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

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Movies Scheduled 4/27-5/3

Ok before everyone starts asking for The Amazing Spiderman tickets. Remember how hard it was for you to get them? They worked just as hard and unless something major comes up it is very unlikely they will give them up. Sure I saw someone wanted to trade for the Oz movie.

We had a few people reply to the group for the trade for The Amazing Spiderman passes, guess what, they didn't pick you since you didn't send it to person and not the group. Now when you hit reply on those email, look at the to bar and see that that has the group name and not the person. If it has the name of the group, I will not approve that msg.


Please contact me if you have any questions at damitdaina@hotmail.com

Sunday - April 27th


Monday - April 28th


Tuesday - April 29th


Wednesday - April 30th

Neighbors 7:30pm United Artist Galaxy Theater Stadium
The Amazing Spider Man 2 7:00pm AMC Northpark


Thursday - May 1st

Belle 7:30pm Angelika Dallas
Locke 7:30pm Landmark Magnolia
Gang Related 7:30 Angelika Dallas


Friday - May 2nd


Saturday - May 3rd

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return 10 am Northpark



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Friday, April 25, 2014

DIFF 2014: Walking with the Enemy






I certainly enjoyed screening Walking with the Enemy for I enjoy Ben Kingsley in about any role that he plays. In this film he portrays Miklos Horthy, the leader or regent of Hungary during World War II in 1944. He attempts to work with those invading his country as well as protect the interests of Hungary to preserve it and I would have liked to have seen more of him. Instead the movie centers around several characters in an attempt to give dept to the basic story. Inspired by the true story of Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum, and set in Budapest, most of the basic Holocaust themes and subjects are addressed.

The film is a freshman directorial effort from Mark Schmidt, through the efforts of a multitude of screenwriters, has brought yet another period WWII piece to the screen. Elek Cohen is a Jewish university student, whose father is a Rabbi, comes home to escape the invasion into his university city when things get too dangerous. He tries to stay out of the fray in a labor camp but soon returns home. Actor Jonas Armstrong, appearing more Aryan than Jewish, fills the bill as the young man who fears for his home town as troops move perilously closer. He, with the help of friends and associates of his father ((the family had already been evacuated upon Elek's return) quickly come up with a plan to provide the appropriate "papers' to as many Jews as they can, which will protect them from being shipped out as well as divert truckloads of Jews being taken out of the city. Hitler has sent Col Adolf Eichmann, portrayed by Charles Hubbel, to handle the war effort in Hungary and deal with the Jewish problem.

The tides are turning on Germany but Hitler is quickly trying to make sure that the Jews in Hungary are dealt with in much the same way as those who went to the concentration camps before. The horrors of war and genocide are not entirely avoided in this film, as the reality rears its ugly head on several occasions as loved ones are impacted. Heroically, Elke and his friend Ferenc (Mark Wells) answer an internal call to action which brings them into ever bolder situations in attempts to help those arrested and protect those who are hunted and donning the uniforms, they infiltrate ever riskier situations to halt the Hitler assault. The film appears and feels historically accurate, as most of them do. The requisite romantic coupling that develops attempts to add humanity and heart in the midst of the chaos of war but it becomes less interesting than the internal struggles that Horthy and his subordinates and collaborators are dealing with. That is the more interesting story and a part of history that many people might not be aware of as the war was coming to a close. The film is worth a viewing but it definitely left me wanting more of Mr. Kingsley, who did not get enough moments to shine in this 2 hour film.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)



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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brick Mansions




Fans of the French action film District 13 may be interested in the American remake of the film directed by Camille Delamarre (Transporter) from a script by Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen and Bibi Naceri. It's too bad the movie will be released with the notoriety of being Paul Walker's final film before he died in a fiery car crash last November.

As in the original movie where parts of Paris are cordoned off for the criminal element, the U.S. version has a a dystopian Detroit with it's abandoned brick buildings or mansions that contain the criminal element behind a colossal wall for the safety of the rest of the city. Undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) teams with ex-convict Lino Dupree (David Belle) to take down the drug kingpin Termaine (RZA) who had killed Damien's father and kidnapped Lino's girlfriend. Of course there's an additional evil plot they must stop that will destroy the city.

The most exciting excuse for this remake is David Belle who is a Parkour master. The art of urban running had exploded on the Internet a few years ago and eventually on the big screen as part of the action choreography. In District 13, they had the benefit of Cyril Raffaelli who you just need to Google to appreciate his Parkour skills. Brick Mansions has Paul Walker in the role that Raffaelli played in the French version. It makes those running across buildings and fighting mayhem scenes not quite as mind blowing. Instead the film brings lots of car chases which considering Walker's Fast and Furious history doesn't really tread new ground.

RZA the hip/hop artist turned writer and director for the Man with the Iron Fist plays the bad guy Tremaine. He's supposed to be an ex-soldier who now runs the fence border cops and the drug trade. He plays it so cool that's it's hard to imagine him getting all edgy and dangerous. Between the running off roofs into the building's windows, cars flipping, exploding and girl on girl fighting, and the heroes fighting each other keeps the movie moving so that you can see the plot holes. It's too bad that Walker could have left this world with something more decent than this film. And there should have been a lot more urban running.
(Review by reesa)



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The Other Woman




The female empowerment movie apparently still is being made in Hollyweird. The premise is that even a successful woman, a suburbia housewife, and a ditzy bimbo all define themselves over a man. And the only way to break free is to join forces and destroy the enemy in order to find themselves. The first produced screenplay by Melissa Stack and directed by the Notebook's Nick Cassavetes, the film follows the shenanigans and pratfalls of some seriously delightful actresses. They don't have to don a superhero costume, or show off ninja skills to exact their revenge. And women around the world are supposed to identify themselves with these stereotypes. Yeah, right.

Cameron Diaz is back to the big screen ageing beautifully but still playing the single woman looking for love as Carly Whitten. She is a fancy lawyer with a wise cracking secretary Lydia (Nicki Minaj, emphasizing her derrière in all it's glory), the only woman of color in the whole movie. Carly who never gave names to her short term dating pool has gone eight weeks with the handsome charming Mark (Nikolaj Costner-Waldau of Games of Thrones). She thinks it might be the real deal until she discovers that he's married when she mistakenly thinks his Connecticut wife to be the housekeeper. Leslie Mann steals the movie with her flaky, whiny, motor mouthed Kate King. She suspects something going on and seeks out Carly and before you know it they are drunk and united in the fact they have both have been cheated on by Mark. When they find out that Mark has another affair with a sweet buxom airhead (because if you are stacked, you can't possibly be smart too) Amber (Kate Upton). They tell her what is going on and soon the three plot a mutual revenge.

Leslie Mann is upbeat, lovable, self depreciating and everything amped up from what she usually plays in her husband Judd Apatow movies. She is the yang to Diaz's yin. Even as Carly is trying to help Kate with her divorce to her college wed husband, Kate still hold out hope and loyalty. Not quite believing the once a cheater always a cheater advice from the been there done that Carly. The movie digressing quickly as the woman start little guerrilla tactics as plotted out on their Cheater Chore Schedule. Stuff like putting laxatives in his drinks, adding estrogen to his smoothies, and hair remover in this shampoo. The Lawyer, The Wife and The Boobs are united in their ultimate showdown.

The movie fortunately does offer other male roles that prove not all men are dogs from Don Johnson as Carly's five time married father Frank and Taylor Kinney as Kate's handsome brother Phil and obvious love match for Carly. Everyone seems to be well financed and well dressed. Outside of Mark's charm and good looks, it's hard to imagine why the women fall for such shallow facades. His ultimate comeuppance is almost mean spirited as his reaction is mostly childish that takes the air out of the balloon. Of course there's the little what everyone is doing now montage at the end, like you didn't see them coming. There are some funny moments, and Leslie Mann is worth the watch. With nothing else opening this weekend, it's worth the early morning matinee.
(Review by reesa)





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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

13th Annual 24-Hour Video Race




13th Annual 24-Hour Video Race
Presented by the Video Association of Dallas
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station in Dallas



April 23, 2014 – Filmmakers: On your mark. Get set. GO for the 13th annual 24-Hour Video Race hosted by the Video Association of Dallas. The event will be held at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station (5321 E. Mockingbird Ln, Dallas) starting at 11:59 pm Friday, May 9 for registration and preparation. The actual race is the 24-hour span of Saturday, May 10. 24HourVideoRace.com

Whether you’re average Jane or Joe who has always been interested in filmmaking or the professional videographer splashing in the industry, the 24-Hour Video Race welcomes all levels of filmmaking to participate.

Some sage advice from Luke DaMommio of Team Bonher, which has participated in the 24-Hour Video Race since 2010: "The main rule we have is no one talks until we get to the white board. And, of course, have fun, be serious and be with your friends because it's not always about winning."


Register early! The 2014 24-Hour Video Race will be limited to the first 100 teams. Teams will save $5 registering online. Online registration will be available until 5 pm Friday, May 9th. Registrations at the door will be available from 7 pm on Friday May 9 at the Angelika for an additional $5.


The teams are divided into five categories:

Pixelvision (K-12)
Futurevision (Current college and recent graduates)
Auteur (Professionals/Amateur teams of a single member)
Guerilla (Professional/Amateur teams of 3-5 members)
Hollywood (Professional/Amateur teams of 6 or more members)



There will be four critical elements to include in each short:

One theme
One prop
One location
One line of dialogue

PLOT TWIST!

This year, the Hollywood category will be spinning a wheel for an extra challenge of genre. Be at the Angelika at 11:30 pm, Friday, May 9, for the extra fun.


Screenings

Participants works will be screened starting Tuesday, May 13 - 15th. Finalist will be screened Monday, May 19th at the Angelika Film Center, and winners announced Tuesday, May 20th. The winning team videos will be aired on KERA-TV Channel 13 program, “Frame of Mind,” the official 24-Hour website: 24HourVideoRace.com and You+Meda Dallas site.

To be part of the screenings, team members should wear their race badges for admission, including teams who did not finish the race as well. Members of the general public are invited as well. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The screening schedule will be announced Monday, May 12th.

Teams who do not complete the race at midnight will not be included in the judging.


For more information regarding the event, please visit the official website at 24HourVideoRace.com or e-mail at info@videofest.org. Stay connected with all things 24-Hour Video Race related on our Facebook: 24-Hour Video Race of Dallas.



Video Association of Dallas expresses extreme gratitude for the support of our sponsors and their generous contributions.

Texas Commission on the Arts
Dallas Film Commission
Abernethy Media Professionals, Inc.
Half Priced Books


Media Sponsors
:
Speak Pixels
Brainfood
KERA
Selig Polyscope Company
SullivanPerkins
Art & Seek
KellyKitchensPR.com
Ali and Sondra Golzad
Sell.com
FilmMatters


Race Angels:
Jeff Leuschel
Jim Nugent
The Invisible People
Sell.com
AMS Pictures
Dallas Producers Association


In Kind Sponsors
:
Alford Media Services
Angelika Film Center Dallas

Survival Bag Sponsors:
Texas Film Commission
Dallas Film Commission



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 24HourVideoRace.com and other programs throughout the year with information available at VideoFest.org.






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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movies Scheduled 4/20-4/26

Happy Easter everyone!!

I know I am going to sound like a broken record but here goes. Please enter the contests for passes! Sure you may not win then you can ask the group or go to the group on facebook and ask them. When I say you can email me questions that doesn't mean email me a list of movies that you want to see and ask me for the passes. I only enter contests that I know are on off days!

If you do have a question I will try to get to it as soon as I can. I do sleep during the days I work so it may take a minute or a little more for me to answer you but y'all have been a really cool group of peeps!!

When you are at the movies please be careful. Watch for popcorn on the stairs. I don't want anyone else to fall and get hurt.


Please contact me if you have any questions at damitdaina@hotmail.com

Free Movie @ USA Film Festival Dallas 4/22 thru 4/27
http://www.usafilmfestival.com/images/44th.Annual.USA.ff.pdf


Sunday - April 20th

Monday - April 21st

Tuesday - April 22nd

Million Dollar Arm 7:30 pm AMC NorthPark
The Other Woman 7:00 pm TBA


Wednesday - April 23rd

Brick Mansions 7:30 pm AMC Valley View 16
Neighbors 8:00 pm Angelika Dallas
Walking with the Enemy 7:00mpm Cinemark 17 Webb Chapel

Thursday - April 24th

The Other Woman 7:00 pm AMC North Park
The Quiet Ones 7:30 pm SMG Royal
Shatner's World 7:30 pm Cinemark Vista Ridge


Friday - April 25th


Saturday - April 26th



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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Railway Man




The Railway Man, written by Frank Cotrell Boyce (COCK and BULL STORY) and Andy Paterson (BEYOND THE SEA), and directed by Aussie Jonathan Teplitzky (BURNING MAN), is a drama adapted from the bestselling autobiography of British army officer Eric Lomax (Colin Firth, THE KING's SPEECH) a former POW during WWII. Lomax broke his silence to silence the psychological demons he had faced. Colin gives us another quiet, heartfelt, tour de force performance of the elder, self tortured and stoic Officer Lomax. Eric Lomax is a man of understated grace, intelligence, dignity and crippling privacy. He was taken prisoner and brutally tortured while a prisoner of war under the direction of a Japanese translator (Nagase) for his role in sneaking radio parts into the camp. Nagase is played by Tanroh Ishida (young Nagase) and Hiroyiki Sanada (X-MEN: THE WOlVERINE (old Nagase). Lomax and his unit mates had been forced into hard labor on the Thai/Burma "Death Railway". Shot in Scotland, Eric's homeland, Queensland and Thailand, major scenes were filmed on the actual Death Railway where tens of thousands of lives were lost.

The story unfolds in the 80's and flashbacks to war times. Young Lomax (Jeremy Irvine, WAR HORSE) is portrayed as dutiful, precise and reserved but eventually chooses heroics when the radio crime is discovered as friend Finlay (Sam Reid, BELLE) watches on in horror. The elder Lomax has become an emotionally broken and torn man as a result of his experiences. He has nightmares, terrors and flashbacks that haunt him and impact his personal relationships. He meets frequently with fellow army men nearby to drink beer and quietly commune. Close friend, Finlay (Stellan Skarsgaard (GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) breaks the silence to Patti recounting what they all have rarely spoken of; having kept everything pent up inside as they suffer in silence and remain in their own personal self- imposed prisons. An irony we learn is that the younger Lomax is fascinated with railroads and trains. The elder Lomax remains obsessively so, even meeting his future wife (Nicole Kidman) on board a British railway. Finlay brings it to Lomax's attention that his former tormenter is still alive. Through the support of his wife, who fears he will end his torment through suicide one day, he travels to Thailand to confront, seek revenge on and put his past behind him once and for all. Lomax becomes sickeningly aware that his tormentor has been profiting from leading tours at a war museum where he was help prisoner for a time.

The need for truth and reconciliation exists for most any person who has been wronged, to what ever degree but Lomax's silences are physiologically deafening and how dark his heart has become is difficult to witness at times but a necessary means to an end. Waterboarding makes and appearance in the film and is a subject still pertinent in modern times.

Both Lomax and Nagase (the Japanese officer) were alive when the filming began. Cinematography is solid and the music, inspiring lyrical, both enhancing without overtaking the project. The film could have easily become preachy or obvious about its messages but instead it chose the way of quiet grace exemplified by the real Lomax himself. The pacing is slow as many British influenced films are. It does not really do a very good job promoting the history of the event and how deeply Asian railway workers, themselves, were affected by the harsh working conditions. The high heat and humidity and 16 hour work days took a massive toll on the Australians and literally thousands of local Asians as well and that fact is glaringly overlooked. There are messages in this film for everyone, such as overcoming hardship, healing, unconditional love, heroism, and the power of humanity. According to Boyce, Eric had wanted to communicate through his book and film what he had learned, that "we are better, stronger than we think we are, that being vulnerable is part of that strength, that love can bring you back from the very darkest place."
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)



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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cuban Fury





All I want out of life is to salsa dance with Nick Frost, and this movie blessed me with this beautiful gift.

I can already envision my future dreams.

Frost and I are dancing to hot, salsa music. Both feeling the "fire in our heels..."

Then he dips me, and we get married.

MAZEL TOV!

This has nothing to do with the film, but my imagination runs rampant when I watch films with some of my favorite people in them.

I hate saying this, but I'm extremely biased for this film. I'm a HUGE Nick Frost fan. The man's a great actor, and it was a pleasure getting to see him in the spotlight. I'm always a sucker for the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him as the main protagonist. He was funny, he was heartfelt, and he has a rockin' Al Pacino impression. I'm sold.

Even though I am biased, I understand Cuban Fury was not the best comedy in the world. I get it. But I had so much fun with the film.

And no one will take that away from me.

My inner geek and outer geek were screaming with delight the whole time.

Now, on casting alone, you should see this film.

Nick Frost, Chris O'Dowd, Rashida Jones, and Ian McShane.

C'MON. Comedy gold. Don't get me wrong: cast comedy gold, not writing.

With, if I do say so myself, a bad ass cameo.

I love each of those actors for their own nerdy reasons.

Naturally, I had some problems with the film. Some of the jokes landed flat, Chris O'Dowd was just there to be a dick (to be fair, his purpose in the film was to just be a big ol' dick but I at least wanted some charm), they over killed it with fat jokes, I wasn't able to hear one of the funniest characters in the whole film half the time either because of the audience or his accent, the climax was bland and needed to be more poignant, and there are some goofs here and there.

But all in all, I took the film for what it was. It was there for the audience to just have a good time.

Will regular people remember this film? Probably not.

But I will.

It was almost made for undying fans of Nick Frost, like my friends and I.

The writing is funky, and at times stale, but a movie goer must learn to have fun.

I also had the pleasure to sit in front of people who actually partake in salsa and apparently they put in some famous salsa dancers so....

MAZEL TOV!

My advice too you? Don't listen to those who are snarky towards Cuban Fury. Take this film for what it is. A Goofy Movie.

No, not the movie about Goofy from 1995.

Sorry, there's no "Leaning Tower of Cheesa."

But take it as a silly film. Take your boo thang out if you guys are bored and watch this movie. Who knows? You might actually get inspired and have "fire in your heels" also.

And Nick Frost fans, do not miss this film. There is a special surprise.

Well, just stay off IMDB, and it will stay a surprise.

Live Long and Prosper Always,
She Geek Inc. Productions
Christina Cranshaw





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A Haunted House 2



I saw the first one by myself and I didn't laugh more than once. I will say seeing a comedy with an audience in a theater does make it better, just a tad. I will keep this short because I felt neutral about this movie. In some parts, I was crying laughing and in some parts, the jokes fell flat. That's essentially what every comedy is. When you watch a comedy you will either laugh or sit there uncomfortably. Unfortunately, I sat there uncomfortably more than I laughed. This is more of a horror comedy than a spoof movie, oddly enough. It had references and actual, verbatim, scenes from other horror movies but the tone felt more horror comedy and to me, thats actually better than a straight spoof movie. Marlon Wayans is back and he has always made me laugh even if his jokes are flat. He will always have a funny presence. Everyone does fine in the movie and it's paced pretty well at around ninety minutes. It's entertaining enough to where you won't be checking your phone for the time, but it was more miss than hit when it came to jokes and overall humor. It's ok to skip this one. 5/10
(Review by Chase Lee)




Roundtable interview with Marlon Wayan by Chase Lee







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Under the Skin




This is one of the most visceral, haunting movie experiences I have had in awhile. I was so entranced at everything on the screen and couldn't take my eyes off of it. Right off the bat, I have to say this film isn't for everyone. If you see a lot of mainstream movies, see only five movies a year or don't really care for artsy films, this film is definitely not for you. However if you are a film buff you will love this movie. Director Jonathan Glazer constructs a horror, sci-fi and a deep, interesting look on humanity kind of film and I really dug it. To the core of the movie, it is about humanity and how intense, realistic and disturbing it is. Scarlett Johannson kills it in this role and I think it's the best role she has done. Even though she was an actual alien, she progressed as a character through all of the human emotions. It was incredible to watch her especially at the very end. The cinematography is beautiful and absolutely breathtaking in some shots. The colors are rich and the camera movements are smooth to enhance this triply experience. One of the my favorite directors is Stanley Kubrick and this film had Kubrick cinematography all over it. Kubrick must be a role model for Glazer because it reminded me of a very well done Kubrick movie. Glazer interprets things through gorgeous cinematography and symbolism, all in all, its a visual treat. Now here is where it gets tricky for my score. The movie is only an hour and forty minutes long but it does feel a lot longer in some places. This is a slow movie and I love slow movies but there were a couple scenes that could have been cut a little shorter. That's seriously my only complaint. The music is also very fitting as it sounds like bad, out of tune and very good music all at once. It just adds to this triply experience. This is a disturbing realistic look on humanity, Scarlett is breathtaking in this, cinematography to wet any film buffs appetite and music sets the mood for what will be a unique movie experience. It's tied for my favorite movie of the year. 9/10
(Review by Chase Lee)







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Transcendence




Cinematographer of Nolan's The Dark Knight and Inception Wally Pfister, makes his first directorial feature full of competent actors and visual effects in what the trailer promises to be an exciting concept. First script for screenwriter Jack Paglen touches on some interesting ideas of technology vs. humans but unfortunately it's bogged down, muddled and often times boring.

Johnny Depp has been stuck in some really lousy movies of late, and this film is not going to help. This time playing an almost normal human being for at least the beginning of the movie as Dr. Will Caster an artificial intelligence researcher. He and his fellow academic wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) are presenting a seminar of their work which will hopefully improve lives and save the planet. Some neo-Luddite radicals in the audience shoot Dr. Caster with a bullet that is radioactive. Will only has a few weeks to live. Evelyn and their best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) work on mapping Will's mind and uploading it to a computer. It had worked on monkey of a researcher who had also mysteriously died.

Agent Buchanan (Cillian Murphy) and A.I. Scientist Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman) are investigating the radicals lead by Bree (Kate Mara), peroxide blond with black eyeliner looking grim and serious. They believe that too much technology will ruin the world. They kidnap Max and try to turn him to their cause. After all they were influenced by his writings that also questioned the conflict of technology and human individuality. Meanwhile Will's brain, now uploaded to a computer becomes sentient and wants to be connected to the Internet. Once online, the demand for more power requires Evelyn to use the millions of dollars that he transferred to their account to build a facility in the middle of a small desert town fueled by hundreds of solar panels.

Very quickly Will the A.I. has managed to complete his work on nano technology and it's used to not only cure people, but it also connects them to him and gives them incredible strength making them hybrids . Evelyn is getting a little freaked so when Tagger slips her a note telling her to run, she begins to see that her former husband is getting a little out of hand. And like most movies that deal with errant computer programs, the best way to defeat them is a virus! However the side effect would be that the whole world wide web will also be kaput. The future as we are shown in the beginning of the movie is a world without power.

Like in Terminator when Skynet takes over the world, this film could have used a Terminator to come from the future and save this one.
(Review by reesa)



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Bears




Disneynature's annual Earth Day documentary presents Bears this time around. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey who also did Chimpanzee and African Cats once more offer fascinating and stunning visuals while anthropomorphizing the animals with human names and motivations. Really, who doesn't like bears? They seem sweet, cuddly and playful. Every kid has at least one stuffed bear at some point in their life. Narrated by John C. Reilly who gives a light and cheerful tone to the adventures of a mama bear and her two cubs of their first year.

Reilly gives names to the mama as Sky and her cubs born during the winter hibernation, which for the child audience sake are called Amber and Scout. The close intimate shots inside their den of the new born cubs is quite an incredible feat from the filmmakers. As the winter ends, it's time for the bears to migrate to the coast to eat the 90 pounds of fish a day to store up for the next long sleep. Filmed at the Katmai National Park in Alaska, the scenery and mountain vistas remind us that these natural wonders should be preserved and not exploited. There are some great footage of an avalanche barrelling down the mountain moving 80 miles per hour.

The film gives personality and voice to the playful cubs as they frolic and discover their new world. We also see how large they grow during their trek down the mountain to the mud flats along the rivers. The bears wait for the salmon to come for their own annual migration from the ocean to the river mouth as they return to the spawning grounds. Mama Sky has to keep her cubs safe from the big male bears who are hungry for anything including some tasty cubs. She moves them to familiar spots that she was once brought by her own mother for safety and for clams and mussels that can be found during the low tides. We are also shown as bears move rocks to find the rock eels under them that the bears also feast upon.

Salmon after travelling from the ocean must wait until they acclimate themselves to the fresh water river mouths. The bears waiting for their arrival feed on them until they eventually move upstream. Eventually they will fight against the currents and waterfalls to where they were hatched guided by their olfactory senses that can be 30 miles from the ocean. Reilly tells us that this is the Golden Pond where Sky and cubs must travel. It's taken weeks to get there and mother bear is noticeably thinner as she is nursing her cubs along the way. She needs to eat to survive through the 6 month hibernation while feeding her babies. The cubs will stay with her for 2 years.

There are some tough moments for the little viewers as the film shows some crisis moments of one of the cubs stranded as the tide comes rises. Or when the big male bear fights the mother then goes after one of cubs. They are also threatened by a wolf. For once, Disney doesn't kill off the mom like it does for their animated stories for the sake of drama. In fact the mother is made even more heroic as she guides her young ones through their first year before heading back to their winter's den in the snow covered mountains. More for Mother's Day than Earth Day. Stay and watch the behind the scenes shots during the credits.
(Review by reesa)


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

44th Annual USA Film Festival Announces Schedule of Events



The USA Film Festival announces
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
44th Annual USA Film Festival


April 22 - 27, 2014

DALLAS – The USA Film Festival announces the schedule of events for the 44th Annual USA Film
Festival, April 22 - 27, 2014. Actor, author and native Dallasite Stephen Tobolowsky returns to his
home town (and the USA Film Festival) to host the program. All programs will be held at the
Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas. Advance tickets are available
exclusively through Ticketmaster beginning April 10, 2014.

This year’s program highlights include restored classics presented on the big screen:

- 60th anniversary presentation of the creature classic, Creature From the Black Lagoon in 3D (restored digital print)
with star Julie Adams in attendance; Hosted by film noir scholar Foster Hirsch

- Exclusive regional screening of Orson Welles’ Othello (restored digital print)

- Exclusive regional screening of Il Sorpasso (restored digital print)

Tributes to Master Artists:

-- Salute to actor Ed Harris with screening of writer/director Michael Berry’s new film Frontera (The Ed Harris
Tribute will include a film clip compilation program hosted by actor/director Charles Haid)

-- Salute to actor Carol Kane with screening of her new film Clutter (The Carol Kane Tribute will include a film clip
compilation program)

-- Salute to actor Fionnula Flanagan with screenings of two of her new films Tasting Menu and Life’s a Breeze

-- Salute to actor Linda Gray (The Linda Gray Tribute will include a film clip compilation and on-stage conversation
hosted by FOX4 news anchor Clarice Tinsley; Honorary Chairman for the evening is Caroline Rose Hunt)

-- Salute to actor Morgan Fairchild (The Morgan Fairchild Tribute will include a film clip compilation and on-stage
conversation hosted by fellow native Dallasite and actor Stephen Tobolowsky and actor/producer Corbin Bernsen.
The Festival will also reveal a sneak peek of footage from the trio’s new film project.)
-- Salute to actor Peter Riegert with screening of new short film The Walk.


Additional program highlights include:


--Actor/writer/director John Turturro will present his new film Fading Gigolo

--Noted sound editor Mark Levinson will present his new documentary Particle Fever

--Academy Award®-winning sound editor Ron Judkins will present his film Finding Neighbors

--Superstar wine expert Charlie Arturaolo will present the new film El Camino Del Vino (“The Ways of Wine”) in
which he stars

--36th annual National Short Film & Video Competition (an Academy-qualified program); the 2014 National Jury
includes: writer/producer Paul Marcarelli; actor/writer/director Catherine Dent; actor/writer/director Christina
Beck; actor/director/producer Charles Haid; and actor/writer Elisabeth Harmon

--Stephen Tobolowsky hosts a free program of narrative short films and filmmakers (featuring several actors making
their short film debuts, including Tim Guinee with The One Armed Man, Henry Ian Cusick with Dress, and Eden
Sher with The Suitcase); Several additional short film compilation programs will be presented (Narrative,
Nonfiction, Student, Animation) at no admission cost

--Community Showcase programs featuring short films with ties to Texas (including a special nod to Dallas actor
Larry Jack Dotson) and the works of area students


TICKET & SCHEDULE INFORMATION

Tickets for most programs are $10.
There are also several FREE admission programs noted in the schedule.
Advance tickets will be available via Ticketmaster beginning April 10th at 10am.
Tickets by telephone – 214-631-2787
Tickets online – www.ticketmaster.com
http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/7cj2d2 (link will activate on 4/10/14 at 10:00am)

A complete schedule of all Festival events may be obtained by calling the Festival office at 214-821-FILM or may
be viewed online at www.usafilmfestival.com
Printed schedules are also available for pick up at the Angelika Film Center Dallas.

OFFICIAL SPONSORS


Sponsors of the 44th Annual USA Film Festival include Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, Gaedeke Group, AXS.TV,
Suddenlink Communications, Dallas Film Commission, Texas Film Commission, Magnolia Pictures On Demand,
HDNet Movies, ViewPoint Bank, Sidley Austin LLP, HBO, Jackson Walker LLP, Alford Media Services and
Ticketmaster. The USA Film Festival is supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. This
program is supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

ABOUT THE USA FILM FESTIVAL
A year-round film festival featuring 50 days of programs
The USA Film Festival is a 44-year-old Dallas-based 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the recognition and
promotion of excellence in the film and video arts. Year-round events include KidFilm®; an Academy-qualified
National Short Film Competition; monthly screenings; special programs and premieres; and the USA Film Festival,
held each spring. Throughout the year, the Festival presents a variety of membership, exhibition, educational, and
cultural programs designed to bring together audiences and filmmakers for a “live cinema” experience.






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DIFF 2014: EduCATION: A Short Documentary on the Student Debt Crisis






As my third child prepares to graduate from college (all three debt free due to scholarships, thank goodness), the majority of college students are drowning in debt. The question addressed in this mini-doc, written and directed by David Esfeh is “ Is incurring heavy debt worth the cost of a college education?” Banks can get loans for ¾ of a percent while our students are paying 7 percent or more on their loans. So why are our banks allowed to make money while our country’s future professionals are drowning?

The doc is chock full of statistics, gloom and doom and it is time for our country to wake up and smell the coffee. This is a current impending crisis (interest rates doubling) and a long term crisis (relieving the next generation from a great burden of debt). The cost of higher education is discouraging many of our most promising students from pursing an undergraduate or graduate degree. 53 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. 85 percent of recent graduates, in the last four years, have moved home They are not buying houses or starting businesses, and not contributing to or growing the economy. In 10 years’ time, student debt has quadrupled from 250 billion to 1 trillion. And in this day, anyone can get the loans while colleges have no incentive to keep costs down and have skyrocketed since 2002. I have personally seen a year’s expenses at a state college in Texas go from $13,750 in 2003 to $22, 500 in 2010. We are educating students for jobs that no longer exist and fewer middle class jobs exist. The wages are stagnant and have been for 20 years. Another statistic listed is that since 1980, the average income has increased 8 percent while college costs have increased 240 percent. The student loan debt is a bubble preparing to burst for half of a student debtors are deferred delinquent of in default. It is my personal feeling that each and every parent preparing to send a child to college, in the next 5-7 years, view this documentary to try to prepare themselves and their students for the realities they face. Few solutions are offered here but it is intended as a giant wake up call to the financial crisis our young people are facing.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Sunday, April 13, 2014

DIFF 2014: Joe Interview with Ty Sheridan





Roundtable interview with the Ty Sheridan who plays the teenager Gary that Joe (Nicolas Cage) hires on his tree-poisoning crew and they develop a friendship. He was in Dallas to talk with the local media and DMS contributing writers Chase Lee and Christina Cranshaw were up close and personal
.






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DIFF 2014: Witching and Bitching





I'm not going to lie, I was so nervous walking into this film.

Not only was this the first film that I had watched by myself in the theater, I was surrounded by two giggling teenage girls who wouldn't stop flirting with men even when the film was rolling.

For this one, I had read the description, and it only made matters worse.

How in the hell am I going to like a film about people dressed up as certain characters, one of them being Jesus, robbing a bank with this guys 6 or 7 year old son.

How?!

I loved it.

I loved it so much.

It was basically a Spanish Cabin in the Woods on Speed.

Except this wasn't directed by Joss Whedon, but by someone crazier than Whedon.

Directed by Alex de la Iglesia. This film, arguably, has the best opening scene that I have ever witnessed.

Trust me, I am so shocked that I actually loved this film. It was so much fun to watch, and there was never a point where I was bored. I was always there and involved in the film.

I don't think I had laughed that hard for a film in a long time. It was an insane roller coaster ride. The dialogue was witty, and I had literally left the theater saying, "what the hell was that?"

It was phenomenal.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for bloodbaths at the opening of movies, involving beloved characters from my past, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

Don't get me wrong, there were some things that I did not like about it.

I hated how I thought the movie was over five different times, and it should have been over those 5 different times. The whole ending sequence was a bit out of reach for me.

The movie itself is already insane, but it just got tooooooooo strange for me to even focus.

And I love strange films.

Despite the outlandish ending, this film has solid A-Level acting.

Especially Hugo Silva. Silvia's comedic timing is beautiful, and his face is muy bueno.

MUY BUENO.

I would say I was a little off set by all the boobs in the opening of the film, but I watched Wolf of Wall Street so I was prepared.

Even though the film should have ended thirty minutes sooner, it was a wild ride that I would PAY to see over and over again.

The best part about it was that even though I had to read subtitles all throughout the movie, it didn't feel bothersome like some other films would. I actually thought I knew Spanish after I watched the film.

I don't.

But it's good to feel that way.

I'm definitely buying this film when I have the chance.

Check it out when you have your own chance.

But if Cabin in the Woods on Speed in Spanish doesn't sound fun to you, go play a game of scrabble.

That's more your pace.

Enjoy your orgy blood baths, you witches.

Live Long and Prosper Always,
She Geek Inc. Productions
Christina Cranshaw







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DIFF 2014: Evolution of a Criminal






Not that I was disappointed, but to me, it was more like...

Evolution of a Kid who really cares about his family, Robbed a bank once with his friend who carried a gun and felt really bad about it, spent a tiny bit in jail, and went on to NYU to create films and be successful.

Is it kind of sad that I'm a TINY bit jealous of this kid?

I wish I could even THINK of going to NYU for film.

But, I digress.

Darius Clark Monroe creates a documentary of his own life and a transformation into the person who he is today.

This is not what I expected going into the film, and at first, I was really upset.

Again...I do not read descriptions, but maybe I should.

I truly wanted to see the evolution of a real criminal.

Y'know, the people who kill other people, people who commit hard core treason, or even sociopaths and psychopaths.

But instead I got a story about how a kid just really cared for his family.

To be honest, I'd rob a bank for my family, and I think everyone else would too. People do insane things for family. Except we all know that it is morally wrong, and most of us do not want to die or rot in prison.

Also, people do crazier things for family.

Like murder, setting things on fire...more murder.

But Darius Clark Monroe cannot change his backstory, thus, this film was born.

I quickly began to sympathize with the film once it got into the meat of the story.
I realized that if I wanted to see a evolution of a REAL criminal, I could just watch The Discovery Channel.

Obviously, Darius has some talent. He went to NYU for film for pete's sake.

But I found Evolution of a Criminal lack luster.

The only part I found a slight bit intriguing were the re-enactment scenes. There was one point in the film that actually gave me goose-bumps and made me feel something.

It was a re-enactment scene where one of Darius' partners was wearing a skull mask, and the audience could actually see the whites of the kid's eyes in the skull. There was a really great build up to the scene with great transitioning music that just made it click for me.

I had felt something in that moment. I was truly nervous for Darius.

If the whole film had been like that one scene, I would have been a happy camper.

While the film was going, I gazed around and realized that I was the only one awake. However, it was probably because it was really late.

But once it was over, there were so many positive reviews of the film, that I felt bad.

Everyone perceives a movie differently, but I felt like I was in a totally different ball park.

Despite everything, I do commend Darius Clark Monroe for his bravery in telling his story. He put it all out there, and only someone who truly cares for his art can do that.

Check the film out for yourself.

You'll probably disagree with me, but that is completely okay.

I had the pleasure to talk to Darius Clark Monroe, and he is one of the kindest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. He's going to do spectacular things someday.

Live Long and Prosper Always,
She Geek Inc. Productions
Christina Cranshaw





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DIFF 2014: Anna





Sitting back, drenched to the bone in rain, and sitting behind someone that must have been 7 feet tall, I was truly hoping that this film would be worth it.

Someone began to speak, and I heard comparisons to Nolan and Hitchcock.

Then I started to laugh.

Loudly.

Nolan and Hitchcock are geniuses, and I could not even imagine a film in comparison to some of their works.

But then began Anna...

About a man named John (Mark Strong) who can enter people's minds and memories for criminal cases, he is soon given a case to solve after a recent stroke and a lack of financial stability. The case is of a troubled girl on a hunger strike named Anna (Taissa Farmiga), and then the story un-winds from there.

Directed by Jorge Dorado, I can now see why they give comparisons to Nolan and Hitchcock. Dorado is too good for his time. I was shocked to learn that this was his first feature film, because it is absolutely stunning. I soon forgot about my drenched clothes and became entranced in the film.

The cinematography done by Oscar Faura was absolutely breathtaking.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for winding staircases and ticking clocks...

I dug the cast too, and I usually hate female actresses under the age of 30. That's why I was so pumped to see Taissa Farmiga, from American Horror Story, on the screen. She's kick ass and not whiny like most high pitched actresses. Mark Strong does a wonderful job as well.

I also found myself attracted to my first bald man, but I digress.

Anna offers the audience a very intricate and detailed story, all the way down to some roses.

Now, it was not my favorite film of the Dallas International Film Festival, but I definitely enjoyed it.

There were times where. I thought the dialogue was stale. Like that was "very stereotypical for a character to say that," but other than that, Anna is a solid film.

Although, there was a time where I was just READY to stand, but the film was still going, and the director was in the room.

It was either dealing with the cramps in my ass, or get a death stare from an attractive Spaniard.

I chose the cramps.

Do me a solid, watch this film. It's very interesting if you're into minds, dreams, and Law and Order.

It was a good film, worth the time.

Jorge Dorado is going to be big someday...

YOU WATCH.

...should have listened to the girl who had cramps in her ass, I'm telling ya.'

Live Long and Prosper Always
She Geek Inc. Productions
Christina Cranshaw





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DIFF 2014: 3 Acres in Detroit





A part of the shorts competition program, 3 Acres in Detroit doesn't deliver...but it plants.

Get it?

I'm sorry, that was a horrible farming joke.

I actually enjoyed the concept of this short film. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted it to be longer.

About two men who are getting themselves straight after having a broken past, these men build goals towards having a all natural organic farm to help the city of Detroit.

These men face certain dangers and problems such as robbery and basic human setbacks.

I love the short film and the concept, but I feel like it just ends. I wanted to learn and watch more.

I found it extremely intriguing as they started to build a greenhouse that had been a certain selling point for drugs in it's past. To watch them work through that experience, see them transform a place that is rotten, and turn it into something beautiful, 3 Acres in Detroit would be absolutely stunning. However, the audience never gets to see the finished result.

Another plus was to see how strongly they felt about their goals to turn Detroit greener.

I was not aware that things like this were even happening in Detroit. So right off the bat, the vocal point of this short film has sold me. It is incredibly informative, and it also lets the audience in on the crime rate that still smolders in the city.

Robbery is a huge risk for those who even have more than the bare minimum to survive. That's another aspect that I wanted the film to explore more. I wanted to know if the two men were actually okay by the end of the film, but I was just left hanging instead.

To be honest, I want Nora Mandray to follow up with the two gentleman.

It could actually make a decent length documentary.

I want further explanation of the two men's background, and why they decided to change their ways.

If they actually finish their goals.

The possibilities with this short film is endless.

But, I do commend Mandray on her subject matter. It is extremely difficult to keep an audience member interested, and I was through the whole 12 min.

Hopefully she will follow up with the men and their goals so I can sleep peacefully at night.

For now, I will just dream of sweet organic vegetables.

Trust me, you can spare 12 min. to know that there are dedicated individuals doing well for Detroit.

Live Long and Prosper Always
She Geek Inc. Productions
Christina Cranshaw




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Movies Scheduled 4/13-4/19

Make sure when you enter contest or get passes to pay attention to what city it is in. Like if it is Ft. Worth and it is too far for you to drive, don't get those tickets. I have been seeing people grab those passes and then want to trade for ones in Dallas. I have heard that at Ft. Worth screenings the lines are not as filled up as the ones in Dallas.

Sorry haven't been to many movies. I have been working a lot of over time! I hope y'all are playing nice in lines.

I am seeing a lot of cool pictures on facebook from the DIFF. Today is the last day I hope you got to at least get to go to one of the movies. I hear they have some really good ones!

Hope y'all have a great day!!

Please contact me if you have any questions at damitdaina@hotmail.com


Sunday - April 13th

Monday - April 14th

Heaven is Real 7:00pm Angelika Dallas
Transcendence 7:30pm AMC NorthPark


Tuesday - April 15th

Cuban Fury 7:30pm Angelika Dallas
The Railway Man 7:30pm AMC Northpark
Let's Be Cops 7:30pm TBA Denton
Bears 7:30pm AMC Northpark


Wednesday - April 16th

Salem 7:00pm Angelika Dallas
Dom Hemingway 7:30pm Angelika Dallas
Neighbors 7:30pm Irving

Thursday - April 17th

The Other Woman 7:30pm TBA
Haunted House 2 7:30pm TBA

Friday - April 18th

Saturday - April 19th


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DIFF 2014: Young and Beautiful




I love French films and, quite frankly, they are way better than films here. So as you can tell I was probably looking toward this film. But there was something I couldn't get into and, unfortunately, it was the main character. I felt like she was selfish and a terrible person. It reminded me of my ex. Not only that but I felt like she was wooden for most of the time. I understood what the director was going for and I understood the main characters arcs but it just seemed off. I think it's because I couldn't connect with character in anyway. The film follows a seventeen year old girl who loses her virginity and she didn't really like it. So she becomes a prostitute on the side. You can tell she enjoys the anonymous hookups and you can also tell this is how she feels love. I really like the story and it is intriguing but the main actress just didn't sell it for me. Not to say she wasn't a good actress, because she was, it was just the character she portrayed. The acting all around was great and there were no complaints. This film, like most French films, has beautiful cinematography. The scenes where the main character was with her family is bright and happy and when she was at a clients house for sex it was dark and grim. I love the contrast of shots. The editing of this film is where I have to give it a lower grade as well. The film is a n hour and half long but it felt like it was two hours or more…in a bad way. It felt a lot longer than it should. Once again I think its because I didn't like the main character. The music did help it move from scene to scene as it dragged in a few parts. Overall it's acted and shot well and the story is intriguing, though it felt clunky in some sections, but I could never get behind the main character and her personality. I still love French films though. 6/10
(Review by Chase Lee)





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Saturday, April 12, 2014

DIFF 2014: Hellion



Hellion photo credit by Lauren Logan

Narrative Feature Competition
Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize - HELLION

I was a teenaged boy once. I know it's hard to believe but what I can tell is that this film very accurately portrays a group of teenaged boys and their behaviors. But what I find most impressive is that this was written and directed by a woman. I am not saying a woman can't write dialogue for a guy, I am just saying it's impressive that she accurately nailed how a group of male teenagers act and the dialogue that is uttered at that age. This story follows a teenaged boy, his friends and his little brother and their daily lives. The little brother is taken away by Child Protective Services and the main character fights to get him back. So it has strong elements of friendship and the relationship between brothers. I can relate to this because I have a younger brother and I was a teenager once. So the overall direction of the story and dialogue was very well done. Also the choice, from the director, to use handy cam was great because it added to the grittiness and realism of the story and characters. The actors who played the kids were very good but we don't see this movie for them when we read who is in this. Aaron Paul, Jesse from "Breaking Bad", plays the father of the main character and he is fantastic as this dad trying to raise these boys by himself. There were a lot of layers to his characters and, besides the kids, he was the best part about this. The cinematography felt grounded and gritty which only enhanced the story. I also noticed the colors were mostly orange and felt like it was dusk time. I liked the overall look to it. The editing was paced well. It felt a bit slow in the middle but that doesn't mean I wasn't interested and intrigued by this story or these characters. This is a great film on friendships and the relationship bond between brothers. I personally related to this film and in some way I think you can relate to the youth and the freedom you felt while being young. 8/10
(Review by Chase Lee)







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DIFF 2014: Dom Hemingway





Jude Law is Dom f**king Hemingway. Jude was meant to play this role of a guy who is very likable, interesting and just fun to watch but, deep down, there is some heart to him and you sympathize with him in some parts when you know he is just trying to do the right thing. This is written and directed by Richard Shepard and I have to say the script is the biggest plus for me. It is written with a great blend of energy, flair and heart and making Dom Hemingway one of the most interesting characters I have seen on screen so far this year. Just from the opening scene you know this is going to be a great movie. The direction is also great as Shepard focuses on Dom in many lights as a their, con artist, and a father. This gives Dom some depth even though, at times, he is an out of control person.I can't express how good Jude Law is at this role. He seems like he had a lot of fun with it. All the other actors do very well but let's face it this is Jude's movie. The cinematography is crisp and in some scenes the colors are vibrant and pop on screen, like Dom's character does as well. So with the brilliant dialogue the colors and shots in each scene are great to look at. The film is only an hour and half long and it flies by, with a few scenes that are a bit slow, but I was so intrigued at what Dom was going to do next whether it be a con artist to someone or bonding with his daughter, I didn't care how long the movie was because I was deep in the story. This is a fun ride with heart and Jude Law becomes this character and that's the best compliment I can give an actor or actress. 7/10
(Review by Chase Lee)






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