Saturday, December 6, 2014

Movie Review ... Exodus: Gods And Kings


Exodus-Movie-PosterRidley Scott is no stranger to epic films.  Director of ‘Gladiator’, ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Blade Runner’, he has crafted stirring tales amidst the spectacle.  Taking his cue from the Cecil B DeMille biblical movies, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ finds Scott in his creative element.  Conjuring opulent and startling visions, the visuals often swamp a story steeped in a grandeur provided by a mega-budgeted production.

Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) rules ancient Egypt with an iron fist.  Overseeing a mighty empire, Ramses dares anyone to defy him.  Taking the challenge is Moses (Christian Bale), who is determined to destroy Ramses’ rule.  Plotting to free thousands of slaves and launch a rebellion, Moses charts a heroic and dangerous course.  Battling plagues and the power of Ramses’ army, Moses stands firm against the tyranny of an empirical regime.

‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ cannot be accused of not being dazzling to watch.  The CGI boffins earn their money with ancient Egypt brilliantly brought to life.  The sandy vistas and deadly plagues seen throughout are wonderfully rendered.  Coupled with some excellently staged action sequences, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ should be a compelling experience.  It isn’t due to the casting which is uniformly bad with cockney, American and Australian accents all being heard within the Pharaoh’s walls.

Whilst Bale equips himself reasonably well as a tortured Moses, Edgerton completely fails to register the passionate fury his role requires.  Speaking in monotone with hardly any expression, his Ramses seems like a bore with no fire in the belly.  He isn’t helped by co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul who are completely wasted.  Their terminal lack of use affects the fairly strong story from reaching the apex to which it clearly aspires. 

‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ could have been better.  Although Scott’s last few movies have been dull affairs with good cast, the opposite occurs for his latest.  This shouldn’t affect any future biblical-based films with the copyright-free Bible easy pickings for budget-conscious film-makers.


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.

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A Gérard Blain Moment


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Trivia Bits 06 December


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The 19th Century painting Starry Night Over The Rhone (pictured) was painted by Vincent Van Gogh during September 1888 and is one of a series of paintings of the southern French city of Arles at night time.

Karl Pilkington is best known for his work in the 2010 British travel documentary television series An Idiot Abroad created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

.dz is the internet top level domain for the North African country of Algeria.

True Blood is an American TV series based on novels written by Charlaine Harris featuring the character Sookie Stackhouse who is a fictional character and protagonist of The Southern Vampire Mysteries book series and is portrayed by Anna Paquin.

Discovered in 1869 in Victoria, Australia, the Welcome Stranger claimed to be the world’s largest gold nugget with a calculated refined weight of 3,123 oz 6 dwts 9 gr (71.018 kg) and measuring 61 by 31 cm (24 by 12 in).

Elephant Seals can be found on Macquarie Island and lies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica, and politically, it is part of Tasmania, Australia since 1900 and became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1997.

Isla Fisher is an actress who began her acting career on Australian television who was born to Scottish parents in Oman and raised in Australia and who in 2013 starred as Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby and as Henley Reeves in Now You See Me.

Italian goldsmith, sculptor and early printer of Florence Bernardo Cennini was among the assistants to Lorenzo Ghiberti to produce the Doors of Paradise for the Battistero di San Giovanni also known as the Baptistry of Saint John in Florence, Italy, that was constructed between 1059 and 1128.

English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer Charles Babbage is best remembered now originating the concept of a programmable computer.

In 2009, Arawak artist and archaeologist George Simon and a team of researchers uncovered evidence of human settlements in Guyana that date back to 3,000 BCE.

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Quotables 06 December



Friday, December 5, 2014

A Gerald Mohr Moment


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Trivia Bits 05 December


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New Zealand actress, activist and musician Lucy Lawless (pictured) is best known for playing the title character of the internationally successful television series Xena: Warrior Princess an American series filmed in New Zealand from 1995 till 2001.

The black jumping salamander, the dwarf false brook salamander, the admirable false brook salamander, the Smith's false brook salamander and Thorius pennatulus are all endemic to Mexico, and critically endangered.

Women competed in boxing at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the weight divisions of flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.

In 1976, a photo shoot for Farrah Fawcett was arranged with photographer Bruce McBroom with from 40 rolls of film, Fawcett herself selected her six favourite pictures, eventually the choice was narrowed to the one that made her famous in a one-piece red bathing suit, was a best-seller; selling twenty million copies.

35 days after the December 1988 Spitak earthquake in the northern region of Armenia, six people were rescued alive from a collapsed building.

Founded in New York City, Simplicity Patterns has been a leader in home pattern sewing since 1927 and during the Great Depression, Simplicity allowed home seamstresses to create fashionable clothing in a reliable manner.

The collective noun for sheep is flock although if sheep are being driven in a group, they are referred to as a drove of sheep.

It is not compulsory for a place of worship in England and Wales to be officially registered, but doing so makes the premises exempt from Council Tax.

Vanguard Cave, a natural sea cave which is part of the Gorham's Cave complex, is one of four caves in Gibraltar which have been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage with the other caves being Bennett's, Gorham's, and Hyaena Cave.

In the sport of Sumo Wrestling one wears a piece of equipment known as a mawashi which is the belt (loincloth) that the rikishi (or sumo wrestler) wears during training or in competition.

Quotables 05 December



Thursday, December 4, 2014

A George O’Brien Moment


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Trivia Bits 04 December



Morocco has its political capital as Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca (pictured) and is Morocco's chief port and industrial centre and is the setting of the 1942 film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

Darwin, the remotest city in Australia, is located at the top of 'The Top End' has had a tough history including being destroyed by heavy bombing in World War II and devastated again by the infamous tropical cyclone Tracy in 1974.

The flag of Mexico is a vertical tricolour of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms featuring the Golden Eagle charged in the centre of the white stripe and was adopted September 16, 1968. The colours of green representing hope, white union and red the blood of heroes.

Although collected in 1958, the fungus Engleromyces sinensis was not described as a new species until 52 years later and is a fungus is known only from China (sinensis, "of China"), where it grows on bamboo culms.

Breaking records since 1979, American Ashrita Furman is a Guinness World Records record-breaker who as of 2012 had set 148 such records, including the record for holding the most Guinness world records.

In 1911, South Australia transferred the Northern Territory to the Australian Federal Government.

In 2006, both Green Day and U2 had a hit with The Saints Are Coming after being the third single by the Scottish punk rock band Skids, featured on their 1979 debut album, Scared to Dance.

First awarded in 1960, The Clio award is presented annually to reward innovation and creative excellence in advertising, design and communication and is named after the Greek goddess Clio, the mythological Muse known as the proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments.

Commencing in 2007, British television series Inspector George Gently is set in the 1960s and based on the Inspector Gently novels by Alan Hunter with English actor Martin Shaw playing the title role.

2012 Australian Paralympic athletics competitor Michael Roeger has played football, basketball, table tennis and cricket.

Quotables 04 December



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A George Nader Moment


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Trivia Bits 03 December



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Rhythmic gymnast Georgina Cassar (pictured) was the first athlete from Gibraltar to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.

Pompeii and Herculaneum were mostly destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela and is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 m (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft) after dropping over the edge of the Auyantepui Mountain in the Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State.

Starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett, The Talented Mr Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella being an adaptation of the 1955 Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name.

Famous Austrian physicist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics 1933, Erwin Schrodinger wrote the 1944 non-fiction science book What Is Life? which contains a discussion of negentropy and the concept of a complex molecule with the genetic code for living organisms.

The classic bibliophile is one who loves to read, admire and collect books, often amassing a large and specialized collection, not necessarily wanting to possess the books they love but, for example, books with unusual bindings and autographed copies

American television series Kojak starring Telly Savalas as the title character, a bald New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak which aired from October 1973 to March 1978.

Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer and academic Douglas Mawson was made Emeritus Professor of the University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1952.

Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s death in 1893 is commonly attributed to cholera.

New Netherlands was a 17th Century colonial province on the east coast of North America with the provincial capital of New Amsterdam located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan on New York Harbor.

Quotables 03 December



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A George Michael Moment


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Trivia Bits 02 December



Native to South America, the capybara (pictured) is the largest rodent in the world inhabiting savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water

The base of Bach's cantata Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130, for the feast of Michael on 29 September 1724 is a hymn by Paul Eber sung to a famous tune usually attributed to the French composer Loys Bourgeois known as Old 100th or Old Hundredth.

Mississippi's Spanish Fort is neither Spanish nor a fort but is an archaeological site in the Delta region of the U.S. state of Mississippi with its original purpose is believed to have been ceremonial, not martial and thought to have been constructed approximately 160 BC.

American military physician and neurologist Surgeon General William Alexander Hammond both founded the National Museum of Health and Medicine and wrote the first American treatise about neurology.

Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 2012 American western/adventure film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained which also starred Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.

In the first line of the song Hush Little Baby, Papa is going to buy a mockingbird but the author and date of origin are unknown.

Named by the Kew botanist John Lindley in 1828, the genus Clivia, monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa, was named after Queen Victoria's childhood governess, the Duchess of Northumberland, who was the first to cultivate those plants in Great Britain.

Hawayo Takata, a Nisei, which describes the children born to Japanese people in a new country, fluent in the language and culture of Japan and the United States, introduced Reiki to the Western World.

Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle an historic boxing event in 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) held at the 20th of May Stadium on the morning of October 30, 1974.

Australian actor Heidi Arena plays fictional writer, chef, life coach and choreographer Audrey Gordon in Audrey’s Kitchen a satirical television cooking series produced by Working Dog Productions in Melbourne, Australia, for ABC Television.

Quotables 02 December



Monday, December 1, 2014

A George Harrison Moment


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Trivia Bits 01 December



The kangaroo (pictured) is the mascot of the Royal Australian Air Force with The Australian Air Force being formed on 31 March 1921 with King George V approving the prefix "Royal" in June 1921 becoming effective on 31 August 1921.

Worshipping the spirits known as kami are followers of the Shinto religion.

American film director, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor David Lynch acts opposite his former real-life partner Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model Isabella Rossellini in Tina Rathborne's semi-autobiographical 1988 American drama film Zelly and Me.

The US Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world with just over 3.2 million servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians.

The capital of landlocked and mountainous Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards.

Men’s faults to themselves seldom appear is a quote credited to playwright William Shakespeare is from the narrative poem The Rape of Lucrece (1594) which was entered into the Stationers' Register on 9 May 1594, and published later that year, in a quarto printed by Richard Field for the bookseller John Harrison ("the Elder").

Irish Republican politicians in the 1920s were expected to pay for their own meals in order to prevent political corruption.

Praslin and Curieuse Island are part of the island country The Seychelles which is a 155-island country, as per the Constitution, spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

In Gaelic football the grass playing field is rectangular, stretching 130–145 metres (142–159 yards) long and 80–90 m (87–98 yd) wide with H-shaped goalposts at each end, formed by two posts, which are usually 6–7 metres (20–23 feet) high, set 6.5 m (21 ft) apart, and connected 2.5 m (8.2 ft) above the ground by a crossbar, a net extending behind the goal is attached to the crossbar and lower goal posts.

Sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa, Gabon shares borders with Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo.

Quotables 01 December



It’s Summer Down Under


welcome to summer down under

It’s Monday, 01 December and the start of the summer season – the start of the three hottest months December, January and February.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Movie Review ... Nightcrawler


NightcrawlerPosterGood thrillers use true tales for stories.  Making for believable and enthralling experiences, those basing themselves on reality have endured.  Director Alfred Hitchcock used the era’s headlines to great effect, something ‘Nightcrawler’ shares.  Similar in style to Hitchcock’s best works, ‘Nightcrawler’s’ exploration of the human psyche’s darker aspects is timely and engaging.

Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a loner desperate to make his mark.  Drawn into the world of ‘nightcrawling’ where reporters chase police sirens in search for tragedies to cover, he swiftly decides to become a video journalist.  Teaming with veteran news-reporter Nina (Rene Russo), Bloom establishes his turf.  His moral fibre becomes torn when he creates deadly incidents for news stories, often with shocking consequences.

First-time director Dan Gilroy ensures ‘Nightcrawler’ becomes a blistering attack on journalistic values.  Questioning how far someone should go in the pursuit of ratings, Gilroy offers some uncomfortably true answers.  Effectively using atmosphere and noir-ish night-time photography in highlighting the character’s unsavoury viewpoints, he achieves in exposing their decrepit principles.  ‘Nightcrawler’ could be seen several ways with drama, humour and even horror in the mix.  In Gilroy’s hands these elements are startlingly inter-woven within a dark but always enthralling narrative.

A huge part of its success is the casting.  Gyllenhaal and Russo completely immerse themselves into their roles.  Whilst vastly different in social stature, both share traits making them a rather pathetic and dangerous team.  As their morality unfurls, they become drawn to each other.  This warped quasi-romance adding another layer of intrigue.  Although some scenes drag, the characters are never less than compelling and offer a damning indictment on the frayed ethics on which some journalists thrive.

An often savage assessment of today’s news-hungry world, ‘Nightcrawler’ is continually engrossing.  With a sadly all too real story that shows how the bridge between psychosis and honourable values becomes blurred in the enduring quest for news.

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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