Welcome to our 787th weekly edition; Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wishing all our readers a safe and happy Easter.

New on VisionStream: all the latest profile interviews (eg Spike Lee), clips, trailers and background features (eg. The Hunger Games). Over 100 videos.

FRONT UP ON YOUTUBE
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:
AMERICAN PIE: REUNION
(US, 2012) Dir: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg. Stars Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, Mena Suvari, John Cho. "True to its origins, the reunion of the American Pie characters, 13 years after Jason Biggs infamously turned apple pie into crumble, delivers everything that is expected, plus a little bit more . sometimes that last piece of pie can be as good as the first," says Louise.
INTERVIEW - Hurwitz & Schlossberg could hardly wait to bake the final slice, they tell Andrew L. Urban.

Latest:
NEWS:
Gossip-free zone;
* Fairy Tales and bible stories - revisited;
* Gone With The Wind - No It's Not;
* Les Miserables - and they look it;
* Sydney Film fest - first stack;

BOX OFFICE:
Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, March 29 - April 1: The Hunger games fell 47% on its second weekend, twice as much as Exotic Marigold Hotel, which also closed the gap in screen averages. Oddly enough, Dr Seuss ($2.11 M) took more than Wrath of the Titans ($1.97 M), a notable achievement given the many Dr Seuss tickets are at children's prices. Also opening were Mirror, Mirror ($0.88 M) and A Dangerous Method ($0.24 M) - in 6th and 7th place. Notable for the large gap between them.

COMPETITION
THE IDES OF MARCH DVD
Win one of 10 copies of The Ides of March, starring George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment. Available April 5 on DVD.

Movie reviews:
PIRATES: BAND OF MISFITS
(US, 2012) Dir: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt. Voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek. " ... a splendid romp liberally peppered with chuckles and crammed with surprises. The genius of the film is that it works on every level for every age," says Louise. "The frequent use of slapstick works a treat for smaller kids, and the assorted fruitcake characters work for everyone," says Andrew.

Movie review:
GOODBYE, FIRST LOVE
(France/Germany, 2011) Un amour de jeunesse. Dir: Mia Hansen-Love. Stars Lola Creton, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Magne-Havard Brekke, Valerie Bonneton. "Love, expectations and realities form the river along which this delicate and moody film flows... There are no fireworks, stars and elation for the young protagonist, who discovers love for the first time. Instead, it is a painful experience, filled with longing. a touching and soulful portrait," says Louise.

Movie review:
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
(UK, 2011) Dir: Lasse Hallstrom. Stars Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas, Rachael Stirling, Amr Waked. "Ewan McGregor plays a reserved Englishman whose dried up marriage has infected him with dullness.. Emily Blunt is terrific as Harriet, the investment firm's hands-on rep for the Yemeni sheik, all sweetness and smiles, but sincere. All the great talents combined - from writer Simon Beaufoy and director Lasse Hallstrom to the principal cast - can't quite convince us of the film's overall veracity," says Andrew.

Movie review:
THE WELL-DIGGER'S DAUGHTER
(France, 2011) La fille du puisatier. Dir: Daniel Auteuil. Stars Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Sabine Azéma, Astrid Berges-Frisbey. " .. a film to enjoy away from the noise and chaos of most movies on offer, and while not relevant in some ways, certainly relevant as a note about the strengths and weaknesses of human nature," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE
(Italy/France/Ireland, 2011) Dir: Paolo Sorrentino. Stars Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon, Harry Dean Stanton. "The film's great calling card is it's uniqueness - some might call it freaky or a novelty, but in any case, it's not a film we've seen before," says Andrew. " .. the film's entire premise is highly self indulgent. Penn's performance, while striking and commendable, is overly mannered.. There's a mascara truckload of interest at work, but only an eyelash of satisfaction." says Louise.

Audi Festival of German Films:
AUSTRALIAN FILTER FOR GERMAN FILM FEST
German cinema is enjoying a bloom of quality films as evidenced by this year's program, which has been curated with the help of two Australian film writers & critics, under incoming Director of the Goethe Institute, Dr Arpad Sölter, reports Andrew L. Urban.

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Wish You Were Here, stars Felicity Price, Joel Edgerton;
Bel Ami, stars Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman;
Men in Black 3, stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson;
A Dangerous Method, stars Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley;
The Amazing Spiderman, stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone;
Marvel's The Avengers, stars Robert Downey Jnr. Scarlett Johanssen;

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming soon, Delicacy, stars Audrey Tautou, Pio Marmai, Francois Damiens. "The unexpected nature of love's journey is the subject of this disarmingly funny yet powerful film in which we partake in the emotional twists and turns... in love's eternal game of hide and seek," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing

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...)

DVDS THIS WEEK
THE FIRST GRADER
Stars Naomie Harris, Sam Feuer, Tony Kgoroge, Oliver Litondo." Learning never ends is the message of this inspiring true story set in Kenya in which an 84 year old villager joins local primary students in a bid to learn how to read. It's a great story," says Louise. "A unique blend of uplifting self determination and harrowing conflict," says Andrew.

SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN
Stars Bingbing Li, Gianna Jun, Vivan Wu, Hugh Jackman. "With weeping violins, wailing cellos and melancholy piano wall to wall, this sentimental story of sisterly love found, lost and found again is beautifully made. The big but is the needlessly complicated storytelling," says Andrew. "An intricate and beautiful film about friendship and its implications," says Louise.

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Stars Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson. "There are a few genuine scares in this fantasy horror movie produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, although it smacks of melodrama and manipulation," says Louise. "The story of a child discovering scary creatures (and drawing them) while disbelieving stupid adults decorate the house is a tad tired," says Andrew.

ATTACK THE BLOCK
Stars Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Luke Treadaway, Nick Frost. "It just doesn't quite meet expectations for a movie that has an interesting premise," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
A DANGEROUS METHOD
To win double passes to A Dangerous Method, starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley, courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked: Who among family and friends considers themselves an amateur psychoanalyst and why? Kirsty Waring (VIC) says: My Aunt. This usually happens after a little too much dangerous `method Champenoise`!

REAL STEEL DVD
To win one of 10 copies of Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman on DVD, courtesy Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we asked: What task/s would you like a new class of robot to do for you around the house and why? Michael John (NSW) says: Have sex with the wife. I am often away on business trips; and she gets a bit lonely. I could pre-program the robot to replicate me in bed; she may not even know the difference.

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, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

This travelling life:
TRAVELFILE
Join Andrew L. Urban in Mexico, Monaco and Tyrol ... and Alien in Switzerland!

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