Welcome to our 770th weekly edition; Thursday, December 8, 2011

EDITORIAL: NSW Attorney General refuses to reveal who is behind the request to ban a film; this is not acceptable in a democracy, says Andrew L. Urban.

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Movie review:
PUSS IN BOOTS
(US, 2011) Voices of Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton. "Our expectations have not been satisfied; the character of Puss in Boots has been diminished, the story is trite and meaningless and the hero's journey we expected is a lame duck," says Andrew. "It's not quite the cat's whiskers, but inspired little touches, a lively script and a seductive performance from Antonio Banderas make this family fantasy a charmer," says Louise.

Latest:
NEWS:
* Edgerton's Bear to Sundance;
* Screen Aust's $17 M triggers $97 M of production;
* Oranges and Sunshine wins editing peer award;
* APSA winners to ACMI in Melbourne;

BOX OFFICE:
Weekend, Dec 1 - 4: Jack and Jill went up the hill - defying bad reviews - to take $1.75 M on 285 screens. The Inbetweeners, likewise are critic proof lads, taking $1.55 M on 234. But Twilight is still breaking dawn with $2.12 M in its 3rd weekend. Also opened: Restless (M, Sony) 13,084 on 7; We Have A Pope (M, Transmission) $9,968 on 5; Wasteland (M, Hopscotch) $3,998 on 3; Machinegun Preacher (MA, Roadshow) $2,914 on 10; A Matter of Size (M, Umbrella) $835 on 2; I'm Not Dead Yet (Umbrella) $506 on 2.

COMPETITIONS
JANE EYRE DVD
Win one of 15 copies of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, courtesy Universal. Available on DVD and Blu-ray on December 8.

Movie reviews:
THE YELLOW SEA
(Korea, 2011) Stars Ha Jung-Woo, Kim Yun-seok. "..probably the year's best crime drama and might be confirmation that there is a new master of the genre, spinning tough as teak tales, ready to emerge," says Geoff Gardner.(Releasing in Melbourne)

Movie reviews:
NEW YEAR'S EVE
(US, 2011) Stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl. "With so much talent on the screen, it's an opportunity wasted - fewer, more meaningful stories might have worked better," says Louise. " .. as Winston Churchill might have said, never have so many done so little for so many with such dreary results," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
YES MADAM, SIR
(Aust, 2008) Documentary featuring Kiran Bedi narrated by Helen Mirren. "What Megan Donerman's film about Kiran Bedi lacks in technical polish, it compensates by a raw enthusiasm and storytelling focus," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
DANCING WITH DICTATORS
(Aust, 2011) Documentary featuring Ross Dunkley. "The filmmakers deserve a medal for their courage in documenting Myanmar's obviously rigged elections while making a valuable and fascinating doco about a man whose buccaneer style reeks of the Aussie can-do characteristic - and who can laugh in the face of disaster," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
BIRTHDAY
(Aust, 2009) Stars Natalie Eleftheriadis, Kestie Morassi, Richard Wilson. "Underdeveloped it may be, but it's clear that James Harkness is reaching for something meaningful; he just hasn't reached it here," says Andrew. (Adelaide)

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, stars Tom Cruise;
The Iron Lady, stars Meryl Streep;
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;
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara;

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in January, The Descendants, starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley. ",,George Clooney at his most emotionally vulnerable," says Louise. "Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt, Election) has a talent for creating interest in his screen characters and evidently has a great way with actors," 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...)

DVDS OF THE WEEK
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, Tom Felton, Brian Cox. "..a dramatic, tense and edgy work which poses a few moral questions and dilemmas," says Andrew.

LOVE CRIME - Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas. ".. it is the sublime performances of Sagnier and Scott Thomas that elevate the film beyond our expectations," says Louise.

COWBOYS & ALIENS - Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell. "Nothing too hard by way of a message, and plenty of slick action to carry us through to the busy climax," says Andrew.

OTHER DVDS:
JANE EYRE
Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell. "Fukunaga has revitalised Bronte's story, making it fresh and vital, while retaining its authenticity and tone," says Louise.
INTERVIEW: director Cary Fukunaga tackled Jane Eyre with an eye for the period as he explains in this Q & A.

THE GREEN LANTERN - Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong. "Here's a comic book fantasy with a galaxy of special effects, a splendidly despicable villain," says Louise.

THE CONSPIRATOR - Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline. "Staged like any court room drama, including flashbacks for clearer visual exposition, The Conspirator delivers plenty of tension," says Andrew.

THE BEAVER - Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Lawrence, Anton Yelchin. "Kyle Killen's screenplay brings a comical touch to a serious subject, when the troubled protagonist . Gibson . finds his voice through a hand-held puppet," says Louise.

Competition winners:
HANNA DVD
To win one of 15 copies of Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, courtesy Universal, we asked: In what skills did your family train you as a teenager - and was it a success?

AUSTRALIAN FILMS
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. About 500 films.
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