The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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

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

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

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

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Terminator Genisys





The thing about time travel is the paradox which enables movies franchises to shift and change for a hopefully better result. The first Terminator (1984) movie was a classic and became a template for other science fiction films and books over the years. Terminator 2:Judgment Day (1991) allowed the advances in FX to shine and made Schwarzenegger the biggest movie star ever. The third and fourth movie you can pretend they don't exist, at least when it comes to the fifth and newest addition to the Terminator universe. Directed by Alan Taylor (Thor:The Dark World) and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, the movie incorporates scenes from the original movie and turns things slightly askew with an alternate universe scenario.

Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) narrates the story recalling living in the ruins of the world destroyed by Skynet. He tells how he meets John Conner (Jason Clarke), the leader of the human resistance who trains the survivors in taking back their world. If you have seen the first two movies, you will understand this. He sends Kyle back to 1984 in the time displacement machine to save Sarah Conner (Emilia Clarke), John's mother, from the Terminator sent back in time to kill her. So far it's holding close to the first film, but a glitch happens, and the past where Kyle ends up is not what he expects. There's a liquid metal T1000 (Lee Byung-hun, an Asian Terminator!) in this world and it's after Kyle. He's saved by Sarah who gets to utter that famous line “Come with me if you want to live”. She is being guarded by a T800 model (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who came to save her when she was 9 years old. She calls him “Pops”. Arnold gets to battle his younger image of himself when he encounters him at the Griffith Park Observatory.

Kyle has been getting images of memories that are not his, but are they? It's the alternative universe Kyle that he's seeing. They realize that history is not set. What happened when he was being set through as changed the world? They decide to go to 1997 in a time displacement machine created by “Pops” to destroy Cyberdine, the headquarters that is counting down to the upload of the App called Genisys that is on everyone's phone, TV and Internet connection. When they arrive in the future, they are of course immediately arrested. Well, they did show up naked in a big ball of light on the freeway. Enter Detective O'Brien (J.K. Simmons) who remembers the original encounter with the Terminator in 1984. Everyone thinks that he's stone cold crazy, and the cops want to turn them over to Homeland Security. O'Brien believes them and helps them escape. But them John Conner shows up and it's not all that it seems.

The integration of the first movie's scenes and dialogue is a fun reminder. The twists and turns of the new movie with all the bombastic action gets to the point of sensory overload. It's one of the movies that you are either going to hate or love. Schwarzenegger gets to mug it up a bit in Sarah's attempts to make him more human over the years. Emilia Clarke is tough, but not the hard lined version as played by Linda Hamilton and Lena Headey. Jai Courtney does well, but he's no Michael Biehn. Who will win the weekend box office with it opening against Magic Mike XXL is anyone's guess. But you can't go wrong with his one. Worth at least a large popcorn.
(Review by reesa)



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Magic Mike XXL




The second in what apparently will be a series on “male entertainers” will do well at the box office no matter what critics will say about it. Watching nicely formed men gyrate in various forms of undress will be titillating for some and somewhat annoyingly amusing to others. It's the kind of movie that was just made for the $$$, because there really isn't a story, but a series of adventures that leads to more male dancing and women throwing money at them. Directed by Gregory Jacobs and written by Reid Carolin it follows up the previous movie after 3 years. The guys are a little older and more beefcake than before, but still shallow and emotionally underdeveloped.

Magic Mike quit the stripping game after the last movie. Hoping to start his furniture company and propose to his girlfriend. But she said no, and now his company is struggling to pay his one employee. He gets a call from Tarzan (Kevin Nash) telling him that former boss Dallas has died. So Mike dressed in a sober suit goes to the hotel and finds a pool party in full swing. We are also greeted with the bare butt of Joe Manganiello as Big Dick Richie. It was obvious a lie to meet up with his former crew. Dallas and the new kid (from the last movie) went to Europe to ply their trade. Leaving the rest of the guys on their own. They want to go to Myrtle Beach for the annual strippers convention for one last blow out before they resume their lives off the stage. After some consideration Mike decides to join them, riding together on a street food truck of Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias). This begins the slightly episodic clips on their way from Florida to South Carolina.

The film gives a little time for character development for each guy. There's Big Dick who can't seem to find a steady girl because they are scared off by his...hence the name. There's Tarzan, the older guy who never really talked to Mike before, Tito (Adam Rodriguez) who will be selling snow cones for market research and picture perfect Ken (Matt Bomer) who will continue with his hopes of an acting career. Along the way Mike meets cute (as in peeing on the beach), Zoe (Amber Heard) which he ends up seeing later, but you knew that. He also meets up with ex girlfriend Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) who runs her own stripper house, that's all exclusive for her only women clientèle that she calls “queens” offering more amazing dancers. Including So You Think You Can Dance star Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who dances circles around everyone else and rapper Donald Glover as Andre.

Andie MacDowell as rich divorcée Nancy gifts the men with a car and upgraded rooms at the convention. How convenient. And Elizabeth Banks does a turn as the MC at the convention. Mike thinks they need to refresh their act, and amazingly they come up with the routine, lighting, costumes in a couple of days. That's showbiz!

Why is it in female stripper stories, it's all sorts of skanky and drug fueled women, but male entertainers are featured as buff and fun guys? Anyway, that's besides the point. The audience will be screaming, at least they were at the advanced screening. Maybe it was because the dancers from Dallas's LaBare club were warmed up the crowd before hand. The movie is basically pointless, but lots of eye-candy depending on your persuasion.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Movies Scheduled 6/28-7/4

Just a few more days and the year will be half over. Time does fly fast! Hope you have a very happy fourth of July!

I don't know about y'all but I am excited to see Arnold this week! I remember seeing the first one and totally loved it!

Remember we don't have the codes. We let you know where to get the passes or tell you what contests are out there. We have to get our passes just like y'all do! We are like y'all in we don't always win either!

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

Sunday June 28th


Monday June 29th

Terminator Genisys 7:30 p.m. Cinemark 17
Terminator Genisys 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Magic Mike XXL 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Trainwreck 7:30 p.m. SMG Spring Valley


Tuesday June 30th

Trainwreck 4:00 p.m. Cinemark West Plano


Wednesday July 1st


Thursday July 2nd


Friday July 3rd


Saturday July 4th






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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Overnight



THE OVERNIGHT:
fireworks; sparkler; or misfire? This film is a sparkler!

Depending on your level of modesty and feelings on the sexual revolution, THE OVERNIGHT could be a hysterically funny film for you or not. You know you are watching a sex comedy from the first seconds of the film because you are literally already "circling in it."

In the spirited tradition of the Oscar nominated 1969 film BOB AND CAROL AND TED AND ALICE, THE OVERNIGHT takes a modern day comedic look at the sex lives and marriages of two couples with children.

One couple, Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling), have just moved from Seattle to Los Angeles with their young son, RJ (RJ Hermes). Attending a kids' birthday party at a local park, Alex and Emily meet an overly friendly and intriguing neighbor, Kurt (Jason Schwartzman). He invites the couple and their son over for a casual family pizza dinner and "play date" that evening with his wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) and son Max (Max Moritt). A curious night of crazy fun follows from there touching lightly on serious universal issues that all couples and parents face in some way or another like: making new friends as adults; putting your kids to sleep; sexual attraction to your husband or wife and others; what kids like to eat; career anxiety; and complacency and intimacy in marriage.

Of all the Duplass brothers produced films I have seen this year, this one was my favorite. Patrick Brice's (Writer and Director) script is witty, smart and, most all, believable. I did not find THE OVERNIGHT to be raunchy in its humor as many of the other 2015 summer releases in the same category. The Actors were expertly cast and had great group chemistry which allowed them to pull off comedic sincerity in their performances. Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman are a fantastic pairing in every way especially in their unforgettable dance number.
THE OVERNIGHT has been a festival darling since its debut at Sundance. In life and in film, it always seems that laughter is in short supply. We can always use more, more, more. So if you can handle joking around and talking about sex, you will enjoy your time spent watching this film.
(Review by Erin Nicole Parisi)



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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Escobar: Paradise Lost





I have an idea. Let’s take one of the best actors in the industry, Benicio Del Toro and have him play a role where it is based off of the most infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar. So let’s make that story the background to a love story fabricated for the sake of the movie to move it along with a questionable male lead in Josh Hutcherson. Basically, this movie is waste of Del Toro’s talents.

Plot: In Colombia, a young surfer meets the woman of his dreams - and then he meets her uncle, Pablo Escobar.

What a dumb plot. Why not make it an Escobar movie?

Directing

Pros: There a certain sequence that is a good cat and mouse scene that’s add legitimate tension and suspense, but other than that, I can’t say anything more positive about the directing.

Cons: First off, this is a dumb title for a film and it sounds like the sequel to the actual Escobar film and the sequel is being produced by the SyFy channel. Secondly, when you have Benicio Del Toro as Pablo Escobar, do not focus on a love story with the two lovers having the chemistry of a wet tomato. This film would have benefited from focusing on Escobar more than this pointless love story. And thirdly, the movie ends on an abrupt note and shows a final clip displaying brotherly love. That’s not a problem, but you didn’t even try to set up a good relationship between the two brothers. It was a dull relationship that didn’t add any weight to the film.

Acting

Pros: I will give credit where credit is due and say Del Toro, when he was on screen, was menacing but also relatable to the audience. Every scene with him and Hutcherson was well done and very eerie to where Del Toro made my skin crawl.

Cons: Josh Hutcherson has never worked for me. He is fine in the Hunger Games franchise and that’s about all I can from his career. I have never been open to the idea for him to play a leading character, he just isn’t there yet. The chemistry between him and his girlfriend is not there and it was painful to sit through. Josh Hutcherson’s character also has a brother in this movie and the acting was bland there as well. Hutcherson only shined when he was with Del Toro.

Cinematography

Pros: Despite the bad love story, I can say this is a well shot movie with beautiful scenery and some shots that actually stuck with me for its richness in color, grit and lighting.

Cons: None


Editing

Pros: The cat and mouse scene listed above kept me on edge and that was expertly paced, but I think you know where I am going with the cons…

Cons: …the love story, which was the main plot thread, slowed everything down for me and I just wanted to skip all that and get straight the Del Toro scenes. For as little as those scenes were, they kept me intrigued and didn’t want to fall asleep.

Overall:
This is a movie to benefit from an actual, and as factual as you can get, biopic of Del Toro as Pablo Escobar and focus primarily on that with some sub-plots thrown in. That’s what my thoughts boil down to. This was a disappointment.

Because his acting was great and it was beautifully shot, I will give it a bump in its score. 4/10








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The Overnight






Have you ever asked out someone of the opposite sex? And it usually goes like this in some way shape or form. You prepare yourself, take a shot of your favorite alcohol, and take a deep breath before you walk over to them. You look confident and have all of the swagger in the world. You are a pimp. You get to them and you spit out the worst line in pick-up history. In the most nervous fashion you utter, “Have you…have you ever been…did you survive the fall from…from…you’re an angel.” She laughs. She is ultimately charmed and finds that line kind of cute. We talk for hours. The bar is closing and you ask that pivotal question, “Can I have your number? It would be great to hangout again.” Then she tells you she has a boyfriend, walks away and you go home and rock in the fetal position. That’s what this movie is like: It’s a good idea, there is great buildup to it, you have with it and then after the climax you feel ultimately underwhelmed.

Plot: Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family "playdate" becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on.

Directing

Pros: Without spoiling anything, the idea and story are interesting and do provide a realistic approach to a married couple that wants to spice up their lives and try something new. What director Patrick Brice manages to do is create this adult movie that doesn’t shy away from sexuality and goes places many directors would shy away from. And you have to give him props on that. This also one of those movie where you are just fascinated on how this movie will end and Brice keeps that curiosity flowing and it definitely hooks you. I like the fact he doesn’t “Hollywood” the situation at play and keep it real to what might happen if this were to occur between two couples. But on the other side on that same coin…

Cons: The buildup and strange eerie feeling of this story is great, but the climax is cut short and leaves with an unsatisfied feeling with movie ending shortly afterwards. The weird thing is that the climax and the way it plays out are realistic; but it’s a big one because it does affect your viewing experience just from the way the movie plays out. The other thing is that this movie isn’t as funny as you would think. Not a bad thing, just don’t expect that from this cast.

Acting

Pros: Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling make a convincing couple and I liked their chemistry. Jason Schwartzman is definitely out of his comfort zone, which is an understatement, and he does a great job in his role.

Cons: Adam Scott’s character is kind unlikeable, even though I understand where he was coming from, but he was kind of too abrasive about it not really thinking about his wife when he makes certain decisions. The development from all four characters is weak and is really thin. I was a bit more was explored. Judith Godreche plays Schwartzman’s wife in the film and she is almost a throw away, not adding much to the story or have a strong enough character to be memorable.


Cinematography/Lighting


Pros: The nightlife of this film is shot well and adds this innocent glow to it when the subject matter is risqué and raunchy, so it’s a nice contrast. The shaky-cam used isn’t too overbearing and shaking all over the place.

Cons: Some of the scenes are a tad too shaky, but it didn’t bother me.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros: This film is about 80 minutes so it’s short, sweet and to the point. The synopsis is interesting enough to keep your attention throughout.

Cons: The downside to the short running time is that it does limit possibilities to further character development, which it does.

Overall: This is an interesting movie that tackles sexuality within a married couple looking to mix things up with good acting and believable chemistry between everyone. It is, however, too short for its own good and wished characters were explored more and the ending was a bit more satisfying.

I know I am going to shock you, but I will rate this movie fresh, just by a hair. 6/10

It’s something different and still worth checking out…and I am also a huge Adam Scott fan.
(Review by Chase Lee)






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Max




It was bound to happen. All those animal and military coming home videos on Facebook have been expanded to be realized into a feature film. Director Boaz Yakin who also wrote the script with Sheldon Lettich over sells the story of a service dog who has been trained to seek out explosives. Part of the trailer stresses that animals can also experience PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome) just like humans. That angle was only touched on briefly in the story that was mired down by a contrived gun running plotline with one of those “Father Knows Best” sort of Texas down home families even while it was filmed in North Carolina.

Max, a Belgian Malinois dog (looks like a German Shepard) is the loyal hard working service dog trained by Marine Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell). His buddy Tyler (Luke Kleintank) is all sorts of sketchy that even the dog looks at him askew. Kyle is on to Tyler stealing weapons from the hidden stores of the enemy that Max uncovers. His greed and the need to cover up his crimes gets Kyle killed and he tries to off the dog too. Max gets sent back to Texas and the trainers take him to Kyle's funeral where he throws his grieving doggy self on the casket. The Marine trainer (Jay Hernandez) tells the family that Max has been hard to handle of late, but when he meets Kyle's younger sullen video playing brother Justin (Josh Wiggins) he immediately senses the same chemistry of Kyle. Mom and Dad (Lauren Graham and Thomas Haden Church) agree that Max is now family, although he has to stay chained up in the yard.

Justin meets Carmen (Mia Xitali) the cousin of his self effacing best buddy Chuy (Dejon LaQuake) who makes constant stereotypical ribs about white people and Mexicans. Carmen shows him how to handle Max on leash, and the once angry kid becomes closer to dog. Until Tyler shows up and plays to the sympathy of his parents, telling the dad that Max was the reason for Kyle's death. The story then jumps the shark by Tyler's manipulations and Justin's discovery of Tyler's criminal plot. It all pretty much goes downhill from there. But it does give a reason for the dog to show his Marine skills at tracking, running, and fighting nasty pittbulls. And of course the total love and protection for Justin.

It's a “feels” movie. Justin is a bit of a punk and you just want to slap him across the head when he gets all mouthy to his parents. Teenagers, gosh. Mom is all churchy and understanding. Lauren Graham is wasted in the movie until she gets one scene where she schools the police. Thomas Haden Church is your typical self righteous dad who loves his son but can't seem to connect. Max, as played by eight different animals (you may find yourself watching to see if you can tell when they change) seems smarter than the humans in the movie. It's a good family flick that should have been on TV.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Movie Scheduled 6/21-6/27

Happy Father's Day and happy first day of summer! What a better way to stay out of the heat? Mine is to see movies!!

I have a few people tell me that some people have been texting in the movie on their Apple watch. I am not always able to make it to the movies. If you have problems with anyone in the movie you need to find the rep that is working that movie and inform them. That also includes talking in the movie not just texting.

If the reps put stuff on the table please wait until they pass out the stuff and don't just help yourself to whatever you want. That isn't how this stuff works!


If you have any question please email me at damitdaina@hotmail.com.


Sunday June 21st

His Girl Friday 8:30 p.m. Strauss Square
Follow That Bird Texas Theater


Monday June 22nd

The Overnight 7:30 p.m. Magnolia


Tuesday June 23rd

Ted 2 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark


Wednesday June 24th

Max 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Max 7:30 p.m. SMG Royal
Trainwreck 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Thursday June 25th

Magic Mike XXL 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Friday June 26th


Saturday June 27th

Who Frames Roger Rabbit 1 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse



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Friday, June 19, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl





This comedy-drama film, written by Jesse Andrews and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is story about Greg (Thomas Mann), a senior in high school who decides to write a story about his a.k.a. friend Earl (RJ Cyler) and Rachel (Olivia Cooke), one of the girls from his class who has leukemia.

Greg is this non popular guy who seems to go through life as a loner. He portrays himself as a non- caring-kind-of-guy. He’s a typical teenager who stands out but does not want to stand out. He is determined to make it through high school even as the “invisible kid”. It is as though nothing fazes him. He is determined to through life on his on term with no sense of direction. Then there is Earl, his only friend, is the no-sense kind of friend who pulls no punches when he is protecting Greg. He is definitely not one to care but is always loyal and is the only constant friend Greg has had since kindergarten. Although, he is just as unusual, his friendship with Greg is constant. Although Earl does not express him as a best friend he is very direct and Greg’s sense of reasoning. When Greg is force by his mother to befriend Rachel as she goes thru chemo treatment, Earl is that person to put everything in perspective.

Rachel is a beautiful teenager who hangs out with the cool girls but discovers life is not the same as she goes through a difficult part of her life. Rachel withdraws from her social life into a reclusive when discovered she has cancer. Although not expected and warranted, she gets to know Greg during that times when he is forced to befriend her. Although, she portrays this girl as a “no-care” attitude deep down she is just as afraid of her life changing with the cancer just as Greg is afraid of his life changing beyond high school. As they get to know each other they both discover they have a lot in common.

This film could have easily took on the direction of a romantic notion but then it would have overlooked the importance of the whole-dynamic-creation of this film that focuses on building relationships between friends and strangers, building and treasuring memories and discovering that no matter what the reasons, there is a purpose for those existence. I also sensed that Jesse Andrews wanted the audiences to see what draws from Greg’s behavior as he captured the unusual behavior of his parents, Earl, Rachel, to the “interesting” kids at school, then towards his “tattooed” history teacher. This films draw towards that discovery which makes this film very realistic, funny, sad but endearing; capturing the audience’s attention and building to that hype. I think this was a great film.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dope





Here are the openers I wrote down for this review:

“This movie about as Dope as Dope.”
“This is the most absolute Dope in all of its dopiness.”
“I feel great because I am doped up on Dope.”
“This movie completely…rad, I mean Dope.”
“Dopey would love this movie and the other dwarfs would be jealous.”

I am in favor of the last one but all of those are terrible, so let’s breakdown this movie.

Plot: Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who's surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure.

Directing

Pros:
Director Rick (I am glad I can write the last name down because I can’t pronounce it) Famuyiwa brings us into a colorful, ghetto that is unique, fresh and is one of the best movies of the year for me. The whole joy of this film is to go in without knowing anything. I saw the trailer once and I was good. The plot listed above is all you need to know. The story takes twists and turns that keeps the energy up throughout and is really effective with the humor. It is surprisingly very funny and with the frenetic story, it makes for one of the funnier movies at the theaters. The one thing I like about the direction is the world created. Many films suffer from a lack of world building with interesting characters; this is not one of them. I didn’t feel like the characters were forced or faked; instead, I felt transported into these kids’ lives and how crazy it gets over the course of a short amount of time. This film also has relevance in terms of today and how race is perceived and the whole saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s subtle, but it’s there and told in this clever, hilarious story with heart. Also, the handling of the 90’s set in modern time was wonderful and brings you back to that awesome, strange era.

Cons:
There were a few characters and story plot points I kind of wished were explored more. They felt right to be there, but I just wished they were touched on a tad more.

Acting

Pros:

Everyone felt natural, had the proper arcs, and it felt like most people weren’t wasted and really fit into the story. Everyone was connected in some way. Shameik Moore was the standout as the main character, Malcolm. He was the most relatable and brought the humor and heart. He was relatable because I was and still am a geek. I kind of wish I had an exciting high school life like he did, but I digress.

Cons:
With the directing cons, there were two characters in particular that didn’t really get more screen time and story than the rest. One of those characters was also overacting, I kind of enjoyed it, but it reminded me of a Nicholas Cage performance. You will notice it when you see the performance. It’s almost as if he is straining to get his dialogue out.

Cinematography/Lighting

Pros:
It’s a well shot movie and the colors pop out at you as extra eye candy. The three main characters dress in 90’s attire and accessories and it’s actually a cool contrast to the crime-filled streets of the ghetto and provides some subtle humor. Even in the action scenes, there are no shaky-cams present and you can actually see what’s going on. I am looking at you, fight scenes in Alex Cross.

Cons:

None

Editing/Special Effects


Pros:
With the fast-paced environment, the pace keeps you entertained and you will become invested into the story with these colorful characters. This film flew by for me.

Cons:
This wasn’t an issue for me, but I can see some people feeling the abrupt halt this movie has in the middle. The first half is rapid; the second half is much more slowed down. I felt and realized the halt in the middle of the film and onward; but I thought it was necessary for the character growth need by Malcolm. This might be a concern for some viewers to check their watches, but I think you will be just fascinated by this whole journey.

Overall:
This is a fun, hilarious movie with some heart thrown in for good measure. It has, for the most part, interesting, well-developed characters, clever writing, great performances and a toe-tapping soundtrack. This is one of my favorites of the year and it is, and probably will remain, in my top ten of the year.

Rating: 9/10
(Review by Chase Lee)








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Dope




One can tell what kind of kid Malcolm is when he mentions bit-coin in the first scenes. He is an engaged teenager living a rough life in Inglewood near L.A. He has two friends Diggy and Jib who accompany him on his love of 90s hip-hop and excelling at school. The film centers on an insane and potentially life-ruining set of circumstances that takes the kids on a wild journey into the world of drugs. With some very comedic moments this film is telling the explicit truth of a lot of young black Americans today. Diggy is a lesbian who has her whole family trying to pray away her homosexuality. That scene is loaded with older black women bending forward and backward looking to the sky praying. It played off on the homophobic mentality of some hilariously. One pivotal scene was when we witness a non-aware teen killed and his blood on a Gameboy. That really brought the danger of the neighborhood to life. The first gang-member who comes on screen is wearing a cross but yet has a hostile attitude which shows the lack of understanding of God. This film is funny but so explicit that I found it hard to genuinely laugh. I did so only when a spectator witnesses a girl urinating in front of a cafe. He says “How can I eating my f-ing pound cake!” When the underage teenagers get let into a club the whole film speeds to another level. Allen Maldonado plays the bouncer who gets his rule ignored and ends up being severely beaten up by gang-members. That scene disturbs me as the kids are let through right to the side of the beaten up bouncer. The audience has an uncomfortable feeling about Malcolm’s choices. With everything that happens to Malcolm and his friends in the film, you want him to succeed. He’s aiming for a better life and to go to Harvard. Up to the events of the film Malcolm’s backstory is pretty clean and just about hanging out with his close friends. When one realizes what kind of bad situation the three teens are caught up in, you don’t know how they’re going to get out. The teens deal with heavy drugs in the film and multiple dangerous people so it freaks the common person out a little bit. The choices Malcolm makes are not the safest which just leads to a “cool party” becoming a beast of an after-effect. The scattered obstacles that come onto these kids are just falling one after another. I won’t ruin the movie by saying the ending but it does seem that Malcolm is close to becoming a street thug or going to prison. I did enjoy this tough area adventure story because although it was hard to handle, it told reality and used a unique geeky main-character.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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Inside Out





Pixar's newest animation handles some abstract concepts for youngsters dealing with emotions, memory and conflict. Directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen who also wrote the story with Josh Cooley and Meg LeFauve, is bright and engaging for the kiddos. The philosophical ideas of the subconscious will fare better with adults. All the other trappings in visualizing the mindscape is there for the young ones. It's funny, charming and full of surprises like nothing you have seen before.

The story is about Riley (Karen Dias) who has just moved from Minnesota from San Francisco because of her father's job. Born and raised in the north, enjoying ice hockey and actual seasons, the change is challenging. We see the conflict from the perspective of her emotions. They are Joy (Amy Poehler) who guides the others like Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). They sit at a control board assessing the new experiences faced by Riley and pressing the right buttons for her to handle whatever comes her way. Memories are stored in little globe objects that are stored on massive shelves, then later deleted by “mind-tenders” if they are no longer necessary. For instance old phone numbers, or doctor appointments. The life changing memories are more precious, and they are called core memories. They are kept close at hand in case they need to support a feel good moment. Each emotion has their own agenda, but usually adhere to Joy's say so to keep Riley feeling good about herself.

The new school and missing her friends has made Riley a little pensive, but she's always been a positive child. Her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) keep her close and happy. Things seem fine, until Sadness for some reason she can't control touches one of the core memory globes tainting it with blue. Once a core memory is changed, there is no way to turn it back. Joy freaks out and tries to protect the other cores from Sadness and then everything runs amok. Joy and Sadness end up in the land of long term memory and it's a long way back to the control room. In the mean time Fear, Anger and Disgust are left in charge and poor Riley is doomed for a rough ride ahead. Mom and Dad have their own team of emotions dealing with the suddenly angry and withdrawn Riley.

The journey of Joy and Sadness to get back is full of misadventure. They also meet Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Riley's old imaginary friend who helps them. Somewhere along the way, Joy comes to grips that even Sadness has something to contribute to Riley's well being. Not everything is hearts and flowers. It's OK to feel not only sad, but fearful, angry and disgust. Whether kids will understand the need to explore their own personal psyche's, well that's something to be discovered. What is a sure thing is the movie will delight those that see it. Not to be missed! Plus, there's the little short called Lava before the film, which is quite amazing too!
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Movies Scheduled 6/14-6/20

Last week we had a lot of people asking for passes or codes for a movie. I have said this time and time again. You have to enter the contests. We send out emails when we see the contest and let everyone know, we don't wait until the week of the screening to let y'all know.

Make sure when security tells you to turn your phone off you do so. We don't want you to get kicked out of the movie.

If you have any question please email at damitdaina@hotmail.com


Sunday June 14th


Monday June 15th

Inside Out 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark


Tuesday June 16th

Dope 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Me Earl and the Dying Girl 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas
Asian Movie Madness: The Front Line 7:30 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse


Wednesday June 17th

Self/Less 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Thursday June 18th

Ballers 7:30 p.m. Palace 9, Fort Worth


Friday June 19th

Saturday June 20th




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Friday, June 12, 2015

Heaven Knows What



Plot:
Harley loves Ilya. He gives her life purpose and sets her passion ablaze. So, when he asks her to prove her love by slitting her wrists, she obliges with only mild hesitation, perhaps because of her other all-consuming love: heroin.

There many addictions out there. I found myself to be addicted to sweets and I constantly call Mrs. Bairds for discounts, but there many other terrible addictions. Jokes aside, drug addiction is something no one wants to see anyone go through and it can be absolutely terrifying. When I was ten-years-old, Requiem for a Dream came out on home video and I know you already thinking it, why did my parents let me watch it? First off, I didn’t watch it at ten, because I would be more screwed up than I am now; and secondly, I didn’t check it out until I was seventeen or eighteen. I am not that messed up. However, I did watch American Pie when I was ten so that might explain a lot. When I saw Requiem for a Dream, I was blown away on how surreal and damaging an addiction can be on a person. To this day, I have always held that film in the highest regard saying it’s the best drug addiction film I have seen in my life. Well, Heaven Knows What is a strong contender.

Before I begin, this is a pretty disturbing, graphic depiction about drug addiction and if you aren’t comfortable with those types of movies, then isn’t for you. My mouth even dropped on a few scenes.

Directors Josh and Ben Safdie bring us an in-your-face, raw look into the world of heroin addicts living on the streets. The way this movie is filmed and acted I swear I was watching real people actually doing these drugs on screen. It felt grounded and realistic and that’s the biggest complaint I can give on the directing. When you have a film that doesn’t feel like a fantasy and feels like you are witnessing people, then you have done the impossible of creating an illusion to where we can’t see through the trick. The other thing I found intriguing is that this movie, even from the credits, plays like a film from the 70’s or 80’s. The style of the cinematography and the way it’s edited does warrant the older look, but I don’t know if it was necessary. But all-in-all, for its low budget, this is the most authentic and grounded movie I have seen in a while and I have to give credit to the guys at the helm.

I don’t even know where to start with the acting. It’s very powerful and everyone hits on all cylinders. Arielle Holmes, Harley, is the main focus as she deals with the addiction of heroin and how it affects the people around her and the inner demons she deals with. This script is based on a book written by Holmes and I can see the emotion brought forth with her acting. Where did she come from? This is the type of actress that came out of nowhere and just blows you away with this film. I felt for her, the struggle she was facing and I really wanted to help her. This is a character where you saw potential, but you have no idea why something as addicting as heroin took a hold of her. This is the definition of a heartbreaking performance. The supporting cast is equally as good. Everyone portrays a drug addict with such depth. Everyone has battles they are going through and it shows as it is painful to sit through. The two people I have to point out are Buddy Duress and Caleb Landry Jones. Now Caleb has been in many films including: No Country for Old Men, Contraband and X-Men: First Class; but Buddy hasn’t been in anything prior and he kills it. Both of these represent something in Harley’s life and they are executed brilliantly…especially at the end.

This is where I have some issues. Listen, I all for handy-cam and I think it can add a level of authenticity to a scene; but when you are in an extreme close-up, sometimes that shakiness can be overwhelming. Those were the only shots I had problems with. Everything else was great and I loved the fact it looked like it was shot guerrilla style with the actors not knowing, adding why it feels like I was watching real people. The movie is only an hour and half and this is another thing that might lose people. This is a slow-burn. But, I look at it this way; if a movie about addiction is a slow-burner, then it’s almost the film is slowly seeping into you and slowly taking you over like the characters feel with heroin. I might be looking to far into that and that not make any sense, but that’s how I felt. I also have to add that the music is also pulse-pounding and really gets you filled with adrenaline like the characters feel when they take heroin.

This, without a doubt, one of the most heartbreaking, raw and graphic depictions of drug addiction and I loved it. It really gets under your skin and you think about many hours after you see it. The direction is great; the acting is powerful and filled with depth as we go on this harrowing journey of people really struggling with something they can’t control.This is one of my favorites of the year and it’s definitely on my top ten of the year list so far. 9/10
(Review by Chase Lee)








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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jurassic World






Thank goodness the franchise is back from extinction! Everyone loved the 1993 Spielberg classic of the disastrous dinosaur theme park with the memorable soundtrack by John Williams. The second two movies The Lost World:Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) were unremarkable and sometimes down right painful. This time director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) helped write the script with Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly giving homage to the first film with the park, twenty years later is now a successful resort island vacation wonderland. And like it's new dinosaur, it's bigger, louder and has more teeth than the others.

Gray and Zach (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) are being shipped off to Isla Nublar off the Central American coast near Costa Rica to spend a week with their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) the park's operation manager while their parents work out a divorce. Except their aunt is too busy with her job to spend time with them, plus she hasn't seen them in seven years. She's trying to impress the new investors on their new “asset” the Indominus rex created by Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong) the chief geneticist from Jurassic Park. The new park's owner is Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) who took over from John Hammond. He had set the parameters of the new asset from customer surveys as the regular dinosaurs are getting boring.

Meanwhile, ex-Navy Owen Grady (Bill Pratt) is the on-site velociraptor trainer and has impressed Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) who is head of security operations for InGen. Owen has developed a relationship with a group he named Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo. Hoskins sees this as a potential military weapon. There always has to be a stupid bad guy in the film to gum up the works. Claire asks Owen to check out the holding paddock for the Indominus rex. They went on one date, and the awkward cute chemistry is played out for the rest of the movie. But something is amiss and before you know it, the asset escapes and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly Claire realizes that her nephews having escaped the watchful eye of her assistant is out there near harms way, so she and Owen take off to save them. They see evidence of the Indominus rex's deadly rampage. They not only have to get the boys, but they have to evacuate the 20,000 people in the theme park.

Once the action gets going in it will keep you at the edge of your seat. Chris Pratt is the only one who has figured out that asset, due to it's genetic scrabbling is smarter and more savage than anything else out there. It can get kinda gruesome, so careful of the young ones if you allow them to see this. Be warned, lots of people get eaten. Claire is running around in high heels, the boys bond and are resourceful, Hoskins and his military agenda make things worse. Of course it also sets up the story for future films in the series. Which will only work if they include Chris Pratt to save the world. Now he's got “teeth”!
(Review by reesa)




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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Alamo Drafthouse Richardson goes prehistoric for JURASSIC WORLD!





Alamo Drafthouse Richardson goes prehistoric for JURASSIC WORLD!

“Hold on to your butts.”



The park is open and so is the Alamo Drafthouse Richardson for JURASSIC WORLD! Join us for some T-rrific fun for all ages beginning this Thursday evening (June 11) for early shows and opening day Friday (June 12) continuing throughout the weekend. Alamo Drafthouse Richardson is located at 100 South Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080. drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson



PHOTO OPS GALORE!

You can have your photo taken with a replica Jurassic Park Jeep, parked out front of the theater Thursday through Sunday. On Thursday evening, local cosplay personalities will also be in attendance dressed as characters from the franchise.

The photo ops don’t stop there! Inside the lobby you'll find a photo booth with a real motorcycle (and fake raptors) so you can channel your inner Chris Pratt and recreate the already iconic charging raptor pack scene. For the kiddos, we'll have a dino dig outside on the patio AND a mini JP Power Wheel Jeep.



ADD TO YOUR COLLECTION

On Thursday and Friday evenings also Saturday and Sunday afternoon, our friends from THE LOST TOYS Toy Store will be in our lobby with a pop-up shop featuring both new and vintage JP toys for sale. So if you've spent the last 20+ years regretting not buying that battle damage dino OR you just want to start collecting now, they aren't extinct!



To quote John Hammond "Who's hungry?"

As always, Alamo will have a themed menu for those dinosaur-sized appetites. Veloci-WRAP-tor anyone?!

Thursday night will also see the release of the theater’s first exclusive pint glass – an official collaboration between Alamo Drafthouse and Universal Pictures for JURASSIC WORLD. Pint glasses could be preordered with advance tickets. But if you missed your chance, don't go all Gennaro! There will be a limited amount available for purchase at box office while supplies last.

Tickets and Showtimes: http://drafthouse.com/calendar/dfw



About Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas

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







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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Movies Scheduled 6/7-6/13

Well it looks like the heat is finally here. I am not a huge fan of summer but I do enjoy the summer blockbusters! Plus what a better way to deal with the heat then a nice cool dark theater!

Not a lot of movies this week. I hope you get to see the movie you want.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at damitdaina@hotmail.com

Sunday June 7th


Monday June 8th

AGFA Secret Screening 8:00 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse


Tuesday June 9th

Jurassic World 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark


Wednesday June 10th

Ted 2 4:00 p.m. Cinemark West
Jurassic World 7:30 p.m. SMG Royal


Thursday June 11th

Me Earl and the Dying Girl 7:30 p.m. Magnolia


Friday June 12th



Saturday June 13th





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Friday, June 5, 2015

Insidious 3





Don’t be confused, Insidious fans. Three is NOT a sequel to 2, but a prequel to the first Insidious, here to show us how it all the craziness got started before the Lambert family comes onto the scene. This film commences with teenager Quinn (Stefanie Scott) seeking out psychic Elise Ranier (Lin Shaye), who we meet for the first time. Elise is living in fear of using her gifts anymore and lives in terror of who she may encounter on the dark plane called The Further, and of what may follow her back into this life for she is living alone with her dog. As the film progresses, she most definitely finds her resolve and becomes ready to do battle, Poltergeist 1 mom style, to save Quinn’s life and very soul. Elise’s husband is also part of that realm as a result of suicide. All in all, The Further seems like a rather dark, depressing, sad and mopey place to spend the in-between for eternity, but it is where tortured spirits, demons and all sorts of dark things dwell.

Quinn’s mother has passed within the last two years and she is trying to contact her with some questions. As we all know now, once you open that door to contact, who knows what can slip through to creep on you. Quinn is living with her father (Dermot Mulroney) in an older already-haunted apartment building. After an accident leaves her bed ridden (think Rear Window and Misery) she is pretty much at the mercy of the demon and she ends up getting thrown around, quite a bit, by Mr. Creepy after periods of tense silence just waiting for things to go bump. So no chases or high physical action for her because she can’t move on her own. Dad does his best by calling in our Ghostbusting friends Specs and Tucker, who join forces with Elise for the real battle. The tension increases in increments for the entity is invading Quinn’s building, her window, her room and ultimately her bed. This film, however, is chock full of bonafide, jump out of your seat, screamers. Good ones that you never see coming. That is pretty much the extent of the scares for seasoned horror flick aficionados, but they are worth the price of admission. Some of the effects appear a bit cheesy (ala dry ice) and the dialogue and acting will not impress anyone. Thankfully excessive blood and gore are not on the menu.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Barely Lethal




I still try to remember how much work it takes to make a film when I see something that is not so good. “Barely Lethal” follows Agent 83, who is played by Hailee Steinfeld in her journey into normal American teen life. She leaves a governmental assassin squad to seek her dream of becoming a normal teenager. She joins a high school under the name Megan Walsh and also as a foreign exchange student who is staying with a single-mother family. Later, non-exciting events happen. I felt that this was the first film I have seen that I felt like I had literally wasted my time. Hailee Steinfeld has not put forth her full potential in the last two films I’ve seen which were this one and “Pitch Perfect 2”. However, I loved her in “Begin Again”. To be honest, this film felt a bit dumb. The story of a new girl in high school I know has been done before. Besides the background of the character this film included the classic popular-making event, the nice boy, the hot boy, and the school dance. One thing I found a little adorable was that the young Agent 83 has a problem with the “no-attachments” rule in field training. She is seen hugging her doll instead of poking numerous holes in it which resembles stabbing arteries. I have to say I was thoroughly surprised that they got Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba to be in this too. It seems that the actors really saw something in the story or maybe they filmed it for other reasons. When you first see the Agent feeling her comfy bed at her new home as Megan Walsh you see her happiness. You think about the animation in the opening credits which shows beds at the training camp to be like prison cots. It is quite nice to see Megan’s outfit for the first time. One realizes that she learned all she knows about teenagers from “Mean Girls” and different older media. There was a smart and funny line like a suggestion that a frog in an autopsy “kermitted suicide”. There was also a thing to think about when Liz, the daughter from the hosting family, says “Abandoning people is not how you help them.” Despite these lines I thought it was a light version of a high school story with no real character to grab onto. I didn’t have feelings for the characters. Although, I do give credit to the car chase scene in which that was an impressive stunt to film. Overall I have to say I was not enthralled at all but I hope that some teenagers will like it. I would say for the movie-goers to bring their mothers too as this film pleasantly did not degrade women.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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Barely Lethal



Plot: A teenage special ops agent coveting a "normal" adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of high school is more challenging than international espionage.

Imagine if the movie, Agent Cody Banks, was a person. Now, you saw them grow up and have a fun, luscious childhood and you are very proud of them. They were innocent and playful and you knew, deep down, when they hit puberty that they would have to mature ever so slightly. That time has come. Agent Cody Banks is turning 13. Puberty is setting in, acne is forming and getting oily, hairs underneath the pits are sprouting and the voice deepens thanks to the drop of the underwear hammock. This is great! He can move on from his childhood to his teenage years and do stupid teenage stuff? Nope. He continues to act like a kid, drink milk from a bottle, sleep with his parents and watches Dora the Explorer on his “down” time. That’s what this movie was like. It was the stepping stone of Agent Cody Banks by putting them in high school, drinking, cursing, but still had a light undertone and it didn’t know what it wanted to be having wasted potential because they didn’t mature, would could have been, a fun little story.

Hold on to your butts, ladies and gentlemen. This is going to be rough.

Let’s start with the fact that the production company A24 released this movie with DirectTV. That’s a weird combination. I remember when I added ice cream with mustard. A24, what happened? Did you lose a bet? You release some of the greatest films. Examples include: The Spectacular Now, Slow West, While We’re Young, Ex Machina, A Most Violent Year, Obvious Child, Under the Skin, Enemy, Locke and even the horrendous, Spring Breakers, which I will take it over this garbage. A24, I love you, but this is the biggest waste of time you have ever released.

Director, Kyle Newman, “directs” this uneven mess that felt like a straight to video release and was flatter than a ten-year-old Sprite Remix can. Coca-Cola, if you are reading this, bring it back, even if it’s for a week. Anyways, Newman has directed one of my favorite underrated comedies, Fanboys. It had heart, charm, humors and relatable characters. This is the opposite of everything I just said. First off, the title is already a bad sign. It’s supposed to be a teenage comedy with heart? Have cool assassin violence? Have comedy coming across as unfunny? It doesn’t know what it wanted to be, but I can tell you that the title is a reference to porn. That’s all I will say and it doesn’t set a good tone for the movie. Newman works with a water-downed story that could have been cool. The story set-up is that there is a teenage assassin who was adopted by an agency where they train assassins to become ruthless killers. The main character goes rogue because she wants to live her life and experience her teenage years. Not the most unique story, but you could have done something kind of entertaining with it. Instead, they throw forced teenage humor and try to turn it into the next Mean Girls. By the way, they show Mean Girls in this movie and reference it a few times. It was like the filmmakers were yelling at us saying, “Look, we can be cool like Mean Girls.” No, you most certainly cannot. You could have had the potential to make something very violent and character driven as a drama or a very funny comedy with great characters. It’s a bland story, has flat humor, uneven, just jumps from scene to scene with no fluidity and it was directed with laziness. It seemed like no actor wanted to be there…speaking of acting.

All the characters are flat and uninteresting. Their walking through the scenes and going through the motions, but I never once felt connected to anyone or even entertaining to watch. When they would attempt some “humor”, it was like watching delivering jokes on an open mic Dear lord; those awful one-liners they were uttering were atrocious. Those lines could be delivered better from a corpse with a stutter. Hailee Steinfeld plays the main character and she is wasted into a fish out of water in a high school bumbling around like an idiot. She is a killing assassin and this is what she is reduced to? Not her fault, it’s the scripts; but she still could have tried to make it interesting. She could have been a really cool heroine; but she was terrible and every line coming out of her mouth looked like a real struggle. It looks like True Gritwas your one and only good one. Everyone else was also one-dimensional and boring to watch. Samuel L. Jackson is in this, does it really surprise you? He plays the guy who has trained Steinfeld and that’s it. Seriously, that’s all we know about him. All of the characters have no depth and could be replaced by cardboard cutouts. Jessica Alba is in it as the villain. That’s cute. She is about as convincingly evil as a wet sock. Steve-O makes a cameo for a crappy joke. I love Jackass, but if you have to add Steve-O to your movie, you must have been desperate. There is no weight to any of these characters. The glass case models in a clothing store could act better than these people.

The cinematography is OK and it reminds me of an ABC Family movie coming on Tuesday afternoon when you are unemployed eating $1 dollar frozen dinners in your boxers. You are probably wondering why I got really descriptive. Well, I do that and now you know my life. The editing and special effects were a problem onto themselves. The green screen was really bad and takes you out of the movie. The VFX are equivalent to a CPU Game in 1993 and the fight choreography was uninspired and I felt like I was watching one of my homemade videos I made with my friends in high school. The way this movie is edited feels rushed going from scene to scene with some not explaining anything or some that have something happen in one, where you would think might take some time, and then jumps immediately to what the characters were trying to do. There is no tension or build-up; things just happen. Everything at the end of film just resolves so fast, that you could tell the filmmakers were getting bored with it and wanted to wrap everything as fast as possible.

A24, I am calling you out. I love the majority of your films, but why this one? I could do a better job than this film. If you read this, give me money and I will make a more cohesive, funnier film than this. I can’t recommend this to anyone. I can’t find anything that I liked about it. 0/10








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Love and Mercy



In the 1960's, the rock and roll music scene was dominated by the English invasion, but the home grown American sound was owned by the Beach Boys. Their music with the catchy beats and harmonies promised sunshine, bikini's, and surfing. Brian Wilson was the primary sound writer of the group, but also the most troubled. Director Bill Pohlad with writers Michael Alan Lerner and Oren Moverman approached the story of Brian Wilson in an unusual twist. The young Brian is portrayed by Paul Dano, and John Cusack plays the middle aged Brian. The story flashes forward and backwards in time and place while Brian is fighting the voices echoing in his head.

Dano gained weight to play the goofy, but insecure Brian when the band is beginning to form and growing in fame and popularity. Just before they head off for an Asian tour, he has a panic attack and breaks it to the band that he should stay behind and concentrate on writing music. His savant method of working with the studio musicians was unorthodox, but brilliant. He can see and hear in his head every note and nuance and patiently guides the music to perfection. His exacting details often times frustrates the people he works with, but he also gains their professional respect for the art that he creates. When the band returns, some of them are not really sure about this new sound. Some think they should go back to doing the tried and true surfer music. But Brian continues to suffer from auditory hallucinations that are exacerbated by heavy drug use.

His father Murry (Bill Camp) still harbors ill will towards Brian and for the band firing him as their manager. Brian suffers from never getting his approval of what he's accomplishing and from the physical abuse suffered as a child from his hands. Maybe that insecurity is why he falls so easily into the hands of Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti) who isolates and over medicates Brian, now played by John Cusack as an adult. Because of his troubled grip on reality, he at one point didn't get out of bed for a couple years. His family gave Dr. Landy guardianship over Brian, with which Landy took full control of his property and his life. Brian meets Melinda Ledbetter in a car dealership where she works. She doesn't know who he is at first, but is somewhat intrigued by his honesty and randomness. It's not until she realizes that Landy keeps more than a close eye on everything that Brian does, and often times verbally abuses him, that red flags go up. She becomes determined to save Brian from being controlled and manipulated by the Svengali.

The film is filled with snippets of Beach Boys music that will cause nostalgia overload if your lived through those years. Watching Dano as Brian create the classic Pet Sounds album is enlightening giving one a new appreciation for his genius. Cusak, despite not looking anything like Brian Wilson or Paul Dano, still is able to inhabit the over medicated and struggling artist who is saved by the love of Melinda whom he later married. Giamatti is a bit over the top as the control freak who watches Brian's every move. If he had a mustache he would be twirling it. The sad events that took over Brian's life are well documented and he's fine now back to performing. But it's a nice reminder of the amazing music he created that will make you want to upload Pet Soundsfrom Itunes.
(Review by Reesa)



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Spy



It bodes well for director/writer Paul Feig has also wrote and currently directing the new female cast of Ghostbusters since his new film Spy will be the best of this summer. Melissa McCarthy who stole the Feig movie Bridesmaids and for which she received an Oscar nomination, toplines this one which promises to make her the biggest star of the year.

McCarthy plays Susan Cooper a CIA analyst who works in a basement amidst bat guano, mice and top of the line computers while guiding super spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law) through his missions via ear phones. She is impressed by how smooth and suave he is and can't help motor mouthing her obvious crush on him. When the mission to catch Bulgarian Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) goes south, the CIA is in a bind as Rayna has intel on their top agents, including Rick Ford (Jason Statham). Rayna is selling her father's nuke and she's the only one who knows where it's stashed. They need to send in an unknown agent to get eyes on Rayna and her contact, Italian Sergio DeLuca (Bobby Cannavale). The unassuming Cooper volunteers since after all she's been trained as an agent. To her boss's (Allison Janney) amazement, Cooper had gotten high marks in her marksmanship and fighting skills, as well as her current technical prowess. She is given a dowdy cover story which she says “looks like someone's homophobic aunt” and sent to Italy. Her contact agent in Rome is Aldo (Peter Serfinowicz) who creeps her out with a stereotypical Italian gigolo pandering. Ford, who quit the CIA in protest of sending Cooper, is also there and almost blows her cover.

Cooper proves to be deceptively lethal and decides to continue on by trying to get close to DeLuca at the casino. While stalking DeLuca she sees Rayna. She also sees someone spike Rayna's cocktail. Knowing that Rayna is the only one who knows where the nuke is hidden, she saves her from certain death. They develop a bitchy relationship as Cooper tells her she was hired by her father as her bodyguard. Nancy (Miranda Hart) who is Cooper's basement handler, shows up in Italy because Cooper turned off her communications. She is also roped into working with them. All sorts of action ensues as someone is trying to kill Rayna who they have to keep alive so the deal can go down.

McCarthy plays Cooper like an every woman. The jokes are thankfully free of weight shaming. The catty exchange between Rayna and Cooper revolve around their clothing and hair. Bryne is delightful as the cold deadly Rayna. Statham is a comedic wonder playing on a most interesting man in the world image while listing all the adventures he's endured that sound totally impossible.

The trailer for this film does not do it justice. It makes the movie seem like slapstick, but there's more going on. The gender bias is obvious as most of the men in the film are somewhat buffoonish but nice to look at. The women are competent in their skills, even if their self awareness is not up to par. They are more real. Look forward to multiple viewings of this, as the laughter will drown out parts that you will want to catch again.
(Review by reesa)


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Entourage




First off, if you have never seen the eight season HBO TV series of the same name, you will still be entertained, probably in the same way it was amusing on the small screen. Written and directed by Doug Ellin, it continues the adventures of the four friends from Queens and the tightly wound former agent shortly after the series ended. The series was inspired by producer Mark Wahlberg's experience in Hollywood.

The movie begins with Victor Chase (Adrian Grenier) celebrating the end of his marriage during the honeymoon on a yacht with lots of bikini clad women and booze. He gets a call from his ex-agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) who landed a job as a studio head. For his first project he wants Vic to star in a futuristic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde movie called “Hyde”. Vic feeling a need to branch out agrees, but only if he can also direct the film. Ari manages to bankroll the film, but when they go through the $100 million dollar budget, he is forced to go Texas personally to ask financier Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton). Larsen said they will get the money, but they have to bring his spoiled stupidly arrogant son Travis (Haley Joel Osment) to oversee.

It's the bromance of the group that keeps the film moving and it's the pop up cameos of actors who play bigger and badder versions of themselves for the interest. Eric, or “E”(Kevin Connolly) was Vic's manager has now become the producer of the movie. It's his job to approach Ari with the need for more money. He's distracted by his slut mode where he's doing it with all these different women while his ex Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is pregnant with his child. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), the driver, no longer fat, made some good investments and is trying to date MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. Kevin Dillion kills as usual in his role as Vic's brother Johnny Drama. While his brother has found success as an actor, Drama is still pursuing featured extra roles. Vic casts him in a small but pivotal role which he believes will bring him success.

The guys thrown a big party to show what's been filmed so far, but Vic is freaking out about his art and how it's not perfect yet. Ari, manages to get a hold of a DVD and the fear of blowing his career is put to rest. Except now, Travis, who has no taste in movies gives him a list of changes he wants made on the film if they want to get the money to complete the film. His first and major change is to cut Drama out of the movie. It quickly escalates into taking Vic off as director, and doing the film again under someone else.

The friendship of the posse endures, while celebrities pop up and they continue talking like nothing happening. Most of us would go, “shoot, wasn't that ___?”. They shrug and go on with life. It's an insider glimpse of Hollyweird. It could have just played on as an HBO movie of the week. But the early summer theater run is worth the popcorn. It may even encourage you to catch the series on Netflix if available.
(Review by reesa)



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