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

Monday, February 27, 2012

84th Academy Awards Winners

Best Picture
"War Horse"
"The Artist" -- Winner
"Moneyball"
"The Descendants"
"The Tree of Life"
"Midnight In Paris"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis in "The Help"
Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady" -- Winner
Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"

Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir in "A Better Life"
George Clooney in "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist" -- Winner
Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

Director
"The Artist" - Michel Hazanavicius -- Winner
"The Descendants" - Alexander Payne
"Hugo" - Martin Scorsese
"Midnight in Paris" - Woody Allen
"The Tree of Life" - Terrence Malick

Short Film (Animated)

"Dimanche/Sunday" - Patrick Doyon
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" - William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg -- Winner
"La Luna" - Enrico Casarosa
"A Morning Stroll" - Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
"Wild Life" - Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Documentary (Short Subject)
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement" - Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
"God Is the Bigger Elvis" - Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
"Incident in New Baghdad" - James Spione
"Saving Face" - Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy -- Winner
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" - Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Short Film (Live Action)
"Pentecost" - Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
"Raju" - Max Zahle and Stefan Gieren
"The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George -- Winner
"Time Freak" - Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
"Tuba Atlantic" - Hallvar Witzø

Writing (Original Screenplay)
"The Artist" - Written by Michel Hazanavicius
"Bridesmaids" - Written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig
"Margin Call" - Written by J.C. Chandor
"Midnight in Paris" - Written by Woody Allen -- Winner
"A Separation" - Written by Asghar Farhadi

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"The Descendants" - Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon and Jim Rash -- Winner
"Hugo" - Screenplay by John Logan
"The Ides of March" - Screenplay by George Clooney and Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
"Moneyball" - Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" - Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan

Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" - Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie -- Winner
"Real in Rio" from "Rio" - Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Music (Original Score)
"The Adventures of Tintin" - John Williams
"The Artist" - Ludovic Bource -- Winner
"Hugo" - Howard Shore
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" - Alberto Iglesias
"War Horse" - John Williams

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners" -- Winner
Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
"Hugo" - Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning -- Winner
"Real Steel" - Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Animated Feature Film
"A Cat in Paris" - Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
"Chico & Rita" - Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
"Kung Fu Panda 2" - Jennifer Yuh Nelson
"Puss in Boots" - Chris Miller
"Rango" - Gore Verbinski -- Winner

Documentary (Feature)
"Hell and Back Again" - Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" - Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" - Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Pina" - Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
"Undefeated" - TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas -- Winner

Sound Mixing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
"Hugo" - Tom Fleischman and John Midgley -- Winner
"Moneyball" - Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
"War Horse" - Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Sound Editing
"Drive" - Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Ren Klyce
"Hugo" - Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty -- Winner
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
"War Horse" - Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Film Editing
"The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
"The Descendants" Kevin Tent
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall -- Winner
"Hugo" - Thelma Schoonmaker
"Moneyball" - Christopher Tellefsen

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo in "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer in "The Help" -- Winner

Foreign Language Film
"Bullhead" - Belgium
"Footnote" - Israel
"In Darkness" - Poland
"Monsieur Lazhar" - Canada
"A Separation" - Iran -- Winner

Makeup
"Albert Nobbs" - Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
"The Iron Lady" - Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland -- Winner

Costume Design
"Anonymous" - Lisy Christl
"The Artist" - Mark Bridges -- Winner
"Hugo" - Sandy Powell
"Jane Eyre" - Michael O'Connor
"W.E." - Arianne Phillips

Art Direction
"The Artist" - Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
"Hugo" - Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo -- Winner
"Midnight in Paris" - Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Helene Dubreuil
"War Horse" - Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Cinematography
"The Artist" - Guillaume Schiffman
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Jeff Cronenweth
"Hugo" - Robert Richardson -- Winner
"The Tree of Life" - Emmanuel Lubezki
"War Horse" - Janusz Kaminski





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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reviews by Wyatt Head

Wanderlust- The fight for comedy has begun with this making you out of breath film. It has been placed at the top of the leader board for me. And with this experience there’s not just provocative material there’s also the comedy to back it up.


Gone- A slightly more funny than thrilling film. I didn't find anything to be really exciting in "Gone". It had a sort of pointless storyline of somebody jumping through a bunch of hoops just to find one guy. It was kind of meaningful to do that in a way because you don 't know who the "guy" is. A boring and thrilling film. Definitely not my favorite.




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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 2/26 - 3/3

This is it kids! The big night of moviedom. The 84th Academy Awards. There's a big watching party happening at the Angelika Thanks to Big Fan Boy and it's FREE:

http://bigfanboy.com/wp/?p=12286

This Sunday night, February 26th, is going to be one of the biggest nights in the world of entertainment. We want you to join Bigfanboy.com at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station – their Dallas theater. Come grab a FREE seat to watch Hollywood’s biggest night on the BIG screen, the way it’s meant to be seen, in HD no less. We’ll have complimentary Duché de Longueville French Sparkling Cider all evening (while it lasts), free candy hearts, exciting prize drawings at every commercial break, and free movie-related goodies for all attendees. It’s going to be the coolest way to see some of the past year’s films gets honored and celebrated. Seats are FREE, we begin seating at 6pm Sunday evening. Seating is only available until it runs out, so arriving early isn’t a bad idea. Past events like this have filled up fast.

THIS JUST IN – our Grand Prize will be TWO passes to The Dallas International Film Festival this April 12-22, an incredible value! DIFF is quite simply one of the best festivals of its type.


February 26 - March 3, 2012

Sun
2/26

5:00 pm
The Academy Awards
Your TV or The Angelika or The Texas Theater

Mon
2/27

Tue
2/28

1:00 pm
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Angelika Dallas

7:00 pm
Undefeated
AmStar Cinemas 14

7:30 pm
21 Jump Street
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Project X
AMC Northpark

Wed
2/29

Thu
3/1

6:00 pm
Casa de Mi Padre
AmStar Cinemas 14

7:30 pm
John Carter
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Angelika Dallas

Fri
3/2

Sat
3/3




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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Independent Spirit Awards 2012 Winners

http://www.spiritawards.com/

Best Feature: The Artist

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Screenplay: The Descendants by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Best Male Lead: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Supporting Male: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Female Lead: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Female: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist

Robert Altman Award: Margin Call (given to director J.C. Chandor, casting directors Tiffany Little Canfield and Bernard Telsey, and the ensemble cast)

Best First Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50

Best First Feature: Margin Call (award given to the director J.C. Chandor, and producers Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto)

Best Documentary: The Interrupters

Best International Feature: A Separation

John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): Pariah (written and directed by Dee Reeds and produced by Nekisa Cooper)

Piaget Producers Award: Sophia Lin, Take Shelter

Someone To Watch Award: Mark Jackson, Without

Truer Than Fiction Award: Heather Courtney, Where Soldiers Come From


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Gone



Jill has been spending her days transversing the national park around her hometown of Portland, OR. She crosses out the sections of area covered on her map, then comes home and checks on her younger sister who is going to college. Jill is plagued with bad dreams or memories about being kidnapped. Those fears send her to the boxing gym where she practically pummels her workout opponent. Writer of Underworld Awakening Allison Burnett and Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia's attempt to create a tense filled mystery which almost works if it wasn't so ordinary.

Amanda Seyfried as Jill makes good use of her large eyes as the troubled, haunted Jill. It wasn't too long ago that she was found wandering in the woods claiming she was kidnapped and put in a big deep hole where she found other bodies beneath her. Somehow she managed to escape but her stories didn't add up to the police and she was eventually committed to a mental hospital. Even after being released she's still convinced the perpetrator is after her to finish the job. When her sister disappears one night her report to the police is ignored and dismissed. Detective Powers (Daniel Sunjata) and Detective Ames (Jennifer Carpenter) treat her like just another lunatic with paranoid delusions. Their suggested scenarios only serve to make her more frustrated. New Detective Hood (Wes Bentley) seems to have an interest and promises Jill that he will help. Jill doesn't trust him and begins an investigation on her own. Armed with a handgun she races around town tracking down clues and getting chased by the police once they discover her with a weapon. She understands that if the police get to her first, no one will be looking for her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham).

Jill is wound up tighter than the girdle of a baptist minister's wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. She sees suspicion everywhere and the filmmakers make sure that everyone looks a little sketchy. Potential bad guys are set up and your attention is diverted at every flashback to think perhaps Jill really is crazy and the cops are right. It doesn't help that Jill is making bone head moves like driving around town like a maniac, lying to a guy for his car, and meeting the bad guy alone in the woods. While she's constantly running away from the police you will have time to wonder why she doesn't tie up her long flowing golden locks that bounce like a shampoo commercial because the police are looking for a petite blond suspect. There's also one jump in your seat scene that actually you will feel embarrassed about being startled afterwards. Cheap shot, guys.

The best part is seeing 80's action star Michael Paré back on the big screen as Lt. Bozeman . Just wishing he had more to do than bark orders. But this is Seyfried's heroine vehicle so all the kick-@ssing and girl empowerment belongs to her. There's the expected comeuppance pay back ending will satisfy most people viewers with low expectations. Good for rental.
(Review by reesa)




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Wanderlust



By now, we have pretty much figured out what our viewing experiences will be like with a new release from producer/writer/actor Judd Apatow.  “ Wanderlust” proves to be not much of a different overall, eye-opening experience than 40 year old Virgin, Knocked Up, Saving Sarah Marshall and Bridesmaids.  Open minded viewers will have a fun time at this new laugh fest.  But do yourself a favor and avoid this film if you are not a fan of the former films.  We know that there will be several scenes of a “squirmy” nature and we are not disappointed.  Do not bring the young children.  You have been warmed. 

The story finds struggling couple Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd vacating the bright lights, big city of New York to move to Atlanta to live with a brother and sister in law in Atlanta, for a potential new job and a chance to become financially independent.  On the way there, they are stranded near a commune, conveniently located by their GPS and called Elysium, which is filled with colorful, interesting, and free spirited souls who believe in sharing “everything” and working together for the common good.  Nudists, nature, pot and free love opportunities are plentiful.  The Elysium residents provide us with a wide range of new characters to meet and come to appreciate for their own idiosyncrasies and gifts.

The movie rings true to the title as the couple does indeed seem to be wandering through life, but unfortunately so does the film.  It wanders….. alot.   A renewed lust for life, for each other and eventually others, is the journey the couple follows until predictable and ultimately, one of them has had enough.   Bet you all can guess what happens and why jealousy rears its ugly head. Especially if you are married to Jennifer Aniston.  Do we stay?  Do we go?   Do I stay? Do you go?  What do we do?  Do I cheat?  Do you cheat?  Do we cheat?   Indecisiveness is rampant.

Our couple finds that life can be filled with beauty, music, love, friendship, illicit substances and so much more, of a hedonistic nature.  Gone is the responsibility and stress of the everyday struggle to survive and be happy.  They seem happier there, especially after spending a few days under the roof of the “crazy couple’s house” that is in Atlanta.  They yearn for acceptance and unconditional love which the brother in law does not provide, due to some latent sibling rivalries.  

If you were amused by and laughed at former Apatow offerings, this one will be more of the same.  Some lame jokes, same situation dependence on genitalia,  and some new funny situations.  But the viewer must be pretty comfortable will all that the “free to be you and me” generation was into.  Young and old, with special emphasis on old. You will this reference near the end.    Is it a great film?  Not really.  Will it entertain you?  You bet.   Put more phrases, images and classic scenes into popular culture.  Probably.  Go see it? Sure.  For the fans of Aniston, Rudd and Apatow.    Based on all the laughter I was hearing around me…….this film is funny.   It keeps your attention but doesn’t quite feed your mind or soul like communal life is intended to. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Act of Valor




Co-directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh also known as the Bandito Brothers decided to take up film-making after a career of getting injured as stunt-men. Taking two years to develop from a script by Kurt Johnstad some time along the way it was decided the best way to portray the highly trained SEAL team was to use real SEALS. A dicey prospect considering the teams would often have to leave on real life missions and one never new if they would come back. Un-named real deal SEALS were used with professional actors mixed in for a story of covert operation involving a kidnapped CIA agent and terrorists that take them all over the world.

Five years ago the small independent film company was allowed access to the elite ranks to film the training exercises in what everyone hoped would be a recruitment video that would have limited runs in military towns. The film would feature the SEALS unique technical abilities that represent the acronym as in SEa, Air and Land. In light of recent Obama missions which involved SEAL Team 6 that took down Bin Laden and most recently saved a couple of reporters from terrorists the story was expanded to show how a real operation like this would be accomplished. The movie also emphasizes the highly trained skills and mindsets that are necessary to get the job done. It also shines a light on the sacrifices the families of these men have to endure when they may not see their husbands, fathers, or sons for months at a time.

It's hard to tell the real actors (Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano and Emilio Rivera) from the real team members here. The acting is merely serviceable if not uncomfortably awkward to advance the story. What you have to keep in mind is the operations you see on screen are what these guys do in real life. Some of the high caliber gun fire you see is with LIVE ammo as we are told in the clip by the directors before the movie starts. There are plenty of explosions, tight action sequences, fast boats with U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant Crewman exchanging machine gun fire that look like small lighted missiles flying through the sky. We are however are assured that no tactical secrets are revealed in the movie. The filmmakers were allowed some liberties in some scenes for for the story. The Navy did negotiate deleting scenes for security reasons.

Despite the often time stilted dialogue which is often awkward, it's over the top heartfelt sentimentalities are evident especially when saying goodbyes to their families or when losing a comrade on the field. The brotherhood instilled in these men by their intense training is well known. The SEALS would have been better served by this film being a documentary instead of a pseudo adventure that hits the audience over the head with it's patriotism. The propaganda is loud and clear. If you just want to be entertained go see Michael Biehn and Charlie Sheen's Navy SEALS who pretty much do the same missions only with actual character development.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 2/19 - 2/25

One would think that if you get your post to the list back as "rejected" you would think twice before hitting reply. Unfortunately there are chronic abusers who continue to do it. (Moderator scratching head sincerely perplexed). And if you do get your post back for being incorrect, please don't take it personally or get paranoid. We are not out to get you. Someone else maybe, but it's not us, truly.

Thanks to Raymond for tackling the issue of bringing kids to the movies that are not rated for children. Just because it has some favorite comedy actors in it, doesn't mean that it's going to be appropriate for the minds that will be controlling our world of the future. (Idiocracy anyone?) Please research the films before attending.


February 19 - 25, 2012

Sun
2/19

Mon
2/20

Tue
2/21

7:30 pm
Act of Valor
tba - Dallas

Wed
2/22

8:00 pm
Wanderlust
AMC Northpark

Thu
2/23

7:30 pm
Gone
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
21 Jump Street
Cinemark West Plano

Fri
2/24

Sat
2/25

10:00 am
DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
AMC Northpark









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Reviews by Wyatt Head

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel- This film brought me to a very happy place in my heart by showing me the beauties of life. It was witty, unadulterated, happy, sad, and relieving all at the same time. This was an excellent experience that I would have been sad to miss.




Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance- A flaming hot mess. This film had horrible acting and a bad storyline. The only thing good about it was that its special effects were very well done. I didn’t like all of the dramatic rock and roll music in this film because frankly it didn’t rock for me.



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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Secret World of Arrietty




借りぐらしのアリエッティ Kari-gurashi no Arietti (The Borrower Arrietty) as it's known in Japan was the highest grossing Japanese film in that country in 2010. It also won the Japan Academy prize for the Animation of the Year. Studio Ghibli's Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki had been contemplating adapting Mary Norton's novel The Borrowers for over 40 years. The direction of this version was given to Hiromasa Yonebayashi one of the animators of Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and Ponyo. Walt Disney Studio is releasing the film under the title The Secret World of Arrietty.

Arrietty (voiced by Bridgit Mendler) is a young woman who lives under the floorboards of a house in Koganel. She and her parents Homily (Amy Poehler) and Pod (Will Arnett) are the tiny people who just “rumors” to the “beings” as regular sized humans are called. To gather what they need to survive, they borrow items like cubes of sugar, biscuits and other things that won't be missed by the beings living in the house above. Shawn (David Henrie) has been sent to his great aunt Sophy (Carol Burnett) outside of Tokyo in the country side to get away from the stress of his parents divorcing as Shawn needs to rest to prepare for a heart operation. Shawn had heard stories of the tiny people that live in the area. In fact a play house was made specifically for them with all running parts, except the Borrowers have learned not to accept things from beings. Exposing themselves have led to fewer Borrowers as they are becoming extinct. Pod realizes they are going to have to find a new place. In his explorations he injures himself and is helped by half wild Spiller who says there are few more of their kind. Arrietty is excited by the prospect of seeing more Borrowers but is also enjoying her friendship with Shawn.

Studio Ghibli is renown for their hand drawn animated adventures that contain both fantasy and reality. The brightly colored cells are amazing eye candy and the stories enchanting for both adults and children. Watching Arrietty go on her first official “borrowing” mission with her father is like a commando raid with Mission Impossible tactics like utilizing duct tape to climb up steep surfaces. Capturing a cube of sugar will last them for months. Although her first borrower excursion ends in being exposed to a being Arrietty lucks out and finds a sewing pin that she can use as a sword. The story does have a few perilous moments with a cat and crow trying to eat Arrietty, and Aunt Sophy capturing Homily in a canning jar hoping to prove their existence. These little moments provide some tension and humor to this charming little story. The beauty of the animation compared to Pixar cells seem cold and too technically pristine with stories that are all hyped up overly anxious to astound. Ghibli Studios create poetry and wonder. You chose.
(Review by reesa)


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This Means War




To make a successful rom-com especially during Valentine's day you need competent attractive actors reciting quick and clever dialogue. Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy fill these shoes competently. Director McG (Terminator Salvation) and the writers Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) handle the Spy vs Spy over the same woman without the typical misunderstandings and cattiness. It's more fun than one expects partly in thanks to Chelsea Handler who steals the movie because it's that thin in content.

FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are CIA agents, partners and best friends. They trust each other in the field completely. FDR is a womanizer and Tuck who already has 7 year old son with his ex is the more romantic of the two. It's been suggested to both of them they may want to consider Internet dating sites. When their last job gets them suspended and inactive, Tuck makes a date with Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a plucky product tester. She just ran into an old boyfriend and found out that she was making up a fictitious lover so that she doesn't look pathetic in from of the ex's new fiancée. Trish (Chelsea Handler) her best friend encourages her to also try online dating, and of course she meets with Tuck. They get along nicely over a cup of coffee with the promise to meet again. FDR who was hanging at the nearby local video store just in case Tuck needed an out, cute meets Lauren unbeknown she just left Tuck. Both men are smitten, and Trish who is living vicariously through Lauren encourages to see both guys. Once the guys realize they are liking the same person, they agree not to go to third base with her and if Lauren choses either one, the other will back off like a gentlemen.

But since this is a movie, they both get caught in a oneupmanship by utilizing government resource to investigate Lauren for their own gain. Surveillance, wire taping, background checks, nothing is left to question. Lauren can't believe they are so in tune they are to the things she likes. It's a quandary over which one to chose. Lauren thinks that Tuck is a travel agent and FDR is a ship's captain. Tuck is sweet and sensitive, while with FDR she trades snappy banter while he manipulates her into thinking he's all heart. It is not a surprise when FDR actually does have heart and realizes that he's not going to give up in being the one that Lauren chooses. Meanwhile the agents are actually working on catching the dangerous assassin Heinrich (Til Schweiger) whose brother they had killed at the beginning of the story. Their methods often get them in hot water, so between wooing Lauren, they are having shootouts and car chases. Somehow it all comes together into a satisfying and expected end. Don't expect rocket science here. It's just a pleasant date movie.
(Review by reesa)





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Rampart



In the late 1990's the Rampart division of the Los Angeles police force had over 70 officers implicated in some form of misconduct. Dave Brown a uniform cop having been fostered in this environment now has to face up to his wayward career. Director/writer Oren Moverman (The Messenger) and crime fiction writer James Ellroy have made a nihilistic character study in which Woody Harrelson delivers a fierce performance. It's too bad the movie seems to flounder after twisting and turning the viewers to an uncomfortable stew.

Woody looking lean and mean plays the racist, sexist, unrepentant rogue of a cop who mourns the “glorious soldiers department”. While the older cops give him hesitant respect to his dinosaur attitudes, the younger members of the department would just as soon report his misdeeds. Dave is caught beating a suspect which is caught on camera and goes viral. Although he's able to use his lawyer trained explanations the politically motivated bosses are ready to let him take the fall to misdirect attention from the previous departmental scandal. Getting suspended he becomes desperate for cash so he gets a tip from his retired mentor (Ned Beatty) about a high stakes poker game that begs to be robbed. But things go south and Dave's life goes spirals out of control in a paranoia, sex and drugs.

Dave's personal life is complicated with his ex-wives who happen to be sisters (Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche) and his two daughters. His younger daughter only sees the gentle dad, while the older is a seething teenager who one feels worries she's just as crazy as her dad. The wives want Dave out of the house so they can start living normally again. But Dave has this obsessive need to protect them even though he's the one that needs them. Dave is also seeing a woman who he met in a bar (Robin Wright) an alcoholic with a “courtroom suit and litigator eyes”. There's also Sigourney Weaver as an internal affairs investigator who can't seem to get Dave admit that he's done something wrong. In his eyes he's protecting the public.

Harrelson nails Dave Brown as a completely despicable character. But at the same time he can be confident and charming. His sweetness with his daughters anchors him in some humanity. The throw away comments that he was in Vietnam gives him some background as to his military righteousness in the face of the enemy. The violence that he hands out is his battle ground. He believes he's doing his job on the front line, keeping the public safe and secure. While each of his scenes are intense and often times brilliant, the story leaves one hanging with an inevitable sigh, an OK, whatever.
(Review by reesa)




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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Dallas Film Society Announces Fifteen Titles for the Dallas International Film Festival in Official Selections






The Dallas Film Society Announces

Fifteen Titles for the Dallas International Film Festival in Official Selections

GLEN KEANE named as the recipient of the TEXAS AVERY ANIMATION AWARD

Lineup features new films by Lawrence Kasdan and Takashi Shimizu, “one to watch” Jason Berman, indie filmmakers Ryan O’Nan, David Redmon and Ashley Sabin

BOARDWALK AUTO GROUP VOLKSWAGEN DEALERS take the wheel as presenting sponsor for 2012

Dallas, TX, February 15, 2012 —The Dallas International Film Festival announced today the first fifteen films chosen to screen at the sixth edition of the festival (April 12 – 22, 2012). The lineup includes two world premieres and nine Texas premieres. Films entered into the narrative feature and documentary competition will have the chance to win an unrestricted cash prize of $10,000 per category and those entered into the Environmental Visions Competition will have the chance to win a cash prize of $10,000 from Whole Foods. The Embrey Family Foundation returns with a $10,000 prize to bestow the Silver Heart Award to an individual or film for their dedication to fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity.

Legendary animator, director, author and illustrator Glen Keane, best known for his work on Disney classics such as ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, TARZAN, THE LITTLE MERMAID and TANGLED, was named this year’s honoree for the Texas Avery Animation Award presented by REEL FX. Keane has previously received the prestigious Winsor McCay Award, which is also presented for lifetime achievement in animation.

DIFF also announced that Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers will be the film festival’s presenting sponsor for the 2012 edition.

“For each of the first five years of the Dallas International Film Festival we have worked to bring a vibrant mix of international excellence and artistry to the city of Dallas,” said James Faust, artistic director of the Dallas Film Society. “This year, I really feel the selection of films we have will offer even more to our audience. From the return to the big screen of a true film artist like Lawrence Kasdan to a return to our fest by Ryan O’Nan (star of 2010’s Target Filmmaker Award winner, THE DRY LAND) with an exciting directing debut, to great international selections from South Korea and Lebanon, these first fifteen films offer an excellent preview of what will be on tap for the 2012 DIFF. This year also marks the return of DIFF’s beloved Deep Ellum Sounds section, so there truly will be a film for everyone. In 2012 that is what we want to convey: the Dallas International Film Festival is for all tastes and all walks of life. It really is for everyone.”

DIFF sees the return of a number of alumni in 2012. Named in 2011 as “one to watch” by Variety, producer and DIFF’s Advisory Board member Jason M. Berman returns to Dallas with two films in this year’s festival, the critically acclaimed drama, LUV and O’Nan’s THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS BEAT THE BEST. In partnership with fellow THE DRY LAND (2010) alum, Ryan O’Nan, Berman and O’Nan have assembled an impressive cast for THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS, including Michael Weston, Arielle Kebbel, Andrew McCarthy, Jason Ritter, Wilmer Valderrama, Christoper McDonald and Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo. Attending DIFF in 2010 opened up many doors and investment opportunities for both filmmakers. Marking their third appearance at DIFF (following KAMP KATRINA (2007) and INTIMIDAD (2008)) are filmmaking tandem Ashley Sabin and David Redmon as they go behind the scenes of the Japanese and Siberian modeling industry and uncover the unsettling truth in their documentary, GIRL MODEL. Another DIFF alum Academy Award winner Alex Gibney is executive producer of world premiere BIBA! ONE ISLAND, 879 VOTES directed by his longstanding colleague in cinematography, Benjamin Bloodwell.

Lawrence Kasdan’s return to directing in nearly 10 years will be a highlight in the Texas premiere of his drama DARLING COMPANION, featuring a stellar cast that includes Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Richard Jenkins, Dianne Wiest and Elisabeth Moss. And genre fans will be in for a special treat as the director of THE GRUDGE films, Takashi Shimizu, will be in town to head up the festival's Midnight category with his most recent work, TORMENTED. THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA, featuring an appearance by Alec Baldwin, is the first film to be announced in the Environmental Visions Competition. The winning film in this category will not only win the unrestricted cash prize from Whole Foods, it will also screen again as part of Earth Day Dallas on April 22, 2012.

Three selections were announced in the popular and coveted Texas Competition category: Dallas Cowboys documentary AMERICA’S PARKING LOT; SIRONIA which marks the return to Dallas for the majority of the cast and crew, including ANGEL (1999) actress Amy Acker; and the world premiere of Mark Potts’ CINEMA SIX which features the much-loved Barry Corbin.

The Texas Avery Animation Award presented by REEL FX honors a lifetime achievement in animation filmmaking. Glen Keane, one of the shining lights in the current generation of Disney character animators, has thrilled audiences with his artistry of the leading characters in many of the classic animated features since the 1970’s. He was the lead animator of Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID, The Beast in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) and he personally created the characters Aladdin, Tarzan and Pocahontas in their respective Disney films. Most recently, he was the directing animator of Rapunzel and animation supervisor of the breathtaking fantasy, TANGLED (2010).

“Glen Keane’s work is beloved by millions around the world. As an artist and storyteller, he has brought some of our favorite, iconic heroes and heroines to life in some of the most-loved animated classics ever made,” said Ed Jones, CEO of REEL FX. “Although some film-goers might not know his name, you only have to mention Aladdin, Ariel, Tarzan or Pocahontas to see an instantaneous, awed reaction. Glen is also an educator and has dedicated much of his life to teaching others the art of animation. Texas Avery Animation Award has been given to the very best in our industry: Brad Bird, Chris Wedge, Henry Selick, Pete Docter and Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. We feel there is no more fitting recipient to honor this year than Glen Keane. We look forward to celebrating him and his incredible body of work during DIFF.”

For the first time, the top Volkswagen dealers in Texas, Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers have signed on as presenting sponsor. Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers will be providing the festival with a Volkswagen fleet to transport filmmakers and festival guests around Dallas for the entire 11-day duration. “For the last five years we have watched the impressive evolution of the Dallas International Film Festival,” said Scott K. Ginsburg, Owner of Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers. “As the festival enters into its sixth year, we are thrilled to be a part of the celebration of the arts within our community. At Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, we have a fierce commitment to integrity and service performance and in this we feel a natural synergy with the Dallas International Film Festival – it is renowned for its hospitality and putting the filmmakers and their work on a pedestal. We celebrate that.”

Approximately 180 films from all over the world will be screened over 11 days. For the first year since the festival’s inception there will be a Festival Village at the fashionable Mockingbird Station. The Festival Village will serve as the hub of the festival where filmmakers and film fans will have the chance to mingle and network at the Festival Lounge and CBS Radio will present its first ever Music Lounge - showcasing local music to the public every evening for the festival’s eleven-day duration. Only a few steps from Mockingbird Station, Kimpton’s luxurious Hotel Palomar will conveniently offer a stylish retreat for the out-of-town filmmakers and visiting celebrities as the festival’s host hotel.

The festival will culminate with the Dallas Film Society Honors on April 20, an evening of tributes with Dallas Star Award honorees and filmmaker award winners at the Hotel Palomar. Along with the cash prizes from Whole Foods and The Embrey Family Foundation, TXU Energy will award grants to the winning schools and student filmmakers for the Student Light Up the Red Carpet Film Contest. Other Grand Jury Prize awards will be presented to the best narrative feature, documentary feature, Texas Competition, Short Film, Student Short Film and Animated Short Film presented by REEL FX Entertainment.

Passes are currently for sale and range from $100 for a Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass. Tickets go on sale at the Prekindle Box Office and online to the public on March 22. The Prekindle Box Office will be featured as part of the Festival Village at Mockingbird Station. For further information on pass levels and how to purchase passes visit: www.dallasfilm.org or telephone 214.720.0555.

The fifteen official selections include:
AMERICA’S PARKING LOT (USA)
Director: Jonny Mars
Two die-hard fans and leaders of the legendary 'Gate 6' tailgate party, spend their last season with the Dallas Cowboys at historic Texas Stadium. When the Cowboys move 20 miles west to Arlington, the shifting politics and economics of major league sports threaten to dissolve the friendships and traditions they have built over 20 years and they scramble to preserve their place in AMERICA'S PARKING LOT.
Category: Texas Competition

ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR (USA) – Texas Premiere
Director: Xan Aranda
Filmed during culminating months of the acclaimed singer-songwriter's most rigorous year of touring, Andrew Bird crosses the December finish line in his hometown of Chicago - feverish and on crutches from an onstage injury. FEVER YEAR is the first to capture Bird's precarious multi-instrumental looping technique and features live performances at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater with collaborators Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Michael Lewis and Annie Clark of St. Vincent.
Category: Deep Ellum Sounds

ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA, THE (USA) – Texas Premiere
Directors: Dan Argott, Sheena Joyce
Following the 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake which hit Japan and caused chaos at the Fukushima Power Plant, the fierce debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power was back in the public consciousness. ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA takes the viewer on a journey to reactor communities around the country, exposes the truths and myths of nuclear power, and poses the question of whether or not man can responsibly split the atom.
Category: Environmental Visions

BIBA! ONE ISLAND, 879 VOTES (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Benjamin Bloodwell
BIBA! follows the rallies and debates of Trenton Conner and Henry San Nicolas in their battle for control over the Pacific island, Tinian. Along the way we learn about Tinian's historic and geopolitical significance, being the launch point for the Enola Gay in World War II and presently the home of the Voice of America broadcasting towers, sending pro-democracy propaganda into China and North Korea.
Category: Documentary Feature Competition

BINDLESTIFFS (USA) – Texas Premiere
Director: Andrew Edison
Three high school virgins, suspended from school on a bogus graffiti charge, flee to the inner city in an attempt to live out the plot of The Catcher in the Rye - a book they neither have read nor understand. Starring John Karma, Luke Loftin, Andrew Edison and Will Fordyce.
Category: Midnight

BROOKLYN BROTHERS BEAT THE BEST, THE (USA) – Texas Premiere
Director: Ryan O’Nan
A singer-songwriter hits the road with a self-appointed music revolutionary. Cast includes Ryan O’ Nan, Michael Weston, Arielle Kebbel, Andrew McCarthy, Jason Ritter, Wilmer Valderrama, Christoper McDonald and Melissa Leo
Category: Premiere

CINEMA SIX (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Mark Potts
Three small-town friends have to decide whether to keep their easy jobs at a movie theater or actually try to do something meaningful with their lives.
Cast includes John Merriman, Mark Potts, Brand Rackley, Byron Brown, Lindsey Newell, Heather Wallis, Madi Goff, Chris Doubek, Cole Selix, Kevin M. Brennan, Maggie Carey, and Barry Corbin
Category: Texas Competition

DARLING COMPANION (USA) – Texas Premiere
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
A story of a woman who loves her dog more than her husband and then her husband loses the dog. Cast includes Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss and Ayelet Zurer
Category: Premiere

DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (USA) – Texas Premiere
Directors: Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, Frédéric Tcheng
A look at the life and work of the influential fashion editor of Harpers Bazaar, Diana Vreeland
Category: Premiere

ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE (USA)
Directors: Matthew Heineman, Susan Froemke
ESCAPE FIRE exposes the perverse nature of American healthcare, contrasting the powerful forces opposing change with the compelling stories of pioneering leaders and the patients they seek to help. The film is about finding a way out, about saving the health of a nation.
Category: Documentary Feature Competition

GIRL MODEL (USA)
Directors: David Redmon, A.Sabin
GIRL MODEL follows a complex supply chain between Siberia, Japan, and the U.S. within the modeling industry. The story is told through the eyes of the scouts, agencies and a 13 year-old model.
Category: Documentary Showcase

LUV (USA) - Texas Premiere
Director: Sheldon Candis
Over the course of one day, a shy 13-year-old forms a bond with his troubled uncle as he shows the boy what it takes to be a man in Baltimore.
Starring newcomer Michael Rainey, Jr., Common, Michael K. Williams, Danny Glover, Meagan Good and Charles S. Dutton
Category: Narrative Feature Competition

SIRONIA (USA)
Director: Branda Dickerson
A singer-songwriter beat up by the L.A. music machine who moves with his wife to Sironia, Texas. Starring Wes Cunningham, Amy Acker, Tony Hale, Jeremy Sisto, Courtney Ford, Carrie Preston and Robyn Lively
Category: Texas Competition

TORMENTED (JAPAN/NETHERLANDS) – Texas Premiere
Director: Takashi Shimizu
TORMENTED centers on a young boy whose family seems to be unraveling around him. His sister is grappling with the reality of life or death, while his father walks a line with insanity. The situation intensifies when the boy manifests a dangerous friendship with a stuffed toy rabbit that comes to life.
Starring Teruyuli Kagawa, Hikari Mitsushima, Nao Ohmori
Category: Midnight

WHERE DO WE GO NOW? (FRANCE, LEBANON, EGYPT, ITALY) – Texas Premiere
Director: Nadine Labaki
A group of Lebanese women try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village.
Starring Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Layla Hakim, Nadine Labaki, Yvonne Maalouf
Category: World Cinema

ABOUT THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY
The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today's world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual Dallas International Film Festival, scheduled for April 12 – 22, 2012, is a presentation of the Dallas Film Society. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city. For more information, call (214) 720-0555, or visit www.dallasfilm.org. The offices of the Dallas Film Society are located at 3625 North Hall Street, Suite 740, Dallas, TX 75219.

2012 Festival Sponsors: Austin Film Festival, Baylor Healthcare System, Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, CBS Radio, Community Trust Bank, D Magazine, Dallas Film Commission, Dallas Observer, DESI, Earth Day Dallas, El Creative, Eurochannel, Faulkner Design Group, Forte Public Relations, GrandLuxe Magazine, Metro PCS, Modern Luxury, Mockingbird Station, NorthPark Center, Pencilneck, Post Asylum, Prekindle, Reel FX, Stella Artois, Texas Association of Film Commissions, Texas Film Commission, Time Warner Cable, TXU Energy, Videotex Systems, Inc., West Village, WFAA, Whole Foods Market, WRR Classical 101.1


ABOUT BOARDWALK AUTO GROUP VOLKSWAGEN DEALERS
Boardwalk Volkswagen Richardson is the top VW sales performer in the State of Texas and is ranked among the top VW dealers nationwide. Its stand-alone pre-owned sales facility ranks in the top ten nationally in certified pre-owned Volkswagen sales. Such earnings don’t accrue without a fierce commitment to integrity and service performance. Come experience the Boardwalk difference. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group we cultivate a focus on top-flight performance. It’s the driving force behind every nameplate we represent, every car we maintain, and every customer we have the privilege to serve. Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, where our customers always come first. For more information contact www.dallasvw.com



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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Movie Reviews by Wyatt Head

The Secret World of Arrietty- This amazing anime experience has a great amount of heart in it along with a tale that is understandable to all people. The film gives you a kind and pleasant awakening to what true friendship is really like.


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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 2/12 - 2/18

If you have not already heard we lost a movie friend this week due to a senseless random shooting at a DART station. Eric Johnson was a regular at our screenings, always with a friendly greeting and a smile on his face. He will be sincerely missed. There maybe some plans in work for a auction to be held to help the family. Keep an eye on our Facebook site for news. Services will be held this weekend. For more information:

http://www.affoplano.com/?q=obituary/eric-johnson

February 12 - 18, 2012

Sun
2/12

Mon
2/13

7:30 pm
This Means War
Cinemark 17

Tue
2/14

7:30 pm
Titanic 3D
Cinemark West Plano

7:30 pm
Titanic 3D
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Cinemark West Plano

Wed
2/15

7:30 pm
21 Jump Street
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Angelika Dallas

Thu
2/16

7:00 pm
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
AmStar Cinemas 14

7:30 pm
Act of Valor
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
tba - Dallas

Fri
2/17

Sat
2/18

10:30 am
DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
AMC Stonebriar





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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Safe House



Ryan Reynolds plays Matt Weston a young CIA agent who is in charge of a “Safe House” in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a secret facility where guests are held for various reasons. His beautiful girlfriend is clueless and thinks he's just a regular working stiff from the stories he relays of his time at his job. Weston is ready to move on from his static position to become a field agent. His boss tells him his time will come. Which may be sooner than he thinks when his house gets a guest.

Director Daniel Espinosa and writer David Guggenheim have presented a tight non stop action yarn about rogue CIA agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) who puts the agency on high alert when he walks into a consulate in Cape Town. The analysts at Langley are at a loss as to why since Frost has been selling agency secrets to the highest bidder and so why would he suddenly turn himself in. The safe house is activated as Weston gets ready for the “guest”. Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick) is sent in with his team to interrogate him. The water boarding is interrupted when a gang of mercenaries suddenly attack the safe house. Weston is left alone with Frost whose calm demeanor reminds him that he is responsible for the safety of his guest. From then on, the two men are on the run. Weston to hopefully finding another safe house to bring in Frost, and Frost to find a way to escape. Frost tells Weston that he shouldn't trust his handlers. There are several scenarios that will go down, first they will thank him for his good job and take control themselves or if things go south, they will disavow him and let him take the fall. He also advises that his line of work having a girlfriend is not possible and puts their lives in danger. Weston who graduated from the top of his class in trade craft knows these fact instinctively, but doesn't want to admit it. When Frost escapes, those scenarios are looking more likely so Weston decides instead of coming in from the cold he will bring in Frost on his own.

CIA analyst Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga) and Weston's boss David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson) are sent by Director Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard) to go to Cape Town to get on site intel and to run damage control. They find out that Frost has some information that he was going to sell that could damage all the intelligence agencies around the world. From the opening sequence of the movie to the very end it's non stop heart pounding action. The story in itself is serviceable and somewhat predictable and unbelievable, but the choreography keeps it moving so you don't think about the plot holes. Denzel has gotten that stoic alpha male role down to a science. Reynold is just as efficient as Frost's possible replacement. The action sequences are well shot without retching your stomach reflexes with the multiple quick cutting as per norm. This is a fun mindless thriller to work out the winter doldrums.
(Review by reesa)




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The Vow



It must be a wonderful conceit to have a movie based on your real life story performed by such attractive actors as Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. Based on the true incident in 1993, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter experienced a devastating accident that put Krickitt in a coma with a head injury. When she woke up she had no recollection of her husband of a couple of months. In the movie version, Leo the devoted husband of Paige honours his marriage vow so completely that he makes it his life's mission to get his wife to fall in love with him all over again.

Leo (Channing Tatum) falls in love at first site with Paige (Rachel McAdams) while waiting in line a the Department of Motor Vehicles in Chicago. They meet cute and sparks fly immediately. She's an art student, he lives with some musical roommates. They are both quirky and free spirits. It doesn't take long before they are wedding each other at the local art museum before they are run out by the security guards. The love sick duo are full of sugar, lightness and deep thoughts about the “moments of impact” in their lives. Even Leo and Paige's friends are getting toothaches from their sweetness. Until the accident happens which results in Paige losing her memory of the last five years with Leo. The Paige that wakes up is not an artist she's a law student living with her family in the well to do suburbs of Lake Forest engaged to a high school boyfriend Jeremy (Scott Speedman). Paige's family (Jessica Lange and Sam Neill) are thrilled to have her back to the pre-big city version before she ran off to Chicago. They haven't heard from her since that time and don't know anything about her new life including her husband. They are polite to Leo, but are not approving of him running his own recording studio or Paige's art career even though she won a city commission. Taking Paige back home to her art studio and Leo constant attention is confusing so she eventually returns to her parents house supposedly to help with her sisters wedding. The new old Paige falls into the same traps when her father gets her enrolled back to law school. It's only a matter of time before history repeats itself.

Director Michael Sucsy (HBO's Grey Gardens) helped write this story by Stuart Sender with writers Jason Katim, Abby Kohn, and Marc Sliverstein. This is not a Nicolas Sparks drippy romantic epic. It has it's moments of emotional overload but keeps those in check with the by the numbers cuing of pop songs for the desired effect. Tatum makes the most of carrying the film being both masculine and sensitive. Of course the shirtless scenes peppered in keeps the viewer distracted enough that you won't notice his limited range. McAdams is pretty and peppy basically just smiling and being spunky with that charisma she has perfected in her previous films. One can't fault Leo's earnest wooing of his wife by taking her to their favorite haunts, even skinny dipping in Lake Michigan. As a couple they have on screen chemistry that makes this light fare the perfect Valentine date.
(Review by reesa)



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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island



The sequel to 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth revisits Sean Anderson who begins this movie by breaking into a satellite research center. The sullen teen rejects his step-father's attempt to befriend him until it turns out he used to be an Naval intelligence specialist who worked in code breaking. They discover a message from Sean's grandfather who was following a Jules Verne clue about a a mysterious island. Hence the name of the film. Directed by Brad Peyton and written by Brian and Mark Gunn, it's another 3D enhanced adventure aimed at the younger child who don't particularly care about the details and with a generous dollop of everything is better when you do it with family.

How can anyone not appreciate having Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) as your father. He plays Hank who just married Liz (Kristin Davis) and moved them to another town. Sean (Josh Hutcherson) is peeved about not being with his friends so he gives his step dad a hard time. Attempting to improve his communication with Sean, he grounds him for getting into trouble then helps him decode a broadcast signal which turns out to be a message from his grandfather. The code tells them to look for Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels and Verne's Mysterious Island. The clues put together gives them a map of a island near Palau in the Pacific Ocean. Sean is ready to leave at that moment, and Hank quickly pulls out two plane tickets for them both to go. They hire a helicopter flown by Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) with whom Sean gets all tongue tied in typical teen boy style. “Gabby” advises there's no island there and the area is notorious for being dangerous until Hank offers him 3x's as much which gets them in the air. The water spouts and high winds guard the island, and they end up crashing on the beach. Going through a tunnel it opens up to a virtual paradise where things that are large are small and things that are small are large. Like tiny elephants and bees so big you can hitch a ride on them. They eventually find Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine who at 78 still rocks) who has been there for a few years researching. But Hanks discovers that the island is sinking faster than Alexander predicted due to the shifting tectonic plates and they only have a few days to send a signal and get off the island before the island disappears into the ocean.

Sean holds onto the bad attitude towards his step-father too long. Although when Hank gives him advise on women involving flexing his ample pecs in "pec-pops" should have broken the ice back when he was breaking the code. There's also this good natured but cutting competition between Alexander and Hank which makes little sense except to maybe create some tension. Guzmán is the comic relief who has to recite some really cheesy dialogue. Vanessa Hudgens fares better as playing the politically correct strong minded female character that is a good role model for young girls. Her snarky remarks to the smitten teen are right out of a stereotypical Nickelodeon script.

Filmed on a green screen with a CGI island, creatures and volcanoes, the artwork looks good, the cast gives it a good try it's too bad the dialogue is barely serviceable. The middle school crowd will like it because they don't really pay attention to when people are talking. The Rock even has a musical moment in the middle. The guy can do anything. There's giant lizard, birds,an electric eel with an exploding island trying to make the 3D worth it.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 2/5 - 2/11

Is everyone at home watching the big game? If you are out watching it on the big screen please keep safe when driving.

There's lots of movies this week so there will also be lots of NEEDS/WANTED, OFFERS, and TRADES going on. Remember you must put a designator on the SUBJECT line otherwise your email will be rejected. And if you do get rejected remember it's not personal! You are not being singled out.

Also...Please don't ask for passes when there are contests pending. Until those passes are distributed and you didn't get one, then and only then can you ask. Your group members are not here to supply you with passes. Hopefully they are entering the contests because they really want to go and not to use the passes to barter with later. (Really, if you have no intention of going, please don't try to win them and keep it from someone else who could have used it...very uncool and greatly frowned upon).

Otherwise have a good week and see you at the movies!

February 5 - 11, 2012

Sun
2/5

Mon
2/6

7:00 pm
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Cinemark West Plano

7:30 pm
21 Jump Street
AMC Northpark

Tue
2/7

7:00 pm
This Means War
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Safe House
AMC Northpark

Wed
2/8

7:30 pm
Act of Valor
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
The Vow
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Rampart
AMC Northpark

Thu
2/9

4:00 pm
DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
tba-Plano

7:00 pm
This Means War
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Act of Valor
AMC Grapevine

7:30 pm
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Angelika Dallas

Fri
2/10

Sat
2/11

10:30 am
The Secret World of Arrietty
AMC Northpark


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Friday, February 3, 2012

Reviews by Wyatt Head

Big Miracle- This film brought what we all know about outcomes to the surface. And that is that teamwork is the best way to accomplish a mission. This beautiful story and theme worked together very well because both were very powerful


Pina- This absolutely beautiful film makes the screen come alive with elements of nature and the movements of the human body. It appeals to all of those who know dance and even those who do not with it's feeling of reality and passion.


The Grey- A film that makes me shiver in my seat. This thriller passes any excitement you get from watching a sports movie and lifts you up as well as brings you down with its unique story of friendship. A friendship that is truly needed to survive.




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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chronicle




There's some YouTube videos of these kids doing pranks that look real like blowing someone up or turning them into a chicken. They are fun filled with “how did they that?” scenes. Watching the trailer for the new film Chronicle seems like a bigger budget YouTube event. There's the “found footage” element that's getting over killed with the Paranormal movies but in this case it works better with greater effect and raises the bar for future films using this contrivance.

Andrew (Dane Dehaan) lives with his drunk abusive father and his dying mother. His only friend is is cousin Matt (Alex Russell) who likes him out of sympathy and kinship. Andrew decides to record everything with an large old video camera. He even takes it to school where because he's withdrawn and introverted is often bullied. Matt encourages him to attend a party because they are senior and asks him not to bring the camera. Andrew of course does and gets beat up. Licking his wounds out side he meets Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan) who is running for class president. He tells Andrew to hurry and bring his camera. He and Matt had found something amazing. There's a hole in the ground which they go to investigate with reluctant Andrew in tow. What they find in that hole is unclear but changes them forever.

The use of the video camera keeps the focus of story from Andrew's perspective although it's interspersed with traditional film making so the viewer is not limited to being trapped with shaky camera syndrome. The boys discover after the night in the cave that they have telekinetic abilities which are increasing each day. They even discover how to fly. The flying sequences are funny, awkward and thrilling. Especially the landings. The kids don't quickly don stretch body suits in primary colors and masks. Being teenagers they don't think about using these powers for good. They want to just want to mess around and pull pranks like moving a woman's car from one parking space to another. Their impulsive teenage minds raises the issue of control and as expected it get them into their first spot of danger. Matt the more grounded of the three suggests that they have some rules like not using it when they are angry. Despite the early warning signal what happened to them they believe that it's best time they have ever had in their lives. Steve helps Andrew out of shell by using his powers in a magic act at the high school talent show. The sudden acceptance by his fellow students is heady. Unfortunately Andrew is so bent and twisted by his horrific home life that it sends him over to the dark side.

First feature director Josh Trank and writer Max Landis (son of John Landis) have meshed sci-fi comic book superhero genre with real life conventional teenage life. The YouTube generation will easily relate to the portrayal of their peers. Trank manages to give the leads a sense of friendship, remorse and humanity. There's no quirky, snarky, and precocious attitudes. No one is shot with good lighting and expense clothes. The audience feels invested in what will happen to these young men and whether Andrew will overcome what eventually will become inevitable.

The viral marketing campaign has been aimed at the technically savvy with social media and QR bar codes for smart phones. The current YouTube with these remote controlled cutouts that look like people flying around NYC is blowing up. It's the first movie of the year that makes one glad January is over.
(Review by reesa)







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Woman in Black



Harry Potter is all grown up now. Not physically because Daniel Radcliffe is a short guy, but he's an adult now handling the story of a widowed father of a young son who is charged by his law firm to settle an estate in a remote section of England called Eel Marsh, It's a do it or fired situation as they are tired of his mopey attitude since he lost his wife to childbirth. Based on 1983's Susan Hill thriller fiction novel it was adapted to the stage in 1987 and a TV movie in 1989. This 2012 version was directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and written by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass and X-Men First Class) and produced by Hammer Film Productions. It's a solid ghost story that doesn't end well and leaves the door open for future versions.

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is send out to settle the estate of Alice Drablow. His boss tells him there's tons of paperwork in the old house on the marsh that needs sorting. The local solicitor Mr. Jerome (Tim McMullan) with whom he meets in the village is unwelcoming. In fact the villagers look upon him with fear and suspicion. Everyone is telling him to take the next train out. Unlike Mr. Daily (Ciarán Hinds) the local wealthy landowner who gave him a ride from the train station. Despite the warnings Arthur goes to old house that's only accessible at low tide. The large old estate is in poor repair, but he manages to light candles and lamps examining the tons of documents crumpled in suitcases and drawers. He begins to hear noises in the house only to find a bird living in the fireplace. He looks outside and see a figure of a woman in black standing in the cemetery. When he returns to the village he tells the local constable about the woman he saw. Suddenly a couple of boys come in with their sister who had just sallowed some lye. The villagers blame Arthur because local legend is that whenever someone sees the woman in black a child dies in the village. This includes Mr. Daily's son Nathaniel who his wife channels when she is not acting normal. Daily thinks the legend is folly and his wife is just depressed. Going back to the house again, more strange things happen and Arthur becomes worried about his son who is set to visit the next day.

There's an old school classic Hammer feel with the accents, the costumes, the old houses in the gray desolate northern England landscape. The jump in your seat moments come when you expect them, but they are still effective. The viewer doesn't feel cheated by characters making bone head moves. Radcliffe is believable checking out the house, not getting panicked by the bumps in the night and dealing with it with natural skepticism. The old nursery has these turn of the century mechanical toys and dolls with scary glass eyes, a rocking chair that rocks hard on it's own. The movie feels like it was made in the 60's or early 70's. It's lack of cell phone and wise cracking teenagers is a relief. There's lot's of slow moving parts. One has to wonder why Arthur doesn't question the stares and parents hiding children from him. Also the ending seems to have been a cop-out rather than a triumph. The filmmakers had originally planned to make it a 3D movie. So glad they changed their minds. Overall this will be big with teens looking for a cheap thrill. In the meantime Daniel Radcliffe is on his way shaking off Harry Potter.
(Review by reesa)







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The Big Miracle




In 1988 three gray whales were found trapped in pack ice near Barrow, Alaska. The attempts to save the whales generated media attention and a global effort to free them. Director Ken Kwapis (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and He's Just Not That Into You) with screen writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler (both of The Prince & Me) were inspired by Thomas Rose's book “Freeing the Whales”. The result is a hodgepodge of a large diverse cast of familiar actors who face disaster, romance, media ambition, small town quirkiness, and aboriginal sensitivity into eco-friendly film good for the whole family.

Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) is a reporter from Anchorage who is doing a story about a Mexican restaurant finds the story of the trapped whales as his ticket to the “outside”. That's Alaskan speak for the lower 48. Ted Danson plays oilman J.W. McGraw who gets permission to drill in the wild life protected Bristol Bay. Green Peace activist Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore) interrupts the lease rights meeting protesting before getting kicked out. She's also the ex-girlfriend of Adam and gets on his case for not telling her first about the whales. The California Gray parents and their 9 month old baby whale who were on their way to migrate in Mexico got trapped five miles out and behind a ice wall to the open ocean. Wildlife expert (Tim Blake Nelson) agrees that once the hole in the ice freezes over the whales will drown. Before that happens the local Inupiaq Inuit tribe will harvest the animals for food as per their native rights. John's report goes national with the assistance of Rachel's heart felt plea to help them. Soon everyone jumps on the band wagon to use this blight for their own benefit. Junior TV reporter Jill Jerard (Kristen Bell) from LA thinks this is a make or break chance when the main newsman thinks it's just a cat in the tree story. Alaskan Governor Haskell (Stephen Root) doesn't want to send the Coast Guard in to help because of the expense just for whales until the political machine behind Reagan thinks it's a good move for the President. Even McGraw (under the influence of his sneaky wife manipulation) decides to clean up his image by putting in his money to help the whales by having helicopters tow an ice barge to break through. Even the town benefits from the influx of outsiders by jacking up the price of services.

The story is obviously Hollywoodized to the nth degree with it's two dimensional characters and even the title of the film informs the result of the plot. Rachel is shrill and obsessed with her eco-rants that you can understand why Adam broke up with her. Jill is so single minded about getting her story out that even when the baby whale dies she's trying to get in front of the camera. By the book helicopter pilot Colonel Tom Carroll (Dermont Mulroney) questions the worthiness of the mission (“Are they at least killer whales?”). Despite the predictable plot it's presented in the way that palatable and non offensive. There's a nice respect to the Inupiat community showing the grandfather Malik (John Pingayak) trying to teach honor of their way of life to his tech savvy grandson Nathan (Ahmoagak Sweeney). The Soviet Union eventually lent an ice breaker to come help after the natives broke 405 holes into the ice on the way to open sea.

Watch the credits for the actual people portrayed in the film. In real life it cost 1 million dollars for the rescue. Whale experts say that this event was the catalyst to changing peoples attitudes towards whales. If movies like this and their Burger King toy tie in helps bring today's children to become more aware of our responsibility to our world and it's inhabitants then bring it on.
(Review by reesa)





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Pina 3D



For most people the art of dance is limited to the TV shows showing celebrity competitive ballroom dancing and music video hip hop with young people who think they can dance. The modern interpretative art form resides mostly in large cities for a selective audience. Director Wim Wenders' tribute to German choreographer Pina Bausch will hopefully open the eyes and minds of the uninitiated. When Pina died a couple weeks before the shooting began in 2009 Wenders almost canceled his long gestating project. Her dance troupe Tanztheater Wuppertal decided to continue with their obligations for at least the next three years made him realize that he should carry on.

The film opens with the curtain opening to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring as dancers stomp in an evocative spectacle on a layer of dirt. The rhythm, the barely clad dancers pull at one's primal sense of urgency and release as one with nature's elements. The 3D enhances the feeling of watching the dance live on stage. Wenders uses wide lenses and long takes allowing the the viewer to take in the full effect instead of the fast cutting where it would make the viewer dizzy. The dancers athleticism and grace are keenly felt and heard as the audio catches their breathing and the sound of their steps. This film will be offered in 2D, but it's worth the price of the glasses to see it in 3D.

Pina's company of dancers range from all over the world, speak many languages, were short, tall, skinny, voluptuous, old and young and chosen because of who they were. Pina didn't really instruct the dancers as much as she influenced and trusted them. The dancers glowing testimonials heard as they sat silently enhances the focus of a dancers ability to communicate with their bodies. Pina is shown in small clips gathered over the years reveals little of the woman. It's her troupe and the dances that speak her truth.

The dance pieces are fascinating and hypnotic. The troupe recreated a number Pina had done for 1978's Pedro Almodovar's Talk to Her called “Café Muller”. A moody dance done with eyes closed while one dancer removes the chairs in their path. There is another dance done on stage with a large rock on a flooded stage while dancers hurled water everywhere in a homage to the elements. There are also performances filmed outside on street corners, in elevated trains, on rooftops creating dance as a personal yet everyday occurrence. The troupe is also shown in a well dressed line repeating a movement while transversing across the stage or outside on the side of a cliff.

Art is like sand running through your fingers. It's in the eye of the beholder. You either love a painting on a gut level or hate it. No two people feel the same because art is relative, it speaks to your soul. The art of dance is a more ethereal form translated by humans whose bodies are embedded with the magic of form. Wenders' amazing film was nominated for an Academy Award this year in the Best Documentary category. It's not a film that will not fill you doubt, dread, or fear. It's a film of life, lightness, and beauty.
(Review by reesa)






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