Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Gene Kelly Moment



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Gene Kelly in The Cross of Lorraine (1943

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Trivia Bits 15 November


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English-born Australian actor and musician Guy Pearce starred as Leonard Shelby in the 2000 American neo-noir mystery-psychological thriller movie Memento (poster pictured) written and directed by Christopher Nolan.

Begun in the 12th century, the church of All Saints Church, Ulcombe in England and within the churchyard are several ancient Yew trees, one of which is claimed to be over 2,000 years old.

The story of David and Goliath is found in the Old Testament Biblical book of Samuel.

The Latin phrase alma mater from Latin alma "nourishing/ kind", mater "mother" means Fostering/Nourishing Mother and is often used to refer to any educational institution at which one has studied and usually from which one has received a bachelor's degree.

American soldier and politician William Trousdale served as Governor of Tennessee and also fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War, the War of 1812 and the Second Seminole War, and commanded the U.S. Fourteenth Infantry in the Mexican-American War earning him the nickname, "War Horse of Sumner County."

The second O in the usual logo of the search engine Google is yellow.

Australian professional darts player, Simon Whitlock, who plays in Professional Darts Corporation tournaments, uses the nickname The Wizard for his matches with his walk-on music being Down Under by Men At Work.

First airing in Australia in 2006, the TV show Good Chef Bad Chef features Adrian Richardson and Zoe Bingley-Pullin where Adrian presents indulgent recipes while Zoe presents health conscious recipes.

Taylor Hanson, of the group Hanson, wears a necklace with The Star of David, a Cross, and a Soccer Ball and plays Keyboard, piano and tambourine.

Established in 1187 Oignies Abbey, originally Priory of St Nicolas d'Oignies, is a former Augustinian monastery in Belgium which in circa 1230, was presented with a manuscript and silver book covers, the book cover depicting Hugo, a jeweller and metalworker, and the monastery's patron saint St. Nicolas later to become popularised as Santa Claus.

Quotables 15 November


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Movie Review ... The Drop


The Drop  PosterFrom ‘The Godfather’ to ‘The Sopranos’ viewers have been fascinated with crime gangs.  Revolving around a loose ‘family’ of people, their shady interactions never go out of style.  ‘The Drop’ explores another facet of this oft-travelled road.  Whilst a nasty conclusion for someone is predictably guaranteed, ‘The Drop’ has some genuinely unexpected surprises.

Funnelling cash to local gangsters via a syndicate of bars, bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) has his work cut-out.  In league with his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob’s actions soon catch up with him.  Caught in a botched robbery the ensuing police investigation places in him the law’s sights.  Relying on those he trusts, Bob finds loyalties can be very vague in the murky world in which he resides.

Strongly directed by Michael R Roskam, this excellent film continually captivates.  Portraying Bob’s struggle to either stand by his beliefs or delve into the dark spaces of his shady peers, ‘The Drop’ is an engrossing character study.  Mostly discarding violent incident and action, it explores the psychological tension everyone feels within their crooked universe.  Anything can happen with double cross, love and constant danger always in play – leading to engrossing viewing.

‘The Drop’ wouldn’t work without the fine casting.  Hardy and Gandolfini inhabit their characters so well.  The realism they inject ensures they truly immerse themselves into their opposing personalities.  In his final screen appearance Gandolfini reminds what a talent has been lost with his co-stars providing solid support.  Roskam’s use of cinematography enhances their performances with a gritty and grimy atmosphere that never lets go.

A strong crime thriller, ‘The Drop’ is a fascinating reflection on divided loyalties.  Fans of these movies should continue to enjoy the crime genre as it shows no signs of fading. The evil that men do forever entrances audiences.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

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 Gene Hackman Moment


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The quest for peace
real : Sidney J. Furie
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Trivia Bits 14 November


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American recording artist, actor, producer and dancer Michael Jackson (pictured) had a Jheri curl hairstyle which was a permed hairstyle, invented by the American, chemist, hair care products and entrepreneurial hairdresser Jheri Redding, that was common and popular in the African American, Black Canadian, and Black British communities, especially during the 1970s and 1980s.

Red Pontiac and Desiree are varieties of the vegetable potato.

The enclosed bridge made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars in Venice connecting the New Prisons to the Droge’s Palace is known as the Bridge of Sighs and was designed by Antoni Contino and was built in 1602.

Ruisreikäleipä is a flat rye flour loaf with a hole in the middle which was stored for the Nordic winter's length to mature and is still a component of the Finnish diet

The 1993 Australian film The Heartbreak Kid starred Claudia Karvan and Alex Dimitriades as spun off into the television series Heartbreak High running from 1994 to 1999 dealing with the students of the fictional Hartley High, a tough high school in a multi-racial area of Sydney.

Vigdis Finnbogadottir was the first female president of Iceland for sixteen years from 1980, was also Europe's first female president and the world's first democratically elected female head of state.

Cape Grim is located on the far north-western point of the Australian state of Tasmania discovered and named by Matthew Flinders on 7 December 1798, as he sailed from the East in the Norfolk and found a long swell coming from the South-west, confirming for the first time that Van Diemen's Land was separated from the Australian mainland by a strait which he named Bass Strait.

Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa becoming one of South Africa's eleven official languages in 1994.

American writer of novels, short stories and poetry Herman Melville is best known as the author of his sixth book Moby Dick first published October 18, 1851 (Britain) and November 14, 1851 (U.S.).

The Roman equivalent of the Greek Goddess Athena is Minerva, goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and defence.

Quotables 14 November



Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Gary Cooper Moment


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Trivia Bits 13 November


Bob Hope

Known as boxer Packy East before going into entertainment was English-born American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, author, and athlete Bob Hope (pictured).

Primrose, Violet and Bumble are characters from the children’s TV series Fifi and the Flowertots a British stop-motion animated children's television series first broadcast in May 2005.

In the game for two to four players, Hey That’s My Fish , a 2003 board game designed by Günter Cornett and Alveydas Jakeliunaseach player has a family of penguins with game about penguins trying to catch fish in the Antarctic.

Mansehra Rock Edicts are fourteen edicts of Mauryan emperor Ashoka inscribed on rocks in Mansehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and date back to the third century BC mentioning aspects of the emperor's dharma law

After originating in eastern Turkey, The Euphrates River flows through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf.

George Roy Hill won the Best Director Oscar for the 1973 The Sting, an American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional drifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw).

June Anne Devaney was 3 year old a girl from Blackburn, Lancashire, who was murdered on 15 May 1948 and in order to solve the crime police fingerprinted over 45,000 men to find the killer, the first time mass fingerprinting had been used to solve a crime.

Grammy Award winning 1997 single, Sunny Came Home was a hit for American singer-songwriter and musician Shawn Colvin.

Having received 18 Academy Award nominations, winning three, 28 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight, more nominations than any other actor in the history of either award. Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep.

The 1997 American epic romantic disaster film Titanic directed, written, co-produced, co-edited and partly financed by James Cameron being a fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, was the first movie to gross $US1 Billion.

Quotables 13 November



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Gail Patrick Moment


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Trivia Bits 12 November


Vredefort Dome

Vredefort crater (pictured), located in the present-day Free State Province of South Africa, is the largest verified impact crater on Earth, more than 300 km across being named after the town of Vredefort, which is situated near its centre. In 2005, the Vredefort Dome, geological structures at its centre, was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geologic interest.

A heptagon has seven sides.

The term vernal refers to the season of spring and is often used discussion of the equinoxes where the vernal equinox of one hemisphere is the autumnal equinox of the other and vice versa.

American television series Burn Notice aired from June 28, 2007 to September 12, 2013 with the title referring to the burn notices issued by intelligence agencies to discredit or announce the dismissal of agents or sources who are considered to have become unreliable resulting in their connection to an espionage organization terminated, leaving them without access to cash or influence and stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless, and Coby Bell.

Completed in 1931, the iconic building, The Empire State Building, is at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

Get Smart is a 1965 American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre and starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, code number Agent 86, is the central character who despite being a top secret government agent, is absurdly clumsy, very naive and has occasional lapses of attention.

American religious leader who founded the Latter Day Saint movement, the predominant branch of which is Mormonism, twenty-four year old Joseph Smith translated and subsequently published the 1830 religious text The Book of Mormon.

In the days when Australia had pounds, shillings and pence, the coin with the smallest value was the Halfpenny being first minted in 1911 and minting ceased in 1964 just prior to the decimalisation of the Australian currency on 14 February 1966.

Australian landscape painter Arthur Streeton was a member of the Australian art movement known as the Heidelberg School also known as Australian Impressionism.

On Good Friday, 6 April 1612, Malkin Tower in Lancaster England was alleged to be the location of a witches' coven with eight of those attending subsequently arrested and tried for causing harm by witchcraft, seven of whom were found guilty and executed.

Quotables 12 November



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Gail Davis Moment


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Trivia Bits 11 November


Brazilian wandering spiders

Brazilian wandering spiders (pictured) are aggressive and venomous spiders and appear in Guinness World Records from 2010 as the world's most venomous spider and although the Brazilian wandering spider is the most toxic, an effective anti-venom is available and few fatalities occur.

In December 2013, the European Space Agency’s unmanned space observatory Gaia was launched from French Guinea, West Africa with a mission aims to compile a 3D space catalogue of approximately 1 billion astronomical objects which is approximately 1% of the Milky Way population.

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland starred in the short lived American 2007 prime time drama series Dirty Sexy Money.

Seafood is featured in the Spanish dish zarzuela from the Catalan coast of northeast Spain.

Recognising achievements in live entertainment in Australia, The Mo Awards were named in honour of Australian comedian and vaudevillian Roy Rene better known the bawdy character Mo McCackie with the first 'Mo' Awards taking place at Revesby Workers Club, Sydney in October 1976.

Woods was an early name for the sport of Lawn Bowls in which the balls were originally made from lignum vitae, a dense wood giving rise to the term "woods" for bowls.

The fabric Chintz is made from cotton fibre were originally glazed calico textiles produced in India from 1600 to 1800 and popular for bed covers, quilts and draperies.

The Birch Creek Charcoal Kilns are a group of beehive-shaped clay charcoal kilns near Leadore, Idaho, built in 1886 employed 150 people or more, producing fuel for a smelter, but operated for less than three years.

Composed between 1969 and 1972 The Sinking of the Titanic is a work by British composer Gavin Bryars who was inspired by the story that the band on the Titanic continued to perform as the ship sank, recreating how the music performed by the band would reverberate through the water some time after they ceased performing.

Beginning to work in restaurants in his early teens, Chan Yan-tak is a Chinese chef, who is best known for being the first Chinese chef to earn three Michelin stars in 2009 at the Lung King Heen restaurant in the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong, after they coaxed him out of retirement and back into the kitchen.

Quotables 11 November



Monday, November 10, 2014

A Gabrielle Ray Moment


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Trivia Bits 10 November


Wendell Pierce

American actor Wendell Pierce (pictured) played Bunk Moreland in the TV series The Wire, an American crime drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland.

The Umbrellas was a controversial 1990s installation/environmental artwork by Christo and Jeanne-Claude with the plan to have yellow umbrellas set up in California and blue umbrellas in Japan at the same time and by September 7, 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki and 1,760 yellow umbrellas at the Tejon Ranch in southern California had been set up; the exhibition opened on 9 October 1991.

The Republic of San Marino is landlocked by Italy and is situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains being just over 61 km2 (24 sq mi).

The 1954 book Reach for the Sky, by Paul Brickhill, was based on the life of WWII pilot Douglas Bader and was made into a film starring Kenneth More, directed by Lewis Gilbert and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film of 1956.

The River Seine flows through the European city of Paris being a 776 km long river and an important commercial waterway.

A 19th-century brick synagogue in Radzanów, north-west of Warsaw, designed with Moorish-style motifs, serves as a public library since there are now no Jews in Radzanów

The planet Jupiter has 67 known moons.

British sitcom Only Fools and Horses originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991 with David Jason playing Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, an archetypal South London market trader, willing to sell anything to anyone to earn money.

2012-2013 BBC nature documentary series Nature's Microworlds covers the wildlife of microclimates ranging from the Serengeti grasslands in Africa to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard in the thirteen thirty-minute episodes.

The proverbial phrase when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" was first coined by Christian anarchist writer Elbert Hubbard in 1915.

Quotables 10 November



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Movie Review ... Interstellar


INTERSTELLAR posterRe-inventing thrillers with ‘Memento’ and the superhero genre with the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, director Christopher Nolan excels in diversity.  His attempts at career longevity have been admirable as this is something for which most creative people strive.  ‘Interstellar’ adds another professional sheen.  Delving into science fiction, Nolan’s efforts highlight his ability in switching gears whilst maintaining his unique edge.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a skilled space engineer called to assist in a secret project which he enthusiastically accepts.  With Earth savaged by a continuous freak storms, he is tasked with finding another planet for its citizens.  Joined by fellow experts including Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Cooper has only one chance to save humanity from a looming cataclysm.

‘Interstellar’ promises much and ultimately delivers little.  Whilst scenes in space are dazzling and the dramatic moments involving Cooper’s family are solid, overall ‘Interstellar’ offers a feeling of déjà vu.  Treading a path walked by ‘Captivity’ and ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, there is little that seems fresh.  Nolan fails to generate a sense of urgency and drive to his character’s actions.  This leads to a lack of genuine tension with only the occasional action sequence livening what is a rather dour movie.

The screenplay becomes bogged down in scientific exposition slowing the pace.  The detachment between the story and characters further makes ‘Interstellar’s 3 hour run-time a viewing chore. In his efforts to convey the film’s themes, Nolan’s ongoing self-indulgence results in the story moving away from his grasp.  Only the CGI really captures the imagination with McConaughey’s unsuitability in playing such a strong, forth-right role clear.  His co-stars fare better and do their best in bringing the often stagnant screenplay to life.

Despite the hype and Nolan’s esteemed reputation, ‘Interstellar’ is a dull effort.  Although having a grandiose sweep, without a captivating story the visual trickery matters little.  Hopefully Nolan’s next production will utilise his skills more effectively and reclaim the promise he initially showed.


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