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, July 25, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 7/25 - 7/31

Usually this time of year is filled with movies, but it's been pretty quiet. Just be grateful for what we have and share with each other if you can. But also remember that if you were the recipient of someone's generosity then pay it forward.

If you really have a need to see some interesting films, head on out to the AFFD that is in full swing. Lots of good interesting movies that you will probably not be able to see anywhere else.


July 25 - 31, 2010

Sun
7/25

Mon
7/26

Tue
7/27

7:30 pm
Charlie St. Cloud
AMC Northpark

8:00 pm
Step Up 3-D
Cinemark 17

9:00 pm
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
7/28

7:30 pm
Dinner for Schmucks
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Studio Movie Grill Plano

Thu
7/29

7:00 pm
Les vacances de M. Hulot (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) (1953)
Dallas Museum of Arts

7:30 pm
Dinner for Schmucks
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
7/30

Sat
7/31

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Friday, July 23, 2010

AFFD Opens Today!

Tonight is the opening night for your favorite festival. We kick things off at the Magnolia Theatre early today with Johnnie To's SPARROW playing at 2:00 p.m. Following that at 4:00 p.m. we will have TALENTIME, one of the final great films from the late Yasmin Ahmad.

AFFD Opening Night Happy Hour/Reception at Social House in West Village will be 6-7 p.m. This event is open and free to the public. Buy yourself a special AFFD drink and then walk a few steps over to the theater and watch AU REVOIR TAIPEI, a cute romantic comedy with its share of gangsters, cops, mistaken identities and lovelorn innocents. This movie has won many awards around the world and is an excellent choice for kicking off this year's festival.

After the film Pinkberry will provide a free yogurt snack to patrons at the Magnolia.

At 9:10 tonight is when the action really heats up with the brilliant and epic crime thriller I CORRUPT ALL COPS (ICAC). This film stars legendary talents like Tony Leung, Anthony Wong and Eason Chan, how could you go wrong with this one - this movie is incredible and one of our favorites.

After ICAC we kick it into robogear with the Dallas Premiere of ROBOGEISHA, if you like films like TOKYO GORE POLICE and MACHINE GIRL then you cannot miss this one. Before the film tonight we will also be having a costume contest and a robot... how could we resist?



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Ramona and Beezus Review



Ramona is an precocious nine year old with a tendency to let her imagination get her into trouble. Her teacher is often exasperated with her and her school mates make fun of her shennanigans. But her boundless energy and sense of fun and adventure is grounded in the loving relationship she has with her family. When the possibility that they may lose their house arises, Ramona comes up with plans to save it.

Ramona (Joey King) has a stay at home mom (Bridget Moynahan), big sis Beezus (Selena Gomez) and a baby sister. They all greet dad (John Corbett) who they meet at the door when he comes home to work. Life is good in the Quimby household. The folks just got an OK on a loan to build an extension on the house so they go ahead with their plans. During a class exercise Ramona stands in front of the class and tells them of the big hole in the back yard and expounds on the wild adventures she had diving into it. Not exactly what her teacher Mrs. Meacham (Sandra Oh) had in mind and she didn't use the vocabulary words as required. It's a good thing Ramona has her mom's sister Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin) to talk with about her frustrations. Bea promises to always be there for Ramona. That is even unsure when Bea's high school sweetheart Hobart (Josh Duhamel) is back living next door to the Quimby's and she feels like she's being reeled in like a big fish. When Ramona's dad loses his job he becomes Mr. Mom while his wife goes back to work part time. Ramona tries all sorts of schemes like selling lemonade, washing cars and trying out for a princess commercial to help raise money so they won't lose their home. And of course all her attempts end up in disaster to the point that even her parents are losing patience with her antics. When it looks like they will have to move for dad's new job, you may be hard pressed not to shed a tear.

Joey King is charming in her first lead role as the irrepressible as Ramona. She is cute without over doing it like a lot of child stars on the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon. Director Elizabeth Allen treats the story based on the popular Beverly Cleary's Ramona series without making it feel like a long TV show, with thanks to the script by Laurie Craig and Nick Pustay. It's so nice to see a story of kids that don't talk valley speak and that have too much time on their hands. There are times with the parents are a little to good to be real, but the issues of parents losing jobs is so relevant right now and it speaks to the kids going through this in their own lives. This is definitely a movie that will be enjoyed by middle school kids and their parents.
(Review by reesa)


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Salt Review




Evelyn Salt works for the CIA. She endures horrendous torture at the hands of the North Koreans when she is captured while posing as an oil executive. The CIA would have left her there, but her German husband manages to get her released on a prisoner exchange.

On her way to an anniversary dinner with her husband, Salt (Angelina Jolie) is brought in to interrogate a “walk in”. A Russian spy presumingly wanting to come in from the cold. During the conversation, Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) tells her about a plot to kill the Russian president who is in DC to attend the funeral of the Vice President. That there are agents in the US intelligence agencies waiting for a signal to commence a doomsday plan. One of these agents is named Evelyn Salt. Seemingly unnerved and caught off balance by this revelation, Salt pleads to her fellow agents to let her call her husband. Meanwhile Orlov manages to kill his handlers and escape the building. Knowing that she is soon to be interrogated she also tries to leave but she is tracked by the multiple cameras in the building. Salt's colleague (Live Schreiber) is trying to keep the agents from killing her and asking questions later. Peabody (Chewitel Ejiofor) is a play by the book agent who wants to capture Salt no matter what but always manages to be one step behind. The pursuit is a highly charged action sequence involving Salt walking on the edges of apartment buildings, jumping from truck to truck on the Beltway, a motorcycle, and tasering a cop to speed up or slow down while crashing into other pursuit vehicles. Salt goes on the run with the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and maybe the Russians too. We are slowly introduced to some flashback sequences involving a rich Russian patriot recruiting and training American children in Russia to become sleeper agents. The action doesn't let up as Salt breaks into the cathedral at the funeral service, breaks into the White House underground bunker that has her parkouring down an elevator shaft and even jumping into the Potomac from a helicopter. The elevator shaft sequence suffers from some disappointing digital enhancements, but it's the thought that counts.

Phillip Noyce who brought us tense action thrillers as Clean and Present Danger and Patriot Games, lays on the action very seriously. Working with a script by Kurt Wimmer who did Equilibrium and has the new Total Recall in development, the story is paced to keep from bogging down in expository. Originally the part was written for Tom Cruise and retooled to fit Jolie who did most of her own stunts. The whole Russian spy plot is interesting in light of the recently revealed agents in the newspapers recently. Salt is a bigger than life character who can take out most anyone who gets in her way. She's like the female James Bond. Jolie manages to poker face her opponents, but we the audience can feel her ever so slight tells. It's also nice to see a woman spy not having to wear sleazy costumes and high heels while fighting. Salt is a real woman who is competent and tough as nails. The final scenes begs for a sequel as the audience doesn't quite get a complete answer to “Who is Salt?”
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 7/18 - 7/24

A few more days until the Asian Film Festival Dallas kicks off with a party on Thursday and the films begin on Friday. So check out their schedule and order your tickets now before they sell out. http://2010.affd.org/ The program looks really interesting and they are screening Ip Man 2 with Donnie Yen. The follow up to the audience favorite (and my personal fav) last year, Ip Man.

Speaking of Thursday, it seems all our movie events are happening on this day. Rumor is there's a Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World screening then also, but since no one wanted to share that info with the group it's not listed on the calendar as an option for us. So unless a source becomes available, please don't try to mooch them.

Not too many sources for those Salt passes. So you know that everyone and their mother will be begging people and once more with feeling...if a person went to the trouble of securing a pass, it's more than likely they will not want to give it up, so unless you got something other than your grateful smile to pry it out of their hot little hands, then best make an effort on your own. There's an event in Grapevine this afternoon, and passes were mentioned on that flier.

July 18 - 24, 2010

Sun
7/18

Mon
7/19

7:30 pm
Don Juan DeMarco
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Tue
7/20

Wed
7/21

Thu
7/22

7:00 pm
Rebecca (1940)
Dallas Museum of Art

7:00 pm
The Way
Magnolia

7:30 pm
Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then
Dallas Museum of Art - C3 Theater, Center for Creative Connections

7:30 pm
Salt
AMC NorthPark

Fri
7/23

Sat
7/24

11:00 am
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Cinemark West Plano

8:30 pm
Jurassic Park
Half-Price Books Parking Loty--5803 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas TX

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Standing Ovation Review



In this New Jersey by the shore town, there are competing singing acts at a local showcase. One is a group of teenage sisters called the Wiggies as their dad and manager is an owner of a wig company. They are very slick and stylishly coordinated. The other group consists of five 12 year olds who don't have the fancy costumes, or slick arrangements but make it up in spunk and confidence on stage. But the Wiggies and their dad are constantly undermining the other acts by sabotage like leaving gum on a seat so it rips a costume, knocking out the lights during a performance or putting pepper in their headset microphones.

The junior high school friends call themselves The 5 Ovations. The Wiggies are always
rubbing their talents into the younger girls faces even at school. A talent contest is announced that the CBS TV station in NYC is having a competition that will be broadcast on the air and the winner gets a million dollars but you have to submit a music video. While the Wiggies have the money from daddy to make a great video, they also have original material thanks to the brother of Ovations singer Brittany (Kayla Jackson). She lives with her brother and gambler grandfather and can barely make their rent even with her singing on the streets for extra cash. She meets up with Joei (Joei DeCarlo) another young classmate and Jersey tough girl who wants to manage their band. She's looking for the guy who stole her dad's money and caused his death. She will exchange her managerial skills for Brittany help in finding the bad guy. Joei gets them paying gigs playing at an old folks home. They also enlist the help of the classmate whose father owns a recording studio. Somehow they manage to create a video to submit. Of course the Wiggies go in and add some editing to it unbeknown to the girls. Unfortunately the audience finds those changes hilarious and they end up in the finals with the Wiggies.

Steward Raffill directed and wrote this feature has been around since the 70's having done Ice Pirates and the Philadelphia Experiment. This movie is all over the place with Joei's search and Soprano's type of bullying that includes snakes and eels. Then there's the gambling grandfather, the irresponsible brother who writes music, the father of the Wiggies who wears preposterous hair pieces and the mean spirited attitudes of The Wiggies. The dancing and singing routines are amateurish and the acting is flat with a cast of unknowns. What is even more annoying is the introduction of the character Alanna Wannbe (“cause I'm gonna be”) a feisty loud and obnoxious little girl who gets in the way of The Wiggies and the Ovations to get in the spotlight. Despite all of that, middle school aged children in the audience loved it. It's like the Spice Girls movie, only not as charming.
(Review by reesa)

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The Kids Are All Right Review



Nic and Jules are a middle aged loving couple raising two teenage children in suburban Los Angeles. Joni is leaving for college soon, and her younger brother Laser has asked her help to find their sperm donor father.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play the lesbian couple Nic and Jules. Nic is the family breadwinner OB/GYN doctor who loves her wine and Joni Mitchell. Jules is currently contemplating the notion of being a landscape artist. Jules doesn't seem to be able to stay focused on one type of job having dabbled in other entrepreneurial ventures . But they are serious and loving when it comes to their family. They are referred to by their kids as “moms”. The obvious dynamic in their relationship is that they are both nurturing and encourage their kids to have an open dialogue with them. That is why they are a little shocked to discover that kids are seeking their biological father. Mark Ruffalo is Paul, and organic gardener who supplies his own veggies at his restaurant. He’s curious when he gets a call from Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and decides to meet with the kids. Paul is laid back type of “cool dude”. Part hippie, part womanizer with arrested development in maturity. Laser (Josh Hutcherson) is more curious as he's not had a male role model in his life. In fact the moms are concerned with his friendship with an obvious loser school mate. The moms in their “you can tell us anything” mode invite Paul to dinner so they can keep an eye on what the kids are doing. Nic doesn’t trust Paul, but the more easy going Jules gets along great with him. He becomes a regular fixture in their lives and the impact causes more trouble than good.

The surprising element of this film is the accurate portrayal of real-life ups and downs. It's intelligent and sensitive without being sappy or overly dramatic. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko who also wrote High Art and Laurel Canyon shares writing credits with Stuart Blumberg. There is something to be said about movies written and directed by women. Annette Bening and Julianna Moore are both wonderful, but Bening gives an Oscar worth performance. There are no explosions, car chases, murders, mysteries, or aliens. This is a slice of life story of a family reacting and confronting situations that crop up while growing together despite their sexual preferences. I would be surprised if you didn't recognize a little bit of yourself in these characters.
(Review by reesa)

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Inception Review



In a world where we have the technology to enter a person's dreams, Dom Cobb is a skilled “extractor”. He and his partner, Arthur work together in stealing valuable secrets for cooperate espionage. A client purposes that they do an “inception”. Putting in a suggestion in someone's subconscious which most experts in their field say it can't be done. Cobb is ready and willing to try it, but he has a dangerous secret that may jeopardize the job.

Japanese business mogul Saito (Ken Watanabe) wants Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) to plant a seed in in the mind of the son of a rival CEO. Fischer (Cillian Murphy) has just inherited his late father's empire with whom he harbored some unresolved issues. Cobb assembles a team of experts consisting of Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) his point man who investigates their mark. Ariadne (Ellen Page) is their architect who is charged with creating mazes in the dream world. Eames (Tom Hardy) is a master thief and has the ability to mimic other people. And the chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao) who has created a long lasting sedative that will keep them in a deep sleep which they need to do their work. The job requires layers and layers of scenarios. They have to create dreams within dreams within dreams. Like a computer game, you have to battle whatever “projections” are protecting the dreaming subject. If you are shot in this dream state you may suffer serious consequences. If you don't come out of your dream state in the right way your mind will be left in a limbo. On top of all this Cobb is also experiencing hallucinations of his wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard) who is haunting his dreams.

Christopher Nolan who brought us such gems as Memento, The Dark Night, and The Prestige once more creates a movie concept that is smart and challenging. After a summer of films that have promised everything but left wanting, it's extraordinary to find a movie that makes you think. You will have to pay close attention as the scenes can be distracting and the exposition can be confusing. But it's well worth the effort. The special effects are a inventive visual treat without those shaky cam action shots. I actually didn't mind DiCaprio in this. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does these great floating gun and fist battles but Ellen Page is left being Cobb's dream adviser. This is obviously not a movie for everyone. It's about 20 minutes too long, the plot and concept may go over some heads, but it's worth the effort. Michael Caine, Tom Berenger, Pete Postlethwaite and Lukas Haas have too brief roles. Look for TV character actor Michael Gaston at the end.

Each of the dream thieves must carry around a little totem to be used like a tether to the real world. Cobb has a little metal top that he gauges a dream from not a dream. If the top spins and doesn't stop, then you are in a dream. It's probably a good idea to bring something in your pocket so you can tell if you are still dreaming.
(Review by reesa)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sorcerer's Apprentice Review



Merlin had three students, Balthazar, Veronica and Horvath. When Merlin's nemesis Morgana wants to raise the dead and bring darkness to the world. Merlin loses the battle when Horvath betrays his teacher and his friends. Balthazar manages to capture Morgana into a magical nesting doll by the sacrifice of Veronica who is also trapped. Merlin's last words was to predict the only way to truly stop Morgana was by the coming of the The Prime Merlinian. It's up to Balthazar to find him.

Centuries have come and gone while Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) hunts down Horvath (Alfred Molina) who had escaped and eventually captured in another layer of the doll. He also battles other followers of Morgana (Alice Krige in her Star Trek Last Contact evil best) while searching for the child that will be her downfall. In present day New York City, a young Dave Stutler (Jake Cherry) is a smart but socially inept kid. On a field trip with his class he is trying to impress a pretty classmate when the note she sends him gets blown away. While following the scrap of paper, it takes him to a magical curiosity shop. He is unexpectedly drawn to the nesting doll. He accidentally releases Horvath who battles Balthazar. Somehow they both are trapped into a magical artifact. Dave, freaks out and throws the nesting doll out on the NYC streets.

Ten years later, Dave (Jay Baruchel) is now a physics college major with his attention back on Becky (Teresa Palmer) the girl he had a crush on as a middle schooler and is now in his class. He's still awkward and uncomfortable, but she remembers him being smart and clever. Meanwhile Balthazar and Horvath manage to escape. The race to find the Morgana's prison begins. They seek out Dave who was last seen with the nesting doll. Balthazar realizes that Dave has a hidden magical potential and begins to train him. Although Dave is a little distracted as he's still trying to impress the girl. He must learn quickly as they are both needed to battle Morgana and Dave has to become The Prime Merlinian to save the world from the evil darkness.

Cage is best when he's playing bigger than life characters who are wise cracking and irreverent being Cage in his good guy mode. Jay Baruchel plays the nerdy awkward guy like in She's Out of My League. His whiny voice is like Gilbert Gottfried and gets to be annoying at times. But together they make a good team as mentor and student and the movie relies on their chemistry. Jon Turteltaub who directed Cage in in National Treasure paces the action with acceptable FX for magical conjuring . A lot of writers had their hands in the screenplay and it didn't really help the story: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Matt Lopez, Doug Mira and Carlo Bernard. In this case more does not equal better. There's really not a whole lot going on besides the electrical zapping of one another. It's like a low-rent Harry Potter. There's a nice little nod to the Mickey Mouse and mop sequence in Fantasia when the apprentice tries to do his chores using magic and it gets out of hand. In all it's not a great movie, but one that will fill an afternoon movie break.
(Review by Reesa)

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 7/11 - 7/17

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer, despite the rains which we desperately needed. Plus we have some decent movie choices this week, always something to distract and comfort during these hot Texas climes.

Please keep your mooching to a minimum and kinda wait to see if you won a contest before begging. I know it's hard, and you have to make arrangements for the week and all that, but truly folks, we all want that Inception pass. Just remember we can't always get what we want, we can try sometimes, but we might find, we get what we need.

Also coming up is the Asian Film Festival Dallas (affd.org) with a full slate of very interesting features that you won't see in your local multiplex. So check out their website and schedule, they even have trailers posted which is very cool. Get your tickets early! Although not as big or complex as the DIFF the dedicated group of staff and volunteers help make this fest run smoothly and efficiently. Please show them your appreciation and don't give them a hard time.

July 11 - 17, 2010

Sun
7/11

Mon
7/12

7:30 pm
Inception
AMC Northpark

Tue
7/13

7:30 pm
Inception
AMC Northpark

Wed
7/14

7:30 pm
The Kids Are All Right
Angelika Film Center - Plano

7:30 pm
Charlie St. Cloud
Angelika Dallas

Thu
7/15

7:00 pm
Lianxi Qu (Island Etude) (2006)
Dallas Museum of Art

7:30 pm
The Kids Are All Right
AMC Northpark

Fri
7/16

Sat
7/17

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Despicable Me Review



In a world where villainy is common place, someone has stolen the pyramids and replaced them with inflatable replicas. Gru, a villain whose dark creepy home is situated amidst a typical suburban neighborhood, is vexed that his villain brotherhood thinks that he did it. So he comes up with a plot that will out do the pyramid heist. He will steal the moon!

Gru (Steve Carrell) has a secret underground lair filled with minions to do his bidding Minions are small one or two eyed little creatures that help Gru and his assistant Dr. Narfario (Russell Brand) carry out their plots and crimes. Gru seems to know them all by name. One day a trio of little girls comes to the door trying to sell cookies. They are set up by their cruel orphanage matron Miss Hattie (Kristen Wiig) to make money from their labors. He sends them away as he plots to steal a Chinese shrink ray. Unfortunately he needs money to build the rocket to take it close to the moon to shrink it. The bank turns down the loan, but not before learning of his plan. The news is leaked to Vector (Jason Segal) who had actually stolen the pyramids so that he can steal the shrinking ray and share the ransom with the bank (who is run by Vector’s father). Vector steals the shrinking ray from Gru. When Gru attempts to steal it back he stymied by Vector’s protective devices that surround his house. He notices the little orphan girls are easily let it to sell their cookies there, so Gru adopts them in order to use the girls as a way in. Margo, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Elsie Fisher) are so grateful to finally have a home they overlook Gru’s wickedness and give him unconditional love. Even Gru’s mother (Julie Andrews) is not immune to the girls’ charms. Gru is determined to complete his moon heist, fight off Vector’s plans to usurp his crime and make it to the girls’ dance recital.

Animators Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud directed this 3D feature that was written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul from a story by Sergio Pablos. The dialogue at times may go over the heads of the younger audience but they will appreciate the cute and loveable minions and the plucky little girls who get Gru to read them stories. As in most animated movies, the bad guys are usually the most interesting, and in this case they are the lead characters. Despite all the crazy improbable crimes they are not all totally evil like the apple bearing queen in Snow White. Kids will not feel threatened or go home wanting to steal shrink rays. The 3D didn’t really do much except for the roller coaster scene, but it was not as annoying as most features as of late. The main humor will be enjoyed by the parents and their “minions” will enjoy the action and highly colored visuals that will give Pixar some competition this summer.
(Review by Reesa)

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Predators Review



A man suddenly wakes up discovering he's in free fall. He wildly searches for a ripcord, but just as he's a little to close the the ground the chute quickly opens as he goes crashing through the thick vegetation knocking the breath from him as he hits the ground. He awakens gasping for air to find him self heavily armed and facing another person holding a weapon at him. They both dive as another shooter opens fire with a machine gun. The first man circles around asking him to stop. They all realize the last thing they remember was a bright light then suddenly they were falling out of the sky. In all there are eight who have fallen, seven have weapons, the last says he's a doctor.

As they search for who or what brought them to this circumstance, the first man (Adrian Brody) quickly surmises they are all killers in some way. Mercenaries, a convicts, Yakuza, and death squad members. Except for the doctor (Topher Grace) they are all armed with guns and knives. Brody's character refuses to give his name or forge any bonds with the others. He believes he's better off on his own, and if they others want to follow they can. The others are like the red uniform guys on Star Trek. It's just a matter of how and when they meed their demise. They run into traps set by an earlier stranded person and they are set upon by freakish hound type creatures. Brody proposes that they are on a safari planet and they are being hunted. When they get a full view of the sky filled with planets not seen if they were on earth they realize that they aren't in Kansas anymore. They best way to battle their opposition would be to take the battle to them. So they follow the dog tracks back to the grisly campground of the hunters. Brody senses that the Israeli Defense Force sniper, Isabelle (Alice Braga), and the only woman in the group has personal knowledge of the creatures. They soon encounter Noland (Laurence Fishburne), a long time transplant to the planet who has managed to avoid being killed. He gives them a few hints on what they are dealing with, but he's also a little nuts and tries to trap and kill them. Alpha dog Brody believes they only way to survive is to get off the planet. If the predators landed here, then there must be a ship to take them off.

In 1994 Robert Rodriguez had been asked to refresh the Predator franchise. He managed to create a location and seed the ideas for the characters. Using his template Alex Litvak and Michael Finch created the screenplay that should be considered the sequel to the first movie not the 1990 Predator 2 which most people would like to forget. Due to his slate of projects, Rodriquez stayed on as a producer and handed the directing reins to Nimrod Natal (Armored). Filmed in Texas and Hawaii it manages to convey an otherworldly feel. The ill-fated group creep around jungle all steel eyed with no sense of wonder. The tense predicament is nicely played by the ethnically diverse cast. Fishburne is ever so slightly off kilter and made me smile when he's on screen. Brody shows off the chiseled bod like Schwarzenegger but not. The action like the first movie involves picking everyone off one at a time with a little twist at the end. It also opens up the story for follow up which will have fangirls and boys hoping for more.
(Review by Reesa)

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FOR MY FATHER

3 Stars Cinema Presents:
FOR MY FATHER

Wednesday, July 14
7:00 PM
Studio Movie Grill- Dallas
Tickets: FREE for 3 Stars Members, $10 at door

For My Father is an award-winning film that tells the story of Tarek, a Palestinian forced on a suicide mission in Tel Aviv to redeem his father's honor. When something goes (thankfully) wrong, and his vest fails to detonate, Tarek is forced to live for a weekend among the people he was planning to kill. To his surprise, he makes a personal connection with several Israelis; all of whom are driven by their past and by their inner conviction.

For more information: http://www.3starscinema.org

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 7/4 - 7/10

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Please drive safely and have fun!

Is it just me or does there seem to be fewer screenings this year than last? There were times during some seasons where you can hit at least 3-4 screenings a week. On top of that, the selections have been pretty disappointing. Lots of hype, and you leave the theater going..."huh". I'm stilling waiting to be wowed. Thank goodness we have the AFFD (Asian Film Festival Dallas) coming up at the end of the month. Check out their website at http://affd.org/ to see the up coming schedule of movies July 23 - 29. Join their membership, mailing list, Twitter and Facebook for more information. The film lineup looks great!

There have been reports of people throwing hissyfits at some screenings by trying to sit in seats that are taken by people who just went to the concession stands or bathrooms. It's one thing to save a seat for someone who may not be able to get into the theater due to overbooking...sorry folks, they will probably not get in and those seats are fair game. But if a person was already there, put their belonging on the seat, asked the people around them to watch their seat then folks move on...don't start arguing and getting belligerent. It's not cool, embarrassing, and everyone will see you as a tool. Just saying...

July 4 - 10, 2010

Sun
7/4

Mon
7/5

Tue
7/6

7:00 pm
Despicable Me
AMC NorthPark

Wed
7/7

Thu
7/8

7:30 pm
Dinner For Schmucks
Studio Movie Grill Addison

7:30 pm
SORCERER’S APPRENTICE
AMC Northpark

Fri
7/9

Sat
7/10

8:30 pm
Spiderman
Half_Price Books Parking Lot--5803 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas TX


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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Last Airbender Review



Katara can manipulate water. She can make rise, fall and take shape. She and her older brother Sokka are out hunting on the frozen landscape near their village. They spot something in the ice and Katara uses her power to set it free. Contained in the giant ice bubble are a young boy and a huge furry creature with a saddle. They take the boy home and notice his body is covered in elaborate tattoos. Katara suspects that the boy may be the last Avatar.

The world is divided up into for nations, Air, Water, Earth and Fire. Each nation has a population that can “bend” or control their particular elements. The Fire nation in an attempt to control the world has waged war, banning the conquered nations the use of their powers. Katara (Nicola Peltz) is the last water bender of the Southern Water Tribes. Her brother Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) is her only family. Their mother was taken prisoner and killed by the Fire nation. Legend has it that the Avatar, an Airbender with the ability to control all the elements will be able to restore balance to the world. Aang (Noah Ringer) is the latest reincarnation of the long line of avatars before them. He was once a student but had run from his teachers when he discovered that he would not be able to have a normal life and family. He is unaware that over 100 years had passed while he was trapped in the ice. His temple, home and companions have long since been destroyed by the Fire Nation.

The exiled son the Fire nation king Prince Zuko (Dev Patel) believes that capturing the last Airbender will bring him back his honor in his father’s eyes. He takes Aang from the village by threat and violence. Katara feels responsibility for Aang since they are the ones that freed him from the ice. After Aang escapes, he confesses to Katara and Sokka that he ran away from the temple before he learned how to control all the elements. They decide to seek help from the Northern Waterbender nation what has been able to survive being taken over Fire peoples. It is here that Aang develops his talents and reconciles his destiny when the Fire Nation comes to destroy him.

With M. Night Shyamalan writing and directing this feature, there’s a 50/50 chance of success. He has yet to duplicate the success of The Sixth Sense or Signs. This film is a totally different genre with an Asian Lord of the Rings kind of world. The martial arts and special effects look great in the beautifully colored and created world of The Avatar. Most of the bender’s exercises look like Tai Chi. The action scenes are the by the numbers formula almost like a video game. As visually captivating as it is, it’s also fairly predictable. At times the story seems rushed and details piled on. If you don’t pay too close attention you may miss some plot points. The acting and pacing is stiff, the dialogue is both vague and obvious. But you know that Fire dudes are bad because they wear black, their big metal ships spew smoke and ash and they want to kill the moon spirit. The film is set up for the next two chapters to come with a devious plot unfolding in the last scene. The Last Airbender is not perfect, but M. Night Shyamalan sort of redeems himself and makes us forget The Village.
(Review by Reesa)

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