Welcome to our 852nd weekly edition; Thursday, July 4, 2013

GET FRONT UP BACK UP - What's the dirty little secret of Gary and Carin's terrific organic veggies? Find out on this episode of Front Up. Fans of Front Up can call 1800 500 727 (toll free) or write to encourage SBS to bring back Front Up!

HIRE ANDREW L. URBAN to speak at your event.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Gore Verbinsky. Stars Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Helena Bonham Carter, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale. "The plot is rich and colourful and with a hi-ho Silver, non-stop humour and fast action; there is much to enjoy in the company of the incongruous trio of an in-form Depp, a suitably dashing Armie Hammer and a scene stealing white horse with a personality all of its own," says Louise. But Andrew disagrees: "The film (The Long Ranger at 149 minutes) flits from The Plastic Ranger to The Parody Ranger to The Action Ranger, with the odd couple always along for the ride. And then there is the violence, often quite extended and brutal."

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Canada Film Fest adds US films;
* Tango Underpants starts Argentine shoot;
* Words With Gods, score by Gabriel;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

Win one of 10 DVD copies of Compulsion, a psychological thriller exploring the intimacy between two women through their obsession with food, starring Heather Graham and Carrie-Anne Moss, courtesy Anchor Bay Entertainment. Compulsion is available on DVD and Blu-ray from 3rd July.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Alex Gibney. Documentary featuring Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo, Daniel Domscheitt-Berg. ". superb, unbiased filmmaking that allows us to make up our own minds about Assange and whether his idealist vision as an innovator has become confused by self-obsessed paranoia," says Louise. "Gibney doesn't set out with an agenda either to pillory or to sanctify Assange; he seeks out the various profiles that Assange has shown his followers, fans, enemies and interlocutors over the years. And they are not all in synch," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Spain, 2012) Dir: Cesc Gay. Stars Ricardo Darin, Luis Tosar, Javier Camara, Eduardo Noriega, Leonor Watling, Candela Pena, Cayetana Guillen Cuervo, Eduard Fernandez, Leonardo Sbraraglia. "... a somewhat cynical view of relationships and implying a total disconnect when it comes to male and female intimacy, the film offers some engaging moments largely due to its top cast, although elements within the vignettes are more successful than its whole," says Louise. "Countering the defects in the writing, the performances by the top notch cast are all wonderful, nuanced and engaging, even though the dialogue is rarely so," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Italy, 2012) Dir: Matteo Garrone. Stars Aniello Arena, Loredana Similoli, Nando Paone, Nello Iorio, Nunzia Schiano, Giusseppina Cervici. ".the themes involving the confused sense of today's reality hit a note, the film is not funny enough, nor interesting enough to hold our attention for its 116 minute running time," says Louise. "..my disappointment comes not just from the fact that the subject matter is soft but from the fact that the film is so thin," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(UK, 2013) Dir: Stephen Daltry. Stars Helen Mirren. For sixty years The Queen (Bebe Cave, Maya Gerber, Nell Williams, Helen Mirren) regularly meets each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace - a meeting like no other in British public life. It is private, under an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. Except you and me . (reviews available from Friday afternoon, July 5)

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Terrence Malik. Stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem. "There is some glorious imagery in Terrence Malik's elusive and poetic film about love, but this internal observation is far too obtuse and self-indulgent to satisfy even the most romantic," says Louise. "With its pale colour palette, the film looks like whimsy, but without the humour. The characters move slowly, as if slowed by the weight of their thoughts and emotions. The camera stares at empty rooms and tableaux. It's as if Malik is showing us what it would be like to be a ghostly observer whose presence has slowed down time," says Andrew.

Australian DVD Premiere:
Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban, Billy Crudup. "In the vein of Fargo and A Simple Plan, Thin Ice is a delicious black crime comedy that melts before our eyes," says Louise.
INTERVIEW: After shooting Thin Ice . on thin ice & snow .. director and co-writer Jill Sprecher vows never to write snow into a screenplay again.

A diverse selection of features and documentaries form have been selected for the Jewish International Film Festival in Sydney and Melbourne this November, marking its 24th anniversary, according to organisers. (Pic. Fill the Void)

The Sunset Six, a feel-good musical comedy starring Jeremy Stanford, about a washed-up 80s rock star who has to get the band back together to land the recording deal of a lifetime. Thanks to Titan View (distributors) you can purchase 2 tickets for the price of 1 ($20) to the ONLY SYDNEY SCREENING - 7pm on Friday 19th July at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter. To take advantage of this deal buy tickets online from Titan View with the discount code "sunset".

[Coming soon, Mood Indigo, stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy. "If the multi-talented French writer, jazz trumpeter, actor, poet and engineer Boris Vian were alive today (he died in 1959) he would undoubtedly applaud Michel Gondry's extraordinary, complex, surreal adaptation of his novel, L'écume des jours," says Andrew. "The beating heart of creativity explodes onscreen in Michel Gondry's wondrously bizarre film, whose innovative reality and bricolage beautifully elevates the narrative," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in July

The Butler, stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda;
The Bling Ring, stars Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Israel Broussard;
The Turning, stars Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett;
The Smurfs 2, voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Christina Ricci;
The Conjuring, stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga;
Red Obsession, documentary narrated by Russell Crowe;

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 Tim Minchin, Ben Forster, Melanie Chisholm. "Propelled by the timeless and unforgettable music and lyrics of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical, this filmed Arena production explodes onto the screen with all the intensity, pathos and veracity of a theatrical musical experience," says Louise

Stars Jeremy Irvine, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Flemyng. "..retains the core elements of the story and key characters as well as the authentic elements of the period, but still manages to make the film a fresh experience," says Andrew.

Stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess. "Brilliant or pretentious - or both?" says Louise.

Stars Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright. "an absorbing, well executed thriller with a top line cast. If there's a quibble, it's that the plot is so complex," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win double passes to the controversial documenty We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, from Academy Award Winner Alex Gibney, courtesy Universal, we asked: Who among family or friends is least likely to keep a secret and why? Angelo Amici (SA): My wife, a hairdresser; whose job description actually states 'provide information about other peoples' personal lives to everyone.'

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, Let's Get Skase (pic, stars Lachy Hulme, Alex Dimitriades, Craig McLachlan) 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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