Welcome to our 857th weekly edition; Thursday, August 8, 2013

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Louis Leterrier. Stars Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Common, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine. "A hugely enjoyable thriller, whose sleight of hand is both audacious and ambitious, Louis Leterrier's film is considerable in scale and daring," says Louise. "Seductive with its opening magic show delivering fabulous illusion, Now You See Me has a bit of Ocean's 11 at its heart. It's somewhat darker, and it's that darkness that gives it texture," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* The Blue Sapphires blue;
* Jack Thompson ready to party at CinèfestOZ;
* Four of Australia's top screen composers show & tell;
* Chennai Express leaving tomorrow;
* The Wizard of Oz in 3D;
* $5 student tix and Indiana Jones trilogy at Sydney's Orpheum;
* A rose (petal) by any other title;
* The Big Noise in the Big Apple;
* 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.
* Great Casino Movies;

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

Win one of 10 copies of Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough, courtesy Universal Sony Home Entertainment. Available on DVD and Blu-ray from August 8.

Movie reviews:
(Romania, 2013) Dir: Cristian Mungiu. Stars Cristina Flutur, Cosmina Stratan, Valeriu Andriuta. "... Mungiu immerses us in the time and place to prepare us for this extraordinary story," says Andrew. "While it may be overlong at 150 minutes, Beyond The Hills is mesmerising cinema, made all the more watchable by the colour-stripped setting, creating an ambience in line with the essence of the tale," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Sofia Coppola. Stars Emma Watson, Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann. "The beauty of Sofia Coppola's intoxicating film that dabbles with celebrity obsession is that it entwines us so completely it its fake culture, that it makes us believe we are part of it," says Louise. "..top marks to the cast who deliver these characters exactly as intended: shallow, stupid, reckless, irresponsible, self centred and extremely irritating. I wanted to smack them all as they snorted the stolen cocaine," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Michael Bay. Stars Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris. "Michael Bay tells this story like a black comedy; not noir, Bay doesn't do noir. He does noisy. And the story certainly is black and the comedic juices are well squeezed out of every opportunity," says Andrew. "All in all, there is plenty of pain and little gain in this heavily laced Bay epic that ticks over the two hour mark and leaves us brow beaten and weary instead of incredulous and entertained," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2013) Dir: Matt Weston. Documentary featuring Cosmic Psychos. "Australians do self deprecating better than most, even when they mean it. Ross Knight of the Cosmic Psychos shows how it's done within the first 10 seconds of this gritty, grunty, growl of a doco about farmers turned punk rock band," says Andrew.

[Coming in October, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, starring Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Felicity Montagu. "If life has been a bit rough on you of late, treat yourself to a dose of laughter with Alan Partridge; it's cheap therapy," says Louise. "This is the kind of absurd escapist comedy that The Goons would have loved; it's not as zany but it's just as quick witted," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in August

Patrick, stars Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, Charles Dance, Jackson Gallagher;
Diana, stars Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews;
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, stars Steve Coogan;
Elysium, stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Sharlto Copley;
Blancanieves, stars Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho;
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, stars Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine;

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 Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo. "... does its best to dazzle by its myriad of special effects, videogame-esque sequences and a plot that pretty well succeeds at confusing itself," says Louise.

Stars - Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith. "If you get queasy at the sight of blood or needles penetrating the flesh, you'll have plenty to be queasy about in this audacious film from David Cronenberg's son Brendon," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win a copy of the DVD, courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends would make a good buddy on a secret assignment and why? Karlene Forrest (QLD:) My teenage son. He barely communicates and certainly doesn't spill secrets so our assignment together would remain a secret.

To win double inseason passes, courtesy Universal Studios, we asked: Who among family and friends would be willing to join you on a pub crawl and why? Caroline Denny (Vic): My cousin is the perfect pub crawler. He gets on hands and knees to please; keeps his ear to the ground and his thirst for fun makes him come out of his shell.

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, Jocelyn Moorhouse's Proof (pic), stars Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot, Russell Crowe and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Finding the Hotel Carramazza almost by accident, Andrew L. Urban meets the man whose family has lived there for 430 years - enough time to accumulate many secrets. The hotel is now gone, but the secrets remain .

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