Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Anzac Day Trivia 2017

Anzac, the acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, was coined in December 1914 when the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Egypt came under the command of Lieutenant-General William Birdwood.

Anzac Day was first observed on April 25, 1916, to commemorate the anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

Although usually known as ANZACs, their official designation was AIF, which stood for Australian Imperial Forces.

Australian nurses served in Vladivostok, Burma, India, Persian Gulf, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France and England during World War 1.

The names of all Australian service men and women who have been killed in wars are recorded on the Roll of Honour on the walls of the cloisters on either side of the Pool of Reflection at the Australian War Memorial.

An autobiography which describes his experiences as a private during the Gallipoli campaign of World War 1 was A Fortunate Life written by Albert Facey and published in 1981, nine months before his death.

Some of the names John Simpson, full name John Simpson Kirkpatrick, gave to his donkeys were Murphy, Abdul and even Queen Elizabeth but his favourite name was Duffy.

Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty who planned the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign who later rose to prominence in the Second World War as Prime Minister of Great Britain.

In recent years it has become more common for children to wear their deceased relatives' medals on ANZAC day with The medals should be worn on the right breast as only the original recipients of the medals are entitled to wear them above their hearts on the left breast.

Bully Beef is the name of a canned meat given to soldiers in the field and in World War 1the ANZACs filled the empty cans with nails, bits of metal and gunpowder to make Bully Beef Bombs.

The last Anzac was Alec Campbell who died in 2002, aged 103.
Aussies pin rosemary to their lapels on Anzac day as rosemary is supposed to aid memory, and a type of wild rosemary grew on the slopes of Gallipoli.

In response to a request for help from Russia, which was being attacked by the Turks, the Allies began a campaign in Turkey and were to begin at the Gallipoli Peninsula with the aim of controlling the Dardanelles and then attacking Istanbul then known as Constantinople.

Tradition has it that Light Horse soldiers had the unlikely name of Kangaroo feathers for the plume they wore on their hats.

Admiral Carden, who commanded the British Navy just off of the Egyptian coast, was given the task of spearheading the Gallipoli operation but three days before the main attack was to take place, he fell seriously ill and had to resign.

Apart from New Zealanders and Australians, the Gallipoli landing force included large contingents from France and Britain, an Indian regiment, the Zion Mule Corps raised in Egypt, and troops from Nepal and from Newfoundland, Canada.

In Turkey the Gallipoli Campaign known as The Battle of Çanakkale, commemorated because Turks successfully defended their homeland against a large invasion force.

Two-up, an Australian gambling game that pre-dates WWI by at least 100 years, was popular with ANZACs on the fighting front. Anzac Day is the one day of the year when it is actually legal to play.

Two strange firearms were invented at Gallipoli were the periscope rifle to shoot from concealment in the trenches and the self-firing rifle, which were set up to work automatically, so that there was a pretence that troops were still actively fighting when in fact they were being evacuated.

Australian journalist and historian C. E. W. Bean is most closely associated with Gallipoli and is best remembered as the Editor of the 12-volume Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 published between 1920 and 1942.

During the ANZAC ceremony, the flag, which has been at half-mast, is slowly raised to the masthead following the one minute's silence when The Rouse or Reveille is being played as The Rouse signifies the waking up to a new day.  

The last verse of worker at the British Museum Laurence Binyon's 1914 published For the Fallen is recited at commemorative services on Anzac Day They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

The 10th battalion, known as The Fighting Tenth had a kangaroo as its regimental mascot.

In 1973 the Turkish Government designated 33,000 hectares of land at the southern tip of the peninsula as Gallipoli National Park as there are numerous war cemeteries and memorials belonging to the different nations involved in this area.

Australian author, historian and servicewoman Patsy Adam-Smith wrote the 1978 book The Anzacs popularising an Anzac legend and went on to share in 1979 The Age Book of the Year Award.

Anzac Day 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Movie Review … Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2

When the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie arrived in 2014, it came as a breath of fresh air.  Until then, superhero movies had generally been rather dour affairs with several taking themselves far too seriously.  A brighter and more fun antidote to those over-blown blockbusters, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ garnered praise for its wit and dazzling action.  Based on the Marvel Comics series, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2’ picks up where things left off in colourfully fine style.

After saving everyone in their rag-tag manner, the group making up the Guardians travel the cosmos.  They comprise Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saidana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper).  In between battles, they seek to unravel their personal mysteries with Star Lord wanting to discover his true parentage, especially with his father Ego (Kurt Russell). Amidst their emotional upheavals they find time to save worlds even when bickering with each other.

Directed with flair by James Gunn, 'Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2’ is an enjoyable ride.  More family friendly and sentimental than the last installment, its’ chief purpose is to entertain.  On that score it’s a complete success with Pratt and company settling into their roles.  You feel like you are watching a genuine team who feel like a ‘family’ without the ghastly connotations the term means.  Like any family, these characters squabble with the best of them but know how to unite when required.

‘Guardians 2’ provides a massive spectacle which is a feast for the eyes.  The colour saturation is amazing, especially when viewed in 3D.  Each scene bursts forth with a litany of rainbow-like vistas and sound.  The CGI is great and the action scenes are splendid.  None of this would count if the story or characters weren’t engrossing.  Both allow you to fully invest in what’s happening and match the quality seen in all areas.  Whilst the ending lays on the sentimentality a bit too much, ‘Guardians 2’ sets out to be a huge slice of entertainment and succeeds on all levels.

Comic book fans should enjoy this second instalment of the series.  The story is simpler allowing the characters to fully develop.  The more emotional script adds depth to the sparkling carry-on.  It’s an impressive second go-around from Gunn who hopefully finds the energy to deliver a third outing of an always entertaining bunch of miscreants.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



Movie Review … Their Finest

Since cinema began, it has been used for a myriad of purposes.  Primarily entertained and informed with the silver screen having a major impact in its early decades.  Based on the novel ‘Their Finest Hour and a Half’ by Lissa Evans, ‘Their Finest’ explores how the medium was used to stir emotions.  Set during World War 2, the way movies were used to convey patriotic messages is something still used in today’s tech-savvy environment.

In the midst of the demoralising London Blitz and the Battle of Britain, the Ministry of Propaganda decide to take matters in their own hands.  Determined to create a morale-boosting movie for its citizens they enlist the services of script-writer Catrin (Gemma Arterton).  Helped by fellow writer Tom (Sam Claflin) and actor Ambrose (Bill Nighy), Catrin has her work cut out.  Attempting to derive positive elements from a deadly conflict, all try to shed light on a war’s grim darkness.

‘Their Finest’ demonstrates what happens when its fullest potential isn’t used.  The central characters are intriguing as is the scenario they are in.  Their efforts in boosting morale at home via film is interesting as is the way they try to boost each other’s morale in times of stress.  It’s fascinating how films made during this era now provide a document to social mores of the era.  Catrin’s strong determination to overcome a sexist environment is also well expressed with Arterton and company giving solid performances.

The problem lies with Lone Scherfig’s uneven direction and muddled script.  Situations are created with potential for interesting character development but are never fully realised.  The tone is uneven with the drama, humour and romance poorly mixed.  This has the effect of failing to allow the viewer to truly invest in what’s happening.  The constant fear of being killed in bombing raids is well done as is the cinematography which effectively captures the daily horror of war in the city.

‘Their Finest’ offers fair viewing if one doesn’t ponder on its short-comings.  The cast do their best with what they’re given and even its imperfections can’t hide cinema’s power cinema.  It shows its ability to change and develop in any era with its tools in sending messages still widely used.

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.