Saturday, October 25, 2014

Movie Review ... Fury


fury-poster‘Fury’ poses this question – ‘is there anything new to be told about World War 2?’  A fair point as hundreds of movies set during that period attest.  By ‘Fury’s’ conclusion the answer would be no with exceptions.  We all know war is hell and the camaraderie of the soldiers is as expected.  Behind this war-time formula lays a good movie with the imagery more powerful than the human drama.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt) grapples every mission with zeal.  His most lethal comes in April 1945 – the dying days of World War Two.  Tasked with leading a final push into Nazi Germany, he commandeers a Sherman tank nicknamed ‘Fury’.  With his five-man crew including Boyd (Shia LaBeouf) and Norman (Logan Lerman), Collier aims to finally defeat his long-time enemies with powerful force.

Avoiding any flag-waving jingoism, ‘Fury’ mostly captivates.  The thrust of the drama revolves around the Collier’s crew.  Each with personal demons and reactions to the atrocities they witness.  Unfortunately their personalities have little time to fully develop.  This fault is due to David Ayer’s unfocussed direction.  Seemingly happy to pause at blood-shed and battle sequences, he never truly draws out any much needed powerful emotions.

Ayer’s biggest strength is his handling of visuals.  The amazing depth of cinematography Ayer utilises to good effect.  From stark and eerie daytime scenes to the menacing nights, he successfully conjures Nazi Germany’s brutal surrounds.  Aided by some excellently staged action scenes, the feel of being in the heat of war is palatable.  The cast do a fair job despite their one-dimensional roles with Pitt most successful in portraying a dedicated but emotionally wounded soldier.

If you’ve seen dozens of war movies, you’ll know what to anticipate.   Despite some intense moments, ‘Fury’ never fully realises the potential of the true story.  Whether any other World War 2 movie can add a new wrinkle to the genre is a question to be left answered for another day.


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



A Fred MacMurray Moment


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Trivia Bits 25 October


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Australian icon The Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club (Bondi Surf Club – pictured) is officially recognised as the oldest surf lifesaving club in the world being established on the 21st February 1907 at the Royal Hotel Bondi Beach by a group of like-minded bathers and was responsible for introducing surf lifesaving to Australia and pioneered the famous surf reel and line.

American recording artist, businesswoman, philanthropist, and actress Katy Perry made her Indian maiden performance at the 2012 Indian Premier League opening ceremony on3 April 2012 in the YMCA College of Physical Education, Chennai.

The Safēd Kōh mountain range is located in Afghanistan and Pakistan with Its highest peak, Mount Sikaram, towers above all surrounding hills to 4,761 m (15,620 ft) above mean sea level.

With a total gross of $366,101,666 and making it the highest-grossing film of 1995, action thriller film Die Hard with a Vengeance starred Bruce Willis as New York City Police Department Lieutenant John McClane, Samuel L. Jackson as McClane's reluctant partner Zeus Carver, and Jeremy Irons as Simon Peter Gruber.

Larantuka is an Indonesian district known for Roman Catholic Holy Week processions centering on two religious statues, one of Jesus Christ and one of Virgin Mary, brought by Portuguese missionaries Gaspar do Espírito Santo and Agostinho de Madalena in the 16th century, which are only presented to the public every Easter and are kept out-of-view for the rest of the year.

Canadian-born Australian freestyle skier Dale Begg-Smith has been called the most mysterious man of the Winter Olympics.

Running from 2004 to 2012, American television comedy-drama-mystery TV series Desperate Housewives starred American television and film actress Eva Longoria who was nominated for a 2006 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

The soundtrack of the 2012 Marathi film Kaksparsh was released after the film's theatrical release on public demand and features songs rendered without any musical accompaniment with the film produced in the Marathi language in the state of Maharashtra, India.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in Belgium when French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the armies under the command of the Duke of Wellington.

Grey Mates is a six-part 2014 British comedy television series that follows the ups and downs of three recently retired couples.

Quotables 25 October



Friday, October 24, 2014

A Fred Astaire Moment


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Fred and Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell, Broadway Melody (1940)

Fred and Eleanor Powell

Fred Astaire Rita Hayworth in You Were Never Lovelier, 1942.

Fred and Rita Hayworth

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Fred and Judy Garland

Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in Ziegfeld Follies 1945

Fred and Gene Kelly

Trivia Bits 24 October


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Lionel Richie and the Commodores

American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actor Lionel Richie was from 1968 lead vocalist for the Commodores signed to Motown Records.

19th-century American tanner who was convicted of murdering one man in Kentucky and another in Texas, Isaac B. Desha was twice convicted of murder and sentenced to hang before being pardoned by his father, Kentucky Governor Joseph Desha in June 1827.

During the Albanian Revolt of 1432–36, Albanian forces under Gjergj Arianiti defeated 10,000 Ottoman troops under Ali Bey near the valley of Shkumbin.

Crownies is an Australian 2011 television drama series starring Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp who was part of a group of solicitors fresh from law school, working with Crown Prosecutors, who are the public prosecutors in the legal system of Australia, working for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

A spin-off of the TV series The Vampire Diaries, the 2013 American television series The Originals is set in New Orleans, centring on the Mikaelson siblings known as the world's original vampires.

Australian snowboarder who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Kent Callister has the nickname The Vegemite Kid.

American singer-songwriter and poet, best remembered as the lead singer of Los Angeles rock band The Doors, Jim Morrison died in the French capital of Paris in 1971.

2012 British Paralympian Helena Lucas was the only female sailor in the 16-boat fleet for the 2.4 mR event, in which she won her nation's first ever Paralympic sailing gold medal

Explorer, sealer and a notable figure in the early history of the Falkland Islands Matthew Brisbane survived three Antarctic shipwrecks but was murdered in the Falkland Islands in 1833.

German East Africa was a colony in South-East Africa that included the three modern-day countries of Barundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

First collected in 2010 Trogloraptor, found in the caves of south-western Oregon, is the namesake and sole member of an ancient family of cave-dwelling spiders with hook-like feet.

Quotables 24 October



Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Franklin Pangborn Moment


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Trivia Bits 23 October



Published on September 8, 1998, Spencer Johnson’s motivational book was Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life (cover pictured) and is written in the style of a parable or business fable.

Royal Mail painted a post box gold to commemorate each gold medallist for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The bagel originates from Poland being traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring from yeasted wheat dough, roughly hand-sized, which is first boiled for a short time in water and then baked.

The earliest known usage of brainwashing occurred during the Korean War being was originally used to describe methodologies of coercive persuasion used under the Maoist government in China, which aimed to transform individuals with a reactionary imperialist mindset into "right-thinking" members of the new Chinese social system.

Darwin glass is a natural glass found in the found south of Queenstown in West Coast, Tasmania.

Soviet actor Pavel Luspekaev played in the 1970 classic Russian Ostern movie White Sun of the Desert with both feet amputated with the movie being blend of action, comedy, music and drama, as well as memorable quotes, made it wildly successful, achieving the status of a top cult film in Soviet and Russian culture.

Bach composed his chorale cantata Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 33 (Towards you alone, Lord Jesus Christ), on a hymn by Konrad Hubert with a melody by Paul Hofhaimer, and first performed it on 3 September 1724.

In British television detective drama Midsommer Murders, based on the books by Caroline Graham, the character Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby is played by English actor and writer John Nettles.

The first Muslim country to have a female prime minister was Pakistan when Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani politician and stateswoman served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1988.

Ella Maria Lani Yeich-O’Connor is now better known by her stage name of Lorde, a New Zealand singer-songwriter.

Quotables 23 October



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Frankie Avalon Moment


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Trivia Bits 22 October


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Releasing his first single in 1941 and his last album in 2005, Smoky Dawson (pictured) is considered as Australia’s first singing cowboy complete with yodel, in the style of Gene Autry.

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Sukhanand became an umpire after retiring as a player and was the first international cricket umpire from the city of Vadodara, and second from the Indian state of Gujarat.

Al-Hanajira was one of the five principal Bedouin tribes inhabiting the Negev Desert between Gaza and Beersheba prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and was expelled to the Gaza Strip during that period.

While doing a genealogy show, Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr. (2010), Eva Longoria she discovered that she is related to cellist Yo-Yo Ma after turning out that Eva is 7% Asian and shares a common ancestor with Ma in the last 250 years.

Set in Peckham in south London, starring English actor David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek "Del Boy" Trotter Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom originally broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991.

Originating in 2004 in the United Kingdom Supernanny is a reality TV programme about parents struggling with their children's behaviour featuring professional nanny Jo Frost, who devotes each episode to helping a family where the parents are struggling with their child-rearing and through instruction and observation, shows the parents alternative ways to discipline their children and regain order in their households

The Black Echo is the 1992 debut novel by American author of detective novels and other crime fiction Michael Connelly and won the Mystery Writer's of America Edgar Award in 1992.

Establishing the first democracy in 508 – 507 BCE was the country of Greece.

The Macaque is a species of primates with ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa.

The Mayan ruins in Belize called Nim Li Punit take their name from the "big hat" headdress on an 8th century stela which is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected as a monument, very often for funerary or commemorative purposes.

Quotables 22 October



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Frank Zappa Moment


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Trivia Bits 21 October


ruby ring

The traditional stone gift for a fortieth wedding anniversary is a ruby (ring pictured).

A Heya is a place and organisation where people involved in Sumo train and live with all wrestlers in professional sumo must belong to one.

When referring to a magazine title, the initials GQ stand for Gentlemen’s Quarterly which is an American monthly men's magazine focusing on fashion, style, and culture for men, through articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books.

In musical notation the term ritardando means to gradually slow down and is generally abbreviated as rit. or ritard.

Vaduz is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein, the seat of the national parliament and is believed to have been founded circa 1322 by the Counts of Werdenberg.

An exhibition hall located in Buen Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain, Palacio de Velázquez by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco was built for the 1883 Exposición Nacional de Minería, with ceramic tiles by Daniel Zuloaga.

An 1853 expedition led by French Canadian merchant and explorer of the American Southwest François Xavier Aubry discovered that the Indians of northern Arizona manufactured bullets from gold.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador is in the Southern Hemisphere and is a World Cultural Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1978.

The wife of Zeus and queen of the gods was Hera whose chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage.

Airing between 27 August 2007 and 30 March 2011 Australian television drama series City Homicide was set on the Homicide floor of a metropolitan police headquarters in Melbourne with the main characters six detectives, who solve the murder cases, and their three superior officers and starred Australian stand-up comedian, award winning actor and a television host Shane Bourne as Detective Senior Sergeant Stanley Wolfe.

Quotables 21 October



Monday, October 20, 2014

A Frank Sinatra Moment


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Trivia Bits 20 October


Amazon Web

American Internet entrepreneur and investor Jeff Bezos founded (logo pictured) in 1994.

2012 Paralympics competitor and Gold Coast Wheelchair Rugby Titans captain Ben Newton was a member of the undefeated 2011 Australia national wheelchair rugby team.

In the English proverb, necessity is considered to be the mother of invention.

First aired from 1999 to 2005 American crime drama series Third Watch was set and filmed in New York City, and with an ensemble cast of characters the storylines cantered on the lives of police officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the firefighters and paramedics of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), all working the same fictional precinct during the 3pm to 11pm shift - the Third Watch.

The Sinhalese people are native to the island country of Sri Lanka with the Sinhalese identity based on language, historical heritage and religion.

In the comic strip created by Jim Davis in 1978, Garfield’s teddy bear is named Pooky.

Jan Nepomucen Głowacki, considered the father of the Polish school of landscape painting, was the first to devote an entire series of works to the Tatra Mountains starting in 1836 on the series.

The freezing point of water on the Fahrenheit scale is 32.9.

Despite early concerns that the course at Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster, England would be too long for Black Jester, the colt won the 1914 St. Leger Stakes by five lengths and set a new record time.

Salma Hayek was executive producer from 2006 to 2010 of the American comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty starring America Ferrara as Betty Suarez.

British swimmer James Crisp has won medals in every different competitive stroke style in varying Paralympic Games.

Quotables 20 October



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Movie Review ... A Walk Among The Tombstones


A Walk Among The Tombstones posterBased on Lawrence Block’s popular book series, ‘A Walk among the Tombstones’ is a solid thriller.  The central character, Matthew Scudder, has previously appeared on screen in 1982’s ‘8 Million Ways to Die’.  Portrayed by Jeff Bridges, the character’s cinematic debut didn’t register with that era’s audience.  Hopefully this second big screen outing set in 1999 will do justice to a potentially long-running franchise. 

Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson) is a former cop turned private eye.  A recovering alcoholic, he constantly searches for challenging cases.  When asked by local drug lord Kenny (Dan Stevens) to find those responsible for the kidnap and murder of his wife, Matthew reluctantly accepts.  Searching for clues, he discovers the kidnappers have previous form with equally deadly consequences.  With danger at every turn, Scudder’s life hangs in the balance as the hunt intensifies.

‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ is unafraid in delving into dark spaces.  Exploring ‘evil that men do’, Scudder doggedly survives in a grim world.  His shady past matches the murky dealings of his clients adding to the constant atmosphere of dread.  Whilst the story is occasionally prone to repetitive exposition, Scott Frank’s direction successfully conveys its’ grittiness.  You receive a true sense of danger Scudder faces and the dodgy moral codes everyone lives by.

Despite a somewhat far-fetched conclusion, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ wouldn’t have worked without Neeson’s presence.  He holds the movie together with a performance steeped in weary reality.  Neeson has turned into a reliable mainstay of commercial movies with his newest role cementing this.  He is aided well by his co-stars who embody their sleazy roles with ease.  The cinematography of a pre- 21st Century New York effectively conjures a distant past continually haunting Scudder.

In spite of some short-comings, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ is a generally engaging thriller.  Riding much on Neeson’s coat-tails, hopefully it builds towards further instalments of a frequently intriguing character.

A Walk Among The Tombstones

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 ... Before I Go To Sleep


Before I Go To Sleep  posterMemory often cheats with rose-coloured glasses often obscuring the truth.  Movies like ‘Memento’ made a virtue of memory loss by telling gripping stories.  Based on S.J. Watson’s novel ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ follows the same line.  Attempting to spin a thrilling yarn, the way of using the amnesia device is left wanting.  Whilst having moments of inspiration, it is a pale imitator of better tales where memory is always subjective.

Christine (Nicole Kidman) wakes up next to a stranger.  Claiming to be her husband, Ben (Colin Firth), Christine has no memory of him.  Disturbed by her lack of memories, she receives treatment from Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong).  Hoping to regain her full faculties, as each piece of her life returns, new questions arise.  Becoming suspicious of those around her, Christine learns all is not as it appears as lies and deceptions entangle her life.

Clumsily directed by Rowan Joffe, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ gives new meaning to mediocrity.  Badly mis-cast and full of illogical plot holes, it falls under its self-inflicted burdens.  You don’t believe in the characters due to an increasingly silly story and contrived atmospherics.  Despite her predicament, Kidman’s character comes across as being really dumb with obvious clues ignored.  This deflates any sympathy with the cast’s over-acting turning ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ into a bad cinematic pantomime.

‘Before I Go to Sleep’ has few good points with the cinematography being one.  Effectively capturing the muddied world Christine tries to escape, it adds to the overall sense of danger.  The orchestral score makes the outlandish climax appear better than it is.  The flaws are many in this poor adaptation doing no favours to what has been a popular book. 

A pot-boiler quickly going nowhere, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ is less than scintillating.  Offering evidence that a big-name cast can’t save a movie without a good script, the temptation to erase this one from the memory banks would be palatable.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

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.



A Frank Capra Moment


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