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Friday, November 14, 2014

Goin’ to the Movies

Stan and I went to see Zero Motivation last night. It was playing at the Jewish Film Fest out in West Newton, a near suburb of Boston. It’s a gorgeous area. Victorians dot the side streets. Galleries, cafes, pharmacies and hardware stores mix it up on the main drag.  There’s a commuter rail stop right there and, just three and a half miles away, a Green Line trolley stop.

Median sales price for a three bedroom home runs around 600 Gs while a three bed rental comes in at $2,400 a month. Yeah, ouch to say the least. Totes out of price range. ‘s OK — poor bastids don’t have an ocean out their front doors.

In any case, I got to the area early so I could explore a bit, scope out where we could get our pre show din-din. We ended up at Mango Thai, a joint devoid of coziness — more of a lunch place or take out hole in the wall. Why’d we stay? Eh, we were both unfamiliar with the area and the only other places looked like pasta emporiums or pubs, neither of which struck our fancy.

We ordered the vegetable rolls which were deep fried to a granite-ish solidity. Also, if there were veggies inside that stiff carapace, they escaped my notice. The Golden Triangles (Crispy pastry triangles filled with sweet potato, vegetable and curry power, served with sweet sauce) were better in that they actually did contain sweet potatoes but still, deep fried to the point of fossilization. Then the veggie pad thai arrived...with shrimp and chicken.

Next time I’m in the area, I do believe I’ll try someplace, anyplace else.

On to the West Newton Cinema! What a great old place. Mind you, I’m deeply fond of the red leather recliner seats and closed captioning (in ALL ten theaters!) at the AMC Braintree 10 BUT the place lacks magic and grace. You know, the kind that the old Chicago Theater and Tuschinski’s have in spades. No, the West Newton’s not up in that class but it’s reminiscent of a time when going to the movies was more elegant and filled with wonder.

The room was jam packed, practically SRO, a phenom that neither Stan or I’d witnessed in eons. There was excitement, eager anticipation in the air.

A description of Zero Motivation from IMDb:
A zany, dark, & comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female Israeli soldiers. The Human Resources Office at a remote desert base serves as the setting for this cast of characters who bide their time pushing paper and battling in computer games, counting down the minutes until they can return to civilian life. Amidst their boredom and clashing personalities, issues of commitment - to friendship, love, and country - are handled with humor and sharp-edged wit.

Zohar (Dana Ivgi) and Daffi (Nelly Tagar) are returning to Shizafón, their middle-of-nowhere IDF base...
It’s also, elsewhere, been referred to as PRIVATE BENJAMIN meets M*A*S*H, speaks Hebrew, and keeps kosher which sounds more like a movie pitch than a story synopsis.

There’s def zaniness but the flick has darkness too. I liked the protagonists but wanted to like them more. It was certainly a movie worth seeing but I felt it wasn’t quite fully cooked. More character development maybe?

The only other smidge of frustration is that I wished I could have heard the language. I found myself attempting to read the actor’s lips as I scanned the captioning (just like I do when I see English captioned flicks) and thinking “Hey, the way her mouth moved isn’t the same as the subtitle.” Doh — different language!

I’ve never heard Hebrew spoken outside of shul and I surely would have enjoyed the music of another language.


  1. Sounds like a pretty interesting day, if not completely perfect! I still remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia in the old Crest theatre (glorious old, big place)