Welcome to our 779th weekly edition; Thursday, February 9, 2012

Andrew L. Urban's Front Up, the prime time social documentary series from the 1990s, is getting a second life on YouTube with a dedicated playlist on the SBS Australia Channel - the first time SBS ever hosted full episodes on YouTube. New episodes every Thursday.Read More..

EDITORIAL: film reviewers should be demanding of Australian films

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Movie review:
(Aust, 2011) Dir: Rob Sitch. Stars: Josh Lawson, Rachael Taylor, Daniel Henshall, Felicity Ward, Lachy Hulme. "At last, an Australian film that's as sophisticated and slick as its cities, yet down to earth and in touch with our sardonic sense of humour," Says Louise. "Chirpy and bright, often lol funny and with something to say, AQFB is a contemporary take on a generation that really is lucky - if only it can cash in on that luck," says Andrew.

* Leonardo Live at Cinema Nova;
* Cockatoo Island Fest to launch
* Almodóvar Presents Almodóvar on World Movies;
* Quality films for the suburbs -at a price;
* Shooting The Grandmother in Sydney:
* Brian Trenchard Smith joins Empire Post;
* HBO buys into Aussie Quickflix;
* Free seminar for students at Gold Coast Fest;

Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, Feb 2 - 5: In its debut weekend, Chronicle took more than twice the total of the next 2 films in the top 20, with $2.93 M on 192 screens (avg $15,228). Man On A Ledge opened softly with $469,838 on 149 (avg $3,153) and The Artist, hot with Globes and Oscar buzz, opened with $372,306 on 39 (avg $9,546), probably in line with expectations for this endearing B&W ode to Hollywood in the 20s. Martha Marcy May Marlene had a slow start with $86,092 on 35 (avg $2,460). The top 20 was down 35% to $12.59 M.

Win one of 25 double inseason passes to see the documentary Buck, Audience Award winner at Sundance Film Festival 2011 and nominated for Best Documentary at the 2012 Academy Awards. Tickets courtesy Madman. Only at the Movies February 16.

Movie reviews:
(UK, 2011) Dir: Steve McQueen. Stars Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan. "Simple but not simplistic, McQueen explores what happens when a man's sexual addiction distracts him enough to delay responding to a cry for help from his sister," says Andrew. "Shame explores depravation of another kind. Sexual perversion is the obsession of the protagonist, who can only find pleasure from the debauched," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Daniel Espinosa. Stars Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson. "The powerful pairing of Washington and Reynolds as the cynical and idealistic agents respectively has plenty of promise, although the decision by director Daniel Espinosa to use relentless and dizzying hand-held camera work intrudes on what could be a far more powerful and enjoyable film," says Louise.

No film-maker ever devised titles as poetic as Theo Angelopoulos, a genuine master of the cinema. Landscape in the Mist, The Suspended Step of the Stork (who knows if it is as alliterative in Greek as it is in English?), The Weeping Meadow, Ulysses' Gaze, Eternity and a Day. Geoff Gardner looks back on the filmmaker's life.

[Coming soon, My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh. "My Week With Marilyn is an unforgettable as the title implies," says Louise. "A shimmering, memorable, magnificent movie," says Andrew.]
Films releasing soon....

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
The Amazing Spiderman, stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone;
Carnage, stars Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz;
Thirst, stars Victoria Haralabidou, Myles Pollard;

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...)

Stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer. " This is mature cinema with something to say and plenty of entertaining ways to say it," says Andrew. "I was profoundly moved by this story whose many layers conceal a powerhouse of emotion as they reveal universal truths," says Louise.

Stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid. "Foot-tapping fun, sexy dancing, romance and making changes are the mainstays of this likeable, high energy remake of the 1984 classic that launched Kevin Bacon as a teen icon," says Louise.

Documentary. " a significant socio-political doco which raises several vital questions . and its forensic accuracy will long be hailed as valuable," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win double inseason passes, courtesy Fox, we asked: Who among family or friends has a variety of names or nicknames and why? Chanelle Avison (QLD) says: My sister went by the nickname `Nicholas`...mainly cos she loved to be `Knickerless`.

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 and dozens more. Over 450 films.
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