Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Archive for January, 2006

Berowra Valley Regional Park

Posted by redkoireviews on 28/01/2006

My partner and her parents went on this bushwalk today. We started by leaving the car at Francis Greenway Dr. After a few boring streets we came to ‘The Lakes‘ which is a local park with loads of ducks. From there we walked down into the bush, surrounded on both sides by housing and weeds for a while 😦 until we made it into the park proper. For an urban bushwalk, the variety of flora was pretty wide, with angophora, coachwood, blackbutt and other gums in abundance.
Down near Berowra creek we saw two wallaby as they thumped away from our intrusion :-). After following the (quite dry) creek for a while the track returns up to Francis Greenway Dr.
The easy access to this walk (although not by public transport) makes it atractive. On the downside the beginning and end are quite polluted and weedy.
My Rating: 3.5 stars


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Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

Posted by redkoireviews on 28/01/2006

Harry Potter PosterI’m a fan of the Harry Potter books, and the previous movies have been pretty good, but this movie was a let down. It’s a good example of what happens when you create an abridged version of a book as a movie. The downsizing of the plot creates loose ends, and makes Voldemorts return seem a bit out of the blue.
As for the new Dumbledore: he’s a cardboard cutout compared to the previous actors. The kids are ok but not as able to rely on cuteness to replace acting ability. Someone decided playing up the romance would be a good idea, even inventing a more romantic roll for Longbottom. Oh, and I expected the Voldemort scenes to be much scarier. One for the DVD player on a rainy day. If you want more detail, see the wikipedia entry.
My Rating: 2 Stars

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Erwin Wurm, Glue your brain

Posted by redkoireviews on 28/01/2006

‘Glue your brain’ is being shown at the MCA as yet another feature of the Sydney Festival. Generally, modern art tends to amuse me but not enthral me. It often seems all a bit serious and overladen with meaning most people can’t access. However, this one is different. Much of it makes you smile or laugh. The use of clothing to create sculpture, or everyday object to create ’10min art’ actually does take the ordinary and make it something special.
People wandering through are encourgaed to ‘realise’ the artworks by becoming part of them, if only for a few seconds.
I’m sure there’s lots of meaning and symbolism for those who want that, but for the rest of us it’s a quirky detour from the humdrum of daily life.
My Rating: 3 Stars

Posted in 3 Stars, Exhibitions, Reviews | 1 Comment »

Back Home

Posted by redkoireviews on 25/01/2006

This play is part of the 2006 Sydney Festival. It’s produced by great local company Urban Theatre Projects. The audience is taken on a bus tour through Parramatta and Blacktown before ariving at ‘the backyard’. At first it felt kind of voyeristic – like I’d become so estranged from real life I felt the need to go an watch it as art. But soon enough the emotional power of the play took over, rasing confronting issues such as racism and broken relationships that young Sydney men face. After the recent race riots in Cronulla, this play is timely. Thanks goes to the Urban Theatre for avoid cheap preaching and working on a real feel for the play.
The conculsion feels unresloved, but perhaps that just reflects the nature of the problems these men face. Great to see the Sydney Festival acts finally getting into the real centre of Sydney.
My Rating: 4 Stars

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Symphony in the Domain

Posted by redkoireviews on 21/01/2006

GershwinThis years Symphony in the Domain has focused on the work of George Gershwin. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra where excellent, as was conductor and pianst Wayne Marshall.
The melodies derived from musicals where a bit of a rush for my liking – better to keep the whole songs in tact.
Sharing the perfromance with 70,000 other people makes this more of a social event and less of a musical one. Conversations, smoking and being half a kilometre from the musicans are all pretty standard for this kind of outdoor event, but they do detract from the event. Like reading an abridged Shakespere, accesible but not as good as the original.
Oh, the 1812 overture was played again with a few lame fireworks and bangs, as is (apparently) the tradition. Yawn.
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

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Concert of Fire

Posted by redkoireviews on 17/01/2006

Concert of FireConcert of Fire‘ was an outdoor performance at Prince Alfred Park in Parramatta that combined spectacular fireworks with a vibrant range of drum beats and sounds. It’s a combination that works. Rather than the oohhhs and aahhhs that a fireworks crowd normally responds with, this crowd was excited, almost shocked.
I could have lived without the speeches from un-remarkables at the begining, but otherwise the production was flawless. Don’t expect this event to make you think or to challenge you, but it will make you smile and dance. I forgot my camera 😦 but Toytown Mafia got a good shot and Mathew Chapman got a stunning set. My Rating: 4 Stars

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Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Posted by redkoireviews on 17/01/2006

Thud! BookcoverThud is the most recent in a long line of Discworld novels that I’ve read. As usual, it’s a highly entertaining read that has a serious thread to it as well. Pratchett has drawn on religous extremism and ethnic disputes of the real world and portayed them through the increasingly violent conflicts between Dwarves and Trolls. It’s left to honest policeman Mister Vimes to sort through the politics and stop whole chunks of his city killing each other for no particularly good reason. Read another less favorable review here
My Rating: 4 Stars

Posted in 4 Stars, Books, Reviews | 2 Comments »

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