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, July 30, 2015

The Stanford Prison Experiment




Plot: Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

If you were a part of this experiment, would you want to be a guard or a prisoner? It’s interesting to think about but, like one of the lines in the movie, you really don’t know what would happen when placed in the roles. It’s a fascinating experiment that will test your mental state; but will you as a viewer breakdown mentally like the characters? Here’s the deal folks, this movie has been made two other times before so, if you want to reincarnate it again, please make it standout. The 2001 German film Das Experiment tackles this study as well as The Experiment in 2010 made here in the states. I haven’t seen Das Experiment (which I hear is fantastic) but I have seen The Experiment and I thought it was ok. It felt too “Hollywood” and I never felt an emotional weight to it. How does The Stanford Prison Experiment compare? I liked it…a lot.

Directing

Pros: Kyle Patrick Alvarez has only directed two films prior and I haven’t seen any of them. After seeing this, I will check out his other work. What he brings to this incarnation is the emotional weight. I bought everything that was happening from the kids partaking in the experiment. He creates a slow deterioration of your mental state as the film progresses putting in right into the situation. That’s the thing I appreciated the most. He brings up fascinating ideas of human cruelty, the justice system, the sense of power or authority and how it can be a dangerous combination.

Cons:
The film can seem repetitive. It shows the prisoners getting abused by the guards and, minus a few scenes, it’s basically the movie. Billy Crudup plays Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, the man responsible for the study, and I wish there was a tad more character development with him. I wanted more of the creator. Frankenstein’s monster is great and all but I am more interested in Frankenstein.

Acting


Pros: Everyone. I haven’t seen a movie in a long time where everyone clicked and was a great ensemble. Every single actor and actress delivers bone-chilling performances, especially the kids. This stars pretty much everyone you have seen in an independent film in the last five years like: Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Michael Angarano, Keir Gilchrist, Thomas Mann, and Johnny Simmons. I am pretty sure the same producer was on all their previous films and brought them together. The guards were really vile and the prisoners were very sympathetic. That’s how you want to feel, but something at the end happened where I felt for the guards. I won’t spoil it; but this moment reflects the entire study and makes you start thinking about the ideas presented in front of you for the past hour and a half.

Cons: I wish there were more moments of Billy Crudup, as stated above, and more scenes of the kids talking after the experiment and how things will change when they cross each other in their daily lives.

Cinematography:


Pros:
Not having seen Das Experiment, I thought this was the best shot one out of the two I have seen. There was a certain glow with that rich golden color that resembled the 1970’s. That’s great because this experiment happened in the 70’s. It’s a good looking film.

Cons:
None

Editing/Special Effects


Pros: It’s a fast movie not wasting anytime and dives right into the action. I was engaged the entire time because I was fascinated of the subject matter.

Cons: It might feel repetitive and slow to some people. And as stated above, I wish there were more development and depth for Billy Crudup. This is the type of movie to where I wouldn’t have minded if they added more to this film.

Overall: This is a great interpretation of this study and I was glued in from start to finish. The actors get lost in their roles and the direction shows us a great and disturbing character study. I wish there was more to certain characters, but this is an enticing film that will interest you on the subject alone.

Score: B

*I am trying letters for grading. This is new to me and I am scared.
(Review by Chase Lee)







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A Lego Brickumentary




Who doesn't like Lego's? The classic plastic interlocking building blocks are the go-to toy for every holiday and birthday presents. As the second largest toy company and the only one that specializes in one product, the Danish company has become a global phenomena. Directors Kief Davidson and Daniel Judge who also wrote the documentary with Davis Coombe, traces the history of the origins of how Lego came into being. Narrated by Jason Bateman in the form of a Lego minifigure, quick facts and interviews with Lego designers and Lego aficionados make this film easy and immensely interesting.

Lego was started by a toy carpenter Ole Kirt Christiansen whose forays into making wooden toys was stymied a few times by factory fires. One year he bought a plastic mold machine and on the suggestion of his son to make a building block. They named the toy and company Lego, which means “play well”. The blocks have a patented “clutch power” design that helps keep the Legos in place. Later the grandson came up with the idea of mini-figures which gives Lego's a story when one is building with the pieces. The Lego design team use that concept, the story, to come up with the various Lego kits.

Considering how popular Legos are today, it's hard to believe the company almost went bankrupt. They were mired in a creative rut. That is until they decided to listen to their customer base. People who grew up with Lego's and have become AFOL or Adult Fan of Lego who have group meetings sharing ideas and builds. There was soon conventions like Brick Con in Seattle, Bricks by the Bay, Brick Fiesta, Brickfete, Brick World and Brick Fair. It was at some of these conventions that the Lego design team has recruited some of their staff. It's that willingness to open up the concept to everyone that the idea of the website Cuusoo came into being. Where people can submit their designs, the public votes on them, and the winner gets their design developed into the next Lego kit.

Although a lot of AFOL's are nerdy men, there are plenty of talented women builders who are just as obsessed with Lego's. It was interesting listening to the various builders in their studios with buckets of color sorted pieces on very organized shelving. They buy huge bags of pieces at a time and create massive scenarios to compete at conventions. The Lego movement has also allowed for others to create pieces that Lego will not manufacture like BrickArms, little plastic Lego-type guns for people creating war pieces. Artists have also used Lego's to create 3-D art pieces and some have created stop animated movies. The recent popularity of the Lego movie has brought a new resurgence to Lego.

So many quick fun facts are thrown at the audience like the number of Lego's produced in 2014 would reach more than 24 times around the world. Most of all you may be inspired by the life sized Star War's Two Wing Starfighter made completely by Legos. Brick by brick. The movie opens at the Angelika and some members of the local AFOL's will be on hand with a demonstration of their builds this Saturday morning.
(Review by reesa)




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Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation



Tom Cruise gets some cred for the recent publicity surge regarding his stunts in the latest MI5. Hanging off a flying plane does take some guts, as well as a high speed car and motorcycle chases. Not to mention the various fisticuffs with nameless bad guys. Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) starts this adventure shortly after the events in MI4. If you can't remember, it's no big thing. The last one made big bucks, but because this film is better.

Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is after “The Syndicate” who are a shadow group creating what seems to be accidents involving major world figures. It's members turn out to be various bad guys who are supposed to be dead. Everyone thinks that Ethan is delusional and CIA head Hunley (Alec Baldwin) wants the Mission Impossible team disbanded. Especially the mess they made in Russia in the last adventure. The remaining IMF members will be now under the CIA. Benji (Simon Pegg) the computer geek is sent to a desk and has to take psych tests that he's not helping Ethan. Luther (Ving Rhames) quit so he's not working for the CIA. Brandt (Jeremy Renner) works closely with Hunley trying to get him to let up on Hunt. Meanwhile Hunt is captured by what may be the syndicate being set up to be tortured by Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) who for some reason helps him escape from certain death. But she may be working for them...or is she?

While Hunley is trying to track Hunt, Hunt sends a message to Benji to go to an opera in Vienna. There they uncover a plot to kill the Bavarian Prime Minister with three shooters involved including Ilsa. Once more she helps him escape from the glowering bad guys with her impressive fighting skills. She is like a female Ethan Hunt. Luther and Brandt try to get to Hunt before Hunley's team finds him, so they track Ilsa. There are lots of twists and turns, backstabbing, spycraft, some cool gadgets and those facemasks. The who what where and why they are doing this doesn't seem to be all that important, it's just the action sequences and that are basically why these movies remain as popular as they have been.

There are lots of international locations in this film as usual. Belarus, Vienna, Casablanca and London. The concept of the Rogue Nation is a bit of a red herring. The sleight of hand of who is working for who, is all nicely and neatly packaged for the last minute reveal. Simon Pegg steals the show most of the time and rightly so. Cruise is looking a little aged around the edges at the age of 53, the shelf life of his character is creeping up. He still seems fairly agile and game so another film of the series is already in the works for next year.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Movies Scheduled 7/26-8/1

Big Fan Boy is giving away swag from the movie Pixels. All you have to do is go to Zeus Comics at 3 p..m. today.

We have some newbies so make sure you look at the pass and see how many people it can admit. Most of the time it is for two people. You can always ask for passes if you don't win any but please make sure you try to win them before asking. We do have the same few people who are always asking for passes.

Now when you want to reply to someone don't just hit reply like you would normally do. All that does is goes right back to the group and gets denied! You need to reply to the sender down close to the bottom of the email it has who sent the email. Just copy their email address and hit forward and put that email in and bam they get the email and you can possibly get the ticket you want/need! That will make everyone happy and when y'all are happy I am happy!

Oh and if you are not signed up for the Angelika newsletter then most of the time you can go to their facebook page and it is there most of the time.

If you have any questions please email me at damitdaina@hotmail.com.


Sunday July 26th


Monday July 27th

Man From U.N.C.L.E. 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation 7:30 p.m. AMC Valley View
Shaun the Sheep 7:00 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Tuesday July 28th

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Asian Movie Madness: Kung Fu Killer Alamo Drafthouse


Wednesday July 29th

Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation Inwood
Samba 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Thursday July 30th


Friday July 31st


Saturday August 1st


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Saturday, July 25, 2015

AFFD: Wild City





Wild City is a gruesome but intriguing look at a former cop, his brother, and a woman’s quest to end a gang war with them in Hong Kong. A woman named Yun gets drunk at T-Man, the cop’s, bar one night and gets his family involved in fighting a gang who’s trying to kill her. She also carries a case with dirty money and gold which is related to her former lover who is an attorney affiliated with the gangs. What made the sliced limbs and bloody bullets comfortable for me was that the protagonists were fierce good guys. T-man and his brother Chung, who help Yun end this chase, are dangerous forces of protection against the gangs. There are some scenes that are so second by second you think that they will get killed by close proximity. Yet, in reality they swing ferociously with the gang’s own knifes or slam the gangs rapidly to the point where the brothers are untouchable. Being a former cop, T-Man knows how to kill with his hands and plot situations where the gang is vulnerable. I love the type of action thrillers where the lead is or was in law enforcement. I really liked the small points where the brothers get back at certain gang members who hurt them. Even though at one point T-Man slices against an alive young member, there was a strange justice that I felt. The 3rd or 4th scene in where Yun is being kidnapped is very thrilling as you see T-Man and Chung tag-teaming to find the car. Chung is almost crushed by a semi and T-Man is attacked by several members. Knowing that even not 25 minutes in the film that level of loudness was all over the filmed city was very gratifying. Despite Chung’s teenager-like attitude, T-Man has a very straight, disciplined, and persistent personality that’s offsets his brother. Obviously don’t bring a 14 year old to this but do see it if you want to see some edgy urban battles. The Asian community makes fantastic films that sometimes beat anything made in the US. This was an example of a stimulating gangster film that was as not aggressive as to be indigestible. In the first scene I thought T-Man was actually a crooked cop when he said that everything has a price. I do realize now that that may be but some who are powerful can choose to fight for weaker majority.
(Review by Wyatt Head)





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AFFD: A Girl Next Door




A Girl at My Door questions the real minds of people beyond their public figure. It also questions our hearts and asks how far we are willing to go to do the mandatory for the right in the world. The film takes us to a difficult level in the exploration of a police chief’s interactions with a severely abused girl and her corrections of what is wrong in her boundaries. I was horrified in a film that was a thousand miles away from the dumb horror genre. The actors seemed to permeate their story through the screen. Their acting would have surely won at least one Academy Award in the US. I truly believed the man playing Mr. Park, the child’s father, was the most sadistic father one had ever met. In reality I hope that off the camera he had a great relationship with the actress playing Dohee, the child. One of the first parts in this winding path is when the chief accidentally sprays Dohee with water from her car. She immediately stops while the child runs away and the audience is let known the specialness of the chief’s soul. Unlike when I get soaked during a storm while waiting for the bus, here is a character who responds to a stranger with immediate consideration. The chief has been transferred to this town along the water for an occurrence in Seoul that brought trouble. It is a little bit of semi-comedic relief when the chief brings her own case of water because she does not trust the tap water in the town. An older lady responds with a little offended talk. The child with her dirty hair and dirt on her clothes is like a familiar landmark leading to a destination of darkness. I knew from the first scenes of Dohee that she was in a harmful situation. The horridness I mentioned earlier immediately jumps aboard like a fish on a boat when you see the father, Mr. Park, holding the child’s head and punching her face. He screams “Come here you little b*@!#!”. The demons that can come into people surround Dohee as you realize even her Grandmother is on her son’s side. The chief enters the scene of the continued beating and puts the father into an arm trap while the Grandmother screams. This circumstance of an endangered child is very real and could be right in your school, work, or rec center. This expertly laid out screenplay does not let us pretend or not recognize the children who are living in a pool of evil. These human beings need people like the police chief to rescue them before they drown.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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AFFD: Women Who Flirt






The theme of this film is similar to teen rom-coms in America where the normal young woman must transform in order to get the handsome young man to pay attention to her. Director Ho-Cheung Pang of Love in a Puff, that previously screened at AFFD, wrote the script with Luk Yee-sum based on a book by Luo Fu-man. It's a funny premise when it involves adult characters and the film securely rides on the charisma lead actress Xun Zhou as Angie, who despite her aversion to women who use their feminine wiles to attract the man, she is game enough to try anything.

Angie (Xun Zhou) has had a one way love with her best friend Marco (Xiaoming Haung) since her college days. She even gave up on her dream of being an artist to work with Marco after they graduated. One night Marco says he met someone on his last business trip and is excited to have his bestie meet her. Angie hides her panic and disappointment and later seeks advice from May (Yi-Lin Hsieh). May calls in reinforcement from what she calls her Barbie Army and they go to work trying to teach Angie how to use her female prowess. The clothes, the makeup, the baby talk manner in manipulating a guy to do anything for you are things that Angie truly despises. When Marco asks her to meet his new girlfriend Hailey (Sonia Sui), the restaurant was changed from a fancy location to a street food vendor. Marco is surprised to see Angie got dolled up and looking good. But he's oblivious to Hailey's over enthusiastic greeting to Angie as a hostile warning shot to the other woman. Angie armed with a blue tooth is reporting to her friends news from the front. The Barbie Army becomes even more determined when they realize they are up against a formidable opponent who knows all the tricks of flirting.

Angie is set up on some test dates while the women watch from other table. As much as she tries, flirtation does not come easy to her. But to her defence her date material are enough for her to end each one with a declarative “I HATE you”. Soon the army is teaching her how to say that with a softer edge that is part whine, part pout. Angie, as Marco's supervisor at work, doesn't give him time off to spend the weekend with Haily. So Marco sends her off on her biking trip so she can spend with her friends. Angie then asks Marco to go with her to an art exhibit because he had given her an IOU back in college when he made her miss the exhibit at that time. Marco is surprised and touched that she kept those things, but then he also kept all the stuff she gave him back then. He did at one time consider asking Angie for a date, but he considered her a dude. Certainly not the sweet, childish woman like Haily. The plan was almost successful until Hailey sees a tweet by Angie showing them having a good time together.

Guys in these types of movies never seem to fare well. Women who use those flirting techniques also seem to have lower opinions of men as they can easily manipulate them to do their bidding. It's a very light flippant comedy where both sexes just are as shallow and self involved as the other. Just as long as you don't get bonged down in gender politics or any serious philosophical issues, you can just kick back and laugh at the antics and the power of flirting or not to flirt.
(Review by reesa)



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