Welcome to our 814th weekly edition; Thursday, October 11, 2012

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

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Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Andrew Dominic. Stars Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta. "Little wonder that Killing Them Softly was invited to the Official Competition at Cannes (2012); here is a movie about crooks and the Mob which presents itself as a hard hitting crime drama, yet it quickly evolves into something of an art movie with dark comedic undercurrents," says Andrew. "... juxtaposes a wry humour as human foibles are bared before the business of slaughter begins. It all starts with relationships ... Brad Pitt has great presence as the ultra smooth assassin who has an answer for everything and makes it clear he is not paid to wait around," says Louise.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* The (whole) story of film at Dendy Newtown;
* Weir and Dallwitz on stage at Cockatoo Island Filmfest;
* George 007 Lazenby on stage at Randwick Ritz;
* Rolling Stones' Crossfire Hurricane screening;
* Glories of the Score at AFTRS, Sydney;
* Jesus Christ resurrected in arena;
* Handful of Festival Directors at AFTRS;
* Lore in contention for Foreign Oscar;
* Community theme for Mission Beach Film Fest;
* The Dead Man And Being Happy - audacity wins at San Sebastian;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
Four holiday films rode to the top of the top 20 charts, while Bait 3D didn't hook enough sales for its ambitious 283 print release, taking an average of just $1,290 per screen for $365,187 all up. Still, not a disastrous result given the average screen taking was $$2,957. Also opened: Lore (MA15+, Transmission) $64,521 on 11; Last Will (M, Rialto) $5,942 on 3. The week was down 14% to $10.3 M, with Kath & Kimderella slipping 49%, and The Sapphires 36%.

Win one 15 double inseason passes to Oliver Stone's Savages, starring Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek and John Travolta, courtesy Universal. 2012 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. In cinemas October 18, 2012.

Win one 15 double inseason passes to Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, courtesy Hoyts Distribution. Only in cinemas from October 11.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: John Hillcoat. Stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, Noah Taylor. "With its great sense of time and place and top cast, this is a stylish genre movie that is a heady mix of gangster and western," says Louise. "Tense and engaging, Lawless explores the conflict between official power and private determination, while the personalities that drive this conflict are the forces of nature through whom we participate," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US,2012) Dir: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal. "... a wonderful screenplay in which three stories are skilfully interwoven to deliver a rich and satisfying film that questions integrity above all else ... about choices, truths and deceits," says Louise. "... a fable and a lesson, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable one, delivered with masterful performances and a great sense of storytelling tradition," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(UK/Ireland, 2012) Dir: James Marsh. Stars Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, Aidan Gillen, Domhnall Gleeson. "The filmmakers go to great lengths to create a sense of authenticity, to a fault. We are left to assume a lot about who is what and where they fit in," says Andrew. "A smouldering IRA thriller replete with betrayals and twists, Shadow Dancer excels in its moody portrayals and intrigue, although confusion with plot points occasionally distracts," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2010) Dir: Amanda Jane. Stars Josh Lawson, Isabel Lucas, Kestie Morassi, Steve Bisley, Essie Davis. "Sex and love spin chaotically on the roulette wheel in this comedy of errors in which happiness hangs in the balance... By injecting a comical twist into a serious subject matter... the journey we take is a complicated and enjoyable one," says Louise. "All is well if you accept as plausible the central premise of the screenplay ... For me ... is just too far fetched," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(UK, 2011) Dir: Andrea Arnold. Stars James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer, Kaya Scodelario. "Physical and mental abuse perpetuates throughout the two hours plus of the film's running time with little reward and Bronte enthusiasts will despair," says Louise. "The worst things a filmmaker can be accused of is making a boring film, or a film that takes the audience for a fool - or a film that ignores the cinematic needs of the audience. Arnold's Wuthering Heights seems to do all of these," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Taiwan/China, 2011) Dir: Tom Shu-Yu Lin. Stars Jiao Xu, Eric Lin, Harlem Yu, Josie Xu, Kenneth Tsang, Rene Liu. "It's refreshing to find a film in the coming of age genre that avoids the crass and vulgar excesses that are the staple of so many, and in which emotions are the guide," says Andrew.

Movies Now - 20th season starts October 24:
The expanded and renovated Dendy Newtown cinemas will welcome participants in the 20th course of Movies Now, a secret selection of movies screened prior to their commercial release - each followed by a discussion with a special guest and hosted by Andrew L. Urban (pic). "Outstanding organisation! Great to see movies before they are released. The discussions following the movie are very beneficial." [previous participant]

[Coming in December, Liberal Arts, starring Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Allison Janney, Zac Efron, Richard Jenkins. "With literature depicted as a palette from which the canvas of life is drawn, Liberal Arts is a delightful road movie in which age forms roadblocks along the way," says Louise. "This Josh Radnor 'project' has the hallmark of slow burning classic, starting deceptively uninvolving but gradually increasing in both interest and dramatic tension, with a tender emotional payoff that ripples across all the main characters," says Andrew.]
List of films releasing soon ...

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
The Guilt Trip (pic), stars Seth Rogan, Barbra Streisand;
The Sweeney, stars Ray Winstone, Ben Drew;
The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt, John Hawkes, William H. Macy;
Twilight: Breaking Dawn (2), stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart;
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton;
Argo, stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman;

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...

Stars Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Bob Gunton, Dean Norris, Kevin Hernandez. "Charged with action, violence and Mel Gibson playing a baddass crook with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, Get the Gringo cooks with all the Right Stuff as it plays out in a Mexican jail where anything goes, and the crims run the joint," says Louise.

Stars Florian David Fitz, Karoline Herfurth, Heino Ferch. "Three misfits head for the Italian coast in a bid to escape from their inescapable problems in this bittersweet roadmovie that has all the ingredients to make us laugh, cry and everything in between," says Louise.

Stars Mohammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Tanr Birsel. "a combination of intrigue, observation and expectation. It's a unique film that is best enjoyed knowing very little about it," says Andrew.

Stars Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed, Roshan Seth. "... a little long, but love, desire, prejudice, perceptions and control are the drivers of this tragic love story into which we are intoxicatingly drawn," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one 10 DVD copies of WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING, starring Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lopez, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment, we asked: Who from family and friends has surprised you most and why? Marcus Richa (NSW) says: My aunt went skydiving at 61; now that's guts!

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, Romper Stomper (pic) 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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