Saturday, July 18, 2015

Movie Review ... Ant-Man


Ant-Man-PosterThe Marvel cinematic universe has been enormously successful.  ‘The Avengers’, ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ franchises have garnered buckets of cash.  Whilst some have been burdened by a predictable formula, others have lingered in the memory. ‘Ant-Man’ sits somewhere in the middle.   An action packed, CGI-infused ode to one of Marvel’s earliest comic book characters, it’s a fun ride sure to please many genre admirers.

Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is keen to safe-guard his secret Ant-Man technology.  Enabling the user to decrease to ant-like size, Pym chooses an unlikely candidate, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a reformed thief.  Initially reluctant to accept the offer, Lang warms to the task of protecting the valuable property.   Becoming a pint-sized hero battling evil entities determined to use the technology for their own nefarious ends, Ant-Man’s small stature masks a man with a huge heroic heart.

Due to being an origin story, ‘Ant-Man’ occasionally feels very slow.  Its first hour is particularly glacially paced despite the performer’s enthusiasm.  When the action heats up so does the story with director Peyton Reed showing some stylish flair.  His combination of humour and drama within the action sequences is effectively handled.  Whilst these scenes heavily rely on bedazzling CGI, Reed ensures the actors inject enough personality in them to ensure you care what happens.

Being a superhero flick, ‘Ant-Man’ enjoys the story’s fanciful nature.  Although walking a well-worn trajectory, the script embraces the opportunities the concept presents.  Douglas and Rudd in particular seem to enjoy expanding outside their usually known acting range.  They know ‘Ant-Man’ isn’t anything other than a colourful comic-book movie succeeding in elevating its level of enjoyment.  You can’t take a movie like this too seriously with the action and humour blending to form an agreeable escapist package.

Compared to previous Marvel films ‘Ant-Man’ may perhaps not be the greatest.  But it has energy and a tone discarding the earnestness of similar movies.  If you roll with the impish nonsense it provides, the small hero witnessed should conjure humongous thrills.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6 

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.

Official HomePage click HERE



Trivia Bits 18 July



According to legend, the Teufelstritt (Devil's Footstep), in the Munich Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany (pictured), marks the spot where the devil stood when he thought that the builder had constructed a cathedral with no windows.

In 1809, it is said that Cornish chemist and inventor Humphry Davy actually invented the first electric light connecting two wires to a battery and attached a charcoal strip between the other ends of the wires; the charged carbon glowed, making the first arc lamp.

Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

Adwaita, the reportedly 255-year-old Aldabra Giant Tortoise that died in 2006 in Kolkata zoo India, was a pet of Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief, India of British East India Company.

A Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, an American military transport aircraft, was used in the 2004 movie The Flight of the Phoenix based on the 1964 novel by Elleston Trevor.

Charles Knight’s The Penny Magazine (1832–1845) had the main purpose to educate and improve England’s poor, but was very popular with Americans and became a very successful magazine as it attained a circulation of more than 20,000 within a year.

On the morning of September 3, 1833, a paper, the Sun, printed on four letter-size pages and filled with human-interest stories and short police reports appeared on the streets of New York published by a young printer named Benjamin Day, and selling for one penny becoming known as the penny papers which, within two years, was selling 15,000 copies a day.

First performed at the court of Palace of the Archbishop, Salzburg, 1 May 1769, La finta semplice (The Pretended Simpleton), K. 51 (46a) is an opera buffa in three acts for soloists and orchestra, composed in 1769 by then 12-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to an Italian libretto by the court poet Marco Coltellini.

Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt's beloved Scottish terrier and one of the most famous presidential pets, has a bronze statue in his likeness at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D.C.

In the Australian Parliamentary House of Representatives, Members of the governing party or parties sit on the right of the Speaker’s Chair and the Members of the Opposition on the left. The two chairs on the right of the Table are, by practice, reserved for the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister with the front benches reserved for Ministers.

Quotables 18 July



Friday, July 17, 2015

Trivia Bits 17 July



Anteater (pictured)  is a common name for four extant mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua, meaning worm tongue, which are commonly known for eating ants and termites and also have no teeth.

Darren Aronofsky was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for the 2010 American psychological thriller/horror film Black Swan starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis.

Orana is a region in central northern New South Wales, Australia including remote towns like Dubbo, Cobar and Mudgee with Orana coming from the Australian Aboriginal word for Welcome.

Proverbially Brevity is the soul of wit meaning that Intelligent speech and writing should aim at using few words and originates from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet written between 1599 and 1602.

Born in New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island, David Laird negotiated the 1874 Qu'Appelle Lakes Treaty with resident Cree and Saulteuax of Saskatchewan to procure land for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Andriel, the Maiden of Anguish features in the video game Diablo first released in 1996.

Csabai sausage is made in the town Békéscsaba, Hungary and is raw smoked pork sausage heavily spiked with paprika, black pepper and garlic and may be cut into thin slices and eaten alone or with bread or added to many Hungarian dishes.

Commonly known as the June Fourth Incident (六四事件) or '89 Democracy Movement, The Tiananmen Square protests occurred in 1989 and were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing receiving broad support from city residents, exposing deep splits within China's political leadership.

Valerius Anshelm (1475 – c. 1546), a Swiss chronicler, wrote a history of Berne from the Burgundy Wars to 1536 that remained buried in the municipal archives of the city for 80 years.

Giuseppe Verdi wrote the opera Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December 1871 after Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned him to write the opera by paying him 150,000 francs.

Quotables 17 July



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trivia Bits 16 July



Discovered in China in 1963, Lantian Man (pictured) preceded Peking Man by several hundred thousand years.

Picasso said of French post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne that he was like the father of us all.

Located off the coast of Western Australia, Ashmore and Cartier Islands are an uninhabited external territory of Australia consisting of four low-lying tropical islands in two separate reefs, and the 12 nautical mile territorial sea generated by the islands.

In 2013, Australian sportsman Jesse “The Monster” Williams joined the American gridiron team the Seattle Seahawks.

The leopard is found on the continents of Africa and Asia and is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because it is declining in large parts of its range due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and hunting for trade and pest control.

The island of Öland, located in the Baltic Sea just off the coast of Småland, Sweden, is separated from the mainland by the Kalmar Strait and connected to it by the 6 km Öland Bridge, which opened in 1972.

Family Ties is a United States sitcom that aired from September 22, 1982 until May 14, 1989 reflecting the move in the United States from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s expressed through the relationship between young Republican Alex P. Keaton, played by Michael J. Fox, and his ex-hippie parents, Steven and Elyse Keaton played by Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter-Birney.

Australian professional surfer and model Laura Enever is best known for her sport of surfing and was the ASP Women's World Junior Champion in 2009.

Cupid was the Roman god of love including desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus, and is known in Latin also as Amor ("Love") with his Greek counterpart being Eros.

Chameleons can move their eyes in two different directions at the same time and can reel in food from a distance as far away as more than two and a half times their body lengths.

Quotables 16 July



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trivia Bits 15 July


New York’s Chrysler Building

A classic example of Art Deco architecture New York’s Chrysler Building (pictured) was the world's tallest building for 11 months until it was surpassed in height by the Empire State Building in 1931 but is still the tallest brick building in the world, albeit with an internal steel skeleton.

Mt Noshaq is Afghanistan's highest mountain and is located in the north-eastern corner of the country with the first ascent of the mountain being in 1960 by Toshiaki Sakai and Goro Iwatsubo, members of a Japanese expedition.

The grapefruit when first discovered was named the forbidden fruit and was first documented in 1750 by a Welshman, Rev. Griffith Hughes, who described specimens from Barbados in The Natural History of Barbados.

The Impressions' 1967 single We're a Winner, written by Curtis Mayfield, was a socially conscious song which became an anthem for the American Civil Rights movement.

Danish-born Norwegian singer, guitarist, composer and writer Birgitte Grimstad's song repertoire has included a medieval ballad, songs by Bach, Grieg and Mortensen's Til Ungdommen, and an adaptation of an Elvis Presley hit.

In the 2001 Australian film Lantana written by Andrew Bovell, Geoffrey Rush played the husband obsessed with his dead child with the film winning seven AACTA Awards including Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In mythology, Irene or Eirene is the Greek goddess of wealth and peace

During the American Civil War, General Robert E. Lee ordered the destruction of the mansion at Fall Hill, on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia, because it blocked his view of advancing Union Army troops; however the house was saved when the Union Army advance changed direction.

In the 1988 American comedy-drama film The Rain Man, the role of savant Raymond Babbitt was played by American actor Dustin Hoffman.

According to Noongar culture, the Wagyl is a snake-like Dreamtime creature responsible for the creation of the Swan and Canning Rivers and other waterways around present-day Perth and the southwest of Western Australia.

Containing themes of love that are tied into Harvey's affection for New York City, English alternative rock musician PJ Harvey released the album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea 23 October 2000 on Island Records.

Quotables 15 July



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Trivia Bits 14 July



American comics writer and artist Don Rico, who co-created the Marvel Comics characters Jann of the Jungle (cover Vol No 11 pictured), started his creative career in the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project during the Great Depression.

It is in the game of chess that a zugzwang would occur being the situation where one player is put at a disadvantage because he must make a move when he would prefer to pass and not move.

Canadian musician Neil Young released on April 19, 2014 his thirty fourth studio album A Letter Home which consists of covers of classic songs by artists Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gordon Lightfoot and others, was recorded in a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph vinyl recording booth at Jack White's Third Man store in Nashville, Tennessee.

Writer and model Sophie Dahl is the granddaughter of children’s author Roald Dahl who completed her first novella in 2003 entitled The Man with the Dancing Eyes.

The music synthesiser invented in 1928 by French cellist Maurice Martenot in which a keyboard controls the frequency of musical tones produced by an oscillator was known as the Ondes Martenot.

Featuring a character named Maxwell Sheffield played by Charles Shaughnessy was the 1993–1999 American television sit-com The Nanny starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, a Jewish Queens native who becomes the nanny of three children from the New York/British high society.

Michaelmas is the name given to September 29, the Feast of St Stephen and all Angels and a day when magistrates are traditionally chosen.

On July 29, 1958, US President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which began operations on October 1, 1958.

The calls of the Red-throated Ant-Tanager, a noisy passerine bird native to the Caribbean, include a scolding raaah or nasal pip pik, and the song is a throaty whistled cherry quick cherry quick cherry quick cherry quick.

Also meaning sail or curtain-like partitions and animal skin that is similar to parchment, another name for the soft palate is velum.

Quotables 14 July



Monday, July 13, 2015

Trivia Bits 13 July


 Gro Harlem Brundtland

In 1981, Gro Harlem Brundtland (pictured) became the first female Prime Minister of Norway and served three terms as Norway's Prime Minister: in 1981, in 1986–89, and in 1990–96.

Remember the Time by Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard is a 2014 book based on the life of entertainer Michael Jackson.

Rodney J. Baxter, known for the Yang-Baxter equation in statistical mechanics, was the first doctoral graduate in theoretical physics from the Australian National University in 1964.

Written between 1960 and 1962, the Scottish composer and pianist Ronald Stevenson composed an 80-minute passacaglia for solo piano based on the four-note motif D-E♭-C-B.

The Paris Review was established in Paris in 1953 by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton being a quarterly English language literary magazine and which since 1973 has been published out of New York City.

16th century Spanish Conquistador, Tristán de Luna y Arellano built the first European settlement within the continental boundaries of the United States at modern-day Pensacola.

First competed for in 1879, the Calcutta Cup rugby union trophy, which features an elephant on top, is awarded to the winner of the annual Six Nations Championship match between England and Scotland only.

Isaac Asimov wrote the Foundation series of sci-fi novels published from 1942 to 1993 with the initial Foundation trilogy beating several other science fiction and fantasy series to receive a special 1965 Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series". Of note is that The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien was a runner up for this award.

All of the roles in Shakespeare's plays were originally acted by men and boys as in Elizabethan England at that time, it wasn't proper for females to appear on stage.

Found in 1905, The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered with the original 3,100 carats cut to make jewels for the British Crown Jewels and the British Royal family's collection.

Quotables 13 July



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Trivia Bits 12 July



 Starring as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s unlikely twin brother in the 1988 comedy Twins (poster pictured) was American actor, producer and director Danny De Vito with both Schwarzenegger and DeVito agreeing with the studio to take 20% of the film's box office, which resulted in them receiving the one of the biggest pay checks of their movie careers as it grossed $US216,614,388.00.

Festivus, a non-commercial alternative to Christmas, was popularised by the TV sitcom Seinfeld and entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 episode of the series.

Swedish director, writer and producer Ingmar Bergman was born Ernst Ingmar Bergman in 1944 in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of Erik Bergman, a Lutheran minister and later chaplain to the King of Sweden, and Karin (née Åkerblom), a nurse .

The video game Tetris was developed in Russia, originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov and released on June 6, 1984.

The Paragould Meteorite weighing 370 kilograms (820lbs) fell to earth on February 17, 1930 and was discovered in an 8 foot (2 m) hole on a farm south of Bethel Church, off Highway 358, a few miles south of Paragould, Arkansas.

Confederate States Army soldier Lewis Powell was one of the conspirators in the 1865 assassination of US President Abraham Lincoln.

Bruce, CQR, Danforth and Delta are all types of anchors which are devices normally made of metal used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current.

The Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago built the first nuclear reactor and achieved a self-sustaining nuclear reaction in December 1942.

The Island of Islay belongs to the United Kingdom constituent country of Scotland and is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland also known as The Queen of the Hebrides.

In the 19th century, craftsmen who made hats were known to be excitable and irrational, as well as to tremble with palsy and mix up their words and such behaviour gave rise to the familiar expression "mad as a hatter". The disorder, called hatter's shakes, was caused by chronic mercury poisoning from the solution used to treat the felt and attacked the central nervous system, the toxin led to behavioural symptoms.

Quotables 12 July