About Me

My photo
I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#65 Dear Rocky -Calvary

Dear Rocky,

Well, it's better late than never, wouldn't you agree? I apologise for the huge space in time between reviews but am happy to be writing one more at least before the end of 2014.

You'll remember that we spent some time working through Graham's Top Ten Movie suggestions earlier in the year. Did we ever finish those? Well, the other day I stumbled across a post Graham put on his Facebook page asking people for their favourite films of 2014. One that kept coming up was Calvary.

I hadn't really heard much about it, I'm embarrassed to say, so I took myself off to the video shop and picked up a copy for Saturday night.

The cover had a photo of a priest on it, so I gathered the film had something to do with religion. What I wasn't prepared for was such a dark look at human nature.

The opening scenes are spine tingling. A threat to kill the priest "because he had done nothing wrong" - Sunday, by the water.

I found the conversation with the senior priest afterward about the rules of confidentiality so fascinating. What an incredible concept. I also found the role of the priest within the town to be no different to that of a psychologist - albeit in different clothes. The additional storyline of the priest's suicidal daughter to the already desperate stories within the town was genius. As was the modernisation of the priest's role in the town, juxtaposed with his old fashioned religious attire.

The more we saw the town's folk resist his help, and the closer we got to Sunday, the darker the movie became. I almost couldn't stand it anymore when the priest's dog was killed and as he stood atop the cliff with Dylan Moran (who I always see as Bernard Black no matter who he plays) I almost willed him to jump off. Life couldn't get much worse, could it?

Throughout the entirety I played the "who is it" game, and I was wrong. I was surprised to see Chris McDowd (is that his name?) show up on the beach. I was more surprised he shot the priest and then finally killed him, when I guessed he'd turn the gun on himself.

The final scene in the jail with the daughter - genius. I'm so glad they didn't speak, although I was sure she would say "I forgive you" after her final conversation with her father.

The only time I was confused was when the priest went to Dublin - but that was a flash forward? Was that his coffin. I'm still confused.

I felt sorry for the priest. And I thought the film was brilliant.

I'm giving it 10/10.

How about we review "To Kill a Mockingbird" next?

What did you think Rocky?  Read Rocky's review here.


Monday, December 15, 2014

#64 The Terrorist at the Lindt Cafe

My parents are gorgeous. They were so worried that my recent trip to Central America would spell disaster for their eldest child, namely in the form of kidnapping or a life imprisonment for drug trafficking. Don't ask me why.... and sorry to all of my Central American friends.

Parents worry about everything, and of course that is their right. But sadly, they needn't worry about us having to leave the country for any crisis to occur. No. Today I could have been sitting in the Lindt café in Martin Place in the centre of Sydney. Just like any other coffee date any of us could have been on.

Sipping on our hot chocolate, slowly stirring our chocolate through our warmed milk, indulging in something rich and sticky. Would we have even noticed when he walked in? The gunman I mean. Would he have demanded our attention straight away?

What would we have done? How would our bodies have reacted, our survival instincts kicking in?

I imagine my parents sitting at home watching the news as I am now. They wouldn't even have a clue if I was in the café. I'm clearly not. I'm not even in Sydney. But I could've been. And just as likely, the gunman could've been anywhere. In any café.

There is no way for us, the ordinary people, to know when, where, what or how these things will happen. I'd like to think our government, our police, our army have more of an idea. They've certainly managed - are managing - the situation today. This is not 9/11. But it's just as scary. We don't know what will happen next. Nor do we know where. Which means we don't know what to do to prevent it from happening, nor how to protect ourselves.

I don't know what else to say except I hope the remaining hostages are freed soon, unharmed, and have access to quick and effective support when they are released.

Our thoughts are with you and your families.

#63 Working to live??? I'm trying!

Well hello there, it's been quite a while and I have to admit, I've missed blogging!

Where have I been? Where haven't I been? It's a long story and I'll be happy to share over the coming weeks. But, essentially, and unfortunately, I have fallen deeper into the trap that I promise to avoid each and every year. I have taken on too much!

Since having cancer almost 5 years ago, I've battled with the urgency of fitting every possible opportunity that comes my way into my life. I have struggled with saying no. I mean, what if there isn't that much time left and I (gasp!) miss out on something!

So, in the past six months I:
  • decided to add university lecturer to my busy schedule
  • continued to write my book
  • planned and held an amazing fundraising event (with a lot of help from my friends - I'll write about that too)
  • planned and went on a trip to Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua
  • built a house for a Nicaraguan family
  • oh, did I mention I also had a fundraiser to raise the funds for the house!
  • and, I kept up with my usual life too!
I was exhausted. Thankfully my trip provided much needed reflection time. I've made some big decisions for next year. Scary decisions. Decisions that may impact on my financial stability, which as a single person (eeeeeekkkkk!), is really very scary. But you know what, they are decisions I needed to make for my own health and wellbeing. For my quality of life. No matter how long it is.

Wednesday morning yoga classes..... I'm coming for you!

Have any of you had to make life choices like this too? I'd love to hear how it's turned out for you.

So good to be back. Thanks for reading me.


Monday, June 30, 2014

The True Intentions of a Curious Soul - by Diana Kirk - Guest Blogger

Let me introduce you to Diana Kirk, one of the most inspirational writers and people I know.  She's the person responsible for us building a house in Nicaragua a little later in the year - there's a blog post on that waiting to write itself.  You can find her on Facebook - Diana Kirk - or read her travel blog here.

Everyday, every single day I'm hit over the head with media telling me that everybody is insensitive to everybody else. 
Are we, as a society, beginning to lose our ability to speak anything outside of what is accepted by the masses? Our  media has begun a witch hunt on words, phrases, for political correctness. When a piece of jewelry worn by a musician is a weeklong media frenzy, I'm wondering what the intent is by both the artist and the media is.  I'm gong to assume the artist's intent was either to shock or to wear something cool and hip. The media's intent is to sell shame. Then Lana del Rey says a five word comment during a two hour interview and she becomes the poster girl for young suicide. I'm gonna say it outloud and hopefully stick to it but in this movement of sensitivity retraining, I'm beginning to think we are going to lose our edge for art, for individuality, for freedom of speech, on both sides if this witch hunt continues in its verocity.
And now this media frenzy is growing and attacking young people that barely know what they're doing. A fifteen year old Justin Bieber video shows up with him saying a racially insensitive joke and it goes viral. He issues an apology. People hate him. People get angry. People call for deportation. I'd like to find these people and have a talk with them about what they were like when they were fifteen. I was a mess at fifteen. I did all kinds of dumb things and thank goodnes nobody was recording me at the time. My intention though was certainly not to offend anyone as I doubt Justin Bieber's was, at fifteen. 
Yesterday I read an article that said talking about sex positively, offends some people who don't think of sex positively. It suggested we not talk about sex which now in this new sensitivity retraining means we return to what, the 1950's bedroom? Are you fucking kidding me? We hide sex now? We return to the world of shame? While we're at it, should we also hide the beauty of a multicultural society? Can I not think that a woman of color is gorgeous without being called a racist because I noticed she was a woman of color? Which is the actual definition of racism, to separate races. But what if I think she's gorgeous, because I'm not considered, in my country to be a woman of color and her friggin' hair and eyes rock my GD world. I mean when I travel to different countries, I notice the women and what they wear and their hair and their clothes and therefore, I am a racist. But really, is that my intent? My heart doesn't feel as though my intent is anything more than observation itself. I'm not suggesting we separate as races or that her or I should be limited because of our race, only that she is beautiful because she is so different to me. 
So, what can I talk about? Am I only allowed in this culture to talk about feminism because I'm a white woman and that's all that is to be allowed amongst my "hetero caste and color"? It certainly seems to be popular amongst my peers. Danger and inequality for the female gender is one that I do take seriously. Until it degrades to making fun of mens' mustaches or the color of their whitey white skin. Then the hypocricy begins. I mean, what if the speaker was a young African American woman with dreadlocks who said feminism was dead? Would it be appropriate to make fun of her then? I think the hypocricy is just too much. It makes me merely roll my eyes and probably dismiss probably arguments. But at this point, I can barely follow the rules. 
Which leads me to Scientology. Which is a religion, for some people. A belief in something of a higher power in an organized fashion. It has become absolutely acceptable to bash this religion because white rich people in Hollywood follow Scientology. Except, that's not true. That's only what we see in the media. Many people have found peace following the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. They've kicked drug addictions, mental illnesses and a plethora of others issues in their lives. Whether or not the teachings are correct, whether or not we think you can kick a mental illness, sounds like so many other religions out there that I wonder why it is OK to bash this one in particular. Granted other religious practices that follow these same principals are bashed upon in the media as well but this one in particular, gets the most scrutiny for being almost ludicrous. I myself think the parting of the Red Seas is ludicrous but that would outrage people if I said that. 
Can you imagine if some of the most famous artists of all time were alive now? Da Vinci taking bodies apart? Salvador Dali spying on his wife having sex? Seriously, how do you live freely when there are millions of people ready to tell you how insensitive you are, or sick in the head for merely thinking outside of the box. How does one have an open conversation about anything relevant without being jumped on for not phrasing it properly? I just watched photographer Terry Richardson get completely maligned as a pedophile in the media for taking provocative photos of younger women - famous women. He directed the Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball video. Terry Richardson is a longstanding photo journalist that has been portraying society's obsesson with sex for decades. How people jump from that to a pedophile is a gross inaccuracy. But nobody picks up on that. Or the fact that Miley Cyrus is 21 years old, not a child and wanted the attention to launch her new album. It worked. She got it. I'm fairly sure Salvador Dali was a sick sick bastard. But did he hurt anybody in the process? Have you seen his art? Where do you think those kinds of thought processes come from? They come from living on the sharp edge of a knife. 
Which is where I want my art to come from. From that space between intelligence and lunacy. A place where brilliance is born when we reach to the outer cortex of our brains and find new shapes and colors. We all should have that freedom to explore, to say what we feel without the judgment that comes forth in tsunamis. How will one be comfortable enough to write that story, your story, that's deep down in the nether regions you've hidden it in if not to expose themselves, makes themselves vulnerable. So this witch hunt for shame, this hunger to point fingers isn't going to do anything but shame the art, shame the vulnerability that it takes to create art and wash it all away in politcal correctness. Or the media's idea of political correctness. Perhaps we could all just use our brains and think about intent now and again. Use your brain and see if there is malice towards you, an intention of malice or are these all just observations of a bunch of curious souls?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

#62 Dear Rocky - The Lion King

Dear Rocky,

A couple of weeks ago now, I watched the Lion King - another of Graham's Top Ten films of all time.  I have to admit, this is another title that I hadn't watched until now.

I'm not entirely sure why I hadn't watched it.  It's not like I'm against animated films.  Far from it.  In fact, Up would have to be in my Top Ten all time films.

Another confession - I pushed play on the dvd player and didn't even look up from Facebook until the stampede scene about 30 minutes into the film.  I was listening though, and up until that point it sounded like your average kiddie flick.

My interested was sparked when Simba found his voice, and then I was hooked.  Glued to the screen then, I was petrified as he ran amongst those fearsome hooves - Please don't die Simba!! 

Then that awful Scar finds Mufasa and alerts him that his son is in danger - I wonder why Scar, you horrendous beast!

And when James Earl J...... I mean, Mufasa goes to save his son, my heart was in my throat.

I would have to say that last part where Mufasa is climbing the cliff and Scar puts his claws in his paws and says "Long live the King" is hands-down THE MOST villainous line in any movie, any where, any time.  Wow.

The way he throws Mufasa back and the way he falls and screams..... most heartbreaking scenes ever.  And of course, he is dead.  And little Simba curls up beside him.  Sob. Sob.

It's incredible how moving animated characters can be isn't it.  When Simba was escaping through that jungle of thorns, escaping from the hyenas, I felt so sorry for him. So small, and alone in the world.

Then I tuned out again, until the last fight scene with Scar.  What a battle.  First, I was surprised that the Scar was given the opportunity to walk away and I didn't see his retaliation coming - I love that I could still be surprised by this movie.  Then the bitch slapping made me giggle.  And finally, the beautiful karmic end with the hyenas. 

While, it clearly didn't engage me completely, the two scenes that I did watch engrossed me entirely.  Because of that, I give this film an 8/10.

I still want to see the stage musical.....

How about you Rocky?  Read Rocky's review here.


Friday, June 27, 2014

#61 Conscious Uncoupling

I've been thinking about this blog post ever since I listened to Cold Play's new album Ghost Stories on repeat during a four hour car ride recently.

Ghost Stories is thought to be Chris Martin's version of a mixed tape for Gwyneth Paltrow - in reverse.  Normally, mixed tapes come at the beginning of a relationship, not the end. 

After listening to the album though, one could easily be mistaken that this is one massive love letter. 
Take Sky Full of Stars for example.  I dare anyone to watch this film clip and not smile widely, feeling the love.

Magic is no exception to my theory that the album is all about love.  So where does love fit into divorce?

What is this concept of "conscious uncoupling" and does it lessen the pain?

This is what Dr Habib Sadeghi and Dr Sherry Sami had to say about it on Goop.com.

"To change the concept of divorce, we need to release the belief structures we have around marriage that create rigidity in our thought process. ... The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone...If we can recognize that our partners in our intimate relationships are our teachers, helping us evolve our internal, spiritual support structure, we can avoid the drama of divorce and experience what we call a conscious uncoupling.

A conscious uncoupling is the ability to understand that every irritation and argument was a signal to look inside ourselves and identify a negative internal object that needed healing. Because present events always trigger pain from a past event, it’s never the current situation that needs the real fixing. It’s just the echo of an older emotional injury. If we can remain conscious of this during our uncoupling, we will understand it’s how we relate to ourselves internally as we go through an experience that’s the real issue, not what’s actually happening.

It’s conscious uncoupling that prevents families from being broken by divorce and creates expanded families that continue to function in a healthy way outside of traditional marriage."

I do believe it is the human condition to avoid pain.  What if consciously and respectfully recognising when a relationship has run its course and mutually agreeing to end it could actually avoid the anger part of grief?

I'm assuming no-one would want to avoid the sadness.  No grief would surely equal no love - wouldn't it??

What I wonder though, is that while it's all blog posts and album releases now, what will happen to Chris and Gwyn when we fast-forward 5 years.  When one wants to live in a different country with the children.  When the other moves into a new relationship or relationships.  When missed opportunities require blame in some direction.

What will conscious uncoupling look like then?

Would love to hear your thoughts?  Have you consciously uncoupled and pulled it off - or not?

My husband and I, after we 'consciously uncoupled' in 2010.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#60 Dear Rocky - Schindler's List

Read Rocky's review here.
Itzhak Stern and Oskar Schindler
Dear Rocky,

As we move through Graham's Top Ten (11) List of favourite films, here we are reviewing Schindler's List.

Graham will be disgusted by this, but I had never seen the entire movie until this weekend.  Just before my 22nd birthday, I left work sick and went home to rest up as the next day I was flying to New Zealand - my first overseas trip!  My aunty owned a dvd shop at that stage and so I grabbed Schindler's List on my way home to watch on the couch.  Needless to say, whatever medication I took knocked me out cold and I only saw the first 30 minutes of it.

Watching it now, 20 years later, I can't say I was a very willing participant.  The first two hours in particular (it goes for 3 hours) were very difficult to watch due to the heartless treatment of the Jewish people.

I noted to ever present photographers, at the parties mainly, and thought to myself, they were recording history and they probably didn't even realise it.  I found myself wondering where all of the clothes and jewels and family heirlooms ended up once they were robbed from the unknowing Jewish people as they boarded those fated trains.

Oddly, I'm sitting on a train as I write this.  The air is cool due to the Winter's night outside, but I don't let myself complain.  Remembering the scenes on the trains throughout the movie send shivers up my spine.

It wasn't until the last hour that I could grow to like Oskar Schindler.  When he began to become less self-focussed and put himself and his safety on the line for his workers.

The true hero of this film for me was Itzhac Stern.  He was one step ahead of Schindler all the time, keeping his eyes open for those he might save by adding them to what would become, Schindler's List.

I also wondered, in the scene where they are found with the chicken, whether or not the man who is shot was really responsible, or was that little boy just extremely quick thinking.  I like to think he was.

At the end, I felt like Schindler showed too much remorse, far too soon.  Comforted by Stern.  Reassured that he did an amazing thing in saving 1100 lives.  As of course, he did.  Perhaps it wasn't until he went to Auschwitz to save the women that he truly realised the ramifications of that war - to the human race.

Oh, and how about that glorious scene in the showers at Auschwitz when the showers came on and the women showed their relief that they weren't being gassed.  So powerful.

I truly loved at the end when the actors led the real life people on Schindler's List to his grave to lay a stone.  6000 descendants from the survivors.  In spite of his flaws, Oskar Schindler certainly left his mark on the world.

This is a film that has me thinking still and I know it will for a while to come.

I'm giving this one an 8/10 Rocky.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

#59 Dear Rocky - As Good As It Gets

Read Rocky's review of As Good As It Gets here.

Dear Rocky,

I'm still singing the closing tune as I write this review, "Always look on that bright side of life...."

Some films you should only see once, and some you should see at regular intervals throughout your life.  It has been remiss of me to wait until now to see As Good As It Gets again, since it was first released in 1997.

In 1997 I was 25 years old, and while I would have understood most of the blatant concepts in this film, I sure missed a lot of the true gold.

This is a film about our relationship with our very own mind.  More than that, it's about how powerful our mind is and how often it gets in our way.

For example, after Simon is beaten to within an inch of his life, his fear prevents him from being able to return to his painting - his art - his lifeline.  We see him so distressed, his world falling apart around him, alone.  Even Vedell doesn't want a bar of him.  Fear can stop us in our tracks, but in an effort to 'protect' ourselves, we often withdraw from, well....life, to varying degrees.  What is the point of saving ourselves for a life not lived?

Luckily, there's that Carol bathroom scene that triggers off his artistic instincts again and life is restored.

Then of course, we have our main protagonist, Melvin.  Can I just say that for me, Jack Nicholson as Melvin is more like Mel Gibson as himself.  Maybe OCD can explain all of Mel's issues too?

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a pretty extreme example of a mind getting in the way of life.  I don't need to describe Melvin's symptoms, they were very clear.  Can I just note however, that I have never met someone with OCD who has the cleanliness obsession as well as a counting or checking compulsion.  Add to the that, not standing on cracks, and poor old Melvin was well up against it!

My favourite part of the entire film is near the end, when he pauses at his door, on his way to win over Carol's heart. 

"I forgot to lock the door."

That moment tells us everything about his readiness to be with her.  She made him want to be a better man.  He took his medicine.  He forgot to lock the door (five times).  Gold.

I am so glad I watched this film again.  Thank you Graham.

I give it a 9/10.

What's up next? 


I so loved this scene!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

#58 Dear Rocky - E. T.

Read Rocky's review of E.T. here.

Dear Rocky,

Wow - that A-Z Blog Challenge really knocks the wind out of my sails every year - sorry for the lack of contact!  I think I've finally recovered.

So, here we go, tackling Graham's Top Ten films, the first of which is one of my all time faves!

When E.T. was released, I was ten years old.  My sister and I were lucky enough to see it three times when it was first released - twice at the drive in and once in the cinema. 

I was in love.  With E.T. of course, but mainly with Elliot's brother Michael!  How hysterical is that.  He may have been my first crush.  I found a little red note book my grandfather had given me when I was little.  In it I had written a list of all the people I loved.  It included my Nana and Pa, Mum and Dad, sister, pet dog, and ....... Michael.  How sweet is that.

There are so many relationships to explore in this movie, and from a psychological perspective, so many risk factors for developing some hefty mental health issues for the family in it!

I mean, if we pretended this scenario ACTUALLY played out in real life, we'd be talking post-traumatic stress disorder; adjustment disorder; psychotic disorders (was there really an alien in our backyard); the list goes on....

But what truly tore my heart out, was the grief.  So much grief.  Perhaps it begins with the family's missing father, but it of course ends with saying goodbye to E.T.

Elliot's attachment to E.T. (and vice versa) was like that of a relationship with a much loved pet multiplied by infinity. 

You know how you feel when you've had some exotic life changing experience, only to return to your regular old life and job on Monday morning - that kind of grief and struggle to adjust back to mediocre (by comparison!)?  Well, imagine how Elliot felt returning to everyday life without E.T.
Throwing the ball for the dog just wouldn't cut it I don't think!

E.T. is a film that has stood the test of time, including the limited special effect resources available at the time.  Anytime it's replayed on television, I watch.

And every time I watch - I cry.

I give E.T. one trillion out of ten.

How about you Rocky?


Love this scene with Drew Barrymore.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#57 Look Where I've Been!!

So my Dad and I went to the Northern Territory.  Here he is in Alice Springs.

Then we visited Kings Canyon.

Where the sunsets and sunrises were amazing.

Captured while walking the rim of King's Canyon.

The domes that the indigenous people said were young aboriginal warriors in the dream time.

Atop Kings Canyon.

Along Kings Creek.

Mt Conner - don't be fooled!

Sheer perfection - Uluru.  No filter used on this photo!

Kata Tjuta - The Olgas

Kata Tjuta from another angle.

I touched the rock!

Mutitjilda gorge at the Southern end of Uluru.

Aboriginal art at Uluru.

Aboriginal hunting equipment.

Dad and I out for dinner.

A little dingo.

Stanley Chasm.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z Dear Rocky - Zack & Miri Make a Porno

Dear Rocky,

I don't think many people will have guessed that we would choose Zack & Miri as our Z tribute!

You know with these romantic comedies, is that what we'd call this?  Well, sometimes it's easy to get resentful of the predictable ending...... but not for me in this case.

I totally bought their friendship throughout the film, and I also totally bought their realisation that they were in love.  Call me a sap!

It makes me wonder about the importance of building the foundations of a relationship with friendship, and what about the possibilities of friendships developing into love?  Food for thought.

I give this film 8/10.

It's been a massive A-Z.  Thanks everyone for reading and for your comments.  I know I've discovered some awesome blogs to follow.

See you on our Facebook page Rock!


Read Rocky's review here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y Dear Rocky - You're the One (Garci)

Dear Rocky,

I discovered Jose Luis Garci movies when my good friend Jacques Simon educated me in the ways of Spanish cinema many moons ago.  While several of his movies sit in the back of my mind including Volver a Empezar and El Abuelo, my favourite all time film has to be You're the One (Una Historia de Entonces).

The film is set during the Spanish Civil war and is shot in Black & White.  Garci, you've already stolen my heart.  It is set in the north of Spain where our protagonista Julia's family owns a house, still cared for by Tia Gala and her daughter in law, Pilara.  Pilara's young son, Juanito lives with the women.

Julia's husband has been killed in the war and Pilara's husband, Gala's son, is missing.

This is a film about grief.  Grief and love.  And it is Julia's love for her husband that most attracts me to this film.

Her grief is palpable and is so eloquently expressed with every cigarette Julia smokes, artistically captured in black and white film.  Her blonde hair also highlighted, juxtaposed against her deep brown eyes.

Gala comments that Julia has a ghost stuck to her soul, one that she cannot detach from and in a way, that is one of the greatest sentiments in the entire film for me.  Imagine a love so enduring that it outlasts death.

Julia's broken heart leaps from the film and the healing of it and her soul is pure perfection throughout the film.

If you haven't seen this film, you really must.  It has touched my heart and soul very deeply.

What did you think Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Lydia Bosch as Julia in You're The One

Monday, April 28, 2014

X Dear Rocky - Xanadu

If you've been enjoying these movie reviews, be sure to check out Dear Rocky Dear Jodie: The Actor and The Psychologist At The Movies.

Dear Rocky,

Wow, what a flashback Xanadu has been.  Once again it took me back to my childhood years when we would play dress-ups and go roller skating - I always wanted to be Olivia Newton-John.

I had forgotten about Gene Kelly being in this movie and what a wonderful thing that was.  I can't say I have been thrilled with the acting, storyline or even the skating to be honest, but I am equally in awe of the soundtrack as I ever have been.

The duet between Olivia and Gene, Whenever You're Away From Me is one of my absolute favourite moments in the movie.

To revisit Suddenly by Cliff Richards - Wow!

And what about that song where the old meets the new - the one about dancing - I couldn't find the name of it, but I love it!

Hmmm, and of course Xanadu.

What great music and great memories.  Pity I can't say the same for the film.  I give Livvy's Aussie accent a 10/10.  The film, a 4/10?????

What did you think Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W Dear Rocky - Whale Rider

Dear Rocky,

I cannot believe I hadn't seen this film until tonight!  I remember the energy surrounding it at the Oscars when it was released and the gorgeous Maori actress, Keisha Castle Hughes who was nominated for the best actress Oscar and now I understand why.

This is a life changing movie and I want to shout it from the rooftops that everyone must see it.  Films from NZ often are......

There are major relationships in this film but the two I want to focus on are the ones between Pai and her grandfather Koro and of course the connection with her ancestors.

The opening lines narrated by Pai tell us everything we need to know:

Paikea: In the old days, the land felt a great emptiness. It was waiting. Waiting to be filled up. Waiting for someone to love it. Waiting for a leader.
[child birth scene]
Paikea: And he came on the back of a whale. A man to lead a new people. Our ancestor, Paikea. But now we were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider. For the boy who would be chief.
Paikea: There was no gladness when I was born. My twin brother died, and took our mother with him.

There was no gladness, because Pai was a girl.  I thought for sure that Koro had accepted her fully and would invite her into his school to train a new chief but he didn't, right up until the point that she rode the whale.

Pai never gave up.  She always understood her connection to her ancestors.  The traditions in this film are educational and inspirational.

I've seen the haka many times and each and every time have been chilled to the bone - I love it.  This is the same multiplied by infinity.

I give this film 10/10 and I urge everyone to see it if you haven't already.

Great choice Rocky!


Read Rocky's review here!

Friday, April 25, 2014

V Dear Rocky - Viva Las Vegas

Dear Rocky,

I know my recent reviews have steered more away from the relationships within the movie and more towards the impact it has had on my life and my relationships.

Viva Las Vegas is no different.

On Saturday afternoons, we would sit in the lounge-room with our mum and watch Elvis Presley films.  My mum had the biggest crush on Elvis and would dance and sing to his records.  One of them came with a poster of the King neatly folded inside.  We were never allowed to touch it!

Viva Las Vegas was one of many Elvis films we watched with her.  I think I had my own crush on the young Elvis, even as a little girl.  He was captivating and was always chased by the beautiful girls even though he was often the bad boy.   Hmmmm, maybe that explains a few things about some of the choices I've made in my life!

You know, I don't think I've ever seen my Mum so happy or as relaxed as when she was dancing around our living room to Elvis.

I can't help but wonder if I'm named after one of Elvis' characters in Kissing Cousins....

Another example of how movies have connected me to the important people in my life.  This time my Mum!

Can't wait to read your review Rocky.


Read Rocky's review here!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U Dear Rocky - Up

Dear Rocky,

When I was sick, a friend bought me the DVD of Up.  I didn't watch it for the longest time - maybe a year.  I was well long before I picked it up and when I sat down to watch it for the first time, I had no expectations.

The film began and I thought the relationship between Carl and Ellie was cute.

When they found out they couldn't have babies, my heart broke and I sobbed.  I'd just had a hysterectomy.  I wondered why on earth my friend had given me such a film - something so close to home - and then I watched the rest of it.

I cannot put into words the positive impact this little cartoon movie has had on me.

I give it a 10/10.



Read Rocky's review here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T Dear Rocky - Twilight

Dear Rocky,

I have to admit that as a fully grown adult, I bought into the relationship between Bella and Edward (and Jacob) hook, line and sinker!

These moody, translucent teenagers had me captivated and I eagerly anticipated the release of each of the trilogy.  That's pretty weird considering the books completely sucked, but I guess everyone wants to look at beautiful people.  It doesn't even matter if they can act.  Haha I can't wait to read what you say about the acting Rock!

I loved the concept of these movies and was happy that they somewhat re-wrote the rules of Vampires.

In this film, we aren't yet sure who Bella will choose - Edward the vampire or Jacob the wolf - but at the end of the day, it didn't really matter.

I give Twilight 6.5/10.



Read Rocky's review here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S Dear Rocky - the Shawshank Redemption

Dear Rocky,

The Shawshank Redemption introduced me to both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and how grateful I am for that.

What most impresses and intrigues me about this film is the relationship humans (in this case, Andy and Red) have with hope in even the most dire of circumstances.

What is it about the human spirit that allows us to see a way out, when the most probable scenario robs us of an escape?

Perseverance, commitment, dedication and ..... hope. 

This incredible story of hope sees the most happy of endings for two unlikely friends bonded forever by their imprisonment.  In watching their journey, our hearts grow and in some way we hope that we, as human beings, are as strong of spirit, if ever the need arises.

For people everywhere, Shawshank Redemption tops 'Favourite Films' lists.  I have to agree.  It's close to the top of mine.  I give it a 10/10.

How about you Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

R Dear Rocky - Rocky

Dear Rocky,

The Rocky movies formed such a huge part of my childhood.  On rainy Saturday afternoons, my friend and I would sit in her darkened lounge room and watch videos.

We knew that the lolly tin sat behind her father's rocking chair.  We'd pull it out and chew our way through all the classics.  This was the time of the Star Wars trilogy and of course, Rocky.

When I think of my childhood and of that friendship, movies play such a huge role.  In fact, it was her Nana's car that we sat in when we watched On Golden Pond, and her father's car that we sat in to watch E.T.  (Can you believe we didn't review E.T.!)

Movies connect us to people, so I guess instead of talking about Rocky and Micky, or Rocky and Adrienne, or Rocky and Apollo, I've chosen to talk about the relationship between me and my childhood movie buddy at a time when the movies became magic.

As an aside, I give Rocky 9/10 because I can still recite several quotes as if I watched it only yesterday.

What about your review Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q Dear Rocky - the Queen

Dear Rocky,

As a member of the Commonwealth, I was raised under the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The relationship I'd like to comment on in the movie The Queen, is that between the Queen and her people.  Firstly, Helen Mirren (a pure Goddess) was sheer graceful perfection in this film.

We know she has had a difficult relationship with Princess Diana throughout the years and this film captures the monarchy at the time of Diana's sudden death.

It is easy for the people of the Commonwealth to turn against the Queen in their time of shock and grief.

What I love about this story is the Queen's realisation and acceptance of this and in a way, her willingness to be the fall-guy in a sense.

Her stoicism and dedication to tradition is astounding at this time, when her cold exterior has us perceiving her in one way, yet at her core, her main concern is the welfare of her young grandsons, Harry and William.

The subtleties in this film, in this performance, were phenomenal in my opinion.

I give The Queen a 10/10!  I know!  I'm an easy critic.

What are your thoughts Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here!

Friday, April 18, 2014

P Dear Rocky - Pulp Fiction

Dear Rocky,

From the outset I'm telling you that Pulp Fiction is my ALL TIME classic movie choice and I'm telling you, it gets a 10/10.  I HEART Tarantino!

No review required.

Okay, okay, a little review.

My FAVOURITE relationship in this film is the one between Bruce Willis' character, Butch, and his French girlfriend, Fabienne.

The following exchange is my favourite, because I have a pot belly!

Fabienne: I was looking at myself in the mirror.
Butch: Uh-huh?
Fabienne: I wish I had a pot.
Butch: You were lookin' in the mirror and you wish you had some pot?
Fabienne: A pot. A pot belly. Pot bellies are sexy.
Butch: Well you should be happy, 'cause you do.
Fabienne: Shut up, Fatso! I don't have a pot! I have a bit of a tummy, like Madonna when she did "Lucky Star," it's not the same thing.
Butch: I didn't realize there was a difference between a tummy and a pot belly.
Fabienne: The difference is huge.
Butch: You want me to have a pot?
Fabienne: No. Pot bellies make a man look either oafish, or like a gorilla. But on a woman, a pot belly is very sexy. The rest of you is normal. Normal face, normal legs, normal hips, normal ass, but with a big, perfectly round pot belly. If I had one, I'd wear a tee-shirt two sizes too small to accentuate it.
Butch: You think guys would find that attractive?
Fabienne: I don't give a damn what men find attractive. It's unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same.

Can't wait to read your review Rocky!


Read Rocky's review here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...