Welcome to our 783rd weekly edition; Thursday, March 8, 2012

Two surprise movies & guests, March 28 & April 4 at Dendy Newtown. $80. More

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.

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Movie review:
(UK, 2011) Dir: Ralph Fiennes. Stars Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, James Nesbitt. "This is a blood-and-gutsy adaptation of a bloody and gut-wrenching tragedy by Shakespeare, in which the arrogance and snobbery of powerful men is put to the moral sword. Director and co-star Fiennes has chiseled the play into a contemporary setting, not unlike Baz Luhrmann did with Romeo + Juliet, and just about as inventively," says Andrew.

* Black & white & sex - not so b&w;
* Pop culture at Gold Coast FF;
* Matthew Bate wins $25k Williams doco fellowship;
* Big appetite for The Hunger Games;
* beamafilm latest in online vod;
* The berwick find - 1930&31 movie poster treasure;
* Ridley Scott's 1984 minute;
* Brisbane Queer Film Fest;
* Sick voted sickest at US indie showcase;

Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, March 1 - 4: Oscar winner (Foreign Lang) A Separation opened with a healthy screen average of $8,835 - the highest in the top 20 - on 21 screens. In wide release, Project X opened at No 1 with $1.2 M. The top 20 slipped 5% to $ 9.3 M. Also opened: A Little Bit Of Heaven (Hoyts, M) $78,837 (64 Screens); Sione's 2: Unfinished Business (Pinnacle Films, M) $58,583 (24 Screens).

Win one of 15 double inseason passes to Margin Call, starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Demi Moore, courtesy Becker Entertertainment. Only at the movies March 15.

Courtesy Titan View, win one of two double invitations to the exclusive, invitation only premiere of Black & White & Sex at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Sydney, on Friday, March 16, at 9pm, followed by an exclusive after-party. Tickets are not on sale to the public. Season begins March 22 in Melbourne (The Classic) and March 23 in Sydney (Hoyts EQ).

Movie reviews:
(Norway, 2011) Dir: Morten Tyldum. Stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aksel Hennie, Julie R. Ølgaard, Synnove Macody Lund. " .. a rip-roaring edge of seat thriller that delivers tension, surprises and black humour," says Louise. "Like a good magician, director Morten Tyldum attracts our attention with a sleight of hand as he prepares the ground for a much edgier film," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Andrew Stanton. Stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong. "The credentials of this spectacular 3D fantasy adventure based on sci-fi pulp fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic 1912 novel, A Princess of Mars far outweigh its execution, by an overtly complicated plot that works against its imaginative reality.. Some of the ideas may be wonderful, but there is such chaos on screen, it is hard to decipher what is going on much of the time," says Louise.

[Coming soon, Dr Seuss's The Lorax, with the voices of Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Ed Helms, Danny DeVito. "Multi-coloured trees resembling fairy floss are the focus of this inventively funny, eco-friendly 3D animated confection from Dr Seuss in which it's raining marshmallows, humming fish sing in harmony and a young boy initiates change to impress his dream girl," says Louise.]
Films releasing soon....

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Men in Black 3, stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson;
A Dangerous Method, stars Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley;
Below Zero, stars Edward Furlong, Michael Berryman;
Black & White & Sex, stars Katherine Hicks, Anya Beyersdorf;
Thirst, stars Victoria Haralabidou, Myles Pollard;
The Amazing Spiderman, stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone;
Marvel's The Avengers, stars Robert Downey Jnr. Scarlett Johannsen;

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 Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cottillard, Michael Sheen, Gad Elmaleh, Adrien Brody, David Lowe, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni. "Woody Allen's best film for years," says Louise. "This delightful and inspired autobiographical fantasy allows him to reprise that part of his life with a different outcome, as he pays loving homage to the ever spectacular city of light - and love," says Andrew.

Documentary featuring Bill Cunningham. "This fascinating documentary takes a fly-on-the wall look at an unpretentious and unselfconscious creative observer whose keen eye has captured trends, statements, individuality and personality on the streets of the city that doesn't sleep... a rare and special film that should be savoured," says Louise.

Stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear. "If you loved Sex and the City, you'll adore this funny, sassy and fast-paced melting pot of domestic and business chaos, where the key to juggling roles is throwing, not catching," says Louise.

Stars Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, Xavier Samuel. "A wonderful hypothetical about the identity of William Shakespeare's works," says Andrew.

Animation with the voices of Jean-Claude Donda, Eilidh Rankin, Duncan MacNeil. "For all its artistic brilliance, The Illusionist disappointed me somewhat; perhaps the storytelling does not quite capture its emotional potency," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 double inseason passes to Like Crazy, starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley and Alex Kingston, courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked: Who in your circle has the soppiest boy meets girl story? Rowan MacDonald (TAS): My cousin and her husband - met at work while cleaning the shop windows and spraying each other with detergent; bringing her out in a rash!

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, Diana and Me (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

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