Welcome to our 766th weekly edition; Thursday November 10, 2011

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Movie reviews:
(US, 2010) Stars Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Romi Aboulafia, Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, Sam Worthington, Jesper Christiansen. "A thriller with such powerful and emotive elements as The Debt towers above the everyday crime thriller, drawing on the cinematic oxygen of Nazi atrocities and their legacy," says Andrew. "If you like your spy thrillers tense, gripping and meaningful, The Debt should be on the top of your must-see list," says Louise.

* Writers welcome new direction at Screen Aust;
* Harrison Ford behind the scenes;
* First foreigner as Director of Sydney Film Fest;
* Zhang Yimou honoured at APSA;
* Vote on fave foreign films & win;
* Eye of the Storm wins in Rome;
* Doco double feature from Ronin;
* Deaths of Mark Sarfaty & Sarah Watt;
* Bondi Short Film Festival finalists for 2011

Weekend, November 3 - 6: The top 20 slumped 31% to $7.5 M. The only film to gross over $1 M was In Time ($1.54 M). Also opened: Bill Cunningham New York (PG, Madman) with $50,782 on 10 screens.

Win a copy of Transformers: Dark of the Moon on DVD, courtesy Paramount Home Entertainment. One lucky reader will win a copy of Transformers ($39.95) plus a Transformers webcam ($35); the four runners up will each win a copy of the DVD. Releases in a Triple Play (DVD, Blu-ray and digital copy) and on standard DVD on Thursday, November 10.

Movie review:
(Aust, 2011) Documentary featuring Mark Mathews, Richie "Vas" Vaculik, narrated by Joel Edgerton. "Macario De Souza (co-director of Bra Boys) and his editing team manages to balance the film's disparate elements of Joel Edgerton's restrained narration, fresh interviews, archival footage and re-enactments in a satisfying and exciting mix," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(US, 2011) Stars Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman. " .. a sharp, shrewd and satisfying film about winning, losing and playing the odds, when the odds are playing statistics instead of relying on conventional gut instincts," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2011) Documentary featuring Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner narrated by Ewan McGregor. "There are short moments when we see some of the riders being interviewed or spraying each other with shaken champagne, but for most of the time, we're on rider-cam view or chaser-cam as the racers roar through the track at up to 210 mph," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Aust/France/Ireland, 2010) Voices of Shane Jacobsen, Magda Szubanski, Delta Goodrem, Hugh Sheridan, Georgie Parker, Max Cullen. "Good hearted, well meaning and innocuous, Santa's Apprentice also has a couple of messages, one involving the bully and his need for parental love as a way to correct the nasty behaviour," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Iran, 2011) Documentary featuring Jafar Panahi. "It's not a film for the multiplexes, especially the inauspicious beginning when a locked off camera sees Panahi eat his breakfast. But if you care to look behind the obvious, there is plenty of information to glean, not least that Pahani is determined to thwart his country's morally bankrupt authorities," says Andrew.

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Melancholia, stars Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland;
Arrietty, from Studio Ghibli;
A Few Best Men, stars Rebel Wilson, Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton-John;
War Horse, stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis;
The Adventures of Tintin, stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig;
33 Postcards, stars Guy Pearce, Zhu Lin, Lincoln Lewis;
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, stars Tom Cruise;
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara;

[Coming in January, A Few Best Men, starring Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton John, Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop. "Directed by Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla) with his indefatigable joie de vivre and wicked sense of humour, the film is a sure fix if you need a laugh," says Louise. "Olivia Newton John is an absolute hoot as mother in law Barbara in this madcap romantic comedy that brings together English and Australian humour in earthy earnest," says Andrew.]
Films releasing soon....

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...)

CARS 2 - (US, 2011) Voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy. "It's utterly brilliant animation, inventive story telling and thrilling spy movie with heart," says Andrew.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON - (US, 2011) Stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Patrick Dempsey. "Like its two predecessors, it is overlong and loud, filled with mega-stunts, gob-smacking special effects, a healthy sprinkling of humour, exotic locations, a grandiose music score and plenty of excess," says Louise.
Competition winners:
To win one of 15 copies of Bridesmaids DVD, starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, courtesy Universal, we asked: Where would you have your dream wedding and why? Narelle Williams (SA): I would have my dream wedding in a Scottish castle; hopefully with snow falling in the background! It would be very romantic and very cold!

To win one of 25 double inseason passes to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison, courtesy Hopscotch, we asked: What is your greatest fear and why? Kate Ong-Japco (Vic) says: Being conscious but not able to communicate or articulate. Is it possible to be 'consciously comatose'? Bit like being buried alive.

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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