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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Friday, January 16, 2015


Technically a blackhat is someone violating computer or Internet security maliciously or for illegal personal gain. In director Michael Mann's new film written by Morgan Davis Foehl, an imprisoned “blackhat” is used to find another “blackhat”. Mann who also did Heat and Collateral knows his way around tense action sequences and using competent actors to work around the technobabble and computer geek jargon that may confuse the average viewer. It's hard to visualize a computer virus, so there are some Tron lightshow moments to let you know something dangerous is about to occur. The movie is interesting to watch, before you start thinking too hard on the plot holes.

Chinese authorities led by cyber defense Captain Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) is assigned to investigate a computer hack causing a power plant meltdown. He enlists the help of is sister Lien Chen (Wei Tang who starred in Lust, Caution with Leehom Wang) who is a network systems engineer. His investigation leads to him appealing to the U.S. to enlist the help of convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth). Chen and Hathaway were once MIT roommates and had written part of the code used in the recent virus. Hathaway is furloughed with a ankle bracelet and a U.S. Marshall attached after getting them to agree to free him if he solves the crime. The investigation is meticulous and exacting procedural led by CIA's Carol Barrett (Viola Davis) follows the clues that takes them back to China. There they stalk some shady guys and the gunfights escalate. There's a pretty high body count in this movie and no one is safe. Hathaway's hacking skills gets him trouble with the N.S.A. and a warrant is issued. But the bad guy's this close to getting caught! What's a hero to do?

There's this romantic sub-plot with Chen's sister that you can see coming a mile away. Two beautiful people, one's been in prison for awhile, the other is a ninja computer geek with flyaway hair. Of course the protective brother has something to say about the future between the two. That's about the only emotional moments in the whole film. The rest is everyone typing like crazy and reading code on screen looking for clues. The final act is Hathaway tracking down overweight geek and his insidious plot. That guy looks like the stereotypical nerd. Hemsworth doesn't look like someone who sits at a console all day. Nice to look at he's not that charismatic as he is as Thor. His line delivery is somewhat stunted while everyone else breathes some life into the little parts they are allowed . It's not the Michael Mann film that one would expect. But for a January action film, it's something to do on a date.
(Review by reesa)

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