Welcome to our 920th weekly edition; Thursday, October 23, 2014

Movie review:
WHIPLASH
(US, 2014) Dir: Stars J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller. "Thrilling and disturbing in equal parts, Damien Chazelle's magnificent film Whiplash, about a young jazz drummer obsessed with greatness and the sadistic teacher who pushes him to the brink, is a showcase in which fear, not harmony reigns. J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller offer superlative and unforgettable performances, as their characters duel as if in a fight to the death. One of the best films of the year," says Louise.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Asia Pacific Screen Awards - line up confirmed;
* British Film Fest 2014 highlights;
* Zareh Nalbandian honoured at Movie Convention;
* Tango Underpants on a roll;
*
The Dressmaker gets made;
* Movies Now No 26 - starts October 29;

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

COMPETITIONS
MALEFICENT DVD

Win one of 10 copies of Maleficent on DVD, starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, courtesy Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment. Available on Blu-ray and DVD from October 8.

Movie reviews:
FURY
(US, 2014) Dir: David Ayer. Stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman. "David Ayer's film succeeds in creating a claustrophobic mood, prising us into the Sherman tank in 1945 Germany with its melting pot of tension ... although the characterisations might have been better described," says Louise. "The film's impact is partly explained by the heavy artillery aimed at our sensibilities, not just our eardrums, and the almost careless narrative, which only glues together in the final, extended, extraordinary sequence best described as Wardaddy's Last Stand," says Andrew.

Movie review:
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU
(US, 2014) Dir: Shawn Levy. Stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne. "Laugh or cry, there's no correct response, says Jane Fonda's matriarch Hillary, in this hilarious expose of a dysfunctional family thrown together at close quarters. For the audience, there is more laughter than tears... It's caustic fun on rapids," says Louise.

Movie review:
HECTOR & THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
(UK, Ger, Can, S.Africa) Dir: Peter Chelsom. Stars Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike. "Quirky, engaging and unexpected, this charming exploration of the road to happiness is elevated by the appealing presence of Simon Pegg, whose dissatisfied psychiatrist delves into the conundrum with naïve enthusiasm. His enthusiasm is addictive," says Louise.

Composer focus:
SORORAL'S HORRORBLE SCORE
The nice looking young man smiling shyly at the camera, Christopher de Groot, has composed a truly (and suitably) creepy score for Sororal, Sam Barrett's creepy new, low budget horror movie; de Groot is one of the nominees for Best Feature Film Score at this year's Screen Music Awards (Nov. 12, Sydney City Recital Hal ) and newest signing by Sweden's Screamworks Records. Andrew L. Urban reports.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in November, The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel. "I connected on many levels with this powerful story about escape from Africa, loss, survival and struggling against the odds to create a new life," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in October

NEW TRAILERS
Men, Women & Children, stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner;
The Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet, stars Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis;
Pride, stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West;
Top Five, stars Adam Sandler, Rosario Dawson, Chris Rock;
Interstellar, stars Matthew McConaughey, Ann Hathaway;
Birdman, stars Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone;

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:
THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY
Stars Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac. "Admirably teased out of Patricia Highsmith's novel by Iranian-born filmmaker Hossein Amini, the screenplay for The Two Faces of January is complex, satisfying, edgy, and the film is studded with glittering performances," says Andrew.

MALEFICENT
Stars Angelina Jolie, Juno Temple, Elle Fanning. "In a word, Maleficent is magical, with Angelina Jolie hypnotic as the betrayed fairy from whose perspective this re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty is told. Jolie has never looked more stunning," says Louise.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
Stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett. "With its breathtaking production design and astonishing reality, Peter Jackson's second in the Hobbit trilogy offers more ballast this time with spectacular highlights," says Louise.

Competition winners:
EDGE OF TOMORROW DVD
To win DVDs courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment, we asked: If you could, which event in your life would you like to live through again and why? Domenic Papa (NSW) says: Can I have the whole thing again? There are so many bad decision I wish I could avoid making.

WHIPLASH
To win double inseason passes courtesy Sony Pictures Releasing, we asked: What teacher had the greatest impact on your life (good or bad) and why? Susan Gaskill (Qld): A guitar teacher has had an enormous impact on me. He taught my hubby how to play the guitar and play it LOUDLY!

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 (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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