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Movie Review: The Good Liar *Spoiler free*

When you see that Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are staring in a movie together for the first time you really don't need to know anything else about the movie before deciding to go see it.

That was the case with The Good Liar. I was looking for a film to go see with my partner on her birthday, this was showing. That's really all we needed but it didn't hurt knowing that the premise was a hustler attempting to relieve a rich widow of her fortune.

Like any good hustle movie, you know going in things are not going to be as straightforward as the initial outline describes. You'll probably work out pretty early where the story is heading. Despite that the film does a good job of putting in enough doubt along the way, so you're never quite certain the end is going to be exactly what you think.

This is quite possibly the first time I've seen Ian McKellen play just a regular person without superpowers or magical abilities. As you'd expect he easily sells his chara…
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Book Review: Mostly Plants - 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family

I've never bought a cookbook in my life until now. Mostly Plants randomly came across my path when I happened upon a Youtube clip of Jimmy Fallon interviewing Michael J. Fox and his partner, Tracy Pollan.

One of the topics discussed, obviously, was the cookbook which is a collaboration with Tracy's two sisters, and her mother, with a title that comes from her brother Michael's quote:
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. You can watch the aforementioned Youtube clip from April 2019 below.



Mostly Plants is a Flexitarian recipe book, not to be confused with a diet book. Its main goal is to give anyone trying to eat healthier, plant based meals, some options if you'd still like to keep a little meat in the mix.

At the time I bought the book my partner had been trying to eat less meat, and even tried going vegan altogether but wasn't managing to stick with it for very long. Possibly because it's hard to change what you eat when your partner (i.e. me) isn't re…

Revive Skateboards, Design a Lifeline Competition - My Pizza Monkeys Entry Submission

About a month ago Revive Skateboards launched their #DesignALifeline competition where entrants had to purchase a specific Lifeline template skateboard deck, draw their design on it, and then post a photo of their finished board to Instagram with the hashtag #designalifeline.

With only 200 template boards being made available, I liked those odds, and bought a deck within an hour of seeing the competition announcement video on the day it was posted. The deck cost me US$40.00 and about that again to have it mailed to Australia. It's the most expensive competition entry I've paid for to date.



The winner gets to have their design released as an official deck as part of Revive's Spring 2020 product release. As well they get three copies of their deck along with a sponsor pack (which typically consists of a number of decks, clothes, wheels etc. from Revive's range). Four runners up will get a sponsor package only.

If you're thinking you might like to enter, unfortunatel…

The Three Jokers - DC on Film Opinion

Joaquin Phoenix and director, Todd Phillips, gave us another interesting take on the Joker from Batman's rogues gallery, with their movie Joker. This has lead me to think about the three modern movie Jokers of the 21st century, i.e. Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, and, of course, Joaquin Phoenix. Specifically how they fit in relation to the character and in relation to Batman.

Joker - Joaquin Phoenix
This interpretation of Joker can definitely be seen as Day 1 Joker. He's just an unhinged guy in clown makeup. He's no match for Batman but he doesn't need to be since Batman is barely an idea in Bruce Wayne's head.

This Joker needs a few years to mature before going up against Batman. The fact that Joaquin's Joker would be older than Batman may give him some air of authority over Bruce that a Joker of equal age wouldn't command.

I personally don't buy that the Joker is a response to Batman. They may become yin-yang to each other but Joker's origin was never…

Book Review: The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef

Shaun Micallef is one of Australia's premier comedian, actor, writer, and media personalities responsible for numerous comedy TV shows, and generally leaning towards surrealist humor that often gives him a more unique perspective on finding what's funny in any given situation.

He's actually one of my favorite humorists working in entertainment, hence I was looking forward to reading his book, The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef.

You would think a man who writes a lot of contemporary, biting satire would be a sure thing, laugh a minute writer of short plays but unfortunately, this book was disappointing. I found it extremely challenging to read, and was constantly looking to see how many pages were left to endure of the various plays as I read them.

Part of the problem is the majority of the plays are based on historical themes that were not only before my time, but also before Shaun's time. We're talking bible stories, World Wars, and even a reimagining of The…

Book Review: Eric Idle - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, A Sortabiography

Of all the autobiographies I've read by Monty Python members so far Eric Idle's Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, A Sortabiography has been the easiest one to read. I'd even go so far as to say it's a bit of a page turner that's hard to put down.

I'm guessing it's because he made most of it up, probably... or maybe it's just the really, really good bits, I mean he has reduced a 50 plus year career in entertainment to a mere 272 pages.

I swear you could fit three of these books inside Michael Palin's published diary of just The Python Years. Admittedly Palin was too lazy to remove all the boring bits out of his diaries.

On the plus side you get a little more Python insight than you do with John Cleese's book, So, Anyway, largely because Eric, more than any other Python, continues to repurpose/repackage Python material for modern audiences, with stage shows like Spamalot, and the O2 Python reunion show.

Actually this book is a very easy rea…

Boardslider Session - Driveway Skateboarding

If you're a frequent watcher of my skateboard videos you've probably seen me skateboarding my homemade boardslider here and there. Most notably I'm frequently trying to do nose slides on it.

Just to mix things up I thought I'd film a video mostly focussed on my boardslider, so you're not always seeing me running through Braille's Skateboarding Made Simple Volume One bag of tricks.

Watch the video below, in which I also give you a brief review of my cheap skate shoes that I featured in my previous video but had sound issues when I tried to review them there.



You'll notice my boardslider isn't very slippery, which is because I don't use it a lot and, as I mention in the video, I don't really like waxing things. Especially when I'm trying to get used to the feel of sliding.

Generally with this kind of boardslider, if you keep working at them, the paint from your board will gradually wax the rails and it will begin to slide. Sometimes I think p…

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