The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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

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

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

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

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Frozen




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

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

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

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



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Homefront




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

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

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

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




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Black Nativity




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

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

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



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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW Special Programming: Christmas Classics



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


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


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


December’s special programming series includes these films:

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


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


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

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



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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Movies scheduled 11/24-11/30

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



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



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



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


See you at the movies


November 24th
Sunday

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


November 25th
Monday



November 26th
Tuesday

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





November 27th
Wednesday







November 28th
Thursday

Happy Turkey Day!!







November 29th
Friday



November 30th
Saturday

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Hunger Games Catching Fire




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

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



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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Philomena





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



Philomena

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

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

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

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





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The Delivery Man



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

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

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

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

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





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The Book Thief




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

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






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

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

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

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

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




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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Movies scheduled 11/17-11/23

Just a fyi Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Monday isn't over booked so you don't need to line up super early.


Ok. I know we all get excited when we see our favorite movie come up for a contest. I sent one out this week and the person read enough to know that they had to answer a question but not far enough to where to send the email to and so they sent it to me. They usually have a email in the rules for where to send it. Psst it isn’t to me. So slow down and take a few extra minutes to read the instructions.



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

See you at the movies


November 17th
Sunday



November 18th
Monday

The Christmas Candle 7:30 pm AMC Grapevine
Delivery Man 7:30 pm Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 7:30 pm Regal Galaxy 10
Across the Universe 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
Hunger Games: Catching Fire 8:30 pm AMC Northpark
Frozen 7:30 pm Cinemark Webb Chapel



November 19th
Tuesday

Delivery Man 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano
Philomena 7:00 pm Angelika Dallas
Inside Llewyn Davis 7:30 pm Magnolia
Inside Llewyn Davis 7:30 pm TBA Denton
Nebraska 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
Hunger Games: Catching Fire 7:30 pm AMC Northpark





November 20th
Wednesday

Saving Mr. Banks 7:30 pm AMC Rave Ridgmar
Homefront 7:30 pm AMC Northpark







November 21st
Thursday

400 Blows 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
Black Nativity 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas






November 22nd
Friday



November 23rd
Saturday

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Best Man Holiday




In the 1999 rom com The Best Man, we meet a group of college friends who are gathered for a wedding. Writer/director Malcolm D. Lee (Spike Lee's cousin) is back revisiting these same characters 15 years later in their lives still living from the repercussions of those events. Outside of some obvious Christmas season propaganda and heavy handed God speeches, with attractive, fashionable urbane African-American characters, the movie still holds some of the chemistry that made the first movie so successful. Even if you haven't seen the first one and are not part of it's target audience, it's still and enjoyable holiday excursion to the theater.

Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs) enjoyed the fame of being a best selling author, but five years later his newest project is rejected by his publisher. They suggest that he do a biography of his friend Lance Sullivan, a legendary professional football player, who was his best friend before Harper had an affair with Lance's wife, Mia (Monica Calhoun) in the last movie. Harper's wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), a chef, is now expecting a baby after many tries and fertility treatments. He's stressed from not only about the impending birth, but with money problems and being laid off from NYU. He decides they are going to accept Lance and Mia's holiday weekend invite to their upstate estate for the holidays while he surreptitiously gathers information on Lance for the book. Also arriving is Jordan (Mia Long) who once had a thing for Harper is now a successful TV/movie producer and still makes Robyn jealous. And Jordan's current boyfriend Brian (Eddi Cibrian) who good naturedly becomes fodder for white jokes by everyone else. Julian (Harold Perrineau) had married his stripper girlfriend Candace (Regina Hall) and they have left their wild lives behind and now run a charter school together. Their funding drive for the school hits a snag when Julian discovers a YouTube of Candace back in the day looking like she's accepting money for sex at a frat party. To add trouble to the mix of guests is Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) who is now a Housewife reality star and playboy Quentin (Terrence Howard). Plus everyone's well behaved children gathered to enjoy the holidays.

There's a lots of laughs and tears as everyone works out their problems and relationships during the stormy emotional weekend. There's plenty of eavesdropping at just that moment that causes misunderstandings to escalate. The women catty with each other, then bonding with each other. The men having heart to heart and ego battles. The situations are all over the top often times bogged down with sentimentality, but what keeps the movie together is the actors who fill their roles with love and respect. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for a revisit as teased at the end of this one.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Movies scheduled for 11/10-11/16

So far not a whole lot out there but remember one could pop up at any time.

Just so you know if you email me directly you will get your questions answered a lot faster than going to post through the group.

Now remember before starting asking for passes for Catching Fire most of the guys who are giving out the tickets don't really have a lot to give out so if someone wins them they most like will not be giving the up.




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

See you at the movies


November 10th
Sunday



November 11th
Monday



November 12th
Tuesday

The Book Thief 7:30 pm AMC Northpark



November 13th
Wednesday

The Best Man Holiday 7:30 pm AMC Mesquite







November 14th
Thursday

Delivery Man 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas





November 15th
Friday



November 16th
Saturday


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Friday, November 8, 2013

Nebraska




Alexander Payne’s Nebraska could easily be called a repeat of his past Oscar-winning Sideways and The Descendants; the former perhaps my favorite of the two (and let’s not fail to mention About Schmidt). That’s not a dig but praise for another road trip flick that’s modestly enjoyable and definitely worth putting on your list to see this holiday season. Bruce Dern could easily win one of those early critics’ prizes – he’s already won at Cannes earlier this year. He’s had a long career and no doubt deserves recognition - Silent Running, Coming Home and even The Great Gatsby from 1974 come to mind. Dern has had his share of bad guy roles and many in the audience may even remember his past films when he played alongside Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson in that era’s crazed motorcycle or drug films. Nobody can do twisted, flawed characters like Dern. With few lines, he nails the film’s theme - touching is the best description of Nebraska so go see it or wait till it shows up on whatever venue of choice.

Writer Bob Nelson’s story unfolds as Dern’s son (Will Forte, of SNL fame) sets out to dutifully drive though the bleak northwest highways towards Nebraska to pick up a million dollars – one of those silly sweepstakes “prizes” some of us receive in the mail. This film has emotional weight even though its predictably is foreshadowed at the get go. We know its long journey will go full circle back to its beginning - Dad’s alcoholism has destroyed his mind and the son has done all he can under the bitter circumstances. The script has its share of chuckles – most of them provided by June Squibb who’s perfectly cast as the mother. And the other supporting cast members fit right in with Nelson’s script. Payne’s casting director also deserves kudos because this is how Nebraska works so well. A tapestry stitched together with great care to achieve its overall effect of grabbing our hearts and mind – any film’s best achievement.

Like The Descendants, Phedon Papamichael’s cinematography fits the film’s vast skies and open roads that stretch between Montana and Nebraska. The music has that jaunty and sad feel about it as well. Payne uses these qualities to the film’s advantage – the journey pulls us into the basic timelessness all movie lovers share. Bravo and thumps up Mr. Payne!
(Review by David Bacon)




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Thor The Dark World





Chris Hemsworth works well as the perfectly formed he-man hero, even though according to the Marvel cannon he's supposed to be three times his human size. Still his sculpted form as evident in the first scene we see him will make some people sigh. Directed by Alan Taylor and written by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explore the events on Asgard right after Loki is sent back in chains after trying to rule earth in the last Avengers movie. Granted the beginning set up is somewhat confusing explaining the Dark Elves and the Aether that they need to turn the universe into its state before creation. Really, what's the point in that?

Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is the ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim. He lost the battle over the possession of the Aether by Thor's grandfather who told everyone that the Elves and the Aether were destroyed. Instead the Aether was entombed in a stone column in a cave and the escaped Elves are on a ship in suspended animation. Meanwhile Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has returned to face his father and sentenced to prison on Asgard. Thor who has been settling the wars on the Nine Realms has come back home, but he clearly misses his girlfriend astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) on earth. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) tells him to find someone in his own world and get ready to become the king.

Every 5000 years the Nine Realms come into celestial alignment in the Convergence where portals are created connecting the universes. Jane and her team Darcy (Kate Dennings) and Darcy's intern Ian (Jonathan Howard) have been investigating these anomalies where objects are dropped and disappear only to fall back down again from nowhere. However some don't get back. Jane becomes one of those objects that disappear. She ends up in the cave of the Aether which enters her body. Thor becomes worried when Heimdall (Idris Elba) the Asgardian sentry of the bifröst bridge loses sight of Jane and he returns to earth just in time when Jane “falls” back to earth. Meanwhile Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) have been running around Stonehenge naked (because he thinks better without his pants on) as he's also discovered the strange cosmic readings. The Dark Elves wake up as the Convergence approaches the and Aether is now residing in Jane. Thor takes Jane back to Asgard to help her and there the war begins.

There's a lot of stuff going on in this movie. There's Loki dealing with still getting revenge on not being King and his other family issues. The subplot of the two brothers is the heart of the movie with Thor needing Loki's help and having trust problems. Rene Russo as Frigga the Queen and mother gets more screen time and some kick butt scenes. Anthony Hopkins as Odin has more moments as the father who can't understand his sons. Thor is straight guy to the funny characters like Dr. Selvig and Darcy, even Jane. Of course Tom Hiddleston as Loki steals the film as usual. Don't forget to stay for that extra scene after the credits for the next adventure and the now traditional Stan Lee cameo. It's the big fall movie that's worth the popcorn despite it's muddled plot.
(Review by reesa)




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The Dallas Buyers Club



Back in 1986 the AIDS epidemic was rearing it's ugly head, many excellent films have been made about the dedicated doctors and scientists racing for the cure and the individual plights in deeply emotional and tragic stories. The true struggle by the victims of the disease has been well told in last years' excellent documentary How to Survive a Plague. Making a film about HIV seems to have run it's course as of late and no longer a hot button issue. Now comes a new film by director Jean-Marc Vallée and writers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack's “inspired by” tale of true life Ron Woodroof who was the subject of a 1992 article in the Dallas Morning News by journalist Bill Minutaglio. Woodroof had gotten the idea for the Dallas Buyers Club from similar clubs operated in other major cites to provide life saving medicinal cocktails that were not approved by the FDA.

The movie opens with Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey) having hot, skanky sex with two women in the bull pen of a rodeo while he's watching the cowboys getting injured. Matthew lost 40 lbs for this role and is almost unrecognizable to the point where it's a little distracting. He's a good old boy Texan, hyper, foulmouthed and a hustler hanging with his buddies betting money for drinks, women and drugs. He's been feeling not so well of late and an accidental electrical shock at work sends him to the hospital where the doctor informs him he's got the HIV virus and probably only has a month to live. Woodruff swears a blue streak in response and refuses to believe the diagnosis. He decides to spend the next 30 days indulging in all his major vices until he finally wises up and decides to fight. Knowledge is power and his research uncovers that even though he's not a homosexual or intravenous drug user, he does fall in the category of having unprotected sex with women who were users. He figures a way of getting a hold of the AZT currently in a study trial at the hospital which he almost kills himself using. He meets Dr. Eve Sak (Jennifer Garner) who is running the trial and Rayon (Jared Leto) a druggie cross dresser who befriends him at the hospital.

Woodruff's desperation to live runs smack into the medical and drug industries who are hand in pocket with the FDA. The new experimental drugs are available in other countries, but not in the US because they are not federally approved. Woodruff's gets the idea to run the drugs up from Mexico and resell them to AIDS patients through a scheme to circumvent the laws. For a $400 monthly membership you will get all the drugs you need. It's because of these experimental drugs that Woodruff manages to survive 7 years. He manages to transport the drugs using various disguises and his club is a big success. Unfortunately he battles the FDA and his homophobic former friends.

The movie at times is all over the place, and even though it's a delight to see Jennifer Garner back on the screen she is sort of wasted in this film. What stands out besides the kinetic energy of McConaughey who is at once sympathetic and a jerk at the same time is the amazing Jared Leto. His portrayal of Rayon steals the movie every time he's on the screen. You can see and feel the pain, the suffering, and the need to live. His friendship with Woodruff should have been the biggest focus of the film. He should be on the short list for supporting actor this year hands down.
(Review by reesa)





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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Movies scheduled 11/3-11/9

Don’t forget you today is the day to set your clocks back a hour.



Please remember not to give out your personal phone numbers to the group. I am not saying we don’t have some crazy people in the group but there are some crazy people out there! Do you really want 2500 people having your number? I know I don’t.

Make sure to read the rules of the contest. I know the guys who put these contests up really work hard on them and it frustrates them when you don’t play by the rules.

Please note that the screening of The Book Thief is full with press and DFS.




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

See you at the movies


November 3rd
Sunday



November 4th
Monday

The Best Man Holiday 7:30 pm SMG Arlington



November 5th
Tuesday

The Delivery Man 7:30 pm TBA
The Book Thief 7pm Angelika Dallas





November 6th
Wednesday

Thor: The Dark World 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
Thor: The Dark World 7:30 pm Rave Ridgmar
Delivery Man 7:30 pm Rave Riddemar
Delivery Man 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano
Delivery Man 7:30 pm AMC Northpark







November 7th
Thursday

Dallas Buyers Club 7:30 pm TBA
The Best Man Holiday 7:30 pm Cinemark 17





November 8th
Friday



November 9th
Saturday


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