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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reesa's List of Movies Seen in 2011

The following list of movies are films that were released based on http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/index2010.php and the movies that were viewed at the Dallas International Film Festival, Asian Film Festival Dallas,and screeners (free movie screenings and studio DVD screeners).

From this list the movies that stood out as favorites (and not in any particular order):

The Descendants, Crazy Stupid Love, Drive, Hugo, Warrior Moneyball, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, Sunny, War Horse, The Artist, Adventures of Tin Tin, The Tree of Life, Poetry, I Saw the Devil, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Midnight in Paris, My Week With Marilyn,Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Ides of March, The Music Never Stopped, Thunder Soul, 50/50, Shaolin, Little Big Soldier, Parked, Pariah, A Better Life, Melancholia, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Buck, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Page One:Inside the New York Times, Brotherhood, Captain America:The First Avenger, Thor, Bridesmaids. There's probably more.

Total movies watched (not including old DVD's from Netflix)= 383

30 Minutes or Less
3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy
5 Days of War
7-gwang-goo (Sector 7)
A Better Life
A bout portant (Point Blank)
A Dangerous Method
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
A Little Help
A Separation
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
African Cats
Age of Dragons
Akmareul Boatda (I Saw the Devil)
Alabama Moon
Albert Nobbs
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
American: The Bill Hicks Story
Among Us
Another Earth
Apollo 18
Arthur Christmas
Assassination Games
Atlas Shrugged: Part 1
Attack the Block
Bad Teacher
Baiyin diguo (Empire of Silver)
Battle: Los Angeles
Beautiful Boy
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
Beul-la-in-deu (Blind)
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Bill Cunningham New York
Black Death
Blood Night
Blood of Eagles
Born to be Wild 3D
Brighton Rock
Burke & Hare
By Day and By Night
Cai Shen Ke Zhan (Treasure Inn)
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cars 2
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Certifiably Jonathan
Choi-jong-byeong-gi Hwal (War of the Arrows)
City Under Siege
Come Rain Come Shine 사랑한다, 사랑하지 않는다
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
Conan the Barbarian 3D
Copie conforme (Certified Copy)
Cowboys and Aliens
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Cyrano Agency
Daydream Nation
Death Race 2
Des Hommes et Des Dieux (Of Gods and Men)
Detective K 조선명탐정: 각시투구꽃의 비밀
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Dolphin Tale
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Dream House
Drive Angry
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Elektra Luxx
Elephant White
Elle s'appelait Sarah (Sarah's Key)
Even the Rain
Everything Must Go
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Faces in the Crowd
Fast Five
Father of Invention
Final Destination 5
Fireflies in the Garden
Forks Over Knives
Friends with Benefits
Fright Night
From Prada to Nada
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
Gnomeo and Juliet
Go For It!
Golden Slumber
Goyangyi: Jookeumeul Boneun Doo Gaeui Noon (The Cat)
Green Lantern
Griff the Invisible
Guan yun chang (The Lost Bladesman)
Gun Hill Road
Haevnen (In A Better World)
Hall Pass
Hanyo (The Housemaid)
Happy Feet Two
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Henry's Crime
Hobo with a Shotgun
Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil
Horrible Bosses
Horrid Henry
Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence
I Am a Dad 나는 아빠다
I am Number Four
I Don't Know How She Does It
In the Name of the King 2
In Time
Into the Abyss
Ip Man: Legend of the Grand Master
Iron Clad
Iron Lady
It's About You
J. Edgar
Jack and Jill
Jackass 3.5
Jane Eyre
Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation)
Johnny English Reborn
Joueuse (Queen to Play)
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Jumping the Broom
Jûsan-nin no shikaku (13 Assassins)
Just Go With It
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Kill the Irishman
Killer Elite
Kung Fu Panda 2
La belle endormie (The Sleeping Beauty)
La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)
Larry Crowne
Last Night
Leap Year
Lemonade Mouth
Life in a Day
Like Crazy
Little Big Soldier
London Boulevard
Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)
Love In A Puff
Love, Wedding, Marriage
Machine Gun Preacher
Madea's Big Happy Family
Magic Trip
Main Street
March of the Dinosaurs
Margin Call
Marley and Me: The Puppy Years
Mars Needs Moms
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meek's Cutoff
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Masquerade
Midnight FM
Midnight in Paris
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Monte Carlo
Mr. Poppers's Penguins
My Week with Marilyn
New Year's Eve
No Strings Attached
Norman Mailer: The American
OK Buckaroos
One Day
Ong Bak 3
Oranges and Sunshine
Orgasm Inc.
Our Idiot Brother
Page One: Inside the New York Times
Paranormal Activity 3
Passion Play
Pearl Jam Twenty
Phantom of the Opera Live
Phil Ochs
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Priest in 3D
Project Nim
Public Speaking
Pure Country 2: The Gift
Puss in Boots
Putty Hill
Qiàn N? Y?u Hún (Chinese Ghost Story)
Rainbows End
Real Steel
Red Dog
Red Riding Hood
Red State
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Saigon Electric
Salvation Boulevard
Scream 4
Season of the Witch
Serge Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
Set Up
Seven Days In Utopia
Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Something Borrowed
Soul Surfer
Source Code
Spooky Buddies
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
Square Grouper
Straw Dogs
Sucker Punch
Super 8
Take Me Home Tonight
Texas Killing Fields
Thank You
That's What I Am
The Adjustment Bureau
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
The Art of Getting By
The Artist
The Beaver
The Best and the Brightest
The Change-Up
The Client 의뢰인
The Company Men
The Conspirator
The Darkest Hour
The Debt
The Descendants
The Devil's Double
The Dilemma
The Double
The Eagle
The First Grader
The Flowers of War
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Green Hornet
The Guard
The Hangover 2
The Help
The High Cost of Living
The Hit List
The Ides of March
The Inbetweeners Movie
The Interrupters
The Last Circus
The Last Godfather
The Last Lions
The Last Mountain
The Legend of Hell's Gate: An American Conspiracy
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Mechanic
The Mighty Macs
The Mill and the Cross
The Muppets
The Music Never Stopped
The Oregonian
The Other Woman
The People vs. George Lucas
The Perfect Age Of Rock 'N' Roll
The Perfect Host
The Presence
The Resident
The Reunion
The Rite
The Roommate
The Royal Wedding: William & Kate
The Rum Diary
The Runway
The Sitter
The Smurfs
The Son of No One
The Stool Pigeon
The Story of My Life 멋진 인생
The Tenant
The Thing
The Three Musketeers 3D
The Tree
The Tree of Life
The Trip
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
The Undefeated
The Ward
The Way
The Way Back
The Whistleblower
There Be Dragons
Thunder Soul
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Tower Heist
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Triple Tap
Trolljegeren (Troll Hunter)
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Turtle: The Incredible Journey
Vanishing on Seventh Street
Vidal Sassoon: The Movie
Waiting for Forever
War Horse
Water for Elephants
We Bought a Zoo
We need to Talk About Kevin
What's Your Number?
Wild Horse, Wild Ride
Win Win
Winnie the Pooh
Wu Xia (The Swordsman)
X-Men: First Class
Xinhai geming (1911 Revolution)
Young Adult
Your Highness
Zebraman 2:Attack on Zebra City

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

MMovies Scheduled for the Week of 12/25 - 12/31

Happy holidays to all our subscribers. Hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed the food, gifts and family. Only one movie pending this week, so you may want to check out the ones you missed to get ready for the Awards season. Would love to hear what your favorite films are for the year. Please used Dallas Movie Screening Facebook page to leave your lists, the good and the bad.

December 25 - 31, 2011





7:30 pm
Angelika Dallas




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Saturday, December 24, 2011

War Horse

Can animals win Academy Awards? Then the eight adult horses that portrayed the lead equine in Steven Spielberg's epic story of war should collectively carry home the honors. Of course if you are not enamored by the those large four legged beasts with the soulful faces then the story of his trials during WWI will hopefully impress one with the episodic adventures he encounters. Based on a 1982 children's book by Michael Morpurgo War Horse was adapted to the stage using life sized puppet horses. Spielberg adds his cinematic magic touch that makes his films memorable and become burned into our collective psyche.

A thoroughbred colt is born on a farm in the English countryside. The young lively horse is later sold at auction where Ted Narracott (Peter Mullen) overbids for the strong willed stallion in a drunken macho display. His exasperated wife Rose (Emily Watson) is vexed by this move as they need a reliable plow horse. It falls to their son Albert (Jeremy Irvine) to train the horse who he names Joey. He does this with great patience and care and the two of them develop a trust and become BFF's. War breaks out and Ted sells the horse to an officer in order to pay the rent. Back then people still fought calvary style with swords on horseback. It rips the heart out of Albert who is not old enough to join the army swears to Joey that they will be reunited. From this point on characters and situations change in each chapter as the horse endures charging into gunfire, brief moments of serenity, harsh cannon pulling, and barbed wire. Spielberg as in Saving Private Ryan shows the horrors of war and the harsh realities of it's effects on human and now animals. There's a strong attention to realism as patriotic citizens are ready to fight for their country then become confronted by brutal deadly battles that last for years and not the quick fix they had imagined.

There's a bountiful cast of familiar actors who show up in small cameos like David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Eddie Marsan. The most memorable is Niels Arestrup as the French grandfather. Screenwriters Richard Curtis and Lee Hall focus's on the horse and Albert who as the war endures becomes old enough to enlist. It is their will to survive and find each other again that carries the story.

Spielberg's direction has already drawn comparison's to a John Ford's work with the awe inspiring visuals, the John Williams soundtrack that carries the viewer through the emotional waves that well up the eyes and and remind us that we are part of something big. All sides of the conflict with England, Germany and France are treated evenly as it breaks it down to a human level as we deal with individuals not generals looking at the bigger picture. These are just humans are just trying to live one more day while they follow orders of their superiors. Just as Joey is unable to leave whatever situation comes up.

It's a gorgeous looking film for taking the family during the holidays. Small children may be disturbed by the violence of war and it's toll on it's participants. Spielberg knows how to create a film that swells the hearts and makes the eyes tear up. It hits all the right notes to be the biggest movie of the year. It's obvious and sentimental, it's old fashioned and uplifting as Scarlett O'Hara screaming at the red tinted sky “I will never go hungry again”. It's classic Spielberg making a classic movie throw back.
(Review by reesa)

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Wyatt Head Reviews The Artist

The Artist
- When I walked into the theater I was slightly expecting to be bored by the fact that it was a silent film. I was enormously surprised by this highly unique film that communicated love, sadness, and anger so well without having audio except for music.

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The Artist

1927 Hollywood-land: George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the leading silent film star. He, his little dog (Uggie) and their adorable antics, is the talk of the town. In an era where the film industry doesn’t have the technology to have movies with audible dialog: Valentin’s expressive mugging for the camera, as well as his handsome face, helps him bring in the big money. At the beginning of the movie we find him truly living the lavish lifestyle of the Hollywood upper echelon. Even a simple kiss on Valentin’s famous cheek can propel a person onto the path of stardom; as is the case when Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) accidentally drops her purse, bumps into the Hollywood hero, and gets rewarded with a new career path.

However, this is not the story of Valentin’s success; it’s the story of the perils of pride, and the plight of the artist. Towards the end of the decade, the technology for audio movies comes singing into the mainstream. A proud Valentin dismisses this notion, thinking that his faithful fans really only want to see him. He leaves his producer Al Zimmer (John Goodman) to shoot his own silent films, thus leaving the doorway open for his fate stricken protégé, Peppy, to become the next big thing in Hollywood.

And so we have parallel stories: the fall of the old famous, and the rise of the new young faces in pop media. It’s a trend that continues to a varying extent to this day. But it goes deeper than that; telling tale of dedication of a person to their craft, the uncompromising nature of pride, and the effects that this mode of thinking can have on their life. All in all, it’s a fairly common idea. However, what makes The Artist so very special is its gimmick; not only is it a film about silent films, but it also is a silent film.

One might think that in this wonderful age of 21st technology, a silent film would be especially difficult to create; perhaps even lost on an audience that has been spoon feed the lavish indulgence of Dolby Digital sound. But The Artist showcases a special, touching brilliance that is divorced from much of the media of today. The directing style is straight out of the era movies; perhaps even being lent the special quality that made those films work in the first place. The pacing and acting compliment the throwback mixture quite well, blending so seamlessly, that the only visual queue to creation date of The Artist, is the crystal clear production quality that was absent from the films of yore.

For about 99 minutes the audience is transported back in time, and treated to silence. With only jazz, big-band, and orchestra to inform the actor’s expressions, moviegoers are privileged to see a long forgotten way of experiencing media. However, the audience was probably not the only part of the movie that got to do something exciting and new. The movie cast was likely lead to experience a new-old way of expression; having to act and convey the full range of emotional context with zero audio cues. The production crew was likely exposed to a method of filmmaking that hasn’t been done since film cameras were cranked by hand; having to capture this kind of acting in the same manner as their progenitors.

There is a special kind of magic at work in this movie. It’s a feeling that words cannot describe, so The Artist doesn’t bother trying.
(Review by Quinn Cruz-Hawkins)

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We Bought a Zoo

Director Cameron Crowe is back with his first feature film since 2005's Elizabethtown. Based on the Benjamin Mee memoir about how the author used up his life saving to purchase a run down zoo in England. The movie relocated to California where Matt Damon plays a Los Angeles reporter who was always taking chances for his stories. After his wife dies he's not only left struggling with his loss, but suddenly having to deal with his 7 year old daughter and teenage son. He leaves his job and buys an old country home which just happens to have a zoo complete with animals and staff attached to it.

The rural acreage houses the Rosemoor Animal Park which has been closed due to lack of funds and the staff is considering selling the animals to other zoos. Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johannson) is the head zookeeper and sees disaster in their future as they only have 2 months to get the zoo into shape so it will pass inspection. Damon playing Benjamin Mee throws himself whole heartedly into the project hoping to keep the kids occupied while they work through their grief. Teen Dylan (Colin Ford) is sullen and remote spending most of his time drawing horrific pictures (though is father is impressed with his artistic talents). Ben can't seem to connect with Dylan and the movie spends some time on their reconciliation. The other parts of the movie enjoy some light hearted moments as inexperienced zoo owners struggle for acceptance by the zoo staff while they hurry to get the zoo ready to open. They must please inspector Walter Ferris (John Michael Higgins) who tries his best to find fault.

No one believes that Ben can get the zoo running. Especially his accountant brother Duncan (Thomas Haden Church) who grudgingly watches as Ben pours all their money into the food and repairs. The sick tiger Spar needs to be put down, but Ben doesn't want to let him go as he is working out issues through his heart to heart talks with the tiger. Kelly is also hedging bets that they will not be able to stick it out to the end.

Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna has also scripted light chick flicks like 27 Dresses, Morning Glory and The Devil Wears Prada. Her penchant for creating strong women characters that can do it all is evident in Johannson's zookeeper Kelly. She's good at her job and straightforward in her dealings with people and animals. You just know that she will not fall for the widower until there's some mutual respect and admiration attached. She's not a ditsy blond trying to juggle her job and a pursuit of a love life. Damon centers the film being a dad who is not perfect, but is willing to learn and listen. His scenes with his young daughter Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) are touching and sweet. Something that comes naturally to real life fathers. Elle Fanning plays the preteen Lily who is Kelly's niece and also works at the zoo. This is a set up for Dylan character development. Look for Patrick Fugit of Almost Famous all grown up and filled out.

We Bought a Zoo is a movie about grief, a movie about animals, a movie about parents and communicating with their kids, it's about taking chances in your life and encountering unexpected paths. It's the feel good holiday movie that one can take the whole family. You may not remember it in a couple months, but the pleasant 2 hours will be worth it.
(Review by reesa)

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Master spy novelist John le Carré's 1974 story about the British Intelligence agency search for a Soviet mole in their top tier of agents. It's based on the revelations in the 1950-60's which exposed the Cambridge Five who were KGB moles in the SIS. It's also the first in a trilogy of novels involving agent George Smiley who had been forced to retire. Director Tomas Alfredson of Let the Right One In and screen writers Bridget O'Conner and Peter Straughan have painstakingly detailed Cold War London. Unfortunately you need a dossier (as was handed out at the screening) to make heads and tails of the characters involved.

John Hurt plays “Control” the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. He's been obsessed with finding the mole in the agency that has been feeding information to Russia. He gets intel that a general in Bulgaria wants to defect and can supply the name of the traitor. He sends out Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) to get the general and bring him back. But the operation goes sideways and Jim is shot. It's created a mess within their intelligence “cousins”. The pressure is on the clean it up. Control is forced to retire with his Deputy Chief George Smiley (Gary Oldman). After Control dies Permanent Undersecretary Oliver Lacon (Simon McBurney) brings Smiley back working off the grid to investigate Controls suspicions of the “Magic Circle” in the “Witchcraft” operation. Control had assigned them code names of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man Thief. Colin Firth as Bill Haydon, Ciarán Hinds as Roy Bland, Toby Jones as the new Conrol Percy Alleline and David Dencik as Toy Esterhase. Smiley is given Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch) who is head of the Scalphunters (agents who deal with the dark side of the job) to work as his assistant. Smiley comes home one day and finds scalphunter Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy) hiding there. He was the one who told Control about the mole and he's being set up to take the fall.

If you think this is confusing, it is. The set decoration, the early 70's London costumes, cars are filmed in a palid light giving a feeling of age and dusty corners. This is a time before cell phones, and computer gadgetry. Women are not in power positions. They are regulated to the secretary pools and getting hit on by the men. The movie is way too long and the complicated plot which works in novel form much better as you can reread the convoluted plot points. Unless you can instinctively understands the trade craft terms the agents bandy about you have a a better chance of sorting through all the characters. In 1979 the BBC adapted the book for a television as a seven part series with Alex Guiness as Smiley which would have worked better than compressing the characters and events into a 2 hour movie. Good performances but overloaded and boggling if you are still around for the ending, more power to you.
(Review by reesa)

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reviews by Wyatt Head

The Muppets- A film that uses specification and sarcasm to be an appealingly funny film while still being appropriate to all ages. The music gave you a good chill, the song numbers were catchy and well performed, and the actors were perfect for their parts.

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol- The action sequences in this film ripped my jaw off and were filled with intense chase scenes and sky-scraping camera shots. The film really brought you into the movie with the exciting feeling of panic and not knowing what to do. An excellently done film.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The title opening sequence with the CGI oil slicked bodies and exploding birds with Karen O's cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song is hypnotic, mesmerizing and gets the blood flowing. The first film of Stieg Larsson's best selling Swedish novel series which was known as “Men Who Hate Women” was released in Sweden in 2009 and the other 2 novels turned into movies later that year. It's hard to imagine why Director David Fincher and screenwriter Steven Zaillian wanted to cover the same material with an English speaking cast. Fans of the book and movies were skeptical particularly since the iconic role of goth hacker Lisbeth Salander was so brilliantly played by Noomi Rapace and the jounalist Mikael Blomkvist played by Michael Nyqvist seemed to jump from the novel's pages. However the dark and psychologically complicated characters and storyline are right up Fincher's bailiwick in light of his previous ventures like Fight Club, Se7en and Zodiac.

Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) publisher and part owner of the Millennium magazine is in the middle of scandal with billionaire financier Hans-Erik Wennerström in which Blomkvist is sentenced to 3 months in prison and ordered to pay hefty damages. Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is a ward of the state after trying to kill her father has some serious socialization issues is also a near genius computer hacker. Salander is hired to run an extensive background check on Blomkvist by the lawyer for Henrick Vanger (Christopher Plummer) of the Vanger Group. She breaks into Blomkvist's emails to illicitly gather information. Meanwhile Vanger entices Blomkvist to uncover the mystery of his missing grand- niece who disappeared in the 1966 on the pretext that he is writing a autobiography of Henrick. In the middle of the winter using a rustic cabin located on the property Blomkvist begins combing through the boxes of police reports hoping that a fresh approach and a journalist eye for detail will find something that has been missed. The Vanger family are a very unpleasant, dysfunctional, dour group with a history of Nazi affiliations in their background and are pretty upset over Henrick's obsession. Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgård) as the current head of Vangard Group is the only one talking. Blomkvist asks the lawyer for a research assistant...the one that investigated him. At first Salander is not interested until Blomkvist reveals that he may be seeking a killer of women.

While the basic plot involves trying to find the killer and watching Lisbeth's mad skills at connecting dots, there's also the subplots that is setting up the next two films of the series. There's the degrading tortured sexual abuse and some righteous clever revenge that earned the movie a hard “R” rating. Mara's Lisbeth has a vulnerability with her bleached eyebrows, waif physique, and super white complexion against the stark dyed black mohawk. Where the Swedish Rapace was a harder more athletic Lisbeth, both women captured the essence of the most interesting fully realized female heroine that has been created in some time. Craig does a passable job as Blomkvist, but his English accent was a bit distracting as everyone else is doing a light Swedish one.

It's hard to say what virgins of the books and previous movies will take away from this film. It's begs to view it with some idea of what is going on as the history of the Vanger family will be dense and befuddling. For fans of the material there are some elements that have been moved around to keep the story from being too confusing. Those scenes are not covered in the first movie and was sorely missed. The intense discordant score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross punctuates harsh winter and the moody stark staging of Fincher's interpretation of Larsson's story. Fincher may have sunk the Alien franchise with a sorry Alien 3, but Americanizing this film will erase that shame.

This is also the only film that seems to seriously address data forensics as realistically as possible instead of the simplistic graphics that are usually seen. Lisbeth's favorite Apple computers are prominently displayed. Yet despite Lisbeth's computer skills she ends up cracking the case using old school methods. The broader picture is that whoever controls the information controls the world. But please keep the kids at home.
(Review by reesa)

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Adventures of Tin Tin

Belgian artist Hergé (Georges Remi) created the 1943 comic book of Tin Tin boy detective and his dog Snowy in The Secret of the Unicorn. Unless you are a serious comic geek most of today's sound byte iphone app obsessed young person will be completely clueless. They may be slightly intrigued by this performance captured 3D animated film with Peter Jackson's Weta digital CG is the first for Steven Spielburg. After all what was old is now new. Plus the Indiana Jones flavored adventure will keep one intrigued and entertained. John Williams score will inspire and Janusz Kaminisky's cinematography will mesmerize. Kids and adults who are not familiar with the nearly 70 year old series will quickly become fans.

Tin Tin (voiced by Jamie Bell) with his reddish hair and trademark upswept cowlick buys a three masted sailing ship model at a European marketplace. But there are a couple of other people who are also wanting that ship. Tin Tin loves a good mystery and wants to know why everyone is so interested. Especially when his house is broken into and the ship stolen. However what they are looking for has rolled under that table when Snowy and a neighboring cat cause a ruckus. Later, Tin Tin is kidnapped and imprisoned on a ship with the ship's drunk Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) discover there are two other model ships and also contain a parchment scroll within the ships mast. The contents of those scrolls are supposed to reveal a treasure that has Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig) is willing to do anything to attain. According to Captain Haddock his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock had to scuttle the original Unicorn over three hundred years ago by the ancestor of Red Rackham who is Sakharine's descendant.

Spielburg's signature direction has created a visually dazzling adventure that is eye pleasing with good old fashioned action adventure that will qualify for the next theme park ride. The quality of the technology that powered the Polar Express has vastly improved. The animations are seamless and keep the comic characters wholesome and human without actually looking human. This medium also makes for some really exciting stunt elements enhanced by a superior 3D that wasn't added later as an afterthought or to boost the price of the movie ticket. Screenwriters Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish used plot elements from the other three books but still the story remains thin as compared to what 's on screen. Like why Tin Tin who is supposedly an adolescent lives alone, works for a newspaper, drives a motorcycle and has saved the world on a number of occasions. His fox terrier companion Snowy is just as savvy and more like a partner than sidekick. Look for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost voicing the bumbling detective team of Johnson and Johnson which add a bit of comic relief throughout the movie. With Spielburg's War Horse a favorite for Best Picture, it would a one two punch to have this film win for Best Animated at this year's Academy Awards.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 12/18 - 12/24

Hope you are all coming to the Big Fan Boy anniversary party tonight at the Angelika! Come support Mark Walters and all that he does for our movie community!

One more shopping week until Christmas and somehow we have some very nice screenings that are on the top of the usual holiday activity. Lets carry that cheer to the movie lines and sharing that bounty with each other. But y'all know what's coming up next right? DON"T SEND YOUR RESPONSES TO THE LIST. Phew, thank you. Got that off my chest. You can not believe how many emails are deleted because you didn't send it to the right place. Didn't set the subject parameters correctly (Want, Trade, Offer, Live on GOFOBO). You say, what's the big deal? The big deal is that not everyone wants to open all the list mail. By quickly reviewing the subject lines in one's email box your can quickly decide which ones are pertinent to you.

So if you are wondering why you didn't get a response to your request last week. It's probably because you got deleted. You've been warned.

Hacked mail are being sent back to you as rejected. Go change your password to your email server.

December 18 - 24, 2011



7:30 pm
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Angelika Dallas


7:00 pm
We Bought A Zoo
AmStar Cinemas 14


7:00 pm
The Artist
Angelika Dallas


7:30 pm
The Darkest Hour
Cinemark 17



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Friday, December 16, 2011

Movie Reviews by Wyatt Head

Young Adult
- A decently funny and quirky film about a uniquely grown up "popular girl" in a past high school. Every scene has a sense of comedic climax except for in a few areas in which the director has purposely saddened the scene or it just didn't work for me.

Joyful Noise
- It sings a song of joy and the audience praises it. This film got me to tap my toes in every scene and had me feeling the music and story behind this masterpiece.

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Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

After 15 years, the 4th installment of the cinematic adventures of the Ethan Hunt and his ever changing team of agents as they once more save the world from destruction. Pixar writer and director Brad Bird who has done The Incredibles and Ratatouille tries his hand with live actors adding some actual character development somewhat lost in the previous outings. The screenplay by André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum who wrote Alias fills it with similar absurd plots and action. Tom Cruise reportedly demanded to do all his action sequences which this movie is packed from the beginning to the end.

Ethan is broken out of a Russian prison by Benji (Simon Pegg) who is back after passing his field agent tests and Agent Jane Carter. Ethan (a very fit and aging Tom Cruise) is back getting missions this time from a telephone both like Get Smart. They have to find Russian launch codes that were stolen from a murdered agent (Josh Holloway of Lost) and Jane's partner. The bad guy Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) also know as Cobalt a Swedish born Russian nuclear strategist who believes that apocalyptic events are a natural stage of evolution. That includes nuclear holocausts. Along the way the team is blamed for blowing up the Kremlin when they try to find the secret archives that identify Cobalt. This causes the IMF Secretary to disavow the team but charges Ethan to get those codes however he can. Unfortunately their car is attacked and Ethan is left with the IMF analyst William Brandt who might be more than what he seems to be. The team all agree to continue despite the “ghost protocol” levied on their agent status. It takes them to Dubai and Mumbai while being chased by the Russian police while they chase Cobalt, his right hand man Wistrom (Samuli Edelmann), an assassin courier Sabine Moreau (Lea Seydoux), and a Indian billionaire (Anil Kapoor of Slumdog Millionaire).

The action sequences are breathtaking edge of your seating exciting. Like the rope scene in the computer room in the first MI film the climbing outside of Dubai tallest building using specially designed gloves will be the most talked about thrill moment. Then there's Ethan's rappel down and back into the window 100 stories up. There's the break out of prison, the sandstorm chase on foot, and the fight in the space age parking garage. Not to mention the special metal suit that Brandt is force to wear that Benji swears will catch him with special magnet before he hits a giant metal fan. There's more humor in this mostly from Simon Pegg's nervous nerdy computer geek. One of the great joys of MI movies is the masked disguises but the machine breaks and the agents are forced to use their own devices to foil the bad guys. Or many Cruise wants to let everyone know that it's him doing the scene and not a stunt man. In any event this is the holiday movie of month. The perfect film to take the visiting relatives when you get tired of watching football games. Make sure you enjoy it in Imax.
(Review by reesa)

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Director Guy Ritchie of the 2009 Sherlock Holmes once more infuses the film with the same manic non stop action that's attractive to the eye but boggles the brain. The beautiful detailed sets, the clever ornate costumes, the hyper wisecracking performances makes his Sherlock series almost claustrophobic and befuddling. It's just an excuse to see Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law play off each other with their signature snarky comic timing that's fun to watch while they battle the iconic villain Professor Moriarty. The year is 1891 and Watson is typing a story of his last adventure with Sherlock Holmes.

Jared Harris play Moriarty the criminal mastermind that is Holmes intellectual equal who may be involved in the death of Crown Prince of Austria. Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) believes it to be suicide, but Holmes deduces it to be murder. The clues may be found in a underground gentleman's club so he takes Dr. Watson (Jude Law) to a supposed bachelor party while investigating the bigger puzzle. Watson realizes that the lack of his friends at the party means that Holmes completely forgot about throwing him a proper send off before his impending marriage the next morning. At the club Holmes meets Sim a Gypsy fortune teller (Noomi Rapace, the Swedish version Dragon Tattoo Lisbeth) who has somehow become the next target of the killer. Sim accepts Holmes help in finding her brother Renee who has disappeared. After Watson gets married to Mary (Kelly Reilly) they plan to honeymoon in Brighton. But Holmes is there dressed in drag while bad guys attempt to kill them. Naturally Watson is perturbed by the interruption to his night of bliss and is even more upset when Holmes throws her off the train into a river, nicely timed for her to be picked up by his brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry). Rachel McAdams is back as Irene Adler but she takes an early permanent exit. The story somehow involves anarchists, corporate espionage, a peace conference in Switzerland, weapons of mass destruction and a deadly chess game. It's all wrapped tightly in a kinetic slo mo action sequences that make the last thirty minutes of the movie worth wading through the first part.

If you have seen the first Sherlock movie then you can expect pretty much the same treatment, just better effects and a better villain. Jared Harris is great sparring with Holmes and their chess game dialogue (screenplay by Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney) bouncing back and forth is more exciting then all the explosions and gun play. Look for Stephen Fry as Holmes brother Mycroft to steal his scenes while poor Noomi is very underused left to running and dodging bullets. The best parts are Holmes experiments with camouflaged clothing. This latest venture into the Sherlock series takes one far and away from the Basil Rathbone stiff upper lip Holmes. This one delves into Holmes keen observation abilities and his ever clever disguises. Good mindless entertainment for the holiday season. But you probably won't be able to recall the plot in few months.
(Review by reesa)

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Young Adult

Diablo Cody who won an Academy Award for writing Juno is back this time aiming that talent for strong witty dialogue at a ghost writer of young adult fiction who has never grown emotionally since her high school years at the top of the food chain. Charlize Theron is never afraid to show the ugly side of her beautiful face is Mavis Gary who returns home to the fictional Mercury, MN in hopes of picking up where she left off with her old boyfriend.

When she left Mercury, Mavis had wanted to become a writer in her own right. Instead she became a ghost writer unable to take the credit for a successful young adult book series that is on it's ebb. Under the gun to submit the last manuscript, she gets an bulk email announcement of the birth of first child for her ex-boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). Soon she is packing up her white Pomeranian into her Mini Cooper to drive from the big city of Minneapolis to her hometown of Mercury while playing “their song” over and over. While Mavis is attractive outside, her inner life is a mess. She's personally slovenly and is a sociopath. She sincerely and mistakenly believes that Buddy really wants to be with her and not married with a brat. Mavis calls some old friends, but no one has time for her. So dressed to kill she heads out to the local bar where she runs into Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) who had the locker next to hers. He was invisible at high school except when a rumor came around that he was gay. He suffered a horrific beating that left him with a crippled leg. Matt takes Mavis to another local hangout where she runs into Buddy who asks her for an autograph for a niece and to come hear his wife's (Twilight's Elizabeth Reaser) band of housewives where she is the drummer. In Mavis's mind these courteous niceties are considered an overture from Buddy to get back together. The more she misunderstands, the more combative she gets and the more she drinks. It all culminates at the baby naming party where she throws a huge scene.

Mavis is an unrepentant and throughly unlikeable character. There's no per resolution, nothing is tied in bows and sent home happy. Outside of Patton Oswalt's Matt who steals every scene that he's in it's hard to feel sympathy for anyone. Matt is about as broken as Mavis and it makes him relate to her and she to him although she abuses his attraction to her. It's like Mavis is Alvin (of the Chipmunks) on drugs crashing a party of Stepford residents. Mavis makes one feel awkward, uncomfortable and pitiful. But one doesn't feel sorry for her as much as just exasperated.

Director Jason Reitman unites with Diablo Cody once again hoping for the same magic as Juno. Where that movie was light hearted punctuated with insightful observations, Young Adult retains that sharp wit, but this time it's mean and depressing. Cody does offer insight on how Mavis eavesdrops on conversations of teenagers to fill her stories. Maybe keeping her mind geared to voice the novels on teenagers kept her from aging like her peers. But frankly such an abrasive heroine doesn't really deserve a second thought.
(Review by reesa)

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Yes, those high pitched voiced rodents are back with another movie chronicling the bad behavior of Alvin and his friends. Ever since the animated musical group was formed for a novelty record in 1958 Alvin, Simon and Theodore has been a perennial favorite for kids everywhere. In fact there may be some correlation with today's squeaky voiced pop singers and the popularity of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The first two movies featured live-action and CGI creature adventures with Jason Lee as Dave the chipmunk human father figure who discovered them and is also their musical manager. Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney voice Alvin, Simon and Theodore. The “family” with the musical group their female counterparts the “Chippettes” (Christina Applegate, Anna Faris and Amy Phoehler) are going on a cruise (big commercial plug for Carnival Cruise Lines). They are on their way to perform at the International Music Awards. Because in the last couple films featured their musical talents the tiny pop stars constantly burst out in song and dance while causing havoc on the ship. Which is much to the consternation of Dave who admonishes the group especially Alvin who can't seem to help himself in his pursuit to have fun. The last straw is when jumping a ride on a kite that gets away from a strong gust of wind the 'munks' are flown away from the ship landing on a deserted island. It is there they ponder their behavior and hope that Dave will come rescue them. Dave had already tried and gets stranded on the island with Ian (David Cross) their old manager dressed in the ships pelican mascot costume. He had lost his job in the record industry due to Dave and the Chipmunks and harbors a grudge. The island has another castaway who has been on the island for the past 10 years with various sports balls as companions. Add more songs and survival in jungle games, Simon bitten by a spider and getting another personality with a French accent as Simone (Alan Tudyk), Alvin learning to become responsible, and Dave learns to relax his parenting skills and trust his kids.

Directed by Mike Mitchell of Shrek Forever After That and written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger this outing is basically aimed at the younger demographic. There is not only the ubiquitous pop tunes, there's the moral lessons of being responsible for one's behavior and listening to your parents. At least the technology of the computer generated squirrel things are visually convincing with their real actors co-stars. Parents take your little ones who will reward you with their smiles because after all it's all about them.
(Review by reesa)

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Golden Globes Nominations 2012


Picture, Drama: "The Descendants," "The Help," "Hugo," "The Ides of March," "Moneyball," "War Horse."

Picture, Musical or Comedy: "50/50," "The Artist," "Bridesmaids," "Midnight in Paris," "My Week with Marilyn."

Actor, Drama: George Clooney, "The Descendants"; Leonard DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"; Michael Fassbender, "Shame"; Ryan Gosling, "The Ides of March"; Brad Pitt, "Moneyball."

Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"; Viola Davis, "The Help"; Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"; Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin."

Director: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"; George Clooney, "The Ides of March"; Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"; Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"; Martin Scorsese, "Hugo."

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"; Brendan Gleeson, "The Guard"; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50"; Ryan Gosling, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"; Owen Wilson, "Midnight in Paris."
Story: Clooney, Gosling land multiple Globes nominations

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Jodie Foster, "Carnage"; Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"; Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"; Michelle Williams, "My Week with Marilyn"; Kate Winslet, "Carnage."

Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"; Albert Brooks, "Drive"; Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"; Viggo Mortensen, "A Dangerous Method"; Christopher Plummer, "Beginners."

Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"; Jessica Chastain, "The Help"; Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"; Octavia Spencer, "The Help"; Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants."

Foreign Language: "The Flowers of War," "In the Land of Blood and Honey," "The Kid with a Bike," "A Separation," "The Skin I Live In."

Animated Film: "The Adventures of Tintin," "Arthur Christmas," "Cars 2," "Puss in Boots," "Rango."

Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"; George Clooney, Grand Heslov, Beau Willimon, "The Ides of March"; Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"; Alexander Payne, Nat Faxwon, Jim Rash, "The Descendants"; Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, "Moneyball."

Original Score: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"; Abel Korzeniowski, "W.E."; Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Howard Shore, "Hugo"; John Williams, "War Horse."

Original Song: "Hello Hello" (music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin), "Gnomeo & Juliet"; "The Keeper" (music and lyrics by Chris Cornell), "Machine Gun Preacher"; "Lay Your Head Down" (music by Brian Byrne, lyrics by Glenn Close), "Albert Nobbs"; "The Living Proof" (music by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason Jr., lyrics by Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason Jr., Damon Thomas), "The Help"; "Masterpiece" (music and lyrics by Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry), "W.E."


— Series, Drama: "American Horror Story," FX; "Boardwalk Empire," HBO; "Boss," Starz; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "Homeland," Showtime.

Actor, Drama: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"; Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"; Kelsey Grammer, "Boss"; Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias"; Damian Lewis, "Homeland."

Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, "Homeland"; Mireille Enos, "The Killing"; Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"; Madeleine Stowe, "Revenge"; Callie Thorne, "Necessary Roughness."

Series, Musical or Comedy: "Enlightened," HBO; "Episodes," Showtime; "Glee," Fox; "Modern Family," ABC; "New Girl," Fox.

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Laura Dern, "Enlightened"; Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"; Tina Fey, "30 Rock"; Laura Linney, "The Big C"; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation."

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"; David Duchovny, "Californication"; Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"; Thomas Jane, "Hung"; Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes."

Miniseries or Movie: "Cinema Verite," HBO; "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)," PBS; "The Hour," BBC America; "Mildred Pierce," HBO; "Too Big to Fail," HBO.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Romola Garai, "The Hour"; Diane Lane, "Cinema Verite"; Elizabeth McGovern, "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)," Emily Watson, "Appropriate Adult"; Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce."

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)"; Idris Elba, "Luther"; William Hurt, "Too Big to Fail"; Bill Nighy, "Page Eight (Masterpiece)"; Dominic West, "The Hour."

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story"; Kelly Macdonald, "Boardwalk Empire; Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)"; Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"; Evan Rachel Wood, "Mildred Pierce."

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"; Paul Giamatti, "Too Big to Fail"; Guy Pierce, "Mildred Pierce"; Tim Robbins, "Cinema Verite"; Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family."

Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Morgan Freeman.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
DEMIÁN BICHIR - "A BETTER LIFE" (Summit Entertainment)
GEORGE CLOONEY - "THE DESCENDANTS" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO - "J. EDGAR" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JEAN DUJARDIN / George - "THE ARTIST" (The Weinstein Company)
BRAD PITT / Billy Beane - "MONEYBALL" (Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
GLENN CLOSE - "ALBERT NOBBS" (Roadside Attractions)
VIOLA DAVIS - "THE HELP" (DreamWorks Pictures / Touchstone Pictures)
MERYL STREEP - "THE IRON LADY" (The Weinstein Company)
TILDA SWINTON - "WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN" (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
ARMIE HAMMER - "J. EDGAR" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JONAH HILL - "MONEYBALL" (Columbia Pictures)
NICK NOLTE - "WARRIOR" (Lionsgate)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
BÉRÉNICE BEJO - "THE ARTIST" (The Weinstein Company)
JESSICA CHASTAIN - "THE HELP" (DreamWorks Pictures / Touchstone Pictures)
JANET McTEER - "ALBERT NOBBS" (Roadside Attractions)
OCTAVIA SPENCER - "THE HELP" (DreamWorks Pictures / Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
THE ARTIST (The Weinstein Company)
BRIDESMAIDS (Universal Pictures)
THE DESCENDANTS (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Sony Pictures Classics)


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
DEXTER (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Dick Van Dyke will present Screen Actors Guild's 48th Life Achievement Award to Mary Tyler Moore.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 12/11 - 12/17

So many good movies so little time. To make sure you get the movie you want, please only enter contests if you intend on attending. Getting passes just to barter is frowned upon. Please keep those trades, offers and wants clearly marked on the subject line of your
emails as well as the responses OFF THE LIST!!!

For some time now Dallas Movie Screenings has been considering moving to a different format and website. The pass information will still be under a members only forum but not through Yahoo Groups. It will eliminate the need to moderate the emails as members will have more freedom to post whatever. The main page will be the reviews and movie news. In order to expand the DMS website it may be necessary to help pay for the site with donations. Questions will be put in the poll section of this group page to hear your feedback.

December 11 - 17, 2011



11:00 am
We Bought A Zoo
AmStar Cinemas 14

7:30 pm
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Cinemark West Plano


6:00 pm
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Young Adult
Angelika Dallas


7:30 pm
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
AMC Northpark


7:00 pm
Joyful Noise
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
War Horse
Cinemark West Plano



10:30 am
Adventures of Tin Tin
Cinemark West Plano

11:00 am
Adventures of Tin Tin
tba - DallasS

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Year's Eve

Director's Garry Marshall's previous rom-com Valentine's Day offered the same intertwining vignettes of random people who are chasing the romance of a specific holiday. Depending on the success of his latest film New Year's Eve which follows the same formula, we may expect to look forward to Halloween, 4th of July, or Thanksgiving.

New York City on New Years Eve culminates with the yearly celebration of the dropping of the lighted ball in Times Square which is broadcast with testy diva Ryan Seacrest who freaks when there's a electronic glitch. Claire (Hilary Swank) is in charge of the event assisted by her steadfast buddy cop Brenden (Ludacris). When the ball gets stuck the notorious Kominsky (Hector Elizondo) comes to the rescue. Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi) is the headliner at the Times Square extravaganza as well as the big party at the record studio owned by Sam (Josh Duhamel). He gets stuck in Connecticut for a wedding and has to get a ride in a motor van with the town preacher back to the city while he tries to write his speech for the studio party. He tells the quirky pastor's family of his romantic encounter the last year where they promised to meet each other again. (This is where you have to guess which of the women you have seen so far is the one). Single mom Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker) who does costumes for the Rockettes doesn't want to let teen daughter Hailey (Abigail Breslin) hang with her friends at Times Square so she chases after her. Jensen is trying to get back with ex-fiancé chef Laura (Katherine Heigl) who is catering the studio party. The stories of various individuals also include a flirty bicycle courier Paul (Zac Efron) and his buddy cartoonist Randy (Ashton Kutchner). Elise (Lea Michele) Jensen's back up singer is stuck in the elevator with Randy the slacker (you know this because he's wearing pajama bottoms and a hoodie). Cute meets cute, you know what happens. His friend Paul gets paid to take tired and fed-up Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer without makeup and still looks good) who just quit her sorry job at the record studio to accomplish a series of bucket list resolutions. Robert DiNiro as Stan Harris who is dying of cancer in a hospital has Hallie Berry as his nurse and only wants to go watch the ball drop before he drops. Then there's the completely independent of any of the other stories about the battle for the cash award given to the first baby born with couples Seth Meyers/Jessica Biel against Sarah Paulson/Til Schweiger. Meanwhile most of this eventually resolve themselves in a nice neat package so everyone can go home happy, sated, until the next holiday.

If you were tired of reading this, it's even more exhausting watching it. The scenes flit back and forth between stories so haphazardly it makes your head spin. Counting the famous faces will be extremely distracting at some points. Valentine's Day screenwriter Katherine Fugate manages to stuff all these stories, faces and situations without much development leaving the characters to fill in the blanks with awkward exposition. You can see the Oscar winner/nominees/A-listers try to infuse their scenes with some sort of relevance but it makes one wonder what they were thinking. The best parts of the movie are the outtakes during the ending credits. At least you can see the actors making fun like when Carla Gugino who plays the OB/GYN who delivers Biels baby which turns out to be a DVD of Valentine's Day. If you just want mindless dreck, then go see it. Otherwise please don't encourage them to make more of these movies.
(Review by reesa)

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The Sitter

The old Jonah Hill has over done the chubby loser character for several films now. The wisecracking sidekick that mumbles his way through his roles with the same beat and mannerisms. The Sitter is hopefully the last we will see of that version of Hill as he is currently sporting less poundage that will hopefully allow him to broaden his career with roles that have more confidence as he proved in Money Ball.

Hill plays Noah a suspended college student living at home with his divorced mom. He gives sexual favors to Marisa (Ari Graynor) who refuses to reciprocate in kind. He so lacks in self-esteem that he doesn't make an issue of it and rides home on his bicycle because he lost is license to a DUI. His mom wants him to get a job. Even as a replacement baby sitter for a friend who is setting her up with doctor. Noah doesn't even like kids, but takes the job because despite his faults he sincerely wants his mom to go out and have a good time. His dad left them years ago and never gave them support. The kids are Slater (Max Records) who at 13 seems to suffer from severe anxiety. Little Blithe (Landry Bender) over indulges in make up and wants to be a celebrity. And there's Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) a adopted El Salvador kid who likes to blow stuff up and run away so often the family had a locater sewn into his coat to track him. A Lojack for kids. Noah gets a call from Marisa who entices him to drive to Manhattan and bring some cocaine from her dealer by promising him sex and calling him her boyfriend. In an obviously irresponsible move Noah piles the kids into the family minivan meets up with Karl with a “K” (Sam Rockwell) who keeps his drugs in dinosaur eggs and lives in a gym filled with body builders. Rodrigo who has already blown up a restaurant bathroom steels one of the eggs from Karl and the rest of the movie follows the consequences.

The premise from 1987's Adventures in Babysitting is the basis of The Sitter which is filled with sexual innuendo, jokes around bodily fluid emission and farts. The kind of humor that was funny back when you were 10. Unfortunately this is not the kind of movie that you should be bringing your child to watch. Sex, drugs and child endangerment is not particularly funny stuff. The writers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka try and make Noah resolve the childrens problems by offering sage advise that for some reason makes sense to the kids, but he's also a big muddling mass of neurosis himself. Richardson, TX high school graduate David Gordon Green who also directed Your Highness and Pineapple Express tries to make this movie about overcoming your hangups and shortcomings, but it comes out to be one loathsome mess. Hopefully Jonah Hill with his new body will no longer be the go to guy for these inane comedies although he's one of the film's producers. Shame on him.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 12/4 - 12/10

Yes, it's the favorite time for movie lovers as the big Oscar bait films are released for us to enjoy. We will have to make some tough choices as some films are screening on the same night. We understand entering all the contests hoping something will win therefore making your choice simple. However if you win for both, it would be nice if you can share your bounty and offer it up to the group if allowed.

Which brings us to another round of reminders as to how to do this (once more with feeling):
1. Double check your return address before hitting send. If you are responding to an offer, want or trade, you must respond to the person to whom is offering, wanting or trading. NOT TO THE WHOLE GROUP!
2. Your emails will not go farther than the moderator hold box if you do not specify on your subject line if it is OFFER, WANT, or TRADE.
3. This group is not a ticket agency. You can not randomly ask for passes for certain nights because grandma and the kids are visiting. You can only ask for passes if a contest is not pending. If a contest is still active, go enter it. Win it on your own.
4. Check the archived messages on the group page before posting or write to the moderator if you have any questions on how to post. If your post did not show up in your email it's because A.) it did not meet the criteria above and was deleted, B.) the moderators are standing in line at the movies and can't check the mail with her stupid phone, C.) your post had phone numbers, spam, personal messages or was not appropriate. Folks...this is an "Email List". The messages you get from the group are not specifically sent just to you. So replying to everything with a "no thanks, can't go", or "darn I have to work that night" are not necessary.
5. Last but not least, the moderator delete button will probably work overtime this month because the perpetrators are usually the ones that skip reading over the Sunday rant. Unfortunately legitimate posts may inadvertently get caught in the delete free for all. Apologizing in advance if that happens. There's no way to retrieve them, so please try it again if it doesn't show up within a reasonable amount of time. (On a personal note, this moderator is having Internet connectivity problems when the weather is raining, cold, or windy (thank you Times Warner), so getting to release your messages may at times take a few hours. Appreciate your patience).

December 4 - 10, 2011



7:30 pm
New Year's Eve
AMC Northpark


10:00 am
We Bought A Zoo
tba - Dallas

7:00 pm
The Sitter
AMC Northpark


2:00 pm
Adventures of Tin Tin
AMC Northpark


7:00 pm
War Horse
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
In a Lonely Place
Angelika Dallas



10:00 am
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip Wrecked
AmStar Cinemas 14

11:00 am
Adventures of Tin Tin
AMC Northpark

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Film Independent Spirit Award Nominess 2012


(Award given to the producer)
* Executive Producers are not listed.

PRODUCERS: Evan Goldberg, Ben Karlin,
Seth Rogen

Producers: Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen,
Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Jay Van Hoy

Producers: Michel Litvak, John Palermo,
Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Adam Siegel

Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin

Producer: Thomas Langmann

ProducerS: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor


MIKE MILLS - Beginners

JEFF NICHOLS - Take Shelter

ALEXANDER PAYNE - The Descendants






MIKE MILLS - Beginners

The Descendants

(Award given to the director and producer)

DIRECTOR: Mike Cahill
PRODUCERS: Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray,
Brit Marling, Nicholas Shumaker

DIRECTOR: Patrick Wang
PRODUCERS: Robert Tonino, Andrew van den
Houten, Patrick Wang

DIRECTOR: J.C. Chandor
PRODUCERS: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benar-
oya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa,
Zachary Quinto

DIRECTOR: Sean Durkin
PRODUCERS: Antonio Campos,
Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Josh Mond

DIRECTOR: Robbie Pickering
PRODUCERS: Brion Hambel, Paul Jensen



J.C. CHANDOR - Margin Call


PHIL JOHNSTON - Cedar Rapids



(Award given to the best feature made for under
$500,000; award given to the writer, director, and
* Executive Producers are not listed.

PRODUCERS: Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw

WRITER/DIRECTOR: Maryam Keshavarz
PRODUCERS: Karin Chien, Maryam Keshavarz,
Melissa Lee


PRODUCER: Nekisa Cooper

WRITER: Brad Inglesby
DIRECTOR: Matthew Gordon
PRODUCERS: Kevin Abrams, Matthew Gordon,
Merilee Holt, Art Jones, Mike Jones, Nate Tuck,
Amile Wilson



RACHAEL HARRIS - Natural Selection


ELIZABETH OLSEN - Martha Marcy May Marlene

MICHELLE WILLIAMS - My Week with Marilyn










JANET McTEER - Albert Nobbs


SHAILENE WOODLEY - The Descendants


JOEL HODGE - Bellflower


DARIUS KHONDJI - Midnight in Paris



(Award given to the director and producer)


DIRECTOR: Richard Press
PRODUCER: Philip Gefter

PRODUCER: Alex Kotlowitz

Daniele Anastasion


(Award given to the director)

DIRECTOR: Asghar Farhadi

(Denmark, Sweded, France, Germany)
DIRECTOR: Lars Von Trier

DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen

THE KID WITH A BIKE (Belgium, France, Italy)
DIRECTOR: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

DIRECTOR: Paddy Considine

(Award given to one film’s director, casting director,
and its ensemble cast)

DIRECTOR: J.C. Chandor
CASTING DIRECTORS: Tiffany Little Canfield,
Bernard Telsey
ENSEMBLE CAST: Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul
Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi
Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley

The 15th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited
resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.
The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget. The Finalists are:



Piaget Producers Award Nominating Committee:
Brian Udovich (Chair), Anish Savjani, Lynette Howell, Amy Kaufman

The 18th annual Someone To Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

The Finalists are:




Someone To Watch Award Nominating Committee:
Alison Dickey (Chair), Jay Duplass, Lisa Kennedy, Daniel Stamm, James Faust


The 17th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

The Finalists are:


Truer Than Fiction Nominating Committee:
Wesley Morris (Chair), Ava DuVernay, Laura Poitras, PJ Raval, Laura Thielen


The 2nd annual Jameson FIND Your Audience Award was established to help make it possible for one
Spirit Award-nominated film to find a broader audience. The Award includes a $40,000 marketing and distribution grant, funded by Jameson Irish Whiskey. The grant is designed to meet the filmmakers’ biggest challenge today: How to get their films out into the marketplace. A blue-ribbon committee will determine the winner. The deadline to submit is Friday, December 2, 2011.

All of the winners of our filmmaker grants will be highlighted at the Spirit Awards ceremony and
announced at the Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch on January 14 at BOA Steakhouse in
West Hollywood.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/27 - 12/3

Hope everyone had a fulfilling (*burp*) Thanksgiving and survived the Black Friday sales. Only one movie scheduled so far this week and something will hopefully pop up at the last minute. Keep an eye on the calendar for any last minute changes.

November 27 - December 3, 2011





7:30 pm
Young Adult
Angelika Dallas




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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interview With Simon Curtis Director of My Week With Marilyn

Thank You for Watching and Dallas Movie Screenings proudly present an interview with the Director of the new film My Week with Marilyn.

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Reviews by Wyatt Head

Buckaroo Bonzai- A weird movie that was all over the place and very confusing. This film does carry laughs for some of the older ones in the audience who know the 80’s but definitely is not a thrill ride for the younger generation. Peter Weller caught my eye as a hilarious person off screen but on screen he didn’t grab me.

In Time- This film took the idea of time and personified it. This was an excellently created piece that captured the source of thrill and love combined by displaying a running adventure of two lovers in which every second counts.

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Martin Scorsese better know for intense and violent films about unsavory characters has created the most beautiful and lyrical ode to the art of motion pictures based on Brian Selznick's novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” from a screenplay by John Logan. Scorsese had wanted to inspire his 12 year old daughter and make a movie that she can actually watch. And for once the 3D effects brings the scenes to life and is worth the price of the glasses. Cinematographer Robert Richardson with the visual production team led by Dante Feretti has created soft edges with a half digital and half real 1925 Parisian train station. Each frame is like luscious post card that you want to keep with you forever.

Hugo ( Asa Butterfield) was the motherless son of a clockmaker (Jude Law) who teaches him the art of tinkering with machines. While working on a broken automaton at the museum the father is killed during a fire. His drunk uncle Claude takes Hugo to the train station where he keeps the clocks working teaching him all he knows. Although this means that he can no longer attend school Hugo watches the world from his various vantage points coming down for food or stealing tools and little machine parts to fix the automaton hoping to finish his father's work. Living in a long forgotten apartment in the clockworks, he keeps the machines running hoping they won't come looking for his uncle who had suddenly disappears He keeps himself secreted so that he isn't taken to the orphanage by the station inspector Gustav (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his Doberman. Gustav keeps the station free of stray children while he yearns for the flower stand girl Lisette (Emily Mortimer). One day he gets caught by grandpa Georges (Sir Ben Kingsley) at the toy shop who discovers the book Hugo has in his possession and threatens to burn it. He follows the old man home where he enlists the help of his granddaughter Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz). Despite her worldliness Isabelle is sheltered like Hugo. Her world is books, so her speech is like bits of dialogue from novels. Hugo has a hard time explaining what he feels. He only knows he has to get the book back. Isabelle believes they are destined for a clandestine adventure.

The story meanders from the main point while it watches the sweet romance of Madame Emile (Frances do la Tour) the cafe owner and Monsieur Frick (Richard Griffiths) the newspaper seller. It lightly explores the angst of Gustav who wants to woo the pretty Lisette but is stymied by the brace on his leg from a war injury. There's the slapstick chases of Gustave, the dog and Hugo that will amuse the younger kids who will get lost after automaton's secret is revealed. Isabelle could never understand why her grandfather never allowed her to attend the movies. So Hugo sneaks her into a film of Harold Lloyd hanging on to the clock hands on the side of a building. Later being chased by Gustav he finds himself in the same predicament walking the line between movie and reality.

As Hugo and Isabelle discover her grandfather's legacy the movie shifts gears by giving the audience a reintroduction to the wonders of early film. Not only enlightening the older generation in a appreciation from where and how movie all started, but also for the new audience of young people who haven't got a clue. Hugo tells Isabelle that movies are “special place where you can see dreams in the middle of the day”. And this film is a gift of a very special dream.
(Review by reesa)

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