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, November 18, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Nov 18 - Nov 24

Happy Thanksgiving Week Y'all!!!

Only one day of movies, the rest of the week you can play catch up with what you missed. But considering it's going to be a little chilly and busy cooking, cleaning, and Black Friday shopping, you may just want to Netflix it.

Everyone have a safe and thankful holiday week.

November 18 - November 24

Mon - Nov 19

Ralph Breaks the Internet - 7:00 pm - AMC Grapevine, AMC Northpark and the Angelika Dallas
Creed II - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Green Book - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Time Trap

The camera rests facing out of a dirty window. Approaching through the grime is a man and his dog. The man wipes the window with his hand and peers inside. It is revealed to be a van, flourished with psychedelic designs, in an overgrown clearing. He rummages around, picks up a few items, seems satisfied, and closes the door. They approach a cave entrance. Inside is a figure walking toward the interior, a gun holstered at the waist. The man has second thoughts about entering and leaves. A No Trespassing sign is visible as he drives off.

The man is Hopper (Andrew Wilson), an archeology professor from an unspecified Texas university searching for some hippies that went missing years before. As he drives back, he phones one of his teaching assistants (TA for short) for help. Arriving back at his home he finds the TA, Jackie (Brianne Howey), waiting outside with his other TA, Taylor (Reiley McClendon). Since his phone call he has decided that he no longer wants help and tells them to stay. He returns to the cave to find the figure still in the entryway. This time he decides to enter. As he walks further into the mouth, a liquidy force field becomes visible and the figure suddenly speeds up and disappears from view.

Cut to a few days later, the TAs have heard nothing from their professor and decide to go searching for him. Since neither has a car appropriate for the road conditions, they call fellow student Cara (Cassidy Gifford), much to Taylor’s discomfort, because she can borrow her father’s Jeep. Cara brings along her thirteen-year-old sister, Veeves (Olivia Draguicevich), who in turn insists on including her friend Furby (Max Wright). The five go off in search of Hopper. Did I mention that they told no one where they were going? Nothing could go wrong here, right? Of course, it does.

Once inside the cave, Taylor, Jackie, Cara, and Veeves (Furby is left above in case anything happens) find themselves stuck after the rope they use to climb down breaks (or was it cut?) leaving them stuck. To make matters worse, the four soon find out that time passes quite differently inside the cave.

Time Trap is a sci-fi movie with a few horror-like elements thrown in. There are others that the group encounters in the cave, the before mentioned man with the gun is only one of the many, who pose a possible threat. This is not an action heavy movie though, instead, it focuses on the dialogue among the leads and the group’s reaction to their predicament – as they first see it – and their plans for escape until they discover they are in over their heads more so than they previously thought.

Co-directors Ben Foster and Mark Dennis (Dennis also wrote the screenplay) keep things simple. The majority of the movie takes place in a few caverns within the cave and some exteriors outside of it with a couple additional locations making up the remainder of the sets. There are some effect heavy sequences, the ending uses quite a bit, but they are handled well and don’t detract from the narrative. Pacing is excellent, though there could have been some trimming during the final 10 or 15 minutes to keep the film’s momentum going. It really is remarkable how intriguing Foster and Dennis manage to make the movie with so little.

Dennis does write himself into a few plot holes. Furby is left above in case they run into trouble below but it’s never clear if he has the car keys or not. In one scene he says he left the radio on all night causing the car to die before saying that he’d been alone for a few days. If he had the keys shouldn’t he have tried to go get help instead of listening to the radio all night? The amount of time actually going by while they are in the cave doesn’t seem to match up with what happens outside (I won’t say more to avoid spoilers but the movie doesn’t seem to follow its own rules). Sound also doesn’t seem to play by the rules. They loudly speak to each other yet none of the other people in the cave come to inspect although they appear to be in chambers close by to where the group initially entered. One of the students is shown using her phone in the cave before finally getting a no signal message. Shouldn’t it have not worked at all? Then the cave is well lit as the actors walk through it. Where is all this light coming from? I guess it could be argued that this was done for cinematic purposes.

Despite its problems, Time Trap is a movie that works. It may not be the most original science fiction movie but it keeps the viewer engaged. At a scant 83 minutes, 87 minutes including credits, the movie is worth the time invested in viewing it.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

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Thursday, November 15, 2018


(Review by Chase Lee)

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Coen brothers are known for some quirky and iconic characters in their films. So it is with great anticipation that their newest feature that will be shown on Netflix after a limited theatrical run will offer the same. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018, where it won the Golden Osella Award for Best Screenplay. There are six chapters with different stories and cast. On the streaming service you can view each chapter which stands on their own. As one long feature, it's not quite as engaging and somewhat depressing.

The first chapter is The Ballad of Buster Scrugss with Tim Blake Nelson as the singing gunman. He's forever in a pleasant mood while shooting down folks who want to take him out. James Franco is the lead in the next story Near Algodones who gets accused of a crime and set to hang a couple of times. Liam Neeson and Henry Melling are in a traveling show in Meal Ticket where the limbless artist recites Shakespeare and Lincoln to local towns. All Gold Canyon has Tom Waits as a prospector who comes upon a peaceful valley looking for gold. The Girl That Got Rattled has Zoe Kazan as part of a wagon train who finds love and Indians. Tyne Daly stands out in Mortal Remains in what may be a stage coach to the dark side.

The performances and the stories are all unique in their own ways. Buster Scruggs is the standout of the chapters and despite the body count it's funny and what one would expect from a Coen brothers tale. Near Algodones is full of colorful denizens especially Stephen Root as the bank teller in the middle of nowhere. Meal Ticket gives you the feeling of never ending darkness that gets even darker. The appearance of a prospector in a beautiful valley has all the wild life leaving until their peace is restored. There seems to be a bigger story on the wagon train as the young woman left alone when her brother dies and finds companionship and maybe love with the wagon leader (Bill Heck). The last story has Brendan Gleeson, Jonjo O’Neill as bounty hunters, a Frenchman (Saul Rubinek), a trapper (Chelcie Ross) and Tyne Daly telling tales crammed together on a stage coach. Their final destination seems like a relief.

The landscape of the west is a great pallet for the Coen brothers story telling. Although these six stories are a bit of a downer, it would be interesting to see it expanded to additional chapters.
(Review by reesa)

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When anyone mentions a heist movie with women it brings up an image of the slick Oceans Eight. But now, the genre will bring Widows to top that field as a well tuned exciting ride directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) written with Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). Taken from an ITV series from 1983 and 1985 of the same name this film is set in 2008. McQueen juggles the excitement of a heist story with issues of raceism, sexism, police brutality, political shenanigans and interracial marriage with a tight ensemble of actors.

Viola Davis plays Veronica Rawlings who is married to Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson). They seem to have a loving relationship but underneath they are grieving the death of their son who was shot by a cop. Veronica and Harry live a good upscale life so when he dies in a robbery gone wrong she is left adrift. Not really aware or maybe taking a blind eye to what Harry was involved with she finds herself being threatened by Jamal Manning (Bryan Tyree Henry) a politician running for alderman of a South Side precinct, against Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) the son of the incumbent Tome Mulligan (Robert Duvall). Jamal tells her that Harry owes him two million dollars that he stole from him. She has a few weeks to get it back to him.

Veronica finds a notebook left by Harry that lists all his jobs with plans in detail of every operation. There is one still to do that promises a five million dollar payout. She looks up the widows of Harry's crew: Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) who ran a dress shop which she lost after her husband had given it in payment for his debts to gangsters and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) who was abused by her husband and her mother Agnieska (Jacki Weaver). The third widow Amanda (Carrie Coons) does not come to their gathering as she has a new born child so she is not told of Veronica's plans. Since the women are at their financial ends, the promise of million dollars is an incentive. They later bring in Belle (Cynthia Erivo), Linda's babysitter and salon worker, as the driver when the Rawlings driver is killed by Mannings brother and enforcer Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya).

There are so many layers to this story. Each reveal keeps one intrigued. The way the women are challenged from their norms to work together to finding strength in themselves. The women are very real and fierce in their own ways. All of the pieces seem to be out there on their own but it all comes together at the end for a satisfying conclusion. There are surprising twists and turns, gunplay, car chases, and righteous justice. This is one movie that is worth seeing again, even when you know how it ends. It's just THAT good.
(Review by reesa)

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Fantastic Beasts Crimes of Grindelwald

Director David Yates returns with another movie in J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World, Rowling also returns as the screenwriter for this movie. Yates has directed six of the ten movies released so far starting with 2007’s Order of the Phoenix. It should come as little surprise that, by this point, the director has slid into a groove with these movies. Or perhaps Warner Brothers is taking the Marvel approach and trying to make sure their universe works as a whole and doesn't feel like several completely different movies. Rowling has already stated that the Fantastic Beasts series will consist of five films. Grindelwald feels like part of a work that is still in the set up phases so it should be interesting to see where she takes the story, though viewers already have a general idea of the direction things will go since this is a prequel.

Following the events of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, the titular Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has been locked in prison. While being moved, Grindelwald manages to escape and begins to look for followers and to search for Credence (Ezra Miller). Meanwhile, the Ministry of Magic attempts to convince Newt (Eddie Redmayne) to join his brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), as an Auror. Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists Newt's help in finding Credence in Paris. Tina (Katerine Waterston), already in Paris in search of Credence, is joined by Yusuf (William Nadylam) who is also looking for Credence.

As with the first movie, the acting ensemble is excellent. While no performances here stand-out, there are none that stick out like someone is trying to steal the show though some of the characters are still more appealing and interesting than others. The relationship between Alison Sudol’s Queenie and Dan Fogler’s Jacob, whose unexpected visit to Newt leads to them being caught up in the events of this movie, still seems to resonant best amongst the cast. The two actors have good chemistry, giving their on-screen relationship an honest and realistic feel. Redmayne does well at portraying a man who is humble, a bit shy, and lovesick, still pining for Tina who thinks he is engaged to another woman - Leta Lestrange played by Zoe Kravitz.

The Crimes of Grindelwald, like most fantasy movies, heavily relies on CGI to tell its story and like most other fantasy movies some of these elements work and others do not. As in the first Fantastic Beasts movie and the Harry Potter series, there are multiple magical creatures that appear on the screen. Several of the creatures really do look fantastic in this movie - the best looking to me is a lion / Chinese dragon. Then there are those that have not been well integrated into their surroundings and call attention to the fact that the actors are not actually interacting with them - some cat like creatures that show up later in the movie.

By now movie goers know whether or not they are going to enjoy a movie in the Wizarding World and can probably gauge for themselves whether or not they want to spend the time and money watching one. While Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald offers nothing new in this fantasy series, those wanting to find an escape for a few hours will find they will enjoy the return to this universe.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

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Bohemian Rhapsody

For the first time in a long while, I actually got Goosebumps. Not that mediocre Jack Black flick from a couple of years back, rather that feeling when something just goes through your body and one feels at tune for just being.

As I’ve said in the past I am not fond of too many musicals, so I was actually looking forward to see what director Bryan Singer would do with the Queen biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Like my feeling with horror flicks and my love for anything related to John Carpenter, this one gets a pass in my book, since I’m a devotee of Queen and their amazing music.

For starters, lead Rami Malek emulates the real Freddie Mercury through and through. If you think you’ve seen Malek before, you’re probably right. He was on the Golden Globe winning “Mr. Robot” for the past couple of seasons. Supporter Christian Slater receiving an Emmy win for his role as friend and confidant, the “Mr. Robot” of the title.

I trust the director here in Bryan Singer, since he has not made too many bad movies. Early on in his career, he helmed one of the greatest pretzel-twisting mystery suspense with Christopher McQuarrie’s “The Usual Suspects,” which also saw the movie receiving a Best Supporting Oscar for co-star Kevin Spacey. That was early on in his career, 1995 to be exact.

With “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Singer delves head on into their creation, with Malek’s persona even changing his name legally to Freddie Mercury to get more noticed by the press and mass media. One also has to realize this was in the pre cell phone days, where even being on the newly created MTV was considered a really big deal.

The one thing I really noticed was the absence of going back to past soundtracks Queen contributed to. The first was 1980’s “Flash Gordon,” directed by British auteur Mike Hodges. The group also contributed to Sidney J. Furie’s “Iron Eagle” in 1985. The group would gain more notoriety the following year for doing the soundtrack to director Russell Mulcahy and the action fantasy hybrid “Highlander,” an that dealt with knights on the tagline “There can be only one.”

In “Bohemian Rhapsody,” there is a brief scene that uses a track from “Highlander,” the one that includes the song “Who wants to Live Forever?” from the movie.

Irony is thrown into the movie big time with the appearance of Mike Myers. In the early 1990's, he was in a movie titled “Wayne’s World” that dealt with his character of Wayne hosting a public access TV show titled “Wayne’s World.” His friend Garth (Dana Carvey) was his best friend and confidant and in the movie there is an entire sequence where the duo rock out to a track of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

In “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Myers plays record producer Ray Foster, who scoffs at the idea of the even recording “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a stand alone track.

He would later regret it, because even with a song that runs over six minutes in length plays through to this day.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” delivers in every single department, even with a back story that does not take too much away.

Grade: A
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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