Welcome to our 862nd weekly edition; Thursday, September 12, 2013

Movies Now-Days

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Woody Allen. Stars Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard. "Blanchett discards all vanity and oozes despair ... Allen's voice can be heard throughout the film and if this screenplay is indicative of his current mindset, he is feeling blue or in any event, enjoying twisting the knife into the keyhole of human foibles," says Louise. "Allen has chosen to tell this story in slices, cutting back and forth in time . only works to a degree; for one thing, it robs many scenes of their full emotional payoff," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Venice hails Ruin;
* Beresford remembered in Zanuck biopic;
* The Rocket vies for Foreign Oscar;
* Mystery Road premieres in Winton, NSW, free;
* Meet a mentor at Sydney Film School;
* Free films at AFTRS;

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

Win one of 10 inseason double passes to Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, starring Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh and Omar Sy, courtesy Vendetta Films. 'Wondrously bizarre,' says Louise. In cinemas September 12.

Movie reviews:
(France/Belg, 2013) Dir: Michel Gondry. Stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy. "Filled with visually arresting invention in virtually every frame, the film draws us into its bizarre, surreal world with humour and zest," says Andrew. "I like the idea that it is things, not people that change and also the concept that life's spaces become smaller over time. There is much to ponder over in this film that sits off the reality chart, allowing the imagination to soar and take flight through Gondry's fabulous vision," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: David Twohy. Stars Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Nolan Gerard Funk, Dave Bautista. "Like so much in this film, Riddick himself is a special effect, a near-superhuman hero who can withstand just about anything, recover from any wound, fight with bare hands against monsters (only a slight exaggeration) and who not so much gains our sympathy as demands our attention," says Andrew. "This sequel is less like a video game than the grandiosely titled Chronicles, offering a gritty, boy's own adventure that is a bit like Outward Bound with no instructors ... The film's main appeal lies in the hulking form of Vin Diesel..." says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Jonas Åkerlund. Stars Matt Lucas, Peter Stormare, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, Billy Crystal, James Caan. "... begins as a totally quirky novelty film with seemingly absurd, overdrawn and outrageous characters /// but ends up as an absolutely captivating, totally quirky novelty film - with heart and many surprises. It is a stunning ensemble cast that delivers this quirkily wonderful adaptation by Chris Mills of his own novel," says Andrew. "The brazen, colourful nature of the characters is the strength of this black comedy from Jonas Åkerlund - and its topline cast. There's an additional, unexpected factor that does not hit us until the very end. It has a heart," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2013) Dir. Stars Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Hank Azaria. "While the 2011 Smurfs movie set in New York was filled with blue-tinged charm and cute-dom, the follow-up in Paris lacks the sweet innocence from the last time around, resulting in a yarn that is overblown and a bit of a yawn," says Louise.

[Coming in November, Around the Block, stars Christina Ricci, Hunter Page-Lochard, Matt Nable, Jack Thompson. "The film could just as meaningfully be titled Hamlet in Redfern or Tupac The Shakespeare," says Andrew. "Sarah Spillane's assured film superbly depicts the wrong side of the tracks of the Redfern street culture, where kids are both at risk and rebellious," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in September

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, stars Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine;
Prisoners, stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo;
Blancanieves, stars Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho;
Patrick, stars Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, Charles Dance, Jackson Gallagher;
The Turning, stars Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett;

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 Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendez. "Powerful, charismatic performances by Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper set the emotional platform, sending us on a helter-skelter ride," says Louise.

Stars Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon. "Delivering above expectations, Snitch ratchets it up beyond the average superficial action thriller in its portrayal of a gritty slice of life," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win prize packs (valued at $74.95 each), comprising Iron man 3 Blu-ray, notepad and cap courtesy Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends has a wildly inventive imagination? Sheree Gordon (Vic) says: My husband thinks there is a magic fairy that cleans our house; cooks our meals and manages to pick up all his mess after him! I wish!

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, Eric Bana's Love the Beast (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Naked luaus on the beach, a unique tequila-in-belly-button championship, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Madonna dining with Sean Penn, Bette Midler, Lee Majors, spaced-out magicians and surprise bare-breasting; these - and much more - are the ingredients that make up the legacy of La Fonda. Hotel No-Tell. Andrew L. Urban reports.

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