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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Film Independent Spirit Award Nominess 2012

http://www.spiritawards.com/


2012 NOMINEES BEST FEATURE
(Award given to the producer)
* Executive Producers are not listed.

50/50
PRODUCERS: Evan Goldberg, Ben Karlin,
Seth Rogen

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

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

TAKE SHELTER
Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin

THE ARTIST
Producer: Thomas Langmann

THE DESCENDANTS
ProducerS: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

BEST DIRECTOR

MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS - The Artist
MIKE MILLS - Beginners

JEFF NICHOLS - Take Shelter

ALEXANDER PAYNE - The Descendants

NICOLAS WINDING REFN - Drive

BEST SCREENPLAY


JOSEPH CEDAR - Footnote

MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS - The Artist

TOM McCARTHY - Win Win

MIKE MILLS - Beginners

ALEXANDER PAYNE, NAT FAXON & JIM RASH
The Descendants

BEST FIRST FEATURE
(Award given to the director and producer)

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

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

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

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
DIRECTOR: Sean Durkin
PRODUCERS: Antonio Campos,
Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Josh Mond

NATURAL SELECTION
DIRECTOR: Robbie Pickering
PRODUCERS: Brion Hambel, Paul Jensen

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

MIKE CAHILL & BRIT MARLING - Another Earth

J.C. CHANDOR - Margin Call

PATRICK DeWITT - Terri

PHIL JOHNSTON - Cedar Rapids

WILL REISER - 50/50

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

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

BELLFLOWER
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Evan Glodell
PRODUCERS: Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw

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

HELLO LONESOME
WRITER/DIRECTOR/ PRODUCER: Adam Reid

PARIAH
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Dee Rees
PRODUCER: Nekisa Cooper

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

BEST FEMALE LEAD

LAUREN AMBROSE - Think of Me

RACHAEL HARRIS - Natural Selection

ADEPERO ODUYE - Pariah

ELIZABETH OLSEN - Martha Marcy May Marlene

MICHELLE WILLIAMS - My Week with Marilyn

BEST MALE LEAD

DEMIÁN BICHIR - A Better Life

JEAN DUJARDIN - The Artist

RYAN GOSLING - Drive

WOODY HARRELSON - Rampart

MICHAEL SHANNON - Take Shelter

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

JESSICA CHASTAIN - Take Shelter

ANJELICA HUSTON - 50/50

JANET McTEER - Albert Nobbs

HARMONY SANTANA - Gun Hill Road

SHAILENE WOODLEY - The Descendants

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

JOEL HODGE - Bellflower

BENJAMIN KASULKE - The Off Hours

DARIUS KHONDJI - Midnight in Paris

GUILLAUME SCHIFFMAN - The Artist

JEFFREY WALDRON - The Dynamiter

BEST DOCUMENTARY
(Award given to the director and producer)

AN AFRICAN ELECTION
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Jarreth Merz

BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK
DIRECTOR: Richard Press
PRODUCER: Philip Gefter

THE INTERRUPTERS
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Steve James
PRODUCER: Alex Kotlowitz

THE REDEMPTION OF GENERAL BUTT NAKED
DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS: Eric Strauss,
Daniele Anastasion

WE WERE HERE
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: David Weissman

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
(Award given to the director)

A SEPARATION (Iran)
DIRECTOR: Asghar Farhadi

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

SHAME (UK)
DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen

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

TYRANNOSAUR (UK)
DIRECTOR: Paddy Considine

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

MARGIN CALL
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
Tucci

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
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:

CHAD BURRIS producer of MOSQUITA Y MARI
SOPHIA LIN producer of TAKE SHELTER

JOSH MOND producer of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

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

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
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:

SIMON ARTHUR director of SILVER TONGUES

MARK JACKSON director of WITHOUT

NICHOLAS OZEKI director of MAMITAS

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

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD

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:
HEATHER COURTNEY director of WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM

DANFUNG DENNIS director of HELL AND BACK AGAIN
ALMA HAR’EL director of BOMBAY BEACH

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

JAMESON FIND YOUR AUDIENCE AWARD

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

Sun
11/27

Mon
11/28

Tue
11/29

Wed
11/30

7:30 pm
Young Adult
Angelika Dallas

Thu
12/1

Fri
12/2

Sat
12/3


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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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Hugo



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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My Week With Marilyn




In 1956 Marilyn Monroe the biggest star of the known world came to England to work on the movie The Prince and the Showgirl starring and directed by Sir Laurence Olivier. Twenty three year old Colin Clark leaves his family's well to do home to follow his dream of working in the movies. He camps out at Olivier's production company until a job opens up. Olivier's wife Vivian Leigh and a friend of the Clark family begs her husband to give the young man a job. Years later Colin Clark wrote a book on his experience working on the film as a 3rd Assistant Director (otherwise known as a glorified 'gofer'). The book did well so after the death of Marilyn's husband at the time Arthur Miller, he wrote another book about a week he spent alone with Marilyn. Director Simon Curtis combined the stories from the memoirs with screenwriter Adrian Hodges to capture a moment in time from Colin's viewpoint on the turbulent and charmed life of Marilyn Monroe.

Michelle Williams captures the beauty and essence of the icon known as Marilyn Monroe. The girly voiced blond bombshell that epitomized the Hollywood dream who comes to stodgy old England upsetting the classically trained actors with her ever present method acting coach Paula Strasberg (Zoë Wanamaker). Kenneth Branagh's Olivier has little patience with Marilyn's nervous jitters and chronic tardiness. Unruffled Dame Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench) who had been standing for 2 hours in full period costume and makeup while while Marilyn gets into character tries to put the actress at ease. Marilyn is so in awe of the acting company around her can barely do her lines.

Colin (Eddie Readmayne) has been put in charge of finding a house for Marilyn and her new husband writer Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) . He is mesmerized by the charismatic starlet as is everyone else who is in her orbit. Vivien Leigh (Julia Ormand) who was once considered the most beautiful woman in the world now worries she has lost her luster now that she is in her 40's while her husband entertains fantasies about Marilyn. Colin later earns Marilyn's confidence over her business partner Milton H. Greene (Dominic Cooper) who warns him about falling in love with her. After Marilyn fights with her husband who returns to New York, her vulnerable state sends her into a full panic mode. Everyone notices her reliance on Colin and try to keep them apart but she and her bodyguard “kidnap” him from the set. Colin's spends some alone time Marilyn who is at ease and more herself while they share some personal moments and skinny dipping in a cold English pond.

A number of actresses were rumored to be attached, but Curtis had approached Michelle Williams as he was impressed by her dedication to creating Marilyn. With the wonders of makeup and costume enhancement Williams “becomes” the vision of MM. She closely studied the recordings of Monroe especially the little dance number in the Prince and the Showgirl that helped her capture the magic that was Marilyn. Readmayne is earnest as the infatuated Colin. Look for Emma Watson in a underused role as Colin's potential girlfriend who doesn't give him a 2nd chance. Branagh is perfect as Olivier even though the Shakespeare quotes are a little over the top.

Everything on screen is beautifully photographed and decorated. The costumes, the vintage cars, the sets take one back to the 50's. It's too bad the story is almost like a Lifetime channel recap for Cliff Notes. The sincerity of the performances, especially Michelle's knock out portrayal of the unstable movie star will mostly likely bring her an award nod. A full biopic of Marilyn would probably be tedious. This little peek at such a pivotal moment in her career is a fascinating tidbit. The Prince and the Showgirl did not do well in the theaters. Their subsequent projects turned out to be the biggest in their careers. It may not attract the crowds looking for cheap thrills, but for those of us that love cinema and history it's a must see.
(Review by reesa)



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Arthur Christmas




Santa Claus lives in East Denmark with his wife Martha and his two sons Arthur and Steve, along with their grandfather Grandsanta. Santa's workshop has been turned into a high tech operation by Steve who is preparing to take over guiding the Santa spaceship sled S1. Operations are controlled at a gigantic Star Trek type console with elves manning the computers that coordinate the magic that happens every Christmas Eve. On returning from Santa's 70th trip bringing joy to every worthy child in record time, an undelivered present is discovered by the cleanup crew. Steve thinks this is an acceptable error as it falls below their projections. But Arthur who works in the postal department reads all the letters and sees first hand the needs of the kids writing to Santa. He believes that you cannot disappoint one child who was waiting for Santa so he takes matters into his own hands.

Director Sarah Smith wrote the screenplay with Peter Baynham using the animation by Aardman Studios the creators of Wallace & Gromit. It's crisply shot visuals are voiced with British accents and humor that may go over the heads of American children. What most kids will appreciate is the funny set up of Arthur (James McAvoy) attempting the take Grandsanta's (Bill Nighy) old school sled powered by actual reindeer. It's a last minute decision after trying to get his father (Jim Broadbent) and Steve (Hugh Laurie) to understand the importance of bringing the girls' lost gift to her home in Cornwell, England before morning. Steve convinces his dad with math that it's impossible to deliver just one package before the sunrises. That it's ok if just one fell between the cracks. Steve with his goatee and a Versace skintight Santa suit over his fit form is clueless when it comes to kids. Santa wants to retire but unsure of what he would do without being Santa. Mrs. Santa (Imelda Staunton) ever the wise voice of reason tells him that he would stay home with her.

The wild ride of Grandsanta and Arthur's attempts at flying using the 1800's sled with those reindeer sires of the Dancer, Prancer, and “those other two” powered by magic dust from the aurora Borealis is the best parts of the movie. The gift wrapping elf Bryony (Ashely Jensen) and a reindeer in a cone collar accompany them lending assistance. The sun is rising and they have a short time to find their way without the high tech gadgetry and speed that powers the S1. They lose their way, lose some reindeer, get mistaken for a UFO causing a major world crisis.

Today's tech savvy youngsters will appreciate all the bells and whistles of how Santa is able to deliver presents to the millions of children all over the world. In fact they may agree with Steve that missing one house is not a big thing in the grand scheme. However having Steve take over as Santa doesn't quite seem the right fit. Whereas younger brother Arthur is the one who truly believes the joy of the Santa tradition. The dry English style wit may lose something in the translation for some smaller kids, but there are plenty adventure and computer references they may appreciate. A little girl wants to know the mechanics of how Santa is able to deliver everything in one night and why she can't see Santa's house using Google maps. Arthur Christmas will delight the kids, and the parents won't get bored.
(Review by reesa)



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The Muppets



It's been twelve years since the last theatrical Muppets movie has graced the screen. There's been numerous television characters turned into movies that cater to a generation of viewers like the Smurfs, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Alvin and the Chipmunks that are supposed to be family friendly. The Gen-Xer parents reliving their younger days while introducing their youngsters to what they used to watch all with various degrees of success. But most everyone loves the Muppets. Jim Henson's wide mouth buggy eyed fleece puppets are seem regularly on Sesame Street. The Muppets TV show was not only aimed at kids, but had a snarky comedy appeal that parents enjoyed. Big named stars would frequent as guest stars giving the show a bit of the “in crowd” flavor.

Director James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords, Da Ali G Show) worked from a script by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek) are known for their R-rated movies. This story couldn't possibly be anymore sugar coated without amazingly enough being annoying. It retains the same ironic, sarcastic, and innocent kind of humor that's silly and comforting.

The story is about Gary (Jason Segel) who wants to take a vacation with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to Los Angeles. His brother and best friend Walter (a new character voiced by Peter Linz) considers himself the biggest Muppet fan (uh...because he is one?) and wants to go to LA to visit the old Muppet studio. Despite Mary's hope that this would be a romantic trip with her boyfriend, just smiles and makes room. After all they live in a 50's version of Smalltown, USA where everyone sings, dances and gets along and who all come out to wish them well. They find the Muppet Theater run down and being bought by tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) who wants to drill for oil on the site. Walter discovers the plan and urges his friends to help him find the other Muppets to help stage a Muppet Telethon to raise $10 million to save the theater.

All the Muppets are gathered with the help of Kermit who lives in the mansion by himself while Miss Piggy is living in Paris. They travel by “map” back to California all stuffed into Kermit's Rolls-Royce where they put together a show. They kidnap Jack Black to emcee the show after talking Veronica a TV producer (Rashida Jones) into broadcasting it. They have only a couple hours to raise the money. Meanwhile Mary goes home after Gary forgets their anniversary.

Everywhere you turn there's a cameo siting with Alan Arkin, Emily Blunt, George Clooney, Billy Crystal, Whoopie Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Neil Patric Harris, Sarah Silverman, and Mickey Rooney just to name a few. Plus the favorite Muppets like the Swedish Chef, Pepe the Prawn, Foozie Bear, Gonzo, Camilla the Chicken, and Animal.

Can't have the Muppets without musical numbers and there are some very lively and colorful performances including some fake tap dancing by Jason Segal. The big show stopper is by Walter called “Am I a man or Muppet” which should give some idea of the type of songs to expect. A fresh and nostalgic tribute to Henson's magic that is both hip and nerdy at the same time. Also see Being Elmo that gives an amazing look on how a Muppet character is developed and the people who are pulling the strings.
(Review by reesa)





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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/20 - 11/26

This is probably the shortest movie week ever. Hopefully something will pop up last minute. If not there will be plenty of time to plan your Black Friday shopping adventures, catch up on the films you missed or Red Box it, thaw out that turkey, or invite yourself to someone's house for dinner on Thursday. In any event, we at Dallas Movie Screenings wish you and yours and very safe and happy holiday.

And don't forget do NOT hit "send" until you double check your return address!!!!

November 20 - 26, 2011

Sun
11/20

Mon
11/21

7:00 pm
The Muppets
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Hugo
AMC Northpark

Tue
11/22

Wed
11/23

Thu
11/24

All Day
Thanksgiving
Around your dinner table

Fri
11/25

Sat
11/26



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Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt.1



I must be honest with my audience and admit that, in a small way, I enjoy the Twilight movies. I am not a Twihard and I certainly understand that the series has a number of problems (so I will never vehemently disagree with its critics because most of them are right on the money with their complaints). Still, despite it's issues, I have grown to like and care for these characters.

In a way, this film is the best and the worst film of the series. It's the best film because the things that everyone have been waiting for finally happen (like the wedding, Edward and Bella making sexy time, and Bella's true connection with Jacob) and it's the worst because, well, it is filled with so many more problems than any of the others that anybody who is uninitiated or has grudgingly sat through the rest of these is probably going to want for Edward to bite them in the neck before its over. The plot here is very thin. Basically, you could sum this whole movie up in a sentence or two. Edward and Bella get married, make sweet room smashing love, Bella gets pregnant, everyone gets pissed, Bella has the baby, and then we end with a surprise that's really not much of one, but I'm not going to ruin it for you anyways. If this sounds like what you were expecting and you are not turned off then most likely you are going to like this movie. Everyone else, you may have a hard time ignoring some of the unbelievably cheesy sh*t that happens in this film.

So, it’s sounds like I don’t like it doesn’t it. It kinda feels like I don’t like it as well, but honestly I had a pretty good time. There are definitely enough issues to fill a small country with, but there is also something about this pop culture phenomenon that is moderately engaging. It might just be the fact that I have grown to care for these characters over the last couple of years or that Kristen Stewart is good enough here to carry this film or maybe because the last 30 minutes was pretty darn good under Bill Condon’s assured direction. Whatever it is, I cannot completely dismiss this movie and I am moderately interested in how this is going to end (emphasis on the word moderately).

Review by Nathan Ligon
Thank You For Watching


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Feet 2




In the first Happy Feet, Mumbles was just a kid who turned his community of Emperor Penguins on to the magic of dancing when he had trouble with his “heartsong”. The dancing eventually saved the penguins from over fishing by humans. In this sequel Mumbles and Gloria's son Eric is dance-phobic. He becomes embarrassed when others laugh at his clumsiness. He and his friends decide to follow Ramon the Hispanic accented penguin who wants to get back to his home country. Meanwhile the melting polar icecap is causing massive earthquakes and land shifts. A subliminal message to kids about global warming.

Elijah Woods is once again the voice of Mumble and his mate Gloria has the powerful singing voice of Pink. Mumble is an awkward dad who just makes the situation worse. Little Erik (E.G. Daily) decides to follow Ramón (Robin Williams) who takes the three little fuzzy runaways to a major penguin gathering. The group seems to be enamored by with The Mighty Sven (Hank Azaria) a little penguin that can fly. He's like a new age guru encouraging the penguins with a dream of flying. Lovelace (Robin Williams again) supports the new Svengali as they had shared some moments with the “aliens” or humans when they were rescued. Mumbles had followed the little birds. He instinctively distrusts all the attention given to Sven and the hero worship by Erik. Mumbles takes the boys home where on the way they encounter a series of adventures that involve a elephant seal dad and his pups and the trapping of the emperor colony by walls of ice.

In between these episodic moments are Brad Pitt as Will the Krill and Matt Damon as Bill the Krill. Will decides he's going to leave the swarm to become something special including being a carnivore. The clever banter of Bill and Will is fun and more interesting than the rest of the story. But it doesn't make for a whole movie. More like the cartoon that plays before the main feature. As it plays now is more like filler. Just like the story line involving Ramón who wants to romance Carmen (Sofía Vergara) who isn't giving into his overtures. Sven and Lovelace's shipboard story is told in a flashback of how Lovelace got his sweater and danced to their on board rock band. Each of these parts of the story seem disjointed and doesn't have anything to do with the main characters of Erik, his dad Mumble and how they regain their trust and respect. All the little pieces somehow come together for them to save the day.

Director George Miller is back and shares writing credits with Warren Coleman, Gary Eck and Paul Livingston. As usual the animated images are clear and detailed. It's questionable if it really needs enhancement with 3D, there's only a couple of moments where it's effectively realized. The rest is just another way to soak the customer for a few dollars each for the privilege. The music is fun at times. Pink has a bluesy soulful voice, but the rest of the tunes are forgettable. Parents will be dragged by their kids to see this version of cute little penguins and all the material tie-ins that will accompany this series.
(Review by reesa)





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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Descendants Review by Wyatt Head

The Descendants- A dynamic and wonderful film that captures the confusing activity of feelings and what the world looks like when it is atypical.
(Review by Wyatt Head)






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The Descendants




George Clooney has the powerhouse image of an actor, director, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, humanitarian and all around debonair man about town. He's come a long way from the head bopping doctor on the television show ER. At one time he auditioned for the role of Jack in Alexander Payne's last directorial feature film of Sideways, but it was given to another actor because he thought Clooney was too well known. A problem with big named movie stars is their persona overshadows the role they are performing. In this case, Clooney transcends that movie star image and becomes the character so completely that his performance is generating an award season buzz.

Matt King is a real estate attorney and trustee of his family's 25,000 ancestral acres on Kauai since the mid 1800's. Descended from the daughter of the last Hawaiian king the land is now subject to the end of the rights of perpetuity laws to be dissolved in seven years. The large mainly haole (Caucasian) King family cousins and the people of the state all have a stake in what Matt decides. Most are favoring a local developer who wants to build a resort and homes as opposed to some cousins and the local populace of the island who just want to leave it in it's pristine beauty. Matt has always been busy working on this project so when his wife is left comatose from a boat accident, that for the past 23 days he's been in a daze of hospital procedures and dealing with his 10 year old daughter Scottie (Amara Miller). Matt admits he's been an absentee dad most of the time. Scottie has been acting up at school and sending a classmate inappropriate text messages. He's clueless on how to deal with this and brings his 17 year old daughter home from the boarding school she's been attending on another island. Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) has her mother's wild and impulsive side by drinking and doing drugs. She is harboring some guilt from the last encounter she had with her mom. She breaks it to her dad that mom Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) was having an affair. This puts Matt into a controlled tail spin as he deals with trying to find his wife's lover, handling the girls rebellious and foul mouthed behavior, his in laws, and the family corporation that greedily envision dollar signs selling the family lands.

Clooney gives the most natural and unaffected performance ever. He takes on the life of Matt King as a fully realized human being with out histrionics or affectations. He's a man who always used work to escape from his family responsibility then suddenly has to confront everything that he's been avoiding all these years. The humor from the script by Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash and taken from the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings is organic and unassuming. The co-stars like Nick Krause as Alexandra's stoner friend, Robert Forrester as Elizabeth's prickly father, Matthew Lillard as her lover Brian, and Judy Greer as Brian's wife are all believable and sympathetic. Meeting them through Matt's experience we also discover the life he's been missing from his family and friends ultimately accepting them for their foibles and peccadilloes.

The Descendants doesn't have car chases, explosions or any other weaponry. It doesn't have stupid inane characterizations or bromances. It has laughter, sorrow, and the scenic beauty of Hawaii that you don't normally see on Hawaii 5-0 or Dog the Bounty Hunter. Most of all it has Clooney who provides the heart of this film that will stay with you as you leave the theater. Hopefully we won't have to wait another eight years for directors Alexander Payne's next feature.
(Review by reesa)


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/13 - 11/19

OK here's how it's going to work. Everyone and their mother wants Twilight passes. First you must understand that the studio reps have only made a limited number of passes available plus it's in a small theater. It was not overbooked so everyone that got a pass will be able to get in. Keeping that in mind, the people that received those precious passes are not going to give them up easily. There is still a contest pending from the Dallas Morning News, so requests for these passes will not be allowed until Tuesday. If you send a WANTED post before Tuesday it will be deleted. Even your moderator does not have a pass for this screening. *sniff* with the rest of y'all.

When sending a post to the list you MUST put a designator in the subject line denoting it's purpose: WANTED, OFFER, TRADE. Post that come in without this will be DELETED. This means all those folks who insist on hitting "reply" to pass offers will also be deleted. You cannot believe how many posts were sunk to the depths this week because there was no reminder to check your return address!

Also sending multiple posts because you don't see your post immediately appear will not make your email show up any faster. All messages are moderated. That means we review everything that comes in to check for spam...a lot of emails have been hijacked and sending spam to the group. If it continually occurs then your email is banned and you will have to sign in under a different email address. Also, people put personal messages in their emails because they think they are writing to a specific person and not to the whole group. We moderate to keep the groups email from flooding your box and to keep our cyber footprint to a minimum. We only ask that you do your part in helping this group operate efficiently.

November 13 - 19, 2011

Sun
11/13

Mon
11/14

6:00 pm
Arthur Christmas
Southern Theaters AmStar 14

Tue
11/15

7:30 pm
The Descendants
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Melancholia
Angelika Dallas

Wed
11/16

7:00 pm
The Muppets
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn Pt.1
Cinemark West Plano

10:00 pm
Horror Remix: Thanksgiving
Studio Movie Grill Dallas & Arlington

Thu
11/17

3:45 pm
Twilight Marathon
AmStar Cinemas 14

7:00 pm
Primo
Holocaust Museum Theater

7:30 pm
My Week with Marilyn
Angelika Dallas

Fri
11/18

Sat
11/19

10:00 am
Arthur Christmas
AMC Northpark

4:30 pm
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Studio Movie Grill Lewisville

7:00 pm
Walk the Line
Strauss Center Winspear- Downtown Dallas




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Friday, November 11, 2011

J.Edgar




J. Edgar is a good film surrounding one of the best performances of the year, but sadly it falls just shy of greatness. This is not to say that this is not a wonderful biopic that you should go right out and see (it is), it's just upsetting because I genuinely believe that in the hands of a director like Oliver Stone,Martin Scorsese, or Gus Van Sant this would have been a masterpiece. However, Clint Eastwood's very laid back style of directing seems ill suited for a biopic of this length and depth, but let's not dwell on what might have been because what we got is pretty damn good.

The screenplay here, written by Dustin Lance Black (Academy Award Winner for the brilliant Milk), is outstanding in the way it moves through 60 years of a mans life without ever really losing track of a forward moving narrative structure. Some may argue with the episodes in Hoover's life that Black chooses to cover, but it's undeniably impressive in its outline of such a complex figure. Now, there is no way to really describe this along the lines of plot, but basically we are following the exploits of J. Edgar Hoover as dictated by himself. This goes from about 1919 until his passing in May of 1972. In this we concentrate on his transformation of the FBI, his intelligent calculations on the importance of forensic evidence, his involvement in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, his obsessions with communism, and his repressed life long love affair with his partner Clyde Tolson (played terrifically by Armie Hammer).

All of these things work in their own way, but the heart of the film is the repressed romance. The chemistry between DiCaprio and Hammer is very good. So good that you can feel a lot just by the way that they stare at each other without words. I would have actually preferred more of this as it is the one aspect of this film that really matches Eastwood's directorial style (although he's got to stop scoring his own movies because they only hurt these films).

At the end of the day, none of this matters without a Hoover we can relate too (a difficult thing to do with such a cold character) and DiCaprio is so good in this movie it's kind of astonishing. He obviously invested a ton of time into getting every little gesture and move down, but also preserve a certain humanity all his own. He is not just mimicking this figure. He becomes Hoover, and very early on you forget the actor all together. It's a masterful performance that should land him his fourth Academy Award nomination come early next year and hopefully if viewers can embrace this film, despite its flaws, he might even win.

Review by Nathan Ligon
Thank You for Watching



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J.Edgar Review by Wyatt Head

J. Edgar-

This is a film that inherits greatness from a man who was great and shows us his life in a very special way that can only be appreciated by experienced movie-goers. It also takes a very brave step in the description of the confusing territory of the homosexual relationship.




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Immortals



The Producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton have done it again!!!!!!!!!!!

“Immortals” is a film packed with blood, abs, excitement, sex, action and Greek Mythology “Oh” and did I mention ABS!!!!!! There is never a dull moment. The beginning discusses the history of the gods and the Titans. Due to animosity war broke out thousands of years between the two before mankind . Losing the battle, the Titans were vanished for eternity.

The main characters of the film includes: Theseus (Henry-Cavill), Zeus (John Hurt & Luke Evans), Phaedra (Freida Pinto), and their nemesis King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). Theseus is a sexy, young character with humble beginnings that turns out to be his people’s hero. In the beginning he was skeptical about the gods. His turning point starts with a devastating lost and a significant discovery. Along the way Theseus befriends a wise old man, a sought after oracle and other gods.

What is an action film without a nemesis???? Unfortunately, Thesis is forced to face hell on Earth while dealing with the devil in disguise. When I say hell on Earth I mean literally. In the Nemesis camp people are getting tortured and are forced to die slow deaths daily. The Nemesis has no respect of person or “GENDER”. In fact, the only thing he’s worried about is releasing the demonic Titans. In order for the Nemesis desires to come to pass he must first obtain a powerful instrument in which Thesis discovers first.

The sound effects mixed with action will keep you on the edge of your seat. Every sound went perfectly with each scene. The 3D effect will heighten your emotions and the music/ clothing attire will make you feel is if you have traveled back to ancient Greece.

The movie is rated R and is intended for mature adults. Rather or not you are into Greek Mythology it’s still a “MUST SEE” simply because of the intense exciting action.
“Two thumbs and a foot up”!!!!!!
(Review by Kishae)



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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Into the Abyss



Werner Herzog is an intelligent director and writer of thought provoking documentaries like Encounters at the End of the World and Grizzly Man. He's also directed feature films Fitzcarraldo and The Bad Lieutenant:Port of Call-New Orleans. He founded his own production company in 1962 and has since won numerous international awards for his work. Last year he explored early man's paintings in Cave of Forgotten Dreams. This year his camera's focus is on a triple homicide that happened in Conroe, TX. Utilizing police video, interviews with the perpetrators and their families, and the surviving families of the victims Herzog who admits that he's against the death penalty is able to convey all sides of the issue without being totally judgmental.

In a small town in Texas on a Thursday night on Oct 24, 2001 Sandra Stotler age 50 and her step grandson James age 16 who she adopted at 6 months old and his friend Jeremy Richardson age 18 were murdered. Sandra's body was found at Crater Lake, the boys were found later in the woods at a subdivision. Michael Perry and Jason Burkett both 19 were later arrested after a shoot out while trying to flee. Ten years later Burkett is serving life and Perry who had a separate trial was given the death penalty. Eight days before the date his execution by lethal injection Herzog interviews him telling Perry that “I don't have to like you”. Perry still looking like a young boy smiles with a toothy grin and a remorseless attitude.

The police shared with Herzog the police video's of the bloody crime scene with the police dry assessment of the forensic facts. While showing the lake dumping grounds, the camera stays on the face of the uncomfortable deputy who after describing the discovery of the remains had nothing more to say. The accompanying sound scape is filled with dissonant violins giving it a creepy horror movie vibe. He visits the execution chamber and talks to an ex-captain who goes through the steps of the prisoners last moments. The toll it takes on the psyche of the guard is the reason the captain became an “ex”. There's also a visit with the prison chaplain who uses squirrels as a metaphor.

Emotionally filled interviews with the daughter/sister/aunt of the Stolter family remind the audience that violent crime stays long after the event. Also tortured is Jeremy's brother who went AWOL from probation in another state to come to the funeral. Herzog also spoke with Burkett's incarcerated father who is serving multiple years in prison for various crimes who readily admits that his son's misdeeds are a direct result of his poor upbringing. In fact Herzog paints a pretty grim picture of Conroe, Texas and it's citizens living on the margins of existence.

Herzog as usual does not appear in the movie only signature German accents narrates the tale. The camera's focus does not shy away from the very personal drama of everyone involved in the case. Even the pen-pal Stepford like bride of Burkett who blindly believes he's innocent and who at the end of the film is expecting a child although she and the prisoner are not allowed physical contact outside a hug. In fact, both Perry and Burkett insisted on their innocence without one moment of remorse. Although the film doesn't lean one way or the other on the issue of the death penalty outside of Herzog's own personal opinion stated early in the film, it does raise the question for discussion.
(Review by reesa)





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Jack and Jill




If you see this movie that snap crackling pop you hear is the sound of your brain cells dissolving while watching Adam Sandler's newest production about a dysfunctional twin brother and sister comes to the big screen. However if you enjoy bathroom jokes, insulting women, racial slurs, stupid sight gags and jokes aimed at the lowest common denominator then this will be fun.

Adam Sandler plays the duel role of Jack and Jill with camera magic that sometimes works and other times looks awkward. Jack Sadelstein is a successful advertising executive who lives a comfortable life with his wife Erin (Katie Holmes) and their two kids. Every year at Thanksgiving his twin sister Jill comes from the Bronx for a visit. Jill is particularly lonely as this is the first holiday since their mother passed. Jill's passive aggressive personality and her blatant neediness drives her brother crazy. So he's more than vexed that Jill wants to stay longer. Jack had been planning to take the family on a cruise to Europe and being stuck on a ship with his sister for 7 days fills him with dread. Jack decides to get Jill hooked up up with computer dating which is a major fail especially after Jack puts her on Craigslist. Jill goes on a game show and gets knocked out by the wheel on the Price is Right. Almost feeling bad for his sister he takes her to a basketball game where she entrances Al Pacino who Jack is trying to contract for a new Duncan Donut commercial called Dunkachino. He realizes that he may be able to use Al's infatuation with Jill to get the account.

Stunt casting, fart jokes, and Sandler in bad drag, does not a movie make. It's scary to consider that there are investors who were willing to finance such drivel. Granted there were advanced screening audience members laughing hysterically at such obvious bits as long noisy farts and Jack pretending to Jill and lots of mean humor directed at the way Jack treats his sister and her appearance. Of course the moral of the story is the most important thing in life is family.

It was more interesting seeing the cameo's of Sandler's famous friends like Dana Carvey, Shaquille O'Neal, Johnny Depp, David Spade (as a Snookie kinda girl), Rob Schneider, and Norm MacDonald. Director of Grownups and Just Go With It Dennis Dugan with a script by Bruce Almighty's Steve Koren is uneven and at times too manic. The only very amusing parts were the real life twins interviews at the beginning and end through the credits that spoke of the special connections between siblings. Jack and Jill will be odds on favorite for probably the worst teeth grinding nails on chalk board contender for the Golden Raspberry Awards.
(Review by reesa)






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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

12 Days of Arthur Christmas

12 days of events around Dallas to celebrate the opening of Arthur Christmas. Click on image to expand.







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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 11/6 - 11/12

Don't forget that there's an epass for Into the Abyss in the file section of the group pages just for Dallas Movie Screenings. Just in case there's not enough screenings to choose from this week. Why they put some many choices in one night makes it difficult to decide what to attend. tsk tsk....our lives are so hard.

This moderator has completely given up on people writing to the group instead of the person to whom the email is intended. So without guilt or remorse the delete button will freely click to it's hearts' content. Your chances of getting getting that pass is "poof" gone with the wind. We tried to warn y'all,

This also applies to random comments sent to the group. Try to keep in mind that this is a forum. Anything posted (and gets approved) goes to the over 1600 subscribers. They are not writing to y'all personally (check the return address if you are wondering) so hitting reply and saying "no thank you" to an offer is not necessary.

November 6 - 12, 2011

Sun
11/6

Mon
11/7

7:30 pm
J.Edgar
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
My Week With Marilyn
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Tue
11/8

7:30 pm
Into the Abyss
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
The Vow
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Jack and Jill
AMC Northpark

Wed
11/9

Thu
11/10

7:00 pm
Happy Feet 2
tba-Plano

7:00 pm
War Horse
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Immortals
AMC Northpark

Fri
11/11

Sat
11/12

10:30 am
Happy Feet 2
tba-Plano

4:30 pm
The Great Muppet Caper
Studio Movie Grill Lewisville



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Friday, November 4, 2011

WHERE IS ALVIN?




STUNNED CROWD AT HOLLYWOOD’S FAMED CHINESE THEATER CEREMONY ASKS…WHERE IS ALVIN?’

Chipmunks Frontman Disappears from Gala Hand and Footprint Ceremony
Honoring the High-Pitched Trio and their New Movie
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED


HOLLYWOOD, California, USA, - Moments after famed Chipmunks actor/singer/mischief-maker Alvin and his brothers Simon and Theodore became part of Hollywood history at a hand and footprint – make that paw and paw-print – ceremony at Hollywood’s legendary Chinese Theatre, Alvin suddenly disappeared.

The shocking turn of events left hundreds of attendees at the gala event – including actor Jason Lee, several filmmakers, Twentieth Century Fox studio executives, and many Alvin and the Chipmunks fans – asking each other, “Where is Alvin?” Jason Lee, who portrays Chipmunks “dad” Dave Seville in the blockbuster film franchise, asked attendees to join him in Dave’s signature yelp of exasperation – “ALVIIIIN!!” – to convince the Chipmunks frontman to return to the stage, but to no avail.

Lee and the filmmakers announced plans to locate their missing friend, including a website, whereisalvin.com, at which fans can post videos and photos of their “Alvin Sightings.”

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED hits theaters everywhere December 16, 2011. For press materials and footage, please go to www.epk.tv.


About Fox Filmed Entertainment

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


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Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Very Harold and Kumar 3-D Christmas




“A very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas “isn’t as pleasant as other comedies. In addition, the movie focuses more on stereotypical attributes of several ethnicities, subliminal messages and religious mockery.
Writers Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and director Todd Strauss-Schulson captures the lives of Harold and Kumar from college through separation to being reunited in adulthood through drugs, sexy scenes and sticky situations.

Fast forwarding from White Castle, Kumar (Kal Penn) has been expelled from medical school due to a dirty urine test. His life went from being a collegiate student to spending the days flying high as a kite. The question at hand is not if he will quit lighting it up but more so when he will take a leap into being responsible.

On the other hand we have Harold (John Cho) who seems obsessed with fitting into the role of the “successful adult”. Harold’s biggest obstacle in this plot is to impress his new father in law. Ironically while Harold avoids Kumar to be seen as more serious, Kumar ends up being the friend he needs to move in that direction.

Guest Star “Doogie Howser” (Neil Patrick Harris) surprisingly makes fun of his sexual orientation.

The 3-D is well utilized and adds much needed effects to the movie as a whole.
This film targets mature adults and is full of chick-a-bum-bum moments, moments of mockery, moments of laughter, but most of all moments of boredom!!!!!

I would save the bang for a $ BUCK $!!!!!!

Review by Kishae


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Movie Reviews by Wyatt Head

The Way- This film represents the story of life in which all will eventually persevere in a path that leads to our peace and self-fulfillment. This is a movie that I believe should be shown to all ages of the audience because in every year of one’s life the lining guide is still there and is illuminated by films like these.

Toast- An excellent film that serves up all the dishes of not just great cooking but of the real stems of life.



Johnny English Re-born- This film represents PowerPoint slides of comedy for me and no matter how many slides there are the PowerPoint will never get old because Rowan Atkinson is in every one.


Anonymous- This film has a powerful and great story that derives from all the emotions of sadness, love, and betrayal. This is called an attention keeper that does its job from the curtain rising to the curtain falling.


Tower Heist- This film sped up the laughter rate like it was in a rush with it’s hit the floor hard and unmatched hilarious dialogue. A must see!



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Like Crazy




Like Crazy is the most honest, beautiful, and sad love story I have seen in a very long time. Comparisons will be made to Blue Valentine because of the free form ad lib style used here, but this is not a film about the destruction of marriage like Blue Valentine or Revolutionary Road. This is a film about the truth of love, the beauty of love, the pain love leaves when torn apart, the struggle to fill the void that love leaves when it is gone, and what long term separation does to the passion that once burned so bright when that love began. For those of us who are seasoned veterans of the game of love and know what a difficult thing it can truly be, but still remain romantics in our hearts, this movie is close to perfection.

The basic story here is simple in its narrative structure. Anna (played by the fabulous newcomer Felicity Jones) falls immediately in love with Jacob (played by the continually impressive Anton Yelchin). This love is pure, sweet, and what any human being should strive for in life. The problem is that Anna is from England and because she overstays her visa she is now not allowed back in the country. This is the set up for almost a decade of longing, depression, spurs of joy, cheating, and endurance.

It plays out with such a since of the reality of the world that even some of those who I've heard speak to their complaints of this film all lie in their actions and not any specific problem with the filmmaking. The debates I've had about this film have been very interesting. Some people I've spoken to take issue with them seeing other people in their absence, some don't understand why he doesn't just move to London, some were upset about the lack of closure the film gave them when they left the theater, and many were heart broken because they cared so deeply about these characters. These are not debates that would have existed in your standard issue romance, because those movies don't really exist in reality. These are the types of conversations you have because the movie made you think, it made you care, it posed difficult questions, and then it didn't tie it all up in a nice little bow (although I would argue there could be no better ending to this film).

Like Crazy is one of the most surprising, delightful, and challenging films I've seen at the movies this year. A film that takes all the aspects of filmmaking and delivers them beautifully, from the gorgeous score by Dustin O'halloran to the wonderful handheld camera work by John Guleserian, and the pitch perfect performances by the leads. If it is true the art is suppose to imitate life than this movie is truly a work of art.

I also cannot tie my own review up in a nice little bow without talking about this amazing young actress Felicity Jones. She is a revelation in this film. A young actress who can release the love, fear, pain, suffering, and joy that this film requires, but make it look so natural that you will never question it's authenticity. Her chemistry with Yelchin in this film is palpable and the type of match made in heaven that any director strives for. We all must give a great deal of credit to director Drake Doremus for seeing this in her and bringing this girls talent to life. She has existed as an actress for some time in very small indies and British television, but I would venture to say that all that is over. She is about to hit the big leagues and I don't know about the rest of the world, but I can't wait to see what she does next.

Review by Nathan Ligon
Thank You for Watching



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Tower Heist





The employees of a high rise residence conspire to rob the smarmy financier who lost their pensions in a Ponzi scheme. Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) with writers Ted Griffen, Jeff Nathanson, Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and reportedly Noah Baumbach doing additional dialogue for Ben Stiller manage to wring some humorous over the top silliness in a movie with todays' new villians: bankers and Wall Street traders.

Ben Stiller plays Josh Kovacs the mild mannered manager in a full service high rise residence hotel. Nothing seems to rile him as he juggles the daily crisis in the different departments and the pampered residents with their special requests. Josh thought he was a good friend to the occupant of the penthouse who owns the tower building and had recommended the employees invest in his plans to make them rich. The big news that concerns the everyone is that the Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) has just been accused of embezzling. Now all their life savings have been lost and their jobs are threatened by the unrepentant swindler. An angry Josh with some coworkers go to Shaw's penthouse and take a golf club to his prized red Ferrari parked in full honored display which gets them all fired by their boss Mr. Simon (Judd Hirsch).

A drunken FBI agent leaks to Josh that Shaw has $20 million stashed away in his penthouse. Josh who more than familiar with the layout of the tower concocts a plan to steal the treasure from Shaw. Since they are not thieves by nature, he recruits a real criminal from his neighborhood. Slide (Eddie Murphy) decides to test his new team by making them shoplift items at the mall. There's meek Charlie (Casey Affleck) the soon to be dad concierge, the dim new bellhop Enrique (Michael Peña), Mr. Fitzhugh (Mathew Broderick) an ex-stockbroker who is getting evicted from his tower condo, Lester the doorman (Stephen McKinely Henderson) whose impending retirement was ruined and lost and Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe) the Jamaican made who just happens to know how to crack a safe. Téa Leoni plays Clair the FBI agent assigned to Shaw's case who is nice to see working again, but basically doesn't have much to do.

Tower Heist is a Stiller and Murphy show with both actors keeping their usual manic antics low key and thus making the humor more character driven and amusing. Who really shines in this is Broderick as the slightly off kilter Mr. Fitzhugh who is camping in this empty condo because his wife and kids left him and Casey Affleck a wet blanket type who gets Josh's job when he's fired. The Ocean Eleven's ensemble-like team is fun and entertaining but not as memorable as Clooney and Pitt's group. The movie makes a good date movie after dinner.
(Review by reesa)







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Son of No One




In 1986 at the Queensboro projects a young man hides in the bathroom of a friends house while this junkie who steals his grandmother's government checks chases him for taking his gun. The boy shoots him when he kicks in the door. His best friend and sister help him throw the body in the trash. Later there's another low life who took the discarded gun threatens the boy and in the ensuing struggle falls fatally down the stairs. The boy's father was the late partner of the detective investigating the case who covers it up. Sixteen years later, the boy is now a cop and the details of the case are mysteriously being leaked to an ambitious reporter threatening his career, his department and his family.

Writer/director Dito Montiel (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) has recently worked with Channing Tatum in Fighting. Tatum who has never been much of a nuanced actor is slowly improving his chops as the troubled cop Jonathan “Milk” White. He's been assigned to his childhood neighborhood of Queensboro that brings up the bad memories of his life in the projects. Captain Marion Mathers (Ray Liotta) who has taken over the 18th precinct from Al Pacino's Detective Charles Stanford wants Milk and his partner Officer Thomas Prudenti (James Ransone) to question the reporter Loren Bridges (Juliette Binoche) who has been receiving information about the old murder case. She's been printing the cryptic messages which Mather's, who was also part of the cover-up, wants to silence. Soon afterwards Milk starts to get letters and text messages about the murders. His wife Kerry (Katie Holmes) is getting mysterious phone calls telling her to ask her husband what happened in 1986. Milk visits his old friend Vinnie (30 Rock's Tracey Morgan in a dramatic turn) who has become a shell of his childhood self after spending some time in a mental institute while he carried the secret of the dead junkies to himself all these years.

Tatum carries the role of the tortured Milk like a good soldiers which he has played effectively in other movies. The stoic and sensitive type that will never win awards but is still satisfying although not memorable. Ray Liotta as usual plays Ray Liotta the smarmy guy which you can never trust. Despite Al Pacino's big billing he's only briefly in the film, but as usual makes an over the top impact. The main woman in the movie is Katie Holmes who is a bit of a harpy and not all that loving of a wife. Juliette Binoche must be slumming in this and feels out of place for a journalist in Queens. The real revelation is Tracy Morgan as the mentally unstable Vinnie. What little screen time he's allowed in the story could have used exploring.

The film was selected to close the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Despite the decent performances by everyone involved it can't rescue the storyline which suffers from editing, the flashing back and forth from past to present, plot holes and implausibilities. The crimes were technically self defense so why the big deal to reopen the case? The heavy handed soundtrack was layered on thick just in case you didn't know that particular scenes were supposed to be more intense. It's a dark and muddled film that demands to be more clarified.
(Review by reesa)



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Elevate



Hoop dreams take on a totally different meaning when the dreamers are from a one of a kind boarding school in Dakar, Senegal. Founded by Amadou Gallo Fall who was recruited from Senegal, sent to college in the states, and played professional basketball for 4 years before becoming a scout for the Dallas Mavericks. Wanting to give back be began the SEEDS Academy where tall, athletic young men work hard at academics and specialize in basketball with the goal of earning a scholarship to a US prep school which will hopefully lead them to the NBA.

First time filmmaker Anne Buford is the sister of San Antonio Spurs general manager RC Buford who is involved in SEEDS (Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal). The story follows the lives of four young men as they speak of their hopes and aspirations. Amadou who graduated from college magna cum laude stresses to the teenaged students that they have to prepare for life beyond the game and that not all will make it to the NBA. At the ages of 16-17 the young men range from just over 6 ft to 7ft tall. Soccer is what most kids play from the time they can walk. So some of these kids are just learning basketball. They don't have the skills or basics of the game embedded in their muscle memory as American kids. In class they speak French, but students also speak their native language. They must also speak English to prepare for their lives in the states. It is stressed they are given great opportunity and are united in their goal to prove to the world that people from Senegal and to the larger extent from Africa are not the stereotypes usually portrayed. They know the world will be watching them and the success of the SEEDS program will help others from their country seek their goals.

American coaches come to the school and soon offers are being made as one by one the students are being sent to the states to attend prep schools on a full scholarship. The struggles they experience of being taken away from their home to a whole different environment with tall buildings, snow, wearing suits and ties to class, and the isolation of not totally understanding the language. Throughout the film they deal with injuries, locker room infighting, and a frustrated coach leaving for a job with Nike in the middle of the season. Academically they were always the smartest in their hometown schools and the American academics challenge their confidence. They are more than aware that reaching the NBA is a long shot. One of the men has dreams of being a doctor. The film follows them through graduation as they go off to college. Not all got the big name schools, but the full rides offered give them a chance to continue their education and the NBA hope is still 2 years away when the movie was completed. They may not make it to the big time game, but these hoop dreams they can take back home to their loving supportive families.
(Review by reesa)



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The Double



Mexican mules bring across their border crossers which includes a few Russians who kill their guides as soon as a border control car shows up which turns out to be their ride. Meanwhile a Senator who has been suspected of making deals with the Russians is under surveillance by the FBI. When he is murdered under their watch, the CIA arrives to take over. First feature direction by Michael Brandt who also wrote the screenplay with Derek Haas had worked together on Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma. The story has an interesting concept, but the final film is a disappointing fail.

Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere) is a retired from the CIA who comes home one night and finds newbie CIA agent Ben Geary (Topher Grace) in his house. Ben tells him that the legendary Cassius a Soviet assassin may be back. Paul has spent his career chasing his nemesis who thinks Cassius is long dead and the cases may be the work of a copy cat. Ben who wrote his Masters on Shepherdson's work is convinced that he's alive and well and continuing his crimes. Paul's former section chief Tom Highland (Martin Sheen) who is now the boss pushes him to work with Ben. They visit an associate who was trained by Cassius who is now in prison. Paul gives Brutus (Stephen Moyer) some batteries for a radio that he promises in exchange for information. Brutus eats the batteries to escape. It seems Paul had planned it and ends up killing Brutus. Is this a red herring or is Paul really Cassius as the trailer for the movie suggests?

No surprises when the trailer pretty much tells you that Gere's character is the bad guy, so you have to expect there's something else going on. The movie starts out as a procedural as Ben and Paul go through the numbers investigating the murder. Then somewhere along way it loses it's focus and becomes a muddled mess. Things happen for reason's no sense of reason, characters do inexplicable actions, not enough information is given for the audience to connect the dots. Gere as always puts on his serious face. He looks good, but one can't help thinking that maybe the script he read was not the same as the finished product. It's nice to see Topher Grace as a grownup and not playing the awkward new guy. True Blood's Stephen Moyer and Stana Katic of Castle are in there too with parts that are there then not. The trick ending is supposed to surprise, but it was actually a “really?” What was Richard Gere thinking?
(Review by reesa)



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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oak Cliff Film Festival Coming Soon!


http://www.gooakcliff.org/2011/11/the-1st-annual-oak-cliff-film-fest-announced-this-morning/


http://oakclifffilmfestival.com/


This morning Aviation Cinemas and the Texas Theatre is pleased to announce the 1st ever Oak Cliff Film Festival. The entire fest will be held in areas of Oak Cliff including some of its most well known spots around Bishop Arts. The home base will be the Texas Theatre and satellite locations have already been set up at the Kessler Theater, Teco Theater and Belmont Hotel.

In addition to a fantastic lineup of films, there will also be loads of other activities including music, vip parties and other entertainment announced in the coming months. Below is a copy of the press release sent out this morning and several links to follow the developments.




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