Saturday, October 4, 2014

Movie Review ... Gone Girl


Gone Girl posterDavid Fincher is unafraid of exploring dark places.  Director of movies such as ‘Seven’, ‘Fight Club’ and ‘The Game’, his bleak visions have revealed a fearless craftsman.  His outstanding success is highlighted as few current directors go the extra mile in pursuing their unique viewpoints.

‘Gone Girl’ proves David’s shadowy tenacity in conjuring thought-provoking thrills laced with visceral danger remains intact.

Nick (Ben Affleck) is looking forward to his fifth wedding anniversary to Amy (Rosamund Pike).  Whilst their relationship has been stormy, he hopes the milestone will shed new life into their union.  Amy suddenly vanishes and Nick reports her disappearance.  Initially believed by authorities, their suspicions are aroused by Nick’s strange behaviour.  Uncovering a web of lies and revelations, Nick’s friendly demeanour soon crumbles.  With the net slowly tightening, Nick’s future looks as black as his accuser’s dark scowls.

‘Gone Girl’ defies description.  To tell more of its plot would ruin many and genuine surprises.  Making for an engrossing experience, the multiple twists and turns literally make for edge of the seat viewing.  From Fincher’s astute direction to Affleck’s and Pike’s amazing performances, hardly a false note is registered.  The tension between their characters is very believable with the reactions of those around them adding to the authenticity.

Within its thriller confines ‘Gone Girl’ explores issues such as media manipulation and how opinions are often mistaken for facts.  With cameras and uninformed hosts blaring down on the couple, the pressure-cooker atmosphere increases.  This makes ‘Gone Girl’ memorable as it’s about something than just a conventional yarn.  You wouldn’t expect any less from Fincher who keeps the atmosphere percolating until the unexpected finale.

One of his best films out of a great career, ‘Gone Girl’ is one of Fincher’s most daring projects.  Consistently insightful and engaging, it’s a cinematic oasis amidst a barren sea of recent celluloid mediocrity.


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.

Official HomePage click HERE




Movie Review ... Dracula Untold


dracula-untold-posterSince Max Shreck spooked his way into infamy with 1922’s ‘Nosferatu’, vampires have been a cinematic mainstay.  There have been many versions of the legend with only a few becoming enduring classics.  The blood-sucking flicks of Christopher Lee in the Hammer series and Bela Lugosi’s turn in the Universal movie instantly spring to mind.  Their presence made those films memorable which ‘Dracula Untold’ tries to emulate.  Even Dracula’s creator Bram Stoker would be intrigued to see the latest spin on his enduringly sinister character.

Vlad (Luke Evans) is a soldier during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.  A man of great skill his abilities are tested when meeting Caligula (Charles Dance).  A former Roman emperor, now vampire, Caligula turns Vlad into a creature of darkness.  Adopting the name ‘Dracula’, Vlad learns a new and deadly skill-set.  Now a blood-soaked warrior, Dracula grapples with the demons enveloping his eternal existence.

Despite Luke Evans’ intense performance ‘Dracula Untold’ is mixed.  The central story is interesting as Vlad slowly learns the curse that goes with his new abilities.  The impact of his new life on his family provides genuine drama.  Coupled with some decent CGI, ‘Dracula Untold’ should be unforgettable.  Sadly the opposite is true as despite visual flair it feels very ‘by the numbers’. 

Like many current ‘franchise building’ films, ‘Dracula Untold’ seems to tell only a part of the story.  The rest we’ll have to wait for the inevitable sequel.  This has the effect of never allowing the tale to truly soar.  It has the requisite energy and gothic visions although not having the impact they should.  It’s becoming tiresome seeing these types of films touted as part of a larger canvas where one strong movie would have sufficed.

An attempt by Universal Studios to revive their ‘classic monsters’ series, ‘Dracula Untold’ does what it set out to do.  Gaining interest and building towards future instalments, it proves the undead can easily be revived whenever dollars can be made.


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 Farley Granger Moment


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Trivia Bits 04 October


Coop Burtonburger

Coop Burtonburger (pictured) is a character from the 2008 Canadian animated television series Kid vs Kat in which a 10-year-old boy has a constant battle with his sister's Sphinx cat which, in reality, is a cybernetic alien.

Mel Brooks wrote and directed the 1968 American satirical dark comedy cult classic film written and The Producers starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder and won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay—Written Directly for the Screen.

American novelist and historian best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines Tom Clancy, who died in 2013, wrote the 1986 novel Red Storm Rising with a plot about a war between NATO and USSR.

Miley Cyrus gained fame starring in the 2006 Disney TV Series Hannah Montana which focused on Miley Stewart, portrayed by Miley Cyrus, a teenager living a double life as an average schoolgirl by day and a famous recording artist Hannah Montana by night.

Vincentio, Angelo and Mistress Overdone are characters from the Shakespearean play Measure For Measure believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604 and is classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations.

Street food did not become popular in Thailand until the early 1960s when the urban population began to grow rapidly, by the 1970s it had displaced home-cooking.

The Murray–Darling Basin is a large geographical area in the interior of south-eastern Australia that drains around one-seventh of the Australian land mass and is one of the most significant agricultural areas in Australia.

The three popular classifications of volcanoes are Active, Dormant and Extinct.

Kimigayo is the national anthem of Japan being the world's oldest lyrics in a national anthem. From 1868 to 1945, it served as the national anthem of the Empire of Japan and with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters, "Kimigayo" is also one of the world's shortest national anthems currently in use.

Former Belgian professional tennis player Kim Clijsters was a wildcard entry in the 2009 Women’s US Open singles titles which she won by defeating defending champion and world no. 2 Serena Williams, winning 6–4, 7–5 the first wildcard to ever reach the US Open final.

Quotables 04 October



Friday, October 3, 2014

A Fanny Brice Moment


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Trivia Bits 03 October


West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

Among the fifty-seven active lighthouses in Maine are the easternmost in the country, West Quoddy Head in Lubec, Maine (pictured) and the first completed in the United States after its independence from Great Britain, Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine completed on January 10, 1791.

The Roman goddess of hunting was Diana and was associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals.

An Indonesian actress of mixed Chinese and French descent Fifi Joung acted in at least 86 films over her 34-year career from 1940 when she starred in Kris Mataram (Kris of Mataram).

Born in Punjab during the reign of the Mughal Empire, Bhai Taru Singh was a Sikh martyr who was executed in 1745 for refusing to cut his hair in response to the emperor who was Muslim and wanted everyone to convert to Muslim.

The characters Alto, Oz and Uly appear in Canimals a 2011 South Korean CGI animated television series in which Canimals follows a group of little tin can-like elflike animals that go around rediscovering the world from a different point of view finding something new and worthy of attention in the most mundane of things.

The currency of Brazil is the real which was adopted as the official currency of Brazil in 1790, and remained in use until 1942, when it was replaced by the cruzeiro only to be reinstated in 1994 for a new currency unit and is still in use.

Norway is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island. From late May to late July, the sun never completely descends beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle hence Norway's description as the "Land of the Midnight Sun".

Younghusband Peninsula is on the Australian state of South Australia and separates the Coorong which is part of the estuary of the River Murray from the Southern Ocean.

The song Sixteen Going On Seventeen comes from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s very successful 1959 musical The Sound of Music based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.

British electronics salesman and comedian Steve Woodmore was the world's current fastest talker, can articulate at 637 words per minute with the Guinness World Records listing Woodmore as the world's fastest talker until his record was beaten by Sean Shannon, the current record holder, when Guinness clocked Shannon at a rate of 655 words per minute on 30 August 1995.

Quotables 03 October



Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Fabian Moment


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Trivia Bits 02 October


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Miller was the middle name of US author Ernest Hemingway (pictured) who won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature , published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works with additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, published posthumously.

English alternative rock band The Smiths released their third studio album The Queen is Dead on 16 June 1986 in the United Kingdom by Rough Trade Records and released in the United States on 23 June 1986 through Sire Records.

Retired German Paralympic Nordic skier and five-time gold medallist Thomas Oelsner was the first athlete to be sent home from any Winter Paralympic Games when he failed a drugs test in 2002.

The Greek name for the Roman god Hercules is Heracles - Gatekeeper of Olympus, God of heroes, sports, athletes, health, agriculture, fertility, trade, oracles and divine protector of mankind.

The Hobart Synagogue, in Hobart, Tasmania, is remarkable both for being the oldest synagogue building in Australia and for being a rare example of the Egyptian Revival style of synagogue architecture constructed in 1845with the trapezoidal shaped windows and the columns with lotus capitals characteristic of the Egyptian Revival style.

The electronic music festival Tomorrowland is held in the town of Boom, Belgium south of Antwerp, and north of Brussels, and has been organized since 2005.

Australian Presbyterian minister Reverend John Flynn is best remembered for starting the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia the world's first air ambulance with first flight of the Aerial Medical Service, as it was known, was in 1928 from Cloncurry, Queensland.

The World is Full of Married Men was the debut novel from British author Jackie Collins first published in 1968 by W. H. Allen.

The first Grand Theft Auto game was released in 1997 and is an action-adventure open world video game created by games developer DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by BMG Interactive.

American author Peter Benchley is best known as the author of Jaws published in 1974 with the film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg and released in June 1975.

Quotables 02 October



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An Everly Brothers Moment


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Trivia Bits 01 October


Deepak Chopra

Indian-American author and alternative medicine/New Age guru Deepak Chopra (pictured) wrote the 1989 book Qantum Healing

Due to his loss of political support and the near-certainty of impeachment, the only US President to resign was Richard Nixon the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974.

Palk Strait lies between India and Sri Lanka connecting the Bay of Bengal in the northeast the Gulf of Mannar in the southwest.

New York is composed of five boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island.

The Palala River bluffs in Limpopo province, South Africa have Stone Age significant prehistoric Bushman rock paintings dating to approximately 8000 BC and depict hunting scenes and various native game, especially antelopes.

2012 British Paralympian Jonathan Fox won the gold medal in the men's 100 metre backstroke S7 event after setting a new world record in the heats

American singer-songwriter and actress Alecia Beth Moore is better known by her stage name Pink (stylized as P!nk) who was a gymnast for eight years stating in an interview that her first dream was to be an Olympic gymnast.

Commonly found in Bulgarian patisseries and restaurants, a traditional Garash cake is made with walnuts, egg whites and crystal or powdered sugar

The first all-metal plane which flew for the first time on 18 January 1916 was nick-named Tin Donkey but was more technically known as The Junkers J 1.

The capitate bone is the largest of the carpal bones in the human hand, and occupies the centre of the wrist.

Quotables 01 October



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Evelyn Nesbit Moment


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Trivia Bits 30 September


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

The 1982 American science fiction film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (poster pictured) was based on an imaginary friend Steven Spielberg created after his parents' divorce in 1960.

The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 m (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (670 lb).

Roman numerals do not have a symbol for the number 0 (zero).

The herb mint is traditionally used in a Mojito Cocktail together with white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice and sparkling water.

Genuphobia is the fear of knees and/or kneeling either the fear of one’s own knees or someone else knees and/or the act of kneeling.

American construction contracting and engineering firm Thompson-Starrett Co. built six National Historic Landmarks in the U.S., including the Rockefeller Estate and the Woolworth Building, at 233 Broadway, Manhattan, New York City which was tallest skyscraper in the world from 1913 to 1930.

Choux pastry is used to make a croque-en-bouche which is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel.

The Amunden Sea is located off the continent of Antarctica being named after the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer of polar regions, by the Norwegian expedition of 1928–29, under Captain Nils Larsen, while exploring this area in February, 1929.

Port wine was originally produced in Portugal and is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.

In metallurgy, a substance used as a chemical cleaning agent is known as a flux.

Quotables 30 September



Monday, September 29, 2014

An Evelyn Laye Moment


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Trivia Bits 29 September



In Jewish cuisine, the traditional hamantash (pictured) is triangular a filled-pocket cookie or pastry.

Despite having developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison was never awarded a Nobel Prize.

The first Australian-born astronaut to enter space was South Australian born Andy Thomas - American aerospace engineer and a NASA astronaut.

Spanish sailor and cosmographer Diego Ramírez de Arellano set a southern navigation record in 1619 in discovering the Diego Ramírez Islands, the most southerly point visited by Europeans until the discovery of the South Sandwich Islands by Captain James Cook in 1775.

American flight navigator, sea captain and aviation pioneer Fred Noonan disappeared with aviator Amelia Earhardt somewhere over the Central Pacific Ocean in 1937.

King Khalid International Airport is in Saudi Arabia and is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with Heads of state and other high-ranking VIP visitors to the Kingdom are greeted in the Royal Pavilion which has open spaces, garden areas, and fountains.

In 2007, French chef Anne-Sophie Pic became the fourth woman to win three Michelin stars for her restaurant, Maison Pic, in southeast France.

The Australian city of Melbourne hosted a White Night Festival on 22 February 2014 drawing an estimated 500,000 people and was open from 7pm to 7am the following morning, featuring music, dance, visual display, light show, and a variety of buskers with Art institutions such as The National Gallery of Victoria and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image featuring free exhibitions and films for the public to attend.

2012 Paralympics competitor Rajinder Singh Rahelu won the first-ever medal for India in powerlifting in 2004.

Competing for the FFA (Football Federation Australia) cup are teams playing Soccer also known as Association Football and is the national association football knockout cup competition in Australia.

International Coffee Day



Coffee is an international language.

We drink coffee morning, day and night with friends, business associates and lovers. Walking down the local high street, the number of coffee cafes shows the extent of our love affair with this favourite caffeinated beverage.

Whether you favour espresso, lattes or cappuccinos; iced, decaf, instant or filter – Coffee Day is the day to savour and appreciate your beverage.

coffee beans

Coffee beans are actually the pits found in the coffee berry or cherry. The properties of coffee beans are thought to have first been discovered in Ethiopia where it is thought that a 9th century goat herder noticed their stimulating effects on his goats and began experimenting.

Coffee drinking was originally popularised in the Arab world around the 15th century spreading across Asia then to Italy and across Europe and to the Americas – and finally to your coffee cup.

As you drink your cup of coffee today, inhale the aroma, taste the dark and full-bodied flavour – but most of all enjoy.