Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Welcome to Rottnest Island

I'm just back from my annual two week sojourn to Rottnest Island, my favourite place in the world. For good, or bad, the Perth social media community was kept abreast of my adventures every step of the way... Hey, I like to share.
Speaking of which, this year I shared the experience vicariously with author Robert Drewe, through his new book Montebello. He talks at length of his love of the island and I now know I'm an 'Islophile'... it makes perfect sense! I'd like to discuss our mutual afflication one day, preferably with a glass in hand looking across the bay at the Perth skyline, so close, yet so deliciously far away.

If you've never visited this limestone outcrop just 20km off the coast of Western Australia, I suggest you add it near the top of your bucket list. Slip off your shoes, get used to the sand between your toes and let the stress of mainland life simply float away on the warm currents in one of the, tranquil, turquoise bays that lie around every corner.

Oh, there's lots more to do than simply bob around in the Indian Ocean after a brisk bike ride, but hey, that's what I do best. After that I might retire to my lattice framed bungalow with a good book (thanks Rob!) and a glass of wine... breathing in the salt-laden breeze, laced with the perfume of Rottnest Island Pines and sun cream - could it be bottled? - listening to the crunch of bike tyres on gravel.

As I've blogged before, I've been visiting the Island since before I was born. Bungalow 5 is no longer there and neither are my much-loved Nan and Grandad who passed-on this passion. Nan, the purveyor of the famous cream buns, shoo-er of rogue quokkas and queen of the card nights. Grandad, the catcher of herring, reclined on his cot on standard issue R.I.B army blankets, preparing tackle for the next day, or reading his pulp fiction cowboy and indian novels. But the tradition continues.

I've walked and ridden almost every corner of the island. I learned to ride my bike at the northern end of Thomson Bay and now two of my three children have done likewise, on the exact same stretch of road. It's number three's turn next year.

In years to come, my children and grandchildren will carry the same fond memories and love of this special Island. They'll teach their kids to ride in the same place and snorkel across the same reefs. And as the ferry pulls away from the jetty on the return trip to Fremantle, they'll hug them close and stroke them reassuringly on the back as the tears fall for having to leave it all behind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Time to get Pitch slapped!

If you've had a gutful of Glee, then it's time to get your PITCH slap on! Freocookster's Follies is giving away 20 free double passes to the advance screening of Jason Moore's hilariously tuneful new film Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick (Up in The Air), Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids), Brittany Snow (Hairspray), Christoper Mintz-Plasse (Superbad, Kick-Ass), John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher) and Elizabeth Banks (Hunger Games).

To win, all you need to do is visit the Freocookster's Follies Facebook page and tell me why the hell you deserve to join me on the night. Please note, SINGING IN THE SHOWER videos will be an automatic qualifier, unless you're really, really bad.
Go crazy Perth!

You can do likewise on Twitter via @freocookster or my Thunder Buddy @tweetperth. Don't forget to use the hash tag #PitchPerfect... and you can follow the film on twitter @pitchperfect

When: Wednesday, 14 November
Where: Event Cinemas, Innaloo
Time: 6.30pm

About the Movie:
Beca (Anna Kendrick) is that girl who’d rather listen to what’s coming out of her headphones than what’s coming out of you.  Arriving at her new college, she doesn’t fit in, but somehow is forced into a group that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together, in the new out-loud comedy PITCH PERFECT. Loaded with new versions on old favorite songs to hit songs of right now that are seamlessly mixed together, mashed-up and arranged like you’ve never heard before.
PITCH PERFECT is directed by Jason Moore, who opened our eyes to the very misbehaved life of puppets in the surprise Broadway sensation Avenue Q.

In cinemas December 6
Website and cool downloads fo shizz:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You wouldn't be dead for quids

It had been a quiet night at the Kelly Club by any standards. Big Billy had put a couple of boof-head wannabes on their arses early in the night and Les had to backhand a young buck who thought it'd be a good idea to "take the bow-tie off the bouncer."

Bad mistake. "There's one less tooth that'll be coming along on your wedding day," he muttered as the young bloke's mates dragged him away.

By the time they closed the doors just shy of 2am, Les was already yawning and well and truly ready to hit the fart sack when Eddie came down the stairs.

"You find that bloke's tooth you big goose?" Eddie chimed, poking a friendly left jab into Les' ribcage.

"Fuck off Salita, if I'd let you handle him the poor prick'd have another hole in his stupid head and be buried in the foundations of that new high rise in Balmain," he shot back with a grin.

"Yeah, whatever mate. I let you handle all the tough ones," Eddie said, returning the smile.

For a deadly assasin, Eddie was one of the nicest and most genuine blokes Les had ever known. He'd crawl through broken glass for a mate, but could kill a man in a crowded elevator without anyone noticing a thing.

"Anyway, Price wants to see us in his office," Eddie said. "Fat George was looking as pale as an albino Norwegian with a bad case of anemia when I saw him half an hour ago, so it can't be good news."

Fuck, that's all Les needed. Odds on that in half an hour he'd be tearing down the freeway with a dead body in the back of the Berlina, or fumbling around in the dark trying to blow up another Bondi landmark.

He followed Eddie up the stairs and through the thick wooden doors of the casino boss's office. Inside Price was propped behind his desk and George was slumped in an antique chair nursing a large scotch on his gut. Billy was already inside and walked over to Les with a cold XXXX.

"You could use this mate, all those skinny kids you had to bash up tonight. Must take it out of you?"

"Christ, not you too! A poor bloke could develop a complex. What will I tell my therapist?"

Ordinarily Price and George would've chipped in to score some cheap points on the big red-headed Queenslander, but not tonight. Something was wrong and Les noticed that George was red eyed from crying.

"Les, we've got some terrible news mate. I think you should sit down for this one," Price said, gesturing towards a chair in front of his desk.

The hairs on Les' neck were standing up and he had a sinking feeling in his gut as he pulled up the chair and lowered his big frame down into the red velvet cushions.

"Les, there's no easy way to say it. We found out this afternoon that Bob finally lost his battle with Jack Dancer. I'm sorry mate, he died peacefully at home in Terrigal this morning," Price said looking down into the glass of brandy he was swirling in his hand.

The blood drained from Les' considerable head and the cold XXXX bottle almost slipped from between his numb fingers.

"Fuck. But how? He was dead set convinced he'd found a cure. Last time I saw him he winked at me and said, see you in the next book mate, it'll be a real ball tearer. It's about time we sent you to Broome."

"Mate, I saw him two days ago and the last thing he said to me when I asked how he was getting along was, wouldn't be dead for quids," Eddie added.

At that moment all eyes in the room locked together in a moment of awful mutual understanding. They had been together since the mid-80s, across 27 books and countless brawls, booze-ups, road trips, murders, bombings and bashings. They'd thrown the odd "good sort" up in the air, travelled the world, enjoyed many a "delicious", smoked the best Bob Hope and even sent their enemies to the sharks.

Could it be possible that it was all over?

Les rose like a dead-weight from his seat, drained the last of his XXXX, belched quietly into the back of his hand and moved towards the door.

"I have to go home. I don't suppose anyone's told Woz yet?"

"No mate, we thought it might be best if he heard it from you. Billy saw him get home from that film shoot up the North Coast on his way in, so I think he's in for the night," said Price emptying his glass.

"It's a shit situation mate. Bob was a diamond and the bastard could write a yarn that reached out to everyone. I'll organise a drink and we'll say our farewells in true Robert G Barrett style, but for now I think we all need to go home and get some sleep."

Les just nodded, ran his hand through his curly red hair and started for the door. There were pats on the back all round and Billy muttered something about the surf club in the morning, but Les was spent - he felt like a pen that'd run out of ink, a blank page.

He climbed wearily behind the wheel of the Berlina and turned into the bright lights of Darlinghurst Road. Cold Chisel's Flame Trees was the soundtrack as he headed home to Chez Norton, a single tear rolling down his craggy cheek.

"You wouldn't be dead for quids Bob, you wouldn't be dead for quids..."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's go MENTAL Perth...

Oh man, you Perth people are like cray-zeee... So, how about we all go Mental? Freocookster's Follies and Tweet Perth are giving away free double passes to the advance screening of PJ Hogan's hilarious new Australian comedy Mental, starring Toni Collette, Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Gibney, Caroline Goodall, Kerry Fox, Deborah Mailman and Sam Clark.

To win, all you need to do is visit the Facebook page, click on the ever reliable 'LIKE' button and if you really want to make it simple for me, leave a comment. Make it wacky!

You can also win tickets simply by re-tweeting my #MentalPerth tweets via @freocookster, or via my Thunder Buddy @tweetperth. Don't forget to use the hashtag... and you can follow the film on twitter @shazismental

When: Monday, 24 September
Where: Hoyts Carousel, Cannington
Time: 6.30pm
About the Movie:
The Moochmore girls are certain they all suffer from some kind of undiagnosed mental illness - because if they’re not crazy then they’re just unpopular. Their mother Shirley - unable to cope with her demanding daughters and unsupported by her philandering politician husband, Barry - suffers a nervous breakdown. After Barry commits his wife to a mental hospital (telling his constituents that “she’s on holiday”) he finds himself alone with 5 teenage girls he barely knows. Desperate, he impulsively picks up a hitchhiker named Shaz and installs her in his home as nanny to his daughters.
In cinemas October 4

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Red Rooster...

Dear Red Rooster

I know we had some hard times a couple of years ago. There was the restaurant without chips, then the time you ran out of chicken, then the final straw when the chips I did get more closely resembled mashed potato.

But I thought I'd give you another chance. Your new ad campaign is pretty schmick and the kids are quite taken by your Moshi Monster toy giveaway. Besides, we were great together for so many years - I dreamed of your Hawaiian Pack goodness for two years when I was living overseas.

So, last night I turned up at your door. Late, after a long drive from Rockingham to Jolimont. I was thinking of your lovely Classic Roast, with plump chicken nestled in a gleaming display of fresh vegies and a rich, hearty gravy.

I whispered sweetly to your speaker box. "A Classic Roast please, with a wing. No, not in a combo, just on its own..." Then I drove up to the warm glow of your inviting window to hand over the better part of $10.

Then it was just you and me. Driving into the night, the atmosphere electric with gravy-scented anticipation.

Disappointment. Deflation. In my job you never overpromise and under-deliver. But, dear Rooster, it appears this must be a line from your charter of customer service?

Let me paint the picture...

A quarter of chicken with a wing. WING. So what happened to my wing? Was it stolen away for the live chicken limb blackmarket trade? Was my unfortunate chicken raised in Fukoshima, or have a nasty chainsaw accident as a youth? We will never know.

How about the vegies? Let's start with the two soggy spuds that appear to have spent far too long in the gravy spa bath and too little time in the solarium. They were joined in a miasma of gravy, infused with a mix of oderous stuffing and bits of intestinal material, by a lonely carrot. The promised pumpkin was a no show - to embarrased to run out with the team.

So, dear Red Rooster, I'm afraid we shall have to part ways again. But don't be sad, it's not me, it's you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Win tickets to Savages!

Bust out the *bongs Perth, because Freocookster's Follies and Tweet Perth have teamed up to provide you with a whole stack of free double passes to the advance screening of Oliver Stone's new thriller, Savages.  

To win, all you need to do is visit the Facebook page - which you will no doubt already 'like' - and tell me in 20 words or less why you deserve a ticket.

You can also win tickets simply by re-tweeting my #Savages tweets via @freocookster, or via my Thunder Buddy @tweetperth. Don't forget to use the hashtag when you join in the conversation!

*Freocookster in no way endorses the illegal consumption of weed, ganja, pot, mull, dope, or anything else you wish to stick in your pipe and smoke it!

When: Tuesday, 28 August
Where: Event Cinemas Innaloo
Time: 6.40pm for a 7pm start

About the film
Three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone returns to the screen with an all-star ensemble for the scorching thriller Savages, based on the best-selling crime novel by Don Winslow, which was named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2010.  Blake Lively stars as Ophelia, the girlfriend to two Laguna Beach entrepreneurs, one an ex-mercenary (Taylor Kitsch) and the other a principled environmentalist (Aaron Johnson), who’ve built a thriving homegrown industry on the best marijuana ever developed.  When they refuse to sell their business to a brutal Mexican drug cartel, Ophelia is kidnapped, and so begins an escalating series of ploys with savage consequences.  Filling out the stellar cast are Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Emile Hirsch.


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Bourne Legacy ticket giveaway

@Freocookster has 20 double passes to give away to the Perth preview screening of The Bourne Legacy at Event Cinemas Innaloo on Wednesday, 16 August.

To be in the running to win a double pass, visit the Freocookster's Follies page on Facebook, 'like' the giveaway post and tell me in 10 words or less "WHAT LEGACY WILL YOU LEAVE BEHIND?"

If you SHARE the Facebook post on your own page, you go to the top of the leaderboard.

I'll pick 20 winners on Friday 10 August and contact you with details of how to collect your tickets. Fyi, this message will self destruct in 30 seconds...

The Bourne Legacy

The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.

In cinemas 16 August


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bring out your Ted!

Okay Perth, it's time to dust off your favourite soft toys for what will be one of the funniest nights of the year...

I've got 20 double passes to give away for the Perth preview of the hilarious new Seth MacFarlane film 'Ted' at Event Cinemas Innaloo on Wednesday 4 July. Sound good?

To be in the running to get your furry paws on one, all you need to do is post a pic of your favourite soft toy doing what they do best on the Freocookster Promotions facebook page, or on twitter using the hashtag #TEDperth, OR BOTH! (make sure to include @freocookster in the tweet).
I'll pick my favourite 10 piccies and another 10 names at random, letting the winners know on FRIDAY 29 JUNE. The film starts at 6.30pm, so you will need to collect your tickets from me at the cinema on the night from 6.10pm.

About Ted
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humour to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of Ted.  In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…and has refused to leave his side ever since.

Live Action Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale

CG-animated: Seth MacFarlane

Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The last slice of the pie?

Nothing makes you feel older than a reunion movie where the characters are still younger than you were when the original film was released (1999).

Then throw in a line from one of the characters describing a Spice Girls hit as "classic rock" and I'm one step away from setting up home in a 'Lifestyle Retirement Village' to while away my remaining days in a Jason Recliner.

But hey, as The Stiffmeister might say, you're only as old as the woman you're feeling. Oh dear...

Yep, it's 'American Pie: Reunion' - park your political correctness at the ticket counter, set the humour dial to 'juvenile' and prepare yourself for 100 minutes of sheer good fun. More fun than a sock full of KY Jelly, where this (probably) final slice of the American Pie juggernaught begins.

American Reunion isn't a particularly well crafted film and plot is just a four letter word that doesn't rhyme with dick, but it's the dialogue that keeps this pie cooking.

And most of the outrageously non-PC lines are straight out of the mouth of Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott). "He might be a dick, but he's our dick", according to Jim (Jason Biggs), the original perforator of pie who spawned the film's title.

While it's Stifler who keeps this tale ticking along, the other characters provide the perfect comedic foil. In particular Jim's Dad (Eugene Levy) who shares a particularly memorable scene with Stifler's Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) that will have you choking on your popcorn. Some advice - don't get up and leave as soon as the credits roll, or you'll miss out!

If this is the last slice of the pie, then rest assured, the last bite tastes as good as the first.

And while you won't walk away from the cinema reflecting on the meaning of life, this film will leave you a wiser human being - you will never again reach into an esky without looking and you'll discover there really is an erotic side to lacross. In more ways than one.

American Pie: Reunion - in cinemas from today, April 5

In the comedy American Reunion, all the American Pie characters we met a little more than a decade ago are returning to East Great Falls for their high-school reunion. In one long-overdue weekend, they will discover what has changed, who hasn't and that time and distance can't break the bonds of friendship. It was summer 1999 when four small-town Michigan boys began a quest to lose their virginity. In the years that have passed, Jim and Michelle married while Kevin and Vicky said goodbye. Oz and Heather grew apart, but Finch still longs for Stifler's mom. Now these lifelong friends have come home as adults to reminisce about-and get inspired by-the hormonal teens who launched a comedy legend.

Classified MA

Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid,
Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jennifer Coolidge and Eugene Levy. Directed by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg

Monday, March 12, 2012

1979 part II

Some more gems from the Daily News 1979...

1979 - perms, vinyl and disco rules yeah?

The Smashing Pumpkins got it, "Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time..."

The end of the seventies was the end of a golden time. I was one year shy of becoming a teen and occupied my time feeding 20 cent coins into the pinball machines at Minder Binders and Gay Gordon's down on Scarborough Beach and getting burnt like a Samboy chip in the surf off Trigg Point.

When I wasn't mastering the psychadelic deck of my Len Dibben, I was fighting the speed wobbles on my Trax skateboard down stupidly steep hills like Pearl Parade. Somehow I almost always found a soft landing place - I lost plenty of bark, but never broke a bone, even when I rode the BMX flat out into a brick wall at the bottom of my treacherous driveway (brake failure).

It was the year I fell asleep on the toilet facing the wrong way after staying up all night watching a monster movie marathon. And the year I got dobbed in for smoking a ciggie at one of the aforementioned pinball parlours.

I was there when Premier Charlie Court opened the space age Clock Tower at Scarborough Beach (no ciggies) and spent many a day and night gazing skyward wondering if Skylab would come crashing down on my head.

So, when I came across this old copy of the Daily News - yes, Perth had its own afternoon newspaper - I thought I'd share.

There was Pinnochios and Beethovens for the disco set and plenty of places you could get a perm and blow dry... men too!

Sexist advertising was rampant and cigarettes, at less than a dollar a pack, were openly promoted in full page ad slots.

Stay cool Perth...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Books, bucket bongs & randy snails...

I love books. I love the covers, the smell and feel of the paper and the way they all interact as one big literary organism in my cubist Ikea bookshelf.

And as a lover of books I have my favourite authors, many of whom are Australian. Among them are Nick Earls, John Birmingham, Andrew McGahan, Shane Maloney and Robert Drewe.

So when I scanned the list of Perth Writers Festival drawcards for 2012, I was chuffed to see Nick Earls and John Birmingham joining WA's own Stephen Scourfield for a discussion about Bromance in the modern fiction novel.

I was even more chuffed when Nick Earls tweeted to see if I was up to join them afterwards for drinks and, perchance, wax lyrical. Even better, JB offered up four free tickets, so I was able to bring along some fabulous Perth tweeps: @epigrammist @kitta and @theflyingdamsel.

I'm still unclear as to who came up with a concept of a literary panel discussion on the theme of Bromance, but it soon opened up into a wider discussion fueled by robot sex, bucket bongs and lewd acts involving glass-topped coffee tables. And let's not forget the 'luther' and Stephen Scourfield's moderno-Italian accent that for some reason left me with the Dolmio theme in my head.

Post-Bromance we all headed down to that most curious of writers festival phenomenons, the book tent and signing table. The punters file in one end of the tent, purchase their selected paperbacks and then shuffle back out again to have them signed by one of the authors.

JB and NE took their seats on the table, but something was horribly askew. Of the eight or so authors at the table, only one grey haired bloke in a navy blazer was managing to draw a crowd - in fact he was in danger of a carpal tunnel injury.

The bloke in question was the Hon Michael Kirby AC, CMG. Fair enough.

I'm sure there would have been more signings all round, but the one cash register inside the book tent was having issues coping with the long line of people now snaking out the door.

So we left Michael to his legion of fans, picked up a sprightly Frank Moorhouse on our travels and went in search of red wine. Talk soon moved on the the affects of gastroenteritis, how Nick and I share an unhealthy fascination with fortune cookies (read his latest book The Fix) and Krissy Kneen's use of snails in erotica - you had to be there for the context.

A thoroughly enjoyable night that ended up over free drinks at the Boulevard Hotel's 1st Birthday party and way too much leftover food. JB will forever associate me with wastage of gourmet sausage rolls.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The TOP 10 social media trends for 2012

This is the real deal... for everyone who's over the 2012 predictions already :)

1. Porn bots will continue to be potty mouthed tramps who can't type and refuse to follow.
2. Augmented reality implants recalled after a spate of brain explosions.
3. Retro will roll on - all the cool kids will carry note pads (and biros).
4. Scratch and sniff tweets to be launched in July.
5. Scratch & sniff facebook status updates to be launched in August (but only to people prepared to sell their souls).
6. Australian man with 1.75million followers dies but is not discovered for six months (chokes on spam).
7. A lucrative trade to open in mail order porn bots.
8. iPhone 5 to be released mid-August with a built-in nasal hair trimmer.
9. K Rudd starts his own social networking platform and declares himself King.
10. Gen-Y crisis as young people realise that time lines are for life and exist in the REAL world too!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Need Someone Who Bats (Cool for Cats)

To the tune of Cool For Cats by The Squeeze (with apologies)

The Indians send signals
From the Narrows overpass
The WACA groundstaff drinking
On the pitch and on the grass

Sharma's with the captain
Munching lamb chops with Dhoni
He doesn't mind the curry
It's the media he don't need

He likes to ride on go karts
When the coach is fast asleep
He wakes to find the spirit's dead
And arrows in their backs
And Bradley Haddin rides around
And says 'you need someone who bats, someone who bats...'

Hilfy’s bowling ninety
'Cos he's got the word to go
They've got a gang of pacemen
In the sheds ready to go
They're throwing down the bouncers
The openers choke again
In and out the changerooms
Single numbers on their names
It's funny how their scorecards
Always look the bleedin' same
And meanwhile in the nets
There's a couple of Aussie lads
Who swear like Rodney Marsh
That they're very keen to bat
They're keen to bat

To change the mood a little
Tendulkar's bought in some flash grub
Cooked by Gogo Govardham
Lamb chops fat and plump
They fancy this, they fancy that
They wanna have a dash
They do a bit of sledging
Bout the grass that's on the track
All they get is caught behind and stumped behind their back
And by the time last drinks are called
They’re miserable and sad
And ev'rybody tells them that they need someone who bats
Someone who bats

Shake up at selection
And they think they've got Pup's mark
They fire down the short balls
And he nails them to the wall
He misses for the first time
And then they drop a catch
He notches up a triple ton
They choke on lamb chop bones
He likes to go the tonk you see
But he's not on his own

He said I'll see you later
And sends them in to bat
But it's not happy in Chennai
They want someone who bats
Someone who bats