Welcome to our 893rd weekly edition; Thursday, April 17, 2014

Movie reviews:
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RISE OF ELECTRO
(US, 2014) Dir: Marc Webb (really). Stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field. "As a comic book visual spectacle, this sequel excels (but) ... so intent are the filmmakers to dazzle with the extraordinary stunts and visuals that (beyond its excessive length) the film fails on one major score - the emotional. It's not for lack of trying ... The young male target audience won't mind, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing," says Louise. "The fact that he's indestructible works against the normal dramatic tension of the hero's journey. Whether consciously or not, the screenplay compensates for this by putting the hero at risk of something else: a broken heart," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone

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

COMPETITIONS
AMERICAN HUSTLE DVD
Win one of 10 copies of American Hustle on DVD, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment. Available to own and rent on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from April 16.

Movie reviews:
THE OTHER WOMAN
(US, 2014) Dir: Nick Cassavetes. Stars Cameron Diaz, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kate Upton, Leslie Mann, Taylor Kinney, Nicki Minaj. "Disarmingly funny in a raucous, slapstick kind of way, this Blonde Power revenge comedy is a laugh a minute, thanks to a bitingly funny script and knock out performances," says Louise. "... the cast are so darned good they turn dross into watchable escapism, as long as you're not too demanding," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
CHINESE PUZZLE
(France, 2013) Dir: Cédric Klapisch. Stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cécile de France, Kelly Reilly. "Klapisch develops some good ideas, like the German philosopher's description of life being like embroidery: the first half is pretty like the front, while the second half shows how the threads fit together. The gimmicks are effective too," says Louise. "The screenplay tackles a purposeful complexity as its thematic rock, propelling the drama with the wings of comedy," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
(UK, 2013) Dir: Ralph Fiennes. Stars Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Amanda Hale, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joanna Scanlan. "Exquisitely directed by Fiennes, who also delivers convincingly in his portrayal of Dickens, there is a poetic quality about the film with its dreamy cinematography, ethereal music and wonderful sense of time and place," says Louise. "The passion that forged this relationship has to be imagined: it's not shown," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON
(Japan, 2013) Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Stars Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Riri Furanki, Keita Nonomya. "Sensitively performed and directed, Like Father, Like Son is a series of acutely observed insights into its themes and its social setting, as well as a close study of human nature faced with some complex issues," says Andrew. " .. heartfelt drama in which bloodlines and nurturing come head to head when two babies are switched at birth," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
(US, 2013) Dir: Jim Jarmusch. Stars Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright. "As fascinating as it is bizarre and tedious, Jim Jarmusch's eclectic reality in which two vampires bound to each other through eternity, is a powerful magnet," says Louise. "For all the playful elements, Jarmusch forgets to keep a dramatic tension in place and some of the material is plain silly, internally inconsistent (they've been together centuries, yet they don't seem to know everything about each other), or contrived," says Andrew.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in May, Chef, starring Stars Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johnasson, John Leguizamo. "It wasn't what I expected, but there are some unexpected pleasures in Jon Favreau's Chef - namely the road trip twist and the infectious, rhythmic Cuban music that cooks to a greater degree than the film's early culinary scenes," says Louise. "Food, glorious food, and music, wonderful Latino music, fill this crowd pleasing comedy which avoids the traps of fake sentimentality for the grounded joys of genuine heart," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in April

NEW TRAILERS
Annie, stars Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne & Cameron Diaz;
Chef, stars Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jnr;
The Zero Theorem, stars Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Thierry'
Maleficent, stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning;
The Maze Runner, stars Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter;
Grace of Monaco, stars Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth;

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:
AMERICAN HUSTLE
Stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence. "A deliciously entertaining movie about the perfect con, corruption and how to survive on thin ice," says Louise.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
Stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugo Weaving. "The attention to detail is extraordinary, and the filmmaking techniques are all excellent, yet I find myself outside the picture looking in throughout," says Andrew.

THE JUNGLE
Stars Rupert Reid, Agung Pindha, Agoes Widjaya Soedjarwo. "Traucki understands the power of the unseen and unheard as scarifiers in cinema, but he takes that notion a few steps too far," says Andrew.

MEMORY LANE
Stars Michael Guy Allen, Meg Barrick, Julian Curi, Zac Snyder. " .. built on an audacious premise that sits somewhere between sci-fi and psycho thriller," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
PLANES DVD
To win Planes on DVD, courtesy Walt Disney Studio Entertainment, we asked: Describe your most memorable plane experience and why? Adrian Blong (VIC): On a flight with Chopper Read & when the hosties did the safety demonstration there was a lot of laughter because all anyone could think about was Heath Franklin`s Chopper air skit.

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, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Strictly Ballroom (pic) 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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