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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let Me In

Horror lovers everywhere are anxiously awaiting the Matt Reeves’ (of Cloverfield fame) Americanized version of the 2008 Swedish vampire flick “Let the Right One In”, by debut author/screenwriter John Ajvide Lindqvist that mesmerized fans as it introduced two extremely isolated characters, Oskar and Eli, who form an unusual relationship against the backdrop of the stark, bleak icy Stockholm suburbs. Viewers will be wondering if the film has been improved upon but the first one is a tough act to follow with its frozen, moody yet beautiful settings and staging as well as the elegance and attractiveness of its characters.

This new versions stands on its own and is destined to become a horror classic in its own right, allowing it to reach a larger audience than the first, which was a multiple festival award winner including Tribeca, Austin Fantastic Fest and Austin Film Critics Association. Depending on what you are looking for, this film “Let Me In” will have something to offer those fans who love this genre.

This new setting is a wintry Los Alamos, NM in Reagan era 1983, where the president
is addressing the nation on TV about good and evil. Owen, a 12 year old isolated loner whose parents are divorcing, is going to have to make a choice. The film opens to police and paramedics driving through the snowy void transporting an older man (Richard Jenkins) to the hospital who has tried to commit suicide by pouring acid over his face and body. Kodi Smit McPhee is excruciatingly thin with large soulful eyes, not unlike a young Lucas Haas. Chloe Grace Moretz is fresh off her breakout role as Hit-Girl in Kick Ass and play the young vampire, Abby. She doesn’t quite possess the same sense of mystery and elusivity as her predecessor but her large luminous eyes and expressive lips pull you in all the same. Richard Jenkins plays her harried caretaker at the end of his rope, visibly weary of always having to kill to sustain Abby or clean up after her hunts and killing rampages, perpetually covering for her and protecting her from detection by those on the outside. His attempted suicide at the beginning, after an botched kill gone wrong, is for her, to protect her as well as to release him from his long served duties. He eventually succeeds in ending his life after the film goes back two weeks in time for the story of the unusual childhood sweethearts unfolds moving from their first meeting as she moves in next door to their eventual life long relationship.

There are clues from the beginning that these two are very different from their peers, yet alike with respect to each other. They are loners. She arrives barefoot in the snow and is
only out late at night. He is obsessed with knives, trouble by his parents failing relationship and fantasizes about exacting revenge upon those who bully him at school. He is a voyeur, peering via telescope into the lives and apartments of his neighbors a la “Rear Window”. Yet they find each other and connect.

The evolution of their relationship through preadolescent angst is touching and bittersweet as it progresses visually from first connection over puzzles, to first gentle hand to hand touch, to tender hug and finally to eventual commitment to going steady and forming a more permanent partnership. Teen angst and adolescent longing is all around but the sweetness of first connection is not lost.

American elements are intrusive and invade loudly from teen profanity, 70’s and 80’s music, vehicles, and a much larger sense of community around the pair. The soundtrack is peppered with dissonance and strange sounding voices adding to a growing sense of tension and eeriness as opposed to the more hopeful soundtrack of the original. Absent are the glorious and innovative lighting techniques using in the original film that created such a beautiful, ethereal mood and feel to the entire film.

Abby encourages Owen to fight back when bullied as he tries to become stronger in mind and body with her support and strength, eventually lashing out at the gang of three who so relentlessly and brutally pursue, torment and harass him though out the film. We all excruciatingly feel, through well chosen camera angles, his pain, desperation and loneliness so much it hurts. Her power and hold over him grows throughout the film toward two climactic scenes of a blood pact gone horribly wrong to when Owen clearly makes his choice between good and evil in a heart-wrenching bathroom scene. It is as if belonging anywhere is better to him than belonging nowhere at all.

Reeves kicks this film up a notch and a half- it is bloodier, bolder, more shocking and in your face as he does not hold back in showing Abby for the real monster she is. Behind her round, old -soul visage is a cold blooded animalistic killer. She is the one who must be invited in (as the head vampire of “Lost Boys” was), and we learn what happens if she is not- the blood letting of rejection. And revenge is so much sweeter with her on your side. So Owen chooses to invite evil in willingly. So achingly felt in the original, emptiness is all around from their wide, luminous eyes to the perpetually vacant playground, from her empty apartment to their empty lives devoid of positive human contact and expression. We never even really see Owen’s parents, which further separates him and us from those who should love and protect him. It is the sensitive and poignant relationship of the two preteens that is the star is this film. These two get more under your skin and into your psyche more so than in the original, which portrayed them through more of an air or mystery and detachment from each other.

A few effects distract. Super powdery snow that always looks exactly the same each night despite the sunshine in the day seems fake. Jerky, extreme movements via CGI when Abby converts to her wild animal predator vampire self are particularly bothersome and unnecessary. Her eyes and demeanor are all that are necessary to show her animal side. To this viewer, the Morrissey song from 1993 “Let the Right One Slip In”, from which the Swedish film title is derived, is better exemplified through Reeve’s film, being a song exemplifying adolescent longing and passage. Reeves brings the emotional pain as well as the physical. The audience should be pleased.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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Social Network

In an undergraduate bar near Harvard Mark Zuckerman is angrily complaining about being thwarted in his desire to join one of Harvard's elite final clubs when his girlfriend Erica dumps him. When he returns to his dorm, he takes his revenge by a nasty blog about her then comes up with Facemash a site that enables students to vote which women at Harvard are the hottest. With the help of his roommates they expand it to include all the colleges in the area. The response gathers 22,000 hits in a couple of hours and crashes the university's computer system. It's the year 2003.

Aided in this hack is best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). They decide to share in it's growth with Eduardo as the Chief Financial Officer, Mark as the major programmer would have most of the controlling shares and the roommates with just a taste. Inspired by Mark's (Jesse Eisenberg) technical know-how, Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler (Armie Hammer), the super WASP Harvard crew champions want him to help create a website that would be a online community for Harvard students. He agrees to work with them, but instead avoids them through email. Meanwhile he takes the idea eliminating the snobbishness of the Winklevoss's proposal and perfects it creating The Facebook. The site becomes instantly popular growing from a local college level to nationwide. At this point the twins decide to bring him to federal court on charges of intellectual property theft.

Eisenberg's Zukerman is not really a nice guy. It's ironic that the founder of the world's most successful online “friend” community is not that good of a friend. Not only must he deal with the lawsuit from the Winklevoss twins, he must also fight with Eduardo when he slowly starts to bleed his share of the company from his CFO's control. Mark is not impressed with Eduardo's efforts to bring more funding to their project. Especially after he meets with Napster Sean Parker who had also dealt with lawsuits, and fame. Slickly played by Justin Timberlake, Parker is like the snake salesman dangling dreams of quick and easy money that could result from corporate financial infusion. He's the one who suggests they drop the “The” from their website name. With Sean's help Facebook moves to the silicon valley of California and quickly becomes the massive pop culture phenomenon. Eduardo was uneasy with Sean from the start which leads him to unfortunately being cut out during the restructuring.

Based on the 2009 book by The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, writer Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher has crafted a smart and tight film with an anti hero who doesn't really illicit much sympathy being the architect of his own personal failings. He's so disengaged from relationships and focused on his work that the damage in his wake is like a faulty programming code. But this computer genius, is also a bit of an idealist and not really in it for the greed. His Facebook has made Zuckerman into the youngest billionaires in the world and Facebook is available to everyone not just college students. Whether you believe the events in the movie, there is no doubt of the impact that Facebook has made to the world and all our “friends”.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, September 26, 2010



FrontRow’s Film Series: TITAS’s Charles Santos Chooses Carlos Saura’s Tango
By Peter Simek September 20th, 2010 3:23pm

Dallas Hub Theatre 2809 Canton St. Dallas, TX 75226
Sep 30 at 7:30 p.m.

By now you have all heard how we asked six local arts leaders what movie they believe people living in Dallas today need to see. First there was Brian Gibb, who said Herb and Dorothy, so we screened the movie at his gallery, The Public Trust. Then, we asked the Dallas Video Festival’s Bart Weiss. He said North Dallas 40 and “Dallas at the Crossroads,” which we showed you last month at Kemp Garage on Davis St.

Now it is time for the third installment of the Front Row Film Series. We put our question to TITAS’s Charles Santos, and he said that you need to see the Oscar-nominated film Tango by Carlos Saura. Why, you ask? Come to the screening on September 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dallas Hub Theatre to find out. The screening is completely free. To attend, simply fill out the RSVP form after the jump.

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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/26 - 10/2

What is up with everyone? I've had to kill a bunch of mail responding to Raymond's post that should have gone to him instead y'all just hit reply and sent it to the group. So when you start to whine about how you didn't get a pass, it's because y'all didn't follow the directions. It's a simple thing to copy and paste a person's email. If you need detailed instructions on how to do that, write to me...not to the group...and I'll show you how.

Another endless reminder: PLEEZE do not ask for passes that have contests pending!!!!! Enter the contest on your own! Anyone asking for passes like this will get their messages edited or just deleted.
If you have a question on what's still running, keep track of your group mail, read the archived posts on the group page, look at the calendar, or just ask on the moderators.

September 26 - October 2, 2010




Waiting For “Superman”
The Magnolia


7:30 pm
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Angelika Film Center PLANO

7:30 pm
Let Me In
Angelika Dallas


7:30 pm

7:30 pm
Social Network
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Life As We Know It
Angelika Dallas

8:00 pm
I Spit On Your Grave
Angelika Dallas



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Friday, September 24, 2010

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Soren is a young owl who loves hearing stories from his father about the legendary Guardians of Ga'Hoole, an alliance of owls that like King Arthurs knights of the Round Table. They are sworn to protect the Kingdom of Ga'Hoole. His brother Kludd is not too impressed and is jealous of the attention paid to Soren especially of his quick ability to fly. One night they sneak out to practice and accidentally push each other off the tree limb. The ground is a dangerous place for a young owl and they are captured and taken to The Pure Ones.

The Pure Ones believe that Barn Owls are the purest of all owl races. They sort through the many young owls who were also kidnapped. The Barn Owls are selected to train to fight, and the other owls are sent to be “moon blinded” to become obedient workers. Soren (Jim Sturgess) gets sent with the workers when he tries to protect a smaller owl. He's crestfallen when his brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) doesn't stick up for him and choses to be trained as a soldier. He's enchanted by the soothing promises of glory from the evil queen Nyra (Helen Mirren) and Metal Beak (Joel Edgerton). Soren discovers that the Pure Ones are planning to lead an army against the Guardians. They are developing a weapon of great power. He manages to escape with the Elf Owl Gylfie (Emily Barclay) aided by the Pure Ones librarian Grimble (Hugo Weaving) . One the way they meet up with Twilight(Anthony LaPaglia) and Mrs. Plithiver (Miram Margolyes) who accompany them on their quest. Their long flight and series of adventures brings them to the Tree on the peaceful island of Ga'Hoole where they meet Ezylryb (Geoffrey Rush) who helps assemble the Guardians to battle to free the captured owls.

Screenwriters John Orloff and John Collee condensed the the first three books of Kathryn Lasky's fifteen book fantasy series published by Scholastic. The all Australian cast also included the voice work Sam Neill, Deborra-Lee Furness, Abbie Cornish and David Wenham. Director Zach Snyder who also did 300 and the Watchman used the same digital effects team that made Happy Feet. The tiny details of the owl feathers, wind and stunning vistas creates a gorgeous complete world like Lord of the Rings with owls instead of hobbits. The battle sequences are amazing, but my frightend the younger viewers. They only thing wrong with this movie is the cheesy pop song by Owl City (duh!) during the closing credits.
(Review by reesa)

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You Again

Marni was a bespectacled acned loser during high school who was bullied by the beautiful head cheerleader. She later used her horrible experience as an example to encourage the young account execs at her office. Her ability to take control of her life, her looks and her attitude has made her successful enough to be promoted to VP in their New York office. On her way home for her brother's wedding she discovers that the bride to be is the infamous cheerleader who had made her life holy hell.

Kristen Bell is perfect as Marnie a pretty, not as confident as she thinks young woman who is suddenly confronted with an issue she has never resolved. Marni is taken aback that her family (Jamie Lee Curtis and Victor Garber) just adore their future new daughter in law. She comes face to face with her nemesis JJ who now calls herself Joanna (Odette Yustman) who acts like she doesn't remember Marni. Joanna's parents had died in a car accident and she wanted to change her life and is now going to nursing school, volunteering and in other words is too good to be true. Even the family dog likes Joanna better than Marni. Joanna's aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) owns a chain of famous hotels is footing the bill for a fancy wedding. It turns out the aunt Ramona also happens to be Marni's mother Gail's ex-best friend and arch enemy. At first Marni is thinking that she should give Joanna a second chance before she realizes that Joanna actually does remember. Marni would just like an apology. When that is not forthcoming, she tries to figure a way to show her brother Joanna's true colors.

Andy Fickman directs a handful of very strong women actors with a script by Moe Jelline. The story could have fallen into the trap of women just being catty and mean to each other, but the competent cast keeps the film grounded. As with anyone coming home, you fall into the same mindset you had before you left. Marni can't get over the pain she endured as the ugly duckling becoming clumsy and can't think clearly to subdue her actions. Gail is also feeling competitive with her once best friend and a bit envious of Ramona's success to the point of trying to drag race her on the streets. When both sides of the family take dance lessons from Monique Leroux (Kristin Chenoweth) the women all try to out do the other. The irrepressible Betty White as Grandma Bunny is ditzy and wise which is her usual role in movies these days.

Check out this interview with some of the women from the movie to give you a hint of what to expect:
(Review by reesa)

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Gordon Gekko has recently been released from prison after serving a long sentence for white collar crimes that occurred in 1987's Wall Street. No one is there to meet him coming out of jail. He has basically become irrelevant in the new century. Several years later, Gekko writes a best selling book about greed which catches the eye of Jake Moore, a sharp wall street trader who has just proposed to Gekko's estranged daughter Winnie.

In 2008 Gekko (Michael Douglas) used to the good life now has to contend with renting an apartment and doing the lecture circuit about the financial world and it's forthcoming economic downturn. He takes to advising Jake (Shia LaBeouf) while bartering information on the welfare of his daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan) in exchange he gives Jake hints regarding the death of Jake's mentor/father-figure Louis Zabel (Frank Langellla) . Winnie has no desire to see her father and warns Jake to keep away from him. Gekko is still a charismatic egocentric with whom Jake is leery yet impressed with his knowledge which gives him the ammunition in which to take down hedge fund money mover Bretton James (Josh Brolin) who had orchestrated the collapse of Zabel's bank. Jake was trying to get a clean energy company off the ground that needed $100 million to finish it's testing and get it running. Unfortunately investment into his pet project is stymied by the Wall Street crash. Even Jakes's mother (Susan Saradon) a nurse turned Realtor needs to borrow $200,000 from her son to keep her houses on the market. When Jake discovers that Gekko had left his daughter a small fortune in a Swiss bank and Gekko promises that he knows how to move that money to his green energy company, that's when things go awry.

Oliver Stone, so adapt at bringing dense material to an entertaining level, manages to keep you awake despite the baffling barrage of Wall Street verbiage with quick scenes and split screens. The screenplay by Stephen Schiff and Allan Loeb if full of business babble that is just as bad as techno babble and you have to let it wash over you while you concentrate on the story of Gekko trying to reconnect with his daughter and Jake trying to take down the bad guys. There's also lots of talk on “moral hazard” which still is unclear.

You don't have to see the first movie, but keep an eye out for Charlie Sheen as Bud in a brief cameo. Douglas eats up the screen as Gekko. Gray and aging, he struts around like he still owns the place. LaBeouf tries to look like a grown up in nicely cut suits while delivering lines that make your eyes glaze over. Carey Mulligan's hippie centric character runs a blog that uncovers stories that will hopefully change the world, but for some reason has trouble seeing the story unfolding in front of her. She spends most of the time looking petulant at her father. When told that she has millions stashed in the bank for her, she can only say “I don't want it”. Really?
(Review by reesa)
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The film opens with a black screen, with only the sound of a person deeply breathing, coughing, thumping and scratching on wood, then a more panicky breathing before the flame of a zippo lighter illuminates a man, with hands tied in cased in a wooden coffin.

Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), frighten and disorientated awakens to find him self buried alive with only a lighter, a knife, a flashlight, glow sticks, a pencil and a cell phone. In the tight space he manages to find these items around him. The cell phone is in Arabic, but he calls out to anyone he knows to report that his convoy of trucks in Iraq was ambushed and for some reason he's buried. In typical bureaucracy the 911 operator on the phone doesn't believe him and he's put on hold while the battery is dying. His capturer (voice of Jose Luis Garcia-Perez) calls him with a demand of a few million dollars in ransom. They don't want to know that he was just delivering kitchen supplies to an Iraqi community center. His kidnappers are not interested and just want to blame him as an example of US culpability in their countries woes. They tell him to make a video with the phone of him reading their propaganda and the demand for money. Conroy eventually calls the US State Department and the Hostage Working Group Dan Brenner (voice of Robert Paterson) who both tell him that the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists. A cold-hearted representative (voice of Stephen Tobolowsky) of his company tells him that he's been downsized and his capture isn't covered in their policy.

Director Rodrigo Cortés and screenwriter Chris Sparling have created a taut thriller utilizing one small space that takes the audience on an edge of the seat ride. Ryan Reynolds can finally shake off the rom-com and superhero stereotype that he's been associated with these past few years. The whole movie was filmed in 17 days with just Reynolds in an actual box constructed with wood and a glass side. There's no explosions, car chases, love scenes, or a ton of exposition to wade through to set up the story. The viewer is subjected to the horror of Conroy's predicament from the moment he awakens to the very end. Your mind may race to explore what you would do in the same fix and Reynolds keeps one glued to the screen while he's doing them. You live with his fear and his frustration when trying to call out for help. He runs the gambit of terror, anger, panic, desperation and sadness in the movies' 94 minutes of running time. And you will be so glad to get out of the dark theater when it ends.
(Review by reesa)
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Never Let Me Go

Kathy H is 28 and works as a “carer”, someone who supports and comforts particular patients. She narrates the story while reminiscing about her childhood in a seemly idyllic English boarding school in an alternate universe where people routinely live past the age of 100.

In the early 70's Hailsham is full of bright young students who are completely sheltered from the world. In fact they are told horrible stories of what happens to those errant children who leave the property. The students are encourage to produce art which are selected for the “gallery”. Their lives are quite simple with a few amusements. Every once in awhile a “bumper crop” of outside items are brought into the school that the students can purchase with tokens that they have earned. They also trade their treasures with each other. It's like a holiday for them. Their health and well being is strictly looked after while their lives revolve around their relationships with each. Kathy and Ruth are friends, until troubled Tommy catches Kathy's attention with his temper and frustration. They have a sweet friendship until jealous Ruth maneuver's Tommy's attention to herself. As they grow older the trio (Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly and Andrew Garfield) are moved out of the boarding school to the cottages while they await their ultimate fate. The relationship with Tommy and Ruth burdens Kathy, but she endures. She becomes a “carer” who tends her classmates and those from other schools while they donate their organs. One teacher at their school was compelled to tell her students that their lives would be short lived. They could not have dreams of becoming anything but what they are. They would donate then “complete”. That's why they are there, that's why they exist. Despite this dreary outlook the children center their attentions on each other. They hear a rumor that if they can prove they are in love, they can get a deferral from having to give any donations for a few months to enjoy each other. After Kathy and Tommy eventually reunite, they seek out their headmistress who may give them a chance to make up for lost time.

Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro the film directed by Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) maintains the same quiet hypnotic melodrama of the book. Carey Mulligan's Kathy is almost too resigned to her fate. Keira Knightly is very scary to watch after her donations and draws the biggest tears while she comes clean to Kathy and Tommy about keeping them apart for so long. Andrew Garfield's Tommy is frustrated with trying to create art to show he has a soul fares better than his female co-stars. While the subject matter is quite sad, Kathy H keeps them free from self pity. However the film is almost too slow and reserved to feel much for the character's predicaments. As a viewer you just want them to run off and live whatever lives they want.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/19 - 9/25

Welcome to all the newbies on the list. To the oldies but goodies, I know this sounds like a broken record, It also drives me crazy having to repeat the same "reminders" each week. So maybe when y'all are telling people about this amazing movie group that lets you see movies before they open in the theater, and you see them for free, would you kindly let folks know the simple rules that will keep this group running smoothly.

1.) You cannot just ask the group for passes...you have to do the work to get those passes on your own. Only when you exhaust all sources are you allowed to ask for some help. Please note, the moderators have to work to get passes too, so just asking us won't get you what you need. Also, we keep track of those people who do nothing but ask for passes...we know who you are...

2.) NO GOFOBO codes are allowed to be broadcast on this list. We will direct you to where those codes are located or to be won. Also if you win a code, don't share with anyone else. Movie partners are allowed a limited number of passes to give away. If you do you are robbing someone of their pass that had also won.

3.) If your email gets hijacked by a spammer and you send garbage to the group, your email will be banned. You will have to sign up under a different email address.

4.) Don't ask for passes that are not yet physically available. If a contest is still pending for a pass, enter to the contest on your own. The whole thing about asking to trade passes you have for this week for something for next week that have not be awarded is like...really? If those people entered the contest, why would they want to give them up? And you know what happens? One person will ask, then everyone and their cousin chimes in with those "me too's". Plus if the passes have not been awarded, they can't possible offer them..because they don't know if they won it or not. So for now on, you can only barter for passes that available for the current week. Anything else will be DELETED.

5.) We are over 900 subscribers at the moment. That means stiff competition for passes. But that also means there are more people to help look for them. So if you see passes at a counter at Borders, or something, please share that info with us? The whole idea for this group is to SHARE movie screening info. It don't work, then you show up at a screening telling us, "hey, Borders had a stack of them on the counter this afternoon". Well gee, thanks...for nothing.

6.) While I like to believe we are all adults and know how to behave in public, there are those who treat this movie privilege like a right instead of a gift. Following simple movie line and movie screening etiquette is expected so that we continue to enjoy these free movies. No cell phones, no cameras, no seating in reserved seats, keep those little ones at home and just act towards others with the same respect you expect for yourself.

September 19 - 25, 2010




7:30 pm
Northpark and Angelika Dallas


7:30 pm
Never Let Me Go
The Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
You Again
AMC Northpark

9:00 pm
I Spit On Your Grave
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

10:00 pm
Horror Remix: Road Rash
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


7:30 pm
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Social Network
Studio Movie Grill Dallas



5:00 pm
Soul Surfer
Cinemark West Plano

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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Town

Charlestown, MA on the north shore of Boston, supposedly has the highest incidents of bank robberies than anywhere else. Four childhood friends are responsible for some of these jobs which are all orchestrated with well timed precision while wearing masks, timing of the vaults and keeping track of the police response. Their activities are vexing to the FBI who finally catch a break when during their last job, the crooks kidnap the bank manager and leave her unharmed blindfolded on the beach.

Ben Affleck who helmed Gone Baby Gone once more as director, writer and actor brings the small towns of the Boston area alive with the small streets and close community of it's inhabitants. Ben is Doug MacRay the son of a convict, Steve MacRay (Chris Cooper) currently serving 5 life sentences at Walpole. Ben had almost escaped carrying on the family tradition of crime when he was drafted in the National Hockey League. But he blew his chances and is back masterminding bank heists for Fergies “The Florist” (Pete Postlethwaite) the local crime boss. During the sudden and violent robbery of a bank, Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) loses his temper when the bank alarm is set off and brutally beats up the bank officer and takes the bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) hostage. They eventually let her go unharmed but take her driver's license. Knowing where she lives Doug stalks her and eventually introduces himself at the laundromat when he sees how the kidnapping had affected her well being. Although he told his crew that he was just checking to see if she gave any information to the FBI (John Hamm as Special Agent Adam Frawley) he finds that he attracted to Claire and maybe a way out of his current lifestyle. Complicating the situation is Claire saw a tattoo on Gem's neck when he was beating up her boss during the robbery. Also Gem's drug dealing sister Krista (Blake Lively looking so opposite of her Gossip Girl rich kid) wants more of Doug than being a friend with benefits. Doug decides to tell Fergie that he's quitting but is blackmailed into doing one last job at Fenway Park and the millions collected from concessions. Special Agent Frawley turns up the heat when he reveals to Claire her new boyfriend is the one who kidnapped her.

The movie is taken from the 2004 book “Prince of Thieves,” written by Boston author Chuck Hogan which won the 2005 Hammett Prize for Excellence in Crime Writing. The screenplay by Affleck, Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard retains the rhythms of Charlestown and it's townie residents. John Hamm is solid as the all business FBI agent looking to trap the gang by whatever means necessary. Affleck once more proves his chops with the sympathetic criminal who wants to turn his life around. He's also quite buff and tattooed. This is a well paced drama, with exciting action sequences and an ending that will not make you walk out depressed.
(Review by reesa)

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Easy A

A thought occurred to me the other day while screening Easy A. Hard to imagine I could have any thoughts at all during or after watching this movie, but there it was burning away in my mind. I tried to ignore it, to distract myself with the bubblegum camp of this movie... but it was too sleek and over produced to be considered for that. I instead tried to focus on the smart script and clever writing... but the comedy was a bit over the top, with the actors trying to oversell the plot with mugging and exaggeration as both plausible and hilarious. Finally I searched desperately through the theater for others in the same predicament as I... but I found something very similar to what was seemingly hot and palpable in my mind. The crowd was enjoying this movie and sadly, so was I.

But why? What redeeming value did this movie have?
My answers came to me from reviewing the simple but accessible plot.

In synopsis: A over enthusiastically scholastic teen who is super hot, but apparently lacking in social skills can't get laid. She impulsively lies about losing the big “V” and with a “dash” of flair, spontaneous blossoming, and help from the classic book “The Scarlet Letter”, flips her whole situation upside down and wears her “A” (See what I did there? ;) with charming panache as she lies her way up and down the halls of Ojai high school. She manages to make a mess of her life as she contracts fake sex acts for money and fame, through the awesome speed of social networking and has to come to terms with the parity and parody of her life as it compares to Hester Prynne's.

But even after this understanding, I still was left wanting. I looked to the cast.

The bible tart Marianne (Amanda Bynes) provided bubbly antagonism. The handsome Woodchuck/Lobster Todd (Penn Badgley) provided convenient romance. Faculty Mr. Griffith was the man, mainly cause Tomas Haden Church (who plays him) is the man. Lisa Kudrow is in this movie but I only give her a mention because of the wonderfully funny surprise she provides.

All of them pale in comparison to Olive (Emma Stone).

Then it hit me... It was in consideration that I truly found out why I was enjoying this movie. Emma Stone is freaking hot, and she plays the witty and awkward Olive with a sexy, verbose confidence. It was as simple as that. I fell in love, and was willing to over look all of the glaring flaws that I learned to hate about movies of this genre.

So in layman's terms, I love Emma stone, the movie is merely OK.
(Review by Quinn Cruz-Hawkins)

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The Extra Man

Louis Ives was teaching before losing his job when caught indulging in a fantasy with a piece of a woman's undergarment. He decides to go to Manhattan to pursue his dream of being a writer like his literary heroes Fitzgerald or Miller. He rents a room or more like a bed in a hallway to the bathroom from failed playwright and ex-aristocrat Henry Harrison who teaches Louis the art of accompanying and entertaining older wealthy women as an “extra man”.

Louis (Paul Dano) is a confused, closet cross-dresser who finds a job in sales at an environmental magazine. He becomes attracted to co-worker Mary (Katie Holmes) a self absorbed vegan but she is dating someone else. Louis decides to work out his cross-dressing urges by seeking out a professional he found in an ad, spankologist and cross dressing trainer Katherine (Pattie D'Arbanville). But this and trips to the tranny bars is not really what he wants either. His landlord/roommate, Henry (Kevin Kline) tells him that the last roommate was asked to leave for being a sexual deviate. Of course, the bigger than life Henry declares that his moral compass is “right of the Pope”. Henry says that “women shouldn't be educated...it effects their performance in the the boudoir”. Despite Henry's blowhard opinions and eccentricities he decides to take Louis under his wing and teach him on how to be an extra man or a “walker” who escorts wealthy ladies about town. His favorite is the very rich and very old Vivian Cudlip (Marian Seldes) who had once taken Henry to Russia. Peppered into this mix characters is Gershon Guren(John C. Reilly) who fixes cars and things for Henry. He's hairy like a troll and rides his bike around staring at Henry with whom he's mad at and refuses to talk with him.

Director-writers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini did a wonderful job with a quirky character like Harvey Pekar in American Splendor. In that one, only Harvey was the off beat person. The Extra Man has you wondering if anyone is the least bit normal. Kevin Kline embodies Henry like cream cheese on a bagel. Despite his mad hatter take on Henry, you can't stop watching to see what he will do next. Katie Holmes has really nothing to do here besides just look pretty. I don't know whose idea it was for Gershon to speak in a high falsetto, maybe it was in the book by Jonathan Ames from which the film is based. Paul Dano gives a very understated performance as someone trying to find himself in the craziness of his adventures. In the end, it's Louis who actually seems normal.
(Review by reesa)

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Alpha and Omega

Humphrey and his friends are the aimless adolescent fun loving young males of their wolf pack. They don't really have any responsibility as they are omegas and not alphas. Like Kate, the daughter of their pack leader. She has to go to Alpha school during the summer to learn how to lead and feed the wolves of their pack. Although Humphrey has a major crush on Kate, being an omega means that he doesn't have a chance with an alpha.

Wolves prey on the caribou but there not enough to feed the two competing packs of area. The leaders Winston (Danny Glover) and Tony (Dennis Hopper in his last role) are facing a major conflict between the neighboring packs unless they unite with a marriage alliance of their offspring Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and Garth (Chris Carmack). Kate hears their plan and knows her responsibility to her clan and reluctantly agrees for the sake of the pack. Kate's mother (Vicki Lewis) is more ambitious than her mate Winston and promises wolf violence to ensure their alpha wolf standing. Humphrey (Justin Long) knows he can't compare to Garth's strong macho wolfishness. Kate is also not immune to his charms until he tries to howl, and she realizes that he's not a good fita. His howling is so bad that birds drop out of the sky dazed and confused. Kate's sister Lilly (Christina Ricci) however yearns for the alpha wolf, but alas she is only an omega. Humphrey follows Kate when she leaves the howling ceremony when the two are captured by forest rangers who take them to another national park to repopulate Idaho's Sawtooth region. Once they discover their predicament they utilize the help of two fowl, an English duck (Eric Price) and a French-Canadian golfing goose (Larry Price) to help them get pack to Jasper National Park. Catching rides in a camper and a train, getting chased by bears, Kate and Humphrey have to learn how to work together if they are to return home before the packs go to war with each other.

Directors Anthony Bell and Ben Cluck would have been better served if they eliminated the musical sequences that humanize the wolves even more than they should be from the script from Christopher Denk and Steve Moore. Even the wolf howling sounds like pop riffs on American Idol. To have treated the wolves as more wolf-like would have been a better lesson for the children hungry for new 3D features. The story is of the two classes of wolf society, the alphas and omegas in a Romeo Juliet element without the tragic ending. Kate and Humphrey learn from their adventure getting back to their families, it doesn't matter if you are an alpha or omega wolf, you can rise to any challenge and love is where you find it.
(Review by reesa)

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dallas Video Festival


VideoFest reminder: 23rd annual VideoFest opens a week from today at Angelika Dallas

Check out the full schedule at:

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/12 - 9/18

Those who wanted to see Catfish had to send an email to Marianne at Moroch. Instead emails were sent to the group or directly to me, and guess what? Your emails were deleted. It pays to read all your emails so that you don't miss out important information like when I screw up and forget to include the email address. Which I corrected by immediately adding the email in the next post. Not only that, I posted again not to send it to the group, and some of y'all are still sending me requests for passes. If you are wondering why you have not received a response for passes for this film check your sent mail to make sure you sent it to the right place.

So many movies this week and not enough time. This is normally the slowest part of the year for movies, but we are offered a bounty, at least one per day. Hope to see y'all sometime this week.

September 12 - 18, 2010


12:00 pm
Alpha and Omega
AMC Northpark


7:30 pm
The Town
Cinemark 17


7:00 pm
The Extra Man

7:30 pm
Easy A
AMC Northpark 15

7:30 pm
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


7:30 pm

7:30 pm
Studio Movie Grill Lewisville

7:30 pm
Social Network
Cinemark West Plano


1:00 pm
The Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Easy A
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
AMC Northpark

11:59 pm
The Devil
AMC Northpark


7:30 pm
Back to the Future
Whole Foods Market Park Lane


10:30 am
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

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Friday, September 10, 2010

FantasticFest Coming 9/23 - 9/30


FantasticFest is taking place September 23 - 30 in Austin. Take a look at their film lineup:

First Wave of 2010

Bedevilled (2010)
Director: Cheol-soo Jang, South Korea, 115 minutes
If you beat, brutalize, dehumanize and torment a country girl for her entire life, take note: when she reaches the breaking point, you’d best hide the farm implements.

Corridor (2009)
Directors: Johan Lundborg & Johan Storm, Sweden, 80 min
Lonely medical student Frank is pleased with his flat, a quiet place to focus on his coming exams. But when he meets the girl upstairs, his peace and quiet, his sanity and his possibly even his life become jeopardized.

The Dead (2010)
Directors: Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford South Africa, 100 min
After his plane crashes in the South African bush, Rob Freeman (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) joins forces with Prince David Osei (a superstar actor in his native Ghana) to cross the vast desert by any means necessary. A daunting task under normal circumstances becomes particularly challenging after the zombie apocalypse.

Gallants (2010)
Directors: Derek Kwok & Clement Cheng, Hong Kong, 98 minutes
The funniest, most ass-kicking, hard-rocking, pedal-to-the-metal movie of the year. It’s COCOON with kung fu! (New York Asian Film Festival)

Golden Slumber (2010)
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura, South Korea, 139 minutes
Last year, Yoshihiro Nakamura’s FISH STORY saved the world from certain annihilation and became the word-of-mouth hit of the festival. This year, Nakamura’s back with another ode to the human connection, GOLDEN SLUMBER, a brain-melting thriller send-up that’s two parts THE BIG CHILL, three parts BOURNE IDENTITY and a million parts awesome. (New York Asian Film Festival)

Ip Man 2 (2010)
Director: Wilson Yip, Hong Kong, 108 minutes
It’s a rousing Canto-fable, a Hong Kong empowerment movie, a return to old school martial arts filmmaking with AVATAR-era production values, and on its opening weekend in Hong Kong it beat IRON MAN 2 at the box office like a redheaded stepchild. (New York Asian Film Festival)

Life and Death of Porno Gang (2009)
Director: Mladen Djordjevic, Serbia, 90 minutes
Adult movie director Marko steals money from his mobster producer Cane to create his masterpiece: an experimental black and white erotic horror film. When the film bombs and he can’t repay his boss, he slips away with the cast and crew to produce live porno-theater in the Serbian countryside. Then it gets weird.

Outrage (2010)
Director: Takeshi Kitano, Japan, 109 minutes
Takeshi Kitano is back in classic form, directing and starring in the genre God intended for him: a ruthless, bloody and very violent yakuza crime thriller.

Rammbock (2010)
Director: Marvin Kren, Germany, 59 minutes
Hoping to rekindle the sparks with his ex-girlfriend, Michael makes a surprise visit to her apartment in the city. Bad timing. As luck would have it, this is also the same day the zombie outbreak hits Berlin.

Red Hill (2010)
Director: Patrick Hughes, Australia, 95 minutes
On his first day on the job as a rural Australian constable, Shane Cooper (TRUE BLOOD star Ryan Kwanten) has a daunting assignment: face off against an escaped-convict Aboriginal tracker whose current prey is the entire Red Hill police department.

Rubber (2010)
Director: Quentin Dupieux, France/USA, 85 minutes
Quentin Dupieux (the real name of legendary DJ Mr. Ozio) has directed my hands-down favorite film of Cannes 2010. Robert, a very disgruntled psychokinetic automobile tire explodes the heads of birds, beasts and humans alike on a high-desert killing spree like no other.

Sound of Noise (2010)
Directors: Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stärne Nilsson, Sweden, 102 minutes
Musical terrorists have launched a full-scale musical attack using the city – its buildings, its machinery and its ceaseless noise – as their instrument. The group’s leaders are the “Bonnie and Clyde of underground rock,” hell-bent to dismantle the harmony of the world with their anarchic performances.

The Violent Kind (2010)
Directors: The Butcher Brothers, USA, 95 minutes
What starts as a biker bash gone awry first gets unfathomably bloody before finally transcending into truly bizarre territory.

Second Wave of 2010

Stone (2010)
US Premiere, USA, director: John Curran
Director John Curran and Edward Norton live in attendance.
A seasoned corrections official and a volatile inmate find their lives dangerously intertwined in STONE, a thought-provoking drama directed by John Curran and written by Angus MacLachlan. STONE features powerful performances by Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro and Oscar® nominee Edward Norton, and a startlingly raw, breakout performance from Milla Jovovich as the sexy, casually amoral woman they both desire.

As parole officer Jack Mabry (De Niro) counts the days toward a quiet retirement, he is asked to review the case of Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton), in prison for covering up the murder of his grandparents with a fire. Now eligible for early release, Stone needs to convince Jack he has reformed, but his attempts to influence the older man’s decision have profound and unexpected consequences for them both. STONE skillfully weaves together the parallel journeys of two men grappling with dark impulses, as the line between lawman and lawbreaker becomes precariously thin. Golden Globe® winner Frances Conroy completes the superb ensemble as Madylyn, Jack’s devout, long-suffering spouse. Set against the quiet desperation of economically ravaged suburban Detroit and the stifling brutality of a maximum security prison, this tale of passion, betrayal and corruption examines the fractured lives of two volatile men breaking from their troubled pasts to face uncertain futures.


30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)
World Premiere, USA, director: Ben Ketai
Director Ben Ketai, Kiele Sanchez & Steve Niles (co-writer, author) in attendance (schedules permitting).

It’s been almost a year since the Alaskan town of Barrow’s population was decimated by vampires during its annual month-long sunset. Riddled with grief over the death of her husband, bound by nightmares and void of all emotions beyond hate and sorrow, Stella (Sanchez) has spent the past months traveling the world, trying to convince others that vampires exist. Met with skepticism and laughter, Stella is ready to throw in the towel when a group of lost souls (Coiro, Baird and Perrineau) offers an incredible opportunity: the chance to exact revenge upon Lilith (Kirshner), the vampire queen responsible for the assault on Stella’s sleepy Alaskan town. With nothing remaining to live for, and nothing left to fear, Stella joins their mission and ventures into the uncharted underbelly of Los Angeles where she pushes herself to the most extreme limits to stop the evil from striking again.

Carancho (2010)
Regional Premiere, Argentina, director: Pablo Trapero
Ambulance drivers and ambulance chasers, dirty police and corrupt doctors, fraudulent insurance brokers and some truly desperate people are the players in a wildly original and occasionally brutal thriller set on the streets of Buenos Aires.

Drones (2010)
Regional Premiere, USA, directors: Amber Benson and Adam Busch, Directors Amber Benson and Adam Busch as well as stars Angela Bettis and Kevin Ford will be in attendance.
When Brian discovers an improbable secret about his best friend and OmniLink coworker, everything in his world changes and his safe life of workplace detachment is no longer an option. Close encounters of the office kind, like sales or intergalactic war, is an uncertain business.

Fire of Conscience (2010)
US Premiere, Hong Kong, director: Dante Lam
A slick cops-and-robbers film that coats melodrama with a thick layer of blood and gunpowder. Dante Lam has emerged as one of the most exciting Hong Kong action directors with films like THE BEAST STALKER (2008) and SNIPER (2009). His latest work delivers the goods with chases, fisticuffs, massive fire fights; exploding bodies and more.

Hatchet 2 (2009)
North American Premiere, USA, director: Adam Green
Director Adam Green, Kane Hodder and Danielle Harris live in person! Witness the resurrection of bayou-dwelling psycho-killer Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), who terrorized a party of witless New Orleans tourists in Adam Green’s 2006 cult hit HATCHET. After emerging as the sole survivor of Crowley’s comically over-the-top murder spree, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) learns the secrets of the madman’s origins and returns to the Louisiana swamps to avenge her family’s death. Also featuring genre fan fave Tony Todd as Reverend Zombie and FRIGHT NIGHT director Tom Holland as Bob.

The Housemaid (1960)
South Korea, director: Kim Ki-young
Celebrated as one of the greatest Korean films of all time, THE HOUSEMAID tells the story of a composer who invites chaos into his home when he begins an affair with the family’s mysterious new maid, a disturbed woman with a penchant for catching rats with her bare hands. The print featured at this year’s Fantastic Fest has been restored by the Korean Film Archive with the support of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of films from non-Western countries.

The Housemaid (2010)
Regional Premiere, Korea, director: Im Sang-soo
A reimagining of the Korean classic of the same name, the 2010 version of THE HOUSEMAID turns the tables on the story. This time around a perfectly normal servant enters the home of a truly dysfunctional wealthy family who beat her down with an array of psychological, sexual and sometimes physical trauma. With strong performances, lush design and an exceptional story, this update serves as a worthy companion to the original classic and makes for a truly unique double bill.

I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
Austin Premiere, USA, director: Steven R. Monroe
A remake of the controversial 1978 cult classic of the same title, Steven Monroe’s I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a shock-fest that revisits the story of a young writer’s horrifying sexual assault at the hands of a backwoods gas-station attendant and his knuckle-dragging cronies while on sabbatical in the countryside. After being brutally attacked and left for dead, she returns for vengeance. Trapping her male attackers one-by-one, she inflicts acts of physical torment upon them with a ferocity that surpasses her own ordeal. When the carnage clears, victim has become victor.

Kidnapped (2010)
North American Premiere, Spain, director: Miguel Ángel Vivas
Jaime (Fernando Cayo) and Marta (Ana Wagener) are a middle-aged couple with a teenage daughter named Isa (Manuela Vellés). The family is in the process of moving into a big new house. Marta wants to gather the family for dinner at home to celebrate. Isa has her own plans; she wants to go out with her boyfriend. Jaime is stuck in the middle of it all. Everyone’s evening is ruined when a gang of masked hoodlums pay a visit to the home.

Legend of the Fist (2010)
US Premiere, Hong Kong, director: Andrew Lau
Life in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1920s was no picnic. Military warlords and criminal henchmen ruled the streets. The city’s one ray of hope was the young martial artist Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen), whose legendary showdown against a dojo full of Japanese warriors ended with his apparent death, though his body is never found. Seven years later, a wealthy entrepreneur called Koo returns from abroad and makes a grand entrance on the Shanghai social scene by befriending the city’s most notorious mafia boss. Could this be the return of Chen Zhen?

Ong Bak 3 (2010)
North American Premiere, Thailand, director: Tony Jaa
The legend of ONG BAK 3 begins after Tien (Tony Jaa) has lost his fighting skills and his beloved step-father from the raid led by Jom Rachan (Saranyu Wonggrajang). Tien is brought back to life with the help from the Kana Khone villagers. Deep into the meditation taught by Phra Bua (Nirutti Sirijanya), Tien finally is able to achieve ‘Nathayut’. His talents are put to the test again when his rivals including the Golden-Armored King’s Guard (Supakorn ‘Tok’ Kijusuwan), the mysterious killers in black, and Bhuti Sangkha (Dan Chupong) return for the final massive showdown.

Redline (2010)
North American Premiere, Japan, director: Takeshi Koike
Rev your engines, adrenaline junkies! REDLINE is a new feature from famed Madhouse Studios that reunites animator Takeshi Koike (NINJA SCROLL, ANIMATRIX) with his long-time collaborator Katushito Ishii, the genius behind FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT. This meeting of warped minds results in a mind-melting psychedelic assault that is easily the wildest animated Japanese film to surface in years.

Stake Land (2010)
US Premiere, USA, director: Jim Mickle
Director Jim Mickle, Connor Paolo, Nick Damici and Danielle Harris live in person!
Following a political-economic meltdown of unexplained origins, the world has been overrun by humanoid creatures who feed off human blood. A disparate group of survivors band together to weave their way through the communities of both vampires and equally dangerous religious cultists in search of an alleged sanctuary in the north. The cast includes Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris and Michael Cerveris.

Undocumented (2010)
World Premiere, USA, director: Chris Peckover
Director Chris Peckover and cast members live in person!
A small group of documentary filmmakers chronicle the trials and inequities faced by Mexican illegal immigrants. When they join a group of families illegally crossing the border to record the experience firsthand, their truck is pulled over and detained. What happens next plunges their group into unimaginable horror.

We Are What We Are (Somos Lo Que Hay) (2010)
US Premiere, Mexico, director: Jorge Michel Grau
When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals.

Third Wave of Films Announced

Agnosia (2010)
Director: Eugenio Mira, Spain, World Premiere
The producers of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage present a truly unique romantic thriller from Fantastic Fest veteran Eugenio Mira (The Birthday). “I’ve read few screenplays in my life that have impressed me as much as Agnosia,” said director Guillermo del Toro. Director Eugenio Mira will be live in person.

Bunraku (2010)
Director: Guy Moshe, USA, US Premiere
In a world with no guns, a mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett), a young samurai and a bartender (Woody Harrelson) plot revenge against a ruthless leader (Ron Perlman) and his army of thugs, headed by nine diverse and deadly assassins. This visually stunning film is filled with uniquely choreographed action sequences of a new style that melds east with west and old school with new. Director Guy Moshe will be live in person.

Mother’s Day (2010)
Director Darren Bousman, USA, Sneak Preview
After a botched robbery, three brothers, one severely injured, burst into their mother’s house, only to find that she lost it months earlier in a foreclosure. The new owners (Jaime King and Frank Grillo) and their guests, gathered for an ill-timed birthday party, become the brothers’ unwitting hostages. With the situation quickly devolving, the brothers have only one choice: call Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) to mastermind their escape. Director Darren Bousman, Rebecca DeMornay & Jaime King will be live in person.

RED (2010)
Director: Robert Schwentke, USA, Sneak Preview
Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels RED is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank, Joe, Marvin and Victoria used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history. Karl Urban (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings) will be live in person.


Class of 1984
Special screening to celebrate the debut of new book “DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film” edited by Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly. More info on the book here.

The year is 1984. A rabid pack of rampaging punk teens run our schools, our drugs and our prostitutes. Brutality and decadence are everywhere. Enter first-year teacher Andrew Norris (Perry King), who’s forced to violently turn the tables on the bloodthirsty gang before their trashwave swallows the town alive. Writer/director Mark L. Lester’s reckless masterpiece debuted at Cannes Film Festival to severely divided reviews.

What detractors and many thrill-seeking fans both sadly overlooked was the fact that the movie had been done exactly right. Each actor turns in a memorable, convincing performance amid knifings and punk slam pits. Beloved ham Roddy McDowall pulls off what may have been his best scene of the decade. The film moves constantly forward at full speed, with humor and intelligent dialogue balancing out the horrors perpetrated by the vicious teens. Class of 1984 is a perfect exploitation film. It’s relentlessly seedy, overflowing with assault, suicide, racism, drug use and crime crime crime, all of which is perpetrated by minors! The tension of victimization and vengeance create some of the most stirring scenes of violent retribution on record. But beyond all this, there’s a bitterly absorbing air of human helplessness and leather-clad heartlessness that makes this movie the flat-out best in its genre.
Master Pancake Theater – Independence Day

During Fantastic Fest 6, the boys of Master pancake will be skewering the It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World of sci-fi disaster flicks. Featuring a massive cast of pretty good A-listers (Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum) and awesome B-listers (Judd Hirsch, Harry Connick Jr., and Brent “Data” Spiner) in the fight of their lives against a horde of invading aliens. Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle called ID4: “A gasping, bloated roller-coaster ride that veers from scenes of truly awesome destruction to stretches of numbingly bad melodrama and back again.” The president himself, Bill Pullman, will be joining the Pancake team to mock the hell out of this bloated rollercoaster.

Spaceballs Quote-Along
Mel Brooks’ Star Wars parody is soooo much more than just a parody film, bursting with the sorts of jokes that the writers of all the recently-made and vastly inferior “spoof films” only wish they could dream up. If your Schwartz is as big as mine, you’re probably uncomfortably excited with just the prospect of this show happening. Somewhere in space, Dot Matrix’s virgin alarm is ringing loudly. For this special voyage of the Eagle V, Lone Star himself (Bill Pullman) will be live in person to kick off the fun.

The Intergalactic Nemesis
The year is 1933. Pulitzer-winner Molly Sloan and her assistant Timmy Mendez are on the trail of a story so big, it’s impossible to believe. The Intergalactic Nemesis is a truly unique live show. Imagine a modern spin on the radio serial that combines projections of 1250 hand-drawn comic illustrations, 3 voice actors performing a wide array of characters, a foley artist performing 100s of sound effects and an award winning pianist performing a riveting live score. You’ve never experienced anything like it!


14 Blades (2010)
Director Daniel Lee, Hong Kong, Regional Premiere
Betrayed by his fellow Imperial bodyguard soldiers, Qinglong (Donny Yen) must seek out and rally the loyalists to rise and restore the Emperor to power. In his way are the deadliest assassins in the land, his former brethren, the Jinyiwei.

Bibliotheque Pascal (2010)
Director Szabolcs Hajdu, Hungary/France, Regional Premiere
In order to regain custody of her daughter, Mona sets off on a surreal journey that will take her to the shadowy world of sexual slavery in Bibliotheque Pascal, the strangest brothel you could ever conceive.

Cold Fish (2010)
Director: Sion Sono, Japan, Regional Premiere
Equal parts black humor and bloody dementia in this true crime portrait of a Japanese tropical fish dealer responsible for over forty murders.

A Horrible Way To Die (2010)
Director: Adam Wingard, USA, US Premiere
When a serial killer escapes from prison, the dangerous past of a young woman dealing with alcoholic rehab quickly begins to catch up with her. Director Adam Wingard will be live in person.

In the Attic (2009)
Director: Jiri Barta, Czech Republic, Regional Premiere
Courageous toys from an old suitcase undertake a dangerous journey through a forsaken attic to rescue their friend, Buttercup a beautiful doll who finds herself in the clutches of the all-powerful plaster Head, ruler of the Empire of Evil.

The Last Circus (Balada Triste) (2010)
Director: Álex de la Iglesia, Spain, US Premiere
Álex de la Iglesia’s genius for dark humor is at its most eloquent in his latest parody about the Spanish Civil War. Two clowns attack and disfigure one another in jealous rages over a beautiful dancer. In the name of love, they destroy the very object of their affection. Director Álex de la Iglesia will be live in person.

Mutant Girl Squad (2010)
Directors: Tak Sakaguchi, Noburu Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Japan, Regional Premiere
In 2009, Tak Sakaguchi (Be A Man! Samurai School), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) and Noboru Iguchi (Robogeisha), got drunk and vowed to make a movie together. One year later, here it is. This splatter-ific, fetishy, hyperactive take on the X-Men is going to shock, horrify and delight you. Director Yoshihiro Nishimura live in person.

Naan Kadavul (2009)
Director: Bala, India, North American Premiere
Naan Kadavul is like an Alejandro Jodorowsky version of a Bollywood movie. A long haired Vedic ubermensch burns corpses, lives in graveyards, smokes dope, beats up people, and proclaims himself to be God before eventually become the savior to a collective of severely deformed beggars. Do not miss this film.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Director: Jalmari Helander, Finland, US Premiere
Santa Claus is somewhat less than jolly – in fact, he’s the stuff nightmares are made of – in Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports, an atmospheric and witty re-working of a cherished folk tale. Co-writer and co-creator Juuso Helander will be live in person.

Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission (2010)
Director: Mike Woolf, USA, Encore screening
Last year Richard Garriott became the first son of an astronaut to go to space, but this is no millionaire’s joy ride, he pioneered private space travel to make his dream come true: from his training in Russia to his launch in Kazahkstan to the dramatic, never before seen footage inside the capsule during fiery re-entry, this is a historic moment in human space travel. Richard Garriott live in person.

Summer Wars (2009)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda, Japan, Austin Premiere
When an online social networking community gets attacked by a piece of sentient malware that threatens to deliver a denial of service attack to the entire world, one girl and her massive extended family unites to restore peace to cyberspace. Gorgeously animated with tons of heart and soul to boot, SUMMER WARS is one of our favorite anime titles in recent years.

Transfer (2010)
Director: Damir Lukacevic, France, North American Premiere
Herman and Anna, a wealthy aging couple decides to extend their lives by leasing the bodies of two young Africans. For one million euros, the Africans signed away their lives for 20 hours a day, but in the 4 hours a day they have back in their own bodies, they begin to regret the arrangement.

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Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D

The world is decimated by a virus infection that has turned most of the population into zombies. The virus was created by the Umbrella Corporation who is seeking Alice, the only known test subject that had the ability to bond with the T-Virus and which has also given her super human powers. In this 4th in the series based on a video game, we find Alice searching for survivors in Arcadia,Alaska based on a broadcast of message offering hope and freedom from the virus.

In the last episodes of the series clones of Alice (Milla Jovovich)were created by the Umbrella Corporation to help study the virus. The Corporation headquarters have gone underground away from the hoards of hungry zombies on the streets. One of their massive subterranean labs in Japan is attacked by Alice clones in a balletic slo-mo fight sequence with guns, knives and flying ninja stars. The only one to survive is Umbrella chairman Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) who blows the facility to smithereens. Wesker also possesses superhuman strength, speed, and regenerative capabilities. The real Alice has stowed away on his escape plane and he overcomes her by injecting her with something and she thanks him for making her human again before the plane crashes. A few months later Alice is flying in Alaska seeking Arcadia from the emergency broadcasts. Alice finds a field full of planes, obviously from other people who were attracted by the emergency beacon, but the place is void of human habitation. Suddenly she is attacked by Claire (Ali Larter) one of the survivors who encountered Alice in the previous film. She has this weird mechanical bug attached to her chest and she doesn't remember anything. After removing the device Alice takes her on the plane while they search for more humans. They team with a group holed up at a correction facility that is keeping out the thousands of zombies surrounding the compound. They think Alice is there to rescue them as they see a ship off shore called the Arcadia and assume it must be the safety they seek. Alice's plane only carries 2 people, so they must find another way to get to the ship. Time is short as the zombies have found a way to get in from the sewers and a big giant zombie somehow has the ability to weird a massive hammer to break down the gates. This is a nod to video game Resident Evil 5 where he's called “The Executioner”.

Paul W.S. Anderson who has a resume of video game type movies, teams up with Jovovich again as director and writer. It helps to have seen the other parts of the series to understand why Alice is seeking revenge on Albert Wesker, why there were Alice clones, and what's up with the superpowers and the zombies. The non stop pace and action shots are especially enhanced with Cameron's 3D Fusion Camera System. Visually it's quite appealing with it's stark contrasts and doesn't give you headaches with shaky cam shots. Zombie attacks and battles are gross and well done by stoic Alice who is singular in her mindset to survive and conquer. We are talking inventive zombie kill shots. Wentworth Miller shows up as Chris Redfield, Claire's brother who everyone thinks is a convict (type casting?). The other characters fill out the red uniform crew who are basically zombie fodder until the climatic ending, which of course leaves it opens for the next movie.
(Review by reesa)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010



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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/5 - 9/11

Resident Evil: Afterlife” Zombie bowling is brought to you by our friends at Red Carpet Crash and Screen Gems. Join us Monday night September 6th, at 300, 3805 Beltline Rd, in Addison, dressed like your favorite zombie(zombie attire optional) and bowl a frame for free prizes(bowling is on us by the way). Registration starts at 7pm, and bowling starts at 7:30. http://www.redcarpetcrash.com/2010/08/28/join-red-carpet-crash-for-resident-evil-afterlife-zombie-bowling-on-monday-september-6th-and-win-prizes/

Issues for the week: What is up with people asking for passes to films that have not yet been awarded? Please do NOT ask for passes that are not physically available. If a contest is still pending, then enter the contest on your own. Because if you are asking someone to win it for you, then why are they entering the contest in the first place? DUH! Anyone asking for these passes will not be allowed on the list. Enter on your own!

Also to those newbies wondering how to get SMG or Angelika epasses, you need to sign up for their lists. Please use the helpful links on the group page under the left hand menu aptly called "links". Sign up for the radio stations, movie theaters and websites that will help you obtain those precious free screening passes. Again, it's up to you to do this. Don't ask others what you should be doing on your own. If you have signed up and not received anything, sign up again, use a different email, or check your spam filters to make sure it wasn't misdirected.

September 5 - 11, 2010



7:00 pm
Resident Evil: Afterlife” Zombie bowling
300 Bowl, 3805 Beltline, Addison


7:30 pm
Easy A
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


7:30 pm
The Virginity Hit
AMC Norhpark

7:30 pm
Studio Movie Grill Dallas


7:30 pm
Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D
AMC Firewheel



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The free online dictionary defines the following:

Ma·chet·e (ma-sht, -cht)


A large heavy knife with a broad blade, used as a weapon and an implement for cutting vegetation.

The far more interesting and accurate –Quinnipedia- defines it as:

Ma·chet·e (Mah, shett, E)


Epic. Like when you find 10 dollars in your pocket you didn’t know you had and then proceed to spend it on said movie.

Much like both definitions suggest, Machete cuts through the audience with long, broad swings and a heavy hand. Directed by a power duo of Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez, and filled to the brim with an all-star cast, Machete invokes a gritty feel nostalgic for cult classic movies, blended seamlessly with the over the top 80s action film genre. With its camera grit, campy dialog and nonsensical action & pacing, Machete is a fine Mexploitation movie. ;)

The basic premise is simple. Mexicans are funny to make fun of… or at least they don’t seem to be concerned at all about the rampant and hilarious racism that gets tossed their way. Amidst this hilarity: The touching story of the corrupt individuals pulling the strings of big business, and their hatred of Mexican workers that affect the Texas economy. In this case, the heavy influx of Mexicans immigrating illegally and working cheap, causing a substantive and widespread decline in profits. Big business (always the villain) can’t stand to have hemorrhaging pockets so they devise a brilliant plan of constructing a long electrified fence to help keep the wetbacks out.

But I guess they didn’t see Machete coming.

Machete (Danny Trejo) is a bad ass in case you were wondering. Wielding many bladed weapons including his namesake, he is so badass in fact; he refers to himself in the 3rd person. He also happens to be part of the Federales, and when his wife is killed by Torrez (Steven Seagal), a powerful and deep pocketed crime-lord, he plays the part of avenger and lets the bodies hit the floor. Pitted against him are the combined forces of a racist and xenophobic Texas Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), A powerfully connected crime guy (and planet terror alum) Booth (Jeff Fahey) –who incidentally likes his daughter April (Lindsey Lohan) a bit too much, and Don Johnson. I don’t remember the character Don was playing, some lieutenant military guy or something… but come on people Don mother f*cking Johnson.

Machete doesn’t need to do it alone though. He meets up with a guerrilla freedom fighter Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), The sexy U.S. customs agent Sartan (Jessica Alba) and even gets a hand from the always hilarious Cheech Marin playing the part of Padre a man of god.

This is a damn good movie but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The plot and story kind of fall apart at the end, but that doesn’t stop this movie from not giving a crap. Action is all this movie cares about, over the top, outrageous action, and a lot of blood. In fact, that is why Machete is such a good movie. It just kind of sucks you into two hours of “stuff” happening. It has sleek production, an excellent cast and some of the most epic action sequences I have seen in a long time. While Machete is not going to win any Oscars any time soon, it definitely satisfied that little part of me that wondered, ”Can you really swing by a man’s intestines out a window and crash back into another window a story below?”. You will just have to watch to see.
(Review by Quinn Cruz-Hawkins)

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Erin works as an intern at a New York newspaper hoping to get a job offer before she has to go back to Northern California. Garrett was just dumped by his girlfriend and works for a record label that is making him develop pop money pits instead of music that is actually good. One night they meet over a Centipede game at a local bar where they are hanging out with friends. Erin and Garret hit it off right away and become inseparable in the 6 weeks that Erin has left before she has to leave.

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long play Erin and Garrett a couple who try to maintain a long distant relationship in New York and San Francisco. In today's social network universe, they keep in touch by phone, video cam, and texting. Doing what most couples do, but just doing it online. Of course it's not quite enough especially since the couple does not have the physical satisfaction of being together. Flying to each other's cities is cost prohibited during the holidays, and also makes for awkward encounters when meeting family. Garret has his two best friends Dan and Box (Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) to help keep him distracted while he pines for his girlfriend. Erin has her over protective sister Corinne (Christina Applegate) and her family while she works as a waitress hoping for a writers job. The strain of their separation comes to a climax when Erin is offered a job at the San Francisco Chronicle thereby sabotaging their plan to move back to New York to be with Garrett.

Documentary film maker Nanette Burstein's first fiction feature is filled with clumsy vulgarity that goes for the cheap laughs. Garrett's pals are the greek chorus filling scenes with 30 something arrested development humor while Christina Applegate is wasted as the germ-a-phobic mother who has a nose for icky odors. Audiences will be curious to see the real life pairing of Barrymore and Long, but their chemistry on screen seems almost forced. The film while trying to be a clever rom-com for today's working class late 20's and early 30's adults sputters awkwardly. The humor and language is raunchy so bringing the kids might be in poor taste, but funny for older teens and adults. The difficulty of the concept is how to make a long distance romance interesting when they spend most of the movie pining for one another online. Instead of going the distance, they should have stayed close to home.
(Review by reesa)

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