Showing posts from June, 2016

Hunt for the Wilderpeople: The movie, a review, and some thoughts

Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is a defiant 12-year-old city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle Hec (Sam Neill) in the million-hectare New Zealand bush outside Hec's place. A national Kiwi manhunt follows, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive in this very funny and heartfelt adventure.

I laughed out loud more times than I can remember in recent years in a movie theatre. Apologies to the folks at the Randwick Ritz on Sunday arvo. This buddy movie was at times "Thelma and Louise" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and at other times it was Bing Crosby and Bob Hope on the road to Singapore. The one-liners were precious; the timing was impeccable; the scenery stunning. I liked it all. No wonder Rotten Tomatoes gave this a 100 rating.

Murray from Flight of the Concords (Rhys Darby), who has been in much more since 2009 when that Kiwi series finished, plays a wild bushman flawless…

Who can mourn? Orlando shooting

Miranda Devine of the Daily Telegraph wrote this piece which is worthy of republishing. Her sensibility is clear. We are all humans, and what aches our hearts is that anyone can do such evil in our world today. It's not because I'm pro-this or anti-that which makes me compassionate. I'm human. That's it. And our morality shaped by thousands of years of a biblical narrative helps me care about others. Her conclusion is "Empathising with people who are different from you is morally sound."

Here is her article from 15 June :
ANYONE with normal human feelings who has watched one of the Islamic State propaganda videos of homosexual men being thrown off buildings could not fail to be horrified and saddened.

You can’t help imagine how the poor man felt as he was dragged to that rooftop, bound and gagged, knowing his fate. And as he fell, not struggling, feet in black socks pointed skyward, in his last seconds of life, you would experience a wave of sympathy and…

Is it safe?

The news reminds us that the world is a time bomb. See the headlines: "Explosion at Shanghai Pudong Airport caused by “self-made explosives,” at least 3 injured." From the Philippines, "MalacaƱang yesterday admitted that journalists in the country are exposed to danger everyday, noting several of them have been murdered since the 2009 Maguindanao massacre." From Orlando Florida. "50 killed in Florida nightclub, shooter pledged ISIS allegiance" The list doesn't end. Last week: "Tel Aviv shooting: Market attack kills four Israelis" and Istanbul: "Kurdish group claims deadly car-bombing" where 11 people died last week including 7 police officers.

Bad news travels quickly. Terrorism is successful when this news finds its home in the heart of people who learn of these tragedies without a safety net.

Remember this video clip from Marathon Man starring Dustin Hoffman? The dentist asks, "Is it safe?" And after being assure…

Tel Aviv Shooting and bravery

Terror struck Tel Aviv yesterday. No one is ever really safe there, or where you live, but the highlights are visible as the networks covered the area's emotion right away. The map shows where the Sarona Market is in the centre of the nation's largest city.

Two attackers identified as Palestinians opened fire Wednesday night at a popular food and shopping complex near the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, killing four Israelis and sending other patrons scrambling to safety.

Two terrorists were captured, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, with one shot and the second arrested at the upscale Sarona Market. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "a savage crime, murder in the heart of Tel Aviv."

"We will take the necessary steps to attack the attackers and defend those who need to be defended," Netanyahu said. Surveillance footage from a cafe near the shooting scene showe…

Stormy weather in Sydney

This weekend the city of Sydney was assaulted by storms that levelled homes and killed people. Three lives were lost in floodwaters - two in New South Wales and one in the ACT. A man's body was found in his car at Leppington in south-western Sydney on Monday, and a 65-year-old man was found dead in a car in floodwaters at Bowral in the Southern Highlands. Down in Canberra, the body of another man was recovered from a swollen river after he was trapped in his car and swept away by floodwaters.

Homes were levelled especially on the Northern Beaches of Sydney as pictured here.
New South Wales Emergency Services Minister David Elliot said when it came to the issue of insurance cover, buyers should beware. "I don't know what the government can do to encourage people not to buy coastal homes," he said.

"This is something that when you buy a home you need to consider — all the opportunities and all the possibilities that may affect anything that you purchase. This …