Posts Tagged ‘awesome’

Mr. Holmes (2015)

Sunday, July 19th, 2015
The ever enigmatic Mr. Holmes

The ever enigmatic Mr. Holmes

Sherlock Homes is now in his 90’s and struggling to remember his last case as his memory fades. Why did he give up a successful detective career? What terrible thing must he have done that he walked away? We follow Sherlock on his journey or remembering, and forgetting that is so gently and poignantly written.
Pluses:
Milo Parker is amazing
Gorgeously written – each word has a place
Multiple story lines playing out across different time lines
Wonderfully styled
Sir Ian McKellan is astounding – playing a man 30 years apart.

Minuses:
Laura Linney – was there no one else available to play this part?

It was lovely to see a movie focusing on a well known character that isn’t all pyrotechnics and GCI. Just good old fashioned story telling and brilliant acting. I admit to wiping away a tear or two a few times throughout the movie and laughing out loud at the cheekiness!

howmanypandas.com 4.5

4.5 reflective pandas

Thankyou to @ReviewBrisbane for the tix.

Broadchurch (Season 1)

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Yeah, I know I look like shit. I'm still your boss!

Yeah, I know I look like shit. I’m still your boss!

This was originally created as a stand alone series, however it has now been renewed for a second season.

Broadchurch tells the story of the death of a youth in a small beachside town and its impact on the community and the police is an emotionally exhausting yet totally engaging journey. Tennant (DI Hardy) moves to this small town with no real crime after a terrible murder case. Infact the first crime we see him investigate is a perfect entrée into the community. Colman (DS Miller) is the local police woman who has to manage this terrible murder of her friend’s son, while still remaining professional officer – hard to do when you know the victim AND every possible suspect and have for years.

Pros:
Brilliantly written.
Minor characters are so well developed with strong arcs of their own.
The child actors are not your typical can’t act for anything child actors.
The killer is revealed in a way that is heartbreaking.
The depth of the main characters is extraordinary.

 Minuses:
I had a headache from crying so much after the conclusion.
I didn’t pick who the murderer was till a particular conversation between two characters about an unrelated matter – then I knew – but it was so close to the reveal that it barely counts.

Broadchurch was the best 8 hours of TV I had seen since Borgen. Like the fantastic NordicNoir, a lot of what is said is actually, unsaid. The ability to build and then deflect tension is outstanding while never losing empathy for any of the characters. Even when the murderer was caught, my heart was still breaking.

FIVEPANDAS

#Fivecrimesolvingpandas

Vitamin Me

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Thanks to Tourism Queensland for the image

Hi all

Not a regular post (or semi-regular as it has been a while since I blogged).

For those who follow me on the Twitters, Facebook and Path know, I won Tourism Queensland’s Vitamin Me competition.

I have had a lot of questions on how it all works, how I got it and what I plan to do with it.

So, since I am, at my heart, incredibly lazy – read on.

Tourism Queensland ran the Vitamin Me competition, promoting having a break in Queensland to recharge yourself – getting your dose of Vitamin Me. This competition was part of a larger marketing strategy – which is still going on. By visiting their webpage, you could test your own levels (feel free to post your score in the comments). Since I am often away , am always thinking about what I might do for my next adventure, and 90% of the time love my work, I scored very high. This high score did nothing to help me win, but made me feel better about taking some many weekends away.

There were 175,000 entries, of which some 44,500 were unique. I only entered once.

From these 175,000 entries, my entry was randomly drawn and I won the prize – $10,000 of Vitamin Me time in Queensland.

The prize works similarly to a gift voucher. I don’t have to use it all at once, however it expires in 12 months.

I can use the voucher on anything that can be booked through SunLover Holidays – the travel agency associated with Tourism Queensland (these are the same peeps who did “Best Job in the World). This means flights, transfer, activities, tours, hire cars etc can be attributed to the voucher. The only time food/drinks would go on, would be if they were part of a resort package or cruise etc. Unfortunately I find the SunLover Holiday webpage terrible to navigate but if I search on google, then search for the provider there I can generally get around it.

So what am I planning to do?

Well, firstly I am using a small amount to do a day trip diving out of Port Douglas on the SuperSonic. I will be in Cairns over the break anyway, so this will be my first chance to put the prize into use. I was going to do a day trip anyway, this just means I do it on Tourism Queensland vs my Visa card.

Other things I am planning are (in no particular order):

  • The Dinosaur Stampede at Winton
  • Diving the Yongala
  • 4 day Coral See Mike Ball Dive expedition (was thinking of doing it at Easter but some friends are thinking of going in May, so will probably go then).
  • Mt Isa Rodeo
  • Mountain retreat with some friends and some wine (and spa treatments if I can find somewhere)
  • Mackay – so I can eat at Sorbellos again!

I will be flying Qantas as much as I can as I am hoping to reach Platinum status (geek moment).

All in all this is an epic prize. Crisscrossing the state is going to rock. I love Queensland – such an amazing state! I can’t wait to experience more of it.

 

Sneak Peek – CityCycle Phase II

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Thanks to JCD for the pic.

So I have been pretty quiet on the blog recently, not just about CityCycle but about everything.

That is not to say there hasn’t been a lot happening with CityCycle, there has.

We have the creatively named KillCityCycle campaign chugging along with reams of disinformation and vitriol; the push to make the stations more accessible for riders (had a couple of wins there); the CityCycleParis competition; my meeting with the CFO and Comms Manager of JCD Australia; my speaking about CityCycle and Active Transport at Engineers Australia: just to name what instantly comes to mind.

What has energised me to write is that I just spoke to the BCC’s Project Manager for CityCycle – Samantha Collie again. And let’s just say the news is good!

I first spoke to Ms Collie after I expressed my concerns regarding the safety of one station in particular and a couple of others in the network. Today Ms Collie was calling me back giving me an update. After briefly discussing works to be completed and an action plan to test the existing stations for usability in both directions of travel we spoke about Phase 2.

First up – let’s talk about where it is going….

  • There will be a few more in the city that couldn’t be done last time.
  • UQ!
  • Milton!
  • Auchenflower!
  • Toowong!
  • Dutton Park!
  • Southbank!!!!
  • Mater Hospital!

What extra information I have (most of it relates to me or people who I asked for).

Central Station will finally be getting bikes. It won’t be quick, as there is some works going on there currently, but we will be getting multiple stations at Central including one just down from Turbot Street. This will make hooning (I mean commuting down Edward a breeze). There will also be a station on Anne St as part of the revamp of Central next year.
Southbank have agreed to four (yes 4!!!) stations inside their boundaries.
There will be a like a ring road of stations for Dutton Park and up to the Mater which then connects back through South Brisbane.
UQ will have multiple stations (hope they are big ones) though personally I think they need at least 4 plus they will be getting three stations en route from Toowong Village to UQ.
Toowong will have good access including one just by the Commonwealth Bank.
Milton will have multiple stations – though unfortunately NOT Suncorp Stadium though was advised I should lobby them, but as we know, Suncorp Stadium are NOT bike friendly at all. We will see great Milton access (especially given the lovely BiCentennial Bike Way there), plus stations in hot spots – like the stations and entertainment/restaurant areas. My closest station to work will be Little Cribb St, which means I can avoid the hill past the Barracks.
I forgot to ask where in Auchenflower, but I imagine the station and along the bike path plus a couple of feeders.

All up there will be 46 new stations with construction commencing in September, 2011.

The official announcement will be on Thursday, June 9th by Cnr Simmonds the Minister for Active Transport. So stay tuned for the exact locations, more details and general YAYNESS!

Can we get a HELLS YEAH???

UPDATE: Media release to be Tuesday 14th June, awaiting confirmation from Cnr Simmonds’ office for full details.

Review – The Vampire Diaries – Season Two Wrap Up

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Catherine? Elena? Catherine? Loving a doppleganger and their original must be confusing.

This season:
It was the season of the witch in Mystic Falls. It was easy to work out who was a witch – they were African American. But the idea of balance – what witchcraft is all about we learn – was the underlying theme this season. From dueling and distrustful brothers (not just one set but two), double edged secrets, relationship roundabouts and giving up your life to do the right thing for once in your life: balance reigned supreme.
Caught up in the real world – I haven’t blogged an episode since Klaus. While that is only a day or two in Vampire Diaries time, it seems like years ago.

Pluses:
I freely admit to crying a heap during The Sun Also Rises.
Jenna’s choice (albeit unsuccessful) was magnificent. You could see her emotional pain and that realisation and decision. Brilliant.
Catherine having to go against everything she wanted to fool Klaus.
Caroline, Matt and her Mum.
Catherine’s last words to Elena. BOOM!
Damon getting his payoff.
The truth behind the myth.
Jeremy is seeing things?
THE BODY COUNT!!! (So many death scenes!!)
Brilliant soundtrack.

Minuses:
Bonnie – yawn.
Stefan getting blood lust (Angelus was so much cooler).
Elena being all lack of choice but still insisting she is making decisions.
Did I mention Bonnie?
Alaric woefully underused.
No werewolf vampire face off – I was really looking forward to an all out war in Mystic Falls.

From a show I started to watch because it was the funniest show on TV (after FoxNews), it has grown into a really strong, emotionally driven show. Their approach to mixed living, humour, love and loss is both fun and mature. Next season, based around the Originals I would imagine, is going to be a doozy (so long as there isn’t too much Stefan).


#fourandahalfvampypandas

Review – Game of Thrones – Winter is Coming (S01Ep01)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

 

WHEE! Puppies!

Synopsis:
This is a hugely sprawling fantasy socio-political drama in a world quite different (but with relatable similarities) to our own. Factions, intrigue and a magic thoughs of years old and lost. Sometimes you really don’t see the forrest for the trees.

Pluses:
Loved the opening credits. So many shows now, the credits are all just like sex with a 16yo boy.
We meet the main players (there are a lot and this doesn’t dumb it down for you so hang in there) and get a sense of the menaces rising within and around Westeros – both manmade and supernatural.
Beauty really can be skin deep.
Deception is everything.
Power corrupts so wonderfully.
Accept the label that people give you and make it your own.
PUPPIES!
Bothers and Sisters – love, power, care and domination.
Alliances.
The ending – a great way to keep the tension.
Sean Bean – nuff said.

Minuses:
We didn’t really get a sense of the relationship between the Stark children and the dire wolves. It really should have been developed further IMHO given what is coming.

I have been following this since there were whispers of it being made, so I am just chuffed that it is finally out and I am seeing one of my favourite fantasy dramas coming to life. That HBO is doing vs Hallmark is a HUGE relief. So far it hasn’t disappointed AND it has already been renewed.

#fourandahalfpandasoftheblack

Review- The Vampire Diaries – Klaus (S02Ep19)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

No offense Klaus, but I think Elijah is just a tad hotter, and he doesn't look at me like your favourite meal. #justsaying

Thie week:
After raising Hell witin Alaric’s body recently, we get some Klaus and Elijah backstory before we finally get the meet the real Klaus. Everything we thought we knew, we didn’t. Talk about a twist!

Pluses:
Nice parrells between the sets of brothers – Elijah and Klaus plus Damon and Stefan.
No Bonnie.
Damon trying to stay in control.
Jenna! Was I the only one saying “YAY!”
Fantastic Klaus, Elijah and Katherine backstory.
The truth about Klaus.
The teasing and hinting about The Originals. (Anyone else think that is Season 3?)

Minuses:
No Caroline – we left that at such a critical juncture.

This entire episode took place over a couple of hours. It was full on, flat strap story and character development w very little “vampirism.” This episode truly rocketed along, not staying on any one arc too long. It successfully built up the tension and the speed at which things are coming to resolution as we approach the end of the season. Talk about a game changer!

#fourandahalfOMGpandas

Review – Community – Paradigms of Human Memory (S02Ep21)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

And then we all had icecream.... NOOOOOOOOO!

This week:
We reminise over the year that was with our favourite study group as they work on their 20th diarama. We look back on all the classic moments while they poke fun at clip shows, and themselves.

Pluses:
Annie’s Boobs.
Jeff’s speeches.
Romantic slo-mo.
The Cape.
Red long underwear.
Abed’s brain.
A slicked up Chang.
The diarama itself – loved Chang’s placement.
Sing, sing, sing.
The Dean.

Minuses:
No Starburns (but I am just trying to think of a negative).

Yet another 5 panda outting from the brilliant mind of Dan Harmon and the whole Community Crew. Each time I see such a brilliant episode from Community, I wonder “Where to from here?” as the bar is set and reset so high, but they do not disappoint.

#fivegloriouspandas

Review – Fringe – Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (S03Ep19)

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

There were so many Orcs! I couldn't save her!!!

This week:
Walter, Pete and Belly venture into Olivia’s subconscious to try and get her back. Broyles expeirences something new, and everyone loses something.

Pluses:
Where to start?
How Olivia’s consciousness is manifested was such a surprise I don’t want to mention it.
Peter getting it right.
Broyles.
Wally!
Olivia backstory.

Minuses:
For a moment I thought “Inception” ho hom… thankfully I was very wrong.

This is very brief because I don’t want to give anything away. The ending though – that was chilling.

#fiveverypleasedpandas

Review – Wang Wang and Funi (Adelaide Zoo)

Monday, March 28th, 2011

 

Wang Wang: I am so fluffy because I spend time daily in the Panda Spa.

Wang Wang and Funi are the “loaner” pandas currently residing in the Adelaide Zoo. Wang Wang is a bit of a boofhead and Funi is a bit like a puppy – naps like a champion then plays like the world is ending.

Funi made the cutest noise when she found a carrot. She sat down, holding it, threw back her head and gave herself a little cheer.

Housed in a custom built duel exhibit, Wang Wang and Funi have access to a pond, which I labeled a Panda Spa, and a special chilled rock for when it gets too hot. Each have a protective glassed in area for when the public get a bit much and a large open air area with lots of area for exercise (NB. Panda exercise is walking to the next treat hidden by the keepers). In the glassed in area, the pandas are given “toys” (like a box of sawdust) and bamboo for nibbling – so even if they are behind the glass, they are still putting on a bit of a show for the fans.

Funi looking very pleased with herself while hunting for treats.

Guarantee your spot with Wang Wang and Funi

You should to book to see the pandas. You buy your tickets to the zoo on line, then book your chosen time for the panda enclosure. You may get in without booking (as I got to see them twice), but since it doesn’t cost anything extra to do so, why not? On the day I went, the Clipsal 500 was on and the weather was pouring with rain, then hot and humid, then pouring with rain etc. As such the zoo wasn’t very busy – as such it was lots of pandas (and other great animals) with no waiting. What was even better was that after about 25-30 mins into the last session of the day, everyone left because they were both behind the glass. I was left alone in a giant enclosure with two pandas. Once it was silent, they pandas went out and played. I got so close to Funi as she played, making the funniest noise, before romping around her enclosure. Wang Wang then went exploring in his enclosure looking for more treats.

 

Wang Wang on the prowl for those sweet, sweet rice cakes.

There is limited Panda merch available at the dedicated Panda Shop – I bought a Wang Wang mug, Wang Wang boxers and a Panda Stamp (that prints a panda and a set of panda paws walking across the page). Unfortunately, Funi is drawn way too silly and girly, whereas Wang Wang is just a little anthropomorphised.

Wang Wang taking on his nemesis "Box of Sawdust!"

Pluses:
OMG PANDAS!
Insanely cheap – $28 for a full day’s fun.
Free to book panda time (Other paid events are $130 and $495 for a much closer and personal experience).
Zoo staff (keepers and volunteers) were incredibly helpful and chatty – I got “adopted” by a senior volunteer who was telling me best spots and what to look for.
You can get within inches of the pandas.
You get to see Panda junk.
They are even cuter and fluffier than you can imagine.
Free bus and close to the city.

Minuses:
If they are asleep, they aren’t that exciting and yet still cute.
Some visitors totally ignored the signs and the ropes – so no wonder the pandas stay in the glass when there are lots of people about.
Not a lot of options for food and drink at the zoo.

Wang Wang in the classic Panda Pic

I had a brilliant time and can only say…

#fivepandaseventhoughtherewereonlytwo