Saturday, August 8, 2015

Movie Review ... Fantastic Four


Fantastic Four poster‘Fantastic Four’ shows what a desperate studio does when its movie rights are due to expire.  Faced with losing a Marvel comics property when their other films have been huge hits, the studio has cobbled together a quick cash-in.  Devoid of style, substance and thrills, ‘Fantastic Four’ is a leaden addition to the superhero genre.  The fourth ‘Fantastic Four’ movie to grace screens, it’s an unappealing mess deriving little from its comic-book origins.

Gifted scientist Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is on an important quest.  Journeying through space to discover its’ infinite wonder, Richards unwittingly travels to an alternate universe.  There, along with his girlfriend Susan Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B Jordan) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), all gain strange powers.  Learning to utilise their new gifts, they quickly form a team to combat evil.  Wickedness rears its head as Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) puts the super-heroic group through its paces.

‘Fantastic Four’ commits the biggest cinematic sin by being boring.  Copying the dark, sombre feel of the Dark Knight Batman trilogy, it slowly plods along to an uneventful finale.  The original comics were full of colour, life and dazzling action.  Its theatrical counterpart has none with its origin story dragging the story line.  There’s nothing new seen with the very young cast lacking the conviction their characters need.

Director Josh Trank injects little imagination or flair.  His mis-guided direction ensures each anonymous set-piece blends to the other with the CGI and cinematography poorly executed.  It’s difficult caring for lifeless characters with the film’s bleak look making for depressing viewing. Hardly anything works with the action, story and special effects morphing into a forgettable adventure of limp proportions.

Given the chance to craft an engaging, exciting superhero movie, those behind ‘Fantastic Four’ have thrown it away.   This non-effort exists purely to maintain movie rights and make fast bucks.  The studio’s cynicism shown to fans should be noted with the scorn and shame it deserves.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  0

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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Trivia Bits 08 August


 Ava Gardner  Frank Sinatra Wedding

US singer-actor Frank Sinatra’s second wife was American actress Ava Gardner from 1951 to 1957 (Ava Gardner Frank Sinatra Wedding pictured).

Japanese self-taught architect Tadao Ando was known for his use of light and use of interior and exterior space, and also designed the Church of the Light in Ibaraki in 1989 and the Teatro Armani-Armani World Headquarters in Milan, Italy in 2001.

The Academy Award-winning 2013 movie 12 Years a Slave is based on the life of Solomon Northup a New York State-born free African American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery.

First appearing on Australian television in the children’s show The Channel Niners on May 24 1965, Bear Bear was later re-named as Humphrey B Bear after a public competition.

Michael Caine starred with Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson in the 2014 British spy action comedy film Kingsman: The Secret Service and follows the recruitment and training of a potential secret agent, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, into a secret spy organisation and his joining a mission to tackle a global threat from Richmond Valentine, a wealthy eco-terrorist.

Famous Australian tennis pair Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won the 2014 Australian Open Legends Men’s Doubles title by defeating Swedish pair Jonas Björkman and Thomas Enqvist.

In 1930 the world’s first electronic drum, the Rhythmicon, was invented by the avant-garde American composer and musical theorist Henry Cowell who collaborated with Russian inventor Léon Theremin in designing and building the innovative Rhythmicon.

In the Old Testament, the name frequently used for Jehovah leading armies into holy battle is The Lord of Hosts.

ETA an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna Basque Homeland and Freedom is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization founded in 1959 and has since evolved from a group promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group with the goal of gaining independence for the Greater Basque Country.

The capital of the US state of Washington State is Olympia with the state named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, and was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889.

Quotables 08 August


risk taking 998

Friday, August 7, 2015

Trivia Bits 07 August


Kimi-Matias Räikkönen 

Finnish racing driver Kimi-Matias Räikkönen (pictured) has the nick-name of Iceman and his helmet has always featured a V design running on the circle top, representing a flying bird, and the inscription Iceman.

12 men have walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong being the first when Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon on July 20 1969, and on 21 July at 02:56 UTC Armstrong stepped out and spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft.

In 1889, Australian wine company, Brown Brothers, was established at Milawa, Victoria founded by John Francis Brown and continues to be owned and operated by his descendants on the original property.

The Washington Hebrew Congregation is a Reform Jewish congregation in the District of Columbia that has operated continuously since its formation on April 25, 1852.

In 2014, the annual multiple stage bicycle race Tour de France was held in France also in the United Kingdom and Belgium.

Anti-Vietnam War Protests during 1965 – 1973 comprised domestic and international reaction in opposition to U.S. policy during the Vietnam War and during the four years following passage of the Tonkin Gulf resolution (Aug., 1964), which authorized U.S. military action in Southeast Asia, the American air war intensified and troop levels climbed to over 500,000.

Each player starts with fifteen chequers in the game of backgammon.

The BBC coat of arms, adopted in 1927, uses heraldic symbols to depict the various qualities of broadcasting and features the BBC motto, Nation shall speak peace unto Nation.

The sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the 2010 novel written by Salman Rushdie Luka and the Fire of Life tells of Luka Khalifa, the protagonist of the book, a twelve-year-old left-handed boy, who goes on a quest to save his dying father.

A flam is a drum stroke in which one stick hits the drum just before the other played very close together in order to sound like one slightly longer note.

Quotables 07 August



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trivia Bits 06 August


  Chess Broadway Poster

The 1980’s hit song One Night in Bangkok was by the British actor and singer Murray Head (verses) and Swedish singer and songwriter Anders Glenmark (choruses) on the 1984 concept album for the musical Chess (Broadway poster pictured) with music composed by former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and lyrics by Tim Rice and Ulvaeus.

A woman in her twenties with a photographic memory and poor social skills, Lisbeth Salander, is one of the main characters in the three book series Millennium by Swedish author Steig Larsson with the three novels better known as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005), The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2007).

The American's Creed was written by William Tyler Page in 1917 as an entry into a patriotic contest, and was adopted as a resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives April 3, 1918.

In 1931, The Exile became the first African American talking film, a semi-autobiographical film about a Black rancher in South Dakota, with elements of interracial romance and some nightclub scenes set in Chicago.

The social media of Facebook secretly undertook in 2012 an emotional experiment on some its users unbeknown to the users.

American pop/rock band The Monkees who were formed in Los Angeles in 1965 by Robert "Bob" Rafelson and Bert Schneider for the American television series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968, the musical acting quartet was composed of Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Englishman Davy Jones.

Isaac Newton was so unhappy with the 1707 publication of his Arithmetica Universalis, he considered buying all the copies of the first edition so he could destroy them.

Essos is the fictional continent featured in the TV series Game of Thrones with much of the fictional history of Essos relating to Valyria, a city located on a peninsula in southern Essos and the origin of House Targaryen.

Wai-Wai is a popular noodle-like snack in Nepal, Sikkim and in northern parts of West Bengal.

Quotables 06 August



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 August


Bettye Lavette Souvenirs 

American soul singer Bettye Lavette's album Souvenirs (cover pictured) was recorded in 1972, but was shelved by Atlantic Records until a French music collector discovered it and released it in 2000, sparking a continuing surge of interest in the singer

The Amazonian Guard was an unofficial name given by Western journalists to an all-female elite cadre of bodyguards officially known as The Revolutionary Nuns tasked with protecting the former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.

In July 1864, an Australian poet, jockey and politician Adam Lindsay Gordon made a famous horseback leap over an old post and rail guard onto a narrow ledge overlooking a the Blue Lake in Mt Gambier, South Australia.

South African born Australian novelist Bryce Courtney’s fictionalised historical novel The Potato Factory was first published in1995 and has been the subject of some controversy regarding its historical accuracy and its portrayal of Jewish characters.

Composed in 1946–1948, Sonatas and Interludes is a collection of twenty compositions of 20th Century composer John Cage who was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist for a prepared piano which is a piano that has had its sound altered by placing objects (preparations) between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers.

A lehr is a temperature-controlled kiln for annealing objects made of glass in which glass is slowly cooled to relieve internal stresses after it was formed.

On Nelsons Column in London, the Corinthian capital is made of bronze elements, cast from cannon salvaged from the wreck of HMS Royal George launched on 18 February 1756 and was the largest warship in the world at the time of launching.

The loop, the whorl and the arch are the three basic principal ridge shapes of a fingerprint.

The 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist Temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia and has a main dome, located at the centre of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa.

In 2003, The J.M. Smucker Co. was granted an US patent on a sealed crustless sandwich, a type of peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it is often used as an example of a frivolous patent

Quotables 05 August



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Trivia Bits 04 August


 The Wind in the Willows Cover

First published in 1908, the classic children’s novel by Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows (cover pictured) features the characters Mr Badger and Mr Toad as two of the on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of England.

The US tennis player who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in 1994 was Lithuanian American professional, Vitas Gerulaitis.

Established in 1968, The Gombe Stream National Park, home to British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall’s chimpanzee reserve, is located in the African country of Tanzania.

In English law, a dictum is any statement made as part of a judgment of a court.

The volcano Mount Teide with a 3,718-metre/12,198 ft summit is the highest point in Spain located on the island of Teneriffe in the Canary Islands.

With music by Henry Purcell and a libretto by John Dryden, the 1691 opera King Arthur is unusual because the principal characters do not sing, rather they recite dialogue accompanied by music.

Idris also known as King Idris I of Libya was the first and only king of Libya, reigning from 1951 to 1969, and the Chief of the Senussi Muslim order but while in Turkey for medical treatment, Idris was deposed in a 1969 coup d'etat by army officers led by Muammar Gaddafi.

American poet, journalist, and short-story writer Djuna Barnes wrote The Book of Repulsive Women an illustrated volume of poetry in 1915.

The Great Sphinx is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx, a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head, that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.

Providing horses to U.S. Army units as late as 1945, between 450 and 500 stallions owned by the U.S. Army Remount Service bred with over 11,000 civilian-owned mares, producing 7,293 foals.

Quotables 04 August



Monday, August 3, 2015

Trivia Bits 03 August


Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Rainbow nation is a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pictured) to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa's first fully democratic election in 1994 and was intended to encapsulate the unity of multi-culturalism and the coming-together of people of many different nations, in a country once identified with the strict division of white and black.

While Aleksandra Pakhmutova composed pieces for the symphony orchestra and a ballet, her fame in the former Soviet Union rests primarily on 400 songs she composed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Released on the 1980 album Double Fantasy, the John Lennon song Beautiful Boy features the lines Every day in every way/It's getting better and better inspired by the mantra of French psychologist Émile Coué.

British businessman John King was Chairman of British Airways from 1981 and was successfully sued by Richard Branson in 1992 for libel as a result of BA's dirty tricks against Virgin Atlantic.

Drawing heavily on the writing of Edward Grim, a clerk who was an eyewitness to the event, Murder in the Cathedral is a verse drama by T. S. Eliot that portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, first performed in 1935.

The iris of the eye was named after the Greek goddess who was the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods – Iris.

Martini: A Memoir is a book by the Australian writer Frank Moorhouse and is part autobiography, part history of the martini, the book's minimal plot involves deep conversations about the cocktail between the author and his martini-obsessed friend, V.I. Voltz.

Written in 1959 by Leiber and Stoller and originally sung by The Clovers, Love Potion No 9, has inspired many subsequent performances, a film of the same name and multiple references in popular culture.

Aphids, also known as plant lice, are small sap-sucking insects that are distributed worldwide, but are most common in temperate zones.

Coffee as a medicine reached its highest and lowest point in the 1600's in England when wild medical contraptions to administer a mixture of coffee and an assortment of heated butter, honey, and oil, became treatments for the sick but tea soon replaced coffee as the national beverage.

Quotables 03 August



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Trivia Bits 02 August


Amy Poehler

American actress and comedian Amy Poehler (pictured) joined the cast of Saturday Night Live the American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show in 2001.

Published in the 1955 collection Child with a Cockatoo and other Poems, Detail from an Annunciation by Crivelli is by Australian poet Rosemary Dobson and recounts the Annunciation form the point of view of a child hiding above the stairs.

Her father is generally given as Inachus, a river god, Io was, in Greek mythology, a priestess of Hera in Argos, a nymph who was seduced by Zeus and then changed her into a heifer to escape detection.

Held on September 15, 1974, the Bulldozer Exhibition received its name because the Soviet authorities used bulldozers and water cannon to disperse the spectators and destroy the paintings of the participating Moscow nonconformist artists from the venue on a vacant lot in the Belyayevo urban forest.

With Riga as its capital, Latvia was conquered and Christianised by the Linovian Knights in the 13th Century.

In Greek mythology, Hero was visited by Leander, her lover, every night until her guiding light was blown out in a storm and Leander died swimming the Hellespont.

Built in late 1830 and opened in 1831 and originally intended as a prison with eight cells and a jailer's residence all opening onto a central courtyard The Round House at Arthur Head in Fremantle was the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony and is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia.

A small tree frog found in Europe, Asia and part of Africa have been used as barometers because they respond to approaching rain by croaking.

With the atomic number 39, Yttrium is a chemical element with symbol Y and is a silvery-metallic transition metal which has often been classified as a rare earth element.

Kurdistan is a geo-cultural region that is situated in the four countries of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population, and Kurdish culture, language, and national identity have historically been based.

Quotables 02 August