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!

To join the Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Dec 10 - Dec 16


Only 2 more weeks til Christmas!!! Seems like we should be having lots of those award type movies crowding our schedule, but it's so uneventful. Probably a good time to watch the new season of The Crown, or catch up with the binges you have collected on your DVR.

The North Texas Film Critics Association which Dallas Movie Screenings is proud to belong, will be selecting our "Best of the Year". It's unfortunate that we were not able to view all the front runners or the foreign films or even some of the highly touted animated entries. But we do what we can with what we got.

As usual, Yahoo is giving us a headache, so if we missed listing a screening, please let us know.

Dec 10 - Dec 16

Dec 10 - Sun

The Greatest Showman - 10:00 am - AMC Northpark

Dec 12 - Tues

Paul Apostle of Christ - 7:00 pm - Cinemark West

Dec 13 - Wed

Insidious The Last Key - 4:00 pm - Cinemark West
9-1-1 - 7:00 pm - Studio Movie Grill Northwest Hwy.
Father Figure - 7:00 pm - AMC Mesquite





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Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Disaster Artist




Reel Time with Joel and Chase
It is Bull****, I Do Not Hate This Movie, It is Not a Disaster. It Tis’ Nawwwwwt. Oh, Hi Review.

Title: The Disaster Artist
Rating: R for Language Throughout and Some Sexuality/Nudity
Run Time: Ihr & 43min

Joel’s Review
***½ (out of ****)


“The best thing about all this is that no one’s going to see it.” Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, so the character who says this about the movie whose crew he is part of would probably like to eat his words if asked about them now. He’s the script supervisor on The Room, 2003’s infamously awful romantic melodrama (later marketed as a “quirky black comedy,” though it was anything but) that, following its two-week, awards-qualifying run in Los Angeles, during which it made a small percentage of its budget back, enjoyed cult status because it was so widely reviled – but, in its own way, loved because of that awfulness.

The Disaster Artist, an account of the earlier film’s financing and production, is also about as comprehensive a biopic of its human subject as it could possibly be. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (adapting a nonfiction account by Greg Sestero, the film’s co-star and line producer, and Tom Bissell) are dealt a curious hand with Tommy Wiseau. He was notably secretive – pooling funds with no stated source to afford the equipment that would be used, speaking in an accent that was naturally cartoonish and vaguely Eastern European while claiming to be from New Orleans, and telling his new best friend Greg (Dave Franco) never to speak about him to anyone while refusing to give a straight answer about anything on display in his apartment (one of two).

James Franco plays Tommy in a remarkable performance, and here there are two major achievements: The impersonation is uncanny, from his drooping eyelid to his slurred speech to the laugh that is always three carefully pronounced syllables, and the externalization as an actor of everything within himself offscreen gets to the evasive heart of the man. Perhaps something within the older Franco brother, who also directed the film, caused him to realize that only he could play this role. He certainly seems to understand the drive had by Wiseau – to be the next Tennessee Williams – that sends him and Greg to L.A. from San Francisco to pursue their dreams of becoming movie stars.

Auditions either go poorly (in Tommy’s case) or dry up (in Greg’s case after he signs on with an agent, played by Sharon Stone, who essentially abandons him). Greg meets Amber (Alison Brie), a bartender with a heart of gold who unintentionally interrupts the curious-to-the-say-the-least friendship between Greg and Tommy, and Greg sparks an idea in the head of his new friend: They should make their own movie. And make one they do, Tommy cobbling together a script that seems to be vaguely autobiographical (but who knows if it is), hiring a cast and crew (including Seth Rogen as the script supervisor, Sandy Schklair, and Paul Scheer as the D.P., Raphael Smadja) and pushing forward with their director, whose dictatorial methods are at constant loggerheads with his underlings.

The fun of the film is certainly in seeing the recreation of many of The Room’s most iconographic moments and more than one of its unintentionally funny narrative gaps by actors with more know-how and, perhaps, dignity than their counterparts: Tommy, naked as whatever day he was born, aims incorrectly during one of the awkwardly staged sex scenes with Juliette Danielle (Ari Graynor), the actress playing “Lisa” to Tommy’s “Johnny.” The inexplicable tone of “Johnny’s” reaction to a story of domestic abuse told by “Mark,” Greg’s character in the movie, is nothing on the hours-long process of capturing a single take involving “Johnny’s” insistence that he himself is not involved in domestic abuse. Carolyn Minott (Jacki Weaver), the actress playing the mother of Juliette’s character, questions an apparently abandoned subplot involving breast cancer, and the answer she receives is unexpected.

There is more where that comes from, and Franco’s approach, while very funny, is delicate enough that we appreciate Wiseau’s drive to create, while put reasonably off by his method to get to that point. The ultimate result of The Room might have been quite awful (Indeed, the story’s crux, that the abusive creep is the tragic hero and his poor fiancée escaping the relationship is the villain, is kind of gross, and that’s apart from the lapses in narrative and imprecise performances), but the greatest coup of The Disaster Artist is that it argues in favor of such ambition. It might have been misplaced, but a movie was made. How many people can say they’ve done such a thing?
(Review by Joel Copling)


Chase’s Review

(Review by Chase Lee)



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The Shape of Water





This year's slate of movies heading for the awards season has been fairly eclectic with a good amount in contemporary based stories. Good, and satisfying, but none that stirs such an emotional and visually entrancing reaction as the fantastical and magical The Shape of Water. Directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor is sort of a Creature From the Black Lagoon type film, with romance set in the early 1960's. Every last detail of the set decoration, music soundtrack and costuming is drenched in color and patina the takes you into their world and the journey of the characters that you will never forget.

The story begins with mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who lives above a movie theater as she begins her day, as she does every day with little variation. She is friends with her next door neighbor Giles, an out of work commercial artist for whom she makes breakfast and keeps company. Elisa works at a government research warehouse in Baltimore as a cleaner with her co-worker best friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer). Being mute seems to encourage those around her to speak more often to fill in the quiet. The research team is gearing up to bring in an "asset". A creature found in a South American river, where the locals consider it a god. The team is lead by the cruel and abusive security leader Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), a highly religious man who doesn't trust the fish-like creature as he believes humans have a moral and righteous superiority over all things.

Curious Elisa sees the creature (Doug Jones) while cleaning the lab. She sneaks back in and feeds him eggs and plays music for him. Her lack of fright at the creature, helps him to trust her. When she sees Strickland torturing him and learns of the plan to take him apart for study spurs her to enact a plan to get him out. Meanwhile research doctor, Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) who is also a Russian spy named Dmitri, is given the task of killing the asset just to stymie the governments plans. Instead, the doctor who finds out Elisa's plan, decides to help her.

Michael Shannon is such an evil character, but he is tempered by his family man home life and the giving in to buying a new car. When he is commanded by General Hoyt (Nick Searcy) to clear up this mess of the missing asset or his professional life is over, kicks Strickland in the path of no return. Giles, is a lonely and frustrated closeted artist who indulges in electric colored key lime pies just because the counter help is nice to him. And Zelda despite her trash talking about her husband, has a big heart and helps her friends despite the dangers. Eliza, who was found in the water as a baby with scars on her neck finds a soul mate in the creature who she believes "sees" her. And the creature despite his other worldly-ness, makes one feel compassion to his plight. Each actor is so perfect in their portrayals, it makes the movie immerse the viewer in the amazing imagination of the filmmakers.

Parents be forewarned, it's not a movie for small children. or even tweens. Older teens would be more suitable.
(Review by reesa)



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Monday, December 4, 2017

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure






Director: Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers Studio: Disney

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” snows and blows!

Hope you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday with your families and friends because this year, Christmas season is here. A long, less-applauded pleasure for holiday nearly-twenty-minute short film as a pre-Coco show to spread the joyous holiday season of the year. Although, there are several criticisms beyond the release in theaters, particular the readings and news over the complaints and issues happening in the Mexico release in theaters. Originally, it was planned as a holiday special on television before it was chosen to showcase it in front a feature film.

In this short film, Olaf the snowman (voiced by Josh Gad) was on the verge of celebrating the holiday for the first time, but hope is lost when the sisters, Anna and Elsa, realized they have no family traditions and it’s up to Olaf to search for traditions all over town to bring the holiday cheery-spirits to the sisters.

Let me say this, it wasn’t a bad film regardless of the negative responses but it was somewhat a bad idea for Disney to place this in front Disney-Pixar’s Coco. I would think it was okay and pretty decent when it comes to short films. The time length is what increases the issue for angry audiences who really looking forward to see the heart-stringing Coco film. It’s not really a short film but maybe as a “short test.” I was surprised when I saw Coco, it didn’t showed the short film to the early audiences and critics (mainly). It may be due to time length. That was a roadkill and maybe a trip to awful-land or promise-land as Disney would have a decision to screen this, thought Disney did said it was for a limited-time, not all the time. I would called it a “staircase” to the upcoming Frozen sequel as many people found it easier to be “marketed” for the upcoming sequel. It was a “reverse payment” for Pixar’s Tokyo Mater when it was screened in front of Disney’s Bolt back in 2008. Looks like the short have lost its magic and the icy moments are about to worn off and melt.

However, the only things I like about the short was the holiday song, the returning cast, and the holiday tradition that connects and ties together for this and Pixar’s Coco, which is based on the Day-Of-The-Dead holiday. I really loved how these gifts that kept on giving for entertainment. It was the first time a non-Pixar short was shown in front of a Pixar film. If Pixar doesn’t have a short film to be released beforehand, then their tradition will be nontraditional. This short is like the “absence of new Pixar short” since there is no Pixar short being produced for Coco. To add a few bonus points for this short, love the fruitcake joke as it seems to be reality check since it was unpopular in the real world.

Overall, this short film was ok, but I think the world is better off of seeing Coco rather than this before the film or seeing this on television or as a special feature on Blu-ray/DVD copy of Coco (if there is). This isn’t my first time writing a negative review of the animated shorts but the time issue and character adjustments have just prevented this short from receiving a positive reaction. Not to be negative, but time was always the issue. The rise of franchises (Frozen, Thor, Star Wars, etc.) seems to have gotten out-of-hands. The time length is 21 minutes while Coco is 109 minutes.

GRADE: C

(Review by Henry Pham)


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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Dec 3 - Dec 9


There wasn't a calendar last week, because there wasn't anything on our calendar. If y'all notice something missing, please share with the group. Hope you had a chance to catch up to what you missed or binged out on your streaming services.

Of course our Yahoo Group page has been a bit wonky lately. And the calendar page lets you look but not touch. So if there's anything missing here let us know. When the group goes down, please check out our FB page for screening links posted there.

With the holiday movies filling the schedule, there will be lots of opportunities and win GA and VIP passes. Please understand the first come first serve rule, keep your wristbands on, and don't fight with the reps. They have a big job keeping track of us all, plus the press, and contest winners. It's a free screening, y'all. If you don't want the drama, go hit the early bird discounted screenings. Keep in mind, saving a place for one or two people is not a big thing, but when you got 10 people who wander in late, it's not fair to those who camped out before them.
You know who you are!!!

December 3 - December 9

Mon - Dec 4

The Shape of Water - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Tue- Dec 4

The Darkest Hour - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Dec 5

Wonder Wheel - 7:30 pm - Magnolia

Sat - Dec 9

Ferdinand - 10:00 am - AMC Northpark
Ferdinand - 11:00 am - AMC Grapevine Mills








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The Swindlers




A Ponzi scheme that bilked over a hundred billion won from Korean citizens in 2008 that caused multiple suicides led to a manhunt for the culprit. Unfortunately Jang Doo-chil escapes to China, with the help of a retired counterfeiter who was found later dead from an apparent self hanging. The counterfeiter's son vows vengeance for his death. This South Korean heist film directed and written by Jang Chang-won in his first solo project dominated the ticket sales during it's opening week, beating out Justice League.

In the present time, three grifters (Bae Sung-Woo, Nana, An Se-Ha) who are under the control of Prosecutor Park (Yoo Ji-tae) are set on a task to search for Jang who is rumored to be still alive after everyone believed he had died in China. They find a former associate Choi (Lee Kang-Suk) who is also a con artist. He's currently trying to get an old gentlemen to invest in a real estate scheme. Instead the old guy ends up scamming him using the same playbook as Choi. The team, grabs the old guy who turns up to be Hwang Ji-Sung (Hyun-Bin of Secret Garden fame), who is the son of the counterfeiter. Before Park can throw him in jail, Hwang tangles some first hand knowledge of Jang and that he is hiding out in Thailand. Park decides to work with Hwang who insists that he is in charge of the plan. Park is under enormous pressure from his superiors who had profited from Jang's schemes and would like to get him out of the way permanently. Hwang tries to lure Jang in by offering money laundering though a casino operation. Jang's money man Kwang Seung-gun (Park Sung-Woong) comes to assess the situation. The team has to show a large pile of cash to complete the scam.

This is a very entertaining heist film, with every character having their own motive for their participation in the plot. The film moves quickly
with twists and turns and it's almost a surprise as the conclusion comes to it's satisfying ending. Just don't think too closely at the plot holes that will nudge you afterwards. It's fun, full of double and triple crossing. The bad guys get their justice and the good guys you want to come back and do a sequel.
(Review by reesa)

Movie opend in Dallas, December 1,2017 at AMC Grapevine Mills




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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Coco






Director: Lee Unkrich Studio: Disney/Pixar

Pixar’s “Coco” Offers Colorful and Musical Memories

Not to be confused for another “The Book of Life” adventure, the team of Pixar Animation Studios has offered an eye-dropping, second main course this year after producing Cars 3. The “ingredients” Disney and Pixar have put together are child actor, slapstick sidekick, refreshing memories, family gatherings, colorful images, and emotions. As far as music films echo compared to “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King,” this film reached the perfect musical height and more complex for the background and plot twist than these four.

The story tells about the ambitious twelve-year-old kid, Miguel, who wanted to become a musician just like his idol, but the main conflict is his family were turned against music. Fulfilling his dream, he must rebel on the Day of the Dead celebration but stumbles into the other side of the world, the Land of the Dead. To return to the living world, he must have some music talents while learn the importance of family and its generations.

The peak of the idea for the film and the worlds of the Land of the Dead was extremely ambitious with some breathtaking experiences and discovery that people drew the line or border of any place, similar like the shadows of Trump’s effort to build a wall on the border. The film highly spread existential questions on how it follows between loving the families and loving the life of music of the familiar masterpieces from time to time. It would be rough to figure out what was more important than ever after witnessing the action and the emotion “Coco” has been carried on as a legacy similar to 2007’s “Ratatouille.” There’s a lot more than anything than everyone’s heart desires. If you can recall from Disney’s “Zootopia,” the motto is “where anyone can be anything.” Going back to “Ratatouille,” where anyone can cook.

As for acting, child actor (and newcomer) Anthony Gonzalez (as Miguel) provided the most intentional, steadiest role ever for a child character, similar like Russell from Pixar’s “Up,” after appearing two episodes from 2014’s “The Bridge” and 2017’s “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” This was his first time leading the role as a conductor for the rest of the cast. Benjamin Bratt (as Ernesto, Miguel’s idol) provided the most wonderful, beating voice than the mediocre “Despicable Me 2” as El Macho. Even the Mexican actor, Gael García Bernal is willing to save his character, the mess, and the entire family.

The film was perfectly magical as it contains some sense of cartoon slapstick and humor for the film’s acts. But the two most important ingredients are music and family gatherings, which are the centerpieces to the family tree and in everyone’s hearts to remember the love ones, life or loss. It would brought a revitalizing moment to see and to learn from living families and deceased ones. The plot was a heartwarming, delightful taste of the original sensation like the “WALL-E,” ‘Ratatouille,” and “Inside Out.” Though the film’s structures are exactly similar based on “The Book of Life” but Pixar put more effort and eye-dropping ambition throughout the years. The direction, the writing from Pixar worker, Adrian Molina, the music, the entire cast, skeleton characters, and the background have outdone it smoothly and painstakingly. It takes a plethora of people, commitment, years, dedication, idea-makings, and hard work to put everything in one big presentation. It was over improved than “Cars 3” when this film have went to the finish line first. The originalities were better off than “Finding Nemo” and “Cars” sequels. Fun fact is “Coco” director, Lee Unkrich, have pitched this idea after directing “Toy Story 3” and before “The Book of Life” got made in 2014.

Before I get a chance to see this, I took a trip to the Mexica-Art museum, located in Austin, TX, to discover the Day of the Dead arts and creations representing the Mexican holiday tradition, defining research, and assignment. It was true commitment to learn about how Day of the Dead was celebrated every year around the world.

Overall, this film looks mighty great as a Day of the Dead and Thanksgiving treat to all families and friends. You can also watch ‘The Book of Life” before you watch this film, but under the hood, they’re both as aspirational as ever. I don’t understand why this film was released on Thanksgiving despite the fact this is a Day-of-the-Dead film but mainly due to box-office competition with Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” took its date. I can guarantee this film is a “must” and on “before you die” to-do list. Great movie for not only for Mexicans but also for Asians and Americans as well. Due to positive reception, I may predict that “Coco” may have a slight chance of being nominated for an Oscar.

As a bonus, there was a Walt Disney Animation Studios short film, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, featuring the returning characters from “Frozen.” Josh Gad will be brought back to life as Olaf along with Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff. This is the first time Pixar would screened this non-Pixar short film, thought it definitely served as a holiday treat for fans. Running time for this short is 21 minutes while “Coco” is 109 minutes.

GRADE: A+
(Review by Henry Pham)



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