Saturday, May 9, 2015

Movie Review ... A Royal Night Out


A Royal Night Out poster

Movies and TV shows have done their best to humanise the British royal family.  Often seen as a somewhat aloof and decadent slice of English nobility, recent works have deconstructed the myth.  Films such as ‘The Queen’ have stripped away the distant veneer to reveal people with the same foibles as their subjects.  Although a light drama, ‘A Royal Night Out’ sheds more light on a family continually keeping supermarket tabloids on shelves.

In 1945 after 6 years of a brutal and bloody conflict, World War 2 finally ends.  Celebrating V.E. day, the British populace erupts in a sea of jubilation.  Wanting to join the party are young Princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and her sister Margaret (Bel Powley).  Despite the stern ways of their parents, Queen Elizabeth (Emily Watson) and King George (Rupert Everett), the girls eagerly join the public celebrations. What follows is a right royal night of thrills no one will forget.

‘A Royal Night Out’ is an interesting slice of factual fiction.  Consistently amusing, it explores how expected convention heavily weighed on the young Princesses’ minds.  Elizabeth in particular discovers the attitudes the general public has towards her family.  Unearthing a myriad of opinions, these help open further her initially narrow world-view.  Contrasting a life of privilege against those she meets, the many societal aspects she encounters changes her.

These emotional strands become a strong cipher upon which the movie hangs.  Mixing pathos with sparkling humour, Julian Jarrold’s direction successfully maintains both.  Whilst occasionally predictable and a little over the top, the comedy works in contrasting the seriousness of an uncertain post-war future.  The performers work well in conveying their character’s ideals with the cinematography expertly conjuring the many images of a country scarred by war.

Staunch royalists should find much to enjoy with ‘A Royal Night Out’.  Although not a totally serious film, it may change some opinions on a family usually dubbed ‘The Firm’.  With a new royal recently born it can be assured tabloid magazines and TV viewers will continue watching their lives for years to come.

A Royal Night Out 987

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.



Trivia Bits 09 May


 Flying Down To Rio  poster

1933 RKO musical film Flying Down To Rio (poster pictured) is a noted for being the first screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, although Dolores del Río and Gene Raymond received top-billing with the black-and-white film later being computer-colorized.

The 'Bionic Ear', or chochlear implant device, was invented in Australia by a team lead by Professor Graeme Clark in 1978.

Leonard Nimoy first stars as the original 1966–1969 television series character Spock who served aboard the starship Enterprise, as science officer and first officer, and later as commanding officer of two iterations of the vessel with Spock's mixed human-Vulcan heritage serving as an important plot element in many of the character's appearance

In 1606, the crew of the Dutch ship Duyfken exploring the western coast of Cape York Peninsula were the first Europeans to have contact with Australian Aborigines who attacked the Dutchmen who reported that the Aborigines killed on sight.

1998 adventure film The Man in the Iron Mask is directed, produced, and written by Randall Wallace, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio in a dual role as the title character and villain, using characters from Alexandre Dumas' D'Artagnan Romances and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later.

English actor Dan Stevens played Matthew Reginald Crawley, heir presumptive (third cousin once removed) of Lord Grantham; former lawyer, latterly co-owner of the estate; late husband of Mary Crawley in the first two series of British period drama television series Downtown Abbey.

A 1970 film adaptation of the 1966 novel by John D Macdonald Darker than Amber was directed by Robert Clouse and starred Rod Taylor as the main series character: Travis McGee.

Sheb Wooley was an American character actor and singer, best known for his novelty song The Purple People Eater which reached #1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1958.

In British author Roald Dahl’s 1988 children's novel Matilda, the name of the nice teacher is Miss Honey.

Streets of Laredo, also known as the Cowboy's Lament, is a famous American cowboy ballad referring to the city of Laredo, Texas in which a dying cowboy tells his story to a living one and is believed to have been derived from the English folk song "The Unfortunate Rake" becoming a folk music standard, and as such has been performed, recorded and adapted numerous times, with many variations.

Quotables 09 May



Friday, May 8, 2015

Trivia Bits 08 May


Magnificent Andean Condor

The national bird of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru is the Andean Condor (pictured).

Better known by his stage name Eminem and by his alter ego Slim Shady, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter, and actor.

2001 comedy film Rat Race starring an ensemble cast, including Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg and Cuba Gooding, Jr. with the main plot revolving around six teams of people who are given the task of racing 563 miles from a Las Vegas casino to a Silver City, New Mexico train station, where a storage locker contains a duffel bag filled with two million dollars and the first team to reach the locker wins and gets to keep the money.

The portable beer cooler, or as it is known in Australia as the 'esky', was invented in Australia in the 1950's, and has become extremely popular all around the world.

1982 musical/comedy film Yes, Giorgio starring Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti was his only venture in film acting with Michael J. Lewis provided the original music for the film with cinematography by Fred J. Koenekamp and based on the novel by Anne Piper of the same name.

In medieval times, gauntlets were worn on the hands and existed in many forms, ranging from flexible fabric and leather gloves, to mail and fully articulated plate armour.

American Western series A Man Called Shenandoah that aired from September 13, 1965 to September 5, 1966 starring Robert Horton who played a man who was shot and left for dead with two buffalo hunters finding him out on the prairie and, thinking he might be an outlaw, took him to the nearest town, in hopes of receiving reward money but when he regains consciousness he has no recollection of who he was, or why anyone would want to harm him.

Faith Bandler, born in Tumbulgum, Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia was the daughter of Wacvie Mussingkon (Peter Mussing), a ‘Kanak’ from the New Hebrides who was kidnapped by slave traders in 1893 to work in the Queensland canefields.

1953 musical film made by Warner Bros Three Sailors and a Girl was based on the 1925 George S. Kaufman play The Butter and Egg Man and starred Jane Powell and Gordon MacRae with a storyline with their submarine is docked in New York City, three sailors on liberty invest the money they've earned at sea into a Broadway musical and its up and coming star.

Cynophobia is the abnormal fear of dogs and is from the Greek: κύων kýōn "dog" and φόβος phóbos "fear".

Quotables 08 May



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Trivia Bits 07 May



The 1972 movie I Am a Dancer (poster pictured) directed by Pierre Jourdan and starring Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn was a biographical record of Rudolf Nureyev’s dedication, which enabled him to climb to fame as the world’s foremost male ballet dancer.

Rice is traditionally used in a traditional Middle Eastern kabsa and mainly includes a mixture of spices, rice, usually long-grain, mostly basmati, meat and vegetables.

The British Empire covered, at its height in the 1920s, about a sixth of the landmass of the Earth, all of lands recognizing the United Kingdom as their leader.

The 1988 BBC television film The Woman He Loved, about the abdication of King Edward VIII, was partially shot at Shirenewton Hall a large country house and estate adjoining the village of Shirenewton, Monmouthshire, Wales.

A musical composition for eight voices or the first eight lines of a sonnet are known as an octet.

The seventh episode, No Exit, of the first season of the American police procedural television series Miami Vice had its title changed from Three-Eyed Turtle when it was discovered the latter was sexual slang.

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is Australia's oldest political party, founded in 1891 in New South Wales following the defeat of the trade unions in the 1890 maritime strike.

Pat and Mike is a 1952 American romantic comedy film starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, directed by George Cukor, who also directed The Philadelphia Story (1940) with Hepburn, and Adam's Rib (1949) with Hepburn and Tracy.

Canadian dramatic television series Da Vinci's Inquest that aired from 1998 to 2005 and was set and filmed in Vancouver, stars Nicholas Campbell as Dominic Da Vinci, once an undercover officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but now a crusading coroner who seeks justice in the cases he investigates.

Yellowknife is the capital of the Canadian territory of Northwest Territories and is located on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake.

Quotables 07 May



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trivia Bits 06 May


Johnny Farnham

Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) was Australian pop singer Johnny Farnham's (pictured) first solo single released in November 1967 and was featured on Farnham's debut album, Sadie released in April 1968.

British television comedy series airing from 1975 to 1977 Doctor on the Go was based on a set of books by Richard Gordon about the misadventures of a group of doctors and starred Robin Nedwell as Dr Duncan Waring, Geoffrey Davies as Dr Dick Stuart-Clark and Ernest Clark as Professor Geoffrey Loftus.

1944 American dark comedy film directed by Frank Capra Arsenic and Old Lace starring Cary Grant, was based on Joseph Kesselring's play Arsenic and Old Lace with Capra actually filmed the movie in 1941 because of star Cary Grant's availability, but it was not released until 1944, after the original stage version had finished its run on Broadway.

American police procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, Criminal Minds follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) based in Quantico, Virginia which is part of the FBI National Centre for the Analysis of Violent Crime and differs from many procedural dramas by focusing on profiling the criminal, called the unsub or "unknown subject", rather than the crime itself.

Sea Patrol is an Australian television drama that ran from 2007 to 2011, set on board HMAS Hammersley, a fictional patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) focussing on the ship and the lives of its crew members and starred Ian Stenlake and Lisa McCune.

P.S. I Love You is a 2007 American drama film directed by Richard LaGravenese based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Cecelia Ahern and stars Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates and Harry Connick, Jr.

PT 109 is a 1963 biographical war film depicting the actions of John F. Kennedy (JFK) as an officer of the United States Navy in command of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 during the Pacific War of World War II starring Cliff Robertson stars as Kennedy, with featured performances by Ty Hardin, James Gregory, Robert Culp, and Grant Williams and was the first commercial theatrical film about a sitting United States President released while he was still in office.

The Girl is Mine, song recorded by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, was the first single released from Michael Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller and was released on October 18, 1982.

Bill the Lizard and The Mock Turtle appear in the fantasy novel Alice in Wonderland an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll telling of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.

Quotables 06 May



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 May


 Goblin sharks

Often considered a living fossil, Goblin sharks (pictured) are the only surviving member of the prehistoric Mitsukurinidae shark family which stretches back 125 million years and have a distinctive flattened snout which is covered in electroreceptors called ampullae of Lorenzini giving it the ability to sense electric fields produced by nearby prey at depths of 300 to 900 metres.

When Cate Blanchett won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Aviator (2004), Katharine Hepburn became the first previous Oscar winner to become an Oscar-winning movie role.

Musician, singer/songwriter and record producer Graham Goble, one of the founding members of Australian band Little River Band (LRB), founded in March 1975, was born in Adelaide, South Australia and later in life he changed his first name from Graham to Graeham as a consequence of his interest in numerology and feng shui.

Cognac, named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy.

Starring as the bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel in the classic British sitcom Fawlty Towers was German-born British actor Andrew Sachs, a role for which he was BAFTA-nominated.

The Golden Wattle was officially proclaimed the Floral Emblem of Australia on 1 September 1988.

The two main airlines that used the retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport known as the Concorde were Air France and British Airways.

The three parts in an atom are protons, neutrons and electrons.

The Castle (1925), the Trial (1926) and The Metamorphosis (1915) were written by German-language writer of novels and short stories Franz Kafka.

Oscar winner Jared Leto is the lead singer of the band 30 Seconds to Mars an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1998 and whose self titled debut album was released in 2002.

Quotables 05 May



Monday, May 4, 2015

Quotables 04 May



Trivia Bits 04 May


Cable Beach

Cable Beach (pictured), a 22 kilometres (14 miles) stretch of beach, is near the Western Australian town of Broome and was named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889.

Yoga originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace of mind in order to experience one's true self.

The fibres of the flax plant is used to make linen which is labour-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.

The novel Robinson Crusoe was written by English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy Daniel Defoe and was first published on 25 April 1719 with the first edition credited the work's fictional protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents.

Brass is an alloy made of copper and zinc and is used for decoration for its bright gold-like appearance.

Australia’s exclusive economic zone generally extends 200 nautical miles from the coastline.

Australian actress Claudia Karvan played Caroline Tivoli in the Australian television drama 2013 TV series The Time of our Lives.

Completed in 1568 and held in the collection of and held in the collection of the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, Italy, The Blind Leading the Blind  is one of the best known works of Flemish Renaissance painter Peter Bruegel artist and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes.

Johnny Galecki plays Leonard Hofstadter, an experimental physicist with an IQ of 173, on the popular US sitcom The Big Bang Theory which premiered on September 24, 2007 and is primarily centred on five characters living in Pasadena, California with the main characters avid sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book fans and memorabilia collectors.

Endora, Samantha’s mother in American TV situation comedy fantasy Bewitched  is played by American actress Agnes Moorehead, a role for which she is most remembered.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Trivia Bits 03 May



Sophia Loren (pictured) was born Sofia Villani Scicolone on 20 September 1934 and is an Italian actress who is widely recognized as Italy's most renowned and honoured actress.

Underground is an Australian television film that premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival drawing its title from Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier, a 1997 book by Suelette Dreyfus, researched by Julian Assange, but the film bares little relation to the book itself, which catalogues the exploits of a group of Australian, American, and British hackers during the 1980s and early 1990s, among them Assange himself.

Australian cricketer, Belinda Clark, hit 229 runs off 155 balls against Denmark in the during the 1997-1998 Women’s World Cup.

The industrial city and the administrative centre of Volgograd Oblast, Russia, is situated on the west bank of the Volga River

Rumpole of the Bailey is a 1975 to 1992 British television series starring Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, an aging London barrister who defends any and all clients, and has been spun off into a series of short stories, novels, and radio programmes.

An American sitcom Mad About You aired from September 23, 1992 to May 24, 1999 starring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a newly married couple in New York City.

Ultrasound was invented in Australia in 1961 by the scientists at the Commonwealth Health Department.

Launching the careers of cast members Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Party of Five is an American teen drama television series that aired from September 12, 1994, until May 3, 2000 but in 1996, it was the surprise winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama, making it one of the lowest rated shows ever to win the award.

American television series Charmed produced by Aaron Spelling was originally broadcast for eight seasons from October 7, 1998, until May 21, 2006 following three sisters, known as the Charmed Ones, the most powerful good witches of all time, whose prophesied destiny is to protect innocent lives from evil beings such as demons and warlocks and starred as the three Halliwell sisters, Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) for the first three seasons.

Australian television police procedural drama series Homicide and dealt with the fictional homicide squad of the Victorian Police force and the various crimes and cases the detectives are called upon to investigate with many episodes were based on real life crime cases with a total of 510 episodes were produced, and aired from October 1964 to January 1977.

Quotables 03 May