Saturday, April 18, 2015

Movie Review ... It Follows


It-Follows-poster‘It Follows’ takes a leaf from several classic horror movies.  Capturing the feel of a 1970’s/80’s film, the cheap budget doesn’t equate to cheap thrills.  Crafted with ghoulish care, ‘It Follows’ discards the easy CGI option by aiming for unsettling scares.  It is a testament that the spooky quality for which it strives is done so well.  The genre has its detractors but kudos has to be given to films that mostly get it right.  ‘It Follows’ more than fits the bill for chillingly good viewing.

Teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) enjoys life and a relationship with her boyfriend.  After having sex, he reveals a dark secret.  Shocked by his revelation, Jay is soon plagued by strange visions and a feeling someone is following her.   Helped by her friends, she determines to uncover the mystery.  Her world descends into a horrific spiral with death’s door looming large on her horizon.

Free of endless blood and gore, ‘It Follows’ relies on authentic eeriness.  Although not consistently scary, it has an undercurrent of true tension refusing to subside.  Exploiting the ‘have sex and die’ motif from many horror movies, the script cleverly uses the teenager’s sexual natures against them.  The stalking menace they face serves as a warning of impending doom.  Much can be read into what the screenplay is saying, making the viewer think as well as being on the edge of their seat.

David Robert Mitchell directs with confident assurance, milking much from the somewhat thin premise. Whilst enjoyably creepy, ‘It Follows’ could have used more exposition.  Some moments don’t quite fit into the narrative which could have helped in making ‘It Follows’ a more rounded experience.  Coupled with generally excellent performances, the cinematography and thumping synth-based score aid immeasurably to the atmosphere of pure dread.

‘It Follows’ is a satisfying spooky movie mostly delivering on its promise.  Almost like a breath of fresh air after the glut of excessive techno-infused scary flicks, the low-tech feel it embraces gives hope more will follow its foreboding lead.

It Follows 9987

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Trivia Bits 18 April



Aspro (pictured) is a very popular pain reliever used all around the world developed in Australia by George Nicholas, in 1917.

One of only two original Kelly documents known to have survived, the Jerilderie Letter was dictated by famous Australian bushranger Ned Kelly to fellow Kelly Gang member Joe Byrne in 1879 and in which Kelly tries to justify his actions, including the killing of three policemen in October 1878.

The English translation of the popular Latin American tres leches cake is three milk cakes a dessert of a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream.

Marie Curie won her Nobel prizes in the categories of physics, December 1903, and chemistry in 1911 and was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences.

Held in the US summer, Caramoor Festival, launched in 1945 as World War II was ending, brings performances of opera and a range of other genres to a Mediterranean-style estate some 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Manhattan.

The Triceratops roamed the area now known as North America about 68 million years ago.

The emergence in the 1920s of indigenous black writing in Australia saw the 1924 publication of Aboriginals: Their Traditions and Customs by well-known Ngarrindjeri speaker and inventor David Unaipon.

American Thoroughbred racehorse Lonesome Glory, the first American steeplechaser to win more than US$1 million in prize money from 1991 through 1999, was also the first American-trained horse to win a National Hunt race in Britain.

A 1964 American musical film Viva Las Vegas starring Elvis Presley and actress Ann-Margret which is regarded by fans and by film critics as one of Presley's best movies, and it is noted for the on-screen chemistry between Presley and Ann-Margret.

Used for at least 6000 years, wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw.

Quotables 18 April



Friday, April 17, 2015

Trivia Bits 17 April


Raiders of Seven Seas

Raiders of Seven Seas (poster pictured) is a 1953 pirate adventure movie starring John Payne as Barbarossa with Gerald Mohr, Donna Reed, and Lon Chaney, Jr. with a story line that Barbarossa, a pirate, frees a group of Spanish prisoners and makes them his crew and on a raid, he takes as a prize a Spanish countess, Alida and by the time he arranges for her ransom by the officer who was to marry her, he has fallen in love with her.

A heptagon is a polygon with seven sides and seven angles.

At his fifth Olympics in 2000 in Sydney, British walker Chris Maddocks started injured and entered the stadium in last place as The Proclaimers' I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) was played on loudspeakers in his honour, and as the 100,000 crowd cheered him on to finish.

2005 comedy motion picture, released as part of the ongoing series of National Lampoon films National Lampoon's Adam & Eve, also known as Adam and Eve is directed by Jeff Kanew and stars Cameron Douglas and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

Discovered in 1839 by Czech anatomist and physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkyně, who gave them his name, The Purkinje fibres are in the heart and allow the heart's conduction system to create synchronized contractions of its ventricles, and are, therefore, essential for maintaining a consistent heart rhythm.

German poet Balthasar Kindermann wrote in 1658 a praise of beer, in 1660 a guidebook for speeches, and in 1664 the hymn Was frag ich nach der Welt (What I ask of the world) on which Bach's chorale cantata BWV 94 is based

Prolific American architect C. Ferris White designed more than 1,100 buildings in the U.S. state of Washington and over 300 more in the company town of Potlatch, Idaho where practically all stores and buildings were owned by the one joint-stock company.

Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young’s hit song Heart of Gold first appeared on the 1972 album Harvest and features backup vocals of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.

South Australia’s first female parliamentarians were elected in 1959 when Joyce Steele, elected to the House of Assembly, and Jessie Cooper, elected to the Legislative Council although South Australia as the first state to grant the right to women to stand in state parliament as early as 1894.

Italian stage and film actor, playwright, screenwriter and novelist Ettore Petrolini is considered one of the most important figures of avanspettacolo, vaudeville, and revue in the early 20th Century.

Quotables 17 April




Thursday, April 16, 2015

Trivia Bits 16 April


Big Ant sculpture BHQ 

In 1980 internationally acclaimed Australian artist Pro Hart designed the Big Ant sculpture (pictured) located in the Tourist Information Centre Broken Hill, New South Wales.  

The Westcoaster yacht race is held between the Australian cities of Melbourne and Hobart is run by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria.

A galactophagist is someone who consumes milk as a source of food.

Emily Bishop and Ken Barlow are the main characters in the TV series Coronation Street, a British television soap opera that was first broadcast on Granada Television on 9 December 1960.

The Romance language of Portuguese is one of the official languages of East Timor along with Austronesian Tetum, and the working languages of English and Indonesian.

The RMS Titanic operated by the White Star Line, and was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast with Thomas Andrews as her naval architect after being ordered on 17 September 1908.

Contemporary Indigenous Australian artist of Anmatyerre, Warlpiri and Arrernte heritage, Kaapa Tjampitjinpa was the first Indigenous Australian artist to win a contemporary art award, and the first to have the export of his paintings refused under cultural heritage laws

In the UK version of the game Monopoly, Coventry Street is coloured yellow.

In the British comedy franchise TV series Red Dwarf, the character that has H on his head is Arnold Rimmer Bsc Ssc, Bronze swimming certificate and Silver swimming certificate, played by Chris Barrie.

The second movie in the Hobbit series is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second instalment of a three-part film adaptation based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and is the 2013 British-New Zealand epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson.

Quotables 16 April



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trivia Bits 15 April


Welcome Back Kotter  John Travolta

American actor, dancer, and singer John Travolta (pictured) gained fame through the 1975 American television sitcom TV series Welcome Back Kotter which also starred Gabe Kaplan.

Having a documented history that spans over 3000 years, Sri Lanka is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia; known until 1972 as Ceylon.

Since 1927, The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, are fictional characters who appear in various mystery series for children and teens and were created by Edward Stratemeyer, with many books written by many different ghost-writers over the years being published under the collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.

Produced in 1945 and 1946 Die Mörder sind unter uns or Murderers Among Us was the first German post-World War II film written and directed by Wolfgang Staudte.

The Palk Strait separates the Asian countries of India and Sri Lanka.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the US also known as Obamacare was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

Russian novelist, poet, essayist, and translator Mark Kharitonov was awarded the first Russian Booker Prize in 1992 for his novel Lines of Fate.

The German bread called zwieback is baked twice and is a type of crisp, sweetened bread, made with eggs originating in East Prussia.

In Germany, if you eat kartoffeln you would be eating potatoes.

The Louvre or Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument and central landmark of Paris, France, located on the Right Bank of the Seine and with more than 9.7 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world's most visited museum.

Quotables 15 April



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Trivia Bits 14 April


Paço Imperial

The Paço Imperial (pictured), a Baroque palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, served as a main government seat for almost 150 years from 1743 to 1889after being used as a Royal Palace from 1808 by King John VI of Portugal as King of Portugal and later also as King of Brazil.

A  Nagara-class light cruiser in the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Abukuma, a veteran of the Pearl Harbor raid, was sunk in 1944 when her own Long Lance torpedoes exploded in the torpedo room.
In the American crime drama television series The Sopranos, played by Tony Sirico, Paul Gualtieri’s character’s nickname contains walnut – Paulie Walnuts, who begins the series as a soldier, but later becomes a caporegime and eventually underboss.
Traces of gold were first found in Australia in 1823, but the first significant find was in 1851, when Edward Hargraves publicized his find and attracted 2,000 to the site at Ophir, New South Wales. 
The German actor Heinz Rühmann was 42 years old when he starred as a high school student in the 1944 film Die Feuerzangenbowle which tells the story of a famous writer going undercover as a pupil at a small town gymnasium after his friends tell him that he missed out on the best part of growing up by being educated at home.
The first Australian woman to break the women’s pole vault world record was Emma George in 1995 whilst competing in Melbourne.
Binondo's Chinatown located in Manila, Philippines is the oldest Chinatown in the world, established in 1594.
German fashion designer, artist, and photographer Karl Otto Lagerfeldt, born 1935 in Hamburg to a Swedish father and German mother who was once a lingerie saleswoman, went on to design for Chloe, Chanel as well as his own labels like Karl Lagerfeld, K Karl Lagerfeld, Lagerfeld Gallery and Lagerfeld.
Frenchmen Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau developed the aqualung in Paris during the winter of 1942–1943 and was the original English name of the first open-circuit, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (or "SCUBA") to reach worldwide popularity and commercial success.
Wenlock and Mandeville were the official mascots of the 2012 London Olympic Games and were animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton with two stories created about the mascots: Out Of A Rainbow and Adventures On A Rainbow.

Quotables 14 April



Monday, April 13, 2015

Trivia Bits 13 April


Sir Walter Raleigh

English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy, and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (pictured) was well known for popularising tobacco in England and possibly introducing potatoes to Ireland.

The Amaryllis, a Canadian cargo ship built in 1945, was sunk off the coast of Florida and used as an artificial reef after being wrecked by Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

Queen Elizabeth II made the German trumpeter and conductor Ludwig Güttler an officer of the OBE, in recognition of his 1994–2004 efforts to reconstruct the Frauenkirche in Dresden destroyed during World War II, a Lutheran church in Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony.

Australian actress and model Brooke Satchwell’s character was Sophia Marinkovitch in the 2002 Australian television series White Collar Blue which dealt with a division of the police force working in the city of Sydney.

Bungy jumping was invented by AJ Hackett, of New Zealand in the mid 1980's who based it on some tribal practices of a south Pacific island tribe, who jump from a tall. rickety wooden tower and rely on vines tied around one leg to stop their fall.

English athlete George Larner is the only gold medallist in the history of the Olympic Games in both the men's 3,500 metres and 10 miles walk both at the London 1908 Summer Olympics.

An egg of the extinct elephant bird given to David Attenborough in 1960 inspired the making of his 2011 documentary Attenborough and the Giant Egg which explores the history of the elephant bird, what led to its extinction, and the role of conservation in preventing the extinction of critically endangered species.

In 2015 Marjorie Davey, from Burnie Tasmania, writer of short stories, published her first novel at the age of 95 which is an historical fiction Never to Return telling the stories of English boys sent across the world to a harsh, isolated prison in the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land.

It is in Tanzania that the Serengeti National Park can be explored which is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra and for its numerous Nile crocodile.

Renée Smith is an American actress best known for portraying Nell Jones, an NCIS Intelligence Analyst, on NCIS: Los Angeles.

Quotables 13 April



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trivia Bits 12 April


Round Tower Lodge

The Round Tower Lodge in Sandiway, Cheshire, England (pictured), designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building, is all that survived of a gate lodge to the house of Vale Royal Abbey and is  a circular, two-storey building constructed of sandstone with the top of the tower a crenellated parapet.
The Shri Laxmi Narayan Mandir is one of the oldest functioning Hindu temples in Karachi and is about 200 years old.
Rice is the main ingredient of the traditional Japanese donburi being a "rice bowl dish" consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice.
A War Crime is an offence, such as murder of a civilian or a prisoner of war, that contravenes the internationally accepted laws governing the conduct of wars, particularly the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1949.
In South Australia, Gulf St Vincent is bordered by Yorke Peninsula to the west and Fleurieu Peninsula to the east and was named Gulph of St. Vincent by Matthew Flinders on 30 March 1802, in honour of Admiral John Jervis (1st Earl of St Vincent).
Built between 1738 and 1744, a stained glass window in St Oswald's Church, Ravenstonedale, Cumbria, England, is to the memory of the last female martyr burnt at Tyburn for the cause of the Protestant religion in 1685.
Starring as Rayon, a transgender woman, in the 2013 American biographical drama film Dallas Buyers Club was Jared Leto with the movie receiving six nominations at the 86th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey, and Best Supporting Actor for Leto.
Women compete in the sport of table tennis for the Crobillon Cup donated in 1933 by Marcel Corbillon, President of the French Table Tennis Association with the German women's team winning the Cup in 1939, but the original Cup disappeared during Berlin occupation after World War II - the Corbillon Cup is now a replica made in 1949.
The Eurythmics, a British music duo consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart, released their studio album Peace in 1999 ten years after their last album We Too Are One.
Pearl Harbor, US Pacific naval base on Oahu Island, Hawaii, USA, was the site of a Japanese aerial attack on 7 December 1941, which brought the USA into World War II.

Quotables 12 April