Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dear god no.

Some of you may have seen my previous post about the abomination that I'm betting will be Australia the movie. At that time I predicated that there would be a subplot that featured a "warm and loving friendship" with a "small and non-threatening Aboriginal child". Well lo and behold, apparently the film " introduces to the screen Brandon Walters at Nullan, the boy who steals Lady Ashley's (aka our Nicole) heart".

Exhibit A:

OK, so he is a really cute kid but I still reckon the film will be a dud, worthy of naught but our best cultural cringe.

Disturbingly I can find out all about the "phenomal buzz" that will surround this film on the Tourism Australia website, a site which, on its face, appears to be less about Australia the country, and more about Australia the movie.

This may be because our Baz Luhrmann (director of "Australia") has created a new tourism campaign for this wide brown land, apparently based on the feelings evoked for him during shooting. Baz has said that he hopes to "convey an emotional experience that is possible from going the extra distance" which is a big call from a man who has described the remarkably and increasingly wax and ice like Nicole Kidman as a "life force to be reckoned with".

This leads me to wonder what these ads might be like. I'm guessing that they might feature one or more of the following: charming little bush urchins grinning at the camera (aka young Brandon above), sunsets, Bill Hunter, blokes tipping their hats at the camera and/or women in bikinis, didgeridoos, waterholes, waterfalls, lots of water generally which you won't actually find as Australia is in a long term drought, kangaroos, women in inappropriate makeup and weird costumes, men with inappropriate makeup and weird costumes, dancing, red petticoats, emus, stoic blokes, girly women, red dust, Utes, crocodiles. Pretentiousness, unrealistic and a tad scary - tick.

We could trust Tourism Australia that this new campaign will turn out alright, but then they were the lot responsible for introducing the world to Lara Bingle, and then having her banned in the UK.

I, for one, don't predict a huge upswing in international tourism.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ms Batville at the movies: Quick and dirty film reviews for the month of July

I've seen quite a few films over the last month and a bit (the pleasures of being child free and dating) and I've meant to write a review all of them. Time has skipped away so using a rating out of 5 stars, here is a simple and efficient Ms Batville summary of my recent viewing pleasures:

Children of the Silk Road
David Wenham almost steals the show in a five minute role at the start of the film where he plays the hard bitten cynic Australian journalist. Great scenery, cute kids, bloody awful dialogue, predictable plot. Jonathan Rhys Meyers sounds like he escaped from a cheap remake of Brideshead Revisted. Spent much of the last half the film thinking about whether I could get my hair to look like Michelle Yeoh's. Regrettably I decided I could not.

The Dark Knight
Chris Nolan can do no wrong by me. One of the best casts of recent times, cool stuff that blows up to excite the male gender, Maggie Gyllenhaal rocks and there minimum use of "lame dialogue but we can use this in the trailer" moments. (80's less famous sibling spot - Eric Roberts, brother of Julia.)

OK so Will Smith's character is an allegory for the US. I got that. I didn't get how the scriptwriters lost their way half way through and tacked on a mismatched love story that didn't fit with the first half. At all. (80's less famous sibling spot - Jason Batemen, brother of Justine.)

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
I love love love Cate Blanchett but she should have known better. I will never never never forgive Spielberg for wasting Karen Allen like that so she could spend the film gazing lovingly up at Harrison Ford's face lift scars whimpering "Oh Indy".

Iron Man
Robert Downey Jnr, how I love thee. Is there a more talented "kick the others out of the park with his raw charisma" actor around today? No there is not. "I am Iron Man." Could have been silly but I loved it!

Lars and the Real Girl
This is still showing in cinemas, and that in itself leaves me with a feeling of fatigue much like the film. OK, but I'm over films about the quirky inhabitants of small American towns. It was old 15 minutes after Fargo.

Gladiator in a yurt. Genghis did it all for a girl, only killed when neccessary and wasn't that bad a bloke. Really.

The Orphanage
Mildly scary at parts, a tad predictable but starring one of those authenic Spanish actresses who can look sexy while looking her age. An extra star for that

It is not exactly David Stratton but you get the gist.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How to shop for a Man?

How do you do it? I have no idea. Help needed!!!

The Man has a birthday coming up. It is not for some time, which gives me time to buy him a great "kick-arse, throw it right out of the park, best ever, so much better than my ex-girlfriend's gift, wow what a great idea, how did you know I always wanted this" gift. For a variety of reasons, the main one being he is just lovely, I want this year's birthday gift to be spectacular.

Problem is that The Man has very specific and quite limited tastes:
  • Clothes are out. He has some. He quite likes them. That will do him for now.

  • He has plenty of books (including some from me) and doesn't have time to read them all as it is. If he really wants a book he would buy it.

  • He likes art but thinks that good art is expensive and that it is hard to buy art for someone else.

  • He likes a clutter free home where items serve a function. Anything he deems extraneous gets thrown out.

  • He likes travel, but it would be hard to surprise him with anything as he has a busy diary, and he is an international travel sort of guy, not a "let's get away for a dirty weekend in Sydney" type.

  • He has a car. He really likes it. He would tell me it really doesn't need anything except petrol.

  • He has all the tech things he could want - camera, iPod, funky retro-styled radio, computers, computer games, state of the art PDA-phone thingie.

  • He has had the same watch for nearly two decades. It tells the time and hence fits his criteria of a great watch. He bristles at the idea of replacing it.

Other things he likes: me, great food, vodka, cars, cheese, red wine, history, chess, Jessica Alba, trance music, the stockmarket, laughing, the colour blue, France, architecture, taking care of his parents, science fiction, brunettes, action movies, arguing with me about the correct pronunciation of words, being right about the latter, foreign language films and most frustratingly .... telling me not to spend too much money on his birthday as "anything will do".

I am in need of guidance. I've been chewing over this for weeks and have nothing to show for it. There must be a knack to this buying for blokes thing. It can't be that hard, can it? Your thoughts welcome....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I've cured the common cold

If you, like me, have been a tad under the weather recently with a snuffly nose, runny eyes and a sore head, you need sympathy and some help.

I can verily testify that the Vietnamese Chicken Soup at The Green Grocer (217 St Georges Road Fitzroy North) has cured my cold. It is described in the menu as a "a hot and sour soup of free range chicken Asian greens rice noodles shitake mushroom coriander lime and ginger." All this for $12 and they throw in some chilli as well.

A good dose of this and your nose will dry up, your head will miraculously clear and you'll be ready to up and do battle on one of Melbourne's various forms of overcrowded public transport with all the other miserable sneezing commuters, smug in the knowledge that you are now cured.

This place gets raves for its breakfast menu, but really it is all good - stock up your larder when you are there.

A few days ago I was sick and miserable. Now I'm skipping through the streets full of the joys of winter. It is a miracle.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July already

My New Year's resolutions for 2008 were to:

Lose weight (did that, then put most of it back on again)

Buy great new clothes to go with lost weight (see above and weep with me)

Go to yoga once a week (went once ... for the whole year)

Go the gym twice a week (went twice in one week, haven't been since)

Cook more (did that, see comment re weight above)

Have a massage or facial once a month (Two massages, no facials so far all year)

Save money every month (Nope)

Read more books (Achieved- Yah!)

Blog twice a week (Well, you can see how successful that has been)

My guilt complex has stopped me returning to this blog until I could think of something terribly witty and jaw-dropping that would wipe away guilt about my broken resolution. It ain't going to happen ... so for the moment I will just stick with trying to get some of these resolutions back on track.

Having noted my abject failings resolution wise I can say I'm having a cracker year. My job, the Man, my state of mind - all fabulous!

More soon...