Welcome to our 822nd weekly edition; Thursday, December 6, 2012.

New on VisionStream: all the latest clips, interviews, extra trailers and background features. Over 100 videos.

Movie reviews:
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE
(US, 2012) Dir: Robert Lorenz. Stars Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake. THE GOOD: "Pointing to her head and her heart, when Amy Adams indicates that 'you've got to have it in both places' she could well be referring to the qualities of this film. An intelligent script from first time screenwriter Randy Brown with a strong emotional heart," says Louise. THE BAD: "Trouble with the film, if you'll excuse the cheap wordplay, is that it's not a Clint Eastwood film. He's in it as the star, but he's not in it with his heart and his filmmaking soul." AND THE UGLY: "There remains far too much baseball for those outside the baseball world for us to really connect, especially as so much of the dialogue about the sport is couched in baseball jargon," adds Andrew.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Campion's Top of the Lake, and Two Mothers for Sundance;
* Animal Logic wins art export award;
* Ang Lee at Q&A for Life of Pi, Dec 18;
* One Aussie in final 12 of 1000 Four Stories;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
Mary Sum Says: Skyfall has grossed more ($24.84 M) after its second weekend than Twilight after its third ($24.18 M) after last weekend's takings racked up almost $10 M between them - $7.7 of that for the former.

COMPETITIONS
QUARTET
Win one of 20 double inseason passes to Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Michael Gambon, courtesy Paramount Pictures. "I smiled throughout this funny, stirring and uplifting film in which talents, egos and temperaments dance in time with the music," says Louise. Only at the movies December 26.

Emotion innovation:
MORE INTENSE MOVIES - IN YOUR EAR
California based special effect research firms, Team NULYX and MediaScience, have jointly announced the discovery of a new technology to intensify emotional experiences across all entertainment media. Now, perhaps even buffy blokes will cry at the movies...

Become a Movie Mogul:
ADOPT A ZOMBIE, WHILE STOCKS LAST
For $100 anyone can buy a zombie and help fund Wyrmwood, a film the producers call a blend of Mad Max and Dawn of the Dead, "the beast zombie film ever produced in Australia"; for $200 you get the personalised zombie, complete with personalised video message from your adopted zombie.
Video Clip

Movie reviews:
GOD BLESS AMERICA
(US, 2012) Dir: Bobcat Goldthwait. Stars Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr. "A satirical road trip in which the problems of modern America form the stops along the way, New York comedian Bobcat Goldthwait's film has an arresting start, but loses its impetus as the pedal is pushed to the floor," says Louise. "There is a daredevil sensibility to the film, but it strikes so many recognisably authentic notes we go with the flow. It's parody and satire and social caricature, all wrapped in the story of a man who believes his brain tumour will kill him," says Andrew. (Opens at Dendy Newtown, Sydney)

Movie reviews:
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
(US, 2012) Dir: RZA. Stars Russell Crowe, RZA, Rick Yune, Cung Le, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, Dave Bautista. "Revenge, redemption and brotherhood are the themes of this mash-up martial arts spectacular whose elements range from haphazard and confusing to visually thrilling ... It's a whirlwind of chaos with graphic violence, ambitious choreography..." says Louise. "Slo-mo and blood fountains, choreographed and synchronised fight scenes inside and outside the brothel (where much of the action takes place) are all treated with genre-loving enthusiasm," says Andrew.

Movie review:
PITCH PERFECT
(US, 2012) Dir: Jason Moore. Stars Elizabeth Banks, Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. "Everything about the film feels fresh... Wilson clearly delights in playing the Fat Girl, waiting to pounce on any outrageous moment or spit out an offensively honest remark ... For the target market, there are laughs galore, toe-tapping rhythms and a good up-tempo beat as Pitch Perfect hits its notes and delivers a romping fun time," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
LOVE STORY
(NZ, 2012) Dir: Florian Habicht. Stars Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko, Frank Habicht. "... unusual film that is a mash-up documentary and romance fantasy in which the advent of his relationship with his fantasy woman is placed in the hands of New York's man in the street. He (Habicht) is both endearing and irritating," says Louise. "The novelty value of the approach kicks in from time to time, but it soon starts to look like a freak show," says Andrew.

2nd AACTA Awards nominees:
THE STAR TO STAR FOR OUR STARS
The 2013 AACTA awards presentation events will be held at Sydney's new The Star Event Centre, marking the first public events to be held at the venue, where producers of one of the four nominated feature films will collect the Best Feature Award: Burning Man, Lore, The Sapphires (DVD out this week if you missed it in cinemas), Wish You Were Here.

European Film Awards:
HANEKE'S AMOUR SWEEPS TOP AWARDS
Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or winning Amour has swept the 25th European Film Awards; Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress, after more than 2,700 members of the European Film Academy - filmmakers from across Europe - voted for this year's Awards, presented at a ceremony in Berlin on December 1, 2012.

Marrakech International Film Festival 2012:
PRANCING IN THE RAIN
Here is a colour piece (mostly red, as in carpet) on this year's Marrakech film festival (Nov 30 - December 8, 2012) from our man in Marrakech, Nick Roddick, who sees Catherine Deneuve fuming and Shahrukh Khan high five-ing. And how the heavy rain separated the wannabes from the real celebs ...

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in January, Paranorman, voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. "With its adult themes and child-like enthusiasm, the film is a joyous adventure that encompasses fantasy, the after-life and everything in between. It's delightful," says Louise. "Never assume anything - that's a good mantra to have, even when reviewing movies. Here is a good example, animation with zombies for kids," says Andrew.]
List of films releasing in December

NEW TRAILERS
Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Parental Guidance, stars Bette Midler, Billy Crystal;
Jack Reacher, stars Brad Pitt, Rosamund Pike;
Anna Karenina, stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law;
Hitchcock, stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren;
Quartet, stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly;
Lincoln, stars Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field;
World War Z, stars Brad Pitt;

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 the editors' favourites if they don't make the top 20..)

DVDS OUT THIS WEEK
THE SAPPHIRES
Stars Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy. "Chris O'Dowd is hands down the film's greatest asset, a wonderful actor who conveys sincerity through all his character's weak spots as well as the strengths," says Andrew. "An uplifting film that celebrates the singing successes and climb to fame of The Sapphires, but the highs would reverberate far sweeter had they been grounded in a more credible reality," says Louise.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER
Stars Marton Csokas, Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper. "Don't you hate it when it takes a movie to reveal the truth about the past, and as significant as this: US President Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter, and who knew until now?" says Andrew. "Neither engaging history lesson nor satisfying vampire thriller, the film with its frenetic, blood thirsty action scenes shot mostly in tight close up, makes us feel cheated," says Louise.

STEP UP 4: MIAMI HEAT
Stars Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman. "Using contempo flash mob dazzle with eye-boggling dance routines laced with sensuality, this fourth film in the franchise takes a leap into the appeal stakes, upping the ante in terms of innovation as all different aesthetics of dance and movement are uncompromisingly pressed together," says Louise.

Competition winners:
MAGIC MIKE DVD
To win DVD copies, courtesy Roadshow Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends would make (or is!) a good stripper and why? (Name provided): ME!! For my partner's birthday surprise I've been going to secret pole dancing classes and am having a pole installed in our bedroom on his birthday. It doesn't stop there; I'm losing my whole kit!! (Name withheld; Urban Cinefile wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!)

LIBERAL ARTS
To win double inseason passes, courtesy Icon Film Distribution, we asked: On which teacher or student did you have a major crush and why? Wilma Brbot (VIC): Every time I saw my HSC PE teacher in his tight shorts he made me drool. 6 years later we married. His 6 pack's now a keg but I've still got a major crush on him.

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 King's Speech (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Travelfile:
LA FONDA, BAJA COAST, MEXICO
Naked luaus on the beach, a unique tequila-in-belly-button championship, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Madonna dining with Sean Penn, Bette Midler, Lee Majors, spaced-out magicians and surprise bare-breasting; these - and much more - are the ingredients that make up the legacy of La Fonda. Hotel No-Tell. Andrew L. Urban reports.

REGISTER, UNSUBSCRIBE, CHANGE YOUR DETAILS
You can REGISTER for our free weekly email (or update your details) or
UNSUBSCRIBEfrom this newsletter.
This email was sent from Evergence on behalf of Urban Cinefile. If you would like to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please email us at mail@urbancinefile.com.au. Trademarks copyright 2011 Urban Cinefile and their respective trademark holders.