Welcome to our 838th weekly edition; Thursday, March 28, 2013

Agi O'Hara's virtual mentoring project launch 28/3/2013 at Junee Correctional Facility with package of DVD interviews by Andrew L. Urban, including filmmakers from Mad Bastards and Men's Group. More at What Makes A Man A Man

Hong Kong Filmart 2013:
THE WALLET OF FILMMAKING IN ASIA
The world's film industry (and a handful of Australians) descended on Hong Kong, the filmmaking wallet of Asia, for Filmart (March 18 - 21), where Andrew L. Urban scoured the stands, talked to senior executives, sat in on seminar sessions and sampled some of the dozens of new films on offer.
Related: Video wrap, including Asian Film Awards

Latest:
NEWS:Gossip-free zone.
* Past (David Stratton) and present (Nashan Woodley) festival directors launch free Sydney Film Fest 60th anniversary e-book with Arts Minister Souris;
* New Aussie crime thriller The Reckoning from John V. Soto starts shoot April in Perth;
* Australian partner for big budget war drama;
* Remarkable Lawrence returns - remastered;
* Hong Kong's Filmart boosted by 10%;
* Schindler's List - free, with Thomas Keneally;

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

COMPETITIONS
SKYFALL: BLU-RAY
Win one of 5 copies of Skyfall on Blu-ray starring Daniel Craig, courtesy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Available to own in high-definition Blu-ray and on DVD on March 27.

Movie reviews:
RUST AND BONE
(France, 2012) Dir: Jacques Audiard. Stars Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Celine Sallette. "Two damaged souls find solace together in this gritty drama in which physical pain and disfigurement play a key role . a stunningly delivered exposition," says Louise. "This multi-layered film with its characters tossed like flotsam on fate's giant, unpredictable waves drenches us in the intimate details of characters," says Andrew.

Movie review:
G.I.JOE: RETALIATION 3D
(US, 2013) Dir: Jon M. Chu. Stars Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce. "Channelling my inner 18 year old, the first word that hits my keyboard is - awesome! G.I. Joe is about big boys' toys and high calibre action. Tick and tick," says Andrew.

Movie review:
THE CROODS 3D
(US, 2013) Dir: Kirk De Mico, Chris Sanders. Voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman. "Kids will respond to the slapstick humour and the physicality of the action, and adults will find moments of insight and emotion," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON
(US, 2012) Dir: Roger Michell. Stars Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Olivia Colman, Samuel West. "With the incongruous casting of Bill Murray as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nelson's screenplay concentrates on the personal, offering a somewhat voyeuristic view of the events leading up to the 1939 visit of King George ... The ambience from the slice of life cut from this regal and presidential pie however, is tastier than the exposition," says Louise. "There is nothing stirring or sufficiently humorous to engage us; the fact that a serving US President is having secret affairs no longer shocks," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
THE HOST
(US, 2013) Dir: Andrew Niccol. Stars Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, William Hurt. "The film is at its most ridiculous when Saoirse Ronan is kissed by Max Irons (Jeremy's son) and Jake Abel in quick succession in a bid to identify who they are kissing: the girl or the alien who has taken over her body," says Louise. "Hello there, all 15 and 16 year old girls, this one's for you, although you'll have to endure quite a bit of sci-fi hokum packed around the few delicious moments of two girls inside one body kissing two boys who have a crush with one or other of them ... As it is, the film is indistinguishable from a lemon, put together by a serial set of errors of artistic judgment," says Andrew.

Movie review:
ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH
(US, 2013) Dir: Cal Brunker. Voices of Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Jessica Alba. "Aliens of all shapes and sizes provide amusing banter in this likeable, happy and colourful 3D animation in which planets are saved and family ties nurtured. While the plot per se may not offer anything new, the characters are so darned likeable and the film's tone light, bright and frivolous, it's a happy innings for kids and adults alike," says Louise. (Releasing this week in Victoria and Queensland.)

Movie review:
ADVENTURES IN ZAMBEZIA 3D
(US, 2013) Dir: Wayne Thornley. Voices of Leonard Nimoy, Jeremy Suarez, Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson. "The film itself is a bit of a hybrid, trying too hard to be all things, although its heart is in the right place as it tells the story of a free-spirited falcon eager to spread his wings and find his place in the world," says Louise. (Releasing this week in Victoria and Queensland.)

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming soon, Antiviral, stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith. "If you get queasy at the sight of blood or needles penetrating the flesh, you'll have plenty to be queasy about in this audacious film from David Cronenberg's son Brendon in his debut feature," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in April

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
The Internship stars Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson;
Trance, stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassell, Rosario Dawson;
Rust and Bone, stars Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts;
Escape from Planet Earth, voices Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba;
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
SKYFALL
Stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Berenice Marlohe, Javier Bardem. "Mendes does a superb job maintaining tension - and releasing it from time to time so we can take a breath, have a laugh, sit back from the edge of our seat - as he shows how seriously the James Bond character can be taken, without breaking it," says Andrew." Skyfall is one of the best Bond films ever. You'll want to see it again," says Louise.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
Stars Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko. "It's clever and convoluted (but in a good way) and the jive doesn't stop with the screenplay," says Andrew.

DEAD EUROPE
Stars Ewen Leslie, Marton Csokas, Kodi Smit-McPhee. "It plays like a primal scream: loud and anguished ." says Andrew.

BACHELORETTE
Stars Kirsten Dunst, Rebel Wilson, Lizzy Caplan, Paul Corning, Isla Fisher. "A scorching black comedy offers some laughs through sheer audacity and slick venom coupled with superb performances," says Louise.

DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL
Documentary. "This fascinating documentary reveals that Vreeland (who died in 1989, aged 86) was an original: a dynamic woman with energy to spare and an infectious lust for life," says Louise.

Competition winners:
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
To win tickets to advance screenings of the suspense thriller The Company You Keep, starring Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie and Nick Nolte, courtesy Madman, we asked: Who among family and friends has a long forgotten secret that is (or soon will) return to haunt them - what is it? Wade Duffin (VIC) says: I have. My wife didn't know about the size of my student loan when she agreed to marry me. She just found out.
Competition winners:
SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD: MEA MAXIMA CULPA
To win double inseason passes to the controversial documentary Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa from Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, courtesy Madman, we asked: Who among family and friends would make a good Pope and why? Roberto Colombi (NSW) says: My brother - he hasn't had sex for years (not through his choice either) and has the perfect bald head to fit the skull cap too... Pope Celibate I.

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, Bad Boy Bubby (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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