Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier 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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coming In July

July 1
- The Last Airbender (3D/2D theaters)

July 2
- Great Directors (NY; LA release: July 9)

July 8
- Grease Sing-A-Long (limited)

July 9
- Despicable Me
- The Girl Who Played with Fire (NY)
- The Kids Are All Right (limited)
- Predators
- Winnebago Man (limited)
- [Rec] 2 (limited)

July 14
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice

July 16
- Inception (conventional and IMAX theaters)
- Kisses (limited)
- Operation: Endgame (LA)
- The Wild Hunt (limited)

July 23
- The Concert (NY, LA; expands: Aug. 6)
- Countdown to Zero (limited)
- Farewell (limited)
- Life During Wartime (limited)
- Mugabe and the White African (NY)
- Ramona and Beezus
- Salt
- Spoken Word (NY; expands: July 30)
- Valhalla Rising (limited)

July 25
- O Apostolo 3-D

July 30
- Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (3D/2D theaters)
- Charlie St. Cloud
- Dinner for Schmucks
- The Dry Land (limited)
- The Extra Man (limited)
- Get Low (limited)
- Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (limited)
- Twelve
- Who Killed Nancy (NY)

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eclipse Review

A young man walking the deserted streets of Seattle is pursued and attacked by a mysterious culprit. When he’s bitten on the hand he writhes on the ground in total agony. Seattle is under siege of what local officials is calling a possible serial killer. The city is also being plagued by a rash of missing people reports.

Meanwhile in a beautiful meadow in Forks, Washington, Edward is asking Bella to marry him. Having come from divorced parents, she does not have much faith in the institution. Edward promises that he will “turn” Bella into a vampire like him but only is she says yes to his proposal. He wants her to think very carefully about this decision to become part of his undead family and the consequences of not seeing her family any more. Her father doesn’t have any idea of the true nature of Bella’s boyfriend. He only knows that he spells trouble in her life. He encourages her to call her old friend Jacob who has not talked to her in a few weeks. Jacob’s wolf pack is aware of his feeling for Bella by their unique ability to hear each other’s thoughts. When Jacob and Bella finally see each other Jacob is determined to get Bella to admit that she also loves him.

Alice with her gift for foresight sees a newborn vampire army being assembled. Newly made vamps are very strong and hard to kill as they are lost in their imperative to feed. The Cullens realize that Victoria is behind this new development in her attempt to seek revenge for the death of her boyfriend by Edward’s hand. The Cullens must make an alliance with the wolf pack to fight.

The third part of the Twilight Saga is directed by David Slade who also did 30 Days of Nights. The special effects and action sequences flow with more precision than the last 2 films. The lead trio, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner show more confidence in their characters. Considering the painfully stiff performances in the earlier films this one seems almost more natural and familiar. The other cast and characters are all given all too brief screen time. The back story of the Cullen kids are explored with flashbacks which was infinitely more interesting than the whole Jacob or Edward thing.

The main plot of the book and movie deals with the war between the newbie vamps, the Cullen’s and the wolf pack. Where the book goes into detail with the battle and the Volturi aftermath, this movie plays to the fans of team Jacob or team Edward. Bella has to admit and confront her true feelings for Jacob culminating in a kiss between them. I’m not really giving spoilers because if you are going to see this movie it’s because you’ve read the books. A major portion of the movie deals with Bella’s decision to be “turned” before her birthday so she will not be physically older than Edward. While Jacob is trying to convince her that she can live and that she belongs with him. It would have been more interesting to have more focus on the action than all the insipid angst. Of the 3 films so far, this one is the best of the series. Hoards of fans will fill the theaters no matter what, but it helps to have either seen the first two movies or read the books.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 6/27 - 7/03

Holy smokes it's hot outside. Makes those ice cold Angelika Theater houses seem like a welcome reprieve. Obviously the big movies of the week are Eclipse and Airbender. The later being more available than the first. Don't know if anyone who got an Eclipse pass will want to give it up. You are welcome to try, but please keep the mooching to a minimum. And wait to see if you won them from the movie partners offering contests.

Those of you who act like you just found out there are movie screening this week, please read your group email. Bookmark the group page and read the archived messages to see what contests popped up while you were asleep at the wheel. Check the calendar daily for any changes that could have occurred. You snooze, you lose.

If you find info about a screening and are hesitant about posting to
he 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.

June 27 - July 3, 2010



7:30 pm
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Cinemark West Plano


7:00 pm
Cinemark West

7:30 pm


7:30 pm
Despicable Me
Studio Movie Grill Dallas




Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Knight and Day Review

A man is nonchalantly checking out the people at the airport in Wichita. For some reason he’s paying particular attention to a type of woman. Single and traveling alone. A somewhat clumsy woman comes in pulling a very heavy suitcase, the man “bumps” into her. She goes through security with car parts. The man bumps into her again. When she is told there are no seats on her flight, the man cryptically tells her that “sometimes things happen for a reason”. At the last minute the stewardess comes out and says there was a seat for her. She enters the plane and it’s practically empty. She strikes up a flirtatious conversation with the man who bumped into her. She excuses herself to use the restroom while she contemplates whether she should indulge in the flirting, the man is busy fighting the remaining passengers on the plane who all happen to be assassins, including the pilots and the stewardess. When the woman comes out and sees the carnage she’s confused by the man’s kind of matter of fact way about him while he’s trying to keep her calm.

Thus begins the newest adventure comedy with Tom Cruise as CIA agent Roy Miller and Cameron Diaz as car restorer on her way to her sister’s wedding, June Havens. Miller is accused by his partner of going rogue and stealing a super battery. Miller has what they are seeking, but he thinks his partner (Peter Sarsgaard) is the culprit. As much as he is trying to protect June from becoming involved, she gets into more hot water and he must come to her rescue in completely improbable situations as Roy whisks her off to exotic location and doing it after she’s been drugged to unconsciousness. There are numerous car chases with one in the middle of a bull stampede. Roy also shoots her firefighter ex-boyfriend, and then tells him it’s all good. They end up in Boston, the Alps, Austria, Spain, the Azores and June finds this out each time after waking up. Paul Dano plays a mentally unstable scientist that Miller was in charge of protecting. Viola Davis is CIA director George who wants Miller stopped.

James Mangold who directed more superior 3:10 to Yuma focus’s on the star power of Diaz and Cruise but it can’t quite save the script by writer Patrick O’Neill. The plot holes are big enough to drive a truck through. Cruise who has been trying to recreate his career with his comic character success in Tropic of Thunder, fortunately doesn’t go over the top with the excessively polite and calm Agent Miller. Cameron knows how to work the daffy comic vixen that is both competent and ditzy. But both stars are getting to that point where they are just a little too old for the meet cute action/adventure roles. As long as you check your brain at the door enjoy it for the light-hearted summer movie that it is and you should have a good time.
(Reviewed by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 21, 2010


This Saturday, June 26, two cast members from THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE will be in Dallas for TWILIGHT Night at the AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center. No word on who that will be...so if you are a Twilight fan, then come out and enjoy!

In celebration of the lunar eclipse on the evening of June 26th, Summit Entertainment is inviting everyone across the nation to “TWILIGHT Night,” a 12-city event including outdoor screenings of TWILIGHT and THE TWIILGHT SAGA: NEW MOON. The family and community-oriented events are the perfect chance for those new to the film franchise as well as moviegoers in general to immerse themselves in THE TWILIGHT SAGA phenomenon just in time for the highly anticipated theatrical release of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, the third installment of Summit Entertainment’s TWILIGHT SAGA film franchise, on June 30th.

The excitement of THE TWILIGHT SAGA will be delivered directly to fans in their hometowns and online with “TWILIGHT Night” special events. Moviefone will live-stream events from Philadelphia and San Diego at www.moviefone.com/twilightnight which will include interviews with cast, fan reactions, special guests and sneak peeks of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, allowing those unable to attend to still take part in the celebration. In addition, each event will include special cast member appearances as well as engaging activities to be enjoyed prior to the outdoor evening film screenings, including a red carpet and photo booth, both provided by Moviefone. The event will be emceed by on-air personality Billy the Kid/KHKS-FM Radio. Additional activities include: booths with airbrush tattoo artist, Nordstrom merchandise and ECLIPSE promo items. To entertain the crowd, two trendy DFW bands, The Burning Hotels and Chandler Nash, will perform on stage. Concessions will be available at the south end of American Airlines Center (no outside food or drink allowed).

Bookmark and Share

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 6/20 - 6/26

Not a busy movie week. I was trying to find more info on those "tba" movie theaters with no luck. If anyone finds out where they are (like win a pass), please let us know.

I know a lot of y'all are anxiously awaiting passes for the Eclipse screening next week. Just a reminder that you must make an honest attempt to get them on your own. And please don't fill up our mail boxes with gimme's. Most likely who ever won a pass will not give it up. Thanks for your cooperation.

June 20 - 26, 2010



7:30 pm
Romeo and Juliet
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


6:30 pm
Knight and Day
AMC NorthPark 15

7:30 pm



7:30 pm
Grown Ups
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


7:30 pm
Grease Sing-A-Long


8:30 pm
Top Gun
Half price Books Parking lot--5803 E. Northwest Hwy. Dallas TX

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 18, 2010



12 Nationwide Evening Events to Provide Families, Friends and Fans
the Opportunity to See the First Two Films in

Moviefone.com to Live-Stream Twilight Night
Bringing Experience to Fans Everywhere

Los Angeles, CA June 18, 2010 – In celebration of the lunar eclipse on the evening of June 26th, Summit Entertainment is inviting everyone across the nation to “TWILIGHT Night,” a 12-city event including outdoor screenings of TWILIGHT and THE TWIILGHT SAGA: NEW MOON. The family and community-oriented events are the perfect chance for those new to the film franchise as well as moviegoers in general to immerse themselves in THE TWILIGHT SAGA phenomenon just in time for the highly anticipated theatrical release of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, the third installment of Summit Entertainment’s TWILIGHT SAGA film franchise, on June 30th.

The excitement of THE TWILIGHT SAGA will be delivered directly to fans in their hometowns and online with “TWILIGHT Night” special events. Moviefone will live-stream events from Philadelphia and San Diego at www.moviefone.com/twilightnight which will include interviews with cast, fan reactions, special guests and sneak peeks of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, allowing those unable to attend to still take part in the celebration. In addition, each event will include special cast member appearances as well as engaging activities to be enjoyed prior to the outdoor evening film screenings, including a red carpet and photo booth, both provided by Moviefone. The event will be emceed by on-air personality Billy the Kid/KHKS-FM Radio. Additional activities include: booths with airbrush tattoo artist, Nordstrom merchandise and ECLIPSE promo items. To entertain the crowd, two trendy DFW bands, The Burning Hotels and Chandler Nash, will perform on stage. Concessions will be available at the south end of American Airlines Center (no outside food or drink allowed).

Moviefone’s coverage puts THE TWILIGHT SAGA enthusiasts first, from fan-created trivia to fan-driven interview questions on Moviefone’s Unscripted, an online video show where stars from THE TWILIGHT SAGA will interview each other. Moviefone.com, http://moviefone.com, reaches nearly 14 million unique visitors per month according to comScore May 2010 Media Metrix data.

“AOL is thrilled to be partnering with Summit Entertainment to bring the Twilight Night experience to Moviefone.com so fans don’t miss any of the action,” said Kerry Trainor, vice president, strategy and operations, AOL Media. “Moviefone.com is so much more than an online destination for ticket buying. We provide original, premium content to movie enthusiasts everywhere with the hope of being the one-stop shop when it comes to movies. This partnership allows us to show how AOL truly is reaching targeted audiences in new and innovative ways.”

For more information about the nationwide screenings and to see if one is in your hometown, visit http://eclipsethemovie.com.

Events are currently scheduled to take place in the following cities and venues. Doors open at 6:00 PM local time in each city. Attendance will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. See local event information for additional instructions.*

Atlantic Station
171 17th St NW
Atlanta, GA

AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center (Co-Sponsor)
2500 Victory Ave
Dallas, TX

Sloan’s Lake Park
17th Ave and Sheridan
Denver, CO

Gusman Center Performing Arts
174 East Flagler Street
Miami, FL

The Piazza
North Second Street and Germantown Avenue, Below Girard
Philadelphia, PA

Desert Ridge Shopping Center
21001 North Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ

Colonel Summers City Park
Portland, OR

Salt Lake City
Movie in the Park
Fairmont Park located
2361 South 900 East
Salt Lake City, UT

St. Louis
St. Louis Union Station
1820 Market Street
St. Louis, MO

San Diego
Park at the Park (Downtown)
10th & K
San Diego, CA

Fremont Outdoor Movies
3501 Phinney Ave N.
Seattle, WA

Washington DC
National Harbor Plaza
163 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD

*Cities, venues and times are subject to change. Visit http://eclipsethemovie.com for the most current information.

TWILIGHT is rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON is rated PG-13 for some violence and action.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality.

In THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, directed by David Slade from a screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, Bella (Stewart) once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between Edward (Pattinson) and Jacob (Lautner) — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.

About the TWILIGHT SAGA film series
The TWILIGHT SAGA film series stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and tells the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, and becomes drawn to Edward Cullen, a pale, mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away. But neither can deny the attraction that pulls them together...even when Edward confides that he and his family are vampires. The action-packed, modern day vampire love story TWILIGHT, the first film in the series, was released in theatres on November 21, 2008 to a blockbuster reception. The second installment of the film franchise, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON was released November 20, 2009. The franchise has grossed over $1.1 billion in worldwide box office ticket sales to date.

About Summit Entertainment, LLC
Summit Entertainment, LLC is a worldwide theatrical motion picture development, financing, production and distribution studio. The studio handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures as well as acquired pictures. Summit Entertainment, LLC also represents international sales for both its own slate and third party product. Summit Entertainment, LLC release on average 10 to 12 films annually.

About AOL
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global Web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL's business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL's owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL's consumer offerings.

Bookmark and Share

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Whenever someone mentions Joan Rivers it is usually followed by a groan. The most immediate image in one’s mind is an over made up older woman who has indulged in one too many plastic surgeries selling jewelry on QVC. Documentary filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg (The Devil Came on Horseback, The Trials of Darryl Hunt) followed Ms. Rivers for 14 months starting with her 75th birthday to examine the life of the iconic woman of comedy.

Most people forget that Joan Rivers started out in the early 60’s at various comedy clubs in New York before her first guest appearance on The Tonight Show which was then hosted by Jack Paar. She appeared on Ed Sullivan, the Carol Burnett Show and released a couple comedy albums. Rivers had what would have been considered a cutting edge humor. At a time when woman’s liberation was on the fore front, Rivers spoke about issues to which the female audience could relate. Her famous tag line “Can we talk?” is a federal trademark. In the 80’s she became a regular guest host for Johnny’s Carson’s tonight show with Carson as her mentor. When she was offered her own TV show on another channel, Carson stopped speaking to her.

Rivers allowed the filmmakers complete access to her daily life. In her mid 70’s her main goal each day is to fill her daily calendar with appearances, interviews, selling her merchandise, movies, and TV. Her elaborately decorated home in NY speaks to the kind of lifestyle she wants to maintain, which means the need to keep working as much and as often as she can, even if it means filming a Depends (adult diaper) commercial. Rivers is a successful business woman who has her own fashion accessory line that she hawks on QVC television. She even won the Celebrity Apprentice. She does stand up comedy all over the country playing at casinos, resorts, clubs, and wherever she can. Appreciative audiences in the small towns are subjected to her raunchy acute humor and Joan is very generous with her fans afterwards.

This documentary offers an unexpected glimpse into the life a woman that not only broke ground for other comedienne’s like Kathy Griffin, but as a mom, grandmother, hard working businesswoman, and entertainer for the past 50 years, and with probably more to come.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Cyrus Review

John’s ex wife comes over because he’s not answering his phone and walks in at the most inopportune time. She came over with news that she’s going to marry her current boyfriend and invites him to get out and meet new women. She and John have been divorced for several years, but John is still not over it. He goes to the party and attempts to start conversations with women get him immediately shot down. After several drinks he confesses his heart to the most unattractive woman and even she fakes a feigned phone call to walk away from him. He meets Molly in the backyard while he’s using a bush as a bathroom. They hit it off right away. John couldn’t be happier until he meets her son Cyrus.

John (John C. Reily) doesn’t understand why beautiful Molly (Marisa Tomei) is mysterious about her living situation. After the 2nd night of her taking out, he decides to follow her. He falls asleep and wakens to find him self still in his car. He snoops around until he’s confronted with Cyrus (Jonah Hill). Cyrus invites him in while they uncomfortable small talk and Cyrus plays his electronic synth music compositions. Molly comes dancing in the house surprised to find John. Cyrus asks John to have dinner. John begins to notice the more than quirky relationship between son and mother. Molly was a single mom who home schooled her child. They are more like good friends with their own routine and company. Cyrus acts all sweetness and light with John in front of his mother, but even John suspects that Cyrus is trying to sabotage his mom’s new relationship. John still confides and confesses all to his ex wife Jamie (Catherine Keener) much to the consternation of her fiancĂ©.

Written and directed by the brother team of Jake and Mark Duplass who filmed it like a documentary and having no rehearsal for their cast. The characters interact with each other pretty much like real life. There’s lots of hem’s and haws, awkward silences, and its just as boring as real life. The movie is being marketed as a comedy, but it’s really more like a dramady. John C. Reilly plays the same sad sack person that he’s done before. Keener is wasted as the exasperated first wife who has to listen to John talk forever about his angst with Molly. Jonah Hill who’s known mostly for his comedy films, plays this more seriously. Marisa Tomei has the more complicated person to decipher as Molly is a loving mom, who wants to create a new one with John and not seeing how her son is manipulating her. There are some amusing moments, but the story crawls with highly dysfunctional characters.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ondine Review

Syracuse is down on his luck fisherman in Ireland. He is devoted to his ill young daughter by his ex wife. One day Syracuse brings up his nets on his trawler and there’s a woman entangled within. Amazingly she’s still alive, but seems to suffer from a lack of memory. She calls herself Ondine, as this is name of the water spirit and it seemed fitting.

When his daughter Annie (Alison Barry) asks her father if “Anything strange or wonderful” happened that day he tells her a story of a woman found in a net. His precocious child tells him that the woman must be a selkie, a creature that changes shape from a seal to a woman and back again. Syracuse (Colin Farrell) hides Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) at his mother’s old house by the water as she is afraid to be seen. Ondine goes along with the mermaid persona to that point where Syracuse almost believes it. Especially since his luck seemed to change when he took her with him on his fishing trips, he manages to bring in big catches. Life has been hard on him with an alcoholic ex wife, a daughter with some series of health issues that require her to travel about town in an motorized wheel chair and have dialysis treatments. Annie goes to the library and studies on the legends wants to believe that Ondine is a real selkie. Ondine takes her swimming and finds this seaweed covered package on the sea bottom. Annie assumes this is Ondines seal coat that once it’s hidden she can stay in her human form until it’s found and returned to her again. Syracuse seeks the advice of the local priest (Stephen Rea) in the confession that he seems to use as an AA meeting to keep from drinking. There is no denying that Ondine is making him happy and she in turn has brought joy in Annie’s life too.

Neil Jordan directed and wrote this fanciful little story about hope, salvation and the power to believe. Colin Farrell gives a much understated performance of a man who can’t believe the tenuous nature of his luck. The beautiful Alicja Bachleda has an ethereal quality and tantalizes the audience with her gracefulness in the seas. But the movie is stolen from both of them by Alison Barry who keeps both characters grounded by her sweet good natured attitude. The final reveal of who is Ondine and how she ended up in the nets brings the movie to a quick stop because at this point you are hoping that she really is a selkie.
Review by Reesa

Bookmark and Share

Jonah Hex Review

It’s the Civil War and Jonah Hex finds that it’s the one thing he’s good at. He’s fighting for the South, but one day his commander gives and order he cannot follow. He ends up killing his best friend who happens to be the commander’s son. His commander exacts revenge by having Jonah’s family burned in a house fire in front of him, then had his face branded. Left for dead, he survives after 12 days when an Indian tribe finds him and heals him. Jonah believes being that close to death had given the ability to understand the crows and to speak to the dead.

Jonah (Josh Brolin) survives from sheer will to exact revenge on Quentin Turnbull (John Malcovich). When he finds out that he was killed, Hex turns to bounty hunting for a profit. The thing is, he’s more likely to bring those back dead than alive. The bounty ends up higher on Hex then to pay out for the bad guy bodies that Hex turns in. This does not end well as Hex is ready to survive the confrontation with superior fire power. (Gatling guns attached to the sides of a horse).

The President (Aidan Quinn) gets word that a train was hijacked and the munitions and cannons aboard were stolen and the innocent passengers were killed. The military have “intelligence” that Turnball is alive and that he maybe trying to create a weapon that that the government had once commissioned but stopped because it will create “hell on earth”. The President suggests that they hire Hex to find Turnbull and stop the bomb

The Jonah Hex character has been around since the seventies appearing the comic series called Weird Western Tales. Later in the eighties he was a bounty hunter fighting zombies. A combination of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne in alternative universe, Jonah Hex doesn’t have super powers, just the ability to talk to the dead. He gets shot plenty of times. Animator Jimmy Hayward directed Hex and Horton Hears a Hoo. Writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor who both wrote Gamer, keeps the dialogue to a minimum and the action pumped up.

Brolin is very comfortable in role of the lone avenger with a sense of right and wrong. Malcovich as the terrorist Turnbull is not given any back story of why he wants to destroy the world as we know it. Megan Fox is a barely dressed plot device that Turnbull can use to lure in Hex. The characters are the typical stereotypes, but the production moves along quickly so you won’t worry about details…like why is Turnbull an anarchist in the first place. Fans of this genre will enjoy fighting sequences and explosions.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Toy Story 3 Review

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and all the toys in Andy’s toy chest are trying to find a way to get Andy to play with them again. The plan comes to naught as Andy, now 18 years old and soon to be heading off to college doesn’t have the interest. The toys realize their fate must be the attic, the trash or becoming separated by being sold at a yard sale.

The toys vow to stick together no matter what. When Andy’s mother (Laurie Metcalf) finally convinces him to separate his belongings for college, attic or trash, Andy (John Morris) recalls the fun that his toys had given him over the years, and decides to take Woody (Tom Hanks) with him to college and the rest would go to the attic. Unfortunately the toy bag is mistaken for trash and is put out to the curb. Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cuasak) and the rest are still traumatized to believe Woody when he tells them they were destined for the attic. Instead they decide to take control of their own lives have themselves donated to the local daycare center. At first they believe they have found the perfect place to once more be useful and make kids happy. The resident toys all seem to welcome them with open arms. The leader of the daycare center toys is Lots of Huggin Bear or Lotso (Ned Beatty). His second in command is Ken (Michael Keaton) who falls for Barbie (Jodi Benson). They lead the toys to the caterpillar room. Woody suspects something amiss when he sees the toys in this room cowering. His friends want to stay still believing they are better off here. Woody has to get back to leave with Andy but he only manages to get as far as the tree outside when a little girl discovers him and takes him home where he meets her other well loved toys. They help him find a way to get home to Andy until he hears that all may not be as it seems at Sunnyvale Day Care. Seems all new toys are sent to the room for the rowdy little ones that don’t really play with toys as much as abuse them. When Andy’s toys try to talk to Lotso about it, they realize they are trapped. Woody has to find a way of saving his friends and getting them back to their home before Andy leaves.

Pixar once more adds another quality story to the end of the trilogy which started in 1995. The second part of the toys’ adventure was in 1999. Last year the first two movies were released in 3D and this one is opening with a digital 3D print. Before you start to groan over the over abundance of films in this medium, put your trepidations to rest. This one actually works nicely and enhances the quality of the film. Directed by Lee Unkrich who also did Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2 and it was written by the successful team of Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Staton and Lee Unkrich. Anyone who has grownup with his series will feel a tear in the eyes at saying goodbye to those characters that were loved and part of our lives. The film is one that parents will enjoy as much as their children. And maybe you will thinks of those toys that gave you such pleasure as a child. I still have my Barbie from 1959.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 6/13 - 6/19

I'm happy to report the pass pickup for Toy Story 3 went quite well. Bicycles Plus had plenty of passes on hand, and let people stand in an orderly line inside with the AC. Passes were handed out at 1 pm as promised. Don't you love it when this happens? Of course this means there will be a "million" kids at the screening tomorrow night, so please keep your cool, relax, it's a free movie.

The moderators are ready with the delete button with all the moochers coming out of the woodwork begging for passes. The people that went to the pickup did so with their gas money, time and effort. The only way they are giving them up is if they have an emergency and can't go, so please keep this in mind. Plus the websites offering contests to win passes have not awarded them yet, so please wait to see if you won.

Please note the new rule on the front page of the group. AMC theaters are going to enforce their "no outside food" policy. So far they have been lenient with us, but that's ending very soon. So unless you want to jeopardize the screenings at these venues and this includes all the theaters not just AMC, please comply with their rules. Eat before or after movie, or take turns eating with your posse. If you come alone, ask your neighbor to hold your place so you can run down and catch a bite. Don't give the theater employees a hard time when they ask you to toss that big Sonic container. They are only doing their job and you've been warned.

June 13 - 19, 2010



7:00 pm
Toy Story 3
Cinemark West Plano



7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Jonah Hex
AMC Valley View

7:30 pm
I Am Love
Angelika Dallas

10:00 pm
Horror Remix: Dummy
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


8:00 pm



Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Best Worst Movie

Friday night I had attended the debut screening of The Best Worst Movie documentary about the filming of Troll 2. Deemed the worst movie ever by IMDB.com, Troll 2 has garnered a cult following. Filmed in 1989 by Italian director Claudio Fragrasso and written by his wife, it was cast with small town Utah actors who thought they were just making a low budget horror film. The documentary made by Michael Paul Stephenson who played the young boy in the movie explores how the film was made and why it has gained such popularity. The name of the movie was supposed to be Goblins, but the studio wanted to tap into the Troll movie by naming it as a sequel although it has nothing to do with the first. You don't even have to watch Troll 2 to enjoy The Best Worst movie. The movie stands on it's on as what happens when a bad movie makes good.

Q&A with actor George Hardy and Producer Brad Klopman moderated by Gordon and the Whale's James Wallace.

Crowd waiting for the next screening of the Best of the Worst at the Landmark Inwood.

Me and Dr. George Hardy

Bookmark and Share

The Karate* Kid Review

* There was no Karate harmed or even attempted during the making of this film. But plenty of high-kicks and cool moves…

The track record for films remaking / re-imaging / re-imagining / re-animating the dead, or whatever marketing people want to call it this week, is very poor. It is always sad to see a popular story with iconic characters which has genuine nostalgia and relevance across generations paved over by a train wreck of thoughtless, uncreative indulgence. Thankfully, in the ‘Smith family affair’ called The Karate Kid, this didn’t quite happen. A lot of filmmaking did happen, some quality acting (and some uneven), and Kung Fu action also happened. But there are also problems with Director Harald Zwart’s (Agent Cody Banks, One Night at McCool's, Pink Panther 2) re-telling / re-imaging / re-hash of The Karate Kid.

The film tries to be many things – too many, which probably prevents it from excelling in any one area. With being a re-make of such a well-known classic surely to draw scrutiny, its like fighting with one hand tied. You have the classic “coming-of-age” story and the “heroic-overcoming-a-great-challenge” story, mixed with a “learning-to-pick-yourself-up” story, added to the “forgetting-the-awful-past-by-helping-someone-through-a-struggle-and-then-finding-the-strength-to-move-on-with-your-life” story all wrapped up nicely in an “East-meets-West”, aka “fish-out-of-water” story that is supposed to be a heartfelt family “message” movie.

The now classic Pas de deux of karate mentor and kid-on-a-mission are played wonderfully by Jackie Chan as a humble Chinese Kung Fu master (and has some great fight action, although brief), now turned maintenance man and the up & coming Jaden Smith (originally “produced” by great stars Will & Jada Pinket Smith). There is genuine on-screen chemistry between the 12-year-old ‘Dre Parker’ who is uprooted from living in Detroit with his widowed mom (Taraji P. Henson) to go live in China to work for an unspecified time at an unspecified auto plant. Moving to China is the major change from the original which serves as a springboard for fresh story elements with the charming young lady classmate and violin virtuoso Mei Ying, played delightfully by Han Wen Wen, whose star is surely to rise as she is capable of stealing scenes as well as your heart. And Jaden is definitely a chip off the ol’ block who definitely pulls off the spunky street-smart “tween” filled with pride and genuine screen presence with style.

But the fresh departure from the East coast vs. West coast of the original 1984 classic to going on-location in Beijing also provided the opportunity for the worst indulgence of the film – so much at times you wondered are they showing commercials during movies now? Is the Chinese Tourism Board footage the world’s biggest product placement? Honestly, one more shot of the much touted Beijing Olympic Stadium and I might take a chop at the film. And speaking of editing…Coming in at a ridiculous 2 hours 20 minutes, the film slowed down at times worse than the Beijing traffic! Nonetheless, the cinematography was stunning and major highlights of the film were the sojourn to the great Kung Fu temple in the clouds to meet the fascinating ‘cobra woman’ and the Kung Fu montage of form and training on the picturesque rooftop (one more flyby, please!), and along the Great Wall. (Make your reservations today!).

As a family film, it’s way too long. At my screening, kids got bored and wandered the aisles after about an hour until the action picked up at the end. And as a remake of a classic, it’s NOT a train wreck, but it is a long, slow, and extremely scenic train ride. And it is a journey we have taken before, so we know we’re going to the music-filled training montages. So why are we seeing the Beijing Olympic stadium again? And we know we’re going to the tournament to take on the bully. So why are we seeing the Great Wall and Forbidden City at sunset again? And we know we are going to see the fruits of the Karat—er, Kung Fu Kid’s efforts in growth and transformation which enriches and lifts the spirit of his sensei. So why are we seeing groups of people doing tai chi in the park again and again?
(Review By Harlan Johnson)

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A-Team Review

In Mexico a couple of cops are torturing an unknown man for information. When they realize they are not going to get what they want from him, they attempt to kill him with his own gun, but it lacks a firing pin. They are in a hurry to meet up with the rest of their crooked outfit and decide to leave him to the dogs. The man turns out to be Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, and he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve that opens his handcuffs, placates the dogs, puts the pins back in his gun, and smiles with satisfaction as there is a tracker in the wad of cash the bad cops are taking to their boss.

For anyone not familiar with the TV Show that aired in 1983-1987 with George Peppard, Dirk Benedick, Dwight Schultz, and Mr. T, the film opens re-introducing the characters. Hannibal (Liam Neeson) is the mastermind and he is working with wise cracking womanizer Lieutenant Faceman Peck (Bradley Cooper). On the way to the rendezvous with Peck, he hijacks a van driven by BA Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), who just got back his beloved vehicle from the illegal garage where he had previously worked. Smith realized that he’s a former Ranger and he’s recruited for the job. They save Peck, but in order to complete the mission they need a pilot which leads them to break out a questionably sane patient, Capt. HM Murdock (Sharlto Copley) from the hospital.

Eight years later, the team is in Iraq running very successful missions for their commander General Morrison (Gerald McRaney). They have the reputation of being able to get the job done, although not quite by the book. They are often butting heads with the black op mercenaries lead by Pike (Brian Bloom) whose animosity knows no bounds. CIA agent Col Lynch (Patrick Wilson) comes to Smith and Morrison with a job to reacquire printer’s plates that are used to print American currency. The mission must be completed completely off the books. It becomes complicated when Capt. Carissa Sosa (Jessica Biel) and former girlfriend of Peck, comes to tell them to stay away from the plates. Of course they don’t follow her advice. The team ends up being accused of running an illegal op, and Sosa thinks they are in co-hoots with Pike to steal the plates. The team pulls out all the stops to discover who is framing them, to clear their names, and reinstate their ranks when they are convicted and sent to separate jails.

Directed by Joe Carnahan who also did the manic Smoking Aces movies, wrote the movie with Brian Bloom and Skip Woods. It offers plenty of improbably action sequences that are fun to watch, and don’t tax the brain. The TV show was typical of action shows back in the 80’s with bad acting, cheap production values, but it made it up in the chemistry of the characters. Neeson doesn’t have to playfulness of Peppard as he’s more intense and the rest of the crew honors the original with more pizzazz. Bloom, who once was a pretty boy from the soaps, makes an effective bad guy, where as Biel is a pretty distraction.

You can catch episodes of the TV show on Hulu.com, but this movie can stand on it’s own if you are not familiar with the concept. There’s tons of explosions and major destruction which may be overkill. But chances are you may leave the theater saying, “That wasn’t too bad”.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 6/6 - 6/12

As the immortal Alice Cooper once sang..."School's out for summer..." The summer
heat is upon us and it's not yet officially summer. This also means we will be
back to the crowds in the movie lines again. Just a note to parents to be aware
that not all our screenings will be appropriate for children. Keep the tykes at
home and let someone who would appreciate the feature attend.

Obviously these blockbuster movies will spur a big demand for people begging for
passes. Please keep the mooching to a minimum. Enter the contests yourself.
And what's with everyone hitting that reply button before checking to see if
it's going to the person offering the passes (where it should go) and not the
entire group (which it has been). So if you really want a pass that is
offered...write to the correct person. You send it here it's gonzo, zapped, big
D'd and you are outta luck.

June 6 - 12, 2010




7:00 pm
Angelika Plano


7:30 pm
Despicable Me
Studio Movie Grill Plano


7:30 pm
Karate Kid
Cinemark 17



8:30 pm
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Half-Price Books Parking Lot--5803 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 4, 2010

Karate Kid

Dre Parker is a popular kid in this Detroit neighborhood when his mother’s job relocates them to China. Not only does he have to contend with major culture shock, there’s the typical gangs of bullies to avoid when he finds a pretty classmate that he wants to befriend. Dre’s American fast talking charm doesn’t seem to work at keeping him out of the way of trouble.

Dre’s mom, Sherry (Taraji P. Henson) has enough on her mind with her new job, but she also wants her son to feel comfortable with the transition. She walks with him to the school them embarrasses him with her goodbyes. Dre (Jaden Smith) has already met another American student, and apparently it’s a culturally mixed school. He eyes a pretty young lady Meiying (Wenwen Han), a serious music student, who finds Dre amusing. But Dre’s attentions to her are also noticed by a group of larger boys who insist that Dre leave her alone. Dre is more comfortable trying to talk himself out of a fight, but will not back down by standing his ground. The boys are bigger and obviously more skilled, but Dre keeps getting back up. He ends up with a shiner which he tries to hide from his mother to no avail. His mom wants to fix this for him, but Dre insists he has a handle on it. So he basically works his way around just avoiding the boys and trying to learn some martial arts moves on TV. The maintenance man for their building came over to fix the plumbing sees Dre’s shiner and his practice. He doesn’t say anything, but one afternoon after the boys chase Dre and corner him in a fight Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) comes to the rescue. Mr. Han takes Dre to the Kung Fu school where the boys practice, but the instructor won’t keep the boys from engaging in their harassment. Mr. Han offers that if Dre beats the boys at the upcoming tournament, then they will have to stop. Dre is excited to learn Kung Fu, but his early lessons consists of him taking off his jacket, putting it on a hook, taking it off the hook, dropping it on the floor, then putting the jacket on again; over and over again. There is no catch phrase of “wax on, wax off” here. Dre doesn’t realize how this simple exercise is the start of muscle memory for what’s to come.

Jaden and Jackie do pretty well with their cut out characters. Jackie adds a little depth with his sorrowful past. You forget they are in a different country because everyone seems to speak English. Jaden Smith is much smaller in stature and younger in age than Ralph Marcchio in the original Karate Kid. The basic elements remain the same. New boy in school meets girl, gets bullied by local members of a karate school, and he learns to fight them from the wise guidance of an Asian neighbor. Director Harald Zwart worked with a screenplay by Christopher Murphey from a story by Robert Mark Kamen trading martial arts and Japan for China. Jaden is so little; you wonder how he could possibly fight larger and more disciplined fighters. But it’s an interesting process to watch the physicality of Jaden’s progress. The fight sequences are well done considering these are kids involved. The ending battle like the first movie will make you cheer even if you know what’s going to happen.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The Winslow family is moving from Kansas to Orange County, California along with their oversized Great Dane Marmaduke and his step-bro, a Russian Blue cat named Carlos. Together they help the family make the transition to their new home.

Marmaduke (Owen Wilson) is a 200 lb beast that is over 6ft tall on his hind legs. He’s also the equivalent in mindset and energy to an over grown teenager, not very coordinated or sure of himself. When Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) takes him to the local dog park, Marmaduke is like the new kid high school. He has to maneuver with the local “cliques” of dogs already there. There’s the pedigree’s, the mutts, the jocks, the drama queens, stoners and the juvenile delinquents. Maramduke already feels out of place being so over sized and manages to get a lot of unwanted attention. He decides to try and get in good with the pedigrees with the help of Carlos (George Lopez) who would rather have nothing to do with the whole pet park scene. But the big dog is his bro and best friend. Mazie (Emma Stone) one of them mutts is not too happy that after helping him get in the pedigrees he begins to get too full of himself. Especially when trying to impress Jezebel (Stacy Ferguson). Her boyfriend Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland) is the alpha dog and makes it clear that Marmaduke should keep his paws off of her. The Winslows go out of town for a few days and Maramduke invites the pedigree’s over for a party which turns into a disaster when the purebreds destroy the house and furnishings.

Phil Winslow has become a marketing chief for an organic based pet food company. His boss is the eccentric dog loving Tom Twombly (William H. Macy). Twombly holds his meetings at the dog park where his staff has to go barefoot because dogs don’t wear shoes. This is disconcerting for Phil who must maneuver around the land mines of dog muffins. Judy Greer plays Phil’s wife Debbie who keeps their family of Phil, their 3 kids and their 4th huge kids happy. But Phil’s job demands is making him lose sight that his family is trying to communicate their unhappiness. After Marmaduke’s party, Phil makes the dog stay out in the rain. Marmaduke already feeling bad about losing respect from the other dogs decides to run away.

Marmaduke is a newspaper comic strip by Brad Anderson that was started in 1954 to the present day. Unfortunately not many people read the comics these days. So this movie directed by Tom Dey has to rely on kids wanting to see a talking dog movie. Animal lovers, especially those of us who humanize our pets will enjoy the interactions of Marmaduke, his furry friends, and his relationship with his owners as his family. The only thing that is a bit annoying is the dancing dogs. Reminds me of the unfortunate dancing sequence at the end of Alice in Wonderland.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share

Get Him to the Greek

Adam Greenberg is an idealistic intern for a big record company. When he suggests bringing rock icon Aldous Snow to the Greek Theater in LA for a 10th year anniversary, his boss tells him fetch Snow from England and deliver him to the theater for the performance. Unfortunately for Adam, Snow is an over the top hard drinking, drug indulging, out of control rock star and will not go quietly.

The film opens with the truly tasteless music video from Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) “African Child” that was voted the worst record in the entire history of rock music On top of that his long time girlfriend Jackie O (Rose Bryne) and mother of his child just broke up with him and is now dating everyone. He is estranged from his ex-manager and musician dad who is living in Vegas. Adam (Jonah Hill) approaches Snow like a fanboy and willing to do anything that Snow wants including picking up women and partying. Adam is susceptible as he had a fight with his live in girlfriend before he left. He is also drowning is sorrows and easy prey to Snow’s manipulations. This includes nights of debauchery and forcing to hide his drugs where the sun doesn’t shine to get through airport security. All the while Adam’s boss Sergio (Sean “Diddy” Combs) is telling him to do anything that Snow requests just as long as he gets him to the performance on schedule. The buddy road concept takes the duo to New York where Snow is to appear on the Today show. Adam wanting to keep him sober drinks and smokes Snow’s stash, then in that condition he has to track down the lyrics to the song Snow has to perform live. There’s also a stop in Las Vegas to reconcile with Snow’s dad. Adam ends up smoking some concoction that requires stroking a furry wall so as not to freak out. Somehow Adam has to find a way to make peace with his girlfriend and survive this epic journey with Snow in tow.

Nicholas Stoller who also directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall and producer Judd Apatow team up again for another manic comedy romp using the same character from the previous film. There’s even a little nod with a small scene with Kristen Bell. The humor is raw and raunchy at times but keeps it above the usual college aged aimed comedies. There are some serious notes as Snow and Adam contemplate their individual issues which help to give the characters more depth. Snow’s music is like power rock with the most amazingly inane lyrics. The performance in front of the live audience came from Russell Brand’s comedy act before the filming started. The background scenes of Snow with various other celebrities were done while Brand as hosing the MTV movie awards. Leave the kids at home and enjoy.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share


Two young scientists, Clive and Elsa work at N.E.R.D. on splicing animal DNA to produce living entities that will hopefully help humanity. They balk when the company pulls the plug on their project when they believe it should be taken to the next level of mixing human DNA in the experiment. They go against their corporate employers by secretly continuing their tests in an storage room at the facility. After many false starts, they finally get one combination of genes to incubate.

Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley portray the brainy couple who are mavericks in their field. They don’t seem to be following any standard scientific protocols by operating without backup or controls. They hide the quickly growing embryo while they go home and argue the righteousness of their actions. Elsa claims she just wants to see if it would work and they would quickly destroy the result. However, she just as quickly becomes imprinted when the creature births before they expected. Wide set eyes, a bird like body and legs; it eventually grows 4 fingered hands and arms, looking more human in its features. She does not speak as much as trill, but she is able to think and reason with an animal instinct and imperative. Elsa and Clive fluctuate from treating it like a child and an experiment, naming her Dren (which is NERD backwards, duh). Clive’s brother who is working on the original experiment tries to tell Clive of some anomalies that he’s discovered but Clive is too involved and worried about the ethical questions of what’s going on in the secret lab. As mutant young womanlike creature Dren(Delphine ChanĂ©ac) it makes it harder to hide at the lab especially when Clive’s brother discovers what they are doing. They move her to Elsa’s mother’s abandoned farmhouse where they ensconce Dren in the barn. She undergoes some unexpected metamorphosis that put the scientists in an increasing dangerous situation.

Splice was written and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube) and screenwriters Doug Taylor and Antoinette Terry Bryant. Natali had worked on this story for the past 15 years after seeing a story about a mouse growing a human ear on its body. The film is not exactly horror although there are some blood and guts scenes. It’s more scifi with nods to Alien, Mimic and Jurassic Park. Brody and Polley do a good job with their difficult characters that are hard to believe as scientists because of the improbable leaps of judgment that may work to propel the story but grates on believability. The ending offers a possibility of sequel that would probably more interesting than the first.
(Review by Reesa)
Bookmark and Share

Solitary Man

Ben Kalmen was a car magnate who through a series of bad choices both personal and professional finds him self alone and estranged from his family and friends.

Ben (Michael Douglas) was told by the doctor that his heart needs more tests. Instead, he starts down the path of self destruction thinking he may as well live doing whatever he wants until his heart gives it up. The once famous car dealer known for his honesty starts cheating his customers and having one night stands. Six years later he’s lost his business, he’s divorced from Nancy (Susan Sarandon) and his daughter Susan (Jenna Fischer) has a guarded relationship with her father although Ben dotes on his grandchild. Ben also has a new girlfriend Jordan (Mary-Louise Parker) who asks Ben to take her daughter Allyson (Imogen Poots) to visit his college and use his influence with the dean to get her admitted. Allyson blackmails Ben into letting her have some freedom on this trip if she doesn’t tattle to her mom about catching Ben in one of his infidelities. They are met on campus by Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg) who Ben offers advise on how to pick up women. Ben is incorrigible about his prowess with women. He’s a car salesman and always closes a deal. He has big plans to build a new car dynasty using his girlfriends’ fathers influence. Everything looks great until Ben in his typical selfish pattern does an unforgivable mistake and Jordan destroys his second chance at success. The world is falling apart around him, but Ben keeps hustling, hitting his daughter up for money, and carousing until there’s no where else left for him to go.

Co-directors David Levien and Brian Koppelman (who also wrote the screenplay) keep the film well paced. Susan Sarandon doesn’t really have much to do besides look patient and understanding. Danny DeVito as his old friend Jimmy who gives him a job at his sandwich shop gives Ben a balance. Jenna Fischer stands out as his daughter who loves him but must protect herself and her son from her father’s downward spiral vortex. Douglas plays Ben with an unflinching bravery. The unforgiving camera captures Ben with complete honesty. Ben describes himself as once being a lion that held attention when he entered a room but now he has suddenly become invisible. It’s hard to be sympathetic to Ben as he’s such a scoundrel, but Douglas gives us just a glimpse of something else there that makes you want him to either wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late or go out in a blaze of glory.
(Review by Reesa)

Bookmark and Share