Welcome to our 789th weekly edition; Thursday, April 19, 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 review:
(France/UK, 2011) Dir: Luc Besson. Stars Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis. "For all its large and little flaws, The Lady is recommended for anyone interested in how a lone woman can alter history with a strict code of anti- violence - as did moral giants such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela among others. It's inspirational and reassuring: humans can redeem themselves and dictators shall perish," says Andrew.

* Gossip-free zone
* ADG to celebrate 30th with big Awards bash;
* Human Rights Film Fest coming;

Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, April 12 - 15: Battleship blasted into the top spot with $3.9 M on 369 screens (avg $10,679) and the top 20 remained steady (down 1%) at $18.95 M. Also opened: Rebellion (M, Jump St) $3,983 on 4 screens.

Win one of 5 Mission Impossible prize packs valued at $135 each, comprising a copy of the DVD starring Tom Cruise ($40), a Mission Impossible Torch ($30), T-shirt ($35) and book ($30), courtesy Paramount Home Entertainment. Available on DVD and Triple Play from April 18.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Scott Hicks. Stars Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner. "Unashamedly a chick flick, The Lucky One can be a trifle irritating with its characters' actions, but it's all in the service of delivering a romantic story couched in highly romanticised cinematic terms," says Andrew. "The setting may be tranquil, but the underlying emotions expressed in Nicholas Sparks' novel are anything but, with complex themes involving relationships, passions and unresolved issues," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(France, 2010) Dir: Jean-Pierre Ameris. Stars Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carre. "As sweet as chocolate that's spiced with bitterness of varying degrees, this whimsical charmer about two eccentrics weighed down by anxiety, is a delight," says Louise. "The tone is unashamedly sentimental, and the performances are too often played for laughs, so the film ends up feeling rather thin and inconsequential," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Sth Africa, 2010) Dir: Donovan Marsh. Stars John Cleese, Troye Sivan, Jamie Royal, Sven Ruygrok, Josh Goddard. "The film struggles to find an even tone, swinging from overstatement and farcical to sentimental and earnest. But it strives to be a faithful adaptation of this popular novel and comes together well in the second half," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(France, 2011) Dir: Marlène Ionesco. Documentary featuring Pierre Lacotte, Ghislaine Thesmar. "Watching A Life For Ballet is a meditative experience; it's easy to become mesmerized by the grace, elegance and expression of dance through the lives and careers of acclaimed French dancer/choreographer Pierre Lacotte and his prima ballerina wife and muse Ghislaine Thesmar," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Israel, 2011) Dir: Joseph Cedar. Stars Shlomo Bar-Aba, Lior Ashkenazi, Aliza Rosen, Yuval Scharf. "..ultimately it's a film about how fathers and sons manage the added complexity in their relationship of professional rivalry - and the potential for deep wounds to be inflicted by one upon the other," says Andrew. "It's an interesting premise with an equally interesting structure and the use of music, injecting high drama alongside a curious cat and mouse curiosity, gives the film a unique slant," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2012) Dirs: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini. Stars Falk Hentshel, George Sampson, Sofia Boutella, Tom Conti. "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. Algerian born Sofia Boutella, well established in the street dance scene and who tours with Madonna, is a sensation; watching her dance is sure to drive young men to distraction," says Louise.

[Coming soon, A Royal Affair, stars Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Folsgaard. "A fascinating story drawn from Danish history, A Royal Affair is a superbly executed historical drama with the guts of a great romantic tragedy and the scale of national significance," says Andrew. "Visually exquisite, the ingredients... are as sensational as they are gripping, with an arranged marriage to a simple-minded King, an adulterous affair, revolutionary ideas and treachery to steal the crown," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing ...

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Iron Sky, stars Julia Dietze, Peta Sergeant, Götz Otto;
Hotel Transylvania, voices Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez;
To Rome With Love - Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg; Judy Davis;
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;
Marvel's The Avengers, stars Robert Downey Jnr. Scarlett Johanssen;

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...)

An Australian in Budapest:

Australian cinematographer Danny Ruhlmann, ACS shot The Raven . in which John Cusack plays Edgar Allan Poe, whose fictional slayings are being copycatted by a serial killer in 19th century Baltimore - played by Budapest. Ruhlmann talks about making the film's images. (Opens in the United States April 27, later in Australia).

Stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames. "The best Mission Impossible of them all... I felt as though I should be wearing a seat belt," says Louise.

Stars Jamie-Lyn Sigler, Josh Stewart, Chris Browning, Angela Featherstone, Afemo Omilami. "The motel thriller is a trusty genre, but Chad Feehan freely reinterprets the rules by loading it up with supernatural elements," says Andrew.

Stars Matthew Goode, Bojana Novakovic, Essie Davis, Rachel Griffiths, Kerry Fox. "Like shards of broken glass, Jonathan Teplitzky's film Burning Man is a jigsaw of raw emotions waiting to be pieced together," says Louise.

Stars Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt. "Occasionally gripping, at times fascinating and often just plain dull, this terminally long and episodic drama with sci-fi overtones is a curious work that may be considered brilliant by some; pretentious by others," says Louise.

Stars De Niro, Monica Bellucci, Laura Chiatti, Valeria Solerino. "Cupid's bow mainly hits its target in three separate yet connected chapters in this likeable tale about love. While the characters are loosely linked, interestingly, it is the sense of the ridiculous that is the most noticeable thread that runs through the stories," says Louise.

Documentary featuring Jafar Panahi. "A large iguana in Jafar Panahi's luxury high rise apartment in Tehran which waddles around and eats from his hand is symbolic of this film's strangeness," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 double inseason passes to Romantics Anonymous, starring Benoît Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carré, courtesy Madman, we asked: Who among family or friends is the most romantic and why? Cian O'Reilly (VIC) says: My brother Dave once planted daffodil bulbs and when they opened; they ended up spelling `I love Sue` his wife!

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 dozens more. Over 500 films.

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

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