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, 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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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 5 - Aug 11

Guess that hot spell is making us appreciate the 90's..where's my sweater? It makes it nice they are having multiple screenings of things so it can work around your schedule. Dallas is full of new movie houses. It's hard to decide if it's worth it to stand in line, when it's playing that weekend at somewhere convenient to you. Of course it's not free, but standing in line isn't exactly free either. Your time is precious. It also seems like people are just putting down their folding chairs, holding spaces and taking off. Been there, done that a few years ago where it really got out of hand. Let's be considerate out there.

Aug 5 - Aug 11

Mon - Aug 6

Dog Days - 7:30 pm = AMC Firewheel, AMC Northpark, Studio Movie Grill NWY

Tue - Aug 7

The Meg - 7 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Aug 8

Alpha - 7:30 pm - Alamo Drafthouse Lake Highlands
The Meg 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

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Friday, August 3, 2018

The Darkest Minds

Where to even begin with this movie? This is part one of a supposed series that might not even get off the ground if the movie-going public never gets to see it. This is part of the craze that wants people clamoring for something unique and original, but within certain set parameters of originality.

Take, for instance the new show on the Fox network “The Gifted,” which deals with mutants and their otherworldly abilities. It is a very interesting and feels like a pretzel-twisting show that has viewers returning to see what happens the next week.

The cast of “The Darkest Minds” contains some familiar faces. Amandla Stenberg of “Everything Everything” and “The Hunger Games” is Ruby, a character sent to the orange faction who has some amazing supernatural abilities, including the erasing of memories and the ability of persuasion. Also present is Mandy Moore’s Cate persona, who is a doctor at the place where Ruby was a prisoner who was forced to work a thankless job required for her sheer survival.

Moore is probably best known for her role in 2002’s “A Walk to Remember”, written by Nicholas Sparks, and “Tangled,” the animated Disney tale about Rapunzel and her magical hair.

One scene finds Ruby returning home but she only peers through the window. She never ever sets a foot in the house, but just walks away without any answers.

She becomes friends with her peers. Of course, there is a love interest in Harris dickinson’s Liam, an older gentleman who shares a certain kinship with Rudy. It is nice to see is her relationship with a Chinese girl named Zu (Mya Cech) and a fellow friend in Chubs (Skylan Brooks).
The director for this live action dystopian tale is Jennifer Yuh Nelson. She has been in the business for upwards of twenty-plus years. She even received an Oscar nomination for directing “Kung-Fu Panda 2,” as well as prime time Emmys for directing 1999’s animated “Spawn” TV series.
The trouble is that within this movie all adults are seen as some sort of liability or evil entity.

The pacing in “The Darkest Minds” is neither brisk nor fast, but just kind of putters along until it ends in pure mediocrity. The big reveal in the end feels like a cheat to the audience.

I’m sorry, but why do all dystopian tales end in such disdain and misery?

I wanted so much more out of this movie, but like the disappointment that was Chris Weitz’s 2007 “The Golden Compass,” I just left feeling very unfulfilled.

Grade: C+
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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Christopher Robin

This gem was a fun flick in the typical Disney vein.

Director Marc Foster, who dabbled in family friendly fare with 2004’s J.M. Barie “Peter Pan” tale “Finding Neverland” with Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore and Kate Winslet eases the audience in to what happens when “Christopher Robin” (Ewan McGregor) grows up and has to deal with some corrupt British nayer-do-wells at his current job as of late. His job title, easily put is that of an “Efficiency Expert.” His Robin character is forced to “trim the fat” at his current job by laying off 20 percent of his work force.

This movie was cool, since it even brings back the voice talents from the ensemble. This includes Jim Cummings as both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, as well as Brad Garrett as Eyore (the original actor who provided the voice of Eyore, Bud Luckey passed away Feb. 18, 2016) , Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Peter Capaldi as rabbit, Sophie Okoendo as Kanga and Toby Joes as Owl.

As his wife, Hayley Atwell brings forth a certain charm and spunk as his wife, Evelyn Robbin. If she looks familiar, that because she’s part of the Marvel Universe with her recurring role as Agent Carter, who made her first appearance in “Captain America: The First Avenger. (2011).”
Also important is Brooke Carmichael as daughter Madeline Robin, who quickly takes to Winnie the Pooh’s troupe. She is one of the few actresses I have seen in recent memory who can actually work well with the inanimate objects that are supposed to be her friends.

This drama-fantasy actually works because it deals with plights and predicaments that occur when one gets old. At one point, Pooh even says “You still look the same, but with more creases.”

The animatronics work here completely captivates from the opening scene when all the characters are spending time at a picnic. They are gathered to say goodbye to Christopher Robin.

The antics that occur here improve vastly over the stand-alone “Winnie the Pooh” tale that landed with a thud in the summer of 2011. That particular tale had no spunk or verve, and I think I gave it an unimpressive C when I originally viewed it.

A family tale worth the full price of admission, Disney’s “Christopher Robbin” captivates from beginning until end.

Grade: B+
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Darkest Minds

Yes, it's another young adult fiction series turned into a movie when plucky teens fight against the world trying to put them down. It's not as visually violent as it's predecessors like The Maze, Divergent, or the Hunger Games. The concept is more interesting and the lead heroine is a young woman of color. The screenplay was written by Chad Hodge based on the 2012 book by Alexandra Bradken. There are six books in this series, so there is no doubt there will be more movies to come. Director of Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who did Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3 is at the helm giving the story over to the emotional development of the characters drawing the audience in and keeping them engaged.

The country has been affected by a pandemic called IAAN that kills most of the children under 20 years old. The remaining children start displaying "powers" of various degrees. They are all gathered up and put in special camps where they are tested, then categorized by a color that labels their capabilities. Greens are harmless, and they are the smart ones. There are blues and yellows above them. The reds and oranges are terminated immediately as they are the most dangerous. Young Ruby(Amandla Stenbergis) an orange, but she uses her powers to get the doctor to say she's a green. She spends the next 6 years hiding her condition until the government figures out how to use a sonic sound that affects the ones with the strongest powers. Ruby is helped to escape by Dr. Cate Conner (Mandy Moore) who works with a group called the League that wants to expose the horrific treatment of the children. At this point, Ruby is not trusting anyone. She escapes from their custody and encounters Liam (Harris Dickenson), Chubbs (Skylan Brooks) and Zu (Myla Cech) who reluctantly take her with them. They are also being chased by bounty hunter Lady Jane (Gwendoline Christie). The kids are in search of camp set up for super powered kids that have escaped the government.

The world is basically childless, with most adults moving to the cities for work. The countryside is empty of life except for a few farms. Malls and service stations have long been abandoned. The surviving children have been living in the government camps for years have have been psychologically affected (interesting comment on what is happening to migrant families). Those that escape are forever damaged and afraid to return to their families. The slip camp is run by Clancy Gray (Patrick Gibson) the president's son who was supposedly cured. Of course that's a ploy by the government to bring hope to families. There are some plot points that are fairly obvious and the story is opened ended so that you want to read other other books to find out what happens next before the next movie comes out. Overall, it's interesting though somewhat formula. It's just nice to see characters not walking around doing dumb stuff with performances that make you care about them. Worth the popcorn.
(Review by reesa)

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