Welcome to our 890th weekly edition; Thursday, March 27, 2014

Movie reviews:
NOAH
(US, 2014) Dir: Darren Aronofsky. Stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone. "Above the expectation of the biblical epic disaster movie, it is Darren Aronofsky's top layer of morality that allows Noah safe passage, with Russell Crowe delivering his truest performance for some time - although it's not smooth sailing all the time with an overblown script that occasionally goes off course," says Louise. "Trying to tell the Noah story as a biblical epic for 21st century audiences seems ambitious at best, which is perhaps why it hasn't been done before," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone

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

COMPETITIONS
20 FEET FROM STARDOM BLU-RAY
Win one of 10 copies of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom on Blu-ray (RRP $34.99) featuring Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Jo Lawry and Judith Hill, courtesy Transmission. Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital March 26th.

Movie reviews:
MR PEABODY & SHERMAN
(US, 2014) Dir: Rob Minkoff. Voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Lauri Fraser, Guillaume Aretos. "Father and son relationships, time travel and being a dog have never been so much fun as in this witty, hilarious 3D animation adventure that will have the whole family barking happy," says Louise. "Full of clever, sweet and invention, Mr Peabody & Sherman is proof of the old adage (in reverse) that every dog should have a boy," says Andrew.

Movie review:
THE RAID 2
(Indonesia, 2014) Dir: Gareth Evans. Stars Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Julie Estelle, Donny Alamsyah, Oka Antara. "Fans of The Raid (2012) will flock to see what Gareth Evans has come up with for the sequel and they won't be disappointed, if they are looking for fierce close combat and a variety of slash/bash/slice/gouge weaponry. Evans does escalate both the level of the violence and the extent of it," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
NYMPHOMANIAC
(Den/Ger/Fr/UK/Belg, 2013) Dir: Lars von Trier. Stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen. "Much of the film relies on its shock value with graphically depicted sex acts and a parade of erect (and limp) penises and female genitalia as von Trier's 4 hour sex-athon raises philosophical questions," says Louise. "You can't ignore Lars von Trier as a filmmaker, but he is a wanker, or as he told me during an interview in Cannes, "a masturbator of the silver screen" - and masturbation is one of the more moderate sexual activities in Nymphomaniac, as we would expect," says Andrew.

Movie review:
ROMEO AND JULIET (2014)
(UK/Italy/Switzerland, 2013) Dir: Carlo Carlei. Stars Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Lesley Manville, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard. "It's a bit turgid at times and the plot plods in the establishment scenes, but then the swell of romance and the flush of first love works its magic through its photogenic young stars," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
HALF OF A YELLOW SUN
(Nigeria/UK, 2013) Dir: Biyi Bandele. Stars Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle. "Much of the narrative plays out like a TV melodrama as Ugwu (John Boyega), the loyal houseboy who sees everything, witnesses the domestic highs and lows - instances of adultery and the conflict between Olanna and Odenigbo's bush-town mother (Onyeka Onwenu)," says Louise. "Achingly heartfelt as a story of a people's tragedy through civil war," says Andrew.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in May, Belle, starring Gugu Mabatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson. "Conviction and principle are the powerful bullets of this gripping drama in which issues of racial discrimination, slavery and class are canvassed," says Louise. "The strikingly good looking actress & director Amma Asante could herself have played the role of Dido, but I can't imagine her performance would have been more satisfying than that of the strikingly named (and also strikingly good looking) Gugu Mabatha-Raw," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

NEW TRAILERS
Divergent, stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Maleficent, stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning;
52 Weeks, stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane;
The Maze Runner, stars Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter;
Grace of Monaco, stars Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth;
The Lego Movie, voices of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman;

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)

NEW DVDS:
20 FEET FROM STARDOM
Documentary " .. not just for aficionados, it is a rich and wonderful experience that involves us, makes us laugh, cry, remember as well as understand the journey," says Louise.

ONE CHANCE
Stars James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Mackenzie Crook, Julie Walters, Colm Meaney. "by the time Paul reaches the studios ready to perform, it does not matter one iota that we know the outcome. We are all strongly rooting for him," says Louise.

ADORATION
Stars Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn, Sophie Lowe. " .. overblown and totally unbelievable," says Louise.

Competition winners:
NOAH
To win double inseason passes, we asked: What would you say to NOAH to convince him to let you and your partner on board? Troy Simpson (ACT): Sure, you might think you don't need 2 gay guys on your boat; but who else would do your ship's interior decorating?

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 (pic), Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Travelfile:
LA FONDA, BAJA COAST, MEXICO
Naked luaus on the beach, a unique tequila-in-belly-button championship, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Madonna dining with Sean Penn, Bette Midler, Lee Majors, spaced-out magicians and surprise bare-breasting; these - and much more - are the ingredients that make up the legacy of La Fonda. Hotel No-Tell. Andrew L. Urban reports.

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