Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Eric Clapton Moment


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Trivia Bits 13 September



Known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship, French artist Henri Matisse painted Landscape at Coolioure (1905) (pictured) and The Dance (1909/1910).

South African retired badminton and baseball player Alan Phillips wasn't allowed to compete in badminton for South Africa in the 1992 Olympics because he was too old at 36, but he played baseball in the 2000 Olympics at 44.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed two cantatas with similar music at the same time: Ihr Tore zu Zion, BWV 193, to celebrate the new town council on 25 August 1727, and the secular BWV 193a for 3 August that year

Billie Jean King won one title in the Australian Open singles in 1968 when she defeated Australia player Margaret Court 6–1, 6–2.

Fragments of wall painting from the Japanese Buddhist temple of Kamiyodo Haiji in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, Japan have been dated to the late Asuka period which lasted from 538 to 710 AD.

The uppercase form of the Greek alphabet letter omega looks like a horseshoe.

The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird and is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h (43 mph), the fastest land speed of any bird.

In Little Lost Bear, the comic strip created by Mary Tourtel and first published on 8 November 1920 in the British newspaper The Daily Mail, Rupert was a bear.

1975 East German-Czechoslovakian Holocaust film Jacob the Liar was the first East German film to be entered into the Berlin International Film Festival and the only one to win a nomination for the 49th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Stephen Fry’s 1997 autobiography Moab is My Washpot covering the first 20 years of his life with the title selected because Fry saw the book as scrubbing at the grime of years.

Quotables 13 September



Friday, September 12, 2014

An Errol Flynn Moment

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Trivia Bits 12 September


Tim Winton

Australian novelist and short story writer Tim Winton (pictured) wrote the series of novels featuring the character Lockie Leonard who is a fictional character in a series of children's novels written from 1990 to 1997.

In geological terms, the Cretaceous period followed the Jurassic which extended from 201.3± 0.6 Ma (million years ago) to 145± 4 Ma.

American writer and an influential editor, Sarah Josepha Hale is best known for having written in 1830 the nursery rhyme Mary had a Little Lamb.

In 2008, the only songs to spend two weeks at number one on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart were Madonna's 4 Minutes, featuring Justin Timberlake, and Donna Summer's Stamp Your Feet.

The Meredith Music Festival is a three-day outdoor music festival held every December at the "Supernatural Amphitheatre", a natural amphitheatre located on private farmland near the town of Meredith in Victoria, Australia that is a self-funded, non-commercial event that was first held in 1991.

Lonesome Dove is a 1985 Pulitzer Prize–winning western novel written by American novelist, essayist, bookseller and screenwriter Larry McMurtry.

The Anglo-Saxon Bamburgh Sword is thought to be unique due being formed by six strands of iron and pattern welded into a blade, resulting in speculation that it may have been the sword of a king in the 7th century and is on display at Bramburgh Castle in Northumberland, England.

Pre-Tolstojan refers to the oldest period in the history of planet Mercury from its moment of formation.

Rumpole of the Bailey is a British television series created and written by the British writer and barrister John Mortimer starring Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, an aging London barrister who defends any and all clients.

The Sovereign Hill open air museum depicts the first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 in the Victorian city of Ballarat and was officially opened on 29 November 1970 and has become an Australian nationally acclaimed tourist attraction.

It’s Chocolate Milkshake Day


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The concept of the milkshake as a treat has been around since the late 1800′s. The most common recipe called for a shot of whiskey, ice cream, and malted milk, while other holiday recipes called for eggnog additions.

In1922, a Walgreens employee in Chicago officially founded the milkshake at the fountain shop. It is believed that the first milkshake was made by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to malted milk. Ice cream parlours used syrups or chocolate ice cream mixed with another rich ice cream to achieve maximum flavour and consistency.


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Quotables 12 September



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie Review ... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


tmnt-posterIn 1990, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-mania was at its peak.  Based on a comic book series, the four heroic amphibian warriors cut a swath through fan’s hearts.  Spinning off into a successful movie and animated TV franchise, the Ninja Turtle craze conjured many dollars.  As with all crazes, the hype died down and it seemed the heroes would be distant memories. Now the 2014 movie comes to revive their fortunes.  No longer portrayed as ‘men in rubber suits’ as previously, the new film re-invigorates the series in time to garner a new legion of devoted fans.

New York is in the grip of unending terror.  Overseen by evil tyrant Shredder, the city has descended into a maelstrom of violence and decay.  Witnessing this moral bankruptcy is reporter April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and cameraman Vernon (Will Arnett).  Hoping something will happen their wishes come true when four ninja trained turtles appear.  Led by a giant rat called Splinter, the turtles aim to free the city from Shredder’s wicked vice and show evil-doers the true might of turtle power.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is a fun ride.  Whilst perhaps pulling its punches in terms of reducing the violence seen in the comics, it generally does the series justice.  It doesn’t talk down to its audience like previous entries and ensures it can be enjoyed for all ages.  The CGI rendering of the turtles works effectively due to a freedom of movement ensuring each has their own personality.  Their human co-stars do a fine job with their cartoonish roles deftly veering away from being too over the top.

All handle themselves well in the many action sequences.  The creativity gone into crafting new ways to test the heroes is easily seen.  Much has to do with Jonathan Liebesman’s astute direction respecting the ‘rules’ of the franchise whilst adding new twists.  The very basic story is a mere cipher to the fast moving action allowing viewers to dive head-first into the heat of battle.

The reliance on newer technology has greatly improved the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cinematic series.  This should ensure its longevity with old and new fans sure to cheer for the ‘heroes in a half shell’ further into the 21st Century.

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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 ... Into The Storm


into-the-storm-posterHollywood knows how to exploit genres.  If one is a hit the aim is to repeat until the money pit is emptied.  Combining multiple genres has seen even greater financial rewards as they encompass many fan-bases.  ‘Into the Storm’ dabbles in the mega-facsimile business with ease.  Blending the ‘found footage’ and ‘disaster movie’ staples, it wears its B-grade origins with pride.  As implausible and vapid, it’s fun seeing how it ‘borrows’ from the genres to which it pays homage.

The township of Silverton gathers for a special occasion.  Enjoying the spectacle of Graduation Day, all hope the sun shines on its citizens.  Unfortunately Mother Nature has other plans.  When a colossal storm hits, hell breaks loose.  The school’s vice-principal Gary (Richard Armitage) attempts to maintain calm in the face of catastrophe.  His efforts aren’t helped by the presence of Pete (Matt Walsh) a storm-chaser wanting to film the event for a documentary.  As everyone faces the increasingly ferocious cataclysm, the fight for survival becomes harder with each passing second.

If you think ‘Into the Storm’ will provide something akin to Shakespeare, then you’ll be disappointed.  If you’re after decent CGI, thinly-drawn characters and dodgy acting, then this is for you.  Basically an updated version of the 1996 hit movie ‘Twister’, it does the job in conjuring mindless escapism.  The dilemmas characters face is familiar as is the risible dialogue.  None of it really matters as it’s the explosive storms everyone expects.  The cloudy visions certainly are magnificent with the CGI boffins having a field day dreaming up new ways to place characters in deadly peril.

Steven Quale doesn’t need to do much direction as this sort of film moves itself.  He does have a good sense of rhythm with the pacing and tension handled well.  Armitage’s heroic role makes for a solid character with which it is easy to engage.  His co-stars do little except react to events with minimal acting required.  The fierce seems to have more personality than the people it frightens although such quibbles are minor for such a disposable movie.

‘Into the Storm’ is trashy nonsense sure to please undemanding viewers.  From its opening moments it’s on auto-pilot with the wind-swept frenzy unleashing a fury of campy fun.


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.

Official HomePage click HERE



Movie Review ... Predestination


Predestination Movie PosterTime travelling themed movies can often be compelling.  Exploring the paradoxes of changing certain moments offers genuine dilemmas for protagonists.  Works such as ‘The Terminator’ series has made this a virtue.  ‘Predestination’ uses this hook to great effect.  In examining the moral implications in adding a new fragment to time, it’s consistently engaging.  Genre fans may perhaps know where its story may lead although it’s an entertaining sci-fi film worth anyone’s time.

The Bartender (Ethan Hawke) is a Temporal Agent travelling through time pursuing criminals.  Nearing retirement, his final mystery begins as customer (Sarah Snook) enters the bar.  Telling him a strange true story, the customer provides the bartender with clues to his latest assignment.  Wanting to capture an elusive bomber, his target is closer than he realises.  With mysterious Mr. Robertson (Noah Taylor) lurking in the shadows, time soon runs out with history potentially changed in unimaginable ways.

‘Predestination’ demands total concentration.  Like a jigsaw puzzle, each plot point needs to gel in order to reach the answer.  That’s what makes ‘Predestination’ captivating as the characters slowly learn the truth.  Directed by the Spierig Brothers, the film takes some-time to fully fly but when it does it offers satisfying viewing.  Whilst some sequences seem confusing, the Spierig’s skills in telling the story ensure the conclusion is easily understood.

None of this would work without the strong performances.  The quality of the acting from the small cast heightens the tension and action in equal measures.  Hawke, Snook and Taylor under-play their roles to good effect without resorting to shrill melodramatics.  Science fiction fans should enjoy this futuristic crime noir occasionally echoing ‘Bladerunner’ in feel.  Although essentially a small film, its ideas are big in scope with much thought required.

A refreshing antidote to the plethora of dumb action yarns ‘Predestination’ is a solid movie.  Treating its audience with some intelligence, it makes one yearn for similar films that engage the mind and eyes in equal measures.


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.


Movie Review ... Magic In The Moonlight


magic-in-the-moonlight-pstr02Woody Allen’s films are renowned for their fine ensembles.  The veteran director has the gift for assembling great actors who are perfect fits for his interesting characters.  Rarely has anyone been mis-cast with the performers knowing exactly how to tease out the humour from any dramatic situation.  ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ is no exception.  As stylish and charming as previous movies, the cast excel in bringing life to Allen’s unique and sometimes dazzling visions.

Performing as an illusionist in Berlin during the 1920’s, Stanley (Colin Firth) enjoys dabbling in the mystic arts.  One of his hobbies is unmasking fake spiritualists intent on making illicit monetary gains.  One is noted clairvoyant Sophie (Emma Stone). Eager to expose her seemingly fraudulent behaviour, Stanley is shocked by discovering how good her abilities are.  Questioning that her gifts are real, Stanley searches for answers to life’s seemingly impossibilities.

‘Magic in the Moonlight’ revels in elegant wit.  Providing fine banter amongst the romantic entanglements, it’s one of Allen’s best recent movies.  The last decade has seen renewed energy to his directorial style with the European settings of his last several films highlighting this fresh vigour.  Scenes set amidst the French Riviera are very pleasing to the eye without feeling like a contrived travelogue.  These add to the flights of fancy in which the characters partake with revelations and personal discovery around every picturesque corner.

Making it work are the finely drawn performances.  Firth and Stone make for a beguiling duo as their characters slowly reveal the truth behind their illusionary facades.  How they complement the other makes for engaging viewing.  Their co-stars, including the always wonderful Jackie Weaver, enter the film’s light spirit with aplomb.  The production design and music mirrors the overall quality and excellent attention to detail.

Whilst not as emotionally deep as previous efforts ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ should please Allen’s enthusiasts.  It’s a light confection with numerous moments of genuine charm and grace not often seen but always 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.

Official HomePage click HERE


An Enya Moment


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Trivia Bits 11 September


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South Australian town of Coober Pedy (pictured), often referred to as the Opal City of the World holds an annual Opal festival in April.

The measurement in length of line from the centre to the perimeter of a circle is the radius with the name coming from Latin radius, meaning "ray" but also the spoke of a chariot wheel.

Versace, a famous high-end Italian fashion house founded by renowned fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1978, has a classic logo consisting of the head of Medusa, a Greek woman transformed into a monster by the goddess Athena for her wrongdoings and evoking sheer authority, attractiveness and fatal fascination - three basic attributes of Medusa.

The 1982 album Love Over Gold was released by Dire Straits a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion).

Ancient Carthage was located on the continents of Africa and Europe and was a Semitic civilization centred on the Phoenician city-state of Carthage, located in North Africa on the Gulf of Tunis, outside what is now Tunis, Tunisia founded in 814 BC.

British BBC legal drama television series Judge John Deed debuted on 9 January 2001 and aired for six years starring Martin Shaw as Sir John Deed, a High Court judge who tries to seek real justice in the cases before him and also stars Jenny Seagrove as the barrister Jo Mills, frequently the object of Deed's desire.

Chekha Dar is the highest peak in Iraq being claimed to be 3,611 metres high in the CIA World Factbook, is 6 kilometres north of the village of Gundah Zhur and is on the border with Iran.

The second longest serving Australian Prime Minister is John Howard who was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007.

In the 2014 Australian TV series Fat Tony & Co, Tony Mokbel is played by Australian actor Robert Mammone and focuses on convicted drug baron Tony Mokbel, the manhunt which lasted 18 months leading to his 2007 arrest in Athens, Greece and the dismantling of a drug empire.

The Flemish Synagogue one of the synagogues of Gibraltar was built at the turn of the nineteenth century on Line Wall Road, due to the request of some congregants for a return to more formal, Dutch customs.

Quotables 11 September



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Engelbert Humperdinck Moment


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Trivia Bits 10 September


Yusak Pakage

Yusak Pakage (pictured) is an Indonesian activist for Papuan independence, best known for his 2005–2010 imprisonment for raising the pro-independence Morning Star flag.

The national flag of Switzerland is square in shape and consists of a red flag with a white cross (a bold, equilateral cross) in the centre being introduced as official national flag in 1889.

Adopted on 28 September 1917, the flag of Thailand shows five horizontal stripes in the colours red, white, blue, white and red, with the central blue stripe being twice as wide as each of the other four.

In the early 1900s the Illecillewaet Glacier in British Columbia, Canada, was described as the most visited glacier in the Americas.

Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010 and revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department division that specializes in investigating cold cases.

Country singer Carrie Underwood was voted "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" in 2005 by animal-rights organization PETA beating out such stars as Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix for the honour that she shares with Coldplay front man Chris Martin.

The female singing voice with the lowest range is the Contralto with vocal range falls between tenor and mezzo-soprano; typically between the F below middle C to the second F above middle C.

From 1992 to 2011, the Starbucks logo was white, black and green but was changed in 2011 to green and white.

The Atkins Diet involves limiting the consumption of carbohydrates and was promoted by American physician and cardiologist Robert Atkins in 1958.

The fictional character Chief Inspector Wexford was created by English crime writer Ruth Rendall making his first appearance in the author's 1964 debut From Doon With Death, and has since been the protagonist of 22 more books and in the television series of the same name he was played by George Baker from 1988 to 2000.

Quotables 10 September



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Emily Blunt Moment


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Trivia Bits 09 September



With three subspecies of emus (pictured) in Australia, Australia’s tallest bird is the emu reaching up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height.

American movie director John G Avildsen won the 1977 Best Director Oscar for the movie in the Rocky series which was both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone.

The May 21 to May 25 1969 Greensboro Uprising was sparked by perceived civil rights issues at the segregated high school, when a popular student council write-in presidential candidate was denied his landslide victory allegedly because school officials feared his activism in the Black Power movement.

Short bangs was a very popular hairstyle in the 1950s, favoured by women such as First Lady Mamie Eisenhower.

The Doda River or the Stod River is a river 79 kilometres (49 mi) long, which forms the Stod Valley in the Zanskar valley of the Ladakh region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The advertising slogan Made by robots, driven by humans was used by car manufacturer Nissan, a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan.

The female Tornier's forest toad, endemic to Tanzania in the forests and in agricultural areas adjoining forests at altitudes between 300 and 1,800 metres (980 and 5,910 ft) above sea level, is viviparous where the embryo develops inside the body of the mother and has been known to carry 35 young at one time.

In 2004, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize which is awarded annually to honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.

Played by Australian actor Jonathan LaPaglia, Dr Patrick McNaughton is one of the main characters in the 2014 TV series Love Child an Australian television drama series that follows the lives of staff and residents at the fictional Kings Cross Hospital and Stanton House in Sydney in 1969.

The U2 hit song With or Without You first appeared on their fifth studio album The Joshua Tree produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records.

September 09 is Teddy Bear Day




The teddy bear was invented by Margarete Steiff, a German woman who contracted polio when she was a little girl and had to use a wheel chair. She was blessed, however, with an innovative and creative mind. Working as a seamstress sewing clothes, she started making pin cushions shaped like animals. Her little animals became quite popular, and she started making more and more toys including the bear.