Welcome to our 985th weekly edition; Thursday January 21, 2016

Movie reviews:
THE HATEFUL EIGHT
(US, 2015) Dir: Quentin Tarantino. Stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern. "The film is big, bold and beautiful and true to Quentin Tarantino's distinctive style, the action is a mix of explosive confrontations, explicit violence, colourful language and bleak humour," says Louise. "It's an event, not just a movie, as Tarantino intended, something to savour, not to rush," says Andrew.

Latest:

Gossip-free zone;
*
Movies Now new series starts February 3. Book now.
* Star Richard Roxburgh and director Sue Brooks will present screenings of Looking for Grace on January 25 (night before release) at Palace Norton St and at Verona cinemas, with Q&As with Margaret Pomeranz.
* Charles Chauvel classic, Jedda (1955), screens (restored in HD) at State Library of NSW on Sunday, Jan 24, 2pm, introduced by Prof. Jane Mills; tix $20/$15.

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

COMPETITIONS
IRRATIONAL MAN DVD
Win one of 5 DVD copies of Irrational Man, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone and Parker Posey, courtesy Entertainment One Home Entertainment. A wry, energetic comedy following a brilliant but tormented philosophy professor in existential crisis. Available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital.

Movie reviews:
THE DANISH GIRL
(UK/Ger/US, 2015) Dir: Tom Hooper. Stars Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander. "There is much to say about this film with its sensitive subject matter, extraordinary performances and portrayal of exquisite beauty - cinematically and emotionally. It's one of the best of the year - any year," says Louise. "I surprised myself how easily the film seduced me into its world, despite the setting being at odds with the cast and their voices," says Andrew.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in March, Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith. "A delicious piece of English eccentricity," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in January

NEW TRAILERS
The Secret Life of Pets, voices of Lake Bell, Kevin Hart;
Room, stars Brie Larson;
Concussion, stars Will Smith, Alex Baldwin;
Steve Jobs, stars Michael Fassbender;
Zoolander 2, stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell;
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, stars John Stamos, Rita Wilson, Nia Vandalis;

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 if they don 't make the top 20)

NEW DVDS:
SICARIO
Stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro. The pitch of Sicario's intensity is like a scream, underlined by the film's ominous score as it deliberates its moral quandary, says Louise.

IRRATIONAL MAN
Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey. "Morality, existentialism and murder make a heady brew in Woody Allen's latest offering in which theory and pragmatism play Russian roulette," says Louise.

Competition winners:
THE BIG SHORT
To win passes, courtesy Paramount Pictures, we asked Who among family and friends is most likely to have a plan to beat 'the system' - any system - and why? Alan Stone (WA): My Dog. The SYSTEM is he stays in the back garden BUT so far he's escaped over; under and through the fence; Don’t know what his next move is but I'm sure he's got one!

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, Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (pic) and dozens more. Over 570 films.

Travelfile:
GIGER OF GRUYERES, SWITZERLAND
It’s a steep walk from Gruyeres railway station to the historic Swiss hilltop village of Gruyeres, world famous for its cheese. But Gruyeres (population 300) has a dark secret which only the most curious – or well informed – will discover: the gallery of H. R. Giger, Oscar winning designer of the alien in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and other things similarly subversive, erotic, fantastic and out of this world. Andrew L. Urban reports.

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