The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

You can use this homepage for posting comments, reviews, and other things that cannot be posted to the group. Of course spam is not allowed. Thanks!

To join the Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Dress Like Alice from Resident Evil


Need a costume idea? Thanks to Sony Pictures for their suggestion.


Click on picture to enlarge or go to their Facebook page.











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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 10/28 - 11/3


The subject of this week's sermon is people talking loudly in the theater. Nothing outside of the use of cell phones is more distracting than people talking in the theater while the movie is playing. Granted the collective experience of enjoying a film with one's fellow human beings is more fun than sitting at home with a DVD rental. But one should not forget, you are not at home so talking back to the screen is not considered amusing by everyone around you. The new Alamo Drafthouse has a forced policy of no talking in the movies and no use of cellphones. Please be courteous, please shut up or we may be getting ninjas:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/movie-theater-ninjas-will_n_1889046.html

October 28 - November 3

SUN Oct 28

7:00PM THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER - SMU McCord Auditorium
7:30PM Midnight in Paris - Klyde Warren Park, Ginsburg Family Great Lawn

MON Oct 29

7:30PM Lincoln - AMC Northpark
7:30PM Flight - Cinemark West Plano

TUE Oct 30

7:30PM Wreck It Ralph - AMC Northpark

WED Oct 31

8:00PM The Lost Boys - Sundown at Granda
10:00PM Horror Remix: Halloween - Studio Movie Grill Royal

THU Nov 1

7:00PM Wreck It Ralph - Rave Ridgmar Fort Worth
7:00PM Rise of the Guardians - Studio Movie Grill Royal
7:30PM The Sessions - Cinemark West Plano
7:30PM Flight - AMC Northpark
7:30PM Dr. Strangelove - Angelika Dallas

FRI Nov 2

SAT Nov 3




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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cloud Atlas



David Mitchell's 2004 novel Cloud Atlas is undoubtedly a difficult undertaking to adapt to the screen. There are six different stories that range from the South Pacific in 1850's to the 1930's in Belgium, the 1970's in San Francisco, to a technically futuristic Neo Seoul and then a post apocalyptic island which are all connected by a thin thread. Matrix directors Andy Wachowski , Lana Wachowski (formerly Laurence) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) wrote the screenplay and directed the intertwining storylines into an almost 3 hour film that will perplex, fascinate, visually stimulate and make one wish that each story had it's own movie.

This movie is the perfect film to come out at Halloween with the inspirational make up and costumes donned by the ensemble of actors playing the various characters in each time segment. While you gasp at recognizing Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, and Doona Bae through the prosthetic and pancake layers, your mind is spinning trying to grasp a what is going on from the quick jumps between time and space. This movie is not for people expecting a linear film. It takes a good hour of patience before you realize and begin to connect what is happening. Once it starts rolling, you can adjust and sit back to enjoy. Fortunately during the credits, each actor is featured with their make up guise for your amusement.

The six stories involve the Pacific Ocean in the mid 1800's where Adam goes to visit the family plantation where he's poisoned by Dr. Henry Goose and is saved by a stowaway slave. Adam keeps a diary of his adventures. A copy of the diary is holding up the piano leg of a master composer in the 1930's who is being assisted by a young ambitious English composer Robert Frobisher. Frobisher writes his story in the form of letters to his lover Rufus Sixsmith and composes a symphony called the Cloud Atlas Sextet. That song is heard and mysteriously recognized by Luisa Rey, a journalist who is investigating a nuclear power plant from the information given by a whistle blower Sixsmith. The story is sent to the form of a manuscript to Timothy Cavendish a vanity press publisher. He's fleeing from a gangster client and ends up being committed against his will to a nursing home. The dramatization of his story is watched in the future by Sonmi-451 a genetically engineered fabricant server at a restaurant. She is being interviewed before her execution for rebelling against the totalitarian society that created and exploited her kind instigating a revolution. Her image is honored as a deity by the post apocalyptic humans who forage for life in the wilderness fighting from wild painted tribes. Zachary is asked by an “outlander” Meronym who is among a handful of technically advanced survivors to climb to the old lab on a mountain to send a message to their planet to return. The story eventually returns to Adam as he makes a change in the course of his life.

This movie is definitely challenging. Instead of six self contained stories, the chapters are jumbled together like mixed puzzle pieces thrown in the air. At times the changes in language nuances to depict different environments leaves the brain waiting for a light to go on, then the scene changes and it sets you somewhere else. Somewhere along the way, you are given a basic premise that love is the uniting factor in all these stories, and that is what helps us as humans survive whatever catastrophe that befalls us. This is the kind of movie that deserves to be seen again once one realizes the method to the madness. Unlike the Matrix which was astounding, Cloud Atlas is just as ambitious, clearly not for the average movie viewer as it begs to become less baffling.
(Review by reesa)



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Chasing Mavericks




A maverick was considered a myth by surfers who couldn't believe there were any large Hawaii sized waves on the California coast. The distant waves off Pillar Point Harbor are created after a strong storm in the northern Pacific Ocean causing them to routinely crest at over 25 – 80 feet with a break caused by an unusually shaped underwater rock formation. Very few riders can become big wave surfers so mavericks were kept secret to all except a few, but today it's become an invitation only annual event. Director's Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) and Michael Apted (The Chronicles of Narnia:Voyage of the Dawn Treader) teamed up with screenwriter Karlo Salem from the biographical story of American surfer Jay Moriarity. Jay became the youngest person at the age of 16 to successfully drop down a maverick.

From an early age, Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) had a gift for sensing a wave. He figured out on his own how to count the waves which gauges the size and power of the tides. It impresses his neighbor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) who saves the young Jay when he fell off the rocks into the ocean. Jay shows real promise when on his first attempt to surf he's able to stand on his busted duct taped surfboard. Now a teen, Jay is able to surf circles around his peers. One night Jay stows away on the top of Frosty's van when he goes out for a rendezvous with a few surfers to ride the maverick. Jay whose own father had abandoned he and his mom finds a father figure in Frosty begs him to let him tackle the big ones. Frosty tries to discourage him, but puts him through rigorous training to survive within a 12 week window when the waves are occurring. This includes paddle boarding from Santa Cruz to Monterrey, some 35 miles, holding his breath for 4 minutes, and facing his fears.

Jay's depressed mom Kristy(Elizabeth Shue) drinks her self to sleep after her shift at Sears. She's pretty oblivious to things happening in Jay's life. Despite this Jay manages to keep a smile on his face, a positive outlook and a polite attitude to his elders. Jay is in love with his childhood friend Kimmy (Leven Rambin) who is older and although friendly with Jay still ignores him in typical teen cliche fashion. His best friend Blond (Devin Crittenden) is his surf buddy and works with him at the Pizza Paradise but he's been falling into light drug usage from the local punk Sonny (Taylor Handley). Rusty's saintly wife Brenda (Abigail Spencer) seems to be the only one working with a full deck of cards with infinite patience for her husband who is surfing more than working.

The movie plays like a TV Lifetime channel inspirational story but without the usual religious overtones. Frosty encourages Jay with a Zen surfer credo to rely on the four pillars of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strength to overcome to obstacles that he will encounter when falls off one of those tall waves. Without those elements there will be no way to survive the power of ocean crashing on him.

The scenery of Northern California is breathtaking and the surfing photography is remarkable especially the monster mavericks. Butler who also executive produced the movie had a serious accident while surf training when he was knocked out by his surfboard and almost drowned. Weston was already a decent surfer before starting the film paddled 8-10 miles every morning to get into the physical mindset of his character. Big names surfers apparently also show up in the film, but unless you are familiar with the sport, their importance will elude you. The pacing of the story is slow and deliberate building on the relationship of Frosty and Jay as they help each other become complete human beings. The eye candy of Butler and the magnificent surfing keeps this film from being a total "wipe out".
(Review by reesa)


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Fun Size



Another take on the Adventures in Babysitting formula only this time it's set at Halloween. Brought to us by the man who executive produced television's O.C. and the Gossip Girl in his directorial debut with a script by Max Werner (The Colbert Report) for Nickelodeon Movies. It's the kind of movie geared to older teens because of some suggestive materials, partying and language even though it has a PG-13 rating.

Set in Cleveland, OH, Wren (Victoria Justice) is not only pretty but is also a bit of a nerd. Her idea for a Halloween costume is to dress like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her best friend Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) plans to be some obscure scientist. Wren's best girl friend April (Jane Levy) is excited that the best looking guy in high school Aaron Riley (Thomas McDonell) has a mad crush on Wren and invites her to the most sought after party at his house. Unfortunately Wren's mother Joy (Chelsea Handler) who is working out her widow grief with a MILF younger lover Keevin (Josh Pence) wants to party and Wren has to babysit her little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll). Albert is a precocious and mischievous kid who hasn't spoken since their dad died. Joy promises to sign the admission papers for her NYU application if she does this one thing. Albert dons a Spiderman costume with strings of firecrackers wrapped under his costume. Wren and April take Albert out trick or treating in the heavily occupied neighborhood filled with costumed residents. Somewhere in the world people still actually indulge in everyone's favorite event that hasn't turned into a “Fall or Harvest Festival” with it's political and religiously correct fanaticism. Wren loses track of her brother while paying too much attention to April's attempts to lure her to Riley's party. The manic search begins.

The secondary characters have a better time in this movie than the usual angst of it's teen heroine. Peng (Osric Chau) as Roosevelt's best friend (because everyone knows that Asians are smart) is dressed like a American Revolution historic character. He's serious but awkwardly obsessed with sex. Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch) the convenience store clerk who enlists the lost Albert in his scheme to toilet paper his ex-girlfriend's house. Brueder (James Pumphrey) who is giving a party while his parents are upstairs in bed. And Johnny Knoxville as the sleeze who kidnaps Albert in an uncomfortable sequence which is played for laughs. Best of all are Roosevelt's two moms Barb (Kerri Kenney) and Jackie (Ana Gasteyer) who are the stereotypical earth women who chant and endless discuss. They should have their own movie.

Engaging young people, especially Victoria Justice. Otherwise just what one would expect from a teen movie not quite made for TV but really feels like it.
(Review by reesa)




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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Alamo Drafthouse Groundbreaking




A couple of months ago Dallas Movie Screenings had the opportunity to join the Magical Mystery Media Tour to Austin to visit the Alamo Drafthouses. We stopped at the Slaughter Lane and Alamo Ritz locations, tasted their menu items and drinks, spoke with the Alamo representatives on what we can expect from their new theater soon to open in Richardson. We also enjoyed at the Ritz a performance screening of Master Pancake Theater: CONAN THE BARBARIAN which is typical of the type of programming we can probably expect...breathlessly anticipate...here in April or May of 2013.

The official ground breaking for the new Alamo Drafthouse in the DFW area was set in motion today at the southwest corner of Hwy 75 at Beltline. Richardson City Manager, members of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend and Bill Sproull CEO - Richardson Chamber of Commerce were in attendance. Bill C. DiGaetano the Operations Officer for the Alamo Drafthouse hinted at an event sometime in mid-November to whet our appetite for the fun times ahead.











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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 10/21 - 10/27


Just love the fall movie season. Lots of good movies this week, so there's going to be a lot of Wants/Needs/Offers/Trades going on, so please folks pay attention on what you are doing. Don't hit that reply button before checking the return address. Remember also the moderator is usually off to stand in movie lines and can't get to those last minute requests and offers. Try and figure out your plans early.

Thanks to everyone who have been entering the DVD contests thanks to Sony Pictures. However many entries were eliminated because you did not include your mailing address. Read the instructions. Winner names and addresses are forwarded to the studio and Sony mails it from there.

October 21 - October 27

Oct 21
Sun

Oct 22
Mon

7:00PM Cloud Atlas - AMC Northpark

Oct 23
Tues

7:00PM Chasing Mavericks - AMC Northpark

Oct 24
Wed

7:00PM Behind the Orange Curtain - Studio Movie Grill Royal
7:00PM Wreck It Ralph - AMC Northpark
7:30PM Flight - Cinemark West Plano
8:00PM Sid and Nancy - Sundown Granada

Oct 25
Thurs

6:00PM Behind the Orange Curtain - Studio Movie Grill Plano
7:30PM Lincoln - Cinemark 17
7:30PM The Session - AMC Northpark
8:00PM Vertigo - Angelika Dallas Patio

Oct 26
Fri

Oct 27
Sat


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tai Chi Zero



Director Stephen Fung (House of Fury) and writer Chen Kuo-Fu (Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame) crafted a frenetic kung fu trilogy that incorporates a taste of the old school 70's martial arts movies, with a touch of black and white silent film, animation, video game homages, wire work, and steam punk machines. Even the graphics on the screen give a self referential asides to the audience about the characters and the actors playing the roles. It's dazzling, humorous, and with impressive visuals contrasting the traditional values of 19th century China and the introduction of Western technology.

The story is about Yang Lu Chan (Jayden Yaun also known as Yuan Xiaochao who is the 2008 Men's Wushu Olympic Champion) who was born with a small horn on his head. A martial arts street performer known as Old Zhao (Fung Hak-on, founding member of Jackie Chan stunt team) sees what happens when Lu Chan's horn is accidentally activated. He tells Lu Chan's mother that the horn is known as “Three Blossoms on the Crown” which means that he's destined to be a martial arts prodigy. His dying mother's request to Lu Chan is to be the best he can be and leaves him to Old Zhao. Ten years later they are fighting with the Divine Truth Cult who cause chaos during the mid Ming Dynasty. When Lu Chan's horn is hit, it causes his eyes to roll back and his face contorts. He becomes a one man army defeating everyone around him.

Master Dong (Leung Siu-lung, 1970's kung fu superstar) tells Lu Chan that he must never let anyone touch his horn. If his horn turns black he will certainly die and right now it's red and purple. Also the martial arts style his master has taught him will put his life in peril as it relies on a hard stance which depletes his internal energy. He must completely alter his body's energy channels by learning an internal martial arts style. Master Dong tells him to learn Chen style kung fu. When the Divine is attacked his dying master tells him to find the Chen village.

His arrival is not welcomed by the village. He asks everyone where he can find Master Chen but because it's forbidden to teach anyone outside of family the secret of their style, he gets turned down everywhere. He cute meets Master Chen's daughter Chen Yu Niang (Angelababy) who is betrothed to Fang Zi Jing (Eddie Peng Yu-Yen) a well dressed dandy who has studied overseas and is coming to the village to introduce the railroad. The village doesn't want the new fangled western improvements, so the company sends in Imperial troops, Claire (Mandy Lieu) a western representative for the railroad and a huge Jules Verne mechanical machine that will destroy the village.

Lu Chen befriended by The Old Laborer (Tony Leung Ka Fai) the only one who has offered him advise and help him recover from his attempts to learn the Chen style. In video game format, Lu Chen battles at different locations of the village with the various masters of art. All the while they fight, he soaks up their methods like a gifted mimic. The Old Laborer sends Lu Chen out to damage the steam punk contraption that is run on coal and fly wheels. It give him hope that if he saves the village, they will accept him as a student.

The fight sequences are fun with angles and diagrams of the foot work mapped out. Choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung it features the real life skills of the various guest martial artists like Xiong Xin Xin – Ghost Leg Seven from the Once Upon a Time In China series, Wei Ai Xuan a prodigy from Beijing Shichahai Sports School, Xu Hui Hui, Head Coach of the Italian Tai Chi Team, and Shen Si, 12th Gneration successor of Chen Style Tai chi. The great battle involving fruit and vegetables is a real hoot.

There's a lot going on in the movie and just when you think it's going to end, it fakes you out and offers another scene. This is the first movie of what is supposed to be two more movies in the adventures of Lu Chen and this reviewer is looking forward for more to come.
(Review by reesa)



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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

That's My Boy DVD Contest




While still in his teens, Donny (Adam Sandler) fathered a son, Todd (Andy Samberg), and raised him as a single parent up until Todd's 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd's world comes crashing down on the eve of his wedding when an uninvited Donny suddenly shows up. Trying desperately to reconnect with his son, Donny is now forced to deal with the repercussions of his bad parenting skills. (Sony / Columbia)

Directed by: Sean Anders
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester


Thanks to Sony we have another contest offered by Dallas Movie Screenings!!! Would you like to win a copy of That's My Boy on DVD or Blu-ray which is being released today October 16. You can have a chance to win by sending an email to dalscreenings@gmail.com telling us a very short "why" you want this DVD. Winner will be emailed on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 around noon. Prizes will be mailed by Sony so please include your mailing address in your email.




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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 10/14 - 10/20



So did anyone successfully take advantage of the new Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley during their $1 weekend? Seems like tickets sold out right away for the entire weekend. But what was worse, was that those who bought tickets didn't bother to show up, thus leaving those who couldn't get tickets from filling those seats.

So let's get this straight again. This group shares information about the free screenings in the area. We tell you what contests to enter, where to go pickup passes, or places to join and print off passes. The moderators do NOT personally have passes sitting in a pile waiting to send them out. The moderators have to jump through hoops like everyone else. We don't always win them either.

It also never fails that as soon as the calendar goes out people suddenly realize they don't have Paranormal 563 or whatever. Y'all should be entering the contests or going to those pass pickups. Someone went through the energy doing themselves and you're asking for their pass? Make an attempt on your own or wait until someone offers theirs when they can't make the screening. Just don't reply to them via the group. Write directly to them, not to us.

October 14 - October 20

Oct 14
Sun

Oct 15
Mon

Oct 16
Tues

7:30PM Alex Cross - AMC Northpark
7:30PM Silver Lining Playbook - Studio Movie Grill Royal

Oct 17
Wed

8:00PM Trainspotting - Sundown at the Granada

Oct 18
Thurs

7:00PM Wreck it Ralph - Cinemark 17
7:00PM Paranormal Actitivy 4 - AMC Northpark
7:30PM The Sessions - Angelika Dallas
8:00PM Rear Window - Angelika Patio

Oct 19
Fri

Oct 20
Sat

10:30AM Fun Size - AMC Northpark
11:00AM Fun Size - Amstar 14



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Friday, October 12, 2012

Sinister



OK, so the movie poster said ORIGINAL for the new film Sinister. I LOVE the horror genre and was really kind of excited for this film.

Ethan Hawke stars as a crime writer/ novelist looking for his next big book after a 10 year lull. He has just moved his wife, free spirited son and creative daughter into a new house to be near where the latest horrific crime occurred, but doesn't bother telling the wife that the dead people died in the yard of the same house they are unpacking things in. Bad move.

To introduce the crime, there is Super 8 type snuff footage that is Ring-like creepy that explains the what, but not the who, or why. The film contents are just gruesome enough to horrify and generate interest in the storyline. I have to admit, the intro held an interesting enough premise and the movie progresses fairly well paced, unfolding little by little like any proper crime investigation does. Thing is, the daughter of the murdered family is missing and was never found. Some say she never will be. Enter the box of home movies in the attic. Basically, these films are an eyewitness account of each previous event, labelled by year with a tongue in cheek title. Kind of an odd discovery, and of course our writer has to watch them......all of them. One by one. Our writer, bleary eyed, fuelled by whiskey night after night, and suffering a little from insomnia (and things that go bump in the night and wake you up), comes to find out there has been a string of these crimes all across the country, each with a missing child out there somewhere and a very tragic connection. To add to the mental chaos, his son sleepwalks and is subject to night terrors, which provides us with some key jump out of your seat moments.

As the film goes on, one begins to get the feeling we have seen almost all of the crucial scary elements before. It is all there. Some Shinning, a little Exorcist Two, a little Haunting, some Poltergeist, tad but of the Paranormals, a touch of Amityville Horror, a little Skeleton Key, some more Ring and quite a few obligatory strange noises and bumps in the night, most with plausible explanations.

But as usual, we all begin to wonder why, when his son is freaking out and agitated and his daughter begins drawing dead people on the wall that she has never seen before, and his wife is threatening to leave him that maybe, just MAYBE, he should leave and go back home. If you get up in the middle of the night because someone or some THING has turned on your movie projector yet again (3 times- really?) and you are still there and putting your family at risk? I think you would at least turn on the darn lights when you walk down the hall and into dark rooms where creepy unknown things are happening. Better yet call the cops and let them handle it, even if one hates you and the other is over eager for his own 5 minutes of fame and has been helping you research. But we all figure out the end, before it happens as it becomes all too obvious through the story line like a big giant train wreck you can't stop.

This film had its world-premiere screening at South By Southwest Film Festival (as a hush hush midnight screening) and has been released by our good friends at Summit-Lionsgate who try so hard to give us proper horror flicks. But I felt the 70's and early 80's have still given us the best and most loved classic horror offerings.

The score is quite unique and very interesting in how it adds to the atmosphere and the tension that builds. All in all , the film was better than most recent and current of its kind but it did left me feeling quite unfulfilled at the end. (Really? That is how it ends?) Predictable with no alternate choices to redeem itself with.

Should you go? Heck, it is October and Halloween approaches. Think young, grab a date or an easily scared friend (a screamer is best) and go have a fright or two.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Argo




Not many people remember that Jimmy Carter was president. Nor do people remember the 1979 Iran hostage crisis during the Carter era when 52 people at the American embassy were held for 444 days. The records were sealed regarding the 6 American embassy workers who fled out the back door during the takeover and hid at the Canadian ambassador's home. Their escape from Iran had come to be known as the “Canadian Caper”. The real story came from the declassified records of CIA specialist Tony Mendez. Chris Terrio wrote the the screenplay based on Joshua Bearman's 2007 Wired article “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans in Tehran”. Produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslove and David Klawans it is directed by Ben Affleck who also stars as Tony Mendez.

The movie begins by giving a set up of why the Iranian Revolution. It started with a coup in the 1950's and the installation with the CIA help of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as an absolute monarch. His reign was supported by the US, but his policies in Iran caused the people to revolt and bring the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as it's leader. The CIA and the State Department discover the information of the 6 who got away from the embassy. The Iranian are unaware of the missing people but time is short as the shredded documents are being puzzled together by kids pressed to do the job. Several scenarios are suggested to get them out which are shot down by Tony who uses his cover name Kevin. He offers them the best of the worst ideas by making them the staff of a Canadian movie project checking out locations in the Middle East. Using his Hollywood connections of and Oscar winning makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman) who in turn drags in producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin). Lester is determined to doing a fake movie that will be a hit. Along the way they coin the phrase "Argo f**k you".

Affleck plays Tony/Kevin completely poker faced. He's strong, confident and wary. He's balanced by the jovial Goodman and Arkin who play the cynical Hollywood cheese with relish as they build up the buzz to the film, have a table reading with costumes and cocktails, take out full page ads and Variety write ups. They even have a production office all financed by the CIA. Tony then has to convince the hiding 6 who have grown paranoid and scared to learn new identities, the script called Argo, and find the courage to walk out the door and get through the check points at the airport. The Canadian “guests” in hiding (Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Kerry Bishe, Rory Cochrane, Scoot McNairy and Christopher Denham) are living in terror watching the news on TV and from the windows surrounding the ambassador's house. They are too frightened to be motivated at first, but the Ambassador (Victor Garber) is told by the Canadian government to shut down the embassy.

The opening sequence really grabs one's attention and the last act of the escape is taut and exciting. The based on true story is beefed up for dramatic effect, but doesn't take away from the fact that the basic stuff really happened. It would have been nice to have more emotional heart to the film, like caring about the people involved outside of their bored and frustrated situation. But this is flag waving patriotism feel good ending and a nice reminder of history that we should never forget.
(Review by reesa)



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Seven Psychopaths



Director/writer Martin McDonagh collaborated successfully with Colin Farrell in In Bruges, a very darkly humorous adventure of a couple of hit men. The new film McDonagh wrote with Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin had it's world premiere at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Employing some of the best of the quirky bad boys in film today, the combination is both violent and funny.

Colin Farrell is Marty an alcoholic screenwriter who is trying to complete his script but hitting a writer's block and drinking to oblivion doesn't seem to be much help. His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) an unemployed actor keeps encouraging Marty to stop drinking. Billy works with Hans (Christopher Walken) in lost dog scheme, where they steal someone's pet then turn it in for the award. They unfortunately end up stealing Bonny the Shih Tzu of the psycho Charlie (Woody Harrelson). Charlie and his gang will do anything to retrieve the beloved dog. Meanwhile there's a serial killer on the loose in the same neighborhood who targets bad guys and leaves a Jack playing card as his signature on his victims.

The working title of Marty's screenplay is called Seven Psychopaths. He just can't seem to come up with an idea. Billy tells him a grizzly bar tale about this guy who murdered this Amish farmers daughter. To further help his friend, Billy puts an ad in the free paper for psychopaths to be interviewed. One of them is Zachariah Rigby (Tom Waits) who carries a rabbit and his bizarre story of a killing spree with a woman partner.

Woody Harrelson's role was previously offered to Mickey Rourke who dropped out after disagreements with the director. Woody's Charlie is sinister, but a sensitive dog lover when it comes to his Bonny. Even his girlfriend who is having an affair with Billy doesn't come close. Look for Abbie Cornish as Kaya, Marty's girlfriend without much to do and Gabourey Sidibe as Sharice who lost Bonny in the first place. Linda Bright Clay is Han's sick wife seems the only sane one in the movie. Harry Dean Stanton shows up briefly too.

The movie at times seems all over the place but somehow all of this comes together with Charlie's deadly search for the dog. Hans, Billy and Marty end up hiding in the desert and end up collaborating on the script. Hans takes it very seriously. He tells Marty he likes it, it's got layers. Hans then ingests peyote and reciting his ideas on a voice recorder. There's some great discussions as Marty doesn't want the typical serial killer type of story. He's looking for something more life affirming. McDonagh's last act of the movie does manage to deliver something life affirming after all the unexpected and bloody violence.
(Review by reesa)



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Here Comes the Boom




The team that brought us Zookeeper, director Frank Coraci and with the screenplay by Kevin James and Rock Reuben with Allan Loeb created a comedic mash up of The Warrior and Won't Back Down. There's the high school science teacher who gets involved with mixed martial arts fighting to raise money to save the music program in school and improve the quality of teaching. Like most Kevin James films, it's mildly entertaining but mostly cliché humor saved from being borderline annoying by it's supporting cast.

Scott Voss is a forty-something Boston biology teacher who won teacher of the year some 10 years ago but has since lost that fire. His classroom is filled with bored kids who just bide their time until the bell rings. There's the smart frustrated Asian girl who's ignored by Voss, there's the Hispanic kid who draws on this desk, and remarkably no visible bullies. Voss spends his time trying to date the school nurse Bella (Salma Hayek). The only teacher in the school that is still enthusiastic about his job is the music teacher Marty Streb (Henry Winkler). When Principal Betcher (Greg Germann) announces the budget cuts that will have to be made it's the music program that will be cut. It means Marty will be out of a job and his wife just found they are expecting their first child. Voss protests then promises that he will raise the $48,000 to save Marty's job. The only extra income Voss has is from teaching a citizenship class where he meets ex MMA fighter Niko (Bas Rutten). Niko tells him that even when losing a fighter can take home big winnings. Voss used to wrestle decides that this would be the quickest way to raise money. The second half of the movie is devoted to his training, fights, and eventual climatic big heroic moment.

Voss as a fighter is pretty inept. It's tiresome watching the barrel bellied teacher get mercilessly pounded while Niko and Marty are yelling for him to have some defence. His only redemption is that all the beatings brings an appreciation from the students and teachers because he's doing it to save the music program at the school. The response helps Voss realize why he enjoyed teaching in the first place. Especially when the token Asian kid (Charice) is upset that she has to quit music because her dad (Reggie Lee) wants her to work in his restaurant. He also helps his brother Eric (Gary Valentine, Kevin James' real life brother) realize his dream is not the painting business, but to be a chef. The feel good ending ties the various storylines in a nice neat bow.

Bas Rutten a real ex MMA fighter, now a commentator/analyst and Henry Winkler is the stand out basically stealing the movie from James, who has to run around in skintight wrestling spandex. Filipino singer Charice last seen on Glee gets to show off her amazing voice. Salma Hayek is under used as the love interest although she does get an amusing scene teaching Voss some fighting moves. Here Comes the Boom is a slight improvement over Zookeeper which destroyed brain cells. But only slightly.
(Review by reesa)




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One Heart Looking for Extras!


VOLUNTEER EXTRAS NEEDED FOR FOOTBALL MOVIE

THE COMMUNITY IS INVITED TO FILL THE STANDS FOR THE BIGGEST SCENES IN THE ONE HEART MOVIE



Dallas, TX – The ONE HEART movie is looking for fans of all ages to serve as extras in key scenes in the film, on October 17, at Grapevine Faith Stadium in Grapevine, TX.

Director, Mark Ellis will be recreating the emotional and inspirational, special game that has launched a movement and inspired millions. The night will be filled with entertainment, food, giveaways and other excitement.

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.

Special Volunteer Extras Night

When: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
Where: Grapevine Faith Stadium
729 E Cannon St Grapevine, TX 76051
Time: 6p-12a

Registration: Each person coming must register at OneHeartMovie.com/extras.

Wardrobe: Please wear RED and bring optional clothing in BLACK. Please avoid wearing clothing with logos, wording or anything that says “One Heart.” You may bring clothing with “Faith” or clothing from Grapevine Faith School. In addition, please pay attention to the weather, as it might be necessary to wear warm clothing.

Commitment: Participants need to be able to stay during the entire filming session.

Compensation: Participants will not be compensated, but there will be giveaways throughout the night.

Process: During the filming participants will be asked to follow various instructions given by the Director, which will include cheering on cue, and from time to time moving around the stadium. Some will be invited to be on the field. Simply bring a great attitude and get ready for loads and loads of fun!

Children: Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Media: One Heart Director Mark Ellis, and Producers Steve Riach and Larry Frenzel can be available for interviews upon request.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION TEAM:

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.

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.

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.




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ART OF FILM HONORING FILM STAR VAL KILMER


THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY TO PRESENT THE ART OF FILM, HONORING FILM STAR VAL KILMER

DALLAS, OCT. 11, 2012: The Dallas Film Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates films and their impact on society, has announced it will honor movie star, Val Kilmer at their annual fall fundraising event The Art of Film on November 16, 2012, at the Hall of State, Fair Park.

One of Hollywood’s most prolific actors of his generation, Val Kilmer will be presented with the Dallas Star Award during an evening that will celebrate the vast achievements of his career. The following day, November 17, the Dallas Film Society will screen a retrospective of two of Kilmer’s most famous films. The Art of Film is a rare opportunity for 350 film lovers to gather at an elegant dinner and be a part of an intimate conversation with Kilmer and renowned film critic, Elvis Mitchell.

“The Dallas Film Society created The Art of Film to be a celebration of the trajectory of an actor’s career,” said James Faust, artistic director of the Dallas Film Society. “The roles that Val Kilmer has tackled show his incredible versatility and range as an actor. His role in REAL GENIUS gave me a passion for science; the Iceman took the world by storm in TOP GUN and his superb performances as Jim Morrison and Doc Holliday in THE DOORS and TOMBSTONE proved to critics that he was part of Hollywood’s elite. I am very proud to be able to put his achievements on a pedestal and honor his work at this year’s event.”

Kilmer, the youngest student ever admitted to the drama department at Juilliard, has worked with many of film’s most respected directors and actors. His feature debut in the comedy TOP SECRET (1984) was followed up with REAL GENIUS (1985) before his breakout role as the Iceman in TOP GUN (1986) opposite Tom Cruise. Kilmer’s other memorable roles include Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s THE DOORS (1991), the title character in BATMAN FOREVER (1995), Doc Holliday in TOMBSTONE (1993) and Simon Templar in THE SAINT (1997). His other starring roles include Michael Mann’s HEAT (1995), with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino; TRUE ROMANCE (1993), directed by Tony Scott and Ron Howard’s WILLOW (1988); AT FIRST SIGHT (1999) and THUNDERHEART (1992). He won the 2003 Prism Award for his work in THE SALTON SEA (2002). Recent projects include the Ric Roman Waugh’s FELON (2008), with Stephen Dorff; DĖJÀ VU (2006), an action-thriller produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films for Touchstone Pictures in which he stars with Denzel Washington and Jim Caviezel; and KISS, KISS, BANG, BANG (2005) written and directed by Shane Black, and co-starring Robert Downey, Jr. Kilmer has recently completed principal photography on the new Francis Ford Coppola movie TWIXT (2011). Val is currently working on his one-man act, Citizen Twain, which he wrote, directed and stars in. True to his talent in bringing lead characters to life, he resurrects and embodies Mark Twain like no other and plans to bring the show to Dallas' Wyly Theatre in the next few months.

Kilmer shares his passion for film with theatre and photography. He has appeared on Broadway, at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles and on the London’s West End and has released a behind-the-scenes pictorial book, the photographs from which were exhibited in several cities in the United States.

The Dallas Film Society honors individuals who have made important contributions to modern cinema and the advancement of the art of film. Kilmer joins a list of luminaries who have received the stunning crystal Dallas Star Award. Previous recipients have included, amongst others, Laura Linney, Frank Darabont, Helen Hunt, Adrien Brody, Lauren Bacall, Sydney Pollack, Charlize Theron, John Lee Hancock, Kathryn Bigelow, Francis Ford Coppola, Gabourey Sidibe, Marvin Hamlisch, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Towne and the 2010 and 2011 The Art of Film Honorees, Robert Duvall and John Lithgow.

Chairs of The Art of Film, Jennifer Houser, Kate Rose Marquez and Mersina Stubbs are working with the Dallas Film Society to organize the event, which will help raise funds to support the Dallas Film Society’s year-round programming efforts which include education and community outreach programs, multiple film screening series’ and the annual Dallas International Film Festival. The Chairs, along with the host committee, will recognize 2012 Honorary Chair, Ruth O’ Donnell Mutch, for her unwavering support of the Dallas Film Society since its inception in 2006.

“The Film Society strives throughout the year to champion the most approachable of art forms,” said Lee Papert, president and CEO of the Dallas Film Society. “Through this signature event, The Art of Film, we’re able to support this mission. By welcoming Mr. Kilmer to Dallas and highlighting his incredible contributions to film we’ll be able to continue to host incredible education programs for area high school students, offer screening series’ to our members and the citizens of Dallas in fun venues and expand the presence and reach of the Dallas International Film Festival. We’re positive film lovers of all ages will recognize and appreciate his remarkable career and have a blast doing so.”

Individual tickets from $500 are available for purchase, and underwriting opportunities are available from $5,000-$40,000. The Art of Film begins with red carpet arrivals at 6:00PM, reception 6:30PM, the conversation at 7:15PM and the seated dinner at 8:15PM. Tickets for the screenings the next day are free for The Art of Film guests and members of the Dallas Film Society. Contact Katie Layton at klayton@dallasfilm.org or call 214.720.0555 for more information.

ABOUT THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY

The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today's world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual Dallas International Film Festival is a presentation of the Dallas Film Society. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city.

Save the date for the 2013 Dallas International Film Festival - April 4 - 14, 2013.

For more information, call (214) 720-0555, or visit www.dallasfilm.org. The offices of the Dallas Film Society are located at 3625 North Hall Street, Suite 740, Dallas, TX 75219.

Sponsors for 2012 The Art of Film include Mega Capital, LLC/Jennifer and Doug Houser, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch, Mersina and Phin Stubbs, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Beth and Mark T. Layton, Stella Artois, Dallas Film Commission, Texas Film Commission, Deep Eddy Vodka, Showtech Prodution, Inc.





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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 10/07 - 10/13

On Wednesday night there's going to be a red carpet event at the brand new Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley. This used to be the old Keystone cinema that has gone through several changes since then. It's now become the new flagship store for the SMG brand. There will be the stars and filmmakers for Bad Kids Go to Hell in attendance. We should give them a big TX welcome.

There's lots of movies going on this week. A nice selection of places to go things to do. As usual everyone wakes from their slumber and says "Oh...I need that pass!" How it works around here, is the group mail will inform you of contests or where you have to go to get a pass. It's up to you to do whatever is required. If you don't win, then and only then can you ask others for help.

Another reminder: (yes, you've heard this before a million times, but apparently people just don't seem to "get it"). Please write to directly to the person offering a pass or wanting a pass. If you send it to the group it will, absolutely, positively, no questions asked, it will be REJECTED. So please, double check the return address before hitting send.

October 7 - October 13

Oct 7
Sun

Oct 8
Mon

7:30PM Argo - Angelika Dallas

Oct 9
Tues

7:00PM Silver Linings Playbook - Cinemark 17
7:00PM Sinister - AMC Northpark

Oct 10
Wed

7:30PM Here Comes the Boom - AMC Northpak
7:30PM Argo - Cinemark 17
7:30PM Seven Psychopaths - Magnolia
8:00PM Bad Kids Go to Hell - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
8:00PM Dazed and Confused - Sundown at the Granda

Oct 11
Thurs

7:00PM Race to Nowhere - NorthPark Presbyterian Church
7:30PM Here Comes the Boom - Amstar 14
7:30PM The Sessions - Angelika Dallas
7:30PM Some Like It Hot - Angelika Dallas
8:00PM To Catch a Thief - Angelika Dallas Patio

Oct 12
Fri

Oct 13
Sat

10:00AM Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings - AMC Northpark
8:00PM The Prestige - Annette Strauss Square



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Friday, October 5, 2012

Bad Kids Go to Hell at New Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley








STUDIO MOVIE GRILL OPENS FLAGSHIP VENUE



The popular concept theater chain continues to expand, and aligns with best-selling comic book adaptation 'Bad Kids Go to Hell' for October 10th Special Pre-Opening Preview of their new flagship theater, plus Halloween Sneak Peek Run at all Studio Movie Grill Locations

Dallas, TX (October 5, 2012) – Studio Movie Grill announces today the opening of their new flagship theater, the Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley, in Dallas, Texas. Located at 13933 N. Central Expressway, the state of the art complex will be the largest Studio Movie Grill to date and marks the tenth overall location for the company.

On October 10th BAD KIDS GO TO HELL, starring Judd Nelson and directed by Matthew Spradlin, will have its star-studded Dallas premiere screening along with a pre-opening look at the new Spring Valley location. The film, based on the popular comic book series of the same name, tells the tale of six private school students locked in a Saturday detention with a killer on the loose. Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG-1, Doctor Who) also stars, as well as Ali Faulkner (Bianca in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1), Roger Edwards (Freelancers), Marc Donato (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Cameron Deane Stewart (Pitch Perfect), Augie Duke (The Mentalist), Amanda Alch (When Zachary Beaver Came to Town), Jeffrey Schmidt (Interstate), and Chanel Ryan (BASEketball) . The film was produced by Barry Wernick and Brad Keller, and had its world premiere at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, and screened at Stan Lee’s Comikaze and the Ruby Mountain Film Festival.

Beginning October 27th BAD KIDS GO TO HELL will also have an exclusive Halloween Sneak Peek run at all ten Studio Movie Grill locations, which include the seven theaters in Texas along with theaters in Scottsdale, Arizona, Alpharetta, Georgia and Wheaton, Illinois.

“Studio Movie Grill is extremely happy to host the Dallas premiere of BAD KIDS GO TO HELL and to welcome visitors to its newest flagship, which opens its doors to the public on Friday October 12th,” said president of SMG, Brian Schultz.

“We are very excited to partner with Studio Movie Grill and be a part of their grand opening week, as well as featured at all of their venues for an exclusive run for Halloween.” said Wernick.

About Studio Movie Grill:

Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley at 13933 N. Central Expressway; Dallas, TX 75243 will be the largest Studio Movie Grill to date. Offering 100% reserved seating, the state of the art complex will mirror many of the creature comforts of a home theatre with its spacious, comfortable leather recliners and dining tables. A dedicated bar, lounge, and lobby area are planned for the new space providing guests an opportunity to unwind before and after their theatre experience in an environment unlike the traditional megaplex theater. The ambience of the modern lounge area evokes a sense of calmness with a rich, earthly color palette offset by textured materials and smooth stone surfaces. Spacious new furniture appointments and modern classics will outfit the space capable of handling corporate functions, private events, birthday parties and lunch meetings, not forgetting that SMG has also been named Best Place To Take A Date by all its current cities.

The Spring Valley opening marks Studio Movie Grill’s 10th location and 7th in Texas. SMG has one location in the Atlanta area with a second location planned to open early November 2012 and recently opened in Scottsdale, AZ and Wheaton, IL with more expansion on the way For additional information, please visit www.studiomoviegrill.com.





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Filmmatters Symposium



Film and lecture symposium, “Filmmatters”, brings awareness of social change through film to dallas FEATURING renowned ACTORS, WRITERS, FILMMAKERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES



Dallas, TX, OCT 5, 2011: FilmMatters, a film and lecture symposium, will be returning to Dallas on November 3, 2012 to raise awareness of facilitating social change through film. Emmy nominated filmmakers, PBS executives, national media and key leadership for several extraordinary non-profit organizations will come together for a three-part discussion that will explore the common challenges filmmakers, activists and non-profits often face in the long journey to make “a movie with a mission”. The primary topic of the Symposium will be Human Rights with a focus on the Global Clean Water Crisis. A VIP brunch and “Conversation with Michael Cain” featuring Larry Hagman, star of the television series “Dallas” and human rights advocate Brigid McConville will kick off the day’s events on Saturday, November 3.



Presented by Founding Sponsor M3 Films LLC, Host Sponsor The Hilton Anatole and supported by SMU Embrey Human Rights Program, and co-founded by Stephen Nemeth, Susan Thomson and Melina McKinnon, FilmMatters has been curated to specifically engage, educate and inspire an audience to support film as a means to stimulate social action. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Filmanthropy Fund of the Dallas Foundation. The brunch and conversation with Larry Hagman and Brigid McConville on November 3 will focus on Hagman’s implementation of environmentally-conscious practices and how he has parlayed his success as an actor into raising awareness for alternative energy. McConville will speak of her efforts to use film to bring about worldwide awareness regarding fetal and maternal health. Immediately following the brunch, national experts will participate in three panels called “WHY?”, “WHAT?” and “HOW?” film can be utilized to effectively promote social change.



Melina McKinnon, producer of FilmMatters and CEO of M3 Films LLC comments: “The power of film can truly make a difference in people’s lives. Filmmakers have a choice on whether they want to use this medium as a way of raising social awareness, but for many they are unsure how to use this to its best advantage. We are thrilled to be able to bring FilmMatters back into the public domain. The brunch, panels and discussions will not only help guide a path for filmmakers, they will also help expand the minds of anyone interested in social issues and what they can do to help promote Human Rights and fight the global clean water crisis.”



The VIP brunch will take place at SĖR Steaks + Spirits on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole at 11AM on November 3, 2012. To ensure a seat, RSVP to FilmMatters co-producer Julia Geyer at 214-458-4807. Tickets are $75 each.

The FilmMatters panels will take place at the Obelisk Room at the Hilton Anatole at 1:00PM, 2:30PM and 4:00PM on November 3, 2012. Tickets are $10. RSVP to filmmatters@m3filmsllc.com. Once RSVP’d, tickets can be purchased at the door.



The panel line-up is as follows:

FilmMatters Panel #1 – WHY? Saturday, November 3 – 1:00 PM

Theme: WHY – Make movies about the Global Clean Water Crisis?



Moderator: Brigid McConville

Director of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (UK), McConville is an award-winning author, journalist, and human rights advocate. Her recent focus has been to expose and seek change for the worldwide injustices of maternal mortality.

Panelists

Chris Cotner: Executive director, Water4Foundation

Kate Galbraith: Energy & Environment Reporter, Texas Tribune

Angela Mason: Special advocate for Women & Children, World Vision

Todd Burns: Founder and COO, Mpower Pictures



Film Matters Panel #2 – WHAT? Saturday, November 3 – 2:30 PM

Theme: WHAT – Kinds of films can be created to stimulate change?



Moderator: Keith Maitland

Maitland began his career in film as an assistant director, working on several feature films and television shows, including seven seasons with NBC’s “Law & Order”. In 2001, he created illegalfilms and is now producing and directing independent documentaries, the most recent of which, THE EYES OF ME, was nominated for an Emmy award and aired on PBS.



Panelists

Alison Ellwood: Editor, producer (ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM)

Paul Lazarus: Director, (UGLY BETTY, MELROSE PLACE, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND)

Courtney Spence: Executive Director and Founder, Students of the World

Derek Watson: Director and producer (OKLAHOMA’S FALLEN)



Film Matters Panel #3 – HOW? Saturday, November 3 – 4:00 PM

Theme: HOW – do you build an audience?



Moderator: James D. Faust

With a background in radio and film, James Faust started his film festival career as a volunteer, director of programming and managing director of the Deep Ellum Film Festival and is now the artistic director of the Dallas Film Society and Dallas International Film Festival



Panelists

Corinne Brinkerhoff: Emmy nominated television writer and producer (THE GOOD WIFE, BOSTON LEGAL, SHERLOCK)

Steve Dollar: Freelance film journalist for The Wall Street Journal, GreenCine Daily and many others

Ken Topolsky: Producer for TNT, TV Series “Dallas”

Judith Vecchione: Executive producer, PBS/WGBH Educational Foundation



Sponsors of FilmMatters include: Presenting Sponsor: M3 Films LLC; Host Sponsor: Hilton Anatole; Sponsors: Earthbound Farm, Earth Day Dallas, Embrey Family Foundation, Faulkner Design Group, Scott + Cooner, SMU Embrey Human Rights Program





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Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to Survive a Plague



David France a first time filmmaker and award winning journalist who covered the AIDS crisis for 30 years for the gay press then later for other like the New York Times and Newsweek. Using archival footage from over 30 videographers from the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village that used testimonials from the protesters themselves. France who says the film is more of a tribute than a documentary has structured a linear story from start to finish following the key characters as they age, sicken and die while fighting for the cure. The film has been touring various festivals including winning awards at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

In 1981 there were 40 AIDS cases reported. By 1995 over 8 million victims had died from the deadly auto immune disease that has so far eluded eradication. In the mid 1980's the gay and lesbian group in the New York gathered to find a way to motivate the powers that be that they should be putting more effort into the treatment of AIDS which was death sentence for anyone being diagnosed as HIV positive. ACT UP's peaceful civil disobedient demonstrations targeted drug companies, government and the scientific community which to this point were not focused on the growing problem. The inertia was severely disrupted by the aggressive theatrics and assault on public figures. The film shows how the main government big wigs like President Bush, Sr and NY mayor Ed Koch were too busy giving lip service instead of actual service. Religious leaders like The Pope and NY archbishop John Cardinal O'Connor towed the homosexuals are bad line along with Jesse Helm who ranted that the gay community was getting what they deserved.

Not everyone who was fighting for the cure was gay. A straight housewife who was a retired scientist consulted with the group showing them that knowledge is power. ACT UP created a team that would educate themselves to work with the drug companies to speed up drug trials to get the drugs on the market right away. The drug AZT which later turned out to be not only ineffectual, but cost prohibitive and hard to absorb, was followed by others which ACT UP managed to help be released, still it was not plugging the dam. Most of the key members of the movement didn't believe that they would live long enough to see a cure.

This film is not only a good lesson on direct political action by the citizens, but it also touches on the lives that were deeply affected by the “plague”. It shows the excitement the community had in each little moment of triumph, then later stymied from the frustration and infighting over the years of not being able to progress as their numbers die along the way. The introduction of a new triple drug regiment was finally discovered that cut the numbers of deaths by 50% quieted the movement. But AIDS is still with us, it's still killing people who can't afford the treatment. Work still needs to be done. No one really wants to hear about AIDS anymore, but hopefully this film will be seen and should be seen so that we never forget.
(Review by reesa)



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Taken 2




Liam Neeson is back as the CIA operative who goes into action when his wife and daughter are faced with danger. Directed by the appropriately named Olivier Megaton who brought us Transporter 3 another action packed blow out with a script written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. The sequel follows the formula for the wildly successful Taken using the same actors, the exotic locations, and the father's over protective over drive.

Liam's Brian Mills a retired CIA operative now works at a car wash is on his way to give his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) driving lessons. His ex wife Lenny (Famke Janssen) has just separated from her current husband and feeling a little sad. Kim has a boy friend now that isn't dad approved. Brian suggests that they go with him for a couple of days while he does a job in Istanbul. Kim thinks it's a good idea to get her folks back together. What they don't expect is that the family of the bad guys from Brian's rescue of his daughter in the first movie want revenge. Brian quickly realizes that there is a tail on them, and manages to warn Kim at the hotel who hides, and calmly relays a plan of escape for his increasingly panicked ex wife while he takes care of “what he does best”. The chase through the small crowded streets of the market place ends up getting them both “taken”. Of course Brian has a secret phone hidden on his person that he uses to call his buddies in America (no answer) and his daughter who insists on helping than hiding at the embassy. Her help consists of throwing grenades out the hotel window and off rooftops so that Brian can assess where they are located. There's also the obligatory car chase scene where Kim gets some intense driving practice.

The action is pretty predictable, but like the first movie, it's fun and mindless violence as Brian's one man fighting skills manages to eliminate the bad guys one by one. His anger is so in control and focused while at the same time soft spoken trying to calm his daughter and wife to safety. The bad guys are interchangeable (all dark, muscular, and hairy) that never seem to hit anything with their weapons before getting picked off by Brian and his ultimate thumping skills. Liam at 60 is still in prime shape, but doesn't seem to bounce back as quick as the last movie. At one point he tells the main bad man that he wants to stop because he's tired. And he looks tired too. Tired of the same old premise, that unfortunately opens the door for another movie. Hopefully they will do something fresher and less retreaded. If you like the first movie you will get more of the same in this one.
(Review by reesa)





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Pitch Perfect




The TV show Glee has spawned reality shows of group choirs which don't live up to expectations so they fail miserably whetting the appetite of viewers hoping for something more musically exciting. Real live people don't sound as perfect as these professionals with their auto tuned voice tracks and the full orchestra that mysteriously appears behind them. Singing acapella is an even a bigger challenge since one has to sing without the live instrumental background. Director Jason Moore (Dawson's Creek, Everwood) and screenwriter Kay Cannon (30 Rock) loosely based this film on a novel of the same name by Mickey Rapkin.

The story follows Becca (Anna Kendrick) as the “indie chick” who wants to go to LA to become a DJ. Her dad who works at the college disapproves but promises her that if she would give school a honest chance by joining some groups and making friends he will relent after a month. Becca is quickly recruited by “The Bellas” an all female acapella group who missed winning the national competition because their leader had an accident during the performance. There are several acapella groups on campus with the all male choir the “Treble Makers”, the national champions and the The Bella's rivals. The Bellas want only to audition the prettiest singers, but the lack of applicants forces them to integrate their group with the likes of Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who named herself with that handle because people call her that behind her back anyway. Aubrey (Anna Camp) runs the group with a control freak relish assisted by Chloe (Brittany Snow) who discovers Becca singing talent in the shower. Aubrey has a hard time trying to make the group into her ideal as the new members don't exactly fit her model performers dressed like airline stewardess complete with neck scarfs. The new group includes the black lesbian power vocalist Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), the sexually promiscuous Stacie (Alexis Knapp), and the mute Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) the token Asian. The members of the group are given one hard and fast rule. They cannot date any of the Treble Makers.

This makes it difficult for Becca who is fighting the flirtatious Treble Maker Jesse (Skylar Astin) who also works with her at the school radio station. Their contentious relationship is the romantic drama of the movie. Most of the amusing conflict comes from the unbending Aubrey, her tunning whistle and her boring/safe musical selections for their competition program. The commentators of the Nationals (Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins) remark how the Bellas music hits the snooze button. Becca tries to mix it up a bit when it looks like they are losing the audience which angers Aubrey who kicks her out. When The Bellas suddenly get a chance to compete again they have to decide to stay with Aubrey's dead zone or spice it up with a Becca mash up.

There's a lot going on in this movie interspersed with some very nice vocal performances. Rebel Wilson is the stand out although lately she seems to be playing the same character in all her movies. It's refreshing to hear the always charming Anna Kendrick sing with a better than average voice. It's got it's funny moments mostly from the outrageous assessments by the commentators during the competitions. There's also an ongoing joke adding acapella to every adjective like this would be a much funnier movie if it was acca-better.
(Review by reesa)


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Frankenweenie



Tim Burton made over his 1984 short of the same name which was an homage to the 1931 classic Frankenstein. It's the first movie for IMAX 3D to use black and white stop-motion animation. Burton directed the feature from a screenplay by John August (Corpse Bride, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Burton's original story was based on the love of his dog Pepe while growing up who had a disease and wasn't supposed to live very long, but he did anyway. The eventual short got him fired from Disney because they thought it was inappropriate which is ironic since Disney is famous for killing off mothers (Bambi) and scary witches (Snow White).

Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) loves his dog Sparky, a pointed faced looking bull terrier type. He's the ideal dog that kids have in their minds as the perfect pet. His father Mr. Frankenstein (Martin Short) thinks Victor should spend more time outside like other kids instead of just talking to his dog and doing experiments in his attic makeshift lab. So while attempting to play baseball, Sparky runs after the ball and gets hit by a car. Heartbroken they bury him in the pet cemetery. His science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) gives him the idea of using electricity when he reanimated a dead frog during a class. Victor digs up Sparky and sneaks him inside his lab and in typical Frankenstein mode using household electronic kitchen appliances to bring back his dog to life. Obviously since everyone knows the Sparky is dead, Victor has to hide him in the attic. But a dog is a dog and Sparky is able to get out and is seen by the creepy Igor type of kid Edgar E. Gore (Atticus Shaffer) who blackmails Victor into telling him his secret. The bullies of the class manage to wrangle Edgar's information from him and soon they are wanting to bring things back to life in order to win the school's science fair. Unfortunately their experiments on their pets don't have the same results. Their monsters run amok which in turn frightens the townspeople of New Holland (because you need a windmill for the climatic ending) rise up and want to destroy the undead dog.

Like most Tim Burton features like Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Beetlejuice there is always something a little dark and off kilter. A whole generation of Goth kids were probably influenced by his movies. Frankenweenie falls right in this category. Kids will want to see it, but for little ones it may frighten them with the dog death and the deadly chase in the windmill. But older kids will appreciate the humor. It's much better than Dark Shadows which probably would have benefited from being stop motion in black and white too. But there still seems to be something missing outside of just being an homage to old time filmmaking.
(Review by reesa)



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Blockbuster Madagascar 3 DVD Circus Party




BLOCKBUSTER CELEBRATES THE DVD AND BLU-RAY RELEASE OF MADAGASCAR 3

WITH CIRCUS PARTIES AT STORES AND A FREE $5 GIFT CARD



What: Blockbuster is holding special circus themed parties at stores across the country. Kids can get their face painted, do Madagascar crafts, watch the first two films and play pin-the-tail-on-Gloria. In addition, fans who pre-order the MADAGASCAR 3 DVD at their local Blockbuster through October 15 will receive a $5 gift card.

When: Saturday, October 6 10:00am – 2:00pm


Where: Store locations and more party details here:

http://www.blockbuster.com/promotions


ABOUT THE FILM

Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is new to DVD and Blue-ray on Tuesday, October 16!



ABOUT BLOCBKUSTER

Blockbuster L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), is a leader in the movie and game industry in digital and disc rentals and sales. Blockbuster provides convenient access to family entertainment through a variety of channels — by mail via www.blockbuster.com, in almost 900 stores across the U.S., via digital movie downloads using a PC, Blu-ray player, connected TV or portable device, and via Blockbuster @Home through DISH Network - making it easy and convenient to access family entertainment. Blockbuster offers games for all major gaming devices, including Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox and Xbox 360. Focused on ease and convenience, it’s no wonder that Blockbuster serves millions of customers nationally and internationally. Visit www.blockbuster.com.



Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is new to DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, October 16!



Madagascar 3 Europe’s Most Wanted™ & © 2011 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved




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Alamo Drafthouse Richardson Facts




In anticipation of the Alamo Drafthouse coming to Richardson from their Facebook page. Please "Like" them! http://www.facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouseDFW

Alamo Drafthouse Dallas / Fort Worth

Many of you are new to Alamo DFW's Facebook Page and we wanted to give you guys some specifics on our theater coming to Richardson.

-7 auditoriums with the largest screen being 60' wide & seating 255 people. We also have an auditorium that seats 45 people, perfect for private events.

-Separate Bar and Patio area with over 60 different beers, wine and craft cocktails. All made from scratch with only the freshest ingredients. You can come hang out even if not seeing a movie.

-100% digital w/3D capability and select screens with 35mm for classic film the way it was meant to be seen.

-2,000 sq. ft. kitchen with culinary trained chefs. Food made in house, from scratch, using the best ingredients.

-First run Hollywood movies with classics and limited release titles in the mix as well.

-Over the top events that will leave you begging for more. Last summer Alamo showed Road Warrior at Kyle Speedway with a demolition derby before hand!

-No advertisements. Only Alamo's famous pre-show that is customized for the movie you are about to enjoy. For Bridesmaids fans enjoyed a montage of real wedding bloopers with brides falling into pools grooms passing out and much more.

-Stealth service w/Ninja like efficiency. You're there to see the movie not our wait staff. When the film is on you write your order down on provided paper so there is no talking during the film.

-No unaccompanied minors but we love for the family to come together.

-No Talking and No Texting EVER!




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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Resident Evil Damnation Contest







The first ever Dallas Movie Screenings Contest! One person will win:

Resident Evil: Damnation

6 Posters (small, medium, large)
1 DVD
1 Figure


http://www.facebook.com/ResidentEvilMovie
http://www.amazon.com/Resident-Evil-Damnation-UltraViolet-Digital/dp/B008H6GH8I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349118518&sr=8-1&keywords=resident+evil+damnation

All you have to do is send your name and address and a brief reason why you think this Resident Evil swag should be yours to:
dalscreenings@gmail.com

Winner will be emailed on Friday Oct 5 at noon.








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