Welcome to our 889th weekly edition; Thursday, March 20, 2014

Movie reviews:
(Saudi Arabia/Germany, 2012) Dir: Haifaa Al Mansour. Stars Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Sultan al Assaf, Ahd. "This charming and deceptively simple film about a rebellious young Saudi girl with a dream that defies the culture in which she lives, is a breath of fresh air; the insight into lifestyle and culture fascinating," says Louise. "The film disguises its liberal editorial message with a superbly veiled screenplay; we're just looking ... but of course, we're also seeing, a much more invasive activity," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Sounds of Silent celebrate Charlie at the Thornbury;

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

Win one of 15 double inseason passes to NOAH, starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Ray Winstone. ©2014 Par. Pics. Only at the Movies, March 27.

Movie review:
(UK, 2014) Dir: James Griffiths. Stars Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O'Dowd, Ian McShane. "If you loved Strictly Ballroom, you will also love Cuban Fury, an upbeat romantic comedy in which the passion of salsa dancing comes from the heart and toes tap to the infectious rhythms and beat of the music," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2014) Dir: Tim Story. Stars Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill. "The poster, the tagline ('Propose to this cop's sister? Rookie mistake') and the cast tells us all we need to know what we're in for with Ride Along, and if we decide to ride along with the film's escapist mood, it is an undemanding fun ride, ideal accompaniment to popcorn. If not, it's hard labour," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Cambodia/France, 2013) Dir: Rithy Panh. Documentary. "Little clay figures, mouths agape, arms raised, crying in pain, dying of starvation . each little figure drawing us in with their silence and their stillness like great actors," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2014) Dir: Paul W.S. Anderson. Stars Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland. ".a predictable and melodramatic disaster movie in 3D that feels derived rather than fresh, cheesy instead of thrilling and earnest rather than dramatic," says Louise. "A dumbed down / pumped up story set against the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, this is a movie for undiscerning audiences keen to see a multiplicity of disasters unfurling around a slight romance - and some swordplay," says Andrew.

[Coming in April, Chinese Puzzle, stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cécile de France, Kelly Reilly. "With an ex-girlfriend, an ex-wife, two children and a complicated relationship with a lesbian, the stakes might be higher now and the obstacles more tricky, but the uncertainties, mysteries and wonders of love are just the same," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

Maleficent, stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning;
Mr Peabody and Sherman, voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert;
Grace of Monaco, stars Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth;
The Lego Movie, voices of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman;
The Zero Theorem, stars Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis, Matt Damon;
The Grand Budapest Hotel, stars Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes;

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 Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks. " .. encompasses the same themes of courage and sacrifice in a totalitarian regime as the first film and will no doubt thrill the fans, despite the fact that it delivers less," says Louise

Stars Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret, Romane Bohnringer. " .. the beautiful way in which the film is shot is certainly its strength. It is a pity that its tempo and story structure is not more engaging," says Louise.

Stars Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein. "Sister is one of those films that quietly gets under your skin - in the best possible way," says Andrew.

Documentary. "You may never visit a marine park again after seeing Blackfish," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win a DVD courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we asked: What's the smallest boat (or any vehicle) that you have been in and why? David Martin (Qld): My 2 year old's push car. I got stuck in there and my wife had to ring the fire brigade. Very embarrassing. The wife wouldn't talk to me for a week.

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, Circle of Lies (pic), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

It's a steep walk from Gruyères railway station to the historic Swiss hilltop village of Gruyères, world famous for its cheese. But Gruyères (population 300) has a dark secret which only the most curious - or well informed - will discover: the gallery of H. R. Giger, Oscar winning designer of the alien in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and other things similarly subversive, erotic, fantastic and out of this world. Andrew L. Urban reports.

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