Movies: Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, The Guardians of the Galaxy #2, Truman

Hi all!  Before we get to this weeks movies, this seems a good time to pause and give everyone an update on our world wind life in retirement.  We have never been busier.  Keeping up with events, our friends and family, enjoying Spring, and planning our road trip to Wisconsin.  We are planning to post updates to the blog as we make our way East on I-80.  Mobile phones, text messages, e-mail and the occasional Skype/FaceTime will be the best way to reach us after next week.

J&J

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent

This is a fascinating documentary about Jeremiah Tower, his life, the birth of California cuisine, and a truly unique person.  We will bet any foodie out there would enjoy this movie about this first celebrity chef.

Contributors include Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Martha Stewart and the former Editor of Gourmet magazine, Ruth Reichl.  The film explores most aspects of Tower’s life: his priviledged but lonely childhood, his Harvard education, the stint at Berkeley’s famed Chez Panisse and the falling out with Alice Waters.

There is a long focus on the rise and fall of his revered Stars restaurant in San Francisco. (Fun for us as the restaurant was a favorite of ours and walking distance from our house.)

If there is a down side, it is this film gets a little too personal.  It is not clear why Director Lydia Tenaglia, or Mr. Tower, elected to explore that point of view. Perhaps it was cathartic.

It is listed as a Documentary/Biography and runs 2 hours.  Rated R.

Rating  

The Guardians of the Galaxy, volume 2

If you liked the first Guardians of the Galaxy, you will most likely enjoy this one too.  The same characters are there, a few new creatures, the Sovereign are the beings that hire the Guardians to protect their batteries only to have them stolen. You can probably guess what happens next…

The cast is roughly the same as the first film: Chris Pratt is Star-Lord, Vin Diesel is Groot, Dave Bautista is Drax, Zoe Saldana is Gamora and Bradley Cooper is still Rocket (Raccoon).  There are several new characters, most notably Kurt Russell as Star-Lord’s father Ego.

The film is entertaining but seemed to lack the excitement of the first film.  Marvel will need to take note of audience reactions to Volume 2 and seek ways to keep the energy and interest flowing if future products are going to keep audiences on board.  Nonetheless, we had fun and think it is worth a look.

Rated as PG-13 and listed as Science Fiction/Action genre.  Running a long 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Rating  

Truman

This is an unusual Spanish film that won several Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent of our Oscars).  It is about a terminally ill actor who decides to stop treatment and wrap up his affairs in his final days.

One of his oldest friends, living and working in Montreal, decides to pay a visit to help with funeral arrangements, pay and close personal accounts and find a new home for his beloved dog, Truman.

It is well made, sensitively written, compassionately produced and at the same time funny, somber and bittersweet.

There are more than a dozen characters in this film, highlighted by Ricardo Darin as the ill Julian and Javier Camara as his friend Tomas.  Truman has a big role, albeit with minimal dialog.

It is listed as a Drama/Comedy and runs 1 hour, 49 minutes.  It is not rated.  English and Spanish with English subtitles.

Rating  

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