Saturday, September 20, 2014

An Ethel Barrymore Moment


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Trivia Bits 20 September


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Simone Micheline Bodin born 1925 in Laval, France, raised by her mother in Elbeuf, Normandy, is better known as Bettina (pictured) Vogue’s fashion editor in 1960.

Scott Disick is an American reality television personality, model and businessman best known for appearing on the Kardashian television series.

Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games four times – Sydney 1938, Perth 1962, Brisbane 1982 and Melbourne 2006 with the Gold Coast scheduled to host the XXI Commonwealth Games in 2018 between 4 to 15 April 2018.

The Mount Aspiring National Park is located in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand forming part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

The Cherry Orchard was the last play written by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov which opened at the Moscow Art Theatre on 17 January 1904 directed by Constantin Stanislavski.

Lumholtz’s and Goodfellow’s are two types of tree kangaroos found in Australia and New Guinea.

The person who writes words to accompany music in opera is called the librettist with the opera libretto from its inception (ca. 1600) was written in verse, and continued well into the 19th century.

In Olympic Gymnastics, the floor exercise and the vault are common to both men’s and women’s competitions.

Cranberry juice and lime juice are used in the traditional Cosmopolitan cocktail and combined with vodka and triple sec, a variety of Curaçao liqueur, an orange-flavoured liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet orange.

An American amateur golfer and a lawyer by profession golfer Bobby Jones used a putter named after the famous US Frontierswoman Calamity Jane.


Quotables 20 September



Friday, September 19, 2014

Movie Review ... The Maze Runner


The Maze Runner posterIt seems every new movie is based on a book series.  This isn’t necessarily bad as it means people are reading the novels for Hollywood to take notice.  Purchasing the rights, Tinsletown is forever hopeful of starting a new franchise.  ‘The Maze Runner’ is the latest.  Based on James Dashner’s book, the film version has the potential to rake in box-office dollars.  As long as it leads to more readers, it can’t be too awful as the art of the written word refuses to go out of style.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up wondering where he is.  Trapped in a huge maze with a group of boys, his memories of how he got there are blurred.  Uncovering his past via clues found in the maze, he slowly believes he is in it for a reason.  Helped by his new friends, Thomas attempts to escape the labyrinth and discover its shocking secrets.

Taking its cue from recent franchises such as ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘The Maze Runner’ may seem overly familiar.  It has the requisite good looking people in peril controlled by outside forces.  Also has plenty of action and obvious set-ups for future sequels.  Making it stand out is the utilisation of an interesting premise.  As the group move around the maze’s vast labyrinths, revealed secrets and tested loyalties threaten the group’s solidarity.  Helping to add nuances to potentially one-dimensional characters, the performers rise to the challenge with good skill.

Wes Ball directs the action and drama with intensity.  The way he increases physical and emotional tension is deftly handled showing some flair in avoiding any predictability.  The enclosed spaces in which the characters find themselves produce a melting pot of clashing personalities which the film uses to advantage.  Mixing desolate and lush scenery provide contrasts to the despair and hope all feel.  The character’s steely determination in freeing themselves from the nightmare also becomes palatable.

Whilst having a feel of a typical Hollywood ‘production line’ product, ‘The Maze Runner’ settles into its own groove.  It isn’t always perfect but leaves enough intrigue to care what happens next with a sequel sure to build upon its forebear’s success.

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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 ... Sin City: A Dame To Kill For


Sin City  A Dame To Kill For posterRobert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are masters of their chosen professions.  The former has built a steady career as director of cult hits such as ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ and the ‘Spy Kids’ films.  The latter is renowned for his work in comic books such as the seminal classic ‘The Dark Knight Returns’.  Together they are a formidable team as ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ proves.  A sequel to their 2005 movie, it continues showing how their visual and story-telling dynamic sets them apart from less stellar creative types.

Sin City is a place of contrasts.  Beneath its veneer of glamour lies a maelstrom of violence and decay.  One of its newest inhabitants is Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a gambler looking to make a big score. His dangerous story is one of many with others including Marv (Mickey Rourke), Dwight (Josh Brolin) and Nancy (Jessica Alba) along for the ride.  Each has their role to play in the darkness enveloping a city thriving on crime and plenty of sin.

Formed around a quartet of stories, ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ is an ode to classic film noir.  Full of duplicitous ladies and rugged men, their actions are fuelled by lust and greed.  Running the gamut of the Seven Deadly Sins, the city they inhabit oversees their dramas with a baleful eye.  The performances generally match the quality of the stories with a few actors over-playing their roles.  Whilst offering more style over substance, ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ is a worthy match to its predecessor.

Making it memorable is the rich visuals.  The infrequent neon tinged colours seem to intrude in the black and white universe on display.  When colours appear they infuse more power into scenes.  This goes some way in masking some of ‘Sin City’s’ mis-steps with the often cartoonish violence detracting from the gritty atmosphere.  Kudos goes to Rodriguez and Miller for doing something different with a noble failure better than an over-rated and dull success.

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ makes good use of format and characters.  It also shows why Rodriguez and Miller have stayed the distance with their imaginative flair for fantastical visions always something to appreciate.

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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



An Esther Williams Moment


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Trivia Bits 19 September



Kinder Surprise Eggs manufactured by Italian confectionary company Ferrero were originally intended for children having the form of a chocolate egg containing a small toy, often requiring assembly. "Kinder" is the German word for "children".

With an area of only 298km2 , Maldives is the smallest country in Asia located in the Indian Ocean consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls.

The role of Cole Sear’s mother in the 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan The Sixth Sense was played by Australian actress Toni Collette co-starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment.

The musical direction veloce means at a quick tempo from the Latin vēlōx quick.

Coca-Cola was regarded in the Soviet Union as a symbol of American imperialism in the 1940’s with Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov liking the drink so he asked Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower, for its colour to resemble vodka so that he would not be seen drinking it public and this became known as White Coke.

Australian athlete Sally Pearson won gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics with a new Olympic record time of 12.35s.

Woody Allen won a Best Director Oscar for his 1977 American romantic comedy Annie Hall which co-stars the director as Alvy Singer, who tries to figure out the reasons for the failure of his relationship with the film's eponymous female lead, played by Diane Keaton in a role written specifically for her.

The poem Paradise Regained was written by English poet John Milton was first published in 1671 and is connected by name to his earlier and more famous epic poem Paradise Lost.

It is your head that you would wear a capuchin being a cone-shaped ceremonial hat worn during the Mardi Gras celebration in the Cajun areas of southwestern Louisiana, known as the Courir de Mardi Gras.

Juggler, corporate entertainer, and comedian Jeff Civillico simultaneously jogged 26.2 miles (42.2 km) and juggled three balls at the Walt Disney World Marathon to raise $5000 for a special needs non-profit organization on January 11, 2009.

Quotables 19 September



Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Esther Ralston Moment


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Trivia Bits 18 September


Sachin Tendulkar

Former Indian Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (pictured) played 200 Cricket Test matches for India being only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a Double Century in a One Day International, and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket. He retired on 16 November 2013 after playing his 200th and final Test match, against the West Indies in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

The American professional wrestler James Brian Hellwig is better known as The Ultimate Warrior.

Albatross Island is an 18 hectare island nature reserve in Bass Strait belonging to the Australia state of Tasmania and is notable for its breeding colony of 5,000 pairs of Shy Albatross, some 40% of the world population of the species.

Thousands of foreign-born Lone Soldiers, servicemen or women without parents in Israel, serve alongside locals in the Israel Defence Forces.

Frankfort is the capital of the American state of Kentucky.

A Jennet is a small Spanish horse noted for a smooth naturally ambling gait, compact and well-muscled build, and a good disposition.

The Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 176 islands in the southern Pacific Ocean of Tonga was one of the 45 countries that sent only a single athlete for the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

In the standard game of Scrabble the letter B is worth three points.

Westeros is a fictional world featured in the American fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones which premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011.

In a standard game of polo a Chukka or Chukker is seven minutes with the game often termed The Sport of Kings.

Quotables 18 September



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An Estelle Getty Moment


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Trivia Bits 17 September


Ned Kelly

An Irish Australian bushranger Ned Kelly (pictured) was executed by hanging in the Australian city of Melbourne at Old Melbourne Gaol in November 1880.

Like You'll Never See Me Again, a song performed by Alicia Keys, ranked as the number one R&B single of 2008 in the United States and was from her third studio album, As I Am released November 26, 2007.

There are 250 millilitres in one cup.

The Rum Rebellion of 1808 was the only successful armed takeover of government in Australian history which during the 19th century was widely referred to as the Great Rebellion when the Governor of New South Wales, William Bligh, was deposed by the New South Wales Corps on 26 January 1808.

Originally aired from September 8, 1997 to May 20, 2002, Ally McBeal is an American legal comedy-drama television series starring Calista Flockhart in the title role as a young lawyer working in the fictional Boston law firm Cage and Fish, with other young lawyers whose lives and loves were eccentric, humorous and dramatic.

In Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven books, Peter and Janet's golden spaniel is Scamper.

Founded around 1820 by European settlers and traders, Levuka was the former capital of the Pacific islands of Fiji until 1877, when the administration was moved to Suva, although the move was not made official until 1882.

1928's Lily of Java directed by Nelson Wong was the first Chinese-produced film in Indonesia.

Pastrami is a highly seasoned, smoked cut meat commonly made from beef and sometimes from pork, mutton or turkey.

Quotables 17 September



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Ernest Hemingway Moment


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Trivia Bits 16 September


Galdhopiggen Norway

Galdhopiggen (pictured) is the highest mountain in Norway, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, at 2,469 m (8,100 ft) above sea level.

The pink ball is worth six points in a game of snooker.

French apothecary and reputed seer Michel de Nostredame better known as Nostradamus is noted for his quatrains and predictions contained in his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555.

The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972, which was largely overshadowed by the Munich massacre in which eleven Israeli athletes and coaches, a West German police officer, and five Black September terrorists were killed.

Charon is the largest moon of the dwarf planet Pluto which was discovered in 1978 by the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS)and may also be referred to as (134340) Pluto I.

The 2007 non-fiction book Lone Survivor, written by Marcus Lutrell is set in Afghanistan with the film, Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, and Alexander Ludwig and was released on January 10, 2014.

Clootie dumplings originated in Scotland and is made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit, suet, sugar and spice with some milk to bind it, and sometimes golden syrup mixed well into a dough, then wrapped up in a floured cloth, placed in a large pan of boiling water and simmered for a couple of hours before being lifted out and dried before the fire or in an oven.

Dark eggplant skins were historically used by aristocratic women in China to make black dye, which they often used to stain their teeth to a black lustre which in Japan is called ohaguro.

The 1934 published novella by English writer James Hilton that featured the character Mr Chipping was Goodbye Mr Chips and has been adapted into two films and two television adaptations.

Georgie Porgie is a popular English language nursery rhyme in which Georgie Porgie kissed the girls and made them cry with the first recorded version of the rhyme collected by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-19th century.

Quotables 16 September



Monday, September 15, 2014

An Ernest Borgnine Moment


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Trivia Bits 15 September


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Located in the south-central part of North West England, the Theatre Royal (pictured) is the oldest surviving theatre building in Manchester opened in 1845 and was commissioned by Mancunian businessman John Knowles who wanted a theatre venue in the city.

The Asian capital city of Seoul, capital and largest metropolis of South Korea, lies on the banks of the Han River.

The Durian, a fruit native to South-east Asia, has been described as emitting an odour similar to rotten onions or raw sewerage.

When Italian chef Nadia Santini's restaurant Dal Pescatore was awarded three Michelin stars in 1996, she was the first female chef in Italy so honoured.

The tadpoles of the Sri Lanka rock frog and the Kirtisinghe's rock frog are often found on wet rocks near mountain streams.

The chemical element of silver has the Latin name of argentum.

Australian television soap opera Echo Point aired from 1 June 1995 until 1 December 1995 focusing on several families and teenagers in a coastal community, and a key on-going storyline concerned renewed interest in a long-unsolved local murder mystery.

In the 1950 novel for children by C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is set in the fictional land of Narnia, a land in which some animals can talk, mythical beasts abound, and magic is common.

Premièred on 5 January 1953 in the Théâtre de Babylone, Paris, the play Waiting for Godot was written by Samuel Beckett in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot.

The title character in the 2013 movie Philomena was Judy Dench and co-starred Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark and was written and directed by Steven Frears.

Quotables 15 September



Sunday, September 14, 2014