Welcome to our 840th weekly edition; Thursday, April 11, 2013

Featured Preview:
When, pressured by the international community, Chile's military dictator Augusto Pinochet calls for a Yes / No referendum to decide his permanence in power in 1988, the leaders of the opposition persuade a daring young advertising executive - René Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) - to design their 'No' campaign. (Australian cinema release: April 18, 2013)

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Joseph Kosinski. Stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough. "... does its best to dazzle by its myriad of special effects, videogame-esque sequences and a plot that pretty well succeeds at confusing itself. I must not forget to mention the belligerent music. But it's not all bad. Superb production design ensures the film's visuals and for me, the best part is the contrasting dynamic between Cruise and his two striking female co-stars," says Louise. " ... writers who direct their own rather complex stories often are too familiar with the material to be able to really clarify it for the audience," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* What's So Funny - inaugural genre movie course presented by Andrew L. Urban starts May 8 at Sydney University's CCE, Newtown; 4 x Tuesdays, 6.30pm;
* Jane Campion to get Carosse d'Or at Cannes;
* Directors nominate top guns;
* 10th anniversary Russian Resurrection;
* 16th Spanish Film Fest;
* Les Miserables - story of the phenomenon;
* Secret Cinema for Melbourne;
* Oscar winning 1947 doco, Kon-Tiki premiere Australian DVD release;

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

Win one of 20 double inseason passes to Warm Bodies, stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, courtesy Icon. Only at the movies April 11.

Movie review:
(US, 1993/2013) Dir: Steven Spielberg. Stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough. "The thrill of seeing live dinosaurs on screen is not as acute today as it was 20 years ago, admittedly, what with CGI delivering cinema anything the filmmakers can imagine. But there is still some 3D awe left in the creations that roared 65 billion years ago, stomping around the island, trampling vehicles, eating bulls and goats ... and some hapless humans," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(France, 2012) Dir: Claude Miller. Stars Audrey Tautou, Gilles Lelouche, Anaïs Demoustier, Catherine Arditi. "An exquisite portrait of a free spirit, stifled in a marriage of convenience, Thérèse D. plays like a beautiful melody whose main voice is the silent counterpoint that reflects the yearning of a woman quashed," says Louise. "In many respects the film is a farewell to cinema from Claude Miller, suitably hushed in tone, aptly circling death and notably classical in its approach, from camera to mis en scene to performances," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(Norway, 2012) Dir: Joachim Roenning, Espen Sandbery. Stars Pål Sverre Haggen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Agnes Kittelsen. "Much of the exposition is fascinating, although the execution is surprisingly rigid with the plot's natural crescendos failing to peak and our emotions never stretched," says Louise. "... technically superb and made chronologically to capture the verity of men growing beards and scars and deep tans when spending over 100 days at sea," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(US, 2011) Dir: Bess Kargman. Documentary featuring the Youth America Grand Prix dance competition. "Hopes are shared and dreams expressed during this uplifting journey in which we become involved in each of the dancers' lives. As a consequence, we have a stake in what happens and are often moved as a result of the drama and tension," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Jonathan Levine. Stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco. "Trying valiantly to replicate the charm of the enigmatic Twilight romance in a zombie reality, this adaptation stiffens like a corpse thanks to its silly script, and sadly neither Teresa Palmer or Nicholas Hoult are any match for Bela and Edward," says Louise. "... most disturbingly, defence against the dead people is guns; the fact that this is common silliness in zombie movies doesn't make it any better ... It reconfirms the gun-obsession that grips America; they even shoot dead people," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Aust, 2013) Dir: Brendan Maher. Stars Matthew Lillard, Bindi Irwin, Toby Wallace, John Waters. "The inspired casting of Bindi Irwin adds an extra element to this sun-drenched family adventure ... Making good use of the beautiful Queensland rainforest and beach setting, this sequel has plenty of appeal with its heart-warming story, endearing characters and colourful assortment of wildlife," says Louise.

Movie review:
(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 NSW, SA)

Movie review:
(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 NSW, ACT & SA.)

Bathing Franky:
Michael Winchester, writer and producer of Bathing Franky (dir. Owen Elliott, stars Henri Szeps & Maria Venuti), recounts the progress of the low budget film; like a snail with its house on its back, Winchester, Owen and team Titan View, are taking the film around Australia in a painstaking and determined program to screen it for its target audience of seniors.
DVD REVIEWS - "The presence of Maria Venuti as the elderly, demented cabaret artist Franky haunts this ambitious, bittersweet drama that explores the fine line between fantasy and reality," says Louise.

[Coming soon, The Hunt, stars Mad Mikkelsen. "Context is everything in this potent and riveting story about innocence betrayed. His handsome, expressive face a mirror to his emotions, Mads Mikkelsen delivers yet another superlative performance," says Louise.]
List of films releasing in April

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Pain & Gain, stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson;
Dead Man Down, stars Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace;
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, stars Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario;
The Wolverine, stars Hugh Jackman;
No, stars Gael Garcia Bernal;
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.)

Stars John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood. "Sex, religion, poetry and the disabled might be the subject matter, but nothing will prepare you for the emotions that are shared in this unique, poignant and unforgettable film," says Louise.

Stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott. "Chbosky's adaptation from his semi-autobiographical best selling novel is a zinger of a screenplay, and he directs it with verve and sensitivity," says Andrew.

Voices of Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Chris Pine, Isla Fisher. "One of the problems is that there is no central character with whom to connect - our attentions are scattered over 7 fantasy characters," says Louise.

Stars Olivia Munn, Paul Schneider. "A hilarious heist at a sperm bank is the highlight of this disarming romcom in which director Jay Chandrasekhar plays a larger-than-life former bag man from the Indian Mafia," says Louise.

Competition winners:
We asked: Who among family and friends would you be happy to nurse back to health if sick, and why? Georgie Pana (SA) says: My plush; talking Pingu toy. I nursed him back from a bad case of low battery; and he thanked me by once again using his voice to merrily MEEP MEEP at me.

We asked: Who among family and friends would make a good art buyer at auctions and why? Marie Pohnetalova (NSW) says: My Aunt - she has deep pockets; it`s all about `Show Me the Monet' with her!

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 (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

This travelling life:
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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