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Movie Review – Knight and Day

Tom Cruise returns to the big screen as Roy Miller, an ‘is he or isn’t he’ spy gone bad, in possession of a unique battery with infinite power.  Chasing him is both the CIA and the bad guys who want the battery at any cost.  Is Miller the bad guy trying to sell the battery or is he the hero trying to save the world?  Only time will tell.

Roy bumps into June Havens (Cameron Diaz) at the airport and the ensuing plane scene in the first act, sets up this thrill a minute and visually spectacularly movie.

Directed by James Mangold (3,10 to Yuma, Cop Land) the action is fast and plenty and he keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace.  Set throughout America and Europe and with plenty of external locations in some of the world’s most beautiful cities, Knight and Day gives you the typical international spy feel by featuring back drops in Spain and Austria.

While there is plenty of comedy to keep the laughs coming, this really is an action movie with plenty of stunts and gun fights.  Yes, it does push the envelope too much in the action scenes and few of them are believable but I go to the movies to escape reality.

Perennial bad boy, Peter Sarsgaard plays CIA Agent, Fitzy, tasked with tracking down both Miller and the battery.  While not a huge presence on screen, he tackles the role with enthusiasm and skill.

No matter what you think of Cruise outside of the cinema, he is a fine actor and has quite a good comedic style about him, given the right script and as audiences saw in Tropic Thunder, he is a funny guy.

Diaz continues to impress in whatever role she chooses.  With her dazzling blonde hair and huge smile and a skimpy red bikini, she pulls off the role of the clueless, yet savvy June to perfection.

At 109 mins, Knight and Day is perfect in length and a must for all action fans.  It is a fun movie and both Cruise and Diaz do a great job with a fun script.

Knight and Day is out now in Australian cinemas.

Rated M

My rating 6.5/10

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2 Million Bucks

$2 million.  That’s all I need.  A lousy two million bucks.  All I need for what I hear you ask?  Well, that’s all I need to retire and live a comfortable lifestyle.  In the scheme of things, it’s not a lot of money in today’s day and age.  Here’s the math.

I only need $1 million in the bank to earn interest and live on.

I would use the other $1 million to pay off the house and perhaps slightly upgrade to a new one, roughly the same size as our current, but perhaps a bit larger.  I’m not after a mansion and I like the area we live in, so don’t expect me to move to the posh areas of my city.  This would cost about $500,000.   I would spend another $100,000 on better furnishings.  Pay off my current car which is a 2010 Mazda CX-7. That’s another $30,000.  Buy my wife a new car so that’s another $40,000.  Put the kids into private school and set up a trust fund for each of say $100,000 each.  That leaves approx $200,000 left.

I would place that $200,000 into a separate term deposit and use the interest to pay for a yearly holiday whether in Australia or overseas.  I say Australia, because it’s always important to travel within your own country and help support the economy and the tourist industry.  I do however want to visit the United States, Gallipoli, Egypt, Greece and Italy.

I would deposit the other $1 million in 2 of Australia’s largest banks to be safe.  Earning interest at the current rate of 6.85%, after tax that would earn me approx $54,000 a year in interest.

That is more than enough to live on in a modest lifestyle.  The house is paid off. The cars are paid off.  If I couldn’t continue to live on $1,000 a week then I am being wasteful.

So why am I telling you this?

Last week, one of Australia’s richest men, Ken Talbot, tragically died in a plane crash in the Congo along with 5 other mining industry executives.  At the time of Mr Talbot’s death he was valued at somewhere between $960,000,000 and $1,200,000,000.  In case the excessive zero’s are confusing you, that is around one billion dollars.  That is just 0.2% of the money I want to retire on.

Mr Talbot was on that ill fated flight, along with the other members of the board of the mining company he owned, visiting the site of a mining project he owned in Africa.  His private jet, was not able to be used as the airfield they were travelling too was too small to land on.  So instead, they boarded a chartered flight on a plane which may or may not have been well maintained with pilots they didn’t know who may or may not have been excellent pilots.

So a man worth approx one billion dollars takes a risk which ultimately cost him his life.  If it was me, I would have retired long ago after making my first $2 million.  Of course I could die going to the shops to buy milk.  But the chances of that happening are much less than flying on a dodgy plane in remote Africa.

So how much is too much money to retire with?  How could you possibly spend one billion dollars?  Even after paying tax on the interest that is still a nice tidy earning of $90,000 a day!

I remember when I was younger, that I said I would love to become an actor and get paid $5,000,000 for a movie.  Once I earnt that pay packet, that would be it.  Retire into a nice home in the suburbs and fade into obscurity.  So Tom Cruise, take the hint.  It’s time to bid adieu.  Thanks for the memories and by that I mean Top Gun and A Few Good Men.  That doesn’t include Eyes Wide Shut or Vanilla Sky.

Same with you J.K. Rowling.  No more Harry Potter thanks.  Let the boy wizard get laid already and spit out a couple of whiz kids and retire him to a farm in the rolling hills of England.

It’s amazing the amount of millionaires and billionaires who have made their money and then lost it in spectacular fashion.  Alan Bond and Christopher Skase, I’m looking at you.  We all know how well that turned out for Skase don’t we?  He became Australia’s most wanted man before his death in 2001 following the collapse of his Qintex empire.

As for Alan Bond, the man who successfully bank rolled Australia II’s winning America’s Cup campaign in 1983, he went to jail for a good portion of the 1990’s.  I understand he’s back in the rich lists again so if I was him, I would be pulling up stumps and finding a nice small farm to retire to and live off any interest he would be earning.

Two million bucks.  That is all I want and need.  Is that too much to ask?  I don’t think so.  So how do I get that much money?  Well at this stage I’m hoping my lucky numbers come up each week with my weekly lottery ticket.  Or I need a wealthy benefactor to come to my rescue and make a charitable donation to the McClane retirement fund.

I’m not picky.  Either way is fine with me but whatever way it comes to me, well, it better hurry up.  I’m getting impatient.

So how much money is enough for you to retire and live happily ever after?

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