Welcome to our 809th weekly edition; Thursday, September 6, 2012

New on VisionStream: all the latest clips, interviews, extra trailers and background features. Over 100 videos.

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Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2012) Sir: Ted Emery. Stars Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski, Glenn Robbins, Peter Rowsthorn, Rob Sitch. "Kath & Kim's foray onto the big screen is an endearing and hilarious romp that nurtures character as it skilfully weaves its narrative into an improbably fairy tale," says Louise. "The preview audience loved it, but it's strictly for the fans, of whom there are millions. It isn't my kind of humour, but I appreciate the teamwork," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Global animation competition at Sydney Opera House;
* Global celebration of 007 at 50;
* Storm Surfers 3D gathers wave;
* Strong line-up for Italian FilmFest;
* Lawrence of Arabia in HD at Cremorne Orpheum, Sydney;
* New dawn for Indiana Jones franchise;
* Taiwan's 2011 Oscar entry, Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, cinema season;
* Romper Stomper on Blu-ray on 20th anniversary;
* Street Dreams & sex reality;
* Visit Hotel Transylvania for charity;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
Mary Sum Says: Moonrise Kingdom did well in its debut weekend on 57 screens with $393,824 ($6,909 avg), but Chinese Take-Away was left on the counter, with just $1,914 avg per 11 screens; it really deserves a wider audience and should pick up word of mouth. Not surprisingly The Expendables 2 expanded on 276 screens for $2.96 M and the No 1 spot.

Win one of 25 double inseason passes to Hit & Run, starring Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Bradley Cooper, courtesy Pinnacle Films. Only at the movies September 6.

Win one of 10 DVDs of Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciaran Hinds, courtesy Roadshow. Available on DVD and Blu-ray on September 19.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: David Palmer, Dax Shepard. Stars Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth. "Constantly catching us by surprise and endlessly tickling our sense of humour, Hit and Run is one of this year's hits - so run and see it," says Andrew. "It's upbeat, fast and funny and Shepard pushes the envelope right to the boundaries," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Canada, 2011) Dir: Philippe Falardeau. Stars Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Marie-Eve Beauregard. "An exquisitely simple film about complex subject matter...The fact that both teacher and students are in need of protection adds greatly to the poignancy and Falardeau delivers an emotionally rich film filled with nuance, grace and subtlety," says Louise. ". beautifully performed by all the actors, not least the youngsters," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Germany, 2011) Dir: Marcus O. Rosenmüller. Stars Kai Wiesinger, Gudrun Landgrebe, Catherine H. Flemming, Mark Zak. "Although there are a few stilted scenes and some clunky dialogue (as subtitled) the film stands up well as a wartime drama with familiar elements - but also with a slightly different approach," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(US, 2011) Dir: Lynn Shelton. Stars Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemary Dewitt. "The pleasures of this rom-com love triangle come from the performances, which beautifully describe the awkwardness, anxiety, sincerity and humour of the situation," says Louise.

[Coming October 25, The Intouchables, starring François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny. "The unlikely combination of a wealthy paraplegic and an ex-crim with a zest for life is the premise of this surprisingly uplifting film that made me laugh out loud, blot my tears and let my heart sing," says Louise. "Buddy movies don't come more moving, funnier and more successful... It's a superbly made film, a powerful story and explosively funny," says Andrew.]
List of films releasing in September...

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Robot & Frank, stars Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon;
Bait 3D, stars Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson;
Anna Karenina, stars Keira Knightley,
Argo, stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman;
The Words, stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Ironse;
Skyfall, stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes;
Mental, stars Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia;

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...)

Australian premiere release - on DVD:
(US, 2008) Dir: D. Lee Inosanto. Stars D. Lee Inosanto, Mike O'Laskey. "If it was just about a bullied boy learning karate so he can defend himself and teach his tormentors a lesson - like some movies might portray - it would be less important than it is. The Sensei is set in 1985 but it could be set in 985 or 2985 and it would still tell a story about the human condition that is universal and valuable," says Andrew.

Stars Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen, James Nesbitt, Tcheky Kario. "It's not quite a road movie nor a real redemption story, nor a buddy movie; it's a diary where the journey is more important than the getting to the destination," says Andrew.

Stars Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens, Bruno Todeschini, Melanie Bernier. "The unexpected nature of love's journey is the subject of this disarmingly funny yet powerful film," says Louise.

Stars Adam Sinclair, Kristin Kreuk, Billy Boyd, Carlo Rota. "Getting a fix on reality is the challenge in this exploration of truth, lies and ecstasy set in the Edinburgh drug and club scene," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win double inseason passes to see Chinese Take-Away, we asked: Who among family and friends would you take to a foreign language movie and why? Helena Leung (NSW) says: My inspiring sister in law; who picks up new languages like she would pick out a new dress. Now can speak English; Chinese; French; Italian and is learning Spanish. Magnifique!
To win Wish You Were Here on DVD, we asked: Who among family and friends would you NOT take on a Thailand holiday and why? Gemma Stone (WA): I wouldn't take ANY of my family or close friends because I'd want to have a few drinks and live a little without being lectured. Think I'd rather go by myself and have a ball!!!

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 (pic), Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary (in 2012) since reopening to the public in 2002, Gillette Castle in Connecticut now attracts over 300,000 visitors a year - yet it's virtually unknown internationally as a tourist attraction, with access to it only via beautiful, winding country roads. Andrew L. Urban drove out to see what's so special about it.

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