Saturday, May 3, 2014

Movie Review ... Fading Gigolo


hr_Fading_Gigolo_3‘Fading Gigolo’ sees a rare acting role for director Woody Allen.  Content in over-seeing films than appearing in them, it usually takes a lot for him to appear in front of cameras.  It’s appropriate he’s chosen ‘Fading Gigolo’ for his on-camera return as it shares similarities with his work.  Exploring humanity’s frailties in a comedic way makes good use of Allen’s scarcely seen thespian skills.

Fioravante (John Turturro) wants to help his long-time friend Murray (Woody Allen).  Continually looking for ways to support his family, Murray’s financial situation is dire.  Hitting on what he thinks is a good idea, he suggests Fioravante become a professional gigolo.  Servicing a ‘select wealthy clientele’, he soon becomes highly in demand.  When meeting Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), his world changes with his new career further complicating their frantic lives.

Written and directed by star Turturro, ‘Fading Gigolo’ is a fair attempt in doing something new.  Using the romantic comedy genre as its base, it explores the character’s issues with intimacy and religion.  All members of the Jewish faith, their actions continually clash with the doctrines by which they have lived.  The culture shock in breaking away from established guidance brings some interesting reactions with Turturro subtly showing these changes.

These serious issues are reasonably conveyed in a generally amusing manner.  ‘Fading Gigolo’s more funnier moments come from Allen who does his usual ‘shy nerdy Jewish guy’ routine well. His performance outshines those of his co-stars who seem somewhat dis-engaged.  Turturro in particular fails to project the necessary charm his role needs in order to seduce the ladies he meets.  This is one of Fading Gigolo’s few down-sides with certain character motivations also being made frustratingly unclear.

Although not in the same league as Allen’s work, ‘Fading Gigolo’ has its moments.  Unlike some comedies it creates genuine amusement about a group of people awkwardly learning the art of seduction.


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.



A Clara Bow Moment







Trivia Bits 03 May


  • The highest classification in the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale is Category 5 with the scale being a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed.
  • Kalimantan is located on the Asian island of Borneo refers to the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, while in Indonesian, the term "Kalimantan" refers to the whole island of Borneo.
  • South Australia shares a border with all other Australian mainland states.
  • A yashmak is a piece of clothing more particularly a veil worn by Muslim women.
  • 13-time Irish tennis champion and world pro doubles champion George Lyttleton-Rogers was also an amateur boxer and cancelled a sparring bout with Don McCorkindale so as to retain his amateur status.
  • The 1953 play about the Salem witch trials The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller.
  • Obamadon, whose fossils have been found in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana and the Lance Formation of Wyoming, is an extinct lizard that was named after President Barack Obama as a tribute to his "role model of good oral hygiene for the world". The creature was probably a foot long, with tall, slender teeth it used to eat insects and plant matter.
  • The birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali was Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr, born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • The popular synonym of the dinosaur known as the Apatosaurus is Brontosaurus and is thought to have lived from about 154 to 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period.
  • Television franchise series Undercover Boss originated in 2009 on the British Channel 4 features the experiences of senior executives working undercover in their own companies to investigate how their firms really work and to identify how they can be improved, as well as to reward hard-working employees.

Quotables 03 May



Friday, May 2, 2014

A Claire Trevor Moment


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Trivia Bits 02 May


  • The Lepcha people are found in Asia and are among the indigenous peoples of Sikkim, numbering between 30,000 and 50,000 with also being found in western and south-western Bhutan, Tibet, Darjeeling, the Ilam District of eastern Nepal, and in the hills of West Bengal.
  • In the medical procedure known as CT Scan, the CT stands for Computed Tomography.
  • A positive integer greater than one that is not a prime number is called a composite number.
  • Kao Neaw, a Thai sticky rice dish, is often served with ripe mangos and coconut milk as Kao Neaw Mamuan.
  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary the longest English word with one syllable is squirreled.
  • The unfinished Ca' Rezzonico, a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice, appears in a early 18th century painting of Venice's Grand Canal by Canaletto.
  • It is in the Winter Olympic sport of Curling that you could score an eight-ender.
  • The Auditorium Building in Chicago, Illinois, originally the home of the Chicago Civic Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was intended to rival New York City's Metropolitan Opera House upon its opening on December 9, 1889.
  • If someone is described as having the DT’s, they are suffering from Delirium Tremens which is an acute episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol, first described in 1813.
  • Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are known as the Jovian Planets which are large planets that is not primarily composed of rock or other solid matter.
  • The South Australian town of Bordertown is 19 km (11.8 miles) from the border of South Australia and Victoria.

Quotables 02 May



Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Christopher Walken Moment




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Trivia Bits 01 May


  • A black pigment made of lampblack mixed with glue is called Indian Ink and is a simple black ink once widely used for writing and printing and now more commonly used for drawing.
  • British band Manfred Mann had a number 1 hit in 1968 with Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn).
  • The second book in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is titled Eldest.
  • At the height of the Cold War, on 7 August 1987 American long-distance open-water swimmer and writer Lynne Cox became the first person to swim from the USA to the USSR.
  • The International Comedy Festival Just For Laughs is held in Canada.
  • The three gods Brahma, Vishni and Shiva make up the Hindi trinity.
  • The world’s largest land-locked country is Kazakhstan being neighboured clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also a large part of the Caspian Sea.
  • Llamas and alpacas are both native to South America.
  • Playing Katharine Hepburn in the 2004 movie The Aviator was Australian actress and academy award winner Cate Blanchett.
  • St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Albany, New York, still has a silver communion service set given as a gift by Queen Anne in 1715.

Quotables 01 May



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Cher Moment







Trivia Bits 30 April


  • The locust bean is more commonly known in Australia as Carob.
  • With one of its steeples at 100.98 m (331 ft 4 in), the Cathedral of Magdeburg is the highest church in East Germany and houses the grave of Emperor Otto I the Great.
  • The Sierra Madre Occidental is a major mountain range in Mexico with name Sierra Madre meaning "Mother Mountains".
  • Fort Calgary, in what is now Calgary, Alberta, was originally named Fort Brisebois when it was established in 1875 and was named after commander Éphrem A. Brisebois of an "F" Troop that travelled north from Fort Macleod to find a suitable spot on the Bow for the fort.
  • Before American actress, dancer, singer and makeup artist Helen Gallagher became well-known for her role as matriarch on American soap opera Ryan's Hope, she won a Tony Award for her work in the 1971 Broadway revival of No, No, Nanette.
  • The common colloquial term for winning or losing a tennis set 6-9 is Bagel.
  • Ankarafantsika National Park in Madagascar is home to the rhinoceros chameleon and the greater big-footed mouse.
  • The Saffir-Simpson Scale classifies hurricanes and is used only to describe hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line.
  • Upstairs, Downstairs is a British television drama series of 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 to 1975 which was set in a large townhouse in Edwardian, First World War and interwar Belgravia in London, depicting the lives of the servants "downstairs" and their masters—the family "upstairs"
  • The value of the coin known as “two bob” is two shillings.

Quotables 30 April



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Charlie Chaplin Moment







Trivia Bits 29 April


  • The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a large primeval forest, is located in Uganda and has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site for its biological significance.
  • A moiré is a wavelike pattern where the term originates from moire a type of textile, traditionally of silk but now also of cotton or synthetic fibre, with a rippled or 'watered' appearance.
  • The Watchtower magazine is associated with the religious group Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • British musician, songwriter and record producer Roland Orzabal is best known for his work in the band Tears for Fears first formed in 1979.
  • Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain of Malaysia in the in the East Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site.
  • Nancy Cartwright is best known for voicing the TV character Bart Simpson.
  • In Serge Prokofiev’s 1936 orchestral composition Peter and the Wolf, the duck is represented by the oboe with the first American version, issued by RCA Victor in an album of three 78 rpm discs, released in 1939, narrated by Richard Hale and featured the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Serge Koussevitzky.
  • Belgian painter, architect and interior designer Henry Van de Velde was one of the leading representatives of the Art Nouveau movement.
  • The song Love is All Around was first recorded by English band The Troggs in October 1967 and was released as a single.
  • Buffalo River State Park, established in 1937, preserves one of the largest and highest-quality prairie remnants in Minnesota.

Quotables 29 April



Monday, April 28, 2014

A Cary Grant Moment







Trivia Bits 28 April


  • In relation to sports organization, the letters IIHF stands for International Ice Hockey Federation, founded in 1908, is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 72 members.
  • Especially written for its lead actress, Dawn French, the BBC television sitcom The Vicar of Dibley aired from 1994 to 2007 and was set in a fictional small Oxfordshire village called Dibley, which is assigned a female vicar following the 1992 changes in the Church of England that permitted the ordination of women.
  • Clarinets belong to the woodwind section of the orchestra.
  • The aftermath of the Revolt of 1173-1174, a rebellion against Henry II of England by three of his sons, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and rebel supporters, is depicted in the Peter O'Toole-Katharine Hepburn 1968 historical drama movie The Lion in Winter.
  • The flower of the Hong Kong Orchid Tree is depicted on the flag of Hong Kong.
  • Suzuki is a maid form the classic opera Madama Butterfly is by Giacomo Puccini performed in its final 3 act form on May 28, 1904. Madama Butterfly is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire for companies around the world, ranking 7th in the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide
  • In 1979, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, fled to Egypt due to a political revolution after which the monarchy was abolished in Iran.
  • The Barossa Valley in South Australia was named after the Battle of Barossa which was won by the British over the French at Chiclana, 5 March 1811 near Cadiz, Spain.
  • In 2012, Mo Yan was awarded a Nobel Prize in the category of Literature for his work as a writer "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".
  • The novels Amsterdam, The Blind Assassin and The White Tiger have all won the Booker Prize for Literature.

Quotables 28 April



Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Carole Lombard Moment







Trivia Bits 27 April


  • The discovery of the J/Ψ particle in 1974 earned Burton Richter from Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and Samuel Ting at MIT Brookhaven National Laboratory the Nobel prize as it confirmed the idea that baryonic matter (such as the nuclei of atoms) is made out of quarks.
  • The famous younger brother of American film and theatre actress, singer, dancer, activist and author Shirley MacLaine, born Shirley MacLean Beatty, is Warren Beatty, American actor, producer, screenwriter and director.
  • The Giant Oceanic Manta Ray is the largest species of ray and reaches 7 m (23 ft) in width.
  • Swedish author, Astrid Lindren, invented the character Pippi Longstocking.
  • The X-Files is a paranormal – thriller franchise that generally focused on paranormal or unexplained happenings with the first franchise release—simply titled The X-Files—debuted in September 1993 and ended in May 2002 with its characters and slogans e.g., "The Truth Is Out There", "Trust No One", "I Want to Believe" became pop culture touchstones in the 1990s and originally followed Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and their work in the FBI office dedicated to the X-Files.
  • When Lilian Bland built an aircraft in 1910 in Carnmoney in Northern Ireland, she used her aunt's ear-trumpet and a whisky bottle to feed petrol to the engine. The Bland Mayfly is credited as the first aeroplane to be designed and constructed by a woman.
  • The four main colours in a deck of Uno cards are red, blue, green and yellow.
  • Known as the Warrior Princess, Xena, played by Lucy Lawless, was an infamous warrior on a quest to seek redemption for her past sins against the innocent by using her formidable fighting skills to now help those who are unable to defend themselves and was American television series filmed in New Zealand airing from syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001.
  • The name of the sub-region of Oceania that includes Vanuata, Fiji and Papua New Guinea is Melanesia.
  • The 2013 novel Happy Eva After was written by Australian journalist, editor and award-winning author. Chris Harrison.
  • Models Inc. is an American prime time soap opera that aired during the 1994-1995 television season starring Australian actor, musician and presenter Cameron Daddo as Brian Peterson who was a photographer dating supermodel Teri Spencer.
  • The 1999 novel The Hunter is about efforts to find the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger and was the first novel by Julia Leigh, Australian novelist, film director and screenwriter.
  • Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, first published his laws of planetary motion in 1592 in the Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Cosmographic Mystery). This was modified in a later publication in 1621 when Kepler published an expanded second edition of Mysteriumdetailing in footnotes the corrections and improvements he had achieved.
  • Wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s full surname is Spencer-Churchill.
  • In 2008, Heinz Baked Beans became "Heinz Beanz" because the company thought the original name "a bit of a mouthful".
  • The Laccadive Sea is located in the Indian Ocean and borders India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.
  • Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott was a Scottish-born Australian rock musician, best known for being the lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980. His grave site has become a cultural landmark; with the National Trust of Australia listing his grave the list of classified heritage places as it is reportedly the most visited grave in Australia.
  • Great Britain is made up of the here constituent countries of England, Scotland and Wales.
  • The Erta Ale a continuously active basaltic shield volcano in the Afar Region of north-eastern Ethiopia, the most active volcano in Ethiopia.
  • Ratel is an animal that is better known as a Honey Badger and is a species of mustelid native to Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent.

Quotables 27 April


being alive