Saturday, May 9, 2009

Star Trek's rise to pop culture status has been remarkable. Forty years after first boldly going where no man has gone before, it spawned a plethora of merchandising that would have made its creator Gene Roddenberry awestruck. Back on the big screen, this eleventh outing sees the franchise return to its beginnings. The result should please casual fans and die hard Trekkies who have even created university courses around this massively successful money spinner. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is the wildcat of the Starfleet Academy. Carousing with the best, his aimless ways detract from the value of his family name. His potential becomes enriched when a threat arrives in the form of evil Romulan Nero (Eric Bana). Hell bent on a personal vendetta against Mr Spock (Zachary Quinto), Nero plots to destroy everything the Vulcan holds dear. Forming a shaky alliance with the crew of the Starship Enterprise, Kirk attempts to save the universe from destruction whilst battling future friends and foes alike. Of the many touches director J.J. Abrams adds to this Star Trek revamp is its long missing sense of wonder. Zipping along a fast paced story with an excellent balance of action, drama and humour, he unapologetically grasps the series' grandiose sweep. Cleverly re-inventing the series, this allows him further scope to stretch the characters. Unlike earlier entries you care about what happens to them which in turn gives the film some heart amongst the great special effects. Star Trek is a sci-fi version of a relationship film where the rebellious crew members have to forge a cohesive unit in order to live up to their ship's name. Abrams has also been smart enough to realize the average cinema goer would immediately think of the older characters whenever the Trek name appears and crafts an engrossing tale giving each a chance to shine. With a fine central cast successfully embodying the spirit of the previous actors, it's easy joining in their adventure although for older fans it's nice seeing the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, play a pivotal role. Despite its reluctance in concluding proceedings with too many false endings, Star Trek is a pleasure to watch. This is more than can be said of some of its predecessors. About as good as an epic popcorn blockbuster can be - Star Trek places the entertainment quota to its maximum. Amazing given the franchise appeared dead only a few years ago, the film-makers have developed an exciting fantasy movie that should see the series "Star Trekkin' " for many years to come. Movie Review Rating 8 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Star Trek home page click here. Star Trek Offical Website click here. Star Trek released in Australia on Thursday 7th May 2009. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Star Trek. Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
Some Australian films have become legendary due to embracing our culture. Discarding the easy option of copying the American movie template, these local productions have been daring enough to portray purely antipodean tales. Benefiting from this approach, Samson and Delilah captures a genuine Aussie sensibility above others who could only hope to match its true spirit. Spending his days aimlessly wandering about his Aboriginal township, teenager Samson (Rowan McNamara) is a troubled soul. Addicted to petrol sniffing his only bright spot is the presence of Delilah (Marissa Gibson). Caring for her sick grandmother Delilah slowly forms an attachment to Samson despite his rebellious ways. Fleeing the community after various familial troubles, the duo try their luck in the big city where loss, craving and love become their ultimate life lessons. Written and directed by Warwick Thorton, this powerful story is made more potent due to its minimalism. With only a moderate amount of dialogue, Thornton asks his audience to engage in his characters in visual terms. This is perhaps his masterstroke as the viewer is forced to interpret their actions by staying focussed on the on-screen activities. Made easier by the great performances of the leads, the superb cinematography and music help create the small world the pair generate for themselves with the expansive territorial landscape echoing their limitless potential. More than a simple love story, Samson and Delilah has much to say about current Aboriginal issues. Whilst careful not to stand on a soapbox, Thornton raises some tough topics with frank realism rarely seen. Although quite painful viewing, there is always a shred of hope lingering beneath the surface that the pair will find a way through their demons in order to carve out a life together. How each take turns in becoming their own carers is movingly portrayed as is the effect of various white policies had on their indigenous backgrounds. Samson and Delilah highlights taking a cinematic risk can reap beneficial dividends. Simply shot and presented, its bravery is in relying on its audience to craft their own meaning of events where the outcome can be as rewarding as the discovery of a new lifelong partnership. Movie Review Rating 8 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Home page for Samson and Delilah click here. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Samson and Delilah Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
Mother's Day was instigated by Anna Jervis in the US as a day for each family to honour their mother. It is now celebrated on various days around the world. This day was started at the start of the 20th century, and should not be confused with the early pagan and Christian traditions honouring mothers, or with the 16th century celebration of Mothering Sunday also known as Mother's Day in the UK. In most countries the Mother's Day is celebrated around the second Sunday of May. Where ever you are, I tust you have an enjoyable Mother's day and show appreciation for the myriad of small things that your Mother does every day for you. If you are a Mother, then from me have an enjoyable Mother's Day knowing that your family really do appreciate all that you are and do for them. For more information, try these links

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Capturing the opposite meaning of its title, Tenderness sees Australian director John Polson's skills develop. Known for the quirky comedy Siam Sunset before heading to Hollywood to helm two mediocre but successful thrillers, he seems to relish crafting the story's risky narrative. Somewhat hit and miss in its final outcome, Tenderness reveals a film-maker keen in shaking the established pattern of the American movie machine. Released from prison after killing his girlfriend and parents, Eric Poole (Jon Foster) welcomes the chance at redemption. Troubled teenager Lori (Sophie Traub) makes this difficult with her infatuation of his crimes leading to her forced integration into his life. Disturbed by her constant references to his deeds, his mind is further strained by the presence of Cristofuoro (Russell Crowe), a retired cop convinced Poole will strike again. Driving cross country to escape their demons, the trio learn that death's shadowy embrace can never be erased from their tortured thoughts. Tenderness' tricky subject matter makes a great virtue of unhealthy obsession. All leading rather sad and empty lives, the character's fixation on Poole's felonies provide a strange escape. As his wife lays in a coma, Cristofuono's relentless pursuit of Eric briefly expunges feelings of guilt of his wife's condition. Lori's desire to feel the hands of a killer also feeds into Eric's delicate mindset desperately attempting to banish memories of his actions. In an odd way the person you feel the most sympathy for is Eric whose efforts at establishing a normal life are constantly threatened by the other's selfish actions. These elements are articulated reasonably by Polson in spite of its generally alienating atmosphere. This ambience occasionally threatens to come apart by a disjointed screenplay heavily reliant on coincidences. When the story starts to become gripping, it goes off in another less interesting direction with the actors seemingly as confused as the muddle narrative. Generally the main leads manage to shine more often than not, with Crowe, Traub and especially Poole providing very strong performances as damaged personalities. The pleasure in observing a director expand his range is in the way they handle new material. Whilst not without fault, Tenderness shows Polson's capacity in adding some freshness to an old formula arguers well for more opportunities to think outside of the celluloid square. Movie Review Rating 6 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Tenderness released in Australia on Thursday 30 April 2009. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Tenderness Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
This decade's cinematic comic book boom has seen the genre split in two. In one corner are the emotionally engaging heroes questioning their ideals whilst suffering in the name of honour. The opposite end provides mindless entertainment with any notion of characterisation masked by smart quips and gargantuan effects. Wolverine unfortunately takes the latter trajectory despite a good supporting cast and spectacular action attempting to examine the character's origins. Having lived a long life with brother Victor (Liev Schreiber), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) tires of his violent existence. Settling down in Canada with his true love Kayla (Lynn Collins), his peace is shattered when Victor kills her. Seeking vengeance, Wolverine's brotherly bond is additionally stressed by Colonel Stryker (Danny Huston). Intent on creating a superhuman killing machine, his actions has life changing consequences for Wolverine who begins a battle against an armada of mutated foes. Filmed in Australia with a mix of local and American talent, Wolverine presents a great technical showcase for the industry. As one would expect, the stunts and special effects are top notch with Gavin Hood's enthusiastic direction perfectly capturing the crucial comic book flavour. Where events falter is its refusal to offer anything more than a clich├ęd revenge screenplay heavily reliant on the old biblical Cain and Abel motif. Although the genre has come a long way in the last few years, you wouldn't know it here as everyone goes through the motions in a rather old fashioned caper. This isn't laying blame at the cast who, through no fault of their own, have nothing solid to work with. Jackman in particular hasn't the necessary range to adequately express the strong emotions of his beastly character. This usually proves fatal in other movies, but is saved by a fantastic supporting cast giving an added edge to a lukewarm script. There is always the awesome pyrotechnics to distract with the ones on display certainly provide a modicum of visual candy. From exploding helicopters to a fantastic finale, the energy so crucial in these films always provides ongoing sensorial diversions. X-Men Origins: Wolverine suffers from a predictable script and its prequel concept. Naturally the leading hero has to survive in order to appear in subsequent X-Men films thereby robbing any tension. Nevertheless as a popcorn extravaganza it works quite well although those looking for more grist to the mill may have to wait until the next gothic Batman film arrives to stimulate their thoughts. Movie Review Rating 5 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore X-Men Origins: Wolverine released in Australia on Thursday 30 April 2009. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review X-Men Origins: Wolverine Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.
One of the main areas in Adelaide is Rundle Mall – the central shopping and business area. As you walk through Rundle Mall, don’t be surprised if you were to come across four very life like bronze pigs. Marguerite Derricourt, their sculptor did a remarkable job and they have become quite an attraction for visitors. The four resident bronze pigs are - Truffles, Oliver, Horatio and Augusta. On many a day, it is delightful to see children loving to clamber over them. These four bronze pigs are depicted in lively poses as if they were walking the street, greeting shoppers, and snuffling out a bargain. The group sculpture was unveiled by Former Lord Mayor (Dr Jane Lomax-Smith) on 3 July 1999. A competition to name the Pigs was held with the winning entries being: Truffles (The standing pig), Horatio (The sitting pig), Oliver (The pig at the bin) and Augusta (The trotting pig). With the current epidemic of Swine Flu sweeping the world, someone with a sense of humour added to the sculptures. In what is a serious issue facing the world, this is a light hearted moment!