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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom



Director Wes Anderson movies seem to have an occurring theme of a dysfunctional family dynamic as in Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox. In his newest film which he wrote with Roman Coppola he turns the eye to a couple of tweens living on the island of New Penzance during 1965 right before a major meteorological catastrophe. Anderson's quirky take on a scout troop, New England island life and a sense of innocence before kids were plugged in and tuned out. The music, costumes and art direction gives this film an unusual charm that will delight in it's optimistic hopefulness.

Twelve year olds Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) met during a church performance of Noah's Ark. They start to write to each other eventually deciding to meet each other so they could be together. Sam is a member of the Khaki Scout Troop and escapes from his pup tent. Suzy who watches the world from her binoculars packs her suitcase with her brother's record player, fantasy books and her cat. They hike across the island to a cove where they set up camp they call Moonrise Kingdom. There they talk, play, and discover young love (no sex) with some innocent kissing. Meanwhile Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) reports his missing trooper to police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). He calls Sam's foster family who say they don't want him to come back. Sharp must report this to Social Services (Tilda Swinton) who plans to come to the island to take him in custody and to the shock of Sharp and Ward he will be remanded to an orphanage. Suzy's lawyer parents Laura and Walt Bishop (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray) are upset to learn that their daughter has run off with Sam. Everyone, including the scout troop (or the beige people as Walt calls them) go in search of the young lovers. Jason Swartzman, another Anderson favorite, shows up later in the story as the supply Scout master who aids the young kids in their quest to be together.

What seems straight forward as far as plot is presented in a diorama of color and style that's reminiscent of a low budget indie film of that time period, including the palmer method of handwriting font that's on the movie poster. The clothing, doll house type of houses, trailers and pup tents echo a simpler time and space. Its the music by ---- that pulls the whole film together. Granted this movie probably won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you loved Anderson's previous work, this ranks up there with one of the best.
(Review by reesa)



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For Greater Glory



A few years after the Mexican revolution, President Plutarco Calles felt that foreign influence of the Catholic Church was undermining the interests of the people of Mexico. Laws were created to keep priests from wearing their vestments outside of the church and all foreign priests had to leave Mexico. A peaceful protest group was formed to bring back religious freedom. But Calles' responded with even harsher restrictions to the point where even Mass services was banned. Before long the Federal Army was called in and priests were killed and churches destroyed. This was the beginning of the Cristero War that ravaged the country from 1926-1929.

This is a director Dean Wright's feature debut working from a script by Michael Love about a little known piece of North American history. The movie tries to cover from the early days of conflict by showing the benevolent priests dying for their faith. Peter O'Toole has a small role at the beginning introducing José Luis Sánchez del Rio (Mauricio Kuri) the troubled god child of the town's mayor. He impresses O'Toole's Father Christopher enough to begin training as an alter boy. After the war reaches their church, Jose and his friend decide to join the Cristerors who are hiding in the canyons while running guerrilla attacks. The loose outfit consists of a warrior priest and assorted rebels who don't answer to anyone. The League who is running the protest in the city want to hire a former general Enrique Gorostieta Velarde (Andy Garcia)from the recent revolution who as his devout wife Tulitaa (Eva Langoria) says is an atheist. Although the general doesn't believe in The League's cause, he does believe in freedom that they had fought for during the revolution. He organizes the rag tag group into an effective army, taking the young Jose under his wing as a surrogate son. Mean while the US oil interests brings in a new Mexican ambassador (Bruce Greenwood) who tries to negotiate peace with the Cristeros, Calles and the Vatican bishops. He's appalled by the sight of hanging bodies from the telegraph polls along the train route. But President Calles wants weapons in exchange to subdue the insurgents which he receives because the US wants to protect their financial interests in Mexico.

As interesting as this unknown tale of Mexican history can be, the movie itself plays like a television mini-series. Period costumes and set decoration all filmed in a sort of sepia tones is like a trip to Olveria Street in Los Angeles. The faces of well known actors parade across the screen with and without accents telling small bits of information that is sometimes confusing and unnecessary. The story of Jose who becomes a Christ figure and martyr will satisfy the religious contingent who is the basic audience of this film which will play well on the church circuit. No one really comes out a hero in this woeful tale of human rights infractions mired in political maneuvering. But the Catholic Church awarded some of the Cristero participants with beautification and canonizations to sainthoods.
(Review by reesa)


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U.N. Me






First time film makers Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff take on the United Nations in a surprising and amusing Michael Moore style documentary. The UN was created after WWII the UN was created to fight oppression, ensure global security and protect human rights taken after the US constitution. Today it helps fight starvation and disease. But lately the UN has been embroiled in money laundering, bribery and making a mockery of human rights.

The film opens with Horowitz personally visiting the UN, wandering freely around the empty corridors, General Assembly Hall, a visibly marked restricted security area, even answers a phone, and no one is around. He relays a story of how a guard killed himself while sitting next to a guard who was sound asleep. This sets the stage for the story of bureaucratic ineptitude that is today's UN.

The film shot in 2008 – 2009 explores how the UN has drifted from it's original purpose. In 1946 the UN created a human rights standard. But today countries that have serious questions on their own human rights problems like Syria, Libya, and Iran are put on the councils. The 2009 conference on racism and human rights at the UN the President of Iran who believed the holocaust was a myth and whose country hangs gay people was the keynote speaker. There are various interviews with involved parties and archived footage the film explores the worst of the violations, scandals and abuse that has become a quagmire of corruption.

Horowitz a former investment banker travels to African nation of Cote d'Ivoire where he reports on a little known incident where French UN Peacekeepers fired on peaceful protesters. He interviews a former peacekeeper who relays stories of rampant sexual abuse of the local women, drug trafficking, and no accountability or discipline. He also interviews Nobel laureate Jody Williams who reported on the Darfur holocaust to the UN Human Rights Commission but was blocked by the very commission who sent her in the first place. Despite some serious and depressing exploration, Horowitz's Borat style adventures also include sneaking onto a conference podium telling the audience they should be embarrassed and ashamed. Or when he asks the Sudan UN ambassador why Sudan stones gays after the first offense but lesbians only after the fourth. To which he replied that if she is married she will be stoned immediately.

In most people's minds the UN has become a pop culture reference as backdrop to spy and espionage movies. It's unfortunate that something that was supposed to untie the world in process of peaceful globalization has become mired in weight of it's own self interests. Hopefully this film will help bring back it's founders intent of preventing war, ensuring peace and human rights once more.
(Review by reesa)

The Dallas Movie Screening interview with Ami Horowitz



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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week 5/27 - 6/2


Memorial Day weekend. Hope everyone is having a safe and productive holiday time off. Stay cool and contented. We have some big movies on tap, and there's probably going to be some major wants and needs and a few offers. Everyone that's been labeling their messages correctly...THANK YOU!!!! Those who are getting your emails returned as rejected...try to do better the next time. You do understand why they got sent back, right?

Now that school is getting out there's probably going to be crowded lines at the movies again as parents try to find affordable entertainment for what is going to be a long hot summer. So a reminder to everyone that a.) not all these movies are appropriate for kids. Review the trailers first. b.) really young children have short attention spans so sitting in a dark theater will probably cause them to act out, kick seats and generally be disruptive. You may be immune to their antics, but people come to see the movie and not for the distraction. c.) you may want to consider books...they are fun, help with the whole parent/child bonding time and gives them communicative skills that will help them out later in life.

May 27 - June 2, 2012

Sun
5/27

Mon
5/28

Tue
5/29

7:00 pm
The Intouchables
Angelika Dallas

7:00 pm
People Like Us
Rave Ridgmar, Fort Worth

7:30 pm
Snow White and the Huntsman
AMC Northpark

Wed
5/30

10:00 pm
Horror Remix: Shopping
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Thu
5/31

7:30 pm
High School
Cinemark 17

7:30 pm
Moonrise Kingdom
Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
Rock of Ages
Angelika Dallas

Fri
6/1

Sat
6/2

11:00 am
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
tba-Dallas

11:00 am
Madagascar 3 Europes Most Wanted
tba-Fort Worth

11:00 am
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Cinemark West Plano




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Friday, May 25, 2012

Wyatt Head Review


For Greater Glory- This film communicated a very inspiring and conveying message. It built myself up to see a world that we are privileged to be in. It appealed to the audience because of it's unbelievable true story and told the audience it with such humbleness and dignity. A truly awing film.

Jo Nesbos- Headhunters- "Well, that was an AWESOME film!" That's immediately what I said when I came out of Headhunters. I was like finally a great action/bloody/thriller with the best ending which to me is a happy one. Awesome job to the Norwegians who made that awesome one. The good ending was chillingly good. It was a satisfying but complicated ending. As they say in Norway "kalukden van sheeten".


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Men in Black 3




It's been fifteen years since the original Men in Black movie and ten years since the sequel. The continuing adventures of Agents K and J who work for a secret government agency that keeps the world from knowing there are aliens living among us is given a nice little tie up to K and J's relationship. Tommy Lee Jones as stoic K and talkative Will Smith as J have now been partners in this covert agency for 14 years. This time around the extraterrestrial villain Boris the Animal (“It's just Boris”) has escaped his prison on the moon for the past 40 years and threatens to rewrite history by eliminating his nemesis K who took one of his arms.

Director Barry Sonnenfeld is back with a script by Etan Coehn (Tropic of Thunder) , David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson and Michael Soccio who have worked on the story at various stages from a suggestion by Will Smith back when they were doing MIB 2. The process may have taken many years to accomplish, but the result is a satisfying afternoon for fans of the franchise. Smith and Jones in their buddy cop roles are opposites in style and attitude but have a deep respect for each other. This time they have added Josh Brolin as the younger K back in 1969. Emma Thompson plays Agent 0 with her younger self played by Alice Eve.

The whole “time jump” concept takes an old device and makes it fresh. J literally leaps into a Mad Men dressed world. There's also humorous commentary on how an African American dressed in a black suit is perceived in a racially confused world. The costumes and sets are like a pop culture reference book with the kick of Andy Warhol being a Men in Black agent, because everyone knows that all models are aliens. There they find Michael Stuhlbarg who plays Griffin the last of his kind alien. He has a gift which can also be a curse of seeing the future, or multiple, equally possible futures all at the same time. His takes on the possible scenarios on K and J's mission are funny and endearing. Boris ("Flight of the Conchords'" Jemaine Clement) of the future needs to stop Griffin from helping K put up the arc that protects earth from invasion and also keep him past self loose his arm.

There's no paradox problem that will make your head spin in this. The action is fast, the aliens among us are interesting and entertaining, not as confusing and overkill like in MIB 2. Big props go to Josh Brolin whose big forehead and mannerisms gets Tommy Lee Jones down to a T. K's younger version is less taciturn and gruff which makes J wonder what happened to turn him into the present day K. The ending also ties up the bond between mentor and student that will make one want to revisit the first movie. Especially considering most of the target audience is probably not old enough to remember the first movie, this works well as a stand alone film. Definitely worth the popcorn, but if you get a chance to see it without 3D go for it.
(Review by reesa)



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Chernobyl Diaries




"Paranormal Activity" creator Oren Peli co-wrote, produced and co-scripted the hor"Paranormal Activity" creator Oren Peli co-wrote, produced and co-scripted the horror film about six friends who go “extreme touring” near the famous nuclear reactor disaster site in Russia. This is now 25 years after all was abandoned in a 24 hour period and left to return to nature. At the start, I inquired of my viewing companions what the expectation was and the response was an overall “not expecting too much”

The film’s star performer is its amazing set and setting. Chernobyl Diaries has the ability to frighten the viewer a satisfactory number of times with without a high film budget, special effects or a big name cast, just like Paranormal Activity did. There are few things more frightening than being stranded out in nature, in an unfamiliar place facing unfamiliar threats on your own without resources.

The film introduces the viewer to six pretty young adults (an almost engaged couple, male relative, single girl, and a foreign couple who joins up with the tour) four of who decide to skip a planned trip to Moscow to experience some “extreme tourism”. Led by their guide Uri, a ripped ex-Special Services soldier with the requisite accent, they board a “sketchy at best” van, to tour Prypiat, a residential community for the 50,000 reactor workers and family members that had been abandoned right after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. They are turned away at the gate yet manage to slip in the back way via their guide. (of course)

They wander through and explore the surreal deserted apartments, recreation facilities, woods and grounds, experience a few laughs and scares and encounter a few things alive and dead. But the overall uneasiness grows just by the impending looks of dread and doom on Uri’s face and the fact that he needs to pull out his gun and go off into the woods alone in pursuit of strange noises, after the van predictably refuses to start, and it is discovered that wiring had been destroyed. And so night falls and things start moving in.

The first frights are of the familiar kind expected out in the wild but it soon becomes clear that there is something else there. Something hiding or being hidden from them is trying to pick them off one by one. But the most visually stimulating and claustrophobic scenes are when the party make their way in, out, over, around, through and past the maze of rooms and tunnels within the complex. I was reminded of the many haunted houses I have visited over the years and if that system of scare tactics isn’t broke there is no need to fix it. Not knowing what is around the corner or waiting for you channels Alien in its methods and is used to put you on the edge of your seat. Parts of the film appear in the form of “footage” that was recorded by someone no longer around yet viewed in real time as the events had unfolded, a la Blair Witch.

Creepy.

Creak, Crash, Bang. The unique setting remains the star. Splash. Ripple. Waters that hold unknown, hinted-on life that is familiar yet grotesquely changed by the exposure to radiation over time. Howl, Moan, Cry. Woods that hold abandoned and ravenous wild animals exposed over time to the remaining radiation. Filmed mainly in Eastern European at locales that fill in for the city of Prypiat, which is a real tourist site, the movie does feel believable. Tunnels underneath Belgrade were used to help provide the appropriate suffocating feeling that they are being pursued and surrounded by something other worldly.

While the cast seems chosen for eye and personality appeal, Dimitri Diatchenko is a real presence in the first part of the film, as he clearly conveys that there is possibly more to this tour than in the brochure with just his eyes and facial expressions. We know we should be scare because he is too. I found the ending to be a bit disappointing but it is hard to imagine any other way TO end such a tale.

(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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First Position





The Youth American Grand Prix is the premiere event for young ballet dancers to compete for scholarships and jobs with the most prestigious schools and ballet companies. The cream of the crop from all the small dance schools around the world gather each year to perform. Bess Kargman a recent journalism graduate had run into the competition one afternoon on her lunch break and realized that she wanted to make a documentary about this world. Another reason was to dispel the stereotype that dancers are gay, anorexic, are all white and have stage mothers. Kargman's first feature gives the viewer much more than just kids competing. It lets us in the world of dance and intimately in the lives of it's dancers.

Aran Bell at 12 is what would seem a typical tween. He rides bikes, skateboards, plays sports when he's not practicing several hours a day. He's bright, active and most of all like all the dancers totally focused. Even the intense pain the dancers have to endure to twist their bodies into form, Aran endures knowing the end result is worth it. We are introduced to his friend Gaya from Israel who he met at a competition and there's this budding love between them. Michaela , 14, is a refugee from a war torn country in Africa who was adopted into a family in the US. She suffers from the skin condition Vitaligo that leaves her skin color blotchy. She asked her mom if they could see it from the audience when she danced and was relieved when her mom said she couldn't. Young women of color is not a usual sight in the world of ballet. Michaela wants to prove that otherwise. Her story also shows that dance is just about as injury prone as playing sports. Right before the competition she sustains a pain that threatens her performance. Sixteen year old Joan Sebastian comes from Columbia and is living in the US on his own carrying the hope of a future he could not find at home. Something that he could not do in his small town. There is also Miko, a tiny wafer thin 12 year old, whose father 's job moved to California just so she could work with a specific teacher. Her little 10 year old brother Jules also dances but doesn't have the dedication of gifts of his sister. High school senior Rebecca looks like the typical blond ballerina princess. Her perfect visage is what people normally expect in their dance images.

Ranging in ages from 9 - 19, the dancers despite their lives of discipline and dedication to their art are blessed with parents that allow them to have as close to normal of a life as possible. The expenses of supporting their offspring in dance is as Rebecca's father says would have covered her four year college education. Toe shoes alone go for $80 a pair and they wear out quickly. The costumes that they commission can range from $1500 - $2500. There is also the competition fees, as well the travel, classes with well known teachers and studio time. You don't see these young women moonlighting like in Flashdance.

Although it's not necessary for young dancers enter this contest to succeed it does give them invaluable experience. The Grand Prix semi finals are held in sixteen cities all over the world. At lease 5000 dancers compete to be one of the 200 – 300 chosen to go New York for the finals. They are divided up into age groups, with the younger dancers receive medals and trophies. The older dancers hope to win scholarships to elite schools or positions with ballet companies. The judges look for body – long legs, small head and proportioned, training, personality and passion. The film definitely shows these young people not only have a gift, but the artistic drive that makes them stand out over their peers. And you will be cheering for them.
(Review by reesa)



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"Paranormal Activity" creator Oren Peli co-wrote, produced and co-scripted the horror film about six friends who go “extreme touring” near the famous nuclear reactor disaster site in Russia. This is now 25 years after all was abandoned in a 24 hour period and left to return to nature. At the start, I inquired of my viewing companions what the expectation was and the response was an overall “not expecting too much”

The film’s star performer is its amazing set and setting. Chernobyl Diaries has the ability to frighten the viewer a satisfactory number of times with without a high film budget, special effects or a big name cast, just like Paranormal Activity did. There are few things more frightening than being stranded out in nature, in an unfamiliar place facing unfamiliar threats on your own without resources.

The film introduces the viewer to six pretty young adults (an almost engaged couple, male relative, single girl, and a foreign couple who joins up with the tour) four of who decide to skip a planned trip to Moscow to experience some “extreme tourism”. Led by their guide Uri, a ripped ex-Special Services soldier with the requisite accent, they board a “sketchy at best” van, to tour Prypiat, a residential community for the 50,000 reactor workers and family members that had been abandoned right after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. They are turned away at the gate yet manage to slip in the back way via their guide. (of course)

They wander through and explore the surreal deserted apartments, recreation facilities, woods and grounds, experience a few laughs and scares and encounter a few things alive and dead. But the overall uneasiness grows just by the impending looks of dread and doom on Uri’s face and the fact that he needs to pull out his gun and go off into the woods alone in pursuit of strange noises, after the van predictably refuses to start, and it is discovered that wiring had been destroyed. And so night falls and things start moving in.

The first frights are of the familiar kind expected out in the wild but it soon becomes clear that there is something else there. Something hiding or being hidden from them is trying to pick them off one by one. But the most visually stimulating and claustrophobic scenes are when the party make their way in, out, over, around, through and past the maze of rooms and tunnels within the complex. I was reminded of the many haunted houses I have visited over the years and if that system of scare tactics isn’t broke there is no need to fix it. Not knowing what is around the corner or waiting for you channels Alien in its methods and is used to put you on the edge of your seat. Parts of the film appear in the form of “footage” that was recorded by someone no longer around yet viewed in real time as the events had unfolded, a la Blair Witch.

Creepy.

Creak, Crash, Bang. The unique setting remains the star. Splash. Ripple. Waters that hold unknown, hinted-on life that is familiar yet grotesquely changed by the exposure to radiation over time. Howl, Moan, Cry. Woods that hold abandoned and ravenous wild animals exposed over time to the remaining radiation. Filmed mainly in Eastern European at locales that fill in for the city of Prypiat, which is a real tourist site, the movie does feel believable. Tunnels underneath Belgrade were used to help provide the appropriate suffocating feeling that they are being pursued and surrounded by something other worldly.

While the cast seems chosen for eye and personality appeal, Dimitri Diatchenko is a real presence in the first part of the film, as he clearly conveys that there is possibly more to this tour than in the brochure with just his eyes and facial expressions. We know we should be scare because he is too. I found the ending to be a bit disappointing but it is hard to imagine any other way TO end such a tale.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/20- 5/26


It's really great that there is several screenings for MIB3 this week so everyone should get a chance to see it on the day they want. Hence the rabid trading for certain days and theaters. But it begs the question if people are getting passes only to trade. For instance if you know that you can never see movies on Thursdays, then you shouldn't be redeeming that RSVP on GOFOBO. If AMStar is out of your way, then don't be taking those passes if you are just going to use them to dangle in front of someone hoping for a bite. There maybe someone who really wants to go to AMStar and doesn't have any barriers on Thursday who may have missed out getting that pass that you grabbed with no intention of going. It's nice that we can help each other out, but please don't be greedy.

May 20 - 26, 2012

Sun
5/20

Mon
5/21

Tue
5/22

7:00 pm
For Greater Glory
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
Men in Black 3
AMC Northpark

Wed
5/23

7:30 pm
Moonrise Kingdom
Angelika Plano

7:30 pm
Men in Black 3
Cinemark West Plano

Thu
5/24

7:30 pm
High School
Studio Movie Grill Arlington

7:30 pm
Men in Black 3
AM Star 14

7:30 pm
Men in Black 3
AMC Northpark

8:00 pm
Chernobyl Diaries
Cinemark 17

8:00 pm
Chernobyl Diaries
AMC Valley View

Fri
5/25

Sat
5/26


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Friday, May 18, 2012

Movie Reviews by Wyatt Head


Monsieur Lahzar
- This film catapulted me to a surprised man looking at the incredible acting skills of several youths. These children and the entire cast of Monsieur Lahzar shock and astound you with a very well-done performance and an unmatched story.


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Battleship



Somewhere along the way Director Peter Berg (Hancock) became the new Michael Bay. As the camera lingers on the patriotic sweeps of today's Navy and lingers with the our service men and women you can't help feel your heart swell with a source of pride, tears filling the eyes. Maybe this is just a diversion from the fact that this movie is based on a Hasbro board game where you have to guess your opponents placements so you can blow them up. Written by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, the usually static game has been expanded to include an alien invasion in Hawaii.

Taylor Kitsch plays Alex Hooper, the wayward younger brother of his Naval officer brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgård) who gives him the ultimatum of getting his act together or joining him in the Navy. It comes to a head when trying to impress a beautiful young woman at the local bar by promising to bring her a chicken burrito ends up into a mess. Of course Sam (Brooklyn Decker) also happens to be the daughter of the Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson).

A year later Alex is now a US Navy Tactical Action officer on a destroyer the USS John Paul Jones. His brother is the Captain on another destroyer the USS Sampson. Alex may be an officer and on the verge of asking the Admiral for his daughter's hand in marriage but he's still the kind of a guy that doesn't play by the book. During a war game exercise something crashes into the sea. Apparently signals sent out to space got a response, and one that no one expected.

How they manage to get the gist of the board game incorporated into the storyline is pretty creative and satisfying. But most of the movie is not about the game. It's about the rowdy irresponsible young man who suddenly has to step up to the plate. There's plenty of explosions, and FX battles to keep any scifi action nerd happy. The light weight dialogue is played laughs. Kitsch's bad boy that he's brewed since Friday Night Lights is still intact and snarky as ever. He's complimented by the casting of Rihanna as one of his tactical crew Petty Officer Weps who can handle a machine gun. Jesse Plemons another Friday Night alum shows up as Boatswain Mate Ord. Well known Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano adds some class to the film as Captain Yugi Nagata, JMSDF, Commanding Officer of the JDS Myōkō..

There's also a worthy nod to the men and women who have served our country and sacrificed their limbs. Sam who is a physical therapist works with double amputee Mick (Gregory D. Gadson) by hiking on Oahu to help with his prosthetic legs. They come across Adam Godley as Dr. Nogrady, the scientist leading the Beacon program who informs them that the aliens have taken over his satellite installation to send out another signal. While her boyfriend has to battle the aliens at sea, it's up to the rag tag group to stop the aliens on land. Old veterans also get their chance to shine when the USS. Missouri is broken out of it's museum ship status and into the think of battle . The vets are needed to show the younger generation the old school method of the fighting ships.

This film certainly doesn't rank up there with the Avengers, but for just a lark and a fun way to kill time at the theater one afternoon and thankfully it's not in 3D.
(Review by reesa)



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What to Expect When You're Expecting



Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel's pregnancy guide was originally published in 1984 and now currently in it's fourth edition has consistently topped the New York Times Best Seller list. The book that has advised most of us who have had children since the 80's is now a romantic comedy with an all star cast in that ensemble way of Valentine's Day Or New Year's Eve only slightly better. Directed by Kirk Jones (Everybody's Fine and Nanny McPhee) and written by Shauna Cross and Heather Hach the story follows five couples who live in the Atlanta area as they deal with impending pregnancies.

Topping the cast is Cameron Diaz as Jules a trainer for those weight loss reality shows who while competing herself in a reality dance show gets morning sickness in her first place trophy. The baby daddy is her dance partner Evan (Matthew Morrison). Elizabeth Banks plays Wendy the author and owner of the boutique called The Breast Choice who had been trying to get pregnant with her husband and former weight loss contestant Gary (Ben Falcone). His dad Ramsey Cooper (Dennis Quaid) a former race driver is married to a much younger woman Skylar (Brooklyn Decker) and she just found our she's pregnant with twins. Holly (Jennifer Lopez) a photographer of babies and at the aquarium is married to Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) have decided to adopt after trying for many years. Holly suggests he check out a group of fathers called The Dudes that take their kids to the park each weekend. Played by Chris Rock Rob Huebel, Thomas Lennon and Amire Talai they run the group like the Fight Club where what you talk about in the dudes stays in the dudes. Their hero is Davis (True Blood's Joe Manganiello in all his rippling glory) who reminds them of life as a real man living the good life. A young couple Marco (Chase Crawford) and Rosie (Anna Kendrick) used to date in high school now run their own food trailers meet cute and find themselves in the family way. With each of the little stories we watch as the people experience some version of the fun and foibles of being knocked up. From the mother's side to the father's to be in all it's permutations. The glow, the physical changes, the hormones, and miscarriages.

This movie is definitely for moms and dads to be, and anyone else who have gone through the joys of parenthood. The comedy and situations are broad and predictable. It's over the top at times and only saved by a few very earnest performances. The capable cast serve the volleys of amusing dialogue like pro's especially Chris Rock who is the leader of the dudes. Their version of life as a dad with giving up dreams of their favorite car to getting a minivan instead and the accidents that happen with kids that happen and can't be helped. A nice confection of a film.
(Review by reesa)





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Crooked Arrows



Lacrosse is a tradition of the Haudenosaunee nations, which include the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora nations. Lacrosse is known as the Creator’s game or a medicine game. Neal Powless, of the Onondaga Nation and co-producer of the film worked to ensure that the film had an authentic Haudenosaunee storyline. Directed by Steve Rash (Can't Buy Me Love) and written by Brad Riddell and Todd Baird the movie features a sport that has not been seen on the big screen since Last of the Mohican's by honoring it's origins. (There was the little seen The Creator’s Game (1999), a low-budget but well-received film starring Cree actor Dakota House).

Joe Logan (Brandon Routh, who is part Native American) runs the Wumpum casino on a reservation somewhere in upper New York State. Dressed in embarrassing stereotypical trappings he shamelessly entertains the guests. He's a bit of a shallow business man who has lost touch with his heritage. A developer wants to expand the casino, but Joe needs the approval of the council who agree by the promise of the financial gains that would help open a hospital. However the agreement comes with the stipulation that Joe go through a spiritual quest that would be overseen by his father Ben (Gil Birmingham). Ben assigns the quest to coach the tribe's lacrosse team which plays the prep school leagues and woefully so. The team used to be coached by his father and assisted by Joe's sister Nadie (Chelsea Ricketts). Joe who was a star player at one time, doesn't take his job seriously until he's guided by the tribe's wiseman Crooked Arrow (Dennis Ambriz). His sage homilies inspire Joe to take more responsibility with the teen aged team.

The reservation school is taught by Joe's old girlfriend Dr. Julie Gifford (Crystal Allen) who had written a definitive book on the Haudenosaunee Senequa people and whose son also plays on the team as the token white kid. The couple naturally butt heads in that cute flirty we got history but we can still be friends sort of way. This part also touches on the difficulties to bring quality teaching staff to the reservations and the ability to speak their native languages. It also shows the ambivalence of the teens to embrace and take pride in their cultural identity.

The producers looked for lacrosse players who could also act. Eight lacrosse players from or near the Onondaga Nation were selected. Three of the main players Shaye Thomas, Cree Cathers and Ty Hill currently play on the Onondaga Redhawks lacrosse team. The team which is so good had a hard time trying to play badly as the story required. The film also features cameo appearances from some local lacrosse coaches, West Genesee coach Mike Messere, and SU coaches John Desko and Gary Gait.

While the film depicts the usual underdog rallying at the end to win, the obvious characterizations, and the sometimes stiff acting it is saved by the spirit of the people it's portraying and the game of lacrosse. It's hard not to feel the people's pride in their sovereign nation. It's nice to be reminded that the indigenous inhabitants of this country still remain. There's an honesty in the last scene when the various nations come to cheer on the team. The 500 extras that showed up in red Crooked Arrow t-shirts took the filmmakers by surprise. The film if nothing else will hopefully help the Haudenosaunee players compete in the world championships after the incident in 2010 when the U.S. and the United Kingdom would not accept Haudenosaunee passports.
(Review by reesa)


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week 5/13 - 5/19


Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Another week full of movies. Is it really that difficult for y'all to put the designator on the subject line. It makes it so much easier to sort through the mail if you let everyone know the subject of the message. Please include WANT/NEED, OFFER, TRADE, Live on GOFOBO, Released (on GOFOBO) in your subject line with the name of the movie. Most of you do this right, but there are those who don't think this rule applies to them. Chronic abusers will only have their emails rejected if they have to be edited consistently.

Remember if you want to post anything outside of notices about movies to the group, please use our Facebook page to share with others. It's understandable that some are Facebook-phobic, but many of our passes are being offered in this social medium. If you are serious about getting that information, it's worth joining. Please don't ask the moderators to send it out to you personally. We can inform you on what's available, it's up to you to do something about it.

May 13 - 19, 2012

Sun
5/13

Mon
5/14

7:30 pm
What to Expect When You're Expecting
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Crooked Arrows
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Tue
5/15

7:00 pm
First Position
Magnolia

7:30 pm
Battleship
tba-Dallas

7:30 pm
What to Expect When You're Expecting
tba-Dallas

Wed
5/16

7:30 pm
That's My Boy
AMC Northpark

Thu
5/17

7:30 pm
High School
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
5/18

Sat
5/19




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Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Shadows



Heading into this movie, I wasn’t exactly expecting a masterpiece, but I WAS expecting to enjoy yet another amazing piece of film by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Before I go any further, let me start off with saying that I LOVE the combination of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. It’s like dark chocolate; you get so much enjoyment out of it, but you have to have a certain taste for it to be able to appreciate it. (Alright, now that I’ve stated that, here goes the rest of the review.) I did not like it. Actually, if I had known how much I wouldn’t like it, I would have waited for it to come out on DVD so I could just rent it. (Yeah, it was that bad) And not that it was necessarily BAD, but on a scale of 1 to Tim Burton/Johnny Depp it was a 4. It didn’t meet up to any of my expectations. I geared up to watch something funny, but rarely did I laugh. The movie was also a lot darker than I was ready for. It was painted with a lot of killing and blood, as well as an overhaul of sexual innuendos. I am not familiar to the original series that this movie was based off of, and if I’m building my interests based on this movie, I’m not sure I really want to. Sure, visually, it was great! The movie had that certain “look” and “feel” that always seems to carry over from every single movie Burton has made. The story of it all seemed lacking though. There were just a few too many holes that never really got filled, and a couple of redundant shots of scenery that you expected to play an important role later on in the movie, but never did; so it was pointless. However, I WAS blown away at how well Chloe Grace Moretz embraced her inner hippie. She really seemed to connect to the roll, and it almost seemed completely natural for her. But, besides her, everybody else’s performances seemed quite mediocre. (Yes, even the great Johnny himself) The story never actually developed any characters either; rather, they appeared as if they were thought up quite randomly to fit the cinematography that Burton had envisioned in his head. For example, (I’ll go back to Moretz’s character), starting from the very beginning she would just have random fits of rage that didn’t make sense what-so-ever. If there was supposed to be an added flare for the dramatic by doing this, it failed to do it. Another prime example of poor character development was, (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT), there was this one ghost that one of the girls could see, and two times she appeared, but never did she fit into the end. She was there, but you have no idea why. All in all, Dark Shadows is a waste of 10 bucks. Unless you’re some die hard Tim Burton and/or Johnny Depp fan who absolutely can’t stand to wait a couple months for it to make its debut on DVD, then I would suggest sitting back, relaxing, and watching this one bomb at the box office.

Review by Weston Baker
WesSpeaks Productions

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Dark Shadows



Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is synonymous with quirky atmospheric pieces team with mash up novelist Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter) with his first time screenplay replacing long time Burton scribe John August. The original ABC soap opera ran from 1966 – 1971 was unprecedented at the time when they introduced vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid who passed a few weeks before movie opened) appeared a year after the soap started became a cult classic that is currently being shown on Hulu.com. The Burton/Depp version of Dark Shadows is set in 1972.

In 1752 Barnabas and his parents moved from Liverpool to North America settling on the coast of Maine where they started the town of Collinsport, ME. His father built the town from his successful fishing and cannery business. They built a huge mansion on top of the hill which they called Collinwood Manor. Playboy Barnabas breaks the heart of a manor maid, Angelique who becomes unhinged when Barnabas falls in love with Josette. The witch exacts revenge by making Josette jump off a cliff then she spells the young man into a vampire afterwards turning the town against him who bury him alive. Some 200 years later construction workers dig up the coffin to unfortunate consequences. The newly fed Barnabas returns to the now rundown mansion which is now occupied by his dysfunctional descendants.

Michelle Pfeiffer who is looking more amazing as she gets older plays the matriarch of the clan, Elizabeth Colling Stoddard. Her "ne'er-do-well" brother Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller) had just lost his wife at sea leaving behind her son David (Gulliver McGrath) who is having problems that they have a live in psychiatrist Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter). Elizabeth's rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn (Chloë Moretz) helps set the mood by playing come classic 70's tunes. There's also Jackie Earle Haley as Will the caretaker who becomes Barnabas's slave and Bellas Heathcote who place the David's governess Victoria who's the spitting image of Josette. Elizabeth explains the return of their ancient ancestor is explained as being a distant cousin from England. Barnabas plans to return the mansion and the family business to it's former glory. Their one big problem is the other fishery business belongs to Angelique who over the years has continued on her vendetta.

There's the usual fish out of water concept with Barnabas discovering the upgraded world speaking his old world English which all goes for the obvious laughs. Depp in white makeup looks like a great Halloween get up, drolls out the quips with his typical delivery. The goth mansion is great, but one expects the Munsters to come over for dinner which would have made this a more enjoyable movie. There's only so many pop culture jokes that could be spread through out. While at times enjoyable, it's more often a curiosity. The only flavor it retains from the soap besides the cheesy trappings is the appearance of some of the original cast including Jonathan Frid during a party scene that has Alice Cooper as the entertainment. While this movie will bring the fans of Depp/Burton and fans of Dark Shadows, it just won't satisfy them.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/6 - 5/12



So glad the Avengers mooch fest is over. Everyone has actually been very good lately and it's practically quiet around here. It's happy happy joy joy that everyone is actually using the subject line designators although some persist in not doing it. Does anyone notice that their post has been edited to the correct form?

Another reminder NOT to share GOFOBO codes. Please! These are often offered by sources that have a limited amount that is given to winners who enter contests. If you give the code out to someone else, then people who actually won will lose out. If you have a source for a code, list the website to go to for it, not the code itself.


May 6 - 12, 2012

Sun
5/6

Mon
5/7

7:30 pm
Dark Shadows
Cinemark West Plano

Tue
5/8

7:00 pm
Snow White and the Huntsman
Cinemark West Plano

7:30 pm
Girl in Progress
tba-Dallas

7:30 pm
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
5/9

7:00 pm
Dictator
tba-Dallas

Thu
5/10

7:30 pm
The Dictator
AMC Northpark

7:30 pm
Battleship
Cinemark 17

Fri
5/11

Sat
5/12






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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Avengers





First of all, Joss Whedon rocks. Firefly, Serenity, Buffy, Dr. Horrible and the recent Cabin in the Woods, all have huge cult followings. His snarky dialogue with a sharp and unique pop culture references is often funny and insightful. Adding that touch to a contentious bunch of divergent superheroes is what makes this film so kick@ss. As the individual films for each of The Avengers (except for the Black Widow and Hawkeye who don't have a stand alone feature) proved that they could be overwrought excesses in FX, the new Avengers film reins it in, giving each of the team members a chance to shine. Directed and written with Zac Penn (The Incredible Hulk and X-Men: The Last Stand) the story may be hard for the uninitiated to the Avenger world to understand the ties that bind and the history of each of the Superheroes. It's probably a good idea to at least watch Thor and Captain America to get the gist of what's going on. The Tasseract energy cube is straight out of the comics that was originally created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1963. The plot device is only there to unite the characters and ultimately save the world.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the exiled god of Asgard and adopted brother of thunder god Thor was last seen impersonating Dr. Erik Selvig who was brought in by S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson looking bad@ss cool with eye patch) to work on the Tasseract technology. Loki's plan is to open a worm hole using the Tasseract to attack earth with the help of the alien race the Chitauri. Fury activated the Avengers Initiative gathering Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson), a spy also known as The Black Widow, Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) who refers to his alter ego The Hulk as “that other guy”, Tony Stark's Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.), and the recently thawed Captain America. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) shows up later to bring Loki back to justice on Asgard. Loki having received a powered staff from the Chitauri as a Guardian uses it to subjugate Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and later Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) aka Clint Barton to use for his own evil purpose. He then attacks the flying aircraft carrier that is the control center for the Avenger's operation after he's captured in put in a holding area designed for containing The Hulk.

Gathering a bunch of self righteous do gooders in one spot is fraught with controversy. Each is highly opinionated and somewhat competitive of their abilities. There's some in house battles with Ironman and Thor, Thor and Captain America, The Hulk and everyone. Everyone argues, and of course Ironman gets the best lines. The skill levels are impressive especially with the new characters of Hawkeye and the Black Widow the only ones who don't have superhero strength, but have extraordinary abilities. There's also a new character of Fury's assistant S.H.I.E.L.D agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). And returning character Agent Philip Coulson (Clark Gregg) who is a Captain America fanboy. Somehow Fury has to find a way of getting his team to work together.

Each of the action set pieces are designed to shock and amaze. Bigger, better and badder than Transformers if only because the Avengers are easier to relate and care about than CGI robots. The performances are spot on and true to the established characters in their previous movies. Johannson breaks the mold of the spandex, high heeled wonder woman by being tough, confident and competent. We don't know much about Hawkeye although his exploding arrows that always hit their mark is a great addition to the lineup. Ruffalo's Banner makes the best Hulk ever. Whedon was wise to underplay the Hulk's presence in the film. Lets just say his impact is “smashing”. There are so many great moments that leave the audience cheering. It's probably safe to say that this is the best superhero movie to date. Of course there's the retooled Spiderman and Batman Rising still waiting in the lineup. For now, The Avengers will be one to keep re-watching until something else comes along.
(Review by reesa)



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