Welcome to our 938th weekly edition; Thursday, February 26, 2015

Movie reviews:
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
(US, 2014) Dir: J.C. Chandor. Stars Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo. "The juxtaposition of disparate moral codes generates the spice in this smouldering crime thriller in which Oscar Isaac's honourable businessman Abel Morales is intent on choosing 'the path most right' within a world of gangsters," says Louise. "It is a crime thriller, but rises above its genre; it is a character study but it creates a mythic persona; and it is a morality tale but it presents as an analysis of human nature's self contradictory impulses," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Gangnam Blues - Korean Chinatown story;

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

COMPETITIONS
SEVENTH SON 3D
Win one of 5 double inseason passes to the epic 3D fantasy Seventh Son, starring Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, courtesy Universal Pictures. Copyright 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. In cinemas on March 5.

Movie review:
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
(US/UK, 2015) Dir: John Madden. Stars Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Richard Gere. "While it's agreeable to spend another interlude with the characters we met four years ago in the first film, this second chapter is too slight, too laboured and too long to warrant as much attention … the mood is somewhat tarred by a miscalculation that leaves us with a coating of melancholy, instead of the feel-good vibe for which we crave, " says Louise.

Movie review:
PROJECT ALMANAC
(US, 2015) Dir: Dean Israelite. Stars Jonny Weston, Ginny Gardner, Sofia Black-D’Elia. "Time travel and playing God are the themes of this teen fantasy in which ambition, self-interest and altruism play a part. The film has an appealing energy and a fresh young cast, but its stylistic, shaky hand-held camera quickly becomes tiresome and irritating," says Louise.

Awards:
OSCARS 2015
The best surprise of the 2015 Oscars production was the high profile the show gave to the Original Score Award presentation, with Lady Gaga singing a stunning tribute medley from The Sound of Music to mark the film's 50th anniversary, and Julie Andrews presenting the award - to the twice-nominated Alexandre Desplat for his score to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Birdman's win for Best Direction and Best Picture were less of a surprise, except that it shows Academy members are not all so fuddy duddy after all.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming late March, Infinitely Polar Bear, starring Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana. ''Domestic chaos is delicately handled, in this feature debut by Maya Forbes, whose childhood experiences living with her bi-polar father while her mother studies form a kaleidoscope of tumultuous emotional adventures, '' says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

NEW TRAILERS
One Eyed Girl, stars Sara West, Steve Le Marquand;
The Longest Ride, stars Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson;
Love is Strange, stars John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei;
Mad Max: Fury Road, stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron;
Terminator: Genisys, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger;
Shaun the Sheep, from Aardman Studios;

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 our favourites.)

NEW DVDS:
WHIPLASH
Stars J.K. Simons, Miles Teller. "Thrilling and disturbing in equal parts, Damien Chazelle's magnificent film Whiplash, about a young jazz drummer obsessed with greatness and the sadistic teacher who pushes him to the brink, is a showcase in which fear, not harmony reigns," says Louise.

BOYHOOD
Stars Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke. "It's the unpredictable everyday aspect about the endlessly changing nature of life that involves us in this voyeuristic and fascinating tour de force," says Louise.

TAMMY
Stars Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, Kathy Bates. "Contender for worst film of the year, Tammy is a painful experience, " says Louise.

Competition winners:
BOYHOOD DVD
To win one of 10 DVD copies of Richard Linklater's award-winning Boyhood, courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we asked: Among family and friends, whose story would you like to track over the next 10 years and why? Evan Morrison (WA): My 18 year-old son. He's just joined the army; over next ten years he’s going to see, do & be more than I've seen, done & been in my lifetime.

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, The Babadook (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Travelfile:
DANUBE CRUISE, AUSTRIA
The spectacular baroque Melk Abbey, and a short cruise past the nudist beaches of the Wachau Valley back to Vienna … with Andrew L. Urban on board.

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