The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

You can use this homepage for posting comments, reviews, and other things that cannot be posted to the group. Of course spam is not allowed. Thanks!

To join the Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reviews by Wyatt Head

This is the list of films that I have seen after the Angelika Celebration.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes- A film that gets your heartbeat climbing and shatters the glass boundaries of action movie film making.

Drive- This mafia film has a passion that makes it stick to the wheel and pierce through those stop lights on the way to the golden statue!

SENNA- This film excellently shows the race of fame, fortune, and pressure and how you can’t stop going until you hit the checkered flag.

Beware Of Christians- This film hits some of the key issues that not just Christians, but everybody deals with and creates a world of laughter while not going past the appropriate boundaries

Seven Days In Utopia- This is an emotionally attractive film that tells a rough man’s story in a smooth and impactful way.



Teen Movie Reviewer, Wyatt Head





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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/28 - 9/3

Big thanks to everyone who have transitioned successfully in using the new Subject Designator System (SDS). For those newbies or those that missed the memo...to alleviate weeding through the often excessive group mail so you can open only those of interest to you. We are now putting the on subject line Wanted for passes you are looking for, Offer for passes you have to share, Trade if you want to get something in exchange, GOFOBO Live when the passes become available. If you do not use the SDS your post will be deleted. Would appreciate your feedback on this system and if it's working for you.

Of course people are still hitting the reply button when jumping on those pass offers, and those misdirected missives are getting sent to the great cyber limbo of Deleteland. So please take the few seconds to check your return address before hitting send.

August 28 - September 3, 2011

Sun
8/28

Mon
8/29

7:30 pm
5 Days of War
Angelika Dallas

Tue
8/30

7:30 pm
Seven Days in Utopia
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
The Debt
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
8/31

7:30 pm
Warrior
AMC Arlington

7:30 pm
Warrior
AMC Grapevine

7:30 pm
Warrior
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Thu
9/1

7:30 pm
Money Ball
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
9/2

8:30 pm
The Breakfast Club
Fairmont Hotel Dallas pool area

Sat
9/3

8:30 pm
Gnomeo and Juliet
Villages at Fairview



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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Idiot Brother




Ned is hippie dippy long hair and bearded sort of guy who sells biodynamic veggies at a small farmers market in an upper New York state town. He's such a nice guy he practically gives the food away. When a local cop asks him for some pot to get the edge off, he gives it to him. Of course he gets arrested and send to prison. When he's released after winning best inmate four months running he goes back to stay with his wine drinking mom. His three sisters who live in the city come for dinner and one of them reassures Ned that her door is always open to him.

Paul Rudd plays Ned with a naive charm and innocence. When he had gone back to his farm commune he found Janet (Kathryn Hahn) his girlfriend for the past three years has moved on to Billy (TJ Miller) a good natured stoner who apologizes. Ned's not too upset, he just wants his dog back. Janet refuses to give up their dog Willie Nelson. Broken hearted he decides to head to the city to stay with his sister Liz (Emily Mortimer). She's an earth mother type with the practical shoes and a 7 year old son River and his baby sister Echo. Their dad is Dylan (Steve Coogan) a documentary filmmaker who is doing a movie on a ballerina who gives Ned a job on the set. His other sisters are Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) a hyper journalist who works for Vanity Fair and bisexual Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) who is a part time painter's model and night club comedienne. Ned's appearance in their daily lives turns everything up side down. While babysitting his nephew River, Ned teaches him about fighting which goes against his sister's child rearing plans. Ned steals the spotlight from Miranda's interview subject and gets the information she was trying to weasel out of her. Ned inadvertently tells Natalie's lesbian lover Cindy (Rashida Jones) about his sister's her recent infidelity with Christian (Hugh Dancy). But that's not all that happens. Ned is a force of good that causes a run of bad luck for those around him who don't seem to live quite the honest life they should. He believes that if he sees everyone in a positive light then everyone will live up to that belief.

Directed by Jesse Peretz from a script written by his sister Evgenia and David Schisgall who created the main character with Paul Rudd in mind. This isn't the typical dumb guy comedy like another annoying Adam Sandler movie. Ned is a man child but he has a heart of gold. The person you can just be yourself and who accepts you unconditionally. His easy going manner and life puts everyone at ease. He's got a stoner mentality that's so laid back he even tells his parole officer he smoked. He understands and accepts his sister's failings, while they grouse about their “idiot brother”. Their mom played by Shirley Knight should have been given more screen time as the mellow wine drinker who beatifically oversees her brood during dinners. The little sibling arguments are spot on with the whole dysfunctional family dynamic. We love you to death, but you are weird. The action and scenes flip quickly as the different crisis points come to a fruitation. So when the final catharsis comes in the final act you can leave the theater feeling good about yourself. Definitely worth the popcorn.
(Review by reesa)


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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark




The movie opens promising enough with a Gothic mansion in Rhodes Island which is owned by Mr. Blackwood a famed naturalist painter. He had mysteriously gone missing after suffering depression after his child had disappeared. He entices the house maid to the basement so she can stumble from the trip wire on the stairs. Then precedes to take out her teeth which he leaves as an offering behind a grate in the wall. Many years later the house is being renovated by architect Alex and his girlfriend Kim. Alex's unhappy nine year old daughter Sally who had been living with her mom in California is coming to stay with them. The adults are too busy with their work to notice how Sally is adjusting so she explores her surroundings. What she finds is a secret basement and she hears whispers behind a grate in a wall.

Troy Nixey directed this remake of a 1973 television movie with Kim Darby and Jim Hutton. In that version the little creatures were after the wife. This screenplay is by Matthew Robbins and Guillermo del Toro who also produced introduces a child as the catalyst. The New England forest in the fall, the forbidding mansion, the dark wood and sketchy grounds-keeper are a nice set up for things that go bump in the night. Sally (Bailee Madison) is already feeling like her mother got rid of her by sending her to the dad. Alex (Guy Pearce) may love his child, but he hasn't been a full time parent and is awkward and too consumed in his own business. Kim (Katie Holmes) tries too hard to make a good impression and is concerned about becoming ugly stepmother. So instead of helping the sullen child acclimate and be reassured they leave her to her own devices while they continue fixing the house to be featured in Architectural Digest. If the overgrown gardens are not creepy enough, the basement where Blackwood's studio is housed shows remnants of his increasing paranoia. Even after her father warns her not to go down there again until they can fix the place, of course she goes down to unscrew the grate where she was hearing some noises. This time the voices are calling to her. No one is listening to Sally when she mentions this, even when one of Kim's dresses are torn to shred they believe that Sally is acting out her rebellion. It isn't until the grounds-keeper gets injured that Kim decides to uncover just exactly what happened to the previous residents.

Just the title alone promises to be full of jumps and nightmare inducing scenes, instead it ends up being a exercise in frustration. After Sally tells everyone the creatures don't like the light, no one ever turns them on. Kim gives Sally a instant camera to capture them. When an adult goes to look at the picture, Sally grabs it away. Does that make sense? Sally squishes on of the little evil little things and for some reason she doesn't show anyone like “look, I'm not kidding”. And why does everyone goes to confront them alone? Don't they realize that there's usually safety in numbers? When a creature is under the table at the dinner, why not alert the grownups in the room to check it out? No, she goes to another room alone and battles them herself. It's probably all for dramatic effect, but all it does is make one wish that it would really make one afraid of the dark.
(Review by reesa)


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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/21 - 8/27

Another full week of films before we hit the September movie slump and the beginning of the fall season. So enjoy while you can!

MAJOR COMPLAINT: OK, this time it's not the moderator, but several subscribers have chimed in on this issue. People who have accumulated tons of passes that they have no intention of using. If you are signed up for the newsletters then the epasses come un-beckoned. Fine. It's when y'all ask for GOFOBO passes or go to pass pickups or enter to win contests that you are using as hostage for another screening. If you are not going to use that pass, then don't redeem it, don't enter the contest, save your gas and don't pickup that pass. Let someone else who can and wants to go retrieve it, win it or get it off GOFOBO. Yeah, I know everyone enters all the contests and sometimes you do win from more than once source. But please only use one email address do enter those drawings. Thanks for sharing those extras, just make sure you keep all transactions OFF THE LIST and make sure you complete the exchange.


August 21 - 27, 2011

Sun
8/21

2:00 pm
Dolphin Tale
AMC Northpark

Mon
8/22

7:30 pm
Drive
Angelika Dallas

Tue
8/23

7:00 pm
50/50
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
AMC Northpark

Wed
8/24

7:30 pm
The Debt
Magnolia

7:30 pm
Contagion
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Our Idiot Brother
Angelika Dallas

Thu
8/25

7:30 pm
Colombiana
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

8:00 pm
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Angelika Dallas

8:00 pm
Warrior
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
8/26

8:30 pm
Old School
Fairmont Hotel Dallas pool area

Sat
8/27

10:00 am
The Lion King 3D
AMC Northpark

8:45 pm
The Chronicles of Narnia
Half Price Books Parking Lot


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Conan the Barbarian






Conan is back and just not on late night TV. This is a remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger's sword and muscle epic starring the Game of Thornes barbarian king Jason Momoa. While Momoa doesn't have the Mr. Universe cut like Arnold, he is impressively built and at 6'5” towers over his predecessor. Armed with cheesy dialogue just like the first movie, director Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder and Friday the 13th) creates the Saturday afternoon escape.

Conan is born on the battlefield with his father Corin (Ron Perlman) cutting him out of his warrior mother's womb. The Cimmerian leader sends out the young men of the village for their rite of passage test. The boys are attacked by a group of Native American looking raiders who growl like animals, the other boys run, but Conan kicks @ss and brings back the heads to his father. Corin realizes it's time to make the boy a sword, but before he can wield it he must understand it. Later the village is attacked by the ruthless Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) who has been collecting the scattered pieces of the Mask made by necromancers from the skulls of fallen kings and fed with the blood of their daughters. The resulting power caused chaos in the world until they were eventually overthrown. The pieces were distributed to the tribes who were supposed to hide them so they will not be assembled again. Zym manages to collect them all with the help of his witch daughter Marique (Rose McGowan). He wants to become a god and resurrect his wife who was a burned for being an evil sorcerer. After Conan father is murdered and his village burned he spends his life wandering the ends of the earth searching for the elusive Zym who with the completed mask needs the “pure blood” a direct descendant of the necromancers whose blood is needed to activate the mask.

Filled with comic style lines recited like a weekly TV show don't expect much in the way of cutting edge sword and sorcery. The art direction is interesting with the fantasy world of huge ancient buildings and rock formations that are reminiscent of the work of Frank Frazetta. Costumes are like Hercules and Xena the Warrior Princess with various mixes of middle age fairs. The action sequences are what makes the movie interesting. Extremely violent and inventive Momoa doesn't disappoint with his skills. Some of the retribution that Conan exacts are surprisingly amusing and will make one applaud their comeuppance.

Rachel Nichols plays Tamara the beautiful monk who doesn't realize that she is the pure blood. She meets Conan when the head monk had her spirited away when Zym arrives. She effectively battles Zym's henchmen along side Conan who is still putting the pieces of why Zym wants her. Their banter is very contemporary (to make it understandable to the target audience). The female protagonist is able to handle herself rather than the usual half dressed damsel in distress. The little adventures that Conan has to endure to find Zym, rescue Tamara and basically save the world is like a video game. He meets each of Zym's warriors that had helped kill his father and each gets a battle so he can move to the next level. An easy afternoon at the movie, but if it comes in 2D opt for that because the extra charge on this film will make you more angry than Conan.
(Review by reesa)


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Fright Night




Charley Brewster used to be a dweeb. He and his friends Ed and Adam used to dress up in costumes and role play. Now that Charley is a senior in high school he is trying to erase that image to impress his steady girlfriend Amy. That is why when his former best friend Ed wants Charley to help him investigate the mysterious disappearances in the neighborhood armed with a bag of stakes, Charley has to be blackmailed with evidence of his past self to join him in his search for their missing friend. Ed tells him his new neighbor is a vampire and no matter what, do not invite him into the house. The Las Vegas suburban tract home neighborhood is perfect for vampires because most people work at night and sleep during the day.

Charley's mom Jane (Toni Collette) is flirting with the hunky new neighbor who says he does night construction. Jerry (Colin Farrell) apologizes for the mess in his yard while flirting with Jane and Charley's girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots). After Ed disappears, Charley notices the stripper across the street visiting next door. Jerry comes over to borrow some beer, and Charley tests Ed's theory by watching Jerry not move farther than the door's edge while making small talk to get him to slip with an invitation to come in. Later after hearing a scream he breaks into Jerry's house to find the stripper locked away. After helping her escape with unexpected results Charley decides to contact Peter Vincent the Las Vegas strip showman who does a vampire slayer spectacular on stage. Vincent (David Tennant channeling Russel Brand) seems to be a snake oil salesman although his place is filled with serious occult memorabilia. Vincent does harbor a secret that may help Charley with his vampire problem.

Director of Lars and the Real Girl Craig Gillespie knows how to take normal everyday people in extraordinary circumstances and still keep them grounded. The screenplay based on the story by Tom Holland was written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV writer Marti Noxon who infuses the characters with that same kind of snarky humor. The film is just what a remake should be. Keeping the elements of the original 1985 movie and adding a contemporary viewpoint that is easy on the pop culture references. The 3D elements only seems to work well when vampires are disintegrating, but otherwise the scenes are too dark to be effective. The morphing from human to predatory vampire mode is curiously vicious looking but also flat. Look for a nod to Chris Sarandon from the first Fright Night in the last act that only fans of the first movie will appreciate. This is not your jump from your seat kind of horror movie although there is some biting, blood, and creeping around in the dark. What stands out in this film is the humor and scene stealer Dr. Who's David Tennant. That alone is worth the popcorn.
(Review by reesa)




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One Day









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Attack the Block





In South London a nurse walks home to the estate, what they call housing projects in Britain. She's mugged by a gang of teens who steal her purse and cell phone before threatening her with a knife attempting to steal her ring. Just as she was about to take it off something falls from the sky and crashes next to them. She runs off while the gang leader rummages through the debris of the crashed car looking for valuables. Suddenly he's attacked, but he's quick with his knife and stabs it. Whatever it was runs away with the teens quickly following. What they find is something about the size of a dog and weird looking. They take it to a friendly drug dealer's house hoping to make some money from it.

It's Guy Fawkes Day so fireworks are exploding over the city skyline. No one particularly notices at first that things are also falling from the sky. Soon “it's raining Gollums!” over the estate and the gang and some local drug barons are attempting to defeat them. The gang leader Moses (John Boyega) is suddenly thrust into a situation that requires a level head and a sense of responsibility to protecting his gang and turf. The beast they left hanging in the Ron (Nick Frost), the drug dealers weed room looks “like a monkey f**ked a fish”. Apparently it's drawing the rest of the dark, hairy aliens with phosphorescent purple teeth to it wrecking havoc along the way. They involve the nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) who they previously mugged to care for some nasty wounds involved in their battles. The gangs had armed themselves with fireworks, bats, knives and a samurai sword to run the creatures out of the block. But they quickly realize they are not as easy to kill as the first one.

Written and directed by Joe Cornish (who wrote the upcoming Adventures of Tintin and played Bob in Hot Fuzz) starts out the movie like a dark drama with the mugging. When things start falling out the sky we are watching these kids talking their usual street jargon while killing aliens. This is not the US and they military doesn't come to the rescue. The action and bumps in the night will keep you off balance, and the dialogue sounds like it's improvised as the kids talk trash between themselves and a rival drug king thinking the aliens are another gang coming to the territory. There's a bit of the slacker humor of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It's surprising and a differently amusing take on a typical aliens invading the world premise.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/14 - 8/20



Will this heat ever break? Will the kids eventually return to school?
Will we have any really great movies while we wait until the fall/winter season of blockbusters? The answer is yes. Go see Warrior. They are holding several screenings for this so there is no excuse to not catch one of them. You will not be disappointed.

There are 4 major movies this week, and 3 have been screened before, so you know that fat one that everyone wants will be Conan the Barbarian. If you have kept a close eye on your group emails you will have seen lots of opportunities to win passes, and they were "live" on GOFOBO. So are you really going to ask the group for their spare passes because some how you didn't catch any on your own?

One more word to the wise. Please don't try and win passes if you have no chance on going to the screening. If you work every Tues and Thurs nights, don't redeem that GOFOBO pass or enter the contest. Using those passes as hostage to get some thing else is frowned upon.

Also, if you make arrangements to pickup a pass or deliver a pass, make sure you follow through. It's disheartening to hear some of the stories about some of the chronic abusers of this system. Maybe the moderators will put up a page of shame like those lists checkouts used to have when to make sure you were not a check bouncer. And giving someone a duplicate of a GOFOBO pass? Have you not gotten the memo on this already? tsk tsk.


August 14 - 20, 2011

Sun
8/14

Mon
8/15

7:30 pm
TRISTAN & ISOLDE
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Tue
8/16

7:30 pm
Conan The Barbarian
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
50/50
Angelika Dallas

Wed
8/17
7:30 pm
Attack the Block
AMC Mesquite

7:30 pm
Fright Night
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Warrior
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Thu
8/18

7:30 pm
Fright Night
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
8/19

8:30 pm
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Fairmont Hotel Dallas pool area

Sat
8/20

8:30 pm
Exit through the Gift Shop
Strauss Center Winspear- Downtown Dallas

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Glee 3D





The Glee phenomena began in 2009 when the TV show about a high school choir competition aired on FoxTV. A weekly feature with singing, comedy and drama was a big gamble, but through the talented cast and the sharp insightful writing it became an instant hit. The show tapped into the universal need of acceptance. The students at Prospect High in Illinois who join Mr. Schuester's choir class are considered a target for having a frozen drink thrown at them. The bullying, belittling, and harassment of being different in that microcosm that we all had in endure during out teens rang true as young and old embraced the characters and how they dealt with these issues through music.

Everyone loves to sing with the radio and Glee does a wide range of popular music covers of classics and contemporary hits. Last year, the Glee cast performed in a sell out 13 date concert tour of North America. After a European extension, it was announced that a 3D version would be filmed in East Rutherfold, NJ. Directed by Kevin Tancharoen the film features the actors in their character's persona as if getting ready for a concert. There's backstage interviews with Rachel, Brittany, Artie, Santana, Puck and the Warblers. Interspersed with the musical numbers are little features with real teenagers who have faced difficulties in their lives because they like the Glee choir don't fit in. They relay how Glee has helped them become more confident and comfortable with their oddities. The dwarf cheerleader becoming prom princess, the young woman with Aspergers and dyed pink hair finding her voice and friends through the show, a gay teen inspired by Kurt who was not afraid of being the only gay person in school. The film also panned the very enthusiastic audience waiting in line outside and singing along with the musical numbers inside.

Mini melodramas aside, the musical performances were outstanding. It's just what you would hope American Idol would be like in concert. The cast includes all the choir members of the show Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray), Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson), Ashley Fink (Lauren Zizes), Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams), Lea Michele (Rachel Berry), Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Heather Morris (Brittany Pierce), Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans), Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez), Mark Salling (Noah "Puck" Puckerman), Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike Chang) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) and the substitute teacher Gwyneth Paltrow (Holly Holliday). Jane Lynch who plays Sue Sylvester did not make it to the finished film which is probably why her ad for the movie says it sucks. Most everyone gets a solo number that was made popular on the show. It's a big stage and the cast makes good use of it bouncing all around and singing at the same time. To give their dancing a break professional dancers are brought out to enhance some of the acts.

Lea Michele is a stand out with her rendition of Barbara Streisand's Don't Rain On My Parade. Amber Riley's power vocals Ain't No Way. Kevin McHale channels Michael Jackson while Harry Shum, Jr. shows off his dancing skills. The Warblers in their school uniforms featuring Darren Criss did three songs that were featured on the show. It's too bad they didn't give Chris Colfer enough solo time. Fortunately the numbers were short and sweet. Paltrow comes out and shows off her pipes in a cheesy number before exiting by saying something about going out for tacos. The little underdog dramas about how the show empowered their lives were nice, but basically unnecessary. It just means time taken away from the music. The film is coming out in a limited run August 12 for 2 weeks in selected theaters. Don't forget to stay until after the credits to see an encore and a video of a little Asian boy impersonating Blaine. Get Gleeked!
(Review by reesa)




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30 Minutes of Less





Nick is a pizza delivery guy who is a slacker and pretty much aimless without any particular ambition. He lives with his childhood friend Chet a middle school teacher and he is secretly seeing Chet's twin sister Katie. Also in Grand Rapids is overly arrogant Dwayne and his “business partner” Travis who spend their time blowing up and shooting at watermelons. Dwayne is the useless egotist son of a retired Marine Major who's harsh and unrelenting attitude is what provokes Dwayne and Travis to plot his demise. Thus, the adventure is set up for the bromances to collide.

There's a small moment when Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) makes a comment that he's not on Facebook in a very self aware wink wink nudge nudge reference to his turn in The Social Network. This story by Michael Biliberti and Matthew Sullivan is filled with other film and pop culture references as if people live their lives acting out scenes from movies. Nick and Chet (Parks and Recreation's Aziz Ansari) have just broke up after an argument over Nick sleeping with his twin sister at their graduation some 8 years ago. Meanwhile Dwayne (Danny McBride) is commiserating with stripper Juicy (Bianca Kajilich) about how the Major (Fred Ward and looking really fit) had won 10 million lottery is down to a million and he can't wait to inherit it. Juicy says her friend Chango (Michael Peña) can help him make that happen for $100,000. The only way that Dwayne and Travis (Nick Swardson) can figure how come up with the money is to rob a bank. Their plan is to disguise themselves in gorilla masks to kidnap a random pizza guy, wire him with explosives and have him do it for them.

Somewhere along the way it has become very popular for movies to feature immature male friendships filled with curse words for dialogue. Director Ruben Fleischer managed to make foul language work in the infinitely superior Zombieland because what else can you say when you are dealing with the undead. But listening to these unlikeable characters mouth off in middle America is annoying and tiresome.

Dwayne's dream of what he would do with his inheritance would be to open a tanning salon prostitution ring. He tells Travis that he would run the front desk where customers would have to use code words to order just a tan or a sexual peccadillo. Travis isn't a bright light but is aware of Dwayne's increasing mania. Eisenberg doesn't have much to work with in Nick who doesn't seem to have anything going for him in his life besides renting movies and drinking beer after work. Chet at least has a job. The ensuing hits and misses of comedy and violence doesn't always work. The timer is running on the bomb clock, yet Nick is running around making last minute confessions to Katie, buying robbery supplies at the dollar store, and quitting his job. The scene stealer because this film really needs one is Michael Peña's hitman who calls himself the “Titanic Hispanic”.

The concept of the bomb vest has some resemblance to a real robbery in 2003 and the unfortunate pizza delivery guy was killed in a blast, although the filmmakers claim they have no prior knowledge of the event it may seem in poor taste to those involved in the case. There are some amusing moments that will no doubt entertain a market group of teen males. For other's wait for the dollar Red Box rental.
(Review by reesa)





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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Help






It's Mississippi in the 1960's when Eugenia otherwise known as Skeeter comes home determined to become a writer. She takes on the job as as household chore advise columnist for the local newspaper. She asks her friend Elizabeth Leefolt if she could ask her maid Aibileen Clark some questions about housework. It's during her conversations with Aiblileen that Skeeter decides the bigger story may be found in the lives of the maids from their own voices.

Emma Stone plays Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan who comes home from college wondering why the maid who was practically her mother when she was growing up was suddenly dismissed from her family's home. Skeeter's exposure to the larger world and the common sense upbringing from Constantine Johnson (Cicely Tyson) has made her a woman without prejudice totally unlike the women who remained and married in her small town. Aibileen (Viola Davis) a middle aged African American has worked her entire life raising the white children of her employers. She works for Ms. Leefolt who is revolted by her own daughter because she's chubby and not very cute. She leaves her in the care of Aibileen who dotes on the child filling her with self esteem that she cannot get from her own parents. Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the high society snooty leader who employs Minnie Jackson (Octavia Spencer) because she's the best cook in Jackson. The white ladies also spur one of their own as being considered poor white trash who just happen to marry a rich guy. Skeeter's enlightened attitude gives her pause when she notices the slights, injustice and human decency not extended to the women whose hard work is not appreciated in the families for whom they toil. She proposes to Aibileen to tell her story for a book that could be published by Harper & Row in New York City who is interested but needs at least a dozen other maids to share their experiences. Afraid of the repercussions the women are less than forthcoming.

Adapted by Kathryn Stockett's best selling 2009 novel of the same name, Tate Taylor wrote the screenplay in this his directorial debut. A sometime actor Taylor had previously did a short film and one little seen feature called Pretty Ugly People. He was childhood friends with the author and had optioned the book early on. Stockett wanted Taylor despite pressure to have a bigger name auteur attached. The intertwining story of the three women brings to light the turbulent times back in the late 50's early 60's Civil Right era in the south. Despite the obvious question of Hollywood racism regarding whether this movie could have been made if it did not have a white major character takes away from the fact the movie is effective. The performances by all the cast are outstanding. The film manages to create a feel good camaraderie as the working class pull their bourgeois employers into the modern world. If it takes a typical movie treatment to educate the generations who have no perspective of this time in our history, then so be it. In the big picture, we as humans should be treating everyone no matter what class or color with respect and dignity.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teen Views of Movies by Wyatt Head

Angelika 10th Anniversary


Pride And Prejudice- An elegant story that mixes jewels and plastic beads in a love and that notifies the audience that no matter what caste you are in the world is still your oyster.


(500) Days Of Summer- This film is just another good film to some but to others it is an opportunity to get their lives brought to light on the silver screen. That’s just how good it is.


Made- I see certain mafia films that just make me angry or unhappy because of the fact that they are so violent. There are other mafia films, which are “mafia films”—I’M NOT GONNA LIE--, that make me feel good and satisfied and not just like I had a shot of caffeine or God knows what. This is a perfect example of such a film.


Mulholand Dr.- A freaky yet enrapturing film that complicated me to explosion but that still kept me entertained.

(end of anniversary ones)

A Barefoot Dream- This is a film that kicks the "ball" through freedom, sympathy, ambition, and finally the goal of dreams.

30 Minutes Or Less- Imagine the way a child laughs every five seconds while watching Tom And Jerry. This film is the literally breath-taking and Hilarious "Tom And Jerry" but for adults ONLY!!!

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes- A film that gets your heartbeat climbing and shatters the glass boundaries of action movie film making.



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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 8/7 - 8/13

It's really perplexing. No matter how often we jump up and down and reprimand everyone on the process of responding to pass offers it never fails to see "gimme's" sent to the group and not to whom the request is intended. There's also the sudden interest in obtaining a particular pass when the calendar is posted as if it's the first time anyone heard of it. Folks, there's a reason why we search for pass opportunities here. It's to let you know early enough so you can enter those contests, or go to those pickups, or redeem those radio points or GOFOBO passes. The whole idea is to get them on your own and not wait til the last minute to decide your schedule for the week. The group calendar is there on the Yahoo site for your convenience so please use it.

Also, please visit this website bookmark it and click on it daily. There's reviews, news, and interviews that will be expanded soon. Y'all have plenty of opinions on the many films that you get to see, and this is your chance to share your thoughts. If anyone wants to write a review please send it to reesas@yahoo.com

August 7 - 13, 2011

Sun
8/7

5:00 pm
The Smurfs
NorthPark AMC

Mon
8/8

7:00 pm
The Help
AMC Northpark

Tue
8/9

Wed
8/10

7:30 pm
30 Minutes or Less
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Attack the Block
Studio Movie Grill Plano

9:00 pm
Final Destination 5
AMC Valley View

Thu
8/11

1:00 pm
Final Destination Marathon
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:00 pm
Almost Famous
Belmont Hotel

7:30 pm
Attack the Block
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Warrior
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

9:00 pm
Thor
UT Arlington

Fri
8/12

8:30 pm
Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone
Fairmount Hotel Dallas pool area

Sat
8/13

8:45 pm
The Incredibles
Half Price Books Parking Lot



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Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Earth





The idea of another earth existing in another dimension has been played with in science fiction countless of times. Director Mike Cahill wrote the script with Georgetown classmate Brit Marling about a mirror earth being spotted in our skies. It begs the question of what your other self would think about you. The film received the Sundance 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize which focuses on science or technology as a theme, or depicts a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character.

Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling) is celebrating her acceptance to MIT at a party with friends. On the way home she hears the news report about another planet appearing in the sky over earth. As she leans over to look at the sky she slams into a SUV killing the mother and child and puts the father in a coma. Her science career is over as she is sent to prison. Four years later she is released. Still racked with guilt, she gets a job as a janitor at the local high school. Investigation of the planet is getting more intense as they decide to send a manned mission to visit. United Space Ventures is offering seats for a hefty price. But they are also holding a contest to win a chance to fly by writing a 500 word essay. It's like a slight hope to fulfill her dream.

On the anniversary of the crash, she visits the site and sees the father leave a remembrance. She discovers his name is John Borroughs (William Mapother) who was a Yale professor and a composer. After he awoke from his coma he withdrew to his old house living on medication and alcohol. Rhoda tracks him down hoping to get the nerve to apologize, but ends up making up a story about offering a free trial house cleaning. Eventually she cleans the whole house and awakens his life again.

This is basically a story with Buddhist like mediations on forgiveness and redemption with the scifi element thrown in. Beautifully photographed, the story is told in linear fashion with a few flashbacks. The soundtrack includes original music by Fall On Your Sword is as the director aptly describes as “organic classical meets electronic”. Each of the characters had a particular sound when they were on the screen with Rhoda being a cello and John a piano. There's a nice atmospheric piece played by John on a saw. The director was inspired from hearing the fragile melancholic sound by a street performer in a subway. Marling plays the emotionally damaged Rhoda like a broken bird afraid to fly. Mapother's sullen and angry widower connects with Rhoda although doesn't quite suspect there's something more to Rhoda being in his home. It may be slow going and perhaps too long in sections, but it's also like a stone thrown in a calm pond and the ripples vibrate long after you leave the theater.
(Review by reesa)


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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes



The 1968 cult film Planet of the Apes was legendary because of Charlton Heston's he-man loin cloth wearing presence and Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter wearing heavy prosthetic makeup as intelligent apes. The final scene of him yelling “damn you all to hell” at the sight of flame from the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the sand was a classic. The 4 subsequent films and 2 TV shows never fulfilled the promise of the franchise. Tim Burton's re-imagined version with Mark Whalberg was fun to look at but not much else. Enter director Rupert Wyatt and screenwriters Rick Jaff and Amanda Silver to create an origin story that helps explain what happened to humanity before the apes took over the world.

Will Rodman (James Franco) is researcher trying to find a cure to Alzheimer that will help his increasingly sick father Charles (John Lithgow). His experiments on a chimp which they call Bright Eyes because of the green the drug changes in the iris's seems promising to the point where Will wants to start human trials. When they present their findings to the investors Bright Eyes gets hostile when they try to get her out of her enclosure. With her heightened intelligence she escapes and wrecks havoc resulting in the head of the company Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) who only sees the bottom line to order the rest of the animals destroyed because they must be contaminated. Will's research is put on hold. Franklin (Tyler Labine) finds a baby chimp in Bright Eyes's enclosure. He begs to Will to take him home even though he's not too happy about it. The chimp must have been born after Bright Eyes started her drug treatments. The baby simian Caesar is exhibiting signs of increased inherited intelligence. As he grows older Caesar's (Andy Serkis) wild nature battles his growing cognitive abilities and he gets in trouble. Like in Project Nim Chimpsky Caesar is sent away from his human family to live in a cage at a simian rescue shelter. For the first time he's meeting others of his kind and he must adjust to the hierarchy of being the new kid on the block. He also learns that not all humans are like his “father” and animal vet girlfriend Caroline (Freida Pinto). For some reason there's the overused device of having an animal attendant that doesn't like animals to prod and tease the critters into rebellion. Having this done by the bad boy from the Harry Potter movies, Tom Felton, will hopefully not typecast him as one for the rest of his career.

WETA's contribution to the CGI apes is nothing short of amazing. Today's digital technology is in another dimension of time and space compared to the original film or anywhere else at the moment. Heston's gruff American hero has been replaced with the sensitive and caring researcher that reinforces the cautionary tale of inhumane treatment of animals for the sake of science. This could have just been another blow stuff up kind of movie, but they have incorporated Caesar with a sense of right and wrong that he has learned from the loving upbringing of his human parent. Serkis is able to give Caesar's face a human quality without losing the his ape-ness. Wyatt even manages to sneak a few references to the cinematic past by incorporating the line "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!". There's also a scene where the Planet of the Apes is playing on the TV. The final act is exciting and thought provoking plus there's lots of little subplots going on that scream sequel. You will go ape for this summer blockbuster.
(Review by reesa)



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Devil's Double



New Zealand director Lee Tamohori brought us Once Were Warriors in 1994 and after has given us nothing but blockbuster types like Die Another Day and Next. The dark edge of the world created in this first feature were followed by big budgets and the Hollywood machine. The Devil's Double also takes a look at unfamiliar territory. In the 1990's news told stories of Saddam Hussein's need to have body doubles to impersonate him around Iraq and it fend off any assassination attempts. Most people don't know that his eldest son's Uday Hussein also employed a political decoy.

Latif Yashia (Dominic Cooper) is an Iraqi solider brought to Uday luxurious mansion. They were once child hood acquaintances and Uday remembers that people once thought they looked alike. Under threat of harm to himself or family he's forced to undergo cosmetic changes and wear fake teeth to make the disguise complete. Even Saddam himself accepts Latif as his 3rd son. Munem (Raad Rawl), Saddam's “fixer” is in charge of educating Latif on the nuances of the seriously self indulgent hedonist Uday. He's like Scarface Middle Eastern style. He loves to torture people, snort mountains of coke, pickup young school girls to rape and kill, even a newly married bride without the slightest moment of pause. Everyone turns a blind eye to Uday's indulgences. Munem explains that Saddam had rescued their country and build the roads, mosques and prosperity. The only thing he asked in return was to leave his family alone. Under that onus, Uday's excesses are ignored and even enabled. They want Latif to just accept the bounty around him and go with the flow. The only boundary placed on his behavior is not to take any woman that Uday had made a previous claim. Of course Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier) Uday's favorite begins to seduce Latif and he can't seem to resist her charms although he knows the dangers of such a liaison. As long as Latif is just giving the troops speeches during the Gulf War, or shaking hands with dignitaries, he can handle the gig. Assassination attempts and watching the increasing horrific behavior of psychotic Uday, Latif is willing to give up his life than continue the masquerade.

The whole movie rides on the back of Dominic Cooper who played the singing fiancé in Mama Mia. So it's surprising to discover that you forget that he's doing both parts. He makes Uday and Latif into two distinct characters even when Latif is impersonating Uday. Latif has the kinder eyes, and Uday's manic insolence is almost too cartoonish. There may be lots of comparisons with Al Pacino's flashy sociopath gangster. It's a masterful performance enhanced by digital technology that blends the two on one screen seamlessly.

Tamahori based the film on the events that occurred during Saddam's reign of power but some of the details have been changed to make it more cinematic. The real life Latif Yashia even has a small role in the film. It moves along at a good pace and justice is served to a satisfying Hollywood ending. Just remember it's just based on the legend, for the real story Google it.
(Review by reesa)


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The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll



The world of rock n roll is notorious for quick flashes and burn outs. Young amazing talents find fame and fortune without the wherewithal to handle the intense pressure and adulation. Normal self esteem can't handle the pressure the lifestyle of music, partying and still having to produce the work that will sell. An urban myth has been growing with the famous living fast dying young and sometimes leaving a beautiful corpse at the age of 27. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Jopin, Jim Morrison, Robert Johnson, Brian Jones and most recently Amy Winehouse. This film directed and written by Scott Rosenbaum was made in 2009 way before that latest tragedy occurred, but it's a reminder that these unfortunate legends still occur.

The lead singer of the 90's band The Lost Souls is living isolation in his father's house in Oyster Bay, Long Island 20 years after the band broke up. Revolver rock writer Clifton Hanger (Lukas Haas) has been invited by Spyder (Kevin Segers) to hear the story of the last days of the band. After a blockbuster debut album using the songs of his childhood friend Eric Genson (Jason Ritter), their sophomore album written by Spyder flops. The record label wants a third and they have 2 weeks to get it done. Spyder all eyeliner no shirt rock god comes back to Long Island to recruit Eric now a school music teacher. He will go under the condition they travel with August West (Peter Fonda) the former manager for his dad a late great punk rock guitar legend from the 70's. The Lost Souls manager Rose Atropos (Taryn Manning) is not too thrilled with this deal because the clock is ticking on their careers. However when she hears Eric play guitar she falls for Eric. Traveling down Route 66 playing gigs while the old friends confront some emotional baggage along the way.

Spyder narrates the story to the rock journalist describing the trip as “I was on this dysfunctional family road trip down a road that didn't even exist”. Between the episodic adventures at each stop on their journey are musical performance interludes that included the real voice of Kevin Segers and the authentic guitar styling of Jason Ritter. The big bonding scene is the impromptu jam session with blues legends Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Sugar Blue, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Bob Stroger wishing they had spent more time playing music there. The soundtrack includes songs by Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Iggy & The Stooges, Alice in Chains, Muddy Waters, The Violent Femmes, Howlin' Wolf, Jane's Addiction, and many more.

At one point the journalist asks “who is Eric Genson?” and that maybe going through your mind as you watch this film. Supposedly these are two best friends, but we don't really know that until some blink or you will miss them flashback during the last act. Spyder doesn't really treat Eric very nice, and why is Eric going along when his friend stole is his music and got famous from it, and is using him again to write the songs for the next album. Rose the manager spends some time on the phones, but mostly just hangs all over Eric. Taryn Mannings needs to have a movie of her own one day with that sexy husky voice and killer body. The other band members you don't even get to know. There's the typical road movie, some hijinks, some music, some conflict. There's the big scene in the last actto explain the third album and maybe why Eric is living like a hermit if you still care at that point. On the bright side, it's got Peter Fonda in it.
(Review by reesa)



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Taryn Manning Interview

Dallas Movie Screenings had the chance to speak with Taryn Manning one of the stars from The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll who was in town to promote the movie. This was held at the House of Blues after the screening of the movie the night before with an audience Q&A. Also present was Ricky Miller of MovieGuru. Ms Manning is a petite and lovely young woman who spent many hours talking with the press. We are grateful to her for sharing her time and thoughts with us.


Thanks to Nathan from Thank You for Watching.com for filming and producing this interview.





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