* In honor of the end of school holidays, perhaps, this week's a giant dumping ground for Oscar bait: Steven Speilberg's LINCOLN, Kathryn Bigelow's ZERO DARK THIRTY, AND David O. Russell's SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK all arrive in cinemas, not to mention Joe Wright's also Oscar-baity (albeit less successful in its fishing trip) ANNA KARENINA. AND Sacha Gervasi's HITCHCOCK bio-pic gets a limited run, ahead of its Feb. 7 release. Get ready for a box office blood bath. If that weren't enough, thanks to Waitangi Day, Robert Zemeckis's FLIGHT will arrive on the 5th of February. Personally, we recommend that if you want to watch a gripping story of a guy trying to land a plane that's failing, you should check out this episode of FIRST PERSON featuring the true story of Dennis Fitch.
* Looking for something a little smaller profile? Back from NZFF is STEP UP TO THE PLATE (Entre les Bras), a JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI-esque documentary about a gourmet restaurant in France where proprietorship is being passed from the father to the son.
Or in true counter-programming style, DEAD SNOW director Tommy Wirkola returns with the much-reviled HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS 3D.
* Looking forward to Waitangi Day (Feb 6), the locally produced (shot in Pukekohe!) MT. ZION debuts. Tearepa Kapi's first feature stars Temuera Morrison and chronicles the exploits of a young group of musicians striving to get the opening slot for Bob Marley's New Zealand gig.
* And, of course, many great and/or award-nominated flicks are continuing their run, including the afore-mentioned DJANGO UNCHAINED, tsunami drama THE IMPOSSIBLE (Lo imposible), Henry Selick's joyful claymation horror PARANORMAN, ARGO (which has a few stray sessions left at the Academy), and Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER. One note: if you haven't seen THE MASTER, reports are that the print at Rialto is rather beaten up, sadly. But never fear: the Capitol has a fantastic print, and Academy's DCP presentation is also supposed to be terrific.
* Dave Grohl's documentary debut, SOUND CITY, makes a one-night-only appearance. It profiles 40 years in the life of a legendary studio in California, so expect lots of famous musicians giving pithy sound bites and shallow-focus closeups of mixing boards. What's not to love?
* Silo Park squeezes in two movies this week, with GHOSTBUSTERS on Friday night and the recent documentary MARLEY on Tuesday night for Waitangi eve. (Although, really, you're going to Bailterspace that night at the Kings Arms, right?)