Welcome to our 829th weekly edition; Thursday, January 24, 2013

Andrew L. Urban's Front Up Redux: Seeking your support

Featured Preview:
Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars in Flight as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane?

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Quentin Tarantino. Stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Don Johnson, Leonardo diCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson. "Exciting, entertaining, funny, dramatic and edgy, Django Unchained is also intelligent and sometimes touching, often bloody and yet - in the end - a romantic softie, too," says Andrew. "No-one does humour in violence like Tarantino... Hell's bells, there is a lot to take in and soak up in this hotdog Tarantino Western. It's a killer," says Louise.
INTERVIEW - John (Wolf Creek) Jarratt tells Andrew L. Urban.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Russell Crowe to host AACTA Awards in Sydney & LA;
* Backroads & Newsfront at Lincoln Centre, NY for Australia Day;
* Private movie previews begin Feb. 6, enroll now;
* 2012 box office $1.12 billion near record
* Christopher Barnett doco needs your help;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
On its debut weekend, not even Judd Apatow's brand of gross humour could outgross Life of Pi nor The Hobbit in their 3rd and 4th weekends respectively. Life of Pi took a million more than This Is 40, while The Hobbit in its 4th weekend grossed $140,000 more. BUT, This Is 40 was only on 232 screens, and averaged higher than either, with $8,091. Worth noting: Skyfall, in its 9th week, has grossed $47.5 M.

Win one of 20 double inseason passes to Flight, starring Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington, courtesy Paramount Pictures. Only at the movies January 31.

Movie reviews:
(Spain, 2012) Dir: Juan Antonio Bayona. Stars Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland. "There are many powerful scenes in this true life and death scenario about the impact of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami to one family, but none can match the potency of the scene when Henry (Ewan McGregor) borrows a mobile phone from a stranger to ring home," says Louise. "The most challenging aspect of disaster movies to make the disaster believable. But performances aren't all about screaming, and this cast does a remarkable job of convincing us of their complexities and humanity," says Andrew.
Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Craig Zobel. Stars Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp. "It's a creepy and frightening demonstration of the risks society faces when accepting authority without question. And it's made visceral by the astonishing performances," says Andrew. "A mirror to society, it is true to say that there are some people who are more gullible than others. Also that people react in different ways - for many reasons. It's a shame that (director) Zobel is not able to hook us quite as easily as the prank caller hooks his victims," says Louise. (Opens in Sydney and Adelaide)
Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Anne Fletcher. Stars Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen. "An opportunity for bite is lost in this compelling pairing of Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, whose joint range and capacity is hardly scratched in this amiable road movie about mother and son relationships," says Louise. "Likeable and entertaining, The Guilt Trip isn't quite the blast it could have been, but it uses the tools of commercial filmmaking to give audiences a lift at the end," says Andrew.

[Coming soon, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. "A literally and metaphorically towering performance by Daniel Day Lewis as the 1.93cm Abraham Lincoln drives this historically riveting and personally impassioned film," says Andrew. "I felt as though I had been privy to an interlude of cinematic time-travelling, courtesy the magic carpet of Steven Spielberg and the considerable talents of Daniel Day-Lewis, for his potent, Oscar-worthy depiction," says Louise.]
List of films releasing later in January and February

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Anna Karenina, stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law;
Lincoln, stars Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field;
A Good Day To Die Hard, stars Bruce Willis;
Flight, stars Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Don Cheadle;
The Sweeney, stars Ray Winstone, Ben Drew;

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 ..)

Stars Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Kylie Minogue, Eva Mendes, Michel Piccoli. "Every preconception you may have will be shattered by this unique and bizarre work by French writer director Leos Carax," says Louise.

Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt. "Despite all its better attributes, the film doesn't work for me; I find it tediously silly as a story and can't overcome its inherent stumbling blocks," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win passes to The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogen, Barbra Streisand, courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked: With whom among family and friends would you NOT like to take a road trip, and why? Karen Dethomas (VIC) says: My Granny: she loves to pass time by cutting her toenails and throwing them out the window only she can never work out how to get the electric windows down!

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 and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Slavery, cotton, sugar and the Mississippi - they made the American south prosper. But the money, power and prestige are intertwined with racism in the history of America's greatest river. The river is still a symbol of slavery - and freedom. Andrew L. Urban found this amazing account of the river's furious past.

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