Welcome to our 940th weekly edition; Thursday, March 12, 2015

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A young autistic Maths prodigy struggles with relationships, not least with his mother. "This is a beautiful film on many levels," writes Louise Keller.

Movie review:
(US, 2014) Dir: Chris Rock. Stars Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union. "I love Top Five. There's an appealing energy about it: it feels like a cross between a stand up comedy routine and a fly-on-the-wall glimpse into celebrity life, skimming, prodding and delving into issues big and small... It's fast and real, funny and outrageous, cutting and poignant by its truthfulness," says Louise.

Gossip-free zone
* Funny films for training;
* Free: Oscar winner Russell Boyd with Gallipoli;
* Heath Ledger scholarship open;

Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

Win one of five double inseason passes to Big Eyes, starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, courtesy Roadshow Films. In cinemas March 19.

Film Critics Awards:
Tributes to TV film critic icons David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz plus tributes to film critics in general from Russell Crowe were among the highlights of the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards presented at Paddington RSL club in Sydney on Tuesday this week (March 10, 2015) where Rolf de Heer's Charlie's Country (pic) was the winner of the Best Film Award.

Movie review:
(US, Mexico, 2015) Dir: Neill Blomkamp. Stars Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sharlto Copley, Sigourney Weaver. "Countless problems plague this misfire by South African director Neill Blomkamp, but above all it's the total incredulity of the narrative concerning the development of the robotic Chappie that crushes it to rubble," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2014) Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson. Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson. "There is nothing straightforward about anyone in Paul Thomas Anderson's bewitching mystery in which each character is a stepping-stone in a journey in which no-one is quite sure who or what they are chasing," says Louise.

Movie review:
(Aus, 2015) Dir: Anthony Mir. Stars Carl Barron, Leeanna Walsman, Roy Billing. "I like the concept - a successful comedian who can't relate to anyone beyond his audience - but somehow this well-meaning comedy starring Aussie comedian Carl Barron fails to ignite," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2015) Dir: Ken Scott. Stars Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson, Sienna Miller, James Marsden, Nick Frost. "The biggest surprise of this contrived, crass comedy is that it actually has a heart. When the film started, my heart sank lower and lower as it set out its silly premise of three losers on a road trip to Berlin to try to seal a business deal with a handshake. It's not until the final reel that the cumulative effect of all the unlikely elements spewed a payoff of sorts," says Louise.

[Coming in April, Samba, stars Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg. "The delightful push-pull pairing of Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg makes this bittersweet comi-drama about connections a rich and engaging experience," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

Zoolander 2 (Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson) - Paris Fashion Week clip;
Mad Max: Fury Road, stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron;
Top Five, stars Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson;
A Royal Night Out, stars Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Emily Watson;
One Eyed Girl, stars Sara West, Steve Le Marquand;
The Gunman, stars Sean Penn;

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 even if they are not in the top 20)

Stars Peter O'Brien, Bel Deliá, Michael Budd, Diarmid Heidenreich. "Distinguished by Steve Arnold's excellent cinematography and Enrica Sciandrone's haunting score, Love of My Life is also notable for the performances of its leads, from Diarmid Heidenreich as Julius the unfortunate victim and struggling hero, to the director Michael Budd playing our hero's buddy Reggie and the feisty Isaro Kayitesi as Reggie's girlfriend, through to lovely Bel Deliá as the ex who is imprisoned in a morgue awaiting her fate," says Andrew.

Documentary. "Something of a revelation - or rather, a series of revelations - about a unique individual who collected wonderfully observed images of people on her camera as if to make up for not collecting any in her actual life," says Andrew.

Stars Emma Roberts, James Franco, Jack Kilmer, Val Kilmer. "The film may not say anything new, but the way director Gia Coppola tells her story pricks our interest, rekindling all the sensations we recognise from those awkward years in between," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 10 DVD copies of John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen and Willem Dafoe, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment, we asked: Among family and friends, who would you rely on to protect you from Russian mobsters? Donna Dwyer (Qld): Viggo Mortensen, because as Nikolai in Eastern Promises he wasn't afraid to bare it all in a brawl.

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 Crossing (pic), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 550 films.

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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