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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coming Soon - September

September 1
- The American
- My Dog Tulip (NY)

September 3
- A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (limited)
- Going the Distance
- Last Train Home (NY)
- Machete
- Max Manus (limited)
- Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (NY, LA)
- Prince of Broadway (NY)
- White Wedding (NY)
- The Winning Season (NY, LA)

September 10
- Ahead of Time (NY; LA release: Sept. 24)
- Bran Nue Dae (limited)
- Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (NY)
- Heartbreaker (limited)
- Hideaway (NY; LA release: Sept. 17)
- I'm Still Here (limited)
- Legendary (limited)
- Lovely, Still (limited)
- Resident Evil: Afterlife (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
- The Romantics (limited)
- The Virginity Hit
- Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) (NY; LA release: September 17)

September 15
- Kings of Pastry (NY)
- Never Let Me Go (limited)

September 17
- Alpha and Omega
- Catfish (limited)
- Devil
- Easy A
- The Freebie (NY)
- The Girl (NY: LA October 1)
- Jack Goes Boating (limited; expands: Sept. 24)
- Kandahar Break (NY)
- Last Day of Summer (limited)
- Picture Me (NY; LA release: Sept. 24)
- The Town
- The Wild Hunt (limited)

September 22
- You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (limited)

September 24
- A Mother's Courage (limited)
- Buried (limited; wide: Oct. 8)
- Enter the Void (limited)
- FrICTION (limited)
- Howl (limited)
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
- Tibet in Song (NY)
- Waiting for "Superman" (limited)
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
- You Again


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/29 - 9/4

September is usually a slow time for movies as studios are holding their best stuff until the fall and winter Oscar races. There will still be a few good films, but probably not quite as many to fill the week. As usual, everyone will be reviewing what's available this week and act like they just heard about it and start saying...pleeze can someone send me a pass? Hello? Read your list mail. Go to the group pages and look over the calendar on your own to see what's scheduled so you can enter the contests, and make your plans. It's boggles the brain to think as a member of this group you are just hearing about a screening taking place and you didn't enter contests, and you want someone who did go through the trouble to supply you with a pass. duh!

Also, as a reminder, DO NOT put your phone number in your messages. The moderators will just remove them, or delete your email. Don't wait til the last minute...like 6 pm...to say you have a pass available if anyone wants it to call you. nope..they are not going to call you, because we do not allow phone numbers. Understand? NO PHONE NUMBERS!

What is it with people sitting in the reserve section that is not reserved for them? The reps tell you not to sit in those sections. Not to sit in a seat that clearly says reserved, or someone's name, organization, radio station. Do you think ripping off the paper makes it OK to sit there? And then you get all angry when the reps come in and tell you to move? Really? Our free screenings are a privilege, please do not abuse the system with your self righteous arrogance. We are not impressed and it makes you look like a tool.

August 29 - September 4, 2010

Sun
8/29

Mon
8/30

Tue
8/31

7:30 pm
Easy A
AMC Northpark

Wed
9/1

The Tillman Story
The Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Secretariat
Studio Movie Grill Arlington

9:00 pm
Machete
AMC Mesquite

Thu
9/2

Fri
9/3

Sat
9/4

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Flipped



In the summer of 1957, 2nd grader Juli Baker introduces herself to the boy moving in across the street. She is immediately struck by his “dazzling eyes”. Bryce Loski isn't all that impressed with his aggressive new neighbor. While she is trying to make him feel comfortable at school, he is doing everything he can to practice “strategic avoidance” to get out of her line of affection. Years later, the tables are turned as he becomes “flipped” and actively peruses her.

Juli( Morgan Lily-young Juli and Madeline Carroll-older Juli) has low-income parents who are renting their house. The dad (Aidan Quinn) and mom (Penelope Ann Miller) are the loving parents of Juli and her talented vocalist twin brothers. They don't have much money because they support her dad's special needs brother who is institutionalized. Their yard is a mess and Juli raises chickens and sells the eggs to the neighborhood. Bryce's disgruntled dad (Anthony Edwards) is opinionated while his mom (Rebecca De Mornay) is the Susie Homemaker who keeps things running evenly. Bryce's grandfather (John Mahoney) is also living with them. Teenage sister Lynette (Cody Horn) hangs out with the Baker boys and their music. Juli shows lots of spunk like trying to save the big tree at their school bus stop, raising chickens and eggs, and cleaning up the yard befriending Bryce's grandfather in the process. Bryce (Ryan Ketzner-young Bryce and Callan McAuliffe-older Bryce) on the other hand is one to make waves or stand up to what he believes. As they grow older Bryce begins to see Juli in a different light until he “flips” for her. By then Juli has decided she doesn't like Bryce as much as he deserves. Bryce's mother decides to invite the Bakers over for a sit down dinner and that's when the trouble starts.

Told in a “he said” “she said” style, Rob Reiner tells the story from Bryce and Juli's viewpoint. It's a cute concept that shows how differently we see events from our singular perspective. Small towns, the late 50's and early 60's , puppy love during an innocent era is something the Reiner does rather well. Based on the young adult book by Wendelin van Draanen, the film is full of rich detail and atmosphere of the times. Even the music is chronologically accurate and enhances those years before Vietnam. This movie could have been insufferably cute, but the talented cast and director keep the characters from being too Leave it to Beaver or the Donna Reed show squeaky clean. Today's teenager may not relate to the historical aspect of the movie, but will enjoy the universal appeal of awakening awareness of the opposite sex.
(Review by Reesa)


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Mao's Last Dancer



In an impoverished village in the People's Republic of China 11 year old Li Cunxin was selected by Madame Mao's cultural advisors to attend the Beijing Dance Academy. After years of training enduring 16 hour days, he became of of the first students to go the United States.

At first Li has difficulty with strength and is constantly badgered by one of his teachers. He struggles to endure for the honor of his family and country. His favorite teacher is taken away for his cultural differences when he disagrees with Madame Mao's insistence that the performances have more guns and revolution. He secretly leaves a VCR tape of a Baryshnikov performance that inspires Li to find the heart of his dancing. On a visit to China, Ben Stevenson, director of the Houston Ballet offers Li a 3 month stay as a US exchange student to study at their school. Impressed with his talent, Li quickly attracts attention and accolades for his performances. Stevenson requests an extension to stay longer but the Chinese government refuses. Li marries his American girlfriend and with the help of lawyer, Charles Foster tries to report his marriage to the Chinese Consulate General in Houston. Li was told that the Chinese government respects international marriages. But he is detained and held for 21 hours before media pressure and high level negotiations intervene. Li would be allowed to stay in the US, but he would never be allowed to return to China. This causes him great distress wondering how his defection is affecting his family and after a few years his marriage fails. Five years later, as a sign of goodwill, the Chinese government allows his parents to attend one of his performances in America. Later, Li is granted permission to return to his village to see his family and his old teacher and perform with his new wife in an impromptu outdoor ballet.

Based on the Li's autobiography, director Bruce Beresford and writer Jan Sardi bring to life an inspiring tale of the exile's life from poverty in China to fame and fortune in the west. Li selected Chi Cao, a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet to play him. Chi's parents were once Li's teachers. Joan Chen plays Li's mother whose pride at seeing his performance at the end of the film will bring tears to the eyes. Bruce Greenwood does a remarkable job of Ben Stevenson who guides Li through his first days in US. Indoctrinated from childhood on the evils of the western world, Li is cautious. When Stevenson buys him clothes at the mall spending more money than his parents make in a whole year, Li feels guilty for taking it. Kyle MacLachlan has a small but affective role as Charles Foster the lawyer who intervenes at the Consulate standoff. This feel good film has the potential of being the Slumdog movie of the year.
(Review by Reesa)
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The Last Exorcism



Cotton Marcus comes from a long line of preachers and developed a gift for ministry as a child. His father has given him an ancient book of demons that is necessary for their work of exorcising the evil out of the afflicted. Cotton doesn't really believe in the process, in fact he often stages the rite for the money.

Shot like a documentary by Daniel Stamm it's more like a mockumentary. The script by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland has a camera crew following Cotton (Patrick Fabian) a cynical preacher, clean cut family man, who has offered to debunk the practice of exorcism. He randomly selects a letter from the many he receives to exorcise demons from a family's loved one. One particular letter claims animal mutilations on a small farm in Louisiana. The camera crew head out down the back roads of this small town to the home of Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum). On the way there they meet Caleb Sweetzer (Caleb Landy Jones) who tells them to go back to where they came from before pelting their car with rocks. At the house they are introduced to Nell (Ashley Bell), a sweet innocent young woman whose mother had passed away a couple of years ago, and her strict father now keeps her home. She tells them that she wakes up with her clothes all bloody and finds out later that some of the farm animals have been slaughtered. Nell doesn't remember anything about this. Cotton tries to talk her father out of doing a ceremony on his daughter's behalf believing that her sheltered life, her religiously zealot father and the grief from her mom's passing may be what's wrong with Nell. Cotton then shows the camera crew how he sets up the exorcism by stringing the bed and mirror to shake and putting powder in his cross to look like it's smoking. He tells Louis that Nell is probably being possessed by a very strong demon and for the benefit of the camera crew plays up his ritual. After collecting the money, Cotton and the crew take off. But something doesn't sit right with Cotton, so despite the misgivings of the crew, he decides they should go back.

Unlike Blair Witch, the Last Exorcism doesn't suffer from the shaky camera syndrome. It captures small bits of scenes like moving a binocular past something quickly, coming back, trying to adjust your eyes to what you are seeing. There's enough creepy scenes especially when Nell contorts she body into weird positions or confronting a barn cat that makes the collective audience gasp. This is not the usual slice and dice with graphic carnage. It wisely focuses on the creep value of staying in an old farmhouse with crazy girl with a knife. Everything was working nicely until the final climax of the movie which gets all Rosemary Baby but not. The original 1973 Exorcist movie has nothing to do with this besides a head turning and the devil being in a young woman. Scary for it's time, it's almost cheesy now. Exorcism is a favorite concept for movies so no doubt this will be the last.
(Review by Reesa)

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Takers



A crew of five bank robbers stage an well orchestrated bank heist in downtown LA raking in a few million. They only do one job per year investing their ill gotten gains in foreign banks and giving some to charity. Living the high life in expensive clothes, cars and homes they are careful and wary trusting only in each other. A former member of their team is released from prison with a plan to steal a mother-load of cash but it has to be completed in a few days. They are suspicious of the job, as it violates all their plans but it's a big haul and they are self professed “takers”.

LA dectectives Welles (Matt Dillion) and his partner Hatcher (Jay Hernandez) are trying to find clues to the bank robbery. Hatcher is a happy family man compared to Welles who is divorced and his quality time with his daughter involves chasing down a lead rather than taking her to the LaBrea Tar pits as promised. His single minded police work manages to get him a lead on the possible culprits. For such careful robbers a little hand gesture caught on tape catches the detective's eye.

The robbers are lead by Gordon (Idris Elba) who is distracted by a drug addicted sister Naomi (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) who was in rehab but suffers a relapse the 2nd day she's out of the treatment center. His second, John (Paul Walker) has a nice house and shows off his naked backside, but doesn't seem to have a back story. Jesse (Chris Brown) was brought to the team by his brother Jake (Michael Ealy) who just proposed to Rachel (Zoe Saldana). AJ (Hayden Christensen) rounds out the team and is Jakes' best friend. Ghost (Tip “T.I.” Harris) used to go out with Rachel and his oily best wishes to Jake should have clued them in to his bad intentions. Ghost had made a deal with some Russians for information on an armored car route. The plan involves blowing up a street. Chris Brown has a parkour chase scene which apparently he did without a stunt double.

There are 5 writers credited on IMDB including director John Luessenhop. The pacing and the serious tone could be considered Heat-lite as the dialogue and characterizations could be an extended episode of Law and Order. There is no true protagonist, no one to really sympathize with or care who ends up with the stolen gains. The action and the popularity of some of the cast will sell tickets, but really, you may walk away feeling taken.
(Review by Reesa)


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lottery Ticket



Kevin Carson lives in the projects supporting his grandmother by his job at the Foot Locker. He has dreams of being a shoe designer, but the realities of his situation is forestalling any college plans. The nationwide lottery has $370 million up for grabs and everyone in his community can't help but dream of what they would do with kind of payout.

Bow Wow, who has dropped the “Little” from his name, plays Kevin. A good kid who wants to do right by people. His grandma (Loretta Devine) is full of love and pride for her grandson. His best friends Benny (Brandon T.Jackson) and Stacie (Naturi Naughton) are also faithful and loyal. The community of this particular low class neighborhood seem almost joyful, carefree with no litter, garbage or weeds.

On the way to work, the neighborhood bully Lorenzo (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and his gang way lays Kevin demanding that he supply him and his crew with new shoes. Not wanting to get beat up, Kevin quickly nods and hopes to get to work unscathed. Unfortunately Lorenzo shows up at the mall trying to walk out with the shoes but he gets busted by the mall police. Lorenzo threatens Kevin with revenge. Kevin ends up getting fired from his job. Grandma gives Kevin her numbers to play for the lottery. The recluse Mr. Washington (Ice Cube) that lives in the basement and only talks through a window asks Kevin to pick him up some jerky and a diet coke. Benny thinks the guy is a serial killer. Kevin plays his grandmother's numbers but he also plays the numbers from a fortune cookie. The next day he discovers he's a winner. Their celebration is brief as he tells his grandma not to tell anyone while he and Benny head to the lottery office downtown. The office turns out to be closed for the 4th of July weekend. When he returns home, the whole neighborhood has heard the good news. Kevin must now survive the greedy and threatening enthusiasm of the projects. The amount of money brings out the best and worst of people and everyone seems to want a piece of Kevin.

Lottery Ticket was directed by Erik White, a music video directed and based on his story, with a screenplay by Abdul Williams. Kevin is a bit of a passive character, unsure of himself, and unable to stand up to Lorenzo's threats, the oily overtures of the neighborhood godfather Sweet Tea (Keith David), or the obvious opportunistic hot girl who plans to have his baby. Kevin begins to see that this money is making a bigger problem than he can deal with and begins to wish it never happened. This film could have been more annoying, but Erik White manages to ground the film in Kevin's relationships with his grandmother and his friends. There's some very amusing moments with Mike Epps as Reverend Taylor and Terry Crews as Jimmy the Driver. Viewers may get frustrated with some of Kevin's misguided decisions, but you know that everything turns out well at the end. And the journey to get there wasn't all that bad. Just remember whatever you do...sign that lottery ticket!
(Review by Reesa)

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/22 - 8/28

We haven't had such a full week of movies in a long time. A screening a night to keep any movie lover happy. As always after this schedule is posted there will be lots of people begging for passes. As a reminder, the movie calendar is on the group pages for you to plan ahead and enter those contests necessary for you to get those passes on your own. Of course if you actually read your list mail, you would have been informed of those pass and done what was necessary.

Now for another annoying issue. Please don't ask for passes that are not yet available. Just because it shows up on our calendar, or on GOFOBO doesn't mean that the passes have been offered in a contest, trade in radio points, gone live on GOFOBO, or at a pass pickup. If you have any questions about a pass, read over the archived messages on the group pages to see if it was posted. As soon as someone asks for passes that are not ready for trading then everyone starts begging for them too. So stop it. Otherwise.....*DELETE* goes your post.

August 22 - 28, 2010

Sun
8/22

Mon
8/23

7:00 pm
THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Going the Distance
AMC Northpark

Tue
8/24

7:30 pm
Mao's Last Dancer
The Angelika Dallas

Wed
8/25

6:00 pm
You Again
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Takers
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Mesrine: Killer Instinct
The Magnolia

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

Thu
8/26

7:30 pm
Countdown To Zero
The Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Going the Distance
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
8/27

Sat
8/28

8:30 pm
Alice in Wonderland
Half-Price Books Parking Lot--5803 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas TX

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/15 - 8/21

Thanks to y'all for taking my last rant to heart and stopped sending your responses to pass offers to the group. At least most of you did, there are still some who refuse to read the group mail and do the frak they want. But then they get deleted with no remorse. Takes just a couple of seconds to double check that address before hitting send. Keep it up.

If anyone knows where The Switch is screening this week, drop me a line to update the calendar.

Note to the newbies...you just can't use this list to get your supply of passes for the week by mooching from others. You must make a reasonable attempt to get those passes on your own. Those vacation weeks didn't just show up on your doorstep. Plan ahead if you wanted to hit some movies, take those out of town relatives or treat someone on their birthdays. You're mooching from people who actually did jump through the hoops.

Also...if you win an epass, please do not distribute it to everyone who asks. If you can't use it yourself, just give it to ONE person, unless there was specific permission. Movie partners are allowed to a limited number of passes to give away. If people abuse this system they will only make it harder for us to obtain them.

August 15 - 21, 2010

Sun
8/15

Mon
8/16

7:30 pm
Lottery Ticket
AMC Valley View

Tue
8/17

7:30 pm
Nanny McPhee Returns
AMC Northpark 15

7:30 pm
The Switch
tba

7:30 pm
The Last Exorcism
AMC Northpark

9:00 pm
Vampires Suck
AMC Grapevine Mills

Wed
8/18

7:00 pm
Flipped
AMC Northpark 15

Thu
8/19

Fri
8/20

Sat
8/21

10:00 am
Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue
AMC Northpark

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World



Growing up, video games have taught me some of the most important universal truths in life. Life is all about leveling up, you have to overcome progressively harder opposition to reap the best rewards and that your enemies explode into a pile of coins when killed. Oh and also, killing is totally awesome, because you get coins.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) it seems is on this same revelatory journey in, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Indeed this movie doesn’t so much toe the line between allegory and badassery as it does push you across flailing and laughing, into the cacophonous sea of awkward teen tropes and video game clich├ęs. Set into a soundscape of lo-fi Indy rock, Scott plucks bass rocktastic in his living room band Sex Ba-Bombs. Comprised of sardonic chick drummer, Kim Pine (Alison Pill) the “talented” singer, Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) and young Neil (Johnny Simmons) they jam out with attitude, style and plenty of youthful bewilderment.

Amidst all the rocking out and teen dramedy is a groping story centering on twenty- something Scott and the hilarious train wreck that is his life and decision making ability. He has a problem; he is dating the Asian high school girl - Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). It gets better; he doesn’t like her that much. It gets better; she likes him way more than he wants her to. When the awesomely green haired Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) turns his head, he (like most people who don’t want to introduce themselves as sex offenders) decides to handle his girl juggling in the most immorally entertaining way possible. There is another catch of course; in order to be with Ramona, he has to battle her seven evil Exes, queue the insanity.

But it is in this insanity and visual style that Scott Pilgrim vs. the world shines. Filmed like a live action video game on acid and crack simultaneously, the visual and audio style reflects and embodies some of the more glorious and whimsical aspects of all gaming genres. 8-bit graphics and old school Nintendo sounds not only accent, but happen forth, popping up from life accomplishments and revealing information to the audience as if they were a laminated third party. The video game references don’t stop there though, as gamers from all age groups should be able to find something familiar here to get all nostalgic about. Add to this, an orgy of cut and paste sequences, vibrant and cartoonish martial arts, a disembodied fight narrator, and a philandering gay roommate (Kieran Culkin) and you have a movie that is equal parts FTW as it is WTF?!

Overall, the story takes a back seat to the awesomely visceral gaming madness. But with a smart script and fantastic tongue in cheek commitment on the part of the actors, my only real complaint is that I really would have liked to have played this movie.
(Review by Quinn Cruz-Hawkins)


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The Expendables



Somalian pirates had captured the crew of a freighter ship at sea. They are preparing to broadcast the execution of the crew as their ransom demands have not been met. Before the leader could make the fatal blow laser sites dot their bodies. Mercenaries have arrived with 3 million in a sack. The pirates demand for more money makes one the of the rescue team angry enough to start shooting. Soon there is no one left standing except for the captured crew.

The team known as The Expendables is a loose group of older and experienced men who know how to get a job done under the radar of government oversight. They are led by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone). They receive a job by a shady CIA agent (Bruce Willis) to go into a gulf island country to overthrow a ruthless dictator. Arnold Schwarzenegger shows up in a brief scene as another contractor who turns down the job and trades quips with Sly's character. Once in the fictitious country Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) and Ross discover there is something more sinister underfoot when they meet Sandra (Giselle Itie) who happens to be the daughter of the corrupt General Garza (David Zayas). He's in ca-hoots with ex-CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) to enslave the populace to produce drugs. Ross doesn't want to get involved with cleaning up a CIA mess, but feels almost guilty for leaving Sandra and her idealism to save her country. Munroe gets inside info on the team from just ousted Expendable Gunner (Dolph Lundgren) who was kicked out for being hot headed, unreliable, and on drugs. Car chases and fights ensue until Ross decides to go back and do the right thing. The team also includes Jet Li, Randy Couture, Terry Crews.

This answers the question of what happens to action movie stars once they have passed their prime. They write and direct movies for themselves to include a beefy muscled cast to kick major butt. Sylvester Stallone wrote this with Dave Callaham (Doom and Horsemen) with dialogue that's stiff, wooden and often cringe-worthy. You have to go into this movie not caring if there is story or plot and just to see things blow up. There are moments where they must have improvised some of it because it's hard to believe the lines were actually written on paper to recite. Especially the soliloquy by Tool the tattooist (Mickey Rourke)...pure cheese. This probably serves as the token romantic quite moment in the whole movie. Most of the scenes involve massive shoot outs with painted faced soldiers and spectacular explosions all of which are sped up in editing so you really can't see what's going on. Maybe even to hide the choreography of the fisticuffs. It's still fun and mindless. The AARP nudging action heroes still show they got the moves.
(Review by Reesa)

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Eat Pray Love



Eat Pray Love

Liz is a successful writer who is feeling like something is missing from her seemly perfect life and marriage. One night she drops to her knees and prays for an answer then tells her husband she doesn't want to be married anymore.

Once on a trip to Bali, Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) met a shaman who foretold that she will lose all her money, it will come back and she will return to Bali to teach him English and he will teach her everything he knows. After dealing with the guilt of her divorce with Stephen (Billy Crudup) she hits another roadblock with the rebound boy friend David (James Franco). She decides to travel around the world. She tells her best friend and editor Delia (Viola Davis) that she's always had a man in her life and she needs to find out how to be herself. She had always wanted to go to Italy and learn Italian. She rents a funky apartment, makes new friends and finds how to open herself to new experiences . This includes indulging in the wanton enjoyment of Italian culinary delights. Going to India afterwards was a big culture shock living at the ashram of the guru she met through David. Liz butts heads with Richard from Texas (Richard Jenkins) who calls her Groceries for her big appetite. He badgers and pushes her in a friendly and annoying manner as she tries to find peace with her failed marriage and love affair. In Bali she returns to the shaman and is almost run into on her bike by Brazilian businessman Felipe (Javier Bardem). He's also divorced and not quite ready to love again.

Based on the book of the same name by the real Elizabeth Gilbert, the screenplay by Ryan Murphy and Jennifer Salt took out most of the angst that burdened the novel. Gilbert's novel spends chapters of her journey of self discovery which many faithful readers apparently related, but personally I found it tiresome and self indulgent. Ryan Murphy who is the mastermind behind Glee and also directed the quirky Running With Scissors gives this film a lighter touch and fills the screen with the picturesque locations. The camera particularly loves Julia Roberts who is one of those rare actresses that look beautiful, vulnerable and radiant all at the same time. She is fashionably at ease in cool flowing sensible traveling clothes and rivals the excess of the Sex and the City women. Javier Bardem is charming and wonderful eye candy. It's just hard to relate to Liz and her problems. She's a privileged financially stable woman who can afford to travel and explore these exotic locals to find her inner peace. While the rest of us stay home wondering how to pay rent, feed our kids, and get a good nights sleep. It's a nice escape for a couple of hours, but the dishes are still in the sink when you get home.
(Review by Reesa)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Avatar Re-Release

20TH CENTURY FOX AND JAMES CAMERON ANNOUNCE
AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION LIMITED THEATRICAL ENGAGEMENT, BEGINS AUGUST 27, EXCLUSIVELY IN
DIGITAL 3D AND IMAX® 3D
 
Return to Pandora and Re-Experience Cameron’s History-Making Epic,
with more than Eight Minutes of Never Before Seen Footage
 
 
LOS ANGELES (July 15, 2010) _ Twentieth Century Fox and James Cameron today announced that AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION will be released in theaters August 27, in a limited engagement and exclusively in Digital 3D and IMAX 3D. 
This version of Cameron’s history-making and groundbreaking epic will include more than eight minutes of new footage. Since – and largely as of result of -- AVATAR’s release last December, the number of available digital 3D screens has exploded, and moviegoers who missed experiencing the film in 3D will now have that opportunity.
Commented James Cameron: "Audiences repeatedly told me they wanted more of Pandora, and wished they could have stayed there longer. So we’re making that possible. AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION will be exclusively in 3D, and will have eight minutes of never before seen footage, including new creatures and action scenes. Whether you already love the movie, or you've never seen it, with this Special Edition, you'll be seeing it like never before."
Commented Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen and CEOs, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman: “AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION is especially gratifying, because not only has AVATAR  become one of the most beloved films in history, but after its initial theatrical release, we have been inundated with requests to re-release the film in theaters in 3D.  Equally important, we’re thrilled that Jim Cameron is able to give audiences even more of what they loved about AVATAR.”
The Oscar and Golden Globe® winning epic is the highest grossing film of all time, taking in over $2.7 billion in worldwide box office.  It is also the top-selling Blu-ray disc of all time.  Director James Cameron takes audiences to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.  AVATAR delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the epic nature of the story.

About Fox Filmed Entertainment
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world.  These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE:  Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Fox International Productions.

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The Popcorn List

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=h#!/notes/devin-pike/press-release-the-popcorn-list-set-to-debut-on-the-texas-channel/419393752054

[PRESS RELEASE] ‘The Popcorn List’ Set To Debut On The Texas Channel
by Devin Pike on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9:51am

Hosts Rainy Flynn and Devin Pike, with decades of combined experience in and around the entertainment and Texas Independent Film Industry, are set to debut as co-hosts of "The Popcorn List," a new movie review show on The Texas Channel (available on Time Warner Cable) on Friday, August 13, 2010.

Originally conceived as "a 'bucket list' for movies," "The Popcorn List" takes the familiar format of dual critics talking about the current releases of the day and puts a unique spin on it, adding classic films and independent productions to the mix.

Each week, Rainy and Devin discuss three – five movies to give the viewer a fresh perspective on film. With viewers' money and time at a high premium, the two hosts will rate the movies not only on the merit of "good filmmaking," but whether each film is worthy of being added to "The Popcorn List."

As the independent film industry continues to grow in and around Texas, the State of Texas is being hailed as making strides to being the preferred location for the film industry (http://www.governor.state.tx.us/film/). Time Warner Cable's The Texas Channel and "The Popcorn List" look to capitalize on the current trend of filmmaking in Texas, and highlight the independent movie and film makers of Texas as well as other genres of film.

ABOUT RAINY FLYNN

Rainy Flynn has appeared in television, theatre and film across Texas, and owns Indie Scene Productions, LLC, which revolves around the independent film, music and art industry and provides the opportunity for technical high school film students and recent graduates to gain valuable experience in the film industry while encouraging others to follow their dreams.

ABOUT DEVIN PIKE

A film critic and entertainment reporter for over 30 years, Devin Pike is the editor-in-chief for Red Carpet Crash, a Dallas-based entertainment web site. A lifelong student of film and media, Devin's coverage of the entertainment industry has been featured in the Dallas Observer, the Dallas Times Herald, Interview Magazine, and Details Magazine.

ABOUT THE TEXAS CHANNEL

The Texas Channel is a statewide digital video network created by Time Warner Cable to distribute largely exclusive local and regional content to its subscribers in a variety of genres of character unique to the Texas experience. Approximately one million subscribe in Dallas, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley markets have access to the Texas Channel on the basic Digital Basic Service of their local Time Warner Cable systems.

The Texas Channel programming is predominantly "Texas Centric" and produced in Texas, about Texas and Texans, including information, sports, culture and lifestyle programming. Content is a mixture of acquired and original produced/distributed by Time Warner Cable's Texas market studios as well as obtained from local, regional and national independent producers, syndicators and other content sources.

Categories of programming planned acquisition or development include Texas travel, cooking and famous dining, fashion, home, lifestyles, music series and in-depth public policy coverage.


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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/8 - 8/14

Is everyone having brain freezes? Did y'all forget that you must write to the person offering the passes and NOT to just hit reply? Because if you hit reply it goes to the group. If it goes to the group it gets DELETED. If it gets deleted your request for said passes will not reach the person intended and you don't get that precious free pass to the screening of your choice. You get nothing, nada, zilch, zip, zero, FAIL. This rule also pertains to off handed comments, personal notes, and other missives that don't have anything to do with the purpose of this group which is providing information on screenings in the DFW area. So hitting reply and offering your 2 cents will go to no one but the moderators who promptly dumps them in the trash bin. That said...take a second before hitting send and double check where you are mailing that response!

For those of you who discover passes are being handed out somewhere PLEASE share it with the group. Or write to the moderators and we will tell people. It's just vexing when someone mentions they picked up a pass somewhere and didn't bother telling anyone else. The whole idea is to share this information.

OK...last rant of the day. Just because a movie opportunity is listed on GOFOBO doesn't mean the passes have become available through the movie partners. Mooching for passes before it's available will get your email deleted. READ your group emails to see if it's been posted. Read the archived messages to see if you missed anything. Enter the contests as required BEFORE you start to beg. We keep track of chronic moochers. If you don't make an attempt to get passes on your own and only ask others from them, you will be dropped from the group.

August 8 - 14, 2010

Sun
8/8

Mon
8/9

11:00 am
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:00 pm
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Studio Movie Grill Addison

7:30 pm
SECRETARIAT
Angelika Dallas

Tue
8/10

7:30 pm
The Expendables
AMC Stonebriar

7:30 pm
Scott Pilgrim VS. The World
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
8/11

7:30 pm
the Last Exorcism
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Weeds and The Big C
tba

7:30 pm
Eat Pray Love
Magnolia

8:30 pm
Takers
tba

Thu
8/12

7:00 pm
Whale Rider (2002)
Dallas Museum of Art

7:30 pm
9th Company
Studio Movie Grill Addison

8:00 pm
Eat Pray Love
AMC Northpark

Fri
8/13

Sat
8/14

8:30 pm
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Half=Price Books Parking Lot--5803 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas TX


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Friday, August 6, 2010

The Concert




The janitor at the Bolshoi Orchestra Theater interrupts a rehearsal with his cell phone. He is told that he cannot watch rehearsals until all his work is done and that includes cleaning the manager's office til it shines. While in the office a fax comes in which the janitor intercepts. It's from a major French theater that wants to hire the Russian orchestra to fill in when the Los Angeles Philharmonic could not make the concert date in two weeks. The janitor steals the notice.

Thirty years earlier, Andrei Simoniovich Filipo (Aleksei Guskov) was a reknown conductor for the Bolshoi Orchestra. In the middle of the a performance of Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major the manager of the Bolshoi and a big wig in the ruing communist party interrupts to declare Andrei a traitor for hiring Jewish musicians. Andrei was completely broken after that incident. But with this fax in hand he plans to get the old orchestra back together and play that date in France. With his best friend, cellist Sacha Grossman (Dmitri Nazarov) they talk the man who ruined his career in the first place, Ivan (Valeri Barinov) the former KGB who still dreams of communist comeback to manage the orchestra. Despite their differences, Andrei believes he's still the best orchestra manager for this job.

The former musicians of the Andre's fired orchestra have found work doing various things over the years and some have not picked up their instruments since that infamous day. The prospect of going to France gets them to sign on even though they only have 2 weeks to get this all together. Ivan is making demands on the promoters based on this memories of France 30 years ago, like dinner at this restaurant that is no longer there, a cruise on river and a hotel that has since lost it's 4 star rating. Andrei and Sasha enlist the help of the gypsy band of their violinist to get them clothes, shoes, instruments and even illegal passports to get them to France. When they finally get out of the country, the musicians demand their per diem then scatter. They don't even show up at the rehearsal. Andrei covers with an explanation like in the Music Man where the music comes from within and the music is purer when it's spontaneous. Eventually they have to be tracked down when the star violinist soloist Anne-Marie Jacquet (Melanie Laurent) threatens not to perform.

Romanian-born director Radu Mihaileanu makes the French look like buffoons and the Russians like opportunists. The gypsy's are a wild and crazy gang of thieves, there are Russian gangsters and Jewish con-men. It's not exactly a wacky comedy as the trailer implies, but there are plenty of amusing moments with the improbable plot of getting a 55 members of the orchestra out of Russia and on the stage in France without anyone catching on they are not the real Bolshoi Orchestra. The best moment is the full concert of Violin Concerto in D Major. You do not normally see a full performance of anything in movies as it's always broken by plot scenes. That in itself is worth the ticket price and story is icing on the cake.
(Review by reesa)



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The Other Guys



Two super cops are involved in a wild and crazy car chase with guns flaring. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) are what every typical movie cop buddies want to be. They are so confident and out of control, but they always bring in the bad guys no matter what the cost in damages. They are such heroes they don't even do their own paper work because it's too dang boring.

In their precinct there's the hero cops and the “other guys” like Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) a mild mannered transfer from forensic accounting desk jockey and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) a once ambitious detective who is living down a huge error at a Yankee's game making him a laughing stock. Gamble is good natured to Hoitz's constant anger and harassment regrading his masculinity because he would rather work safely at his desk then on the streets. Gamble is so clueless he manages to have his gun replaced with a wooden replica by his boss, Captain Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton). When Highsmith and Danson make a tactical error when on a case, the rest of the department's teams want to step in their place. Hoitz has to pull a gun on Gamble to get him on the streets. Gamble justs wants to investigate a white collar crime involving scaffolding. They are denied a patrol car and have to ride around in Gamble's bright red Prius. There's a running gag about the Prius and some homeless group party for the gross factor. Every attempt they make doesn't turn out as well as they hoped. They do manage to arrest David Ershon (Steve Coogan) for the scaffolding scam, but the rich investor has other problems when he's kidnapped from their custody. Captain Mauch takes them off the case but Gamble and Hoitz want to figure out what's going on.

Director/writer Adam McKay has written for Saturday Night Live and directed Will Ferrell in Stepbrothers, Talladega Nights and Anchorman. Ferrell's usual zaniness is slightly and fortunately tempered in this with Wahlberg as his straightman. Hoitz's meeting of Gamble's hot wife Shelia (Eva Mendes) is probably the best bit in the movie. And Keaton as the moonlighting Captain makes one wish to see him in more comedic features. The plot involving investment funds was a bit complicated but not really necessary to understand. Most of the movie is like a long SNL skit with that same hit and miss quality of the TV show. It would have been nice if the energy generated with Jackson and Johnson at the beginning of the movie could have been sustained though out. Instead we are stuck with “the other guys”
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/1 - 8/7

July went by pretty fast, and there's only a couple more weeks until school starts. I'm not thrilled with this catering to school ID's to get into a screening. Like anyone older is not cool enough to understand a movie? If anyone knows where those "tba" screenings are happening, please drop me a note. Thanks to everyone for their patience last week as the moderators were on vacation, and we tried to get to the group mail the best we could. Reminder...again...please send your requests to those pass offers to the person and NOT to the group.

August 1 - 7, 2010

Sun
8/1
5:15 pm
The Concert
The Magnolia

Mon
8/2

Tue
8/3

7:30 pm
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
tba

7:30 pm
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
8/4

11:00 am
Nanny McPhee
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

6:00 pm
Nanny McPhee
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Middle Men
Studio Movie Grill Addison

Thu
8/5

7:00 pm
Step Into the Liquid (2003)
Dallas Museum of Art

7:30 pm
The Other Guys
tba

7:30 pm
Middle Men
tba

7:30 pm
Step Up 3D
Cinemark 17

Fri
8/6

Sat
8/7


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