Welcome to our 914th weekly edition; Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie reviews:
THE GIVER
(US, 2014) Dir: Phillip Noyce. Stars Brendan Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes. "With consummate skill, director Phillip Noyce orchestrates all the complexities of the tale and its parallels with the state of the world, blending together its fantasy and thriller elements with a rich emotional heart," says Louise. "Phillip Noyce has cast the film to ensure it has gravitas and we are engaged: Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges are the representatives of the two ends of the philosophical divide, and if he had cast unknowns, I suspect the film would have been less compelling, not to take away from a fine screenplay," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Shadow of Doubt right on police bungles;
* Movies Now No 26 starts October 29;
* Australian Writers Foundation Fellowships awarded;
* Boyhood awarded FIPRESCI Best Film of the Year;
* Venice top awards 2014.

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

COMPETITIONS
SIN CITY 2: A DAME TO KILL FOR
Win one of 10 double inseason passes to Sin City: A Dame to Kill for, starring Eva Green, James Brolin, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke and Jaime King, courtesy Icon Film Distribution. In cinemas September 18.

Book review:
KIM WILLIAMS - RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
"FOXTEL, football, News and wine: The secrets of a business builder and cultural maestro" goes the slug under Kim's name on the cover of his eagerly awaited - and eagerly published - memoir-ish book. The slug does its best, but even if it included 'movies' somewhere, perhaps after football, it still would not - could not - do justice to the content, says Andrew L. Urban.

Movie review:
NIGHT MOVES
(US, 2013) Dir: Kelly Reichardt. Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard. "After a riveting first half filled with tension and one in which we are left to draw our own conclusions about details and relationships, the remainder of the film fizzles to some extent, diminishing the payoff. However, Reinhardt's film is quietly powerful with plenty to say and it is the actions that do most of the talking as it marries political objectives with moral issues," says Louise.

Movie review:
STEP UP ALL IN
(US, 2014) Dir: Trish Sie. Stars Gyan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam G. Sevani. "Sensational high energy dancing with inventive choreography and sassy rhythms make this fifth film in the franchise fly, even though the plot is wafer thin and the girl boy dynamic wanting. Oh if only Channing Tatum, who leapt to stardom in the 2006 film had returned to be part of the 'all in' casting, rather than relying on the presence of Ryan Guzman, who has all the physical attributes - except charisma," says Louise.

2014 AACTA Awards:
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY NOMINATIONS
From the heights of fame to the depths of the sea, this year's feature documentaries are a celebration of the adage that 'truth is stranger than fiction' and introduce two bold new Australian directors - both female. AACTA also launches a new Music Score Award for documentaries.

Feature:
IRANIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2014: FILMS FROM 13 TO P
Reza Dormishian's I'm Not Angry! and Shahram Mokri's Fish & Cat, Opening & Closing Night films, will bookend a varied program that goes from 13 to P, the former about a youngster, the latter about an old recluse, in this year's Iranian Film Festival around Australia.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming later in September, The Skeleton Twins, starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. "Dark secrets are revealed and raw emotions laid bare in this hard-hitting and moving film in which an indestructible bond between twins is both the trigger and the solution," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in September

NEW TRAILERS
The Equalizer, stars Denzel Washington;
Sin City 2, stars Josh Brolin, Bruce Willis;
Shaun the Sheep, from Aardman Studios;
Whiplash, stars Miles Teller, J.K.Simmons;
The Little Death, stars Josh Lawson, Bojana Novakovic;
Men, Women & Children, stars Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler;

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)

NEW DVDS:
BELLE
Stars Gugu Mabatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson. "Conviction and principle are the powerful bullets of this gripping drama in which issues of racial discrimination, slavery and class are canvassed," says Louise.

FADING GIGOLO
Stars John Turturo, Woody Allen. "Like the plans of its protagonists, the plans of the filmmakers never quite make it to fulfilment, although there is fun to be had with Stone and Vergara - if for the wrong reasons," says Andrew.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Stars Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston. "As fascinating as it is bizarre and tedious, Jim Jarmusch's eclectic reality in which two vampires bound to each other through eternity, is a powerful magnet," says Louise.

CHILD'S POSE
Stars Luminita Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache. "With its claustrophobic, handheld camerawork, Child's Pose is almost as suffocating as Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu), the well meaning but ultimately meddlesome mother, who also dominates her husband (Florin Zamfirescu, excellent), by the way. It's a showstopping performance by Gheorghiu, mostly because it is restrained," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
To win double passes, we asked: Who among family and friends would you like to dress up as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and why? Al Primon (Vic): My teenage daughter. Sporting GREEN hair and renowned as being a tough SHELL to crack, she's already half way there in the dress department.

AUSTRALIAN FILMS
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, Daina Reid's I Love you Too (2009, pic), Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Travelfile:
GIGER OF GRUYERES, SWITZERLAND
It's a steep walk from Gruyères railway station to the historic Swiss hilltop village of Gruyères, world famous for its cheese. But Gruyères (population 300) has a dark secret which only the most curious - or well informed - will discover: the gallery of H. R. Giger, Oscar winning designer of the alien in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and other things similarly subversive, erotic, fantastic and out of this world. Andrew L. Urban reports.

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