Saturday, March 28, 2015

Movie Review ... Cinderella


Cinderella poster

These days it is considered brave of film-makers to re-invent classic stories.  Spinning an edgy, modern twist on tales has often proved fruitful.  Whilst this approach has raked in cash, it is even rarer and braver of others to stick to traditional versions.  Although having critics, director Kenneth Branagh knows how to handle rich mythologies which he does confidently with ‘Cinderella’.  Based on the Charles Perrault fairy tale and the 1950 Walt Disney movie, it is refreshingly free of the cynicism that drags down similar films.

Ella (Eloise Webb) lives with her step-mother Lady Temaine (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters.  Revelling in dire wickedness, Temaine treats Ella as a slave.  Ella longs for an escape that she receives when her fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) appears.  Turned into a divine belle dubbed Cinderella, Ella captures the attention of Prince Charming (Richard Madden).  Events travel a tortuous path as the divine happy ending forever seems to escape Cinderella’s grasp.

‘Cinderella’ has an abundance of genuine charm.  This doesn’t mean it’s a saccharine movie talking down to the audience.  It is an all-ages production rich in visual splendour and solid acting.  Branagh delivers a serviceable rendition of the well-known tale.  With his directorial skills he successfully teases out the magical wonder embedded within adding to the colourful scope ‘Cinderella’ needs.  It is complimented by sparkling CGI which never over-whelms the sense of enchantment permeating events.

‘Cinderella’ also succeeds due to some astute performances.  Webb makes for a fetching damsel with Blanchett revelling in the haughty evil of her wicked character.  Whilst some occasional over-acting is evident, most generally stick to ‘Cinderella’s spirit of earnest romanticism.  The mix of humour and a little darkness ensure the story zips along at a briskly watchable rhythm.

It would have been easy for the makers of ‘Cinderella’ to brashly update its classic formula.  The fact they didn’t speaks for their quest in crafting a suitably grand tribute to a durable fable.


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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Gervais Does It Again!


ricky gervais australian ad

Ricky Gervais is noted for the unexpected, the unusual and the best laugh. Now appearing on Australia TV is an ad for ... well not quite sure. Optus has recently run campaigns on the word yes. So when Gervias casually mentions that he was hired by Optus and asked for a ‘shed load of cash’, one expects that obviously the reply was ‘Yes’. He also didn’t want to put much effort into it – ‘Yes’ again. It just so happens that this is to also promote the release of Netflix in Australia.

Now is this an ad? Or this Gervais taking the mickey out of launch campaigns?

Whichever it is the ad appeals to the Australian sense of humour and is well on its way to become a noted outstanding, brilliant piece of TV marketing.


And it appears that this may the first in a series of ads.

Now what do you think?

Trivia Bits 28 March



Created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD, the Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. (Condor pictured)

Mezzogiorno is the traditional term used for the southern regions of Italy encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the two major islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

Barbie Doll’s former Australian boyfriend was Blaine, an Australian surfer, during her split with Ken in 2004.

Man of La Mancha, the popular 1965 musical by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh, features the principal song, The Impossible Dream which became a standard.

Bill Clinton was the last US President to serve in the 20th Century serving from 1993 to 2001 as the 42nd President of the United States.

Meals on Wheels first originated in the United Kingdom with the first home delivery of a meal on wheels made in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England during the blitz of World War II.

Nancy Takes Revenge, a 1930 sequel, was released four months after the original film Nyai Dasima which is a 1929 silent film from the Dutch East Indies, modern day Indonesia.

German sculptor Walter Lemcke designed the first 27 cm wood and metal Olympic torch for the Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics torch relay, which began the tradition of taking the Olympic Flame to the host city. The German manufacturer Krupp produced 3,840 copies for the runners, over 500 more than would be needed with the shaft of the torch featuring an eagle over the Olympic rings

Concentrating on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón, Evita is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice which began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976, then productions in London's West End in 1978 and Broadway a year later and a major 1996 film of the musical starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.

The discovery in the 17th Century of calculus, the mathematical study of change, is attributed to Gottfried Liebniz and Isaac Newton.

Quotables 28 March



Friday, March 27, 2015

Trivia Bits 27 March



Released on 10 February 1974, Suzi Quatro had a hit with the song Devil gate Drive which was re-recorded for Quatro's 1995 album What Goes Around as the opening track (cover pictured).

The name given to the meeting of the College of Cardinals to elect a new pope is Papal Conclave and was decreed by Pope Gregory X to during the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 that the cardinal electors should be locked in seclusion cum clave (Latin for "with a key") and not permitted to leave until a new Bishop of Rome had been elected being now held in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace.

British modern pentathlete and Olympic bronze medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Kate Allenby became a PE teacher after she retired from professional sport.

Shannon Cave is an active stream passage cave in southern Ulster, Ireland, at 130 metres (430 ft) vertical depth and is 5.4 kilometres (3.4 mi) in length.

Directed by Dick Richards 1977 film, March or Die starred Gene Hackman, Terence Hill, Catherine Deneuve, Max von Sydow and Ian Holm and celebrates the 1920s French Foreign Legion with Foreign Legion Major Foster (Hackman) assigned to protect a group of archaeologists at a dig site in Erfoud in Morocco from Bedouin revolutionaries led by El-Kirm (based on Moroccan revolutionary Abd el-Krim).

1973 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature English-born Australian writer Patrick White was also named Australian of the Year in 1974.

Haitian long-distance runner Dieudonné LaMothe claimed to have feared for his life at the hands of the dictator's "Baby Doc" Duvalier regime if he did not complete the marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke starred in the 2009 American crime film Brooklyn’s Finest which takes place within the notoriously rough Brownsville section of Brooklyn and especially within the Van Dyke housing projects in the NYPD's (fictional) 65th precinct with the action revolving around three policemen whose relationships to their jobs are drastically different.

Quotables 27 March



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Trivia Bits 26 March


Trevi Fountain

 Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci, the Trevi Fountain (pictured) in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy stands 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide and was finished in 1762.

Englishman John Copley was the oldest person ever to receive an Olympic medal, winning silver at the age of 73 at the London 1948 Summer Olympics in Art competitions with medals being awarded for works of art inspired by sport.

The 1976 song Cocaine by JJ Cale could have an alternate title C17H21NO4.

The character Dr Doolittle from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, who could speak to animals, was created by British author, trained as a civil engineer, Hugh Lofting who first wrote the story as the author's illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during the War of 1914 to 1918, when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull.

Each player starts with 15 checkers in a game of Backgammon with excavations at Shahr-e Sukhteh in Iran have shown that the game existed there around 3000 BC.

German track and field athlete, Käthe Krauß won bronze in the 100 metres in the Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics and was on the German women's sprint relay team that set a world record in the heats, but dropped the baton in the final race.

The fragments of Beethoven's music in the soundtrack of black-and-white German film by Mauricio Kagel's 1969 film Ludwig van are modified to imitate the way the deaf composer heard his own work.

Closed in December 30, 2005, the High Roller was a steel roller coaster constructed on top of the Stratosphere Tower, Las Vegas at 909 feet (277 m) over the Las Vegas Strip.

American character actress Barbara Feldon’s most prominent role was that of Agent 99 on the 1960s sitcom Get Smart playing the role for the duration of the show's production from 1965 until 1970, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1968 and 1969.

The second single from U2's 2000 album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, Stuck In a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of with Bono saying the song was inspired by a fictional conversation with his friend Michael Hutchence about suicide.

Quotables 26 March



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trivia Bits 25 March


Police Woman 

Police Woman (poster pictured) is an American television police drama starring Angie Dickinson that ran for four seasons, from September 13, 1974, to March 29, 1978 and revolves around Sgt. "Pepper" Anderson (Angie Dickinson), an undercover police officer working for the Criminal Conspiracy Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The African country of Somalia located in the Horn of Africa has a coastline on the Indian Ocean.

The movement called Dadaism started in the 20th Century and is an art movement of the European avant-garde said to have been born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I.

American entertainer Jennifer Lopez's 2011 song Invading My Mind, from her seventh studio album Love?, was co-produced by Lady Gaga.

With origins dating back to 1845, Swiss chocolate and confectionery company Lindt & Sprüngli AG, more commonly known as Lindt, now has six factories located in Kilchberg, Switzerland; Aachen, Germany; Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France; Induno Olona, Italy; Gloggnitz, Austria; and Stratham, New Hampshire in the United States.

The Kane and Abel series of novels were written by English author and former politician Jeffrey Archer and consisted of the novels Kane and Abel (1980), The Prodigal Daughter (1982) and Shall We Tell the President? (1983).

The statue of George V, by Scottish sculptor William Reid Dick, that is now located opposite the House of Lords in London was hidden in a quarry during the Second World War and was unveiled by King George VI, on 22 October 1947 and was attended by Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

Naturalist Charles Darwin's third book in a series of geology books Geological Observations on South America, published in 1846, is based on travels during the second voyage of HMS Beagle.

In Healdsburg, California, United States, Madrona Manor, on the United States' National Register of Historic Places, is now a bed and breakfast inn with a Michelin-starred restaurant

Swedish actress and film director Mai Zetterling who, from 1948, starred in a number of English films, playing against such leading men as Tyrone Power, Dirk Bogarde, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Richard Attenborough, Keenan Wynn, Stanley Baker, and Dennis Price.

Quotables 25 March


start loving

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trivia Bits 24 March


Les raboteurs de parquet

French painter Gustave Caillebotte's 1875 painting Les raboteurs de parquet (English title: The Floor Scrapers) (pictured) was rejected by France's most prestigious art exhibition, the Salon, for its vulgar subject matter with the depiction of working-class people in their trade, not fully clothed.

The Greek word agape means love often translated as unconditional love, being one of the Koine Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for humankind.

1959 British film based on the novel of the same name by John Braine Room at the Top starred Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret and winning Academy Award Best Actress for Signoret and Best Adapted Screenplay for Neil Paterson.

1948 London Olympics British rowing gold medallist Bert Bushnell was involved during the Second World War the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between 27 May and 4 June 1940.

In 1950, Australian Olympic swimmer Garrick Agnew worked his passage from Brisbane to Vancouver in the engine room of a freight ship to attend Ohio State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science.

In the sport of boxing, you will find a journeyman - a fighter who has adequate skill, , a gatekeeper - a skilful and well-regarded fighter and a tomato can - a fighter with poor or diminished skills.

1975 Australian drama and mystery film directed by Peter Weir Picnic at Hanging Rock starred Anne-Louise Lambert, Helen Morse, Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray and Dominic Guard and was adapted from the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay.

Praia is the capital of the island country of the Republic of Cape Verde located 570 kilometres (350 miles) off the coast of Western Africa.

Jumbuck is an Australian term for a sheep and was suggested by Edward Morris in 1898: Jumbuck is aboriginal pigeon-English for sheep.

In 2008, an Australian girls' school, Brisbane Girls Grammar School, defeated an American boys' school, Woodberry Forest School, for the United States Invitational Young Physicists Tournament championship which is an annual physics research and debate tournament for high school students.

Quotables 24 March



Monday, March 23, 2015

Trivia Bits 23 March



For The Oslo 1952 Winter Olympics (poster pictured) the  torch relay was the first time that a flame was transported as part of the build-up to the Winter Olympics.

Neil Young wrote his 1969 classic songs Cowgirl in the Sand, Down by the River and Cinnamon Girl while suffering from the flu with a high fever.

Starring William Shatner in the title role as a 15-year veteran police sergeant, T. J. Hooker is an American police drama television program premiering on March 13, 1982 for four seasons with a supporting cast that includes Adrian Zmed as rookie Officer Vince Romano, Heather Locklear as rookie Officer Stacy Sheridan (season 2 onwards), and Richard Herd as Captain Dennis Sheridan as personnel in the fictional "LCPD" Police Department Academy Precinct.

The wrestling match between Finnish wrestler Alfred Asikainen and Estonian wrestler Martin Klein at the Stockholm 1912 Summer Olympics lasted eleven hours and forty minutes with Klein won the silver medal and Asikainen the Bronze medal.

In poker, a straight flush contains five cards in sequence and all of the same suit.

A satire of the film industry and Hollywood society released on July 1, 1981, S.O.B. is an American film comedy written and directed by Blake Edwards starring Julie Andrews and Richard Mulligan supported by Robert Preston, Larry Hagman, Robert Vaughn, Robert Webber, Loretta Swit, Shelley Winters and, in his last movie appearance, William Holden.

Three sports which most commonly use a Pinch Hitter are baseball, softball and cricket where Pinch hitters are often used to replace a starting player when the pinch hitter is thought to have a better chance of reaching base or helping other runners to score.

Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

Construction of the South Mole, a breakwater in the harbour of Gibraltar, was begun by the Spanish in 1620.

The Truth About Cats & Dogs is a 1996 American romantic comedy film, starring Uma Thurman and Jamie Foxx being is a romantic comedy in the style of Cyrano de Bergerac, where two women date the same man and it puts tension on their estranged friendship.

Quotables 23 March



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Trivia Bits 22 March


Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Completed in 1993, the minaret of Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco (pictured) is the world’s tallest at 210 m (689 ft), having been fitted at the top with an electronic laser directing rays towards Mecca. 

The fictional character Macavity the cat was created by T S Elliot described in his poem Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats written during the 1930s, published in 1939 and also appears in Cats, the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

The Jumpinpin Channel separates North Stradbroke Island and South Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay, Queensland.

Nubia is a region on the Nile River that is located in the countries of Egypt and Sudan.

Halle Berry won the Best Actress Oscar for the 2001 movie Monster’s Ball an American romantic drama film directed by German-Swiss director Marc Forster.

Cairns, the unofficial capital of Tropical North Queensland, located on Trinity Bay surrounded by the rainforest topped hills of The Atherton Tablelands and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia with attractions as The Great Barrier Reef and the nearby Daintree Tropical Rainforests drawing over 1 million annual tourists.

An Indonesian actress and film director Ratna Asmara was the first female film director in Indonesian history after making her directorial debut in 1950 with Sedap Malam (Tuberose).

The two well known dances of Foxtrot and Tango are used in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

The 1963 semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar was written by American poet, novelist and short story writer Sylvia Plath and was her only novel, originally published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas".

Three islands make up the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea - Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Quotables 22 March