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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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mile 22

Peter Berg has amassed quite the career. First, with his acting gigs, which encompassed quite the resume with roles in “Very Bad Things,” (Which he also directed) “A Midnight Clear,” TV’s “Chicago Hope,” “Fire in the Sky,” James Mangold’s “Cop Land,” and Michael Mann’s Tom Cruise-led “Collateral.” He also helmed one of the dumbest yet fun guilty pleasures with the based-on-a board game “Battleship.”

But, we’re here to talk about his new action-drama “Mile 22,” which finds him re-teaming with Mark Wahlberg, (for the fourth time), a star he worked with most recently in “Lone Survivor,” a 2013 tale about the last man standing in an operation overseas. More recent pairings were with the true-life tale oil spill flick “Deepwater Horizon” and “Patriots Day,” about the Boston bombing which occurred in 2013.

“Mile 22” has a great cast with Lauren Cohan (TV’s “The Walking Dead”), Oscar nominee John Malkovich, (1993’s In the Line of Fire”), Ronda Rousey (“The Expendables 3”) and Iko Ulwas aka Tony Jaa.

Berg knows his prowess and it shows in his handling of the scenes where Li Nor takes on some nurses at the local hospital. It is significant because that is not where they have to take Jaa’s Li Nor, a prisoner and former cop they want for safe keeping. He also has some intel on an ongoing situation they want the keys for.

Berg knows how to handle the camera in these sequences, because it is a tight fit where all the action takes place. Just like his fine work in 2003’s “The Rundown,” where The Rock actually did a great job in the role and did not make his part a caricature, since his bounty hunter persona wanted to open a restaurant and get out of the bounty hunting life he was accustomed to. Berg knows when and where to just point and shoot.
“Mile 22” is gritty as all get out, since the movie does not follow normal traditions and parameters in storytelling technique. It is non-stop from the opening scene. The pacing is brisk, fast and only sets itself up for brief spells to just do some minor character development.

Wahlberg, like The Rock before him, proved he could single handedly carry a movie. For him, it was Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” the tale of a young dishwasher, Edie Adams, who eventually becomes porn sensation Dirk Diggler. It is one of Anderson’s earlier works, from 1997.
A lot of the viewing public was there to see Wahlberg, but for me it was seeing the often underrated Jaa, who like other martial arts maestros Donne Yen, Jet Li or even Jackie Chan has a very selective and discreet audience.

What was also of interest was the close knit operations that endured. Everyone involved does not carry any identification. The team, for all intents and purposes is a bunch of ghosts.

Not to ruin anything, but this one falls into “The Usual Suspects” and “The Game” pretzel-twisting thriller camp.

As aforementioned, the pacing on this well told tale is simply relentless. Berg always keeps viewers eyes transfixed on the screen.

Grade: B+
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 19 - Aug 25

Yes, school is finally back in session. Which means of course the lines will not be as crazy, but then the movies this week are not exactly for kids. If you are thinking of seeing Happytime Murders, please leave the kids at home. This will be not appropriate despite the appearance of puppets. So please, use common sense.

If you are going to the movie on Monday, please be aware that the theater has been changed from AMC Northpark to Cinemak 17. If you got a pass, they would have sent you an update.

Aug 19 - Aug 25

Mon - Aug 20

Ya Veremos - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Wed - Aug 22

Kin - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas

HappyTime Murders - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Thur - Aug 23

Searching - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mile 22

In their fourth collaboration, actor/producer Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, team up again to bring to the screen what they hope will be a franchise of hard action films. However, this first of the series doesn't bring much hope of this happening. The fighting scenes are pretty intense, the acting minimal from most of the players, the editing and pacing is jumbled, and Wahlberg's manic dialogue is distracting. Only
Iko Uwais as Li Noor keeps one glued to the screen.

The screenplay by Lea Carpenter, from a story by Carpenter and Graham Roland is a bit confusing, so to simply it, it's about a CIA special forces team called the Ground Branch who work off the grid guided by their operations leader called Mother (John Malkovich). Like a Mission Impossible team where the government can't officially acknowledge any of their activities, the Ground Branch wipes clean any nefarious plots. In this case, they must get an informant out of the country by moving him 22 miles from the United States Embassy to and awaiting plane within a window of time while terrorists thwart their movements. Li Noor (Iko Uwais) who claims to know the locations of stolen deadly explosives bargains his information for transport out of the country. He also attached some sort of electronic booby trap to their computers and he won't give the code til he's at the plane. So there is that.

The beginning of the movie shows how ruthless the team can be when they unearth a Russian operation in the middle of a suburb and they are forced to eliminate the occupants, including a 18 yaar old young man. Now they are in Southeast Asian looking for these contraband explosives. The exposition of the story is narrated by Silva (Mark Wahlberg) who is being debriefed after the the extraction. His character is rude, abrasive, everyone has nothing good to say about him, but he's supposed to be brilliant. He motor mouths his superiors and they put up with it because he can get the job done. Lauren Cohan plays Alice one of his team members who is fighting with her ex to see her daughter. Rhonda Rousey is Sam another kick-@ss member of the team. At least they don't have the women wearing tight outfits and high heels. They wear boots and are as competent and fearless as their male counterparts. The body counts are high and bloody making up much of the film with tense chase scenes. Iko Uwais who starred in The Raid is pretty amazing. If nothing else, he's worth going just to see him. If this is going to be a trilogy, hopefully it will include him.
(Review by reesa)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

Director: Jon M. Chu Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Crazy Rich Asians” brought the increasable joy!

Based on the novel of the same name by author Kevin Kwan, “Crazy Rich Asians” may not topped over the same style as Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is widely considered to be an exciting flick to see as a movie goer. Not only it’s film for American viewers, but it’s also for Asian people in general. It is the first Hollywood film to feature Asian Americans in leading roles since 1993’s “The Joy of Luck Club.”

This film centers the young woman named Rachel Chu (portrayed by Constance Wu) who is meeting her boyfriend (portrayed by Henry Golding) and his parents in Singapore. But when she finds out about their lives as the richest family in Singapore, she discovers her boyfriend’s family with the dark past and purpose to be revealed.

Actors Henry Golding (BBC's “The Travel Show”) and Constance Wu (“Fresh off the Boat”) are a loving couple and finding their place to satisfy themselves. Through the movie, they soon learned what’s more than just being rich: it’s about love and money never solves problems. Money is the enemy of love as it produces power and self-ambition, but with a dark purpose.

What’s more surprising is actress Michelle Yeoh stole the spotlight as a key witness and low-key villain to Wu’s character, similar to the performances of Michael Keaton from “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and Alec Baldwin from “The Cooler.”

The plot entirely seems like it is a mystery film when it comes to being rich or having lots of values based on family cultures. Even in the humble beginning of the film, the setting is alike from several casino films. The stereotypes are brought up surprisingly towards Asian men and women. Men are charming and attractive while women are open-minded and independent. Not only that, but also the plot and the main characters are as just as juicer as Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life.”

The direction and the scripting are good but not as perfect as Marvel’s “Black Panther.” Jon M. Chu’s direction is somewhat cliché while the script-writing isn’t well done at all like a flat iron steak being cooked properly. However, the film gets a gold star on two things: music and the supporting cast. The music is very artful and crafty compared to Pixar’s “Incredibles 2.” Supporting actors Gemma Chan (2019 “Captain Marvel”), Lisa Lu, Nico Santos, Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng and Jimmy O. Yang also done a terrific job on their roles. My favorite apart about this film is the scenes involving Jimmy O Yang and Constance Wu as they both provide comedy in the background.

In conclusion, “Crazy Rich Asians” is a good movie. This film is filled with awesome adventures and sneaky surprises. I did not particularly dislike this film, but it’s a recommendation for Asian Americans as well as people hailing from Asia. I found my eyes and senses quite shivering with suspense. But if you interested in this flick, be my guest. This is typically the most diverse film I ever watched, not counting Disney films.

(Review by Henry Pham)

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 12 - Aug 18

Love the rain, but I'm kinda over it right now. At least it's not as hot, just humid, sticky, nasty humid. And it stinks cause someone left a window open in the car.

Anyways, they are showing the same movies at two different theaters. So hopefully the theaters won't be annoyingly crowded.

Aug 12 - Aug 18

Mon - Aug 13

Crazy Rich Asians - 7:00 pm - Angelika
Crazy Rich Asians - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Tue - Aug 14

Alpha - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Aug 15

Mile 22 - 7:00 pm - Angelika
Mile 22 - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

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Friday, August 10, 2018

The Meg

For all intents and purposes, Jon Turteltaub’s “The Meg” is just a fun ride. Action hero extraordinaire Jason Statham (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” “The Transporter”) is Jonas Taylor, a deep sea rescue operative who encounters a megaladon, a once thought to be extinct creature living in the ocean blue. It is 75 feet long and has a plethora of teeth in its huge jaw line.

“The Meg” is very tongue-in-cheek, wherein the events that occur are not to be taken too seriously. Sure, some people you like die, but it is done with purpose to just advance the story.

Rainn Wilson is Morris, a wealthy industrialist whose operation is funding the giant laboratory in the middle of the ocean blue.

Aiding in this story is Bingbing Li’s Suyia, a single mother who also has her daughter Meiying (Shuya Sophia Cai) on board the floating vessel that serves as a way station for the entire crew. Also on board the station is Suyia’s father, Zhang (Winston Chao). He is there as a scientist who knows the ins and outs of all the specialized marine life. Also involved is Cliff Curtis’s Mao, an old friend of Jonas from back in the day when the pair used to work together. Also included is Ruby Rose’s Jaxx, a wizard with technology and apps, who can make things work with the push of a button.

Meiying has a couple of faces that amuse since she knows they are goofy and just hams it up.

“The Meg,” like 1975’s Steven Spielberg-directed “Jaws,” is a complete work of fiction. It is based on the novel courtesy of writer Steve Alten. He also did a couple of follow-ups to the original story of “The Meg”, including “The Trench,” “Primal Waters” and “Hell’s Aquarium.”
This movie, like the fun rides and adventures that encompassed Stephen Sommers’ ocean liner yarn “Deep Rising” just leave you smiling at how ridiculous and stupid the events that just occurred. The same can be said of director Renny Harlin’s “Deep Blue Sea” wherin a giant crew is reduced to just a few by movie’s end. In the end game of things, it is just an escape from the everyday world.

What I also like and admire about Turteltaub is that he shoots for the big screen. Earlier in his career, he made smaller films, ”Three Ninjas,’ (1992), “Cool Runnings” (1993) and “While You Were Sleeping” (1995) that were not made for big screen treatment. Later on, with “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (2010) and a pair of “National Treasure” (2004 and 2007) movies under his belt, he shifted to the widescreen treatment in which his movies are meant for a theatre experience. I actually met Turteltaub in Dallas for “Instinct,” a movie he directed with Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. That one was also shot in the “scope” format as well.

I saw “The Meg” on the giant IMAX screen at the Northpark in Dallas. Despite the ludicrous shenanigans that occurred, it is still worth the theatre experience.

The perfect escape movie, “The Meg” does what it’s supposed to do and just entertain you for a couple of hours while trying to escape the real world outside.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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Thursday, August 9, 2018


Jigsaw puzzles can be relaxing and meditative, especially when there is no TV, radio or internet to absorb your attention. Then your cat jumps on the table deciding to sleep on it scattering stuff all over the floor which ends up under the furniture and several pieces go missing. This new film in a directorial debut by Marc Turtletaub was written by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann based on the 2010 Argentine film of the same name. It's hard to imagine a movie about a woman who does puzzles would be interesting, but the amazing and sensitive portrayal by Kelly Macdonald makes this film a keeper.

Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) is sort of a throwback to a 50's stay at home mom who wears a dress and heels while vacuuming her home, decorating party decorations for her own birthday party. Married to car mechanic Lou (David Denman) they have two sons, Ziggy (Bubba Weiler) and Gabe (Austin Abrams). Ziggy works in his dad garage which makes him very unhappy. Gabe is applying for college, but is not exactly enthused having to write some essays on why he wants to go to college. Agnes spends her days doing the daily chores of fixing beds, laundry, food shopping and cooking for her family. During her off time, she works with the church women groups that service the community. Life is predictable but somehow comforting and of course unsatisfying. For her birthday she received a phone, which she says she doesn't need. She has the house phone, the radio and if something important is happening someone will tell her. She also received a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of a world map. It's when she impulsively decides to open it up on her dining room table she discovers the puzzle is something she has been missing in her life. She was also good at math, and the focus the puzzle gives her help to organize her mind. She manages to complete it in a couple of hours.

It's when she takes the train into the city to purchase another puzzle, that she sees an ad for someone looking for a puzzle partner. Someone to compete in a puzzle championship. Life suddenly becomes more adventurous. She lies to her family about where she is going a couple days a week by saying she is taking care of her aunt who broke her foot. Instead she is practicing with Robert (Irrfan Khan), a reclusive inventor whose wife just left him. This step for Agnes begins to open a whole world to her, one that is unexpected and confusing for her clueless but devoted husband, and delightful for her sons who always suspected she was unhappy.

It's hard to imagine there are still women stuck in that mindset of domestic subservience. It makes her journey to self-discovery more poignant and believable as it affects the people around her as she becomes a person. As her world gets bigger and her confidence builds, she starts to think for herself and not what others expect. It's told very simplistically, but it's Macdonald's sensitive performance that enlightens the transformation.
(Review by reesa)

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