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, September 30, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/30 - 10/01



It seems like it's time for another reminder to folks to PLEASE do not hit "reply" when responding to a pass offer. Send it to the person who is making the offer and NOT to the list. If you send it to the list, it will be rejected, sent back to you, you will lose out in getting the pass because you didn't take the couple seconds to copy and paste the personal email address in the correct place.

We all save spots in line for family and friends who can't get to the theater in time. Most of us are accepting of this fact, until the number of people cutting in front of you becomes excessive. (As in more than 4-5). There's one particular group that does this constantly but they probably don't read these Sunday rants, or they are too self righteous to think it pertains to them. But we know who you are....

Parent: please use some discretion when bringing your kids to the movies. When a movie is rated "R" leave the kids at home. Excessive graphic sex and violence is not good for developing minds. Heck, it's not good for adult minds. Please research the movies you select, check the ratings, watch the trailers. Make informed decisions before coming to the theater.

September 30 - October 6

Sept 30
Sun

Oct 1
Mon

Oct 2
Tue

7:00PM Frankenweenie - Fort Worth
7:00PM Frankenweenie - Amstar 14
7:00PM Taken 2 - AMC Northpark
7:00PM The Girl - Angelika Dallas

Oct 3
Wed

7:00PM Frankenweenie - AMC Northpark
7:00PM How to Survive a Plague - Angelika Dallas
7:30PM Seven Psychopaths - Rave Ridgmar Fort Worth
8:00PM Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Sundown Granada

Oct 4
Thurs

7:00PM Chasing Mavericks - Studio Movie Grill Dallas
7:30PM The Sessions - Angelika Dallas
7:30PM Argo - Dallas
7:30PM Chicago Fire TV Show - Angelika Dallas
8:00PM The Birds - Angelika Dallas Patio

Oct 5
Fri

Oct 6
Sat

10:30AM Here Comes the Boom - Dallas




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Friday, September 28, 2012

Looper



The director/writer of the indie fave Brick, Rian Johnson once more teams up with Joseph Gordon Levitt for a thought provoking sci fi time traveling thriller. Where most tales of this genre manages to give the audience a headache from some twist of paradox, Looper manages to feel like it could have happened.

It's the year 2044 and time travel hasn't been invented yet. Not for another 30 years and of course it become illegal thus a tool for criminals and the mafia. Loopers are hit men and cleaners for targets in the future who are sent back in time to be eliminated. In the future it's difficult to dispose of a dead guy due to body tags. The target is sent to a predetermined spot for a particular looper dressed in the same jacket and a hood over their face. The looper shoots them as soon as they appear and the payment is made in gold bars stuck to the victims back. Joe has been doing this job since he was discovered by Abe (Jeff Daniels). Abe was sent back in time to run the operation of Loopers and also controls the city. He assigns Joe to “close his loop”. That is his future self will be sent back in time to be taken out leaving no trace in the future. Joe hesitates a fraction when the victim appears without a mask and he realizes it's himself 30 years older. Old Joe (Bruce Willis) manages to knock out young Joe and flees leaving a note telling him to run.

This movie could have just become just a chase movie with the new Joe trying to close the loop and become financially stable and quit being a Looper with all the stash of gold bricks from his past jobs. He know what will happen when you don't finish the job as his best friend (Paul Dano) lets his older self get away and it's not pretty. Old Joe has an agenda. He's lost something in the future and he wants to change the past to save the future. There's a new leader called The Rainman. No one nows where he came from or have seen him up close and personal. The Rainman is responsible for all the loops being closed. Old Joe only has a number written on his hand which he manages to figure out that it means the Rainman as a child is currently alive.

The actions switches from the city to the country when Old Joe sends his counterpart to check out the coordinates on the map that marks an isolated farm where Sarah (Emily Blunt) lives with her young son Sid (Pierce Gagnon). Their relationship is someone strained as the small child was raised by Sarah's sister and grandmother when Sarah abandoned him as a baby. Sarah is wary of young Joe but seems to know he's a Looper. While Old Joe is tying loose ends to accomplish his , Young Joe is coming to grips with Old Joe's ultimate plans.

Joe looks like a slick young punk of a looper. Confident, arrogant, he's known to be the best shot with their weapon of choice the “blunderbusters”. They are only efficient up to 15 feet away from the target.
His weakness is his compassion which he doesn't acknowledge until it's too late. The make up to make him look like Willis, but not entirely perfect but the scenes work so that one is not staring at the differences. Willis playing the typical Willis character makes the scenes with his younger self with that famous sarcastic attitude.

The near future is similar to the our world now with some interesting technology like hover motorcycles and clear cell phones. Society is somewhat apocalyptic where poverty reigns and death common. Interestingly the story includes the concept of about 10% of the population has TK – telekinesis but only strong enough to do bar tricks to impress your friends. Looper doesn't bog the story down with time travel mumbo jumbo but touches on some moral ground. It's the perfect thinking person's scifi adventure.
(Review by reesa)



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Perks of Being a Wallflower



It's not often that the author of a novel gets to write the screenplay and direct the movie. Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel about an introverted high school freshman Charlie. The film is currently being touted as a John Hughes type of film a lot like the Breakfast Club which also dealt with troubled teens. The story is set in the early 90's Pittsburgh suburb neighborhood dealing with such things as awkward adolescence, drug use, homosexuality, and that perfect mixed tape playlist. Like in Hughes movies, the music of the times is what keeps everything afloat.

Charlie (Logan Lerman) narrates the story by writing to “Dear Friend” as he explores his experiences of being a freshman. He's a quiet book reader, obviously not comfortable meeting new people, sitting alone in the cafeteria, being harassed by foul mouth fellow students. He endures, watching and internally assessing. Until he meets the gay and flamboyant Patrick (Ezra Miller) the only senior in his shop class who challenges his teacher to call him Patrick or “nothing” thus encouraging everyone to label him with that nickname. Patrick takes the shy Charlie under his wing introducing him to his step sister Sam (Emma Watson with a passable American accent). Charlie is instantly smitten by the beautiful and sassy Sam. Sam is impressed with Charlie's taste in music for a freshman. Sam has a bit a reputation and a knack for falling for the wrong guys. They introduce him to their group of friends all seniors who take him into their land of misfits. For the first time Charlie has friends. His advanced English teacher Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd) sees Charlie's gift and encourages him by giving him reading and writing assignments. But there is something more to Charlie that keeps his parents Dylan McDermott and Kate Walsh watching him closely for any signs of his past problems.

While the story follows Charlie indulging the typical teenage folly of eating pot brownies, attending Rocky Picture Show midnight screenings, dating one of girls in his circle unwillingly, it doesn't stray far from the Something Bad that happened to him. Flashes of his Aunt Helen (Melanie Lynskey) keep popping up teasing you as to what traumatized Charlie so much that his family are concerned he may be having hallucinations again. Charlie begins to experience blackouts when a misunderstanding threatens to break up his new formed friendships. Plus the impending graduation of his Patrick and Sam means he will once more be alone culminates in the last act which will of course explain everything. Joan Cusak shows up at the end as the doctor who helps him out.

The perks of this film is although there may be stock characters...the gay guy, the jock, the brainiac know it all...they are all treated respectively. Even Charlie's brother and sister don't come off as selfish bullies but genuinely concerned over their brother's welfare. If anyone ever had a favorite teacher in high school it was probably Rudd's Mr. Anderson. He's cool and savvy enough to know that singling Charlie out for extra assignments would cause him more damage in the school hierarchy. Ezra Miller is the standout in this movie basically stealing the movie from Emma Watson. It doesn't matter how old you are, or if you remember the 90's, this small film sneaks up on you leaving an impression.
(Review by reesa)



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Won't Back Down




Anyone with a child who has disabilities, who live in a poor school district where there are apathetic teachers and working parents who don't have the time can relate to the dilemma created by writer director Daniel Barnz (Phoebe in Wonderland). The fictional story was inspired by actual events as in loosely based on the parent trigger law in Sunland-Tujunga, California where several groups of parents attempted to take over some failing public schools in 2010. The Parent Trigger Law was passed in California and several other states allowing parents to petition the enforcement of administrative overhaul of under performing public schools. If the petition was successful staff could be dismissed and a charter school could be established.

Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a single mom working for a used car dealership and as a bartender whose daughter has to attend public school because she can no longer afford the tuition at the Catholic school. Malia (Emily Alyn Lind) is dyslectic feeling depressed from the lack of support from her 3rd grade teacher and bullied by her classmates. Jamie tries to get the tenured teacher to offer more help but she doesn't feel she has too as her job is not threatened so her students run amok in her classroom. Jamie can't even get her daughter transferred to another classroom being stymied by Principal Holland (Bill Nunn) who protects the teachers with little thought over the welfare of the students. Jamie's runs to the school superintendent's office where she learns of the Parent Trigger Law. She is also strongly advised that while the whole thing is legally doable it is set up for failure. There's a 400 page document that must be filled out with “i's” dotted “t's” crossed, teachers and parents of the school have to sign on to the petition, then one has to make an appointment to make an appointment for a hearing, the process would take years to complete thereby making people give up the process in frustration.

Jamie manages to enlist the help of the reluctant teacher Nona Alberts (Viola Davis) who is dealing with her slow learning son, while in the midst of separating with her husband. Her fellow teachers are feeling betrayed by her work on the petition because it would mean the possible loss of their jobs and union protection. Union hack (Ned Eisenberg) begins a smear campaign and scaring the teachers. Union leader Evelyn Riske tries to bribe Jamie by offering her daughter placement in a progressive school if she would give up the fight. They finally get the exiting school board chairman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) to give them two weeks to get the petition filed.

Maggie Gyllenhaal's Jamie is costumed in that feisty single warrior mom gear of tight jeans and tee shirts and messy hair. As a car salesmen she's got the fearless pluckiness of a woman on a mission. Contrasted by the financially comfortable well educated Nona. Viola Davis gives her an aura of a teacher who was once voted teacher of the year who choose the worst school in the district to work her magic, but finds her self beaten down by the system. The movie plays to the accumulated public attitude that our country's educational program needs a serious major overhaul. The documentary “Waiting for Superman” is a more practical and informative film while Won't Back Down feels a little manipulative with the stereotypical bad guys (the union and teachers not wanting to lose their jobs) and the us against the world heroes Jamie and Nona who are willing to slay the dragons of ineptitude in the name of the children the system is supposed to serve. The message may be a 2x4 across the head, but it doesn't distract from the feel good nature of the story.
(Review by reesa)


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Liberal Arts



Josh Radnor of How I Met Your Mother and Happythankyoumoreplease wrote, directed and starred in this feature about a thirty five year old admissions counsellor in New York City who returns to his Ohio college to give a speech at his favorite professor's retirement. Its the story of a man too soon experiencing a mid-life crisis with a light gentle comedy that makes for a bemused smile as opposed to the usual raunchy guffaws.

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. His laundry is stolen from the laundromat. He's ripe to accept English professor's Peter Hoberg (Richard Jenkins) invitation to his retirement dinner. Jesse returns to his alma mater on a nameless Ohio campus reveling in the memories of being those days when all you were responsible for was going to class, having great conversations and reading all day. (Radnor shot the film at his real life school Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio) While there he meets free spirited 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. Randomly he encounters 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.

Jesse returns to New York and he an Ziggy carry on a nice old fashioned letter writing courtship. The flirtation feels quaint as the couple begin to get know each other through prose. After awhile Zibby wants Jesse to become her gentleman caller. The differences seem too vast to overcome and there's a very uncomfortable make out scene in her room. Meanwhile Professor Hoberg is feeling regret about retiring and not sure what to do with the rest of his life. Look for Allison Janney Professor Judith Fairfield as the snooty teacher that Jesse had a crush on when he was a student who doesn't remember him at all. 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.
(Review by reesa)




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Hotel Transylvania




It's 1895 when Count Dracula becomes a father to a Mavis. To make his daughter safe from the world of humans he builds a large castle resort for monsters. Every year he invites them all to a large party event to celebrate her birthday. Directed by Genny Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack) with a screenplay by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel Hotel Transylvania is a funny family film about over protective parents, pre-judgements and assumptions, and learning to have fun.

Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) is a big softy when it comes to his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). On her 118th's birthday plans are under way for the big bash. Monsters from all over show up for a weekend of relaxing and the chance to just be who they are without humans. Among the large collection of monsters and creatures there's the Count's good friends Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), Murray the mummy (Cee Lo Green), Wayne (Steve Buscemi) the werewolf and his wife Wanda (Molly Shannon) plus his large family of puppies, Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Quasimodo (Jon Lovitz) and his rat Esmeralda.

Mavis yearns to learn about the world since her mom and dad met in Hawaii. In order to keep her from running off on her own, her dad offers to let her do baby steps by visiting the local human village. She discovers the humans there are wanting to attack her with pitchforks and fire. What she doesn't know is that the Count set up the false village to instil a fear of venturing from her home. It would have worked but a human back packer wanders in to the local wood and castle thinking the monsters are just people dressed for monster festival. The Count disguises the human into a long lost cousin of Frankenstein so not to cause a panic with his hotel guests. Everyone is told that Jonathan (Andy Samberg) is a party planner since the young man and Mavis are close in ages he can make the party more current and exciting. Jonathan becomes a hit when he makes the senior home type of activities they have doing for years into some new and fresh. Mavis can't help her curiosity when she finds out that the young man has travelled all over the world.

Eventually it becomes evident that Jonathan is the boogie man human, people get mad, Mavis feels betrayed, and the Count has to deal with letting his daughter go, appreciate that she needs to spread her wings and maybe humans are not that bad after all. The celebrity voices are easy to recognize and the dialogue is filled with witting exchanges. It's in 3D, but the expense is not really necessary to enjoy this with your kids.
(Review by reesa)


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/23 - 9/29

Y'all know that if your release a pass back to GOFOBO it will only become available if you didn't win a code from a contest and the status of the screening is "open". It doesn't necessarily mean that someone else will be able to redeem it. Note to newbies: we DO NOT share codes on this list. Major problems occur when a person wins a code from a contest and decides to share their code with all their buddies. It means legitimate winners will not be able to get a pass because some free loaders got the pass that should have gone to them. If some of you are sitting there feeling self righteous about doing that, then please be aware that your name is listed as someone who redeemed that pass with that particular code. That list is made available to the people who hand out passes. Just saying. Been there, done that.

Speaking of GOFOBO passes, the Dallas Movie Screening group has been given access to a printable pass in our File section of the group page. http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/DallasMovieScreenings/files/ (You must be logged into the group to access that link)
It looks like a regular GOFOBO pass, but you can print as many as you like for the Tues, 9/25 screening.

September 23 - 29

Sept 23
Sun

Sept 24
Mon

7:30PM Liberal Arts - Magnolia
7:30PM Pitch Perfect - AMC Northpark

Sept 25
Tue

7:00PM Won't Back Down - AMC Northpark
7:00PM Avengers DVD Release Party - Angelika Dallas
7:30PM Perks of Being a Wallflower - Cinemark West Plano

Sept 26
Wed

7:30PM Seven Psychopaths - Magnolia

Sept 27
Thurs

7:00PM Frankenweenie - Amstar 14
7:30PM Looper - Studio Movie Grill Dallas
7:30PM Looper - Cinemark 17
7:30PM The Sessions - Magnolia

Sept 28
Fri

Sept 29
Sat





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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Master




Paul Thomas Anderson who has brought to the world an eclectic collection of work such as There Will be Blood, Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia and Boogie Nights adds another original piece to his collection of films that shine a light on the alienated American family dynamic. From the impressive opening sequence of music and visuals The Master will grab you by the throat and won't let go for the next 137 minutes of running time.

Joaquin Phoenix should be up for an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Quell a hunch backed alcoholic sexually obsessed service man during WWII in the Pacific. After the war he's kept in the hospital loaded with pills to rehabilitate him back to becoming a civilian. Taking a job as a department store photographer doesn't stop his philandering or his moonshine skills until he eventually cracks under the normalcy and wanders as a migrant worker and then homeless when someone almost dies from his hooch. He stows away on a party boat docked in San Francisco waking up to find himself being welcomed by Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Quell is like a feral animal, leery of someone being nice to him and at the same time enjoying the positive strokes. Dodd tells him he's the captain of the ship as well as author, doctor, scientist and philosopher. Why he welcomes this dangerous young man into his circle of family and supporters is perplexing to them as well as it is to Freddie.

There's been some discussion that Lancaster Dodd and his cult religion called The Cause is loosely based on Ron L. Hubbard and his Dianetics. Where the Scientology method employs a procedure called “auditing” to probe traumatic memories, The Cause uses similar techniques they call “processing” that takes one through a person's past lives. They also do the staring at each other, heckle therapy, and the initial analysis that is used in Scientology by asking the recruit a series of questions. There's a particular scene in the film where Dodd asks Quell some test questions that is mesmerizing and destined to be a classic.

It's almost a love story between Quell and Dodd as they are both attracted to what the other doesn't possess. Quell lacks impulse control, answers to no one, and has no immediate thought of anyone or anything only dealing what's in front of him without concern of consequences. Dodd is a charismatic snake oil salesmen who is according to his son (Jesse Plemons) makes the stuff up as he goes along. They are both tempered by Dodd's 3rd wife (Amy Adams) who one believes is the real power behind the throne. She warns Dodd that they have to cut Quell loose as he's too unpredictable, and probably beyond saving. Dodd hangs on as long as he can even though Quell beats up anyone who who disrupts or criticizes Dodd. At one point Dodd is arrested for running a medical school without a license and Quell attacks the police. The jail scene done in a single shot is one that you will never forget.

The look of this movie from the costumes and sets are immersed in the time period. The soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood is haunting working as almost another layer of dialogue to convey that sense of pain and destiny. It's balanced with moments of complete silence that makes the senses crackle with immediacy. Sure, there are some slow moments, and this will probably not have the same wide appeal of his more popular films. Its one that requires patience and attention, one will be awarded with truly a masterpiece of film making.
(Review by reesa)



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End of Watch and Interview with Michael Pena and Natalie Martinez





If you have ever seen the TV show Southland, take that then amp it up a few levels of intensity and you will have director/writer David Ayer's End of Watch. Like his other screenplay Training Day which told the story of two opposing cops, this one realistically portrays the friendship and brotherhood of two young men in blue. Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal bonded over five months of training with real officers on their watch. Gyllenhaal who mounted a campaigned to be in the film was given credit as an executive producer due to his commitment to the project. Ayers who grew up near the battered area known as South Central directed two other LA cop films Harsh Times (2005) and Street Kings (2008). The term South Central is now out of vogue and the film was shot in a zone known as Newton.

The film opens with a car chase of a black and white pursing a speeding car through city streets before they manage to crash into them to get them to stop. There's a shoot out when the perps fire weapons in their effort to escape. The adrenalin is pumping up for these street cops. Gyllenhaal plays Officer Taylor who is obsessed with taking videos of his experiences. His partner is Officer Zavala (Michael Peña) who married his high school sweetheart and is expecting the birth of their child. The story takes one on journey of what these young men encounter patrolling their zones answering calls. The relationships with the other officers both women and men, the office politics of teasing their own and pleasing of their superiors, their personal conversations from long hours riding around with each other, and the often horrific nature of the calls they have to answer when on duty.

It's thanks to the chemistry between Peña and Gyllehaal that makes this film rise above the rest of the usual group of movies of this genre. The cops don't have a death wish, they are not corrupt. They have a tough job and they have a sense of loyalty to their own and a responsibility to whom they serve. The supporting characters include American Ferrera and Cody Horn representing the confident tough women in blue, Frank Grillo as the Sarge, and Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez as Taylor and Zavala's better half's. David Harbour stands out as Van Hauser an officer who has been passed over for promotion too many times, a stickler for protocol, and often the subject of his co-workers jokes.

This film does not stop for a second from the point of view of a patrol car dashboard camera, from Taylors ever present video camera, from the “shaky cam” shots that are now synonymous with action sequences. It's a bit disorientating to the viewer but it brings one into the scene as more than just a bystander. It's that reliance on the quick edits, and bouncing camera's that makes this not as effective as it could have been. The moments of conversation between the partners inside the patrol cars is probably the best and most honest. A whole movie could be made of just them talking. The gruesome details of some of the crimes they encounter by drug lords, gangs and crack heads may be too much for some viewers. Outside of the camera work it's a solid film and it honors our men in blue. It's about time.
(Review by reesa)

Interview with Michael Pena and Natalie Martinez

Video by Nathan Ligon of Thank You for Watching and Red Carpet Crash. Questions by reesa and a roundtable of movie critics.





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10 Years



The screenwriter Jamie Linden for Dear John and We Are Marshall has taken his new script as his directorial debut. The ensemble rom-com works with a pleasant nostalgia for those heady high school days and the ability to look back on those moments when the world held promise. The cast effectively portrays old friends gathered revisiting their teen persona's as the most attractive graduating class ever. It's just hard to believe that these 30 something actors are supposed to be 28 years old.

Channing Tatum who is also one of the films' producers plays the prom king jock who is now a mortgage broker. He brings along Jess (Jenna Dewan-Tatum the real life wife) his girlfriend of three years who he been planning to propose to for the past eight months. He's heard that he won't run into his old flame Mary (Rosario Dawson), but at the last minute she decides to attend with her husband (Ron Livingston). The circle of friends awkwardly wonder how this will play out. Marty (Justin Long) and AJ (Max Minghella) were best friends and hope to hit on Anna (Lynn Collins) the once hot party girl. Everyone gathers at the family home of Cully (Chris Pratt) and Sam (Ari Graynor) married with kids before the reunion. Sam is the designated driver which allows her husband to get drunk. He's decided this reunion will give him a chance to apologize to those classmates he bullied like Peter (Aaron Yoo) but unfortunately Cully insistence on getting forgiveness become harassment. Olivia (Aubrey Plaza) learns some new things about her husband Garrity (Brian Geraghty) that makes her uncomfortable. Famous musician Reeves (Oscar Isaac) comes back and sings his hit song which is about his secret crush to the girl with the yellow shoes, Elise (Kate Mara, Max Minghella's real life girlfriend). Andre (Anthony Mackie) remains a player but outside of a brief scene at explaining some past heartache the rest must have ended up on the cutting room floor.

The party held in a nice hotel hosted by Julie (Kelly Noonan) is everything one would expect from a class reunion with an open bar. Inebriated friends reminisce over old pictures. Jake and Mary's respective partners allow the two to spend some time together making them appreciate more the choices that they have made. Sam is left trying to clean up stumbling drunk Cully who despite being a jerk is still her husband. Scott (Scott Porter) has moved to Japan and has brought along his wife Suki (Eiko Nijo) doesn't think he will ever come back. He tell the group the theme of this movie: “Why spend your time looking back when you can spend your time looking forward.” Everything is nicely resolved. The end. You've been mildly entertained.
(Review by reesa)




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Trouble With the Curve




Director Robert Lorenz has worked with Clint Eastwood as an assistant director since 1993 and oversees all aspects of films produced by Eastwood's company Malpaso. He steps up to the plate in Eastwood's first acting role since Gran Torino in 2008 and the first acting role that Eastwood did not direct since In the Line of Fire in 1993. Screenwriter Randy Brown's debut outing sets up stock characters in a very predictable storyline that only works because the quality of the actors involved.

Eastwood plays Gus Lobel an aging baseball scout for Atlanta who has discovered many of the Braves star players over the years. Management wants to farm him out after the season in favor of Tom Silver (Matthew Lillard) who used the Moneyball method of computer generated statistics to choose their next first round drafts. Gus's boss (John Goodman) is concerned for his long time friend and asks Gus's daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to accompany him on this last scouting mission of a North Carolina high school phenom (Joe Massingill). Mickey is an ambitious, no nonsense attorney who is knocking on the door of a possible partnership with her soulless firm only if she can successfully close a very lucrative case. She is reluctant to leave her job during a crucial time but she does it as she has lots of unresolved issues with her father.

Eastwood has made a career of playing the cranky old man. Gus bristles at the whippersnappers who think that just looking at the cold numbers on the computer can give you the total picture of deciding the next big player. His daughter despite their differences has picked up a few of her father's talents in what to look for in a player's performance. Enter Justin Timberlake's Johnny Flanagan as the young scout who was once a Gus Lobel pick who had to quit game after an injury. Staying in the game as a scout for the Boston Red Sox, he hopes to one day move up to announcer. Obviously a romance is pending between Mickey and Johnny as they travel around watching the game and watching each other.

There are some very lovely moments in this movie like when Gus visits his wife's grave and sings “You are My Sunshine” and when Mickey and Johnny go skinny dipping. Timberlake is proving to be a much better actor and out of that pop star mode. The performances are all top notch taking the by the numbers tale and wringing out some emotional core. Gus comes to grip with the fact he's losing his eyesight, Mickey to understand why her father was so remote and management to realize that a computer can not hear the old school “sound” of that perfect pitch or that perfect hit. Even if you can see the ending coming it still feels good when you get there.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/16 - 9/22


At least our movie selections this week are spread out instead of all in one day. Lots to choose from so little time. It's such a privilege to be able to enjoy these screenings for free. This group is set up to let you know where the screening will be held, how to get passes for them, and maybe trade, offer, and request from other group members if you didn't get a particular movie. The only thing we should be giving in return is your opinions of the film to the studio reps after the screening. Or by visiting the websites of those kind folks who offer us passes by reading their articles and reviews then by commenting there or on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Let them know we truly do appreciate what they are doing. No one is getting paid except for the studio reps, it's their job. But the online bloggers get no monetary compensation for all the hard work it takes to keep this movie community active and afloat. Take a moment to give those website gurus a virtual hug.

September 16 - 22

Sept 16
Sun

Sept 17
Mon
7:30PM Trouble With The Curve - Cinemark West Plano
7:30PM Perks of Being a Wallflower - Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Sept 18
Tue
7:00PM Frankenweenie - Cinemark 17
7:30PM End of Watch - Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Sept 19
Wed
7:30PM The Sessions - Angelika Dallas
7:30PM Pitch Perfect - Studio Movie Grill Dallas
7:30PM 10 Years - AMC Northpark

Sept 20
Thur
7:00PM Won't Back Down - Amstar 14
7:30PM House at the End of the Street - AMC Northpark

Sept 21
Fri

Sept 22
Sat
10:00AM Hotel Transylvania 3D - AMC Northpark
10:30AM Hotel Transylvannia - Cinemark 17




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Friday, September 14, 2012

Arbitrage



According to Wikipedia arbitrage means the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices. You don't really have to know that to watch the new film written and directed by documentarian Nicholas Jarecki staring Richard Gere as Robert Miller a billionaire hedge fund magnate. It's like Wall Street but much better.

It would seem Robert Miller has it all, a successful business, private planes, chauffeured cars, and respect of his peers, He gives a moving and touching speech to his family gathered to celebrate his 60th birthday at his beautiful New York City home. Susan Sarandon plays his smart supportive wife who runs a annual charity event that attracts all the local powers that be. Then the layers begin to be revealed. Miller has Julie (former Victoria's Secret model Laetitia Casta), his French mistress on the side. She's a petulant artist who is upset that he 's not divorcing his wife. Miller is also in the process of selling his company. To make it more appealing to the buyer he's borrowed some money and moved some numbers. Miller is a pro at fast talking as he tries to keep the lender at bay and working a slight of hand on the auditors who have to go over the books until the deal comes through. The buyer is making himself unavailable in a ploy to make Miller nervous and accept a smaller offer. On top of all the plates he is spinning, his daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) who works as his chief financial officer notices some discrepancies.

Gere is a very fit, handsome charismatic actor and still has a full head of hair. His performance as Miller should be duly noted as a stand out come awards time. He's able to convey Miller's ego without remorse, a man who is confident, in control and myopic when it comes to the bottom line. So when a deadly accident puts the lead detective Bryer (Tim Roth) on his tail the story starts to simmer with nail biting urgency. The detective would love to put away one of the rich guys and is willing to manipulate the son Miller's long time chauffeur who had unwittingly helped as a favor. When Miller is asked if he thinks money will fix this, he says what else is there?

It's hard to feel sympathy for Miller, and fortunately the director Jarecki doesn't make judgements with his characters. Although the audience is hoping that Miller will get his comeuppance on one hand, on the other it's still interesting to see if he can weasel his way out. The women in the film may have a small part until the third act when Miller realizes what all normal folk already know, that men may think they are the leaders of their universe, but it's the women who grease the wheel.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/9 - 9/15


No, we don't know why they do it either. Why they put all the movies to be screened on the same night. Maybe it's because all the new TV shows are due to premier. In any event, guess we will see y'all this Thursday.

Everyone has been really good about posting. Haven't "rejected" as many errant posts. Moderators are happy. But just a reminder, releasing those passes on GOFOBO especially if you won it from a contest, doesn't make it available to anyone else.

September 9 - September 15

Sept 9
Sun

Sept 10
Mon

Sept 11
Tues

Sept 12
Wed

Sept 13
Thurs

7:00PM Don't Back Down - AMC Irving

7:00PM Pitch Perfect - AMC Northpark

7:30PM Here Comes the Boom - Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30PM Sullivan's Travels - Angelika Dallas

8:00PM Trouble With The Curve - AMC Northpark

Sept 14
Fri

Sept 15
Sat


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Friday, September 7, 2012

Wyatt Head's Movie Rieviews



The Campaig
n- An excellent little adult comedy that brought together the stereotypes that I look back on from my childhood. A real making fun of rich politics. Every scene has a funny burst that is just waiting to come out.

Bachelorette
- This cute and fun movie had my attention from the very start. It never gets boring and always has rolling wheels on it. It's hilarious, happy, and just by far an entertaining film.


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Bachelorette




Ever since the success of Bridesmaids the woman-centric comedy is the new trend. Female characters in their mid 20's to early 30's who are just at the edge of still young and stupid meeting the steely stare of mature adulthood is a mine field for arrested development routines. Written and directed by Leslye Headland who was a staff writer for Terriers it tells the story of 4 best friends from high school who come together when one of them is getting married. Just why this odd combination of women would even be BFF's is never fully explained. But their dynamic works because of the caliber of actresses portraying them.

The tightly wound control freak Regan is the maid of honor played by Kirsten Dunst. She relays her work with cancer kids as if waiting for everyone to applaud her selflessness. Lizzy Caplan plays Gena who lives in LA getting fired from endless jobs and sleeping with random men. Ilsa Fisher is Katie who works in retail as a crass burnt out shop girl who makes fun of the customers. Kind hearted and more to love built Becky the bride used to be called “pig face” in high school is marrying Dale (Hayes MacArthur) much to the amazement and of her “b” friends. What starts as a normal rehearsal dinner turns into an interrupted stripper party then slowly deteriorates into Regan, Gena and Katie snorting coke and making bad decisions. Like trying to put two people in Becky's plus sized wedding gown so that Gena could post it to Facebook. Unfortunately their antics rips the dress, and the rest of the movie is an attempt to correct it before the wedding in the morning.

Regan is called “Hannibal” by the guys. Her rep is well founded. She calls the Asian party planner “Chinaman”. Regan has planned this wedding for the past 6 months like a general mapping out a war. She is cold, cynical, and the one that manages to think clearly in times of crisis. Regan has a doctor boyfriend who calls her at the last minute and cancels being her plus one at the wedding. Suddenly she becomes attracted to Trevor (James Marsden) the handsome friend of the groom. Gena is obsessed with running into her ex boyfriend Clyde (Adam Scott) who she always regretted breaking up badly with and leaving lots of unresolved issues. Ilsa Fisher is the stand out here as the ditsy not too bright party girl who hooks up with Joe (Kyle Bornheimer) the computer nerd old classmate. When it comes to fashion she's a rain man, but confesses she has trouble understanding what anyone is saying to her.

The movie starts out like just another wacky wo-mance with rude and annoying behavior. It makes one want to fast forward through the whole dress adventure. But then the characters begin to flesh out. The women begin to show more heart and an honest affection by accepting each other's weaknesses and foibles. The men are thankfully not portrayed as simpletons who think with their crotch. It's not Bridemaids or Hangover, but it scores one any ways as an amusing romp.
(Review by reesa)



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The Words



The directorial debut by Brian Klugman and Lee Strenthal in which they both collaborated on the screenplay (they also co-wrote Tron: Legacy) is like a Russian nesting doll. It's a story within a story within a story. The concept is probably the most interesting element of this movie. The script probably is what attracted the high level of actors to the project. However the resulting application is a good reason why this is a September release.

Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) has always wanted to be a writer. He moves to Brooklyn with his girlfriend Dora (Zoe Saldana) who set up their apartment so that he can concentrate on his great American novel. The resulting book is considered as one agent tells him as being “too arty”. It's the kind of book that would only sell if it he was an already published author. He's forced to ask his dad for help with his rent, then gets a job in the mail room of a publishing company where other failed writers are also working hoping for their day in the light. Rory and Dora take their honeymoon in Paris where he finds a worn satchel that contains a hidden manuscript. The frustrated writer in him is so enamoured with the work that he types it verbatim into his computer just to feel like what it would be like to write something so remarkable. Dora reads it thinking that Rory created it and is moved to tears. She's so impressed Rory can't bring himself to tell her that it's not his work. That's the first lie that propels him into a life of fame and fortune on the tail of this tall tale.

The book gets the attention of a scruffy old man (Jeremy Irons) the real writer of the manuscript who stalks Rory and lets him know how that story was created. It also fills Rory with guilt and remorse and he wants to to the right thing. The dilemma is also the plot of a novel by Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) which he is relaying during a book reading. So the story we started since the movie opened is just a story from his book? A beautiful student writer Daniella (Olivia Wilde) comes on to Clay during a break at the reading playing a creepy sexually charged game with the older man and wanting to know how the novel ends. But like this movie, there's no lesson learned, there's no clear cut resolution.

The only tension of the story is the confrontation between the old man and Rory. The old man tells him the story of his story which is played out for us on screen. It's basically the only time where there's an emotional reality to any of this film. Watching Rory squirm caught in his web of lies. But that's it. And that's how you will leave the theater thinking something got lost in the translation.
(Review by reesa)



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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One Heart Movie Open Casting Call




THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURE FILMING
IN THE DFW AREA

LOOKING FOR FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND EXTRAS



One Heart movie to hold open casting call in North Texas

September 9, 11-12th.



Dallas, TX (September 5, 2012) – Eterné Films will host an open audition for the cast of the theatrical motion picture, One Heart, September 9th & 11-12th with football player interviews to be held at the Hilton Southlake, in Southlake Town Center on September 9th. If selected, players will be invited to an on-field tryout September 11th and 12th, at Dragon Stadium. The Producers and Director of One Heart will conduct auditions for football players for the movie, which will be filmed in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas area beginning in October 2012.



Based on real-life events, One Heart tells the amazing story of a 2008 high school football game between Grapevine Faith School and the Gainesville State School, a maximum-security juvenile facility. They were two groups from diverse backgrounds whose paths crossed to create life-changing hope and inspiration for those on both sides of the ball. Two teams, two cultures, One Heart. The movie is being produced by Eterné Films in association with Birchwood Pictures.



“One Heart is a powerful story that is already impacting troubled kids right where we live and all across America,” said Jason Witten, All-Pro tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. This event has changed the lives of all of those involved, including, David Armas, who is trying out for a role in the movie as well. “One Heart has given me hope and a real second chance that has already made a difference in my life”



One Heart director, Mark Ellis, and producers Steve Riach and Larry Frenzel, will hold the audition to fill the roles of high school football players. Additional roles including cheerleaders, prison guards, football coaches, “extras”, etc., will be casted by One Heart’s local casting director, Beth Sepko. Interested participated can also register at www.oneheartmovie.com.



Interested players and extras must pre-register by logging on to www.oneheartmovie.com. Deadline for registration is September 8, 2012.

PLAYER REQUIREMENTS: Male players between the ages of 18-25 with extensive football experience. Players must have completed their high school football eligibility and should NOT be seeking NCAA eligibility through a college or junior college football program. Those selected for player roles are paid positions.



Registration, screening and interviews will be held on Sunday, September 9th,
at the Hilton Hotel Southlake Town Square, in Southlake, TX, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.



On-field tryouts will be held on Tuesday, September 11th and Wednesday, September 12th at a Dragon Stadium located in Southlake, TX.



Those interested in participating that do not meet the specific requirements for football players can still tryout for the movie. Information on other roles can be found at www.oneheartmovie.com.



Mark Ellis, Director, has been a leader in scripted sports action for Hollywood productions for over 20 years. Mark has directed Oscar winning actors and Hall of Fame athletes in over 40 movies grossing more than one billion dollars at the box office. Films he has worked on include The Rookie, Miracle, Invincible, The Longest Yard, Radio, and We Are Marshall. He's also collaborated on multiple TV projects and commercial development. Mark played college football at Appalachian State and graduated from the University of South Carolina. His company, Sports Studio, LLC, is the industry leader in directing, coordinating, equipping, and casting for sports action films, television, and commercials.



Steve Riach, Producer/Screenwriter, is a veteran filmmaker and award-winning producer and writer. He has over 25 years experience in film and television, working with some of the most prominent names in sports, and has produced and written numerous award-winning documentaries.



Larry Frenzel, Producer/Screenwriter, is a producer, writer and attorney, with extensive experience in development, production and distribution. His producing credits include The Lightkeepers (producer) and Grace Unplugged (producer), coming 2013.



Beth Sepko has cast numerous productions that include: Dallas, Friday Night Lights, Lone Star, Machete, Second Hand Lions, Spy Kids 1 & 2, Miss Congeniality, and many others.



Eterné Films develops and produces independent films and other intellectual properties containing virtuous content that inspires, informs, and entertains.



Birchwood Pictures produces and distributes independent films that provoke thought and instill hope through moving, redemptive and entertaining stories.



AUDITION CALENDAR*

FOOTBALL PLAYERS ONLY



Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Registration for FOOTBALL PLAYERS ONLY (REQUIRED)
LOCATION: Southlake Hilton, Southlake, Texas

TIME: 8a-6p



Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
ON-FIELD FOOTBALL TRYOUTS for pre-selected players only
LOCATION: Dragon Stadium, Southlake, Texas

TIME: 8a-6p



Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
ON-FIELD FOOTBALL CALLBACKS
LOCATION: Dragon Stadium, Southlake, Texas

TIME: 9a-2p



EXTRAS CASTING – MUST BE OVER 18 - Registration Required on website. (Coaches, Guards, Cheerleaders, Inmates, etc. Some of these roles will be paid) They do not need to attend casting call at this time.



GENERAL FANS – Registration Required on website. Fans will not be paid and do not need to attend the casting call.





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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 9/2 - 9/8


Everyone is familiar with the three major local websites that offer passes to us like Red Carpet Crash, Big Fan Boy and I Heart Cinema. Without them we would not be able to enjoy the privilege of standing in line for hours, watching movies for free and before the films open. Have you thanked them lately? Not just mooching them for passes, but really shake their hands and let them know that we appreciate everything they do for us. They put a lot of hours, unpaid, to makes these screening available to us. Just like the task of running this group, we do it because they love movies. So make sure you visit their sites (and this site too), read their reviews, give their articles feedback. This helps let the studios know that we are an active and opinionated group of movie lovers and will keep Dallas as one of the major markets for screenings.

September 2 - September 8

Sept 2
Sun

Sept 3
Mon

Sept 4
Tues

7:30PM The Words - Cinemark West Plano

Sept 5
Weds

7:30PM The Words - Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Sept 6
Thurs

7:00PM Won't Back Down - AMC Grapevine

Sept 7
Fri

Sept 8
Sat

10:00AM Finding Nemo 3D - Amstar 14

10:00AM Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 - AMC Northpark


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