Welcome to our 762nd weekly edition; Thursday October 13, 2011

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MOVIES NOW returns from Wed. Nov. 2 at Chauvel, Sydney; screening films (unannounced) prior to their commercial release, followed by a discussion with guests, moderated by Andrew L. Urban.

Meet Oscar winning cinematographer John Seale (The English Patient, Witness, The Firm, Gorillas in the Mist, The Tourist, The Talented Mr Ripley, Rain Man, Careful He Might Hear You etc) in conversation with Andrew L. Urban, illustrated by three films in full plus several clips from his career; Sunday Nov. 6, 9.30am - 7.30pm, at AFTRS theatre, Sydney. Info & bookings

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2011) Stars Stephen Curry, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Macpherson, Jodi Gordon, Colleen Hewett, Bill Hunter. "Everybody loves a winner and this true story about jockey Damien Oliver's winning ride on Media Puzzle for the 2002 Melbourne Cup has all the elements of triumph over adversity," says Louise. "It's a great story, but it's not a great film," says Andrew.

Win one of 25 double inseason passes to Drive, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, courtesy Pinnacle Films. Only at the movies on October 27.

Win one of 10 prize packs comprising Oranges and Sunshine (Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving); Mulan, (Wei Zhao) and My Afternoons with Marguerite (Gerard Depardieu and Gisele Casadesus), courtesy Icon. Available on DVD and Blu-ray on October 5.

Twice weekly reports of the Top 20 at the Australian box office.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Stars Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, Michael Angarano. " .. gripping and edgy, and all the performances are outstanding," says Andrew. " .. unadulterated rampant ugliness illustrated by violence," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2010) Stars Pia Miranda, Holly Valance, Shane Jacobson, Caroline O'Connor. "It's not flawless, but the energy and passion of the filmmakers is evident as the serious subject matter provides a foundation for observational humour," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Stars Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Kathy Baker. "At times, the film is tediously slow; at others it offers a brilliant insight into a worthwhile inner struggle . . . likely to divide its audience," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US/Canada, 2011) Stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Trond Espen Seim, Ulrich Thomsen, Joel Edgerton. "In his striking feature debut, director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr assuredly compiles all the elements for the genre and teases them out enticingly in a gripping film alive with tension and terrifying moments," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(China, 2011) Stars Jacki Chan, Bingbing Li, Winston Chao, Joan Chen. "Notwithstanding a few stilted moments, the film looks splendid, with extraordinary detail and a dynamic sense of action," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(DRC/France/Belgium, 2010) Stars Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna, Marlene Longange. " .. both exotic and engaging, with an earthy edge. But it also has a sophisticated side," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Stars Chris Evans, Anna Faris, Mike Vogel, Martin Freeman. "Short of laughs and good ideas, What's Your Number is a misdial on the chick flick calendar," says Louise.

Share your opinion about the latest movies. Take surveys, earn points and exchange for $20 cash. Plus the chance to win an iPAd2. click here
Featured Preview:
Releasing in cinemas globally to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of China's 1911 Xinhai Revolution, 1911 is also Jackie Chan's 100th film. Trailer

[Coming in December, The Skin I Live In, stars Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes. "Bizarre, shocking, sexy and dark, this is Almodóvar at his brilliant melodramatic best," says Louise. "A blend of Frankenstein horror and Almodóvar's usual high level melodrama," says Andrew.]
Films releasing soon....

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
A Few Best Men, stars Rebel Wilson, Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton-John;
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...)

ORANGES AND SUNSHINE - Hugo Weaving, Emily Watson, David Wenham. "The revelation of mistreatment, abuse and lies is powerfully handled in this dramatic and moving true story," says Louise.
GET LOW - Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black. "A performance film with soul and heart and a terrific sense of the place and time," says Andrew.
THOR - Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Hopkins. "Stunning effects, a terrific cast and a well told story involving magic, science and mythology," says Louise.
MEEK'S CUT OFF - Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood. "a rich and moody film," says Louise.

ANGELE & TONY - Clotilde Hesme, Grégory Gadebois, Evelyne Didi. "The joys of this unusual relationship film are in the subtleties and the mood that is created," says Louise.
THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER - Mark Ivanir, Gila Almagor, Guri Alfi, Rozina Kambus. "Although the story is relatively simple, it is studded with complex themes and unexpected elements which make it rich and layered," says Andrew.
MY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE - Gerard Depardieu, Gisele Casadesus. "What a lovely way to spend an afternoon," says Louise.
LAST CIRCUS - Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre. "Definitely not for the faint hearted, this extravaganza of excess, violence, macabre humour and surreal horror is at times like a nightmare David Lynch would be hard pressed to fathom," says Louise.

Competition winners:
Exclusive screening of Jurassic Park on Blu-ray at 6pm on October 19 at the Australian Museum at 6 College Street, Sydney, courtesy Universal.

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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