Ground Control To….

you? :) Is there anybody out there? Delurk and leave a comment if so. :)

Diamond Head at Sunset.

Since February I have been using a service called Quickflix. And no, they’re not paying me to say this. I’m saying this because I like it.

You can hire DVDs over the internet and they post them to you. My DVD purchasing was getting a bit on the high side and there was a two month free trial for $1 voucher on one of those group buying websites so I decided to give it a try.

Just quietly, I enjoy it enormously. There are so many good parts to it I needed to make a list for you..

– Making your personal queue of movies that you want to see. You can choose regular movies or box sets of TV shows. I have a good mix of both on my list.

– The email from Quickflix saying we have sent you XX.

– The anticipation of waiting for XX to arrive in your mailbox.

– XX actually arriving in your letterbox.

– Watching XX at your leisure.

– Putting XX back in the envelope & returning it.

– Marking that DVD as returned on the website.

– Getting an email from Quickflix that same day saying we have sent you XX.

– Repeating the above, over and over!

Another good thing about it is because you are not buying the DVDs you can put titles on your list that you would never pick up in a DVD store. I found a great little fun show called Drop Dead Diva which I never would have bought but it turned out to be a blast, it reminds me a bit of Ally Mcbeal only the main star is not a stick thin plank.

Currently I am in the midst of The House Of Elliott Season one & In Treatment Season two. Loving both of them. The House Of Elliott is one I always wanted to see but over here it is on the Ovation channel and it costs extra money on the Austar, and to buy the DVD set was hugely expensive!

I put a few titles on my list for the other half and I loved both of them. How to train your dragon.. wow was that dragon cute. Brilliant movie.

The second choice forced me to sit through one of the most dodgy movies of all time in order to be able to watch it – the original Tron movie. That explains a lot about my other half and his brain stem. That movie I pretty much hated, but the Tron Legacy movie was a different story. I was surprised to find I loved it.

On the non-rental movie front, I went to see Water for Elephants recently. I’d read the book and the movie did an excellent job of bringing the book to life. However bookending it with the old guy made it mildly depressing – I kind of wish they hadn’t done that. I loved the rest of the movie and the circus was especially great but the real star was 100% the elephant. And RPattz was excellent too. :)

So what have you been watching?

Movie Reviews, movies

The Guardian

Ok, so it has to be said, I tend to be really behind the times on things like movies. I don’t actually recall specifically the last time I went to see a movie in a cinema. The last one I remember was Shakespeare In Love, back in 1998. I’m sure I have been since then, but I can’t remember what I saw. I suspect the most recent visit to the movies may have been The Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher and I remember being surprised at how good his acting was in that movie. But everyone has their own opinions on actors and what is good acting. But he is awfully cute, too.

Ashton Kutcher

I recently was flicking around on a rainy afternoon and I found myself watching The Guardian – a movie I had previously dismissed for two reasons – Kevin Costner, and it was a long movie. I’ve had bad experiences with a Kevin Costner & Long Movie combination in the past (haven’t we all?) but on this occasion two events occurred to make me watch it – the fact that it was just beginning, and the fact that absolutely nothing else was on and it was raining so going anywhere wasn’t really an option.

Then I discovered that Dulé Hill was in it, and I was sold, though his role wasn’t as big as I would have liked. The movie was excellent. I really enjoyed it, and Kevin Costner was finally redeemed from all those terribly bad movies like Dances with Wolves and Waterworld.

Kevin Costner

Plus Kevin was looking pretty darned cute. Almost as cute as in The Bodyguard. The ending of those movie was absolutely stunning and very unexpected, reading the trivia on IMDB there was a different ending filmed but the one they went with hits like a tonne of bricks. Seriously. If you haven’t seen it but you’re looking for something to watch, this might be a good choice. I especially enjoyed a lot of the Coast Guard training aspects, it was very interesting.

Movie Reviews

Shakespeare In Love

Today, we’re going to be talking about William Shakespeare. Yeah, I know some of you look forward to this about as much as you look forward to root canal work.

– A quote from Dead Poets Society

At some point during the childhood or teenage years of many humans, they are taught to fear Shakespeare. They are taught that it is difficult to study and that they will hate it. When the time comes to study it in school unless they have an amazing teacher they probably will hate it.

If they are lucky as I was, their school has an excellent drama department with a drama teacher who inspires their students and loves Shakespeare. That teacher will teach them to love words and to savor Shakespeare like they would savor good Lindt chocolate.

But now, they might be lucky enough – at an appropriate age because this movie does contain some quite saucy love scenes – to have a teacher or a parent who shows them the movie Shakespeare In Love.

Many of the works of William Shakespeare had been recreated on both television and in movies but this movie is unique because it is a fictional version of the life of Shakespeare himself. Fortunately when they did decide to tackle it they made it a comedy. What a comedy it is, too! If you have not seen it, you must. So why do I love this movie so much? I could sit here and write reasons why all day long, but here are the top 5.

5. The costumes.



4. Dame Judi Dench.

If she is in a movie you know it is going to be incredible. The costumes she had to wear were huge and heavy as you can see above. Her portrayal of Elizabeth was exactly perfect.

Dame Judi Dench

3. Colin Firth.

Everyone loves Colin Firth, right? Well I do anyway. I think this is one of his best performances. You can tell he is enjoying it. Usually he plays the opposite kinds of roles to this.

Colin Firth

2. Gwyneth Paltrow.

She pulls off quite an acting feat in this movie. I don’t want to spoil the story in case you haven’t seen it but let me put it this way. In the movie she plays more than one character. One of the characters has long hair extensions. The other character could not be played with the long hair extensions. She spent a lot of time in the hairdressing chair and on average it was 2.5 hours each time they had to put the extensions in. And gentlemen, you get to see her half naked. She said in the commentary track that she wanted the love scenes to be realistic rather than being worried about covering herself up. On top of all that, she’s speaking in an English accent.

Gwyneth Paltrow

1. Joseph Fiennes.

He is the brother of Raiph Fiennes – and note that is spelt Raiph and pronounced Rafe and not Ralph – who is a very well known actor. Joseph is amazing. I could not imagine anyone else playing this role. He has the most gorgeous big brown eyes. He was also in another of my favourite movies – Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett.

Joseph Fiennes

Other Good Things

Geoffrey Rush is in the movie and his character is hilarious. Normally I can’t stand Ben Affleck but he appears in this movie and I actually quite liked him in this role. The DVD version I have includes two commentary tracks, one with the director and one with the cast and crew. Both are very interesting.

In Conclusion –

This movie deserves to be seen and savored. It deserves a home on your DVD shelf. Excellent acting, gorgeous and stunning and sparkly costumes and plenty of Shakespeare. It is the only movie that I own both on video and DVD. It was also the first movie The Other Half and I ever saw together. Now The Other Half is not into most of the same kinds of movies that I am – he is more an action or science fiction fan. He loved this movie as much as I did. It’s not just a chick flick. ;)

If you enjoyed this review, you might also enjoy these other reviews.

Pump Up The Volume
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The Pirate Movie
Shakespeare In Love
Dead Poets Society

Movie Reviews, movies

Chocolat – A movie review.

Any movie with Johnny Depp in it deserves watching over and over, wouldn’t we agree ladies? ;) Combine him with something else we ladies enjoy – chocolate – and this film is a winner even before you unwrap the shrink wrap from the DVD. But this one is special for reasons other than Johnny Depp and many stunning images of chocolate.


My advice to you if you’re going to watch this film – make sure you have some chocolate in the fridge, because this one will make you hungry for it. Lindt is my preference, but to each their own. Now there is a book this movie is based on, however if you have read the book you will be a little unhappy because the movie does not quite resemble the book. Even so, the movie makes up for that, I think. So, let us get into what I love about Chocolat.


1. The way all the characters are connected to each other in some way, the sense of community. It’s difficult to describe but to me there is a real sense that the villagers have all known each other for centuries. A difficult thing to achieve when you’re putting together a movie and in other movies it often feels forced, or not real. Not this one. Delightful.


2. The music. Haunting without taking away from the movie itself. It’s not until after you watch it when you try to sleep that you’ll find it playing in your head. I find it usually lasts for a good couple of days after watching this one. Unusual, for a movie soundtrack.


3. The story. Good VS bad, Church VS Chocolaterie, moral VS immoral, there is so much here to see. A very well put together tale.


4. The costumes. Many of the villagers wear dowdy clothes in dull colors and Vianne the immoral chocolate maker is a vision in bright colors. Even when wearing dark blue, they gave her red shoes. Those who have been reading the blog for a while know that I love to look at shoes, especially high heels. I don’t like to wear them but I like to look at them, and there are times in this movie when Vianne’s shoes distract me from the chocolate.


5. The food. Wow, it all looks so good!


Plus, The entire cast is fantastic – some of my favourites include –

Dame Judi Dench as Armande Voizin – A wonderful performance.


Aurelien Parent Koenig as Luc Clairmont – Armande’s Grandson. What a start to a career to work so closely with Dame Judi Dench. The relationship between them on screen is lovely to watch. A sight for sore eyes in a time of action movies and too many special effects.


Alfred Molina as Comte Paul de Reynaud. Every movie needs a bad guy, and he makes a brilliant one.


Carrie-Anne Moss as Caroline Clairmont. Does she look familiar? Her role in the movie previous to this was in The Matrix. I’m glad she chose this role right after it because such a strong role as Trinity was you run the risk of being “stereotyped”.


Hugh O’Conor as Pere Henri. He is absolutely perfect as the young priest trying to walk a fine line between Church and Chocolaterie.


John Wood as Guillaume Blerot and Leslie Caron as Madame Audel. Again just lovely to watch.


Lena Olin as Josephine Muscat, who makes quite the transformation during the movie.


Victoire Thivisol as Anouk Rocher – a big role for a young girl but she is awesome in it.


Juliette Binoche as Vianne Rocher and she is captivating, curvaceous, delightful and something is going on with her hair that will make you wish you had a big set of hair rollers. Men reading this, you will enjoy watching her I’m sure while we ladies enjoy…..


Johnny Depp as Roux who also has something going on with his hair, but then when doesn’t he? ;)


I can truly say this is one of my favorite films. If you have not seen it, you might want to look out for it on DVD. You won’t regret it.

If you enjoyed this review, you might also enjoy these other reviews.

Pump Up The Volume
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The Pirate Movie
Shakespeare In Love
Dead Poets Society

Movie Reviews

Dead Poets Society – a movie review

Originally released in Australia in July 1989, this movie became much loved by English teachers, who would play it in order to inspire their students – and it worked. Many Aussies are not aware that it was directed by an Australian director – Peter Weir.

Dead Poets Society had many messages within it but probably the most well known one is Carpe Diem – Seize The Day.

To me the deeper message was about people trying to push you down a path you do not want to go down. All these kids sent to boarding school by their parents with their entire lives mapped out in front of them, everything riding on how well they do in school, high expectations being placed on people without ever asking the kid – what do you want from your life? What do you want to do, what career do you want?

This message came at the same time that important decisions about my own future were being made. In the school system I was in, you could either go the “mainstream” way which was a path designed towards you studying maths 1, maths 2, physics, chemistry and biology in Year 12, or you could go towards music, drama, photography, home economics, latin, languages, the types of creative things which I felt drawn towards. I had a maths teacher who really saw potential in me but my potential was not maths related. In fact I hated maths, and he recommended to me and my parents that I steer well clear of the subject. I’m very grateful to him for that.

Reasons why I love this movie.

1. Robert Sean Leonard as Neil. His performance in this role is incredible. I really don’t have the words to describe the brilliance of it.


2. Ethan Hawke – This was his third movie ever, and certainly the one which provided a launching pad to his later career.


3. The boys – some incredible performances from Josh Charles as Knox Overstreet, Gale Hansen as Charlie Dalton, Allelon Ruggeiro as Steven Meeks, James Waterston as Gerard Pitts, and Dylan Kussman as Richard Cameron.


Watching them act is a true pleasure.


4. Kurtwood Smith as Neil’s father. It’s easy to just see him as a bad guy but his role is very understandable. What parent doesn’t want the best for their kid? Many parents think they know what is best, what career they want for their kid, and a lot of them push much harder than Neil’s father did.


5. The school. The film was mostly filmed at St Andrews School in Delaware. The location was also used in the West Wing episode “Two Cathedrals” and being such a fan of DPS, I recognised it right away. It is an absolutely beautiful location and adds much beauty to the film. As you see.


6. Robin Williams as John Keating. Out of all the movies Robin has been in, I believe this is his best performance and certainly my favourite. He is inspirational as the teacher with a difference.


7. Cinematography by John Seale* – another Aussie, and looking at the list of movies he has been involved with it is no surprise to me that many of them are on my dvd shelves. I’m not an expert in cinema or anything but the way this movie was filmed, the way the camera lets the story be told, it is incredible to watch.


8. Shakespeare. The play in the movie is A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Puck’s ending speech has become very well known because it appeared in this movie. It’s always nice to have a bit of Shakespeare around and it somewhat inspires me to review Shakespeare in Love next, which I have been meaning to do for a long time.


9. The ending of the movie. If you have not seen it I am not going to spoil it for you. Those who have seen it know what I’m talking about.


10. The poetry. Truly, it stars in this movie. I don’t want to spoil any of that for you either, if you’ve not seen it.


Quite a lot of this movie is available on Youtube. I would suggest if you have not seen the movie go and buy it on DVD and watch it from start to finish because little clips of this movie really aren’t enough.

If you enjoyed this review, you might also enjoy these other reviews.

Pump Up The Volume
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The Pirate Movie
Shakespeare In Love
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

* Re John Seale, Oddly enough, he was involved in the filming of a movie called The Survivor which was filmed not very far from where I lived in Adelaide, at Pasadena – and many Adelaideians would remember going to watch the filming. I was like 5 or 6 at the time but I still remember the images clearly. It involved the crash of a 747 which in itself was fascinating.

Movie Reviews

The Pirate Movie – a review.

Before Pirates Of The Carribean, there was The Pirate Movie I love this movie, and here’s why.

1. The music –

the movie is loosely based on the Pirates of Penzance. I have never seen the actual original in full, so I wasn’t sure how much of it had been taken from there until I read the Wiki, but you can easily recognise the songs which are from Gilbert and Sullivan and which ones have been specifically written for this movie and are 80’s music. This was one of the first ever videos I saw in Stereo, how we actually found it was on a demo tape for stereo VCR’s – there was a clip of the final song, and we liked it, so we hired the tape.

2. The locations –


For all you Melbournites, this movie was filmed entirely in Victoria. The movie brings together two beautiful locations in such a way that you believe they are actually together. This is done incredibly well and without any obvious computer assistance. The two locations are Werribee Park Mansion – which is now a hotel you can stay in – and Loch Ard Gorge.


The two should be named in the cast list because they really star in this movie, and they are nowhere near each other in reality – 160kms as the crow flies (thanks Sephy!). That’s movie magic for you. :)

3. The Pirate King

– knows where to put the sparkly stuff.


Men, if you want women to pay attention to your *ahem* nether regions, here’s a thought. Codpiece. But not just any codpiece. Get out the bedazzler and make yourself one that is sparkly. Believe me, this is quite attractive. We ladies like sparkly things and this is an easy and simple way to brighten up an otherwise dull area. Much better than glitter, which can be a real bitch to get rid of once you put it everywhere. ;)

4. The costumes.

What is it about pirates that makes them so appealing? The puffy shirts? The tight pants? The velvet? The leather?


The costumes for this movie have got everything you want to see pirates wearing but the real triumph is Frederic’s costume. It’s perfect for his character. Those cream leather thigh-high boots are just gorgeous.


5. The cast.

While there are many great performances, the overall cast really makes this movie great. It seems like they’re all having an awfully good time.

6. Garry Mcdonald.


A true Aussie genius of comedy. While his role in this movie is small, it is hilarious. By the time he did this movie of course he was known for Norman Gunston, and after the movie he went on to be a part of Mother and Son, a huge Australian hit which is still brilliant to watch today. I would say he is my favourite Australian actor, and coincidentally he lives quite near to where I do and he used to shop where I worked but never on days when I was there.

If I ever ran into him I do not know what I would say but there is so much I would want to say, in particular thanks for being so honest about your depression because that’s helped a lot of people, including me, but I also wouldn’t want to annoy him so I’d be a real mess. Seriously. Just the thought of it makes me nervous.


He looks like he’s having fun in this movie, which I love.

7. Maggie Kirkpatrick.


Otherwise known as “The Freak” from Prisoner, she plays Ruth the Nurse. Another Aussie Icon, and she’s brilliant in the role.

8. Kristy McNichol.


Quite well known for playing the tomboy in sitcoms at the time she was chosen for this role, this was really her first leading lady type of role, and she played it beautifully. She can also really sing. Nice eye candy for the men as well.

9. Christopher Atkins.


Already a legend for his role in Blue Lagoon just two years earlier, this curly haired guy works very hard in this movie. There was a lot of work involved in the sword fighting. He does a great job in my opinion. Plus, he’s not bad to look at. That’s always nice. But his *hair* is so curly and blonde, you just can’t look away, you want to know what it’s going to do next.

10. Cheese overdose.


Yes, this movie is somewhat lame and full of cheese but I still love it anyway. I really only liked two musicals, this and Grease.

Next time you are dvd shopping, if you spot this movie pick it up and buy it for your collection. This is a cult classic masterpiece. I hope that you love it as much as I do.. ;) And I won’t be surprised to find many people reading this are already fans of it – comment here, let the world know! ;)

The entire movie is also available on youtube.

If you enjoyed this review, you might also enjoy these other reviews.

Shakespeare In Love
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Pump Up The Volume
Dead Poets Society

Movie Reviews, music

Pump Up The Volume

Reasons why I love “Pump Up The Volume“.

1. The Hair of Christian Slater


It is almost a character in itself. The way it moves when he is dancing with the golf club.. mesmerizing!

2. The music

There’s a fairly wide range of music played but this movie was my introduction to Leonard Cohen, and I have been a fan ever since.

3. The teenage band of malcontents

While Hard Harry is broadcasting, you see the listeners and their reactions to what he is saying. It’s easy to just accept that at face value, but if you look a little closer you’ll see a lot of details of the lives of these people in the shots.

4. Shep Shepard

– totally the typical stereotype of a reporter – and reminds me much of Shepard Smith from Fox News.


5. Paige Woodward


– who literally nukes her problems.

6. The maggot puswad school principal


– she’s totally evil but karma bites her in the ass in the end. That’s what we like to see in a movie.. ;)

7. Nora


– played by Samantha Mathis.

8. The Search


Nora does what any sane girl would do in a situation where someone apparently goes to her school is a pirate dj who she’s quite attracted to. She sets out on a search to find him, writing down all kinds of little facts about himself that he mentions during his shows. Of course, because he does not realise he’s giving away these little bits of info about himself, she manages to track him down when he mentions he sits in a stairwell reading a book at lunchtime.

9. Billy Morrissette


I don’t know if he is related to Alanis, but he was married to Maura Tierney (you’ll remember her from ER) and has now written and directed a film which starred Christopher Walken – Scotland, Pa.

10. The half naked scene.


11. Seth Green


– making a small appearance with long hair!

12. Christian Slater, again


– it’s a brilliant performance.

The movie has some awesome lines as well, these are my particular favourites –

This is Hard Harry reminding you to eat your cereal with a fork, and do your homework in the dark.

One day I woke up, and I realised I was never gonna be normal. So I said Fuck It, I said So Be It. And Happy Harry Hardon was born.

They think you’re moody, make ’em think you’re crazy. Make ’em think you might snap!

I say rise up in the cafeteria and stab them with your plastic forks.

Sephy reviewed it a little while ago here, which served to inspire me to make something with screenshots. ;)

If you enjoyed this review, you might also enjoy these other reviews.

Pump Up The Volume
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The Pirate Movie
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Shakespeare In Love
Dead Poets Society

Men I Love To Watch, Movie Reviews

Romeo + Juliet – a review..

A lot of people who have reviewed William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (especially critics) did not really *get* it. People went on about them speaking with American accents and action scenes and a whole load of tripe really. So rather than try to combat that, I’m just going to tell you a few of the reasons why I love this film. ;) With my own screenshots. ;) Be sure to let me know what you think.


Leonardo’s hair. Boy, that were no cheap haircut. Seriously, a hairdresser knew what they were doing there. The color is one of the best pieces of work I’ve seen, ever. See how the light catches the streaks? Lovely!


Mercutio. Harold Perrineau to be precise. It is extremely brave to take on this role in this movie because Mercutio was to be a drag queen – wearing silver high heels and even dance in them. When you see the dancing scene, Mercutio’s high kick is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few. But he is not just a great drag queen, his acting is excellent. His death scene is heart-breakingly heartbreaking.


Also John Leguizamo plays a wonderful Tybalt and as you see, many of the costumes in the movie involve one of my favourite things – sparkly stuff.


And the fishtank sequence is breath-taking – extremely lovely. The fishtank scenes add to the color and beauty of this film overall, and really cool to have fish swimming between the actor and the camera. Pretty!


The pool grotto – very beautiful!


The overall colorfulness of this movie is one of the things that makes it a success in my opinion. The beauty of the cast, the locations, the language, it’s all great. When the beach scenes of Mercutio’s death were shot, there was actually a huge storm blowing in – what is happening to those trees is completely natural. The actors made it through even though they were being completely sand blasted.

If you go and read reviews for this movie on the intarweb, you’ll hear all these comparisions to some previous version of Romeo and Juliet done by Zafarelli or some such name back in the 60’s. This is ridiculous. Why compare two versions of something to each other? Clearly Baz Lurhman was not trying to *replicate* the previous version. Nobody would bother to do that. I have not seen the other version and I have no real desire to. I’m fairly happy with this version of it.

And to be honest, so are *millions* of school kids who have seen this movie as part of their traditional Shakespeare lessons instead of some old and dodgy version which would not grab their imaginations the way this movie does, or contain music which is interesting, or use color in such incredible ways as this movie does..

But the ending is the real triumph of this film, in my opinion. Of course I’m not going to spoil it by telling you they both die, that’s a pretty well known thing, but how the dying scenes have been changed in this instance are a great improvement, I think. Not to mention the fact that the scenes are visually beautiful (love the blue neon crosses) and Leo’s emotion is heartbreakingly lovely, if that’s possible. If you watch it you’ll get what I mean..


I have seen this film a *zillion* times, I used to have it playing in front of me at work all day long, and yet every time I see it I somehow hope the ending will magically change and Romeo will take his Juliet off to Mantua and they will live happily ever after.

For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. But I think this version of it tells the story in a way that will inspire kids who really have no interest in Shakespeare to get an interest. This, along with Shakespeare in Love, are two of my favourite tellings of this tragic tale.

Let me know if you’ve seen this film, if you have not and have decided to because of this review, or your general thoughts on this review and my screenshots ;)

Of course, Claire Danes is now starring as Carrie in Homeland. I prefer her in this movie to be honest. Less crazy eyes, less nuttiness.

If you enjoyed this review, you might also enjoy these other reviews.

Pump Up The Volume
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The Pirate Movie
Shakespeare In Love
Dead Poets Society

Leonardo DiCaprio, Movie Reviews, movies