Welcome to our 788th weekly edition; Thursday, April 12, 2012

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

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Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Peter Berg. Stars Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Col. Gregor D. Gadson. "With an onslaught of jaw-dropping visual effects, non-stop action and a narrative that delivers some surprises, Battleship booms onto the screen with style and scale," says Louise. "The film's superbly written, choreographed and directed climactic sequence washes away any reservations," says Andrew.

Gossip-free zone
* Secret Cinema comes to Sydney:
* Cockatoo Island Filmfest launches - biggest competitive fest in Aust;
* Underground: Julian Assange - origins, the movie;
* Metro Screen and Vivid Sydney do Speed Networking for screen content;
* Margaret Pomeranz's picks for Women in Film at GoMa;
* Welcome to the Outback - Sue Williams' encounters & adventures in the bush;

Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, April 5 - 8: Titanic 3D opened with $1.7 M; only the cynics who think this is a cynical rehash dash for cash stayed away, it seems. American Pie Rebaked groped into top spot with $4.8 M, on 330. Also opened: Goodbye, First Love (M, Palace) $18,662 on 11; The Well-Digger's Daughter (PG, Madman) $9,787 on 5.

Win one of 10 double inseason passes to Romantics Anonymous, starring Benoît Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carré, courtesy Madman. Only at the Movies on April 19.

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2011) Dir: Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason. Documentary about Tania Liedtke and featuring Solon Ulbrich, Anton, Kristina Chan, Julian Crotti. " ... a heartfelt and valuable work that documents a remarkable young woman, who would have given us all such a fantastic body of dance work over the years," says Andrew. "What this documentary about 29 year old dancer and choreographer Tanja Liedtke achieves brilliantly, is the depiction of the way the artist becomes locked inside her work and creativity," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US/UK, 2011) Dir: Terence Davies. " ... hopelessness, contemplation, confusion, anger and regret form a moody cocoon, as the film's beautiful protagonist, superbly portrayed by Rachel Weisz, tries to manage the maze of emotions," says Louise. "The challenge to make this play work is immense, and it has not been successful. Understatement of emotions has been translated as lacking pace," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(France, 2011) Dir: Mathieu Kassovitz. Stars Mathieu Kassovitz, Iabe Lapacas, Malik Zidi , Alexandre Steiger, Daniel Martin. "Superbly made in every respect, Rebellion is both a tragic indictment of the French politicians and the army command at the time, as well as a carefully researched document, based in part on the book by the man at the centre of the story, Capitaine Legorjus played with great verve by Kassovitz," says Andrew.

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
To Rome With Love, stars Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg;
Hotel Transylvania, voices Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez;
Men in Black 3, stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson;
Wish You Were Here, stars Felicity Price, Joel Edgerton;
Bel Ami, stars Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman;
The Amazing Spiderman, stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone;
Marvel's The Avengers, stars Robert Downey Jnr. Scarlett Johansson;

[Coming soon, StreetDance 2 3D, stars Falk Hentshel, George Sampson, Sofia Boutella. "Sensational dancing is what this 3D sequel is all about; when the provocative rhythms of Latin fuse with funky street-dancing, the result is sexy, visceral and exciting," 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...)

Stars Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman. " ... a sharp, shrewd and satisfying film about winning, losing and playing the odds, when the odds are playing statistics instead of relying on conventional gut instincts. Additionally, it boasts a superlative performance by Brad Pitt, who is more handsome than any man has a right to be .." says Louise.

Stars Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper. "Life, love and death are the key elements of this tender love story in which the commodity of time and saying what you mean are key ... Gus Van Sant's film bristles with an ethereal quality as we are drawn into a reality in which time seems to be suspended," says Louise.

Stars Ye Liu, Yuanyuan Gao, Hideo Nakaizumi, Wei Fan, Yiyan Jiang. "An astonishing achievement, City of Life and Death explores the most profound aspects of human history through a single, terrible event - and does so in haunting style," says Andrew.

Stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro. "A large bunch of actors, all good and true, along with filmmaker Garry Marshall, have ganged up on the public to mug them with a bit of flim flam . or as Winston Churchill might have said, never have so many done so little for so many with such dreary results," says Andrew.

Voices of Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis. ""The resulting film is certainly not as good as Shrek, nor does the Puss in Boots character quite live up to expectations," says Louise. "The story is itself a heavy handed, laborious mud pudding, with Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) a clumsy intrusion, the race for the magic beans a silly concoction and none of it making us care for any of the characters or the outcome. So disappointing," says Andrew.

Documentary featuring Kiran Bedi. "What Megan Donerman's film about Kiran Bedi lacks in technical polish, it compensates by a raw enthusiasm and storytelling focus. It does what it sets out to do, namely to profile this singular Indian female who breaks with conventions and cultural tradition in her push for genuine reform - from within," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To 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, we asked: Who among family or friends would make a popular politician and why? Michele Stewart (QLD): My son-in-law.... he likes to stretch the truth a little and makes promises that he knows he can't keep and he looks a little like Paul Keating!

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 (pic), Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and hundreds more. Over 500 films.

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

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