Welcome to our 756th weekly edition; Thursday, September 1, 2011

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Movie review:
(US, 2011) Stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain. "The Help brings together several themes that are not in themselves new to us but bear repeating often, especially when told with such sensitivity on one hand and power on the other . mature cinema with something to say," says Andrew. " .. beautifully observed and inspiring film," says Louise.

* Inaugural AACTA nominations for feature docos, shorts;
* Flickerfest winner Christopher Stollery's film, dik, will represent Aust at Manhattan Short;
* Three Aussie films in APSA race;

Weekend, August 25 - 28: Red Dog is racing past $10 M ($10.54 M) at No 2 for the week, dropping only 13%, to $1.93 M, in its 4th week, and ahead of Friends With Benefits in its second week, with $1.39 M. Horrible Bosses opened well with $3.1 M, as did The Guard, taking $6,057 avg on 49 screens ($296,807) and Beginners with avg $5,696 on 25 ($142,389). Priest defied a slew of bad reviews and took $312,009 on 104 (avg $3,000) while Bridesmaids slipped back into the top 20 at 20 with $27,000-odd on 27 screens for a total to date of $27.1 M. #Figures in [brackets] indicate number of screens and average; takings are in Aus dollars.

Win one of 10 double inseason passes to The Change Up, starring Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde and Alan Arkin, courtesy Universal. Only at the movies from September 8.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Stars Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Tamsin Egerton, Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields. "The scenery is gorgeous and although the plot is predictable, it's a pleasant interlude with some laughs and surprising observations," says Louise. "With its down to earth heroine . the film underplays the triumph of the spirit theme, while delivering a satisfying, textured experience," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Stars Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess. "A bittersweet love story.Due to its fragmented structure, the dramatic arc never seems satisfying enough, although Rachel Portman's beautiful score weaves a melodic rainbow through the exposition," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2010) Stars Luke Arnold, Clayton Moss, Roger Sciberras, Steve Maresca, Catherine Jermanus. "The characters are likable enough and the Sydney settings are appealing although the film lacks a proper storyline which means it plays on a superficial level," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) User generated documentary. "Sometimes it soars, sometimes it flops. Worse still, it gets boring. Our fascination lies in the diversity of experience," says Louise. " .. there is a cumulative effect of so many snapshots of life on earth, but it isn't meaningful so much as jumbled," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Stars Emma Bell, Nicholas D'Agosto, Miles Fisher. "Blood, gore and splatter are plentiful in this fifth film of the franchise in which premonition morphs into reality and death follows," says Louise.

[Coming in September, Project Nim, documentary by James Marsh. "I went through a myriad of emotions in this extraordinarily moving documentary about a chimp that becomes an experiment and the people whose lives it touches," says Louise. "A story well worth telling," says Andrew.]
Films releasing soon....

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
The Whistleblower, stars Rachel Weisz;
33 Postcards, stars Guy Pearce, Zhu Lin, Lincoln Lewis;
The Hunter, stars Willem Dafoe;
The Tall Man, stars Jessica Biel;
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, stars Tom Cruise;
Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn, stars Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis;
War Horse, stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis;
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara;

At a glance:
TOP 20
Short and sweet (or not) opinions on the most popular current releases. An easy reference for choosing which movie to see tonight . or tomorrow . or right now! (Occasionally we also slip in a few of the editors' favourites if they don't make the top 20...)

INCENDIES - Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette. " .. a heart wrenching film that feels a bit like a double barrel shotgun: one barrel is loaded with unspeakable things, the other with beauty and purity," says Louise.

THE ROUND UP - Jean Reno, Melanie Laurent, Gad Elmaleh. " .. not a film to 'like'; it's a film to make us understand; it does that all too well," says Andrew.

BABIES - Documentary. " .. fascinating, often funny and above all, cute," says Louise.

IRRESISTIBLE - Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, Emily Blunt. "The early scenes give the film the impetus of a mystery, but there are a couple of gear changes that take it eventually into soap opera territory," says Andrew. (Re-release)

THE SINGER - Gerard Depardieu, Cecile de France, Mathieu Amalric. "..a deceptively simple, yet affecting film about the poetry of love, the burden of loneliness and the thrill of a May December romance," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 5 copies of Secretariat on DVD. Secretariat stars Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Scott Glenn and Dylan Baker, courtesy Walt Disney Home Entertainment, we asked: What achievement of yours around family and friends are you most proud?
To win one of 20 double inseason passes to Life in a Day, courtesy of Transmission Films, presented by YouTube and Ridley Scott & Tony Scott, we asked: Who among family and friends would make an ideal subject for a documentary and why?

Every Australian film we have ever reviewed (film / DVD / video release), or have reported from the set, or featured in any way, is listed here, going back to films made even before the launch of Urban Cinefile, such as The Piano, Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 450 films.

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