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CELEBRITY 101** My week avoiding Gerard Butler

As you probably know, I like to go to the odd party or two and love living in Sydney! As a Brit who’s flown the nest, I’ve been here 5 years now and am proud to call this country home!
I love that I get to see Sydney from a privileged viewpoint and don’t ever take it for granted! Coming from a small working class town in the North West of England, I don’t ever forget where I come from, I am thankful for the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of since arriving here in Jan 2009.
I recently had a week that just makes living in Sydney all the more surreal, yet all the more wonderful!
I went to the Sol Beer MTV VIP party on Friday 7th March, it was a great event, fab Djs, free beer and Mexican food and a great location – what’s not to love!
My lovely friend and I got to talking about out ideal man… as you do! My lovely companion advised that she tends to go for blue-eyed, preppy, clean cut blondies who are ambitious and independent, as a general rule!  I on the other hand couldn’t pinpoint my exact type without referring to an actual person – Gerard Butler – successful, British (more importanly Scottish), humble, likes a party and appears to not take himself too seriously and of course easy on the eye! We laughed at the slim chance of me meeting an A-list actor and carried on with our night….
Only for me to get home and check my Facebook to see that my lovely old boss Juliet had uploaded a picture with said A-list star at The Royal Hotel in Paddington, my old local and stomping ground… No it couldn’t be… could it?! Oh yes it was:
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Juliet proceeded to tell me that she had a few drinks with him throughout the course of the evening and that he was lovely! Of course he bloody well was!
Cue story in the morning after’s Daily Tele’s Confidential section advising that the lovely man in question had been ‘spotted’ at The Royal in Paddington with a ‘mysterious blonde’, who was of course the lovely Juliet ! What are the chances hey?!
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It appears that they’re not actually as far fetched as I initially thought!
Fast forward to the Saturday night, I had decided to go camping at The Basin instead of going to Future Festival as I was trying to be good and it was a friends birthday! The day after I found out my friend Sasha was there and had a great day – I wish I’d have known as I would’ve gone with her!
After a great night camping I decided to check my phone the Sunday morning… Cue the following status from Sasha – #GREEN!
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So once is a funny story, twice is a massive coincidence right…. It gets worse…
A week of work passes by and I decided to have a chilled Friday night with my friend – I cooked dinner, we chilled in the spa, watched Sleepless in Seattle… at about 10 I decided to check my Facebook to be greeted by not one, but two of the following statuses! Yup NOT EVEN KIDDING! This is getting a bit ridiculous…
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I didn’t let this get to me, I am happy for my friends – it’s not everyday one of your friend’s gets to meet an A list star (you’d THINK!)… Plus one of my clients is based at Fox Studios and I had a meeting there later that week, so who knows, I may bump into him whilst ordering my coffee before my meeting… here’s hoping!
Roll on Saturday, I went on a boat round the harbour during the day with 20 of my friends – a lovely day. I was due to go to the VIP launch of Casablanca Bar in Double Bay, but had other plans to catch up with some girlfriends… Low and behold who was the VIP guest at the launch… oh yes that’s right – Mr Butler himself! I give up!
You’d think that after all that, I’d start to think that the powers that be are trying to tell me something – we no, not me, resilience is my middle name… how did I know that this attitude would come to bite me back in the butt..?
I was messaging a friend of mine on the Sunday morning, who was also meant to be at the Casablanca event the previous evening, I was laughing and tell her about my ‘week avoiding Gerard Butler’ she advised that she didn’t go either – we arranged to meet up, she did say she was going to Winery, but I figured I’d go for a walk along the Watson’s Bay headland and take advantage of the sunny Sydney Sunday morning… the Sunny Sydney Sunday morning didn’t last very long as a storm broke out… so I sheltered in Bondi at Trios with my lovely friend Sprite!
After a day of relaxing, I went to the cinema to watch Monuments Men, a perfect way to end a lovely weekend! The film was only ok, I decided to walk back to Pyrmont as it was a nice evening, whilst walking I noticed I had a text message from my friend Natasha who I’d been chatting to in the morning about my week, I leave you on this note, I’ll leave it to you to imagine what my reaction was…
“So I’m walking along the street after having a big lunch with my gay friend at the winery and I notice Gerald butler is standing in front of me. He turns around and asks me to help him find somewhere to eat. So I find a quiet place on crown where it is literally dead as people have been harassing him, and we have coffee and he tells me all about this movie he is making here! I then stand up after an hour and a half and say I have to go and work and then say goodbye! Sooo random!! hahaha crazy after us texting about him this morning lol still can’t believe it!”
NO WORDS! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – “Is there a camera following me around or what?!”

COMPETITION 101** 3 x Pair of Maltesers Moonlight Cinema tickets up for grabs

Sydney’s favourite outdoor cinema, Maltesers Moonlight Cinema, has only a few weeks left!

To celebrate an amazing season of cinema, Sydney Social 101 has teamed up with Maltesers Moonlight Cinema to offer lucky Sydney Social 101 readers the chance to win one of three pairs of free tickets up for grabs!

Sydney Moonlight Cinema 7

Don’t miss your chance to see a film under the stars before it draws to a close on 23rd March.

Films screening in the coming weeks include Cuban Fury (plus special salsa performance and dance lesson), Pompeii, The Grand Budapest Hotel, American Hustle and Jaws.

To enter simply like Sydney Social 101 on Facebook and tell us in less than 25 words below why you should be selected as a winner!

Moonlight Cinema is located at Belvedere Amphitheatre, Centennial Park.

Competition closed at 5pm on Thursday 13th March 2014. Winners will be announced at 6pm.

For further information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.moonlight.com.au

Social Spy** PLONK

Maddy King and Kris Smith

Maddy King and Kris Smith

Laughter flowed from the packed Cinema One at the Verona Paddington last night as the 150 strong crowd delighted in the preview of the first 2 webi-sodes of the much anticipated PLONK series.
marc fennell (laughing centre).

marc fennell (laughing centre).

Identities such as Kris Smith, Indira Naidoo, Andrew Hansen, Anna Bligh, Adam Ashley Cooper joined cast members Chris Taylor, creator and director Nathan Earl , Executive Producer Glen Condie, shirazamataz blogger Joshua Tyler and Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase in the sneak peak ahead of the online launch on Monday 10th February at http://www.youtube.com/roadtoplonk
anna scrimshaw (left) and adam ashley-cooper.

anna scrimshaw (left) and adam ashley-cooper.

And thanks to Wine Selectors the entire party enjoyed tasting wines from some of NSW most interesting vineyards.
nathan earl, sandra chipchase, chris taylor, joshua tyler and glen condie.

nathan earl, sandra chipchase, chris taylor, joshua tyler and glen condie.

With support from Destination NSW, the wine industry and NSW wine makers including Andrew Thomas, Bruce Tyrell and Tim Kirk PLONK has already got a lot of national attention. The plot is simple – we follow the trials and tribulations of a feckless television crew as they travel through NSW trying to produce a unique, engaging and credible wine program. It’s a look behind the curtain of a TV production and the elements that can derail even the most benign of intentions.
nathan earl and glen condie (right)

nathan earl and glen condie (right)

Welcome to the world of PLONK.
plonk launch-21

Movie 101** Grudge Match review

Grudge Match is based on a story of two boxing rivals who had a couple of fights that ended in a draw. Just before the big rematch Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp, played by Sylvester Stallone, suddenly retires. This is to the anger of Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen, played by Robert De Niro. The Kid goes on to be famous and rich while Razor chooses to take a normal every job.

30 years go by, then there is a program on tv discussing the old fight. Everyone wonders who would win. Then Dante Slate Jr, played by Kevin Hart, decides this is the chance to make a name for himself by promoting the fight that never happened. But they will both need to help him with promoting the fight to give it that extra excitement. They always fail at promoting the fight but their arguments with one another and anyone else who gets in their way, starts to turn heads.

Kim Basinger plays the love interest as the one time girlfriend who has come back in to their life. I have not seen Kim is a film for many years, was strange to see her looking so old. The final piece of cast goes to Alan Arkin who plays Louis ‘Lightening’ Conlon. He adds a lot of the humour as Razor’s old constantly moaning trainer.

This film gave Stallone a good opportunity get back in to the ring after his famous Rocky trillogy. (Some of my favourite films). It was also a chance to see De Niro back in the ring after the also famous but one off film, Raging Bull. There were many nods towards the old films, more so on the Rocky front. The famous training scene in the freezer and the running scene where he tries to beat his tainer on a bike. Except here Stallone is trying to outrun his trainer on a mobile scooter. These pull out some of the funniest moments, for those who get them.

De Niro seems to take on the bad guy role in this film but I am sure everyone will have a favourite. If you like the high profile cast then I think that you would enjoy this film for the warm hearted comedy it is.

Sydney Social101 gives ‘Grudge Match’ 6.5/10. Just remember to stick around after the credits. A couple of surprise people come in and produce the biggest laughs of all.

Grudge Match was reviewed by SS101’s movie reviewer Syrus Wynne.

RISING STOCK: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET BITES BACK TO BECOME #1 AT THE AUSTRALIAN BOX OFFICE

 

Biggest Opening Day for Martin Scorsese film Biggest Opening Day for R18+ film

“unrepentant, unrelenting, unforgettable… nothing short of a howling success. 4.5 stars” Leigh Paatsch, News Ltd

“an escalating adrenaline rush…the film is superbly cast and hurtles along at a cracking pace…it’s hilarious, an absolute blast. 4.5 stars” Richard Wilkins, Nine Network

The bells rang at the close of trade yesterday and there was one clear winner: Martin Scorsese’s THE WOLF OF WALL STREET soared its way to the top of the Australian box office. Grossing $1.016m across 228 locations, the critically acclaimed black comedy had the biggest opening day for an R18+ film in Australian history.

“The Wolf of Wall Street has had an extraordinary first day in cinemas across Australia, grossing over $1m, becoming the biggest ever opening day for a Martin Scorsese film. Since it began opening around the world, The Wolf of Wall Street has enjoyed amazing box office success and now Australia joins the growing number of international markets where the film has proven incredibly popular with audiences,” Roadshow Films managing director Joel Pearlman said.

Director Martin Scorsese has excavated the terrain of the American crime drama from multiple angles – but with The Wolf Of Wall Street he goes straight to the edge with a tale from the outrageous and darkly comic realm of our most contemporary variety of criminal extortion: high finance.

Nominated for five Academy Awards and four BAFTAs, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio in his Golden Globe winning role, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler and Rob Reiner.

“Debauched and depraved…unapologetic

in delivery and unashamedly graphic in

intensity. 9 out of 10.”

Ed Gibbs, Fairfax Media

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Based on a true story, The Wolf of Wall Street follows the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding investors out of millions.

The film follows Belfort’s wild ride as he transforms from a righteous young Wall Street newcomer to a thoroughly corrupted stock-pumper and IPO cowboy.

Having quickly amassed an absurd fortune, Jordan pumps it back into an endless array of aphrodisiacs: women, Quaaludes, coke, cars, his supermodel wife and a legendary life of aspiration and acquisition without limits.

But even as Belfort’s company, Stratton Oakmont, soars sky-high into extremes of hedonistic gratification, the SEC and the FBI are zeroing in on his empire of excess.

The Wolf of Wall Street was released nationally on January 23 and is rated R18+ http://www.thewolfofwallstreetmovie.com.au

Social Spy** Flickerfest Opening Night – Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach

Last Friday Flickerfest Opening night was held at the Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach. The who’s who of film and TV filled the room, including award winning film director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom, The Rover), Matilda Brown, Rachel Ward, Mirrah Foulkes, Miranda Tapsell, Henry Roth and celebrity trainer Luke Hines.

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A balmy night and the beachside amphitheatre proved the perfect setting for guests to be treated to a selection of short films. Talk of David Michôd and the much anticipated release of his latest film The Rover which stars Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce also filled the room. At the after party, guests enjoyed a selection of Crystal head Vodka cocktails, Phoenix Organic Juices, Rosnay Organic Wines and Little Creatures beer.

Flickerfest 2014 Opening Night_Damian De Montemas, Annelise Huyser

 

Flickerfest 2014 Opening Night - Luke Hines

 

Flickerfest 2014 Opening Night - Michael Cody, Mirrah Foulkes, David Michod,

GUESTS: Luke Hines (trainer Luke), Matilda Brown, Rachel Ward, David Michôd (Director – Animal Kingdom, The Rover), Mirrah Foulkes (actor), Michael Cody (Producer), Jeff Lack (stylist), Dr Nikki Goldstein, Alyssa McLelland (actor) and her partner Adrian Mazzaferro, Bronwyn Kidd (Flickerfest festival director) and Gillian Armstrong (Director – Little Women, Oscar and Lucinda).

 

 

Movie 101** The one you’ve been waiting for: The Wolf of Wall Street review

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Sydney Social 101 was invited to the Sydney premiere of The Wolf of Wall Street last night and was absolutely privileged to be one of the first people in Australia to see the complete film.

The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the most sought after movies for quite some time! Whilst monitoring Sydney Social 101’s  traffic, there has been a significant number of visitors coming to Sydney Social 101 via Google looking for information on Leo’s sixth pairing with Martin Scorsese.

I have often entered into debate with my friends about Leonardo DiCaprio and how it is quite shocking that he has never won an Oscar – I stand by this claim even more so now than ever before. Leonardo’s performance in this film in nothing short of amazing, if he doesn’t get the recognition from the Academy that he is so deservedly of, I might have something to say – and it wont be nice…

For any of you who have read the book, I’m sure you’re intrigued to see how the story of Jordan Belfort can transcend from pages of  a book to the silver screen. An anti-climax for many on so may occasions when a great read that sets your imagination on fire crumbles as it plays out on the big screen.

“Who would you have playing you in a film of your life?!” is question many are asked throughout your lifetime (Blake Lively or Jennifer Lawrence just incase you were wondering), I can only imagine that in his wildest dreams would Jordan Belfort have expected that Leo, one of the best actors of his generation, would depict his story from rags to riches and him stepping on anyone and everyone to get there.

I won’t spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t read the book, however I will provide you with a succinct synopsis: “The best film of the 2000s by a long way!”. Complete with every 522 F-bomb and a storyline that will leave you feeling a mixture of awe and hatred for Jordan Belfort, it is a film that should absolutely be in your calendar for its official release on 23.1.14.

It is sometimes hard to believe that Jordan Belfort is a real person as you follow the real-life story of his ambition and realisation of becoming a successful stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, ego, corruption and selfishness that is beyond comprehension.

Funny, whitty, cringeworthy and gripping – the film evokes many emotions in the 1-minute-shy of three hours epic. Sterling performances by Aussie’s own Margot Robbie, who plays Jordan’s Duchess-wife, Jonah Hill is wonderful at playing the rage educing Donnie Azoff and Rob Reiner portrays Jordan’s Dad Max wonderfully.

This soon-to-be classic already has a 8.7 rating on IMDB, impressive to say the least.

Sydney Social 101 gives the Wolf of Wall Street 9.5/10 as nothing is perfect – but this film comes pretty bloody close!

Lisa Hollinshead.

SOCIAL SPY** ST.GEORGE OPENAIR CINEMA LAUNCHES THE 2014 SEASON IN SPECTACULAR STYLE WITH THE SYDNEY PREMIERE OF ‘TRACKS’ ATTENDED BY MIA WASIKOWSKA AND ROBYN DAVIDSON

ST.GEORGE OPENAIR CINEMA OPENING NIGHT, SYDNEY PREMIERE OF ‘TRACKS’ AT MRS MACQUARIES POINT (Adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens)

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Sydney Social 101 was invited to attend the Opening Night of the hotly sought after St George’s Open Air Cinema.

Celebrities, Sydney identities and VIPs gathered alongside Mia Wasikowska and Robyn Davidson on Friday 10 January 2014, at the stunning setting of Mrs Macquaries Point for the launch of the 2014 season of St.George OpenAir Cinema and Sydney Premiere of TRACKS.

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Guests at the Opening Night Party enjoyed a selection of Australian wines from Cape Mentelle, and Chandon paired with an Australian themed menu from Hive Catering, whilst taking in stunning views of Sydney Harbour at sunset.

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The sky cleared for a perfect sunset over the harbour, as guests stepped onto the red carpet featuring camels, at one of the most sought after summer events in Sydney.

ST GEORGE OPENAIR CINEMA'S OPENING NIGHT 2013 PREMIERE OF "TRACKS" MRS MACQUARIES POINT, SYDNEY FRIDAY 10TH JANUARY, 2014 PHOTOGRAPHER: BELINDA ROLLAND © 2014

ST GEORGE OPENAIR CINEMA’S OPENING NIGHT 2013 PREMIERE OF “TRACKS”
MRS MACQUARIES POINT, SYDNEY
FRIDAY 10TH JANUARY, 2014
PHOTOGRAPHER: BELINDA ROLLAND © 2014

A spectacular start to the 2014 season, St.George OpenAir Cinema will continue through to 15 February 2014. A limited number of tickets will be available for sale on the door each night. For full program details and further information on door sales, please visit http://www.stgeorgeopenair.com.au

PHOTOGRAPHER CREDIT: BELINDA ROLLAND © 2014

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SODA FACTORY MOVIE MONDAYS! Free Movie Screenings Mondays at The Soda Factory

Every week The Soda Factory helps you shake off those post-weekend Monday blues, offering free screenings of a range of favourite flicks.

Kicking off the New Year Soda will screen the Labyrinth next Monday January 13th, followed by Spirited Away on January 20th….right before they head into Australia Day celebrations! (separate release coming re the Australia Day weekend at Soda)

From old school cult classics to much-loved moderns, The Soda Factory has you covered also throwing in $5 beers and wine from 7-9pm and free popcorn all night long!

Hidden behind its street-level hot dog joint, Bobby’s Boss Dogs, The Soda Factory has fast become one of Sydney’s favourite late night hot spots. With a retro feel, a fantastic line-up of entertainment each day of the week, you’ll never go wrong when you walk through that coke machine door.

Intimate movie nights out, gourmet dollar dog feasts, surprise international drop-ins, VIP afterparties, not to mention their impressive in-house acts… It’s no wonder The Soda Factory has won over the hearts of over 12,000 cool cats (on Facebook), including some familiar names, Jason Mraz, Foals, Bloc Party and Deep Sea Arcade.

FREE MOVIE MONDAY SCREENINGS:

January
13 January 2014 – Labyrinth
20 January 2014 – Spirited Away
27 January 2014 – Amelie

February
3 February 2014 – The Big Lebowski
10 February 2014 – The Goonies
17 February 2014 – Back to the Future Part II
24 February 2014 – Gremlins

March
3 March 2014 – Batman
10 March 2014 – Big Trouble in Little China
17 March 2014 – The Lost Boys
24 March 2014 – Beetlejuice
31 March 2014 – Shaun of The Dead

WHEN: Every Monday Night, films start at 8pm
WHERE: The Soda Factory
16 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills

TRADING HOURS:

Monday – Wednesday 5pm – late
Thursday 5pm – 2am
Friday 5pm – 5am
Saturday 5pm – 5am

For venue details and more events: http://www.sodafactory.com.au

Movie 101** The Book Thief

 

The Book Thief is a stirring adaptation of the best selling novel by Australian author Markus Zusak, which tells the story of a young girl, Liesel, and her adopted family in Nazi Germany during the time of World War II.

 

Despite being technically a fiction, much of the book is based on real life stories from the war, with a significant part of the research being undertaken at Sydney’s own Jewish Museum.

 

Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse), has been put up for adaption by her mother who can no longer look after her, and is taken in by adoring father Hans Hubermann, played by the delightful Geoffrey Rush, and his cold-hearted wife Rosa, brilliantly played by Emily Watson.

 

Narrated by Death, the film follows Liesel’s relationship with her new family, the other residents of their neighbourhood, including her new best friend Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch), and a young Jewish man, Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer), who they hide in their basement during the escalation of the war.

 

One of major turning points in the film is when Liesel is taught to read by Hans, and soon develops a strong passion for words and books.  At a Nazi book burning ceremony, she ‘borrows’ a book that survived the fire and takes it home. She is seen by Ilsa Hermann, the mayor’s wife, who admires her courage and allows her to visit her magnificent library and read its contents. The mayor eventually catches Liesel in the house and throws her out, forcing her to start ‘borrowing’ books from Ilsa’s library and taking them home, hence the title The Book Thief.

 

It’s these books that grow Liesel’s imagination and when prompted by Max, encourage her to write her own stories, which you later see is the starting point from which she will become a world-famous author.

 

Despite the dark and chilling setting for the film, what really stands out is the warmth and heartfelt interaction between Liesel and the cast of characters, primarily Hans, Rudy and Max when he is locked away in the basement with just Liesel’s reading to keep him alive.

 

At 130 minutes, the film is a little longer than it probably needs to be, however its length does help to develop the characters to a point that you begin to know and love them. The Book Thief is a beautifully made, moving film that offers something a little different to your usual war flick.

 

The Book Thief is released nationally on 9 January.

 

 

Helen Lear

Echoer – Featured Blogger

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