Welcome to our 830th weekly edition; Thursday, January 31, 2013

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

AACTA AWARDS - The Sapphires sweep up the awards.

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

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Robert Zemeckis. Stars Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Brian Geraghty, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Melissa Leo. "What starts as a potential disaster movie, turns into a potent drama and character study of a man trapped by his own lies ... Washington is superb, charming us one minute, shocking us in the very next," says Louise. "While this is not based on a single true story, it draws on many true stories ... and the authentic profile devised for Whip Whittaker (Washington) rings true," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Argo wins Best Cast Screen Actors Guild Awards;
* Don McAlpine & The Magic of Filmmaking;
* Pat Lovell dies, 83;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
Mary Sum Says: Django Unchained and The Impossible opened well at the weekend, the former with $3.8 M on 330 screens (highest average), the latter with $1.26 M on 168. Guilt Trip wasn't too trippy, with a debut under $600K on 162. Top 20 was down just 3% at $16 M.

Win one of 20 double inseason passes to Hansel & Gretel Witchhunters, starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Peter Stormare, courtesy Paramount Pictures. 2013 PPC. Only at the movies February 7.

Win one of 10 DVD copies of P.J. Hogan's Mental, starring Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia, Liev Schreiber and Rebecca Gibney, courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Available on Blu-ray and DVD from March 31, 2013.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Kathryn Bigelow. Stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, James Gandolfini, Stephen Dillane, John Schwab, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton. "There is much to absorb and appreciate, including a sense of the cultures involved and the way life works in countries such as Pakistan and Kuwait. The way Australian cinematographer Greig Fraser captures extraordinary faces in the streets of Pakistan in particular, allows us a real sense of being there," says Louise. "It's ambitious to cover a decade of such a complex manhunt, but the screenplay manages to gives us a sense of the ups and downs, the mistakes and good fortunes of those involved," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: David O. Russell. Stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher. " .. both charming and gritty. The angst and difficulties of bi-polar and other mental conditions is never glossed over, nor is there any clumsy attempt at humour... Cooper is edgy, while Lawrence is dynamite," says Louise. " .. it starts to fray about halfway through as it shifts into a more conventional mode, taking on the usual trappings of the genre and making its way to a predictable resolution," says Andrew.

[Coming soon, Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir. "Ultimately it is the intimate nature of 'getting to know' Polanski that allows this fascinating documentary to bristle with veracity," says Louise. "This friendly conversation between longtime colleagues and friends Polanski and Braunsberg endures and succeeds for its simplicity and innocence," says Andrew.]
List of films releasing in February

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Lincoln, stars Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field;
Anna Karenina, stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law;
World War Z, stars Brad Pitt;
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, stars Lena Headey, Lily Collins;
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 ...)

- Documentary featuring Tom Carroll & Ross Clark-Jones, Ben Matson. "The extreme nature of the challenge is matched by the enormity of the film undertaking," says Andrew.

Stars Saskia Rosendahl, Nele Trebs, Andre Frid. "Like her acclaimed 2004 debut film Somersault, Cate Shortland's German-language film Lore is about concealed emotions and secrets," says Louise.

Stars Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia, Liev Schreiber, Rebecca Gibney. "In P.J. Hogan's Mental, there are brush strokes of genius and dark clouds of overkill in this ambitious film in praise of family and being accepted for who you are," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 20 double inseason passes to Flight, starring Denzel Washington, courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked: Who among family or friends is a (big or little) hero in your eyes and why? Pete Matheos (ACT): My mum is the best in the world. She cooks great food and makes tasty cakes. She gives good advice on life and women. She is fun and happy to be with. She is a good communicator; lovely and best mum ever.
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, Chopper (pic) 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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