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

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 1/27 - 2/2

Thanks to everyone entering the DVD contest this week for Hotel Transylvania DVD and swag and Seven Psychopaths. Wish we could give y'all something, but alas, there can only be one...winner for each contest. Remember if you put the right subject line, and your name and mailing address you are qualified to win. For those that didn't...sorry muffins. Also you have to send it to the email address stated on the website. Sending it to the group doesn't work. Contest ends Tuesday 1/29. Last chance.

January and February has not been great for screenings. Hopefully y'all are enjoying the mild weather and catching up on all the stuff that is ignored while waiting in line.

SAG Awards on tonight. Enjoy!

January 27 - February 2

Jan 27

Jan 28

Bullet to the Head - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Stand Up Guys - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Safe Haven - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley

Jan 29

Dias de Fotbol - 7:30 pm - Latino Cultural Center
Warm Bodies - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Jan 30

Barcelona - 7:30 pm - Latino Cultural Center
Bullet to the Head - 7:30 pm - ?

Jan 31

Bullet to the Head - 7:30 pm - Amstar 14

Feb 1

Fed 2

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters

It's MTV Films. That fact and the title of the movie informs the average movie goer that they can expect leather, guns, witches, and hard core action/violence that earns an “R” rating. Directed by zombie comedy Dead Snow, Tommy Wirkola wrote with DW. Harper a rebooted Brother Grimm child's tale of young kids in the woods, candy house, putting the witch in the oven. That's pretty much the first five minutes. What they expand upon is what happened to those kids when they got older. The audience that MTV is aiming for is the young crowd that live and breath video games. It's only natural the sibling would become kick@ss witch hunters.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the now older brother and sister tag team for ridding the land of nasty looking witches. The witches look and act horribly so that when they get their due from H&G it will feel righteous. They have built a reputation for themselves and are hired by a small town mayor to investigate the missing children. Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) is trying to rile the townspeople up to burn Mina (Pihla Vitala) as a witch until Hansel stops him. They don't make a good impression on the lawman. They discover is the upcoming Blood Moon, a once in a generation occurrence that is celebrated as the evil witch Sabbath. All the evil witches will be gathered for a special potion that will make them invincible.

Famke Janseen is the pretty face of the grand witch. She's powerful and disguises her true self through a glamour spell. She needs 12 children to accomplish her ritual that will make witch impervious to their most dangerous element (to witches at least)...fire. Hansel & Gretel must figure out a way of rescuing the lost children and paid. There's a lot of stuff going on while this is happening. For all their experiences of hunting down witches, they daring duo often get beat up in the process.

The historical atmosphere is quickly dissipated with the steam punk style of the characters, the diversity of accents and modern day swear words. They even have a crank style electric zapper putting down witches and jump starting a heart. Renner and Arterton make an honest go trying to instill some serious threat with their attitudes. Arterton's Gretel is a no nonsense heroine who gives a punch as good as she takes. Renner is an extension of Bourne and Avengers. He only gets some crisis moments with the truth of his family's desertion when they they were left in the woods, and revenge motivation in the last act.

For the mindless number of kids who will go to this because it's in 3D and because it's on the IMAX screen. This movie is totally aimed to empty their pockets and check their brains at the door. It's loud, bloody, busy and there's a troll named Edward. What else do you need to know?
(Review by reesa)

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Win a Seven Psychopaths DVD

Contest has ended. Winner has been selected.

Thanks to Sony Pictures, Dallas Movie Screenings is offering a chance to win a copy of Seven Psychopaths. It will be released on DVD on 1/29 and will be available from Amazon.


To enter send your name, mailing address with Seven Psychopaths in the subject line to dalscreenings@gmail.com
If you do not put your mailing address and full name in your email, or the title of the movie, you will be disqualified. Contest ends 1/29. Winner will be notified and your prize will be mailed from Sony Pictures.

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Win Hotel Transylvania DVD and Swag

Contest has ended. Winner has been selected.

Yes, Dallas Movie Screening has another DVD contest for the following:

Hotel Transylvania DVD will be available 1/29 at Amazon:

The notebook and bat are a special addition provided by our friends at Sony Pictures.
To enter send your name, mailing address with Hotel Transylvania in the subject line to dalscreenings@gmail.com
If you do not put your mailing address and full name in your email, or the title of the movie, you will be disqualified. Contest ends 1/29. Winner will be notified and your prize will be mailed from Sony Pictures.
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 1/20 - 1/26

We have been having some DVD and swag giveaways big thanks to the people at Sony Pictures. A couple are pending now, and we have a couple more waiting in the wings. Big thanks to all of you entering. Please note that the contests have end dates (Hint: "We will notify the winner on this day"). That basically means the contest ends then. So sending an entry after that date is kinda moot. It's important to read the instructions. Like putting the right title in the subject line, including your name and mailing address. Kinda crucial information in case your name is selected. Winners are completely selected at random (names drawn from a hat sort of thing).

Y'all realize there's a calendar on our group pages that let you know what screenings are scheduled and the passes sources are usually listed under each entry. That way you can plan ahead to enter the contests, sign ups, hula hoops, or whatever you have to do to get a pass BEFORE the screening. In other words, this Sunday posting should not be a big surprise and y'all won't be asking others for their passes that they went through the trouble of obtaining. Also there's always some last minute entries that pop up during the week. So please check it frequently.

Then there are those who grab those GOFOBO's, or enter those contests and y'all know ahead of time that it's a work night. You have no intention of going, but you still snag a pass, thus taking it away from someone who really wants to go. Why? It's understandable the last minute crisis and all. And we all enter more than one contest in hopes that one will win and sometimes we win extras. So if you can, please don't take a pass if you know you are not going to use it. Thank you.

January 20 - January 26

Jan 20

Jan 21

Jan 22

La Bicicleta - 7:30 pm - Latino Cultural Center
Spartacus: War of the Dammed - Enemies of Rome 7:30 pm - Regal Galaxy Theater Stadium 10

Jan 23

Side Effects - 7:00 pm - AMC Palace 9
Warm Bodies - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Los Lunes al Sol - 7:30 pm - Latino Cultural Center

Jan 24

Parker - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Royal
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - 8:00 pm - Cinemark 17

Jan 25

Jan 26

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Abel's Field DVD Contest

Contest Over. Thanks to all who entered.

Abel's Field may not have been one of our screenings, but it was filmed in Thrall, TX. Win a copy of Abel's Field that will be released on DVD on January 22. It will be available from Amazon.


To win a copy, please send your name and mailing address to dalscreenings@gmail.com

Please put "Abel's Field" in the subject line of your email. Entries without name, mailing address or subject line title will be disqualified. Winner will be notified on January 22 and the DVD will be mailed directly from Sony Pictures.

Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) has been put under enormous pressure to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. When he fights back, he's singled out for punishment, assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of a reserved groundskeeper, Abel (Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that ABel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth towards desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back towards the light.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013


As I’ve grown older, horror movies have scared me less and less. Whether I’ve become desensitized or I’m too good at predicting or the movies are just poorly made, I don’t get scared in many movies nowadays. With that being said, I didn’t expect much from Mama. I expected an intricate and well thought out story because of Guillermo Del Toro. But I never expected to actually experience fear. With exceptional performances and well-planned jump scene sequences, Mama is a thrilling film that didn’t quite exceed expectations, but definitely held up to them.

One of the best things about this movie was the performance given by Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse. They both portray two girls who have lived in a cabin for 5 years since a young age all alone (or so people think). When they are found their uncle and his girlfriend take them in. The spiritual force known as Mama then proceeds to do her worst in an effort to gain the kids back from this couple. It seems as though child actors are becoming more and more believable onscreen. That was definitely the case with Charpentier and Nelisse. It’s enough to ask for a child to deliver a line without sounding fake, but what these two girls were capable of bringing to this film is purely amazing. They both portrayed emotionally scarred and estranged girls and made it believable. Even down to the small quirks that one would gain if you had had no acceptable upbringing. With those two girls holding their own, it was interesting to see Jessica Chastain in back to back weeks (Zero Dark Thirty and Mama) portraying two completely opposite roles. In this movie she plays a rock and roll, couldn’t-care-less, no-responsibilities type girl. She did well. It wasn’t Oscar caliber, but it was believable. So the casting was great in this movie, but one thing I had a problem with was the lighting.

Poor lighting is a rookie mistake. But Guillermo Del Toro is no rookie. Even though he was only executive producer on this movie, it still has his name being used as publicity. So many of the scenes were dark and shady it was hard to tell exactly what was going on. Maybe there is an artistic aspect that was being attempted, but if there was it completely went over my head. It was almost distracting how bad the lighting was set up. It may have added to the jump scenes, which in my opinion, were very well done.

Jump scenes are a tricky thing to pull off. Especially nowadays when it seems that every trick has been pulled out of the hat. And while Mama is heavy-laden with them and some of them can easily be foreseen, there are many times that it just comes out of no where and makes you leap out of your chair. Even when you’re not jumping, the scene is creepy enough to make you cringe. I’ve already stated that I never get scared in movies anymore, but this film was flat out CREEPY. Visually and mentally. I haven’t seen a movie that did this to me since Insidious (which in my opinion is one of the freakiest movies out there). So Mama definitely delivered on scares.

All in all, Mama is worth the eight dollars and one and a half hours to see. Especially if you’re a horror fan and like being scared, If you’re not, well then why are you even reading this review? The scares and performances are enough to go see this movie, and if you throw in the story to go with it, you’ve got yourself a pretty good time at the movies. Now I’m not saying this film is going to earn any awards or be remembered for years to come, (it might, I’m just not saying that). But what I am saying is that out of all the crap that will come to theaters this year this one stands above it and is worth seeing. My rating is 7/10.
(Review by Weston Baker)

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The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back. After a foray into politics, the ultimate action star of the Terminator series returns to the big screen (The Expendables don't really count) with guns blazing. The first English language film by the South Korean director of The Good, The Bad, The Weird and I Saw The Devil, Kim Jee-woon was managed using interpreters and it effectively delivers the classic set ups for Arnold to deliver some signature lines and show the world he can still kick some major butt.

Arnold plays Ray Owens, the small town sheriff of Sommerton Junction, Arizona. The small border town empties out most of the residents who are going to an away game for the high school team. Ray is hoping to enjoy a day off with the police duties taken over by his deputies Mike Figureola (Luis Guzmán), Sarah (Jaimie Alexander) and Jerry (Zach Gilford). A couple of truckers in the diner arouse his suspicions, and when a local farmer, then one of his deputies end up dead the ex-LAPD drug detective decides to fight back. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, FBI agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) is in the process of secretly transporting a dangerous drug cartel kingpin in a convoy to go to trial. The middle of the night scenario which consists of a parade of black SUV's probably don't make much of a impact in Las Vegas, but it's no surprise when they are attacked in a well planned rescue to release the Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega). In the escape he takes FBI Agent Ellen Richards (Genesis Rodriquez) as a hostage in his specially outfitted Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. Bannister thinks that Cortez is heading to cross the border so he alerts the Border Patrol and as a courtesy he calls Ray to be on the lookout just in case. After all there's no chance he's headed there because the border is divided by a canyon in Sommerton. Of course that's exactly where the Cortez is going and that's why his gang is creating a way for Cortez to cross.

Burrell (Peter Stormare) and the gang want to clear Cortez's path through the town, but Ray and the newly deputized Frank (Rodrigo Santoro) and Lewis (Johnny Knoxville) are on hand to barricade the town. The showdown of the faceless military mercenaries is what this movie is all about. It's the High Noon, the bad guys of the old west going head to head with the Wyatt Earp and his brothers for the good of the town western canvas. The last act is the final confrontation with Arnold and Cortez that includes a car case in a dried up corn field and then a MMA fight with Arnold showing that at the ripe age of 65 he can still throw down.

Be warned, this is not really one you should be bringing the young ones to see. There's a surprising amount of violence (poor Harry Dean Stanton) which is fairly bloody and horrific. But considering some folks bring their tykes to slice and dice without batting an eye, then you will probably see kids there hoping for some Terminator justice. Arnold is showing a little more maturity in his acting chops. A result no doubt from his years as the Governor of California. It begs for him to turn his career into more meaningful and sophisticated roles as his physical stunts are closing to it's shelf date. Thankfully he has Johnny Knoxville offering much needed comedy relief as the quirky owner of a firearms museum and his penchant to name his favorite inanimate objects. Guzmán brings his usual as to lighten up the proceeding, with a touch of romance with handsome Martinez and Alexander as the competent sharp shooting female deputy. Whitaker runs around being stymied by Cortez. Daniel Henney is unfortunately wasted as Bannister's 2nd in command except to look good and be ready. Clearly this movie is all about Arnold. Director Kim Jee-woon lays out the foundation of the American image of the common man fighting against all odds for something he believes. If it takes a South Korean to remind us of that, then hopefully not only Arnold but Kim Jee-woon will be back.
(Review by reesa)

Arnold and Johnny came to Dallas for a promotional tour to support The Last Stand. Dallas Movie Screening had the privilege to be on the red carpet to welcome them at the Amstar 14 on January 11, 2013

Check out the videos taken:

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Broken City

Mark Wahlberg has pretty much cornered the market on stoic good guys who have a strong belief in justice and revenge. In a debut solo directing effort by Alan Hughes of The Hughes Brothers who brought us Dead Presidents and American Pimp he is working from a script by Brian Tucker which had languished in development hell since 2008. The result tries to be a gritty American crime movie noir but probably should have left it on the shelf. The film is dark, moody, and at times unintelligible with Wahlberg's mumbling, Russell Crowe's accent, and plot points that are confusing. The film does look good, well paced, and just enough action to keep you awake. It's too bad none of the characters outside of one will make you care about them.

Wahlberg plays a New York City policeman Billy Taggart who had gone to trial for killing a murderer/rapist that was released on a technicality. The judge said the prosecution didn't make their case, especially since Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and police commissioner Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright) squashed witness evidence. To ease the angry citizens they do ask him to leave his job. Eight years later, Billy is working as a private detective taking pictures for divorce cases. He lives with his actress girlfriend Natalie (Natalie Martinez) who just happens to be the sister of the murdered girl from his trial. Katy (Alona Tal), Billy's office manager, tells Billy they are woefully in debt since he doesn't force his clients to pay him for his work. So when the Mayor calls to ask him to investigate his wife, he takes the job as easy money. The Mayor tells him that he doesn't want her indiscretions to get in the way of the current election campaign where his poll numbers currently favor his opponent Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper). What Billy finds is Cathleen Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is meeting with Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler) who is also Valliant's campaign manager. After the Mayor gets a hold of Billy's incriminating pictures and gives him the other half of the $50,000, Paul ends up mysteriously murdered. Feeling like he's been set up (duh), Billy bull doggedly tries to unearth the truth.

On top of the straight crime mystery, it's shrouded in layers of political maneuverings that involves a too good to true real estate deal that the mayor blatantly tries to pull the wool over the city's eyes. Like no one can see that he's trying to tear down a public housing project and turn it into a high rise development. Crowe in a really bad haircut and sketchy American accent talks all smooth and confident at every turn. He's the typical charmer that knows how to win his audience. During their debates Valliant meanwhile looking all earnest and liberal manages to hold his own clean up the mayor's office stance even after his manager is murdered. Fading into the background is Natalie who only serves to give a reason for Billy to make the sacrifice in the last act. It also doesn't help that most of the movie seems to be shot at night to intensify it's seriousness.

While Broken City isn't totally awful it's just broken. It does show some promise and fairly decent performances. Especially Jeffrey Wright and the zinger of a line that Zeta-Jones delivers to her husband at the end of the movie. It's a January release movie, like last year's Wahlberg film Contraband. You watch, are distracted for a bit, and go on on with your life.
(Review by reesa)

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Win a Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning DVD

Contest Over. Thank you to all who entered.

Thanks to Sony Pictures for allowing Dallas Movie screening to offer a contest to win:

1 DVD Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning

and as a bonus

1 Six Bullets DVD

Universal Soldier will be released on DVD January 22 and will be available at Amazon.


To win this prize pack, send your name and mailing address with "Jean-Claude Van Damme Prize Pack" in subject line. Your entry will be disqualified if you do not follow directions. Winner will be announced on Jan 22. The winning prize pack will be mailed directly from Sony Pictures.

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Win To Rome With Love DVD

Winner chosen! Thanks to all who entered!!!

Thanks to Sony Pictures, Dallas Movie Screening is offering a contest to win:

1 DVD To Rome With Love
1 Midnight in Paris Poster (another Woody Allen film)

DVD will be released January 15th and will be available at Amazon.


To enter contest, just send your name and mailing address to:
Remember you MUST put your full name and mailing address. Winners will be notified January 15. Prizes will be sent from Sony Pictures.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Globes Winners - Film

The 70th Golden Globes ceremony were held on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-hosted the event.

Best Picture, Drama:
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
*****“Les Misérables”
“Moonrise Kindgom”
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Director:

*****Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”

Best Actress, Drama

*****Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Marian Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”

Best Actor, Drama
*****Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
*****Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”
Ewan MCGregor, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park on Hudson”

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
*****Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Maggie Smith, “Quartet”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
*****Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
*****Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best Screenplay:
Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”
David O’Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
*****Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Chris Terrio, “Argo”

Foreign Language Film:
“A Royal Affair”
“The Intouchables”
“Rust and Bone”

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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 1/13 - 1/19

A heads up. Not sure what this means as far as what the group will be like after they make their improvements. Hopefully they won't be so sketchy like their calendar upgrades.

Yahoo! Groups system upgrade and planned downtime
Posted on January 9, 2013 by Administrator

We’re upgrading our systems and Yahoo! Groups will be unavailable for a few hours on the night of January 15th 6:30 pm Pacific Standard Time. Emails sent to your groups will be delivered late during this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this planned downtime.

We would be posting updates as we approach the planned upgrade date and during the upgrade as well.

– Yahoo! Groups product team

It's a boon to us when the talent from movies show up in Dallas to promote their project. But y'all have to remember that the screenings will always be crowded and there will be situations that we can never predict. This whole screening process is a gift and not a right. We are lucky to have the opportunity. Let's not peeve the people who are letting us attend. Also when there is a limited amount of seats available, holding a space for a large group that will take those seats from those who arrived early and are already in line is NOT COOL! The passes say first come first serve. We all hold spaces, but when those seats are at a premium, then let's use some common sense and courtesy.

Don't know why it's so hard for y'all to not to respond to the whole group when you want a pass. Please, it's not that difficult to send it to the person who is offering. Your chances of getting that needed pass will be greatly increased.

January 13 - January 19

Jan 13

Playtime - 2 pm - Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth

Jan 14

Catch Me If You Can on the screen and live - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley

Jan 15

Broken City - 7 pm - Angelika Dallas
The Last Stand - 7:30 pm - Dallas (Cinemark 17?)
Mama - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Jan 16

The Last Stand - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Royal

Jan 17

Warm Bodies - 7:30 pm - Magnolia

Jan 19

Jan 20

Peter Pan Diamond Edition - 11 am - Cinemark West Plano

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Friday, January 11, 2013


Beecham House is a retirement home for musicians. Based on the play of the same name by Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) who also wrote the screenplay. Dustin Hoffman directed and executive produced the comedy/drama filled with the best actors from Great Britain. Like the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the film redefines growing old with how art keeps the brain active, raises the human spirit and ultimately brings hope. Maggie Smith's performance earned a 2013 Golden Globes nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.

The residents of Beecham House give a concert every year to celebrate Giuseppe Verdi's birthday and raise funds for their home. Life is thrown into turmoil when a former grande dame of the opera who has fallen on hard times comes to the House. Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) used to be married to Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and he's not very happy about the situation. Reggie, Jean, Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Cissy (Pauline Collins) were once in a quartet. With the fourth member of their group arrives, the old simmering rivalries begin to surface.

The beautiful appointed residence seems like an idyllic setting where the oldsters spend their days singing, reading, and the organized activities like dancing, or just having tea. Reggie gives classes to teenagers about opera. His best friend obsesses about sex, Cissy flutters around and may not be playing with a full deck all the time. Jean was more ambitious than her group members including her ex-husband. She's still a bit of a diva but refuses to sing.

Hoffman lets the actors and the story meander around the beautiful grounds of Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire in autumn 2011. There's lots of singing and musical instrumentals as the musicians practice for their concert. Michael Gambon plays Cedric dressed in a silk dressing gown and fez who is the master of ceremonies offering his critical advise to the performers. Dr. Lucy Cogan (Sheridan Smith) is in charge of the seniors at the home has to reassure the worried residents when one of their own is taken to hospital. You can see on everyone's faces the fear that one day that may be them.

Everyone tires to talk Jean into singing the Quartet from Rigoletto with her old group. It's a huge honor but Jean is adamant about not doing it. She doesn't want to insult the memory of who she was since she believes her gift deserted her. Cissy manages to push the right buttons that had threatens her pride. It's delightful to watch the seniors sing. It's encouraging to watch the actors of very mature years bicker, discuss points endless debates, then bring to their music something that long years of experience can enbue. The cast is filled with past members of real life opera companies. Age has not done that much damage to their voices. And the joy of their songs will leave you filled with hope that growing old doesn't have to be end of your dreams. Hoffman directed this his first movie at the ripe age of 75.
(Review by reesa)

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Gangster Squad

Journalist Paul Lieberman wrote a seven part series in the Los Angeles Times that was a result of 10 years of research about the LA war on crime during 1900 - 1951. He also became an executive producer for the film that was inspired by the thousands of pages of documents, grand jury transcripts, crime reports and interviews with the real police unit and associated criminals. Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and Castle writer Will Beall bring some humor and action to the story of how the Gangster Squad took down Mickey Cohen who had been making a mockery of law and order in Los Angeles for 15 years.

It's Los Angeles in 1949 before J. Edgar Hoover's FBI acknowledged the existence of the Mafia. Not Italian and Jewish, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) wants to send a message to the bad guys in Chicago that LA belongs to him by horrifically getting rid of one of their soldiers underneath the famous Hollywood sign. Mickey, a former boxer, is sadistic, evil, and power mad. All he needs is a moustache to twirl. Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) asks righteous squared jawed Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to head up a team to secretly take down Cohen. They would be flying under the radar. No one will know of his team's existence except for him because most of the police force were under Cohen's influence so there's no one you can trust. O'Mara's pregnant wife Connie (Mirelle Enos) is already upset that he often comes home beat up from his altercations with the gang. In her heart she realizes that her husband is a big moral guy so she helps him select the members of his group. Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie) who chases after drug dealers, Max Kennard (Robert Patrick) an old school sharp shooter and his protégé Navidad Ramierez (Michael Peña), the “brain” Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) who worked in intelligence during the war is enlisted to be their wire man. O'Mara's cynical womanizing friend Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) rounds out the group. Wooters also falls into a relationship with Micky Cohen's culture adviser Grace Faraday (Emma Stone) knowing he's playing with fire. If Micky finds out, he would kill both of them.

The best way of taking down Cohen's hold on the city is to disrupt his main sources of income which are women, drugs and gambling. Everyone believes the attacks are Cohen's New York and Chicago competitors. He's trying to establish an major bookie operation that would connect across the US via phone lines. Obviously an idea that advanced today to online betting which makes his progressive views almost visionary albeit in a criminal sort of way. The Squad's main target is Cohen's El Dorado. The dream of his future empire. Enter the Gangster Squad who shoot it up with a trunk full of weapons to battle the gangster's machine guns and grenades in an homage to every gangster movie ever made with it's slow mo bullets and mayhem. It's a wise move of the producers after the incident in Colorado last year to remove the movie theater shoot out that was featured in the trailer.

The cars and sets were beautifully realized in this picturesque postcard vision of early Los Angeles. The costumes and make up were perfectly appointed. The squad represents with it's racial mix and blend of old and young characters. If this was a television series the various eliminations of Cohen's holdings would work well with the movie's episodic pacing. Everyone is either a good guy or a bad guy. There's no angst involved except for two timing Grace who only stays with Micky for survival. This is a comic book version of life in vintage LA. If you want some grittier drama check out LA Confidential. Otherwise it's a swell way of starting January.
(Review by reesa)

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Academy Award Nominations


Best Picture

Nominees to be determined

Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers

Django Unchained
Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers

Les Misérables
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers

Life of Pi
Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers

Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Silver Linings Playbook
Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

Zero Dark Thirty
Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers


Amour Michael

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi
Ang Lee

Steven Spielberg

Silver Linings Playbook
David O. Russell

Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper
Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis

Hugh Jackman
Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix
The Master

Denzel Washington

Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain
Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence
Silver Linings Playbook

Riva Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts
The Impossible

Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin

Robert De Niro
Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Master

Tommy Lee Jones

Christoph Waltz
Django Unchained

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams
The Master

Sally Field

Anne Hathaway
Les Misérables

Helen Hunt
The Sessions

Jacki Weaver
Silver Linings Playbook

Animated Feature Film

Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Tim Burton

Sam Fell and Chris Butler

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Peter Lord

Wreck-It Ralph
Rich Moore


Anna Karenina
Seamus McGarvey

Django Unchained
Robert Richardson

Life of Pi
Claudio Miranda

Janusz Kaminski

Roger Deakins

Costume Design

Anna Karenina Jacqueline Durran 
Les Misérables
Paco Delgado

Joanna Johnston

Mirror Mirror
Eiko Ishioka

Snow White and the Huntsman
Colleen Atwood

Documentary Feature

5 Broken Cameras
Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

The Gatekeepers
Nominees to be determined

How to Survive a Plague
Nominees to be determined

The Invisible War
Nominees to be determined

Searching for Sugar Man
Nominees to be determined

Documentary Short

Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

Kings Point
Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider

Mondays at Racine
Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan

Open Heart
Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern

Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Film Editing

William Goldenberg

Life of Pi
Tim Squyres

Michael Kahn

Silver Linings Playbook
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers

Zero Dark Thirty
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Foreign Language Film




A Royal Affair

War Witch

Makeup and Hairstyling

Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane

Les Misérables
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Music Original Score

Anna Karenina
Dario Marianelli

Alexandre Desplat

Life of Pi
Mychael Danna

John Williams

Thomas Newman

Music Original Song

"Before My Time"
from Chasing Ice Music and Lyric by J. Ralph

"Everybody Needs A Best Friend"
from Ted Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane

"Pi's Lullaby"
from Life of Pi Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri

from Skyfall Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
from Les Misérables Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Production Design

Anna Karenina
Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)

Les Misérables
Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration)

Life of Pi
David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)

Short Film Animated

Adam and Dog
Minkyu Lee

Fresh Guacamole

Head over Heels
Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"
David Silverman

John Kahrs

Short Film Live Action

Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura

Buzkashi Boys
Sam French and Ariel Nasr

Shawn Christensen

Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)
Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele

Yan England

Sound Editing

Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn

Django Unchained
Wylie Stateman

Life of Pi
Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton

Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers

Zero Dark Thirty
Paul N.J. Ottosson

Sound Mixing

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia

Les Misérables
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes

Life of Pi
Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin

Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins

Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White

Life of Pi
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

Marvel's The Avengers
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick

Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill

Snow White and the Huntsman
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Writing Adapted Screenplay

Written by Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi
Written by David Magee

Written by Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook
Written by David O. Russell

Writing Original Screenplay

Written by Michael Haneke

Django Unchained
Written by Quentin Tarantino

Written by John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom
Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty
Written by Mark Boal

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 1/6 - 1/12

We are being buried in spam from infected email accounts of our members. If you get one of those emails, do not click on the links! Please change your passwords!!! That is all.

Award season is coming up with the Golden Globes next weekend. The SAG awards are next before the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards. The North Texas Film Critics Association (of which your humble moderator is a member) just posted their Best of 2012 at https://northtexasfilmcritics.com

Do you agree? Please post your comments on here on our website, or our Facebook pages.

January 6 - January 12

Jan 6

Jan 7

7:30 pm Gangster Squad - Cinemark West Plano

Jan 8

7:00 pm Quartet - Angelika Dallas

Jan 9

7:00 pm American Idol World Premiere - AMC Valley View
7:30 pm Warm Bodies - Arlington and Mesquite

Jan 10

7:30 pm A Haunted House - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley

Jan 11

7:30 pm Raising Arizona - Angelika Dallas

Jan 12

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