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:

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:

Logo art by Steve Cruz

Website and Group Contact:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The story of the notorious twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray was previously told in a 1990 movie called The Kray's . The colorful duo ran the underworld of London with their history of robberies, arson, protection rackets, assaults and murders. This new film directed and written by Brian Helgeland is based on the book by John Pearson, The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins. It centers on the relationship between the two brothers, Reggie's naive wife Francis and their fame in the 1960's. Tom Hardy who plays both brothers is what pulls this film together. His remarkable portrayal of two such diverse individuals is a fascinating study. It's unfortunate the uneven movie takes forever to tell the tale.

The Kray's were well known in their London East End neighborhood. In fact the Detective Superintendent Nipper Read (Christopher Eccleston) keeps a constant surveillance on their movements. Reggie even offers them tea while they sit in their car. Ronnie is currently residing in a mental hospital which Reggie manages to “lean” on the psychiatrist to give him a clean bill of health. The doctor advises that Ronnie take his medications to keep his paranoid schizophrenia in check. Ronnie loves the danger and the violence of being a gangster. The more the better. While his brother considers himself a bar owner. At least that is what he tells Francis Shea (Emily Browning) who he meets when she's 16 and married him when she was 22. It's her narration that tells how her attraction to the bad boys was the ruin of her life.

It's sometimes hard to get a handle on the thick accents and localisms. Everyone speak like they have cotton in their mouths. Reggie the obvious brains of the two manages to make a deal with American mafia in the casino business and some stolen bearer bonds. Life was good for the brother's during the 60's. They were celebrities with lords and ladies, socialites, show business personalities. When Reggie gets sent back to prison for a spell, Ronnie gets out of hand ruining the bar business and getting involved with a politician in homosexual scandal. Investigations of the Kray's hit the East End “wall of silence” when witnesses refused to testify.

The movie tells a more personal story of the brother's complicated family life. As angry as Reggie gets by his brother's psycho episodes, he can't help try and to take care of him. As much as Reggie seems to love Francis and tries to go straight in the business world for their future, he can't help fall back to what he knows best. Tom Hardy's Reggie is suave and charismatic, while his Ronnie is mentally unstable without verbal filters. The filmmakers handled their scenes together seamlessly it's hard not to think it's the same actor. The narrative by Francis doesn't seem to work that well as it limits the story to her domestic viewpoint. The uneven film is worth it just to indulge in the amazing work of the up and coming next big thing. Tom Hardy.
(Review by reesa)

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Just when you thought the whole Rocky franchise was over, a new character arises to lead another series of movies. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler and co-written by Aaron Covington the story follows the illegitimate progeny of Apollo Creed who died in the ring with Rocky Balboa. This is another energized boxing movie that doesn't hold any punches. The music swells at the appropriate moments and the fight scenes will keep you at the edge of your seat. The recent boxing movie Southpaw covered the dangers of concussion syndrome from taking one punch too many to the head. None of those realities are even mentioned in this movie to distract from the overall theme of an angry young man coming to terms and acceptance of his legacy.

Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis Johnson Creed who grew up in foster homes and taught himself to fight. He's taken in my Apollo's wife Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad) and brought up with privilege and good education. Despite his financial office job, he still goes to Mexico to box, until one day, he decides to follow his dream. He goes to Philadelphia and looks up Rocky (still alive Sly Stallone) at his restaurant, claiming he kind of “owes” him. Rocky doesn't want to train the young man, but Donny Johnson as the name he goes by, wants to prove himself without the expectation of being Apollo's kid. Rocky gives him advice on training and sends him to another gym to get help. But Donny is, if nothing else, hard headed and persistent. He keeps up until eventually Rocky relents and trains him. This doesn't sit well with the father of another fighter who wanted to get Rocky to train his kid. Why would he come out of retirement for some no body out of LA, who they have nicked named “Hollywood”?

Of course that info of his identity comes out after Hollywood wins a fight. The pressure is on him to represent his father in the ring. The championship fighter in England Pretty Ricky Colan (Tony Bellew) has gotten into a scandal. His manager thinks by fighting Creed will give him some good publicity although Creed only has one major fight, not counting the ones in Mexico, under his belt. Cue the music as Creed begins to train in earnest. Despite the advice of Rocky, Creed still has lots of anger issues. His love interest Bianca (Tessa Thompson), a singer who is going deaf, inspires Creed to never look back and to do what he loves.

Michael B. Jordon who did so wonderfully in Fruitville Station is very buff and angsty as Creed/Johnson/Hollywood. Stallone can still hit the punching bag in rhythm and does a good Mr. Miyagi/Yoda trainer and life coach. The relationship between the two is credible and sometimes endearing when he calls Rocky “unc”. The photography puts you right in the ring with it's POV fighting. The action is way over the top than those Friday Night boxing TV shows, with some brutal sparring. This is a good Thanksgiving holiday movie that you can take the family for some old fashioned feel good manipulative movie magic.
(Review by reesa)

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Cooties DVD with Dallas Movie Screenings Quote

Dallas Movie Screenings writer Chase Lee's quote shows up on the back of the Cooties DVD sleeve! Way to go Chase!

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Movies Scheduled 11/22-11/28

Thanksgiving week is here already. I am thankful for all of y'all, plus my family, friends and my job! If you aren't too stuffed on Friday and go out shopping please be careful! Some people are crazy!

Not a lot of movies this week so hopefully if you are not working then you can hang with family and friends!

If you have any questions please feel free to email at

Sunday Nov. 22

Monday Nov. 23

The Good Dinosaur 7:00 p.m. Cinemark 17 and AMC Northpark
Legend 7:30 p.m AMC Northpark
The Big Short 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas

Tuesday Nov. 24th

The Good Dinosaur 7:00 p.m. Cinemark Alliance

Wednesday Nov. 25th

Thursday Nov. 26th

Friday Nov. 27th

Saturday Nov. 28th

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

It's finally over! The Suzanne Collin's trilogy of books published between 2008-2010 and made into four movies has finally concluded. The wildly successful young adult series with it's violent dystopia theme involving young people chosen from the 12 districts ruled by the Capitol to fight each other to the death. The purpose being it keeps the district in check and lets them know who is boss. There was a 13th district and they tried to rebel, so the games were initiated to remind everyone of their punishment. If you can buy that, then the rest of the story will be easier to swallow.

Directed once more by Francis Lawrence who did the last two films was written by Danny Strong and Peter Craig. It follows the events of Mockingjay Part 1, which was with all trilogies somehow managed to be stretched into another movie. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) now the leading inspiration of the full scale revolution against the Capitol believes the only way to stop the madness is to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland). She tries to leave the rebels on her own, but the Rebel President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) decide her idea will be controlled by them. They send a squad to accompany her with a film crew to show the face of the revolution fighting her way to the Capitol. The whole effort becomes a Hunger Games on steroids as the Capitol gamemasters have filled the city with mines, traps and nasty creatures underground. It's the perfect video game scenario as the team must move across the landscape avoiding capture. To make the story more interesting they send along Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) who has been brainwashed into believing that Katniss, his former fiancee, must be killed. This makes things uncomfortable for Gale (Liam Hemsworth) her other love interest. Katniss will eventually have to decide which one to choose in her Twilight-eque type of dilemma. Outside of this quandary of boring romantic partners, Katniss remains a solid female empowerment figurehead. The women in this alternate universe will hopefully inspire young women that they can also be strong, resourceful and tough. Jennifer Lawrence continues to prove that she is truly the next big thing.

Most of the cast from the other movies have a little moment or two like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Genna Malone, Sam Clafin, Natalie Dormer, Willow Shields, and Jeffery Wright. They seem to flutter by in a farewell sort of montage. The quick end to the eventual victory by the rebels seems to be somewhat anti-climatic if you are not familiar with the books. It's not a stand alone movie, which is why a marathon viewing of the other movies is necessary to understand the who, what where and why. But in all, it was a somewhat satisfying ending to franchise.
(Review by reesa)

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Secret in Their Eyes

The cast alone should be a drawing point for this new film based on the 2009 Argentinian Best Foreign Film Oscar winner of the same name and the book by Eduardo Sacheri called The Question in Their Eyes. Director and writer Billy Ray (Breach, Shattered Glass) changes a few things to accommodate and make it more current for American audiences. The original film was during the 1970's Argentina's Dirty Wars, while this one starts in 2002 while this country is still reeling from 9/11. The acting is of course expectantly accomplished considering the talent involved. It's wonderful to see Julia Roberts back on the screen even without any makeup. But the movie it self moves like a standard police procedural with some ill defined political slant.

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Ray an FBI investigator attached to an LA counter terrorism unit. His partner is LA detective Jess (Julia Roberts) and the brand new DA assistant is Claire (Nicole Kidman). They are tasked with the job of watching a mosque for possible sleeper cells. Things go awry when a body is found in a dumpster in the building next door to the mosque. The team goes to check it out when Ray finds that the body is Jess's daughter. The movie goes back and forth in time beginning with Ray in present time finding what he believed was the prime suspect in the murder. He brings the information to Jess and Claire as he's no longer with the FBI having quit shortly after the events previously. For 12 years he's been scouring the face shoots of the thousands of faces in penal system to find the guy that got away.

Claire now the DA used to have a thing for Ray, and vice versa. She was engaged at the time and they never really resolved their relationship and it still lingers. Their unrequited love seems like a distraction in the scheme of things. Jess has also been promoted, but she looks even more worn and weary over the years. You can only tell Ray has aged by the gray in his hair. Which is one of the reasons the tossing back and forth between the decades makes the movie confusing. Chitwetel Ejiofor is intense and focused, Nicole Kidman is professional and somewhat distant, Jess used to be fun before the tragedy, but looks hollow and empty. Their performances are not to blame for the story which at times seems frustrating and depressing. It's obvious all characters are in need of closure in a case that has kept them in limbo all these years. But at what price?
(Review by reesa)

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By The Sea

The whole concept of watching a couple having a meltdown is a hard sell no matter what. If you want to see fighting just stay home with your spouse one night. The curiosity factor is the only thing left for this vanity project directed, written and produced by Angelina Jolie-Pitt which she stars with her husband Brad Pitt. It tries to be a 1970 French film with it's luxurious scenery, costumes, and lingering shots of angst. But in the end it's 2 hours of your life you can't get back.

Angelina and Brad play Vanessa and Roland who have come to this seaside village from New York City so he can write. Vanessa is all sorts of elegant and disconnected. The simple scene of Roland searching for a light for his cigarette in the car while driving, and she doesn't even help tells all about their relationship. Roland goes to the local cafe while he tries to find inspiration for his next book by asking people about how they fell in love. He makes friends from the cafe proprietor Michel (Niels Arestrup). Lots of conversations in French with subtitles about love and loss. Meanwhile Vanessa broods in their elegantly appointed hotel suite. She ventures outside to the local grocery store for fresh baguettes and an espresso machine. She wears long sleeve blouses, skirts and huge sunhats. Looking all glamourous and aloof. Most people smile at children, but nope, not her.

A young newly married couple move into the next apartment, Francios (Melvil Poupaud) and Lea (Melanie Laurent). Vanessa basically starts to stalk them when she discovers a peephole from their rooms to the one next door. It becomes an obsession. As Vanessa becomes increasingly distant from Roland, he begins to drink more and his writing block is stuck in place. Even more frustrating is when Vanessa accuses him of wanting the girl next door. Vanessa hinge is definitely loose as she tries to sabotage her marriage and maybe damage the young couple. It's tirelessly self involved.

At this point one begins to focus on the set decoration, the cars, the clothes, and those amazing false eyelashes. There's lots of nudity and any questions on how Angelina's post mastectomy body has turned out is finally answered. Any woman who has survived this will be envious of the results. The acting of course is superb as to be expected with remarkable actors. It's just a tediously relayed story that one is happy to see finally end, at least on a promising note.
(Review by reesa)

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