Welcome to our 869th weekly edition; Thursday, October 31, 2013

NOT SINCE LINDY CHAMBERLAIN - has there been such a blatant miscarriage of justice in Australia; historic, one-only Sydney screening of Shadow of Doubt at Chauvel, Nov. 5, 6 for 6.30pm followed by panel including Chester Porter QC.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Alan Taylor. Stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston. ".. at times engaging but often bogged down by a cumbersome plot ... The screenplay lacks light and shade and it is not surprising that the film's humorous moments stand out as its best," says Louise. "There's a great deal of effort involved in making this film and I am full of admiration - even if not especially keen to see it again," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Hobbit hookup by satellite;
* APSA entries: 230 films from 41 places;
* St Tropez fest of antipodean films - winners;
* Manuka wins arthouse cinema award;

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

Win one of 20 double inseason passes to Mr Pip, starring Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah, courtesy Transmission Films. Mr. Pip is a tale of the imaginative power of story and reveals that on an island at war, fiction can have dangerous consequences. It is a film of heart, lost romance and bravery that highlights the human spirit and how it connects with others. In cinemas on November 7.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Lee Daniels. Stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, John Cusack, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman. "While The Butler offers many enjoyable moments, it feels as though Daniels has tried to cram too many details and deliver too much information," says Louise. "Having lived through it all - serving six Presidents - Cecile Gaines had a unique perspective, and the film does capture this quite well. But it's overly ambitious. The result is rather episodic, like getting Postcards from History," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(France, 2012) Dir: Pascal Chaumeil. Stars Diane Kruger, Dany Boon, Robert Plagnol, Alice Pol. "It is ironic that for a film that champions spontaneity, its main flaw is the lack of it, or to be precise, it plays like a series of skits that aims for cheap laughs. But having said that, the combination of the irrepressible Dany Boon and lovely Diane Kruger is often enough to charm us into submission," says Louise. "Occasionally un peux over le top, Fly Me To The Moon is nonetheless a charming and textured romantic comedy that takes us from the Masai to Moscow in its love chase," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(France/Switzerland, 2012) Dir: Ursula Meier. Stars Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein, Martin Compston, Gillian Anderson. "The content gets grittier and grittier as the film progresses and some may be disappointed by the ending, which leaves us hanging - as if on a mountain ledge. But maybe that is the point. Performances are brilliant, though," says Louise. "... one of those films that quietly gets under your skin - in the best possible way. It's a film about character and relationships. And its unpredictability is what adds the dramatic tension," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Germany, 2011) Dir: Anna Justice. Stars Alice Dwyer, Dagmar Manzel, Mateusz Damiecki, Lech Mackiewicz. "Emotionally powerful and achingly romantic, despite the origins of the story in a WWII concentration camp, Remembrance is compelling viewing . the gentle, subtle, restrained ending is exquisite," says Andrew. "... a moving film and one that is deserving of attention," says Louise.

Movie review:
(Aust, 2013) Dir: Luke Walker. Documentary. "It's a mythical story because of its scale and because of its mysteries, which Luke's intrepid journey seems to have enlarged. As we follow him on his trek in chronological order, we get a sense of his own journey, which is more complex than simply trying to fit a historical puzzle together," says Andrew.

50th Mad Anniversary:
It's 50 years (on November 7) since the world premiere of Stanley Kramer's idiosyncratic IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD in Los Angeles. Sydney's Cremorne Orpheum is celebrating with a screening (in 4K HD) at 1pm on Sunday November 7. Patrick Conlan's a fan; he tracks the film's amazing history.

[Coming in November, Fruitvale Station, stars Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer. "With its gritty slice of life feel and depiction of the minutiae, Fruitvale Station almost feels like a documentary... There is no manipulation or theatrical construct that deflects from the story's core; the film ensures Oscar's legacy remains and that we feel as though we have got to know this young man whose loss is a senseless tragedy," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in October

Ender's Game, stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield;
The Counselor, stars Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt;
Jack Ryan 2, stars Tom Cruise;
Insidious: Chapter 2, stars Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson;
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, stars Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine;
The Wolf of Wall Street, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConnaughey;

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)

Voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove. "Mixing up its colourful characters into an inspired cocktail shaker, the film creates a spanking new premise in which evil allows goodness to soar," says Louise.

Stars Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris. "The happily ever after theory is tested in this rather forced rom-com that is not without its charms, but overplays its hand," says Louise.

Stars Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Helena Bonham Carter. "The film 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," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win The Lone Ranger on DVD courtesy Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we asked: With who among family and friends would you like to ride in the ole' Wild West and why? QLD: Kate Kozina: My father in Law and I have one thing in Common. Westerns! We have a date every Sunday to watch a movie from his Western DVD collection. He has even bequeathed the collection to me. Yeehah!

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, Rob Sitch's Any Questions for Ben (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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