Saturday, August 2, 2014

8.2.14 Random Notes

On some recent viewing:

Film: "A Most Wanted Man". The NYT review was spot on, but it bears repeating that Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be missed. Although the German accent was unimpressive, he was such a physical actor that it didn't matter. The film mad his character--the German intelligence officer--the focus of the film, whereas Issa, the defector, was the focus of the novel, but this was a good move. Le Carre excels in capturing the treachery of bureaucratic in-fighting. Definitely worth seeing--an adult film without any naughty bits, just some realistic bad guys.

Theater Broadcast: "Monty Python Live (Mostly)". C & I have been fans since friends took us to see MP back in the early 70's ("Now for Something Completely Different"). Seeing this production, it strikes me that their best material came out of the television production, which perforce limited what they could do. Their penchant for vulgarity was tamed (but not eliminated). Now as older men (all now in their 70's, I think), they still seem to enjoy making us laugh. Although like everyone else, I knew the punch lines, I still laughed. These guys (and their gal Carol Cleveland) deserved every curtain call and accolade that they've received. Great fun, again.

Film: "Jersey Boys". Clint Eastwood does a musical! The translation of the Broadway hit makes the transition to the big screen. Although not a real fan of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, I enjoyed it. The music, of course, makes it work. Christopher Walken as the Mafia-type don is great, and the actor-singer playing the lead also does a fine job. You leave the theater humming.

Airlines: American flag carriers serve the worst food. It seems like every other carrier serves something more tasty and interesting.

Airport Terminals: Delayed in O'Hare all day before our flight to Shanghai, we ate--again--at Rick Bayless's place there. Although the airlines serve the worst food, American terminals--with ORD getting a special shout-out--serve the best fair. It's great to be home in America, home of great Mexican food!
Also, even CID (Cedar Rapids) served some decent fare.

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