Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

There is something to be said about creating a hero movie from little known Marvel Comics characters that makes this the biggest and best of the blockbuster movies this year. One doesn't have per-conceived notions of expected character traits so everyone is new and open for discovery. The Marvel series debut in 1969 was followed up with the 2008 version which retains a few characters for the film. Unless you are a hardcore Marvel fan, most of this will be unknown. Screenwriter Nicole Perlman started the script in 2010 which went through a couple of drafts that were eventually completely rewritten by director James Gunn. This standalone film is set in the same Marvel Cinematic Universe will most likely see follow ups stories in the theaters and extended cuts when the DVD is released.

Chris Pratt beefed up for the role of Peter Quill who was kidnapped from his earth home in 1988 on the night his mother passed away. For 26 years he was raised with a group of Ravagers, space pirates, led by Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker). Quill steals a sphere artifact but is intercepted by the Kree Korath (Djimon Hounsou) who is a servant of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Quill manages to escape but soon Ronan sends the assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to go after him. Gamora the adopted daughter of Thanos, the Kree leader was trained as a weapon, but she is going to betray him for reasons that the Guardian understand and accept. When Quill tries to sell the sphere on the planet Xandar home of the Nova Corp which is in the process of signing a treaty with the Kree. A fight ensues between Quill and Gamora which attracts the bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically-engineered raccoon and the humanoid tree, Groot (Vin Diesel). They are all captured by the Nova Corp police and sent to prison where they try to escape. They meet up with Drax (Dave Bautista) who wants to have his revenge on Ronan who killed his family. The sphere as it turns out is an ancient Infinity Gem of immeasurable power that destroys all but the powerful beings that wield it. Ronan wants it to destroy Xandar. Everyone wants the sphere including Yondu who offers Quill help if he promises the sphere to him afterwards. The Guardians decide the best place for the sphere is in the hands of the peaceful Nova Prime (Glenn Close).

Quill's only link to home is a portable cassette tape player filled with 80's top hit playlist which adds a great soundtrack to the movie. As well as the quick and funny dialogue of the characters. The running joke is that Quill wants to be known as Star Lord, but no one seems to get it right. Groot the tree can only say “I am Groot”, but Rocket seems to understand the different inflections in the way he says it. The action the special effects are all quite satisfying visually popping and for once it's great to see that another major US city is not destroyed in the final act. The story is sort of confusing at times as the viewer has to catch up with the political intrigue of another universe, the different kinds of technology and sometimes awkward names. But it's a movie that you will not mind seeing multiple times just to hear the dialogue you missed by everyone laughing so loud. Guardians is the best of the summer!
(Review by reesa)

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Get On Up

James Brown was probably the most biggest, baddest, and blackest performer to come out of the Age of Rock. His on stage antics, music and dance were legendary and duplicated by many including Mick Jagger who also produced this film. Everyone remembers when we would collapse on stage and his attendants would lift him up and robe his shoulders only to have him shrug it off and when the audience would revive him for one more chorus. It was magic. Director Tate Tayor (The Help) with screenwriters Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth has managed to condense the rather colorful and complicated life of Mr. Brown (as he liked to be called) into a worthy tribute to the Godfather of Soul.

Chadwick Boseman who also portrayed Jackie Robinson in 42 takes on another bigger than life personality as James Brown. The story is told in a non linear style jumping from time to time like recalling memories. One moment it's Brown on the downside of his career shooting guns off in an office space because someone there used the bathroom in his office next door. The next we are seeing the Brown as a child raised by a drunk abusive father and a mother who abandons him in a small shack in Augusta, GA (Viola Davis and Lennie James). He goes to live with Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer) the madam of the local bordello and works at bringing customers to the house. As a teenager he gets busted for stealing a suit and sent to prison where he meets Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis of True Blood) who sings with a gospel group at the prison. Byrd is impressed when he hears Brown sings and asks his parents if Brown can live with them, the only way he could be released from jail. The young men form a band called the Famous Flames. Byrd has to admit that Brown is way more talented than he is and soon Brown is calling the shots.

Brown's musical genius is tempered by his childhood traumas, and he's often magnetic, tyrannical and paranoid. His ego is huge, too large for most rooms. When the record manager Ben Bart (Dan Aykroyd) comes into the picture, he only wants Brown, the Famous Flames are dropped. Only his best friend Byrd comes back to perform with Brown's various bands over the years before he's eventually alienated by his best friend. Mother and son are reunited after Brown is famous, but he cannot forgive her. It's an intense and telling scene about the painful childhood that haunts Brown.

Then there is the music which makes one want to dance in the aisles. There should be more of his music filling this movie. There are surreal moments like when the young Brown (played by twins Jordan and Jamarion Scott) walks into a church and is mesmerized by the singing and dancing preacher, or when Brown and band are performing on a white TV show in bad Christmas sweaters. There are moments when Boseman/Brown talks to the camera in narration of some of the events. The movie touches on crucial moments in Brown's life like meeting Little Richard, performing for troops in Vietnam and almost getting blown out of the sky. It touches on his spousal abuse, band abuse, and drug abuse all during the turbulent years of the racial awakening. There's a lot of story to tell to do justice to such a complicated man. The flashbacks and flash forwards are sometimes too distracting in the movie, but the performance by Boseman is notable and should be rewarded.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 27 - August 2

Greetings group. Daina is feeling under the weather this weekend, so I'm posting this week's calendar. Hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. Some very fun movies this season and the chaos of the movie lines seems to be fairly free of the usual drama. OK...outside of those folks who hold places in line for 10+ family and friends. If anyone has any issues, please write to either Daina at damitdaina@hotmail.com or reesa at reesas@yahoo.com.

With the imminent threat of unattended chairs being taken away in the movie lines, everyone seems to be obeying the suggestions of making sure at least one of your party is holding the fort. Thank you all for that. Not being able to sit while waiting for hours (hello Studio Movie Grills) is a privilege that hopefully will be not be taken away from us. Of course there are a few people who continue to dump and run, but they are either not part of the group or thinking we are not talking about them. (yeah, we are).

There are may outlets that offer passes, especially some of our favorite outstanding local websites that cover events, reviews, interviews, and hand out swag. They keep us informed about upcoming movies with trailers and movie news. They are a great resource of what's happening in the movie world. Let's take a moment and thank them. Either in person when they are at the screenings, or just a shout out on the social media portals like Facebook and Twitter. Like us at DMS, no one gets paid to do this. We love movies, love to share the bounty. Just a little kind word makes it all worth it.

July 27 - August 2

July 27

July 28

6:00 pm – Into the Storm – AMC Northpark
7:30 pm – The Hundred Foot Journey – Cinemark 17

July 29

7:00 pm – The Hundred Foot Journey – AMC Mesquite
7:00 pm – The Hundred Foot Journey – AMC Grapevine
7:30 pm – Get On Up – AMC Northpark
7:30 pm – Guardians of the Galaxy – Cinemark West
7:30 pm – Women in Film Award Winning Shorts – Studio Movie Grill Northwest Hwy

July 30

7:30 pm – Guardians of the Galaxy – Studio Movie Grill Royal
8:00 pm – Calvary – Angelika Dallas
7:30 pm – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Cinemark 17

July 31

7:30 pm – Outlander – Studio Movie Grill Royal
7:30 pm – If I Stay – tba

August 1

August 3

10:00 am – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - tba

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

I, Origins

The Eyes are the window to the soul and God is the creator of the soul, if you are a believer of such.  Imagine being able to prove that God doesn't exist by proving that eyes and the ability to see are a result of evolution and that genetic manipulations can be made by man, who essentially is playing God.  Two researchers are on the hunt for the missing living link that cannot see but holds the gene for eyesight. Essentially they seek the creature that is blind but could be made to see via genetic manipulation.  Now imagine that your discovery is the key to the potential proof of another religious belief, one that was unexpected but every bit as profound and life changing.

I Origins, an independent film directed by Mike Cahill premiered at Sundance in 2014, winning the Alfred P Sloan award for films utilizing science and technology elements.    It tells the story of PhD molecular biologist researcher Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), who has always had a fascination for the fingerprint of the eye, He  has documented eyes in excess via photography and maintains a huge data base.  At a Halloween Party he meets, eyes first, the ethereal and mysterious Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), who happens to have very unique and dazzling eyes.  On screen, Astrid has the ability to appear different in different settings and evoke different emotions based on her portrayal at the time. Mr. Pitt's performance shows a man who is all about scientific elemental control and manipulations yet is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the eyes, world and experiences of an enigma and it is soon clear that he doesn't want to find his way back to the rules and guidelines of a lab.

He is compelled, after a sort but intense encounter, to find her after she disappears.  A series of coincidental numerical clues leads him to the resource he needs to find her. Fated soul mate? Muse?  He is enamored and soon they both begin a passionate yet " far out of his comfort zone" affair. They are eventually consumed mind, body and soul and Ian explores aspects of himself that his intellectual didn't quite allow to develop.

Ian's research takes on new intensity with the addition of freshman researcher Karen (Brit Marling) whose ambitions prove to be the driving force towards discovering the link and key between the sighted and the sightless. As with most intellectuals, Ian and Karen doubt the existence of God and feel this discovery could disprove His existence. I Origns is full of intellectual dialog and profound 'what ifs' that may fly over the head of the typical film goer.  It should be considered a cerebral film and not a light hearted sci fi outing.

There are several unexpected plot twists key to the story's development that should not be given away but the dilemma and question at hand centers on the unique fingerprint of the eye, which like snowflakes and our own fingerprints are unique and only occur once in nature. Or so we think. If it is discovered that two people can have the same eye color patterns but not co-exist, what does that mean within the spiritual world? If the eye indeed the window to the soul then how are souls connected that belong to people with the same eye print?  This film is deeply spiritual and philosophical while exploring the realms of love, the soul, science and a higher power. It also tends to get a big messy and convoluted in its apparent mission. If we are not careful, we the audience can get a bit bogged down with all the weightiness.

Ian's son, born several years in the future,  is found to be a connecting factor to potential new discoveries in a world that uses eye print identification technology. A complicated investigation into a mystery ensues. Within the film itself, well integrated cinematography and an enhancing score tie together the story elements. 

As Sofi shared, "If a blind worm cannot see light, that does not mean that the light is not there.  If the human cannot see God, that should not mean that God is not there."  If humans attempt to play God that does not mean that they are.  But which of the world's religions truly has it right?  I Origins attempts to make us think more deeply and contemplate some of life's more profound mysteries. Some movie goers are simply not going to want to think quite so hard on their dates or fun nights out escaping the pressure of the work week. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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And So It Goes

I must say it is nice to see Michael Douglas back on the screen, looking relatively healthy, this time playing Oren  Little.  Oren is an almost retired realtor whose last task is to sell the estate that he and his late wife raised their son in.  Oren is irascible, cranky and quick with the barbs and is not embarrassed to say whatever is on his mind at the time. He is the consummate curmudgeon who tends not to allow one positive thing out of his mouth.

Next door to him, in the quadplex he owns, lives classy older widowed lounge singer, Leah, played by a less neurotic and excitable than normal Diane Keaton.  This odd couple pairing sets the tone for the arrival of Oren's 9 year old grand daughter (Sterling Jerkins), the one he didn't know he had. Owen and his son [Scott Shepherd) have become estranged over the years, due to drug involvement issues, and when he appears on Oren's doorstep with child in tow, announcing he has a short prison stint to serve and that he needs his father to take care or the girl, it is clear that Oren wants nothing to with childcare or attempting to raise another child in any way. He also longs to escape from the two families who live upstairs. They are Young family with annoying young twins and Young marrieds expecting their first child.   He wants to just ride off into the sunset, north of affluent Connecticut, and marinate in his self imposed exile at his retirement home in Vermont. 

Oren's immediate inclination is to walk back into his apartment and leave Sarah with Leah. Leah is the perfect nurturer, seeking to alleviate Sarah's insecurities and fears and help her settle in, which helping Oren to find it within himself to accept her.   Oren wants nothing more than to deliver the child to her biological mother, who they locate after a short hunt but even he is not heartless enough to consider doing that after considering everything he witnesses.

Predictably, the plot items becomes clear.  Will Leah and Oren get together? Will Oren embrace his inner-grandfather?  Will Leah and Oren both get over their personal losses and love again?  Will the young upstairs neighbor lady deliver her first born on Oren's couch with Leah and Oren as coaches?    Will Oren sell his house, despite being a horse' rear end?  Will the residents of the waterfront quadplex all gather amicably at the end in the front yard to view Oren's grand daughter's video project on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to butterfly? Will Oren, Luke and Sarah become one big happy family?  Hard to say if most of us really care but the viewer tends to know the answers about halfway through.

Besides the delivery scene, the only other genuine "hoot" moments of this film are the appearances made by Frances Sternhagen (Claire) who works in Owen's real estate office. Claire has known him for years, doesn't put up with his quips, and often one ups him at his own game. She portrays one sharp cookie. 

Somehow I expected more substance and depth from Rob Reiner (director) who even makes a cameo as Leah's piano player.  Frankie Valli makes an additional cameo as Leah's new boss in an upscale supper club. This is a movie your parents will enjoy, if they are over 60. It is a movie that is family friendly but will hold little interest to the under 30 viewer. Douglas's Oren is nothing new, nothing special and quite predictable but I do hope we see more of Mr. Douglas in the future...and it is a delight to see our darling neurotic Diane with a little more inner control this go around. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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If anyone follows I Fucking Love Science on Facebook probably knows that the premise of director/writer Luc Besson's new film is based on myths. Human beings don't really only use ten percent of their brain, just like they don't exclusively use right or left sides of it. But Besson is terrific at creating strong female characters like La Femme Nikita, Léon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element, that it's worth just forgetting those little nitpicking facts and just enjoy the ride.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) a college student living in Taipei, Taiwan is trapped into delivering a case handcuffed to her wrist by a bar picked up boyfriend of a week. Suddenly she is confronted by Korean gangster Mr. Jang (Oldboy's Choi Min-sik) who turns her into a drug mule by putting the packages of blue crystals in the case into her stomach. Three other mules are also used and they are put on planes to various locations. The panicked Lucy finds herself chained to a wall by Asian bad guys who beat her up, breaking the drugs into her body. The new compound unleashes her brain potential and firing at 20% capacity she manages to escape her captors and look for answer to her new found powers.

Morgan Freeman plays Professor Norman and expert in the study of neuroscience. Lucy contacts him in Paris convincing him by her abilities. She also goes in search for Mr. Jang to find out what happened to the rest of the packages and mules. The drugs which Mr. Jang was hoping to profit from in Europe turns out to be a synthetic CPH4, which supposedly is naturally produced in pregnant women for their developing fetus. Obviously whoever created the synthetic never tested the drug beyond it's recreational use and nothing we have to worry about in this movie. Lucy helps the cops in Paris with the assistance of Detective Del Rio (Amr Waked). But Mr. Jang is also tracking his mules and soon he's in Paris too.

Besson litters the film with little science factoid and scenes like first early humanoid primate Lucy. There's amusing scenes of how innocent Lucy is feeling by flashes of cheetahs running down prey. The story telling and action are way over the top, but in this case it works. Johansson easily shows her fear as a woman caught in the wrong place at the wrong time then into a person so evolved that she loses all her empathy and personality. The exposition of the scientific premise of what is happening to Lucy is somewhat dense and supplemented by educational asides of scenes but it doesn't distract from Lucy being able to knock everyone out or make them float in the air. Johansson already rocks as her superhero avatar Black Widow in the Avenger's series. So it's easy to accept her as a super human in a female centric action film that doesn't pander to the typical kick@ss in high heels.
(Review by reesa)

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A Man Most Wanted

Philip Seymour Hoffman's last major performance outside of the Mockingjay series leaves a sweet bitterness knowing this genius will never again inhabit complicated and intriguing characters on the big screen or in life. The John le Carré’s 2008 novel which was adapted by Andrew Bovell and directed by Anton Corbijn (The American) is and often times slow, dialogue heavy treatise on the American corrupted German intelligence services. The film shot in Hamburg Germany, the city where Mohamed Atta and his co-conspirators lived prior to the 9/11 attacks is the backdrop to the complicated political machinations of tracking down the finances of terrorist operations.

Hoffman with a German accent plays Günther Bachmann who is the head of a special unit for all intensive purposes does not exist in order to cultivate their intelligence. He was once a brilliant agent, but one failed operation has not stopped him from continuing his prime objective, but has made him more world weary. He's over weight obsessively drinks, smokes, and sleepless but his team respects his nerve, his loyalty and keen observations. Bachmann have developed sources within the Islamic community. He is trying to corner Dr. Faisal Abullah (Homayoun Ershadi), a Muslim scholar and humanitarian whose charity work may be front for laundering money to extremist groups.

The new blip on his radar is a 26 year old Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) a half Chechen, half Russian illegal immigrant who suffered torture and imprisonment in his country. He finds shelter with a Muslim woman and her son who connects him with Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) a young human rights attorney. She agrees to help him claim an inheritance worth tens of million of Euros. He doesn't want the money because it was ill gotten gains from his father. Bachmann schemes to use the money to trap Abullah. He reaches out to the head of the bank Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe) where the money is being held. The head of intelligence in Hamburg Dieter Mohr (Rainer Bock) wants to bring in Karpov as a suspected terrorist. The charming if somewhat askew CIA agent Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) convinces Bachmann she will keep Mohr out of his way while the operation goes down.

There's the grim and bleak background that is prevalent in Cold War spy movies with cigarette drop off messages, surveillance cameras, and cryptic conversations where no one trusts the other. The plot is somewhat complicated and the pace of the movie seems often plodding with unimportant details. It's strange seeing Hoffman bloated and chain smoking throughout the movie as a harbinger of his final days. His portrayal of a flawed and bitter man brings out a tender and sensitive side in a world that keeps knocking him back. It's hard not to watch Hoffman and remember we won't be able to see him again.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movies scheduled for 7/20-728

I want to send a bit shout out to Big Fan Boy for doing it old school. Yes back in the day you had to go pick up the pass, they didn't have any passes on the internet for you just to print out. So if you didn't go get in line you didn't get a pass. So please if you didn't bother to get in line don't get mad at people who did. Yes I couldn't get in line but my daughter got me a pass. Happy to be going back to the movies after taking a two month long break. But if she wasn't able to get me a pass I would have been upset, I knew

Now it isn't cool for you just to get a pass just to barter for a better pass. Imagine the people that were standing in line and didn't get a pass and now you are trying to trade it for a "better" movie. Look at the date, look at the location if that isn't what you want do grab it! Simple!

We are adults and can act like adults so please follow the rules. Don't try to sneak into the theater before they let people in. Wait your freaking turn! If you want a good seat so bad get there early! Trust me your actions are being noticed!

Just a fyi, I don't have extra tickets in my back pocket.

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

Sunday July 20th

Monday July 21st
Guardians of the Galaxy 7:00 p.m. AMC Northpark

Tuesday July 22st
I Origins 7:30 p.m. Landmark Magnolia
Lucy 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Lucy 7:30 p.m. SMG Royal
The Fluffy Movie 7:00 p.m. AMC Firewheel 18
The Fluffy Movie 7:00 p.m. AMC Northpark
The Man from Nowhere 7:30 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse

Wednesday July 23rd
Get On Up 8:00 p.m. AMC Mesquite
Get On Up 7:30 p.m. SMG Royal
Into the Storm 7:30 p.m. TBA
Hercules 6:00 p.m. TBA

Thursday July 24th
The Fluffy Movie 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark

Friday July 25th

Saturday July 26th

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Friday, July 18, 2014


This movie, directed by Richard Linklater takes the story of a young boy on a 12 year journey of his life. What makes this movie unique is that Richard used the same characters: son, Mason played by Ellar Coltrane; mother, Olivia played by Patricia Arquette; sister, Samantha played by Lorelei Linklater; and father, Mason, Sr. played by Ethan Hawke throughout the 12 year span of the movie. Mason’s life goes through the up and down being a kid, an adolescent then a teenager onto adulthood.

It starts off as Mason tries to make sense of things as he sees his divorced mother struggle as single parent trying to raise him and his sister. His mother returns to school to pursue her education to make a better life for her and her children. She believes that her kids need stability so she married her college professor but eventually finds herself in an abusive marriage. Wanting to protect her kids, she leaves the husband and all their belongings and moves in with a friend and their family. Each year, the movie touches on a particular situation that portray the developmental changes of Mason and Samantha. Olivia finished her degree and pursues her career. But as always she struggles with the changes of men in her life as well as her need for financial stability. Mason's father who is a constant present in his life also struggle with his issues. As Mason reach adulthood he must decide his fate as each person in the family chooses their own path of contentment.

This movie portrays a realistic view of this family growth as it shows the changes of each character as they grow over a 12 year period. The writer did a great job keeping the same characters and allowing the audience to see the changes in life as it is during that time. It also allows the audience to reflect on their own journey from adolescence to adulthood. Richard knew this was a risk taker because anything could have happened to the characters during the 12 years of making the film. It a sense, he did a great job on this movie exploring each character and building on them as the years progressed. I highly recommend for everyone to see this movie.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)

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No decade has shaped pop culture quite like the 1980s.

1980: The release of Pac-Man

1982: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial lands in theatres

1983: The Cabbage Patch phenomenon crops up

1984: Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird form Mirage Studios and publish their first comic book, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Turtles dominated the media landscape through the late 80s and early 90s, culminating in multiple feature films, a hugely successful animated television program, action figures mania, and much more. While these collectibles and throwbacks yank at the heartstrings of nostalgic Babies of the Eighties, the future looks bright for the Boys in Green as Paramount Pictures prepares for the upcoming release of the revitalized and reimagined Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August 8).

B&B Theatres Wylie 12 with Marquee Suites celebrates the exciting return of the Turtles to the big screen, but acknowledges that the bodacious potential of the future is contingent upon understanding the radical contributions of the past. To herald in the new feature, B&B Theatres in Wylie is hosting the first ever Teenage Mutant Ninja Movie Fun Run, a Turtles-themed 5k held on August 2nd. Participants will receive t-shirts, tubular turtle headbands, and raffle entries for great prizes, not to mention the chance to get the shell off the sofa and enjoy some good, ol’ fashioned exercise.

But that’s not all!

All participants will be invited to attend a free showing of the classic 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Sound awesome? It will be. The only thing that could make it better would be watching the film with the Turtles themselves….WHICH WILL BE POSSIBLE since all four turtles will be in town to support the race and take pictures with any eager turtle fans, keep the Foot Clan at bay, and share a slice with their fans. (Turtles courtesy of Turtle Power Entertainment) No turtle event would be complete without the essentials, and by essentials, we mean PIZZA! Everyone that joins us for the race will get a piece of Mr. Jim’s pizza before watching the movie on our MASSIVE GRAND SCREEN!

We will also have on site the foremost expert on Ninja Turtles with YouTube Sensation Andre Meadows of ‘Black Nerd Comedy’! With over 250,000 subscribers, many people are eager to learn about his thoughts on anything turtle related! The Allen American’s hockey team will be joining us with a Casey Jones ‘Slapshot Challenge’ and we will have David DeGrand (Artist for Mad Magazine and Spongebob Squarepants) drawing free sketches for all kids! The event is not just for adults as we will have a FREE Turtle Trot for Kids 11 and Under at 9am before the festivities kick off!

But the icing on the cake (or pizza, if you prefer) is the exciting news that PARTNERS IN KRYME will make a rare appearance to perform the classic anthem “TURTLE POWER” and a never-before-released new track, “ROCK THE HALFSHELL”. Not only will PARTNERS IN KRYME be performing their new song, but everyone in the auditorium will be A PART OF THE MUSIC VIDEO! Couple this with additional games and events, good food, great friends, and the fact that ALL proceeds go to benefit the Wylie Christian Care Center, and you’ve got a recipe for a turtle-tastic event that will be sure to let Shredder and his goons know that TURTLE POWER is alive and well in Wylie.

Saturday, August 2nd

7:00am Pack pick-up begins
9:00am Turtle Trot Free Kids Race
9:30am 5K begins
10:30am Raffle prize giveaways
11:30am Movie/Performance

ALL proceeds will benefit the Wylie Christian Care Center.

About B&B Theatres

Current Operations and Continued Growth

B&B Theatres is the 19th largest theatre chain in America and operates 233 screens in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida. Other B&B locations in the area include Colleyville, TX and Oklahoma City, OK. B&B Theatres’ corporate office is in Liberty, MO (Kansas City area) and has an additional office in Los Angeles, California.

Company History

B&B Theatres has been family owned and operated since 1924 when Elmer Bills Sr. opened a movie house in Salisbury, Missouri. The future Mrs. Bills played the piano for silent movies. During the company’s 89 years and four generations of family involvement, it has seen the coming of sound, color, Technicolor, stadium seating, multiplexes, and now digital cinema.

Contact: Chris Tickner District Marketing Manager

B&B Theatres


For More information about B&B Theatres,

visit bbtheatres.com or Facebook.com/bbwylie12

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

AFFD 2014 Announces Jury Award Winners


July 16, 2014 (DALLAS, TX) – The 13th Annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas presented by Well Go USA Entertainment announces its 2014 Jury Award Winners.  


Best Asian Narrative Film

Late Spring
Korea l Drama l Directed by Keun-Hyun Cho

Best Asian-American Narrative

Man from Reno
USA l Mystery/Thriller l Directed by Dave Boyle
Trailer: http://vimeo.com/70312684

Best Art Direction
Funny Money
Vietnam l Comedy l Directed by Thien Do
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOx-rW_a8TI

Special Jury Mention for acting
Lance Lim, Innocent Blood
USA l Crime l Directed by DJ Holloway and Sun W. Kim
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiL50LvJ-1M

Best Cinematography

Late Spring
Korea l Drama l Directed by Keun-Hyun Cho


Best animated short

The Legend of the Flying Tomato
USA l Directed by Sharon Huang, Aurry Tan, Michael Yates

Best drama short

Forever in Hiatus
USA/Vietnam l Directed by Andy Nguyen

Best late night short

USA l Directed by Patrick Dickinson

Best documentary short
Spilled Water
USA/China l Directed by May May Tchao


Feature Film Jurors
Nikki Duong Koenig
Michael A. Gibson Jr.
Raquel Chapa

Short Film Jurors
Joshua L. Peugh
Kyle Kondas
Javier Fuentes

About the Asian Film Festival of Dallas
Since its creation in 2002, the annual film festival has grown to become the South’s largest showcase of Asian and Asian-American cinema. Over the past 13 years, the festival has provided opportunities for nearly 500 Asian and Asian-American filmmakers and documentarians to share their vision, often providing the only venue for their films to be shown in Dallas.

The films have also allowed festival goers a chance to experience other lives and cultures without leaving their seats. The Asian Film Festival of Dallas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting emerging and established Asian and Asian-American filmmakers and sharing the rich diversity of Asian culture through the medium of cinema.  For more information about AFFD, please visit www.asianfilmdallas.com.

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The Purge:Anarchy

I didn't like the first "Purge", yet I found the concept enthralling. It was the execution of the first one that made me hate it as it went into average horror film territory and not exploring this awesome, psychologically driven concept. I can't say that about the second one, "The Purge: Anarchy", because I got what I wanted that was missing from the first, focusing on multiple people and how each would react to the purge if it actually existed. What's weird is that the writer and director, James DeMonaco, also wrote and directed the first one, but this felt like he explored the purge and how people are psychologically challenged. What would you do during the purge? This is the question that is further explored and I liked that. The tone of this one felt more like a psychological thriller than a horror film. I also really like that it is taking place outside versus staying inside of a house. So in terms of directing, he nailed the perfect tone of this concept and making it gritty, realistic and testing limits of the human mind. The acting is ok, the only standout is Frank Grillo. He is essentially the lead and I have to tell you, he has the chops to carry a film. He was in "Captain America: The Winter Solider" earlier this year, as Crossbones, and he stood out but didn't have much screen time, here he can show us he can lead a film. All the other actors tried. The cinematography was great considering they had the whole city to use as their visual playground. The first one stayed primarily in a house, and that’s fine, but it didn't have much liberty in terms of shooting. The editing of this 103 minute film is paced well. It keeps you entertained, at some points keeping you on edge, on what will happen next. Listen, this is not an Oscar worthy movie by any means, some of the dialogue is cringe-worthy, but I was entertained, disturbed and it was a nice break from the big blockbusters. I thought it was way better than the first one, and the political and social questions are raised even further making you feel creeped out that people might do this if it existed. But this movie is a fantasy and that's the definition of cinema, projected fantasy. But we have all thought of this and what we would do during the purge. 7/10
(Review by Chase Lee)

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Richard Linklater's masterpiece of a film covers a twelve year period of real time as the young actor in the his story grows up. It follows the young protagonist from the age of 6 years old until he graduates from high school. The film was shot intermittently beginning in the summer of 2002 and completed in October 2013. Just the thought of getting actors and other resources to commit to this long term project seems to be a logistical nightmare. But watching as the characters physically change and evolve while we as the audience witness the everydayness of his experience. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Festival and Linklater won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) lives with his mom Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and his older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) in Texas. Olivia is divorced from their dad Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) who is a bit irresponsible hasn't seen his kids in awhile. Although he has a hard time showing it, he really loves his kids and spends the weekends with them every couple of weeks after he returns from Alaska. The kids are typical sibling teasing and fighting with each other. The scenes are small but bring significant moments like mom arguing with her boyfriend, suddenly having to move to Houston, making new friends, mom going back to school, mom getting married, new step siblings, drunken step dads and spending quality time with bio dad all from Mason's perspective. We watch as Mason grows from a cute round faced kid, to a lanky long haired teenager. Not only do the kids grow older, but the parents as well. Becoming more rounder and filled out as adults tend to do.

The story itself by Richard Linklater was written over the same period of time with all the major actors playing a part of the writing process. The project was akin to making a short film a couple weeks out of each year for twelve years. Each vignette is sometimes like a memory of the pop culture of the time. Olivia would read Harry Potter to the kids before bed, then in future they are attending a Harry Potter book premiere in costume. Their dad has the teen siblings put up Obama signs on people's lawns. Mason Sr and Jr discuss Star Wars. The conversations are sometimes deep and and sometimes pointless. There is something for everyone to relate to in their own life. Olivia gets her masters in psychology but can't seem to have a steady relationship. Mason Sr. manages to buckle down and become an actuary, get married and have another child. Mason discovers a gift of photography that helps him shift his usual aimless and unfocused self into young adulthood.

The transitions from the moments in time are fluid and honest. As the years go by the story touches on the different traumatic events that affect the family, but then the next moment, you see everyone moving forward as life does as we bear the sadness and search for happiness in our lives. The concept of movies that have the same actors in continuing stories over the years has been explored in Linklater's “Before” trilogy of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. This time he covered the twelve years in 164 minutes of running time. It doesn't seem like it, because your attention is totally involved in the characters. The peyote brownie fueled cosmic comment at the end of the film pretty that pretty much sums it up and will leave you thinking...”yep”.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Movies Scheduled 7/13-7/19

Well we told y'all last week the Guardian of the Galaxy was only 15 minutes and it looks like people don't read what we say since they sent out emails complaining about not getting to see the whole thing. Maybe if you just took a little time to read the Sunday email then you would have noticed.

Since I have been working a bunch of overtime I have not been getting passes unless my kid and her boyfriend tell me to help them keep a eye out for them. So I haven't been getting hardly any passes. You can send me questions but telling me you want a pass to this movie or that movie won't help since I don't have any spares.

I may get the time wrong on here once in a while. Please go by time on your pass.

If you have any questions please contact me at damitdaina@hotmail.com

Sunday July 13th

Monday July 14th

Boyhood 7:00 pm Magnolia
I, Origins 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas

Tuesday July 15th

Plane: Fire and Rescue 7:00 pm Cinemark West Plano
The Purge Anarchy 7:30 pm AMC Northpark

Wednesday July 16th

Get on Up 7:30 pm Cinemark West Plano
Sex Tap 7:30 pm AMC Northpark and AMC Valley View

Thursday July 17th

And So It Goes 7:30 pm Angelika Dallas
Wish I Was Here 7:30 pm AMC Northpark
When The Game Stand Tall 7:30 pm AMC Grapevine Mills

Friday July 18th

Saturday July 19th

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The first thing you really notice about the reboot film in the Planet of the Apes franchise is the incredible makeup, especially when you think back to the Charlton Heston 1968 movie. The apes are are so realistic, you can practically smell them. The screenplay by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver follows the events after the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Director Matt Reeves infuses the film with a more personal sense of family values for humans and apes in a post apocalyptic world where peace between the species is but a hopeful dream.

The film opens with a quick summary of what happened after the apes escaped the lab in San Francisco and the virus wiped out most of the world's population of humans. The apes lead by Caesar (Andy Serkis) has established a community where all the apes are thriving. But the peace is disrupted when his son and friend are shot at by Carver (Kirk Acevedo) a very nervous human who fears the apes as the carriers of the virus. Of course, his fears are unfounded. Humans created the virus. But that shot is the catalyst for the coming confrontation between humans and apes.

The human Malcolm (Jason Clarke) tries to reason with Caesar to let them work on the dam in their territory to bring power to the settlement of surviving humans living in San Francisco. He and his friend Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) help establish the enclave but they are running low on resources and they need the power to continue. The apes don't trust the humans especially Koba (Toby Kebbell) who suffered from the experiments done to him as a lab animal. His opinions are strengthened when the apes confront the humans in the city with guns pointing at them from the fortified walls. Caesar surprises them when he speaks and the humans realized they may be better armed, but they are sorely outnumbered.

Malcolm and Caesar managed to come to an agreement about fixing the dam as long as they leave each other in peace afterwards. Unfortunately Dreyfus thinks they are "just" animals and gathers the armaments left behind by FEMA to defend themselves. The conflicts with the humans and apes are pretty broadly drawn. While Malcolm and Caesar are able to establish a growing respect for each other by their mutual sense of family, they are undermined by their counterparts who can't think beyond their fear and prejudice. It's kind of disheartening to think that even at the end of the world people will still try to kill each other for their beliefs.

The film is colored in deep tones of the wet forests of Northern California, even the city is overcast within it's ruins. It sets off the visual details of the characters that are captured in the close ups of the ape faces that are intense, dangerous and eloquent. The non-verbal exchanges of the apes are subtitled as most of the apes use sign language learned from their time in the labs. Keri Russell who plays Malcolm's wife and Kodi Smit-Mcphee who plays Malcolm's teen son offer a poignant touch to the story.

With all the blockbuster movies out there with things going boom without substance, this is a nice and satisfying film that still has the obligatory action sequences, but also gives one something to think about later.
(Review by reesa)

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Asian Film Festival Dallas July 10 - July 17, 2014




9:15 pm The Five

8 pm-11 pm Opening Night Party @ The Dram



2:30 pm Experimental Shorts

2:45 pm Reset - World premiere
*Director Takeshi Matuura and Actors Koutarou Hayashi & Tomomi Kouno

will be in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

4:30 pm The King's Wrath

4:45 pm Stray Dogs

7:15 pm Go, Stop, Murder - International premiere
*Director Joon Kwon in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

7:30 pm Bushido - North American premiere

9:30 pm Innocent Blood
*Actor James Jeffery Caldwell in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

9:45 pm Black Butler (2nd screening)


12:00 pm Student Shorts

12:15 pm Drama Shorts

2:00 pm Ku-On - North American premiere
*Director Takayuki Hatamura & Editor Naomi Toyama will be in attendance,

Q&A to follow

2:15 pm Patema Inverted

3:50 pm Boomerang Family

4:15 pm Funny Money
*Director Thien Do in attendance, Q&A to follow the film

6:15 pm Man From Reno

*Director Dave Boyle, Associate Producer Mye Hoang & Actor Ayako Fujitani to attend, Q&A to follow

6:25 pm Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro

8:35 pm Kumu Hina

8:45 pm The Attorney

10:30 pm Danger Dolls - North American premiere

11:30 pm Horror Stories 2 - U.S. premiere


12:00 pm Seven Souls in the Skull Castle

12:15 pm Touch of the Light

2:30 pm Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

3:40 pm Sweet Alibis - North American premiere

4:15 pm Television

6:00 pm That Demon Within

6:30 pm Ant Story - North American premiere

8:30 pm SAMURAI HUSTLE (CENTERPIECE FILM) - International premiere. Centerpiece Reception to precede the film @Angelika Film Center

8:45 pm Fall in Love

10:45 pm Late Night Shorts

11:00 pm Rigor Mortis

5-6:30 pm Filmmakers Reception @ Cafe Express in Mockingbird Station


1:30 pm Documentary Shorts

3:35 pm Sansho the Bailiff

6:00 pm Pretty Rosebud
*Director Oscar Torre & Writer/Actor Chuti Tiu will be in attendance Q&A to follow

8:00 pm A Leading Man
*Director/Writer Steven Kung & Executive Producer/Actor Pat Tsao. Appetizers provided before the film. Q&A to follow the film.

10:20 pm Monsoon Shootout


1:00 pm Boomerang Family (2nd screening)

3:20 pm Drama Shorts

5:20 pm The King's Wrath (2nd screening)

8:00 pm Why Don't You Play in Hell?

10:30 pm Late Spring


1:45 pm Go, Stop, Murder (2nd screening)

3:45 pm Experimental Shorts

5:45 pm Kept

7:30 pm Overheard 3

9:30 pm Zombie TV

5:30-7 pm AFFD Happy Hour @ The People's Last Stand


12:00 pm Sweet Alibis (2nd screening)

2:20 pm Man From Reno (2nd screening)

4:45 pm The Attorney (2nd screening)

7:30 pm As the Light Goes Out (CLOSING NIGHT FILM)

9:45 pm Killers

12:00 am That Demon Within (2nd screening)

9 pm-12 am AFFD Closing Night Party @ The Dram


Innocent Blood Actor/Producer James Jeffery Caldwell

Reset (Japan) Director Takeshi Matuura, Actors Koutarou Hayashi & Tomomi Kouno

Man from Reno Director Dave Boyle, Associate Producer Mye Hoang & Actor Ayako Fujitani

Go, Stop, Murder (S. Korea) Director Joon Kwon

Ku-On (Japan) Director Takayuki Hatamura & Editor Naomi Toyama

Funny Money (Vietnam) Director Thien Do

A Leading Man Director/Writer Steven Kung & Executive Producer/Actor Pat Tsao

Pretty Rosebud Director Oscar Torre & Writer/Actor Chuti Tiu

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Alamo Drafthouse DFW Announces 2nd Location in Dallas

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW Announces Location #2:DALLAS

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s second North Texas location confirmed on South Lamar Street in Dallas

Dallas – July 8, 2014—Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is pleased to unveil plans for a second location in North Texas. The eight-screen theater, and Glass Half Full Taproom, will be owned and operated by Two is One, One is None LLC, the DFW franchise partner of the Alamo Drafthouse that also owns the Alamo in Richardson. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will become a part of the South Side Lamar District, joining the NYLO Hotel, SODA bar, The Cedars Social, Gilley’s, Full Circle Tavern, Southside Ballroom, Terrace Bistro, Opening Bell Coffee, Poor David's Pub and Bill’s Records. The theater will open mid-2015 at the Southwest corner of South Lamar and Cadiz Streets in Dallas – halfway between the new Omni Dallas and the award-winning South Side on Lamar.

“We’ve had our eye on a South Lamar location since entering the North Texas market. Everything about downtown and South Dallas dovetails perfectly with the Alamo brand. The convergence of Chef-driven restaurants, food trucks, craft breweries, the Arts District, and homegrown/local retail are all complimentary characteristics of Alamo culture and lifestyle. Another exciting aspect is the partnerships we can form with local entrepreneurs. In Richardson, we’re already partnering with local businesses like Dude, Sweet Chocolate, Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and various breweries; Community, Deep Ellum, Four Corners and Peticolas to name a few. Now we can expand these relationships and form new ones with a location in the heart of Dallas,” said Bill DiGaetano, Alamo Drafthouse DFW Owner and COO.

Jack Matthews, president of Matthews Southwest, welcomes Alamo Drafthouse to the South Side/Cedars area. “We are very pleased that Alamo Drafthouse will open in the South Side area, it gives both residents of Dallas and visitors another excuse to enjoy themselves and the city. Living in a city is about choices you can get to quickly: dinner, drinks, a movie or a great view. This will be a place for all of that. The South Side really enjoys the best views in the city and the deck here [at Alamo] will be in serious competition with the NYLO SODA Bar and the pool deck on the Omni. Mayor Rawlings’ GrowSouth vision is quickly becoming a reality in the South Side/Cedars area.”

Alamo Dallas Details

Alamo Drafthouse Dallas will be a state-of-the-art theater with 8-screens and just under 1,000 seats. Each auditorium will be equipped with the latest in 4K digital projection with larger-than-average screen size to room ratios and 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. Select auditoriums will also feature 35mm projectors for Cinephiles to experience classic and repertory content as they were meant to be viewed. Not only will they feature superior audio-visual equipment, additionally the format of each theater will eliminate the traditional front row, ensuring every seat in the theater allows for an optimal viewing experience.

In addition to in-theater dining, Alamo Dallas will feature a second level Glass Half Full Taproom with two patios and a panoramic view of downtown. The Glass Half Full Taproom and patios will have seating for 200 people and feature an extensive menu of 32 craft beers on tap; over 35 bottled beers, wine, cocktails and freshly made food. The lounge will offer patrons an inviting place to socialize whether waiting for a movie or simply coming to sample scratch-made menu items, cocktails or local craft beers. Antique brick salvaged from other buildings in the South Side area will be used both inside and outside of the theater as homage to the great history in downtown Dallas.

What Sets Alamo Drafthouses Apart

Alamo Drafthouse combines dinner, drinks, films and events, all under one roof. The theaters have been heralded for their unique programming events and high exhibition standards, earning accolades like “Best Theater Ever” (Time Magazine) and “the coolest theater in the world” (Wired).

Alamo Drafthouse provides a unique combination of theater and restaurant, showing first-run movies, independent films and special programming events with an extensive menu made from scratch in a state-of-the-art culinary kitchen. Customers order food and drinks from servers who quietly attend to them throughout the movie.

Customers are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the pre-show entertainment. Instead of a barrage of advertising, the Alamo shows a curated collection of rare and humorous clips. “We're proud of the fact that we don't show any advertising,” Tim League said. “People don't want to pay for a movie and then be bombarded with 20 minutes or more of shampoo commercials. If you don’t like the movie, we strive to produce a pre-show good enough to still make for a great experience.”

Alamo Drafthouse protects the theater experience with a zero-tolerance policy for people who disrupt the film with talking or texting. Alamo Drafthouse was featured on global news for a viral “Don’t Talk” PSA that used a humorously misguided voicemail from an actual patron who was ejected for using her phone during the film. The full story on the long tradition of Alamo’s no talking/texting policy can be found here: http://cf.drafthouse.com/she_texted_we_kicked_her_out2.html

About Alamo Drafthouse

Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom-and-pop repertory theater in Austin. Seventeen years later, the now 18-location chain has been named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired.com. 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. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek and the classic Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films, which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short three-year existence and Badass Digest, an entertainment news blog curated by veteran journalist Devin Farachi. http://drafthouse.com/dfw.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 7/6/14 - 7/12/14

Greetings Group!

Hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday weekend. With the weather heating up, it's great to spend some time in a A/C cooled theater.

Firstly, y'all realized that the Guardians of the Galaxy event is only 15 minutes. It's a preview to wet your appetite for the opening. Don't expect it to be the whole movie.

Secondly, we are constantly posting to the group where to find passes. Links to the websites that are offering contests, printable passes, or pass pickups and are there for you to take advantage on your own. Don't wait until the last minute then ask someone for their pass. It's also not cool to ask to trade for a future pass of a movie that has not been made available at that moment. How can someone trade you when they don't even know if they will get that pass? Duh! Enter the contest on your own!

Thirdly, people who hoard multiple passes just to trade for others is not cool. Or if you do RSVP for a seat like the Let's Be Cops special screenings and not show up is also taking the chances for seeing the film from those who wanted to go for real. Also very uncool. So please people. Only get the passes if you are planning to use them. Don't be so greedy.

July 6 - July 12

Sunday 7/6

Monday 7/7

Let's Be Cops - 7 pm - Irving

Guardians of the Galaxy Sneak Preview - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17, AMC Northpark, AMC Stonebriar

The Purge: Anarchy – 7:30 pm – AMC Northpark

Tuesday 7/8

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – 7pm – AMC Northpark

East Los High – 7:30 pm – Angelika Dallas

Planes: Fire and Rescue – 7:30 pm – AMC Northpark

Wednesday 7/9

The Purge: Anarchy – 7:30 pm – Angelika Dallas

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – 7:30 pm – AMC Mesquite

Let's Be Cops – 7:30 pm – Alamo Drafthouse

Sex Tape – 7:30 pm – Studio Movie Grill Royal

Thursday 7/10

Friday 7/11

Saturday 7/12

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Begin Again

Director/writer John Carney who brought the magic of urban street musicians in the Oscar winning Once, is back with another romantic tale this time set in New York City. The music is pleasant, and folksy, but doesn't leave a lasting impression as it did in Once with Glen Hansard and the Swell Season. The music by Gregg Alexander features work by song writers Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley, Rick Nowels, Nick Southwood, John Carney and Glen Hansard. While this movie is not exactly a rom-com, it does offer a light and genuine friendship of the two leads as they save each other through the music.

Mark Ruffalo, looking a dishevelled as the alcoholic record executive, Dan Mulligan, is being kicked out of the company he helped start. Feeling sorry for himself, he's been drinking all day, even trying to get his estranged teen daughter Violet (Hailee Steinfeld) to pay for his beer tab. While still spiralling down, he hears an open mike performance by Greta (Keira Knightley) who was forced on stage by her busker friend Steve (James Corden). The audience is barely paying attention to her as she lacks stage presence, her song is a bit mopey, and she's dressed like a tomboy. But to Dan, he hears a that certain “something”, even imagining in his booze filled mind, the other instruments and the possibilities from her raw talent. He immediately offers her a chance to make a record.

Greta was planning to go back to England, having come to the states with her boyfriend Dave Kohl (Adam Levine) who is just exploding on the music scene, and promptly has an affair that he wants time to explore. She decides to take this chance, even though Dan doesn't really have the resources from his old company to make it happen. They decide they will produce it on their own, recording all over the city using alleyways, rooftops, subway stations, and parks as their studio. They hire students, street kids, and with the help of Trouble Gum (CeeLo Green) who knew Dan in his better days, some real musicians as the band. The freshness of the city tour and the excitement of the guerrilla recording gives the movie some energy. It's the filler between, like walking around the city listening to playlists from earbuds, or the love/hate/frustrated relations with Dan and his ex-wife Miriam (Catherine Keener) or the uncomfortable teenager and daddy issues, make the movie a bit contrived. Greta getting her comeuppance with Dave is a little bit more satisfying.

Knightley does her own singing in the film and although nice to listen too, lacks the passion from the music in Once. She infuses the movie with a bright and positive energy that is brought alive by Dan's encouragement and in turn transforms Dan. The other theme of the film seems to touch on the flash trappings of the digital age with musicians being marketed like over produced products. Old school music like Dan's vision where the songwriting and performance is being lost to corporate manipulation as in Dave losing touch with his own music.

Considering the number of blockbuster choices at the theaters, it's nice to have a feel good movie that will leave you with a smile.
(Review by reesa)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


This movie, directed by Boon Joon Ho, is about the survivor of people who manage to get on this train after the earth becomes an eternal ground of ice. The earth has been frozen for 17 years and the only place for survivors is to become a passenger on this train. The train never stops; it virtually circles around the same track every year. There are two classes of people: One is the people who manage to get on the train with the clothes on the backs. They are escorted to the tail of the train where the train it lack windows, adequate food and lodging. The second class of people are those that are wealthy, who paid their expensive tickets in advance, are escorted to the front of the train where they live lavishly in beautiful décor; where the food and water supply are plentiful, and their needs are met immediately.

As years go by the train embarks on the 17th years of continual survivor. Things do not get any better for the people living in the tail end of the freight train but worse. They are threatened, beaten, mistreated, neglected from adequate food, water and health care; and the parents who managed to have small children find themselves hiding their kids from the leader’s guards who will stop at nothing to exert their powers and used them at their convenience. As the movie unfolds, Curtis (played by Chris Evans) is a young, but an angry young man who get fed up with his living arrangements and the treatment of the people, with the help of the spiritual leader Gilliam (played by John Hurts) begin his quest to make it to the front of the train. He gets help from the people who start on this uneventful journey to make it to the engine room. Each time Curtis and his followers enter a new section of the train they embark upon a new but more outlandish section of the cart than the one before. As Curtis and his followers get closer to the front the danger increases and they begin to see the inequalities in living arrangements that define their current global reality.

Chris Evans is known for his heroic characters (Fantastic Four, Captain America and Avengers) in the movies he previously played. In this film, although he is not trying to be a hero, he does act as the leader leading the passengers to a better situation in their bad living arrangement. In previous stories his characters always survived the ordeals. In this movie his character does not survive. He does not try to out fight anyone or out muscle anyone. Korean actors Song Kang-ho and Ko Ah-sung, who played Namgoong Minsu as the father and Yona as his daughter who helps Curtis on this journey to make it to the front of the train. Their characters were well executed in the parts they played. There were also well known actors/actresses such as Octavia Spencer who played Tanya, Ed Harris who played Wilford, the train’s owner, Jamie Bell as Edgar, Ewan Bremner as Andrew and Tilda Swinton who character was known as Mason.

Snowpiercer was well written and demonstrated a bold idea that caught the audience off-guard where suspense, humor and humanity were well represented in how changes in the environment can define a variety of global reality. I highly recommend this movie.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)

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