Welcome to our 865th weekly edition; Thursday, October 3, 2013

Movie review:
(US, 2013) Dir: Ron Howard. Stars Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara. "You don't have to know anything about racing or be a Formula One fan to experience the whole gamut of emotions in this powerful and highly moving film, whose two champion central performances by Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth appropriately mirror the champions they represent... One of the best films of the year," says Louise.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Jolie good for NSW with Unbroken;
* Majority of kids don't steal movies;
* All Is Lost for Tasmania's BOFA film fest;
* Jewish Film Fest with 50 premieres;
* New schedule for private premiere season of Movies Now;
* Life of Pi(scine Molitor): a rebirth;
* Iranian Filmfest ready to open;
* Sharknado encore at Orpheum;

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

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg lead an all-star cast in 2 Guns, an explosive action film that tracks two operatives from competing bureaus who are forced on the run together. But there is a big problem with their unique alliance: Neither knows that the other is an undercover federal agent. Win one of 25 double inseason passes, courtesy Sony Pictures. In cinemas October 10.

Win one of 10 DVD copies of Fast and Furious 6, starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Paul Walker, courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Overloaded with bonus content, action and mind-blowing stunts. Available to own on DVD, Blu-ray and UltraViolet from October 3, 2013.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Alfonso Cuarón. Stars Sandra Bullock, George Clooney. "We are on edge throughout. There is no respite, no relief, no safety net and the fact that almost the entirety of the film takes place in space instills tension and a profound sense of claustrophobia. Tranquility is contrasted by chaos; ethereal beauty by destructive disruption," says Louise. "Together with perfect casting and a superb score, Gravity gets its exclamation mark from the astute use of 3D - adding a layer of thrills at key moments. Hell, they're all key moments," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Stuart Blumberg. Stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo, Pink, Joely Richardson, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad. "The film belongs to Mark Ruffalo in many ways, the central figure whose addiction, failure and redemption takes us in and out of laughter, tears and introspection. Gwyneth Paltrow is fresh and fabulous as Phoebe," says Andrew. "There are considerably different undertones in this Sex and the City addiction drama that makes us view life from a different angle, although the perfunctory nature of the exposition flashes an orange light," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2013) Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn. Documentary. "The film is far too long and repetitive, even though it's often gobsmacking in its frank portrayal of these truly nasty, ugly human beings who boast on television about their killings and are ready to keep on killing. Nay, keen to do so," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(US, 2013) Dir: Robert Stone. Documentary. "The utter irony in which this doco is steeped is that the very same reasons - the safe preservation of earth's environment - are now driving the very same people who stood against nuclear energy ... in favour of nuclear energy," says Andrew.
DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: Stone outlines the road to his - and their - clean nuclear energy Damascus.
EDITORIAL: Saving the planet - one film at a time.

Now online:
Andrew L. Urban's doco of the second and most successful edition of the now defunct Dungog Film Festival; includes interviews with Margaret Pomeranz, Joel Edgerton, Matt Newton, Chris Hayward, Noni Hazlehurst and festival directors Allanah Zitserman & Stavros Kazantzidis among others, plus clips from festival films, including The Nothing Men (Colin Friels, David Field) and Black Water.

[Coming in December, The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman. "As moving as The King's Speech (not least due to Colin Firth's emotionally minimalist but powerful stiff upper lip characterisation) and as beautifully made, Jonathan Teplitzky's film of Eric Lomax's memoir is stunning cinema," says Andrew. "There are many vital ingredients to this story - courage, love and redemption - each playing their part in our tumultuous journey, which in turn is elevated by the film's elite cast," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in October

The Counselor, stars Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt;
Walking with Dinosaurs 3D;
Rush, stars Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl;
Gravity, stars George Clooney, Sandra Bullock;
Prisoners, stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo;

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)

(US, 2013) Stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez. "True to its promise, this 6th in the franchise dishes up cars, speed, stunts, muscle and girls - all at 100 decibels," says Louise. "Whatever Sly Stallone and his Expendables team can destroy on screen, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team can do it bigger, louder, faster ... and younger," says Andrew.

(US/UK/Qatar, 2012) Stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland. "William Wheeler has forged a richly complex, achingly satisfying screenplay from Mohsin Hamid's hugely popular, Booker Prize shortlisted novel and Mira Nair has turned it into a significant and powerful film with something to say," says Andrew. "The advent of 9/11 is the catalyst that brings about a U-Turn in this adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's novel about identity, values and truth," says Louise.

Competition winners:
We asked: Who among family and friends tells the best stories and why? Carolyn Mazzeo (SA) says: Dad; having been a bus driver most of his life he knew the history of everything and more interestingly; how suburbs got their names! Prizes courtesy Madman Entertainment and Pan MacMillan.

To win tickets courtesy Palace Films, we asked: Who among your family would be a great subject for a book or movie and why? Roberto Colombi (NSW): My parents immigrated to a foreign country; couldn't speak the language; married after 10 days; had 10 children; worked 5 jobs to put 8 through university... It'd be great to see that unfold on screen.

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, Rolf de Heer's Dr Plonk (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

So many vineyards, so little time ... and so many amazing people to meet, as Andrew L. Urban discovered in between screenings and parties at CinéfestOZ. Margaret River is not just a river, not just a town, not just a destination - it's a way of life.

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