Saturday, April 25, 2015

Movie Review ... Avengers: Age Of Ultron



Avengers Age Of Ultron posterWith technology catching up with fantasy, comic book movies have been increasingly prolific.  Each month a new one surfaces to rake in more box office dollars.  Since its predecessor was one of the biggest money-spinners ever, it was a given ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ would be made.  Thankfully the producers haven’t gone for the half-baked cheap sequel route but instead provide a mega-budgeted spectacle.  Dazzling in action and story, it is fun ride sure to fuel the thirst for more super-heroic escapism.

Re-starting a dormant peacekeeping program, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) creates Ultron.  An android of immeasurable power which quickly over-whelms Stark’s efforts in making it a harbinger for peace.  Ultron becomes an indestructible prophet of doom that only earth’s mightiest heroes can stop.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) with other Avengers join forces to combat this new evil. The world’s fate hangs perilously in the balance.

As a high-octane popcorn blockbuster, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is a success.  Utilising its enormous budget to grand effect, the characters leap from their comic book pages in glorious colour.  Director Joss Whedon knows how to craft an engaging narrative which he does it well.  Making things interesting is the conflict between the heroes.  Whilst Ultron is the central villain, Iron Man and friends have their own personal demons threatening team unity.  This adds another intriguing story layer with the sort of character development rarely seen in similar films.

The script’s twists are successfully interwoven into the amazing action scenes.  This is what fans want to see and none should be disappointed.  Whilst perhaps the energy is less spirited than before, the thought gone into crafting interesting action sequences is evident.  The cast know their roles well by now and dive into the fun adventure with gusto.  Occasionally ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ suffers from CGI overload although you can’t fault the enthusiasm which the production team display in creating this gargantuan spectacle.

Escapist nonsense doesn’t get much higher than ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.  Careful not to be too silly or morose, it strikes the right balance in capturing what has made the 50 year old comic book series enduring.

Avengers Age Of Ultron 987y

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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Anzac Day 2015


anzac day 2015

anzac day 2015 65

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula.  These became known as ANZACs and the pride they took in that name continues to this day.

ANZAC Day today includes the remembrance of all Australians killed in all military operations.

Trivia Bits 25 April


Lang Lang

Lang Lang (pictured) is a Chinese concert pianist who has performed with leading orchestras in Europe, the United States and his native China and gave a performance in Beijing's opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympics where he was promoted as a symbol of the youth and future of China.

The hit song for the American pop rock band The Bangles, Manic Monday, was written by Prince using the pseudonym Christopher was released on January 27, 1986 featuring on the album Different Light.

A hongi is a Maori greeting expressed by touching noses.

On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union marking the end of a process started in 2001 by signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and Croatian application for the EU membership in 2003.


The Utility (pictured), or as it's called in Australia the 'ute', was invented in Australia by Ford in 1932 with legend having that a farmer came to Ford, looking for a car that could work on the farm all week, and then take the wife to church on Sundays.

Leaving his scripted address on Christmas Day 2013, Pope Francis gave an ad lib invitation to atheists to join the prayerful in desiring peace.

The father of US singer Frank Sinatra boxed briefly under the name of Marty O’Brien, a career which he continued until he broke his wrists after 30 professional fights.

Cape Byron, located about 3 km (1.9 mi) northeast of the town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, is the eastern-most point of the Australian continent of the mainland of Australia projecting into the Pacific Ocean and was named by British explorer Captain James Cook, when he passed the area in 15 May 1770, to honour British explorer John Byron who circumnavigated the globe in the HMS Dolphin from 1764 to 1766.

The ruins of the Incan city of Machu Picchu are in Peru with archaeologists believing that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472) around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest.

Cordate means being heart shaped and in leaves with the attachment at the notched end with the word drived from Neo-Latin cordātus heart-shaped.

Quotables 25 April



Friday, April 24, 2015

Trivia Bits 24 April


Bruce Gyngell

Mainstream professional television officially started in Australia on September 16, 1956 in Sydney with the new medium was introduced by Bruce Gyngell (pictured) with the words Good evening, and welcome to television.

The Uncle Remus stories were written by American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist Joel Chandler Harris as Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings published near the end of 1880.

The song I Feel Pretty comes from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

In 2011, American indie pop band formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009 Foster the People released their debut studio album Torches.

Milos Raonic is a Canadian professional tennis player of Montenegrin origin who grew up in Thornhill, Ontario.

The Paço Imperial, a Baroque palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, served as a main government seat for almost 150 years from 1743 to 1889 and now houses the Paulo Santos Library, specializing in art, architecture and engineering, containing several rare books from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

The expression in cold blood means without feeling; with cruel intent; calmly; coolly and deliberately.

The movie Carousel, a 1956 film adaptation of the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical of the same name, the merry-go-round is owned by Mrs Mullin played by Audrey Christie.

Sir Henry Parkes arrived in Sydney in 1839 a penniless immigrant from England became a labourer, journalist, public servant, poet, and unsuccessful businessman during his early years and later became known as the Father of Australian Federation due to his work in bringing Federation about in 1901.

There are eight points on a Maltese cross and is the cross symbol associated with the Knights Hospitaller (the Knights of Malta) and by extension with the island of Malta.

Quotables 24 April



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trivia Bits 23 April


 Chaim Weizmann

The first president of Israel was Chaim Weizmann (pictured) who was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952 and was noted for convincing the United States government to recognize the newly formed state of Israel.

The 1981 hit Physical was sung by Olivia Newton-John from her twelfth studio album Physical being was released in September 1981, by MCA Records as the lead single from the project.

In 1949, the telephone number of Adelaide department store, The Myer Emporium (SA) Ltd, started with W 0123.

Located in the Coral Sea, the world’s longest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi).

English-born Australian writer Patrick White was awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize in Literature for an epic and psychological narrative art, which has introduced a new continent into literature.

To tread on someone’s corns means to hurt someone’s feelings by touching on a sensitive subject or encroaching on his privileges.

Australian television soap opera Something in the Air aired 2000 and 2002 was one of the first programs in Australia that was filmed in widescreen and starred the then unknown Australian actor Eric Bana as Joe Sabatini in the 2000 to 2001 seasons.

The title role in the 2013 drama film Philomena was played by Judi Dench and is based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by journalist Martin Sixsmith telling the true story of Philomena Lee's 50-year-long search for her son.

With the colour of the square being green, Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game released by the developer King on April 12, 2012 for Facebook, and on November 14, 2012 for smartphones.

A demipique is an 18th Century military saddle having a pommel of about half the height of that of an older style of saddle

Quotables 23 April



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Trivia Bits 22 April


 Captain Pugwash

In a series of British children's comic strips and books created by John Ryan, the fictional pirate, Captain Pugwash (pictured), was the captain of the ship Black Pig.

The Southern Tablelands is an area in New South Wales located west of the Great Dividing Range and is characterised by flat country which has generally been extensively cleared and used for grazing purposes.

The villain Daniel Quilp appears in Charles Dicken’s novel The Old Curiosity Shop which was available in printed in book form in 1841.

The Australian feminist and suffragist Louisa Lawson, a founding mother of the movement in Australia, is also remembered as a pioneer of women’s journalism through her 1888 –1905 publication The Dawn which was staffed and produced by women.

Scottish painter Archibald Standish Hartrick, co-founder of the Senfelder Club, formed in London in 1909 to promote the craft of art reproduction by the process of lithography, taught Lithography at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, and created works including The Effect of Light in 1911

Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War, eminent English poet, writer, and soldier Siegfried Sassoon wrote the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

The nautical term astern means at or towards the stern.

In November 2014, Dutch researchers took bacterial samples from the mouths of 21 canoodling couples and found that a ten second snog transfers as many as 80 million bacteria.

Ulysses is a poem in blank verse by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson written in 1833 and published in 1842 and contains the lines To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell, John Milton in his 1634 work Comus asks the question What hath night to do with sleep? in this work that argues for the virtuousness of temperance and chastity.

Quotables 22 April



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Trivia Bits 21 April



The lesser bilby (pictured) or the lesser rabbit-eared bandicoot or the white-tailed rabbit-eared bandicoot, was a rabbit-like marsupial first described by Oldfield Thomas as "Peregale leucura" in 1887 from a single specimen from a collection of mammals of the British Museum and which lived in the deserts of Central Australia but has been believed to be extinct since the 1950s-1960s..

The wine cask, the ubiquitous plastic bag full of wine contained in a cardboard box, was invented in Australia in 1967.

Eric Charles Rolls account of the introduction of rabbits and other animals into Australia, They All Ran Wild in 1969, won the James Cook Bicentenary Award for non-fiction.

In the summer of 1779 Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby organised a race for himself and his friends to race their three-year-old fillies named the Oaks after his estate and with the race becoming so successful in the following year a new race was added for colts and fillies - the Epsom Derby with the course in 1784 being extended to its current distance of a mile and a half and Tattenham Corner was introduced at Epsom Downs near Epsom, Surrey, England.

2001 television documentary series Bush Mechanics featured Aboriginal people from Yuendumu produced by the Warlpiri Media Association, featuring an Indigenous Australian take on motor mechanics with a bush mechanic, in Australian parlance, being is someone who uses unorthodox techniques and readily available materials to build or fix mechanical problems.

Essay on Memory was the title of Australian poet. R. D. Fitzgerald’s long meditative poem that won the 1938 Australian Sesquicentenary Celebration Long Poem Prize that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mina Wylie, a silver medal winner at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, was one of the first two women to represent Australia in Olympic swimming along with Fanny Durack and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1975.

The Roman god Janus was the god of beginnings and transformations and is often depicted with two faces, one looking back and the other looking forward had the calendar of January named after him.

The Metropolitan Opera House located in Lincoln Centre at Lincoln Square in the Upper West Side New York with a lobby adorned with two famous murals by a Belarussian-Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, The Triumph of Music and The Sources of Music each measuring 30 by 36 feet.

According to the title of Led Zepplin’s 1971 song, considered one of the great songs, a stairway leads to heaven and is featured on the band's untitled fourth studio album (often referred to as Led Zeppelin IV) with the song, running eight minutes and two seconds, is composed of several sections which increase in tempo and volume as the song progresses.

Quotables 21 April



Monday, April 20, 2015

Trivia Bits 20 April



A leather punching tool is called an awl (pictured) which is a sharp and pointed tool that has a handle, usually made of wood or for larger holes, one can use a drill or various commercial leather punching tools.

Outside the town of Piazza Armerina, Sicily, the Villa Romana del Casale is a 4th century villa famous for its 3,500sq m of detailed and preserved mosaic floors being one of 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy.

A sclerotic segmental plate found of the thorax or back of an insect are the hardened plates in the exoskeleton.

With the successful 2012 movie based on their story, The Sapphires started as a trio with Beverley Briggs, Laurel Robinson and Naomi Mayers in the Shepparton Cummeragunja area of Victoria in the 1950s and went to Vietnam to entertain the troops involved in the war in 1968 but unfortunately few historical records exist of their performances.

The apothem of a regular polygon is a line segment from the centre to the midpoint of one of its sides with the word "apothem" also referring to the length of that line segment.

Traditionally New York’s taxis are painted canary yellow, medallion taxis, and are able to pick up passengers anywhere in New York’s five boroughs.

Australia's National Anthem was God Save The Queen until 1984 when it was changed to Advance Australia Fair after a 1977 National referendum.

Because of his toughness and aggressive personality, Old Hickory was the nick name of US President Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837.

Country singer Kelly Clarkson has a pet goat named Billy Joel.

The word limicolous means living in mud or muddy regions and relates generally to animals.

Quotables 20 April



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Trivia Bits 19 April


Golda Meir

The first female Prime Minister of Israel elected on March 17, 1969 was Golda Meir (pictured) who on December 8, 1978,  died of lymphatic cancer in Jerusalem at the age of 80.

Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson was born with Eleanor Nancy Gow in Killara, New South Wales, the daughter of entrepreneur and sound engineer Peter Gow and Frances Gow, a nurse.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596 portraying the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and Hippolyta and is the play in the 1989 drama film directed by Peter Weir Dead Poets Society for which Neil Perry tries out for and wins the role of Puck, in spite of his father's disapproval of his acting aspirations.

The Thin White Duke was David Bowie's 1976 persona and character, primarily identified with his album Station to Station and mentioned by name in the title track.

CSI: NY (Crime Scene Investigation: New York) is an American police procedural television series that ran from September 22, 2004 to February 22, 2013, a total of nine seasons and 197 original episodes, featuring Melina Kanakaredes as Detective First Grade Stella Bonasera for the first six seasons.

Dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Amber Room was an ornate chamber made of amber panels given to Czar Peter the Great by Prussia's Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1716 but German troops stole the treasure chamber from Catherine Palace near St Petersburg in 1941 and took it to Koenigsberg, now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and has never been recovered.

Australian explorers Burke and Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south, to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres (approximately 2,000 miles).

English actor and singer Michael Crawford played the character Frank Spencer in the classic British sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em which was first broadcast in 1973 running for three series, ending in 1978.

Olympic convention states that the flame should be lit at Olympia in Greece and then transported to Athens, making its way onwards to the host city but at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics torch relay a signal was sent via satellite to transmit the flame to Ottawa where it would then make its way to the opening ceremony in Montreal.

American crime drama television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, that premiered on October 6, 2000, follows Las Vegas criminalists (identified as "Crime Scene Investigators") working for the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) as they use physical evidence to solve murders, with actor Laurence Fishburne joining the cast from 2008 to 2001 as Dr. Raymond "Ray" Langston.

Quotables 19 April