Welcome to our 898th weekly edition; Thursday, May 22, 2014

Movie review:
(US, 2014) Dir: Bryan Singer. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Michael Fassbender, Peter Dinklage, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart. "With director Bryan Singer comfortably back in the saddle, there's a wondrous sense of scale about this ambitious Marvel adventure as the element of time travel to the 70's offers a springboard for unbridled creativity and imagination. The plot may occasionally defy logic, but logic can be overrated; the brilliance of ideas and their execution is more than enough to make this X-Men fantasy an outright winner," says Louise.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone

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

Win one of 15 double inseason passes to The Trip To Italy, starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, courtesy Madman. In cinemas May 29.

Movie review:
(US/Japan, 2014) Dir: Gareth Edwards. Stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn. "It takes a while to get going but when it does, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla fulfils expectations with a gigantic roar: spectacular visual effects, an enveloping dark production design and an outstanding score by Alexandre Desplat that screams its terror throughout. I have two gripes - the obtuse storyline is hard to follow and there is an impenetrable earnestness and lack of humour ..." says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(Aust, 2014) Dir: Jennifer Kent. Stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall. "Creepy from the outset, Jennifer Kent's debut horror thriller has plenty going for it, from the unsettling mood created to a standout performance by Australian actress Essie Davis," says Louise. "So much more interesting and idiosyncratic than most horror films (whether from Japan or Australia or America), The Babadook is original and compelling," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Poland/Denmark, 2013) Dir: Pawel Pawlikowski. Agata Trzebuchowska, Agata Kulesza, Joanna Kulig, Adam Szyszkowski. "It is unsurprising that the film's most powerful sequence contains no dialogue at all - only the music of Mozart, its ethereal beauty a harsh contrast to the circumstances at hand," says Louise.

Movie review:
(UK, 2013) Dir: Dexter Fletcher. Stars Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, George MacKay, Jason Flemyng. "I feel a bit mean not to embrace Stephen Greenhorn's adaptation of his good hearted stage musical, but the film plods instead of soars, despite its genuine characters and heartfelt performances," says Louise.

Movie review:
(France, 2013) Dir: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Stars Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Louis Garrel, Filippo. "There may be some truths in Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's semi auto-biographical film, but it is hard to have much affection for the disparate group of characters who inhabit it. It plays as a farce, when the subject matter is anything but funny ..." says Louise.

[Coming next week, The Trip to Italy, starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon. "It's a buddy movie, a road trip, a gastronomic display and a travelogue, with the film relying on the appeal of the charismatic Coogan and the sometimes insufferable but engaging Brydon, as they banter and quip non-stop in an acceleration of energetic joie de vivre," says Louise,]
Calendar of films releasing in May

The Hundred-Foot Journey, stars Helen Mirren, Charlotte Le Bon, Rohan Chand ;
The Jersey Boys, stars Christopher Walken, Freya Tingley, Francesca Eastwood;
A Trip to Italy, stars Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
Maleficent, stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning;
A Million Ways to Die in the West, stars Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron;
22 Jump Street, stars Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube;

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 Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde, Roony Mara. "What is wonderful about this romantic comedy from Spike Jonze is the sheer audacity of the concept and the execution," says Louise.

Stars Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki. "... despite the cinematic spectacle that has the power to engage, the juxtaposition of Reeves' character grates, coupled with stilted dialogue and an overlong running time," says Louise.

Stars Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner. "A terrorist attack and the collapse of the US economy is the plot trigger for this fast-paced, action thriller in which Chris Pine assumes the latest screen incarnation of Tom Clancy's heroic analyst, Jack Ryan," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 DVDs courtesy Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family or friends is an unsung hero and why? Fiona Osborne (Vic): My wonderful husband. Confined to a wheelchair due to a motorbike accident, he still continues to help & assist other people in any way he can. He never ceases to amaze me.

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

It's the most popular cruise ship destination in the Mediterranean, but by drink o'clock, Villefranche 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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