Monday, 18 July 2016


Tonight, 58.95%, 2/14


I never saw the original all male team of 'Ghostbusters' made 32 years ago which was a big success and left in its trace a catchy theme tune.

This time around the all female team of 'Ghostbusters' take on the task with the same catchy theme in tow. I can't say much for the plot which is minimal and apparently almost irrelevant. There is lots of noise and the special effects are reasonably impressive if rather repetitive. Each of the four women has a moment or two to shine without any of them leaving much of an impression. It is left to Chris Hemsworth to make the most of his participation in the gender stereotyping switch as a receptionist chosen for his looks rather than his skills (and his dance moves over the end credits).

Members of the original cast make cameo appearances for those with fond memories of the first movie.

Bland fun.


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Resident Alien

Paul Capsis plays the eccentric Englishman Quentin Crisp in the one person play 'Resident Alien' currently in a short season at the Seymour Centre.

Capsis portrays a day in Crisp's life spent in his New York flat. According to the program notes the text is derived from Crisp's published work and anecdotes. Capsis is a highly regarded performer often portraying cross gender or gender ambiguous characters. Whilst appreciating his skills I haven't always warmed to his performances but I think Capsis is very good in this theatre piece.

If I have a criticism it is that the work is a little one dimensional lacking a degree of light and shade  in subject matter.


Friday, 15 July 2016

Not a valid response from Foxtel

I'm having a problem with my subscription television service, Foxtel. Specifically, my recorded programs are being compromised by the intrusion of pixellation, frozen moments and jumps through scenes. Live television service is not affected. I suspect there is a problem with the personal recording  unit.

I first reported this problem back in April and it appeared to be remedied at that time by a system reset.

However the same problems returned gradually a few weeks later and have increased in frequency ever since.

Today I called the technical support call centre which by the accent of the operator handling my call and the voices I could hear in the background is located in India. I wasn't happy with the service I received.

The operator asked for my account number and when I failed to provide it immediately - I was scanning my documentation to locate that information - she repeated 'account number, account number, account number' perhaps a dozen times without a moment's pause. Once I had provided the number she excused herself for a conversation with a colleague in a local language which I could hear before returning to my call and then asking - as though for the first time - for the number again.

This sent her into bursts of laughter which continued for about a minute. Then followed a number of questions one of which didn't seem relevant to me. When I queried the question the operator offered no explanation for it and just moved on to other questions.

By this time I lost patience and asked several times to be transferred to another operator. This request was ignored totally. I didn't bother asking for a supervisor as from previous experience I know the answer always is that there isn't one available.

This was one occasion when I held on for the follow up call asking me to rate the service. To each rating my response was 'not satisfied'. Each of these was met with the automated system informing me that mine was 'not a valid response'. (A number system of ratings is used.)

I did comply with the numbered ratings at each prompt but Foxtel, I can tell you your call centre service is not a valid response to customer expectations.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Legend of Tarzan

Who knows how many films have been made about the mythical Tarzan, the son of an English aristocrat, brought up in the African jungle by Apes? I don't.

In 'The Legend of Tarzan' our hero is lured back to Africa to investigate corrupt behaviour by mining interests not knowing that his capture is the bargaining tool for those behind the corrupt activity. The plot also includes flashbacks to explain Tarzan's childhood and that of his wife Jane whose childhood was also spent in Africa.

Alexander Skarsgard makes for a handsome if somewhat reticent and uninteresting hero whilst Australian Margot Robbie as Jane is enchanting in yet another movie. The camera just loves her.

The best feature of the film are the images and camerawork which are captivating.