Sunday, February 26, 2017
Oscar night!!!! Hope all your favorites won!
Can't believe that it's already March. The Dallas International Film Festival is almost upon us. Mark your calendar, March 30 - April 9. Now is a good time to sign up to volunteer and show the world what a appreciative movie community we have in Dallas. http://www.dallasfilm.org/explore/get-involved/festival-volunteer/
It's a lot of fun, you meet even more wonderful people and get to meet some film makers, get a cool tshirt, and best of all get to see some amazing movies that you may not be able see anywhere else.
February 26 - March 4
Mon - February 27
Boss Baby - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Table 19 - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Tue - February 28
The Shack - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17
Wed - March 1
Kong: Skull Island - 7:00 pm - Cinemark 17, AMC Mesquite, AMC Stonebriar, AMC Eastchase
Thu - March 2
The Shack - 7:30 pm -tba
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Greetings movie friends. Hope you had a chance to check out Dallas Movie Screenings contributing writer Chase Lee's early review of Logan. http://www.dallasmoviescreenings.com/2017/02/logan.html
Something to look forward to next week. Don't know if they are doing a promo or not, but it's worth buying a ticket.
You know when you "grab" a pass from a link provided by a supporting website, if a pass is available, it will say Get My Tickets. If it doesn't say that, it will bring you to a screen that says "Event Full" and and ask if you want to be on a wait list. So if you see this, please don't ask us for the redemption code. We don't have those codes. Check the website that was offering the screening. Passes are limited, so the earlier you redeem the passes the better. Just don't redeem passes if you are not going to attend.
February 19 - February 25
Mon - Feb 20
United Kingdom - 7:30 pm - Angelika Plano
Get Out - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
Tue - Feb 21
Get Out - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Wed = Feb 22
Get Out - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Arlington
Fri - Feb 24
Y Tu Mama Tambien = 8:30 pm - Texas Theater
Sat - Feb 125
Before I Fall - 11:00 am - AMC Northpark
Saturday, February 18, 2017
A Cure for Wellness, from Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean), is a very stylish, beautifully presented film full of great attention to detail and oozing with atmosphere. It rolls out creepily and broodingly over the course of 2 1/2 hours and begins to lose the tightly wound psychological tension about halfway through, then ending with a bit of a splat. Screenwriter Jason Haythe (Revolutionary Road) screen wrote a Gothic knock-off that keeps plenty of secrets as the plot eerily unfolds. The mystery/thriller begins in the big city of New York, in corporate America, the real horror show, where overworked employees drop dead of heart attacks and the CEO has jumped ship for a mental and health break, during a tumultuous time for his company, and disappeared to the very expensive, exclusive, European Volmer Institute, a health spa/hotel/resort ( itself it's own character) with a sordid history, high up in the Alps of Switzerland, declaring "no contact" and "no plans" to return. The institute is supposedly built on a spring possessing healing powers ( think Hot Springs Ark spa vibe). Lockhart (Dane DeHann- Chronicle), appearing too young to be a serious financial exec, such an important corporate position, is sent to retrieve the boss and bring him back to the impending crisis.
The audience slowly is introduced to some of the more interesting residents, who each provide small pieces to the puzzle. There are many secrets to be uncovered involving the residents, their health, the cures and the main Doctor Heinrich Volmer (Jason Issacs- better known as Lucius Malfoy of Harry Potter fame). An ethereal young girl Hannah (Mia Goth- or Mrs. Shia LeBouf in real life) hangs around the grounds in some rather odd locations and Lockhart gets to know her better. She is the only young patients and is a full time resident because she is "a special case". Her performance is by far the most intriguing. She figures in prominently at the end. A Crossword puzzle enthusiast patient ( Celia Imrie) informs the young Lockhart of the creepy history of the property and it's former residents. He makes several attempts to locate the boss, Pembroke, but he is elusive in his schedule, from steamy saunas to eerie spa rooms to mad scientist lab treatment rooms.
When finally found, he refuses to leave. Lockhart is injured leaving the facility and finds himself a patient in a room on the grounds. He witnesses creepy things at night, and is possibly being tricked by his senses. The rest of the film is basically him ratting out all the dirty little secrets within the various nooks and crannies, twists and turns of the facility rooms, halls and walls. The place is antiseptic and pristine, the nurses are icily perfect, but rarely helpful, and Lockhart begins to partake of the "treatments". Two thirds of the way through it just gets more and more confusing and the climax just kind of leaves one with a bad taste and a slimy sensation. Kind of like a declarative Trump press conference with Ivanka standing a bit too close to daddy. Visually, Cinematographer Bohan Bazelli shots are of the stuff of great, sweeping travel shows. It seems there is a hint of Scope green and antiseptic yellow hues to transport us into the scene. There are shades of Shutter Island, Altered States, Grand Budapest Hotel, Crimson Peak and Rear Window. Hints of Nazi Germany, human experimentation and supremacy/purity ideas are inter woven. The pacing is off, there are some plot holes, and some down time where one is left just wondering what the heck is going on, Trigger warnings for eels, near drownings, coming of age ( Carrie) and evil dentist scenes ( a la Little Shop of Horrors). And don't forget. Don't drink the spa water.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Dallas Film Society announces THE ART OF FILM celebrating the 50th Anniversary of BONNIE AND CLYDE and the career of Academy Award-winner Robert Benton
The Dallas Film Society announces THE ART OF FILM celebrating the 50th Anniversary of BONNIE AND CLYDE and the career of Academy Award-winner Robert Benton
Special Event will take place on Wednesday, March 29 leading into the 2017 Dallas International Film Festival andintroducing festival focus on the films of 1967
Dallas, TX (February 16, 2017) – The Dallas Film Society today announced a special The Art of Film event on Wednesday, March 29 at sixtyfivehundred (6500 Cedar Springs) presenting Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Benton with the Dallas Star Award, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the groundbreaking classic BONNIE AND CLYDE (which Benton co-wrote), as a kickoff to the Dallas International Film Festival’s planned salute to the films of 1967 over the course of this year’s edition of DIFF.
Event chairs for the special event are Dallas-based attorneys Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, who is also a member of the Dallas Film Society board of directors. Honorary chairs are former Ambassador to Austria, Kathryn Hall, and her husband, Dallas area businessman and real estate developer, Craig Hall.
James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society, said, “Robert Benton is both an award-winning director and writer as well as a Texas treasure, who has been responsible for some of the most beloved film classics of the past five decades both through his director’s vision and his words placed on the page. The fact that he co-wrote BONNIE AND CLYDE, which was part of the hallowed film class of 1967, makes this a wonderful time to honor him with our Dallas Star Award.”
Raised in Waxahachie, Texas, Benton’s first screenplay, BONNIE AND CLYDE, co-written with David Newman, went into production with Arthur Penn directing. That same year the Benton-Newman musical "It’s a Bird. It's a Plane. It's Superman!" opened on Broadway.
The success of BONNIE AND CLYDE resulted in a contract with Warner Brothers for whom Benton and Newman first scripted THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN, which Joseph Mankiewicz directed. WHAT’S UP DOC?, directed by Peter Bogdanovich followed, before Benton made his directorial debut with BAD COMPANY, starring Jeff Bridges, from a script he co-wrote with Newman. Afterward, he wrote and directed THE LATE SHOW, starring Art Carney and Lily Tomlin.
In 1978, Benton re-teamed with Newman and Newman's wife Leslie to create the screenplay for Richard Donner’s box-office hit SUPERMAN starring Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando and Margot Kidder. His next project, KRAMER VS. KRAMER, starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and earned Benton two Oscars - for Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Additional notable films include STILL OF THE NIGHT, NADINE, PLACES IN THE HEART (which earned Benton his third Oscar, for Best Original Screenplay), and BILLY BATHGATE. NOBODY’S FOOL, which he adapted from the novel by Richard Russo and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, teamed the director with Paul Newman. They teamed up again for TWILIGHT, which Benton directed and co-wrote with Richard Russo. Additional titles include THE HUMAN STAIN with Anthony Hopkins, and FEAST OF LOVE, as well as co-writing the script for ICE HARVEST with Richard Russo.
The Dallas International Film Festival’s 11th edition will include a dedicated salute to the films of 1967, with titles to be announced with the full schedule of official selections the first week in March. Widely considered as one of the most ground-breaking years in film, with "revolutionary" movies making their mark, cinema was forever changed by the visionary work or eye toward social upheaval in films like BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE GRADUATE, GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.
The Art of Film Host Committee members for the celebration of Benton’s career and preview of the salute to the films of 1967, include Courtney & Benton Bagot, Matt Bivona, Janis Burklund, Melina McKinnon & Michael Cain, Kelly & Jason Cleveland, Judy & Sam Coats, Hayley & Gary Cogill, Eric & Trey Cox, Pam & Mark Denesuk, Sheri Deterling & Geoff Hawkes, Joy & Billie Ellis, Jenn & James Faust, Rebecca Flores, Clare Freeman, Suzanne & Michael Grishman, Mary & Bradley Hatcher, Eric Hirschhorn, Alison & Harry Hunsicker, Lynn Lewis, Mary Blake & Chuck Meadows, Jan Miller & Jeff Rich, Sarah & Lee Papert, Anne & Steve Stodghill, Deborah & Don Stokes, Erin & Larry Waks, and Ken & Maureen Womack.
Tables, tickets, and sponsorships for The Art of Film are available online at www.dallasfilm.org or by calling the Film Society office at 214-720-0555.
For the Dallas International Film Festival, online ticket sales will be available for Dallas Film Society members beginning Monday, March 13 at DallasFilm.org, and will open to the public on Thursday, March 16. The physical Prekindle Box Office will open on Thursday, March 20.
ABOUT THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY
The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)(3) non- profit organization, the Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop a better understanding of the role of film in today’s world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual Dallas International Film Festival is a presentation of the Dallas Film Society and has been named by Movie Maker Magazine as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.” In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, film screening series and programs in partnership with arts organizations around the city. The offices of the Dallas Film Society are located at 110 Leslie Street, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75207. For more information about the Dallas Film Society and its ongoing events, visit www.dallasfilm.org or call (214) 720-0555.
2017 DIFF SPONSORS: ABCO; AdChat DFW; Advocate Magazine; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP; The Angelika Film Center; Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation; Bloomberg Philanthropies; City of Dallas – Office of Culture Affairs; Commerce House; D Magazine; Dallas Film Commission; Dallas Morning News; Dallas Producer’s Association; Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District (DTPID); DART; Downtown Dallas, Inc.; Earth Day Texas; Earth X Film Festival; El Creative; Festworks; Flagship Marketing; The Highland Dallas; Hong Kong Economic Trade Office; IMDB; In-N-Out Burger; Lucky Post; Magnolia Hotel; Marcs Clips; Mercury One Foundation; MindHandle; Murray Media; Panavision; PaperCity; People’s Last Stand; PreKindle; Radar Creative Studio; SAGIndie; Selig Polyscope Company; Sewell Automotive Companies; Southern Methodist University – Division of Film & Media Arts; Solarity Studios; State Fair Records; Stella Artois; Studio Movie Grill; Texas Commission for the Arts; Texas Association of Film Commissions; Texas Film Commission; Univision; Visit Dallas; WFAA
Title: The Great Wall
Runtime: 1hr & 43 min
A Stunning Bore…and a Terrible Accent
The trailers to this movie looked like this was going to be a movie you pick up in the dollar bin at a Walmart on a Tuesday afternoon because you hate your life while also getting a whole frozen pizza and a pint of ice cream to drown your sorrows while it plays in the background. Well…I am eighty percent correct but there is also something in its favor. Let’s get reel and break this down.
European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
The actual mythology of the story is fascinating and could have developed into rich storytelling and have an epic scope. The visual style from the director is wonderful and blends green screen, CGI, and practical effects into a colorful wonder that works in the 3D format and provides depth and excitement in the battle scenes.
The story is jumbled, rushed, and has no emotional weight to anything happening with the plot or characters. I am not looking for an Oscar winning story but I at least want to care about the characters when the stakes are raised and the danger is apparent. The dialogue is awful and caters to awkward humor that the writer thought was funny but…it’s just not. The characters themselves are lifeless, underdeveloped, and some of them are pointless and have no effect on the story. Some stuff doesn’t make sense and happen for the sake of the “plot”. The director also manages to screw up the three battles. When in a war or action film there are always three action set pieces building off one another and leading up to the climax battle where everything is on the line. This film has a strong first battle, a short pointless second battle, and a hurried and confusing third battle. I rarely say this, but after agreeing with my friend at the screening, I think this story would have benefited with a longer runtime. It would have had the care, weight, and ambitious feel to it and actually been a watchable, fun monster movie.
Matt Damon is atrocious. His accent is all over the place and towards the end he gave up and the accent was non-existent. It was a weird mix of Boston, Irish, and cockney accent and the dialogue accompanying him doesn’t help this either. The main Chinese actress who plays the badass of the movie was great in her stunts but her English accent needed a bit of work. I couldn’t take her seriously in any dramatic situation. Everyone else was…well…let’s just say you aren’t going to praising them after you see it.
Regardless of the sh*t storm I was spewed above, it’s visually stunning. The colors mixed in so well with the environments and some the shot compositions can be framed as a painting.
I guess it’s over quick? The special effects of the creatures were actually better than I thought considering I thought they looked cheap in the trailers. It is very possible that the 3D helped the look of the creatures and brought them out from the green screen and in the forefront to admire the detail.
While the action and battle sequences were fun and exciting, everything in between was dull and halted the movie to a snail’s pace.
This is going to be weird but try and follow me here: I don’t recommend this at all but if you are curious I would recommend seeing it in theaters because of the visual spectacle instead of streaming or rental. That’s all I got.
(Review by Chase Lee)
Title: A Cure for Wellness
Runtime: 2hr & 26 min
If You Love Nightmarish and Eerie Films, This is the Cure for You
After the American remake of The Ring, director Gore Verbinski has always been on my radar in creating unique horror and psychological thrillers. After sitting on this one for a while, I have become more and more admired with it as it seeps into my brain with its imagery. Let’s get reel and break this down.
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem.
The story is reminiscent of 50’s and 60’s Vincent Price era horror films and provides this old school flavor to the overall film and the mystery within. As we dive deeper into this f**ked up rabbit hole of a film, Verbinski blends the perfect amount of eerily surreal and visceral realism and keeps the intrigue going. This film is drenched in a slow-burn atmosphere and gorgeous imagery for a horrific journey. I also appreciate the gradual transformation of Dane DeHann’s character going from this stern businessman to mentally losing his mind as the audience loses their too. Lastly and ironically considering the director’s name, the violence and gore are also in spades and very effective in its brutality and grit and never gratuitous.
The end of the film felt rushed and thrown together with a questionable ending taking you out of the movie for a bit. Considering the runtime, you invest yourself for this long ride but the ending feels a bit unsatisfying.
DeHann is great and it was amazing for him to actually have a prominent lead role and not be just the supporting character. Mia Goth also has a wonderful calm mystery about her character throughout and is a great contrast to the paranoia to DeHann’s character. Everyone is fine and does add a more believability to the tone and setting of the film.
Simply put, it’s beautiful. Verbinski has a greenish blue tint and it just enhances the stunning nightmare playing before you. The shot compositions have depth and visual eye-candy for film fans to examine and casual fans to enjoy. There was even a really cool crash shot inside the car that puts you in the situation and makes you feel the injuries the character experiences.
I won’t dance around it, this is a long film. But the slow burn of the mystery is paced very well. The mix of practical and CGI is a wonderful blend and is just the cherry on top of this pretty good cake.
Since it isn’t very fast-paced, I can see a lot people feeling that runtime. I am just giving you a fair warning.
I am glad I waited a week to do my review from when I saw it. It absorbed its striking and creepy imagery into my brain and I can’t stop thinking about it. The ending and “twist” does deflate some of the energy and excitement for the film but I still highly recommend it, even though I am not jumping up and down about it like other critics.
(Review by Chase Lee)