Movie Review: The Number 23

30 December, 2007


Jim Carrey stars in this fairly ordinary psychological thriller, based on a real life conspiracy-theory school of thought that attributes a mystical power to the number 23.

Walter Sparrow (Carrey) is a run-of-the-mill dog catcher who slowly comes to believe that a novel he is reading was written about him. The main character in the novel, Fingerling, is obsessed with the number 23, and this obsession is picked up by Sparrow, who begins to see evidence of the number everywhere.

Not that it’s hard to do when you try: a street address of 599 translates to 5 + 9 + 9 = 23; the colour pink is made up of red and white, whose numerical descriptors add up to 92, which divided by 4 = 23; ohmygod, my own initials are BC, that’s 2 + 3 = 23 and I was born on the second of December, that’s 2 + 1 + 2 = 2 + 3 = 23. And when we added the five digits on the cat’s registration collar, what do you think they added to? That’s right, 23.

Director Joel Schumacher (Phone Booth, 8MM, Batman Forever) has a lot of fun adding in plenty of superfluous 23 sightings into the action; in fact I found ‘spotting the 23s’ the most engaging part of the film. Guess how many chapters on the DVD?

The action switches between the real life world of Walter Sparrow and his caring wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen), and the imaginary world of Sparrow’s novel-based alter ego, Fingerling. The film-makers incorporate some dark Sin City-style imagery into this fantasy world, and in a nice touch which exacerbates the sense of Sparrow’s obsession, Carrey and Madsen also play the highly stylised lead roles in Fingerling-world.

The premise of an enigmatic, magical number had some promise, but generally the plot was far-fetched and unconvincing. The actors do their part competently, the production team does theirs, but at the end of the day, if it looks like a dog and smells like a dog, in all probability it is a dog.

Famous Number 23s: Michael Jordan, David Beckham, Shane Warne, Mark Bolton…spooky.

2.3 stars


Merry Christmas

25 December, 2007

Merry Christmas to all of my readers.

I hope Santa brings what you have hoped for, and that your Christmas dinner is as delicious as ours is sure to be.

My best present was Tarpins winning his first race on Sunday – we must have watched the replay 50 times.

Mighty Tarpins – the toast of Horsham

23 December, 2007


Move over Kevin McGee, there is a new Horsham Hurricane, and he goes by the name of Tarpins.

That’s right folks, our horse Tarpins broke his cherry this afternoon, winning the prestigious 1800 metre Grampians and Wimmera Tourist News Maiden Plate, at picturesque Horsham racecourse.

Unfortunately the three hour each way trip to Horsham was a little daunting for us just two days before Christmas, so we opted to watch from the Keilor TAB instead. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the fine class of dero that was assembled there at 1.30pm on a Sunday. Not a razor blade amongst them. And more than a few of them walking with that ‘morning after’ shuffle; the one where it hurts your kidneys to stand up straight.

Anyway, the TAB clientele were pretty surprised to hear such fervent support from two sober people in what was (admittedly) a non-feature race.

Hugs and kisses all round for Wakes and myself, and plenty of celebratory phone calls and text messages from our family and friends.

Onya Tarpins.

Not Wakes’ finest hour

22 December, 2007


Hopefully most of my readers will eventually see the humour in the above screenshot. I got it from a fun site called The Humour Archives.

When I showed Wakes I was a little disappointed that she did not even crack it for a smile. In fact she looked a little uncomfortable. For about thirty seconds. Then she asked, “The moon is bigger than an elephant, isn’t it?”

Yes, Wakes, the moon is slightly bigger than an elephant. That’s how they were able to manage to land a massive space craft on it. Also Armstrong hit a massive gravity-free golf shot that probably travelled around 600 metres (assuming it’s stopped rolling). The same shot would probably easily clear the length of an elephant. And then there is the issue of the space buggy they drove around in up there. It would probably be hard to steer that around on top of an elephant. Even if it was a really, really big elephant.

Also I was thinking, I’m not sure you would be able to see an elephant with the naked eye from around 385,000 kms. But I may be mistaken.

PS – Wakes is the smartest chick I know, which is why I am so pleased about her occasional mental lapses.

PPS – One day I might tell her famous Tour de France time delay story on my blog. But only if you ask me to.

Great Sporting Pictures of 2007

21 December, 2007


Sports Illustrated magazine has posted its top sporting pictures of 2007 – well worth a look if you’re a sports fan.

I loved this photo of Serena Williams from the 2007 Australian Open.

It reminded me of a joke I heard about Serena taking some supplements to build her physique. She went to the doctor who prescribed them and complained about the side-effects.

“What side effects?” asked the doctor.

“I’ve grown hair in some unusual places.” said Serena.

“What places?”

“On my balls, for a start.”

Got me a new camera

13 December, 2007

Canon Digital IXUS 75

Canon Digital IXUS 75.

Bought it duty free ($A315) on my way to see the out-laws in NZ.

No more excuses for putting up crappy photos on my blog. Unless they are party photos, in which case I reserve the right to use alcohol as an excuse…

Mona and me

12 December, 2007

One of these guys took over five hours to run a marathon. The other one didn’t…


For those who don’t know, the skinny one is former Australian marathon champion Steve Moneghetti.

I was lucky enough to hear Steve speak at a conference last week. He spoke brilliantly without notes for 45 minutes; not an ‘umm’ or ‘aah’ or ‘y’know’ to be heard. And his speech had been tailored specially for our group, so it’s not as if he just memorised a generic speech. Amazing bloke.

BTW, he let slip that in his prime years he trained about 8,500 km in a year. Wakes and I covered around 900km in training for our Marathon. No wonder it took us so long.