Welcome to our 881st weekly edition; Thursday, January 23, 2014

Movie reviews:
(US, 2013) Dir: Martin Scorsese. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey. "Excessive and entertaining in equals portions, Martin Scorsese's wild tale of greed and its spoils of sex, drugs and debauchery earns its R rating as well as a big tick for Leonardo diCaprio who lets fly with no safety net in a dizzying rollercoaster ride of misguided morality," says Louise. "Belfort's frank memoir is a seductive confessional of how not only he but so many on Wall Street treated (treat?) Americans with contempt in their greedy drive to become rich enough to burn 100 dollar bills," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Oscars 2014 - The Nominations;
* SAG Awards 2014 - The Winners;
* The Sounds of Silents - Charlie Chaplin's 1st film 100 years later;

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

Win one of 15 double inseason passes to The Past, starring Oscar nominated Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Tahar Rahim (Our Children) and Ali Mosaffa (The Last Step) and directed by Academy Award winning Asghar Farhadi (A Separation). Language: French, Farsi with English subtitles. In cinemas February 6.

Movie reviews:
(Italy, 2013) Dir: Paolo Sorrentino. Stars Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso. "It's not often that we feel ravaged by a film, but The Great Beauty is a ravager, a spectacular odyssey of emotion and intellect and sensuality through the rich, contradictory and self indulgent world of The Eternal City," says Andrew. "Paolo Sorrentino's film uncovers both the superficial and the profound in this exploration of life, death and the inspirations that keep things interesting," says Louise.

Movie review:
(Aust, 2014) Dir: David Field, George Basha. Stars George Basha, David Field, Brian Ellison, David Roberts, Johnny Nasser, Richard Green. "Clearly with something to say, George Basha returns to themes he wrote about so sharply in his 2009 debut feature, The Combination: the cultural and personal conflicts that are magnified through the prism of prison and crime and ethnic gangs and official corruption," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(US, 2013 Dir: Carl Rinsch. Stars Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka. "The film makers have cast their own illusion of smoke and mirrors and despite the cinematic spectacle that has the power to engage, the juxtaposition of Reeves' character grates, coupled with stilted dialogue and an overlong running time," says Louise.

[Coming in February, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, stars Idris Elba, Naomie Harris. "It's a powerhouse of a film: informative, powerful, moving, involving and inspirational with Idris Elba outstanding in the title role," says Louise. "Nelson Mandela's status as a global hero, the most revered freedom fighter alive (at time of writing), is probably more suited to a mini series, where the filmmakers can do justice to this man, his story and the times. Even 145 minutes isn't enough..," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in January

Nebraska, stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb;
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;

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 Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard. "The bite of a Woody Allen film stems from its roots in reality and Blue Jasmine blossoms from its musings about angst," says Louise.

Stars Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Nolan Gerard Funk. "Even the chick in Riddick is macho, a cartoonish escape-chase-creature feature with sci-fi aspirations," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
would you like to attend as a guest, and why? Manfred Hopprich (SA): Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi... I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.

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, Rachel Ward's Beautiful Kate (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

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.

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