Welcome to our 834th weekly edition; Thursday February 28, 2013

ADDICTED TO FRONT UP?
"Every time I watch I get shivers up my spine waiting for someone to publicly disembowel themselves .", A viewer's take on Andrew L. Urban's social doco series on SBS; help bring it back. Front Up Redux

SECRETS OF THE INTERVIEW
- Andrew L. Urban's inaugural course x 6 Tuesday evenings from March 26 (Newtown, Sydney); the psychology, practice & power of the interview.

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

Movie review:
CLOUD ATLAS
(US, 2013) Dir: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski. "Brilliant or pretentious - or both? An avalanche of ideas cascade relentlessly in this full throttle and stimulating film that is often frustrating and overlong, as it puts forward its proposition that we are all connected. Adding to the film's mystique is the fact that the same actors - at times almost unrecognisable - appear as different characters in each of the stories," says Louise.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* AFCA Awards - critics spread the joy;
* Digital Effects are Hollywood's new artform says Sydney academic;
* Free e-book to document Sydney FilmFestival's 60 years;
* Film Festivals - the real story;
* Great Expectations for Natalie Miller Foundation;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

COMPETITIONS
LAWLESS DVD
Win one of 10 DVD copies of Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment. Available to rent and own on DVD, Blu-ray & Digital Download now.

Movie reviews:
THE PAPER BOY
(US, 2012) Dir: Lee Daniels. Stars Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray. "Hot and steamy is the mood of this sordid tale about murder, sex and racial discrimination ... Constantly edgy and fascinating to watch, The Paperboy is stronger in its parts than as a whole, mostly due to the script that never fully satisfies, relying on the shock value of the elements. Muddy dialogue also detracts," says Louise. "A more catchy and meaningful title for The Paperboy might have been Swamp Fiction, a near-noir drama set in Lately and the nearby Florida swamps," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
I GIVE IT A YEAR
(UK, 2013) Dir: Dan Mazer. Stars Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris. "It was always meant to be offbeat, risqué and shocking in parts and in some ways it achieves its goal - sort of. But it could have been much better and might have got more bite (as well as truth) with another director who allowed reality to dominate instead of pretence," says Louise. "Mazer's juvenile sense of humour simply isn't strong enough to give the film any balls," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
SIDE EFFECTS
(US, 2013) Dir: Steven Soderbergh. Stars Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones. "At times a trifle too clever for its own good, there are moments that push the bounds of credibility, yet the four leads keep us riveted, their characters becoming entwined inextricably as the exposition changes direction all the while," says Louise. "Soderbergh is so adept at drawing us into his cinematic web we are not aware that we've been cocooned for later consumption ..." says Andrew

Movie reviews:
SAVE YOUR LEGS
(Aust, 2012) Stars Stephen Curry, Brendan Cowell, Damon Gameau. "Cricket, enlightenment and embracing change are the themes for this slight Aussie comedy that is amiable enough with its bunch of rowdy, likeable characters, but just like what happens on the pitch, nothing really fires," says Louise. "It's a comedy that relies on its semi-serious premise, written by the actor Brendan Cowell who also stars, and it helps if you are a cricket tragic," says Andrew.

Oscars 2013:
ARGOABLY THE BEST
The big 8 Oscars go to 7 different homes, but it's Ben Affleck's mantelpiece that carries the Best Picture trophy for Argo, which has also won the Golden Globes and BAFTA gold statuettes. Andrew L. Urban reports.
OUT NOW ON DVD - "A fake Hollywood sci-fi movie is the unlikely conduit for the safe passage of six Americans in fear for their lives during Tehran's 1980 political unrest in this top flight thriller based on a true story," says Louise

Making of:
THE SUM OF US
Broken City is Russell Crowe's latest film, releasing next week (March 7, 2013). It's 20 years since Crowe's last Australian movie - The Sum of Us - before his Hollywood debut; he co-stars with the great Jack Thompson in a film that was to make an indelible mark on Australian cinema. Andrew L. Urban was on set for this report. (Pic. Russell Crowe & John Polson, 1993)

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming soon, The Company You Keep, starring Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Anna Kendrick. "Political thriller, drama and coming of age story, the film finds the scent and follows a compelling trail of secrets. It's a ripper," says Louise. ".. an intelligent thriller that makes a decent double with Redford's 2001 Spy Game (dir. Tony Scott) co-starring Brad Pitt," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing ...

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
A Good Day To Die Hard, stars Bruce Willis;
Side Effects, stars Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law;
Star Trek Into Darkness, stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto;
Mt Zion, stars Stan Walker, Temuera Morrison;
Fast and Furious 6, stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson;

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 OUT THIS WEEK
LAST DANCE
Stars Julia Blake, Firass Dirani. "I felt as though a knife had been twisted in my heart in this simply expressed, complex story about conflict and the impossible bridges required for a resolution," says Louise.

FRANKENWEENIE
Voices of Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau. "Entertaining and with something to say, Frankenweenie is an ideal family film: it treats children with respect and its extraordinary attention to detail in the stop motion animation, painstakingly done, gives adults as much to enjoy," says Andrew

TO ROME WITH LOVE
Stars Judy Davis, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Woody Allen. "There a frenzy of activity with abundant characters, fast one liners, amusing moments and clever ideas in Woody Allen's love letter to Rome, although after the finesse of Midnight in Paris, it seems rather trivial," says Louise.

Competition winners:
OSCARS SURPRIZE
Blu-ray packs comprising: Tim Burton's Oscar nominated animated feature, Frankenweenie,the Oscar winning animated feature from Pixar, Monsters Inc - plus a collection of Pixar's short animations, we asked: "Which famous animated character would you like to be for a week and why? Helen Fox (ACT) says: Sleeping Beauty. I'm beyond exhausted; haven't had a decent sleep since I got pregnant. My daughter is 20 months old now; means I've been sleep-deprived for over 2 years!

Competition winners:
THE 24TH ALLIANCE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
To win one of 15 double passes to the Alliance Française French Film Festival beginning March 5 and running until April 7, we asked: What meal would you prepare for the most important person in your life - why and who is that? Robert Jones (NSW): Coq-au-vin - the young girl I met 51 years ago and still is my lover and my best friend (and my wife).

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, Heaven's Burning (pic. Russell Crowe & Youki Kudoh, 1997), Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

This travelling life:
Travelfile:
VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER, FRANCE - A PORT WITH A VUE
It's the most popular cruise ship destination in the Mediterranean, but by drink o'clock, Villefranche-sur-mer is all yours. And the locals are friendly, as Andrew L. Urban discovered staying at the aptly named Belle Vue apartment in the old and charming medieval port within easy reach of all the glam spots on the Riviera.

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