The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

You can use this homepage for posting comments, reviews, and other things that cannot be posted to the group. Of course spam is not allowed. Thanks!

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Logo art by Steve Cruz

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

The recent popularity of long wilderness hikes that was spawned from Reese Witherspoon's Wild has highlighted some disturbing information of hikers irresponsibility of their environment. Partying, trash, and bodily waste seem to intrude on what was once a spiritual and personal communion with nature. The Appalachian Trail, a 2168.1 mile footpath from Georgia to Maine, has also felt the pressures of the popularity. About 1 in 4 “Thru-hikers” walk the entire trail, but most are populated with section walkers and flip-floppers leaving more than their share of footprints.

Bill Bryson's 1998 travel book on his attempt to walk the trail with his friend Stephen Katz is probably a better read with it's discussions of the trail's history, ecology, plants and people than the movie version by director Ken Kwapis from a screenplay by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman. The movie tells of an older Bryson (Robert Redford) who hasn't written a book in awhile feeling somewhat amiss in life when he comes upon the path of the Appalachian Trail while on a stroll. He informs his wife (Emma Thompson) who gives him some scary clippings of the dangers and strongly suggests he bring someone with him. Everyone turns him down until an old friend who he once travelled with in Europe gives him a surprise call saying he's interested. Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), an ex-alcoholic womanizer, is hiding out from an open warrant on him. The two had never really gotten along well, but Bryson agrees to his participation. There is the expected situations of two out of shape old guys attempting to carry heavy backpacks up inclines while panting after only ¼ mile of trek. Along the way they encounter annoying hikers (Kristen Schaal), bears, weather, and long discussions of their younger lives and regrets.

Redford, a bit craggy, still looks pretty good without the use of Hollywood plastic surgery help. Nolte as the gruff Katz is overweight while huffing and puffing but still manages to get into some woman trouble along the way. The dialogue between the two and their adventures along the way play for some big laughs. The script also tries to insert some geological and nature facts in between some of the most amazingly beautiful vistas of the Smoky Mountains. Nick Offerman does a bit part as the REI salesman who shows how hiking equipment is not only well produced, but is also exorbitantly priced. Mary Steenburgen shows off her winning smile as the small motel owner who makes eyes at Bryson. While most of the target audience for this film seems to be an older group, younger folks will also enjoy the buddy comedy of two very good seasoned actors.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Movies Scheduled 8/30-9/5

Please know I do make mistakes. I am after all only human. Your pass will always have the correct location or time. They send out a email if it gets canceled or moved. If we have a pass we get that email and usually let y'all know as well.

We have some new people and we want to welcome you. We send out emails about contests or how to get passes. Please try to get them for yourself before asking help from the group. If you just hit reply on the email it will go back to the group and not to the person you want it to go to At the bottom of the email it will have their email address so just copy that and hit forward. We like helping you get the passes you want

If you have any questions please email me at

Sunday Aug. 30th

Monday Aug. 31st

A Walk in the Woods 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas

Tuesday Sept. 1st

The Visit 7:30 p.m. Angelika (sorry not sure if Dallas or Plano)

Wednesday Sept. 2nd

Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Transporter:Refueled 7:30 p.m. Cinemark 17
Everest 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Maze Runner:The Scorch Trials 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas

Thursday Sept. 3rd

Friday Sept. 4th

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Texas Theater

Saturday Sept. 5th

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Digging for Fire with Jake Johnson and Steve Berg Interview

Plot: The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.

What if someone found a bone and a handgun in your backyard and told you about it? Would you panic and call the cops? Would you try and solve a mystery with them? Or would you laugh at them because it sounds like they experienced a robbery at a KFC? That is the premise of Digging For Fire and it leads off into an adventure of a married couple split for the weekend and having to discover within them what it means to be married and love with somebody. That’s what I got from it, but I am always wrong so take it for what it is.



Director Joe Swanberg, director of Drinking Buddies, brings another genuine story of relationships and focuses on a marriage versus a group of friends who may or may not have the hot’s for each other like in Drinking Buddies. The one thing I have appreciated from both of these films is that Swanberg casts the right people who act like they have been having a friendship for many years and it shows on screen. The writing feels authentic and filled with improv to really make this story as realistic to life as possible.

As much as I liked the improv setting, I also felt like the story was a tad to thin and repetitive for my taste. It seemed like they had a great idea at the start and didn’t know what to fill the movie with for the bulk of it. However, I like the beginning and the ending. My favorite shot is when Jake Johnson’s character is digging further into the ground and comes across something. I won’t spoil it, but it was touching and I felt the emotion from his face (which the camera lingers on for awhile).


The whole cast was really great and I felt the friendship between these guys and gals. Jake Johnson stands out as being his normal comedic self, but really turning on this humble performance when needed for the scene. The supporting cast is really great to surround the married couple in really figuring out what their marriage is all about. Also a plus is Brie Larson and there is never anything wrong with great talent…it doesn’t hurt the fact that she is gorgeous and she is starting to become one of my favorite actresses.

Despite the great cast, I felt like there some characters underused. Maybe that is a selfish thing because I wanted to see more from certain characters because I thought they were interesting. Sam Rockwell comes to mind, but then again, is there such a thing as too much Rockwall?



The other thing Swanberg really nails is his cinematography. Both this and Drinking Buddies, have a good, indie look to them; but I have also noticed his great usage of shots in the dark. He really takes advantage of people around a fire or under moonlight.


Editing/Special Effects

With its 85-minute runtime, this will go one or two ways. Either you are engaged and it will run by fast for you or you are bored and it will seem longer than it actually is. For me, the beginning and the ending made the film go by faster, but…

…the middle of the film is what dragged for me. There are characters popping in and out without any connection with them, so it felt more jumbled than anything causing me to be in confusion rather than enjoyment. But, I also understood what they were going and maybe it would have been ok to make this a tad longer so we could get to know some of the characters.

Overall: It’s a nice little indie about marriage and what it’s like to be separated from the one person you love and figure if that is what you wanted all along. Jake Johnson is great, and serves well as co-writer, with the rest of the cast giving great, real performances. I felt like the film dragged a bit with a stretched out plot and story but that still didn’t hinder the majority of my experience. Sadly, with all the films I see this year, this probably won’t make it on my list. If you like independent films, I would still recommend for you to check it out, and especially if saw Drinking Buddies and liked it.

Score: C+
(Review by Chase Lee)

Jake Johnson and Steve Berg Interview

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Memories of the Sword

Director Park Heung-sik new feature which he wrote with Choi A-Reum is a complicated drama involving legendary swords, war, revenge, martial arts, wire-work choreography, love and dysfunctional families. While the layers of intertwining relationships seem to spin one's head, the visuals are beautiful. Not only the photography of the landscape, the set decorations, but it has a wonderfully attractive cast which includes Lee Byung-hun which will be recognizable to American audiences from his roles in Transformers and Terminator.

The story is about a young woman Hong-ee (Kim Go-eun) who has been trained to fight all her life by her mother Wol-so (Jeon Do-yeon) who is blind and runs a Arabian tea house. Hong-ee is eager to use her skills and challenges Yull (Lee Junho, singer in the Kpop idol band 2 PM), the winner of the General's combat arena. The General Yoo-baek (Lee Byung-hun) recognizes the footwork and style of Hong-ee's fighting. He follows her to ask about her master. When Wallso discovers Hong-ee has exposed her skills she decides it's time to tell her the truth.

Wol-so was once part of a peasant uprising fighting with Poong-chun (Bae Soo-bin) and Deok-gi. They were known as the Three Great Swords with superior fighting skills taught by their master (Lee Geung-Young). They believe they won the war, but when the confronted the Governor, a tragic betrayal occurs. Deok-gi lets greed and ambition sell out his friends. Seol-rang who is now known as Wallso was in love with Deok-gi and saves him. She carries her guilt for the rest of her life by training Hong-ee to take revenge on those who killed her father. Seol-rang tells her that Yoo-Baek was once Deok-gi. Now he's become a famed general and the other members of the King's court are maneuvering to assassinate him. He manages to stay one step ahead. His ultimate goal is to take over the country and throne. But he's still carrying a torch for Seol-rang.

The sword battles and wire work is nothing new. But it's still intriguing with everyone's secret past and the constantly changing identities of Hong-ee. You can probably figure out what is what, but it's fun getting there. Lee Byung-hun is great as the cold and calculating General Yoo and his heartbreaking love of Seol-rang. Kim Go-eun who won the 12th New York Asian Film Festival Rising Star Award is great as the young woman who is faced with a violent destiny. Jeon Do-yeon in her third collaboration with director Park won the 2007 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress award for Secret Sunshine. She wrings the tears for her guilt filled portrayal of a love gone wrong.

This Well Go USA film opens on Friday, August 28 in Dallas at the AMC Grapevine.
(Review by reesa)

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We Are Your Friends

Who knew there was a science behind the beats of a successful DJ. There was a time when a DJ was someone who spin records on the radio, then they created playlists on cassettes and CD's. Now they create electronic beats that mesmerize a crowd by tuning in to their heartbeats. In director Max Joseph's new film which he wrote with Meghan Oppenheimer from a story by Richard Silverman, the movie is about four friends from the San Fernando Valley who try find a way out of their aimless lives through one friends' particular talent. It's not as socially relevant as Straight Outta Compton but it's surprisingly not that bad.

Zac Efron has worked hard to get out of the Disney mold, and this movie is made for his fans as it includes lots of shower and pool scenes to show off his well formed abs. He plays Cole who is constantly working on his beats in his bedroom which he shares with Mason (Jonny Weston). They don't explain why Cole is living with Mason, but safe to say it just adds to Cole's lack of center. In fact all the young men are somewhat aimless living in a low income neighborhood with few prospects. Mason is the dreamer, has big plans and basically manages Cole's career by getting him spots at the club where they work as promoters. Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) is the quiet one of the group who wants something better than what they are doing. And there's Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez) an aspiring actor and a drug dealer who gets the guys involved with real estate con artist Paige (Jon Bernthal). One night at the club Cole meets cute Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) who works as an assistant and girlfriend of a successful DJ James (Wes Bentley). Cole would like to be the next James so it's fortunate that James takes him under his wing. But awkward because Sophie and Cole have this attraction “thing” working between them.

The movie bounces around with the reality of the boys lives, and the dream life like James with his fancy house and cool parties. James is not impressed with Cole's gorilla friends, but tutors Cole because he sees a raw talent emerging. The whole gist is for Cole to listen to the world around him, stop living in his earphones using standard beats, and making something organic and original. You know this will happen at the end, especially when a tragedy becomes the catalyst for everyone have a wake up call. Not to mention when James finds out about Sophie and Cole. Efron does well considering the limitations of his character. Hopefully he can expand to more serious work and not just as another pretty face. If you like electronic house music and follow DJ's as celebrities, then this is for you.
(Review by reesa)

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French New Wave Showcase

French New Wave Showcase

Video Association of Dallas and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW co-present the French New Wave Showcase Saturday afternoons in September

French New Wave, or in French “Nouvelle Vague,” is the style of highly individualistic French film directors of the late 1950s—early ‘60s. Films by New Wave directors were often characterized by fresh techniques using the city streets as character in the films.

The New Wave films stimulate discussion about their place in the history of cinema and film. So whether a cinephile or a casual filmgoer, learn more about this distinctly French film movement. French New Wave Showcase,, presented by the Video Association of Dallas and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW, screens every Saturday at 4 pm at Alamo, 100 S Central Expressway, Richardson

“The French New Wave was a reaction to the bigness of Hollywood. Serious film scholars, writers and lovers started the movement to counteract the regimented Studio System. Their poetic way of taking filmmaking to the streets was immediately inspiring to a new generation of American filmmakers, showing them that creating original meaningful cinema was in reach. Their movement inspired many other cinematic moments that continue to propel cinema today,” said Bart Weiss, founder of Video Association of Dallas and founder of Dallas VideoFest, which starts its 28th year Oct. 13.

French New Wave Expert from UTD

Frank Dufour, a sound and audio-visual artist, is also an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Studies Program for Arts & Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dufour holds a Ph.D. in Hypermedia from the University of Paris VIII and is a member of the Laboratory, “Musique Informatique de Marseille,” as well as of the “Center for the Translation Studies” at UT Dallas. Dr. Dufour will lead discussions associated with each film every week.

“The French New Wave at the Alamo is a great occasion to re-visit its themes that find today a renewed accuracy and pertinence: Cinema is looking at cinema, the future is looking at the past from the ever paradoxical present of films. Cinema critically engages artistic expression and technology,” said Dr. Dufour.

Alamo Drafthouse hosts

Alamo Drafthouse – Richardson was eager to host the French New Wave Showcase.

"We are—how do the French say?—excité to partner with our friends at Video Association of Dallas for this French New Wave series in September! The French New Wave movement is one of cinema's most revolutionary periods, so we're proud to be able to feature these cinematic treasures on the big screen for cinephiles and classic film lovers alike," said James Wallace, creative director and programmer, Alamo Drafthouse – DFW.

Saturday Sept 5 4 pm
Le Mépris (Contempt, 1963)
Jean-Luc Godard

Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife, Camille, disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.

Le Mépris, Directed by Jean-Luc Godard (1963). Based on the Italian novel "Il Disprezzo" (1954) by Alberto Moravia. Stars Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, and Fritz Lang.

Saturday Sept 12 4 pm
Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim, 1962)
Francois Truffaut

Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules et Jim charts the 25-year relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession.

The legendary Francois Truffaut directs, and Jeanne Moreau stars as the alluring and willful Catherine, whose enigmatic smile and passionate nature lure Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) into one of cinema’s most captivating romantic triangles. An exuberant and poignant meditation on freedom, loyalty, and the fortitude of love, Jules et Jim was a worldwide smash in 1962 and remains every bit as audacious and entrancing today.

Saturday Sept 19 4 pm
L’Année Derniere à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961)
Alain Resnais

Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal L’Année Derniere à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades.

Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering.

Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story.

Saturday Sept 26 4 pm—Double Feature
Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7, 1962 ) Agnes Varda followed by La Jetée (1962) By Chris Marker

Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7)
Selfish pop singer Cléo (Corinne Marchand) has two hours to wait until the results of her biopsy come back. After an ominous tarot card reading, she visits her friends, all of whom fail to give her the emotional support she needs. Wandering around Paris, she finally finds comfort talking with a soldier in a park. On leave from the Algerian War, his troubles put hers in perspective. As they talk and walk, Cléo comes to terms with her selfishness, finding peace before the results come.

La Jetée
Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. Marker’s La Jetée is one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made, a tale of time travel told in still images.

Tickets available at

About Dr. Frank Dufour
Dr. Frank Dufour teaches sound design in the school of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. An active conceptual artist Frank co­founded Agence 5970, an independent laboratory dedicated to conceptual art, using predominately sound to explore concepts emerging at the conjunction of perception and representation and of Time as a structural support of expression.
THE FRENCH NEW WAVE SHOWCASE is made possible in part by The City of Richardson through the Richardson Arts Commission.

About Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas
The Alamo Drafthouse is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience but also introducing unique programming and high profile, star studded special events.



Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm
Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St, Dallas, Texas 75204

CHILDREN OF GIANT is a documentary that unearths deeply wrought emotions in the small west Texas town of Marfa, before, during and after the month-long production of George Stevens’ 1956 feature film, GIANT. Based on the controversial Edna Ferber novel of the same name, the film, GIANT did not shy from strong social-issue themes experienced throughout post-WWII America. Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Hector Galan (in attendance at screening) weaves clips from the feature film with the voices of the Mexican American and Anglo townspeople, cast and crew who experienced this unique conjunction of art and life in the summer of 1955.
This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


The mission of the Video Association is to promote an understanding of video as a creative medium and cultural force in our society, and to support and advance the work of Texas artists working in video and the electronic arts. The Video Association of Dallas (VAD) is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated on April 25, 1989. It began in 1986 as a weekend event, “Video As A Creative Medium”, presented at the Dallas Museum of Art by independent curators Barton Weiss and John Held. That first event, which included two nights of video by selected local and national video artists, was a great popular success, which led to the founding of the Dallas VideoFest (DVF) in 1987. Video Association of Dallas also presents the 24-Hour Video Race, the Texas Show Tour, North Texas College Film Festival, Texas Fllmmakers Production Fund workshops, Three Star Cinema, and other programs throughout the year.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No Escape

In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

When comedic actors and actresses take a more serious role, rather than playing their usual comedic roles, it can be a hard transition and there is no escaping the comedic persona that they create. See what I did there? I am going to go crawl in the fetal position now, excuse me. But seriously, it is hard to see actors in a different genre if we are already used to them in another. No Escape felt like a long third act of a film and nothing else, it was a bit flat.


Director John Erick Dowdle brings us a suspenseful chase scene stretched into an hour and forty minute film and it was thrilling for a few scenes. John has directed films like: Quarantine, Devil and As Above, So Below and, for me personally, I actually liked Devil and As Above, So Below. He can capture horrific scenarios and make them feel gripping and there were a few times in this film that made me never want to go to Asia, so thanks?

The dialogue is very one-note with Owen Wilson’s lines either “I will get us out of here.” or “We need to hide.” I felt like there were no risks taken and this dangerous situation seemed more implausible with unlikely scenarios that borderline on laughter. The movie is a giant chase scene and, I hate to say this, but it was kind of boring and monotonous; I wanted a bit more to it.


The acting is serviceable for the film and Pierce Brosnan was pretty awesome as his “character” (I only put it in quotes because I don’t spoil films, I ain’t about that life.)

Like in my opening, it’s hard for comedic actors to breakthrough to another genre and that was kind of the case here. No one was bad, and I even bought Lake Bell and Owen Wilson as a couple, but they also didn’t do anything special and could have gotten anyone to play their roles.


It has a dirty, gritty look to it to compliment the setting and the action sequences are shot well and add a sense of urgency for the most part.

Some of the sequences have a lot of shaky-cam and it’s hard to tell what was going on within the frame, but it wasn’t too bad.

Editing/Special Effects


For an hour and forty minute movie, it was a chore to sit through. It was very repetitive with its plot and I felt like we were watching the same hide and then escape scene over and over. This also bugged the heck out of me, and that was the slow-motion shots randomly placed in a scene. Just stop that. It didn’t add anything emotional, suspenseful etc. It was almost like the director wanted to emphasize the scene and make it more intense but it comes off more comical, especially the roof scene.

Overall: An average thriller at best with decent acting, very thin plot, slow pace and unnecessary slow-motion. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t really like it either. I usually like John Erick Dowdle directed film's, however, this is one of my least favorites from him.

Score: C
(Review by Chase Lee)

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