Welcome to our 933rd weekly edition; Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movie reviews:
(US, 2014) Dir: Clint Eastwood. Stars Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes. "It's like being there, right in the midst of a war zone, where life and death rely on split second decision ... the story of a remarkable man, as told by a remarkable filmmaker," says Louise. "Although it is a better written and made film then The Hurt Locker which won the Oscar, American Sniper is just as determined to ring emotional bells for an America that has lost much of its self assurance on the world stage," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* First True Aussie Grit guests for Jan 28;
* Meet Oscar-winner, John Seale at free Riverside screening;
* Flickerfest Award winners;
* Priscilla 21st on Australia Day;
* Meet screen composers at free Aust. Day event, Sydney;
* Directors Guild Awards to be held in Melbourne;
* 2015 Melbourne Queer Festival highlights;
* David & Margaret Patronise French Film Fest;
* The Coen Brothers go Presidential at Cannes;
* Aussie box office at $1.74 billion with 505 films;

Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

Win one of 10 DVD copies of FURY, starring Academy Award winner Brad Pitt, plus Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal and Xavier Samuel. Prizes courtesy Universal Sony Pictures Studios Home Entertainment. Available to own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital with UltraViolet from January 22, 2015.
DVD Review: "A tense war drama in which Pitt is the main drawcard," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, 2014) Dir: Jean-Marc Vallee. Stars Reese Withers;poon, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern. "A stunning central performance from Reece Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, who overcomes physical hardships to confront her inner demons to find her best self: the woman her mother thought she was," says Louise.

Movie review:
(US, France, 2014) Dir: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland. Stars Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin. "It is impossible not to be affected by this devastatingly sad portrait of a woman, whose reliance on memory and its compilation to communicate in her role as professor of linguistics at Columbia University, accentuates the intensity of her loss," says Louise. (Special advance screenings January 23, 24, 25; releases January 29.)

If music be the food of film: Alexandre Desplat has two nominations for Best Score, both for a Best Picture nominee: The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game, two films that represent the opposite ends of cinema, from the whimsy of the former to the multi-layered biopic drama of the latter.

[Coming in February, A Most Violent Year, starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo. "It is a crime thriller, but rises above its genre; it is a character study but it creates a mythic persona; and it is a morality tale but it presents as an analysis of human nature's self contradictory impulses," says Andrew. "Isaac is superb as the immaculately dressed businessman who is afraid of failure above all else," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in January

Kingsman: The Secret Service, stars stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson;
A Little Chaos, stars Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts;
The Gambler, stars Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, John Goodman;
Mad Max: Fury Road, stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron;
Terminator: Genisys, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger;
Shaun the Sheep, from Aardman Studios;
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 our favourites)

Stars Josh Lawson, Bojana Novakic, Damon Herriman. "Overcooked at times and not always cohesive, Josh Lawson's debut feature about intimacy is a case of hit or miss, but in its favour, there are some very funny ideas coupled with some priceless moments," says Louise.

Stars Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz. "The pensive, brooding calm of an in-form Denzel Washington as the man who has to do what he does - because he can - alleviates this gritty thriller from Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, in which Washington plays the Russian mafia as if it were a deadly chess game," says Louise.

Stars Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader. "Palpable onscreen chemistry and superlative performances by Saturday Night Live's Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader make this a powderkeg of a film, as humour and deadly serious issues are interwoven," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win double inseason passes courtesy Universal Pictures, we asked: With whom among family and friends would you prefer to spend 47 days on a life-raft and why? Kerrie Tullipan (Qld): Hubby. He lost both legs in the Bali bombings and now has two prosthetics. He's my own Louie Zamperini. He is courageous and has suffered cruelty just like Louie and has triumphed over personal adversity.

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, Rolf de Heer's The King is Dead (pic), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Positano is the jewel of the Amalfi coast, says Andrew L. Urban.

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