Welcome to our 991st weekly edition; Thursday March 3, 2016

Movie review:
THE FINEST HOURS
(US, 2016) Dir: Craig Gillespie. Stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster. "It could have been an exploitative disaster movie with all focus on the blizzard-besieged rescue boat against the elements, but the filmmakers rescue it by making us care for the men and giving us solid emotional reasons to invest our guts in the film," says Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS:
Gossip-free zone;
* Chauvel Award for Claudia Karvan;
* Russian Ark re release;
* Young At Heart Film Fest;

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

COMPETITIONS
LEGEND DVD
Win one of 10 DVD copies of Legend, starring Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, Paul Bettany, courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital.

Movie reviews:
THE LADY IN THE VAN
(UK, 2015) Dir: Nicholas Hytner. Stars Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Dominic Cooper. "As a 'mostly true story', The Lady in the Van is a delicious piece of English eccentricity, overcoming what could be seen as self indulgence by the writer at the centre of it, by its timidity - another English trait," says Andrew. "Wonderfully entertaining with an accomplished performance by the indefatigable Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van is all at once charming, funny and poignant," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
TRIPLE 9
(US, 2016) Dir: John Hillcoat. Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson. "A cross between a gritty police procedural and a heist movie, Triple 9 boasts a terrific cast and sense of being there, but falls down by its confusing plot," says Louise. "The story of corrupt cops working for a Russian gangster (via the gangster's wife) to pull of a crucial heist that is not so much about cash but information, has much to recommend it. It gets a little untidy at the end, but we are too busy with the action to notice," says Andrew.

Movie review:
GODS OF EGYPT
(US/Aust, 2016) Dir: Alex Proyas. Stars Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush, Bruce Spence, Bryan Brown. "Shot in Sydney at the Fox Studios, director Alex Proyas made the most of the opportunity to cast Australians in some supporting roles, for which their bank managers would be grateful. I doubt their agents would use the film as a showcase for further work, though; it's not that kind of film," says Andrew.

Oscar Winners 2016:
SPOTLIGHT ON ABUSE; AN ARMFUL OF OSCARS FOR MAD MAX
The day that Cardinal Pell gave evidence (via video) at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, the Academy voted Spotlight the past year's Best Picture, a fact-based film dealing with The Boston Globe's ground breaking investigative report into child sexual abuse by members the Catholic clergy. Mad Max: Fury Road (pic) won six Oscars and as expected, Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for The Revenant and Hungary won its second Foreign Language Oscar for Son of Saul. Host Chris Rock riffed cleverly on the theme of the controversy over all-white nominees and Mark Rylance won the Best Supporting Actor Award (Bridge of Spies) which was expected to go to Sylvester Stallone for Creed.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming later in March, A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson. "Carnal pleasures and temptations are integral to this intriguing psychological drama," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in March

NEW TRAILERS
Rams, stars Sigurour Sigurjonsson, Theodor Juliusson;
A bigger Splash, stars Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson;
The Angry Birds Movie, voices Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride;
Grimsby, stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Penelope Cruz, Rebel Wilson;
The Secret Life of Pets, voices of Lake Bell, Kevin Hart;
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, stars Nia Vardalos, John Corbett;

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 if they don 't make the top 20)

NEW DVDS:
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie. It nearly gets there thanks to the dynamic between its high-energy cast, but it’s not funny enough and the pay off is too slight, says Louise.

Competition winners:
ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2016
To win a double passes to the 27th Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, we asked: Who among family and friends could be an honorary Frenchman/woman and why? Andrea Louise (Vic): My cat Herbert (pronounced eye-bear; soft Rs). Herbert enjoys fine fish, fine cinema, fine catnip and often falls into an existential crisis when I do not entertain his 4am cries for attention.

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, In Bob We Trust (pic) and dozens more. Over 580 films.

Travelfile:
POSITANO, AMALFI COAST, ITALY
Positano is the jewel of the Amalfi coast, says Andrew L. Urban.

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