Welcome to our 780th weekly edition; Thursday February 16, 2012,
marking our 15th Anniversary.

15th Anniversary celebrations include:
* LAUNCH OF OUR NEW SECTION, TRAVELFILE: movies are often a form of escape, and travel is another form of escape. And adventure... join us in Switzerland, Monte Carlo and Mexico.

Win one of 15 fabulous movie prizes comprising:
- Australian Movie Vouchers (for 2) valid at 80 locations around Australia;
- A double inseason pass to the stunning survival drama, The Grey, starring Liam Neeson;
- A DVD copy of Daniel Nettheim's The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe, nominated for 14 AACTA Awards;
- A double in season pass to the new Australian romantic comedy from Working Dog (The Castle, The Dish), 'Any Questions for Ben?', starring Josh Lawson, Rachael Taylor, Daniel Henshall, courtesy Roadshow Films.

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Movie reviews:
(UK/US, 2011) Dir: Simon Curtis. Stars Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Watson, Julia Ormond, Judi Dench. "Like Chanel No 5, whose fragrance with which she is identified, the bewitching allure of Marilyn Monroe wafts throughout this gem of a film, allowing us an intimate insight into her fragility, loneliness and insecurity," says Louise. "Made with sublime sensitivity - not to be mistaken for weakness - My Week With Marilyn is a shimmering, memorable, magnificent movie," says Andrew.

* Gossip-free zone
* AFTRS students in line for $180,000 drama;

Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, Feb 9 - 12: Any Questions for Ben opened modestly, given its marketing profile and wide release on 235 screens, with $608,731 (avg $2,590) on the weekend, in 6th place. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3D collected over $1.5 M and the top two new mainstream releases (The Vow, Safe House) took similar dollars. The top 20 was up 11% to $14 M.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Dir: Joe Carnahan. Stars Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale. "Liam Neeson's powerful presence is the central focus of the story; he is our compass as we experience the terror, the isolation, the conflict, the hope and the many obstacles to survival - both physical and mental," says Louise. "There are echoes of John Boorman's iconic survival drama Deliverance (1972) as the men come to realise that nature has no pity, no feelings. It is what it is. The way the men interact is part of the drama, as hotheads and fools are revealed beneath the macho masks," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2011) Dir: Cindy Meehl. Documentary featuring Buck Brannaman. "The great pleasure of this film is that we meet Buck the man as well as Buck the horseman; it's a rounded and balanced doco, a rich, complex, miniature biopic of Buck who bucked his fate," says Andrew. "I was entranced and intensely moved by this marvellous and unforgettable documentary," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Stars Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Chelsea Handler. "It has to say something about the film, when the nasty, bad-guy villain, who has little screen-time and next to no lines, is the most credible and appealing thing on screen," says Louise. "Director McG has made a McMovie; a take-away that doesn't satisfy but it's something for the eyes to chew on," says Andrew.

2012 Awards:
The whole world, it seems, has been seduced by Michel Hazanavicius' silent B&W romantic ode to 1920s Hollywood, The Artist, with the Brits paying generous attention with seven BAFTA Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

[Coming soon, The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli. "Greed, lust and the incongruous are pitted together in this seductive search for redemption through ink and rage," says Louise.]
Films releasing soon....

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

Dir: Daniel Nettheim. Stars Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill. "Haunting and mesmerising, The Hunter is an outstanding film that tackles a hot socio-political issue through a well crafted, character driven story," says Andrew. "The rugged beauty of Tasmania is the star of this riveting thriller in which Willem Dafoe's mercenary, Martin David, is sent to hunt down the last fabled Tasmanian tiger," says Louise.

Dir: Mark Mylod. Stars Chris Evans, Anna Faris, Mike Vogel. "Short of laughs and good ideas, What's Your Number is a misdial on the chick flick calendar," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 25 double inseason passes to see the award-winning documentary Buck, courtesy Madman, we asked: Who among family and friends is especially good with pets or animals, worthy to be called a 'whisperer' - and why? Johanna Rees: Me. Having twelve horses and looking after another ten; I'm the only one that can catch them and can read their minds. I have a special bond with each and every one of them.

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 500 films.

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