Saturday, January 10, 2015

Movie Review ... The Imitation Game


the-imitation-game posterBiographical films should always be handled with care.  Portraying a subject’s life in an easily viewable way, not all facts are given.  Some form of fiction is usually added to condense characters or events.  ‘The Imitation Game’ has its’ share of half-truths.  That shouldn’t take away from the power of the largely true-life tale.  Loosely filmed before in 2001’s ‘Enigma’, ‘The Imitation Game’ offers an interesting insight of a complex genius.

Determined to defeat Germany during World War 2, the British government tried all methods to win.  Gifted scientist Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) offered hope.  Using his skills to create a vital code-breaking machine, his services became crucial.  Living as a closeted homosexual, his personal life often conflicted with his professional.  With pressure mounting, Turing’s methods impact on those around him with unforeseen consequences.

Deserved praise has gone to Cumberbatch for his tortured performance.  ‘The Imitation Game’ gives him much to work with as Turing’s life slowly unravels.  Caught between doing his patriotic duty and having its laws turn on him creates engrossing drama.  Morten Tyldum directs his cast with general sensitivity with the exploration of society’s attitudes towards homosexuality engaging.  Flitting through Turing’s troubled life Tyldum succeeds in showing some of the demons which drove him.

Detracting from ‘The Imitation Game’s’ impact is the use of stock-standard movie biography formula.  A familiar trajectory is followed with Kiera Knightley’s role as one of Turing’s close friends feeling somewhat tokenistic.  Facts and characters have been re-arranged to fit typical cinematic convention with surprises only briefly forth-coming.  Despite these draw-backs, ‘The Imitation Game’ utilises Cumberbatch to good effect with psychological intrigue to maintain interest.

A worthy investigation of an unsung war hero, ‘The Imitation Game’ effectively shows the wars fought away from battlefields.  It isn’t perfect but has enough to satisfy curiosity for any budding World War 2 boffin.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

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Movie Review ... Birdman



Birdman posterPortraying a comic book character can sometimes be a curse.  Whilst making an actor’s name with eternal fandom, moving to other roles could be difficult.  Having portrayed Batman in two films, Michael Keaton would know something about this.  Mostly avoiding the fate befallen the likes of TV Batman Adam West, Keaton has maintained a career across all genres.  ‘Birdman’ finds him confronting his heroic past as a man refusing to become trapped in his former character’s cape and cowl.

Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton) is on a mission.  Forever known for starring in a trilogy of Birdman superhero films, he is determined to start afresh.  Middle aged and hungry for new adventures, he launches a self-created Broadway show.  Aiming to break the superhero hoodoo in the public’s eyes, Thomas’ plans are continually interrupted by well-meaning friends and endless familial problems.  With much at stake a heroic effort is needed to forge a new path for Thomas’ dwindling career.

Although billed as a comedy-drama, ‘Birdman’ could also be seen as a horror movie.  Forever raging against the fictional character he portrayed, Thomas longs to escape Birdman’s shackles.  He also desires a new form of adulation for a talent initially hidden behind a mask.  Forced to function as himself, Thomas has to basically re-start his career.  Grasping at the hope his latest show brings, his desperation in willing it to succeed is at once pathetic but hopeful.

‘Birdman’ is very much Keaton’s movie and he delivers an excellent performance.  Backed by strong co-stars including Edward Norton as a rival actor, Keaton embodies his fractured character well.  The use of long-shots instead of quick edits between scenes convey the endless cycle of personal inertia in which Thomas resides.  Although the occasionally muddled narrative is prone to self-indulgence, the directorial flourishes ensure ‘Birdman’ lingers in the memory.

Emerging from a creative wilderness, Michael Keaton makes a fine return with ‘Birdman’.  One of his strongest roles, the range he displays should see him unleash the shadow of former characters and invent new ones.

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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



Just For Fun 10 January



A Gloria Blondell Moment


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Trivia Bits 10 January


Melanie Vallejo

Playing Sophie Wong in the 2011 Australian television drama series Winners & Losers is actress Melanie Vallejo (pictured), a native Australian of Filipino, Spanish and Ukrainian descent.

The collection of the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas of Madrid has some 40,000 items, from Ming and Qing dynasty porcelains to Granadian silk, Moroccan embroidery, and Turkish inkpots.

The filly Saucy Sue won the 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks, and the Coronation Stakes in 1925, helping Lord Astor become Britain's champion owner that season.

In 1967, British trainer of racehorses Jack Jarvis became the first horse trainer to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to horse racing.

Five dice are used in the standard game of Yahtzee marketed under the name of Yahtzee by U.S. toymaker and game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe in 1956.

George Harrison, member of The Beatles, released an autobiographic work I, Me, Mine in 1980 originally as a hand-bound, limited edition book of 2000 signed copies and was later released in hardback and paperback editions by W H Allen in London and by Simon and Schuster in New York.

A renal calculus is better known as a Kidney Stone.

The World Boxing Council stripped American boxer Riddick Bowe of his heavyweight champion title in December 1992 after Bowe dumped the World Boxing Council title belt into a trash can in London.

Perth, the capital of the largest state in Australia, has a Mediterranean climate with Indian Ocean beaches close by, the Darling Range to the east and sits on the foreshores of the Swan River which is almost 1 mile (1.5km) at its widest section.

Casa Batllo in Barcelona, a remodel of a previously built house redesigned in 1904, is one of the most famous buildings by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.

Quotables 10 January



Friday, January 9, 2015

Just For Fun 09 January



A Glenn Ford Moment


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Vintage Travel Posters







Trivia Bits 09 January


Complete & Unbelievable The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul

Released on October 15, 1966, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (cover pictured) the fifth studio album by American soul singer-songwriter Otis Redding's and was the last solo studio album released before his 1966 death.

2011 American science fiction drama television series Terra Nova, initially set in A.D. 2149, follows the Shannon family as they travel 85 million years into the past to an Earth of a parallel universe.

The popular 2013 mobile game Flappy Bird was developed by Vietnam-based developer Nguyễn Hà Đông.

David Fincher was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for his 2010 movie The Social Network starring stars Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker.

The Quebec Bridge (Pont de Québec in French) is a road, rail and pedestrian bridge across the lower Saint Lawrence River is the longest cantilever bridge span in the world and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.

Landing in Mirabel International Airport you would be in the Canadian city of Montreal with the predominant role of the airport being cargo flights but it is also home to MEDEVAC and general aviation flights as well as being a manufacturing base for Bombardier Aerospace.

A5 is the size of paper that half of the more common A4 sheets with an international A4 standard paper size of 210 × 297 mm.

The tsunami triggered by the 1979 Tumaco earthquake with the epicentre between Ecuador and Colombia, near the port city of Tumaco, coincided with low tide, greatly reducing the area inundated and the likelihood of a far higher death toll.

South American countries, Bolivia and Paraguay, fought in the Chaco War of 1932–1935 over control of the northern part of the Gran Chaco region (known as Chaco Boreal) of South America, which was thought to be rich in oil.

The characters Mock Turtle, Gryphon and Bill the Lizard were created by writer Lewis Carroll his 1865 popular book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Friday Fruit Time







The Lure of Antique Books







For Canine Lovers







Quotables 09 January