The Little Hours

Maybe Go
If you’re not easily offended, love quirky, raunchy humor, and love to have a good time, then this film may be for you.
The Little Hours is an indie comedy with an appealing cast and premise that unfortunately is likely to offend more people than it amuses. Allison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Kate Micucci star as three young novitiates in the Middle Ages. The first two would vastly prefer life away from the isolated convent, and are champing at the bit in various ways. The third is a goody-two-shoes who eagerly tails and snitches on the others for the slightest no- nos. In fairness, she’s just as hard on herself, wearing out the confessional priest (John C, Reilly) who must endure her detailed recitations of trivial trespasses.

When a roguish servant (Dave Franco) is caught boinking the wife of a nearby lord (Nick Offerman), he flees in justifiable fear of his life, running into the drunken priest, who is in the midst of his own self-inflicted distress. After helping him recover, they devise a plan. Franco will return to the convent with him, pretending to be a deaf-mute laborer, allowing sanctuary for one, and a relief from the foul-mouthed invectives the young ladies had regularly screamed at the last poor sap who held the job.
The standard rules of narrative we all learned in our high school literature classes should apply to movie makers as well. Though you may not have room to hit every element of traditional plot structure, know that a story is roughly composed of exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and denouement. However, this film is based on the first and second stories in ‘The Decameron’, written in 1348 a collection of novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio, so it pre-dates the rules.
Your choice if you like medieval bawdy romps.

Logan Lucky

Must Go
The racetrack robbery plan is both ingenious and preposterous, which is also a fitting description of the film.
This is a film built entirely on the interactions and development of characters placed into extraordinary circumstances, and “Logan Lucky” completely excels on all fronts. Every single performer involved is giving it their all, and everyone does a fantastic job with the phenomenally amusing characters. Tatum and Driver are both incredible and play off each-other exceptionally as two brothers who love one-another despite their differences. The film wisely gives them both a lot of sympathy and flaws so that the audience never turns against them, and despite what they’re doing being completely illegal, you’ll quickly find yourself rooting for them. Supporting roles by the likes of Mackenzie, Holmes, Riley Keough and even a small turn by Hillary Swank are all played very well and lend a lot to the proceedings, and of course there’s Daniel Craig. Fans who only know him as the latest James Bond might very well want to check this movie out, because Craig shows just how versatile and talented an actor he really is and gives one of the most amusing and entertaining performances of the year.
Ending credits: “No one was robbed during the making of this film, except you,”
I like movies that are a little quirky.

Wind River

Must Go
Good old-fashioned storytelling. Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) are both exceptional as a dissimilar pair who out of sheer happenstance form an alliance to solve the mystery of a young woman’s brutal death on an Indian reservation. Renner is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker. Olsen is an FBI agent sent on an assignment very much alone.
The Wind River Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes of Native Americans in the central western portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming. The magnificent mountain snowscapes we see are actually in Utah. Highly recommended off-beat scenic thriller with highly satisfying retribution at the end.

The Beguiled

No Go
I have seen the original version of this film, which starred Clint Eastwood, many years ago (1971) and remembered it as being atmospheric and full of sexual tension so I was looking forward to seeing this. Unfortunately, I was in for a huge disappointment. The pace was slow, the dialogue labored, the scenes dark. Even the beautiful and talented Nicole Kidman couldn’t lift it out of the gloom. The characters had no flesh on their bones, there was no back story of any depth, I cared little for any of them. It is one-paced, boring, dull, nothing of any import happens at all. Save your money, stay at home and watch the original, it’s a far better film than this drivel.

Rossos Trattoria – Grants Pass

Must Go
Driving home from Reno She who must be Obeyed (SWMBO) says “ENOUGH!! pull over I’m tired”. So I make a bee line for the nearest motel and check in. I know what will put a smile on her face. Italian Dinner. A quick internet search and we are off to 226 SE 6th Street — Rossos Trattoria. Arriving at a dark mid block doorway we go in. Suddenly the most charming waiter appears, seats us and entertains us with his sparkling personality. SWMBO aka Sugar Momma orders spaghetti with meatballs, I take manicotti. I also order half a carafe of house red. (More about that later)
First course – the absolute best Tomato Bisque soup. We have a cup, served in a cup! A bowl is enough for dinner. Really! this bisque is the best bisque I have ever had.
Next spaghetti and meat balls – great marinara sauce Sugar Momma is pleased. For me manicotti – I liked it.
Finally, we order dessert. A flourless chocolate cake. As a chocolatier you know I appreciate great chocolate. This is it. Creamy, Tasty, Heavenly.
Back to the wine. I am a beer man; but with my paisanos you must drink wine. This house wine was TASTY! Smooth, fruity no after taste. However, when I mention that I am a beer man the bartender brings over a sampler of his IPA. I taste it. I find IPA’s too hoppy for me and tell him I prefer porter or stout. Good luck avoiding IPA in today’s market, but he brings over two more samples of porters. Good man.

Now a little aside, The best beer in the world is Celebrator, a doppelbock dense and creamy, with layers and layers of flavor. Start with a sweet raisin note and evolve into a continuum of burnt sugar and rum before fading to roast. Along the way a hint of toasted malt and the faintest whiff of smoke. I am transported just thinking about it. O how snooty of me.

Back to Rossos! We had an incredible time at this Trattoria. Great food, fun people and Sugar Momma picked up the check.

Ron White in Reno

She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) is recovering from 2 weeks in a coma in intensive care and has cabin fever. So I scan opportunities. Hawaii – no won’t fly. Chicago on the train? Nope too expensive. How about we return to the town we married those 23 years ago? OK!
So Ron White is playing. He is a comedian we both enjoy. He played with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engval and Larry the Cable Guy for many years, The Rednecks.
Ron is a functional alcoholic , like so many of my relatives. My favorite story was about Canada Geese and how we need a net at the border much more than a fence with Mexico. He is funny. We go to the 10pm show a little bluer than the 8pm show. SWMBO is happy.
If you get a chance to see Ron White don’t pass it up.

Atomic Blonde

The plot follows Lorraine (Charlize Theron) an MI6 agent, who is trying to track down a list of double agents that’s been taken. She will need the help from David (James McAvoy) and an undercover French agent Delphine (Sofia Boutella).
The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton is equal parts spy, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission.
I had a lot of fun watching the very violent (and quite bloody) fight scenes, car chases and shootouts. The fighting in “Atomic Blonde” is amazing, realistic, and brutal. It is among the best in movies.
The cherry on top, John Goodman was fantastic, but he is good in everything he is in.