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

Friday, May 31, 2013

After Earth




Director M. Night Shyamalan last few movies have been disappointing at best. Teaming up with blockbuster star Will Smith seems like a guaranteed recipe for successful summer movie. Smith came up with the story which was turned into a screenplay by Gary Whitta and Shyamalan. It's a somewhat typical base tale of a young whippersnapper having daddy issues but this time on a deserted planet with aliens trying to kill them.

The planet Earth had been abandoned because humans weren't able to take care of it properly so they have to settle on other planets. Except out there they find very dangerous lifeforms which they call Ursa's. Horrible creatures who can sense the fear in their prey and utilizing ploys like hanging their victims to make the survivors more fearful. One Ranger, Cypher Raige (Will Smith) figured out that if you are not afraid, the Ursa's can't find you. Keeping that mindset is what helps the Rangers keep the aliens at bay. Except by closing himself off to feelings, Cypher has managed to alienate his own family. His teenage son, Kital (Will's real life son Jaden Smith) has failed his Ranger test, and is feeling a bit defensive and frustrated by his seemingly unfeeling father. Cyper decides to take him on his last mission before his retirement. Except their ship is damaged by a meteor shower and is forced to land on a banned planet. Earth.

Cypher and his son are the only survivors of the crash and the father is badly injured with two broken legs. It's up to Kital to find the tail end of the ship to launch the emergency signal. The only trouble is that's at least 60 miles away. With humans no longer interfering with the precious Eco-system, Earth is now teaming with wildlife. Plus, the weather has a tendency to change from hot to freezing frost at night. The air and gravity on this planet is also a challenge. Kital has to face his fears, Cypher has to learn how to trust his son, and both have to work out some pain and guilt over the death of Senshi, the oldest child some years before.

The themes of the movie are broad colored by high tech trappings of it's sci-fi base. The future world has some cool gadgets that lets Cypher monitor Kital's journey and guide him away from trouble, although the kid doesn't listen to his dad like most kids. There's a reason why Kital didn't pass his cadet ranger training. He's of the mind to panic first. This makes his mission particularly problematic,because not only are there the expected wildlife encounters, but there's also a Ursa running around that escaped from the their spaceship. The special effects are decent enough and was happy that the film was not in 3D. Kital has to reach certain levels of his game like adventure experiencing skills and defeating the various obstacles in his path. Cypher's voice is always with him reminding him in what seems to be a lot of Scientology speak about “rooting oneself in the present moment” and “fear is a choice”.

Will Smith may be the big name in this, but it's really Jaden's movie. Jaden is the one running around while his dad mans the controls trying to stay conscious. The climatic battle scene where the son has to put up or shut up could have been better if the monster was a little more defined and less a shapelessly bad CGI threat. Everything is standard in it's story telling, but the movie did look nice, outside of the Ursa. There are moments when it did look like Kital must be running around in circles because those fallen trees looked like the same place only from different angles. The costumes were sleek and well considered. Overall the production quality is great. For an M.Night. Shyamalan movie, it's not bad.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/26- 6/1

There was a incident at a recent screening where these 2 young women of what is now questionable intelligence decided to sit in seats clearly marked RESERVED. We as usual movie goers know that do not sit in those marked seats unless given specific permission. Simple, not brain surgery. Yet, these two ladies decided those rules did not apply to them. When ousted from the space by the security guard, they decided to share ONE seat by sitting on one of the ladies' lap. Really? Totally dumbfounded as everyone else was who witnessed this. Please folks, use your head. As amusing as it was for the audience waiting for the screening, it's still not a cool thing to do. Shame on y'all.

OK...Superman is coming up. Please folks, you must enter the contests before you start begging for passes that someone else took the trouble to enter. Do no ask for passes until they have been distributed!!!!

May 26 - June 1

Sun
May 26

Mon
May 27

Tue
May 28

The Heat - 7:00 pm - tba Fort Worth

Wed
May 29

Graceland - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Now You See Me - 7:30 pm - Angelika dallas
This is the End - 7:30 - AMC Northpark
Kings of Summer - 7:30 - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
After Earth - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Royal
After Earth - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17
Horror Remix: Don't - 8:00 pm - Studio Movie Grill Royal

Thu
May 30

The Heat - 7:00 pm - tba Fort Worth
The Internship - 7:00 pm - Studio Movie Grill Arlington
The Way Way Back - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Fri
May 31

Sat
Jun 1




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Friday, May 24, 2013

Fast and Furious 6





Fans of the series were left with a cliff hanger at the end of Fast Five with the revelation that Letty, Dom's presumed dead girlfriend was really alive and well. Justin Lin who also directed The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, and Fast Five is back with screenwriter Chris Morgan who also wrote those movies and is working on the next. The result is a bigger, badder, bolder movie and probably the best of the bunch.

The action is set after the crew are enjoying the bounty of their heist in Rio basically retired from their life of crime. Dom (Vin Diesel) is living with the cop Elena (Elsa Pataky), Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Brian (Paul Walker) just had a baby, Gisele (Gal Gadot) and Han (Sung Kang) movedto Hong Kong, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) is living the high life, Tej (Ludacris) is being more philanthropic. DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) comes to Dom to ask him for his help in bringing down Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) who is responsible for the destruction of a Russian military convoy. He entices Dom with a picture of Letty (Michele Rodriguez), but Dom will only accept if he and his crew get full amnesty so they can return home to the US.

There is everything you want in a F&F movie. Fast cars, exciting speed chases through crowded streets, vehicles blowing up, the grim determined protagonists with their dry and humorous line readings. The action is expected, but what makes this film different from the rest is the sense of family that is established and what the crew is trying to fight for more than mission. Each of the characters gets more screen time as they explore their relationship with each other and their sincerity gives the story line more heart.

Shaw is competent villain and his crew are a direct counterpoint to Dom's team. It's no shock to find that Letty is working with Shaw. She becomes the key point but she is no damsel in distress. For once there's a female fight sequence between two competent women. Riley (MMA champ Gina Carano), DSS agent working with Hobbs and Letty have an epic one on one battle in the subway station. No high heeled, spandex, or perfect hair here. There's some gut kicks, knee strikes, leg scissors and flap jacks. Best fight ever.

There's always some amazing action scenes, and this film gives more than a few sequences like the chase on the freeway that involves a tank. Then chasing down an airplane with arrows and cables. Must see to believe and don't try this at home stuff. Totally unbelievable, but just go with it. Everyone is so totally committed and you can't help yourself get pulled along for the ride of your life. This is one summer movie that doesn't pull any punches. Including the extra scene that end that had the audience gasping and will be anxiously waiting for number seven!
(Review by reesa)




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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fast and Furious 6





Ah, summertime. The time of the year when stuff gets blown up, actors get paid huge sums of money to reprise roles of superheroes and realism gets tossed out the door all for the sake of drawing moviegoers to the movie theater. This is my favorite time of year because it’s the time when I don’t have to think when I want to enjoy a movie. I can sit back and watch someone get thrown from an eight-story building and get up and run away unscathed and I don’t have to question it. That’s why Fast & Furious 6 is a great movie. It fits right in to the summer movie season. The entire film is overflowing with extreme fights, cars being blown up, lingering shots of women’s backsides and ‘The Rock’ taking any chance he can to try and put a one-liner over on the audience.

Really, the only subject that I need to talk about for this movie is the action. You should know going into this movie to not expect anything that could ACTUALLY ever happen. There are so many cars getting flipped and blown up and characters just crawling out of them, I don’t think it was ever expected to be believed. But that just makes the movie all that more exciting. The chase scenes (which undeniably make Fast and Furious what it is) don’t seem to be any better or worse than the previous movies, but they definitely deliver. They make your heart race and excitement level raise. There are also MANY ‘holy crap what just happened’ moments. Numerous, complete, over-the-top stunts are performed and at the end of the film you’re left with an adrenaline rush that’s comparable to drinking three Red Bulls. Even with all of this action, Fast & Furious 6 actually has a decent storyline.

The importance of family. That is what this film preaches and I love it. Amidst all of the cars and bullets, there is a warmth and truth behind it all. When they fight, they fight for the love of family. All of the choices and all of the actions are based on whom they’re doing it for. It gives you a little tingly feeling if you think about it long enough. On top of the importance of family, the movie also has a story good enough to keep you interested throughout the entire 2 hours. Surprisingly, this movie could carry itself without all of the action (even though it IS an action film).

All in all, I’m very pleased with how this latest instalment of Fast and Furious turned out. It had action, girls, and a great message (though, obscured by the prior two items). I left the theatre with a great rush and a satisfied feeling. I’m honestly very excited for next chapter in the Fast and Furious series, as at the very end of 6 they threw a new character into the mix that I’m sure many people (myself included) are going to be ecstatic about. My suggestion, get to the theatres and see this. If you’re any kind of action fan, you’re going to enjoy this movie. Just sit back, relax and don’t over think the stunts that are happening before your eyes. If you can do that, I promise you will enjoy this great summer film.
(Review by Weston Baker)




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Hangover 3





The first thought that comes to mind as the latest adventure of the Wolf Pack unfolds is “why?” Does the world really need another inane movie of arrested developed adults falling into improbable situations with painfully unfunny results. There's obviously an audience for this sort of thing so the movie will most likely find it's target profits. Directed by Todd Phillips who also wrote the screenplay with Craig Mazin doesn't involve a wedding...at least not right away. It's been 2 years since the last events of 2nd version of this formula feature which was a major disappointment so this 3rd time is a charm is a generous statement.

Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is off his meds. After his father passes, the rest of the family and friends decide they need to stage an intervention. The pack, Phil (Bradly Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Doug (Justin Bartha) offer to drive him to the rehab hospital in Arizona. On the way they are kidnapped by Marshall (John Goodman) who wants to find Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) who escaped from prison in Thailand. They only clue he has it that Alan has been writing to him. Marshall takes Doug as hostage until they figure out a way of finding Chow and the gold that he has stolen.

Driving in Phil's minivan, the pack goes to Tijuana and Las Vegas in their pursuit of the disaster magnet Chow. As usual the pack has shaky plans on how to capture the wily Asian. Alan who has no sense of boundaries, filters or judgement is not really a big help. When they do manage to track down Chow he ropes the guys into various nefarious deeds in order to get the gold to free their friend. But Chow has his own agenda.

The humor is a series of pratfalls and over the top situations that will either amuse or annoy. Fans of the last couple of movies will most likely enjoy the film. The best part of the inclusion of Melissa McCarthy as a Cassie the Las Vegas pawn broker who starts a heated attraction to Alan. Heather Graham is back briefly as Jade who lives happily married with the child that was the infant in the first movie. (Grant Holmquist was one of the several babies that was used in the original movie) Jeffery Tambor and Mike Epps make short and ill fated appearances. The very last hangover scene when you think the movie has ended is the only really amusing moment harking back to the first movie. Although it's straining to insult and leaving those wanting more of this kind of dumb and dumber type of film making. If you like that feeling of one's brain cells dying, then please enjoy.
(Review by reesa)



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Epic




William Joyce's book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs has been turned into a computer animated fantasy adventure that will please parents and their children who will beg to see it. Director of Ice Age and Robots, Chris Wedge works from the script by Joyce, James V. Hart, Daniel Shere, Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. It's boasts an all star cast of voices for the story of a battle of good and evil in the deep forest.

Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried) who prefers to be called M.K. lost her mother and has moved to her father's house way off the beaten path. Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) is a highly distracted scientist who is studying the evidence of what may be a tiny civilization of creatures who live in the forest. He has motion activated cameras in the trees and special head gear with magnifying glasses to confirm their existence. M.K. stumbles across Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles) when the queen is attacked by the leader of the Boggans, Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). Somehow when M.K. catches a glowing fallen leaf she is mysteriously shrunken to the size of the Leaf Men. She encounters Nod (Josh Hutcherson) a young hot headed rookie and Ronin (Colin Farrell) the seasoned leader of the Leaf Men. They help her navigate their world despite that she is a “stomper”, what they call humans, especially her father who they have been misdirecting his search.

Mandrake was trying to stop the Queen from passing her power to a new “pod” When the pod blooms on the full moon of an eclipse, the power of the forest will be restored to the good. Mandrake with the help of his henchmen of rats and bats lurk in the shadows creating bubble like abscesses that cause what ever they touch to decay and die. He plans to steal the pod and create a forest that is dark and dead with the pod's power. The protectors of the pod are a snail (Chris O'Dowd) and a slug (Aziz Ansari) who are charged with keeping the pod “moist” with their slime. Most of the story revolves around trying to keep the pod out of Mandrakes clutches, and finding a way for M.K. to return to her world. M.K. is a spunky heroine who finds a cause that gets her out of her funk and disappointment with her father who she thinks is off his rocker. Nod is the typical young punk who would rather race his bird than accept the role as a warrior and the protector of the forest from his mentor and his father's best friend, Ronin. Both find a way to grow up and take responsibility for their worlds.

The artwork is impressive and the 3D imagery helps the brightly colored film bring to life the spirit of the forest. The story carries the story of family and environment themes without being over bearing. There's some good chases, and the evil gets it's due, but without any traumatic scares for the wee ones. The older kids will enjoy that the Leaf Men move faster in their world, and Stompers sound like they are in slow motion. Great for the family of all ages.
(Review by reesa)



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Frances Ha









Frances Ha is interesting but didn't really hit for me. This movie is in black and white and does have an old feel but something just didn't add up for me. The writing was stale and the humor was about as one dimensional as a Michael Bay movie. The main character is a woman and maybe I just didn't connect with the characters. This is not a bad movie by any means it just wasn't for me. The cinematography and music were outstanding and bring a 1950's feel. I did enjoy myself but overall it just wasn't for me. 6/10
(Review by Chase Lee)





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12th Annual 24-Hour Video Race Race Winners Announced


12th Annual 24-Hour Video Race

Race Winners Announced






The 12th annual 24-Hour Video Race ended Monday night, May 20, with teams piled into the Angelika Film Center-Dallas for final judging.



Bart Weiss, Video Association of Dallas’ Artistic Director, said, “I was amazed at the level of creativity in the city from such a diverse group of filmmakers. From nearly every sector of the city, and from various age groups, the ways these makers reinterpreted our prompts were inspiring.”



“It is amazing what can these teams can create in just 24 hours, and it was a tough job for our judges to evaluate them,” Weiss concluded. “There were twice as many high school teams in the past 2 years with 24 teams competing, comprised of more than 125 kids, in the student division, Pixelvision. Some came from as far away as Mansfield.”



The finals judges were broken up in to two shifts this year. The judges for Pixelvision (High School), Futurevision (College) and Auteur (a single member) categories included Casey Gooden, producer of UPSTREAM COLOR and PRIMER; CultureMap Dallas’ associate arts and entertainment editor, Alex Bentley; Steve Alford, president of Alford Media Services, Inc.; and Lee Papert, President and CEO of the Dallas Film Society.



Judging the Guerilla (2-5 members) and Hollywood (6-plus members) categories were Angie Bolling, "Mrs. Robocop" in all three ROBOCOP movies; Erin Prather Stafford, executive producer of the winner of VideoFest 25 Documentary: WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES; Ya’ke Smith, award-winning filmmaker of WOLF, and Paul Salfen, Dallas-based editor and media entrepreneur, host of “Drew Pearson Show” on Fox Sports, managing editor of Flavorpill Dallas, and the entertainment and travel editor for ScoreBoard.





The participants had 24 hours to make a video, which was required to include the following elements:

Theme - Recycling

Prop - Phone Book

Line of Dialogue - “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Location - B_G: the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau’s new brand campaign recognizing locals as the catalyst behind making "BIG Things Happen in Dallas."



2013 Dallas 24-Hour Video Race results:


(Videos can be viewed on http://www.24hourvideorace.com/)



Pixelvision (high school category)


1st: Space Team

2nd: Cinemazing

3rd: The Snowdeckers



Honorable Mentions


Mansfield Film Crew

Team Pistol Poppers



Futurevision (College category)


1st: GDV

2nd:Furious Films

3rd: Atomic Production



Auteur (1-team member category)

1st: Knockaround Guy

2nd: Solera Visuals

3rd: Daddy Daughter Day Off Productions



Guerilla (3-5 Team Members category)


1st: The Fightin' Cobras

2nd: Strangers With Cameras

3rd: SWAMP



Hollywood (6+ Team Members category)

1st: Panther City Pictures

2nd: 80's Children

3rd: SmokingCrayolas



Special Directors Prize


Kings & Cults-mobile video

Sinha Creative-music video



Special Mention:


Video Association of Dallas board chair, Jeff Leuschel, was so impressed with Glitter Sandwich’s director Kayla Cesari’s film that Leuschel has offered to sponsor her team next year as their Race Angel. Leuschel compared her work to German New Wave director, Wim Wenders. Glitter Sandwich’s film can be seen at YouPlusMedia Dallas: http://www.youplusdallas.com/stories/glitter-sandwich





Thank You to our 2013 Video Race Sponsors



Video Race Food Sponsor


Jersey Mike’s on Greenville



Major Sponsors:


Texas Commission on the Arts

Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs

Dallas Film Commission



Media Sponsors

Speak Pixels

KERA

YouPlusMedia Dallas

Roderick Cordova Photography

Enetimusic Library

Brainfood

Dallas Film Society



Graphic Designers

Rachelle Alfred

Ali Golzad



Race Angels


Sell.com

AMS Pictures

Abernethy Media Professionals, Inc.

The Invisible People

Dallas Producers Association

Alford Media Services

Jim Nugent

Patricia Lodewick

Alicia Chang

Ditore Mayo Entertainment

Half Priced Books



Survival Bag Sponsors


Texas Film Commission

Modern Luxury Magazine

Dallas Film Commission

Moroch

Visit Dallas

KXT

Texas Film Commission

Half Price Books

Jersey Mike’s




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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/19- 5/25

Looks like summer is finally here with the Texas heat and some major blockbusters on the horizon. So with the big movies pending, let's see if everyone can get this right. Star Trek and Fast & Furious 6 loaded the list with people wanting passes and a few people offering and many people getting their posts rejected because they sent it here instead of responding directly to the person. tsk tsk. This is not new folks, and it's not rocket science. You must stop using the reply button on your phone, cause it sends it back here and you won't ever get what your want. One would think that if you get rejected once, you would remember never to do it that way again. Yeah...

Also...if you send a request once, there is really no need to keep sending the same request over and over again. Please be specific in your posts. Make it clear and simple. Use the proper header in the subject line with Want, trade, and offer. Don't put your phone numbers in the emails or send your addresses.

There are some of y'all who don't appreciate the calendar on the group page http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/DallasMovieScreenings/cal that shows all the known up coming screenings and the sources for the passes. Go look at that before quickly hitting reply and asking "when is the screening, what theater and what time?".
Don't have others do the work for you that you can do yourself. That includes entering the contests to get passes on your own.

May 19 - May 25

Sun
May 19

The Private Life of a Masterpiece:Edgar Degas, The Little Dancer Aged 14 (2004) - 2:00 pm - Kimbell Art Museum
Technically Crazy - 3:00 pm - Angelika Plano

Mon
May 20

Now You See Me - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Fast & Furious 6 - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Tue
May 21

Now You See Me - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Frances Ha - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Hangover 3 - 7:30 pm - Cinemark West Plano

Wed
May 22

This is the End - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
Fast & Furious 6 - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
The Way Way Back - 7:30 pm - Angelika Plano
Fast & Furious 6 - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Royal

Thu
May 23

The Heat - 7:00 pm - Amstar 14
The Kings of Summer - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Fri
May 24

Sat
May 24




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Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness






The idea of rebooting the massively popular cult franchise by creating an alternative universe where the familiar characters are populated by attractive and talented versions of their former selves was brilliantly realized in 2009's Star Trek. J.J. Abrams is back directing the current continuation of the voyages of the Star Trek Enterprise with screen writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. They keep what all fans loved and appreciated in the series by making it fresh and ready for the next generation. True fans of the series and the movies have already been speculating on the return of a classic villain threatening the Federation. However for those too young or non-fans, they will be able understand the what's going on although they won't get the small nuances.

The movie opens with the new Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) doing what he does best, reacting by instinct. He's being chased by the indigenous inhabitants of a pre-technological civilization and going against Starfleet's Prime Directive in his attempt to save Spock trapped in a volcano. By ignoring the rules and regulations of Starfleet he gets his command taken away and he has to become the first officer to Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood). They attend a meeting of high ranking officers when a Starfleet facility in London was blown up. Somehow Kirk is the only one who figures out why, but not before some heavy casualties are incurred. Kirk and crew find themselves being sent to Klingon space to chase down the criminal John Harrington (Benedict Cumberbatch) holed up on an uninhabited planet. He has orders to shoot 72 long range prototype torpedoes at the planet. Instead Kirk on the advise of his crew captures him instead.

Kirk is dealing with some serious revenge issues when finds himself having to use Harrison who has revealed to him the bigger picture of what is happening around him. Suddenly he has to grow up from being a hot headed young captain to realizing that Starfleets' protocol is something that he grows to respect. It's great seeing glimpses of Shatner's Captain with a more sincere interpretation from Chris Pine. Quinto also softens his stiff necked Spock to realize his alternative self (Lenord Nimoy) who he met in the last movie had suggestions to him by embracing that human side. His romance with Uhura (Zoe Saldana) has some amusing moments too. Karl Urban does what he can with Bone's quaint folkisms while being Kirk's constant adviser. Scotty (Simon Pegg) has some problems with the new mission and walks off the job. Chekov (Anton Yelchin) dons a red shirt to become his replacement in engineering and Sulu (John Cho) gets to sit in the Captain's chair this time around. We are introduced to a new character Science Officer Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) who is the daughter of the Admiral (Peter Weller).

The Federation universe is nicely realized with a sense of place a more intimate look on how people live in this future world of 2259. There's scenes of London, San Francisco, the Klingon home world, the inside of engineering that's more machine than we have seen in the other Star Trek movies. Cars in the future float above the ground as does hospital gurneys. The visuals while outstanding is not the real drawing point of this film. It's the family dynamic of the Enterprise that fans have come to know and love and why this series keeps a loyal following. And when the familiar refrain of the theme song starts the film, it's nice to once more come home.
(Review by reesa)




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The Iceman








Michael Shannon is one of the best actors living today. He should be nominated for an Oscar for this role. The directing was expertly delivered into a very slick movie with great cinematography. This movie time jumps between decades and just adds to the impressive eye candy. The acting is top notch and this is the best role I have seen Chris Evans (Captain America) do. Everyone did a very good job but Muchael Shannon carries this movie. The editing is paced well and in some scenes are gripping and nail biting. This is based around true hitman Richard Kuklinski who supposedly murdered over 100 people with no remorse. This is a great movie and it compares to goodfellas. 8.5/10
(Review by Chase Lee)




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What Maisie Knew





“What Maisie Knew” is a difficult and poignant film to watch.  The initial illusion that Maisie, a 7 year old, is growing up in a healthy , loving, functional family unit lasts about 5 minutes before we realize that the adults are on a rapid downward spiral.  Maisie’s parents live in New York City. Mom Susanna (Julianne Moore), a middle-aged rock singer and Beale (Steve Coogan), an art dealer who travels, are both so self-absorbed with their own lives and how much they hate each other that Maisie is often overlooked.  She is showered with love and affection in excess when they have a spare moment but for the most part, she moves about the world of a solitary child on her own.
 
    She is portrayed with great nuance by Onata Aprile, who lets us see her as a real child, full of wonder, imagination and with a face that shows she is constantly trying to find her way in the eye of this hurricane. We look at her afraid we will actually see on her face the horror and fear she must be feeling inside.

     She has a loving and nurturing relationship with her Scottish nanny, Margo, who becomes and unwilling pawn, when Beale marries her in a ploy to gain full custody of Maisie.  Quick as a wink, mom marries bartender pal, Lincoln who also doesn’t realize his role in this tragedy either, as the new stepfather.  Both of these outside but loving caretakers are drawn into the parents’ scenes and fights, so Maisie bounces like a tether ball back and forth between the four, but we only really sense real love for Maisie from Lincoln and Margo, who allow her to be a child when they are together.  With them, her world is secure,  full of imagination and wonder. She paints, pretends, goes to school,  dresses up, enjoys nature and playing outside, loves a new pet turtle, sings and tries to keeps her roots intact but her parents will not allow that to be.  Mom and dad keep coming and going, faster than she can keep track of.  After a near tragedy is averted, Maisie begins to realize that she needs to  be with those who really care for her well being and has a tough decision to make for one so young.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)





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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/12 - 5/18

Happy Mother's Day movie group. Hope y'all are treating your mom's or mom like people in your lives to something special to show your heartfelt appreciation. Even if it's just giving them a break for a couple hours.

Lots of movies, and it seems it's all on one day as usual. Obviously there's going to be many offers and requests for passes. Just a friendly reminder to please keep your negotiations off the list. Write directly to the person asking for or offering passes. Don't just hit reply and think it's going to get you what you want. It will just be "rejected" and sent back to you. Don't waste valuable time, the moderators and yours. Do it right the first time.

May 12 - May 18

Sun
May 12

Mon
May 13

Tue
May 14

Fast & Furious 6 - 7:30 pm - Look Cinema
Scatter My Ashes At Berdorfs - 7:30 pm - Look Cinema

Wed
May 15

The Purge - 4:00 pm - Cinemark West Plano
The Internship - 7:00 pm - Rave Ridgmar
Now You See Me - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
Fast & Furious 6 - 7:30 pm - Cinemark West Plano
The Way Way Back - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Star Trek:Into Darkness - 9:00 - Amstar 14
Star Trek:Into Darkness - 9:00 - Cinemark West Plano

Thu
May 16

Fri
May 17

Sat
May 18

Epic - 10:00 am - AMC Northpark


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Friday, May 10, 2013

Peeples





Peeples is a comedy that you wouldn't call typical.  From the very beginning you can guess that it is going to be funny with some twists and turns.  In the very first scene of the movie Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) is entertaining & teaching a song to a large group of children on how to properly use the potty.  This was very funny but I personally had a problem understanding the words to the song and some parts of the rest of the movie. I got use to the sound quality as the movie progressed.  It could have been me but I asked a friend and she said she also had the same problem.  

In the next part of the movie Grace (Kerry Washington) Wade Walker's girlfriend is planning on going to her Peeples family reunion in the Hamptons without Wade.  He is not too happy because he has never met her family and was hoping to make the trip with her to meet the them.  She convinces him not to go with her since it is something that her family does each year. She leaves him in New York. Then he decides to surprise her after his crazy friend Chris Walker (Malcolm Barrett) says he need to go and meet the family. Chris Walker then surprises Wade and shows up too. Wade has a plan to ask Grace to marry him. 

Wade arrives at the Hamptons (after a very scary boat ride) and it is very obvious that he is in a very high class surroundings.  He was not prepared for the swanky Sag Harbor vacation home. He was introduced to Grace's mother Daphne Peeples (S. Epatha Merkerson) who is a recovering alcoholic. Grace's father Virgil Peeples (David Alan Grier) who was a judge and believes his daughter Grace is perfect therefore no man is good enough for her. Grace's sister Gloria Peeples (Kali Hawk) is a lesbian but the family doesn't know. Simon Peeples, Grace's brother. (Tyler James Williams) is a 16 year old kleptomaniac hip hop dancer.  He realized that he is a fish out of water among this picture-perfect East Coast Clan. Coming to the reunion was not what he expected.  He walked into a high-powered yet typically dysfunctional family who would do whatever it took to keep up appearances.  They didn't know Wade was even in Grace's life. Obviously Wade's plan to propose to Grace meets obstacles. Without giving too much away they all worked out their differences. It was a very fun movie with a lot of unexpected moments.

The scenery was gorgeous.  I laughed a great deal and could picture being in the same boat with someone I was in love with.  Peeples is written and first-time directed by Tine Gordon Chism who joins forces with producer Tyler Perry.  Don't expect it to be anything but fun and entertaining.  We all need a little humor in our lives.  It truly made me smile and laugh a lot though the whole movie.
(Review by Lila Katz)




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Midnight's Children





By all accounts Salman Rushdie's novel was considered difficult project to bring to the screen. Rushdie spent two years pairing down his 600 page Booker Prize winning book to a 130 page script. The final script which has a 2 ½ hour running time was written and directed by Deepa Mehta. The shooting of the film had to be kept a secret as Mehta feared Islamic fundamentalists groups. The lush photography creates a magical India in a story that spans 60 years of the main character's life and the multiple twists and turns of his fate.

Saleem (Satya Bhabha) was born between midnight and 1 am on August 15, 1947 at the exact moment of India's independence. His wealthy family is unaware that the nurse switches the babies with the son of a street performer. Shiva who was actually sired by an English colonial and the wife of the street singer will turn out to be Saleem's eternal rival. For some unexplained reason, all the children born during those magic hours have a telepathic link to each other and a unique supernatural gift. Saleem being the strongest is a catalyst that brings them all together. They appear to each other like spirits. They become Saleem's only friends and at times an annoyance.

The historical backdrop of India will probably be unfamiliar to most people. Especially the 1971 Bangladesh war of independence and the state of emergency during the 70's under Indira Gandhi. The negative portrayal of the former Indian Prime Minister caused the film to stop screening by some Indian National Congress leaders. Rushdie apparently loathed Indira Gandhi so it's was probably not surprising. It's still interesting to discover other parts of the world no matter how slightly skewed it could may be.

The story weaves in and out of the tumultuous events with Saleem's adventures that work out to be somewhat like Forrest Gump in India. As crazy and interesting as poor Saleem's life becomes it often times meanders. That apparently works well in the novel, but on the big screen it makes it at time incoherent and painfully slow. The film is visually pleasing and with nice performances by most of the cast, but a large portion could be cut without anyone missing anything. What seems to be the drawing point from most of the film synopsis regards the connections between the midnight's children. However most of that though is secondary and doesn't play that big a part of the story. A good festival film.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 5/5- 5/11


Congratulations Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group on our 8th anniversary! We started in May 2005 and still going strong. We had a slightly different name before we re-grouped and started again. Now we have 2039 members as this is written, dedicated to helping everyone enjoy free advanced screening in the DFW area. A big thanks to all of you who help make this group run smoothly and our eternal gratitude for the studio reps and websites that supply us with the passes to attend these screenings.

May 5 - May 11

Sun
May 5

Mon
May 6

The Great Gatsby - 7:00 pm - Magnolia
The Kings of Summer - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Tue
May 7

Fast & Furious - 4:00 pm - Cinemark West Plano
Now You See Me - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
The Great Gatsby - 7:30 pm - Cinemark West Plano
Peeples - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Arlington

Wed
May 8

The Way Way Back - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley

Thu
May 9

Fri
May 10

Sat
May 11




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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Iron Man 3






Usually the third part of a trilogy is pretty much a wash out and retread, especially when the second wasn't all that fantastic. Jon Favreau decided not to return to direct and it was given to director Shane Black who wrote the script with Drew Pearce. Their film instills the newest Iron Man series with more heart and with lots of Stark's trademark snarky attitude. It works all because of Robert Downey Jr who has made this metallic superhero into the most popular franchise around. It's not the dark and brooding Batman, or the angsty kid with webs. It's the grown man who is full of ego and faults and the woman who loves him.

The opening prequel in the movie begins in 1999 when Stark meets up with a botanist girlfriend Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) who is working on some gene regenerating experiment. He also promises to talk to Aldrich Killian a long haired with a limp scientist who wants Stark's to join his company Advance Idea Mechanics, but in typical fashion Stark forgets. This sets up these characters returning later in the story.

The present time starts after The Avengers battle in New York City and Stark is suffering from Post Traumatic Syndrome and insomnia. Stark can't sleep at night being haunted by his near fatal encounter with aliens and suffers from anxiety attacks. He spends his time creating multiple Iron Man suits and obsessing with tweaking the equipment.

A new terrorist attack in the form of The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) who hijacks the television airways and starts a brutal bombing campaign in America. When Stark's security chief Happy Hogan (Favreau) is injured during one of the bombing, Stark reacts by giving his home address on air to challenge the terrorist. Little does he know that the Mandarin takes him up on his goading and blows up the Stark compound. Stark has big moments of trepidation as his actions put Pepper in danger and he's afraid that he won't be able to protect her again. It takes young boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) in a small town in Tennessee to snap Iron Man back to himself

Like all Iron Man movies, or Marvel movies in general, there's lots of stuff blowing up. The bad guys seem almost too invincible in their dastardly plot to control the world. Stark, now without his home base and high tech equipment must now do old school Home Depot tinkering to reconfigure his alter ego. Since everyone thinks Stark died in the house explosion, Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) dons the Iron Man suit (now rebranded at the Iron Patriot) to look for the Mandarin.

Taking the suit away from Iron Man lets Downey explore Stark as a fallible human being. It fortunately stays away from being too cutesy as Stark remains in keeping with his character, unsentimental, somewhat self involved and shallow. Kingsley steals the scenes as The Mandarin, and Paltrow as the patient Pepper shows some spunk in the end, but pretty much is the damsel in distress. This is definitely not The Avengers, but it's a fun way to start the summer movie season. Don't forget to stay for the end of the thousand special effects credits for the obligatory bonus scene.
(Review by reesa





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Kon Tiki





The legendary story of an experimental ethnographer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl's sail across the Pacific in a balsa wood raft won the 2013 Academy Award and the Golden Globe awards for Best Foreign Film. The expedition was previously documented in a 1951 directed by Thor Heyerdahl that won an Academy Award. It was also chronicled in a TV documentary series The Kon-Tiki Man: The Life and Adventures of Thor Heyerdahl. The 2012 historical drama version was directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg with a screenplay by Petter Skavian with script consultant Allan Scott was the highest grossing film in Norway and the most expensive production to date. The film has been dubbed for it's English speaking audience and is amazingly synced so you won't even notice it.

Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen is Thor Heyerdahl who noted the similarities of the statues found in ancient Peru and the Polynesian Moal theorized that the origins of the island people could have been settled by South Americans during the pre-Columbian times. To prove this he embarks on idea of building a raft using the same techniques the indigenous peoples would have used 1500 years ago. Heyerdahl managed to get funded with private loads and donations of equipment. This English version has been edited leaving out some of Heyerdahl's struggles to fund his mission. He and his crew of 5 and a parrot began the trip in April 1947 drifting on the Humboldt Current for 101 days over 4340 miles at an average speed of 1.5 knots before smashing in the reefs at Rarola in the Taumotu Islands in August 1947.

The Kon Tiki was named after the Inca god of sun and storm. The crew tried to keep the journey as true to the materials used during the earlier times, although they did carry modern equipment such as a radio, watches, charts, sextant, and knives. The balsa wood raft had a sail and a small hut on deck for shelter. They ate field rations supplied by the Army Quartermaster Corps, tinned food, 275 gallons of drinking water and caught plentiful fish including shark. Kon Tiki withstood the attacks by sharks and whales, horrific storms, and the general cabin fever that usually occurs when humans have nothing else to do and no where else to go.

The thought of being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with only a few feet of wood beneath your feet is scary enough. There are moments of crisis with sharks and storms. There's moments of paranoia about the raft breaking apart that stresses the engineer/refrigerator salesman who was Heyerdahl's right hand man. The crew's faith in Thor's obsession and their own sense of adventure keeps the crew from totally flipping out. For the audience maybe knowing that no one was lost during this journey takes the urgency out of the drama. It's interesting to note that Thor didn't even know how to swim when he mounted the expedition.

There's a Life of Pi feeling in the images and the visuals are quite compelling. The beauty of the big blue sea is in stark contrast to the small wooden raft full of tall, lanky Norwegians imagining life of the Peruvians making their way into the unknown. Thor's trip inspired recreations of by other adventurers all met with success most of the time. Thor even tried to sail from Morocco to Barbados in order to show the link between Ancient Egypt and the New World. There's still a debate on whether Thor's suppositions regarding the origins of the inhabitants of the Easter Islands were truly from Peru. But the idea of physically trying to prove your point is still worth some cinematic entertainment.
(Review by reesa)





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Angel's Share









This is presented in a traditional buddy road trip movie but is told with a different spin that will keep you intrigued with its mixture of drama, suspension and comedy. It has heart and shows us we can get through anything as long as we have people to support us. The acting is very good. I really liked the main character and felt for him even though he is portrayed as a guy who gets in trouble with the law. This is shot very well giving us the city landscape and nice mountain landscapes. It's good eye candy. There were a few edits that were cut weird and some lasted too long but overall still a good pace. Without revealing to much about the story, all I can say is after watching this movie you will want a glass of whisky. It's one of those films that can evoke sadness, laughter and excitement and that's a great movie by my book. 9/10

It's playing at the Angelika starting on Friday! Also this movie is heavy on the Scottish accents but don't worry there are subtitles.
(Review by Chase Lee)



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The Reluctant Fundamentalist





Mira Nair who directed Mississippi Masala and The Namesake takes on a political thriller about a Pakistani man working on Wall Street and the effects of 9/11 on his life. The story is based on the novel by Moshin Hamid who also wrote the script with Ami Boghani, and William Wheeler. The film offers a look from a different perspective following the collapse of the Two Towers. Riz Ahmed, a British actor of Pakistani heritage, who plays the complex title character does an amazing job and will be one to watch.

Changez (Riz Ahmed) comes to the US at 18 years old and attends Princeton. He's bright and intelligent and easily impressing a corporate recruiter and future boss (Kiefer Sutherland) looking for a financial analyst despite his humble background. He seems well suited for his shiny new life that seems to fit in with his goals of being a manager within the next three years. He cute meets the niece of his company CEO when she takes his picture at the park. They begin a romance although she is still mourning the death of her fiancé. Erica (Kate Hudson with dark hair to show her more serious side) is an artist but can't seem to commit. When 9/11 happens Changez is returning from the Philippines on business and is “profiled” at the airport where he's body cavity searched. He's also plucked off the street by police and questioned by Homeland Security. His girlfriend has an art show that objectifies their relationship and he becomes insulted and disappointed. Even his job becomes a challenge when his father reminds him that he should be more empathetic to the people he's putting out of work by what he does for his company. It's no surprise that Changez decides to go back to Pakistan.

Most of the story is told in a flashback. Liev Schreiber plays Bobby Lincoln a journalist investigating the kidnapping of an American professor in Lahore, Pakistan. Now a professor of finance Changez's experience in the world in general gains him admiration from his students. Bobby questions his militant academia that may be linked to the kidnapping. Changez has him listen to this story in order to get his family from being targeted. As a drama, the story is insightful of the events of 9/11 and how it rallied the country to patriotism, but also spurred people to quickly judge and obsess over anyone who looked a certain way. When Changez had returned to the states after his sister's wedding he had let his beard grow because it reminded him of home. Soon his co-workers were talking behind his back and suspecting him.

The movie could have done with some trimming and the meandering between time periods is sometimes confusing. The romance between Erica and Changez and their different cultures could have been another movie. Outside of the means of collapsing another brick in Changez ties to America, it seemed out of place. Overall, it's an interesting film and Riz Ahmed gives a thoughtful portrayal of the complicated stages of Changez's transformation. Hopefully he will get bigger and better roles without people thinking he was in Slumdog Millionaire.
(Review by reesa)




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Update: 12th Annual 24-Hour Video Race


UPDATE: 12th Annual 24-Hour Video Race

New Divisions Announced



The 12thAnnual 24-Hour Video Race, presented by The Video Association of Dallas, will commence at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 10, and end 24 hours later at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. The Angelika Film Center is at 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln. There will be 3 new divisions in 2013: Rock Around the Clock (music videos), Doc Around the Clock (documentaries), and an all-mobile device division.



Dallas film and video makers of all levels of experience are invited to participate in the race, both creatively and literally. Teams that do not make it to the finish line at midnight will not be included in the judging, All teams will be assigned four critical elements: one theme, one prop, one location and one line of dialogue.



Anyone with a camera and the willingness to race can participate. Past teams have included elementary school students to professional filmmakers. Student teams compete against other student teams, and adult teams are categorized by team size rather than skill level.





New Divisions




Rock Around the Clock:


This year there is a new division: music videos. Five bands by will be selected by the KXT staff and matched with 5 video crews selected by Video Association of Dallas. Each team, assigned a band, will be given access to a venue to record them performing live on Saturday, May 11. The team will turn in their finished video with everyone else at the Angelika on May 11 by 11:59 p.m. Interested team must submit their reels by April 26.
$75 Limit 5 teams



Doc Around the Clock:


Doc Around the Clock is the new category for creating a documentary video. Film-making teams from around North Texas will have 3 days of 8 hours a day (during the day on May 8, 9, and 10) for a total of 24 hours access to a subject assigned by the Video Association of Dallas. The team then has to make a documentary about the subject to be turned in with the other teams by Saturday, May 11 at 11:59 pm.
$125 Limit 5 teams



All-Mobile Device Division:

The same rules as the 24-Hour Video Race with the requirement added that the entire film has to be shot and edited on a smart phone or tablet.

$75




Video Race Classic Divisions



The 24-Hour Video Race’s teams Classic Divisions five categories remain:

Pixelvision K-12 Teams

Futurevision Current College/University students and recent graduates

Auteur Professional or amateur teams of a single member

Guerilla Professional or Amateur teams of 3 to 5 members

Hollywood Professional or Amateur teams of 6 or more members




Screenings

The screenings of the work of all the entrants will be Tuesday-Thursday, May 14-16 with the finalists screened on Monday, May 20 at the Angelika Film Center. The winning videos will be shown on KERA –TV Channel 13’s program “Frame of Mind,” on the website, and on You+Media Dallas site. Team members should bring Race badges for admission to the screenings. (This includes teams who did not finish the Race.) Members of the general public can also attend. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The screening schedule will be posted Monday, May 13.


Sponsored by


Texas Commission on the Art

Office of Cultural Affairs Dallas

Dallas Film Commission



Race Angels


AMS Pictures

Abernethy Media Professionals

Ditore Mayo Entertainment

Dallas Producers Association




ABOUT VIDEO ASSOCIATION of DALLAS:


The mission of the Video Association of Dallas, the 501(c)(3) is to promote an understanding of video as a creative medium and cultural force in our society, and to support and advance the work of Texas artists working in video and the electronic arts. VAD serves its mission through exhibition, education, information, service and advocacy. Video Association of Dallas presents the 24-Hour Video Race and other programs throughout the year.





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