Movie Review : The Railway Man

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During WWII, just after the fall of Singapore, a group of British soldiers were captured and transported as POW’s to work on the infamous Thai/Burma railway. The conditions and treatment of these men was notoriously cruel and inhumane and those who survived and returned home were never the same. To make matters worse, this generation of men were of the ‘stiff upper lip’ variety and so they rarely spoke of their experiences during the war. All the horrors they were subjected to and saw were kept tightly shut away as they tried to reclaim their former lives.

The Railway Man is based on the true story of English soldier Eric Lomax (Firth) who, with the help of some fellow POW’s, managed to build a radio which enabled them to receive news of the war. When the radio was found by their Japanese captors, Lomax, in an act of supreme sacrifice and mateship, stepped forward to take responsibility. For this  ‘crime’, he was taken away for over 2 weeks and subjected to the most horrific of tortures.

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Movie Review : The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (3D HFR)

 

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This second instalment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy sees Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), Gandalf (McKellen), Thorin (Armitage) and their band of dwarf companions continue on their quest to Erebor.

I suppose it’s rather superfluous to delve too deeply into the plot because chances are if you are going to see The Hobbit…..or even thinking about seeing it…. you know what it’s about. We have journeyed through Jackson’s vision of Tolkien’s world for 12 years now so we pretty much know what to expect. And there is one very welcome return…..Legolas (Bloom) in all his eternally youthful Elvin glory.

The movie opens with the initial meeting of Gandalf and Thorin when Gandalf promises to return Lonely Mountain to him. We jump forward 12 months and the group are still questing towards their goal. As they approach the ancient, evil forest of Mirkwood, Gandalf tells them he has urgent business elsewhere and they must pass through the forest without his help. Then he disappears. We see him briefly throughout the movie but it’s all a bit mysterious what he is really up to.

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Fractured Heart at the NFSA – Gotye / Illuminart

Photo borrowed from bittenbythetravelbug.com

Photo borrowed from bittenbythetravelbug.com

 

On my recent trip to Canberra, I visited the National Film and Sound Archive  …. you can find them on Facebook here …… to check it out and just have a look around. As you all know, I love all things Aussie on TV and at the movies so this was the perfect place to spend some time learning more about our history in both areas.

There are some wonderful exhibits and I had a great time wandering down memory lane. There is a reference library but I didn’t go in because I had no real reason to but mostly because I thought if I started reading, I may never leave.

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Movie Review : Anchorman 2

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Back in 2004, Anchorman was a surprise hit. It was always going to find an audience, with its ‘Frat Pack’ and SNL alumni connections but nobody expected it to be the monster success that it was. In the years since, the movie has taken on cult status and that it why a sequel was such a huge risk. I had only recently seen the original and was less than impressed so I didn’t hold out much hope for Anchorman 2. Ferrell is always hit or miss for me but I went anyway because…… well thats what I do.

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Movie Review : American Hustle

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Very loosely based on the ABSCAM FBI sting of the late 1970’s/ early 80’s (no I hadn’t heard of it either), American Hustle is a fun and fabulous romp through this gloriously tacky moment in time. The film opens with the words ‘Some of this actually happened ‘ ….. so from that moment on, you need to dismiss what you just read on Wikipedia (I know, I know) and just sit back and enjoy what you are about to see.

Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) is a New Jersey con-man who is not doing to badly for himself. He owns a chain of dry cleaners and deals in fake art. He wants more but lacks the brains and chutzpah to make it happen. Enter Sydney Prosser (Adams), an ex dancer who also wants more but does have the brains and chutzpah to make it happen. The pair embark on a passionate affair and a simple con that involves Sydney posing as a British aristocrat with ‘banking connections’ and soon many fools are being parted from their money.

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Movie Review : Enders Game

 

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Based on the 1985 novel of the same name, Ender’s Game is set in a future when the Earth’s inhabitants are preparing for an alien invasion. These aliens, a bug species called Formics, have attacked previously and Earth’s unpreparedness cost millions of lives. Determined to not allow a repeat of the horror, children are trained from a very young age to eventually lead mankind into battle against the invaders.

The children are tracked and monitored as they learn via various methods such as war and tactical games on the computer or in real environments. These environments include zero gravity. It is after such observations that the tactical genius of young Ender Wiggin (Butterfield) is discovered by military trainer Colonel Graff (Ford). But first his emotional reactions are tested by unceremoniously throwing him out of the academy.

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Trick Shot Titus – 2 year old wonder kid

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Yesterday I was taking a break from life and surfing the interwebs when I stumbled across this incredible video of a 2 year old making jaw droppingly amazing trick shots.

He even manages to play against actors Channing Tatum and Bradley Cooper who, to their eternal credit, take their crushing defeat in their stride. Way to go guys 😛

This little boy is clearly a happy kid with quite a gift. It will be interesting to see what happens from here. Lets hope mum and dad are happy with this brief flirtation with viral fame and dont go crazy with it all ….

 

Movie Review : Carrie

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This movie is a ‘ re-imagining ‘ of the 1976 cult classic of the same name. Both are (obviously) based on the Stephen King novel which, when I read it as a teenager struggling with my own angst and feelings of not belonging, spoke to me in a creepily, disturbing way. Stephen King novels are like that though. Oh what I would have given to have had Carrie’s powers. But I digress…..

Carrie (Moretz)  is the shy, meek daughter of religious zealot Margaret (Moore). Margaret is terrified Carrie will succumb to the temptations of the world and thus suffocates her with religion, hovering and creeping about the house always watching and waiting. Carrie has been home schooled for much of her life and is an outcast at school. She is heartbreakingly naive and an easy target for the school mean girl bitches who torment her every chance they get.

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