Welcome to our 1,031st weekly edition; Thursday December 8, 2016

Movie review:
OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY
(US, 2016) Dir: Josh Gordon, Will Speck. Stars Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon. "Inhibitions melt like snow in a sauna in this free-for-all Christmas meltdown in which jaded is the new cool... It's all pretty silly but the script works, the characters are fun and I had a good time. What else can you ask for at an Office Christmas Party?" says Louise.

Latest:
BOX OFFICE: In its first week, animated charmer Trolls takes the No 2 slot at the box office, after Fantastic Beasts... Top 20 films with box office figures, number of screens, screen averages, release details, percentage rise/fall and comment - every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm).

COMPETITIONS
RED DOG: TRUE BLUE
Win one of 10 double inseason passes to Red Dog: True Blue, starring Levi Miller, Bryan Brown, Thomas Cocquerel, Jason Isaacs and Jason Isaacs, courtesy Roadshow Films. In cinemas December 26.

Feature:
AACTA AWARDS 2016: WINNERS
Paul Hogan's contribution to Australian cinema was honoued with the Longford Lyell Award and Isla Fisher won the Trailblazer Award at this year's AACTA Awards.

Movie review:
LITTLE MEN
(US, 2016) Dir: Ira Sachs. Stars Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Alfred Molina. "Five superb central performances glue us to this little gem of a drama set in contemporary Brooklyn, where a past friendship inadvertently infects one in the present," says Andrew.

Movie review:
MAHANA
(NZ, 2016) Dir: Temuera Morrison. Stars Temuera Morrison, Akuhata Keefe, Nancy Brunning. "A beautifully calibrated screenplay by John Collee (from Witi Ihimaera's novel) is wrangled into a terrific drama by Lee Tamahori in a film that proves the notion 'through the specific to the universal'," says Andrew.

Feature:
EXHIBITION ON SCREEN - BOSCH, MONET AND MORE
Produced by award-winning director, Phil Grabsky, the 2016/17 season was filmed exclusively for cinema at the exhibitions and on location and presents four new titles: The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch (December 10); I, Claude Monet (February 25), The Artist's Garden: American Impressionis (March 25), and Michelangelo: Love and Death (July 22). Andrew L. Urban steps into that curious world.

UPCOMING FILMS

[Coming soon, Jackie, stars Natalie Portman. Natalie Portman's central multi-layered performance is unforgettable for many reasons, says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in December

NEW TRAILERS
Fences, stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis;
Lion, stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman;
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, stars Vin Diesel;
Cars 3, voices of Owen Wilson, Jason Pace;
Split, stars Stars James McAvoy, Betty Buckley;
A Cure for Wellness, stars Jason Isaacs, Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth;

NEW DVDS:
THE BFG
Stars Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader. "It is the relationship between a little girl with a big imagination and a gentle giant that captivates us in Steven Spielberg's delightful film, The BFG," says Louise.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Voices of Louis C. K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate. "Not as cute as I expected with surprisingly dark elements and more action than laughs, this family animation takes a novel idea that explores what animals do when their owners are out and executes it with aplomb, although the whole is not as good as the sum of its parts," says Louise.

Competition winners:
THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK
To win one of DVD copies courtesy StudioCanal and Polygram Entertainment, we asked: What is your favourite Beatles song and why? Robyn Lobb (NSW): We danced and sang to When I’m 64, at a time we thought we'd be young forevermore. Now we've passed that mark. The song still brings back the old spark.

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 (pic), Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 600 films.

Travelfile:
THE CLOISTERS: NEW YORK
Nearly 75 years (and nine centuries) later, Andrew L. Urban steps into a Medieval monastery - on Manhattan.

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