Welcome to our 837th weekly edition; Thursday, March 21, 2013

THEY FESS UP ON FRONT UP
"Urban's spur of the moment interviews often turn into compelling confessionals," - Brisbane Courier Mail. 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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Movie reviews:
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
(US, 2013) Dir: John Moore. Stars Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. "Excess and action supersede story and while it's good to see Bruce Willis as John McClane one more time, he is just a bit too cocky, the exposition too slick and predicated and all bogged down by unrelenting pounding of a heavy-handed music score ... It's a pity it's not such a good day after all," says Louise. "It's a shame John McClane - one of cinema's iconic characters - has to go out with a whimper. His creators and handlers just didn't know how to close the book. But there may be worse to come: son of McClane ... Die Hard; Next Generation. I shudder," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Cockatoo Island Film Festival: looking at the numbers behind the collapse;
* Hive Production deadline announced;

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

COMPETITIONS
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
Win one of 20 double passes to special advance screenings of suspense thriller The Company You Keep, starring Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LaBeouf, Stanley Tucci, Julie Christie and Nick Nolte, in each of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, courtesy Madman. MELBOURNE: Wednesday April 10 at 6.30pm at Palace Centro; SYDNEY: Thursday April 11 at 6.45 at George Street; BRISBANE: Monday April 15 at 6.30pm at Palace Como. Only at the Movies April 18.

SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD: MEA MAXIMA CULPA
Win one of 10 double inseason passes to the controversial documentary Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa from Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, courtesy Madman. Official selection 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. In cinemas Thursday March 21.

Movie review:
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER 3D
(US, 2013) Dir: Bryan Singer. Stars Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci. "Fee fi fo fum, unsurprisingly it is the gigantic that dominates the action... Valkyrie director Bryan Singer orchestrates this ambitious and entertaining production with assurance, delivering beyond expectations, guaranteeing its family audience a romping good time," says Louise.

Movie review:
THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE
(US, 2013) Dir: Don Scardino. Stars Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wild, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin. "The fun (or guilty pleasure) comes from the well executed schtick ... Scardino takes the concept right to the edge, capturing the glitz and surreal mood of the Vegas experience as well as the superficiality of its shallow world. The film shines at what it sets out to do - entertain. And entertain it does, with its high farce concept, spoofs, funny lines and top drawer cast," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
THE LONELIEST PLANET
(US/Germany, 2011) Dir: Julia Loktev. Stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg, Bidzina Gudjabidze. "Curiosity triggers our interest at first, but eventually, the tedious nature of the drawn-out exposition is akin to watching grass grow," says Louise. "Although short stories usually make terrific source material for films, in this case the adaptation suggests that this is not one of those instances," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD: MEA MAXIMA CULPA
(US, 2012) Dir: Alex Gibney. Documentary featuring Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. "With meticulous care and intricate detail, Silence In The House of God deconstructs the nature of the Catholic Church's systematic cover ups of pedophilia among their clergy, stretching back well into the past century," says Andrew. "It is ironic that the raised voices of a small group of deaf boys from Milwaukee, Wisconsin are loud enough to threaten the code of silence over child molestation accusations in the Catholic Church," says Louise.

Movie review:
HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI 3D
(Japan/UK, 2011) Dir: Takeshi Miike. Stars Ebizo Ichikawa, Koji Yakusho, Hikari Mitsushima, Eita, Munetaka Aoki. "..a cinematic work of art, presenting a world in which humanity is banished in favour of the rituals of an ever-warring people," says Andrew.

Hong Kong Film Fest:
IP MAN'S LAST FIGHT OPENS HONG KONG FILMFEST
The world premiere of Ip Man: The Final Fight (pic), from Hong Kong cult icon and veteran director Herman Yau, opened the 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 17 - April 2). Starring Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Gillian Chung, Anita Yuen, Jordan Chan and Marvel Chow, this is a unique biopic of the oft-filmed Wing Chun martial arts master (1893 - 1972) in his later life. Andrew L. Urban reports from Hong Kong.

FCCA winners:
2012 CRITICS AWARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN FILM
Wish You Were Here is the big winner this year, taking home five awards: Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editing. The winners were announced at the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards at Paddington RSL on Tuesday March 19, 2013.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming soon, Happiness Never Comes Alone, stars Gad Elmaleh, Sophie Marceau. "Like a good piece of jazz that surprises by its melodies, harmonies and rhythms, this delectable comedy mixes up music, art, kids and love in surprising juxtapositions, delivering a vibrant splash of life," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Warm Bodies, stars Nicholas Hoult, Jonathan Levine, Theresa Palmer;
Rust and Bone, stars Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts;
Fast and Furious 6, stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson;
World War Z, stars Brad Pitt;
Happiness Never Comes Alone, stars Gad Elmaleh, Sophie Marceau;

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
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Stars Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr. "Yes it's outrageous but it has something important and relevant to say," says Andrew. "The stream of deadly bullets make a goddamm mess but never quite hit the artery," says Louise.

DREDD 3D
Stars Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby, Domhnall Gleeson. "Sensational stunts, horrific deaths and tons of tension drive the film's dynamic sensibilities - just what is expected I suppose," says Andrew.

BLACK & WHITE & SEX
Stars Katherine Hicks, Anya Beresdorf, Saskia Burmeister. "Rips off the covers and thrusts us into the open volcano of the sex worker's inner persona," says Andrew. "If you're hoping for a happy ending, the post-coitus cigarette may offer a clue," says Louise.

TWO LITTLE BOYS
Stars Bret McKenzie, Hamish Blake. "The major flaw in this decidedly black New Zealand comedy with a tasty sense of the ridiculous is that the central odd-couple relationship at the film's centre is never properly established," says Louise.

2 DAYS IN NEW YORK
Stars Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Dylan Baker. "In a misconceived dallying with culture clash, Julie Delpy's exploration in this disappointing follow up to 2 Days in Paris never even gets close to taking off," says Louise.

Competition winners:
THE MASTER DVD
To win DVD copies of The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends might be capable of starting a cult and why? Anne Hewson (WA): Definitely my awesome old cat. One meow and people jump to feed her. One look at the dog and he drops at her feet.

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, Thank God He Met Lizzie (pic), 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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