Welcome to our 942nd weekly edition; Thursday, March 26, 2015

Movie reviews:
CINDERELLA
(US, 2015) Dir: Kenneth Branagh. Stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgard, Derek Jacobi. "There are many highlights, but none more memorable than the sequence when the clock strikes midnight ... It's a bumpy ride for the radiant Ella (Lily James) ... as the night comes to a crashing end as the pumpkin bursts - just like her dreams," says Louise. "Disney's live action Cinderella benefits from Ken Branagh's kudos in being able to attract the kind of cast and achieving the kind of tone such a well known and loved fairy tale needs," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS:
Gossip-free zone
* Hoyts Cinemas launches Girls' Night Out;
* Spanish Film Fest program 2015;
* 69th Festival de Cannes pays tribute to Ingrid Bergman;

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

COMPETITIONS
MAPS TO THE STARS DVD
Win one of 10 DVD copies of Map to the Stars, starring Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre), John Cusack (High Fidelity) and Robert Pattinson (Cosmopolis), courtesy EOne Entertainment. Out on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital March 25.

Movie review:
LEVIATHAN
(Russia, 2014) Dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev. Stars Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov. "With garlands galore - including a Golden Globe, a Best Screenplay at Cannes, Best Film at Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Oscar nomination (Best Foreign Language) and four major nominations at the European Film Awards - Leviathan sets up high expectations, with its warts and all glimpse into Putin's Russia, a dictatorship in all but name but one without an ideology - except to steal money," says Andrew.

Movie review:
GET HARD
(US, 2015) Dir: Etan Cohen. Stars Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart. "Offensive by design and low-brow by nature, the joke wears thin by the end, but the film's saving grace is its raw energy; a feeling that anything goes, as the narrative leapfrogs from one unlikely bad-taste scenario to the next," says Louise.

Movie reviews
A LITTLE CHAOS
(UK, 2014) Dir: Alan Rickman. Stars Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci. "The scene in which a metaphor using a rose at its various stages of bloom and decline to depict a woman is one of the memorable moments in this rich, picturesque costume drama whose central theme revolves on the design and creation of part of the extensive gardens of Versailles," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR
(US, 2014) Dir: Maya Forbes. Stars 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. "The film's saving grace is the cast, especially perhaps the two girls, Imogene Wolodarsky and the younger Ashley Aufderheide, who deliver vibrant and authentic performances, charming and real and utterly convincing," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
SHAUN THE SHEEP
(US, France, 2014) Dir: Mark Burton, Richard Starzack. Voices of Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes. "A baa baa shop quartet, a cat making Hannibal Lecter noises and a dog disguised as a surgeon are some of the elements of this Aardman stop animation that relies on simple ideas, keenly observed action and a flock of humour. But don't set your expectations too high," says Louise. "The wonderful English eccentricity of Aardman's Wallace and Gromit captured our hearts and minds, their naive antics and slam dunk adventures fed our funny bones. There is still a trace of all that in Shaun the Sheep, but not the distinctive personas nor the full bottle of wit, " says Andrew.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in April, Fast & Furious 7, stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker. "Cars crash, spin and fly; buildings crumble while bullets pelt and grenade explode ... I sat on the edge of my seat throughout, flinching, wincing, gasping and ultimately sighing with relief," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

NEW TRAILERS
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, stars Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg;
Boychoir, stars Dustin Hoffman, Josh Lucas, Kathy Bates;
The Longest Ride, stars Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson;
One Eyed Girl, stars Sara West, Steve Le Marquand;
Mad Max: Fury Road, stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron;
Terminator: Genisys, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger;

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 that do not make the top 20)

NEW DVDS:
GET ON UP
Stars Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis. "If it sounds good and feels good, play it, says James Brown, breaking every rule in music as he did in life. Produced by Mick Jagger, the film is dynamite, portraying the explosive life of James Brown, Godfather of Soul, whose raucous, unbridled energy, audacious look and unique voice excited the world through a career bridging six decades," says Louise.

THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
Stars v Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugo Weaving. "Peter Jackson 's magnificently directed Hobbit finale is a delicately choreographed, operatic ballet of war with dwarves, elves, a fire-breathing dragon, orcs and men," says Louise.

MAPS TO THE STARS
Stars Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack. "With its themes of incest, suicide, death and greed, Maps to the Stars is a caricature masquerading as a satire and playing like a nihilist expose," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
MY OLD LADY
To win DVDs of My old Lady, starring Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Kristen Scott Thomas, courtesy EOne Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends has a place you 'd like to live in and why? Anita Kettniss (QLD): A famous foodie house -swap holidayed at my sister 's place; just the destination for a gourmet safari.

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, Bruce Beresford's Black Robe (1990, pic), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 550 films.

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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