Saturday, April 26, 2014

Movie Review ... Transcendence


hr_Transcendence_4‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is an oft-used phrase.  The quest for knowledge and riches has seen conquerors rise and fall.  The moral lessons of their endeavours have been used in stories for centuries.  ‘Transcendence’ gives this motif a high-tech spin.  With computers replacing the swords and bombs of old, it has given new goal-seekers another tool in achieving their sometimes dangerous aims.

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a leading expert in artificial intelligence.  Wanting to create a machine having its own intellect to gather information, his work has been controversial.  Aided by his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and friend Max (Paul Bettany), it seems he may reach his target.  His plans are thrown into disarray when nearly killed by extremists.  Requesting his mind be downloaded into the machine so his life can be saved, this new powerful entity unleashes a portent for humanity’s doom.

Much criticised for its slow pace, ‘Transcendence’ gives new meaning to the term ‘glacial story-telling’.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t reasonably engaging but an editor’s eye could have made it better. Blame should be rested on Wally Pfister’s shoulders in his directing debut.  Over-seeing the examination of the mis-guided abuse of power and the fight against technology, his fumbled mis-handling of the story nearly de-rails it.

Showing fine flair in making the world-wide threat seem real, Pfister also draws out some good performances.  Depp provides a quiet menace to his role with Hall successfully making her character’s actions believable.  Their character’s romance lends ‘Transcendence’ an unexpectedly tragic air as their love transcends cyber-space.  The action sequences are well staged almost managing to cover the many gaping plot holes.

‘Transcendence’ is a fair sci-fi romantic thriller without lingering too much on the memory.  The acting is solid even if the slow-pace isn’t with its messages on technology becoming lost amongst the cutting room floor.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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

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A Carol Burnett Moment







Trivia Bits 26 April


  • The archipelago of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean is a region of Norway.
  • American film and television actor Harry Hamlin played Michael Kuzak in L A Law the American television legal drama series that ran for eight seasons from September 15, 1986 to May 19, 1994.
  • The confectionery turron is perhaps better known as Nougat and is typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake.
  • First broadcast in 1996 British BBC crime thriller series Silent Witness is focuses on a team of forensic pathology experts and their investigations into various crimes was created by Nigel McCrery, a former murder squad detective based in Nottingham.
  • The World Heritage Site of Norbulingka is situated in the Tibet region of China and is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet, built from 1755 serving as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in 1959.
  • In the Peter, Paul and Mary song Puff the Magic Dragon lived in a fictional land called Honalee and tells a story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff alone and depressed.
  • Stayin’ Alive from the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever is a disco song, written and performed by the Bee Gees.
  • The 82nd Airborne Division, constituted 5 August 1917, participated in two end-of-World War II victory parades, the Berlin Victory Parade of 1945 and the New York City Victory Parade of 1946.
  • The two main stars of the 1970’s sitcom The Odd Couple were Tony Randall and Jack Klugmann.
  • Cherry, roma and beefsteak are types of the fruit Tomatoes.

Quotables 26 April



Friday, April 25, 2014

A Carmen Miranda Moment







Vintage War Recruitment Posters




ANZAC Day (25 April) I


Trivia Bits 25 April


  • The 2005 American adult animated sitcom American Dad! features the characters Stan and Francine Smith.
  • The Riesling Trail, one of Australia's most popular and accessible walking and cycling trails, runs for 27 kms along the old Riverton to Spalding railway line in South Australia.
  • Australian actor Mel Gibson starred as the character Hal Moore in the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers.
  • Princess Teriivaetua (1869 - 1918) was given precedence ahead of any children born to her uncle King Pōmare V and his part-English wife Queen Marau in order to secure a pure-Tahitian heir to the throne.
  • Australian swimmer Marieke D'Cruz is the former world record holder in the 50 metres butterfly short course when she clocked 24.99 seconds.
  • The term for a leader, the name of a butterfly and an Australian bird is the Monarch.
  • The 1957 novel Doctor Zhivago was written by Russian language poet, novelist, and literary translator Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957 in Italy, with Pasternak being awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • The 17th century navigator, Abel Tasman, was Dutch.
  • Clare Boothe Luce's 1936 play The Women has been made into a movie twice in 1939 and a remake in 2008, and revived on Broadway several times.
  • Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, born with malformed upper and lower limbs, was the most successful athlete at the 2008 Paralympics, winning nine medals, including four golds.

We Will Remember Them


we will remember them

Quotables 25 April



Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Camille Clifford Moment







Trivia Bits 24 April


  • The 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell is Black Beauty written during 1871 to 1877 and was Anna’s only published work.
  • A shape described as an enneagon has nine sides which is also known as a nonagon.
  • South Australian suffragette Mary Lee was commemorated with a $5 coin by the Australian Mint in 1994.
  • A gerontologist studies old age – its diseases and phenomena.
  • While researching his 2012 book, In the Shadow of the Sword, British novelist and popular historian Tom Holland found that the oldest biography of Mohammed was written two hundred years after he had died.
  • In October 2013, the West African country of The Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • Although Canadian actor, musician, singer, author, film director William Shatner became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the science fiction television series Star Trek, from 1966 to 1969, he also played the eponymous veteran police sergeant in the American police drama TV series T. J. Hooker from 1982 to 1986.
  • In the book identification, the acronym ISBN stands for International standard book number created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin, for the booksellers and stationers in 1965.
  • There are 24 circles in the standard Twister mat when introduced in 1966.
  • The second novel in the Passage trilogy by US author Justin Cronin is The Twelve. The first novel was The Passage released in 2010; the second book The Twelve released in 2012, with the third book The City of Mirrors due to be released in 2014.

Quotables 24 April



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Buster Keaton Moment


1928: Buster Keaton, the glum-faced comedian, arrives at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios with two large bags of his comic ideas. Keaton will make five films a year for MGM release.

Buster Keaton in The Playhouse (1921)




Trivia Bits 23 April


  • Modern Arnis is a martial art that originated in the Philippines and founded by Remy Presas as a self-defense system.
  • The mountain originally named Mount Kosciuszko in Australia is the peak next to the present day Kosciuszko.
  • The Australian states of South Australia and Queensland meet at Haddon Corner which was first surveyed by Augustus Poeppel in 1880 and lies at the intersection of the 26th parallel south circle of latitude and the 141st meridian.
  • London Still was the 2002 breakthrough song for The Waifs, an Australian folk rock band formed in 1992.
  • The 1972 Miss World contest was won by Belinda Green representing Australia, at the age of 20.
  • Compote is a dessert originating from 17th-century France made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup and is served either warm or cold.
  • The giant panda is native to China and is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body.
  • 2012 Paralympian Iraqi born Australian swimmer Ahmed Kelly lived at Baghdad's Mother Teresa Orphanage with his brother until he was seven years old.
  • The Children's Memorial Health Institute Warsaw, Poland was founded as a monument to the heroism and martyrdom of children during World War II. The first patients were admitted 17 October 1977.
  • The pasta that is means Little Tongues in Italian is Linguine and originated in Genoa and the Liguria region of Italy.
  • Extremadura is an autonomous community in the west of Spain whose capital city is Mérida and the birthplace of many legendary Spanish conquistadors including Vasco Núñez de Balboa the first European to lead an expedition to reach the Pacific from the New World.

Quotables 23 April



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Buster Crabbe Moment


Buster Crabbe, 1930s





Trivia Bits 22 April


  • Blanche Dubois is one of the main characters in the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams and was a fading, though still attractive, Southern belle whose pretensions to virtue and culture thinly masked her alcoholism and delusions of grandeur.
  • In Spanish, tapas mean lid or cover but generally refer to a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine.
  • It is in the well known fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin that straw is spun into gold. The German originated story was collected by the Brothers Grimm in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales.
  • Bette Davis Eyes was a 1981 hit for American singer-songwriter Kim Carnes and although song was written in 1974 by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon who recorded the song that same year on her album New Arrangement it was not until 1981, when Kim Carnes recorded her version of the song, that it became a commercial success.
  • Matthew Charlton was the leader of the Labor Party in Australian Federal politics in the 1920’s.
  • In 1981, Nintendo released to arcade game known as Donkey Kong which features the adventures of a large gorilla called Donkey Kong, created by Shigeru Miyamoto.
  • The best known spice from the Piperaceae family of flowering plants is pepper.
  • A dhow is a type of boat with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region.
  • The desert rain frog, found in Namibia and South Africa, leaves distinctive footprints on the dunes and a little pile of sand showing the location of its burrow.

Quotables 22 April



Monday, April 21, 2014

Movie Review ... The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise Of Electro


Amazing-Spider-Man-PosterAn important aspect a sequel should adhere is to keep it simple.  Many have used a new entry to up the ante in terms of plot and CGI.  In Hollywood terms sequels mean ‘more, bigger, better’.  Sadly some have been so over-stuffed with poorly written characters that an engaging plot never materialises.  ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ becomes an unwitting victim.  Whilst superficially entertaining it marks a cinematic nadir for a superhero film designed to launch further franchises.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still adjusting to life as New York’s finest superhero Spider-Man.  Knowing the sinister Oscorp foundation had a hand in the creation of his last foe The Lizard, he investigates further.  Meeting its new owner and friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), his search is interrupted by a deadly new villain called Electro (Jamie Foxx).  With girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) looking on, Spidey’s determined nature gives him the power and responsibility he needs to combat anyone standing in his way.

Director Marc Webb had his work cut out helming this movie.  Introducing three new villains, adding elements for future instalments, and attempting to progress established characters one would have expected a mess.  It manages not to become one although occasionally it comes dangerously close.  Much of its success is due to Garfield’s take on Parker/Spider-Man.  He still conveys the character’s rough edges of the early comic-books and handles himself very well in the action sequences.

Unfortunately his co-stars don’t fare as well.  From Foxx’s Electro to DeHaan’s tortured role, they are given short-shrift with caricatured personas.  Although we are talking about a fantasy film, others such as the recent ‘Captain America’ outing proved an intelligent superhero caper can be made.  The lack of any true style or logic hurts ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ with the messy CGI washing over the story.  The long run-time does no favours with its few intriguing elements becoming lost.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ isn’t a film – it’s a tool used to create more spin-offs.  Commercialism obviously isn’t a dirty word in Tinseltown but the lack of transparency the production shows grates.  It can be hoped the inevitable third outing rises to the occasion and gives the character the justice it deserves.


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



A Burt Reynolds Moment


1954 Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds in Pool



burt reynolds

Trivia Bits 21 April


  • The 1957 play The Room was the first play by Nobel Prize-winning English playwright Harold Pinter.
  • In 2013, The US Ambassador to Australia made a plea via Facebook for Australians to stop illegally downloading the TV Series Game of Thrones.
  • Australian 2012 Paralympic wheelchair rugby player Andrew Harrison was part of a campaign called "Don't Drink and Dive" which encouraged people to be careful when diving.
  • On 20 March 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono at The Rock Hotel in Gibraltar that was built in 1932.
  • 2012 Paralympics table tennis player Rebecca McDonnell was the first Australian woman ever to compete at the table tennis Para World Championships.
  • As Time Goes By is a 1992 to 2002 British romantic sitcom, starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, that follows the relationship between two former lovers who meet unexpectedly after not having been in contact for 38 years.
  • ’74 Jailbreak is a compilation EP released in 1984 by Australian rockers AC/DC who are considered pioneers of heavy metal and are one of the highest-grossing bands of all time.
  • The lunula ("small moon") is the visible the whitish crescent-shaped base of the nail and can best be seen in the thumb and may not be visible in the little finger.
  • Featured on the Australian one hundred dollar note is Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian operatic soprano, who one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century and was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.
  • Opened in October 2013, the Marmaray rail transport project connects the Asian and European sides of the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Quotables 21 April



Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Celebrity Moment


easter-sharon tate

Sharon Tate


Doris Day


Loretta Young

pier angeli

Pier Angeli


Alice White