Welcome to our 916th weekly edition; Thursday, September 25, 2014

Movie review:
THE EQUALIZER
(US, 2014) Dir: Antoine Fuqua. Stars Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz. "The pensive, brooding calm of an in-form Denzel Washington as the man who has to do what he does - because he can - alleviates this gritty thriller from Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, in which Washington plays the Russian mafia as if it were a deadly chess game," says Louise.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Lucky can change gender, you can change lives;
* Screen producers Awards - nominees;
* The Russians are coming - on screen;

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

COMPETITIONS
BAD WORDS DVD
Win one of 10 copies of Bad Words on DVD, the subversive new comedy, starring Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman as a sadistic, middle-aged man who hijacks a spelling bee for middle-schoolers. Also starring Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall and Rohan Chand. Prizes courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Available on DVD & Digital with Ultra Violet TM from September 25, 2014.

LIFE OF CRIME
Win one of 10 double inseason passes to Life of Crime, starring Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, John Hawkes, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, Mark Boone Jnr and Tim Robbins courtesy Madman Entertainment. (Based on Elmore Leonard's novel, The Switch.) In cinemas on September 25.

Movie review:
THE SKELETON TWINS
(US, 2014) Dir: Craig Johnson. Stars Kristen Wiig, 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.

Movie review:
THE LITTLE DEATH
(Aust, 2013) Dir: Josh Lawson. Stars Josh Lawson, Bojana Novakic. "Whatever Turns You On could be an alternative title for this unexpected, quirky and black patchwork of a film whose juxtaposition of sexual fetishes between seemingly ordinary couples in a suburban neighbourhood will make you sit up and take notice. Overcooked at times and not always cohesive, Josh Lawson's debut feature about intimacy is a case of hit or miss, but in its favour, there are some very funny ideas coupled with some priceless moments," says Louise.

Movie review:
LIFE OF CRIME
(US, 2013) Dir: Daniel Schechter. Stars Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, Mos Def. "Filled with surprises, comic scenarios and a top cast as one scam shifts to another, this adaptation of Elmore Leonard's caper is bright, breezy and lots of fun," says Louise.

Movie review:
LAND OF THE BEARS
(France, 2014) Dir: Guillaume Vincent. Documentary narrated by David Gasman. "A big brown bear lies on jagged rocks in a stream in the wilds of Kamchatka, waiting patiently for the salmon. He scratches his chin clearly irritable, hungry after hibernating through the long winter; his survival depends on the trophy he is waiting to snare... It's an unforgettable image and only one of many in this extraordinary documentary that takes us into the lives of the majestic brown bears of Kamchatka, giving us an insight into how they survive the brutal conditions in which they live," says Louise.

Movie review:
IN BLOOM
(Georgia/Germany/France, 2013) Dir: Nana Ekvtismishvili, Simon Gross. Stars Lika Babluani, Mariam Bokeria, Zurab Gogaladze. "The performances are naturalistic and severe, especially the highly volatile families, where shouting matches are almost traumatising to hear and to watch. But ... the film ends without having said enough to satisfy us," says Andrew.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in November, The Devil's Violinist, starring David Garrett, Jared Harris, Joely Richardson. "Garrett is superb: his presence and brooding charisma perfectly in tune with the musical dynamic as he makes his violin sing with extraordinary flourishes, quavers running frenetically on a musical fret-board to heaven," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in September

NEW TRAILERS
The Drop, stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini;
The Hunger Games Mocking Jay Part 1, stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson;
Serena, stars Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper;
The Judge, stars Robert Downey Jnr, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton;
Paper Planes, stars Sam Worthington;
Whiplash, stars Miles Teller, J.K.Simmons;

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:
CHEF
Stars Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman. "Food, glorious food, and music, wonderful Latino music, fill this crowd pleasing comedy which avoids the traps of fake sentimentality for the grounded joys of genuine heart," says Andrew.

IDA
Stars Agata Trzebuchowska, Agata Kulesza, Joanna Kulig. "Shot in moody black and white, Pawel Pawlikowski's film set in 1960 about a nun about to take her vows is an interesting juxtaposition of drama, road movie, coming of age story and sexual awakening, as secrets leads her into unexpected territory," says Louise.

SUNSHINE ON LEITH
Stars Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, George MacKay. "I feel a bit mean not to embrace Stephen Greenhorn's adaptation of his good hearted stage musical, but the film plods instead of soars, despite its genuine characters and heartfelt performances," says Louise.

Competition winners:
THE SKELETON TWINS
To win double inseason passes courtesy Sony Pictures Releasing, we asked: With whom among family and friends do you share a special relationship and what is it that bonds you? Ros Mayes (Qld) says: I am a grandmother of 11 who shares a close bond with a young man who is leader of a band. What bonds us? All his secrets he has shared only with me!

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, Lantana (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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