Welcome to our 20th anniversary - our final weekly edition - No 1,040; Thursday February 16, 2017.

IT'S BEEN A PRIVILEGE
Thank you all for your warm and generous applause as we exit the online stage after 20 years of weekly movie reviews, with our 1,040th edition.
We share some of the emails and other messages of congratulations we have received. It's all very much appreciated. We welcome your comments.

We hope you will continue to access our archives of over 22,000 articles (reviews, interviews, features, news, plus box office reports), including our extensive section dedicated to Australian films.
Please Note: we will no longer produce our weekly newsletter.


Movie reviews:
HIDDEN FIGURES
(US, 2017) Dir: Theodore Melfi. Stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner. "It's a great, uplifting story filled with 'firsts' at a time in the 60s when segregation was rife, women's roles were compromised and the NASA space program was keenly competing against the Russians to send the first man into spaceā€¦ Three delightful performances bring the women to life," says Louise. "A terrific film in the style of Hollywood 'applause' films, where the heroes or heroines are portrayed as not only morally superior but endlessly likeable," says Andrew.

Latest:
BOX OFFICE: Top 20 films with box office figures, number of screens, screen averages, release details, percentage rise/fall and comment.

Movie review:
SILENCE
(US, 2017) Dir: Martin Scorsese. Stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Ciaran Hinds. "It is visually gorgeous if thematically brutal... It tends to overshadow the theological and intellectual aspects of the work, which can be viewed either as a tribute to Christianity or a savage deconstruction of it. Both readings are valid, especially for those who are skeptical of the faith and/or of religion," says Andrew.
WIN one of 10 inseason double passes, courtesy Transmission Films. Releasing in Cinemas: 16 February;

Movie review:
FIFTY SHADES DARKER
(US, 2017) Dir: James Foley. Stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson. "No rules, no punishments, no secrets is the promise of this titillating and voyeuristic sequel that penetrates deeper this time through the ongoing exploration of control, sex and submission. Like a holiday page-turner, the film is a big tease.. Perfect for a girls' night out. Or a date night, if the man is willing!" says Louise.

Movie review:
TRESSPASS AGAINST US
(UK, 2016) Dir: Adam Smith. Stars Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal. "The irony of this film is that we are enthralled by the cast creating marvellously three dimensional characters, yet we are not really engaged by them nor care for most of them. Perhaps in part that is the result of heavily accented dialogue that's hard to unscramble... " says Andrew.

Tropfest 2017 winners:
IT'S MATT'S DAY ON A HOT SYDNEY NIGHT
Matt Day, best known as a movie & TV actor, is the winner of the 25th anniversary Tropfest, which was held for the first time at Parramatta Park in Sydney, with his film, The Mother Situation, which tells the comedic story of three adult siblings who assist their terminally ill mother to commit suicide. Along with the other 15 finalists, it was screened to a crowd of nearly 40,000 people in Parramatta, broadcast nationally on Channel Eleven and globally on Red Bull TV.

Feature:
DAVID & MARGARET LIVE AT THE ORPHEUM: A CINEMATIC LIFE
It will be unique: Margaret Pomeranz talking on stage about a film with her co-critic for the past 25 + years, David Stratton, in it ... not only in it but the subject of it. The special Q&A will be held prior to the screening of David Stratton: A Cinematic Life at the Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne, Sydney, on Tuesday, February 28, from 6.30pm (tix $25).

BAFTAs 2017:
BAFTA AWARDS 2017 - WINNERS
The contrast couldn't be greater between the two major award winners at the 2017 BAFTAs: the joyous musical ode to Hollywood that is La La Land (Best Film) and the miserable damnation of the British social service system [blamed on the Tories] that is I, Daniel Blake (Best British Film).

Oscars 2017:
THE OSCAR (SHOULD) GO TO ...
Bets are on - to see who are the Oscar winners on February 26 in the 89th Academy Awards, to be presented in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre. Here are the films and talents we think SHOULD win this year.

UPCOMING FILMS
[Coming in April, Their Finest, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy. "The story is simple enough, it's the characters that draw us in, make us care, generate the laughs, tease out the tears," says Andrew. "Bill Nighy is a real scene stealer as a hammy actor whose theatricality is a source of great entertainment," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in February and March

NEW TRAILERS
Denial, stars Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall;
Snatched, stars Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn;
Daphne Du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel, stars Rachel Weisz, Sam Clafin;
David Stratton: A Cinematic Life - documentary with David Stratton;
Miss Sloane, stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong;
Logan, stars Hugh Jackman, Boyd Holbrook;

NEW DVDS:
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
Stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer. "Guilt and revenge are the emotions explored in Tom Ford's hypnotic noir thriller in which fantasy, fiction, the past and the present swirl together in an exhilarating cinematic jungle, " says Louise.

ARRIVAL
Stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner. "In a breathtaking performance, Amy Adams grounds this hypnotizing sci-fi drama from Incendies director Denis Villeneuve, in which communication, purpose and time are key," says Louise.

THE ACCOUNTANT
Stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons. "Be prepared to be startled: this thumping thriller is full of dark themes, secrets and unexpected revelations," says Louise.

Competition winners:
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS DVD
To win DVDs courtesy eOne Home Entertainment, we asked: With whom would you like to be paired on a remote island and why? Kevin Harris (NSW) After 20 years of telling you all about myself you should know already. PS: Goodbye; good luck; and thanks for the movie-talk and all the goodies.

AUSTRALIAN FILMS SECTION
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, Strictly Ballroom, Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, Black Robe, Stephan Elliott's The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (pic) and dozens more. Over 600 films.

Travelfile:
HOTEL BEETHOVEN, VIENNA
Ludwig is the name of the family who bought this once busy brothel in the once disreputable district of Vienna's 16th century food and vintage stall Naschmarkt, but old Ludwig shares the musical association with old Mozart, since the hotel is in Papagenogasse, named after Mozart's famous character from the Magic Flute. Andrew L. Urban visits the Hotel Beethoven.

SZEGED: HUNGARY
Hungary's second most famous dish, the fisherman's soup (halaszle) made from the river catch, is made with lots of red paprika. Both come from Szeged, where Andrew L. Urban did a taste tour and found much more.

CHATEAU DE LA NAPOULE: RIVIERA, FRANCE
A short drive by car but centuries by history, the Chateau de La Napoule near Cannes is a little known castle and art foundation with magical gardens, right on the Mediterranean shore. Andrew L. Urban was privileged to be a guest - and stayed in the Tower Room.

Thank you to all our loyal and valued readers throughout the past 20 years.


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