Saturday, January 24, 2015

Movie Review ... Wild


wild poster‘Wild’ uses the oft-used motif of ‘the journey’.  Reality TV and Hollywood films are obsessed with this story device with the hoped for ‘emotional voyage’ hooking viewers.  Sometimes this works as you come to know characters, while other times it descends proceedings into a barrage of manipulative clichés.  ‘Wild’ mostly escapes the latter’s fate.  Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, it is an engaging look at dealing with grief and confronting past mistakes.

Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) was at a cross-roads.  Dealing with the death of her mother Barbara (Laura Dern) and recent divorce, she wondered where to go next.  Wanting isolation to think things over, she embarked on a thousand mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail.  An arduous journey, the people and harsh landscapes she discovered changed her life.  Tackling deeply buried personal issues, her path towards a more secure future became clearer.

Solidly directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, ‘Wild’ is very much Witherspoon’s movie.  Beginning her career in light frothy roles, she has grown into a competent actor.  ‘Wild’ gives her much to challenge her skills as Cheryl comes to terms with recent crises’.  Walking through the rough terrain, her crowded thoughts receive a chance to be slowly released.  Those she meets help her understand her actions and the relationships defining her.

Vallee efficiently handles these elements with the cinematography a massive plus.  The country-side is a witness to Cheryl’s shedding of her burdens and re-construction of her life.  The ‘finding yourself’ theme used to saccharine effect in other films isn’t too bad here.  ‘Wild’ has a level of authenticity unlike others with Witherspoon delivering a genuinely raw performance.  Cheryl is never presented as a holier than thou person, with harsh edges effectively shown.

Moving without being too sentimental, ‘Wild’ is an odyssey easy to take.  Whilst the narrative occasionally meanders, it is a fine drama in grappling tough personal subjects and establishing new possibilities.

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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.

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Movie Review ... Paper Planes


paper planes posterThe key to good children’s movies is keeping things simple. That doesn’t mean talking down to adolescents but crafting an engaging narrative within a basic premise.  ‘Paper Planes’ does this perfectly.  Directed by Robert Connolly, this Australian movie has much heart and depth.  With nicely-drawn characters imparting the messages ‘Paper Planes’ offers, this flight of fancy is a solid work suitable for all ages.

Dylan (Ed Oxenbould), a young boy, is still grieving the death of his mother.  Along with his father Jack (Sam Worthington), Dylan tries to find a way to cope.  When his school-teacher challenges the class to a paper plane flying contest, his interest is piqued.  Enjoying the experience and becoming an expert, Dylan’s aptitude is noted.  Encouraged by friends and teachers, he enters an international paper plane competition.  Dylan’s new focus potentially helps in refreshing his life and that of his father.

‘Paper Planes’ enchants without being sentimentally sweet.  It isn’t afraid in having rough edges with themes of grief, loneliness and moving on effectively portrayed.  It also examines what it means to be a winner with the nobility of defeat something not to shy away from.  Dylan’s interaction with his emotionally crippled father forms a solid foundation for the overall whimsical tale. 

Aided by excellent performances and dazzlingly shot locations, ‘Paper Planes’ stands out.  Whilst some clichés creep in – Dylan’s typically groovy Grandfather and ‘inspirational’ music score – its noble intentions outweigh any minuses.  Connolly has a good sense of story scale ensuring the balance of humour and pathos is well realised. 

A very fine Australian production, ‘Paper Planes’ fully realises its potential.  Proud of its low-tech feel, it is a charming movie about a boy’s quest to reach previously unobtainable heights.

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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


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Be Back Next Weekend



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Will be back next weekend.

Just For Fun 18 January



A Goldie Hawn Moment


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Trivia Bits 18 January


Alexander McQueen

British fashion designer and couturier Alexander McQueen (pictured) was born in Lewisham, London was the youngest of six and who as teenager joined the Young Ornithologists’ Club spending after-school hours bird-watching from the roof of his block of flats and later incorporating feathers and wings into his fantastical designs and creations.

The 2005 American TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother is narrated by the character Ted Mosby, an architecture teacher and the central character of the series played by Josh Radnor.

Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress, and film star Carmen Miranda, popular from the 1930s to the 1950s, was often shown wearing platform sandals and towering headdresses made of fruit, becoming famous as "the lady in the tutti-frutti hat."

Queen Elizabeth II has owned over 30 Welsh Corgi dogs since she ascended the throne in 1952 with Monty, Willow and Holly appearing in the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony when James Bond (portrayed by Daniel Craig) arrived at Buckingham Palace to escort the Queen to the event.

Ulan Bator, or Ulaanbaatar, literally meaning "Red Hero", is the capital and the largest city of Mongolia founded in 1639 as a movable (nomadic) Buddhist monastic centre and in 1778 was settled permanently at its present location after having changed location twenty-eight times prior to 1778.

The herb wild marjoram is better known by the name of Oregano with its most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian cuisine.

The 1995 novel The Rainmaker was written by John Grisham and was his sixth novel which in 1997 was adapted into a film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, and Danny Glover.

An American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate, Al Capone’s was born Alphonse Gabriel Capone in 1899 in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City to Italian immigrants.

Lemon juice is used in traditional French cuisine Allemande sauce thickened with egg yolks and heavy cream and seasoned with lemon juice.

Danish composer, concert organist, and pianist Frederik Magle required the use of the thigh bone from a giraffe as an instrument in his symphonic suite Cantabile in the second movement the Cortège & Danse Macabre which premiered on June 10, 2009 at a concert in the Copenhagen Concert Hall.

Ratho Golf Links in Bothwell, Tasmania, is the oldest golf course in Australia and is one of the oldest surviving golf courses outside of Scotland being first laid out and enjoyed by the pioneering Reid family, who emigrated from Scotland and settled Ratho in 1822.

Quotables 18 January