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, November 30, 2010

Independent Spirit Award Nominees

http://www.spiritawards.com/nominees

Best Feature

127 Hours, Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson

Black Swan, Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver

Greenberg, Producers: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin

The Kids Are All Right, Producers: Gary Gilbert, Philippe Hellmann, Jordan Horowitz, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg

Winter's Bone, Producers: Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Anne Rosellini

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Danny Boyle, 127 Hours

Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik, Winter's Bone

John Cameron Mitchell, Rabbit Hole

Best First Feature

Everything Strange and New, Director: Frazer Bradshaw
Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia

Get Low, Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck

Night Catches Us, Director: Tanya Hamilton
Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons

The Last Exorcism, Director: Daniel Stamm
Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth

Tiny Furniture, Director: Lena Dunham
Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering

John Cassavetes Award


Daddy Longlegs, Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott

Lbs. Director: Matthew Bonifacio Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti

Lovers of Hate Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser
Producer: Megan Gilbride

Obselidia Writer/Director: Diane Bell
Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin

The Exploding Girl
Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim

Best Screenplay

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, Winter's Bone

Nicole Holofcener, Please Give

David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole

Todd Solondz, Life During Wartime

Best First Screenplay


Diane Bell, Obselidia

Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture

Nik Fackler, Lovely, Still

Bob Glaudini, Jack Goes Boating

Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener, Monogamy

Best Female Lead

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Greta Gerwig, Greenberg

Nicole Kidman
, Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Michelle Williams
, Blue Valentine

Best Male Lead

Ronald Bronstein, Daddy Longlegs

Aaron Eckhart
, Rabbit Hole

James Franco, 127 Hours

John C. Reilly, Cyrus

Ben Stiller, Greenberg

Best Supporting Female


Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism

Dale Dickey, Winter's Bone

Allison Janney
, Life During Wartime

Daphne Rubin-Vega
, Jack Goes Boating

Naomi Watts, Mother and Child

Best Supporting Male


John Hawkes, Winter's Bone

Samuel L. Jackson, Mother and Child

Bill Murray, Get Low

John Ortiz, Jack Goes Boating

Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Best Foreign Film

Kisses (Ireland), Director: Lance Daly

Mademoiselle Chambon
(France), Director: Stéphane Brizé

Of Gods and Men (Morocco), Director: Xavier Beauvois

The King's Speech (United Kingdom), Director: Tom Hooper

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
(Thailand), Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Best Documentary

Exit Through the Gift Shop, Director: Banksy

Marwencol, Director: Jeff Malmberg

Restrepo, Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger

Sweetgrass, Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Thunder Soul, Director: Mark Landsman

Best Cinematography


Adam Kimmel, Never Let Me Go

Matthew Libatique
, Black Swan

Jody Lee Lipes
, Tiny Furniture

Michael McDonough
, Winter's Bone

Harris Savides, Greenberg

Robert Altman Award

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Casting Director
: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele

Piaget Producers Award

In-Ah Lee, Au Revoir Taipei

Adele Romanski, The Myth of the American Sleepover

Anish Savjani, Meek's Cutoff

Acura Someone To Watch Award

Hossein Keshavarz, Dog Sweat

Laurel Nakadate, The Wolf Knife

Mike Ott, Littlerock

AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award

Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sweetgrass

Jeff Malmberg, Marwencol

Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Summer Pasture


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/28 - 12/4

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. A very light movie schedule so far this week. Be on the lookout for any last minute scheduling by checking the calendar on the group pages. There's some older flicks being offered for free on GOFOBO apparently to promote a new venue according to the movie partner listed with the films.

As always, don't get lazy and stop checking that return email address before hitting send.

November 28 - December 4, 2010

Sun
11/28

Mon
11/29

Tue
11/30

7:30 pm
Black Swan
The Magnolia

Wed
12/1

Thu
12/2

7:30 pm
The Warrior's Way
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
12/3

Sat
12/4

11:00 am
Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
tba


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Groupon for Dallas International Film Festival

http://www.groupon.com/dallas/

Coming soon from Groupon:


$125 for a Festival Pass to the Dallas International Film Festival March 31–April 10, 2011 ($250 Value)

* $125 for a festival pass to the Dallas International Film Festival on March 31–April 10, 2011
* View more than 380 feature-films and more than 420 short films from local and international filmmakers
* Pass admits one to all regular screenings and panel discussions on any festival-day
* Eligible to purchase additional film festival tickets prior to general public

Festival Pass not valid for centerpiece screenings.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tangled



Disney has a new princess to add to their line up. This time it's Rapunzel with the long, long, long blond hair. In this version the Queen gets very ill while delivering her child. The King sends everyone out to find a magic flower that fell from the sky and has magical healing powers. The restored Queen is back to health, and the properties what was in the flower had been passed on to their little tow headed daughter. The flower was coveted by an evil witch because the magic of the flower brings her back to her younger self. One night she steals into the castle and attempts to cut a loch of the young princesses hair. Unfortunately all it does is turn the loch brown without the magic. The witch decides to steal the child instead.

Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) has secluded Rapunzel in a tower in a hidden valley in the woods. She tells her “daughter” that the world outside is a scary place where people will want to take advantage of her hair which a few days before she turns 18 is like 70 ft long. Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) has managed to be able to manipulate her hair to do some clever maneuvering. She spends her days sequestered from world by her daily chores of cleaning, cooking, reading and painting. Her only companion is a little chameleon. She tells Mother Gothel that for her birthday she wants to see the “stars” that rise to the sky every year on her birthday. She doesn't realize that every year, the King and Queen and their kingdom send off lighted lanterns in honor of their missing princess. Gothel dismisses her request. One afternoon while Gothel is out of the tower, a young thief escaping from the kings soldiers climbs the tower and Rapunzel quickly smacks him with a frying pan. Rapunzel offers his stolen booty in exchange for Flynn Rider (Zach Levy) to take her to the lanterns and back home before her mother returns.

Director Byron Howard and Nathan Greno and screenwriter Dan Fogelman have created one of the better Disney princess movie in decades with Pixar animation. After the disappointing Princess and the Frog, Tangled has some out right hilarious characters and escapades. And the music by Alan Menkin and Howard Ashman who did The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin doesn't really take away from the story or over power the scenes like those other movies. Of course we were not going out of the theater with the music in our heads. Pop singer Mandy Moore adds a nice light touch with the music, and it's a revelation that Zachery Levi can sing. The stand out here is Donna Murphy as faux mom Gothel with her Broadway power voice.

Rapunzel is a good princess role model. She's smart, persistent, and is not waiting to be saved by the handsome prince. In fact the love interest is poor, a thief, and his name isn't really Flynn Rider. Rapunzel is often coming to the rescue. A nice politically correct move that reflects how far we have come since Snow White and Cinderella waiting for their prince to come. And don't wait to find a kid to bring to the film...go on your own. You will not be sorry.
(Review by reesa)

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Burlesque



The word Burlesque conjures images of scantily clad women with pasties doing a bump and grind on stage to a unrelenting drum beat. Today's Burlesque revival is more like performance art, parody, and a suggestive tease show. Director/writer Steve Antin's version is more of a showcase for bigger than life Cher as Tess, the owner/performer of a soon to go under Burlesque theater in downtown Hollywood and Christine Aguilera as Ali, the young woman from Ohio with a huge voice.

Ali was working as a diner waitress in small town Ohio when she bought a one way bus ticket to LA to seek her fame and fortune. Armed with the want ads hitting all the places looking for singers and dancers, she wanders in the Burlesque club and becomes completely enchanted. The bartender wearing man-liner Jack (Cam Gigandet) sends her backstage to speak with Tess. Tess is too busy dealing with Nikki (Kristen Bell) who is the main headliner has a drinking problem and chronically late for work. Another of her dancers has just discovered she's pregnant. Not to be put off so easily by Tess, Ali grabs a tray and starts to wait tables. The next day, Tess intrigued by her spunk lets her to continue to work. Meanwhile Ali moves in with Jack when her hotel room is robbed. She thinks he was gay, but discovers he's engaged and his fiancé is in NYC looking for acting jobs. So they begin a teasing platonic relationship. After much persistence Ali gets a job dancing, but when a jealous Nikki pulls the plug on a lip synced number to humiliate Ali. Only Ali starts to sing and blows everyone away.

Vince (Peter Gallagher), Tess's business partner ex-husband, is trying to get Tess to sell the club to real estate tycoon Marcus (Eric Dane) who wants to turn the site into skyscraper condo's. Despite the fact they need to come up with the back mortgage or the club will return to the bank in a month, Tess refuses to sell. Tess believes with Ali's talent will help save the club. Unfortunately it may be too late.

Burlesque has more energy and visual pop than recent cinematic musical attempts with bigger named talent like Nine or even Chicago. Christina won't be winning any awards for her thespian skills, but her voice is always a pleasure although it seems to lack sufficient “soul” to pull off some of the diva tunes. Cher belts out an over wrought power ballad in that deep earthy voice, but she's beginning to look like one of her many transvestite impersonators. Stanley Tucci has the stereotypical role of the gay costume director and Alan Cummings gives a Cabaret nod in some musical romps. No big surprises in the story, it's pretty much been done before. Just sit back, suspend belief and just enjoy the well staged song and dance numbers. You will be entertained.
(Review by reesa)

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Love and Other Drugs



Jamie Randall is good salesman with an infallible charm that make men want to be his friend, and women to bed him. Coasting on his good looks, he's a man looking to find his place in the world. In the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales, he feels the challenge to his skills until he's able to rep the new miracle drug Viagra.

Based on the non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy, director Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai) also wrote the screenplay with Charles Randolph and Marshall Herskovitz. Set in the mid 90's Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is bouncing from job to job. His brother socially inept Josh (Josh Gad) just sold his Internet company for millions but his wife just kicked him out and he's staying with him. Landing a job with Pfizer he is being trained/mentored by field manager Bruce (Oliver Platt) His job is trying to rep Zoloft when Prozac is dominating the market. Bruce shows him how to use natural gifts by flirting and even sleeping with the women in the doctor's office to get his foot in the door. He even stoops to replacing all the Prozac samples in the office with Zoloft. His persistence gets Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria) to let him shadow him while seeing patients where he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway) who has come for a medication refill. While there believing Jamie is an intern, she has the doctor check out a spot on her breast much to Jamie's delight. However in the parking lot she discovers Jamie to be a drug salesman, she promptly whacks him. Thus beginning a relationship that he didn't quite expect.

Jamie always had a policy of loving and leaving women after he got what he wanted. Then here comes Maggie who just wants to use Jamie for her own purposes and not to get close or possessive. Of course this is the reverse psychology syndrome where suddenly he can't get enough of her and she keeps him at a distance when they are not in bed. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway physically and bravely expose themselves on screen but the scenes are not salacious or awkward. The reason why Maggie is keeping Jamie at a distance is that she has symptoms of early onset Parkinson's. Maggie can not think of committing to anything long term and thus save someone of having to care for her. You believe in their relationship because Maggie's character is so defiant in the face of her disease. She's angry, strong, vulnerable, and moving. Meanwhile Jamie's job explodes with the introduction of Viagra. The film veers off into the wild wacky world of that pop culture place in time offering the humorous parts of the film to counter the seriousness of Jamie, Maggie and her illness. While this movie is sort about the drugs that are supposed to make us better, it's really about the one drug that we all want...Love.
(Review by reesa)

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 Makes Box Office Magic


“HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1”

MAKES BOX OFFICE MAGIC IN ITS OPENING WEEKEND

The first part of the franchise’s epic finale takes in more than $330 million globally



BURBANK, CA, November 21, 2010 – Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” soared to the top of the global box office in its opening weekend, earning a staggering $330.1 million dollars worldwide, encompassing $125.1 million domestically and $205 million internationally. The announcement was made jointly today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The domestic box office numbers shattered the franchise’s previous opening weekend record—held by “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” at $102.6 million—surpassing it by an astounding 23%.

The film dominated the international marketplace with $205 million. Among the many records broken, the United Kingdom smashed the record for the single biggest weekend take ever at over £17.5 million ($28 million), while Australia ($15 million) and Russia ($12 million) clocked the biggest openings in the franchise.

The film also enjoyed a record-breaking opening in IMAX theatres, earning $12.4 million in 239 locations in North America and $4.2 million on 101 screens internationally, bringing the global IMAX take to $16.6 million from 340 screens.

Worldwide, the opening weekend for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” ranks as one of the highest of all time, which is especially impressive for a non-holiday weekend.

Fellman stated, “This is truly a motion picture phenomenon, and it is just the beginning for the penultimate release of the franchise. Based on the response to the film, we anticipate its success to carry on throughout the holiday season and beyond. It demonstrates once again the enduring power and popularity of Harry Potter.”

Kwan-Rubinek added, “We are thrilled by the enthusiastic response of international audiences. It’s a testament to the extraordinary vision of J.K. Rowling; the talents of the filmmakers, cast and everyone involved in the production; and to the hard work of our distribution and marketing teams around the world.”

With the success of its first six of seven titles, the Harry Potter series had already achieved the distinction of being the top-grossing film franchise of all time, reaching a combined worldwide gross of $5.4 billion. The numbers for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” as well as the anticipation for “Part 2,” opening on July 15, 2011, should ensure its place in film history for years to come.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films Production, a David Yates Film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” a motion picture event in two full-length parts. The film is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the Horcruxes—the keys to Voldemort’s immortality. Heading the cast, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson reprise the roles of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The film’s ensemble cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Jason Isaacs, Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Toby Jones, David Legeno, Simon McBurney, Helen McCrory, Nick Moran, Peter Mullan, David O’Hara, Clémence Poésy, Natalia Tena, Julie Walters, Mark Williams and Bonnie Wright.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” was directed by David Yates, who also helmed “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, again produced the film, together with David Barron and J.K. Rowling. Steve Kloves adapted the screenplay, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer, with John Trehy and Tim Lewis serving as co-producers.

Behind the scenes, the creative team was led by director of photography Eduardo Serra, production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, composer Alexandre Desplat, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, and costume designer Jany Temime. It has been rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.

Concurrently with its theatrical release, the film is being released in select IMAX® theatres. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” has been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® through proprietary IMAX DMR® technology.

www.harrypotter.com




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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/21 - 11/27

It's a holiday week hence the lack of free screenings this week. This is the time of year to spend with your loved ones. Please have a safe Thanksgiving. Happy eating!

It's come to our attention that there are people who are offering passes and not coming through. It's rude to tangle a pass in front of someone who really wants to go, then write to them hours later saying you gave it to a friend. That's now how we do things around here. It's also a good way to get your self kicked out of the group.

To all the newbies...again go over the rules. Please don't personally ask me to send you passes. I have to work for them too like everyone else. Please write directly to the moderators when you have questions and not to the whole list. And don't forget to check that return address before hitting send cause if you send it to the group then it's deleted.

November 21 - 27, 2010

Sun
11/21

Mon
11/22

7:30 pm
Faster
Cinemark West Plano

7:30 pm
Burlesque
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Tue
11/23

7:00 pm
Nutcracker 3D
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
11/24

Thu
11/25

All Day
Thanksgiving Day
Your dinning table

Fri
11/26

Sat
11/27

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Screen Gems Puts Out a Call for Underworld 4 Teen

http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=17259
Screen Gems Puts Out a Call for Underworld 4 Teen

November 19, 2010



Screen Gems is moving fast on Underworld 4, recently hiring Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein to helm the sequel starring Kate Beckinsale. And it's really no secret that Beckinsale's character, Selene, will have a teenager daughter by her side this time.

Today, Sony launched a new site that going to be utilized to find fresh acting talent and that site, presently, is hosting details on how aspiring actors out there can vie for the role of "a female teenager" in Underworld 4.

We presume it's for Selene's daughter. If you think you've got the chops, check out the full details below.

Moviegoers and TV viewers can now get closer to their favorite projects than ever before with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Face of the Fan®, a new initiative for virtual talent sourcing. By visiting FaceOfTheFan.com, users nationwide can participate in online casting calls and contests for Sony Pictures’ properties—turning today’s fans into tomorrow’s stars™. With this ongoing program, crossing all of Sony’s platforms – film, television, and online – Face of the Fan will give the biggest fans a chance to get involved with Sony’s most popular franchises.

Face of the Fan launches with a casting call for Screen Gems’ and Lakeshore Entertainment’s successful action franchise Underworld, for which the filmmakers are searching for a fresh talent to play a pivotal role as a female teenager. Users from across the country can log onto the website, download select pages from a script to rehearse, and then upload their audition video and other credentials for submission. The submitted videos will then be reviewed by a panel of studio and production executives; selected participants may be contacted by casting agents for future roles. The site will also help users spread the word and expand the conversation by providing them with the tools to share the programs with their family and friends through social networking.

“The Face of the Fan program enables us to source people from all over the country to find unknown talent and give them a shot at something they may not have otherwise been able to do,” said Clint Culpepper, president, Screen Gems.

Future Face of the Fan initiatives include a casting call for Screen Gems’ Mortal Instruments and a contest tied to Columbia Pictures’/Sony Pictures Animation’s highly anticipated 3D hybrid live-action/computer animated family comedy The Smurfs, as well as an upcoming contest from Sony Pictures Television for “Wheel of Fortune.”

The concept for Face of the Fan builds on several past initiatives from Sony Pictures, in which uber-fans were chosen to participate in various marketing-related activities. Whether meeting talent on the red carpet, interviewing them at Comic-Con, or becoming guest correspondents covering the movies, these contests allowed the winning fans to get close to actors and filmmakers like never before and share their experiences online with their friends, family, and other fans.

Commenting on the announcement, Dwight Caines, president, Worldwide Digital Marketing for Sony Pictures, said, “As new Face of the Fan initiatives roll out, we hope to provide a unique way to reward those people who show tremendous enthusiasm for their favorite movies or TV shows by giving them an opportunity to meet talent and filmmakers.”




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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1



The final J.K. Rowling's book on the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends battling the evil Voldemort and his followers of the dark magic has been split in 2 parts with the final chapter coming in July 2011. If you have not seen any of the films of the series or read any of the novels leading up to this then it's really too late to start with this one.

David Yates who also directed The Order of the Phoenix and the Half Blood Prince worked with screen writer Steve Kloves who wrote all the Potter films. You can be assured that they would handle the material to satisfy the legions of costumed fans that attend in droves. Everyone knows this is just the beginning of the end. It's just hard to accept that we have to wait a ½ year to see the rest of the movie.

Picking up from the last movie The Half Blood Prince. Harry has come of age and is on the final journey to defeat Voldemort by destroying the Horcruxes (seven magical objects that hold a piece of a soul to attain immortality). The trio, Harry, Hermione and Ron, decide to isolate themselves to ensure the safety of their families and friends while they are on their quest. It strains the relationship of the 3 BFF's as they are without a plan while trying to stay away from Voldemort's soul eaters who are trying to track them down. Eventually they break into the Ministry of Magic that has now been taken over by Voldemort's followers to steal a Horcrux, then they must figure out a way to destroy it. While they ponder their predicament, they take turns wearing the magic locket which makes the wearer very paranoid and testy. It really effects Ron who gets mad and leaves Hermione and Harry on their own. Hermione also discovers some secrets about Doubledore's past and a mysterious symbol that turns out to be part of the legend of the Deathly Hallows. Part of the legend includes three magical items, the wand, those most powerful wand of them all, the stone that can bring the dead back, and the cloak that can make one invisible to death. Ron returns and with the mysteriously found Gryffindor's sword manages to save Harry and destroy the locket Horcrux. Meanwhile Voldemort finds the Deathly Hallow wand.

Daniel Radliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are all looking older but their chemistry is still the same. Hermoine is still the logical one, Harry is still full of angst, Ron is hoping that Hermoine is feeling like he feels about her. Despite the danger the characters are in, they still act like teenagers thankfully without cell phones. The film itself is dark, dismal and depressing but probably one of the better HP's to date in terms of performances and FX. There's very little humor, and everyone is constantly fighting ghostly dark smoke objects, the warped Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), and snake faced Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Definitely not a nice afternoon with the littler kids. At 146 minutes, the time crawls as it does for Harry and gang. It just feels like we are whisked away from location to location, beautiful as it may be, without any big story arc or revelation. It's just a big piece of a puzzle that can't be finished until next year.
(Review by reesa)


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The Next Three Days



John Brennan and his wife Laura are out to dinner with his brother and his wife. The women are in a heated discussion about how women are harder to work with than men when Laura mentions she had a loud argument with her female boss. Despite the uncomfortable dinner, John and his wife make love in their car before going home. The next morning as Laura is getting ready to leave for work she notices a red stain on her coat. Suddenly the police are at the door arresting her for the murder of her boss.

John (Russell Crowe) is a teacher at a community college. He's a bit pasty, slightly paunchy but strongly believes in his wife's innocence. Even after she is convicted and sent to prison John struggles with the demands of work and raising their young son who is withdrawn to his mother. After the last appeal is rejected, Laura (Elizabeth Banks) becomes suicidal and John realizes his only option is to break her out of prison. John as a teacher knows the importance of good research and planning. He covers his bedroom wall with information after interviewing the only person who successfully escape from the prison that Laura is housed. Damon (Liam Neeson) shares the difficulty he faces including the times he needs get out before road blocks are set up. The details are plotted on a map on John's bedroom wall as he searches for the anomalies in the prison routines. His first attempt to make a key that would open doors at the prison almost gets him caught. He buys drugs from street dealers hoping to find someone to make forged passports and driver's licenses which gets him beat up and ripped off. The time to pull off the escape becomes essential as Laura is going to be transferred to another prison in three days.

Under Paul Haggis direction and screenplay, The Next Three Days is a remake of the 2007 French film Pour Elle. At first Russell Crowe seemed out of place as hapless husband. There's not enough time between John and Laura to establish the closeness of their relationship. But the role works well with his particular brand of intensity. Crowe's ordinariness creates a real man doing something extraordinary when faced with a miscarriage of justice. Banks fluctuates as the mom hurt to the heart by her uncommunicative son, angry by the system that put her in prison, and scared to death by her husband's plan to get her out. Brian Dennehey has a small unappreciated role as Brennan's father who understands the need of his son to protect his own. The eyes glued to the screen escape sequence will keep the audience at the edge of the seat as pieces fall in and out of place so you never know just what to expect. Nicely paced with good performances, especially Crowe who inhabits his characters so that you forget it's the Gladiator with a Beautiful Mind. This film is definitely worth a large bag of popcorn.
(Review by reesa)


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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/14 - 11/20

Thanks to everyone for not filling up our email boxes with mooching for Harry Potter, or for any other movies. The group runs more smoothly when everyone cooperates and tries to get the passes on their own. We are not opposed to sharing if we have some to spare. It's when you just use the barter system to obtain passes rather than entering contest, driving to pickup or whatever you need to do.

It's come to my attention that some newbies may be unaware of how that whole GOFOBO system works. Especially if you win a code and you share it with other people. The movie partners are allowed a limited number of passes to distribute. If you win a code, don't share with anyone else, because if you do, you are taking a pass away from someone who legitimately won it. Now if the code is printed in say the Observer, that's public then that's fair game. But if you won it from like the Dallas Morning News, then don't share that code!!!!

Also...just because we run this group doesn't mean we are hoarding passes and will send you one if you email us. We have to jump through hoops like everyone else. Sometimes we get them, a lot of times we don't. So writing to us asking us to send you a pass...well, that's a big fail. Just saying...

November 14 - 20, 2010

Sun
11/14

Mon
11/15

7:00 pm
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Cinemark West Plano

Tue
11/16

7:30 pm
The Music Never Stopped
Angelika Dallas

Wed
11/17

7:30 pm
The Next Three Days
Studio Movie Grill Royal

7:30 pm
Burlesque
Cinemark West Plano

Thu
11/18

7:00 pm
Tangled
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Beyonce - I AM
Studio Movie Grill Royal

7:30 pm
Conjure Women
500 x Gallery

Fri
11/19

Sat
11/20

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Friday, November 12, 2010

127 Hours




Aron Ralston's harrowing account of when his arm was wedged by a falling boulder near Moab, Utah is faithfully brought to the screen by director Danny Boyle who wrote the screenplay with Simon Beaufoy both of Slumdog Millionaire from Ralston's book Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

In 2003 Ralston (James Franco) decided to tackle Robbers Roost a canyon that was a outlaw hideout in southeastern Utah. An avid outdoors man Ralston parks his SUV and bikes in 17 miles before hiking the rest of the route. Along the way he meets 2 young women hikers Megan (Amber Tamblyn) and Kristi (Kate Mara) showing them a cave pool that they can dive into from a precarious position between some rocks. They part ways after they invite him to a party. They are the only ones that know of his destination and purpose. Ralston fails to tell his co-worker and friends, or even his parents about this trip. He's a lone adventurer sure of his skills and challenging his endurance. He's equipped with plenty of rope, climbing supplies, and a couple liters of water although he did miss taking his Swiss Army knife. While negotiating the descent into the tight canyon a large heavy boulder becomes loose and both it and Ralston drop almost to the ground. Ralston's right arm is caught between the canyon wall and the rock. Pain and shock doesn't immediately vex him. He's cool calm and collected as he desperately tries to move it, but it's firmly stuck. He assesses his equipment, realizes he only has a dull multi-tool. All the while he's documenting his predicament with a digital movie camera. Those images were never seen except by his mother who allowed the filmmakers and Franco to view while making the movie.

Franco is impressive and may be an early candidate for the Oscar race with his portrayal in which he lost 25 pounds during the linear shoot. The photography is spectacular from the dense city, to the open forbidding countryside, to the claustrophobic crevices. We witness Ralston's 5 day ordeal while weak from hunger and lack of water he begins to hallucinate and face maybe his eventual doom. It's been reported that some of the scenes have made people faint at earlier screenings. It is definitely squeamish but even after he takes off his arm to free himself you may feel almost relieved. Not a movie for everyone it's worth the 90 minutes for the most intense 127 hours ever. You walk away with a different outlook on your troubles, and the lesson that you should tell people where you are going.
(Review by reesa)


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The Ice Palace at Willow Bend








If you love Narnia and love Santa, you will love this:
Had a preview of what to expect on Friday, 11/12 at the opening of the Ice Palace at Willow Bend Mall in Plano when the Stars of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be Streamed Live from Hollywood to Welcome Guests at The Shops at Willow Bend and 15 other Taubman Centers Across the Country.

Children will be given LED wands to wave simultaneously to illuminate the Ice Palaces’ nationwide, ushering in the holiday season and the arrival of Santa Claus. Shoppers can continue to experience the groundbreaking, multi-sensory Ice Palace exhibit between November 12 and December 24.

The event will begin when Frank Reed from KLTY welcomes the crowd Holiday Performances by
Dallas Power House of Dance
Elf Balloon Twisters
Costumed Characters
Register to Win a $250 Mall Gift Card

The first 200 families to the Ice Palace’s on November 12,will receive a voucher for a free commemorative photo with Santa that can be used that evening or any time prior to November 24

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Unstoppable



Tony Scott who directed high action films like The Taking of Pelham 123 and Enemy of the State worked with Mark Bomback who wrote Live Free or Die Hard and Race to Witch Mountain. They have created another rip snorting high octane thriller with an unstoppable train racing through the Pennsylvania countryside.

Will (Chris Pine) just finished his 4 month training and reports to the train yard to work under 28 year veteran train driver Frank (Denzel Washington). There is the usual animosity between the new younger workers who are replacing the older forced into retirement employees. Especially when they suspect that Will has family ties that may have landed him the job. Frank is hard on Will his conductor while on their first assignment and Will is determined to show his worth but doesn't appreciate the constant criticism. It doesn't help that he makes a mistake by adding 5 too many cars when they they were only supposed to get 20. Meanwhile in the train yard, two inept train employees Dewy (Ethan Suplee) and Gilleece (TJ Miller) bungle moving a ½ mile train loaded with toxic chemicals and it set it running down the tracks without a driver and the failsafe breaks not connected.

Train traffic manager Connie (Rosario Dawson) working on the inaccurate information supplied by dumb and dumber believes they had only made a mistake and it's salvageable. She sends the Dewy and Gilleece to catch up to the train to jump on and stop it. They don't know that lever set for idle has slipped and the train is quickly picking up speed. She calls train welder Ned (Lew Temple) to report on train who drives to where there train is supposed to be but they realize the train is actually far faster than they imagined.

Up to this point the movie meandered along getting into the day to day concerns and lives of blue collar workers and the fascinating world of trains. Connie aptly describes the runaway train as a loaded missile. There are expected dilemmas like a train full of school kids on a field trip and Frank and Will's train on the same tracks as the speeding locomotive. As usual the powers that be working in high rise offices and making decisions on golf courses are clueless to a solution that is not out of their preplanned emergency responses. For them this situation is based on the financial losses they can expect and what is more cost effective. They are not listening to Connie or Frank who have first hand information. The clock is ticking before the train hits the big urban center of Scranton where there is an elevated sharp turn that can not be negotiated at 80 mph. After the highly televised rescue attempts fail, Frank and Will realize they may have the only chance to stop the train.

The edge of the seat action will keep you riveted. The movie plays like a 70's drama with stock characters but they are in the hands of screen faves Denzel and Star Trek's Chris Pine. Scott and Bomback don't give you too much to nitpick about their film and there are just a few slow contemplative scenes where we get character fill. Most of the time you are riding with that train trying to figure out how in the world they are going to stop it before disaster strikes and you will cheer at the end of the ride.
(Review by reesa)

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Skyline



Jerrod's friend Terry is quite successful living the good life in LA. Jerrod and his newly pregnant girlfriend Elaine come to California from Brooklyn to help celebrate Terry's birthday. After a long night partying, everyone crashes to be woken up when bright lights are shining through the blinds of the Terry's penthouse apartment. The shaking building is mistaken for an earthquake. They soon realize something is seriously wrong when one of the left over party goers get sucked out the window.

Another aliens come from outer space and take over Earth story. Beams of light are coming from the sky and sucking up humans. Jerrod (Eric Balfour) almost gets enchanted by the light that does something weird to this eyes and the veins in his body. Elaine (Scottie Thompson) pulls him away in time, and he goes back to normal. The other panic members in the penthouse Terry (Donald Faison), his girlfriend Candice (Brittany Daniel) and his mistress Denise (Crystal Reed) are all freaking out as would be expected. Terry grabs his gun and he and Jerrod to the roof to check out what's going on. There are flying tentacled creatures coming out the mother ship hovering over Los Angeles. The women are wanting to stay holed up in the penthouse hoping for rescue. The guys decide they should make a run for it. The aliens don't seem to be on the water. Terry has a boat, but the marina although just minutes away, is a million miles when there's no hiding from the aliens. The grab supplies and head to the underground garage. When they get close to getting out, they realize they are in bigger trouble than they thought. The survivors make it back to the penthouse, but there's something wrong with Jerrod. He's been exposed several times to the alien light and is exhibiting weird spider veins and extra strength.

Visual effects artists the brothers Strause, Colin and Greg did the digital elephants in “300”, aged Brad Pitt backward, and cloned one actor into identical twins in Social Network. They have also directed the effects heavy AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator-Requiem. The FX is what this movie is all about. And thats about the only thing worth seeing in this film. The screenplay by Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell offers an interesting predicament for the characters faced with the possible end of the human race with aliens that you can't seem to destroy. Bombs, bullets, even an ax, doesn't stop them from reforming. It's just a matter of waiting to see who buys the farm next. The tension in the first part did not sustain itself by the end of the film. In fact you pretty much get tired of the characters by that time, and you may cheer for the aliens to end the story.
(Review by reesa)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

LIVE FROM HOLLYWOOD: THE SHOPS AT WILLOW BEND ICE PALACE KICKS OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE MAGIC OF NARNIA AND THE ARRIVAL OF SANTA CLAUS



LIVE FROM HOLLYWOOD: THE SHOPS AT WILLOW BEND ICE PALACE KICKS OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE MAGIC OF NARNIA AND THE ARRIVAL OF SANTA CLAUS
The Stars of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to be Streamed Live from Hollywood to Welcome Guests at The Shops at Willow Bend and 15 other Taubman Centers Across the Country

WHO:           The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader stars Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie ) and Will Poulter (Eustace Clarence Scrubb) will give shoppers nationwide a sneak peek at their holiday motion picture event and The Shops at Willow Bend’s enchanting new Holiday display, The Ice Palace.
                       
WHAT: The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano will transform into a winter wonderland with the debut of the Ice Palace. Brimming with the magic of winter and the essence of holiday snow globes, the soaring 30-foot Ice Palace appears to be literally carved from ice. The exhibit features highlights from this holiday season’s highly anticipated movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from Twentieth Century Fox and Walden Media. To celebrate, the stars from the film will host a lighting ceremony in Los Angeles that will be streamed live to 15 shopping centers across the country.

Children will be given LED wands to wave simultaneously to illuminate the Ice Palaces’ nationwide, ushering in the holiday season and the arrival of Santa Claus. Shoppers can continue to experience the groundbreaking, multi-sensory Ice Palace exhibit between November 12 and December 24.

The event will begin when Frank Reed from KLTY welcomes the crowd Holiday Performances by

Dallas Power House of Dance

Elf Balloon Twisters

Costumed Characters

Register to Win a $250 Mall Gift Card

The first 200 families to the Ice Palace’s on November 12,will receive a voucher for a free commemorative photo with Santa that can be used that evening or any time prior to November 24.


WHEN:           Friday, November 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM
      
WHERE:         6121 W. Park Blvd. Plano, TX 75093


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Morning Glory




Becky wakes at 1:30 am each morning for her job at a small New Jersey TV station as a producer for a morning show. The day she thinks she's getting a promotion ends up with her getting laid off to be replaced by a newly graduated guy with more business potential. Her dream of someday working on NBC's Today show is suddenly dashed.

Becky (Rachel McAdams) doesn't give up despite her mother's (Pattie D'Arbanville) warning that perhaps she should find another field. She barrages the broadcast world with her resume and never ending follow up calls until one day IBS network calls with an interview for an executive producer on their low rated Day Break show. The program had been on for 40 years, but is getting slaughtered by the major networks. It's gone through 18 executive producers in 11 years, and everyone thinks that Becky will be just another one to fail. She pleasantly suprises everyone by immediately firing the lecherous co-anchor and manages to manipulate hard nosed and out of work newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to join long time anchorwoman Coleen Peck (Diane Keaton) as co-host. Pomerory unhappy with the new gig exercises his right of story approval and not to do human interest stories or cooking segments. He mainly sits, glares at everything and even refuses to use the word “fluffy” in a promo. The network is not happy and is going to pull the plug on the show. So Becky challenges her boss Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldbloom) that if she can bring up the ratings in 6 weeks, then the show can have more time to develop. Becky doesn't tell anyone about the shows' possible demise, and tries every trick she can think of to bring excitement back into the show. Segment ratings are improving, morale is high, but only Pomeroy remains stoic and dry.

With the pedigree of Notting Hill director Roger Michell and Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna and the luminous Rachel McAdams, Morning Glory is like a bright fresh rom-com with very little rom. Becky has more romance for her job and the biggest relationship is the bantering battling between Becky and Pomerory. She apparently can't be away from her phone long enough to carry on with her handsome colleague Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson). The camera happily concentrates on pretty McAdams with a smile that made Julia Roberts so memorable. Coleen Peck calls Becky “Gidget” for her irrepressible upbeat and positive attitude. No matter what catastrophe is on the horizon, Becky takes a deep breath and hits it straight on. It's nice to see Ford doing more comedic roles, and Diane Keaton is good as expected playing the morning TV hostess Diva who is willing to help Becky make the show succeed. You can't go wrong with Morning Glory. Some nice laughs, good cast, energy level and everything you can predictably expect.
(Review by reesa)


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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/07 - 11/13

Harry Potter. Everyone is biting at the bit to see this movie. So much so, that they are willing to trade their first born child in exchange for passes. Of course we will delete any such barters. But listen carefully. Please don't beg for these passes!!!!! There are contests currently running, there's a chance GOFOBO will go "live", or radio stations may have promotions, but whatever the case, YOU must enter on your own. Because anyone who is putting an effort into getting these passes are not doing it for you and all the people you intend to bring with you. They are entering because they want to go. Now if you win, and suddenly you have a conflict that night and want to make someone happy by giving them up, kindly post it to the group. To those responding...take a deep breath. Don't just hit reply!!!! Copy and paste their email address and respond directly to the person offering the pass. Otherwise, the moderator fingers will just hit delete, and your quick response that went to the list will be forever lost.

November 7 - 13, 2010

Sun
11/7

Mon
11/8

7:30 pm
Morning Glory
AMC Northpark

Tue
11/9

7:00 pm
Tangled
RAVE Ridgmar

7:00 pm
Courageous
Cinemark West Plano

7:30 pm
127 Hours
The Angelika Dallas

Wed
11/10

7:00 pm
Tangled
AMC Northpark

Thu
11/11

7:30 pm
Burlesque
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Unstoppable
AMC Northpark

10:00 pm
Skyline
AMC Northpark

Fri
11/12

Sat
11/13


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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Between Heaven and Hell



The story behind the making of this small independent feature filmed in Mansfield, TX is more interesting and inspiring than the actual movie. Dr. Marvin Faulkner had planned to write a novel as therapy after losing his wife to cancer. Later he converted it into a screenplay then shelved it. One day while his daughter was shopping she was approached by Jason Ward a photography professor to model for one his ads. Her father went instead to make sure it was legit. In the course of their conversation they discovered not only did they have the same birthday, but Faulkner knew of the small town where Ward had lived. Faulkner was looking for someone to film a music video of his daughter performing a song that she had written in honor of her mother. Soon after, Faulkner handed him his screenplay. Ward had done ads but had never filmed a music video much less a feature film. He didn't even have the type of camera needed. With Faulkner producing, they shot a small scene from the screenplay and they were encouraged by the result. Enough so they decided to tackle creating the entire movie without any experience or knowledge, just the desire and ambition.

Thanks to a casting director they were able to round up an group of unknown Texas actors to perform for nothing while utilizing the locations around Mansfield who let them use their buildings for free. Including the Mansfield police who supplied them uniforms, police car and even weapons. They worked only on weekends while they continued with their day jobs. One of the actresses took off 10 months to give birth to twins and came back later to finish filming her role. Then there was a matter of trying to keep your appearance the same for two years for continuity.

Faulkner was at his Allstate Insurance office when he discovered his agent, Johnn R. Hudson had once taught classes on the Apple editing equipment that they were using on the movie. Hudson was hired on the edit the film. He managed to edit the 50 hours of film down to less than 2 hours.

The project seemed to come together with other moments of luck and opportunity. Jason Ward did the original music, the music supervisor Dominique Preyer was able to get music from Bruce Springsteen and Kris Kristopherson. Kristopherson was supposed to play the role of the old man/angel, but they ended up with character actor Grant James. Dennis O'Neil came on the movie as Capt. Frank White and associate producer. Another familiar face from TV and movies Andrew Sensenig played Jim McGill. The movie caught the eye of a film distributer that is marketing the movie on every .com site that sells movies like Amazon where it ranks 84,999. The movie was screened last October to an audience of 350 people at the Parks in Arlington with a positive response.

The film tells the story of Mike Taylor (Marvin Falkner) who gets drunk one night while grieving for his wife passing away. He ends up throwing up behind a dumpster in the parking lot before passing out in his own puke. A local stripper has a argument with this guy who tells her that his brother is not going to leave his wife for her and she should leave town. He ends up shoving her and she hits her head and dies. Mike waking from his stupor from behind the trash bin sees the dead girl then hears the guy stuff her in his trunk. Later when he tries to report it to the police, the police officer Steve McGill (Jeff Wallin) turns out to be the killer. He's relieved to find that Mike can not identify the murderer, and there's no body in evidence. They only thing Mike has is a silver cross the girl was wearing that night. Mike finds himself caught between trying to do the right thing and the personal dramas that the murder that can't be proven creates. There were some religious moments that I was hoping would not go over the top and become a “Christian” sell, and thankfully it reigned that in.

The budget of the film was estimated to be about $100,000. And the resulting film is definitely lacking in production values. Considering the actual costs, the uneven sound quality and lack of experience the resulting movie shows promise. Some of the acting, while stiff was countered by some nice performances. You can tell that everyone who worked on the project really believed in what they were doing.

http://www.heavenandhellmovie.com/Between_Heaven_and_Hell/Home.html

(Review by reesa)


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Fair Game



In 2003 former ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times called “What I Didn't Find in Africa” which disputed the Bush administration claim of Iraq having WMD's which justified going to war 4 weeks earlier. A week later Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson was revealed to be a CIA operative. The “outing” of Plame seemed to be in retaliation and a redirection of attention to discredit Wilson's article.

Based on Plame's Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, a fascinating account of how the US government basically destroyed the private lives of the Wilson's for it's own agenda. Naomi Watts is very effective as Plame who worked in the CIA's counter-proliferation division which was investigating the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A few weeks after 9/11 Plames diplomat husband (Sean Penn) is sent to Niger because he had previous contacts in the country to substantiate the alleged sale of enriched uranium. Despite Wilson's report that no sale could be proved the US administration ignores his findings. Instead it takes the allegations and couples it with another CIA agents' report that metal tubes shipped into Iraq could be used for creating nuclear weapons. Plame had originally seized one of the shipments and questions their use as they were the wrong size and structure. Suddenly the Vice President's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby is making visits to the CIA's office with pointed questions trying to manipulate the information on the uranium and metal tubes. Then just as quickly the country goes to war.

After Wilson's article, Plame is revealed in a newspaper column by conservative pundit Robert Novak that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA operative in an attempt to discredit his article. Plame's overseas contacts and operations were put in serious jeopardy once her cover was blown. The newspapers and news stations ran with every rumor and disinformation that they were traitors was devastating to her family. Rather than give up, Wilson fought back which eventually lead to the federal investigation that convicted Libby (whose sentence was later commuted by Bush).

Director Doug Liman who was at the helm of Bourne Identity worked with a script by Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth from Plames' book and Wilson's The Politics of Truth. Well paced and acted, Sean Pean never disappoints as the frustrated articulate husband. His speech at the end of the film is the kind of movie magic that inspires as well as makes you think. Watts is just as cool and collected as a spy. When her world falls apart it's heartbreaking for a woman who prided herself in her training to handle the most difficult situations. It's a fascinating and shocking revelation of the Bush administration's culpability in the WMD controversy. Even scarier to think that after years of serving her country that she and her family could be dragged through the mud just to get the public to look elsewhere. Unfortunately the younger audiences will not be able to appreciate the lessons learned from these events as they will not attend movies without mindless mayhem.
(Review by reesa)


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For Colored Girls



“one thing i don’t need/ is any more apologies/ i got sorry greetin me at my front door/ you can keep yrs”

Ntozake Shange's 1975 play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” has been turned into a theatrical version by director/writer Tyler Perry. Nine extraordinary African-American actresses portray the characteristics representative in the 20 poems in the book. Perry tackles the unique viewpoint of women of color with issues that range from adultery, date rape, mental illness and even the down-low.

The play which had 7 women across the country reciting poetic verse were nameless only known by the colors they wore. Perry expanded the melodrama with a number of subplots involved mostly within an apartment house. Tangi (orange) (Thandi Newton) is a bartender who brings home different men every night. Next door is Ms. Gilda (Phylicia Rashad) the landlord who sits the two young children of Crystal (brown) (Kimberly Elise) who has a boyfriend just returned from military service who is off his meds abusing her and her kids. Crystal works for Jo (red) (Janet Jackson) the uptight big "b" owner/editor of Robe Rouge a flashy fashion magazine. Juanita Sims (green) (Loretta Devine) gives her what for when she she is turned down by Jo for a donation to her program at the hospital where she advices women to use condoms. Anika Noni Rose is Yasmine (yellow) who teaches dance dance to Nyla (purple) (Tessa Thompson). Nyla's and Tangi's mother is Whoopi Goldberg as Alice (white) a religious fanatic for her Temple of El Nohim. Kerry Washington is Kelly (blue), a social worker who comes to the aid of Crystal and Nyla during the course of the story. Each of these women suffer, cry, rage, and love. Each has some major crisis that needs to be addressed to the men in their lives or the women around them. Each gets a moment to shine on screen while they make their one big poetic speech on their particular blight. Macy Gray shows up half way through the story looking drunk and scary.

This is Perry's attempt at a “serious” film coming after the success of last year's Precious which he produced. Over all the characters are handled awkwardly and are too broadly drawn. The scenes jump from one to another dealing with the most sensational parts of their stories. Most everyone is over wrought and full of angst. Happiness and laughter is like a victory that can only be temporary while waiting for the next shoe to fall. They all end up at the hospital at one point. The monologues try to be organic to the scene, wonderfully performed but everyone knows in real life no one ever gets time to be able to say that much in one sitting. Even though this film is a sonnet to the African-American woman's experience, these problems are universal and for which all women of all color can relate.
(Review by reesa)


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Megamind



An infant son is shipped out into space to survive a dying planet by his parents like in the original Superman. At the same time, another child is also hurtling through space both towards earth. While one lands at the home of nice wealthy people happy to have a child, the other lands at a prison yard where he's brought up by convicts.

Megamind (Will Ferrell) prides himself on being the master of evil with his feisty fish-like sidekick, Minion (David Cross). While his arch-enemy Metro Man (Brad Pitt) is the hero of Metro City, with Superman type powers, he's strong and beefy and full of himself (looking more like Clooney than Pitt). Metro Man has consistently defeated Megamind's devious plots for many years. That is until one day day in a botched attempt to kidnap Metro Man's “girlfriend” Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) Megamind seemingly destroys Metro Man in an explosion. Megamind then takes over control of Metro City. But overtime, he realizes that his evilness does not have any punch without a nemesis to foil his plans. Megamind turns Roxanne's cameraman and persistently jilted admirer Hal (Jonah Hill) into the next superhero, Tighten. Instead the unbalanced Hal takes out his revenge on Metro City after years of rejection from Roxanne. Later Megamind discovers that Metro Man faked his demise but doesn't want to return to his previous humanity saving life. Apparently Megamind wasn't that much of a challenge for Metro Man's expertise. Mega Mind gives up and lets Tighten turn the city into his playground of mayhem. With Roxanne's encouragement's it's up to Megamind to step up and be the city's hero and get the girl too.

Director of Madagascar and it's sequel, Tim McGrath with writers Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons they have created a rehash of every old time comic book predicaments. The comedy by such an able cast performs unevenly like an awkward badly written SNL skit. Megamind is more amusing as a failed bad guy with dreams of grandeur, than as an angst ridden wannabe hero. There were no laugh out loud moments. Maybe a small smirk hoping a payoff was coming. Alas, it drags horribly. This is just another excuse to create another animated story for the kids in 3D, but you won't notice any flashy 3D effects, just the hassle of wearing ill fitting glasses. It doesn't take big named stars to make a movie worth the ticket price if the writing doesn't hold up the story.
(Review by reesa)

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Lone Star International Film Festival

The Fourth Annual Lone Star International Film Festival Fort Worth in Sundance Square is coming November 10th – 14th. Read more about this year’s festival at http://lonestarfilmsociety.com/about-lsiff/

For the lineup of films:
http://lonestar.bside.com/2010/films



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