Movie Review: "Australia" (Opens Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008)



Are you hankering to see a good old fashioned western? Do you like a well-written story that has a strong historical basis? Have you always wanted to visit Australia? Do you have about three hours to spare?

If your answers are ‘yes’, ‘yes’, ‘yes’ and ‘yes’, I have a movie suggestion for you…and it’s called “Australia”. You say you’re not sure about the long screening time? Well, it’s a lot less time than flying there. Of course there is a catch…isn’t there always? Australia by plane is set in 2008. “Australia” the movie is set in the late 1930s, but that’s where the historical slant comes in.

Here are some details about this movie. At the outset, I’ll admit that I liked it. It stars Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley, Hugh Jackman as Drover and young Brandon Walters as Nullah. Kidman (Sarah) leaves civilized England to travel into the wilds of Australia. She finds herself with an inherited ranch and 1600 head of cattle that need to be delivered to the city of Darwin. Jackman (Drover) reluctantly agrees to take on the job of bossing the drive to Darwin under difficult circumstances. Of course, there are villains -- King Carney, played by Bryan Brown and Neil Fletcher, played by David Wenham. They both have reasons to interfere with the drive. So there you have it. You'll see an old western plot, played out on the broad canvas of the Australian outback.

Brandon Walters is wonderful as Nullah. He brings us to the history of the Australian lost generation. A boy of an aboriginal mother and a Caucasian father, he must deal with the government’s continuous attempts to take him from his mother and his grandfather, to live with other "lost children" under the auspices of the Catholic Church. Sarah and Drover become important in his life but even they are powerless to openly contradict this process. Nullah can only avoid this fate by hiding as long as possible from the officers charged with the responsibility of apprehending these mixed-race children. The thread of Nullah’s story is deftly interwoven with the cattle drive and ranching plot.

Everything comes to a climax as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941and proceed south to attack Darwin and anything along the way.

Now that I’ve seen “Australia” the movie, it seems as if our planned vacation to Australia next October will be something to experience. We will be in transit a total of 22 hours and our destination is Sydney. What’s a day spent in flying to such a remote location? It’ll be worth it.

“Australia” the movie is worth it also. I’m rating it a B+ on Ellen’s Entertainment Report Card.

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Screenplay by: Stuart Beattie and Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson
Rating: PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language.
Running Time: 165 minutes

Think GLOBALLY, buy LOCALLY... Portland area bloggers you might want to know about...

This is my first annual Portland OREGON HOLIDAY Bloggers-in-Business web post. If you're local, please visit these blog sites and consider them for your holiday gifts! This is a service of Accessible Media Services featuring FREE hosting by Ellen Kimball. If you'd like your business to be considered, kindly contact me at radio_lady(AT) There is NO CHARGE for any listing.

Amanda's Wedding Shoppe -- Flowers Designed with YOU in Mind

Congratulations! You're getting married! At Amanda's Wedding Shoppe, we're very passionate about flowers. We love weddings and creating the perfect Flower Design for YOUR day!! Let us make your day beautiful! We're located in Oregon City, Oregon. Kindly visit our site at the link above.


Annie's Photography

Specializing in children, families, maternity, and special events. Please visit Annie's blog by linking above. For details about a photographic session or to book a session, please email: kevinandannie(AT)


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For contact information, please email Radio_Lady(AT) Thanks!


Kellee Beaudry Pet Portraits and Wildlife Artist

Kellee says, "It's easy and affordable to have a one of a kind original of your one of a kind companion! I work with you to create a really personal and expressive portrait. We work together, looking over photos, talking about your preferences and discussing options and things you want included in your painting. I can even include you or your children!"


Hello Bloggers-in-Business,

I will be adding other local listings. Please post a comment or email radio_lady(AT) if you'd like your Oregon/southern Washington business added to this list. Thanks so much. Ellen Kimball

Old Fat Naked Women for Peace -- CAUTION! Contains NUDITY!

Hat tip to Stephen Fleischman for sending this link:

The Righteous Mothers threaten us with corporal disrobing in this video. It's nice to know they'll have to alter the lyrics about Dick Cheney soon, and a bunch of the people in this video are no longer in government:

Listen to other music samples of the Righteous Mothers here.

Happy Birthday, Larry King -- You changed my life! (I dated Larry when he was a young radio broadcaster in Miami...

...but I didn't marry him. Of course, he never asked me, either!)

Larry's family with his wife, Shawn, and two young sons, Chance and Cannon

Larry and I both started on-air in Miami in 1957. I got a job in January at WTVJ, Miami, Florida on a brand-new children's TV show, "Popeye Playhouse" (see photo above). Larry began his long career in May 1957 working at WAHR, a local AM radio station.

We were introduced by one of the WTVJ salesmen, perhaps Frank Boscia. We had at least one date in the late 1950s. I had finished high school and started at the University of Miami. Flash forward to 1971 -- I was divorced, with two tiny children. One night, I heard Larry on his 1:30 AM to 5:30 AM talk show, begging for doughnuts and coffee. I bought the snacks and brought them to WIOD on the North Bay Causeway. I asked Larry if he even remembered me. He didn't, but he encouraged me to stay and screen his calls and ask what people wanted to talk about.

I kept dropping by a couple of nights each week. I was lonely and Larry made me laugh. I provided him with "woman in the mall" cassette tapes of an hour in length. It was audio of me talking to people about local issues. One I recall in particular -- "Walt Disney is building a theme park called Disney World in Orlando. Do you think that will impact tourism in Miami?"

Steve Z., the radio engineer, would play the tapes so we could go home at 4:30 AM instead of 5:30 AM. Larry promised me he'd ask the program manager for some salary -- but he never did.

A few days before Christmas 1971, Larry was arrested (but never indicted or convicted). At that time, I contacted Elliot "Biggie" Nevins and told him I had a communications degree from the U. of Miami, had had experience on television, and had also worked in production for the "Tonight" show unit in New York City. "Biggie" told me, "I've heard you on the station. Come over and we'll talk." I think I had $80.00 left in my bank account. Obviously, I didn't want to work the graveyard shift forever, but just for a while. I took over Larry's radio show while they looked for a male host. The pay was $50.00 per night.

Meanwhile, it was a time for affirmative action. One Boston station, WEEI, had a 10AM to 2PM time slot to fill. The station manager, Dan Griffin, invited me up to Boston for the day -- April 28, 1972. Boston was beautiful in the spring! A day or two later, Dan called and offered me my own talk show. The start date of "Boston Forum with Ellen Kimball" was -- May 15, 1972. The ads in the paper said: "HAVE WE GOT A GIRL FOR YOU!"

Here's the rest of the story:

Enjoy your 75th Birthday (11/19/08), with warm regards from Ellen Kimball a/k/a Ellen Rainbow!

Everything is beautiful at the Portland (Oregon) Ballet’s “La Boutique Fantasque”

A wonderful family tradition to begin the Holiday Season

It is with great joy that I’m adding this information for those of you within the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area. Feel free to post this to other forums or blogs!

La Boutique Fantasque

Thanksgiving Weekend 2010
Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm
Saturday, November 26 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, November 27, 2010 at 1:00pm and 4:00pm

All performances at the Newmark Theatre
1111 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon

Tickets -- Now on Sale!

Contact Ticketmaster outlets at:
Also available at the box office of the Newmark

For additional information, please visit:

A few years ago, I found out that the Portland Ballet, an Academy and Youth Company, was going to dance my favorite ballet, “La Boutique Fantasque” (translated as “The Enchanted Toyshop”). I have loved this work since I was a young girl and believe it is even better than Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” or “Swan Lake.” What’s more, I had never seen it performed any place I have ever lived, including Miami, Florida, and New York City and Boston, Massachusetts. Now that we live in Portland, Oregon, I’m proud to say that our paths have intersected with this energetic, youthful, and talented dancing group. Kudos to Artistic Director Nancy Davis and TPB owner Jim Lane.

On a winter day, my husband and I made arrangements to take our two young grandchildren to see the production at a local college. The music was recorded, and the stage was small, but I absolutely loved the young dancers and it was quite a thrill to actually see it being performed. We're going to see it by ourselves this time – and since I’m already a big fan, I know I’ll love it!

If you have a chance to see this charming ballet either here in Oregon or elsewhere, please take my advice and GO!

If you have never heard of “La Boutique Fantasque,” or live somewhere out of our area, I would encourage you to purchase a CD of this music and enjoy it that way. I wore out the cassette tape I had years ago, but now have purchased the ballet music on CDs by two different orchestras. I love to listen to the mp3 recordings while flying to magic destinations.

When I was younger than springtime in Miami, Florida, I discovered ballet music. My parents loved classical music. Mother played the piano, and Dad tried very hard on the violin. I am their only child.

Mostly, I listened to WVCG-AM (“The Voice of Coral Gables”) the only all-classical AM station at that time. Hosted by Bert Graulich, the show was called “Burnt Toast and Coffee.” I always thought that "Buttered Toast" would have been a better choice, but I wasn’t in charge! While other kids were loving Elvis and rock 'n' roll, I chose the lilting melodies of the older musicians. The music wafted through my car from the classical music station in Miami as I drove to North Miami High School, and then throughout my college years at the University of Miami.

The first ballet movie I ever saw was “The Red Shoes” with Moira Shearer. Like so many other young girls, I was completely captivated by the film.

I remember Maria Tallchief and other prima ballerinas. I had tried tap dancing as a child and it didn’t work out, but I’m still a lover of ballroom dancing. My dreams of having a child or grandchild who wanted to dance have not been realized, but I happily join the extended family of these talented young people bring ballet to life for others.

Dear Lovers of Film and Theater Musicals... I'll recommend one for you!


Our family has a long history of supporting musicals. My husband and I continue to attend many revivals of older works while thoroughly enjoying what the younger crowd is producing these days.

Regrettably, I was very sick the week that "High School Musical 3" premiered here in Portland, and missed posting my timely review at a couple of websites. However, moviegoers have voted with their dollars on this one and HSM3 is now honored with the biggest opening for a musical ever.

This is a great movie for all -- grownups and youngsters alike. I'm giving it a B+ on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.

I just learned that there is now a SINGALONG VERSION which has now been released in 125 digital movie theaters around the country. The film employs digital captioning technology which I haven't personally seen, but maybe some rainy day, I'll bop over to my local theater and check it out again.

“This is the first time Walt Disney Pictures has ever released a singalong version of a movie in theaters nationwide,” said Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. “'High School Musical 3' has already received a tremendous response from audiences everywhere and we felt that the movie’s huge base of enthusiastic fans would really embrace a singalong version.”

You can find the nearest singalong showing by logging onto:


Please enter your zip code or city/state into the available ticketing application. A listing of area theaters and show times, including singalong showings, will be provided.

About the Movie

Disney’s “High School Musical” phenomenon leaps onto the big screen in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR, in which America’s favorite high school students (ZAC EFRON, VANESSA HUDGENS, ASHLEY TISDALE, LUCAS GRABEEL, CORBIN BLEU and MONIQUE COLEMAN) hit senior year. Amidst a basketball championship, prom and a big spring musical featuring all of the Wildcats, Troy and Gabriella vow to make every moment last as their lifelong college dreams put the future of their relationship in question. A crew of sophomore Wildcats (MATT PROKOP, JUSTIN MARTIN, JEMMA MCKENZIE-BROWN) joins in the fun as the film’s incredible new music and exciting dance numbers take maximum advantage of the big screen. Directed by Kenny Ortega from a screenplay written by Peter Barsocchini, the film is now showing in theaters nationwide. has lots of shiny new photos here.