Welcome to our 831st weekly edition; Thursday, February 7, 2013

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

- Andrew L. Urban's inaugural course x 6 Tuesday evenings from March 19; the psychology, practice & power of the interview.

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

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir: Steven Spielberg. Stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones. "A literally and metaphorically towering performance by Daniel Day Lewis as the 1.93cm Abraham Lincoln drives this historically riveting and personally impassioned . riveting . film," says Andrew. "History lesson, political thriller and human drama all rolled together into one sizzling cigar, this is a film whose ballast and tension registers strongly, documenting a vital chapter of one man's vision of the ideals of democracy, for the benefit of all men," says Louise.
INSIDER BRIEFING: Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner reveal the long and demanding process that led to the film.
PRESERVING THE UNION - review of a feature length documentary on Lincoln's life is released on DVD.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone.
* Jane Campion heads to Cannes - as a President;
* Hannay featured at ACMI Perspectives;
* Night screens across America;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)
Mary Sum Says: It's Django unchanged at No 1 with $2.5 M on its second weekend, down 34% on 327 screens (down 3). Openers Silver Linings Playbook and Flight both debuted well, but Zero Dark Thirty was relatively soft given its profile and hype, with just over $1 M for the weekend on 208 screens. Skyfall has taken over $48 M and is still in the top 20 after 11 weeks.

Win one of ten double inseason passes to Lincoln, courtesy 20th Century Fox. Lincoln is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis as the President - and cast includes Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, David Strathairn and Sally Field. Nominated for 12 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor; Nominated for 7 Golden Globe Awards. In cinemas February 7.

Movie reviews:
(France, 2011) Dir: Malgoska Szumowska. Stars Juliette Binoche, Anais Demoustier, Joanna Kulig, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing. "... while the graphic sexual scenes of intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus and masturbation are apt and in keeping with Szumowska's concept, there is an element of voyeurism and titillation by design that seeps out in the realisation of the narrative," says Louise. "I can't tell what Elles has to say and I rather think the filmmakers don't either, beyond the vague notion that by interacting with two young semi-pro pros, as it were, Anne (Binoche) reconsiders her bourgeois life. While she makes a couple of small adjustments, they are insufficient to satisfy," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2012) Dir:Tommy Wirkola. Stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitale. "A sorry witches' brew of tedium that burns all too slowly, despite its brisk 88 minute running time, there's no trail of enticement (or even breadcrumbs) to lead us into the forest," says Louise.


[Coming soon, Rust and Bone, starring Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts. "Two damaged souls find solace together in this gritty drama in which physical pain and disfigurement play a key role," says Louise. "This multi-layered film with its characters tossed like flotsam on fate's giant, unpredictable waves drenches us in the intimate details of characters who either have no course (Alain) or whose course is radically changed (Stephanie)," says Andrew.]
List of films releasing in February

Preview trailers of the latest films on your own screen:
Fast and Furious 6, stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson;
West of Memphis, documentary;
No, stars Gael Garcia Bernal;
The Sweeney, stars Ray Winstone, Ben Drew;
World War Z, stars Brad Pitt;
Anna Karenina, stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law;

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 Bjorn Lomborg. "Lomborg offers a strong argument for being rational instead of fashionable," says Andrew.

Stars Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling. " .. superb thriller in which honesty and dishonesty are bedfellows," says Louise.

Stars Daniel Fletcher, Josephine Clark. "the plusses are the performances, even though they are all directed to push the comedic line," says Andrew.

Stars Josh Lawson, Isabel Lucas, Kestie Morassi, Steve Bisley, Essie Davis. "A light-weight date movie, charismatic performances and diverse story strands keep us engaged," says Louise.

Stars Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan. "He can't even get laid in his dreams - until he meets Ruby Sparks, the dream girl he has concocted in his mind and articulated through the keys and ink of his Olympia typewriter," says Louise.

Stars Marilou Mermans, Jan Van Looveren, Lea Couzin. "It's not as funny as I hoped, but this offbeat Belgian comedy drama has its own charms and surprises," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win one of 20 double inseason passes to Hansel & Gretel Witchhunters, starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked: With who among family or friends would you not wish to be alone in a forest and why? Samantha Matwijenko (NSW) says: My Sister she has no survival skills; but then again, maybe I can use her as bait.

To win one of 10 copies of P.J. Hogan's Mental, starring Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia, Liev Schreiber and Rebecca Gibney, courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends do you consider to be mental and why? Jill Macmullen (NSW) says: My Stepmum hangs her dirty clothes on the line and washes them down with the hose!! No detergent; just the hose. She says it's her way of saving money.....

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 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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