Sunday, January 20, 2013


I went to the movies with friends last Monday night to see Hitchcock. I liked it, but didn't love it...I suppose that was bound to happen. I wanted to love it, I am a fan, huge fan, and whilst I did not have high expectations, I did have some expectations...unsure what they were but the film did not meet them. That is not to say it is bad.

I felt Hopkins (whom I adore) was not a good enough Hitch, I knew he was never going to look like him, but had heard a grab of his voice in the trailers and figured that would do did not and it was not as good as those snippets. Hitchcock's voice was more booming, fearful, and resounding with that perfect touch of humour and an internal wink of eye...Hopkins just didn't get it, well, at least not consistently.

I also found Mirren's Alma a little off base too. She shone in every scene, stealing it from Hitchcock, and whilst we all know she was the woman behind the man, from what I have read that is not how she positioned herself. She was a little bit more stitched up than portrayed.

And I think that was it, you never for a moment forgot it was Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins...not what you need on a biopic, and not one as important (to me and I suspect others) as this.

The remaining supporting cast were wonderful, in particular Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh - she nailed it, as did James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins and Jessica Biel as Vera Miles. Toni Collette also a stand out as Peggy Robertson, Hitch's production assistant.

What I loved about the film - there was much to love - was the intricacies of film making, a lot of it ground breaking. This is where the film shone and there should have been more of it. The direness of finding that perfect new subject matter, keeping it secret (would never happen today), the casting, the types of shots used, the soundtrack, the shower scene. From my reading of Hitchcock I know there was a lot more to it than shown in this opportunity lost and a shame.

If you are a fan I still recommend it, there will be scenes that just make you smile. It was a good film, just not great and the master of suspense deserves great!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Before starting afresh in 2013 it's good to review the year that has now gone.
2012 was a really interesting year for me - so much brilliance and so much ordinary.
So in no particular order, but let's get the bad out the way first::
What pissed me off : My Body
Which failed me at the very worst time, the lead up to my holiday! Yep, the triple comedy that was a crook foot, followed by second degree burns, and then a knee injury. I'm done telling the story, if you don't know...well, you're probably very lucky! I shall now endeavour to resolve the flab that came with all the resting!
Honourable mentions go to Telstra ( need I say more!?! ); 50 Shades of everything ( misogynistic, poorly written, sad and obviously written by a virgin or someone who has only ever had bad sex!!! ); Newcastle Council ( you know, the ones who killed our beloved trees ); People who can't use social networking (mostly Facebook) properly ( get a dictionary for starters...I could go on...I won't... ) ; and Work ( well, I feel I have done some of my best work this year, yet things didn't quite go according to plan, but you can't keep a good Capricorn down for long!!! )
Live Performance of the Year: Tex Perkins singing at RocKwiz Live
Tex Perkins singing Iggy Pop's The Passenger...the coolest thing I have ever seen and sooo S/Texy...oh my!
Shout outs to Hall and Oates, Icehouse (finally!!), and the 80s show at Lizottes.
Book of the Year: Life by Keith Richards AND A Moveable Feast by Hemingway
I loved Life so much I haven't actually finished it, I like to savour the good ones, and reading A Moveable Feast in Paris no less AND bought at Shakespeare and Company shot it straight into my top 5 books of all time.
I mostly read travel guides on France and Italy, but the few books I did read were outstanding. Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood was stunning; The Hobbit was outstanding, and Jeff Apter's biog of Marc Hunter was an eye opener.
Album of the Year: Tom Waits, Bad as me
I have no words to express how much I love Tom...and that's before he starts singing, sometimes I think I love the idea of him more than his music, but oh I love his music and this album was his best in years...and yes it came out late 2011, but it was what I played over and over at the beginning of 2012.
Runner up was Jack White's Blunderbass but I just got the new Dylan and after one listen this might go to no 2!
Other honourable mentions, Patti Smith's Banga, Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen, both Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and I also listened to Adele a lot in the beginning of the year!
However the album most played would be 101 hits of the 70s - this was outstanding!!!
Also discovery of the year, BB Brunes - cool French Band and my Paris radio station that I can stream over the net.
TV show of the year : Mad Men...hands down!
Oh Don Draper, I finally discovered you and overdosed on S1-4 in one sitting, saw most of S5 on the plane.
Besides the brilliant attention to detail and the fabulous clothes that Joan wears, wonderfully layered characters, and well written storylines, I love the relationship between Don and Peggy - when she leaves in season 5 and he holds her hand just a little bit too long, my heart was breaking...
Other favs - and this was a great year for tele - are in no particular order, The Walking Dead (so much more than Zombies), Breaking Bad (it's as badass as you can get, but superb), Dexter (the first year I felt uncomfortable watching, because I suspect things will not end well for our anti-hero, now that's stunning storytelling), Parks and Recreation (Fabulous ensemble cast, but Nick Offerman's Ron Swanson and Rob Lowe's idiot must be two of the funniest characters on TV), Portlandia (dumpster diving, unicorns, Aimee Mann, Hippy Bookshops and Agent Copper as The Mayor...oh and that's before 'Put a bird on it'), Moone Boy (Fabulous soundtrack including Sultans of Ping theme song, great characters, digs at Bono and The Hoff, perfect lead and Chris O'Dowd), Hit and Miss (Chloe Sevigny as a transexual assassin who discovers she has a son...say no more), Sons of Anarchy (it's trashy, but hypnotic), Gossip girl (I have no shame in saying how much I love this show and Chuck Bass!), Once upon a time (clever, mystifying and Robert Carlyle steals and chews every scene as the creepy yet sexy Rumpelstiltskin), and Smash (Broadway, Marilyn, great cast including Debra Messing, Angelica Huston and the gorgeous Jack Davenport)...I was at home a lot saving for my trip!
Movie of the year: Hugo, closely followed by Moonrise Kingdom
I adore Scorsese and I adore silent film, how can this beautiful film not by my no 1? Moonrise Kingdom was another great film with another quirky ensemble by Wes Anderson. It was funny and cute (in a good way), but as always the attention to detail in set design and script are what makes Anderson one of the best.
Other films I loved were The Avengers (Joss, you did good!), The Hobbit (a little blown out in parts, but still close to perfection), The Sapphires (great Australian film with humour and music, yet an underlying strength with history and drama), Hysteria (sooo funny and clever), This must be the place (very odd, but nuanced performance by Sean Penn as an aging goth rocker tracking down the Nazi who ill-treated his father in WWII), Rum Diaries (very suave, Depp as I prefer him), Marley (the most balanced doco yet on Bob, great music of course), The Artist (Oscar winning film of the year and utterly charming) and Where do we go now (Nadine Labaki's follow up to Caramel, a dramedy set in Lebanon). Add in the Italian and Silent Film festivals and it was a good year at the cinemas.
Quote of the year: I'm Chuck Bass
As spoken by said character...a lot, but mostly as quoted by the writers of Gossip Girl when asked the best line they wrote...yep, "I'm Chuck Bass" well played GG writers, well played!!!
The above also wins vacuousness of the year, lol!!!
Other things that made me smile ear to ear and pretty much made my year
TWITTER - oh my, so much distraction, so much fabulousness, so many outstanding people
FRIENDS - this was definitely the year of the friend, all my wonderful 'old' friends, and all my new friends who I have met IRL thru twitter - lucky and blessed I am!!!
NEW HAIRDRESSER - finally!!!!
BEATLES BOXSET IN VINYL- Wow, just wow, so much perfection, I have no words
OH YEAH AND THEN THERE WAS MY EUROPEAN VACATION which contained so much awesomeness I need a whole other blog to write about it, hang on...I already have...check out my archives!!!!
And NO, I cannot pick ONE favourite place or thing....I loved it all!!!!!
And finally, I turned 42 in 2012, and as Hitchhikers fans know Douglas Adams ( or rather Deep Thought in the book ) wrote that 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
So, do I have the answers...ummm, not really!
However, I have more clarity and understanding of my own life than I ever had, quite possibly this will continue as I turn 43, 44 etc etc...or at least I hope so!
But maybe DA is right, this is the first time I felt like I get what I am about...and let's face it, only I can really get myself, so that has to be some kind of answer.
2012 may have presented me with some dead ends and annoyances, but it also presented me with some of the most marvelous moments I have ever experienced and this is what will lead me into 2013.
And it makes me want to experience even more, so rather than have New Year's Resolutions, which let's face it are usually screwed within a week of making them, I have a list of 42 things I want to do while I am 42 and I hope you will all join me for the ride that will be best year ever??????
1. Finish sorting my holiday photos

2. Reorganize my study - this may take me all year

3. Have one night a week where I turn off all electronics and read

4. Walk more and explore my own surroundings...there is so much I haven't seen in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and other areas nearby

5. Read more of my own books. I tend to purchase these, but they get pushed aside for books I bring home from work

6. More live music - the very poor list above is very abnormal for me. I'm open to pretty much anything, though snooty about venues!

7. Learn to cook 5 basic, healthy meals I can whip up easily

8. Don't let the things that usually bother me, irritate me too much

9. Go on a picnic, cannot remember the last one I had

10. Learn Yoga

11. Music: Join an appropriate choir or musical group and practice my instruments more often

12. Care less what people think of me...I got better at this in 2012, but still have a long way to go

13. Write more, post on my blog more regularly

14. Whip my little backyard back into shape

15. Spend more time outdoors and less time indoors

16. Go to Hunter Valley Gardens...never been...really!!!

17. Mini breaks to my favourite places - Melbourne (not been since 2011!!), The Blue Mountains, Mid North Coast, and try new ones

18. Pamper myself more including have regular soaks in the tub

19. Eat and drink out more

20. Get through my list of local restaurants and cafes

21. Go to more films at Film Society than 2012

22. Wash my car more often

23. Spend more time with my niece and nephew

24. Learn chess

25. Paint more

26. Go to the farmers markets regularly

27. Really listen to in the dark with a glass of something distractions

28. Entertain more

29. Rearrange, redecorate and spruce up my place

30. Say no or at least I'll need to get back to you on that one to the people I always say yes to that usually let me down

31. Have fun and laugh more at work

32. Live up to my Librarian of Leisure handle

33. Go to lots of fun social events

34. Make sure those that mean the most to me know that they do

35. Go swimming

36. Take time to do nothing and daydream more often

37. Reinstate Sunday culture afternoons at galleries, museums, and secondhand bookstores

38. Finish knitting the scarf I started 3 winters ago

39. Go on more dates...might need help with this one...anyone, anybody!?!

40. Trust my instincts more

41. Have more fun

42. Surprise myself
So, thank you to everyone who joined me on my 2012 journey. Your friendship, company, love and support helped me through the bad times and made the good times even more enjoyable.
Here's to a wonderful 2013, may all your dreams and wishes come true and I hope you will join me in completing my 42 things :)
Below is a gorgeous quote I found and used last year from one of my favourite authors, Neil's timeless...