Dallas Movie Screening
Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com
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Website and Group Contact: email@example.com
Earlier 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Hope y'all had a relaxing and food filled few days. The holiday season is creeping up, which means lots of fun and award quality films as the year closes out. Looking forward to seeing you again in the movie lines!
Our DMS group was offered some passes to the Star Trek Next Generation one night only screening. Check out details here:
Enter if you want to win. The screening is at Cinemark Legacy Plano.
Remember to check the ratings on the movies, watch a trailer, and do a little research before bringing your children to the movies.
November 25 - December 1
Sun Nov 25
Mon Nov 26
Tue Nov 27
7:30 pm Playing for Keeps - Cinemark West Plano
7:30 pm The Collection - Studio Movie Grill Royal
Wed Nov 28
6:00 pm This is 40 - AMC Northpark
10:00 pm HorrorRemix: Getaway - Studio Movie Grill Royal
Thu Nov 29
7:30 pm Hitchcock - The Angelika Dallas
Fri Nov 30
Sat Dec 1
11:00 am Dino Time - AMC Northpark
Friday, November 23, 2012
Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event
Dallas Movie Screening has a handful of good for two tickets to the screenings in Plano.
Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event
In Select Movie Theaters Nationwide
Thurs, Nov 29th at 7:00 PM (local time)
Only One Night!
If you would like to enter to win please send an email to email@example.com
Only enter if you plan to attend.
For more information on this event click here
Leo Tolstoy's novel published in 1877 has been made into at least 13 different movies since 1914. It's hard to beat the 1935 melodramatic classic with Greta Garbo and Fredric March as the ill-fated lovers. The Joe Wright directed version with a screenplay by Tom Soppard shakes up the genre by filming on a single soundstage at Shepperton Studios in a dilapidated theater. The gorgeous costumes by designer Jacqueline Durran and the production design by Sarah Greenwood fill the screen with eye candy. The whole effort feels like Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! You feel any moment people will start singing and dancing. Perhaps they should have gone that route.
Keira Knightley as Anna is the queen of costume epics. Her beautiful angular face and pale skin works well as the aristocratic wife of a Russian government minister. Married at 18, she's the mother of a son and a dutiful wife of a passive husband Alexei Karenin living in St. Petersburg which was considered the cosmopolitan center of Russia. Anna learns her brother Stiva Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen) has been cheating on his ever pregnant wife Dolly (Kelly Macdonald). Anna begs her husband to let her go to Moscow to run interference to save her siblings marriage. On the train she meets Countess Vronskaya (Olivia Williams) who has a bit of a reputation. She tells Anna that it was better to love than never to have loved at all. Anna is intrigued as she's never been love. The Countess meets her son the dashing calvary officer Count Alexei Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Anna and the Count barely see each other in passing, but the Counts is immediately smitten. A railway worker accidentally falls in front of a train and is killed. When Anna is concerned for the man's family, the Count makes a show of giving the official money for their care.
There's a little side story with Stiva's friend Konstantin Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) a shy aristocratic landowner comes from his estate to woo the young beautiful Kitty (Alicia Vikander). Kitty rejects Levin's overtures as she has her eyes set on Count Vronsky. But at the ball the Count is tracking Anna. The chemistry between them becomes an obsession. The attention poured on her by the Count is not lost on Kitty and everyone else at the ball. Despite knowing that what they are doing is wrong, Anna can't help falling in love. She even returns to her husband and tells him that the Count is now her husband. She is so blinded by the overpowering hormones and happiness she can't stop herself even knowing that the affair will make her a pariah in her society as an immoral woman. Knightly tears up the screen as the emotionally wanton Anna. Her reputation is wrecked, but in the typical mores of the times, the Count will remain unscathed. Her insecurities over the Count's committed love to her becomes her undoing.
The scenes are mostly framed by the stage, or the wooden catwalks, and even the audience area and box seats. Sets change behind the actors and the action in a fluid motion that takes time for the brain to accept. It's a clever device, but it's often distracting. Some of the scenes are rhythmically choreographed with the dialogue and music. Interesting moments pass quickly then it's off to Annaland and her out of control lust for the piercing blue eyed young playboy. Lovely to look at, but ultimately too flawed.
(Review by reesa)
The remake of the 1984 cheese classic Red Dawn with Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen was actually shot in 2009. Studio management juggling led to it's shelving until this year, when the Chinese protagonists had to be changed to North Koreans for political correctness and appeasement. Instead of the teenage militia hiding in the Colorado wastelands, the band of high school kids are running around the woods of Spokane, WA. The target audience have never seen the first movie which had Soviet, Nicaraguan and Cuban troops landing by parachute on the football field as they witness their teacher getting shot. The violence is toned down in the new version with death and destruction only happening to the bad guys or off the screen. Stunt coordinator Dan Bradley is directing a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore. The action sequences are well played pulling out all the predictable scenarios.
Matty Eckert (Josh Peck) is the start football player in high school although he's got the penchant to take unnecessary risks and make fool moves. It's frustrating to his dad the town sheriff (Brett Cullen) and his older brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth in pre-Thor mode) who is home from the Marines. Matty is more concerned with his main squeeze Erica (Isabel Lucas) in typical teenage male mindset. One morning the town wakes up to the sound of heavy planes flying and soldiers parachuting down to their suburban neighborhood. Jed goes into solider mode, grabbing his brother and his friends and head out of town as their father runs interference. Matt is unable to save his girlfriend who is led off by the invading soldiers. The panicked young people get to the Eckert cabin in the woods where they have also gathered a few more stranglers following them. Jed organizes them quickly, but as expected there's one bad apple that lets the enemy know where they are hiding. Jed gives them the patriotic speech and trains them to become fighters. They start using guerrilla tactics engaging the occupying force and stealing weapons. They undermine Captain Lo (Will Yun Lee) by writing “wolverine” on the walls to claim their work and inspire the populace.
The first movie by John Milius was astonishing violent and earned the newly created PG-13 rating. The relationships of the characters were more intense and the real life threat of the Soviet nuclear power struggle was relevant for it's time. The idea of the North Korean's coming to a small town of Spokane, WA and taking it over is like, “WTF?”. The idea in the plot is that the US was defeated by an EMP blast, like in the current TV show Revolution. Only in this town the cars still work. But if you ignore those considerations, the story is aimed at action sequences that pop one after another while making the audience root for the intrepid teens. Little is given on the psychological effects of teens killing people, only justification for their acts by exercising their rights as free citizens of the good old USA. Outside of the obvious thought that this small town would fall so easily to an invading source, with only a handful of kids fighting them, they movie does try to get one caught up in the heartfelt relationship of the brothers. And of course cheering them on when they shoot those bad guys.
(Review by reesa)
Santa with a Russian accent and swords and the Easter bunny who is a snarky punk are not the usual take on some favorite childhood icons. The 3D computer animated adventure is based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series has a screenplay written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Peter Ramsey. Originally Joyce and Reel FX created a short animated film called The Man in the Moon, which served as an inspiration to the Guardians. Rise of the Guardians is an entertaining and refreshing story on the innocence belief of children and what happens when they lose those precious moments.
Jack Frost (Chris Pine) doesn't remember how he came to be, only that he woke up rising from a frozen pond and he has the ability to fly around and make ice crystals. None of the children see him, but he's able to manipulate their snowtime activities and bring winter wherever he goes. He loves his carefree existence, but it's a bit lonely. That is until he meets Santa (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman who doesn't speak. The Boogeyman (Jude Law) aka Pitch Black wants to move into the territory. The Man in the Moon suggests to Santa to recruit Jack Frost. Santa aka “North” is not your typical Kris Kringle in Coca Cola commercials. North is a sword wielding tattooed brawler who has Yeti's making toys. He just lets them think they are making the toys because who's to tell a Yeti they can't? The tiny minion sized elves actually do all the work. Bunnymund, the Easter bunny, is a smart mouthed punk with an Australian accent. Tooth is a giddy, talkative fairy who is assisted by mini fairies who collect childrens teeth that hold their special memories. Sandy who helps children sleep, may not speak, but he's able to weave sand pictures to communicate. Together they form a childhood superhero league to battle Pitch who wants to engulf the world in darkness by taking away childrens ability to dream. Without a child's fantasy world, the fab five lose their powers and may cease to exist.
Somewhere along the way to adulthood children lose their belief in those folklore tales. It's almost regrettable when they say “Santa's not real”. It's that loss of innocence that adults take for granted. When the lights on Santa/North's map blink out as the children become more dour and depressed you expect Peter Pan to show up urging children to sustain her. Jack in turn tries to turn the tables on Pitch by keeping the one remaining child, Jamie (Dakota Goyo), who has not given up on the Guardians. There's a battle between the Guardians and Pitch's team of black smoky horses that looks like the Lord of the Rings running down the elf princess. That's the only scary part for the kids. The rest of the story is light, the animation and colors worked well with the 3D, and it's a movie that parents won't fall asleep when they take their kids. A good holiday choice.
(Review by reesa)
Is it too early to start predicting Oscar considerations? This new film directed David O. Russell (The Fighter) and wrote the screenplay adaption from a book of the same name by Matthew Quick hits the theaters with an emotional bang. The simply amazing performances by Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and specifically by Jennifer Lawrence will awe and astound and touch your heart in this life affirming story about marriage, sports fandom, and mental health. Doesn't sound like a great recipe for cinematic flavor, but it sure is tasty!
Bradly Cooper plays Pat Solitano, Jr, who has been committed to a mental hospital in Baltimore for the past eight months. He's been going to his therapies, but he's been cheating on his meds. He's lost weight, feels ready for the world has a new attitude with the key phrase “excelsior” which to him means seeing the world in a positive light and looking for that “silver lining” of success. His mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) comes to take him back to Philadelphia because his sentence is up even as his doctors protest that he's not ready. Former high school teacher Pat suffers from an undiagnosed bi-polar disorder what was triggered out of control when he discovered his wife having an affair in their shower. The violence he suffered on his wife's lover is what had him committed. Everyone walks on eggshells around him hoping that he will not have another “episode”. His dad (Robert De Niro) wants Pat to indulge him in his OCD sports addiction to the football team the Eagles. His father has been bookmaking after having lost his job and pension. He hopes to start a Philly steak sub shop from his winnings. Pat is too obsessed with gaining back his wife Nikki (Brea Bee) despite everyone's warnings that there's a restraining order in effect.
Friends Ronnie and Veronica (John Ortiz and Julia Stiles) invite him over for dinner where he meets Veronica's sister Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) another damaged soul who was just widowed by the death of her policeman husband. Pat is attracted to Tiffany, but he's single minded in his pursuit to show Nikki that he's remade himself. His wily therapist Dr. Patel (Anupam Kher) suggests that helping Tiffany could be seen by Nikki as a positive gesture. Tiffany has the ability to straight talk Pat while everyone else is wary of his mood swings. The trigger song “My Cherie Amour” always sets him off in a manic state, Tiffany manages to calm him down. Tiffany offers to get a letter to Nikki in exchange Pat must be her dance partner in a competition. For the first time his parents notice a change in Pat as he leaves to practice at Tiffany's studio house every day.
Bradley Cooper finally is just not another pretty face giving a more nuanced performance. Jennifer Lawrence should be one of the front runners for a nomination. Robert De Niro is a wonder as the father trying to find a way of communicating with his son and Pat's daffy mother played by Jacki Weaver is so perfect even though she has very little lines to play. The standouts supporting players like John Ortiz as Ronnie who may seem like he has it all together, but is stressed out by his job, his controlling wife, and a new baby, Chris Tucker as Pat's nutty friend from the hospital, and Dr. Patel as the football fanatic therapist.
Their bittersweet relationship is spiked with sharp insightful dialogue that's abrasive and filter free. They say what they feel and what they want at any given time yet their vulnerabilities are on the surface. David O. Russell changed the dynamic between the father and son from the original story due to the personal relationship of Cooper and De Niro being good friends in real life according to the Author Matthew Quick. The mental health issues of the story doesn't distract from or try to manipulate your feelings in a negative way. It's just how these people have to deal with those chemical imbalances yet still be able to have fulfilling and satisfying lives.
(Review by reesa)
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Not too many movies this week due to the Holiday. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Take a moment to be thankful for all the free movie screenings we get to attend. To the Studios who offer the screenings, to the websites that distribute the passes, to the kind people on the list who are willing to share their bounty with those in need, to all the nice people we get to meet in our movie lines, and the great conversations and friendships as a result of our movie community. Big thanks, drive carefully, and have fun!
November 18 - November 24
Sun Nov 18
Mon Nov 19
7:00PM Rise of the Guardians - Studio Movie Grill Plano
7:00PM Silver Linings Playbook - Magnolia
Tue Nov 20
7:30PM Anna Karenina - AMC Northpark
Wed Nov 21
8:00PM Garden State - Sundown at Granada
Thu Nov 22
Fri Nov 23
Sat Nov 24
Thursday, November 15, 2012
It's finally over! The last movie of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight book series. Too bad they didn't start out with this one instead of the last four yawners full of teen angst at one movie too long. Director Bill Condon who also did Part 1 is back with the 2nd half of the 4th book. Melissa Rosenberg's script starts from when Bella just turned vamp wakes to her new life. At last Bella is now a more attractive and interesting character.
Bella Cullen the new bride and mother wakes from her transformation. The title sequence showing Bella's awareness of everything around her is a good promise for what to come. Being a newbie vamp makes Bella incredibly strong and extremely hungry. She makes her first kill. ah....ew.... OK, this is supposed to be so romantic. Bella comes home unaware that Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has “imprinted” onto her new born daughter whom they blessed with the impossible name of Renesmee. There's a whole werewolf thing in Jacob's tribe that the person to which you are imprinted becomes their soul mate for life. Jacob and his “Nessie” are and will be inseparable. Not before Bella has her say. Then there's the problem with telling Bella's dad Charlie (Billy Burke) about how Bella is like Bella, but not. Suffice to say Jacob takes off his shirt.
Bella is no longer the awkward, clumsy and shy high school student. She's 18 and will be forever. Edward (Robert Pattinson) has finally found someone, making their uneven numbered family unit even and paired up. Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) and Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz) and Alice (Ashley Greene) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and now Edward, Bella and Renemee make up the clan. The Cullen's give the young couple a beautiful romantic cottage in the woods all pointedly decorated in shabby chic. The rest of the family stays at the Cullen modern glass and wood compound. This new Bella is as she says, “born to be a vampire.”
Renesemee is the fast growing vampire/human hybrid ever. She also has a gift of being able to communicate with everyone by her touch. She's a cute, creepy CGI infant/child with a benevolent countenance. She is later portrayed as a young girl by Mackenzie Foy. Unfortunately their relative Irina (Maggie Grace) sees the young girl and reports to the Vampire rulers, the Volturi's, that the Cullen clan has created a forbidden child immortal. Centuries ago vamps thought it was cute to make little ones, but they never matured and hungry babies are not so cute anymore. Alice sees a vision of the Volturi coming. She and her boyfriend/brother Jasper take off. She leaves Bella a note with clues on how to create an extract route for Renesemee and Jacob in case things go south. Meanwhile the Cullens have to convince witnesses from their friends and relatives regarding the peaceful nature of Renesee. They gather 18 of them to help face off a hundred black hooded Volturi's.
The Volturi leader Aro (Michael Sheen) is as oily as it gets. His two powerful henchkids Jane (Dakota Fanning) and Alec (Cameron Bright) are always ready to inflict pain and confusion. The battle is probably the best vampire/werewolf mayhem to date. It's fun watching the good “veggie” vamps vs the bad human eating vamps go at each other. The characters all get a moment to flash their special powers and kick some butt. Like on Heroes or Alpha's these vamps have different types of “gifts”. One has the power to influence the elements, one has electrical power, Alice can foretell, Edward can read minds, and Bella also discovers her power. Granted that this book series is about the Bella/Edward/Jacob triangle, but these magical vamps can be the next big TV series.
It's a nice send off for what has been a very uneven ride. The ending credits include cast pictures and names from all of the movies. It just makes one wonder what it would have been like if some of the secondary characters had been explored as they are in the books. The Twilight hysteria will probably continue for a few months before becoming and annual marathon for twihard fans. Good thing the last film was the best of the bunch.
(Review by reesa)
Historical dramas about royal families are the stuff of PBS specials. This new film by Nikolaj Arcel (who wrote the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and written with Ramus Helsterberg tells the true story of King Christian VII of Denmark. Based on the Bodil Steensen-Leth's erotic novel, Prinsesse Af blodet, it's a 18th century real life love triangle between the mad king, his queen and his royal physician. It's also Denmark's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.
Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander) is from the Royal British family and at 15 years of age the prospective bride of Christian the VII, King of Denmark (Mikkel Boe FÃ¸lsgaard). Whatever hopes of Caroline having a happy ever after is quickly dashed when she realizes the King is a bit unstable probably mentally ill. The restrictive political and personal environment censor's the Queen's library she had brought from England. Having given the kingdom an heir, Queen Caroline resolves herself to her fate. That is until she meets the dashing royal physician Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen). Struensee was German country doctor. He was recruited by a Danish noble who needed to get some favors from the Royal Council. The Council basically rules the country while padding their pockets. The King is easily bullied or cowed into doing as the Council dictates. The doctor quickly develops a friendship with the young man. Their relationship becomes a big brother/father thing. Soon the doctor's influence is scaring the high ranking members of the royal court. At the same time the Queen is attracted to Struensee's interest in literature and ideas of the Enlightenment.
Soon the Queen and Struensee begin to take power from the pliable King. Laws enacting major social reforms to improve the lives of the common people begin to threaten the Queen Dowager who wants to put her own offspring on the throne. A conspiracy brews under the heady days of the king, queen and doctor who are feeling they are making a difference. Under Struensee's coaching and encouragement the king begins to offer his own opinions and suggestions at the royal council meetings. The doctor also gives himself the power to sign in place of the king and abolishes the royal council. After passing all these progressive programs like inoculations for smallpox and homes for unwanted children the government is becoming broke. Struensee's answer is to start collecting from the noble class. Then like now, the rich will do anything to protect their wealth. The doctor and queen's affair is revealed.
The queen leaves a letter while in exile for her children by the king and the doctor. She tells them the real story of their fathers and what they tried to do for their country. History proves the King Fredrick finished his father's job and brought Denmark out of the middle ages. Most people would never know any of this unless you are an history buff if it wasn't for movies like this love affair that changed the world. Beautifully filmed, costumes, sets, and decent subtitles, and maybe a little to long. Lust and love in the rotten state of Denmark.
(Review by reesa)
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Due to technical reasons this moderator was off line for a good part of the week, and unfortunately is still playing catch up with all the notices, calendar and contest updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding. A really big thanks to everyone for pitching in and and posting notices of screenings. Much appreciated.
Just waiting for all the "Want" requests to pop up for the Twilight screening this week. If you read your group messages, you would have been notified of the contests. Yeah, you had to go the extra mile with the video entries and maybe write an essay. Don't think that someone who did do all that is going to give up their pass easily. So please refrain from begging until close to the screening date as some contests will not be announced to the very last moment. This moderator didn't get a pass either, so don't feel bad.
Don't forget the big outdoor movie screening which will be located where the new Alamo Drafthouse will be built in Richardson at South West side of Beltline and 75:
"November 16th for our FREE screening of The Burbs come enjoy 4 local breweries featuring 8 different craft beers, 5 food trucks and 3 chances to win prizes! This event is BYOC. Bring Your Own Chair."
November 11 - November 17
Sun Nov 11
Mon Nov 12
7:00PM Life of Pi - AMC Northpark
7:00PM Dino Time - Studio Movie Grill Royal
Tue Nov 13
7:00PM A Royal Affair - Angelika Dallas
7:30PM Red Dawn - Cinemark 17
Wed Nov 14
7:30PM The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt 2 - Cinemark West Plano
8:00PM The Big Lebowski - Sundown at Granada
Thu Nov 15
Fri Nov 16
5:00PM The Burbs - Alamo Drafthouse DFW parking lot
Sat Nov 17
10:00AM Rise of the Guardian - AMC Northpark
11:00AM Rise of the Guardian - Cinemark 17
Friday, November 9, 2012
After fifty years, the Bond franchise needed to be shaken and not stirred. With director Sam Mendes at the helm with a script by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan, the twenty third installment of Ian Fleming's cold war spy character gets a modern times reboot. Daniel Craig is back making Bond into one of the better interpretations of the no nonsense field operator. The world is rapidly changing and the British government doesn't think the need for old school spies are needed. Bond begs to differ.
The film opens with the signature action sequences that involve motorbike chase across the Istanbul bazaar marketplace rooftops to chases on a train roof, and the creative use of a big rig shovel on a passenger car as Bond lightly steps down adjusting his cuff links. All this before the beginning titles. Everyone believes Bond is dead after M (Judith Dench in her seventh appearance as the head of M16) orders his partner (Naomi Harris) to shoot while he was engaged in a fight. Someone stole the list of M16 operatives and it puts the agency in hot water with the new chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes). When the headquarters of M16 is blown up in front of M, someone hacks into her computer. Bond hearing of the terrorism returns after his forced retirement.
It becomes apparent that the culprit is someone with inside knowledge of their department. Bond has to be cleared for active duty, but the months he has spend recuperating has made him woefully out of shape. M clears him anyways. The clues takes him to exotic locations, beautiful women, and amazingly shot action fighting. The new Q (Ben Whishaw) is a young nerdy type who is of course a genius. He only gives Bond a PPK 9mm that has a dermal sensor so only he can use it and a small radio transmitter when he needs help. None of the big gadget Q toys that marked the earlier Bond films. In fact, Bond's Aston Martin turns up later in the film and there's an offhand nod to the ejector seat.
The new villain is the wonderfully nuanced white haired Javier Bardem as Silva. The adversary is introduced by Silva walking slowing into a long room. You can only see a small dot as he steps forward telling a story of trapping rats and how only two rats survive. This is important later on. His Spanish accent is menacing in a conversational low keyed manner with homo erotic overtones to a bounded Bond. Although Silva hates the old world spy game, he's decided to take control of his destiny and create his own espionage jobs. He incorporates all the new world hi-tech gizmos to accomplish cyber terrorism all for his own profit and amusement. Despite Bond's efforts to contain Silva, somehow he manages to be always one step ahead.
Meanwhile M has to face a hearing with the Prime Minister on the number of agents that were killed from the stolen list of active field operatives. The PM insists that technology is far better than using live people. Even Mallory warned her that she may be asked to hand in her voluntary retirement papers. M refuses to step down until this last job is accomplished.
What makes this Bond so satisfying and probably the most talked about element is the origin story that takes us to Bond's home in Scotland. A brooding, stone mansion in the middle of no where Highlands. The following confrontation is exciting, clever and more memorable than any of the other Bond films. We get to understand a little of M and the choices she had to make. We see a very human side of Bond that was briefly explored when he met his love of his live in Casino Royale. There's only one major Bond girl Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe) complete with shower, plus other no name dalliances, because he's Bond after all. The door is open for more in the series. It will be hard to top this one.
(Review by reesa)
Steven Spielberg's epic on our country's 16th president is a timely and important film opening right after the general election. The screenplay by Pulitzer Prize winner playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) was based on Doris Dearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Kushner's original story was over 500 pages and took 6 years to complete. Speilberg chose only Lincoln's final four months for the focus of the film. The critical passage of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery was the turning point for the Civil War that ravaged the country for the past four years. It also shows that the ways of our system of government hasn't changed all that much in it's political machinations.
Daniel Day Lewis will probably earn an award nomination for his complete transformation into the homespun story telling, warm hearted and accessible president. He takes time to talk to the troops, listen to their stories, and treat all people no matter what color with respect. Lincoln struggles to keep his political life and his personal life with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field) and their youngest son Tad separate from the demands of his office. Mary is at times slightly unhinged at the thought of loss of one their sons when their middle son Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes home from school wanting to join the army. Gloria Ruben plays Mary Todd's personal companion Elizabeth Keckley who is treated like an equal in the Lincoln household lends a quiet strength and a reminder that being a woman of color in that time period is a hard road to tow.
If you slept through Social Studies in school, the important movers and shakers during the 1860's will probably be lost on you. However, the maneuverings , the long winded speeches, the general pontificating by the Senate as they battle the pro's and con's of passing this important piece of history is just about what you would expect from the House of Representatives. The two party system has the Republican's for the Amendment, while the Democrats dig their feet in to keep the status quo. Lincoln recruits James Spader, John Hawkes and Tim Blake Nelson as lobbyists to try and sway some of opinions of the other side by offering money and positions for votes. They also try to stall the Confederate peace delegation.
The costumes and set decoration are outstanding. The cramped cabinet rooms where the powers that be mash over policy and plotting, the dark over upholstered bedrooms of the White House, the mountains of bodies that litter the battlefields show the attention to detail that creates the complete environment for the times. The script is not all dour and formal, Kushner makes the historical figures humorous and completely human.
The multiple characters may at times feel confusing with Tommy Lee Jones as an abolitionist Republican Congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens as a stand out here. David Strathaim plays Secretary of State William Seward, Bruce McGill as Security of War Edwin Stanton, Jared Harris as Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant, Jackie Earle Haley as the Confederate States Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, Lee Pace as Fernando Wood the Copperhead Democratic Congressman who fervently pushes for the end of the Amendment, and Hal Holbrook as Francis Preston Blair who tries to make peace with the North and the South.
There's lots of dense dialogue regarding those who want to change the world and those who fear what this change will bring. Just as it is today there are factions fighting for their own agenda. The movie does beg the question of what would our world be like today if the Confederates States seceded from the union and slavery continued. We need this reminder of what a great president can accomplish.
(Review by reesa)
“Star Trek: The Next Generation® – A Celebration of Season 2” Event Beams into U.S. Movie Theaters
NCM® Fathom Events, CBS Home Entertainment and IGN Present a
One-Night Event with Fan-Favorite Episodes Including the World Premiere of
an Extended Version of ‘The Measure of a Man’ on Nov. 29
Special Event Will Precede the Blu-rayTM Debut of “Star Trek: The Next Generation –
The Second Season” on Dec. 4
Dallas, TX. – Nov. 8, 2012 – This fall, Trekkers across the country can “make it so” with “Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Celebration of Season 2,” a one-night in-theater event on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:00 p.m. local time. Showcasing the series’ ongoing multimillion-dollar restoration, this special event will feature two of the most popular episodes from the second season: “The Measure of a Man” and “Q Who?”. The version of “The Measure of a Man” will be the first-ever extended cut of a “Star Trek®” episode, with the world premiere of 12 never-before-seen minutes during this special event. Additionally, fans will be treated to a sneak peek of great behind-the-scenes special features including a very special cast reunion, a documentary and an unseen outtakes/bloopers reel.
Tickets for “Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Celebration of Season 2” are available at presenting theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of presenting theater locations and prices, please visit the web site (theaters and participants may be subject to change).
“We’re excited to give fans a rare chance to see ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ on the big screen, and be the first to see portions of new, original content that will be available on the season 2 Blu-ray,” said Ken Ross, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Home Entertainment.
Presented by NCM® Fathom Events, CBS Home Entertainment and IGN, this event will be broadcast to more than 550 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.
In addition to the two episodes featured in this event, fans will be treated to a sneak peek of newly-produced, historic 25-year reunion footage of the main cast members of “The Next Generation,” entitled “Reunification - 25 Years After Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Audiences will also see a specially-edited cut of “Making it So: Continuing Star Trek The Next Generation” – a first-hand perspective of the making of the second season, including the production of “The Measure of a Man” and “Q Who?”. Members of the show’s special effects team will reveal the secrets behind the creation of the villains The Borg, and writer Melissa Snodgrass shares stories about her landmark episode, “The Measure of a Man.” Additionally, fans will see a selection of outtakes and bloopers, transferred from original 35mm film for the first time.
“After the overwhelming success from this summer’s ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation - The First Season’ event, we couldn’t wait to bring the second season of ‘The Next Generation’ back to the big screen,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. “This in-theater event is packed with exclusive, never-before-seen content and interviews, including a historical reunion of the cast members that no ‘Star Trek’ fan would want to miss.”
Created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the “Star Trek” franchise, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was produced 21 years after the debut of the original “Star Trek” series. Featuring one of the most endearing ensemble casts in television history, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” took fans on the remarkable continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise, set in the 24th century from the year 2364 through 2370. With 178 episodes spread over seven seasons, it ran longer than any other “Star Trek” series.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Second Season” Blu-ray will be available as a five-disc set on Dec. 4. The collection includes all 22 episodes; the extended version of “The Measure of a Man”; the brand-new cast reunion; a two-part, in-depth documentary on the making of Season 2 entitled “Making It So: Continuing Star Trek: The Next Generation” – Strange New Worlds (Part 1), and New Life, New Civilizations (Part 2); and a gag reel that was created from newly-recovered 35mm film elements and transferred for the very first time to high-definition.
CBS is a proud and long-standing supporter of the American Red Cross and will continue to show its support through this event. CBS will make a financial donation to support the Red Cross which shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.
About National CineMedia (NCM)
NCM operates NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. The NCM Cinema Network and NCM Fathom Events present cinema advertising and events across the nation’s largest digital in-theater network, comprised of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and other leading regional theater circuits. NCM’s theater advertising network covers 183 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50) and includes over 19,300 screens (over 18,400 digital). During 2011, approximately 680 million patrons (on an annualized basis) attended movies shown in theaters in which NCM currently has exclusive, cinema advertising agreements in place. The NCM Fathom Events live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is comprised of over 720 locations in 170 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). The NCM Interactive Network offers 360-degree integrated marketing opportunities in combination with cinema, encompassing 41 entertainment-related websites, online widgets and mobile applications. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 48.6% interest in and is the managing member of National CineMedia LLC. For more information, visit www.ncm.com or www.FathomEvents.com.
About CBS Home Entertainment
CBS Home Entertainment manages the worldwide DVD and Blu-ray businesses for the CBS Corporation across all lines of content including current hits and classic series from the vast CBS library, as well as new releases from Showtime Networks. CBS Home Entertainment products are released on the CBS DVD and CBS Blu-ray labels.
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment is the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN's properties reach more than 57 million unique users worldwide, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore. IGN's network of video game-related properties (IGN.com, 1UP.com, GameSpy and others) is the Web's #1 video game information destination. IGN also owns the world's largest men's lifestyle website, AskMen.com, and men's entertainment site UGO.com. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices across North America, Europe and Australia.
The Dallas Film Society To Present Two special Screenings Honoring Film Legend Val Kilmer
In celebration of honoring Val Kilmer with the Dallas Star Award at The Art of Film, the Dallas Film Society has announced it will be presenting two of his films on Saturday, November 17, 2012. The Dallas Film Society is in the process of confirming Mr. Kilmer’s attendance.
The screenings of THE DOORS (1991) and BATMAN FOREVER (1995) are open to the public and will be shown at 11:30AM and 2:30PM respectively at Angelika Film Center, 5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75206.
Tickets are available for purchase to the public for $10 and $5 for members of the Dallas Film Society on the day of screenings at the Angelika Film Center.
11:30 AM THE DOORS
1991 Rated R 140 min
Director: Oliver Stone. Writers: Randall Jahnson, Oliver Stone.
Cast: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, and Kyle MacLachlan.
Oliver Stone’s homage to 1960’s rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group’s late singer, the “Electric Poet” Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris in 1971, at the age of 27. The movie features a tour-de-force performance by Kilmer, who not only looks like Jim Morrison’s long-lost twin brother, but also sounds so much like him that he did much of his own singing.
2:30 PM BATMAN FOREVER
1995 Rated PG-13 121 min
Director: Joel Schumacher. Writers: Bob Kane and Lee Batchler.
Cast: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jim Carrey
The Dark Knight of Gotham City confronts a dastardly duo: Two-Face and the Riddler. Formerly District Attorney Harvey Dent, Two-Face incorrectly believes Batman caused the courtroom accident which left him disfigured on one side so unleashes a reign of terror on the people of Gotham. Edward Nygma, a computer-genius and former employee of millionaire Bruce Wayne, is out to get the philanthropist as The Riddler. He perfects a device for draining information from all the brains of Gotham, including Bruce Wayne’s knowledge of his other identity.
For further information please contact the Dallas Film Society at 214.720.0555.
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.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Please, please, please follow Dallas Movie Screenings on Facebook!
All those GOFOBO codes offered from our various favorite pass sources are usually "shared" there. So when it's posted to the group to go to FB to find them, you just need to do some one stop shopping by hitting their posts at our DMS FB page. Big Fan Boy and Red Carpet Crash post their contests, reviews, and news updates on our DMS FB pages. Instead of writing to the moderator, go there first. If you don't have FB, make friends with someone who does, or just open an account, and you can put your setting so no one can see you, just so you have access to another great source for movies. Also, you can leave your feedback on the movies, rants, praises, or anything movie related on that wall. Except for spam. Spam is deleted.
Yes, there are some big movies this week. For those of you who just crawled out of your cave and discover Skyfall is playing this week, there were many opportunities to get these passes. You should have been making some effort to find them on your own BEFORE you ask someone else if they got any to share. And those of you who horde passes just to barter...tsk tsk. Don't. You are keeping passes from those who will actually want them and use them. We see you, we know who you are....
Also...last minute releases to GOFOBO will not help anyone. Really.
November 4 - November 10
Sun Nov 4
Mon Nov 5
7:00PM Silver Linings Playbook - Angelika Dallas
8:00PM Red Dawn - Magnolia
Tues Nov 6
Wed Nov 7
7:30PM Skyfall - AMC Northpark
7:30PM Skyfall - Cinemark 17
7:30PM A Late Quartet - Angelika Dallas
8:00PM Almost Famous - Sundown at Granada
Thurs Nov 8
7:00PM Skyfall - ? Dallas
7:30PM Lincoln - Cinemark West Plano
7:30PM Lincoln - Rave Ridgmar Fort Worth
Fri Nov 9
Sat Nov 10
11:00AM Rise of the Guardians - Studio Movie Grill Royal
Friday, November 2, 2012
FREE 35mm OUTDOOR SCREENING in RICHARDSON!
Alamo DFW is happy to announce a FREE 35mm screening of THE BURBS at our future location in RICHARDSON on November 16th. We'll present this Tom Hanks cult classic on our Rolling Roadshow's 40' outdoor screen. Stay tuned for more details.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Denzel Washington starring in a film is like having a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. You just know that no matter what kind of project it is, Denzel will deliver the goods. It's director Robert Zemeckis welcome return to hard drama after such films as The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. Washington and Zemeckis signed on to the screenplay by John Gatin who based it on his own personal experience with substance control issues. The trailer only gives a small hint on what's in store in the whole movie. It's a hard and unflinching portrayal of a pilot who can safely fly an airplane but can't help his own life from spiralling out of control.
From the first scene onward, Capt. Whip Whitaker is an airline pilot is every potential passenger's worst nightmare if they knew what he did on his down time. Obviously a functioning alcoholic, he's flying after a night of booze and coke with a couple beers and snorts before going in to work. His newbie co-pilot is worried about this captain, but Whitaker is cocky and self assured. He's good friends to the stewardesses, even having a relationship with one, and manages to put everyone at ease. Pulling the plane through some rough weather has the passenger's cheering for the Captain's expertise.
Zemeckis created the most harrowing plane crash ever with the camera focused on the claustrophobic cockpit as Whitaker coolly manages to take control when a mechanical catastrophe occurs. The panicked co-pilot (Brain Geraghty) is balanced by the seasoned stewardess (Tamara Tunie) who Whitaker calls in to help with the controls. Quickly accessing the situation, Whitaker decides to “flip” the plane over to buy time to find a place to bring the plane down. It's a scene where you don't want to blink less you miss something.
The fact that he manages to bring the plane down with a minimum loss of life is a wonder to the NTSB who is in charge of investigating the crash. Even when they try to duplicate the conditions using 10 different pilot simulations, all of the pilots crashed. Whitaker's old Navy buddy (Bruce Greenwood) is his union pilot rep who wants to help him avoid criminal charges. He brings in a smooth lawyer (Don Cheadle) to try and get the blood tests squashed before he has to go for a hearing.
Through all this we are introduced to a recovering heroine addict Nicole (Kelly Reilly) who Whitaker meets at the hospital. He helps her out by letting her stay at his dad's country house where he's hiding from the reporters. At first Whitaker makes an attempt to stay sober, but soon enough he's back drinking and Nicole realizes she can no longer be his co-dependent. John Goodman plays Whitaker's enabler and drug source in a flashy Big Lebowski sort of way.
Whitaker is not a sympathetic character and Washington embodies all the quirks and unhealthy physique of a man out of control. He's proud, confident, and believes because he saved all but 6 in an impossible situation, then all his wrongs should be wiped clean. Faced with having to pay the piper, feeds the devil inside of him. We never truly understand why Whitaker is wired that way. We know know he's broken from his wife, and his son has no respect for him. Washington takes you on Whitaker's journey of self destruction even knowing that he will lose his right to fly if he keeps crossing the line. It's a tough movie to watch, but it's Denzel. It's worth looking.
(Review by reesa)
Reading a synopsis of this film written and directed by Ben Lewin (The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish) says it's about a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity via a professional sexual surrogate. Don't let that influence your opinion of a movie that is exhilarating and life affirming. It's based on the true story of poet and journalist Mark O'Brien while living in Berkeley, CA in 1988. Having contracted polio at the age of 6, O'Brien spent all but a few hours a day in an iron lung. He managed to attend school in a motorized gurney until he could no longer use it. His body care is given during different shifts by attendants. Now almost forty which is long for a polio victim, he wants to experience sex. Since his condition doesn't exactly attract possible girlfriends, he decides to use a sexual surrogate.
John Hawkes does a possibly Oscar worthy job as Mark O'Brien. By being able only to use his eyes and voice he has to express the inner life of a man who doesn't have control of his body. Hawkes had to twist his thin ridged body into contorted shapes by using a soccer sized foam ball to lay onto the left size of his back to curve his spine. He showed the difficulty of using a mouth stick to dial a phone or type as it's the late 80's and voice activation is not in use. Like Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot, it's a physically technical virtuosity of a performance.
Ben Lewin also suffered from polio as a child knows O'Brien's suffering and infuses the material with a light and touching viewpoint. There's no doubt that O'Brien is brilliant despite his limitations. His assistants during the day are young pretty women who are stimulated by his conversation, but are made uncomfortable when he begins to fall in love with them. It's also disconcerting when they bath him and his body responds in ways that are embarrassing as he has no way to control it.
He contacts surrogate Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt). She's a grounded mother of a teenage son, and has a very understanding husband (Adam Arkin). Cheryl is cool and collected, a no nonsense sort of person, who is undaunted by the delicate nature of her job and her clients. She quickly puts Mark at ease and is carefree and uninhibited with her nudity. She is only allowed 6 sessions with Mark, so there's lots of ground to cover. His apartment only has his hospital bed, so at first they use a motel. Then they are offered a bedroom at friend's house who is also physically disabled. The discussions on the sex life of the disabled is very enlightening.
As a very religious individual he consults the local priest Father Brendan (William H. Macy) for advise. Their entertaining conversations on the life of an active mind trapped by disabilities will hopefully change people's attitudes in some small way. Macy does wonders with the priest who is at first uncomfortable, but eventually embraces Mark's liberation and reconciles surrogacy with Catholicism.
Don't let the previews and the story blurbs keep you from this film. It's will make you cry and laugh and cry again. But you will leave the theater happy and sated.
(Review by reesa)
Ever wonder what the pixelated characters of 80's video arcade games do when the lights go out and everyone goes home. In Tron like fashion, the denizens of the various games ride down the electronic wires and meet up at the gateway of all the games at Game Central Station located in the power strip where they interact with each other. This is the world created by director Rich Moore (The Simpsons, Futurama) and writers Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids).
Wreck It Ralph is an old school game like Pac Man with a very simple animated quest. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is a big burly guy who beats down an apartment building, and the human player has to get Felix (Jack McBrayer) the Mr. Fix-It guy to come repair things before the building collapses. Ralph is getting frustrated with his lot in life. He's tired of being the bad guy. At the end of a winning game, Felix gets cheers from the apartment residents called the Nicelanders and Ralph gets tossed from the roof into a big mud pile. Ralph also attends a weekly group therapy session with other bad guys who suffer from the same type of regret. As a bad guy no one wants to hang with you after the game is over. He's determined to win a medal which he believes will change everyone's attitude towards him. He hears that at Hero's Duty he can get a medal for bravery. Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) can't be distracted by Ralph's shenanigans because she's battling a nasty computer virus with her platoon. One of the Cybugs stows away on one of Calhoun's spaceships that Ralph uses to get away when she finds out he's infiltrated her game. He crashes lands into Sugar Rush a brightly colored Candy-Land race car game. He meets up with Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) who wants to compete in the races but can't because she's got a computer glitch. The bratty little girl steals Ralph's medal so she can stake her spot on the race line up. Sugar Rush is run by the dictator King Candy (Alan Tudyk) who doesn't want Vanellope to race, which is explained later in the story. Ralph and Vanellope decide to work together in an uneasy reliance when her race car is destroyed by the other competitors. Ralph having abandoned his game puts the Nicelanders and Felix in a predicament. Without a villain there is nothing for Felix to fix. An Out of Order sign is put on the game, and they are facing disconnection unless Ralph comes back. Besides all that, the Cybug has bred little Alien type eggs in the Sugar Rush's game program.
Visually this movie is a wonderland of color and style. The different game environments are well thought out, and detailed. But what makes this movie stand out is the very human type of relationships between the characters. Sad sack Ralph makes you feel for his situation of not getting appreciated by his game family. Vanellope embraces her glitches, Calhoun isn't as hard core as expected, and Felix realizes he can't be a hero without Ralph. The frantic pace keeps the movie hopping only stopping long enough to let the characters have some introspection. The lesson of not knowing what your got til it's gone is a good one for both parents and kids.
(Review by reesa)