Welcome to our 820th weekly edition; Thursday, November 22, 2012

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

Movie reviews:
(US/UK, 2012) Dir: Sam Mendes. Stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Berenice Marlohe, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris. "Mendes does a superb job maintaining tension - and releasing it from time to time so we can take a breath, have a laugh, sit back from the edge of our seat - as he shows how seriously the James Bond character can be taken, without breaking it," says Andrew. "Establishing a sense of urgency from the outset, the 23rd Bond film hits its tall target with a bonus back-story, character establishment and strong storyline to balance the action. As a consequence, we are offered a film that is uniquely Bond ...one of the best Bond films ever. You'll want to see it again," says Louise.

Producer Barbara Broccoli: a life of Bonding. Interview by Andrew L. Urban.
Forever Bond - Andrew L. Urban on the 50th anniversary of Bond.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* New film set in Sydney's African community Kemi wins digiSPAA $45,000;
* Lisa Gerrard Lisa Gerrard scores award for The Burning Man;
* Cate Shortland's Lore wins 4 major awards at Stockholm filmfest;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
With $12.4 M, TTSBDP2 (Twilight if you can't unscramble it) scored the third biggest opening weekend of 2012 behind The Dark Knight Rises ($15.1 M) and The Avengers ($13.3 M). The Intouchables has again expanded, this time on 93 screens (up from 86) and moved up from 4th to 3rd slot, just below Argo more

Win one of 15 copies of Bellflower (MA15+) on DVD, starring Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman, Rebekah Brandes, courtesy Accent. Available in DVD stores from November 22, 2012.

Raymond Longford Award To Al Clark:
Producer and walking movie encyclopaedia Al Clark - whose credits include one of Australia's iconic films, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert - has been named the 2012 recipient of the Raymond Longford Award. He doesn't confuse himself with the director or the star; he knows what his job is, he tells Andrew L. Urban.

Movie review:
(US, 2012) Documentary featuring Diana Vreeland. "This fascinating documentary reveals that Vreeland (who died in 1989, aged 86) was an original: a dynamic woman with energy to spare and an infectious lust for life ... The fact she considered the most important thing to avoid was being boring, tells you a lot," says Louise.

Movie review:
(Canada, 2012) Dir: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska. Stars Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska. "More a fusion film than a horror movie, American Mary is an unexpected blend of bod-mod horror, revenge thriller and psycho drama, distinguished by a wonderfully still and riveting performance by Katharine Isabelle as Mary, the emerging surgery student," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Germany/France/Belg, 2012) Dir: Julie Delpy. Stars Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Dylan Baker, Albert Delpy. "In a misconceived dallying with culture clash, Julie Delpy's exploration in this disappointing follow up to 2 Days in Paris never even gets close to taking off," says Louise. ".a meandering, spineless set of comedic (sometimes not so comedic) sketches. Much is made of things like the name Mingus rhyming with cunnilingus, part of the general tone of candid sexual referencing that jars - not because it's shocking but because it is pointless," says Andrew.

[Coming soon, Ang Lee's Life of Pi, stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan. "Enjoy it with your eyes and your heart," says Louise. "Visceral cinema," says Andrew.]
List of films releasing in November

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Hitchcock, stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren;
Anna Karenina, stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law;
Quartet, stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly;
Lincoln, stars Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field;
World War Z, stars Brad Pitt;
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, stars Lena Headey, Lily Collins;
Love Story, stars Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko;

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 Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman. "More like a cinematic calling card and with plenty of rough edges, Bellflower is nevertheless an arresting piece of work and is suitable for cult status among younger audiences," says Andrew.

Stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett. "The film's tongue-in-cheek tone is declared from the very beginning as it delivers laughs, chuckles and an uplifting mood in what is ultimately an intriguing tale," says Louise.

Stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi. "What is even more absurd than a pot-smoking, foul-mouthed, breast squeezing teddy bear is the fact that for much of the shenanigans, we actually go along with it," says Louise.

Voices of Emma Thompson, Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd. "..energetic, funny charmer of a film that the whole family will adore," says Louise.

Stars Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena, Mathew Baynton, Alastair Mackenzie. "The screenplay may be a bit simplistic but it's heartfelt and the energy pulls it through," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 copies of Friends With Kids on DVD, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment, we asked: With which friend would you have a child, but not marry? Kelvin Barnes (NSW)says: I made a pact with a friend in year 7; if we`re single at age 31 we will have a baby together. I hope our story will be as sexy and humorous!

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, Chopper (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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