Saturday, October 10, 2015

Movie Review ... The Walk


The Walk posterThe standard joke question people have often asked daredevil adventurers is “why did you do it?”  Their answer has usually been “Because it was there!”  The same could be said for ‘The Walk’.  Charting one man’s obsession to walk a tightrope between the Twin towers of the World Trade Centre in 1974, one at least has to admire his bravery.  Those suffering from vertigo may have a tough time watching but the experience provides a modicum of the rush the walker felt all those years ago.

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a man on a mission.  A high-wire artist looking for new challenges, one he finds with the World Trade Centre towers.  Determined to walk between them, he enlists the support of his friends including mentor Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley).  Facing a myriad of physical and personal challenges Philippe’s quest tests his resolve.  The final outcome awaits his skills and a fame he never imagined.

‘The Walk’ perfectly encapsulates Robert Zemeckis’ directorial style.  Wanting to bring his viewers into his character’s feats, he successfully does so here. Although the story is the usual ‘fight against adversity’ obstacle course, ‘The Walk’ dazzles in its white-knuckle visuals.  The walk between the towers is of course the film’s centrepiece and it delivers in spades.  This scaredy cat reviewer gripped the cinema seats very tight as Petit walked an amazing height.

None of this would work without becoming involved in Petit’s mission which we do easily because of Gordon-Levitt’s stoic performance as the determined artist.  At times brave, strong and just plain crazy, facets well imagined in Gordon-Levitt’s hands.  Kudos also goes to the CGI boffins who conjure the gravity defying visions superbly.  You really feel you are with Petit every step of the way as he creates history with every step.

The most positive movie featuring the former twin towers since 2001, ‘The Walk’ almost becomes an ode to it.  Whilst its’ tragic demise will never forgotten ‘The Walk’ ensures it becomes a symbol of what can be achieved and the tenacity of the human spirit.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

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.

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Movie Review ... Black Mass


Black Mass posterCrime may never pay but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from cashing in.  ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Sopranos’ are amongst the many popular mainstays.  Having intricate relationships between gangs in common, those works set a benchmark in exploration of mob culture.  ‘Black Mass’ gamely tries to add its own take.  As gritty as its predecessors, it doesn’t add anything new but has enough rough sheen to prove why such movies continue to be enduring.

John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) and James Bulger (Johnny Depp) have grown up on Boston’s mean streets.  Becoming an FBI agent, John reunites with is child-hood friend in an unexpected way.  Head of the Irish mafia, James is a dangerous criminal on the FBI’s most wanted lists.  Lethal in his dealings, James catches the ire of the Italian mob.  Caught in the deadly cross-fire, John must choose between personal sentiment and career loyalty in order to take James down.

Directed with raw finesse by Scott Cooper, ‘Black Mass’ is gripping mostly due to Depp’s intensely menacing performance.  Using his deep blue eyes almost as an intimidating weapon, Bulger’s reign of terror knew no bounds.  His violent, psychotic actions take on new dimensions knowing the film is based on true events.  How he manipulated those around him, including his supposed close friends, give ‘Black Mass’ a strong spine in which to carry its story.

Edgerton is fine too as Bulger’s mis-guided friend caught in his web.  The quality of his acting matches those of his co-stars who successfully conjure the era in which ‘Black Mass’ is set.  Whilst there are moments of predictability given the familiar material, Depp’s magnetic characterisation and general authenticity provide engagement.  Hardly a frame is wasted which is a credit to Cooper’s wish in allowing his characters drive the story than simply having endlessly violent action.

‘Black Mass’ is full of the shady crime that devotees should admire.  Often disturbing and ugly but that’s the point of a film purporting to be presenting facts.  It does this well with the prospect of more crime movies like this one as certain as the ongoing vicious nature of crime itself.

Black Mass 0987t

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.

Official HomePage click HERE



Trivia Bits 10 October

One of the surviving records of the life of Andrea da Firenze, a 14th-century Florentine composer, is a receipt for wine he consumed in the three days it took to tune a newly-built organ.
As at 2015, the most famous person to represent Equatorial Guinea at a Summer Olympics is Eric Moussambani who was nicknamed Eric the Eel when he won brief international fame at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics when he swam his heat of the 100 m freestyle in 1:52.72 was more than twice that of his faster competitors.
Novercaphobia is the morbid fear of one’s stepmother.
Played by American actor Eric Millegan, Dr Zack Addy, professional forensic anthropologist, is one of the main characters in the 2005 American crime comedy-drama TV series Bones.
Lending its name to a twin, a cat and fighting fish was the former Asian country of Siam which on June 23, 1939 was renamed Thailand.
Australian electronica musician Chet Faker won the Australian Triple j Hottest 100 of 2014 with his song Talk is Cheap.
From the Latin apis meaning bee, an apiarist is a person who keeps honey bees.
American actress Susan Oliver, after surviving 1959 aviation event that left her with a fear of flying, in 1967 became the fourth woman to fly a single-engined aircraft solo from New York City across the Atlantic Ocean.
Yeonpyeongdo is a disputed group of islands between South Korea and North Korea which lie near the Northern Limit Line and are only 12 km (7.5 mi) from the North Korean coastline.

Quotables 10 October



Friday, October 9, 2015

Trivia Bits 09 October



The Yellowhammer (pictured) is a type of bird in the bunting family that is native to Eurasia, introduced to New Zealand and the conspicuous yellow bird has inspired poems by Robbie Burns and John Clare, and its characteristic song has influenced works by Beethoven and Messiaen.

The capital city of the south-eastern European country of Albania is Tirana which became Albania’s capital city in 1920.

The landlocked country in Central Africa of Chad gained independence from France in 1960 and currently has a serious problem in the country of poaching, particularly of elephants for the profitable ivory industry and a threat to lives of rangers even in the national parks such as Zakouma.

Founded on 17 February 1936, the last commercial flight by Ansett Australia was in 2001 after the airline was placed into administration in 2001 after suffering financial collapse.

Austrian born Arnold Schwarzenegger was the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011 and served two terms as a Republican in office.

Added to the Olympic program for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Skeleton is a fast winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down (prone).

In southern Spain, The Torre del Oro, a watchtower constructed in the 13th century by the Almohad dynasty, protected the entrance to Seville's port with a large chain that stretched underwater from the tower's base across the river to stop unwanted ships.

Published in 1916 Salt-Water Poems and Ballads is a book of poetry on themes of seafaring and maritime history including Sea-Fever and Cargoes, two of the best known poems by John Masefield, an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967.

Beginning with the line People, wasting away in paradise is Midnight Oil’s song Power and the Passion from their 1982 album 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and includes a drum solo by Rob Hirst being the only studio recording by Midnight Oil to feature a drum solo.

Amantaní, an island on Lake Titicaca, is also known as the Island of the Kantuta, the national flower of Peru and Bolivia.

Quotables 09 October



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Trivia Bits 08 October


  Black to Black

In 2006, Amy Winehouse released the album Black to Black (covered pictured) and led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the general field "Big Four" awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Despite being a major hurricane at landfall, 1999's Hurricane Bret only did minor damage because it hit a sparsely-inhabited area of Texas and Mexico

The Wife of Bath’s Tale was written by 14th century author Geoffrey Chaucer and is among the best-known of Canterbury Tales providing insight into the role of women in the Late Middle Ages.

First used for motor sports in 1912, World famous Bonneville Speedway is located in an area of the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah and is particularly noted as the venue for numerous land speed records.

Played by Michael Emerson, Harold Finch, a reclusive, security conscious and intensely private billionaire software engineer, is one of the main characters in the 2011 premiering American crime drama television series Person of Interest.

If standing in McMurdo Station, you would be in the continent of Antarctica and is an U.S. Antarctic research centre located on the southern tip of Ross Island.

Starting with the line I threw a wish in the well was the 2012 hit song Call Me Maybe recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen for her 2012 EP Curiosity and appearing on her international debut album, Kiss.

There are 500 sheets of paper in a ream and is a quantity of sheets of the same size and quality with International standards organizations define the ream as 500 identical sheets.

George William Jorgensen Jnr is best known for having surgery in 1951 known as Sex Reassignment Surgery in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was an American trans-woman to be known as Christine Jorgensen who worked as an actress and nightclub entertainer, and recorded several songs.

pigs in rundle mall

The four life-size bronze pigs (three pictured) in Rundle Mall, Adelaide are named Truffles, Horatio, Oliver and Augusta and were unveiled in the Mall on 3 July 1999 after a public competition was run to name the pigs.

Hatay Province, a province in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast, is a disputed territory between Turkey and Syria.

Quotables 08 October



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trivia Bits 07 October


Nikita Khrushchev 

Nikita Khrushchev (pictured) was leading the Soviet Union through the Cuban Missile Crisis which was a 13-day, October 14–28, 1962, confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union over Soviet ballistic missiles deployed in Cuba.

Actor Bill Murray won a Golden Globe for his performance in the movie Lost in Translation a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola and revolves around an aging actor named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a recent college graduate named Charlotte (Scarlet Johansson) who develop a rapport after a chance meeting in a Tokyo hotel.

The pen name of English author Eric Arthur Blair was George Orwell who is perhaps best known for his 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and the 1945 allegorical novella Animal Farm.

Leonardo da Vinci, full name Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, died at Clos Lucé, a small château in the city of Amboise, France, on 2 May 1519 and was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d'Amboise, in France.

Canadian actress Melissa McIntyre, best known for her role in the 2001 series Degrassi: The Next Generation made her television debut in the 1997 series, Timesweep, in which she played an extraterrestial being.

The Cayman Trough is the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and this relatively narrow trough trends east-northeast to west-southwest and has a maximum depth of 7,686 metres/25,217 ft.

The lead singer of the 1995 formed English soul and pop band Simply Red was Mick Hucknall who, by the time the band was disbanded in 2010, was the only original member left.

Taking place in 1943 on the Eastern Front of the World War 2, the Battle of the Lower Dnieper is considered to be one of the largest battles in world history, involving almost 4,000,000 men on both sides and stretching on a front 1,400 kilometres wide.

The aurochs are an extinct type of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa and are the ancestor of domestic cattle.

In June 2014, the original hand-written lyrics of the Bob Dylan song Like a Rollingstone sold at an auction for $US2 million.

Quotables 07 October



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Trivia Bits 06 October


The School of Athens

The School of Athens (pictured) is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael and is one of the most famous frescoes painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Charlie’s surname in the 1964 children's book by British author Roald Dahl Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is Bucket.

The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland and also of Liechtenstein.

Dr Seuss’ character Horton is an elephant that features in the children’s Horton Hears a Who! (1954) which was adapted into the 2008 movie Horton Hears a Who! directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino.

The Triple Entente was the alliance linking the Russian Empire, the French Third Republic, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente on August 31, 1907 as a counterbalance to the alliance between Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy.

The Christmas carol Carol of the Bells was originally a Ukrainian New Year's carol called Shchedryk arranged by composer and teacher Mykola Leontovych in 1916 and adapted as the English Christmas carol by Peter J. Wilhousky following a performance of the original song by Alexander Koshetz's Ukrainian National Chorus at Carnegie Hall on October 5, 1921.

Either a precious stone or a printing type of a size between nonpareil and minion is an emerald.

Children’s novel by acclaimed Australian author Tim Winton’s The Bugalugs Bum Thief was first published in 1991 and is a comedic mystery story about Skeeta Anderson who woke up one morning, he found his bum was gone.

The official language of Nigeria is English but also has the major languages of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, the three largest of the over 500 ethnic groups in Nigeria.

A royal could be a flush in cards, a jelly as in a honey bee secretion or a hard white icing on biscuits or cakes.

Quotables 06 October



Monday, October 5, 2015

Trivia Bits 05 October


Elizabeth Montgomery 022

Bewitched actress Elizabeth Montgomery made (pictured) her acting debut as a regular on her father's popular series Robert Montgomery Presents in 1952.  

Landlocked country in Eastern Europe, Belarus declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

The Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom is an honorary position that entails no specific duties, although there is an expectation that the holder will write verse for significant national occasions with an annual honorarium provided, approximately £5,760 and also traditionally rewarded with a butt of canary or sack, approximately 477 litres (105 imperial gallons), of sherry.

American singer and Broadway actress, Maureen McGovern was a secretary before she was signed to perform the Academy Award-winning song The Morning After from the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure.

Peter the Great was the principal editor of the Vedomosti, the first newspaper printed in Russia and was first issue appeared on 2 January 1703.

Mach number is a dimensionless quantity representing the ratio of speed of an object moving through a fluid and the local speed of sound.

Located in southern Siberia, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal which is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two-thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

In the 1588 confrontation between the Spanish Armada and the English Royal Navy, both sides mostly galleons which were large, multi-decked sailing ships.

With a name that has become synonymous with being a yes man, the classic literature character Uriah Heep was created by Charles Dickens in his novel David Copperfield, first published as a book in 1850.

In 1995, U2 had a hit with the single Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me from the Batman Forever soundtrack album and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, losing to Colours of the Wind for Pocahontas.

Quotables 05 October



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trivia Bits 04 October


Singer Sewing Machine 1851

American inventor, actor, and entrepreneur Isaac Merrit Singer is best known for his success with the Sewing Machine (pictured) and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company first established as I. M. Singer & Co. in 1851.

St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral is the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Adelaide, South Australia with foundation stone laid in 1856, construction of the tower began in 1887, however, was not completed until 1996.

Originally appearing in several of Studdy’s sketches in 1922 in The Sketch magazine, British artist George E. Studdy was a best remembered for his creation of Bonzo the dog, a fictional character.

Winning the Booker Prize in 1997, The God of Small Things is the debut novel of Indian writer Arundhati Roy and in 2013, Talkhiyan a Pakistani serial aired on Express Entertainment was based on this novel.

Cribbage is a card game traditionally for two players, but commonly played with three, four, or more, that involves playing and grouping cards in combinations which gain points and is thought cribbage was created by the English poet Sir John Suckling in the early 17th century.

Actor Kevin Bacon set up charity site launched on January 18, 2007.

A small space comprising several tiny chapels located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini in Rome, Italy, known as The Capuchin Crypt contains the skeletal remains of 3,700 bodies believed to be Capuchin friars buried by their order.

Commemorating the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet, the International Dance Day has been celebrated on April 29 since 1982.

Stinking Bishop, Harovin Sundown and Perry are all types of pears with some species of pear valued for their edible fruit, while others are cultivated as ornamental trees.

A lustrum is a term for a five-year period in Ancient Rome that came to refer to the five-year inter-census period.

Quotables 04 October