Welcome to our 818th weekly edition; Thursday, November 8, 2012

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

Movie reviews:
THE MASTER
(US, 2012) Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson. Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons. "The Master is not so much a class on cults and their leaders, nor a psychological drama; it seems more like a cinematic rumination about the search for direction and reason in 1950s America, wrapped in an odd sort of buddy movie," says Andrew. "Two compelling performances fly high on the mast of Paul Thomas Anderson's film ... The themes and nuances of the relationships are fraught with complexity and Anderson handles the material and sensitivities beautifully," says Louise.
Insider Briefing - Porn industry and The Cause - unhappy families?

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Tickets to The Hobbit now on sale;
* The Master goes widescreen at Orpheum;
*
Facing Mirrors wins Iranian Film Fest Audience Award;
* Bathing Franky on the road;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
Argo is holding strongly with just a 7% fall in its second weekend, and still No 1 with $1.8 M (on 351), well ahead of Bachelorette's debut takings of $0.8 M (on 197). The top 20 took $8.26 M, down 12%. Also opened: You Will Be My Son (M, Sharmill) $27,563 on 16; Last Dance (M, Becker) $7,698 on 6; The Giants (Palace) $2,414 on 1.

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COMPETITIONS
SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN DVD
Win one of 10 DVD copies of Snow White and the Huntsman starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin, courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Available on Triple Play Blu-ray and DVD from November 7.

Movie reviews:
THE SESSIONS
(US, 2012) Dir: Ben Lewin. Stars John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood. "Sex, religion, poetry and the disabled might be the subject matter, but nothing will prepare you for the emotions that are shared in this unique, poignant and unforgettable film ... a blatantly raw look at the most complex issue known to man - sex, attraction and love," says Louise. "We are engaged by the compelling characters and a man's discovery of sexuality in a short span of time and in a unique way. And we are touched by the relationship that develops," says Andrew.
Sex and the Disabled Man - a sex surrogate to the rescue.

Movie reviews:
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
(UK, 2012) Stars Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish. "While his first film, In Bruges was black, fresh and funny, Martin McDonagh's follow up comedy crime caper is less on the mark. The compellingly named Seven Psychopaths feels as though it is trying a little too hard," says Louise. "It's a film you don't read about; you don't try to analyse; you don't ask what it's about; it's a film you go and you surrender your cinematic ass," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (ARENA TOUR)
(UK, 2012) Tim Minchin, Ben Forster, Melanie C, Chris Moyles, Alex Hanson. "If only Jesus had had a facebook page ... that's what the ghost of Judas is suggesting when he ponders why JC didn't come to us in the era of mass communication. And in this new production, that message is picked up as the cue to reframe the story in today's idioms," says Andrew. "Instilling the feeling of live musical theatre with its immediacy and power, this is one version of Jesus Christ Superstar you should not miss," says Louise. (One week only from November 8)
The Back Story - by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Movie reviews:
ALEX CROSS
(US, 2012) Dir: Rob Cohen. Stars Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Rachel Nichols, Giancarlo Esposito, Jean Reno, Edward Burns. "Unsure whether it aspires to be a police procedural, an action thriller, a revenge drama or a buddy movie, Alex Cross is a mess of a film, devoid of tension ... Cross this one off your movie list," says Louise. "The screenplay and direction deliver several scenes that are unintentionally funny, being either too leaden or too ridiculous," says Andrew.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming soon, Skyfall, stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris. "One of the best Bond films ever," says Louise.]
List of films releasing in November

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Lincoln, stars Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field;
Love Story, stars Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko;
Quartet, stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly;
Skyfall, stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes;
A Good Day To Die Hard, stars Bruce Willis;
Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, stars Foxx, diCaprio, Waltz;
Gangster Squad, stars Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn;

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 THIS WEEK
A ROYAL AFFAIR
Stars Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Alicia Vikander, David Dencik, Trine Dyrholm. "Visually exquisite, the ingredients of this royal Danish historic drama are as sensational as they are gripping," says Louise.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen. "Absolutely stock standard superhero stuff, The Amazing Spider-Man is, however, amazing on the level of its cinematic flourish. Spectacularly made," says Andrew.

SANTA'S APPRENTICE
Voices of Shane Jacobsen, Magda Szubanski, Delta Goodrem, Hugh Sheridan, Georgie Parker. "Good hearted, well meaning and innocuous, Santa's Apprentice also has a couple of messages," says Andrew.

SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN
Stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron. " .. might have benefited by a little more attention spent on the chemistry between the two, instead of the overlong battle scenes, fight sequences and special effect dazzle," says Louise.

ANTON CHECKHOV'S THE DUEL
Stars Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Tobias Menzies. "The Russian literary giant Chekhov sprinkles philosophy amidst the intimate details of mediocre lives," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
THE MASTER
To win double passes to THE MASTER, courtesy Roadshow Films, we asked; Who in your family is the undisputed master ... of something in the family home and why? Katie Ang (NSW) says: Dad is the master of the bread machine- no one else can plan that the bread is ready when you want to eat it nice & warm!
HOWZAT: KERRY PACKER'S WAR - BLU-RAY
To win a blu-ray of the mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer's War, courtesy Transmission Films, we asked: What is your favourite TV show and why? Adam Gould (ACT) says: I'm a big fan of the nightly news - modern politics is the best soap opera the networks have ever come up with!
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, Stan and George's New Life (pic), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Travelfile:
GILLETTE CASTLE: CONNECTICUT, USA
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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