The Grand Seduction: Movie review

‘The Grand Seduction’ is a new Canadian film which charms the audience with a light-hearted blend of comedy and depth.

The movie is set in Tickle Cove, Newfoundland;  a town in dire need of a doctor to secure a factory and save the town from financial ruin.

When a doctor shows up for a one month stay, the whole town pitches in to ‘seduce’ the doctor into staying permanently.

Excellent performances from Brendan Gleeson as the town mayor and Taylor Kitsch as the doctor light up the screen, with a solid supporting cast.

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I highly recommend this film for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon flick.

Here’s the official trailer for you to check out:

Latest guilty pleasure: Dance Academy

My latest guilty pleasure is a teen television series from Australia called Dance Academy. (http://www.abc.net.au/abc3/danceacademy/)

The show follows up and coming ballet dancers as they struggle through their life at the ‘National Dance Academy’ and combines a frothy mix of teen angst and ballet technique with gorgeous Sydney vistas.

Each episode is a walk down memory lane with regular shots of the Circular Quay, the Rocks, Bondi Beach and Pier Four (although those in the know will spot inconsistencies).

I particularly enjoy the more outdoor episodes where I get to catch up on Sydney with the occasional ferry ride, swim at the beach or camping trip (complete with kookaburras in the background).

Don’t get me wrong though, the ballet in the show is well done – and gives me a continued appreciation for how hard dancers must work for their careers.

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Here’s a sampler for you to give you a feel for the show, and if you’re looking for more you can find it on Netflix.

Edge of Tomorrow: Movie review

It’s the start of the summer blockbuster season here in North America and what finer way to start it off than with Tom Cruise kicking butt in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’?

First of all, don’t believe the ‘disappointing’ reviews of this film. With worldwide box office sales so far at $150 Million, this man versus invincible alien film was satisfyingly intense and even had some unexpected depth to it.

The real surprise for me here was Tom Cruise as Major William Cage (Dick Cage, really..?). He put in a solid performance – his ‘usual’ – but he never pulled a Russell Crowe and ramped it up. Has our dear Tom plateaued?

Instead Emily Blunt proved to be the film’s real bad arse when she stole the thunder with her acerbic wit and hard line ambition to win the alien war – no matter what the cost.

If you like your sci fi militaristic and a tough female soldier in the lead then this film’s a must for you.

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Bad arse!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the official trailer for you:

Rubik’s cube new world record

Given that today is the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s cube it seems fitting that today’s post is on the latest Rubik’s cube world record.

In this case, solving it one handed.

Given that my best time is two minutes with both hands, this Canadian teen has seriously impressed me with his one handed solve time of 12.56 seconds.

I was going to play you the clip of the world record solve, but I found this video of a guy solving one handed while doing pushups.

Given that I can do neither of these, I would have to agree with the comment left by one kid ‘way to make us feel inadequate dude’.

 

History lesson: Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns have been my Easter tradition as long as I can remember.

Although they are now more widely available, during my childhood they would only appear for a couple of weeks each year – where I would happily gobble up as many as possible.

 

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These spiced buns are one of the few cross-marked breads these days, but there was a time when most breads were marked this way. It was believed that the cross would ward off evil spirits and keep the bread from going mouldy.

When the Puritans stepped into England during the 1600s, the common practice of marking crosses on baked goods was declared as ‘Catholic’ behaviour and subsequently outlawed except for certain exceptions (Good Friday, Christmas and burials).

With these new restrictions, they evolved into a typical Good Friday breakfast, and became known as Good Friday Buns. 

By the 1700s, the buns had evolved yet again into a popular street food and were being sold in the cities with the catch cry ‘One-a-penny, two-a-penny, hot cross buns’.

 

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Noah: movie review

‘Noah’ is the latest blockbuster epic from Director, Darren Aronofsky ( ‘Black Swan’ and ‘The Fountain’ ).

Considering the subject matter, the film was was definitely less preachy than I was expecting – yet at the same time I found myself questioning some of Aronofsky’s softer choices such as the avoidance of the word ‘God’ in favour of the more palatable ‘Creator’. It’s not like we don’t know who the story is about.

Russell Crowe easily carries the film with a driven and focused performance –  though he actually overshadows some of the scenes with his intensity –  especially those with his sappy brooding kids.

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Ray Winstone held his own against Noah as the ‘all men are kings’ bad guy and Anthony Hopkins was notable as laid back old Methuselah. The female performances were generally strong there was generally a bit too much wailing and teeth gnashing for my tastes.

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By halfway through the film I found myself repulsed by the arrogance of both of the male protagonists – but it was exactly this complexity of character that I ultimately appreciated and left me with food for thought.

I recommend seeing this if you’re a fan of epic disaster films, Aronofsky’s work or Russell Crowe’s impossibly pumped biceps.

Here’s the official trailer for you:

 

My descent into Rubik’s cube geekdoom

As a child, solving the Rubik’s cube was a true marker of brilliance.

When it arrived on the scene, there was simply no other toy like it.

Children’s playgrounds were dominated by the distinctive cube and most assumed it would be short lived as the latest flash-in-the-pan craze.

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With over 350 million sold worldwide, the Rubik’s cube has surpassed language and cultural divides to establish itself as the top selling puzzle of all time.

A visit with my nephews recently reintroduced to me to this iconic toy and this time I was determined to solve the cube once for all!

I’ve been working at it, and not only have I learnt to solve it, but I’m chuffed with my current personal best time of 2m 51secs.

Sure, it pales in comparison to the current world record of 7.36 seconds, but I’m certainly not complaining. Quite the contrary, I feel like I just got a little bit smarter.

Here’s the video of the 2013 win by Aussie Feliks Zemdegs: