Saturday, August 29, 2015

Movie Review ... The Gift



The Gift posterA good thriller should creep up on you.  It doesn’t have to be filled with violence but a level of suspense refusing to surrender.  Those from famed director Alfred Hitchcock such as ‘Psycho’ and ‘North by Northwest’ still linger in the memory.  ‘The Gift’ deftly borrows from Hitchcock’s malevolent handbook.  Full of tension and sinister occurrences, ‘The Gift’ has a low-key feel hiding a dark, terrifying heart.

Married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are starting a new life.  Moving into a new house and job, they look forward to the future.  Dark clouds gather when Simon unexpectedly meets old school acquaintance Gordon (Joel Edgerton) who carries secrets threatening to unravel their lives.  As Gordon slowly integrates himself into their existence, the past’s deadly spectre looms large like a voice from the grave.

An unsettling and atmospheric piece, ‘The Gift’ is an excellent thriller.  Delivering on its promise of an intense physiological mystery, all credit goes to writer, director and star Edgerton.  Careful to never over-reach the clich├ęs his creepy character could have shown, his under-stated performance intrigues.  Crafting a compelling narrative and authentic scares from his taut screenplay, Edgerton ensures audiences are kept guessing.  Predictability isn’t something ‘The Gift’ has, discarding the conventions of the genre in a twist-driven tale leading to a shocking finale.

It isn’t all Edgerton’s show as Bateman and Hall deliver very strong performances.  You are never quite sure where their characters will end up, with the actors embracing the script’s complexities.  Their paranoia at Gordon’s activities is understandable although the slowly emerging secrets make for delicious viewing.  Just when the story goes one way it ends up elsewhere, with just one element changing things.  This marks ‘The Gift’ as one of the smarter and adventurous films made recently.

Anyone looking for a well-made thriller can look no further than ‘The Gift’.  Captivating from its first frame, it marks Edgerton’s directorial debut a success with his future endeavours eagerly awaited.

The Gift 6stre4

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  9

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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Monday, August 24, 2015

On Leave


stand by 65

I am on a week’s leave.

See you next week just in time for Spring in Australia.



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Trivia Bits 23 August


Porky Pig

Known for the line Th-Th-Th-T-Th ... That’s All Folks was Porky Pig (pictured) an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, known as Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine with her 1842–43 notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine and because of this, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

In South Australia, the six o’clock swill or the closure of hotel bars serving alcohol stopped during 1967 when the closure was extended to 10 pm.

The Mojave Desert in the United States crosses four states - California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona and whose boundaries are generally defined by the presence of Yucca brevifolia, Joshua trees, considered an indicator species for this desert.

The 1955 painting Police Gazette was painted by Dutch American abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning and is a landscape painted on canvas using abstract elements, and colours such as yellow, green and red that is currently in a private collection.

The tiny municipality of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, Quebec was set up in 1722 to protect its only occupant, a hospital, from taxes.

Five-time Gold Logie winning Australian television journalist and entertainment personality Ray Martin was born Raymond George Grace into an Irish-Australian Catholic family in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia, the youngest of four children and only son who in the early 1990s found out that his great, great grandmother was an Indigenous Australian woman from the Kamilaroi nation, near Gunnedah.

Founded in September 25, 1928, Motorola was the company in 1973 to produce and first publicised hand held mobile phone.

Australian actress, singer and film producer Nicole Kidman was born in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were temporarily in the United States on educational visas.

A national junta in the name of Ferdinand was formed on 18 September 1810 with the Government Junta of Chile proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy and in memory of this day Chile celebrates its National Day on 18 September each year.

Quotables 23 August