Saturday, October 26, 2013

Movie Review ... The Butler


the-butler-posterEver since ‘Forest Gump’ won a multitude of awards in 1994, several movies have copied its template.  Using a character as a witness to key historical moments, the aim has been to provide an entertaining history lesson.  When facts are mishandled events become awry.  One never truly knows the motivation behind films like ‘Gump’ with some being dubious at best.  ‘The Butler’ offers some questionable perspectives on many factual episodes with portrayals some way from the truth it claims to represent.

Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) begins his working life as a valet during the 1920’s.  Eventually becoming renowned for his excellent work, his abilities are requested by the White House.  Starting an important position as Presidential butler in the 1950’s, he would eventually serve 7 American Presidents.  Witnessing the rise of the civil rights movement and various crucial social events, his beliefs are constantly challenged during decades of great change.

‘The Butler’ ignores one thing making such films succeed – objectivity.  It presents a very one-sided view of life as Cecil deals with his job and general racial tension.  Whilst the contrast between his subservient role and his family’s constant fight for rights is interesting, however, the script fumbles these badly. It paints a one dimensional ‘us vs. them’ picture.  This very basic re-writing of history does no service to those who put their lives on the line as it offers simplistic answers to complex questions.

Another fault is the performances.  From Whitaker’s miscast lead to the often bizarre stunt-casting of well-known actors, it is difficult remaining engaged.  Lee Daniels’ uninspired direction doesn’t help eliciting little passion.  It’s a shame as the story has intriguing elements.  The danger of mixing true historical facts with fiction quickly becomes apparent with the level of co-incidental events stretching its already threadbare credibility.

‘The Butler’ is a less than satisfactory rummage through historic moments.  Although the idea is sound its execution is inept with inaccurate portrayal of monumental events a dis-service to those who lived them.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE



Movie Review ... Blancanieves


11167606_detIt’s a brave production turning a beloved fairy tale into something totally unique.  Spanish movie ‘Blancanieves’ is such an entity.  Using the Brothers’ Grimm story ‘Snow White’ as its base, it’s one of the few recent films to be made in black and white with no sound.  Forcing viewers to obtain its pure drama, ‘Blancanieves’ makes a beguiling statement in taking cinematic risks.

When Carmen (Macarena Garcia) is found near a lake with amnesia, she is taken in by a group of bullfighting dwarves.  Not knowing her name, they call her Blancanieves.  While slowly recovering she begins showing her prowess as a grand bullfighter.  Impressed by her skills, her new friends turn her into Spain’s top attraction.  Disliking this development is her evil step-mother Encarna (Maribel Verdu) who will stop at nothing to destroy Carmen’s new-found happiness.

Photographed and crafted in a grandly opulent style, ‘Blancanieves’ demands to be seen.  This is very easy due to some stylish direction and quirky humour.  By discarding dialogue, it ensures viewers create their own interpretation of events.  Despite its Spanish flavour the well-known story is conveyed for all to enjoy.  All have enormous fun in twisting the Snow White tale in unpredictable ways.

Garcia makes for a bewitching heroine by successfully embodying her character’s determined demeanour.  She is matched by Verdu who clearly revels in the strident wickedness of her role.  Both make a strong impact amongst the excitingly staged bull-fighting scenes.   ‘Blancanieves’ has a nice rhythm ensuring the humour and drama blend nicely.  This makes for a consistently engaging movie with few slow moments.

‘Blancanieves’ breathes new life in an old classic.  Maybe not quite showing the Snow White we remember, it’s passion in creating new horizons is clearly and memorably seen.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE <



Movie Review ... Machete Kills


Machete-Kills-Movie-PosterDirector Robert Rodriguez does nothing by halves.  Having overseen the ‘Spy Kids’ and ‘Sin City’ films, his eye for kinetic action is unparalleled.  Tough, violent and completely over the top, his style has garnered a loyal fan-base.  ‘Machete Kills’ should only add to it.  A sequel to 2010’s ‘Machete’, it ramps up thrills to optimum level.  Having a moment’s breath will be impossible as Rodriguez presents an explosive ode to the pulpy movies he grew up with.

After his partner is killed during a drug bust, secret agent Machete (Danny Trejo) sets out on revenge.  When the American President (Charlie Sheen) gives him a new assignment, he discovers a crucial link.  Tasked with stopping a madman from firing a deadly rocket on American soil, Machete’s trail leads to sinister arms dealer Luther Voz (Mel Gibson).  Uncovering a plot to destroy earth, Machete aims to wreak vengeance upon those who dare cross his path.

Utterly ridiculous and proud of it ‘Machete’ is a lot of fun.  It has no pretensions to high art instead revelling in its high-octane exploits.  Death follows Machete everywhere with bullets, bodies and brawn on display.  The macho men are suitably menacing and feisty chicks add much spice.  Whilst it doesn’t always work and is a little too long, there is something for everyone.  Multitudes of sci-fi/action references ensure fans enjoy its cartoonish escapades. 

‘Machete Kills’s’ greatest aspect is its imaginative scope.  Crafting some new wrinkles within the action stable, there are some amazingly realised fight sequences.  Its uncompromising path is welcome with a suitably epic feel despite being cheaply made.  The cast have a great time with the outrageous things including cameos from Lady Ga Ga and Gibson highly amusing. 

‘Machete Kills’ is so ludicrous as to defy belief.  It’s hard to dis-like and more than earns its place amongst others in the genre.  It appears a third ‘Machete’ outing is in the works and hopefully it will be just as entertaining as this silly romp.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE



Movie Review ... The Counselor


the-counselor-posterAuthors like Edgar Wallace and Elmore Leonard made a virtue of writing about shady characters doing nefarious deeds.  How this dark underbelly would enclose once virtuous people made for riveting reading.  ‘The Counselor’ takes its cue from their crime-fuelled tomes.  Directed by the ever versatile Ridley Scott, who oversaw the similarly themed ‘Matchstick Men’, ‘The Counselor’ revels in a seedy atmosphere only his characters could enjoy.

A lawyer known only as ‘The Counselor’ (Michael Fassbender) is always looking for fast money.  Attempting to muscle in on a drug trafficking racket events soon turn nasty.  Meeting sinister people including middle-man Westray (Brad Pitt), Malkina (Cameron Diaz) and Reiner (Javier Bardem), the Counselor’s life becomes shaken.  If he is to avoid death he has to delve into his legal mind to escape its wretched clutches.

‘The Counselor’ provides a lesson in style winning over substance.  Whilst the ingredients are there for a cracking tale, very little comes to fruition.  How the Counselor slowly becomes entrapped in a violent scrum is intriguing as is the moral ambivalence of his crooked associates.  They aren’t really his friends as each has agendas in battling for every last vestige of power.  Although the performers give it their all the unfocussed story often works against their efforts.

For a story reliant on plot twists ‘The Counselor’ fails to utilise them effectively.  Most can be seen a mile away robbing the denouncement of its sting.  The plot meanders to a conclusion rather than being a tightly wound thriller.  There are good elements but Scott’s self-indulgent flourishes cushion their impact.  The few action scenes manage a modicum of tension even if the overall tale does not.

Promising much but delivering little ‘The Counselor’ is a disappointment.  The actors do what they can with the leaden material although it provides some diverting moments as it observes their character’s disreputable existence.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Explanatory Note


Due to some unseen circumstances,

there will be no blogging today.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thinking Renovation 22 October







Narcissistic Baby Names



Famed Australian author C J Dennis wrote in the classic book, The Sentimental Bloke

Wot's in a name? -- she sez . . . An' then she sighs,

An' clasps 'er little 'ands, an' rolls 'er eyes.

"A rose," she sez, "be any other name

Would smell the same.”

But the question arises “Would it really?”

Names are very important not only to the naming parents but also to the recipient child. We have seen in recent years many names given to babies that to the average parent are somewhat very different if not outrageous.

One can only wonder what effect some of these will have on the child when in school, college, university or in the work place.

According to United States Social Security data, the name Messiah rose 246 spots on the 1,000 most popular names 2012 list in the United States. Recall that a Tennessee judge reversed a magistrate’s decision that told Jaleesa Martin to change her 8-month-old son’s name from “Messiah.”

Amongst the up and coming names, which have been termed "Narcissistic" baby names, are the following:

1. King

2. Major

3. Princess/Prince

4. Beautiful

5. Awesome

All are actual registered names. Experts say that many parents now believe that the world revolves around their children -- and pick a name accordingly.

What of the future? Can we expect names like Selfie, God, Genius, Best, Thanksgiving,  Christmas or maybe even Life.

Perhaps the advice that C J Dennis, in The Sentimental Bloke, gives Romeo may be also given to those who wish to give their new born Narcissistic names:

“Oh, w'erefore art you Romeo, young sir?

Chuck yer ole pot, an' change yer moniker!"

Things People Said


This is a collection of quotes from letters sent to a landlord from his tenants.

· "I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is running away from the wall."

· "In accordance with your instructions, I have given birth to twins in the enclosed envelope."

· "This is to let you know that there is a smell coming from the man next door."

· "The toilet seat is cracked. Where do I stand?"

· "I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen."

· "Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces."

· "Can you please tell me when our repairs are going to be done as my wife is about to become an expectant mother."

· "The toilet is blocked, and we cannot bathe the children until it is cleared."

· "Will you please send someone to mend our broken path. Yesterday my wife tripped on it and is now pregnant."

Movie Review ... Movie 43


Movie-43-PosterComedic anthology films are a rare beast.  ‘The Kentucky Fried Movie’ and ‘Amazon Women on the Moon’ are examples of the ‘anything for a laugh’ genre few tackle.  Perhaps ‘Movie 43’ provides a reason as its disjointed mirth making conjures staggered amusement rather than ongoing laughs.  Not that those worshipping at the altar of political correctness would find much to smile about as it skewers such notions with dubious glee.

Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid) is a disturbed screen-writer desperate to have his script made.  Pitching to exasperated film executive Griffin (Greg Kinnear), he is mortified when his ‘sure thing’ ideas are soundly rejected.  Determined to make him listen to his script, Charlies holds Griffin at gun-point.  What he hears are a series of stories so ridiculous no-one in their right mind would make them.

Any film featuring killer Leprechauns and randy angels isn’t going to win an Oscar.  It may find an audience who love endless bodily function gags and sex jokes that would make the cast of the Carry On movies blush.  Occasionally a modicum of inspired comedy surfaces although with multiple stories helmed by multiple directors the hit and miss ratio eventually settles into the latter category.  Their attempt in linking the overall narrative theme of the sexualisation of society often misses the mark.

Even more surprising is the sight of an array of big name stars going beyond what their presumed huge pay packets required.  The likes of Halle Berry, Richard Gere and Hugh Jackman may never seem the same again to fans with their bravery in participating in lewd antics admirable.  They forge past the realms of bad taste although Quaid and Kinnear are the best performers in an amusing segment giving Hollywood’s shallowness a serve. It’s a shame most of the sequences are so inept in their execution with humour being more potent if supplied with genuine wit.

Those easily offended by foul language and nudity should avoid ‘Movie 43’ like the plague.  It has a constant stream of them with its aim in shocking audiences with a farrago of outrageous crudity a complete success.

Movie 43

Movie Review Rating  2 / 10

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.



Cool Images 22 October


Romantic Dinners

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A Raquel Welch Moment







Trivia Bits 22 October


  • The planet closest to the sun is Mercury.
  • Toto was Dorothy’s dog in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
  • Tennis player Andrea Petkovic is of German nationality.
  • The Battle of Long Tan took place in the Vietnam War, August 1966.
  • Dino Paul Crocetti was born in the US in 1917 and is better known as singer-actor Dean Martin.
  • The low cost airline RyanAir is based in Ireland.
  • The police officer in the animated television series Top Cat was Officer Dibble.
  • Pitti Palace is in the Italian city of Florence.
  • Suva is the capital of Fiji and is located on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu.
  • The letter W is the chemical symbol for the metallic element Tungsten.

Jus’ Tuesday



Quotables 22 October



Monday, October 21, 2013

Thinking Renovation 21 October







Leapin’ Lizards







Just For Fun 21 October





Savage Garden – Truly Madly Completely – The Best (2006)



Savage Garden – Truly Madly Completely  (2006)

Artist: Savage Garden

Album: Truly Madly Completely – The Best of Savage Garden

Genres: Rock, Music, Dance, Pop, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative

Released: Jan 24, 2006

℗ 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Savage Garden was an Australian pop rock duo consisting of Darren Hayes as vocalist and Daniel Jones as instrumentalist.

Formed in Logan City, Queensland in 1994, the duo achieved international success in late 1990s and early 2000s with the number-one hit singles "I Want You", "To the Moon and Back", "Truly Madly Deeply", "The Animal Song" and "I Knew I Loved You". Their two studio albums, Savage Garden and Affirmation reached number-one in Australia and peaked in the top ten in both the United Kingdom and United States.

This compilation catches all the brilliance of Savage Garden.  If you have never heard, do yourself a favour and listen to one of Australia’s best.

Track Listing:

1. I Want You 3:55

2. I Knew I Loved You 4:11

3. To The Moon & Back 5:42

4. Hold Me 4:52

5. Santa Monica 3:36

6. Crash And Burn 4:42

7. Break Me Shake Me 3:25

8. Truly Madly Deeply 4:39

9. The Animal Song 4:39

10. Affirmation 4:58

11. So Beautiful (Spike’s Album Version) 4:58

12. California Darren Hayes of 6:00

13. I Don’t Care 5:05

14. I’ll Bet He Was Cool 4:41

15. Love Can Move You 4:47

16. Fire Inside The Man 4:11

17. This Side Of Me

More Bumper Wisdom


  • Do I look like a freakin' People Person?
  • Do not believe in miracles - rely on them.
  • Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
  • Do not play a leap frog with a unicorn.
  • Do they ever shut up on your planet.
  • Do unto others before they do unto you.
  • Do Vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  • Doctor's say I have a multiple personality, but we don't agree with that.
  • Don’t Drink And Drive...You Might Hit A Bump And Spill Your Drink.
  • Don’t Take Life Too Seriously; You Won’t Get Out Alive

Encouraging Children to Eat as an Art Form



It is always a parental problem how to get the kids to eat nutritious food and in some instances to eat at all.

Perhaps the approach adopted by Samantha Lee from Kuala Lumpur may assist.

Samantha was expecting her second child in 2008 and looked for a way to train her first child to eat independently. Although not having any professional training she used what was at hand in the way of knives and scissors to prepare attractive dishes.

Her Bento creations have won numerous followers worldwide and also recognition with many internet Blog awards. Samantha’s blog eatzy bitzy contains both images of the finished dish as well as recipes and step-by-step instructions.

Nowadays Samantha’s daughters enjoy their meals. Hopefully her experience may also be yours with mealtimes becoming fun.

Her work has led her to a new career as a kid’s party planner.

With dishes like these probably on the party menu, when can I expect an invite?






To find out more about Samantha, her creations and recipes click HERE

A Ramon Navarro Moment



Ramon Novarro (The Road to Romance, 1927).