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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9





Michael Moore has produced another insightful film, this time about a very predictable subject. The title, Fahrenheit 11/9, is a play on words reference to the novel Fahrenheit 911, that is a clear reference to the day Donald Trump was elected and he quickly becomes the visible Target of Michael Moore's diatribe at the beginning of the film.

While going after Donald Trump and the current state of America, he asks us to examine closely and also realize that the worrisome issues are not entirely about our president but it is also about "us" and "ourselves". Moore implores the viewers to care, wake up and do something about it all before it's too late. The filmmaker truly fears that our democratic republic is at risk based on all the insanity and madness he sees everyday and about to show the viewers.

Presented in his typical humor- filled format, but with less than usual sarcasm and overt sensationalized drama, Moore examines several areas of hypocrisy and corruption in different parts of our country. The NRA and school shootings are closely examined via the Parkland Florida student advocates, as they are shown as great examples for how to get angry, take action and do something.

As he is a Flint Michigan product, of course the government corruption there that directly impacted his city's water supply and the health and well-being of thousands of children, primarily minority and poor children is examined in enough detail to make any viewer with a heart outraged. Power in numbers is demonstrated through an examination of the teacher strikes in West Virginia that snowballed into a red bandana movement all across the country, encouraging educators to band together, not only for pay but basic health care so that they can live above the poverty line.

He actually takes it fairly easy on President Trump for the portrayals and scenarios could have been much more embarrassing and damning, as Moore attempts to answer the question of how did he even get in the White House and how did we get into this current position. It's interesting to be reminded, as he points out, that he was one of the few that predicted that Trump could actually win the election, as the film begins with an in depth study as to how he actually won. Blames it all on Gwen Stefani. Go see the film to find out why.

The film itself is full of interesting information and talking points but it appears as Michael Moore ages he is going to be less caustic in his presentation methods. It is more than loaded with video clips, documentation, interviews and expert testimony to backup a multitude of claims and opinions. His earlier, more sensationalized films, have hopefully not put enough people off or affected his reputation adversely, so that they do not consider skipping this film.

There are plenty of important subjects to consider and pay attention to no matter what side of the political spectrum you align with. His point is well taken in that if you only think the problem is Trump then you are misguided because the president is a representation of who our society is today which is ultimately a reflection of who we are as a society and what we stand for as individuals. And if you don't like what you see in Washington DC, State governments or in your own mirror then it's time to make a change. Sooner than later.

What Michael Moore does best is to make his viewers feel something, anything. He also aspires to make them think and think hard. No matter what, go see the film and get out there and vote, with your heart and more importantly your brain.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)



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The Predator






I hate to sound clichéd, but this science-fiction action hybrid delivers in virtually every single department, with thanks to the kinetic in-your-face direction courtesy of writer-director Shane Black.

For those who might remember, Black had a small role in director John McTiernan’s 1987’s action opus “Predator.’ His identity was the part of Hawkins, who meets his demise early in the story. He was part of Dutch’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) team fighting a camouflaged alien in the jungle of a foreign land.

This one is just like the silly “Alien vs. Predator” entries in 2004 and 2007, in that death is taken with a grain of salt. Nothing more and nothing less.

With Black’s incarnation of “The Predator,’ any notions of being taken too seriously are thrown out the window early on.

In 2010, the studios, and more specifically filmmaker/producer Robert Rodriguez, tried to make a serious movie with director Nimród Antal taking the “Predator” franchise in a different direction. It didn’t work, so the idea of putting Oscar winner Adrien Brody as an action hero kind of blew up in the studios faces. The story took place on a foreign planet, one that existed in another reality altogether, not in the modern day America we know.

At the center of the story in “The Predator,” is returning soldier Boyd Holbrook’s Quinn McKenna who sent himself some alien artifacts he found overseas.

Cummings is paired with a bus full of misfit soldiers, including Thomas Jane’s Baxley, a soldier with a coarse vocabulary who suffers from Tourette syndrome. It is amusing, but highly inappropriate, but still amusing nonetheless.

Also on the bus are Keegan-Michael Key’s Coyle, a close friend of Baxley’s, Trevente Rhodes’ Nebraska, Alfie Allen’s Lynch, Augusto Aguilera’s Nettles along the way, they pick up Olivia Munn’s Casey Bracket, who witnessed firsthand what The Predator can do. She comments that calling it The Predator is a misnomer, because it is another entity altogether.

Jacob Tremblay is solid as Rory McKenna, a disabled child who opens up when anything to do with math is involved. His character is constantly bullied at school, but when he finally sticks up for himself on a trick-or-treat rendezvous, his encounter with bullies will be no more.

In a twist of irony, Jake Busey appears as a scientist investigating some “Predator” artifacts. His father, Gary, appeared in “Predator 2” as a scientist named Peter Keyes, who meets an untimely demise.

Black is an exceptional director as well, as well as writer, having dipped his hands in the Marvel universe with “Iron Man 3” in 2013. He also did a great job with 2016’s “Nice Guys” with the powerhouse teaming of Oscar winner Russell Crowe and Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling. The pair shared great on-screen chemistry that looked and felt genuine.

“The Predator” is a must for the big screen, because the entire aura and scope of the movie is larger than life. I would recommend this when it goes to the discount houses, because it’s not necessarily worth the ten dollar plus admission price of tickets nowadays.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)


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Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Simple Favor





In “A Simple Favor,” the reason this one works is because the characters are so likable and intriguing. Anna Kendrick is Stephanie Sommers, a mommy blogger who befriends fellow mother Blake Lively’s Emily Nelson and gets wrapped up in a whodunit of sorts. The intrigue almost occurs at the beginning, wherein the favor of picking up Nelson’s son from day care turns into a giant spectacle for everyone involved.

The most recent thing I can compare “A Simple Favor” to is writer/director Shane Black’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (2005) wherein some good old mystery concocts with some murder and death. Lead Robert Downey Junior and Val Kilmer shared some great on-screen rapport and shared some great on-screen chemistry together.

“A Simple Favor” comes from director Paul Feig, who handled directing chores n the 2015 reboot of “Ghostbusters” as well as “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy. All of that is the past, since what he has done here contains one of the better plot twists of recent memory in that they are actually surprising and noteworthy.

Forget recent entries like filmmaker David Fincher’s 2014’s “Gone Girl” or anything from Brian De Palma has tackled recently because Feig, working from a non-fiction novel by Darcy Bell and writer Jessica Shazer, “A Simple Favor” does a great job of making a gem intriguing as all get out.

What is also amusing is the politics of signing up for anything at the school. Stephanie sometimes gets into trouble for too much volunteering. The other adult parents at the school look at her not so much with evil eyes rather “what now?” glances.

As the spouse, Henry Golding of “Crazy Rich Asians” is intriguing as Stuart Townsend, a teacher who gets mixed up in all the lies orchestrated by his wife Emily and Stephanie. He looks and appears baffled by the shenanigans that are thrown into his lap.

“A Simple Favor” does more left turns than a bonky twisted pretzel. The viewer almost gets settled in, but as aforementioned, Feig chooses another direction and road to take the viewers down.

The story threads and tales are in abundance here, always veering from one change and shift in story angle to another. The one thing Emily does not like is having her picture taken in any capacity. When Stephanie snaps a picture, Emily tells her to delete it. She complies, not questioning her, but does it for the shake of their friendship.

“A Simple Favor” does what it’s supposed to do in having viewers leave with a satisfied palate and smiles galore.

Grade: A-
(Review by Ricky Miller)


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Movies Scheduled for the Week of Sept. 16 - Sept. 22



It's nice having several different movies to choose from during the week. It would be nice if they were not all on the same night!

Sept 16 - Sept 22

Mon - Sep 17

Small Foot - 2:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Night School - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Tue - Sep 18

The Oath - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
The House With the Clock in the Walls - 7:00 - Angelika Plano
The House With the Clock in the Walls - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17
Ben is Back - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Sep 19

The Dawn Wall - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Life Itself - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas








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Thursday, September 13, 2018

White Boy Rick





One thing 1984 Detroit conveys in this film is that it was horrible year for fashion. Filmed in dark tones to highlight the once booming city now on the decline with deteriorating neighborhoods, filled with unsympathetic characters who can't catch a break and more unpleasantly knowing it is all based on the true story. Directed by Yann Demange and written by Andy Weiss, and Logan and Noah Miller, it tells the unfortunate story of Richard Wershe Jr. who was given a life sentence for dealing cocaine and being an FBI informant at the age of 17.

Richie Merritt in his debut role plays White Boy Rick who at the age of 14 is asked by the FBI to make some "controlled" purchases of crack so they can obtain intel to make busts in exchange for not arresting his father. Rick Sr. (Matthew McConaughey) is a bit of a hustler selling guns from his home or the back of this car. He has big dreams of opening a video store. His older sister Dawn (Bel Powley) leaves home to move in with her no good boyfriend who beats her and gets hooked on crack. Rick's best friend Boo (RJ Cyler) is brother to the twins Johnny (Johnathan Majors) and Leo (YG) who deal in cocaine. Because of his friendship with Boo, they take him under their wing. Rick is seduced by the fancy clothes and lifestyle. With the money he's earning from the feds, he is soon buying gold chains and fancier clothes. His dad finds Rick's stash of ill gotten cash under his bed in a shoe box. Despite his trepidation the Rick Sr can't seem to stop his son.

It doesn't take long before greed takes over as alternatives in their loser lives offer no ready solutions. Rick earns his nickname by being the only white boy in the gang. The story glosses over the true life fact that high school drop out Rick was already exhibiting criminal behavior. The FBI's using him to sell cocaine to make their busts, while he pockets the profits seems disingenuous. Especially when he ultimately gets busted and then they get him to rope in bigger fish by letting him think he will get a lighter sentence. The feds using a minor to do all these drug sales and buys are most likely illegal. The real life Rick didn't get parole until 2017 when the movie was being made.

McConaughey is as committed to his role as the father who despite all his failed plans in life remains a guy who sees the glass as half full. Newcomer Richie Merritt looks remarkably like the real life Rick gives a more nuanced performance as a young man whose child like innocence is jaded by the flashy lifestyle of his friends. Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie as the grandparents who live next door offer lighthearted moments in the family dynamic. There are no heroes in this and the jumbled story doesn't really allow any real reason why we had to time travel to the 80's outside of the injustice of it all.
(Review by reesa)




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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Peppermint





This revenge tale completely delivers the goods big time.

In “Peppermint,” Jennifer Garner is Riley North, is a distraught mother who returns to seek vengeance for her family whose entire family was wiped at the hands of a ruthless drug cartel five years ago. This is something that baffles me. Why do they pick five years as a significant earmark?

This tale marks actress Garner’s return to the action genre she knows all too well, following her stints on TV’s “Alias,” (2001-06) as well as turns as Elektra Natchios in the so-so “Daredevil” (2004) (Grade: C-) and the halfway decent “Elektra” (C+) in 2005. Garner was also cool in the underrated Peter Berg action-drama “The Kingdom” in 2007. Garner has a likable everywoman on screen presence.

The supporting cast all provide the right vim and vigor for their necessary roles. This includes Annie Ilonzeh as FBI agent Lisa Inman, who aids in the quest to bring Riley North in for questioning. Ilonzeh is a local girl, born in Grapevine, Tx. She has also appeared on “Arrow”as well as “Person of Interest” on newtwork TV.

Also important tom the story is John Ortiz as Detective Moises Beltran, who has a strong feeling of empathy for North’s battle with ridding evil from the world. Ortiz was great in the Oscar-winning “Silver Linings Playbook” in 2012. Ortiz shows off as a stern authoritarian figure who wants what is best for the city and its beloved residents within.

In the director’s chair for “Peppermint” is French director Pierre Morell, best known for 2008’s Liam Neeson-led “Taken.” Later, he would work with John Travolta in 2010’s “From Paris With Love” and the Sean Penn led tale with 2016’s “The Gunman.” The first in the bunch was a sheer piece of brilliance, but the latter two left a lot to be desired.

Going back to “Peppermint,” the revenge angle works because one actually sees what happens to her entire family and the entire audience is along for the ride. When she sits in front of the jury, Riley is as shocked as the audience is as the entire troupe of her families’ killers are set free. “Peppermint” does what it’s supposed to do and just provide viewers with an escape from the everyday.

I liked this movie because it is just a solid piece of riveting entertainment. Sure, it presses the buttons, but with purpose and meaning. This movie proves once again that a woman tale can deliver the goods big time. Garner shows off all the emotions, despair and animosity one takes with them in everyday life.

Also important to the storyline is “vigilante” status, since society paints vigilantes in a positive light, rather than a blight on society. That is why I liked this movie so much, because it portrays vigilantes with a purpose. I recommend this flick because it does exactly what it’’s supposed to do and just entertain and engage the audience for a brief 2-hour spell.

Grade B
(Review by Ricky Miller)





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The Predator





Reel Time with Joel and Chase

A Bloody Good Time!



Title: The Predator

Rating: Rated R for Strong Bloody Violence, Language Throughout, and Crude Sexual References

Run Time: 1hr & 47mins



Joel’s Review

*** (out of ****)

Like 1987’s Predator, this fourth film in the unlikely franchise – following the first sequel in 1990 and 2010’s Predators (both unseen by me), not to mention the two crossovers with the Alien series – works because it delivers what it promised us. Those promises are, to be fair, low-hanging fruit for anyone who might yearn for the relative simplicity of the first film, which was roughly as simple as high-concept action pictures from that era got: There was a quick introduction to the characters, a plot set-up, and a lot of gory, well-choreographed violence as the payoff.

For a movie about an alien hunting humans for sport, it worked pretty well within those simple guidelines, and The Predator works for the same reasons, though the screenplay does overextend in a couple of areas. First, there is a lot of exposition in this plot set-up, explaining the properties of the eponymous extraterrestrial, the reasons why a second, much bigger one might have shown up, and the science behind how their technology works. This is both expected and typical of the genre, but it is fun, at least, to see screenwriters Shane Black (who also directed) and Fred Dekker undercut those explanations with sarcasm.

The plot follows the Predator we have come to know, who has gone rogue and stolen a warship from its fellows in the opening moments, as it crash-lands on Earth, right in the middle of a sting operation in which McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), our protagonist, is the sniper. After the creature kills off all of McKenna’s unit, the soldier comes across its helmet and a high-tech arm band, both of which he sends off to the house where his ex-wife (played by Yvonne Strahovski) lives with their son Rory (Jacob Tremblay). Meanwhile, McKenna has been shunted off with a group of misanthropes to be “evaluated” (read: to have his memory wiped clean).

The second area in which the film overextends its welcome is in the sheer number of supporting characters who are present. There are the ones that matter, namely Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn), a scientist called in because of the potential for contact, and Traeger (a slimy, cheerfully profane Sterling K. Brown), the head of the research lab who becomes something of a human antagonist. The heroes know too much, Traeger and his men need to eliminate them for that reason, and meanwhile, neither the original Predator nor the new and improved one, which arrives to eliminate the first and track the missing cargo, really cares about the petty, human squabbles.

Then again, there are the other prisoners, each of which has an arbitrary characteristic and, if lucky, a single bit of character history: One chain-smokes and was dismissed from the military for trying to shoot his commanding officer. Another has Tourette’s and disrupts the proceedings with his tics (a “joke” that seems at odds with the film’s attitude toward Rory’s high-functioning autism, a condition that eventually becomes a plot point). Another is Irish. The remaining two are sexist creeps. Respectively, they are played by Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Keegan Michael-Key, and Augusto Aguilera, and collectively, they are mincemeat.

This means that they are, indeed, problems but also that, at the end of the day, they mean less (and, thus, have less impact on the proceedings) than the presence of the dueling Predators, who are here to undercut the interpersonal drama that arises from these characters and to be participants in sequences of expertly choreographed sequences of brutal, gory, explosive violence, which imposes itself upon the heads, limbs, and viscera of the human chattel. When the exposition comes, the quips come as quickly as the violence, with one character introducing an idea and another character, having caught on quickly, boiling the idea down to its essence with a wink and a nudge. The Predator is a bit of a mess of contradictions, but for its attitude, its performances, and the grisly carnage it promises with the title, the movie, in its way, works.
(Review by Joel Copling)



Chase’s Review

(Review by Chase Lee)






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