Welcome to our 854th weekly edition; Thursday, July 18, 2013

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Richard Linklater. Stars Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy. "Life, sex, love and the whole damn thing is the topic of conversation in Richard Linklater's third film in which the characters that Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke embodied so beautifully in Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) continue their relationship. The beauty of this film - like the two before - is its natural flow of conversation and ability to engage and transport us into the moment," says Louise. "For fans of this series, Before Midnight is like an old friend who has grown sharper and grumpier and saltier with life; and for students of cinema, the film is a masterclass in the use of the language and tools of this amazing artform to portray human nature," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Hitchcock committed to memory;
* Mendes has bonded for 007 24 in 15;
* Bruce Gailey, 1923-1913 obituary;
* GET FRONT UP BACK UP Meet Tom from Texas - in Perth and looking for a wife - in 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.

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

Win one of 10 double inseason passes to What's In A Name? starring Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling, Guillaume de Tonquedec and Judith El Zein, courtesy Madman Entertainment. "A little joke becomes the catalyst for the unravelling of relationships in this jocular French comedy in which egos, political beliefs, sexual orientations and trusts are thrust like daggers," says Louise. Winner Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Cesar Awards, 2013. Only at the movies July 25.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: James Wan. Stars Vera Fermiga, Lili Taylor, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston. "As resistant as I am to spooky movies of all kinds, I do admire Wan's direction .. He realises all the potential in the drama, in the images and in the editing, managing to give us frequent chills," says Andrew. "Dress warmly and take a friend - The Conjuring is a chilly and unnerving experience. Based on a true story, Saw director James Wan's slick horror film has all the elements to make your skin crawl," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(France/Denmark, 2013) Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn. Stars Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm. "The most frequent response I had while watching the film was the word 'artifice' flashing in neon lights like the 'welcome' sign above the door of the whorehouse where some of the action takes place," says Andrew. "Viciously gruesome and ugly at every turn. its revenge-driven narrative in the Bangkok underworld a sharp contrast to its stylised production design and deathly slow pace. The lack of connection to any character is an emotional roadblock," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2013) Dir: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg. Stars Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill. "Fans . are the target market for this crude, rowdy, self-indulgent buddy-movie mash-up travesty about the end of the world, in which smoking weed, ejaculation jokes, exorcism and a decapitated head kicked around like a soccer ball are par for the course," says Louise.

[Coming in September, Sarah Polley's The Stories We Tell. "The facets, the secrets and the different perspectives of love are put under the microscope in this deceptively simple yet devastatingly complex portrayal of a family," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in July

Blancanieves, stars Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho;
Runner Runner, stars Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Ben Affleck;
The Counselor, stars Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt;
The Way Way Back, stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell;
The Bling Ring, stars Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Israel Broussard;
The Butler, stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda;

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, tomorrow, or right now! (Occasionally we also slip in a few of the editors' favourites if they don't make the top 20.)

Stars Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating, Magda Szubanski. "Bursting with a vibrant joie de vivre, the dreams and aspirations of a housewife explode in a colourful musical fantasy, complete with toe-tapping songs, an uplifting hyper-reality and endearing characters that charm us from the outset," says Louise.

Stars Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wild, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin. "..While it might be true to say that if you've seen the trailer you've seen the film, the fun (or guilty pleasure) comes from the well executed schtick," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 prize packs comprising a DVD copy of each of the three films: The Imposter (incredible true story), Save Your Legs! (Aussie cricket comedy) and Barbara (Cold War drama), courtesy Madman, we asked: Who in your family stands out as the least likely member and why? Tim Brady (NSW): My sister; the teatotaller / quasi-vegetarian; our boozy BBQ family get togethers are not a fun time for her.

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, Feeling Sexy (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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