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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reesa's Movie List for 2013


It's been a tough year for me, so my movie list isn't quite as indulgent as it's been in the past. There's a few remarkable movies, but for the most part, and perhaps it's just my state of mind this year, I'm just finding it hard to be enthusiastic. Hoping 2014 will bring us better entertainment and stop dumbing down with straight to video. There's something magical about sitting in a dark theater and letting the story, performances, music and the filmmaker vision take us on a journey that will stay in our psyche for years to come.

This year my favorite films are (and not in any particular order):
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
Captain Phillips
All is Lost
Much Ado About Nothing
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Starbuck
World War Z
Wolf Children
7 Boxes
Twenty Feet From Stardom

Reesa's Movies for 2013
42
12 Years a Slave
2 Guns
21 & Over
7 Boxes
A Company Man (Hoi-sa-won)
A Good Day to Die Hard
A Hijacking
A Place Beyond the Pines
A.C.O.D.
About Time
Admission
After Earth
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
All is Lost
American Hustle
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
August Osage County
Austenland
Azooma
Back to 1942
Baggage Claim
Battle of the Year
Beautiful Creatures
Before Midnight
Big Ass Spider
Black Nativity
Blancanieves
Bless Me. Ultima
Blue Jasmine
Broken City
Bullet to the Head
Byzantium
C.O.G.
Captain Phillips
Champion
Charlie: A Toy Story
Chasing Shakespeare
Closed Circuit
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Croods
Crystal Fairy
Dallas Buyers Club
Decoding Annie Parker
Delivery Man
Despicable Me 2
Disconnect
Don Jon
Drinking Buddies
Elysium
Emperor
Ender's Game
Enough Said
Epic
Escape From Planet Earth
Escape From Tomorrow
Evil Dead
Fast & Furious 6
Frances Ha
Free Birds
From Up on Poppy Hill
Frozen
Fruitville Station
G.I.Joe: Retalliation
Gangster Squad
Getaway
Gimme the Power
Ginger and Rosa
Girl Most Likely
God Loves Uganda
Good Ol'Freda
Grandmaster
Gravity
Great Expectations
Grown Ups 2
Grudge Match
Hangover 3
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunter
Homefront
Hunger Games Catching Fire
I Am Not a Rock Star
Iceberg Slim: A Portrait of a Pimp
Identity Thief
In A World
Inside Llewyn Davis
Insidious Chapter 2
Instructions Not Included
Ip Man: The Final Fight
Iron Man 3
Jack the Giant Slayer
Java Heat
Jobs
Jurassic Park 3D
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Kick Ass 2
Kilimanjaro
Kon-Tiki
Last Vegas
Laurence Anyways
Lee Daniels' The Butler
Lone Survivor
Lord Montagu
Machete Kills
Mama
Man of Steel
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Metallica Through the Never
Midnight's Children
Monsters University
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Mr. Nobody
Much Ado About Nothing
Mud
Muscle Shoals
Nebraska
Not Fade Away
Now You See Me
Oblivion
Olympus Has Fallen
One Direction: This is Us
Only Good Forgives
Out of the Furnace
Oz the Great and Powerful
Pacific Rim
Pain & Gain
Paranoia
Parker
Parkland
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Philomena
Planes
Populaire
Punk Jews
Quartet
R.I.P.D.
Red 2
Riddick
Rising From Ashes
Romeo and Juliet
Room 237
Runner Runner
Rush
Safe Haven
Saving Mr. Banks
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs
Short Term 12
Shrek the Musical
Side Effects
Smurfs 2
Snitch
Stacker
Stand Up Guys
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Starbuck
Still Mine
Stoker
Stories We Tell
Super Buddies
Tai Chi Hero
The Best Man Holiday
The Big Wedding
The Bling Ring
The Book Thief
The Brass Teapot
The Call
The Company You Keep
The Conjuring
The Crash Reel
The Discoverers
The East
The Escape Plan
The Family
The Fifth Estate
The Great Gatsby
The Heat
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Host
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
The Internship
The Kings of Summer
The Last Days of Mars
The Last Stand
The Lone Ranger
The Man from the Future
The Purge
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Sapphires
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Spectacular Now
The To Do List
The Way Way Back
The Wind Rises
The Wolf of Wall Street
The World's End
This is the End
Thor the Dark World
Tomlinson Hill
Trance
Turbo
Twenty Feet From Stardom
Unfinished Song
Upside Down
Walking With Dinosaurs
Warm Bodies
Warm is the Bluest Color
We Always Lie to Strangers
We Are the Miller
What Maisie Knew
White House Down
Wings of Life
Wolf Children
Wolverine
World War Z
You're Next
Zaytoun
Total = 215





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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Movies scheduled 12/29-1/4

I hope you had a great Christmas with family and friends.

So hard to believe it is almost 2014. Where did the year go? If you go out to celebrate the new year please be careful.

Not a lot on the movie front this week. Gives you time to catch up on the movies you didn't get passes for or to see some again that you really loved.

If you have any questions feel free to email at damitdaina@hotmail.com



Dec. 29th
Sunday

Dec. 30th
Monday

Dec. 31st
Tuesday

Jan. 1st
Wednesday

Jan. 2nd
Thursday

Paranormal Activity 7:00 pm AMC Valley View
Paranormal Activity 7:00 pm SMG Spring Valley

Jan. 3rd
Friday

Jan. 4th
Saturday




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Friday, December 27, 2013

Commitment





Anyone familiar with K-pop will be thrilled to note that Big Bang rapper T.O.P, Choi Seun-hyun, is starring in the South Korean spy thriller directed by Park Hong-soo and written by Kim Soo-young. T.O.P has proved his acting chops having starred in other movies and winning best new actor for his work in 71:Into the Fire. In this dark grim story his natural charisma as a musical idol is damped down to a single stoic expression by the tragic storyline.

Choi who is 26 years old plays 18 year old Myung-hoo who with his sister Hye-in (Kim You-jung) live in a North Korean labor camp after his spy father is killed trying to return home to this kids. Colonel Moon Sang-chul recruits the boy to become an agent by dangling the offer of freedom for him and his sister. Myung-hoo is sent south after some training with some other defectors where he is taken in by some members of a sleeper cell Unit 8. They are long term spies having integrated into society by running a pharmacy. They also launder money which they send north. Since Myung-hoo has his own mission, they basically try and keep out of each other's way. Myung-hoo being 19 now has to attend high school and he's introduced as his cover name Dae-ho. His first friend there is his desk mate who happens to have the same name as his sister Hye-in (Han Ye-ri). She is often bullied in school, and so is Dae-ho being the new kid.

Dae-ho's mission is to track down the Section 35 spy who has been assassinating members of Unit 8. Apparently there's some upheaval in the Pyongyang regime as the old leader is soon to be replaced by his son and the power struggle fuels the war waging between Unit 8 and Section 35. For American audiences this is probably not necessary to understand the particulars to enjoy the film. It's just an interesting concept that normal looking neighbors who run the bakery, butcher, food stands and pharmacies are actually deep sleepers for another government supplying Dae-ho with weapons (a gun in a cake) and intel to complete his mission.

Dae-ho is a competent machine. When he finally lets loose on the school bullies after they harass Hye-in and almost takes down his teacher does he finally get interesting. The change in lifestyles from the North and the South begins to affect Dae-ho. He begins a friendship with Hye-in which as his handlers point out later is the chink in his armor. When he finally realizes there is no going home, he is forced to get his job done in other to free his sister and only thing that drives him to the ultimate decisions.

If this was an American movie, the choice given the Dae-ho would probably be more hopeful and the story would have contained a little bit of humor to lighten the load. Fortunately, it's a South Korean film that doesn't stoop to the easy happy ending. T.O.P still rocks out.
(Review by reesa)





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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

August Osage County



Conjunction Junction What's your dysfunction?  Whatever it may be it is nothing compared to those possessed by the Weston family of August, Osage County. The film, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning play of 2007, written by Tracy Letts, explores the unspoken demons, generationally long held and deep- seated resentments of the members of a rural Oklahoma family that is disintegrating before our very eyes. Beverly (Sam Sheperd) and Violet (Meryl Streep, at her very best ever) are the stagnating older parents of three adult daughters who are all leading somewhat unfulfilled lives of their own. Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) is the dutiful, stay near home daughter who checks up on her pill addicted, cancer stricken mother  periodically. She is working towards asserting her independence soon through a secret relationship with a certain family member, mild mannered but maternally berated Charles, Jr. (Benedict Cumberbatch in a poignant portrayal). Daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts) is a strong, opinionated woman who couldn't get away from Oklahoma quickly enough only to find herself raising an independent and free thinking daughter of her own, while dealing with a cheating husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) and disintegrating marriage. Beverly, an alcoholic failed academic and poet, and wife have an "agreement" with their chosen vices of alcohol and pills. The impending course of the film is foreshadowed when Beverly hires a Native American care taker for his wife before a well thought out alcohol bender from which he will not return. The daughters and the weak men in their lives converge back on the plains to join mother as she discovers the circumstances of and begins to deal with the unwelcome change in her life's course. The dysfunctions consume and cling onto all of them like the August heat consumes and permeates the plains of their origins. But they are a family and this place is their home, as we are reminded. As a Midwesterner, where folks rarely air their dirty laundry even among other family members and they would rather die before revealing sordid family secrets, this family portrayal leaves the viewer feeling most unwelcome and uninvited in the voyeuristic viewing. The nuances of acting out such love hate familial relationships are simply stunning to watch unfold.                                      
When the family reunites, all hell breaks loose slowly but surely via a finely choreographed series of events that will leave you in awe at the turns and amazingly solid and impeccable female performances all the way around. There are very few weak performances in the chain. Other than Vi's brother in law Charles (Chris Cooper in a hit out of the park performance) who is the stunned lone voice of reason and stability) most of the male performances are of superficial one dimensional men. The final daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) has brought her "flavor of the year" fiancée into the melee and all he can do is add his own shocking twist to the drama.    

Along for the wild ride are Vi's sister Mattie (source of a huge shocker) and the housekeeper/cook, Johnna, who watches from afar and spends her time feeding the members and cleaning up after their messes, with a nurturing and protective instinct. This black comedy, in my opinion is a must see, for the performances alone. it's bitingly caustic script shines and the ensemble cast is second to few. . It also is required viewing so we all can come to the realization that our own families will never be as broken and bleeding as the Westons. This viewer was thoroughly pulled in and left stunned in the OKLA red dust after 121 minutes of an F 5 tornado on the warpath. If you are uncomfortable with such a scenario, then this film may not be your cup of tea. No sweet tea served here at this dinner table. Dinner here is a very memorable affair. Fish lunches are too. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)



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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty



Ben Stiller is a visionary director but this seems to lack substance. Ben Stiller stars and directs this beautiful looking but average story. It's a feel good movie overall so the message is there but it seems like there could be more. Everyone in the film does a good job as their characters and Ben Stiller does great as Walter Mitty. The cinematography is beautiful to look at and all the locations they went to really look breathtaking. The editing is fine but what this movie feels like is a long travel commercial to these specific locations. I understand the theme and messages of the film in how you should live life and cease moments in your life. That's all fine and dandy but in that regard it felt average but really well shot and the music helps as well. 5/10
(Review by Chase Lee)




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Mandela Long Walk to Freedom




Ben Stiller is a visionary director but this seems to lack substance. Ben Stiller stars and directs this beautiful looking but average story. It's a feel good movie overall so the message is there but it seems like there could be more. Everyone in the film does a good job as their characters and Ben Stiller does great as Walter Mitty. The cinematography is beautiful to look at and all the locations they went to really look breathtaking. The editing is fine but what this movie feels like is a long travel commercial to these specific locations. I understand the theme and messages of the film in how you should live life and cease moments in your life. That's all fine and dandy but in that regard it felt average but really well shot and the music helps as well. 5/10
(Review by Chase Lee)







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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Movies scheduled 12/22-12/28

I want to wish each and everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope you are unlike me and at least have all your shopping done. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be done.

There are no movies this week so I hope everyone has a great week.


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

ALAMO 100







Alamo Richardson Special Programming:
ALAMO 100:
Essential films chosen by Alamo programmers
start screening January 2014




Dallas – December 19, 2013—Alamo Drafthouse unveils its list of 100 favorite films, the "Alamo 100," as chosen by the theater's national film programmers based in Austin. Beginning in January 2014, Alamo – Richardson (100 S. Central Expressway #14, Richardson, TX 75080—http://drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson) will start screening films throughout the year from this non-ranked list of essentials—Alamo100.com.

And just what is the Alamo 100?
Our local programmer, James Wallace describes the list best: “There's the AFI 100, Sight & Sound Top 100, the IMDb 250; those are nothing like the Alamo 100! The thing I love about this list is it's one for movie lovers by movie lovers, very much our approach as a theater and our programming as a whole. It carries no pretension. It is and isn't a cult list, a classic list, an art snob, an indie list, a popcorn blockbuster list, a guilty pleasure list... it's really all of those things at the same time, comprised of the films that we would take with us if we had to live alone on an island and could only take 100 movies to watch over and over for the rest of our lives. Simply put, its movies we can't live without and can't live with not making sure you see them too!"

According to Alamo’s national programmers
A quick glance at the Alamo 100 reveals the incredible diversity of taste on the national programming team, which consists of Tim League, RJ LaForce, Greg MacLennan, Sarah Pitre, Tommy Swenson, and Joe Ziemba.

“In the end, it all boiled down to the fact that we just love the hell out of movies. And so this list is defined, not by filmmaking genius or cultural impact, but by the space reserved in our hearts,” says Sarah Pitre, national programmer based in Austin. “The Alamo 100 encompasses the movies that we wore out on VHS, the films our friends are sick of hearing us rave about, the cinematic gems that feel like living, breathing members of our family. This is a list that reminds us why we fell in love with cinema in the first place, and why the magic of that romance will never fade.”


In order to generate the Alamo 100, each programmer was given the Herculean task of paring down his or her own list to just 100 favorites. These titles were then compiled and ranked based on two factors: 1) their rank on each programmer's list, and 2) the number of times the title appeared on more than one list.


January’s entries
The Alamo 100 launches this January at Alamo in Richardson with eight titles that capture the spirit of this list:
—RAGING BULL (1980) – January 5
—MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975) – January 9
—BRAZIL (1985) – January 12
—CITY LIGHTS (1931) – January 19
—RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) – January 22
—THE GOONIES (1985) – January 23
—SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984) – January 28
—DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964) – January 29

Explore the full list as well as view the programmers' individual lists:
Alamo100.com.


About the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema:
The Alamo Drafthouse is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience but also introducing unique programming and high profile, star studded special events.

*Please note: Some dates subject to change. Always check http://drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson for up-to-date showtimes and tickets.









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Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues




My face was hurting by the end of this. I haven't laughed this much since This is the End. Director Adam McKay (also of the first) knows how to let his actors and actress really explore with their characters and endorses improv. The jokes and the timing of them feel natural and, to be honest, that's what keeps the movie going on it's two hour run time. The four main characters are bumbling idiots but that why we love them. Steve Carrell as Brick was the best part of the first one and gets more screen time here and he makes the most of it. He was the funniest part especially when he had Kristen Wiig on his side. Will Ferrell and the rest do their thing and it feels like the gang got back together after almost ten years. That was the actual span between the first and second movie. With it's two hour runtime, it does drag in a few parts but immediately picks up with its charm and wit. There is also a message in the film about the news and I was shocked. I really didn't think a film like this would have some commentary to it but it and it worked. The first half was funny but the second half was even funnier. If you enjoy the first one you will like this one. If you like stupid, ridiculous, and childish humor you will like this. For me personally I enjoyed the first one a lot and I really like this one. The humor maybe weird and stupid but both Anchorman's pull it off well and I can't lie and say I didn't have a good time and wasn't entertained. My second favorite comedy this year behind This is the End. 8/10
(Review by Chase Lee)








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American Hustle




Very loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 70's and early 80's, director's David O. Russell's new film which he wrote with Eric Warren Singer is probably one of the best films of the year. The credits proclaim that “Some of this actually happened”, although one wonders what parts are they talking about because it's so far out there and so much is going on and it's absolutely glorious.

Christian Bale is notorious for making physical choices of his characters that are extreme. As Irving Rosenfeld a fictionalized character of the real life con man Melvin Weinberg, he sports a huge gut with a scary comb over toupee held together by glue and hairspray. He may be a schlub, but he makes up for it in confidence and style. He's worked his way up in the world by grifts and scams while being a respectable business man who owns a glass store he inherited from his dad and a string of dry cleaners. He meets the love of life Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who used to be a stripper but has big dreams for herself and is not afraid of going after it. She sees a kindred spirit in Irving and is willing to work with him on his latest con which is collecting a fee for setting up loans that never pan out. She creates a character called Edith, a countess from England who has banking connections. They charge $5000 to people who they convince they can get them a 50K loan. They do so well that they get a bigger better office, nice clothes, cars and the attention of FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). Richie threatens to bust them unless Irving works for them showing them how to set up a con to catch some bigger fish.

The big fish involves the New Jersey mayor of Camden Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) who dreams of doing good for his community. He's baited with Arab Sheik who wants to invest in creating a casino gambling mecca. Carmine is reeled in by Irving who knows how to work a mark. Except he's somewhat confused with he begins to develop a real friendship with Carmine who naively believes in Irving. He invites Irving and his wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) to dinner. Irving marred Ros and adopted her son who he truly loves. Irving can't seem to say no to the women in his life. That doesn't work well for Edith/Sydney who plays Richie as a plan B in case the job goes south. Richie is getting too involved with the job seeing it as a way to get the Mafia in the net when they come looking to maybe investing too.

There's a lot going on in this movie and it's dressed in bad fashion choices from the time period. The women are draped in polyester dresses that leave little to the imagination barely covering their assets. The men are sporting really bad hair with Carmines pompadour and Richie's perms. The east coast accents layer it on with everyone shouting and talking at the same time. Louis C.K. As Richie's FBI boss is notable in his moments trying to reign in his out of control agent by trying to tell him a fishing story anecdote that he never gets to finish. Alessandro Nivola is their big boss who lets Richie run with the con and Robert De Niro as a dangerous mafia leader have small but worthy parts. In fact all the performances are amazing and once more Jennifer Lawrence steals her screen time. It may be sloppy and overlong but you won't feel fleeced.
(Review by reesa)




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Walking With Dinosaurs




BBC Earth had a 1999 television documentary miniseries that movie is named after, directed by Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook, with a script by John Collee. It's set in the Late Cretaceous period 70 million years ago. The computer animated dinosaurs were added to the live action backdrop that was filmed on location in Alaska and New Zealand.

Alex (John Leguizamo) is a Alexomis bird that narrates the story about a three Pachyrhinosaurus who are Patchi (Justin Long), his brother Scowler (Skyler Stone) and their love interest Juniper (Tiya Sircar). The brothers are hatched on the mating grounds and Patchi is the more adventurous of the nest. He gets into trouble and ends up putting a hole in his head shield. It also makes it easier to tell who he is amongst the identical siblings. His brother is tougher and believes he will follow his father as the leader of the herd. Every winter the herd moves south and it's a huge change for the young dinosaurs. They meet up with dangerous carnivores, natural disasters, and personal tragedies. The characters go from young to full size in the story until they have to eventually fulfill their destinies in a predictable plot that is guaranteed to offer life lessons on growing up.

This movie is just perfect for those 10 year old dinosaur nerds who know all the correct spelling and pronunciations. The film helpfully adds factoids to each of the creatures featured. The animation is quite detailed and natural lending to the experience of when giants roamed the earth. The filmmakers wisely didn't make the animated characters “cute and cuddly”. Although they did made the characters slightly anthropomorphized to attract the younger kids but still retained a realistic version by not having the creatures smile or be humanized. Their mouths don't move to the dialogue as if it's the thoughts of the animals which is still aimed at the younger audience. The original plan was to make a stand alone virtual silent movie where you can turn off the soundtrack and still know what's going on. Interesting that they used Fleetwood Mac's “Tusk” for the migration sequence.

This is the perfect movie to give to kids when you have a day to kill during the holidays. It would make and even better TV series and the merchandising tie-ins will be on your store shelves or fast food kids meals. It's a visual treat for the parents so you won't be totally bored.
(Review by reesa)



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Inside Llewyn Davis





Directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are know for their quirky films like O Brother, Where Art Thou and The Big Lebowski and dark dramas like No Country for Old Men. So it's a wonder why their new project about a folk singers in the early 60's New York coffee houses should feel so disconnected. There's nothing likable about their main character and the excellent cast populated in this feature flit in and out of scenes never to be seen again.

Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a sad sack of a folk singer. He's admittingly not a nice guy who taunts his friends, lies, heckles other performers, uses people and sings depressing songs. He once was part of a duo that had put out a record. But his partner threw himself off the George Washington Bridge. As once character says, why not the Brooklyn Bridge? Davis sleeps on one couch to another hauling his guitar from place to place, playing for the pass around baskets in Greenwich Village clubs. At one point he lets out the cat from one crash pad and has to carry it around until the people get home. Of course he loses it. His friends Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan) are also performers who had tried to help him out. But Jean is livid at him because she things Davis got her pregnant and reads him the riot act. Davis offers to pay for an abortion. Apparently he's done this before.

Davis's record company which is a little old couple in a run down office building have not sold his last recording and don't have any money for him. He hears about this one promoter in Chicago and hitches a ride with Roland Turner (John Goodman), a drugged out jazz musician spouting odd stories from the back seat. The promoter Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham) was not encouraging telling him to get back with is old partner. He goes back to New York.

This is the week in the life of this one guy. The movie doesn't really go anywhere, just setting up odd situations for Davis as he stumbles through life being his own worst enemy. The best part of the film is the music. They don't cut away for dialogue during the performance and the music is played all the way through. Isaac's voice is powerful and emotional. It shows that although Davis is a loser in his personal life, he's a talented musician. And maybe his luck would change when Dylan hits the folk scene (as briefly hinted at the end) and he gets his life together. The movie has gained some attention by winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and is on may reviewers top 10 lists. Perhaps this reviewer is not as patient.
(Review by reesa)



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Saving Mr. Banks




Who knew that the 1964 Disney classic childrens film Mary Poppins had such a difficult development? Most people only remember the catching tunes like a “Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". The movie was based on a popular book series by P. L. Travers about a magical nanny who helps a dysfunctional family in London almost was not made because the author was reticent about signing over the rights. Director John Lee Hancock (The Blindside) and writers Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith tells the story of Mrs. Travers meeting with Walt Disney as he tries to convince her of his vision.

Mrs. Travers (Emma Thompson) as she insists at being addressed as, has been refusing Walt Disney's attempts to make of movie of her film. Her literary manager encourages her to at least visit Disney as she is basically broke and needs the money to keep her beloved house in England. The fastidious Mrs. Travers arrives in LA complaining it smells like “chlorine and sweat”. Her assigned driver Ralph (Paul Giamatti) takes a whiff and doesn't get it. Meeting Disney (Tom Hanks) who tells everyone to call him Walt rubs Mrs. Travers the wrong way by calling her Pamela. He introduces him to his team, writer Don (Bradley Whitford) and composers Richard (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert (B.J. Novak) who are thrilled to have her on board. Mrs. Travers demands that they go over the script word by word with all their sessions being recorded. At the end of the movie a part of those sessions is played so y'all will realize that all this stuff actually happened.

In between the creating of the Mary Poppins the movie, there are flashbacks (a few too many) to Mrs. Travers difficult childhood in Queensland, Australia living with her alcoholic father, her ever suffering mom and her little sister. Her beloved father (Colin Farrell) encouraged her imagination that inspired Mr. Banks the patriarch in her story. It serves to explain why she wants to hold on to her story and not give in to Disneys interpretation that included animated penguins. Of course some of her demands are arbitrary and unreasonable like demanding no color red in the film.

Emma Thompson is as always spot on with her fidgety and cranky Travers. Her constant commentary fussing about everything from the donuts and snacks laid out for the writing sessions, to throwing the pears from the hotel gift basket into the swimming pool reveals a woman tightly wound. Hanks also vies for another Oscar nom with his Disney that sounds just like those moments on the TV show introductions with Mickey. Of course the music encourages one to go rent the original movie just revisit and see what all the fuss was about. And the magic of Disney slowly chipping away at the heart of Mrs Travers is what saves Mr. Banks.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Movies scheduled 12/15-12/21

I may get boo'ed for this but please don't take small children to the movies. Sure your baby's voice is so cute but not during the whole movie. Yes if it is a kids movie we expect to hear the kids but this wasn't a kids movie.

If you are sick, please stay home. We don't want to get sick or gag from the noises you will make.

Lastly one person per seat. Your child over six doesn't need to be sitting in your lap.



Dec. 15th
Sunday

Dec. 16th
Monday

American Hustle 7:30 pm AMC Northpark

Dec. 17th
Tuesday

Inside Llewyn Davis 7:30 pm Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Grudge Match 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano
August Osage County 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
Anchorman 2 8:30 pm AMC Northpark

Dec. 18th
Wednesday

The Wolf of Wall Street 7:30pm Angelika Dallas
Grudge Match 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
Lone Survivor 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas

Dec. 19th
Thursday

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
Yojimbo 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas

Dec. 20th
Friday

Dec. 21st
Saturday


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Friday, December 13, 2013

71st Golden Globe Awards 2014: Nominees Announced


http://www.goldenglobes.com/



FILM



Best Motion Picture – Drama

"12 Years A Slave"
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity"
"Philomena"
"Rush"

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

"American Hustle"
"Her"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Nebraska"
"The Wolf Of Wall Street"


Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama

Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years A Slave"
Idris Elba, "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Robert Redford, "All Is Lost"

Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Her"

Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Kate Winslet, "Labor Day"

Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight"
Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Enough Said"
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Daniel Bruhl, "Rush"
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years A Slave"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"
Paul Greengrass, "Captain Phillips"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave"
Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"
David O. Russell, "American Hustle"

Best Screenplay

Spike Jonze, "Her"
Bob Nelson, "Nebraska"
Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, "Philomena"
John Ridley, "12 Years A Slave"
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, "American Hustle"

Best Original Score

"All Is Lost"
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
"Gravity"
"The Book Thief"
"12 Years A Slave"

Best Original Song

"Atlas," Coldplay ("The Hunger Games: Catching Fire")
"Let It Go," Idina Menzel ("Frozen")
"Ordinary Love," U2 ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom")
"Please Mr. Kennedy," Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver ("Inside Llewyn Davis")
"Sweeter Than Fiction," Taylor Swift ("One Chance")

Best Foreign Language Film

"Blue is the Warmest Color"
"The Great Beauty"
"The Hunt"
"The Past"
"The Wind Rises"

Best Animated Feature Film

"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Frozen"


TELEVISION


Best Drama Series
"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
"The Good Wife"
"House of Cards"
"Masters of Sex"

Best Actor in a Television Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"
Michael Sheen, "Masters of Sex"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
James Spader, "The Black List"

Best Actress in a Television Drama Series

Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"
Taylor Schilling, "Orange is the New Black"
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

Best Comedy Series

"The Big Bang Theory"
"Brooklyn 99"
"Girls"
"Modern Family"
"Parks and Recreation"

Best Actor in a Television Comedy Series

Jason Bateman, "Arrested Development"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Michael J. Fox, "The Michael J. Fox Show"
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Andy Samberg, "Brooklyn 99"

Best Actress in a Television Comedy Series

Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"
Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

"American Horror Story: Coven"
"Behind the Candelabra"
"Dancing on the Edge"
"Top of the Lake"
"White Queen"

Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television
Matt Damon, "Behind the Candelabra"
Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Dancing on the Edge"
Idris Elba, "Luther"
Al Pacino, "Phil Spector"

Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

Helena Bonham Carter, "Burton and Taylor"
Rebecca Ferguson, "The White Queen"
Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story: Coven"
Helen Mirren, "Phil Spector"
Elisabeth Moss, "Top of the Lake"

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

Josh Charles, "The Good Wife"
Rob Lowe, "Behind the Candelabra"
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"
Corey Stoll, "House of Cards"
Jon Voight, "Ray Donovan"

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

Jacqueline Bisset, "Dancing on the Edge"
Janet McTeer, "White Queen"
Hayden Panettiere, "Nashville"
Monica Potter, "Parenthood"
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"



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Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug





This is the year of sequels. Desolation of Smaug is the follow up to last years Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I will keep this review short only because Peter Jackson has made five of these, with one more on the way, so he should know what he is doing by now. Peter Jackson directs another beautiful, rich story in the place of Middle Earth. Could have there been some parts cut out? Sure, it does seem a bit long but overall it's still intriguing to see where these characters are going. I was invested from the gorgeous cinematography, special effects and fantastic story. The acting is on point as I thought, as well as the first, Martin Freeman who plays Bilbo is better in this one and really hones in on the character. He is also more of a badass in this one than the first. I like the first one but I loved this one and as usual Peter Jackson left it on a cliffhanger and have to wait another year for the last one. I have never read the book but I love the movies. This one is an epic, beautiful and rich adventure that would really tickle any fantasy itch that anyone has. You like the first? Go see it. You were underwhemled by the first? Then I think you will like the second one better as I did. What a great grand blockbuster in the middle of this terrible winter. 8/10
(Review by Chase Lee)






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Monday, December 9, 2013

20 Feet From Stardom at the 100th Rose Bowl Game


THE WOMEN from the hit film ‘20 feet from stardom’ to PERFORM national anthem at HISTORIC 100TH ROSE BOWL GAME ON JANUARY 1, 2014

PERFORMANCE MARKS ONLY TIME IN GAME’S HISTORY THAT NATIONAL ANTHEM WILL BE SUNG BY AN ARTIST(S) RATHER THAN
A PARTICIPATING TEAM’S BAND



New York, NY (December 8, 2013) – RADiUS announced today that Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love who star in the company’s Oscar® shortlisted documentary 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, will kick off pre-game festivities at the 100th Rose Bowl Game with a special performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” on January 1, 2014.

This marks the only known time in the game’s 100 year history that the national anthem will be performed by artist(s) rather than a Rose Bowl Game participating team’s band.

Directed by Morgan Neville, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, spotlights the untold stories of backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century such as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting. Having opened in June, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is still on ten screens with a box office total to date of $4,777,016.

Clayton lent her voice to a number of major performing artists during the 1960s with her most notable performance being a duet with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones’ song, "Gimme Shelter." She began her career on Bobby Darin’s “Who Can I Count On,” which led to legendary Lou Adler signing her in 1970 and her debut solo album, Gimme Shelter. As an actress, Clayton appeared in the films BLAME IT ON THE NIGHT and MAID TO ORDER. Currently, she is putting the finishing touches on her long-anticipated new CD.

Fischer rose to fame in 1991 with her debut album, So Intense, which produced the Grammy Award–winning hit single, "How Can I Ease the Pain." Prior to her solo career, she began as a backup singer for a number of famous artists, including Luther Vandross for 22 years and Tina Turner on her Twenty Four Seven Tour, the top-grossing worldwide tour of 2000. Fischer has also toured with the Rolling Stones since 1989. In 2013, she joined the rock band Nine Inch Nails, as a backing vocalist for their Tension 2013 tour.

Hill, Sony Music recording artist, has been praised by Rolling Stone for her "stellar powerhouse vocals." In addition to penning and performing her own material, Hill has backed artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the late Michael Jackson. She was also a contestant on season four of “The Voice”. She contributed backing vocals to three tracks on Josh Groban’s latest chart topping album, All That Echoes, and opened for Groban on his Fall 2013 In The Round arena tour. Judith is currently in the studio working on her debut.

Since the early 1960s, Love has done it all - from major motion pictures like the highly successful LETHAL WEAPON series to Broadway hits like Hairspray and Grease and even appearing in numerous television shows. Her background vocals for The Blossoms, The Crystals, The Righteous Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye and Elvis Presley, set the stage for her emergence as a star in her own right. In 2011, Love received the industry’s highest award when she was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


ABOUT RADiUS-TWC

RADiUS-TWC is the boutique label from the Weinstein Company (TWC) and the first studio division dedicated to both multi-platform VOD and theatrical distribution. Utilizing both traditional and digital media, RADiUS-TWC brings the highest quality films and other specialty entertainment to a wider audience than ever before. Founded and led by Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, the label continues to develop innovative distribution strategies to make marquee content available to consumers where, when and how they want it. The label’s inaugural slate included such films as BACHELORETTE (the first multi-platform film to hit #1 on iTunes and the only multi-platform release to ever reach #4 for top Cable VOD performers) and Cannes competition entry ONLY GOD FORGIVES directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas. Recent releases include: Morgan Neville's audience favorite and the highest grossing documentary of 2013, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM; Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s LOVELACE; Zachary Heinzerling’s CUTIE AND THE BOXER (Sundance U.S. Documentary Directing Award), Jacob Kornbluth’s INEQUALITY FOR ALL (Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award); Jonathan Levine's long awaited horror debut ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE; Stacie Passon's CONCUSSION and Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut – MAN OF TAI CHI in which he also stars. In 2014, RADiUS’ slate features (among others): BLUE RUIN (winner of the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival), Errol Morris’ THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, Mike Myers’ directorial debut – SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON and Alexandre Aja’s HORNS starring Daniel Radcliffe both of which premiered at this year’s Toronto.




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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Movies Scheduled for 12/8-12/14

Ok for all the newbies out there you need to go ahead a sign up for the Angelika and Studio Movie Grill newsletter. I know the Angelika puts theirs on facebook. If you don't want facebook that is your choice but some codes are only on facebook. We do post to our facebook group page before sending out emails.


Please remember I don't have a stock pile of movie passes. So emailing me and telling me what movies you want to see won't get you passes. Now if you post to the group someone with extra passes may offer them to you.


Now remember to always look at the location of the movie and know what you are willing to drive. Don't go grabbing passes to a city that is way to far from you.


Please use your best judgment if the roads are icy. We don't want anyone to get hurt.

I do make mistakes so if I say a movie is on one day and your ticket says another. I would go by what the ticket says.


See you at the movies



Sunday
Dec. 8th


Monday
Dec. 9th.

Saving Mr. Banks 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
White Christmas 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas


Tuesday
Dec. 10th

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 7:30 pm TBA
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano
Saving Mr. Banks 7:30 pm Cinemark Rave Ridgmar

Wednesday
Dec. 11th

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
Grudge Match 7:30 pm TBA
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
Saving Mr. Banks 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano

Thursday
Dec. 12th

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 7:30 pm TBA
Inside Llewyn Davis 7:30 pm Magnolia
Lone Survivor 7:30 pm Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley

Friday
Dec. 13th

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones 10 pm Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley

Saturday
Dec. 14th

Walking with Dinosaurs 10 am AMC northpark





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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Movies scheduled 12/1-12/7

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving and didn't over eat. :)

This week is kind of lite on movies. Maybe you can catch up on some that you missed out on.

Don't forget to check out our reviews on the homepage.





As always you can email me any questions you have damitdaina@hotmail.com.

See you at the movies

December 1st

Sunday



December 2nd
Monday



December 3rd
Tuesday

Grudge Match 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano





December 4th
Wednesday

Lone Survivor 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
47 Ronin 4:00pm Cinemark West Plano
Saving Mr. Banks 7:30 pm AMC Northpark







December 5th
Thursday

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues 7:30 pm





December 6th
Friday



December 7th
Saturday



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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Frozen




Disney and their princess. This time there are two more to add to this season's gift giving for the young girls in the family. Directed by Chris Buck who wrote the story with Shane Morris and Jennifer Lee who wrote the screenplay, it's loosely inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen”. The computer animated adventure in 3D with music by Christophe Beck offers the classic Disney holiday movie for the whole family.

Anna (Kristen Bell) and her older sister Elsa (Idina Menzel) were best friends and playmates when they were young. But an unfortunate accident involving the magical powers manipulating ice from Elsa's hand injures her younger sister. The king and queen take their children to the trolls who look like rocks when at rest, who remove Anna's magic and her memories. The king tries to teach Elsa to control her powers, but she is wracked with guilt and the girls are forced to stay away from each other as well as from the other people in their kingdom of Arendelle. When their parents are lost at sea, Elsa must be crowned queen when she turns of age. That means the gates of the castle will be open to everyone. Anna, a happy go lucky young woman is thrilled with her new freedom and the prospects of a party. She sings a song about maybe finding Mr. Right. (Really in this day and age, why do the female characters in Disney movies seem obsessed in finding a man?) She cute meets Hans (Santino Fontana), a prince of the southern seas and the youngest of 12 brothers. He proposes to Anna and her sister opposes it, because it doesn't make sense. Plus she is freaked out thinking any minute her out of control powers will scare the populace. But Anna, upset with not being able to understand the reason for the separation from her sibling pushes Elsa's buttons, and Elsa's temper gets the better of her, bringing down winter to the summer lands. Frightened when she's accused of being a sorcerer, she escapes and creates an ice castle in the mountains. She also decides to embrace her icy self. Her transformation turns her into a sexy Snow Queen. (Really the swaying hips was a bit much).

Anna decides to go after her leaving Prince Hans to watch the kingdom. She runs into Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) a mountain man who sells ice with the help of his reindeer Sven. She gets him to help her find the ice castle. They also team up with what will be everyone's favorite character, Olaf a snowman (Josh Gad). Elsa had unwittingly created him. He's a huge source of funny bits and imaginative songs. Meanwhile the Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk) wants to get rid of the queen.

The music is very catching with really amazing voices, especially Broadway vet Idina Menzel, The songs are very clever and convey the situations and the angst of the estranged sisters. There's some nice action sequences at the end which doesn't really follow what would be normally expected with the male character swooping in at the last minute to save the day. That was a nice change of pace. The animation is outstanding and for once the 3D effects is worth the extra price theaters tack on the ticket prices.
(Review by reesa)



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Homefront




Sylvester Stallone is a prolific writer of action movies mostly staring himself, but as he's gotten to be older and not quite fitting the physicality of the hero role, Jason Statham has become the stand-in. Based on the novel by Chuck Logan it's directed by Gary Fleder, it's a holiday weekend crowd pleaser for mindless entertainment.

Statham plays Phil Broker an ex-DEA agent who quit when his last undercover job went south and his cover was blown. He moves to a small Louisiana town full of swamps and Cajun music. Phil's British accent is never really explained. Broker now works doing carpenter work while being a single dad to his ten year old precocious daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic). It would have been fine and comfy living, but Maddy bloodies the nose of the class bully. His meth addict mom, Cassie Bodine (speed freak skinny Kate Bosworth) who swears up and down a blue moon seeking revenge. She asks her brother Gator (James Franco) to teach that upstart new guy a lesson. Gator happens to be the town kingpin running a meth lab in his boat garage. His henchmen encounter Broker unsuccessfully, much to Gator's annoyance. The last thing he wants is making too big a scene because of his illegal operations, yet he can't ignore the threat Broker poses especially when he discovers the man is an ex cop. Things get complicated when Gator, while trying to keep his hands clean gets his drug courier girlfriend Sheryl (Winona Ryder) to contact Broker's last bust who sits in prison. Danny T (Chuck Zito) sends his crew lead by mean and nasty Frank Grillo to deal with Broker. And y'all know how that's going to turn out.

Having Jason Statham in a movie mean major kick-butt and once again he delivers well. He breaks arms, legs, smashes bodies into car windows, and smacks them with a gas hose nozzle. There's even a bit of dramatic emoting going on with his dad and daughter moments. He even gets to save a kitty! Franco eats up the screen as the crazy sadistic Gator who has the local sheriff (Clancy Brown) looking the other way. Rachelle Lefevre plays the school counselor who doesn't quite get to be Broker's girlfriend because that story wasn't interesting enough to include in the movie. And someone please give Kate Bosworth a sandwich! That girl is skin and bones which works well with her potty mouth white trash role.

Yes, this will do well after your stomach is full of Thanksgiving fare, the football game is over, and the family still wants to do something. But keep the little ones at home, please.
(Review by reesa)




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Black Nativity




If you are unfamiliar with this movie, please note that this is a musical based on the Langston Hughes' play of the same name. Directed and written by Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou), it joins the other holiday movie offerings (The Best Man Holiday and Madea's Christmas) aimed at black audiences. The movie opens by the main character singing while walking around his neighborhood from songs produced by Raphael Saadiq who composed the score with Laura Karpman. Who knew that Forrest Whitaker and Angelia Bassett could sing so well? Jennifer Hudson who belts out songs like she's going to bust a gut over powers the rest of the cast. There should be a movie with just her singing and nothing else.

Baltimore teenager Langston (Jacob Latimore, R&B/hip-hop artist) who was named after the famous poet Langston Hughes because mothers name their children filled with hope for their future. Mom Naima (Hudson) informs her son that he is spending the holidays at his grandparents house in Harlem. He's never met them, and his mom never talked about them as they have been estranged since he was a baby. They are getting evicted and she's got to work and pack promising him to meet him later. Obviously angry in that teen angst way, he lands in jail upon arrival in NYC when someone steals his bag. He gets on the wrong foot with Cornell (Whitaker), a Baptist minister and his wife, Aretha (Bassett). Grandma wants to smother him with love, but is sensing his awkwardness, bats away his tough questions as to why his mom left home, and who is his father? Cornell tries to instill in Langston a sense of purpose and identity. Shows him a watch given to him by Martin Luther King which Langston tries to pawn to get money to save his house.

Between the musical numbers of bruised hopes and dreams, the story is filled with visions of old time religions, black history and a contemporary version of Mary and Joseph (Grace Gibson and Luke James) as Langston dreams while attending his grandfather's Black Nativity Christmas Eve event at the church. Mary J. Blige's turns up as an angel with her white hair and big voice. Tyrese Gibson is the guy Langston met in jail and tries to buy a gun from him, the purpose of which is unknown since the kid is obviously making a lot of bad decisions as the adults around him won't come clean. Naima sensing her son is in trouble comes to Harlem and the big confrontation is the whole reason for the movie which is filled with tears, salvation and the song to sing on the way out of the theater.
(Review by reesa)



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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW Special Programming: Christmas Classics



Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW
Special Programming:
Christmas Classics: Vintage and Modern
December 2013


Dallas – November 26, 2013—December wouldn’t be complete without a multitude of Christmas movies—old and new. At Alamo (100 S. Central Expressway #14, Richardson, TX 75080) this month, we celebrate Christmas movies on the big screen as they were meant to be seen—some surprising, others it just would be Christmas without. http://drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson.


"You can't NOT show the Christmas classics during December, but we've all seen them a million times when they marathon us to death with them every year during this time. So we decided to re-gift a few of everyone's favorite holiday films by making them interactive! We're talking quote-alongs, sing-alongs, props to play along, themed food and more. ELF, A CHRISTMAS STORY, CHRISTMAS VACATION, HOME ALONE, BAD SANTA and LOVE ACTUALLY have all gotten the Alamo Drafthouse treatment with Action Pack. And of course we have the presents under the tree and trinkets in your stockings that you expect—everything from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE to NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS! While we didn't want to be a Scrooge, we threw in some of the unconventional favorites—SCROOGED, DIE HARD, GREMLINS, and even a few misfit toys like AMERICAN PSYCHO and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS," said James Wallace, creative manager, Alamo DFW.


December’s special programming series includes these films:

12/1 - WHITE CHRISTMAS
12/2 - EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
12/3 - AMERICAN PSYCHO
12/4 - Action Pack: BAD SANTA Party with props
12/5 - Prohibition Night in honor of the 80th anniversary of the repeal featuring LAWLESS with "Wettest County in the World" author Matt Bondurant, Prohibition-era cocktails, moonshine, 1930s music, 'Meet The Distiller' with Herman Marshall Whiskey, and more!
12/7 - HOME ALONE Pizza Party
12/8 - Action Pack: A CHRISTMAS STORY Party with props
12/10 - Action Pack: ELF Quote-Along
12/11 - Girlie Night: LOVE ACTUALLY
12/12 – Evening with THE HOBBIT double feature with LORD OF THE RINGS music live with a quartet from the Richardson Symphony Orchestra
12/13 - FRIDAY THE 13TH (in 35MM) on Friday the 13th
12/16 - SCROOGED
12/17 - NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
12/18 - Action Pack: CHRISTMAS VACATION Quote-Along
12/19 - XMAS Pop Sing-Along
12/21 - Cartoon Cereal Party: Christmas Edition
12/22 - IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
12/23 - GREMLINS
12/24 - DIE HARD
12/31 - New Year's Eve Sing-Along


“All in all, if you've been a good little boy or girl, you should get everything you asked for this December at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson including amazing first run movies such as OUT OF THE FURNACE, HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, WOLF OF WALL STREET, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and more!" concluded Wallace.


About the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema:
The Alamo Drafthouse is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience but also introducing unique programming and high profile, star studded special events.

*Please note: Some dates subject to change. Always check http://drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson for up-to-date showtimes and tickets.



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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Movies scheduled 11/24-11/30

I don’t mind answering questions or go out of my way to help y’all out on stuff but please know if you want to trade or ask for passes it has to come from you. If I do it then I will get all the emails and trust me I get a ton of them as it is. It might be helpful if you add your email to the bottom of msg. Maybe then so many people won’t be replying to the group and not just you. Ok maybe I am just hoping.



Well it is hard to believe it is already Thanksgiving. I sure hope you get to enjoy it with your family and friends.



Please be careful out on the roads. It looks like it is going to be bad for a couple of days.



As always you can email me any questions you have damitdaina@hotmail.com.


See you at the movies


November 24th
Sunday

Akira 7:30pm Alamo Draft House
Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor 7:30pm Cinemark West Plano
Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor 7:30pm UA Galaxy
Frozen 7:30pm Cinemark West Plano


November 25th
Monday



November 26th
Tuesday

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 7:30pm West 7th Movie Tavern Ft. Worth
Frozen 7:30pm AMC Northpark
Fronzen 7:30pm Rave Ridgmar





November 27th
Wednesday







November 28th
Thursday

Happy Turkey Day!!







November 29th
Friday



November 30th
Saturday

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Hunger Games Catching Fire




This is the Empire Strikes Back of the saga. This is bigger, better, more in depth and this is the sequel that is a great time at the movies. Francis Lawrence directs this installment and he does a great job establishing is tone and style into this. He did a really great job making the world of Hunger Games look bigger. Jennifer Lawrence is awesome as Katniss. She was meant to play this character and she progresses nicely and I can't wait to see more Games. The rest of the cast does better this time around and I love the addition of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This guy is amazing in everything and this is no exception. The cinematography mixed with the colors is fantastic to look at especially in IMAX. For two hours and twenty minutes this movie flew by but I was so invested into the characters. This is a great sequel, a great movie and a great blockbuster. I can't wait for Mockingjay. 9/10

L.A. Red Carpet: The majority of the time were people just gushing over each loathers dresses and jewelery (Which is ironic because the movie shows us the corrupt of the rich). The majority of the questions asked were what was it like working with the new director, Jennifer Lawrence or Jennifer's haircut. I learned Josh Hutcherson can tap dance. That's good to know. But everyone was really excited to work with the new director and how he injected the franchise with his vision, tone and style. The producer came on the screen and basically said Jennifer Lawrence has always been the perfect for Katniss and has blown them all the way since her audition. And of course everyone is excited (as well as am I) Overall it was a good red carpet…nothing special. Jennifer Lawrence is nice and did manage to sign a lot of autographs for fans. I was impressed.
(Review by Chase Lee)



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The second film of the Hunger Games based on Suzanne Collins' trilogy is heading for another blockbuster opening. Director Francis Lawrence is at the helm with a screenplay by Somon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt. Not quite as violent and depressing as the first film introducing the dystopian society where every year a young person is selected from each district to fight to the death to maintain peace in the Panem. This episode neatly sets up for the next movie, but like all middle parts, it leaves you hanging.

Katniss and Peeta (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) have been living more comfortable lives after winning the last games. They have to prepare to go on a Victory Tour to tout the games to the other districts. In order to quell the rumblings of rebellion in the other districts, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) threatens the safety of her family and her boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) unless she toes the party line. What they see on their train tour are signs of the Mockingjay and the raised 3 finger salute that has become a symbol of hope although those are quickly squashed by immediate execution. Snow's plan is to distract the populace by having Peeta and Katniss get married. The new gamemaster Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) advises Snow that they have to make the people believe that Katniss is one of them now, while treating the districts with a heavy hand.

Snow announces that the 75th Games will be a Quarter Quell, an event that happens every 25 years. Each of the districts will send a pair of previous champions to battle it out with each other. Obviously this does not sit well with some of the tributes seeing that they were promised never to fight again if they won. There are some interesting couples this time around, and their trainer Haymitch (Woody Harrellson) advises to find alias again. As usual the competition is deadly and chaotic, but most of the eliminations seem to come from the man-made catastrophe's from their arena. Katniss is set on making Peeta come out last man standing. But it seems like some people are working to have Katniss win.

The new players in the game are Jena Malone as Johanna who has an ax and a bad attitude. Lynn Cohen as Mags an elderly woman and her district partner handsome Sam Clafin as Finnick. Amanda Plummer as Wiress and her partner Jeffrey Wright as Beetee as the nerds of the tributes. The others you barely notice they are there except to be killed.

The visuals are like the first outstanding. The costumes of as embodied by the denizens of the Capitol as worn by Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket who seems to exhibit a more human side than her usual propaganda as to the unfairness of making her tributes compete again. Even if it's just that she will lose the status afforded to her. Stanely Tucci as the annoying Caesar Flickerman the MC of the Games and his purple eyebrows and we just briefly see Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith. Lenny Kravitz is back as Cinna, Katniss' stylist who is the only one that seems normal in the Capitol.

Katniss who has been suffering from PTSD after the first games, has to come to terms with the suffering the people are experiencing from the hope that she instilled in them unwittingly. The message of this young adult series is like a 2x4 across the back of the head that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The film is well executed and satisfying, better than the first and definitely worth the popcorn.

One a side not there has been some talks about making a Hunger Games theme parks which is disturbing when you think about it.
(Review by reesa)





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Philomena





This was surprising, fresh and I hated Catholic Nuns by the end of this. This is based on true events as well as a book about a woman named Philomena who had her three year old son taken from her as a teenager while she was in a catholic establishment and now, as a senior, she wants to embark on a journey to find him with the help of a reporter. I don't have much to say except this is a solid movie and as much as the director did his part in bringing the vision from the book to the screen the credit goes to the actor in this Steve Coogan. Not only did he act in it, he produced and co-wrote the screenplay. The dialogue is great and I loved it whenever he or Judi Dench, Philomena, were on screen. At just an hour and a half time flies as these characters drive this movie. This was a great story and it was told beautifully. It was depressing, funny, uplifting and downright heartfelt. If it is playing in your area I would recommend it. 8/10
(Review by Chase Lee)



Philomena

Steve Coogan, versatile actor/comedian plays triple duty as producer, writer and star of a movie based on the non-fiction book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith. Directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) it was co-written by Jeff Pope. Judi Dench plays the title role in what may be considered a front runner for the Oscars and dash the rumors that she is quitting acting due to her deteriorating eyesight. A beautiful, heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful in it's forgiveness.

Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith who just lost his journalist job at the BBC tells everyone that he's going to have time to work on his book about Russian history. So when he's asked to do a human interest story he dismisses it as derivative distraction for the masses. But he's encouraged by a publisher so he goes to see Philomena who had been forced to give up her child as a teenager while living at at convent home. On the child's 50th birthday, Philomena came clean to her daughter about the brother she never knew existed. Philomena never forgot about her son and has never stopped searching for him. With Sixsmith's help they go to the abbey where the nuns are not forthcoming claiming all the records were destroyed in a big fire. Later they discover that the abbey had been selling the babies of it's wayward teen residents to Americans. Soon they are off to Washington DC to piece together the puzzle.

Philomena at first is like a ordinary Irish country housewife. Seemingly daft and unworldly. But as the story progresses Dench reveals the layers of of her emotional resources. She is accepting of the life that fate had dealt her. While Sixsmith is cynical and angry over the unfair and morally wrong behavior of the nuns and the Catholic Church. Philomena's attitude, her light and guileless personality annoys Sixsmith at first. But their growing rapport is movie magic chemistry of the actors and their ability to make the characters believable and endearing. Philomena loves romance novels and offers Sixsmith a play by play review of the story, she also remains faithful to the church despite what has happened to her and she is completely candid to the buffet servers at an all you can eat buffet. She baffles Sixsmith, at the same time he's drawn to her and helps her all he can.

The bittersweet mystery of what happened all those years ago, and the eventual conclusion will not leave a dry eye in the house. Philomena's true life adventure to close the door on a part of her life that was unfinished is grounded by Frears able direction allowing the actors to convey the depth of their mutual empathy and the healing power of forgiveness.
(Review by reesa)





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The Delivery Man



The 2011 French Canadian comedy, Starbuck, has been recreated into an American version for those too lazy to read subtitles. It's basically the exact same movie, only the language and actors have been changed. Using the same director, Ken Scott who wrote the script with Martin Petit it's a mirror image of the original which was funny and refreshing. In this remake there's just something lost in translation.

Vince Vaughn who usually always plays Vince Vaughn has subdued himself somewhat as David Wozniak, the son of a butcher who works as their delivery driver. It's a job that he can't seem to do well. He's a dreamer and a loser. His newest project is growing hydroponic pot. He's trying to get out of an $80,000 debt to some loan sharks on an ill fated investment. On top of that his sometime girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) has revealed she is pregnant and is going to keep the baby to raise on her own. One night he comes home to the news that his donations to a sperm bank years ago had fathered 533 children. A large group of them had decided to petition the court for the clinic to reveal the identity of the donor labeled “Starbuck”. Seeking advice from his best friend lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) who has to reapply to get his license to fight the lawsuit. They are given a folder of the 142 young adults who seeking to find him. Brett says “don't open the envelope”. Of course he does.

One by one he tracks down a few of the names who just happen to live in the same town. He sort of stalks them, and then perform random acts of kindness. Helping a OD'd young woman, helping a street performer, giving a waiter a chance to audition for a role of the lifetime, stopping construction workers from oogling a beautiful girl. He even visits and spends time with a young man who is institutionalized for an extreme handicap. One day while following one of kids he ends up in a roomful of his off spring who are gathered to talk about the lawsuit. He ends up breaking a date with his girlfriend to attend a weekend camping trip with the united siblings.

Unfortunately his looming debt has put his family in danger. He's forced to counter sue for the monetary reward. Emma had encouraged David to make something of himself if he wants to be part of their child's life. He sees coming forward with the truth to be part of his growth and his ability to become a suitable father.

There was something more believable of Patrick Huard who played David in the Canadian version. He was more dishevelled, sincere and heartfelt. As much as Vince Vaughn toned down his fast talking slub of a character, you can't help but still see Vince Vaughn, especially since he towers over everyone height-wise. The premise is somewhat far fetched, but can be amusing. In fact, the success of Starbuck has spurred a French remake called Fonzy. So get over your phobia of subtitles and rent the original.
(Review by reesa)





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The Book Thief




This is a solid movie with a perfect ending in my opinion. The Book Thief takes WWII and the holocaust and serves as the backdrop to the humble story of a girl at its core. With beautiful imagery, great acting and fantastic set pieces and wardrobe, The Book Thief is one to remember. It reminded me of a movie from the 90's where it is a story with heart a perfect ending to where it wraps everything up but asks us questions as human beings and what we are capable. I never read the book but I can tell you its a really solid movie and I quite enjoyed it a lot and I think it will get a nomination from the Oscars for Best Supporting Actor because let me tell you Geoffrey Rush stole the show as the character with a lot of heart and did what was right. If it is playing in your area I highly suggest it. 9/10

Q&A: The director was really passionate about the book and wanted to stay true as possible to the book. The author really liked the outcome of the movie and it seemed like Geoffrey Rush had a good time, especially trying to do a German accent. The movie took three months to shoot and actually shot on streets of Germany to give it that authentic feel and of course it got really cold. Sophie Nelisse claims this is her big role and she was great in it and she also tried to learn a German accent.
(Review by Chase Lee)






Another movie about the horrors of World War II doesn't seem to be high on the list of holiday viewing. But director Brian Percival with a script by Michael Petroni adapted from a novel by Markus Zusak manages to offer a story with a different viewpoint and perhaps a more hopeful and heartfelt vision. The book first published in 2005 has numerous awards and was list on the the New York Times Best Seller list for over 230 weeks. While the movie retains some parts of the book a portion of it has been changed or left out so it should be rightfully called “based on a novel by”.

Narrated by the voice of “death” (Roger Allam) who introduces the characters and his subsequent seduction of their lives, he opens with taking Liesel's younger brother. They are being taken on a train by their mother who is surrendering them for adoption. At the quick burial near the train tracks Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) steals a book dropped by one of the grave digger. She arrives at the home of her new foster parents housepainter Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush) and his thunderstorm of a wife Rosa (Emily Watson). She is naturally nervous, missing her beloved brother and wondering if her mother is going to come back. Hans discovers her book, The Grave Digger's Handbook and teaches her to read. He create a wall in the basement for her to explore new words. Opening the world of book and words is a big revelation for the young girl.

Liesel makes friends with her neighbor Rudy (Nico Liersch) who is smitten with the new kid on the block. He walks her to school and challenges her to races always with the goal to get her to kiss him. Going to school during the early days of Nazi Germany is full of brain washing the students on towing the political party line. The students have to sing about Hitler and celebrate his birthday by a book burning bonfire. Liesel manages to steal her second book from the fire. When she discovers the library at Frau Becker's home she is allowed to read while there. When she is kicked out by Frau's husband, she decides to break in the window and “borrow” the books with Rudy's help.

Hans life was saved during WWI and he repays the act by taking in Max (Ben Schnetzer) his savior's son. Since he is a Jew, the hide him in their home, then eventually in the basement as times become more restrictive and the Nazi's begin to do house searches. Max and Liesel develop a friendship over books and Max encourages her to use words to describe the world outside that he is not allowed to experience while war rages.

Lovingly told, the war told from the perspective of normal working people of Germany is sometimes too long, and meandering. The anxiety of living with Nazi thugs keeps the populace cowed and pliant. Drawing attention to yourself only brings suspicion. Especially tense when you are hiding a Jew in your home. Watson in particular embodies the sometimes harsh and angry mother who just has a hard time convening her true emotions. Rush as her ever patient husband played with his usual quirky self creates a whimsical out of work man who helps Liesel settle in her new life. Nélisse holds her own against the two veteran actors and we will probably see a lot more of her in the future. If they only gotten rid of the “death” narrative, they movie would not feel so discordant.
(Review by reesa)




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