On September 7 Australia will decide which of the lesser of two evils they prefer, K.Rudd vs Abbott, the fight is on,
Who should you vote for? Well thats entirely up to you? However let this guide help you understand a few of the things that i have discovered whilst doing my own research, so here we go lets start with the POLITICAL PARTIES. We’re fortunate?!? here in Australia to have a steady two party system of lying, backstabbing, double crossing, unethical and status hungry politicians, who like to meet in the battle royale we call Canberra. Over on the left side we have the reigning champions the AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, led by everyones most hated mate Kevin Rudd and the power hungry challengers the Coalition led by the Buggie Smuggler favouring leader Tony Abbott. When it comes down to it Most Australians hate both parties, but which do you hate the least
ALP: Led by Kevin Rudd, a wannabe middle aged hipster in a suit and formerly led by everyones favourite Ranga, Werribee Rep Julia Gillard. There has been alot of internal bickering and political termoil within the “left wing” party over the past few years with good old ruddy pulling the switcheroo on Julia Goolia after she threw him out of his castle onto the backbench. At least you know with Labour you have a PM who might come out on twitter hashtagging #straya
Coalition: The liberals led by the one and only Tony Abbott, now if you havnt heard enough (well deserved) slander about this man recently you really must be living under a rock, between the sexism, the feminism, and the anti gay remarks, he has basically every minority(and non minority) who isnt an old fashioned white collar man, hating everything he stands for. In case you may have forgotten these are the guys who were once led by our mate poor old Johnny Howard, in case youve forgot hes that Sick DJ
THE OTHER GUYS
Now the winning of an election isn’t exactly a popularity contest as the local media has led us to believe.
There will be instances where your votes will effect who wins the majority seats even if you don’t vote directly for one of the two major parties. However i’m assuming if you understand preferential voting your probably not gonna be reading this post,
Its important to note that whilst the other parties probably don’t have a chance of winning the majority of seats in parliament (unless Palmer can get his Dinosaurs to cause enough ruckus) they can still win select seats which sure are handy in the event of a hung parliament. Now before you decide to vote for The Greens, The Palmer United Party, The Nationals, Wikileaks Party, Bob Katters Party or even if your an absolute idiot ONE NATION , just remember your donkey vote (if it is one) could genuinely have an impact on who runs this country whether you mean it to or not.
THE IMPORTANT STUFF: THE POLICIES THAT WILL EFFECT US
The Big Ticket item Broadband
Labor is on track to deliver their NBN (National Broadband Network) however as with all big infrastructure its probably going to double in cost and end up costing taxpayers alot more than initially expected, Their plan is to offer Fibre to the home promises speeds between 100Mbps and 1GBps.
The Coalition wants to scrap the already underway NBN and replace it with a Fibre to Node system which will save money overall but will result in a maximum theoretical speed of 25Mbps which is already considered a sub standard service in many first world countries.
Labor plans to push forward with the Gonski reforms, improving primary and higher level school funding on a per student basis and aims to have Australia in the top 5 school education systems by 2025, However these funds will come at a cost to Universities who will not receive smaller increases to funding than they may have planned for.
The Coalition has not detailed any policies on education, but has briefly mentioned a boost of support for asian languages, however they have not supported any of there claims with actual policy releases.
Same Sex Marriage
Kevin Rudd has actively posted his support for same sex marriage and even schooled a Pastor recently on it. Has stated that it will be a key priority in his term if re-elected to ensure that the policy is pushed within 100 days.
Tony Abbott on the other hand is opposed to anything that is different and although his own sister is in a same sex relationship has actively expressed his opinion that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman.
Neither Party is actually gonna do anything. The ALP wants to send all Asylum Seekers to PNG whereas the Coalition wants to simple STOP THE BOATS… umm this one isn’t gonna change any time soon
Health and Hospitals
ALP promises a boost of over $14 billion in funding between 2014-2020 and has promised further help in the formal of a mental health scheme worth $2.2 billion. The will also provide low income earners access to discounted dental.
Coalition will not be increasing funding to hospitals but will be creating community based hospital boards and will push funding for a Type 1 Diabetes cure and also offer incentive and discounts for dental care. for those on medicare or concessions. ] They will also be scrapping the private health insurance rebate means test
Environmental and emissions (Updated)
Whilst both parties havnt really defined as much in regards to their environmental policies, they both have committed to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by 5%
Labor is pushing ahead with their current plan to ensure 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. There also aiming to reduce transport emissions by investing in a high speed rail link on the east coast. Those selling a pre-1985 car will also get a $2000 discount on a new car under Labors clean car Rebate.
Tony Abbott and the Coalition have vowed to create an Emissions Refund Fund which promises not to put a price on carbon. The Coalition has promised a $1,000 increase on household rebates for roof-top solar panels and hot water; including grants for new solar power projects in towns and schools to fund solar power projects. Most importantly the coalition is stating they will plant 20 MILLION trees to support and ban illegal forestry that was a Labor pledge from 07 that never emerged.
Industy and Economy
Labor will cut funding to the defence force but is implementing a number of incentives for small businesses including, allowing business to carry forward further losses to offset previous tax bills, they will ensure all gov suppliers are paid within 30 days, will increase instant tax write off threshold to $6500, have allocated funding to investments in startup financing and will be providing $9 billion for skills and training upskilling. Labor also promises $1 billion funding towards new jobs and will aim to ensure the cash rate stays at the lowest level in which it can support the economy. Labor will also cut the company tax rate from 30% to 28%.
Coalition promises to cut over $1 in red tape costs for small business in dealing with government regulation, business, taxation and environmental issues, Will SCRAP the carbon tax, will create a small business ombudsmen and will increase restrictions of union activities. Promises to create 1 million jobs over next 5 years, promises interest rate tax cuts and will provide paid maternity leave for 6 months going forward.
Week one with my camera unfortunately didn’t leave me with to much time to play around, I was whisked away to a fantabulous week away to Sydney for work, which would have been fantastic, IF i remembered to pack the charger for my camera haha.
So what would have been my week of learning to use my new toy turned into a week of a few quick happy snaps so i will leave you with just a small few photos i managed to snap over my pretty busy week of sydney, and back to Melbourne just in time for my work Ball.
Had to sneak in a New Toy Photo ;P
The Life of Pi, is based on Yann Martel’s well known novel of the same name. The story revolves around Piscene Molitor Patel (Pi) a fifteen-year-old son of a zookeeper in India who survives a shipwreck for 227 days with nobody but a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker to keep him company.
Since the story of Life of Pi is well known and the Ang Lees movie does great justice of keeping to the key themes in Martels novel, this will be more of an analysis of the ending rather than a review of the movie itself.
The movie itself is shot in a surrealist tone that must be seen purely for its visual palette alone, From the opening scenes in India, the audience is whisked away into a land of colour and fantasy, which sets the tone for the movie post shipwreck, where the visual effects used in the ocean alone warrant the purchase of a movie ticket.
To Begin i must give you a run down of the story itself; In keeping with the novel Ang Lee has filmed the movie in the same 3 stage subplot;
After giving all the relevant information, Pi asks the writer which story he prefers and it is at this point that the audience is left with so many questions. The purpose of the story, which could easily be forgotten, was that the writer was promised a story that would make him believe in God. What we are presented with however is a story of a young boy who struggles with his faith but acknowledges the differences between all religions whether they be right or wrong.
Ultimately it is the ‘truth’ behind Pi’s story that provides the audience with his final question, The question of which story do you prefer? signifies the ideolody of interpretation and ultimately leads the writer and the japanese officials to wonder whether they believe in things that must be physically seen to believed or whether that they prefer to believe in faith and the unimaginable.
As you delve into the second story it makes it quite easy to believe that Pi created the 1st story with the animals in order to protect himself psychologically.
Ultimately Pi survives, but in order to do so he had to adapt to his circumstances which meant he probably went against his faith and killed animals to survive and yes he may have even resorted to some cannibalism. In the Human version of the story Pi does not mention his other adventures at sea but it is easy to strip away the fantasy and start picturing the reality, ie The carnivourous island which was never seen again had pink flesh and a tooth inside of it, which can easily be taken by the audience to be a representation of the cannibalism that occurred on the boat. This scenario itself would act as a catalyst for Pi’s need to escape from reality, When you think about it rationally it’s highly improbable that any of the animals would have made it to the upper decks in time to escape, much less end up in a lifeboat.
It also explains why Richard Parker does not turn around to make a farewell gesture to Pi, this is because Richard Parker never really leaves him, Pi and Richard Parker are one and the fight that we are shown between the Tiger and Pi signifies Pi’s human self fighting with his animal side to stop from turning into a cannibal for survival. We are shown that as the two join together in peace, PI is fed and nourished from the carnivorous island (ie the act of cannibalism) The ending showing Richard Parker walking head first into the forest without turning around signifies the disappearance of Pi’s animalistic side, Here we see Pi head into the world with a mentality of leaving all that has happened behind him.
Pi is burdened with a heavy challenge in telling a story that will make a person believe in God, Whilst many will walk away unconvinced the answer is stirring in the ending all along, When queried as to which story he preferred the writer admits he prefers the story with the tiger, as did the Japanese men who remark in their report that Pi has achieved a record feat of surviving 227 days at sea, with a Bengal Tiger. There is no question of truth behind the two stories rather than a question of preference. Pi has only told 1 story, he has just told it in two different ways which has resulted in those who are skeptical of his story believing in the unbelievable, which in theological terms is the cornerstone and biggest hurdle of Faith.
I guess i should start with abit of a disclaimer, Im both a massive fan of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings so i had very high hopes for this movie, so high in fact that the day i heard they were making it i went back and watched all three Lord of the Rings Movies in a row, but over the past year my excitement has dwindled, as more and more leaks came out of PJ’s camp it was clear that he was taking the Hobbit in his own direction and turning Tolkiens most light hearted story into something more twisted and dark to try and mimic the stage set by his epic LOTR masterpiece.
By now you will know that the Hobbit is being split into three movies, and yes i do find that really hard to comprehend, But this movie will focus on Part 1: An Unexpected Journey which i saw in 2d so i have no comments (at this time) as to the quality of the 3d or 48FPS.
I guess i should start with the positives; the stand-out characters include Martin Freeman (you may recognise him from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, and Sherlock) and his portrayal of a (surprisingly young) Bilbo Baggins and returning as brilliant as ever is Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey. Freedmans Baggins is so much more fun to watch than Elijah Woods Frodo, Woods protrayed Frodo with this annoying disdain that never really sat well with me.
(But that could have been me being nitpicky because its pretty common knowledge that Tolkien intended Samwise to be the main protragonist of LOTR not Frodo which wasnt really protrayed well on screen.)
There are a lot of familiar faces from the LOTR franchise back and its good to see PJ maintaining his relationships with cast and crew to ensure consistency across movies, even if some of the characters have no place appearing in the Hobbit trilogy. (cough* Galadriel cough*)
It’s a shame, then, that pace of the movie brings An Unexpected Journey down, It seems like Peter Jackson took to heart the fans criticisms of LOTR missing key scenes so he has done what most filmakers would never dare do, film a 3 hr introduction movie. For those who dont understand what im talking about, go have a read of the Hobbit and you will realise that movie you just watched is actually the first 6 chapters of the book and nothing more,Its true in fact that you could read the chapters in less time than it takes to watch An Unexpected Journey. So it was no surprise to me at all that in my packed screening everyone was fidgeting and squirming around for the last hr.
The film lacked consistency and it was clear that Jackson was trying so hard to turn Tolkiens most light hearted piece of work into a darker story. There are a few key examples i can think of which demonstrate the sudden shifts in tone in the movie and the lack of flow;
1) The infamous dwarf dinner scene: We go from a light hearted piece of dinner banter and a whimsical song about washing dishes straight into a morbid ballad to the dwarves of old,
2) The Mountain Troll scene: What i dont understand is why Jackson spent so much time getting the dialogue between the Trolls perfect only to ruin it by adding in a token dwarf fight scene, its like he was thinking hey we havnt seen any action in a while lets just change the whole mood of the scene and get some fighting going (I understand abit of creative interpretation but theres no need for this)
To sum the movie up: not alot happens, which is a real shame because the source material is so fantastic, The movie adaption involves Gandalf inviting a team of dwarves to Bilbos house to invite him on an adventure, Bilbo says thanks, but no thanks. Then tags along for the anyway. and thats pretty much the first hour done and dusted. The second hour is hardly an improvement. There are a few poorly interpreted battles and a lot of quiet reflective scenes between battles. The last hour is clearly the most entertaining but that is purely thanks to motion capture king Andy Serkis’ interpretation of Gollum and a rather superb escape sequence set in an underground environment full of rickety bridges and gorges.
Jackson has changed the story alot whilst adapting it for his cinematic interpretation which im sure many fans will not be to happy about (ie the history of the ring and Gollum, Thorins purpose of defeating Smaug, Bilbos character itself) but thats another post in itself.
Only time will tell whether The Hobbit would have flowed better as a two-parter, heres hoping Part II will actual begin the Journey that was unexpected and amaze us all, But right now this cinema-goer has been left with a weird feeling that i haven’t felt since i walked out of “The Phantom Menace” almost 13 years ago, excited for a new adventure but disappointed that this is the way it has to begin. Heres hoping that unlike Lucas, Jackson can bring it home in the final 2 parts of the Trilogy
I give this movie 2 and a half Lego Dwarves out of 5
So by now you all should have seen Nolan’s ending to his Batrilogy!
I wanted to keep my review spoiler free so here goes my post review wrap up since alot of us still walked out of The Dark Knight Rises unclear on alot of what just happened.
So, before we get started, and it should go without saying– SPOILERS FOR THE DARK KNIGHT RISES ARE COMING UP.
Now let’s dig into my frustrations and the questions that many of us have been left with.
Let’s get this movie figured out!
Also speaking of Gothams infamous police force, so Gotham P.D. is trapped inside a closed off sewer with nothing but basic rations but when they return oh boy do they return. Banes thugs are loaded with weaponry and although the police emerging from their trap was a surprise, both sides were essentially on par with one another,seriously as if you would run towards them when their blaring guns in your face and firing warning shots at your feet. My only answer could be most of Banes thugs aren’t mercenaries their just simple gotham citizens who have taken to him to save their own necks when their homes come under siege, seeing the police force re instills their sense of hope and thats why they hold back.
3. When did Gotham City become New York.
The Gotham of Batman Begins (2005) was a Chicago-New York-soundstage mash-up, The Gotham of The Dark Knight (2008) was clearly Chicago and now The Dark Knight Rises (2012) treats us to a mash of New York, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. Characters and action move, in the space of a cut, between identifiable landmarks from all three cities, How big are we expected to believe Gotham really is and also why does the Dark Knight watch over it during the day.
4. Who is Bane, What is the Mask for and the inevitable downplay of the scene which should have made this movie
For those of you who dont know much backstory, Bane is one of my favourite comic book villains of all time.
Nolans Backstory isnt too far off the block but still takes away from one key point, He matches Batman tit for tat in brain, but far outweighs him in Brawn.
In Nolans Universe we see Bane as the saviour of a young girl who grew up in prison and that’s where he learns his trade. Whilst that was true to an extent what we dont learn is that the comic book universe Bane is smart and i mean incredibly smart.
Bane spent his time in prison reading as many books as he could get his hands on, and in between strengthening his mind spends his time building up his body in the prisons gym where he learns to fight. He even commits his first murder at the age of eight, stabbing a criminal who wanted to use him for information about the prison.
Bane ultimately establishes himself as the “king” of the prison which eventually forces the prison’s controllers to take note resulting in him becoming a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom. Bane gets his strength from a derivative of the drug Venom. At the maximum saturation point he can lift around 2000kgs. Without Venom he can still lift/ press around 700kgs, However, Bane only needed to apply 4kgs of pressure to break the bones in Batman’s back. Something that to me was seriously underplayed in the movie.
In the Batman comics there’s a story arc titled Knightfall, during which Bane broke Batman’s back to the point where recovery through conventional means was nearly impossible, Bruce spent millions on medical support and in the end was only able to cure himself through an encounter with super powers. However in Nolans universe Bruces back is fixed medieval style with a quick rope tug.
Now this brings me back to the mask, many of you have been asking whats with Banes mask, well basically in the comics and cartoons Bane’s mask is that of a Mexican Luchador (wrestler) with his strength serum being pumped into his body. In the Dark Knight Rises its a little different however, Besides making him sound ridiculous and making him look like Dr Zoidberg from futurama, Bane doesn’t really give much of an answer in the film as to why he wears the mask but we can deduce that its basically pumping him with morphine to cope with pain that stems from the beatings he took in the pit as a result of protecting Talia
5. The Twist: and how every Batman fan predicted it from the minute they saw her
So the fact that the kid in the prison was actually Talia; the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul and not Bane himself was supposed to be some big kind of twist, but any batman fan knew from the minute we learned that Bruce teamed up with Miranda Tate on a clean energy project for Wayne Enterprises, things weren’t right. However the biggest disappointment was the way she came to her demise, for a character that played such a large role in developing Bane into the man we see siege Gotham city, her death is pretty underwhelming.
Lets examine a few things John Blake: manages to roll a car over and emerge completely fine and continues his journey. Bruce’s failed attempts at climbing out of the Pit end with him falling from a jump that could kill many however he also appears relatively uninjured from the experience. Then during a car chase for the fusion bomb, Batman forces Talia’s caravan off the road. It crashes and Talia dies moments after.
Seriously after everything we’ve just seen were left with that. Thanks for nothing Nolan. I honestly believed she deserved a more fitting death, she was only just revealed as the Villain for Christ Sake, she’s Talia, an Olympic-level athlete, trained since birth in many forms of martial arts and weaponry and the friggen leader of the League of Assassins from time to time. It would have been nice to of seen her face off against Batman in another setting, not just a car chase.
Let’s trace what we saw on screen. Batman takes the bomb over the water, it detonates, leaving the audience thinking nobody could ever survive.
Then we get the statue of Batman, people mourning his loss, and the graveyard scene. <—- That right there i watched this and went thanks Nolan cue the John Blake being revealed as Robin scene and id be a happy camper… but….
Then, we learn that Bruce Wayne applied the oft-talked about autopilot patch to The Bat, seeing Alfred’s dream realised, with Bruce alongside Selina in the cafe. A perfect, happy ending.
Or is it…
Nolan showed us a countdown of the bomb in its final seconds, with Batman still in the cockpit. At this stage were led to believe the autopilot doesn’t work, Bat shouldn’t be able to save himself now… hes living up to the symbolism of the film, Batman’s death brings Gotham back into line once more. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save the city,
Batman is not a man hes a symbol,
The bomb explodes… the blast radius is immense and theres no way bruce could have gotten away..
Until i stumbled across the toy section at KMART haha
Bam! i present to you the Bat! ejector seat, haha now i know this isnt exactly what happens but it still makes me laugh that they created this just to justify it to the little kiddies.
Ultimately, the ending comes down to how you interpret the scene with Alfred in the cafe. We’ve already been told that Bruce had the technology to wipe peoples past and give them a new start so no surprises there, however this brings me to my biggest hatred of the movie, They didnt need to show Bruce or Selina! a fitting ending would have been Alfred seeing the back of bruces head and nodding in acknowledgement, it would have been enough to leave the audience with question marks in true Nolanesque fashion.
In my opinion this ending with Bruce and Selina proves that hes alive, think back to to Alfred explaining how every year he went to Florence and imagined seeing Bruce, happy and in love. Alfred states the only reason he knew his fantasy of seeing him wasnt real was due to one reason, Bruce never acknlowledges him, yet the final scene we see is the fact bruce nods,waves, whatever he did… its the hint that this is the reality and bruce is alive… sigh.
P.S props to the extras for sneaking in a few Robin references in the film 😉 good work guys
Now the Post Credits Scene for The Amazing Spider-Man is abit open for interpretation.
There is no set definition as to whats actually happening in this scene but i will keep you guys updated as time progresses
In the scene, Dr. Curt Connors (aka The Lizard) sits alone in a cell. Lightning flashes and a cloaked man appears between two slivers of moonlight. “Did you tell him about his father?” the mysterious man asks Connors.
Connors says that he told young Peter nothing about his father, Richard Parker, and nobly pleads that Peter be left alone. The shrouded man quickly disappears with another strike of lightning.
The scene is brief, but there may be some clues.
First, it’s impossible to know who the second man is. We dont even know if the person is real or a manifestation of Conners mind being infected with the same poison that just turned him into a Giant Lizard not to long before.
However there are two viable theories
1.) Norman Osborn: the eventual Green Goblin is hinted thoroughly throughout the movie even his face is masked in shade in oscorp tower just like the visitor . He would be essential for sequals as the Goblin is ultimately (or questionably) responsible for Gwen Staceys demise
2.) Connors’ visitor could imply that The Sinister Six, a group of mad-scientists-turned-monsters, may make their way into “Amazing Spider-Man” sequels. Whilst i would love to say the Thunder is a throw back to Electro or even the quick in and out being representative of a Mysterio or Dr Strange, these sorts of claims cannot be substantiated and would be purely speculative.
So at this point its up to the fans to come up with whatever deductions they may make, they could be right and they could be wrong and to be honest i think thats what makes this post credits scene so loveable it can mean anything a fan wants it to.
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