Thursday, January 20, 2011

Movie: The Tourist

The less said about this movie the better so as not to spoil things as the plot plods its way into a top movie. As she did in Salt, Angelina Jolie continues to positively devour the spy/thriller heroine role, fabulous eye candy more gorgeous by the year and I'm smitten... absolutely.
Johnny Depp, is the consumate foil, shedding all trace of Jack Sparrow or the Chocolate Wonka, a tribute to this man's versatility. Look up his guitar capabilities on You Tube, Minor Swing and Caravan, from the movie Chocolat, and bits from Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Keep an eye out for a rumoured role as Tonto in a re-make of the Lone Ranger.
The Tourist, top movie, 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Movie: Tron: Legacy

Surprise, surprise...
Thought this might be a kids movie, and it sort of was, but when the opening bit had the hero low-flying a souped up Ducati, well...., you just knew big kids were in for a blast as well, great special FX, gripping action, and a fair story-line although the shmaltz dragged a bit in the middle.
Old Jeff Bridges has had a great year with his movies, and the hero, Garrett Hedlund, played a steady, not over-done, role, reminded a bit of Rob Hamill, (Luke Skywalker), only with a nicer touch of maturity. He's come along well since a bit part debut in Troy, a lead role in the sci-fan Eragon, and a step-stone of parts in box-office successes up till now. Something to look forward to in the coming year is a lead role in the Kerouac novel based Coppola movie On The Road, (jees, I'll have to have a talk to these blokes about flogging my blog name, lol), filmed in Canada, Argentina, Mexico, and USA. Also starring are Vigo Mortensen, LOTR, Kristen Stewart, Twilight, and Kirsten Dunst.
The Tron female lead, Olivia Wilde, more than held her own against the boys, we'll see more of her in the coming year, couple of sci-fi's including Cowboys & Aliens with Daniel Craig, and Now with Justin Timberlake.
You might remember her from that cranky comedy Year 1 with Jack Black. It was panned as a stinker by the critics, but I thought it was a pretty good laugh, I think there's a bit of Jack in all us blokes.
Anyway, I give Tron: Legacy 3 out of 5, and I've now got a pair of 3-D specs I can use at the next stuff comin' at ya screening!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Norfolk 12/10 #2

The flight finally got off the ground near midnight Thursday, representing most of the week gone for us travellers planning the week on Norfolk, return flight due following Sunday, less than 4 days away.
Fortunately for AirNZ, the treatment they'd accorded by way of interim accommodation and meals had pretty near everyone still in good spirits, with renewed respect and loyalty to the company, despite the fact some flights from Aussie had popped in and out of Norfolk during that time. The early winter disruption of European flight schedules and the repercussions on trans-Pacific flying, smack in the pre-Xmas week, obviously affecting AirNZ's ability to provide service.
Goes to show, keeping the troops well fed will keep your Brownie points up.
And, Thursday dawned fine and clear on Norfolk, first time the locals had seen the sun for weeks. Running into flight compatriots around the island, they were surprisingly philosophical about the whole deal, and thoroughly enjoying the few glorious days they had left.
More like a lot of fellow travellers returning to their island home, I was visiting whanau for Xmas, so there was less at stake by way of lost accommodation and holiday.
Part of the old convict ruins

So, Norfolk Island...
5 miles by 3, 650 miles north of Auckland, 900 east of Brisbane, part of the Commonwealth of Aussie.
First thought settled by 14th/15th century Polynesian seafarers, more likely a way-station for those blown off course from the Kermadec route.
In 1774, old Cookie again, in his second voyage in the Resolution made the first sighting by a European and he named it after the Duchess of Norfolk.
It was noted by the early Poms that the place grew native flax, so not long after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney, some soldiers and a handful of convicts were dispatched to develop the industry, but this petered out.
However, because the place was so remote, a second penal settlement phase took place, as somewhere to send the worst of the worst convict, which some say, lacking the social experimentation that was taking place at Port Arthur, was more terrible a place to be consigned to.
Burnt Pine shopping centre

In the mid 1850's England implemented penal servitude back home and the transportation process was discontinued, and on June 8 1856, the next settlement began with the arrival of descendants of the Bounty mutineers from Pitcairn Island, who form the basis of the island's 1800 odd population to this day.
Its a great place to holiday, only an hour and a half from Auckland, AirNZ runs once a week, tourism of course, the island's main industry. It's a busy little place, but one of it's main delights to us outsiders is the security of being able to leave your car and home unlocked.
The lack of taxation and social welfare as we know it has engendered a culture imbued with community values, exemplified by everybody waving to all and sundry when driving past, an inculcated recognition of the other person.
Then there's the scenery, surrounding sea and cliff-scapes, and my favorite Pacific beach, Emily Bay, where
Emily Bay
you can swim in crystal blue-green waters, amongst coloured reef fish.
The fishing's said to be fun, although I'm yet to go out after them, and the cafe/pub life is well served for the occasional tourist, plus a top notch golf course.


Emily Bay to the right

Low tide at Bumboras
Xmas dinner under the canvas