • Jalapeños
  • Shallots

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Me? Wedge salad.

Movie:

The Accountant

He liked this movie better than I did. I did enjoy several scenes, but as a whole it wasn’t exactly my thing. However, I did think it was pretty well cast, even if I found the story a little bit out there. He thought it was actually set up for (or could be set up for) a sequel.

As for the pizza toppings, I know anchovies don’t look that good, but I think they taste pretty good – better than jalapeños, anyway. He’s running through every combination (it seems) he can make with jalapeños as one of the toppings, since I dislike them and am not eating pizza for the foreseeable future.

And all those salads (and other healthier food choices, + daily exercise) is paying off: Today is exactly 6 months since I started focusing on losing weight. In those 6 months, I’ve lost exactly 45 pounds!

People have asked me how I’ve done it. I use the app “LoseIt” to keep track of calories, and of pounds. I’m not at my goal, but I’m more than halfway there. When I reach it, I think I’ll pick all 3 toppings and have 1 very tasty slice of pizza (and a side salad, of course). I plan to continue using the app then (and for life, too – why not?) so I can maintain, after such a long weight-loss journey.

That’ll be my sequel.

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Queen of Katwe

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Red Onion

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and a spinach salad for me.

Movie:

Queen of Katwe

He had heard of this film and wanted to see it, and I really enjoyed it. Based on a true story, it’s about a young girl in Africa who turns out to be a chess prodigy. I don’t play chess (and don’t want to learn how), but it was absolutely wonderful that this girl did. She was amazing, and during the chess competition scenes, it was tense, and she didn’t always win. I was mesmerized by her and her opponent’s eyes – watching their expressions and their reactions as they competed.

There was a lot more to love about this movie, too, including the rest of the cast, and it was well done. Sully was a feel-good film, and so was this one. It was just a tad bit too long, but overall I think it’s an A.

Our dinner was great, too, and it was a fun evening out. I’ll eat pizza again later on – but not with jalapeños on it!

 

Pizza, Salad, and a Movie: Sully

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Corn
  • Jalapeños
  • Garlic

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For me, spinach salad.

Movie:

Sully

Dinner was good, and the film was great. I had my doubts about whether to see it (since I’m mildly afraid of flying), but I’m glad I did. Tom Hanks was terrific, and the story unfolded very well.  If you see it, I think you’ll feel good about pilots, New Yorkers, and just about being an American. And don’t miss the credits at the very end – they almost make the movie!

My verdict: A+

 

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