Happy New Year and welcome to our 880th weekly edition; Thursday, January 16, 2014

As Sundance opens, Andrew L. Urban takes a snapshot of the Big Six film fests of the year.

Movie reviews:
HER
(US, 2013) Dir: Spike Jonze. Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde, Roony Mara. "... it's not really a sci-fi movie; it's about you and me and everyone else, trying to make sense of this strange condition of humanity. And sex," says Andrew. "What is wonderful about this romantic comedy from Spike Jonze is the sheer audacity of the concept and the execution ... an intricate and intimate relationship between a romantic wordsmith and dislocated husky voice of his intuitive operating system. This film about love of a virtual kind is inventive, outlandish, gentle, revealing, warm, funny and quirky to the nth degree," says Louise.

Latest:
NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Protest prior to special screenings of Shadow of Doubt, Sat. Nov 25 Hobart;
* Record $100,000 Film Prize at Cinefestoz, W.A.;
* Backyard Ashes tours Sydney;
* Goodbye Gilles, bienvenue Pierre at Cannes;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

COMPETITIONS
MURIEL'S WEDDING DVD - 20TH ANNIVERSARY RELEASE
Win one of 10 copies of the DVD to celebrate the 20th anniversary release of Muriel's Wedding, starring Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter, Jeanie Drynan, courtesy Roadshow Entertainment. Available to rent and own on DVD, blu-ray & digital download.

Movie reviews:
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT
(US/Russia, 2014) Dir: Kenneth Branagh. Stars Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, Gemma Chan, Kenneth Branagh. "Chris Pine assumes the latest screen incarnation of Tom Clancy's heroic analyst, Jack Ryan ... there is much to enjoy in this easy-to-like thriller that races to its heart-pounding and spectacular conclusion is fitting style," says Louise. "Competently directed by Branagh, the film's stunts, action scenes and thriller elements are executed with flourish and the Moscow sequences are terrific," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
(US, 2013) Dir: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen. Stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman. "The wonderful thing about a Coen Brothers film is the fact that you are never sure exactly what you are going to get. One thing is for sure, you will always get more than you've bargained for," says Louise. "...the Coen brothers have composed something special with their anti-hero story of a young muso on whom fate has slammed the door. The surprising thing is that despite this apparently bleak theme, the Coens craft something unique, warm and big hearted," says Andrew.

AACTA International Awards winners:
GRAVITY WINS AUSSIES' VOTES FOR BEST FILM
Best Film winner Gravity and the other winners of the 3rd Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International Awards were announced at an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles (Friday, January 10, 2014) hosted by multi-award winner and AACTA President Geoffrey Rush who shared the stage with fellow Australian industry presenters including Jacki Weaver, Stuart Beattie, Anthony LaPaglia and Yvonne Strahovski.

Golden Globes winners:
12 YEARS A SLAVE & AMERICAN HUSTLE WIN GLOBES
Two diametrically opposed movies taken from American history over 100 years apart - 12 Years a Slave* & American Hustle - were voted Best by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the Golden Globes, with Cate Blanchett winning the Globe for Best Actress for her role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine - not long after Allen was honoured with the Cecil B. De Mille Award.

Book review:
HANDS ON - ALL MEDIA PRODUCING, A FUTURE BOOK TODAY
The future of the screen industry - including the traditional film industry - is what the players are calling all-media projects. But how do you get experience in the future? By listening to (or in this case reading) what the pioneers can teach us. Marcus Gillezeau is a pre-eminent and award winning not to mention successful pioneer, and he has written a handy book, Hands On All Media Producing, passing on what he has learnt. Andrew L. Urban asked him for a copy to review ...

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in February, Jason Reitman's Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin. "It's an unusual relationship drama that teeters constantly on its edge of unpredictability, offering tension, humour and a great sense hope," says Louise. "Jason Reitman hit the cinematic streets with his snazzy Thank You For Smoking (2005), showing a natural flair for complex themes and characters, a decidedly sardonic temperament and a great sense for casting," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in January

NEW TRAILERS
The Other Woman, stars Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann;
The Grand Budapest Hotel, stars Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes;
12 Years a Slave, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender;
Grudge Match, stars Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger;
Nebraska, stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb;
The Wolf of Wall Street, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConnaughey;

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)

NEW DVDS:
THE BEST OFFER
(Italy, 2013) Stars Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland, Sylvia Hoeks, Jim Sturgess. "A stunning performance by Geoffrey Rush elevates this beguiling tale that explores authenticity and all its priceless facets - from the elite art world to that of human emotions," says Louise.

FRANCES HA
(US, 2012) Stars Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper. "Greta Gerwig is a wonderfully vulnerable actress who is both ditzy and clever at the same time," says Andrew.

SMURFS 2
(US, 2013) Stars Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson. "While the 2011 Smurfs movie set in New York was filled with blue-tinged charm and cute-dom, the follow-up in Paris lacks the sweet innocence from the last time around, resulting in a yarn that is overblown and a bit of a yawn," says Louise.

Competition winners:
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT
To win inseason passes to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked Who is your favourite film hero and why? Marie Pohnetalova (NSW): Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) - perfect role model for any dad - stood up calmly and with grace for justice and against bigotry. A testament to human nature at its best!

CHRISTMAS DVD LIBRARIES
To win DVD prize packs courtesy Roadshow Entertainment, we asked: With whom among family and friends would you like to watch these DVDs and why? Marie Sinstead-Reid (ACT): My teen daughter- film buddy extraordinaire. This is a girl who knows that to watch a film takes a queen bed; many pillows; chocolate; soda and her mum!

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 (pic), Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Travelfile:
RITZ-CARLTON, HONG KONG
Shortly after its first anniversary, the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, welcomed Andrew L. Urban and Louise Keller for 24 hours of indulgence. Unlike others in the famous chain, with their English gentleman's club ambiance, this one is ultra modern and ultra high... the highest hotel in the world.

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.