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:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Coming Soon in June

June 4
- Cropsey (NY; LA release: July 9)
- Finding Bliss (NY; LA release: June 11)
- Get Him to the Greek
- Killers
- Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders (NY, LA)
- Marmaduke
- Ondine (limited)
- Raajneeti (limited)
- Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead (NY; limited: June 18)
- Splice
- Whiz Kids (NY; LA release: June 11)

June 10
- Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (limited)

June 11
- The A-Team
- Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (limited)
- Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (NY, LA, Houston)
- Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (limited)
- The Karate Kid
- Kings of the Evening (limited)
- Winter's Bone (limited)

June 18
- 8: The Mormon Proposition (limited)
- Cyrus (limited)
- I Am Love (NY/LA; expansion: June 25)
- Jonah Hex
- The Killer Inside Me (limited)
- Let It Rain (limited)
- Toy Story 3 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)

June 25
- Dogtooth (NY)
- Grown Ups
- Knight and Day
- Restrepo (NY, LA)
- South of the Border (NY; LA release: June 2)
- Wild Grass (limited)

June 30
- Love Ranch (limited)
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (conventional theaters and IMAX)

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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/30 - 6/5

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend and taking time to think about our service people on this Memorial holiday. Summer feels like it's here. Kids will be out of school. Thanks to everyone for restraining themselves from mooching lately. This week only has movies that have already screened, so hopefully it won't be too crowded.

Big movies opening this month include The A Team, Karate Kid, Toy Story 3, Knight and Day and Twilight Saga:Eclipse. So keep an eye on your list mail for pass pickups and contests. Don't be moaning later saying "I must have missed it" and expect someone in the group to give you one. You snooze, you lose. Competition will be fierce for these passes. Don't enter contests unless you can actually attend.

May 30 - June 5, 2010

Sun
5/30

Mon
5/31

Tue
6/1

7:30 pm
Splice
AMC Valley View

8:00 pm
GET HIM TO THE GREEK
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
6/2

Thu
6/3

7:00 pm
Solitary Man,
Magnolia Theater Dallas

7:00 pm
Despicable Me in 3-D
TBA Plano location

Fri
6/4

Sat
6/5

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prince of Persia Review



King of Persia rules his ancient kingdom with his brother who had saved his life when they were children. One day the King witnesses a young street urchin come to the rescue of another boy who got in trouble with the King’s soldiers. The King is impressed by the boy’s bravery and loyalty. He adopts the homeless boy and raises him as a prince with his two biological sons so they would not fight over the throne.

The kings’ brother Nizam (Ben Kingsley) tells the oldest prince that the holy kingdom of Alamut is secretly producing weapons to fight the Persians. Consulting with his brothers and uncle in the absence of his father the King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup), the prince decides to invade despite Dastan’s misgivings. Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) the adopted son and a bit of a rogue, goes against his brother’s orders and attacks the fortress from the rear while the defending army is protecting its front. He gets a door open and the Persians defeats the Alamut.. In the temple Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) who is renowned for her beauty slips a wrapped package to a trusted soldier charging him to bring it to safety. When the messenger is killed Dastan gets hold of the crystal handled knife. The magical dagger has the power to transport the holder back in time. The Princess is the guardian of the secret mystery of the sands of time. When the King is murdered, Dastan is framed for the crime and the Princess aids his escape to get the knife back from him.

Based on the popular video game, The Prince of Persia, the various forces chasing Dastan and the princess across the desert encompasses most of the movie. The attractive couple spar and bicker while fighting an obvious attraction to each other. The wild special effects include some nice parkour elements across rooftops, there’s a race on ostriches, there’s the swirling sands of time, and of course battle scenes. Director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) keeps things moving without much fright and gore. You don’t have to have played the game to enjoy the movie. It takes some game elements, but the movie stands on it’s own. Gyllenhaal makes a nice looking prince, and he takes off his shirt to flash and flex the buff bod. But it’s Gemma Arterton who is the more interesting character and she makes the most of her time playing off the unusually bland Jake. Alfred Molina steals the scenes as the rapscallion Sheik Amar who runs this desert town with races and shady criminals. The Disney machine with Bruckheimer producing would probably like to see this become a long running series. It wasn’t horrible, and often times enjoyable, but not quite memorable.
(Review by Reesa)


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Karate Kid Event

THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY PRESENTS: SPECIAL BLOCK PARTY SCREENING FOR THE YMCA'S
AFTER SCHOOL ALL-STARS

The Dallas Film Society has brought the YMCA's After School All-Stars program,
The Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the City of Dallas together to co-present
a world class event for some very fortunate youth. A private event featuring a
block party complete with face painters, martial arts exhibitions, arts and
crafts was followed by an exclusive screening of Columbia Pictures new film
THE KARATE KID. The Dallas Film Society was instrumental in securing a Physical
Fitness Proclamation from the City of Dallas. This was presented by City
Officials to Jaden Smith ("Dre Parker"), Jackie Chan ("Mr. Han") after they and
other stars and special guests walked the red carpet on Thursday, May 27 at 4:30
PM at Cinemark Movies 17 (635 and Webb Chapel - 11819 Webb Chapel Road, Dallas,
TX 75234).

In Columbia Pictures' THE KARATE KID, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith)
could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P.
Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for
his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences
make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of
the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate,
and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a
strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan),
who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not
about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down
the bullies will be the fight of his life.

THE KARATE KID opens nationwide on Friday, June 11, 2010.

Photos of the event below:

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/23-5/29

Seems like when these big movies come out the powers that be seriously limit our access to them so they are really hard to obtain. And as usual when the calendar is posted everyone comes out mooching. If everyone reads their group mail as they should, and why else be a member if you only selectively read it, they would know that availability of Sex and the City 2 passes is like a needle in a haystack. Even your moderators are without, so please limit the "me too's" and begging, because anyone who got a pass will most likely NOT want to give them up.

May 23 - 29, 2010

Sun
5/23

Mon
5/24

7:30 pm
Sex in the City 2
AMC Northpark

Tue
5/25

7:30 pm
Prince of Persia
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Solitary Man
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Sex and the City 2
Gold Class Cinema Fairview

Wed
5/26

Thu
5/27

Fri
5/28

Sat
5/29


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Friday, May 21, 2010

Kites Review



An injured young man is found on a train with a bullet in his back. He’s nursed back to health by a local rancher. When he recovers he walks back into the desert searching for the love that he had lost. Exhausted and thirsty he stumbles upon a small train station which prompts the memories of what happened to him. He finds his phone by the tracks and asks the station master to charge his phone before he collapses. He’s awakened later when the station master says he’s called his friends to come fetch him, except those cars pulling up are filled with gunmen.

J (Hrithik Roshan) is an unlucky opportunist living in Las Vegas. It seems he’s always at the airport when his ship comes in. He survives by doing multiple jobs like selling popcorn, running scams, marrying women so they can get a green card and teaching dance classes. At one of his classes he flirts with a beautiful young woman Gina (Kangana Ranaut) who misinterprets his attentions. She manages to gain entry to his apartment where she proceeds to assume that they are a couple. When he angrily throws her out, he quickly apologies and reconsiders when he discovers that she is daughter of a casino owner. His ship has finally come in. That is until he discovers that Gina’s brother’s Tony (Nick Brown) has a fiancée Natasha (Barbara Mori) who was J’s latest immigrant wife. She made a lasting impression on him and he didn’t forget her. The two couples spend time together, but he can’t keep his eyes off of Natasha. As J becomes ensconced in the casino owner’s family he’s made privy to the gangster like dealings of their business. He also sees how badly Natasha (aka Linda) is being treated by Tony and realizes that he can’t deny his love for her. On the eve of Tony and Natasha’s wedding, J takes her out on the town to prove his affections. When they return to her apartment, a drunken Tony is waiting. They knock him out and are on the run when the gangsters, the cops and some bikers are after them when it’s reported they also stolen 2 million dollars from the casino.

This is not your typical Bollywood film directed by Anurag Basu and produced by Rakesh Roshan. There’s a mix of thriller, romance and action as well as some musical sequences, but not breaking the context of the scene. The movie is a cross over of Indian Bollywood and Spanish Novella. The actors in the film are incredibly attractive with Hrithik Roshan’s most amazing eyes that are rimmed in green, hazel and red around the pupils, plus killer abs. Mexican soap opera star, Barbara Mori is stunning as the Mexican love interest. The camera lovingly caresses them at every opportunity as they gaze into each other’s green eyes. There is an over abundance of slow motions shots, close-ups, underwater scenes, rain, rain and more rain. The dialogue is a mixture of Hindu, Spanish and English often at the same sentence.

It’s a long running time for the film at 130 minutes, with a shorter version, Kites:the Remix, will also be released. With less music, and subtitles and more action it will probably work better for the multiplexes as American audiences may not sit still when power ballads play while the lover chastely frolic, but will enjoy the car explosions and gun play. Kites has a little bit of everything and a lot of over the top romance.
(Review by Reesa)


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MacGruber Review



MacGruber had dedicated his life to fighting crime with his bare hands. He had honed his skills as a Green Beret, Navy SEAL and Army Ranger. But in the 10 years since his fiancée was killed, Special Op MacGruber has sworn off fighting until General Faith calls him on a special mission to find MacGruber’s nemesis Dieter Von Cunth who has stolen a nuclear warhead.

Mullet headed MacGruber (Will Forte) may be like the 1980’s MacGyver hero but he’s dangerously inept. In the Saturday Night Lives skits he basically kills his team with each mission. The expanded version of the movie doesn’t rehash the same routines. MacGruber’s former boss General Faith (Powers Boothe) wants him to track down Cunth (Val Kilmer) using his unique skills. We are to believe that MacGruber had won countless medals and purple hearts, is an expert in martial arts and bombs but he doesn’t use a gun, preferring hand to hand combat. Joining him is a rookie military officer assigned to over see the mission straitlaced Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) and Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) his old partner. Vicki is a former operative with MacGruber, but quit to launch a career as a singer. The dastardly Dieter Von Cunth had previously killed MacGruber’s wife Casey (Maya Rudolph) on their wedding day.

MacGruber is like the guy in Get Smart that doesn’t necessarily get a job done on his own, but through a series of misadventures and mistakes. His methods are unorthodox and inane like the scenes with the celery stick which can’t be described here. Will Forte and Kristen Wiig play characters stuck in their heyday of the 80’s. But they are such accomplished comedians they are able to show MacGruber almost in a sympathetic light. This is a feat in itself as MacGruber is self-righteous, a coward, vain, petty, immature, homophobic and delusional. There’s really nothing redeeming about him. Yet the other characters are playing it straight around him and because of that it works for the most part. If this was a Will Farrell movie, I would have just left annoyed.

Written by Forte and the SNL writers John Solomon and Jorma Taccone (who also directed the film) keeps the pace light. I was unfamiliar with the skit before seeing the movie. SNL’s reputation for having hit or miss comedy routines wasn’t an encouraging factor on seeing it. But I was surprised that such broad comedy would illicit fits of giggles. I probably won’t remember any of the gags, except for maybe celery sticks
(Review by Reesa)

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Shrek Forever After Review



The once fearsome ogre Shrek has settled down to married life with Fiona and their 3 babies. The daily routine of a family man is beginning to wear on the creature that once brought terror and mayhem to kingdom of Far Far Away. When Rumpelstiltskin offers him a day off from being a nice ogre he gets more than what he bargained.

In this (hopefully) last installment of Shrek The Final Chapter, Shrek (Mike Myers) is changing diapers, waving to tourists, roaring for kids. It’s no wonder that Shrek frustrated with the typical suburban father tedium is an easy mark to smooth taking Rumplestiltskin (Walt Dohrn) who offers him a way out. When Shrek signs a contract with magical ink he is sent back to a time where the King and Queen (John Cleese and Julie Andrews) of Far Far Away had signed away their kingdom to save their daughter from the tower. The kingdom is now in the hands of the conniving Rumplestiltskin and the witches is no longer the happy place that Shrek knew and loved. Even his best friends Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and an overweight Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) don’t know him. The kingdom’s ogres who have banded together to fight their oppression are lead by a militant Fiona (Cameron Diaz) who carries a grudge for not being saved from her tower. Only true love’s kiss by sunrise the next day can break the spell that has befallen Shrek. He must get Fiona to fall in love with him once more for the time line to be restored.

Shrek in 3D looks better than average of the recent films that have been offered in this medium. The colors and depth didn’t give the usual headache associated with wearing the glasses. Director Mike Mitchell (SkyHigh) working with a script from Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke keep the action moving at a crisp click. The story just seems tired and predictable, not as witty as the first two movies, but infinitely more emotional and relatable than say, Ironman2. There is a bit of the Wizard of Oz here with the not appreciating what you have until it’s taken away How to Train Your Dragon still remains the best of the animated 3D ventures this season. There’s only so much you can squeeze out of an ogre family once they hit domesticity without it turning into a weekly TV sitcom. As a parting shot for this series, this is a nice adieu.
(Review by Reesa)

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/16 - 5/22

If a pass becomes available, you will probably hear about it from reading your group mail. Just because it's been scheduled on the group calendar doesn't necessarily mean that access to those said passes have been made available. Fishing on the list will only get your posts deleted. If you want to know about a screening, read the archived messages first. Click on the calendar entry and see if a link was posted as to who is offering the screening. If it's GOFOBO check the partners offering the passes if they are listed. If nothing is listed, then be patient.

If you find info about a screening and are hesitant about posting to the group, send it to your moderators and we will pass on the information.

If you have questions on a screening, write to the moderators first before sending it to the group, because if it's not list appropriate then it will be deleted.

May 16 - 22, 2010

Sun
5/16

Mon
5/17

7:30 pm
Get Him to the Greek
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Splice
Studio Movie Grill dallas

Tue
5/18

8:00 pm
MacGruber
tba

Wed
5/19

7:00 pm
Survival of the Dead
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Thu
5/20

7:00 pm
The Karate Kid
AMC Northpark 15

7:00 pm
Get Him To The Greek
Cinemark Legacy

9:00 pm
MacGruber
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
5/21

Sat
5/22

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Pearl Review





Pearl Carter who in 1928 lives with her family in Marlow, Oklahoma sees an airplane for the very first time when one lands in her father’s field. In that moment her whole life had changed.

George Carter (Andrew Sensenig) and his Chickasaw wife Lucy (Angela Gair) have 3 daughters and a son. Pearl (Elijah DeJesus) at 12 years old has the responsibility of driving her father to work and on his business trips as he is blind. Despite his disability he is very successful and fosters the belief to his children, that you can accomplish anything if you try hard enough. When soon to be renowned aviator Wiley Post lands his plane on her father’s land, Pearl begs her father if she could ride in his plane. Her excitement and enthusiasm is hard for him to resist despite Pearl being grounded for previously being too out of control. Pearl falls in love with the feeling of flying. She loves the freedom it gives her. Wiley likes her spunk and willingness and tells George that she may have the aptitude to be a pilot. George decides to build Pearl an airplane hanger and get her an airplane. Wiley finds her a flight instructor who is hesitant about her age, until he sees what she can do. By the time she’s 14 Pearl is flying her first solo. Her father manages to secure her a flying license by saying she’s taller than she really is and 2 years older, much to the chagrin of the mother. Pearl flies at air shows and pilots her father and others for business trips. Soon she becomes a local celebrity for being the youngest airplane pilot in the country.

A couple years later she meets Scottie, a local farm boy and catches his attentions. They quickly become very close. Worried that her father will disapprove, she and Scottie elope just as her older sister had done. Apparently in those days it was acceptable for teenagers to run off and get married. But these are also during the years of the great depression and times are tough. Scottie has trouble with Pearl still barnstorming at the air shows. He believes she takes too many chances now that she’s married with a child.. Eventually she reconnects with her family and has to decide what’s more important in her life, flying or raising her children.

King Hollis directed this feature by Thomas Bailey, Donna Carlton, and Margaret Reynolds with the slow pacing of a Lifetime Channel TV movie. The true story of the inspiring young woman will work for young girls with aspiring dreams. Young women did not have that many options for their futures besides getting married and raising children to help work their farms. Her abilities and desire for someone of her age, during the late 1920’s, and in such a small town is remarkable in itself. It’s just a little convenient that she was able to do these things because her father was well to do enough to build her a hanger and buy her a plane. It also would have been nice if they included her meeting with famed humorist Will Rodgers through Wiley Post. Rodgers and Post were both killed when Post’s aircraft crashed in Alaska. For local films, it’s nice discovering a story so little known produced by the Chickasaw Nation.
(Review by Reesa)


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Just Wright Review



Lesley Wright is a 35 year old single woman who just can’t find a relationship. She’s got a good job, just bought a house that she’s fixing up, lets her god-sister stay for free and drives this beat up old car because her grandfather gave it to her. She’s a good person with whom men just want to be friends.

Queen Latifah embodies Lesley Wright with a good attitude about her situation in life. She’s happy working at a physical therapist. Her mom (Phylicia Rashad ) is helping to decorate and dad (James Pickens Jr) is attempting to make home repairs. Morgan (Paula Patton) is temporarily staying with Lesley as she formulates her plan in life to “bag” a ball player as a trophy wife and get her own brand. Lesley is amused by her god-sisters shallow outlook on life. They go out to a basketball game with Morgan dressed to the nines to attract the players. Lesley dresses like the fan that she is with the New Jersey Nets t-shirt and yelling from the stands. Morgan takes off when she hears there’s a party being given by the Nets Star Scott McKnight (Common) and her friends want to find out how snag an invite. Lesley stops at a gas station on the way home and McKnight driving a big fancy car drives up, and he’s clueless as to where the vehicle’s gas tank is located. In her unselfconscious way, and excited like a fan, she helps out McKnight who is grateful and invites her to the party the next night. When Lesley tells Morgan and asks her to come along, Morgan kicks her master plan into action. Using what little information she culled for Lesley’s brief conversation with McKnight, she manages to peak his interest and the next thing you know they are engaged.

McKnight has a serious injury during a game which will require intensive therapy if he’s going to the playoffs and having his contract renewed. Morgan recommends Lesley. With the chance that McKnight may no longer be able to play basketball, Morgan leaves him a note and takes off. Lesley must not only heal his torn knee, but also build up his confidence. In the process the expected is bound to happen between two people working so closely to each other. Until Morgan comes back into the picture once McKnight is healed, but will he make the Wright choice?

Director of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Sanaa Hamri and writer Michael Elliot have created a story about women that doesn’t sexualize them as objects. Morgan is beautiful and selfish which foils the level headed Lesley. Queen Latifah does basically the same character in his movie as she’s done in her past romantic comedies. And she has some really good chemistry with rapper/actor Common. Its nice seeing women who have a more substantial physical presence be viewed as romantic leads instead of the just the loud best friend with the heart of gold. The real life basketball players cameos which will attract the men to attend this date movie are the only stiff and uncomfortable performances in the film. It helps to attend a screening with an audience that is thoroughly invested and react with verbal enthusiasm. Otherwise it’s just another 2 hours that you will forget about and get on with stuff.
(Review by Reesa)

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Robin Hood Review




In the 12th century King Richard is returning from the ill fated campaign in the holy land waging war against the infidels. His army is bankrupt and has to pillage its way through France. During one particular siege Richard the Lion Hearted, beloved King of England is taken down by an arrow shot by a French cook. Robin Longstride, an expert archer in the King’s army decides in the interest of self preservation that it’s probably best to take off now before word of the king’s death reaches the coast and they won’t be able to afford the return. Along the way they encounter Sir Godfrey, an Englishman betraying his king and country by conspiring with the King of France to cause unrest with the vain and ineffectual Prince John. Godfrey and his bandits had just killed the soldiers who were returning the crown back to England. Robin and his band manage to scare them away. He hears the last words of Sir Robin of Loxley who makes Robin Longstride promise to return his sword to his family in Nottingham.

Prince John (Oscar Isaac), the youngest son and now only living child of the Queen Mother is elevated to King. He immediately demands more taxes from his subjects despite the country already suffering from paying the price of King Richards’s war. Sir Godfrey insinuates himself in the King’s Counsel and replaces William Marshall (William Hurt) the advisor to his father and his brother. Godfrey tells the king that he will make sure the taxes are paid. Only Godfrey smuggles French soldiers into the country to help him do the dirty work. He hopes to divide the country in civil war against their king and make the invasion France successful. What he doesn’t consider is Robin Hood’s ability to unite the Barons and the country against the tyranny.

There are so many different stories of the infamous archer and his battle to rob from the rich and give to the poor. This particular version written by Brian Helgeland who has done the Green Zone, Mystic River, and a Knight’s Tale, rewrites everything you think you may have known about Robin of the Hood. Don’t try to reference Errol Flynn’s merry band of bandits in tights and their peppy fun loving attitudes. This is a dark and dirty England and a very buff (Russell Crowe has not looked this good since Gladiator), and serious solider. Cate Blanchett plays Marion the wife of Robin of Loxley who must pretend that Robin Longstride is her husband returned from the wars so that she would not lose her properties when the elderly and blind Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow) passes. She is not the prim and delicate ward as in the other stories. She’s the matron of the household, working the fields along side the people of her lands.

Director Ridley Scott who also directed Kingdom of Heaven, Alien, American Gangster, is a master of the creating and immersing an audience into the story and its world. The battle sequences are well executed and visually exciting. The final battle between France and England was like a reenactment of D-Day only with arrows and horses. This could have easily ended up like Braveheart, but the movie carves its own niche into medieval lore. Crowe is excellent as Robin as well as his merry men Little John (Kevin Durand), Will Scarlet (Scott Grimes) and Friar Tuck (Mark Addy) who are well cast. This is a good stand alone film, but it ends with the Robin Hood the outlaw of Sherwood Forest that just begs for a sequel.
(Review by Reesa)

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Letters to Juliet Review




Sophie is a fact checker for a The New Yorker. She is taking a vacation trip to Italy with her fiancé Victor before their wedding. But it turns out to be mostly a business trip as Victor is busy meeting with suppliers for the new restaurant that he’s opening and Sophie is pretty much left to her own devices. She discovers this courtyard in Verona where people write love letters to Juliet, Shakespeare’s ill-fated heroine asking for advice and putting them on the wall. Curious she finds that the letters are collected by the “secretaries of Juliet” who answer them. Sophie helps out by writing one letter that got lost some 50 years ago between the bricks.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has aspirations of being a journalist and knows a good story when she sees it. So when Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) shows up in Italy spurred by encouragement in Sophie’s letter to look for her lost love, she asks if she could come along on the search. Claire’s grandson Charlies (Christopher Egan) does not like the idea of his grandmother wasting her time on what could be a futile mission. Sophie’s fiancé (Gael Carcia Bernal) is happy that she’s keeping busy so he can pursue his vendors. She puts her fact checking sleuthing talent to work looking for the every male with the name of Lorenzo Bartolini (Franco Nero still looking good after all these years). The trip covers a radius area where they think he lives based on Claire’s memory of when they first fell in love. Claire at the time was supposed to meet up with him one night and they planned to marry in the 60’s. She had gotten cold feet and went back to England. Claire always wondered what turn her life would have taken if she had shown up that night instead of running away.

Gary Winick with writers Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan have created a light hearted romance that doesn’t rely on slapstick situations or characters doing stupid things to propel the storyline. It probably helps having the classy elegant Vanessa Redgrave elevating the material. She has good chemistry with Seyfried whose Sophie learns a lesson on love from the older more experienced role model. It was harder to believe Charlie as the fussy grandson and why Sophie would choose him over her livelier boyfriend even though he’s a workaholic about his restaurant. No spoiler here, you know for the trailer this is how it’s going to end. Life if beautiful, the Italian countryside, the attractive cast, it’s the perfect postcard movie. Don’t think about how a lowly magazine fact checker can afford the hotels and meals on her side trip with Claire and Charlie. Did they pick up the tab? I don’t know what the protocol is when one invites oneself on a quest. Ignore the plot holes. This is a good date movie, you don’t have to think about it too hard and get on with your life.
(Review by Reesa)

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/2 - 5/8

Happy Mother's Day to all mom's and mother figures out there. Do something
special for your loved ones. There's a million and one screenings of Letters to
Juliet today in every part of the city. Go check out the special notices from
GOFOBO telling you to reprint your passes for some screenings.

Shrek is being offered this Saturday, and so far we don't have any info on
screening passes...so don't waste your time or ours asking for passes until the
passes become available on this list because we will just delete them. Same
goes for Sex in the City. Usually GOFOBO will post the screening partners on
their listings. So check out those listings first. You are on this list not
just to mooch passes. You must make an effort to obtain those passes on your
own.

May 9 - 15, 2010

Sun
5/9

3:00 pm
Letters to Juliet
Mesquite, Highland Village, Frisco, Dallas, Garland, Grapevine

4:00 pm
Letters To Juliet
Grapevine, Southlake, Allen, Lewisville, Dallas, Plano, Hurst

Mon
5/10

Tue
5/11

7:30 pm
ROBIN HOOD
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Letter to Juliet
Dallas

Wed
5/12

Thu
5/13

7:30 pm
Just Wright
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Letters to Juliet
AMC Northpark

Fri
5/14

Sat
5/15

6:00 am
Shrek Forever After
Dallas, TX

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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Babies Review




Four babies from different parts of the world is the focus of this entertaining and beautiful documentary on how we raise and nurture our little ones. Director Thomas Balmes and his crew offer a window in the lives of these families from Mongolia, Africa, Japan and the US. There is no dialogue or commentary to this film, only the camera aimed at the babies doing what babies do best.

Ponijao is from Opuwo, Namibia a village where the people raise goats. They live in huts with dirt floors, flies everywhere, and people with little to no clothes. They are decorated in beautiful beadwork necklaces, leg bracelets and belts. They use red ochre to clean themselves and a knife to cut their hair. Babies crawl around in the dirt. There’s stillness in the way the mother and the female family members care for their young. Mothers offer a breast for nursing whenever there’s a need. Bayar(jargal) is from a nomad family in Mongolia. They also raise goats and cows. In Mongolia they tie their kids in papoose like bundling. He was held in his mothers’ arms on the back of a motorcycle across the wide open rolling plains of their lands. Bayar grows exploring his world being close to the earth, the vast horizon and sometimes tormented by his older brother in typical sibling fashion. Mari is born in Tokyo, Japan. And Hattie is born in San Francisco. They have an urban upbringing filled with the best of everything to stimulate their small motor skills. Their mothers take them to classes, and expose them to zoos, and stores. Despite these benefits that would be considered normal by most people, the babies all share a common unifying factor; the love of their parents, and careful attention to their development.

It’s been said that babies are cute as mother nature’s way of keeping their human parent from abandoning the child. As a mother it’s hard to resist the beauty of these babies. Balmes’ camera’s effectively captured the unique journey each child takes in their exploration of their world. The lack of narration only enhances the universal language of who we are as a species. Our offsprings are our future. It’s up to us to create an environment that is safe and healthy so that our children will survive.
(Review by Reesa)

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Iron Man 2 Review



Billionaire Tony Stark’s revelation that he was Iron Man made him into a world celebrity and rock star. His stance is that he has successfully privatized peace. But now he must contend with those who want of piece of his technology. The government wants him to hand it over because to them it’s a weapon, competing businesses who want to build their own line, and a deranged ex-con Russian physicist who hates Stark for personal reasons. Stark’s biggest enemy besides his ego is the technology that is keeping him alive is also killing him.

A government sub-committee led by Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) is also after him to turn over his Iron Man technology for the sake of the country. Stark refuses and in the process shames rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell in his smarmiest character yet) by pointing out his company is also trying to create a competing Iron Man without success.

Stark (Robert Downey Jr) wanting to continue is father’s legacy, opens the Stark Expo, a massive theme park to celebrate technology and peace. His wild narcissism is a cover for the fear that his arc reactor is slowly poisoning him. He turns his company over to his long time assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltro) while he indulges in participating in the Monaco speed car race.

Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) was jailed for selling weapons technology. When he gets out his father is dying. Anton Vanko had collaborated with Tony’s father while they were developing the original arc reactor. Ivan begins to build his own to exact revenge as he blames the Stark’s for his family’s demise. Palladium powered Ivan stops the race while using electric laser whips that can slice a moving race car in half, hence his villain name of “Whiplash”. Iron Man eventually defeats him but Ivan has sown the seeds of challenging the public’s confidence in his ability to save the world. Hammer manages to extract Vanko from jail, fake his death and put him to work on his Iron Man solider prototype. Unfortunately Vanko is still following his own agenda and using Hammer’s resources for the ultimate confrontation with Iron Man.

The Avengers Initiative leader Fury (Samuel Jackson) hints to Stark there is a way to repair his arc reactor in plans that his father left to him. Stark realizes after all these years his emotionally distant father actually loved him and left him the answer to his dilemma. Fury had also assigned Stark an evaluator to see if he’s suitable for S.H.I.E.L.D. Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) who is working for Stark Industries also rocks a skin tight cat suit in some great fight sequences.

He is also betrayed by his best friend Rhodey Rhodes (played this time around by Don Cheadle) who is worried about Stark’s erratic behavior. He dons an extra Iron Man armor and delivers it to his commanding officers. He realizes his error when he Hammer takes possession of it, which in turn is given to Vanko to develop into an amry of Iron Man soldiers.

Jon Favreau who directed the first one, uses lots of explosions and battle sequences in the final conflict. Although it has ably accomplished action with some Iron Man angst, it lacks the excitement and humor of the first movie. It will obviously bring a ton of movie goers to the theater opening weekend, so even though it’s not as good as the first is a moot point.
(Review by Reesa)

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Square Review






The Square

Ray and Carla are engaged in an extra marital affair having trysts in her car while their dogs are locked in his vehicle. Sometimes they meet in hotel rooms for afternoon romps before going home to their clueless spouses. Ray promises to run off with Carla, but she is tired of his empty promises. When she suggests a plan, he balks, so she cuts off her attentions. Straight, dour Ray decides the only way to keep her is to give in to her plan. Thus begins a cascade of tragedy from that toppled bad choice domino.

Ray (David Roberts) supervises a construction site building a vacation development. Spurred by the need to get money to run away with his mistress, he gets involved in a kickback scheme with a cement company. Meanwhile Carla (Claire van der Boom) discovers a bagful of money that her thug husband Smithy (Anthony Hayes) is hiding away in the ceiling which she takes and hides in her salon. She tells Ray that he should get someone to burn down her house so that her husband will think his hidden cash is destroyed and won’t come after them for it. Ray hires arsonist Billy (played by Joel Edgerton – co-screenwriter and brother of the director) and Lily his girlfriend (or sister, its ambiguous played by Hanna Mangan-Lawrence) to make it look like faulty wiring while everyone is outside for the town’s Christmas celebration. Carla discovers that Smithy asked his mother to come feed their dog and she tells Ray to abort the job. Ray calls the simple minded Lily, but fearful of Billy she fails to get the message through in time.

The consequences of Ray and Carla’s amateurish attempt to escape together stemming from their lust and passion causes a karma retribution that makes the audience feel clammy and edgy for the rest of the movie. The series of complications, accidents, blackmail and a shark attack are sometimes funny in its moral dilemma etched on Ray’s craggy face as his hopes and dreams hang in the balance. You can see why Ray is so smitten with the pretty and young Carla. But it’s unclear why Carla is so enamored outside of Ray being the polar opposite of her husband. But can such a fuddy duddy as Ray bring long term happiness? These characters don’t think beyond their immediate need. It’s hard to feel sympathy for their wrong choices but at the same time it looks like the blocks may be falling into place. It makes one almost feel guilty for wanting their plan to succeed because everything they are doing is just plain wrong.

Director Nash Edgerton who also did the amazing short “Spider” masterfully created a tense film noir style movie with so many twists and turns it will keep you enthralled. At least it will keep you from looking too closely at the plot holes. The ending will remind you that you reap what you sow.
(Review by Reesa)


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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/2 - 5/8

Happy 4th Anniversary to the Dallas Movie Screening Group!!!

Started the first week of May on Yahoo Groups. When the melodious Jeff Baker stopped sending out movie pass notices on his list, it created a need and this list was created to help share free screening information. I had printed out little slips of papers to advertise at the X-Men pass pickup at the South Side Lamar coffee shop. We also signed up for a trip to Canada promotion for the movie which my daughter won! We only had about 35 members at first, then Jeff shared his mailing list with us. We grew quickly swelling to over 1300 members. The first group had to be disbanded because it was becoming overrun by spammers and people thinking they can just beg for passes. This new incarnation was started with a more tightly run format. Today we have over 700 on the list.

While we appreciate the growth and the continued support, the moderators are still hitting their heads on their keyboards because we are faced with the same dilemma of people NOT reading instructions or following directions. It only takes a second to double check what you are doing before sending it to the list. If people continue to misbehave, we will pack up and move somewhere else and may or may not tell ya...but for those that don't read these weekly rants, then you will probably not see this anyway. For those that do..you've been warned.

Now regarding the Iron Man 2 passes. You have to realize the Dallas Observer passes are always "iffy" at best. Please do not harass the vendors who offer the passes that gave them away early. If there was a limited supply and a massive amount of people waiting for them, then it's up to them do decide how to distribute. It's not their fault they only got a few. We don't want to bite the hand that feeds us. So quit your whining! I didn't get a pass either from the contests and pickups. Begging from the list probably won't do much good because those that were lucky enough to get one, will most likely not want to give them up. As the blockbusters come ripping and roaring through this season, please keep your mooching to a minimum! The moderators have better things to do than delete your messages.

Thank you all again for making the screening community so successful. I've enjoyed meeting a lot of you at the movies, so please come and introduce yourselves.


May 2 - 8, 2010

Sun
5/2

Mon
5/3

7:00 pm
Prince of Persia
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:15 pm
I Become Gilgamesh
SMU Hughes Trigg Theater

7:30 pm
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
Angelika Dallas

Tue
5/4

7:30 pm
Iron Man 2
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Iron Man 2
Cinemark 17

Wed
5/5

7:30 pm
Babies
Angelika Dallas

Thu
5/6

7:30 pm
Pearl
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
5/7

Sat
5/8

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Survival of the Dead Review





Survival of the Dead


Shortly after the outbreak of the dead coming back to life as zombies bent on eating live humans, a group of National Guard soldiers realize that world has become survival of the ones with the most guns. They go leave their unit, which have become infected and pillage their way seeking a safe place hold up. They find this guy on the internet advertising Plum Island off the coast of Delaware as a refuge.

The beautiful isolated Plum Island is mostly settled by two clans, the Muldoons and the O’Flynn’s, a cantankerous couple of family leaders bent on destroying one another. Patrick O’Flynn (Kenneth Welsh) wants to shoot all the undead in the head to keep them dead. Seamus Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick) thinks they can train the zombies to eat something else and not people. Muldoon thinks that it’s his responsibility to keep the island’s residents intact, although not living, just in case a cure is found. O’Flynn is not that sure anyone will be found before there’s no one left alive. It comes to a conflict when O’Flynn can’t bring himself to shoot two infected children. He’s run off the island where he starts the advertising claim and send outside people to bug his nemesis.

The soldiers lead by Sarge “Nicotine” Crocket (Alan Van Sprang) discovers the mainland grounded O’Flynn and his cohorts are bilking people for their money and valuables. They battle it out, but the noise attracts a large group of zombies. The soldiers steal a ferry boat and O’Flynn barely gets away from the zombie attack and is brought on board. His return home is not as he had hoped. His daughter has turned into a zombie and rides her horse not stop. Zombies are chained on a tether doomed to brainlessly keep doing the same repetitive task they had done when they were alive. Eventually there’s the confrontation with the O’Flynn’s and the Muldoon’s and the fate of the zombies.

The thieving National Guardsmen appeared briefly in the previous film Diary of the Dead, director George A. Romero’s 5th film of the series. The first film Night of the Living Dead made in 1968 was the scariest film I had seen at that time. It remains an all time cult classic scaring generations at midnight movie screenings. None of the other movies, at least for me, is as initially as frightening. Survival offers a different take on the whole zombie cannon. Training zombies to see other mammals as a food group is an interesting concept. The film does have some truly interesting slice and dice shots of zombies dismembering their meals. And the creepy walking in the woods alone without shelter of a gun can make one jump. None of the movies will ever replace my first experience in Romero’s zombie world, but Survival is a worthy addition to keep the franchise alive…or undead.
(Review by Reesa)
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Texas Frightmare Weekend Red Carpet




Dallas Movie Screenings was there on the red carpet at the Texas Frightmare Weekend Red Carpet:



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