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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Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:

Logo art by Steve Cruz

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 27 - August 2

Greetings group. Daina is feeling under the weather this weekend, so I'm posting this week's calendar. Hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. Some very fun movies this season and the chaos of the movie lines seems to be fairly free of the usual drama. OK...outside of those folks who hold places in line for 10+ family and friends. If anyone has any issues, please write to either Daina at or reesa at

With the imminent threat of unattended chairs being taken away in the movie lines, everyone seems to be obeying the suggestions of making sure at least one of your party is holding the fort. Thank you all for that. Not being able to sit while waiting for hours (hello Studio Movie Grills) is a privilege that hopefully will be not be taken away from us. Of course there are a few people who continue to dump and run, but they are either not part of the group or thinking we are not talking about them. (yeah, we are).

There are may outlets that offer passes, especially some of our favorite outstanding local websites that cover events, reviews, interviews, and hand out swag. They keep us informed about upcoming movies with trailers and movie news. They are a great resource of what's happening in the movie world. Let's take a moment and thank them. Either in person when they are at the screenings, or just a shout out on the social media portals like Facebook and Twitter. Like us at DMS, no one gets paid to do this. We love movies, love to share the bounty. Just a little kind word makes it all worth it.

July 27 - August 2

July 27

July 28

6:00 pm – Into the Storm – AMC Northpark
7:30 pm – The Hundred Foot Journey – Cinemark 17

July 29

7:00 pm – The Hundred Foot Journey – AMC Mesquite
7:00 pm – The Hundred Foot Journey – AMC Grapevine
7:30 pm – Get On Up – AMC Northpark
7:30 pm – Guardians of the Galaxy – Cinemark West
7:30 pm – Women in Film Award Winning Shorts – Studio Movie Grill Northwest Hwy

July 30

7:30 pm – Guardians of the Galaxy – Studio Movie Grill Royal
8:00 pm – Calvary – Angelika Dallas
7:30 pm – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Cinemark 17

July 31

7:30 pm – Outlander – Studio Movie Grill Royal
7:30 pm – If I Stay – tba

August 1

August 3

10:00 am – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - tba

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

I, Origins

The Eyes are the window to the soul and God is the creator of the soul, if you are a believer of such.  Imagine being able to prove that God doesn't exist by proving that eyes and the ability to see are a result of evolution and that genetic manipulations can be made by man, who essentially is playing God.  Two researchers are on the hunt for the missing living link that cannot see but holds the gene for eyesight. Essentially they seek the creature that is blind but could be made to see via genetic manipulation.  Now imagine that your discovery is the key to the potential proof of another religious belief, one that was unexpected but every bit as profound and life changing.

I Origins, an independent film directed by Mike Cahill premiered at Sundance in 2014, winning the Alfred P Sloan award for films utilizing science and technology elements.    It tells the story of PhD molecular biologist researcher Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), who has always had a fascination for the fingerprint of the eye, He  has documented eyes in excess via photography and maintains a huge data base.  At a Halloween Party he meets, eyes first, the ethereal and mysterious Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), who happens to have very unique and dazzling eyes.  On screen, Astrid has the ability to appear different in different settings and evoke different emotions based on her portrayal at the time. Mr. Pitt's performance shows a man who is all about scientific elemental control and manipulations yet is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the eyes, world and experiences of an enigma and it is soon clear that he doesn't want to find his way back to the rules and guidelines of a lab.

He is compelled, after a sort but intense encounter, to find her after she disappears.  A series of coincidental numerical clues leads him to the resource he needs to find her. Fated soul mate? Muse?  He is enamored and soon they both begin a passionate yet " far out of his comfort zone" affair. They are eventually consumed mind, body and soul and Ian explores aspects of himself that his intellectual didn't quite allow to develop.

Ian's research takes on new intensity with the addition of freshman researcher Karen (Brit Marling) whose ambitions prove to be the driving force towards discovering the link and key between the sighted and the sightless. As with most intellectuals, Ian and Karen doubt the existence of God and feel this discovery could disprove His existence. I Origns is full of intellectual dialog and profound 'what ifs' that may fly over the head of the typical film goer.  It should be considered a cerebral film and not a light hearted sci fi outing.

There are several unexpected plot twists key to the story's development that should not be given away but the dilemma and question at hand centers on the unique fingerprint of the eye, which like snowflakes and our own fingerprints are unique and only occur once in nature. Or so we think. If it is discovered that two people can have the same eye color patterns but not co-exist, what does that mean within the spiritual world? If the eye indeed the window to the soul then how are souls connected that belong to people with the same eye print?  This film is deeply spiritual and philosophical while exploring the realms of love, the soul, science and a higher power. It also tends to get a big messy and convoluted in its apparent mission. If we are not careful, we the audience can get a bit bogged down with all the weightiness.

Ian's son, born several years in the future,  is found to be a connecting factor to potential new discoveries in a world that uses eye print identification technology. A complicated investigation into a mystery ensues. Within the film itself, well integrated cinematography and an enhancing score tie together the story elements. 

As Sofi shared, "If a blind worm cannot see light, that does not mean that the light is not there.  If the human cannot see God, that should not mean that God is not there."  If humans attempt to play God that does not mean that they are.  But which of the world's religions truly has it right?  I Origins attempts to make us think more deeply and contemplate some of life's more profound mysteries. Some movie goers are simply not going to want to think quite so hard on their dates or fun nights out escaping the pressure of the work week. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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And So It Goes

I must say it is nice to see Michael Douglas back on the screen, looking relatively healthy, this time playing Oren  Little.  Oren is an almost retired realtor whose last task is to sell the estate that he and his late wife raised their son in.  Oren is irascible, cranky and quick with the barbs and is not embarrassed to say whatever is on his mind at the time. He is the consummate curmudgeon who tends not to allow one positive thing out of his mouth.

Next door to him, in the quadplex he owns, lives classy older widowed lounge singer, Leah, played by a less neurotic and excitable than normal Diane Keaton.  This odd couple pairing sets the tone for the arrival of Oren's 9 year old grand daughter (Sterling Jerkins), the one he didn't know he had. Owen and his son [Scott Shepherd) have become estranged over the years, due to drug involvement issues, and when he appears on Oren's doorstep with child in tow, announcing he has a short prison stint to serve and that he needs his father to take care or the girl, it is clear that Oren wants nothing to with childcare or attempting to raise another child in any way. He also longs to escape from the two families who live upstairs. They are Young family with annoying young twins and Young marrieds expecting their first child.   He wants to just ride off into the sunset, north of affluent Connecticut, and marinate in his self imposed exile at his retirement home in Vermont. 

Oren's immediate inclination is to walk back into his apartment and leave Sarah with Leah. Leah is the perfect nurturer, seeking to alleviate Sarah's insecurities and fears and help her settle in, which helping Oren to find it within himself to accept her.   Oren wants nothing more than to deliver the child to her biological mother, who they locate after a short hunt but even he is not heartless enough to consider doing that after considering everything he witnesses.

Predictably, the plot items becomes clear.  Will Leah and Oren get together? Will Oren embrace his inner-grandfather?  Will Leah and Oren both get over their personal losses and love again?  Will the young upstairs neighbor lady deliver her first born on Oren's couch with Leah and Oren as coaches?    Will Oren sell his house, despite being a horse' rear end?  Will the residents of the waterfront quadplex all gather amicably at the end in the front yard to view Oren's grand daughter's video project on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to butterfly? Will Oren, Luke and Sarah become one big happy family?  Hard to say if most of us really care but the viewer tends to know the answers about halfway through.

Besides the delivery scene, the only other genuine "hoot" moments of this film are the appearances made by Frances Sternhagen (Claire) who works in Owen's real estate office. Claire has known him for years, doesn't put up with his quips, and often one ups him at his own game. She portrays one sharp cookie. 

Somehow I expected more substance and depth from Rob Reiner (director) who even makes a cameo as Leah's piano player.  Frankie Valli makes an additional cameo as Leah's new boss in an upscale supper club. This is a movie your parents will enjoy, if they are over 60. It is a movie that is family friendly but will hold little interest to the under 30 viewer. Douglas's Oren is nothing new, nothing special and quite predictable but I do hope we see more of Mr. Douglas in the future...and it is a delight to see our darling neurotic Diane with a little more inner control this go around. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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If anyone follows I Fucking Love Science on Facebook probably knows that the premise of director/writer Luc Besson's new film is based on myths. Human beings don't really only use ten percent of their brain, just like they don't exclusively use right or left sides of it. But Besson is terrific at creating strong female characters like La Femme Nikita, Léon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element, that it's worth just forgetting those little nitpicking facts and just enjoy the ride.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) a college student living in Taipei, Taiwan is trapped into delivering a case handcuffed to her wrist by a bar picked up boyfriend of a week. Suddenly she is confronted by Korean gangster Mr. Jang (Oldboy's Choi Min-sik) who turns her into a drug mule by putting the packages of blue crystals in the case into her stomach. Three other mules are also used and they are put on planes to various locations. The panicked Lucy finds herself chained to a wall by Asian bad guys who beat her up, breaking the drugs into her body. The new compound unleashes her brain potential and firing at 20% capacity she manages to escape her captors and look for answer to her new found powers.

Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman and expert in the study of neuroscience. Lucy contacts him in Paris convincing him by her abilities. She also goes in search for Mr. Jang to find out what happened to the rest of the packages and mules. The drugs which Mr. Jang was hoping to profit from in Europe turns out to be a synthetic CPH4, which supposedly is naturally produced in pregnant women for their developing fetus. Obviously whoever created the synthetic never tested the drug beyond it's recreational use and nothing we have to worry about in this movie. Lucy helps the cops in Paris with the assistance of Detective Del Rio (Amr Waked). But Mr. Jang is also tracking his mules and soon he's in Paris too.

Besson litters the film with little science factoid and scenes like first early humanoid primate Lucy. There's amusing scenes of how innocent Lucy is feeling by flashes of cheetahs running down prey. The story telling and action are way over the top, but in this case it works. Johansson easily shows her fear as a woman caught in the wrong place at the wrong time then into a person so evolved that she loses all her empathy and personality. The exposition of the scientific premise of what is happening to Lucy is somewhat dense and supplemented by educational asides of scenes but it doesn't distract from Lucy being able to knock everyone out or make them float in the air. Johansson already rocks as her superhero avatar Black Widow in the Avenger's series. So it's easy to accept her as a super human in a female centric action film that doesn't pander to the typical kick@ss in high heels.
(Review by reesa)

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A Man Most Wanted

Philip Seymour Hoffman's last major performance outside of the Mockingjay series leaves a sweet bitterness knowing this genius will never again inhabit complicated and intriguing characters on the big screen or in life. The John le Carré’s 2008 novel which was adapted by Andrew Bovell and directed by Anton Corbijn (The American) is and often times slow, dialogue heavy treatise on the American corrupted German intelligence services. The film shot in Hamburg Germany, the city where Mohamed Atta and his co-conspirators lived prior to the 9/11 attacks is the backdrop to the complicated political machinations of tracking down the finances of terrorist operations.

Hoffman with a German accent plays Günther Bachmann who is the head of a special unit for all intensive purposes does not exist in order to cultivate their intelligence. He was once a brilliant agent, but one failed operation has not stopped him from continuing his prime objective, but has made him more world weary. He's over weight obsessively drinks, smokes, and sleepless but his team respects his nerve, his loyalty and keen observations. Bachmann have developed sources within the Islamic community. He is trying to corner Dr. Faisal Abullah (Homayoun Ershadi), a Muslim scholar and humanitarian whose charity work may be front for laundering money to extremist groups.

The new blip on his radar is a 26 year old Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) a half Chechen, half Russian illegal immigrant who suffered torture and imprisonment in his country. He finds shelter with a Muslim woman and her son who connects him with Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) a young human rights attorney. She agrees to help him claim an inheritance worth tens of million of Euros. He doesn't want the money because it was ill gotten gains from his father. Bachmann schemes to use the money to trap Abullah. He reaches out to the head of the bank Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe) where the money is being held. The head of intelligence in Hamburg Dieter Mohr (Rainer Bock) wants to bring in Karpov as a suspected terrorist. The charming if somewhat askew CIA agent Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) convinces Bachmann she will keep Mohr out of his way while the operation goes down.

There's the grim and bleak background that is prevalent in Cold War spy movies with cigarette drop off messages, surveillance cameras, and cryptic conversations where no one trusts the other. The plot is somewhat complicated and the pace of the movie seems often plodding with unimportant details. It's strange seeing Hoffman bloated and chain smoking throughout the movie as a harbinger of his final days. His portrayal of a flawed and bitter man brings out a tender and sensitive side in a world that keeps knocking him back. It's hard not to watch Hoffman and remember we won't be able to see him again.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movies scheduled for 7/20-728

I want to send a bit shout out to Big Fan Boy for doing it old school. Yes back in the day you had to go pick up the pass, they didn't have any passes on the internet for you just to print out. So if you didn't go get in line you didn't get a pass. So please if you didn't bother to get in line don't get mad at people who did. Yes I couldn't get in line but my daughter got me a pass. Happy to be going back to the movies after taking a two month long break. But if she wasn't able to get me a pass I would have been upset, I knew

Now it isn't cool for you just to get a pass just to barter for a better pass. Imagine the people that were standing in line and didn't get a pass and now you are trying to trade it for a "better" movie. Look at the date, look at the location if that isn't what you want do grab it! Simple!

We are adults and can act like adults so please follow the rules. Don't try to sneak into the theater before they let people in. Wait your freaking turn! If you want a good seat so bad get there early! Trust me your actions are being noticed!

Just a fyi, I don't have extra tickets in my back pocket.

Please contact me if you have any questions at

Sunday July 20th

Monday July 21st
Guardians of the Galaxy 7:00 p.m. AMC Northpark

Tuesday July 22st
I Origins 7:30 p.m. Landmark Magnolia
Lucy 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Lucy 7:30 p.m. SMG Royal
The Fluffy Movie 7:00 p.m. AMC Firewheel 18
The Fluffy Movie 7:00 p.m. AMC Northpark
The Man from Nowhere 7:30 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse

Wednesday July 23rd
Get On Up 8:00 p.m. AMC Mesquite
Get On Up 7:30 p.m. SMG Royal
Into the Storm 7:30 p.m. TBA
Hercules 6:00 p.m. TBA

Thursday July 24th
The Fluffy Movie 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark

Friday July 25th

Saturday July 26th

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Friday, July 18, 2014


This movie, directed by Richard Linklater takes the story of a young boy on a 12 year journey of his life. What makes this movie unique is that Richard used the same characters: son, Mason played by Ellar Coltrane; mother, Olivia played by Patricia Arquette; sister, Samantha played by Lorelei Linklater; and father, Mason, Sr. played by Ethan Hawke throughout the 12 year span of the movie. Mason’s life goes through the up and down being a kid, an adolescent then a teenager onto adulthood.

It starts off as Mason tries to make sense of things as he sees his divorced mother struggle as single parent trying to raise him and his sister. His mother returns to school to pursue her education to make a better life for her and her children. She believes that her kids need stability so she married her college professor but eventually finds herself in an abusive marriage. Wanting to protect her kids, she leaves the husband and all their belongings and moves in with a friend and their family. Each year, the movie touches on a particular situation that portray the developmental changes of Mason and Samantha. Olivia finished her degree and pursues her career. But as always she struggles with the changes of men in her life as well as her need for financial stability. Mason's father who is a constant present in his life also struggle with his issues. As Mason reach adulthood he must decide his fate as each person in the family chooses their own path of contentment.

This movie portrays a realistic view of this family growth as it shows the changes of each character as they grow over a 12 year period. The writer did a great job keeping the same characters and allowing the audience to see the changes in life as it is during that time. It also allows the audience to reflect on their own journey from adolescence to adulthood. Richard knew this was a risk taker because anything could have happened to the characters during the 12 years of making the film. It a sense, he did a great job on this movie exploring each character and building on them as the years progressed. I highly recommend for everyone to see this movie.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)

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