Saturday, April 11, 2015

Movie Review ... The Longest Ride


The Longest Ride postrerRomance movies are one of the hardest genres to pull off.  Making the basic ‘boy meets girl’ motif interesting is difficult.  Many have attempted to deliver a rousing romantic tale and instead fall into a forgettable heap.  ‘The Longest Ride’ firmly places itself among this pile.  Whilst competently acted with some interesting story points, the latest Nicholas Sparks’ novel adaption barely registers.

Former champion bull rider Luke (Scott Eastwood) is looking for a comeback.  Meeting college student Sophia (Britt Robertson), her encouragement drives Luke towards success.  As their romance and careers blossom, fate deals them another unexpected hand.  An elderly hospital patient Ira (Alan Alda) own past mirrors the newly connected lovers.  What Ira says changes their world proving love can transcend any obstacle.

Millions of Nicholas Sparks readers will probably enjoy ‘The Longest Ride’. They’ll know what to expect with pretty people, picturesque scenery and a soft rock soundtrack in place.  This formula is as old as cinema although it’s doubtful ‘The Longest Ride’ will endure in the memory.  Eastwood and Robertson display the crucial genuine chemistry.  Coupled with a story mostly steeped in realism exploring love and sacrifice, ‘The Longest Ride’ isn’t quite a lost cause.

The completely far-fetched ending ruins it.  The way the character’s problems are instantly resolved defies belief destroying every shred of plot credibility.  Until then ‘The Longest Ride’ seemed to be going somewhere despite being a generally listless experience.  The lazy direction by George Tillman Jnr often works against the performances and vague dashes of intrigue.  It’s also sad seeing Alda slumming it in the ‘wise elderly man’ role with his success in M.A.S.H. seemingly a distant memory.

Lumbered with an atrocious ending and predictable plotting, ‘The Longest Ride’ is less than engrossing.  Romance fiction has recently nose-dived with this production proving more work is needed to conjure an authentic romantic cinema experience.

The Longest Ride 09

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Trivia Bits 11 April

Sunrise with Sea Monsters
The depiction of "monsters" in J. M. W. Turner's painting Sunrise with Sea Monsters (pictured) may have been influenced by his use of a drug related to morphine and was created in the coastal town of Margate, in about 1845 measuring 91.4 by 121.9 centimetres (36.0 in × 48.0 in).
On November 27, 1978, Dan White assassinated Harvey Milk, an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, who was portrayed by Sean Penn in the 2008 movie Milk and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Milk.
American film director, screenwriter, and producer Paul Thomas Anderson directed the movies Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999).
National emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service Magen David Adom is Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross with the symbol being a red Star of David and founded in 1930.
In December 2013, Serbian professional tennis player Novak Djokovic announced that former tennis champion Boris Becker would be his new coach.
Cosmonauts Sea is a sea in the Southern Ocean off Prince Olav Coast and Enderby Land, Antarctica, with an area of 699,000 km².
Orange juice is traditionally used in a screwdriver cocktail with vodka and appeared in literature as early as 1938 The famous Smirnoff Screwdriver, Just pour a jigger of smirnoff vodka over ice cubes, fill glass with orange juice and serve.
In 2012, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), became Vice President of Botswana, a landlocked country located in Southern Africa.
The 17th Century painting The Massacre of the Innocents, depicting the episode of the biblical Massacre of the Innocents of Bethlehem, as related in the Gospel of Matthew., was painted by Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens.
Nunavut the largest, northernmost and newest territory of Canada entered the confederation in 1999 and comprises a major portion of Northern Canada, and most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Quotables 11 April



Friday, April 10, 2015

Trivia Bits 10 April



A celesta (pictured) is similar in appearance to a piano and was invented in 1886 by Parisian harmonium builder Auguste Mustel.

American scientist and inventor Edwin Land invented the Polaroid Land Camera with the first commercially available model was the Polaroid Land Camera Model 95, which produced prints in about 1 minute, and was first sold to the public in November, 1948.

Caveat emptor translates into Let the buyer beware and generally is the contract law principle that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing, but may also apply to sales of other goods.

Dachshund & Friends is a version of the video game Nintendogs, a real-time pet simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo on April 21, 2005.

Paul Brickhill, the author of the 1950 novel The Great Escape, was an Australian fighter pilot and writer, several of whose World War II books were turned into popular movies.

The 1969 rock opera Tommy was written by The Who, an English rock band formed in 1964, with the Broadway debut was at the St. James Theatre on 29 March 1993 with 27 previews running thru 10 April before officially "Opened" on 22 April 1993 and closed on 17 June 1995, after 899 performances.

In the popular Malaysian dish nasi ulam, nasi is rice mixed with various herbs, especially the leaves of pegagan, Centella asiatica, or often replaced with kemangi, lemon basil, vegetables, spices and accompanied with various side dishes.

Cholera, an infection of the small intestine, is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent; it has been prevalent in the Ganges delta since ancient times and with the first cholera pandemic occurring in the Bengal region of India starting in 1817 through 1824.

Encyclopaedia Britannica was first published between 1768 and 1771 as three volumes in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Quotables 10 April



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Trivia Bits 09 April


 Sir Thomas Playford

Sir Thomas Playford (pictured) holds the record for the longest term of elected government in Australia having served continuously as Premier of South Australia from 5 November 1938 to 10 March 1965.

The Golden Wattle is the national floral emblem of Australia and is a tree which flowers in late winter and spring, producing a mass of fragrant, fluffy, golden flowers.

The South American dish of raw fish marinated in citrus juices and spiced with ají or chili peppers is called Ceviche.

The Webb Ellis Cup is awarded to the winning team of the Rugby World Cup and is named after William Webb Ellis, who was an Anglican (English) clergyman who is famous for allegedly being the inventor of Rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School.

The Orinoco River flows through the South American countries of Venezuela and Columbia for t 2,140 km (1,330 mi).

Sperm Whales have teeth which are in the upper jaw do not erupt, and are sometimes altogether absent.

The Australian city of Brisbane was host to the World Expo ’88 during a six-month period between Saturday, 30 April 1988 and Sunday, 30 October 1988 with the theme of the Expo being "Leisure in the Age of Technology", and the mascot for the Expo was an Australian platypus named Expo Oz.

Promoted by the Union Cycliste Internationale to the highest ranking outside Europe, the first Tour Down Under held in Adelaide, South Australia was held in 1999 with the first winner being Australian cyclist Stuart O’Grady.

1936 to 1939 The Spanish Civil War was fought between the Republicans, who were loyal to the democratically elected Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists, a rebel group led by General Francisco Franco.

Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent James Wan directed the 2013 horror movie The Conjuring with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting.

Quotables 09 April



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Trivia Bits 08 April


The Fight of the Century

 In "The Fight of the Century" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier on March 8, 1971 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, (poster pictured) Muhammad Ali lost The Ring World Heavyweight title by an unanimous decision on the judges and referee.

Colloquially, a butcher’s canary is a blowfly with the term blow fly coming from an older English term for meat that had eggs laid on it, which was said to be fly blown.

In computing terms USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, an industry standard released in September 1998 that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices.

Vacherin is a type of cheese that is a soft, rich, seasonal cheese made from cow's milk in Switzerland or France.

Active volcano Mt Sinabung is in the country of Indonesia in the Karo plateau of Karo Regency, North Sumatra, 25 miles from Lake Toba supervolcano.

The Warsaw Pact Military is a defensive alliance 1955 - 1991 between the USSR and East European communist states, originally established as a response to the admission of West Germany into NATO whose military structures and agreements were dismantled early in 1991 when the remaining political organization was officially dissolved in July 1991.

Playing Hans Hubermann in the 2013 American-German war drama film the Book Thief was Australian actor and film producer Geoffrey Rush.

The 1961 children’s novel James and the Giant Peach was written by British author Roald Dahl with a film adaptation produced in conjunction with Disney in 1996 directed by Henry Selick and produced by Denise Di Novi and Tim Burton, both of whom previously produced The Nightmare Before Christmas.

English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands as part of a five-year voyage on HMS Beagle and established him as an eminent geologist whose observations, theories and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

The smallest and most densely populated country in Central America is El Salvador.

Quotables 08 April



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Trivia Bits 07 April



Lemurs (pictured) are native to Madagascar with the smallest species primarily consuming fruit and insects (omnivory), while the larger species are more herbivorous, consuming mostly plant material.

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine honestly and is widely believed to have been written by Hippocrates, often regarded as the father of western medicine, and is written in Ionic Greek (late 5th century BC), and is usually included in the Hippocratic Corpus.

In Greek Legend and Mythology, a virgin huntress Atalanta would only marry a man who could out run her in a footrace with those who lost would be killed, however, Hippomenes, with the assistance of the goddess Aphrodite, out ran Atalanta and were married.

Semibreve, crotchet and quaver are all types of musical notes in terms of timing not pitch.

Mount Feathertop is the second highest peak in Victoria, Australia and is a member of the Australian Alps located entirely within the Alpine National Park rising to 1,922 metres (6,306 ft) and is usually covered in snow from June to September.

The colour of the dragon on the Welsh flag is red on a green and white field with the current flag adopted in 1959.

The Autumn crocus are better known as naked ladies with the name coming from the fact that the flowers emerge from the ground long after the leaves have died back.

British singer-songwriter Adele was born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and is best known for the theme song for Skyfall, the twenty-third James Bond film earning Adele the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Internationally renowned wine growing area in South Australia, the Barossa Valley, had its first winery began operating in 1847 with Turkey Flat in Tanunda that is home to the oldest commercially producing grape vines, originally planted in 1847.

Pork Crackling is made from the skin or rind of the pig which is a common ingredient of sausages, which helps to improve their consistency with fried or roasted pork rind and fat is also a snack.

Quotables 07 April



Monday, April 6, 2015

Trivia Bits 06 April


uno card

Originally developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins in Reading, Ohio, in the American card game of Uno (pictured), there are eight reverse cards in the pack.

2006 comedy-drama film based on Lauren Weisberger's 2003 novel of the same name The Devil Wears Prada starred Anne Hathaway as Andrea Sachs, a college graduate who goes to New York City and lands a job as a co-assistant to powerful fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep with Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci co-star, as co-assistant Emily Charlton, and Art Director Nigel, respectively.

Lutheranism is a branch of Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German monk and theologian who wrote the 95 Theses, first published in 1517 and disseminated internationally, spreading the early ideas of the Reformation beyond the influence and control of the Roman Catholic Curia and the Holy Roman Empire.

Released on February 11, 2011, British 2011 3D computer-animated family film based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, Gnomeo & Juliet was directed by Kelly Asbury with the two main characters are voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt.

American comedy-drama television series Entourage ran for 8 seasons after premiering on July 18, 2004 with a total of 96 episodes.

Baloo is Mowgli’s bear friend in The Jungle Book, a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling that were first published in magazines in 1893–94 with the original publications contain illustrations, some by Rudyard's father, John Lockwood Kipling.

Simon Baker’s character in the American police procedural television series The Mentalist is Patrick Jane, the show's protagonist and the titular mentalist.

A Sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines and a poetic form which originated in Italy with the Sicilian poet of the 13th century Giacomo Da Lentini credited with its invention.

Catherine Zeta-Jones love interest in the 2007 American romantic comedy-drama film No Reservations directed by Scott Hicks is played by Aaron Eckhart.

Australia women's national field hockey team nicknamed the Hockeyroos defeated England 3 : 1 on penalties to win the gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Quotables 06 April



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 April


  Indonesian flag

Adopted on 17 August 1950, the Indonesian flag (pictured) features the colours red and white with a simple design of two equal horizontal bands, red (top) and white (bottom) with an overall ratio of 2:3. The red stands for courage, while the white stands for purity. The red represents human's body or physical life, while white represents human's soul or spiritual life. Together they stand for a complete human being

The character of Rango in the 2011 American computer-animated action comedy western film of the same name was voiced by Johnny Depp and and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Retired Australian professional tennis players Paul McNamee partnered with Mark Edmondson to win the 1983 Australian Open double title by defeating American players Steve Denton and Sherwood Stewart 6–3, 7–6.

Born in Rathfriland, Ireland, son of an Anglican clergyman of Scottish descent, Andrew George Scott was an Australian bushranger better known as Captain Moonlight.

The three main types of rock are metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary.

In 2004, a group of Members of Parliament proposed melting down the statue of Oliver Cromwell which outside the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in Westminster, London for 105 years and the statue was designed by Hamo Thornycroft and erected in 1899.

Eyre Peninsula in South Australia is named after Edward John Eyre, an English land explorer of the Australian continent.

American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman burst onto the music scene in 1988 when Elektra released her critically acclaimed, multi-million selling self titled debut album, which garnered Chapman six Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year.

The Kremlin, a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow which overlooks the Moskva River, Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square and the Alexander Garden, serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

Nominated for the Best Director Oscar for the 2013 movie Nebraska was American film director, screenwriter, and producer Alexander Payne.

Quotables 05 April