Summer Film Series: Roosevelt Island

Hi guys!  Last night, I did the coolest thing.

My friend Leslee told me about The Skint mailing list about a year ago, which sends out a twice weekly email of all the free and cheap things going on around New York City.  Our weekend edition of the email mentioned that night’s free movies and locaions.

Last night, they were screening Disney/Pixar’s Brave at Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island.  Roosevelt Island is a little sliver of land between Manhattan and Queens and I, not having much need to go there, had never ventured around this part of town.  But, throw in food, a bottle of wine, and a movie and I’m down for just about anything.

So, Leslee and I pick up our favorite go-to salad from this Greek deli in our ‘hood.  (It’s called Mama Gyro’s and it’s nothing to write home about.  If you’re here for three days, I wouldn’t waste one of my meals on this place, but if you live here and want a fresh salad with some greek chicken on top, by all means, this is the jam!)  Anywho, we pick up our salads, pack up a (couple) bottle(s) of wine and some blankets and head out to Roosevelt Island.  Once you get there, Southpoint Park is a quick 10 minute walk from the subway station.  This was quite a different scene from the HBO summer film series, where it was every man for themselves, mad dash to get a spot.  We were able to get a great seat in the middle of the lawn and spread out without any stress at all.

The beauty of Roosevelt Island is the view!  Sprawling behind the screen was that gorgeous NYC skyline that I love so much!

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I mean.

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I can’t.

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Isn’t she beautiful?!

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Pixar always does great movies and Brave was excellent!

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The best part, though, was the ride home.  Now, we took the subway to Roosevelt Island because, as far as I knew, that was the best way to get there.  Well, imagine my shock as we’re walking to the park and see these sky-train-gondola things flying through the air.

Photos of Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram, New York City
This photo of Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram is courtesy of TripAdvisor

My mind was blown.  I had to ride this thing!  I mean, for a reasonable fare, let’s not get crazy.  I wasn’t paying any more than my $2.25 subway fare…  My jaw hit the floor again when we realized that that is exactly what it cost!  You’re telling me that I rode the hot, stuffy, stinky subway when I could’ve rode this thing?!  This was probably the coolest thing ever!  If you haven’t done this yet, it’s definitely worth the trek out to Roosevelt Island, just to get some stunning views of NYC!  (These are iPhone photos, guys, don’t get too excited!)

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We had such a fun night doing something new in this great city!

Movie Review: Promised Land

promised_land_movie_poster__121115234902I never see this many movies in this short of a span but for this third one within a week, I had an excuse.  It was Sunday.  My flight didn’t leave till 7PM so with a few hours to kill after lunch, I decided I’d get one more flick in there.  Paying matinee prices also was a bonus (they don’t have those rates in NYC).  The movie selections at this theatre were pretty slim.  I hadn’t heard of this movie prior but Matt Damon’s films are usually always pretty good.  I was pleasantly suprised with this movie as a whole.  I don’t think it was based on a true story or anything but it had that sort of feel.  The writing was excellent.  It had a few twists and turns that you don’t expect and the acting was exceptional.  Matt, of course, was great but the supporting cast of Frances McDormand and John Krasinski (The Office) really gave the film some added firepower.  So far, best movie of the year.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Movie Review: The Guilt Trip

GuiltTripSo I’ve been in Florida for a week and with a few open nights, I decided to catch a couple movies. The other night I saw Parental Guidance.  I would give that one 3 out of 5 stars and if I had to relate it to music (I am a DJ, after all), I’d put it in an “adult contemporary” genre.

I had much higher expectations for The Guilt Trip.  Ever since Knocked Up, I’ve been a big Seth Rogen fan.  The same, however, cannot be said of my feelings for Barbara Streisand.  To me, she’s in the same league as Bette Midler…what people see in either of them is beyond me.  But I digress.  I’d acually put up with her in a movie to see Seth.  Well, I hate to say it, but Barbara actually brought Seth down to her level in this flick.  If you go in thinking you’re going to see the Knocked Up version of Seth, you’ll be very disappointed.  This was like a “decaf” version of Seth – he had some similar attributes to most of the characters he’s played in the past but it was with a 50+ age level of humor.  The story line was weak, the movie dragged on, and Barbara played one of her typical whiney characters that I loathe.  I ended up checking my phone for e-mail and social media towards the end of the movie and didn’t even see how it ended.  Don’t waste your time on this one.  You’ll be glad I warned you.
Final Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (and that’s being generous).