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

Website and Group Contact:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent

*** (out of ****)
There are two major questions asked here: What is the essence of Jeremiah Tower’s reputation, and why did he sign on as executive chef with a failing brand? By the time we get to the point in Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, a documentary about the prominent chef’s rise and tumultuous fall from public standing, at which that second question must be asked, it’s clear that we care about the answer. It’s a considerable achievement on the part of director Lydia Tradaglia, who has crafted a fairly standard, meat-and-potatoes biography here, but who understands that, sometimes, it’s the details of a life that make the story of such a life as interesting as it is. And Tower is quite the memorable individual.

He presides over the kitchen by his mere presence. A former general manager describes it as his dominion, and that seems fairly accurate. He witnesses every appetizer, entrée, and pudding that crosses his path, with “eyes in the back of his head” to detect a wrongful morsel of food, and he scolds the cooks and the links in between on the chain of command if perfection is not met. He does these things, not out of petty spite for his underlings, but out of an abiding love of food.

We get a sense of the man’s past, informed by an experience early in childhood of being separated from his parents and being introduced to an exotic plate of barracuda that opened his taste and smell senses to a world brand-new to him. A youth and young-adulthood were complicated by a complex and uncertain view of his own sexuality that was still considered taboo. The creations of Chez Panisse and, later, Stars, two restaurants of renown, would put his name on the map – the latter in particular for its tendency to draw major names in upper-class celebrity circles, such as within the opera world.

We get a sense of the man’s present, complicated greatly by the liquidations of both Chez Panisse and Stars (the latter in a very final way after an earthquake), which leads to a lengthy reclusion from outside society. Friends, of whom there are a number (many of those interviewed as talking heads here), admit that they don’t really know the man underneath the visage of stern acumen. This helped Tower to disappear in the truest sense in the interim. The question of his disappearance is replaced in the public eye by another question, with wider-ranging consequences: Why – oh, why – did he seek (or, if he was sought, agree to) the position of highest chef for Tavern on the Green, the infamously flailing fixture of New York City?

We are allowed hints into the man’s future that are not promising. Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent is a eulogy toward a man whose life might not have ended yet but whose professional life has come to a gradual halt. Tower has carried on his legacy through books and lectures, but Tradaglia’s film is a good and perceptive one about the particulars of what shaped it. Her style oscillates between talking-head interviews and contemplative, slow-motion shots of Tower staring off into the distance while the audio of the interviews plays out. It’s a typical biographical account but a potent one.
(Review by Joel Copling)

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of April 22 - April 29

Wow, where did April go? It will be May soon, so this nice weather will start inching up in the heat zone. It will also start with the big name tickets, like Guardians of the Galaxy 2. So far no one has been offering this and if and when they do they will go fast. Keep an eye on your email. Remember that if people go through the effort of securing passes, the likely hood of them wanting to part with them will be pretty iffy. Keep your begging and mooching at a minimal.

The USA Film Festival will be at the Angelika starting Wed. If you have not picked up their program, you can find them at the theater. They are offering some free screening:

Wed - April 26 - Death by Design - 7:15 pm
Thu - April 27 - The Dating Project - 7:00 pm
Sat - April 29 - High School Shorts - 3:00 pm
The Father and the Bear -3:30 pm
Bill Evans/Time Remembered - 4:00 pm
Non-Fiction Shorts - 4:15 pm
Student Shorts - 9:00 pm
American Shorts - 9:30 pm
Experimental Shorts - 9:30 pm
Sun - April 30 - Whale Rider - 4:00 pm
Short Film Awards - 4:00 pm

April 22 - April 29

Tues - April 25

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent - 7:00 pm - Magnolia

Wed - April 26

How to Be a Latin Lover - 7:40 pm - Cinemark 17

Thurs - April 27

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark, AMC Grapevine, AMC Firewheel, AMC Parks, AMC Stonebriar

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Friday, April 21, 2017

EARTHxFilm Festival

Filmmakers of #CHASINGCORAL of #EarthxFilm at Dallas Fair Park Music Hall. #OpeningNight #EarthDayTexas #DallasMovieScreenings #DallasFairPark

The inaugural EARTHxFilm Festival began tonight with a screening of CHASING CORAL at Dallas Fair Park Music Hall! It is an amazing film about the coral reefs in our oceans. Did you know that the Earth's temperature would be over 122* F without the oceans absorbing 93% of the heat? Maybe you should see this movie! Good news! There will be a second screening this weekend! Come out to Fair Park this weekend to experience the largest Earth Day celebration! #EARTHxFilm #EarthDayTexas #DallasFairPark #ChasingCoral

Here is a link to the full film schedule:

Happening at #EarthxFilm on Saturday, April 22nd, FREE screening of BIGGER THAN WATER at 7:30 pm in the Dallas Music Hall at Fair Park! Come see this 96 minute work in progress documentary feature about the water crisis in Flint, MICHIGAN. Special guests in attendance will be: Monica Lewis-Patrick, Nayyirah Shariff, Marc Edwards;
Producer/Director Rameen Aminzadeh;
Producers King Hollis, Michael Cain, and Trammell S. Crow; and
Producer/Writer: Jeffery Copeland.

Here is a little synopsis from the filmmakers:
Clean water is supposed to be every American’s birthright, but when the City of Flint fails to properly treat their water system, and city and state officials move to cover it up, residents fight to fix their vital lifeline and thwart the effects that a politically negligent system created. Bigger Than Water explores the Flint Water Crisis through the eyes of those directly impacted, and illustrates how a thirst for money poisoned an entire city. This film depicts one community’s fight for justice as they ban together to ensure their survival.

Here is some information about the Director:
Rameen began his career in filmmaking at the age of 19. As a young man on the streets of Baltimore, a rare opportunity to learn editing provided the foundation for a creative and sustaining career. With over 17 years of experience directing, editing and producing film, television, and live concerts across the nation, Rameen has brought his unique perspective and storytelling abilities to every project he takes on. From series work on Discovery ID, A&E Network, The History Channel, National Geographic, MTV, TLC, and ABC, to independent music projects and social justice documentaries across the globe, he is both artist and activist – using his artistic talents and resources to fight for justice on many fronts. He has worked with artists including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, The Outlaws, Nas, The Black Knights, Creed, Mandy Moore, Brittany Spears, Henry Rollins, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, Eight Ball & MJG, 36 Mafia, as well as countless underground hip hop and rock groups nationwide.

#EARTHxFilm #EarthDayTexas #DallasFairPark #DallasMovieScreenings
(Reported by Erin Nicole Parisi)

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Promise

This story of the Turkish forced genocide of the Armenians is truly something to behold. The journey follows Mikael, a passionate medical student who is Armenian, Ana, a gorgeous French woman with vast love, and Chris, an American reporter for the Associated Press. The disturbing disruption of their lives is captured on screen during the war which brutally massacred an estimated 500,000 Armenians. The idea that peaceful lives with friendships and romantic relationships can be torn to pieces because of violence had a concrete display in this film.

Oscar Isaac brings the gentle being and absolute brilliance to his character of Mikael Boghosian. He is a lover of medicine and wants to better his life in order to help his people with the resources that he has to gain. He is truly a kind human being who remains faithful to his words and actions. There’s a scene where he and his new friend are given a test on a cadaver. His friend accidentally gets feces squirted onto him and faints. Immediately, Mikael takes his friend and makes sure that he is alright. This type of person is what continues to be exuded throughout all of the truly terrifying moments in the story.

Ana Khesarian, played in a compassionate way by the fantastic Charlotte Le Bon, is a beautiful woman who cares for the children affected by this war resiliently. She also has a teetering relationship with Chris Myers, who is played with anger and seriousness by Christian Bale. Ana has a beaming quality about her that gives light in the horrifying murders throughout the three’s journey together. A little ways into the movie, she develops a relationship with Mikael even when he is bothered because of his being betrothed to his wife.

The Turkish military truly commits heinous crimes in this film and its sinister criminality is exploited to be hated by bounds in this rendition. The hangings of innocent villagers, the shootings of injured men, the brutal beatings of any person, and the mutilation of mothers are nightmares that drive the gross injustice home to the audience. Chris Myers is the one who seeks the dissemination of the truth and for these despicable actions to be rectified. He is almost like the hero of this story as he is the informational source to the world of what is going on in this dark place.

Although some may disagree, this is a fine film that educates in an intensely engaging manner on a genocide that should touch all those who see the piece.
(Review by Wyatt Head)

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Free Fire

Reel Time with Joel and Chase

It’s a Free-for-All in Free Fire and its Hilarious and Delightful

Title: Free Fire
Rating: R for Strong Violence, Pervasive Language, Sexual References and Drug Use
Run Time: 1hr & 30min

Plot: Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

The set-up is remarkably simple: Twelve people meet in an abandoned warehouse to transact a gun deal. The kicker, though, is that the film isn’t simplistic. This isn’t just any group of people. Some are strangers to others in the group. Some are longtime business partners. Some have coincidental connections to each other. The entire deal hinges upon the disparate personalities of its participants. Some of these people are psychopaths. Others simply want their money and to leave peacefully. None of them anticipates the wrench thrown in the works.

Co-writer/director Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire is a masterful example of simplicity in plotting that has a surprising amount of anger simmering underneath the surfaces of its characters, readying to boil over the sides of this heightened conflict. Wheatley and co-screenwriter Amy Jump provide a cadre of personalities, and this secretive deal, as with most deals of this nature, is built upon the assumption that these men (and one woman) can behave themselves. The assumption is the wrong one, and that is where the central conflict of this story receives a lot of its surprising nerve.

Lest it seem the film is a joyless excursion, be reassured, reader, that this is quite the rollercoaster. The key is in Wheatley’s formal approach, which lives or dies upon the decision to set almost the entire exchange (apart from the prologue, which, in any case, is set outside the warehouse and within a van about to arrive at it) within the walls of the warehouse. This surprisingly doesn’t hinder cinematographer Laurie Rose, whose utilization of light, shadow, and elegant movement within the confined space is stunning. The beats of the editing (the director and his co-screenwriter) are stunning during the extended gun battle, and the sound work is spectacular and immersive.

Somehow, we’ve gone this long without mentioning those characters. They are a motley collection: On one side, the players are performed by Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Jack Reynor, and Michael Smiley. On the other side are Sharlto Copley, Noah Taylor, Sam Riley, Enzo Cilenti, and Babou Ceesay. Copley's Vernon is a squirrelly nut and an openly sexist louse toward Larson’s Justine, Hammer’s Ord turns out to be the only one here with any detectable weapons training, and Riley’s Stevo and Reynor’s Harry had an unexpected quarrel the night before a deal in which neither knew the other was taking part.

It’s an explosive and implosive mix of total coincidence, warring personalities, pent-up anger and frustration, and several unforeseen complications (none of which will be revealed here), and in this confined space, that makes for great drama and for terrific ammunition (pun fully intended) in an extended sequence of controlled chaos. These performances show utter precision, especially from Hammer (a hoot as the unknown variable in the group) and Copley (who adds something more than blustering gusto as the wimp disguising himself as the tough guy). The violence is brutal: These guns have real firepower, and Wheatley refuses to back down. Free Fire is a lit match and a live grenade, a remarkably entertaining crime comedy stripped to its essentials. What a ride.
(Review by Joel Copling)

Free Fire Movie Review
(Review by Chase Lee)

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of April 16 - April 22

Now that DIFF2017 is over there are still more film festivals in Dallas coming up.

Thin Line Denton
The festival is free this year; BUT! you have to register and then pick up your badge at the fest. They'll be scanning badges at all indoor events. April 19 - April 23

EarthDay Film Festival
Screenings will be held at various museums and halls at Fair Park. There are some free outdoor movies for kids too. There are some great documentaries lined up to enlighten and inform. Our environment is important despite the opinion of 45. April 21 - April 23

The USA Film Festival
This is a fun festival that also holds a kids film festival. Celebrities and filmmakers are usually in attendance and they hold screenings of vintage films. April 26 - April 30

Not too many movies scheduled for the week and nothing so far for next week. But keep an eye on your emails, because stuff always pop up when you least expect it.

April 16 - April 22

Tues - April 18

Born in China - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
The Promise - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Unforgettable - 7:30 pm- AMC Northpark

Wed - April 19

Unforgettable - 7:30 pm - AMC Valley View and Cinemark 17

Fri - April 21

Hedwig and the Angry Itch - 10:00 pm - Texas Theater

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