Saturday, December 7, 2013

Movie Review ... August: Osage County

August-Osage-County-Poster‘You can choose your friends but not your family’ is one of the truest phrases made.  While most have been fine, many household units have descended into warfare.  The mix of personalities from larger families are bound to have several disagreements which ‘August: Osage County’ explores.  Based on Tracey Letts’ play, it portrays behavioural absurdity most have to put up with in order to maintain the farcical facade of familial bliss.
After her husband Beverly (Sam Shepard) commits suicide, cancer-stricken Violet (Meryl Streep) summons the family for his funeral.  Among them are daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts) and Karen (Juliette Lewis).  Bringing their significant others and other relatives, the stage is set for a reverential memorial.  It soon turns into anything but with old secrets surfacing.  Untangling the personal web becomes an emotional chore for this very complex household.
It’s boringly repetitive to praise Meryl Streep for yet another amazing performance but it’s one she deserves. Her turn in ‘August: Osage County’ is a revelation in studied bitterness.  Decayed by the past and angry about the present, her existence is fuelled by her torment of her children.  Whilst some ensemble dramas become lost as they focus on several characters, it works perfectly here.  Each effectively contributes to a narrative examining the fabric of kinship and the sometimes agonising blood-bond families share.
Director John Wells pieces together the various strands with ease.  He is assisted by some amazing cinematography bringing Osage County to life in all its starkness. Barren vistas mirror barren affection the characters feel for each other.  How lives become so wrapped in regret and despair is painful to see.  ‘August: Osage County’ isn’t completely morose as plenty of natural humour rises from the absurd nature of their strange relationships.
‘August: Osage County’ is an excellent essay in the ties that bind.  We all have a family whether we want to or not. The film’s authenticity reveals much about the nature of genetics and how much is inherited from forebears.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  9
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.

Movie Review ... Night Train To Lisbon

night-train-to-lisbonCurrent films and TV shows appear keen on providing viewers with a ‘journey’.  Crafting a compelling narrative within the framework of a person’s quest is meant to hook us in.  Such journeys can either be emotional or literal.  ‘Night Train to Lisbon’ features both.  Charting a man’s odyssey as he confronts old demons, it travels fairly smoothly until its final destination.
Raimund (Jeremy Irons) is an ancient language expert and teacher.  Often perplexed by what life offers a sudden occurrence changes his existence. Preventing a woman from jumping off a bridge, she vanishes before he can ask her name.  Leaving behind her coat, he unearths a book with a train ticket attached. He is intrigued to discover the book is written by a former revolutionary.  Deciding to use the ticket to locate the author, what follows is a voyage of discovery which finally answers the questions that riddled him.
Adapted from Pascal Mercier’s novel, ‘Night Train to Lisbon’ is a slow-burning production.  Un-wrapping the secrets of those Raimund meets, it explores the legacy of people’s actions.  How the past affects the present is reasonably handled by director Billie August.  He ensures that Raimund slowly break free of his introverted nature as he discovers aspects of certain events.  His ability to inter-act with others becomes tested as participants from an important revolution tell their own side of the conflict.
Whilst the characters and central plot are interesting, the mystery behind them never really flies.  August’s direction is far too low-key with moments meant to conjure genuine suspense falling flat.  The convoluted plot doesn’t help although the quality of the performances is consistently high.  The performances make some unsatisfactory scenes work as the film shifts it way through various time-lines.
‘Night Train to Lisbon’ is a mostly engaging movie about how a random occurrence can forever alter one person’s perspective.  The road taken in this cinematic journey may occasionally be bumpy, although it proves if one has the will to discover something it can lead to life-changing moments.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6
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. 


A Supremes Moment







Trivia Bits 07 December


  • The sacrum is in the Spine / pelvis area of the human body and is a large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and at the upper and back part of the pelvic cavity.
  • The expression to have the flute means to monopolise a conversation.
  • The Triangle-and-Two-Defense is a tactic used in the sport of Basketball.
  • The car manufacturer Volvo takes its name from the Latin meaning I roll.
  • The chemical term for chalk is Calcium Carbonate.
  • The 1993 novel The Shipping News was written by American author E Arnie Prouix and won both the Pulitzer Prize and the U.S. National Book Award.
  • The Year of the Monkey follows the Year of the Goat in the Chinese calendar.
  • DuckDuckGo is the name of a search engine.
  • Peter Lalor was the leader of the Eureka Stockade – an organised rebellion in Australia in 1854.
  • A cube has 6 sides.
  • Lancelot was the greatest knight of legendary English King Arthur.
  • The Bridge of Sighs is in the Italian city of Venice.
  • The Magna Carta was originally written in Latin.
  • Elvis Presley sang Wooden Heart in the 1960 movie G.I. Blues.
  • No angel born in hell could break that Satan’s spell was part of the lyrics of the 1970s hit American Pie.

Quotables 07 December



Friday, December 6, 2013

A Steve McQueen Moment


steve mcqueen and car





Trivia Bits 06 December


  • Rice is made to make the Japanese spirit Sake and is sometimes called "rice wine".
  • In the card game bridge, the suite of spades is ranked highest.
  • Corleone was the surname of the family at the centre of the Godfather movies and was based on the town of Corleone a small town of approximately 12,000 inhabitants in the Province of Palermo in Sicily, Italy.
  • Charles Dickens was working on the book The Mystery of Edwin Drood when he died in 1872.
  • The company White Star Line owned the Titanic.
  • Chloe Lattanzi is the daughter of Australian singer and actor Olivia Newton-John who is best known for her role as Sandy in the 1978 movie Grease.
  • An icythyologist studies fish.
  • The Gibson Desert is in the Australian state of Western Australia.
  • Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires the son of Italian parents on 17 December 1936.
  • The more common name of diplopia is double vision.
  • The common herb Coriander is also known as Cilantro and referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander or Chinese parsley.
  • Stromboli is a villain in the 1940 animated movie Pinocchio.
  • The Ginkgo is the national tree of China and is also known as the maidenhair tree being regarded as a living fossil, recognisably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years.
  • Polypropylene, the main ingredient in household plastic, was discovered on a moon of Saturn during 2013.
  • The letter T is the letter immediately to the right of R on a keyboard.

Quotables 06 December



Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Sophia Loren Moment





sophia loren 04

Sophialoren 05

Trivia Bits 05 December


  • Ornithology is the study of birds.
  • The Australian state of Victoria boasts two Nobel Prize Winners. Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Sir John Eccles. Burnet won the 1960 prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance. Eccles won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the synapse.
  • The Colorado River flows through the Grand Canyon.
  • Augesia is the medical term for the complete loss of the sense of taste.
  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman was written by John Fowles and first published in 1969.
  • The monetary unit of South Africa is the rand.
  • US actor River Phoenix was 23 when he died in 1993.
  • England’s second largest city is Birmingham.
  • The 2013 film The Turning is based on a short story collection by Australian author Tim Winton and starred Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving amongst a myriad of actors in each of the short films that make up this one movie.
  • The game of Patience is associated with cards.
  • An aeroplane’s black box is not coloured black but orange to facilitate their being found after a crash and is an audio or data recording device in an airplane or helicopter.
  • There are 39 books in the Old Testament.
  • The Dish, made famous in the 2000 Australian movie of the same name, is in New South Wales and is the radio telescope at Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, was used by NASA throughout the Apollo program to receive signals in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Singer Josh Groban is American in nationality.
  • The world’s deepest ocean is the Pacific Ocean.

Quotables 05 December



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Shirley Temple Moment







Trivia Bits 04 December


  • In the board game Cluedo, a secret passage connects the Kitchen to the Study.
  • Bats are referred to scientifically as chiroptera.
  • Of Marilyn Monroe, US actor Tony Curtis said It’s like kissing Hitler.
  • Aristotle was the pet octopus of Pugsley Addams in the television situation comedy series The Addams Family.
  • The 2009 Australian movie Bran Nue Dae was directed by Rachel Perkins and starred Geoffrey Rush. Magda Szubanski, Ernie Dingo and Jessica Mauboy and was a film adaptation of 1990 musical Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi.
  • Time Magazine’s Person of the 20th Century was Albert Einstein.
  • Australian TV personality, Tony Barber migrated to Perth at age 7. The iconic talk show host began his career as a Perth DJ. He later worked in TV hosting Temptation, Family Feud and Sale of the Century.
  • 1951 movie The African Queen starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was directed by John Huston.
  • Mars is often referred to as The Red Planet.
  • The original book of Charlie and Chocolate Factory was written by Roald Dahl.
  • Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter series was played by Emma Watson.
  • Cleaver Greene in the 2010 Australian television series Rake was played by Richard Roxburgh with the series adapted America for the American TV series starring Greg Kinnear as the lead character, renamed Keegan Deane for American audiences
  • Diet Coke was introduced in 1982.
  • Younger than Springtime is one of the many hit songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.
  • Penelope Pitstop drove a Compact Pussycat in the animated TV series Wacky Races.

Quotables 04 December



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Shirley McLaine Moment




shirley_maclaine 098u



Trivia Bits 03 December


  • Famous American landmark, Niagara Falls, is constantly moving backwards.
  • Golden Globe and Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett was born and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe.
  • The name of the target ball in lawn balls is known as Jack.
  • The highest mountain in the world before Mt Everest was discovered was Mt Everest.
  • After his retirement, Sherlock Holmes took up the hobby of keeping bees.
  • Little Penguins, the smallest penguin species in the world, gather at Phillip Island in Westernport Bay. Every night up to 1,000 birds emerge from the waves and strut their stuff up the beach to their burrows.
  • Purple Roses symbolises enchantment.
  • The oldest operating mint in Australia is in Perth, Australia opening on 20 June 1899.
  • Phobos is a moon of the planet Mars and with a mean radius of 11.1 km (6.9 mi), Phobos is 7.24 times more massive than the second moon Deimos.
  • In Physics, the study of motion is known as Kinematics.
  • The letter Q in Scrabble has the value of 10 points.
  • The first female in the line of succession to the British throne is Princess Beatrice of York.
  • Gateshead Hall was the childhood home of Jane Eyre in the 19th century novel by English author Charlotte Bronte.
  • Hello Mary Lou was a 1961 hit for Ricky Nelson.
  • More than 10,000 ancient rock drawings, with some being more than 10,000 years old, are to found at Burrup Peninsula, Dampier, Western Australia. It boasts the biggest concentration of Aboriginal art in the world.

Quotables 03 December



Monday, December 2, 2013

A Sean Connery Moment







Trivia Bits 02 December


  • Beijing opera, a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics, did not originate in Beijing but in the Chinese provinces of Anhui and Hubei and was taken to Beijing in 1790.
  • The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa, contains the remains of a Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I.
  • Tennis star, Billie Jean King, is the subject of the Elton John hit Philadelphia Freedom.
  • The camel is known as the ship of the desert because of its ability to carry baggage over large desert areas.
  • The second planet from the sun is Venus.
  • Coober Pedy in South Australia is world known for the Opals that are dug form the mines nearby every year. The name Coober Pedy is Aboriginal and is said to mean white man’s hole in the ground.
  • The symbol pilcrow is commonly known as Paragraph Mark.
  • The state of Tasmania in Australia boasts the oldest Australian Bridge - Richmond, shot tower -Taroona, brewery - Cascade, theatre – Theatre Royal in Hobart, continually licensed pub – The Bush Inn at New Norfolk.
  • The only bird that can fly backwards is the Hummingbird.
  • The predominate colour of the mineral malachite is green.
  • Falling in Love Again was the signature song of Marlene Dietrich who dies in 1992 aged 90.
  • A demersal creature lives at the bottom of the sea.
  • Originally written in Portuguese by its Brazilian-born author, the 1988 novel The Alchemist was written by Paulo Coelho.
  • Banned at airports as a security risk, canned rotting herring is a delicacy eaten at the annual Swedish Surstomming Festival
  • The greeting known as kowtow used traditionally in China consists of kneeling and bowing low.

Quotables 02 December

 accept then act

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Movie Review ... Carrie

CarriePoster2Author Stephen King has had numerous films made of his work.  One of the masters of horror fiction, his grisly tales has generated movies of varying quality.  Some have been remade for new audiences, of which ‘Carrie’ is the latest.  A ‘re-imagining’ of King’s book which was previously directed by Brian De Palma who turned his 1976 version into a hit.  It’s unclear whether this new adaptation will endure as it slavishly copies what has already been done so well.
Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shy teenager desperately wanting to fit in.  Difficult to do due to her overbearing and fanatically religious mother Margaret (Julianne Moore), it seems Carrie social ideals are doomed.  Confused as to why she is developing strange telekinetic powers, she tries to control them.  When pushed too far all hell breaks loose with her enemies witnessing the full might of her fury.
Despite a rocky start, ‘Carrie’ version 2 settles into its own groove.  Whilst it copies much from De Palma’s classic film, the expected pyrotechnics and themes gain interest.  How the concept of bullying has changed since King’s tome was first published is shown with use of electronic devices.  These instruments of emotional torture further make Carrie’s life an ordeal along with the zealous rants of her disturbed mother.  This emotional maelstrom develops into a wretched blood-bath which is effectively laid bare in a furiously bloody finale.
Its ultimate success isn’t initially seen.  The performances border on caricature with Moore’s role in particular eliciting mirth than horror.  Nor was there any reason for Moretz to resemble Sissy Spacek from the original movie, even if she eventually finds her own voice.  The early plot establishment receives short shrift in Carrie’s attempt to race to its admittedly very exciting conclusion.  More scenes featuring Carrie’s plight at the hands of her abusers may have aided in increasing impact although what transpires is reasonably acceptable.
Although unsubtle in its handling of King’s tome, ‘Carrie’ isn’t a complete disaster.  Better than most remakes it has enough of its own energy to differentiate itself from its forebear with its horrific elements sure to jangle jaded nerves.
1146139 - CARRIE
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. 


Movie Review ... Kill Your Darlings


KillYourDarlings_posterThe ‘Beat Generation’ was a cultural movement that gained prominence in post-World War 2 America.  It rejected standard social mores aiming at encouraging personal experimentation.  It was inspired by a group of writers featured in ‘Kill Your Darlings’.  It explores the ideas and drama surrounding it by examining the genesis of the movement.  Benefitting from solid performances and John Krokidas’ strong direction ‘Kill Your Darlings’ is an intriguing look at the initial sparks causing a revolution.

Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) are writers determined to change the system.  Attempting to break free of the strictures of war and forge new horizons, their creativity seems limitless.  Into the fray appears David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) whose obsessive manner leads to a morass of intrigue.  Their lives are forever altered as they deal with the consequences of their actions.

‘Kill Your Darlings’ is a fascinating exploration of desire, love and loss.  Gifted in their own ways, the writer’s creative urges were often stymied by personal developments.  The frustrations those moments brought challenging their abilities.  Their determination in ensuring archaic institutions would change their ways of thinking would prove inspirational.  Hovering above were their sexualities, as each explored their conflicted feelings and depths of their passion.

The actors all provide strong renditions of their real-life counterparts.  Radcliffe and DeHaan are especially memorable as almost star-crossed lovers bound by their own principles.  How they stood by their beliefs would define their futures.  This strand provides ‘Kill Your Darlings’ with its most compelling moments.  Krokidas ensures the many revelations are evenly revealed leading to an unpredictable denouncement.

An intriguing drama about personal and professional aspirations ‘Kill Your Darlings’ is a fine drama.  The contributions of each writer would outlast their early tortured lives with their skills in questioning ancient ideals forever welcome.


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.

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A Sarah Bernhardt Moment



sarah bernhardt as theodora-act57




Trivia Bits 01 December


  • Hexadectylism is the term to describe someone who has and extra digit on one or both hands or feet.
  • Jayne Mansfield managed to furnish her Pink Palace without buying any furniture by writing to suppliers and asking for free samples.
  • Macaroni, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Emperor are types of Penguins.
  • Australian actress Jessica De Gouw plays Mina Murray in the TV series Dracula a British-American horror drama television series premiered on NBC on October 25, 2013 also stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula / Alexander Grayson / Vlad Tepes.
  • On December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.
  • On June 26th, 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco. The text of the charter was in five languages: Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
  • President George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart in 1782. It's a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.
  • President Lincoln proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1863.
  • The geology of the Grand Canyon area includes more than 40 major identified sedimentary rock layers exposed range in age from about 200 million to nearly 2 billion years old.
  • The British judicial practice of Quarter Sessions where local courts traditionally held at four set times each year existed until they were abolished in 1972.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology in New South Wales recorded 364 tornadoes across the state from 1795 to June 2003.
  • Richard Nixon was the 1st US president to visit China in February, 1972.
  • The Heysen Trail in South Australia is the longest dedicated walking trail in Australia running from Parachilna Gorge, in the Flinders Ranges via the Adelaide Hills to Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula and is approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) in length.
  • In Anatomy the clavicle is also as the collarbone and is the only long bone in the body that lies horizontally. It makes up part of the shoulder and the pectoral girdle
  • Roman coins have been dug up in America, suggesting that perhaps the Vikings or Columbus weren't the first Europeans to visit the New World. The coins were found in locations as far afield as Texas, Venezuela and Maine. One stash was found buried in a mound in Round Rock, Texas. The mound is dated to approximately 800 A.D. In the town of Heavener, Okla., a bronze tetradrachm bearing the profile of Emperor Nero was found in 1976. The coin was originally struck in Antioch, Syria, in 63 A.D.
  • Banana oil is also commonly known as Isoamyl acetate.
  • With the development of telecommunication systems, the telephone is increasingly taking the place of radio communications. Only a few years ago all calls for the Royal Flying Doctor Service were received by radio. Now only two percent of Royal Flying Doctor service calls in Australia are made via radio
  • Indira Gandhi once said You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
  • The ibex is a member of the goat family.

Quotables 01 December