Welcome to our 791st weekly edition; Thursday, May 3, 2012

Surprise surprise ... secret movie previews:
Join Andrew L. Urban for the 19th course of Movies Now, 6 new movies, Wednesdays from June 27 screening upcoming movies prior to their release followed by discussion. Presented at Dendy Newtown (Sydney) by the University of Sydney's Centre for Continuing Education. $234 (includes background notes & wrap drinks).BOOKINGS

New on VisionStream:all the latest clips, interviews, extra trailers and background features. Over 100 videos.

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Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Nicholas Stoller. Stars Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Nicholas Stoller, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Kevin Hart, Chris Pratt. "There's recognisable angst and hilarity in equal parts as the perfect life of the perfect couple becomes less than perfect," says Louise. "Seriously funny and humorously serious, laughs and the odd squirm (to remind us of producer Judd Apatow's signature elements) provide plenty of entertainment," says Andrew.

* Gossip-free zone;
* The Sapphires slotted for World Premiere at Cannes;
* The Railway Man in motion with Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman;
* John Duigan at Careless Love Q&A;
* Antony J. Bowman starts shooting Almost Broadway in LA;
* Inside the Script launched by Warner Bros;
* Wanted: black ghost stories;

Twice weekly reports & charts. Weekend, 26 - 29 April: Mary Sum Says: The Avengers had a 5 day weekend, having opened on Wed. April 25, and made the most of it with a record breaking $13.28 M - the 8th highest in Australian box office history, on 621 screens (second highest). It is about $5 M behind the No weekend of $18.36 M, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The takings helped push the top 20 up 38% to $19.6 M. Aussie drama Wish You Were Here (also April 25 release) took $279,538 on 38 screens (avg $7,356) - not as strong as expected, but it should hold well on word of mouth.

Win one of 10 double inseason passes to The Five Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie and Rhys Ifans, courtesy Universal Pictures. Only at the Movies, May 3.

Movie reviews:
(Norway, 2010) Dir: Marius Holst. Stars Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad, Kristoffer Joner, Trond Nilssen, Morten Lovstad, Daniel Berg. "Honest and authentic, the filmmaker takes his subject seriously and gives us a complex and thought provoking film," says Andrew. "Escape might be top of mind for the rebellious new recruit as he is inducted into a society intent on crushing every ounce of self-respect, but it is the relationships that evolve that become the film's beating heart," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh. Stars Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano, Roselyn Sanchez. An elite team of Navy SEALs embarks on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.

Movie reviews:
(France, 2011) Dir: David Foenkinos, Stephane Foenkinos. Stars Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens, Bruno Todeschini. "The slow swell to a final resounding crescendo of light and happiness takes its time but is worth the wait as Nathalie finds what she is looking for," says Louise. "With loss of tension comes loss of involvement and the gradual, delicate progress of Nathalie's inner life that is probably so well captured in prose, turns to an impediment for the screen," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(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. (Opening in Adelaide & Wagga Wagga)

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
The Dark Knight Rises, stars Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt;
Dark Shadows featurette, starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green;
King of Devil's Island, stars
Men in Black 3, stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson;
To Rome With Love, stars Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg;
Hotel Transylvania, voices Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez;
Bel Ami, stars Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman;
The Amazing Spiderman, stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone;

[Coming soon, Get The Gringo, starring Mel Gibson, Kevin Hernandez, Dolores Heredia. "Mel Gibson is back doing what he knows, playing a flawed character with redeeming qualities who is also a resourceful tough guy," says Andrew. "Charged with action, violence and Mel Gibson playing a baddass crook with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, Get the Gringo cooks with all the right stuff as it plays out in a Mexican jail where anything goes, and the crims run the joint," 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 Vince Colosimo, Sigrid Thornton, Luke Ford, Matthew Newton, Robert Rabiah. "Astringent and gripping, Face to Face is a triumph," says Andrew. "With its endless stream of dramatic revelations, Michael Rymer's Face to Face is gripping cinema," says Louise.

Stars Lex Marinos, Tracey Moffat, Riccardo Natoli, Dina Panozzo, Mawuyul Yanthalawuy, Les Foxcroft. "Tracey Moffatt's only feature length film has been given a new DVD release presenting the film in a beautifully re-mastered disc which recaptures all of Moffatt's brilliant colour schemes. It is one of the highlight moments of Australian film distribution in 2012," says Geoff Gardner.

Stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Mullan. "War Horse is a soppy, schmaltzy film about the great love between a teenage boy and a young horse," says Andrew. But Louise says: "be prepared for a huge emotional wallop in Steven Spielberg's wonderful film."

Stars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson. " .. a bit schmaltzy and manipulative, but its heart is definitely in the right place, engaging its family audience with its uplifting, inspiring elements," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 copies of Tower Heist on DVD. Tower Heist stars Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, courtesy Universal Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family or friends would you hire to advise on your next big heist and why? Penny George (ACT): My dad. He successfully kidnapped the noisy chickens next door by jumping the fence in the dead of night; sneaking through bushes rounding them up; then releasing them in paddocks miles away. A real pro!

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, Japanese Story (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

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

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