Welcome to our 771st weekly edition; Thursday, December 15, 2011

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Movie reviews:
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL
Dir: Brad Bird. Stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg. "The best Mission Impossible of them all, everything about this fourth film in the movie franchise is big with breathtaking, extravagant stunts and a thrilling, large scale plot to match," says Louise. "All the iconic elements of the Mission: Impossible franchise, from the instantly recognisable musical motif to the tech and gadget-heavy modus operandi of the team are harnessed to the max in this high tension edition," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS:
* Gossip-free zone;

BOX OFFICE:
Weekend, December 8 - 11: New Year's Eve had higher screen averages but came No 2, while Puss In Boots took the most money: $2.91 M v $2.64 M. But then, Puss was disadvantaged by lots of children ticket prices.The top 20 rose by 22% to $11.17 M, and Twilight Saga, even in its 4th weekend, took $1.15 M for 3rd place.

COMPETITIONS
THE IRON LADY
Win one of 10 double inseason passes to The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent, courtesy Icon Film Distribution. Only at the movies December 26.

Feature:
FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2012 - LAUNCH
Opening night at the 2012 Alliance Française French Film Festival - and the official French Oscar entry for 2012 - is Valérie Donzelli's Declaration of War, a contempo drama about a young couple defiant in the face of a baby with brain tumour; the Fest will close with the Francois Truffaut's 1980 classic, The Last Metro, starring Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve.

Movie reviews:
THE WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR
Dir: Philippe le Guay. Stars Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain, Natalia Verbeke, Carmen Maura, Lola Duanas. "The distance between the bourgeoisie and the working class has never been so delightfully measured as in this delicious upstairs downstairs comedy," says Louise. "a wonderful ensemble piece of work, with plenty of texture, a few well observed social barbs (as is usual in films about the bourgeoisie) and occasionally unexpected twists and turns," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
MELANCHOLIA
Dir: Lars von Trier. Stars Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt. "Occasionally gripping, at times fascinating and often just plain dull, this terminally long and episodic drama with sci-fi overtones is a curious work," says Louise. " .. some gargoyle-like version of German romanticism or a chick flick . maybe . both," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
DOLPHIN TALE 3D
Dir: Charles Martin Smith. Stars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson. "You would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by this uplifting, heart-warming tale, about a dolphin that learns to swim with a prosthetic tail," says Louise. "Inspired by a wonderfully inspiring true story, Dolphin Tale has all the right ingredients for a family movie with adorable dolphins . and the plucky youngster who plays a major role in the feel-good plot," says Andrew.

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
War Horse, stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis;
The Iron Lady, stars Meryl Streep;
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, stars Tom Cruise;
Shame, stars Michael Fassbender, Arrietty, from Studio Ghibli;
A Few Best Men, stars Rebel Wilson, Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton-John;
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, Young Adult, stars Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt. "..a brilliant dark comedy that churns up the sediment in the underbelly of humanity," says Louise. "..an endlessly edgy film in which we are kept slightly off balance - but never fall," 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...)

DVD OF THE WEEK
RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE
Stars Onni Tommila, Jorma Tommila, Per Christian Ellefsen, Tommi Korpela. "If you feel like an antidote to the usual menu of cheery, cheesy and charitable Christmas movies this year, Rare Exports is for you. Santa ain't what you think Santa is," says Andrew.

OTHER DVDS
MR NICE
Stars Rhys Ifans, Chloe Sevigny, David Thewlis. " .. a gripping bio of a Welshman who was thrust into crime and became a major player across borders. Rhys Ifans is wonderful," says Andrew.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Stars Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Norris, Ron Perlman. "It's an extravagant spectacle with a suitably dark production design, a non-too subtle score and an action-packed narrative," says Louise.

SENNA
Documentary featuring Ayrton Senna. " .. a crunched down decade of his career told through footage of varying quality and interviews conducted during that decade, and a few more recently," says Andrew.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
Stars Justin Timberlake, Milan Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman. "With its central theme of sex without commitment, this attractive screwball comedy has more going for it than its premise implies," says Louise.

SURVIVING GEORGIA
Stars Pia Miranda, Holly Valance, Shane Jacobson, Caroline O'Connor, Spencer McLaren. "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.

THE TREE OF LIFE
Stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken. "The film plays like a stream of consciousness with almost every shot designed for its visual impact," says Andrew

Competition winners:
JANE EYRE DVD
To win one of 15 copies of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, courtesy Universal, we asked: Who among family and friends would you ask for help if needed, and why?

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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