One cheeky rabbit has missed the curtain call.
So ‘The Pok’ (my son) and I went to go see the new Star Wars flick – The Force Awakens this morning at 6am at the IMAX in Sydney. And in one word it is – AWESOME! There are no spoilers in this post.
Our film adventure had been building for a couple of months now where we have watched the multiple trailers on YouTube about a million times. He received a new generation X-Wing and TIE Fighter to fit in action figures for his birthday. So when we the tickets were released, I went straight for the jugular and ordered them for the biggest screen in Sydney on the opening day. There was no way that I was going without my boy, who even managed to go to bed early so I could wake him up at 5am to trundle off down to the theatre.
He dressed up as a Stormtrooper (his shirt and jacket combo – and the his white sneakers are “stormtrooper” shoes), and I donned my Boba Fett t-shirt. We loaded up on portable breakfast, a couple muesli bars and some drinks. There would be no popcorn for this viewing.
I am no movie critic, so my review is going to be punchy and concise. JJ Abrams nails it, in terms of cinematography, pace, and sense of fun. It looks like Star Wars, feels like Star Wars, and it looks real – not like a polished video game. There are some shocks to the plot, and a lot more to be revealed in episodes VIII and IX. The star of the film has to be Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and he is bad@ss. I felt giddy like a kid again watching X-Wings blowing up TIE Fighters, and now want more. Some of the sections of the film were too scary for a 5 year old child, so he ended up sitting on my lap for the last two thirds of the film. My only criticism is that a lot has happened between Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens, but it wasn’t fully explained. I guess I will have to read the books and comics to find out.
How do the Films Rank (my humble opinion)
- The Empire Strikes Back
- A New Hope
- The Force Awakens
- Return of the Jedi
- Revenge of the Sith
- Attack of the Clones
- … um E.T.
- The Phantom Menace
All in all, this closet geek was happy and can’t wait to watch it again and again.
Summer is in it’s final month here in Sydney. But being Summer it also means water and outdoors at night. One of our favourite things to try and do each year is to attend the Open Air Cinema between the Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. It is not cheap, but seeing at least one movie during the season has become a tradition of ours. The first time we went was to see the movie “Saving Grace” which turned out to be quite hilarious for two reasons. Firstly good movie, and secondly we watched the entire movie in a torrential downpour with ponchos on. I suppose a big part of what you pay for is the stunning location to watch the movie – here was our movie theatre for the evening.
For the uninitiated, you can get caught out with the way the whole thing works. There are no reserved seats, and one of the first things you have to do is lay claim to yours for the evening (not before grabbing a Lindor ball though – though no black or blue ones were on offer).
For the evening I was ‘Bill Collins’ of “Golden Years of Hollywood” fame (it’s an Aussie thing).
Once the seats are secured, then it is off to get fed and watered. This is the best way to catch dinner and a movie with a great view. Again, reserving your seats for the dining is essential to.
We went with friends this year, and managed to get tickets to the Christopher Nolan film – “Interstellar”. I was quite chuffed! It was the first time our mates had been to this Open Air Cinema – which for me was a real shock because they are proper movie buffs. Every year we try and go see anything, so long as we go. But it was a bonus to get tickets (and they sell out real fast!) to a movie that we both wanted to see. [side note – last year we saw “Anna Karenina”… nuff said about those two hours of my life lost forever]
So as the sun set on our meal which was watered with a couple of bottles of New Zealand’s finest, the pre-show experience begun. Lift the screen!
Yes, the screen is firmly planted within Sydney Harbour. Now the only gripe that I had about this year was that I missed out on the latest Peroni beer advert which is usually screened before the film. Apparently there was a minor firework display which was more important. [second side note – unless the fireworks display is great and loud, us Sydneysiders will be very critical. New Year’s Eve anyone?]
With all that harbour and skyline behind the screen you would think it would be a major distraction to watching the movie. Except, the sound is awesome! No chance of a directionally challenged fruit bat ruining the evening by crashing into the screen, its sonar is overpowered by the fantastic audio setup.
So we settled in to watch the movie, and had a good time interrupting our fellow movie patrons by discerning whether there were flaws in Hollywood science. The robots were cool, the spaceships were cool (not Rebel Alliance cool, but cool), and the story was cool.
[third and final side note – sorry ladies but I don’t know what the fuss about McConaughey is, he looked a bit ragged in this movie 😉 ]
While it is hard to get tickets, if you are in Sydney over the January / February period this is quite an experience. Our friends loved it and I think they will be return patrons. I definitely recommend it, and look forward to going again hopefully next year. Just be prepared with a poncho…
My wife planned a date night for this last weekend a while ago with tickets to John Legend. A few of life’s dice did not roll our way in the last week, so when we got to Friday I was not in the mood. But my wife did not entertain for one little bit missing out on the concert – and I am glad that she didn’t. After a quiet evening stroll to the Entertainment Centre, we arrived at our seats about a minute before John Legend took to the stage. There were no gaudy stages or extravagant smoke displays, just a well lit stage and a fantastic backing band including a four piece string quartet.
I love going to see John Legend play. He is a cheeky musician who writes some saucy songs, but all with a veneer of clean music over the top. And I suppose there is no shortage of ego either. But he is one very talented musician! Maybe he was onto something when he moved on from being a management consultant to tour and travel the world…
Well… there are not literally wild rhinos on the loose in Sydney. What it’s really all about is Taronga Zoo creating the Taronga Wild! Rhino Trail. The trail has some 125 rhino statues uniquely painted by artists and sponsored by Australian business to help raise awareness of the critical plight facing rhinos through poaching and habitat loss. The rhinos are literally everywhere and are here till the end of April. In May they will be auctioning off the statues with the proceeds going towards Taronga’s rhino conservation programs. This is the sort of thing that you would expect in Melbourne, but fortunately we are seeing more and more of these urban art exhibitions. I think they are cool, and with phone camera in hand these are some of the statues that I captured.
In Darling Harbour…
At Dawes Point…
On King Street Wharf…
Out the front of the NSW Government offices…
At Pitt Street Mall…
In the Rocks…
They are everywhere, and they are colourfully cool.
The French band Phoenix have landed in Sydney again! If you don’t know who they are, they are the best band you haven’t heard of 🙂 I just spent an awesome night with my wife seeing them play live at the Hordern Pavilion – and the floor was pumping.
What I can’t figure out is why they are more popular outside of their home country France? Maybe because all their songs are in English. Who cares, we Aussies love them. And they performed all of their songs that I love. Haha, I am not too old yet to rock out at a concert.
This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Illuminated. I thought I would use this travel theme to show off my photos from the Vivid Light Festival in Sydney from last year. I had to travel the best part of 3km to get to this location, but it was tough hauling with my Canon Digital SLR, 4 lenses, and a Tripod. I am only showing a few of the photos on this blog post but I uploaded a whole heap more, particularly of the Sydney Opera House, up to my Flickr account on this set Vivid Light Festival 2013. Oh, and as usual, the images link through to the larger sized photos on Flickr.
The Sydney Opera House was AWESOME! The video show this year was something special, and was good for both photography and video. The husband of one of our fellow bloggers, Josephine over at Becoming Aussie (the link has a blog post with video of the show), had a hand in putting together this part of the light show. My favourite part was definitely the lizard eye.
The Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) was well cool too and competed well against the ‘House, but was pipped into second place.
There were another two video displays against buildings this year, in addition to the regular one on Customs House which was unusually average. One was against the old brick warehouse building behind the Overseas Passenger Terminal, which was better to watch in motion than still. The running horses were the best bit.
Circular Quay was bathed in colour!
Not all the displays were grand, some were on a more human scale. Like this oversized illuminated beehive.
Or the light panels that were sensitive to touch.
The terraces in the rocks were lit up again this year after being absent in 2012. Love the colours, and the light murals on the 1st storey balconies.
I liked the giant neon tube light bulb – cool too.
Some of the art pieces were quite abstract, but this one was sheer genius. It would have to have been very highlight calculated with the shade effects against the textured cubes. The lighting changed its saturation over time and the shadows changed with it. Chapeau to this artist.
I think my boy enjoyed the light show a lot, particularly when he got to play on the light piano with his mum.
I can’t wait to see what the lineup will be for 2014.
Great theme this week Ailsa, good excuse to post some cool photos.
So I have seen some pretty weird stuff on my rides. Most times I am on the handlebars pedalling away wishing I had a camera in my eye like the 6 Million Dollar Man (yes, I just showed my age but gee that was an awesome show). But sometimes I just have to stop and take a quick snap with my mobile phone in my back pocket. This morning I saw the biggest yellow rubber duck I have ever seen in my life. I think it is part of the Sydney Festival, and was here in Sydney last year.
For the record my ride this morning was a struggle as I was pushing against a mild bout of office communicated man flu. Still, my mate JB and I pumped out a good 80km and I fought through it to get some of my fastest Strava segment times. We took a detour through Sydney Olympic Park on he return. Perfect Sydney Summer morning for a ride, no wind, few riders, perfect temperature, and low humidity.
Off to the beach this arvo I think.