heard that weather forecasting is not an exact science, but this is
ridiculous. I checked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) for the weather. I was happy that the snow
accumulations would be four to eight inches. Hmph! I shoveled 23
2016) – Director: J Blakeson. Writers: Susannah Grant, Akiva
Goldman, & Jeff Pinkner (s/p). Rick Yancey (novel). Stars: Chloe
Grace Moretz, Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez, Bailey Anne Borders, Nick
Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Zackary Arthur, Liev
Schreiber, Maria Bello, Dave Moldonado, Paul Ryden, E. Roger
Mitchell, Charmin Lee, Parker Wierling, Alex Roe, Madison
Staines, Nick Robinson, Maika Monroe, & Tony Revolori.
Color, Rated PG-13, 112 minutes.
words “low budget,” “too long,” “obvious models,” “stock
dialogue,” and “disappointment” do not begin to describe this
film. Based on a novel by Rick Yancey, this sad attempt at an alien
invasion/world destruction flick can be seen in its entirety in the
yet, the theater was half full on opening night to see Cassie
Sullivan (Moretz) transform from a party-loving cheerleader into a
Barbie version of Rambo. The film opens with a voice-over from a
dirt-smudged Cassie as she cautiously crosses a litter-covered street
toting a rifle. She’s heading to the Quickie-Mart of a gas station
to get supplies. Inside, she grabs whatever is there she needs, and
hears a man’s cry for help coming from the restroom. She opens the
door carefully to reveal him (Zuk) sitting on the floor with his left
hand on his chest and he’s obviously bleeding. She demands to see
what he has in his left hand and as he slowly moves it, we see a
shining glint of something and she shoots him. It’s a crucifix.
scene reverts to the past and the events that led up to this moment.
Cassie lives in Ohio with her dad, Oliver (Livingston), mom, Lisa
(Siff), and little brother, Sam (Arthur). Everything’s normal with
Cassie and her best friends Lizbeth (Lopez) and Julia (Bailey Anne
Borders) at high school, texting during math class.
on the news, a large metal object is detected in the sky and it’s
slowly circling the world until it stops over Cassie’s street.
Someone borrowed the spaceship from Independence Day and
hung it like a chandelier over her town. Suddenly, the lights go out
in the school and all the cell phones darken and are useless. Cassie
and her friends run to the windows to see cars crashing into each
other and an airliner dropping from the sky and bursting into flames
on impact nearby. “That was the First Wave,” the narration goes.
getting drinking water from a stream in the forest the next day, an
enormous earthquake shakes the scene and Cassie and Sam are running
for their lives, dodging falling trees left and right. When the
ground stops shaking, a different roar comes from beyond the trees
and Cassie and Sam are forced to climb a stout oak to avoid the tidal
wave from Lake Erie. “We just had to deal with the lake. I can’t
image what people had to deal with on the ocean” that narration
continues. We see ridiculously large tidal waves wipe out a cheesy
model of Miami, the Tower Bridge in London and a glass-fronted hotel
in Thailand. The Empire State Building in New York still stands and
so do many high-rise towers, but all the streets are flooded. “That
was the second wave.”
she goes on to quote the statistics on how many birds there are in
the world and how many per person. “We came to calling the
invaders, ‘The Others.’” (How original! There was a movie by
the same name in 2001, a TV series, and a term used in The
Game of Thrones.) “They took the avian flu and genetically
mutated it so that it was unstoppable. Some of us were immune to the
virus.” (Not Cassie’s girlfriends or, eventually, her mother.)
“That was the third wave.”
gathers up Cassie and Sam and takes them to a refugee camp. But not
for long. A huge rumble is heard heading toward the camp. Army
vehicles galore! (I thought the invaders turned off all the power,
but no one questions this.) The Army takes over under the command of
Colonel Vosch (Schrieber) and separates the children from the adults,
shepherding the children onto school buses (how appropriate, they’re
going to learn something) and corralling the adults into a hall “for
forgets his teddy bear and Cassie goes to retrieve it. Looking in on
the briefing, she sees one man rebel against being separated from his
child. He pulls out a gun and there is a mass murder (including
Oliver). Cassie has missed the bus, Sam is panic-stricken, and,
totally traumatized, Cassie runs into the forest, toting the rifle we
see her with in the beginning. “That was the fourth wave.”
movie could conceivably have ended here, but it goes on for 52
minutes more. The children are recruited into a fighting force where
they’re taught to shoot and fight. They get a “tracking device”
injected into the back of their necks (Can you say Invasion
of the Body Snatchers?) from Sergeant Reznik (Bello) and are told
that they are the last defense against “the others.” They don’t
even question where the U.S. Army got the technology to create a
device that allows you to “see” the alien creature’s true form
inside a human head.
Cassie gets shot in the thigh while crossing a highway littered with
cars and wakes up in a strange bed. It’s here she meets Evan Walker
(Roe) and the movie jumps its second shark. Evan doesn’t tell her
right away, but he’s a half-breed alien/human from the first
invasion decades ago. But Evan rejects his alien heritage for his
love for Cassie and agrees to help her save her brother.
boot camp, the troops are ready for a foray into an “alien-infested”
town. Hometown Ohio football captain Ben Parish, aka Zombie
(Robinson), leads his squad (including, but not with, Sam, whom they
dub “Nugget”). A Goth girl, Ringer (Monroe), has shown them the
proper techniques of firing weapons, and they all receive helmets
with a special “visor” that indicates “the others” (who glow
green, of course). Ben is not your typical football jock, for he
figures out that if the implant from the back of your neck is
removed, you glow green too. The Army is really “the others,” and
they are the “fifth wave.”
only plus this movie has is its obvious allusion to recruitment of
children by ISIS. Otherwise, I wish the audience who saw The
Forest with me could have seen this one. They would have
taken back their comment of the “stupidest movie ever” and
rethought their opinion. It makes Norm of the North look
like Academy Award material. The Fifth Wave had me
groaning and rolling my eyes in amazement at how gullible the makers
thought their audiences would be. It won’t even achieve the honor
of being a classic B-movie. More than likely, it will be forgotten.
That is until the Sixth Wave.
the word “pub” would not attract me as being a restaurant, but
the photos posted on their website and the interesting menu items
sealed the deal. The fact that it was also five blocks from the
bright streetlights of Eighth Avenue were dim compared to the row of
hot incandescent bulbs outside this corner property. My camera almost
couldn’t handle the glare. Above the glassed-in front on two sides
was the name in classic white letters on a charcoal gray background.
Inside, the horseshoe-shaped, marble bar stands on a traditionally
English tiled floor and all the woodwork and paneling is mahogany.
Two very attractive San Dimus chandeliers add to the old-fashioned,
homey atmosphere and hang from 20-foot ceilings. The curtains in the
windows and the placemats on the bare wood tables match in the same
black and white houndstooth pattern.
young lady at the Captain’s Station was doing double duty when I
arrived and was attending to a take-out order. I waited until she
noticed me and announced my reservation. It looked like every table
was taken and I wondered where I would sit (hopefully not at the
bar). She took a rather long time at the computer but eventually
found me and led me to the perfect table (a little elevated) by the
Eighth Avenue window.
first server, Erin, (I had two) arrived with a glass of water and the
menu and asked if I wanted a cocktail. Having looked at the specialty
drinks and deeming them silly, I ordered my favorite martini and Erin
went to fetch it.
menu had the usual pub categories: Starters, Soups, Salads (there
were an amazing eight of them, including a “Foghorn Leghorn”
salad), Sides, Entrees, a Prix Fixe Lunch, Burgers and Sandwiches.
When Erin brought my martini I was a little surprised that it was
served in a “v” shaped tumbler rather than a proper, stemmed
glass, but it was well mixed.
helped me construct a three-course meal by ruling out two of the
three appetizers (starters) that I wavered among. The stuffed
artichoke hearts just missed being the first dish when she said that
it was “a bit lighter” than the other two. I chose the English
jackets – potato wedges smothered in Texas chili and sharp cheddar
– because of the intriguing title. In actuality, they were potato
skins I’m familiar with. But the chili was a good one and the
cheddar was real, not American cheese.
second course arrived with the first, even though I told Erin I had
lots of time. Small matter. It was easy to see that the seafood
bisque – smooth and creamy with shrimp, salmon and Maryland crab –
would taste the worst cold and I worked at finishing it first. It was
delightful (even though my least favorite fish, salmon, was a part of
it) and was thicker than I expected bisque to be. But I liked the
ceramic crock it was served in. The potato skins were accompanied by
a small cup of sour cream which, when diligently applied, would not
decrease their temperature. Pacing myself, I finished both dishes.
next to arrive was the main course and the side dish. The shepherd’s
pie – (made correctly) with seasoned ground lamb and sirloin (a
surprise) in au jus and topped with a layer of whipped mashed
potatoes – was great. The onion rings were enormous, deep-fried,
and crisp but not greasy, just as they should be. I ordered a glass
of their house Shiraz to go with this. It was a decent red with a
medium body, good with the lamb.
was then I noticed that my server had changed. The outfit was
different, the skirt was shorter, the hair color had gone from red to
black, even the accent changed. Lauren acknowledged the switch and
asked if I needed anything else. “Not just now.” I was rapidly
becoming full and wondered what happened to my appetite. But,
choosing caution over not being able to have dessert, I had her bag
up the delicious shepherd’s pie and onion rings to go.
enough, none of the desserts appealed to me. I had kept the wine and
drinks menu on my table for future reference and it came in handy at
dessert. I ordered the espresso martini – espresso-flavored vodka
and Kahlua. I have to find out where they got espresso-flavored
vodka. It was excellent.
I was choosing my restaurant the words “gastro-pub” were used in
reference to Houndstooth Pub, but “comfort food” more aptly
describes what they serve there. The first term might apply to the
stuffed artichoke hearts but not to most of the menu. It’s pub food
to be sure, but served in a nicer way and with authentic ingredients,
not American substitutes. I enjoyed my dinner and the people. I even
complimented a woman on her fur coat as she was leaving. I’m still
thinking of returning. If for no other reason than a salad named
after my favorite Warner Brothers cartoon character: Foghorn Leghorn.