Saturday, October 17, 2015

Movie Review ... Legend


Legend posterIn the 1950’s and ‘60’s Ronnie and Reggie Kray ruled the London underworld with an iron fist.  Their ‘legendary’ status turned them into anti-heroes.  Even today their fame has spread via books, TV and film.  Some may recall the 1990 movie featuring the Kemp brothers from Spandau Ballet as the dastardly duo.  ‘Legend’ covers much of the same ground without impact.  Whilst competently made, it fails to have the gritty fire such a biopic on tough criminals should.

Reggie and Ronnie Kray (Tom Hardy) have turned into one of London’s feared gangsters.  Owning several establishments by which to fund their illegal activities, all seems to go well.  All soon comes unstuck due to Ronnie’s unstable nature.  A loose cannon of the highest order, nothing stops his deranged behaviour.  When Reggie meets local girl Frances (Emily Browning) matters become worse, much to the delight of pursuing detective Leonard Read (Christopher Eccleston).

‘Legend’ isn’t a bad movie but it isn’t a memorable one either.  Much of the fault lies in its direction.  Under the gaze of director Brian Helgeland, ‘Legend’ frequently stops at a standstill.  Whilst occasional flashes of raw energy are seen, ‘Legend’ plays almost like a romantic film as it mostly concentrates on Reggie’s relationship with Frances.  When focussing on his bond with Ronnie, ‘Legend’ becomes more interesting, as is the addictive allure of crime which Reggie can’t escape.

Everything would have failed had it not been for Hardy’s performance.  Whilst the Krays are depicted more as caricatures than authentic people, Hardy provides much fiery flair.  He successfully ensures his dual roles are seen as separate entities.  This goes in some way to compensate for the somewhat fanciful nature of the script with the mix of humour and drama not working.  The production design and soundtrack as suitably catchy but ‘Legend’ is a generally hit and miss affair.

Crime may well never pay but it ensures fame, or infamy, will endure.  Countless hours of films have been spent examining the Krays over the decades although ‘Legend’ is a more forgettable effort despite the talents of its strong lead.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

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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Movie Review ... Crimson Peak


Crimson Peak posterA good horror film generates effective atmosphere.  It shouldn’t rely on CGI pyrotechnics for scares but create the illusion of looming terror.  Those who have done so have lasted the distance.  ‘Crimson Peak’ mostly fits this bill.  Helmed by renowned fantasy director Guillermo del Toro, it adds another bright creative mark on his cinematic ledger.  Crafting an enduringly chilling mood, this gothic horror confection has plenty of spooky substance within its stylishly frightful vistas.

Moving into an old mansion in the late 19th Century, newlyweds Edith (Mia Wasikowska) and Sir Thomas (Tom Hiddleston) seem a good match.  Although having a sense of foreboding about her new residence, Edith tries to settle in.  When meeting Sir Thomas’s sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) Edith soon realises all is not as it seems. With the help of friend Dr. Alan (Charlie Hunnam), Edith discovers a terror filled house whose secrets her new husband tries to protect at their peril.

Crimson Peak’ finds del Toro in his indulgent element.  This isn’t a bad thing as his dark visuals always sparkle.  Whilst the meandering story is somewhat predictable with certain ghost-story motifs evident, ‘Crimson Peak’ is never less than an eye-catching experience.  Perhaps this is the point as del Toro’s direction occasionally sidelines the plot in favour of showing off his amazingly rendered sets.  This makes it difficult to remain involved in his character’s actions although one can’t deny del Toro’s gifted film-making techniques.

The production design enlivens the performances.  Of the main trio, Chastain stands out with her sinister role hitting the right note.  She acts well against the CGI which thankfully isn’t over-used.  ‘Crimson Peak’ exists for the experience and look rather dazzling CGI, even if it’s top-notch.  The period setting successfully adds to the flavour of mystery and suspense.  The costumers go all out in providing great outfits for everyone to wear with the music score aiding the conjuring of the era.

Although the story isn’t anything remarkable, ‘Crimson Peak’ is undeniably a visual treat.  Managing some genuine scares amidst its bleakly gothic trappings, it mostly achieves a horror film’s aims in staying with you long after the lights come up.

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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 17 October


Sixto Rodriguez 

2012 Swedish–British documentary film of a South African cultural phenomenon Searching for Sugar Man is about whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez (pictured) was true and, if not, to discover what had become of him.

Man of the World was a 1962 - 1963 British television drama series starring Craig Stevens as a world-renowned photographer, Michael Strait, with the series' theme music by Henry Mancini.

Austrian-born American Arnold Schwarzenegger was first elected the 38th Governor of California in 2003 with Schwarzenegger dubbed the "Governator", referring to The Terminator movies, and "The Running Man" (the name of another one of his films), and calling the election the recall election from Total Recall.

The term Cicisbei refers to legal and generally respected companions and often lovers of married women in eighteenth-century Italy especially amongst the nobility and often with the knowledge and consent of the husband.

American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh is credited with having discovered the dwarf planet of Pluto in 1930 with the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt.

Noted for its bilby breeding programme, the Currawinya National Park is near Hungerford in South West Queensland 828 km west of Brisbane.

Northern Exposure is an American television series that ran from 1990 to 1995, with a total of 110 episodes dealing with a New York physician, Dr. Joel Fleischman played by American actor Rob Morrow, who is sent to practice in the (fictional) town of Cicely, Alaska. Early episodes dealt with Fleischman's culture shock in the small town and as he became acclimated, more attention was paid to the town's quirky residents.

From Latin ablutere to wash off, ablutophobia is the persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning.

The second human spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, Apollo 8 Mission launched on December 21, 1968 was the first to orbit the moon.

According to the Old Testament, Kind David’s favourite son was Absalom, described as the most handsome man in the kingdom, killed Amnon for raping his sister Tamar.

Quotables 17 October



Friday, October 16, 2015

Trivia Bits 16 October


Mark Spitz 

Representing the US in swimming, Mark Spitz (pictured) won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics at Munich.

The 1955 play View From The Bridge was written by American playwright Arthur Miller and debuted as a one-act verse drama with A Memory of Two Mondays at the Coronet Theatre on Broadway, but was re-written into the current two act play which premièred in the New Watergate theatre club in London's West End on October 11, 1956.

The traditional New Orleans Hurricane Cocktail is a sweet alcoholic drink made with rum and fruit juice, syrup, or grenadine.

Cavenagh Bridge, a suspension bridge in Singapore that crosses the Singapore River in Downtown Core, Singapore, was originally designed as a drawbridge but on its completion in 1869 was found to be suitable only as a fixed structure, and is now a pedestrian bridge.

The only Central American country to have English as its official language is Belize though Belizean Creole (Kriol) and Spanish are also commonly spoken.

Stop! In the Name of Love is a 1965 number 1 pop single recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label, written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, and apparently emerged from an argument the songwriter had with his girlfriend

South Australian coastal town on Eyre Peninsula, Elliston, was named in November 1878 after Elle Liston, a governess on Nilkerloo Station

The Uruguayan Invasion was a musical phenomenon of the 1960s distinctly similar to the British Invasion, with rock bands from Uruguay rapidly gaining popularity in Argentina.

With headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.

In Germany, the season of spring is known as frühling.

Quotables 16 October



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Trivia Bits 15 October


Jean Shrimpton 

English model and actress Jean Shrimpton caused a fashion sensation in 1965 at the Melbourne Cup when she arrived wearing a white shift dress made by Colin Rolfe which ended 10 cm/3.9 in above her knees.

The 2014 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film Big Hero 6 was set in the futuristic fictional city of San Fransokyo and was the first Disney animated film to feature Marvel Comics characters, whose parent company was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2009.

Angus Andrews is the singer/guitarist of US band Liars, a three-piece band formed in 2000 combining elements of punk-rock with electronic.

Australian Alisa Camplin won a gold medal in Freestyle Skiing Aerials at the 2002 Winter Olympics held in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.

On 29 May 1919 at the end of World War I the British Cabinet decided to give Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and India each 100 aircraft, plus replacements for aircraft donated by these countries to Britain during the war, as an Imperial Gift and these aircraft formed the core of newly established air forces in the respective countries.

Released in 1982, Rock the Casbah by English punk rock band The Clash was inspired by the ban on western music in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

First published as a serial, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was first novel of Irish writer James Joyce published on 29 December 1916 tracing the intellectual and religio-philosophical awakening of young Stephen Dedalus, a fictional alter ego of Joyce and an allusion to Daedalus, the consummate craftsman of Greek mythology.

The most familiar icon of Inca civilization Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472) and is located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level.

The four colours on the flag of Eritrea are gold, red, blue and green with the green colour in the flag stands for the agriculture and livestock of the country, the blue stands for the sea, and the red for the blood lost in the fight for freedom and in the red triangle, a gold wreath symbol with 15 leaves on each side to symbolise the number of years spent in civil war before achieving independence.

Permanent-crease trousers were invented by Dr Arthur Farnsworth of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in 1957.

Quotables 15 October



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Trivia Bits 14 October


 Ernie's Work of Art

Of the hundreds of Sesame Street picture books illustrated, a 1979 children's book written by Valjean McLenighan and illustrated by Joe Mathieu, Ernie's Work of Art (pictured) is one of the few with voice bubbles.

In Greek mythology, Rhea was the mother of Zeus.

Car manufacturer Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) was founded in Italy in 1899 by a group of investors, including Giovanni Agnelli and during its more than century-long history, Fiat has also manufactured railway engines and carriages, military vehicles, farm tractors, and aircraft.

The largest muscle in the human body is the gluteus maximus which makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the hips with its most powerful action is to cause the body to regain the erect position after stooping.

Adjustable gastric banding, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band commonly called a lap-band, is a form of weight loss surgery which does not cut into or remove any part of the digestive system and was first used at the end of the 1970's.

Although the refrain to Neil Diamond’s classic song Sweet Caroline, released as a single on September 16, 1969, is well known the lesser known opening lines are Where it began, I can’t begin to knowin’.

Formed in 1901, the City of London Yeomanry was a regiment of the British Territorial Army which served at various times as a cavalry, infantry, artillery, anti-aircraft, and armoured unit, and in 2009, merged with The Essex Yeomanry to form The Inns of Court & City and Essex Yeomanry (ICCEY).

Australian singer Delta Goodrem released in 2004 the single Out of the Blue from her second album Mistaken Identity released in Australia on 8 November 2004, a day before Goodrem's twentieth birthday.

Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes, born in 1485 in Medellin, Spain, initially studied law but left university to sail in 1504 for Santo Domingo to make fortunes in the Americas.

Beards are the fastest growing hairs on the human body and if the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime.

Quotables 14 October



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Trivia Bits 13 October



Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira (pictured) released the album Laundry Service on 13 November 2001 by Epic Records and is her first album to be primarily recorded in English.

Cirrhosis affects the liver such that it does not function properly due to long-term damage and most commonly caused by alcohol, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

I’m the party pooper is said by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1990 American comedy film Kindergarten Cop and tells of a tough Detective John Kimble (Schwarzenegger) who must go undercover and pose as a kindergarten teacher to catch drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson), before he can get to his ex-wife and son.

The March 1915 Battle of Neuve-Chapelle, northern France, in World War I led to the Shell Crisis of 1915 and the re-organisation of the British economy into a war machine.

The 1997 French-American surrealist psychological thriller film Lost Highway was written and directed by David Lynch featuring Bill Pullman as a man convicted of the murder of his wife (Patricia Arquette), after which he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life and in 2003, the film was adapted into an opera.

Colonial power Portugal ruled Macau as the last remaining European colony in Asia until sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999.

Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II both had a working relationship with Richard Rodgers in the writing of many famous songs with Lorenz Hart in 1938 This Can't Be Love, Falling in Love with Love, in 1940 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, and with Oscar Hammerstein II in 1947 If I Loved You, You'll Never Walk Alone and in 1959 Climb Ev'ry Mountain and Edelweiss the last song that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together.

Mount Gambier is the second most populous city in South Australia.

Published between 1940 and 1970, Strangers and Brothers is a series of novels by C. P. Snow, with all eleven novels in the series narrated by the character Lewis Eliot with the series follows his life and career from humble beginnings in an English provincial town, to reasonably successful London lawyer, to Cambridge don, to wartime service in Whitehall, to senior civil servant and finally retirement.

Rhodophobia is the fear of the colour red.

Quotables 13 October



Monday, October 12, 2015

Trivia Bits 12 October


 USS Alligator

Brutus de Villeroi was a French engineer who created the USS Alligator (pictured) , the U.S. Navy's first submarine, in 1862.

In Australian politics, the phrase please explain is associated with Pauline Hanson, former leader of One Nation, a right-wing political party with a populist, conservative and anti-multiculturalism platform in the mid 1990’s.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, East Rennell the southern portion of Rennell Island, the world’s largest raised coral atoll, is part of the Oceanic country of the Solomon Islands.

In 2010, Stephen King released a collection of four novellas title Full Dark, No Stars all dealing with the theme of retribution and the collection won the 2010 Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection and was nominated for the 2011 British Fantasy Award for Best Collection.

Making her debut in a feature film was Emma Stone in the 2007 American teen comedy film Superbad starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera and was written by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen during their teen years and is loosely based on their own experience as seniors in Vancouver in the late 1990s, hence the character names Seth and Evan.

Bozeman, Montana, is home to two breweries, the Bozeman Brewery Historic District, built in 1895, and Spieth and Krug Brewery, built in 1882, both are listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places.

A trio is a musical composition for three voices or instruments.

The crash of an Australian National Airways Stinson in 1945 was believed by investigators to be the first in-flight structural failure attributable to metal fatigue.

Angora was the historical name of the capital of Turkey, Ankara when the name was officially changed to Ankara for all purposes by the Turkish Postal Service Law of 28 March 1930.

There are eleven official languages for the country of South Africa : Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, English, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

Quotables 12 October



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trivia Bits 11 October


 Malbork Castle

Malbork Castle (pictured), the world’s largest castle by surface area and the largest brick building in Europe, is located in Poland with UNESCO designating the "Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork" and the Malbork Castle Museum as the World Heritage Site in December 1997.

In 1825, Peul preacher and social reformer Seku Amadu led a jihad against the Bambara Empire of nineteenth-century West Africa to found his own theocratic Massina Empire.

Rusumo Falls was a significant site during the 1994 Rwandan genocide as thousands of dead bodies flowed underneath the bridge while a simultaneous stream of refugees crossed over it, fleeing into Tanzania to escape the fighting.

The names of Marge’s twin sisters in the TV series The Simpsons are Patty and Selma.

In 1904 Le Petit Journal reported that Aster, French manufacturer of automobiles, monopolised the mass manufacture of engines in France as the leading supplier of engines to other manufacturers from the late 1890s.

The 2015 best selling novel Finders Keepers is the sequel to the 2014 novel Mr Mercedes both written by Stephen King and is about the murder of reclusive writer John Rothstein, his missing notebooks and the release of his killer from prison after 35 years.

The currency of Venezuela is the Bolívar fuerte (VEF).

Canadian-born American industrialist and entrepreneur Perley A. Thomas was a millsmith who attended night courses, learned drafting and design skills, and in the early 20th century became a renowned streetcar and bus manufacturer in High Point, North Carolina.

The highest peak on Kangaroo Island off the coast of mainland South Australia is Mount Macdonnell at 299 m (981 ft).

In January 1946 the YKK trademark was registered by The YKK Group a Japanese group of manufacturing companies and as the world's largest zipper/zip manufacturer, YKK Group is most famous for making zippers; however, it also manufactures other fastening products, architectural products and industrial machinery.

Quotables 11 October