Saturday, July 11, 2015

Movie Review ... Magic Mike XXL



Magic Mike XXL poster‘Magic Mike’ turned into one of more surprising hits in recent times.  A film about hunky male strippers initially sounded like a garish excuse to see guys take their gear off.  Whilst that was true, underneath the layers hid a meaningful story about male relationships.  The sequel mostly picks up from the original’s sense of purpose.  Despite even more clothes being torn off, the smartly written screenplay ensures ‘Magic Mike XXL’ doesn’t descend into a tawdry flesh-fest.

Despite having left his life as a stripper behind, Mike (Channing Tatum) feels lost.  Missing the companionship of his buddies, he decides to reunite his motley band of strip-pals.  Among are Ken (Matt Bomer) and Tito (Adam Rodriquez).  Travelling to a stripper convention, they look forward to winning the main prize.  Along the way, loyalties are tested and new bonds are forged as the clothes slowly peel away.

Directed by Gregory Jacobs, ‘Magic Mike XXL’ is generally engrossing.  Whilst emotionally less substantial than its predecessor, it still shows men dealing with the pitfalls of their chosen profession.  When not becoming a group of fantasy enhancers, the men also become a form of therapy for the women they meet.  Fulfilling a sensual connection some lack, the ladies look to the men for adult escapism.  How the group handles these attitudes provides an intriguing insight often missing in similar films only showing stripping’s sleazier side.

Emboldened with some depth, ‘Magic Mike XXL’ also dazzles in the strip-show sequences.  Viewers would know what to expect although the way the men perform each set-piece almost makes it an art-form.  The physical and psychological bond they form with their audience is fascinating.  Tatum and his co-stars earn their money by doing most of these routines.  That they inject some heart into their sometimes mechanical moves speaks well of their quest in making ‘Magic Mike XXL’ more than it could have been.

Although not quite as involving as the first entry, ‘Magic Mike XXL’ generally delivers the goods.  It has enough emotional weight to make it stand out as the characters shed their inhibitions for their eager audience.

Magic Mike XXL 0098

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Trivia Bits 11 July


 Jose Raul Capablanca

Cuba was the birthplace of chess grand master Jose Raul Capablanca (pictured) who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927 and was renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play losing only 35 first class games in his entire career.

The first Olympic Games to be fully covered by television were the 1960 Games of the XVII Olympiad in Rome, Italy.

The first annual Grammy Awards were awarded in 1959 with the Record of the Year being Volare by Domenico Modugno, the Album of the Year was Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini and the winner of the best R&B performance was Tequila by Champs.

Labour's Alfred Dobbs was the shortest-serving post-war British Member of Parliament – just one day, before his death in 1945.

The flag of the previous English county of Yorkshire consisted of a white rose on a blue background which, after many years, was recognised by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008.

The 1890 play Hedda Gabler by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen premiered in 1891 in Germany to negative reviews although now consider the character of Hedda one of the great dramatic roles in theatre.

Ancient Romans played a game called Trigon, which likely involved three players standing in a triangle and passing a hard ball back and forth catching with the right and throwing with the left hand.

In the Polish legislative election, 1947, the communist-controlled Polish government, advised by specialists from Soviet Ministry for State Security, ensured its victory by vote rigging.

The United States Army Air Forces B-29 bomber named Bockscar on 9 August 1945 dropped the Fat Man nuclear weapon on the city of Nagasaki during World War II in the second - and the last - nuclear attack in history.

Of Brazilian nationality, Formula One driver Ayrton Senna won three Formula One world championships but was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Quotables 11 July



Friday, July 10, 2015

Quotables 10 July




Trivia Bits 10 July


 John Konrads

John Konrads (pictured), an Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer who set 26 individual world records in the 1950 and 1960s, later became the Australasian director of French cosmetics and beauty company L'Oréal.

The Saddle-billed Stork is a large wading bird in the stork family, Ciconiidae and is found in sub-Saharan Africa from Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya south to South Africa, and in The Gambia, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Chad in west Africa.

The Australian Senate is made up of 76 members with 12 senators are elected from each of the six states, regardless of population and each of the two autonomous internal territories, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, has two senators each.

The cocktail called Kir originated in France and is made with a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) topped up with white wine.

The double bass, or upright bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument of the viol family in the modern symphony orchestra, and is used in a range of genres, such as jazz, 1950s-style blues and rock and roll, rockabilly/psychobilly, traditional country music, bluegrass, tango and many types of folk music.

Ceuta, an autonomous city of Spain, is located on the continent of Africa sharing a western border with Morocco.

Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national television in 1956 when he sang Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel on "The Dorsey Brothers Show."

Member of the clergy and economist, Thomas Malthus proposed that population increases faster than means of subsistence in his 1798 Essay on the Principle of Population and that sooner or later population will be checked by famine and disease, leading to what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe.

Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary award 2012, Past the Shallows is the debut novel of Australian writer Favel Parrett and is the story of two brothers growing up in a fractured family on the wild Tasmanian coast with the consequences of their parents' choices shaping their lives and ultimately bringing tragedy to them all.

The Devil’s Advocate is someone who argues against a cause not as a committed opponent but for the sake of argument.

Quotables 10 July



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Trivia Bits 09 July


Saint Jerome with the Martyrologium Hieronymianum

The Martyrologium Hieronymianum, meaning Martyrology of Jerome, though not written by Saint Jerome himself (pictured), was the most widely-used martyrology during the Middle Ages and is thought to have been compiled in the late 6th century by monks in Gaul from calendars or martyrologies originating in Rome, Africa, the Christian east and locally.

The line the better part of valour is discretion comes from William Shakespeare’s Henry IV part 1 believed to have been written no later than 1597.

The Agony of Doha is a term used by fans of the Japanese national football team to refer to the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification match where Japan lost its World Cup place to South Korea.

Released on November 30, 1984, by Sire Records, as the second single from her second album Like a Virgin, the American singer-songwriter Madonna song Material Girl begins with the lyrics Some Boys Kiss Me

Mount Pantokrator is the highest mountain on the island of Corfu, Greece at 906 metres (2,972ft) above sea level.

With construction of the building started in 1975, the NOT Tower in Kraków was nicknamed Skeletor after it had been abandoned by the Polish Federation of Engineering Associations and left unfinished for nearly 40 years and is currently used to display advertising billboards.

William Shakespeare was an avid gardener and that modern Shakespeare gardens cultivate dozens of plant species mentioned in his plays.

The Soviet censors initially discouraged the performance of The Victory Day, one of the most popular Russian songs to come out of World War II.

There are three species of eagles found in Australia the Wedge-tail Eagle, White-bellied Sea-Eagle and the Little Eagle.

A Lexicographer practises the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries and focuses on the design, compilation, use and evaluation of general dictionaries.

Quotables 09 July



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trivia Bits 08 July


Capitol Theatre Melbourne 

Opened on 07 November 1924, the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne (interior pictured) was once described as the best cinema that was ever built or is ever likely to be built and originally seated 2137 patrons in stalls, balcony, loges and boxes.

Merritt-Chapman & Scott, a marine salvage and construction firm funded circa 1860, investigated the USS Maine sinking in 1898, sank the USS Moody in 1933, and raised the Normandie in 1943.

The adjective inclement is used to describe severe or harsh weather and is early 17th century from French inclément or Latin inclement-, from in- ‘not’ + clement- ‘clement.’

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, was a naval engagement fought by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies with twenty-seven British ships of the line commanded by Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory who was mortally wounded during the battle becoming one of Britain's greatest war heroes.

All the moons of the Solar System are named after Greek and Roman mythology, except the moons of Uranus which are named after Shakespearean characters.

Welsh actress Rachel Roberts played the role of Hildegarde Schmidt in the 1974 British mystery film Murder on the Orient Express directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, and based on the 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital of Brunei officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peaceis a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Ship tracks are clouds that form around the exhaust released by ships and appear as long strings over the ocean.

How irksome is this music to my heart! When such strings jar, what hope of harmony? is from William Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 2 believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England.

Tamagoyaki is a type of Japanese omelette, which is made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg usually are prepared in a rectangular omelette pan called a makiyakinabe.

Quotables 08 July



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Trivia Bits 07 July


Erle Stanley Gardner

Erle Stanley Gardner (pictured) wrote 75 mysteries starring the fictional lawyer Perry Mason; the first was "The Case of the Velvet Claws" in 1933 and the last was "The Case of the Troubled Trustee" in 1956.

In the Hans Christian Andersen story, Thumbelina was found inside the petals of a flower

Daytona Beach, a seaside resort town in north-eastern Florida is famous for its annual motor races including Speedweeks, Coke Zero 400 and Rolex 24 Hours.

Sledgehammer was a 1986 hit single for English singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist Peter Gabriel and won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and it remains the most played music video in the history of MTV.

Lanolin is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals with the Lanolin used by humans comes from domestic sheep breeds that are raised specifically for their wool.

Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge are better known as Baz Luhrman’s Red Curtain Trilogy.

The English made first footfall when Captain James Cook landed on the east coast in 1768, and called what he thought was an island, New South Wales, the Dutch now were calling the land New Holland whilst another early 18th century explorer called Australia Terra Psittacorum.

With about 7,500 species are known worldwide, the Blister Beetles are so named because they secrete cantharidin, a poison causing blistering of the skin and painful swelling if consumed.

The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C; London, England reached the mark in 1810 and New York, USA made it in 1875.

Janet King is an Australian television drama series airing from 27 February 2014 being a spin-off from the 2011 legal drama Crownies and follows the story of Senior Crown Prosecutor Janet King played by Marta Dusseldorp, who returns from maternity leave and is thrown into "a shocking prosecution".

Quotables 07 July



Monday, July 6, 2015

Trivia Bits 06 July


Little Red Kaluta 

The Little Red Kaluta (pictured), a carnivorous nocturnal marsupial, is a tiny marsupial in the Australian state of Western Australia and feeds on insects and small vertebrates.

Playing the Big Lebowski’s personal assistant, Brandt, in the 1998 crime comedy film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen The Big Lebowski was American actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The highest mountain in China is Mount Everest in the province of Tibet at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft).

In digital imaging / photography, the letters HDR stand for High Dynamic Range with High-dynamic-range photographs generally are achieved by capturing multiple standard photographs, often using exposure bracketing, and then merging them into an HDR image.

The 44 hour and 54 minute transit time of the 1905 Scott Special between Los Angeles, California, and Chicago, Illinois, wasn't beaten in regular railway operations until the 1937 launch of the Super Chief.

In M&M candies, the letters stand for Mars and Murrie, the developers of the candy in 1941.

Wings, a 1927 film, was the first winner of the Academy Award for best picture, and the only silent film to achieve that honour.

Originally a nightclub in North Beach, San Francisco, the Hungry i nightclub was instrumental in launching the careers of Bill Cosby, Lenny Bruce, Barbra Streisand, The Kingston Trio and Woody Allen.

Commencing with the lines You get a shiver in the dark is the 1979 Mark Knopfler written classic song The Sultans of Swing by the British rock band Dire Straits from their self-titled debut album.

The second European visit to Australia was in 1616 was by Dirck Hartog, who landed in Western Australia where he nailed a pewter plate to a tree, which is now in a museum in Holland and named the new country Eendrachtsland.

Quotables 06 July



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 July


Simone Niggli-Luder 

Simone Niggli-Luder (pictured) from Switzerland won all four women's competitions at the orienteering world championships 2005 in Aichi, Japan, repeating her performance of 2003.

Starring as Mark Zuckerberg, one of five co-founders of the website Facebook, in the 2010 American drama film The Social Network was American actor and playwright Jesse Eisenberg.

In the 1848 Moray Firth fishing disaster on the east coast of Scotland, 124 boats sank and 100 fishermen perished, leading to a major redesign of fishing boats in the following years.

American professional wrestler Hulk Hogan's Pastamania was a restaurant located in the Mall of America, created by the WWE's Hulk Hogan that opened on Labor Day Weekend 1995, remained in operation for less than a year featuring such dishes as Hulk-U's and Hulk-A-Roos.

Established in 1859 during the building of the Suez Canal, the city of Port Said is in Egypt and is home to the Lighthouse of Port Said which was the first building in the world built from reinforced concrete completed in 1869.

The most famous of a family of painters, Dutch landscape painter Aelbert Cuyp was especially known for his large views of the Dutch countryside in early morning or late afternoon light typified by A View of the Maas at Dordrecht, painted about 1645-1646 and now in the J. Paul Getty Museum collection.

When the Etruscan bronze Chimera of Arezzo, carefully buried near the city walls of Arezzo some time in Antiquity, was rediscovered in 1553, it was quickly claimed for the collection of Cosimo I de' Medici, second Duke of Florence and first Grand Duke of Tuscany.

The Mandara kingdom of West Africa was conquered by Modibo Adama of the Fulani Empire, Muhammad Ahmad of Sudan, and Germany within a single hundred year span.

The 1941 song by Harry Warren (music) and Mack Gordon (words) Chattanooga Choo Choo tells the story of travelling from New York City to Chattanooga and was originally recorded as a big-band/swing tune by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.

Thoughts on Living Part 2


  contemplating 004

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs....'

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've travelled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

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Quotables 05 July