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.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar

The new 3D computer animated feature from Dreamworks is a crazy, wild, pun-filled adventure perfect for today's hyper children with the attention span of a gnat. The Madagascar series of stories follows the adventures of various circus animals. This version from a screenplay by John Aboud, Michael Colton, Brandon Sawyer, Tom McGrath and Eric Darnell center's on the four penguins. Directed by Simon J. Smith and Eric Darnell, the story starts from their younger days in the Antarctic wanting something more than just walking across the snow fields to the ocean.

The young ones are lead by Skipper (Tom McGrath) who questions what would happen if they veered off the usual path. He's followed by Kowalski (Chris Miller), the brains of the team, and Rico (Conrad Vernon), the lose cannon who has a habit of swallowing most everything not tied down. They chase down a loose egg that is barreling down the mountains. When the egg hatches, the fourth member of the group becomes Private (Christopher Knights) who works hard at getting the Skipper's praise. After the four end up adrift on an iceberg, they end up in the circus where they are all grown up. They later encounter Dave, an Octopus, also known as Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich) who is disguised as a human. Dave has some revenge issues with penguins and his plans include something to do with some green medusa serum and huge mechanical ray gun.

The Northwind is an elite interspecies task force that has been on the trail of Dr. Brine. They pick up the penquins to question what they know. Skipper clashes with the grey wolf Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch) who both want to lead their respective teams to stop Dave. Northwind is highly trained and equipped and include harp seal Shortfuse (Ken Jeong) the demolitions expert, snowy owl Eva (Annet Mahendru) the intelligence analyst and the muscle polar bear Corporal (Peter Stormare) who gets carried away by the penguin cuteness factor. While the Northwinds is supposed to be the superheros of this story, they are oftentimes woefully outsmarted by the usually inept, but creative penguins.

Usually there are some underlining lessons to convey to it's target audience. And maybe what kids may take away from it is the idea of family and loyalty. But once this ride opens after a prologue narrated by Werner Herzog, the story does not stop for it's 92 minute running time. The sight gags, puns and other wackiness, will probably go over the heads of kids, but the adults charged with taking them will keep them amused this holiday weekend.
(Review by reesa)

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