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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week 4/29 - 5/5


So is anyone actually getting offers for those Avengers passes that y'all are requesting? You do know that these were admit one only passes?

Kind of a light week, but you know that the big blockbusters starting with The Avengers will soon be gracing our screening calendar. They may be tough to acquire as The Avengers, so be prepared to enter those contests or jump through the hoops and try not to beg from others who went through the trouble to get them in the first place.

Remember folks if your email to the group is not up to standards....like subject line designators, phone numbers in the body, sent to the group instead of the individual, piggy backing on someone else's post to "me too", it will absolutely be REJECTED. You will get it back. Period, End of discussion. Don't take it personally, don't write berating the moderator for picking on you.

April 29 - May 5, 2012

Sun
4/29

Mon
4/30

7:30 pm
The Avengers
AMC Northpark

Tue
5/1

7:00 pm
The Intouchables
Angelika Dallas

Wed
5/2

7:30 pm
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
The Avengers
AM Star 14

Thu
5/3

Fri
5/4

Sat
5/5


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Safe



Written and directed by Boaz Yakin who wrote Prince of Persia this unapologetic action flick with badder than bad@ss Jason Statham who battles the Chinese, Russian and New York City Police force to keep a young girl “safe”. Bodies pile up like the garbage during a citywide strike and Statham uses the most inventive methods of doing in the bad guys. Pay no attention to the collateral damage happening to innocent bystanders. This only justifies Statham's payback.

Luke Wright has been reduced to doing cage fights in which he was supposed to do a dive in the second round. Unfortunately the opponent is knocked into a coma. The promoter is only worried about the Russian gangster that lost big money and is looking to take it out on Luke. He rushes home to get his wife and kid to safety, but the Russian gangster's sadistic son got there first. Since Luke doesn't have any more family to take out their revenge they let him go with a warning that they are watching him always. That he can't make friends, or stay anywhere permanent or else. Even after a year of being homeless he gives a fellow bum his shoes, and the next day he's dead. Luke is in survivor mode, but is feeling like maybe it's not worth it afterall.

That is until he sees this 10 year old Chinese girl in the subway station, alone, looking like someone is after her. Some Russians come in acting suspicious and definitely on her tail. A sense of righteousness over comes his depression and soon he is following them too. The little girl Mei (Catherine Chan) was kidnapped by gangsters in China is force to work for them when they threatened to kill her mother. Mei is a math prodigy with a photographic memory. The Chinese leader Han Jiao (James Hong) doesn't trust computers because they are easily hacked. Mei is able to keep all his records and transactions in her head. He send her with an assigned adopted father Quan Chang (Reggie Lee) who is handling operations in New York. A big job is brewing via a long set of numbers committed to Mei's memory and everyone wants it. The Russians kidnap her, the Chinese call in the dirty cops, but the Russians are outbidding them, soon the cops want whatever the girl has, so soon there is no where safe for her or for Luke who has become her protector.

This is not the kind of movie to attend if you want an in depth storyline or emotional satisfaction. Statham leaden quips, the action set pieces, the pointless never ending body count is typical of the genre that he's developed into his own category. The story while highly improbable is just enough to keep one entertained while waiting for more mayhem. You just know that Luke Wright is just not another cage fighter/garbage man/ex-cop. There's some character building thrown in to show he's got a sense of right and wrong, and he's not afraid to “Wright” those wrongs. Worth the popcorn.
(Review by reesa)




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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DMS Goes to DIFF - Let Me Out



Let Me Out

Anyone who loves movies has an opinion on what works and what doesn't. Arm chair critics are alive and well on the Internet by the dozens. But what if you were faced with the task of actually making a movie? What if you were given the funding and told to create something within limited time, if you had to put up or shut up? This issue is explored in the new South Korean independent feature written and directed by IChang Lae Kim and Jae Sohrene Cho who are film makers and film professors at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Utilizing the same kind of guerrilla tactic as the protagonist in their movie by shooting on their campus and employing student actors gives this movie within a movie a true sense of appreciation for the process.

Hyun Sang Kwon (for K-drama fans: The Kings 2hearts and Princess' Man) plays film student Mu Young. He's a convenience store clerk and an avid movie buff able to quote directors and bemoans the state of Korean cinema. When a famous director Yang Ik-joon (director, writer, star of Breathless playing himself) shows his latest film to the students, he accepts their accolades graciously. Mu Young speaks up and criticizes the choices he made in the film. Of course the rest of the students become increasingly uncomfortable with the confrontation as it becomes more biting and Mu Young earns the title of @ss clown (this is in the subtitle don't know if that's the literal translation). The director turns the tables on Mu Young by donating $5000 to a film student and personally selecting him for the award. Mu Young is suddenly faced with having talked the talk he will now have to walk the walk.

Making a movie is difficult, daunting, and exercise in futility and frustration. The people that do it are a blessed group whose art compels them. Mu Young challenged by the task decides to do a full length feature rather than a short like the other graduating seniors. After all at this point, he's still full of opinions and doesn't want to do what all the other seniors are doing for their graduation project. He is also writing a script with zombies a subject not really covered in the usual psychological thrillers made in South Korea. Mu Young not only has to write the script, but find the crew and actors which have already been committed to other productions. He's not exactly left with the cream of the crop. His best friend is his producer in charge of finding sponsors when the money is used up to pay for a car accident on the first day of filming. The sponsorship issue touches on the overt product placement that happens in film today. He's got actors who can't find their motivation, his director of photography and director of sound are quirky and full of themselves, he's got a diva model who gets all cute and flirty on him and throws emotional tantrums. It's evident that he doesn't know what he is doing and becomes easily manipulated by everyone. At one point director Yang Ik-joon visits on set and offers “it's hard, isn't it?” Mu Young goes from unfocused ready to quit, to tyrannical director alienating everyone and still ready to quit. Somewhere along the way he has to find that making a movie doesn't just work with one person, that it takes a village to make it happen.

There's not only the amusing set ups of Mu Young's adventure trying to muddle through making a movie, but there's also a touch of romance between him and his leading lady Ah Young (Hee Von Park of the K-pop girl group M.I.L.K.) who needs to act in his movie or get a failing grade by their professor. When shooting a particular scene he can't seem to get what he wants much to the annoyance of cast and crew, until that one perfect moment when Ah Young finally clicks and Mu Young is able to capture that magic. It's the thing that makes movies so special and appealing to audiences, the communication, the emotional heart, it's that elusive thing of why we love sitting in a dark theater watching stories.
(Review by reesa)

Directors IChang Lae Kim and Jae Sohrene Cho had their premiere screening at the 2012 Dallas International Film Festival. Their film is due for release in South Korea later this year. Dallas Movie Screenings had the honor and pleasure of speaking with the directors IChang Lae Kim and Jae Sohrene Cho and the writer/producer Min Soh, and producer Irene Cho. on the DIFF red carpet event. The following clip if my gushing fangirl interview with them. My apologies, that the whole interview did not finish, but will post the complete interview when the kinks are worked out.






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Monday, April 23, 2012

DIFF Movie Reviews by Wyatt Head


Thank You For Judging- A humorous look at the incredible hardwork of certain high school students who take an extra curricular activity the most serous.

Bindlestiffs-The height of rudeness and the height of creative comedic mastery that both brainwash us all to the minds of a high school senior.

My Way - A violent and gross yet truthful interpretation of the war in Japan. The devastation in this film is jaw-dropping and as eye-opening as any factual documentary would be.

Heleno - This story connected to the audience with its great-looking character’s, a tremendously good job in acting, and it’s damage to the main character. This story teaches us that sometimes one’s anger can be catastrophic.

Liberal Arts - This was another cute and lovable film that had big stars and wonderful scenes for the public.

Girls! Girls! Girls! - This series of new shorts struck me as quirky, interesting, and well just quirky. Each short had a touch of creativity and thought to it.

You Can Count on Me- This film landed the mixture of love and frustration and sewed it through a reel of film. It was a perfect picture of what some people deal with in life.

The Invisible War- This punch to the face made me incredibly angry and disgusted by one of the military’s idiosyncrasies. I was shocked at what these interviewees had to say. This makes me extremely mad at our country and makes me never want to join our military.

Tonight You’re Mine- This really rocking film had me bouncing up and down in my seat and the music was vivid and uncontrollable. If no one noticed the cinematography, it certainly had some in there with its capturing of one modern day rock day.

Intouchables- What a great way to almost end the festival. Everything in this film seemed cared for and all the scenes were outrageously smart and funny. If this was filmed in the US it would be a capturing of where we want to be—the wealthy interacting with the others.





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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 4/22 - 4/28

Before everyone gets carried away with Avenger fever and start bombarding the list with their need/want requests, please keep in mind that those that did get passes were only allowed one good for only one passes. They had to get up early and stand in line, or enter the radio contest, or jump through some hope to get the passes. Just in case someone has some unforeseen reason why they can't use their pass and decides to generously offer, please write to them directly and NOT the group.

The DIFF is finally over and it was great seeing the familiar movie group faces attending this year.Life will be just a little quiet now and maybe there something called sleep finally happening with a regularity. Thanks to all you who volunteered their time to festival and hope to see more of you next year.

April 22 - 28, 2012

Sun
4/22

Mon
4/23

Tue
4/24

7:30 pm
Five Year Engagement
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Angelika Dallas

Wed
4/25

7:00 pm
The Pirates Band of Misfits
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
The Avengers
Rave Ridgemar Fort Worth

7:30 pm
The Raven
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Safe
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Thu
4/26

7:30 pm
The Avengers
Cinemark West Plano

Fri
4/27

Sat
4/28



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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The 2012 Dallas International Film Festival Announces Award Winners




The 2012 Dallas International Film Festival Announces Award Winners
at the annual Dallas Film Society Honors

FAITH, LOVE & WHISKEY receives the $10,000 Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature

TCHOUPITOULAS receives the $10,000 Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature

WOLF receives the $30,000 camera rental Grand Jury Prize for the Panavision Texas Competition

DIRTY ENERGY receives the $10,000 Grand Jury Prize for the Whole Foods Environmental Visions Competition

THE INVISIBLE WAR receives the $10,000 Embrey Family Foundation Silver Heart Award

AARON BURR, PART 2, NANI and A MORNING STROLL are named winners for Best Short Film, Student Short and the REEL FX Animated Short

Audience Awards go to MY WAY for Narrative Feature, FIRST POSITION for Documentary and NANI for Short Film

DALLAS, TX, APRIL 21, 2012 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announced its 2012 award winners at its annual gala, The Dallas Film Society Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation and supported by the Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors. In an evening where independent film and filmmakers were celebrated for their incredible work, award winners were thrilled with cash prizes and grants that totaled over $70,000.

Two kaleidoscopic films with distinct visual flair walked away with the top honors in the Narrative & Documentary Feature competitions: Kristina Nikolova’s Bulgarian film FAITH, LOVE & WHISKEY won the narrative category and Bill and Turner Ross’s TCHOUPITOULAS for documentary. The Narrative competition jury also gave a Special Mention for Breakout Performance to Michael Rainey Jr. for LUV and a Special Mention for Acting for Kim Kold in TEDDY BEAR.

The strong lineup in this year’s Texas Competition meant the jury had a difficult decision to make, but Ya’ke Smith’s much-talked-about directorial debut WOLF was awarded the $30,000 camera package courtesy of PANAVISION. The jury also gave a Special Mention to David Zellner’s KID-THING.

Two years to the day since Deepwater Horizon exploded and oil poured into the Gulf, Bryan D. Hopkins accepted the Environmental Visions Grand Jury Prize for his documentary DIRTY ENERGY, a personal look into the trials of the citizens directly affected by this disaster. With only $200 in his bank account and on food stamps, Hopkins travelled to Louisiana to highlight these ongoing personal struggles that have since been forgotten in the mainstream news cycle.

For the second year running, Lauren Embrey presented the $10,000 Silver Heart Award courtesy of the Embrey Family Foundation. Inspired by the film’s courage and the need to necessitate change, Kirby Dick’s THE INVISIBLE WAR won the award as it most represented a filmmaker’s dedication to fighting injustices and creating social change for the improvement of humanity.

Dana O’Keefe’s AARON BURR, PART 2 won the Grand Jury Prize in the Shorts Competition. A Special Mention went to Brent Hoff’s THE LOVE COMPETITION and a Special Mention for Unique Storytelling in the Student Shorts went to Afarin Eghbal’s GRANDMOTHERS. The Grand Jury Prize winner of the Student Shorts was Justin Tipping’s NANI, which also walked away with the overall Audience Award for Best Short. REEL FX presented the award for Best Animated Short to Grant Orchard’s A MORNING STROLL.

In the year that the International Spotlight focused on South Korea, it seemed especially fitting that the Audience Award for Best Narrative went to Kang Je-kyu’s epic MY WAY. Closer to home, Bess Kargman’s family-friendly FIRST POSITION won the Audience Award for Best Documentary.

The winners of the Grand Jury Prizes for all the competitions will each receive Movie Magic Budgeting and Scheduling software bundles from Entertainment Partners.

Presented by TXU Energy’s Michael Grasso, cash grants for the TXU Energy “Light Up the Red Carpet” Student Film Contest were handed out to students from both high schools and colleges. Abelardo Gonzalez’s film NO BLACKOUT won the $7,500 award for Vidal M. Trevino Magnet School, Christian Vasquez’s A SPARK took the $5,000 prize for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Carolina Trevino’s THE ENERGY POLICE won the $2,500 award for The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), Houston. For colleges, the prize money was split between the winners and their schools. Dillon White and North Lake College will share the $7,500 award for ZAP!, Edgar Cortes of The Art Institute of Dallas will share the $5,000 award for DOMI CILE, and Wojciech Stypko of the University of North Texas will share the $2,500 award for MAN POWER.

The film awards were interspersed through the evening with touching tributes to men and women in the film industry who have each made a significant contribution to modern cinema. The Texas Avery Animation Award presented by REEL FX was given to the animator Glen Keane who is known for creating the hero and/or heroine in the much-loved animated classics (ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST). Presenting Sponsor Arthur E. Benjamin highlighted the tireless work that film industry veteran Eric Pleskow has undertaken in his career as CEO of both United Artists and Orion Pictures. The 2012 Dallas Film Society Honors represented a very personal connection with Benjamin as his beloved Uncle, the late Robert S. Benjamin, worked for Pleskow for many years. To be asked to present the Lifetime Achievement Tribute to Pleskow was a huge honor for Benjamin.

“I feel the Dallas Film Society Honors this year is a true example of The Circle of Life,” said Arthur E. Benjamin. “My Uncle Bob loved working for Eric Pleskow, so for me to be here tonight and have the opportunity to publicly congratulate him is a real honor.”

On receiving the Dallas Shining Star Award, Academy Award Nominee Gabourey Sidibe (PRECIOUS) expressed how special it was to be in a room with students who are practicing their art and how in awe she is of their bravery to do what they love. Academy Award winner, Ronald L. Schwary then presented Bernie Pollack, a legend in costume design, with a Dallas Star Award complete with two very personal tributes from Robert Redford and Harrison Ford, recorded especially for Pollack’s recognition in Dallas. In receiving the award, Pollack quipped “I look at this speech as a costume designer, I want to keep it long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting!”

Academy Award Winner Laura Linney (YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, THE TRUMAN SHOW, THE SAVAGES) accepted her Dallas Star Award with grace and humility and commented on the positive effect film festivals can have on people’s lives. The guests were touched by the deep respect Linney and Sidibe, her co-star in “The Big C”, showed each other throughout the evening.

“This year’s Dallas Film Society Honors paid tribute to both the indie filmmaker and the film industry veteran,” said James Faust, artistic director of the Dallas Film Society. “From Ya’ke Smith with his directorial debut to Eric Pleskow who has scores of films under his belt, from acknowledging Gabourey Sidibe’s rising star to Laura Linney’s expansive career, we want to applaud the new visionaries alongside those who have the breadth of experience that most can only dream about. This Honors event is our way of giving back to those who have impacted and continue to impact the face of cinema. I am exceptionally proud of the winners this year.”

JURY AWARDS:
Narrative Feature: FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY
Dir: Kristina Nikolova

Special Mention, Breakout Performance: LUV, Michael Rainey Jr.

Special Mention, Acting: TEDDY BEAR, Kim Kold

Documentary Feature: TCHOUPITOULAS
Dirs: Bill Ross, Turner Ross

PANAVISION Texas Filmmaker Award: WOLF
Dir: Ya’Ke Smith

Special Mention: KID-THING
Dir: David Zellner

Silver Heart Award: THE INVISIBLE WAR
Dir: Kirby Dick

Environmental Visons Grand Jury Prize: DIRTY ENERGY
Dir: Bryan D. Hopkins

Grand Jury Prize Short: AARON BURR, PART 2
Dir: Dana O’Keefe

Special Mention Short: THE LOVE COMPETITION
Dir: Brent Hoff

Grand Jury Prize for Student Short: NANI
Dir: Justin Tipping

Special Mention Student Short, Unique Storytelling: GRANDMOTHERS
Dir: Afarin Eghbal

Grand Jury Prize, Animated Short: A MORNING STROLL
Dir: Grant Orchard

AUDIENCE AWARDS
NARRATIVE: MY WAY
DIR: Kang Je Kyu
Cast: Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri, Fan Bing-bing, Kim In-kwon, Do Ji-han, Han Seung-hyun

DOCUMENTARY: FIRST POSITION
DIR: Bess Kargman

SHORT: NANI
DIR: Justin Tipping

TXU ENERGY “Light Up the Red Carpet” VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS FOR HIGH SCHOOLS:
$7,500 prize winner – NO BLACKOUT
DIR: Abelardo Gonzalez
$5,000 prize winner – A SPARK
DIR: Christian Vasquez
$2,500 prize winner – THE ENERGY POLICE
DIR: Carolina Trevino

TXU ENERGY “Light Up the Red Carpet” VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS FOR COLLEGES:
$7,500 prize winner – ZAP!
DIR: Dillon White
$5,000 prize winner – DOMI CILE
DIR: Edgar Cortes
$2,500 prize winner – MAN POWER
DIR: Wojciech Stypko

2012 DIFF JURY MEMBERS:
NARRATIVE FEATURE JURY includes:
Clay Jeter - Director: JESS + MOSS (Winner of the 2011 DIFF Target Filmmaker Award)
Rose Kuo - Executive Director, Film Society of Lincoln Film Center
Mike Ott - Director: LITTLEROCK (Winner of 2010 AFI FEST, Audience Award)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE JURY includes:
Anne Buford - Director: ELEVATE (Winner of the 2011 DIFF Target Filmmaker Award)
Bill Guentzler - Artistic Director of the Cleveland International Film Festival
Cameron Yates - Director: THE CANAL STREET MADAM

PANAVISION TEXAS COMPETITION JURY includes:
Berndt Mader - Director: FIVE TIME CHAMPION (Winner of the MPS TEXAS FILMMAKER AWARD, 2011)
Don Stokes - President/Owner of Post Asylum, Inc.
Kim Voynar - Writer for Movie City News

ENVIRONMENTAL VISIONS COMPETITION JURY includes:
Jennifer Ellington – Whole Foods Market
Keith Maitland - Emmy-nominated documentary, THE EYES OF ME broadcast on PBS’ INDEPENDENT LENS.
Troy Stuckey – Professor at the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at SMU

SHORT COMPETITION JURY includes:
David Hale Smith - Dallas area Literary Agent, Director of InkWell Management, LLC.
Aaron Marshall - Director: ZOMBIE GIRL: THE MOVIE (Winner of the Spirit Award at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival.
Rosie Wong - Senior Manager of the Sundance Industry Office for the Sundance Film Festival.

STUDENT COMPETITION JURY includes:
Johnny Ma - Director: THE ROBBERY (Winner of the 2011 Student Shorts Grand Jury Prize)
James M. Johnston - Director: KNIFE, Awarded Creative Producing Fellowship at Sundance Film Institute 2011.

ANIMATION COMPETITION JURY includes:
REEL FX Entertainment - Funded in 1993, Reel FX is an award-winning creative studio where accomplished artists and preeminent technology converge to produce extraordinary creative solutions. Their services include visual effects, animation, design and creative editorial.

SILVER HEART JURY includes:
Embrey Family Foundation – The Foundation was established in 2004 for the purpose of supporting programs that advance human rights, healthy communities, the environment, education and creativity.

The sixth annual Dallas International Film Festival kicked off on April 12, 2012 in the historic Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas with a tribute to Cinemark USA’s Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell followed by Josh Radnor’s crowd pleaser LIBERAL ARTS.

Highlights of the Festival included the strong, diverse line up of films programmed by artistic director James Faust and senior programmer Sarah Harris that saw many of the films at rush line within hours of the Festival opening. Filmmakers remarked how well the new Festival Village worked at Mockingbird Station – the hub of the 2012 Festival and home to the Faulkner Design Festival Lounge, the Prekindle Box Office, the nightly red carpets and only a few steps away - the host hotel, the Hotel Palomar Dallas.

Educational programs shone brightly with over 400 high school students taking part in High School Day on April 13 throughout the Dallas Arts District. Despite the cool inclement weather, Family Day proved a lot of fun for 1,500 people at NorthPark Center and costume designer Bernie Pollack thrilled theatre and cinema students at SMU with his dedicated Master Class.

Directorial debuts from X-MEN and GOLDENEYE star Famke Janssen (BRINGING UP BOBBY), DIFF alum Ryan O’Nan (THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS BEAT THE BEST) and Lisa Immordino Vreeland (DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL) had packed audiences in delight. THE OTHER DREAM TEAM, featuring the Dallas Mavericks’ Donnie Nelson, was an instant hit with the home crowd. DIFF enjoyed its first ever filmmaker baby on the red carpet as QWERTY duo Bill Sebastian and Dana Pupkin proudly showed off their three-month-old to the waiting press. The South Korean Spotlight proved a wonderful success with Kang Je-kyu’s MY WAY and the world premiere of LET ME OUT with the filmmakers from South Korea in attendance.

DIFF’s closing weekend will feature ‘Conversations with’ Dallas Star Award Honorees Laura Linney and Bernie Pollack as well as Special Honoree Eric Pleskow, and Dallas Shining Star Award recipient Gabourey Sidibe and Texas Avery Animation Award honoree Glen Keane will hold post-screening Q&A sessions with audience members. Encore presentations of Filmmaker Award winners and previously sold-out screenings will also take place on April 21-22. The 25th Anniversary Screening of ROBOCOP, with Peter Weller and many other cast and crew in attendance, is the Closing Night centerpiece screening on April 21.

Overall, the 2012 Dallas International Film Festival showcased 83 features and 99 shorts for a total of 182 films from 27 countries.




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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Lucky One



You are going to hear a lot from critics, who have the displeasure of sitting through the new Nicholas Sparks romance The Lucky One, that if you like previous Sparks adaptation than you are likely to enjoy this one. I think this may be the case to an extent, but not entirely true. Why? Well, I really liked The Notebook a lot and I absolutely hated this film. That's right. I didn't just have some slight issues with it. I found it painful to sit through.

I'll get into the problems after I force myself to explain the plot. In this film, a young Marine Sergeant, in either Iraq or Afghanistan, named Logan (Zac Efron performing his role with a series of blank stares) picks up a picture of a blonde girl on the battlefield and manages to not blow up because of it. So, he comes home and walks the country to find the girl. Luckily, the film finds her for him in about 2 minutes and we fall into a typical love story about a guy who starts a relationship with a lie that the film is just waiting to for us to......well, you know what happens. Anyways, the girls name is Beth (played by an over the top or under the bottom Taylor Schilling) and she has some serious issues, involving her son, to deal with before she can commit to Logan and get surprised by the 3rd act cliché. Well, they could be considered serious if you could believe them.

This leads is to one of the many issue with this film. You just can't believe any of it. It feels like the story was just thrown into a romantic movie jar, shuffled around a bit, pulled out, and placed into predictable order. Everything from the way Logan goes from bouts of serious PTSD for 5 seconds to never have it be an issue again, the way that the local deputy ex husband shows up at all the right moments for convenient conflict, the way Logan literally finds this woman in a credit sequence while walking the country (because finding a random person in the whole USA is easy), and don't get me started on the awful scene where they meet, but conveniently she interrupts him every time he says what he walked thousands of miles to say until he turns into a mindless drone. That scene was so fake that the actors should have stamped the word "acting" to their forehead.

Sadly, all that is only a small bit of the problem. This movie also suffers from pacing issues galore. We rush through an opening that is literally take place over years and involves pretty important, empathetic information. We drag the center of the film out to such lengths that I can hardly tell you what actually happened of much importance. Then, in the end, we rush to the climax. Well, that is until we get to the slow motion part of the climax that everyone will see coming a mile away.

The saddest part of all of this is the waste of Efron's talent. He is a good actor (see Me and Orson Welles) who can command a narrative. However, after Charlie St. Cloud and this crap, he is sadly digging his own grave with legitimate filmmakers. I hope he can dig his way out soon.

* 1/2 out of * * * * Stars


Nathan Ligon
Thank You For Watching


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DMS Goes to DIFF - Day Three




Policeman

Sponsored by 3 Star Jewish Cinema this Israeli made film won the Wolgin Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Nantes Three Continents Festival as well as being nominated for various categories by the Award of the Israeli Film Academy. The often times meandering story of a team of police fighters who specialize in tracking down terrorists. Their group is being sued for a job gone wrong in which children were killed. As a group they decide to lay the blame on one of their own who is suffering from brain cancer because the government can't do anything to him while he's under treatment. One of the team is due to have a baby soon and although proud and expectant, he can't help himself flirting with other women. The relationships between the men and their families involve lots of hugs during greetings that fill up parts of the movie. Soon they have to take on a group of clueless terrorists who want to kill all the rich people. Irony being that some of them have rich parents. When the confused group kidnap the parents of the bride during a wedding ceremony, they don't seem to have any agenda other than getting a TV news crew to their hostage location so broadcast their rhetoric. The police fighter team is sent in and the result is at once expected and disturbing. Where the characters are set up for each side of this story, there isn't much in the way of making these people sympathetic. There's an experimental feel to the narrative that may seem awkward to viewers as the story seems to go nowhere at times. If nothing else, it's a curious look at a world we don't normally see or experience.

Being: Café Tacvba

The biggest rock group in Latin America started in 1989 with the same musical lineup of Rubén Isaac Albarrán Ortega (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Emmanuel "Meme" del Real Díaz (keyboards, piano, programming, rhythm guitar, melodica, vocals), José Alfredo "Joselo" Rangel Arroyo (lead guitar, vocals), and Enrique 'Quique' Rangel Arroyo: (bass guitar, electric upright bass, vocals).
Their music is a combination of typical rock rhythms with a bit of traditional Mexican, punk, ska, electronica and hip hop. They have experimented with different sounds over the years and each album explores a genre. They also were strange costumes, especially hats, in a style that is reminiscent of David Bowie or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. They have toured the states opening for Beck a couple years ago and sell out in South America, Asian and Spain. Yet in America they remain a well kept secret. Hopefully this film that includes some great footage taken of them over the years, as well as musical numbers will open peoples eyes and ears to their unique sound, Ernesto Contreras and José Manuel Craviotto directed and wrote this feature doc seems to have had complete access to the group. It's a love letter to the longevity of their musical collaboration.

Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope


If you have never been the the big San Diego Comic Convention that is held every year as a Mecca to all geek and nerds of comics, movies, and video games then this movie is like a free ticket ride. We follow the adventures of two wannabe be comic artists, one the child of Trekkies, the other a family man serving his country in Oklahoma. There's also a young couple who met at the convention and the young man plans to ask his sweetheart to marry him during the Kevin Smith panel. There's also a costumer who hopes to get her work noticed at the costume contest, and a comic book seller who is having to finally but up a rarest of rare original comic that is valued at a half million dollars. It's interesting to note that what started as a convention for comics and artists haves been replaced by movies, TV and other media that cater to fantasy and scifi pursuits And you can't forget the die hard toy collector who has a whole room devoted in his house to his collectible toys still in their wrappers. There goal is to get the newest figure from Hasbro that is like nirvana for him when he gets his prize. This is a fan boy or girl's dream of going to the con, but the cost of actually attending is daunting, expensive and massive crowds and to be willing to stand in line for hours is not for the faint of heart. This film is the next best thing to actually going there. Directed by Morgan Spurlock and written by Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock, Joss Whedon the feature include commentaries by various celebrities and artists.

Mariachi Gringo

Soon to turn thirty Ed (Shawn Ardmore) is stuck in a rut having returned toliving at his parent farm in Kansas. He is felling aimless and is on medication to help him out of his depression. He goes to the local Mexican restaurant where it's run by 2nd generation Mexicans. They can't seem to get behind their grandfathers Mariachi singing to the costumers. For some reason it hits a cord with Ed and soon he's coming over for lessons to the delight of the grandfather but he gets hit by a stroke. Ed decides to go to Guadalajara where the grandfather said there's a plaza where all the mariachi musicians gather to play, challenge, and get jobs. It's fortunate that he runs in to Lila (Martha Higareda) the beautiful daughter of a restaurant owner who takes him under her wings. As Ed assimilates to the new culture and learning from other musicians he eventually starts to bloom. As a gifted musician he quickly picks up the music and is offered a spot in a big popular groups complete with the fancy costumes. Ed is taken aback when he learns that being the token what guy the group decides to call themselves Mariachi Gringo. Although Ed doesn't do too badly for himself. Soon Ed has to decide what he has to do with his life and music. It's the music here that keeps the fairly predictable timing and plot devices together. Especially the vocal performances by Paloma Negra that will pulls your heart out and chews it into little pieces. Directed by Tom Gustafson and written by Cory James Krueckeberg.

Juan of the Dead


Cuban cinema is not often seen in these parts, but a Cuban movie with zombies? What else do you need to know? Like it's counter part Shaun of the Dead, this involves a group of people who try to keep the world normal (for them) while all hell breaks loose. Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas) and his best friend Lazaro (Jorge Molina) do everything they can to do not much of anything for money, booze and slacking around, They buy, steal or take, their lives are filled with instant gratification. Juan's daughter Camilia (Andrea Duro) is in Havana from Miami and doesn't really want to have much to do with her dad. Lazaro has a son named Vladi California Andros Perugorria) who was supposed to be a baseball player. There's been some reports on the TV about dissents among the population that are probably influence by the US trying to undermine the Cuban government. As the zombies wreck havoc on the population Juan and his friends decide to take advantage of the sitution for monetary gain by starting an extermination business by plastering the neighborhood with flyers for their services. They answer their calls with "Juan of the dead, how can i help you kill your beloved?" They do get some work, but more often than not, their clients perish in the mayhem. The TV news announcer keeps telling the audience that everything is under control and to continue on with their daily routine until he's taken out by a zombie, then Juan and his friends decide to take their chances of boating to Miami. Alejandro Brugués wrote and directed this farce that was filmed in Havana, Cuba. The beautiful but run down parts of the city are just a small commentary with the poor quality of health care...it's suggested that the outdated medicine may have caused the zombie outbreak. Plus the pride of it's citizens as embodied by Juan who refuses to leave his homeland. Lots of blood and zombie gore, but in a fun way.
(Reviews by reesa)


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DMS Goes to DIFF - Day Two





Punch

The story is about a high school student Wan Deuk (Yoo Ah-in of K-drama Fashion King) who lives with his small hunchback father and a simple minded adopted uncle. His father was a tap dancer in the local cabaret before it was shut down. Now his dad and uncle must travel to market places using their song and dance to sell sole inserts. Wan Deuk is pretty much left alone to fend for himself. The rooftop neighbour is his home room teacher Dong J (Kim Yoon-seok) who bickers with Wan Deuk to the point where Wan Deuk prays to God to kill him. There's also the other neighbour (Kim Sang-ho) who constantly complain about the noise lives with his sister a writer of existential martial arts novels. Wan Deuk's discovers that his mother (Jasmine Lee) is alive and well and wants to see him. Plus she's Filipino. In order to process this information, Wan Deuk takes ups kick boxing. He's not very good being mostly a street fighter, but he's persistent and keeps going back to the gym. Based on the novel "Wandeugi" (2008) by Kim Ryeo-ryeong with a screenplay by Kim Dong-woo and directed by Lee Han touches on the issue of multicultural families in Korea. Mixed families have grown three fold over the past five years as the population has become more diverse. It's a funny look at this young man's life with a variety of characters that transcend age, disability, race and class status in which all audiences can relate.

Low and Clear

Directors Kahlil Hudson and Tyler Hughen explore the relationship between two fly fishermen T. Van Zandt and Alex "Xenie" Hall, Both men are avid fly fishers who met in Colorado when Van Zandt decided that he wanted to truly explore the sport. He moved from Florida to work in a fishing store where he heard of local legend "Xenie". The two totally opposite in character and disposition went from being student and mentor to being best fishing buddies. Van Zandt lives in Florida building flat bottom canoes which he uses to solitary fish off the coast. Xenie runs a firewood business spending his days cutting wood and fishing. He's amassed boxes, books and pictures of all the fish he's ever caught over the years. He's brash, loud and swears a blue streak compared to the almost zen fishing of Van Zandt. In this film the men travel to a snowy British Columbia seeking out streams with the perfect fishing pockets. Xenie manages to catch fish after fish, while Van Zandt tries to find his groove. While most don't understand the joy of hiking to remote areas and standing in frigid waters trying to get fish to bite a lure you created, you will feel a calm and sense of adventure besides enjoying the breath taking scenery and the music by Van Zandt and his father Townes.

Brooklyn Castle

Director Katie Dellamaggiore's documentary on the chess team of Brooklyn middle school IS 318 grew for a New York Times article about a talented chess player from a neighborhood close to hers. Conferring with writer Michael Weinreb who wrote he Kings of New York: A Year Among the Geeks, Oddballs, and Genuises Who Make Up America's Top High School Chess Team Dellamaggiore discovered IS 318 and their talented coaches and team. Following the dedication of the teachers, the students and their supportive parents who have continuously won regional and national chess championships over the years. The film also covers the enormous budget cuts in the school systems that threaten the chess program and the schools' ability to send the gifted young chess players to compete in the championships. The students, teachers and parents mobilise to keep the programs open, but the future looks dire for the promising chess team. It's an amazing story with some special kids like Rochelle who becomes the first African-American female chess master during her freshman year of high school.

The Pact

Nicolas McCarthy expanded his short of the same name that played at last year's DIFF. Annie (Caity Lotz) reluctantly comes to her mothers funeral to find that her sister Nicole (Agnes Bruckner) has gone missing. Thinking she is just on a binge again, her cousin Liz (Kathleen Rose Perkins) disagrees since she would not leave behind her small daughter who is living with her. The creep factor comes in when Nicole starts hearing noises in the house and gets sucked into the closet never to been seen again. Annie also experiences some poltergeist activity when she is hurled around the room. The cop in charge of the mission person report Creek (Casper Van Dien) thinks she's a little nuts but comes to check it out. Annie also hires a blind psychic friend from highschool to check out the spirit activity. There are some good fights in this, but nothing that will keep you up at night.
(Review by reesa)







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Monday, April 16, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 4/15 - 4/21

The weekly calendar was late due to the DIFF. Hope everyone is taking advantage of the wide variety of films that are being offered. There's still several days left and it's a good chance to see movies that you would never have an opportunity to experience anywhere else. You volunteer help is always needed too. If you want to give back to the community, this is a fun and beneficial way of having your cake and eating it too.

Plus there are still regular screenings being held. So please enter those contests, behave when responding as this moderator will not always have access to a computer and those requests will be stuck in limbo.

April 15 - 21, 2012

Sun
4/15

7:30 pm
Kony Invisible Children
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Mon
4/16

7:30 pm
The Lucky One
Cinemark West Plano

Tue
4/17

7:00 pm
Veep
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Disney Natures Chimpanzee
Cinemark West Plano

Wed
4/18

7:30 pm
Think Like a Man
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Think Like a Man
AM Star 14

7:30 pm
The Lucky One
tba-Dallas

Thu
4/19

7:30 pm
LA CONFIDENTIAL
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Girl in Progress
Cinemark 17

8:00 pm
The Five Year Engagement
Angelika Dallas

Fri
4/20

Sat
4/21

10:00 am
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
AMC Northpark



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Wyatt Head's DIFF Reviews

Abuelas- This film struck so many people’s hearts in the theater while teaching them about a forgotten horror that many people of Spain suffered.


Benny- This film showed one of the truest feelings of all—self-anger. Through the eyes of an element that is most definitely true in North America we got to see the trial that can destroy certain people and lift up others.


Wash Me- A story that will never get old in which the teacher gets taught by the student. This brought extreme hope and tears to my eyes for the people that go through the horrible situation of losing the closest thing one has.


Nani- This film is a look into the transformation or should I say the reveal of a boy’s heart. It lets those authorities know that every one still has a heart, even the rebellious ones.


We’re Not Broke- A most revealing and pricking documentary that brings credit to the middle class America to be mad at the corruption in politics.



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Sunday, April 15, 2012

DMS Goes to DIFF - Day One



DIFF Day 1 April 13, 2012

Under African Skies

When Paul Simon created the album Graceland in 1985 he was inspired by a tape given to him with rhythms from South Africa. He wanted to go there and personally work with the musicians there instead of just working from recordings as his record label advised. Undeterred by warnings that he would need permissions from the various political factions that were active in a country besieged with unrest under a regime of apartheid. Some of the musicians that he worked with in South Africa had never worked with a white person before much less heard of Paul Simon. But music is an international language that knows no barriers of race or creed. Simon who thought he understood race relations from the states was completely overwhelmed by what was happening in that part of the world. He did manage to record what he could returning back to NYC with the acapella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The resulting tapes were later mixed with Simon's lyrics and created the groundbreaking Graceland introducing the world to the music that is root of all rock and blues that this country exploited.

Twenty five years later Simon returned to South Africa and reunited with the musicians from that time as they reminiscence about their experience. If you loved that album back in the day, the music in this feature documentary by Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper) will have you foot tapping throughout.

Liberal Arts

Josh Radnor of How I Met Your Mother wrote, directed and starred in his feature about a thirty five year old admissions counselor in New York City who returns to his Ohio college to give a speech at his favorite professor's (Richard Jenkins) retirement. Josh's Jesse is an avid reader. He reads while walking down the street, His house is full of books. He barely registers that his girlfriend is moving out. He returns to his old Ohio campus revelling in the memories of being those days when all you were responsible for was going to class, having great conversations and reading all day. While there he meets 19 year old Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) a self professed "old soul" with whom he feels an attraction their 15 year difference not withstanding. He also meets Dean (John Magaro) a brilliant yet mentally unstable young man who is reading the same book that he loved when he went to college. He also meets hippie party sage/wizard Nate (Zac Ephron) who is like his personal joker/muse who just appears and urges him on with "everything will be alright" to the point where Jesse wonders if he's real. The movie meanders while Jesse is dealing with the realization that maybe it's time to grow up and act like an adult. It's a quiet type of humor that speaks to all of us who still remember what it was like to be young and stupid and can't accept the responsibility of being of responsible adults.


Quick

One of the wonderful South Korean films being featured in this year's DIFF line up. It involves a motorcycle delivery man who is being used by an unknown manipulator on the phone to deliver bombs. A bomb has been placed in the motorcycle helmet that is unwittingly worn by an ex-girlfriend who is now a pop idol when she asked to be delivered to her personal appearance. They have to speed around town in a certain time limit to deliver whatever revenge the caller is exacting. The police which includes their old cycle gang buddy are all on their tail trying to stop the bombing not knowing they are only puppets to someone else's agenda. Totally funny, fast paced and unexpected.

My full review is unfortunately stuck on my other computer with a dead processor. It will be posted in it's full glory when it's back up and running along with....

Tormented

Also known as "Rabitto horâ 3D" this feature by theTakashi Shimizu Grunge director Takashi Shimizu is a dark creepy psychological ramble about a young woman and her younger brother. Not to give anything asay, suffice to say you will never be able to look at a stuffed bunny rabbit again in quite the same way. Full review coming soon.
(Reviews by reesa)



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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bully





A death. Suicide. That’s exactly what Bully dives into with the opening sequence. Immediately your feelings are struck. You become fueled by emotions of anger, sorrow, and grief. What could possibly cause such a tragic event? That is precisely what this entire film focuses on, the inhumane effects of bullying.

Let me start with the negatives. I was bored. The movie seemed to pass by ever so slowly and at several points I wanted to fall asleep. The story was depressing and nothing ever lifted my spirits. I was never sucked into the movie and an increasing headache and a sick stomach were with me throughout the entire affair because of the shaky and unfocused camerawork. That was the bad; let’s move on to the good.

This film is something every breathing human should view. Not because it’s a work of art, (it isn’t), but because the message that the story delivers is so strong and impactful and real. Everyone needs to be aware of what is going on in many children’s lives. Going into this movie, I was expecting to watch something that told me what bullying was and how to stop it. I was wrong. For an entire hour and thirty-nine minutes my eyes and ears were filled with images and monologues about what bullying has done to kids and parents alike. I was actually given all of the facts, and not just a few tidbits about what this issue was. The filmmakers make your heart grow cold towards the ignorance of the school boards, and they make you want to actually stand up for this matter. At the end of the credits there is a website link shown that you can visit to find out more about bullying and how to help put an end to it.

One of the aspects about Bully that will cause many parents to lead their child away from seeing it, is the use of the F-bomb three times in this film. I urge every one of the parents out there to allow their children to see it anyways. The message in this movie is real, and every kid needs to see this even more than adults. Kids need to know that it's a problem, not just something to shrug off their shoulders. While the film has several mature themes in it, all kids need to be exposed to the dangers of bullying.

Bully isn’t an astounding movie with glorious visuals that make your jaw drop. It isn’t some genre-bending piece that will forever change the way movies are made. It’s real. It’s a real story, with real people, with a real (massive) problem. There isn’t one fake aspect about this movie and I think that’s something that the filmmakers did wonderfully. They didn’t take an issue and create some huge problem out of it. They took an issue and told you exactly what that issue was, without cutting corners. Bullying isn’t something that occurs every few years or so, it is a matter that is happening EVERY DAY to kids all around the world. All in all, Bully is a must see for any and everybody.

Review by Weston Baker
WesSpeaks Productions


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Cabin in the Woods



Cabin the Woods

Drew Goddard's directorial debut of Cabin in the Woods which he co-wrote with Joss Whedon who also produced the film should be seen without knowing anything about it. In fact it would be hard to write a review of this without giving anything away. Suffice to say if you enjoy the snarky comedic Whedon dialogue of Firefly, Serenity and Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Tucker and Dave vs. Evil meets Sam Rami's Evil Dead series, then you will love this movie. You won't find spoilers here. Better yet just lose your browser window, and get to the theater now. NOW, GO.

Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are these computer geeks who are working in what looks like an underground facility. The opening sequence is somewhat awkward in that one doesn't expect to see Richard Jenkins or Bradley Whitford in a Whedon film. Then the action is switched to a young woman in her underpants getting ready to go on a trip to the woods with her roommate, her boyfriend, a handsome new guy at school, and a stoner. The set-up is what you would expect for the unsuspecting college age kids going for an weekend adventure. Kristen Connolly as Dana a practically virginal coed who is being set up with Holden (Jesse Williams) the smart jock. Chris Hemsworth as Curt is the boyfriend of Dana's roommate Jules (Anna Hutchison) and Fran Kranz as Marty Mikalski their long time friend and hard core stoner dude who is obsessed with hidden conspiracies and being used as puppets. They travel in a RV camper to this really remote cabin that is supposed to belong to Curt's cousin. Along they way they encounter Mordecai (Tim de Zarn), the creepy proprietor of the last gas station before the mountain tunnels to the cabin. The place is not as bad as they had suspected but becomes sort of odd when Holden discovers a two way mirror in which he can see Dana in the other room. After that the fun begins when a cellar door pops open and below is a collection of odd trinkets dolls, masks, and vintage items that peek their curiosity. Then all hell breaks loose with zombie rednecks.

Really the best way to view this movie is not to look at the previews, not to know what's expected. It's not a typical slice and dice or torture porn. There's plenty of buckets of blood but it's done in such overkill as to be amusing rather than frightnightful. In fact the whole last act is so over the top that it's bound to become a cult favorite. So go now, get thee to the theater!
(Review by reesa)




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Lockout




The poster for Lockout proclaims that it's from the producers of “Taken”, which is probably to ensure you that their new feature has some rip snorting action with guns and machismo. Luc Besson produced and co-wrote his story idea with co-directors Stephen St. Leger and James Mather which they filmed in Siberia. Space station jails are nothing new in films if you ever perused the straight to video section at Blockbuster. What keeps this film afloat is Guy Pearce as the snarky ex-CIA agent who is being set up then sent up to space to save the president's daughter. It's 2079 for this futuristic dark action thriller that tries too hard.

Guy Pearce gained weight and put on muscle for this role as the film makers thought he was too skinny to play Snow a ex government agent who is accused of killing his partner in an espionage scheme. Peter Stormare plays Langral the agent in charge of getting him to confess having seen him with his own eyes what he thinks as Snow shooting his partner. Lennie James is Shaw who plays good cop to Langrals bad cop by telling Snow that he doesn't think he did it. But Langral's eye witness account gets Snow sentenced to 30 years to MS One a private super jail in space where prisoners are put in a sleep stasis for their crimes.

Emilie Warnock (Lost's Maggie Grace) is the president's daughter who is doing a humanitarian visit to the station to investigate the conditions of the prison and the reports that being is stasis causes long term effects like brain damage and psychosis. She interviews one of the really bad prisoners who is brought out of deep sleep. Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) a tattooed one eyed psychopath manages to get the gun from the guard and somehow release all the prisoners. (don't think too hard and just go with it). Alex (Vincent Regan) takes control of the situation and tries to rein in his crazy as a loon brother who just wants to kill everyone. The breakout is quickly discovered by those on earth and the easy solution would be nuke the site from orbit. But with Emilie on the station, they decide the only way to save her is by sending in Snow. Snow of course is not happy with this plan, but Shaw lets him know secretly that Mace (Tim Plester) is on the station and he's the only one who can prove that Snow is innocent because he hid the briefcase. This give Snow the incentive to go save the girl.

There's animated car chases in this in, there's hair dye that's made of motor oil, toilet water and cigarette ash, and there's parachute jump from space. You really just have to suspend reality for bit. Pearce is satisfying as the irreverent agent who annoys everyone especially the president's daughter. Grace is a bit wooden at times, but volley's well with Pearce as their characters clash. She wants him to save the rest of the crew, he just wants to get her off the station and find Mace. An OK Saturday night date movie, but a better rental.
(Review by reesa)




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The Three Stooges




The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges started out as a vaudeville act back in the early mid 20th century with their trademark physical slapstick in the very literal sense of a slap. Larry, Moe and Curly Joe spent years in various forms (Shemp and Curly Joe) doing episodic short films. Their extreme violence towards each other was silly and attracted a mostly young male audience. It seemed it would be a natural be for the Farrelly Brothers who subjected the world to Dumb and Dumber and What About Mary humor.

The best thing about this updated version of the Three Stooges is the characterisations by the three actors playing Larry (Sean Hayes), Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Curly (Will Sasso). Their spot on imitations however only go so far in making a full length film interesting enough to stay awake. The main plot of the film is about the brothers trying to save the orphanage where they have lived most of their lives. Raised by the nuns (Jane Lynch, Larry David, yes, dressed as a nun, and Jennifer Hudson) who like most characters in all Stooge's films play their roles straight. The brothers are inseparable and drive the sisters to distraction especially Larry David's Sister Mary-Mengele. Even when a couple try to adopt Moe, he wants to bring along his brothers. So they take him back and another young boy is adopted.

When the boys grow up, they attempt all sorts of schemes to raise $830,000 to save their home. The adopted boy Teddy (Kirby Heyborne), who they meet later in life had joined his father's law firm. Teddy's wife (Sofía Vergara) and his best friend Mac (Craig Bierko) try to hire the nitwits to kill their unsuspecting friend thinking they would do anything for the money. Their various schemes to raise cash takes up the middle part of the movie like having a salmon farm on a golf course. Also along the way the brothers split up and Moe ends up on the Jersey Shore reality TV show beating up the cast (probably the only satisfying moments in the film).

If you are fans of the Stooges then this movie is for you. But the idea of 3 grown men slapping each other around as a way of showing affection to each other isn't exactly high brow entertainment. There's obviously an audience for people hitting each other with hammers. After all the Stooges are an icon and part of everyone's Saturday morning television memories. There's plenty of “nyuk nyuk's” , eye pokes, and that snappy finger thing to do a proper homage. The movie is thankfully only 92 minutes long because a little of this Stooge is more than enough. Stay for the disclaimer at the end of the movie advising kids not to do this stuff at home. Like that worked for the kids watching Jackass.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 4/8 - 4/14

The Dallas International Film Festival starts this week, and if you haven't picked up a schedule and planned your fest do so quickly as screenings are being sold out. If you volunteer to work the theaters you may also have a chance of seeing the movie too. Big thanks to y'all who have volunteered for the DIFF.

For all you newbies who have just joined, or those who don't always pay attention, there's a calendar on the group pages that will tell you when and where the screenings are scheduled and often have the sources where the passes can be found. It's no use writing to the group and asking for passes that don't exist. Or even stranger to randomly ask for passes to anything on say a Friday night. Check the calendar, enter the contests, have fun at the movies. Simple.

April 8 - 14, 2012

Sun
4/8

Mon
4/9

7:30 pm
Think Like a Man
tba - Dallas

8:30 pm
The Cabin in the Woods
AMC Northpark

Tue
4/10

5:00 pm
The Three Stooges
AmStar Cinemas 14

7:30 pm
Think Like a Man
tba - Dallas

7:30 pm
Lockout
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Goon
Angelika Dallas

Wed
4/11

7:00 pm
Bully
Angelika Dallas

Thu
4/12

7:30 pm
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
tba-Plano

7:30 pm
Touchback
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
tba - Dallas

Fri
4/13

Sat
4/14


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Friday, April 6, 2012

American Reunion




American Reunion is a completely derivative rehash of a dying series, filled with enough ridiculous clichés of other movies in this genre that you could fit them up Stifler's mom, but for some reason, I still had a pretty good time. I think the biggest reasons for this are the characters. Jim, Oz, Stifler, and the whole gang are back in this film and many of them are funnier than they've ever been. A scene where Stifler (Sean William Scott) gets back at a couple teenagers for stealing some girls tops at the beach is flat out hilarious.

I know it might be harsh to say this, but I think these actors were all so perfectly cast for these angst filled permanent teenager roles to begin with that we were kidding ourselves to believe that they were ever going to be much of anything else. Outside of Sean William Scott, every actor in this film must have been dying to get a role in a film some one will actually watch. Jason Biggs (Jim), Mena Suvari (Heather), Tara Reid (Oz), and Chris Klein (Oz) haven't been in a decent film in so long that I'd be surprised if anyone even knew they were working, while Alyson Hannigan (Michelle) literally hasn't done anything since 2006's awful Date Movie. That's a 6 year hiatus. Wow! She was dead in the water. Well, luckily Universal Studios decided that they could make a lot of money off yet another sequel to this cash cow and now these starving actors have work. Hurray!

The basic story in this, getting the band back together plot line, is that everybody is coming back to their old town for their 13 year class reunion and, of course, they all have issues. These issues range from Oz being a sportscaster who's unhappy with his slutty girlfriend, Kevin being a house wife (husband) who's unhappy he's always forced to watch Gossip Girl, and the main plot is that Jim and Michelle are unhappy because they don't have sex. Many of these plot lines lead to sweet, funny, or satisfying conclusions, but sadly the main plot involving Jim leaves much to desire. Basically, we are treated to a sexy bimbo next door that Jim used to babysit come after his Johnson like a stalker that he must try to avoid in one scene after another. It's pretty lame and the film suffers because of it.

However, I doubt many people will seriously give a damn how stupid any of it is and luckily the final act is pretty entertaining. All anyone is going to care about is whether they laughed and if they enjoyed visiting they're old friends. I don't know if this is a good enough reason to charge people $8 for a trip down memory lane, but it almost is.

Review by:
Nathan Ligon
Thank You for Watching



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Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Kid with a Bike




Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Darenne wrote and directed the film The Kid with a Bike that won the Grand Prix award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Thomas Doret who plays the 11 year old Cyril Catoul is brilliant in a very tough role of a young boy abandoned by his father and placed in a state country home for children. He's sullen, angry, unable to express his fear and heartbreak. The subject matter may seem like a major bummer for a movie but Cyril's internal struggle and how it effects the people around him is what makes this film unique.

Cyril is acting out to the counselors at the home. His father left him there a month ago and at the time promised to come get him afterwards. Cyril attempts to climb the fence and eventually one day he escapes and manages to get back to his apartment. The counselors chase him around until he hides at a medical office latching on to a woman in the waiting room. She asks him to ease his grip but does not protest. Perhaps she feels for his belief that his absent dad would leave his bike there for him. After they show him the empty apartment, Cyril is still not ready to believe that his father is not coming back but he's temporarily eased when the lady at the doctor's office retrieves his bike.

Samantha (Cécile de France) owns a hair salon. In a random act of kindness she says yes to Cyril when he asks if she will let him come to stay during the weekends. Their connection with each other is almost primal in it's need. Something about the lost boy touches Samantha's heart as she helps him track down his father (Jérémie Renier) a spineless immature adult who tells her not to bring him back. Samantha makes him tell Cyril himself. They boy doesn't ask for sympathy, doesn't whine or bemoan his plight. He falls prey to the local dealer who entices him with games and fixes his bike in order to seduce him into doing crimes for him. Head strong Cyril even battles Samantha who is doing everything she can to keep him safe. But he's just too out of control even for himself.

Doret with his pinched watchful face lives instinctively. He's a boy with few words and does not smile easily. He rides his bike with a fierceness as if he's trying to out distance the pain chasing him down. As his guardian Cécile de France's Samantha is a no nonsense woman who treats the boy with respect even honestly facing her choice of Cyril over her boyfriend when push comes to shove. Although it's hard to watch Cyril getting beaten down by life, it's also mesmerizing to watch as he slowly inevitably learns how to survive and accept what he's given. If this movie was made in the US it would probably have a lot more violence and a big named star emoting as the mother figure. This under rated movie doesn't beat you on the head, it's quiet, sensitive and human.
(Review by reesa)




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DIFF Announces Honoree, Centerpieces and Opening

The Dallas International Film Festival presented by
Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers Announces

Academy Award Nominee Laura Linney to be Honored
with the Dallas Star Award

LIBERAL ARTS Named as Opening Night Film

HELLO I MUST BE GOING Named as Saturday Centerpiece

THE OTHER DREAM TEAM Named as Thursday Centerpiece


Dallas, TX, April 5, 2012 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announced today that three-time Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Laura Linney will be honored with a Dallas Star Award at the Dallas Film Society Honors. Todd Louiso’s HELLO I MUST BE GOING and Marius A. Markevicius’ THE OTHER DREAM TEAM will be screened in DIFF’s coveted Saturday and Thursday Centerpiece slots respectively. Also, the previously announced LIBERAL ARTS is confirmed as the Opening Night Gala presentation.

With the announcement that Linney will be honored with the Dallas Star Award for the remarkable contribution she has made to modern cinema, the Dallas Film Society Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation and supported by the Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors will bring Linney together with her co-star in “The Big C” Gabourey Sidibe on April 20, 2012. Linney’s portrayal of characters that have a surface beauty underpinned by deep emotional complexity has won her international acclaim and critical respect in the two decades since her debut in George Miller’s LORENZO’S OIL (1992). The 1990s saw a steady rise to fame for her through superb performances in PRIMAL FEAR (1996), ABSOLUTE POWER (1997) and as Meryl Burbank and Hannah Gill in the much-loved, THE TRUMAN SHOW (1998). At the turn of the millennium, Linney earned her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal as single mother Sammy Prescott in Kenneth Lonergan’s YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (2000). Acclaimed performances in THE HOUSE OF MIRTH (2000) and MYSTIC RIVER (2003) were followed by a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for KINSEY (2004) and another Best Actress nod for her role as conflicted sibling Wendy Savage in THE SAVAGES (2007). In 2008, Linney won the Emmy Award for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for “John Adams” and most recently has been nominated for another Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Big C”. Linney has just finished production on Focus Features’ HYDE PARK ON HUDSON which will be released theatrically in December 2012.

“Laura Linney is a true star of the stage and screen - a star whose light shines brighter as each year passes,” said James Faust, artistic director of the Dallas Film Society. “She is an actress who consistently delivers powerful performances that never fail to bring you into the heart of her character. She can be raw, vulnerable, powerful, enigmatic, poignant, comedic, dramatic and, at the same time, utterly beautiful. She personifies what the Dallas Star Award is all about and it is a huge privilege for us all in Dallas to honor her this year.”

‘A Conversation with Laura Linney’ will take place at 11:00 a.m on April 21 at the Nasher Sculpture Center. A screening of YOU CAN COUNT ON ME will follow at 2:45 p.m at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station.

DIFF 2012 will kick off on April 12 with an Opening Night Gala at the historic Majestic Theatre. Following a red-carpet entrance and a tribute to Cinemark USA’s Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell, Josh Radnor’s LIBERAL ARTS will be screened to the 1,000-plus guests of Opening Night. Starring Zac Efron, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor, Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney, LIBERAL ARTS centers on 30-something Jesse, who falls for a young 19-year old college student when he is invited back to his alma mater. A hit at Sundance Film Festival, LIBERAL ARTS will provide the perfect tone to launch this year’s festival to the Dallas audience.

DIFF also confirmed that the Saturday Centerpiece will be the highly praised comedy HELLO I MUST BE GOING from actor, writer and director Todd Louiso (HIGH FIDELITY (2000); THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2005)). The new film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, stars Melanie Lynskey (WIN WIN (2011); UP IN THE AIR (2009)) as Amy, a recently divorced New York photographer who moves back in with her parents in suburban Connecticut, then shakes up her life by starting an affair with a young actor. Co-starring Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott and Julie White, the film had its North American rights snapped up by Oscilloscope Laboratories in preparation for a theatrical release this year. HELLO I MUST BE GOING will be screened at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station on Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Completing the Centerpiece line-up, THE OTHER DREAM TEAM is a perfect choice for a Dallas spotlight: the incredible story of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team coached by Donnie Nelson, known now as the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. The Lithuanian athletes struggled under Soviet rule, but they became symbols of Lithuania’s independence movement and against all odds they triumphed at the Barcelona Olympics. Not since Steve James’ HOOP DREAMS has a basketball documentary created such compelling viewing. Members of the original team will join Donnie Nelson and director Markevicius at the Landmark Magnolia Theatre screening on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

“We have been tracking all of these three films since we saw them at Sundance in January,” said Sarah Harris, senior programmer for the Dallas Film Society. “This is one of the many joys of this job – finding films in their infancy and helping create a buzz through the festival circuit in anticipation of their theatrical release. Screening THE OTHER DREAM TEAM in Dallas with Donnie Nelson in attendance will be a real highlight for anyone with even a hint of interest in sport. We are thrilled that these three films will join MY WAY as part of our Centerpiece series: each one brings it own unique flavor to the festival and I know that our audience will not be disappointed.”

Finally, two additional screenings have been added to the film schedule:

BERNIE (USA)
Director: Richard Linklater
In small-town Texas, the local mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow but when he kills her, he goes to great lengths to create the illusion that she's alive. Starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS (USA)
Directors: Shana Sosin, Barbara Stepansky, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, Beth Grant, Tracie Laymon, America Young
Six filmmakers were awarded $1000 each to make a short film. The filmmakers were given only two rules: it had to be written, directed, produced, shot, and edited by women, and the finished product had to express what "feminine strength" meant to the filmmakers. GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS is the result of these terrific collaborations, a half a dozen short films that showcase the diverse and unique voices of young female filmmakers from around the country.
CONVENTION OF DYING
MY OWN PRIVATE DEMON
HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE
THE PERFECT FIT
A HIDDEN AGENDER
LOCKED-IN

Tickets are currently on sale at the Prekindle Box Office in the Festival Village at Mockingbird Station at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 105. DIFF passes are also for sale and range from $100 for a Faulkner Design Group Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass. To purchase tickets and passes, telephone the Prekindle Box Office at 972-707-0838 or visit: www.DallasFilm.org. For further information about the Dallas Film Society telephone 214.720.0555.


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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Family Day at the Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas International Film Festival presented by
Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announces events for Family Day


Dallas, TX, April 4, 2012 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announced today the line-up for its free Family Day celebration. Presented by the East Dallas Christian Church, Family Day will kick off Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m. at NorthPark’s CenterPark, and will run until the end of a free outdoor screening of ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL in CenterPark at sundown.

Family Day is a time to entertain and educate the youngest filmgoers. With a bit of carnival flair, Family Day revolves around DIFF’s screenings of several family films from around the world at AMC NorthPark. In addition, musicians, artists, performers and storytellers will entertain the entire family, and children can participate in educational arts and crafts projects.

“We are delighted to once again present our free Family Day to the public,” said Renee Contreras, director of education, membership and outreach for the Dallas Film Society. “It’s so enjoyable to share the art of film with young cinema buffs and their families, and we are looking forward to a day full of fun and learning.”

Entertainment throughout the day will include Zumba Gals, a Latin-inspired, dance fitness class; Yogiños: Yoga for Youth presented by the Crow Collection of Asian Art; the award-winning Dallas Tap Dazzlers, a group of jazz-tap dancers with an average age of 65; a performance and instruction session from the Lake Highlands Wildcat Wranglers; The Dallas Zoo’s Animal Adventures; story time with The Dallas Public Library; a ballet performance from The Dallas Conservatory; a performance from Barefoot Wines’ Eric Dorton’s band Frankie; a bounce house; face painters and a chess class in support of the DIFF film BROOKLYN CASTLE.

Another family-friendly activity is Heart, Hope, Healing Day: an H3 Celebration. Presented by Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital in partnership with the American Heart Association’s GO RED FOR WOMEN campaign, volunteers will be present at all the festival venues throughout the day to encourage audiences to get a glucose and cholesterol health screening.

In exchange for the check up, every person will receive a DALLAS IFF screening voucher worth $10 and if anyone wears red that day they will receive $2 off a same day ticket or free entry from the rush line. Additionally, the first 200 people to donate $5 to the American Heart Association GO RED FOR WOMEN at the Baylor health screening locations will receive a free DIFF film screening voucher.
In addition to an abundance of activities, Family Day features the following ticketed movie screenings at AMC NorthPark:

12:00PM
OBLIVION ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (Japan) – Texas Premiere
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Having lost her mother, Haruka is now a 16-year-old girl and feels neglected by her father. She escapes to her grandmother's house and discovers a fox-like creature who steals her keys. She follows him and is transported into a magical world. Starring Haruka Ayase, Miyuki Sawashiro, Mitsuki Tanimura, Naho Toda and Nao Ohmori.

2:30PM
FIRST POSITION (USA) – Texas Premiere
Director: Bess Kargman
A documentary that follows six young ballet dancers as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix.

5:00PM
COWGIRLS N’ ANGELS (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Timothy Armstrong
A group of rodeo trick-riders recruits a young girl to join them. Stars Jackson Rathbone, James Cromwell, Bailee Madison, Alicia Witt, Drew Waters and Frankie Faison.

8:00PM, free outdoor screening in CenterPark
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, USA)
Director: Steven Spielberg
A meek and alienated little boy finds a stranded extraterrestrial. He has to find the courage to defy the authorities to help the alien return to its home planet. Stars Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore.
Family Day is open to everyone. Tickets for the Dallas International Film Festival are currently on sale at the Prekindle Box Office in the Festival Village at Mockingbird Station at 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln., Suite 105. Passes are for sale and range from $100 for a Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass. To purchase tickets and passes telephone the Prekindle Box Office at 972-707-0838 or visit: www.DallasFilm.org. For further information about the Dallas Film Society telephone 214.720.0555.




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Family Day at the Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas International Film Festival presented by
Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announces events for Family Day


Dallas, TX, April 4, 2012 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announced today the line-up for its free Family Day celebration. Presented by the East Dallas Christian Church, Family Day will kick off Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m. at NorthPark’s CenterPark, and will run until the end of a free outdoor screening of ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL in CenterPark at sundown.

Family Day is a time to entertain and educate the youngest filmgoers. With a bit of carnival flair, Family Day revolves around DIFF’s screenings of several family films from around the world at AMC NorthPark. In addition, musicians, artists, performers and storytellers will entertain the entire family, and children can participate in educational arts and crafts projects.

“We are delighted to once again present our free Family Day to the public,” said Renee Contreras, director of education, membership and outreach for the Dallas Film Society. “It’s so enjoyable to share the art of film with young cinema buffs and their families, and we are looking forward to a day full of fun and learning.”

Entertainment throughout the day will include Zumba Gals, a Latin-inspired, dance fitness class; Yogiños: Yoga for Youth presented by the Crow Collection of Asian Art; the award-winning Dallas Tap Dazzlers, a group of jazz-tap dancers with an average age of 65; a performance and instruction session from the Lake Highlands Wildcat Wranglers; The Dallas Zoo’s Animal Adventures; story time with The Dallas Public Library; a ballet performance from The Dallas Conservatory; a performance from Barefoot Wines’ Eric Dorton’s band Frankie; a bounce house; face painters and a chess class in support of the DIFF film BROOKLYN CASTLE.

Another family-friendly activity is Heart, Hope, Healing Day: an H3 Celebration. Presented by Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital in partnership with the American Heart Association’s GO RED FOR WOMEN campaign, volunteers will be present at all the festival venues throughout the day to encourage audiences to get a glucose and cholesterol health screening.

In exchange for the check up, every person will receive a DALLAS IFF screening voucher worth $10 and if anyone wears red that day they will receive $2 off a same day ticket or free entry from the rush line. Additionally, the first 200 people to donate $5 to the American Heart Association GO RED FOR WOMEN at the Baylor health screening locations will receive a free DIFF film screening voucher.
In addition to an abundance of activities, Family Day features the following ticketed movie screenings at AMC NorthPark:

12:00PM
OBLIVION ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (Japan) – Texas Premiere
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Having lost her mother, Haruka is now a 16-year-old girl and feels neglected by her father. She escapes to her grandmother's house and discovers a fox-like creature who steals her keys. She follows him and is transported into a magical world. Starring Haruka Ayase, Miyuki Sawashiro, Mitsuki Tanimura, Naho Toda and Nao Ohmori.

2:30PM
FIRST POSITION (USA) – Texas Premiere
Director: Bess Kargman
A documentary that follows six young ballet dancers as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix.

5:00PM
COWGIRLS N’ ANGELS (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Timothy Armstrong
A group of rodeo trick-riders recruits a young girl to join them. Stars Jackson Rathbone, James Cromwell, Bailee Madison, Alicia Witt, Drew Waters and Frankie Faison.

8:00PM, free outdoor screening in CenterPark
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, USA)
Director: Steven Spielberg
A meek and alienated little boy finds a stranded extraterrestrial. He has to find the courage to defy the authorities to help the alien return to its home planet. Stars Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore.
Family Day is open to everyone. Tickets for the Dallas International Film Festival are currently on sale at the Prekindle Box Office in the Festival Village at Mockingbird Station at 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln., Suite 105. Passes are for sale and range from $100 for a Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass. To purchase tickets and passes telephone the Prekindle Box Office at 972-707-0838 or visit: www.DallasFilm.org. For further information about the Dallas Film Society telephone 214.720.0555.




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