The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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

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

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

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

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Movies Scheduled 8/30-9/5

Please know I do make mistakes. I am after all only human. Your pass will always have the correct location or time. They send out a email if it gets canceled or moved. If we have a pass we get that email and usually let y'all know as well.

We have some new people and we want to welcome you. We send out emails about contests or how to get passes. Please try to get them for yourself before asking help from the group. If you just hit reply on the email it will go back to the group and not to the person you want it to go to At the bottom of the email it will have their email address so just copy that and hit forward. We like helping you get the passes you want

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


Sunday Aug. 30th


Monday Aug. 31st

A Walk in the Woods 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas



Tuesday Sept. 1st

The Visit 7:30 p.m. Angelika (sorry not sure if Dallas or Plano)



Wednesday Sept. 2nd

Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Transporter:Refueled 7:30 p.m. Cinemark 17
Everest 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Maze Runner:The Scorch Trials 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas

Thursday Sept. 3rd



Friday Sept. 4th

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Texas Theater


Saturday Sept. 5th






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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Digging for Fire with Jake Johnson and Steve Berg Interview



Plot: The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.


What if someone found a bone and a handgun in your backyard and told you about it? Would you panic and call the cops? Would you try and solve a mystery with them? Or would you laugh at them because it sounds like they experienced a robbery at a KFC? That is the premise of Digging For Fire and it leads off into an adventure of a married couple split for the weekend and having to discover within them what it means to be married and love with somebody. That’s what I got from it, but I am always wrong so take it for what it is.


Directing/Writing


Pros:

Director Joe Swanberg, director of Drinking Buddies, brings another genuine story of relationships and focuses on a marriage versus a group of friends who may or may not have the hot’s for each other like in Drinking Buddies. The one thing I have appreciated from both of these films is that Swanberg casts the right people who act like they have been having a friendship for many years and it shows on screen. The writing feels authentic and filled with improv to really make this story as realistic to life as possible.

Cons:
As much as I liked the improv setting, I also felt like the story was a tad to thin and repetitive for my taste. It seemed like they had a great idea at the start and didn’t know what to fill the movie with for the bulk of it. However, I like the beginning and the ending. My favorite shot is when Jake Johnson’s character is digging further into the ground and comes across something. I won’t spoil it, but it was touching and I felt the emotion from his face (which the camera lingers on for awhile).

Acting

Pros:
The whole cast was really great and I felt the friendship between these guys and gals. Jake Johnson stands out as being his normal comedic self, but really turning on this humble performance when needed for the scene. The supporting cast is really great to surround the married couple in really figuring out what their marriage is all about. Also a plus is Brie Larson and there is never anything wrong with great talent…it doesn’t hurt the fact that she is gorgeous and she is starting to become one of my favorite actresses.

Cons:
Despite the great cast, I felt like there some characters underused. Maybe that is a selfish thing because I wanted to see more from certain characters because I thought they were interesting. Sam Rockwell comes to mind, but then again, is there such a thing as too much Rockwall?

Cinematography

Pros:

The other thing Swanberg really nails is his cinematography. Both this and Drinking Buddies, have a good, indie look to them; but I have also noticed his great usage of shots in the dark. He really takes advantage of people around a fire or under moonlight.

Cons:
None.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:
With its 85-minute runtime, this will go one or two ways. Either you are engaged and it will run by fast for you or you are bored and it will seem longer than it actually is. For me, the beginning and the ending made the film go by faster, but…

Cons:
…the middle of the film is what dragged for me. There are characters popping in and out without any connection with them, so it felt more jumbled than anything causing me to be in confusion rather than enjoyment. But, I also understood what they were going and maybe it would have been ok to make this a tad longer so we could get to know some of the characters.

Overall: It’s a nice little indie about marriage and what it’s like to be separated from the one person you love and figure if that is what you wanted all along. Jake Johnson is great, and serves well as co-writer, with the rest of the cast giving great, real performances. I felt like the film dragged a bit with a stretched out plot and story but that still didn’t hinder the majority of my experience. Sadly, with all the films I see this year, this probably won’t make it on my list. If you like independent films, I would still recommend for you to check it out, and especially if saw Drinking Buddies and liked it.

Score: C+
(Review by Chase Lee)





Jake Johnson and Steve Berg Interview





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Memories of the Sword




Director Park Heung-sik new feature which he wrote with Choi A-Reum is a complicated drama involving legendary swords, war, revenge, martial arts, wire-work choreography, love and dysfunctional families. While the layers of intertwining relationships seem to spin one's head, the visuals are beautiful. Not only the photography of the landscape, the set decorations, but it has a wonderfully attractive cast which includes Lee Byung-hun which will be recognizable to American audiences from his roles in Transformers and Terminator.

The story is about a young woman Hong-ee (Kim Go-eun) who has been trained to fight all her life by her mother Wol-so (Jeon Do-yeon) who is blind and runs a Arabian tea house. Hong-ee is eager to use her skills and challenges Yull (Lee Junho, singer in the Kpop idol band 2 PM), the winner of the General's combat arena. The General Yoo-baek (Lee Byung-hun) recognizes the footwork and style of Hong-ee's fighting. He follows her to ask about her master. When Wallso discovers Hong-ee has exposed her skills she decides it's time to tell her the truth.

Wol-so was once part of a peasant uprising fighting with Poong-chun (Bae Soo-bin) and Deok-gi. They were known as the Three Great Swords with superior fighting skills taught by their master (Lee Geung-Young). They believe they won the war, but when the confronted the Governor, a tragic betrayal occurs. Deok-gi lets greed and ambition sell out his friends. Seol-rang who is now known as Wallso was in love with Deok-gi and saves him. She carries her guilt for the rest of her life by training Hong-ee to take revenge on those who killed her father. Seol-rang tells her that Yoo-Baek was once Deok-gi. Now he's become a famed general and the other members of the King's court are maneuvering to assassinate him. He manages to stay one step ahead. His ultimate goal is to take over the country and throne. But he's still carrying a torch for Seol-rang.

The sword battles and wire work is nothing new. But it's still intriguing with everyone's secret past and the constantly changing identities of Hong-ee. You can probably figure out what is what, but it's fun getting there. Lee Byung-hun is great as the cold and calculating General Yoo and his heartbreaking love of Seol-rang. Kim Go-eun who won the 12th New York Asian Film Festival Rising Star Award is great as the young woman who is faced with a violent destiny. Jeon Do-yeon in her third collaboration with director Park won the 2007 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress award for Secret Sunshine. She wrings the tears for her guilt filled portrayal of a love gone wrong.

This Well Go USA film opens on Friday, August 28 in Dallas at the AMC Grapevine.
(Review by reesa)





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We Are Your Friends




Who knew there was a science behind the beats of a successful DJ. There was a time when a DJ was someone who spin records on the radio, then they created playlists on cassettes and CD's. Now they create electronic beats that mesmerize a crowd by tuning in to their heartbeats. In director Max Joseph's new film which he wrote with Meghan Oppenheimer from a story by Richard Silverman, the movie is about four friends from the San Fernando Valley who try find a way out of their aimless lives through one friends' particular talent. It's not as socially relevant as Straight Outta Compton but it's surprisingly not that bad.

Zac Efron has worked hard to get out of the Disney mold, and this movie is made for his fans as it includes lots of shower and pool scenes to show off his well formed abs. He plays Cole who is constantly working on his beats in his bedroom which he shares with Mason (Jonny Weston). They don't explain why Cole is living with Mason, but safe to say it just adds to Cole's lack of center. In fact all the young men are somewhat aimless living in a low income neighborhood with few prospects. Mason is the dreamer, has big plans and basically manages Cole's career by getting him spots at the club where they work as promoters. Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) is the quiet one of the group who wants something better than what they are doing. And there's Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez) an aspiring actor and a drug dealer who gets the guys involved with real estate con artist Paige (Jon Bernthal). One night at the club Cole meets cute Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) who works as an assistant and girlfriend of a successful DJ James (Wes Bentley). Cole would like to be the next James so it's fortunate that James takes him under his wing. But awkward because Sophie and Cole have this attraction “thing” working between them.

The movie bounces around with the reality of the boys lives, and the dream life like James with his fancy house and cool parties. James is not impressed with Cole's gorilla friends, but tutors Cole because he sees a raw talent emerging. The whole gist is for Cole to listen to the world around him, stop living in his earphones using standard beats, and making something organic and original. You know this will happen at the end, especially when a tragedy becomes the catalyst for everyone have a wake up call. Not to mention when James finds out about Sophie and Cole. Efron does well considering the limitations of his character. Hopefully he can expand to more serious work and not just as another pretty face. If you like electronic house music and follow DJ's as celebrities, then this is for you.
(Review by reesa)



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French New Wave Showcase



French New Wave Showcase

Video Association of Dallas and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW co-present the French New Wave Showcase Saturday afternoons in September



French New Wave, or in French “Nouvelle Vague,” is the style of highly individualistic French film directors of the late 1950s—early ‘60s. Films by New Wave directors were often characterized by fresh techniques using the city streets as character in the films.

The New Wave films stimulate discussion about their place in the history of cinema and film. So whether a cinephile or a casual filmgoer, learn more about this distinctly French film movement. French New Wave Showcase, http://videofest.org/french-new-wave-showcase/, presented by the Video Association of Dallas and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW, screens every Saturday at 4 pm at Alamo, 100 S Central Expressway, Richardson http://drafthouse.com/calendar/dfw.



“The French New Wave was a reaction to the bigness of Hollywood. Serious film scholars, writers and lovers started the movement to counteract the regimented Studio System. Their poetic way of taking filmmaking to the streets was immediately inspiring to a new generation of American filmmakers, showing them that creating original meaningful cinema was in reach. Their movement inspired many other cinematic moments that continue to propel cinema today,” said Bart Weiss, founder of Video Association of Dallas and founder of Dallas VideoFest, which starts its 28th year Oct. 13.



French New Wave Expert from UTD


Frank Dufour, a sound and audio-visual artist, is also an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Studies Program for Arts & Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dufour holds a Ph.D. in Hypermedia from the University of Paris VIII and is a member of the Laboratory, “Musique Informatique de Marseille,” as well as of the “Center for the Translation Studies” at UT Dallas. Dr. Dufour will lead discussions associated with each film every week.


“The French New Wave at the Alamo is a great occasion to re-visit its themes that find today a renewed accuracy and pertinence: Cinema is looking at cinema, the future is looking at the past from the ever paradoxical present of films. Cinema critically engages artistic expression and technology,” said Dr. Dufour.


Alamo Drafthouse hosts

Alamo Drafthouse – Richardson was eager to host the French New Wave Showcase.

"We are—how do the French say?—excité to partner with our friends at Video Association of Dallas for this French New Wave series in September! The French New Wave movement is one of cinema's most revolutionary periods, so we're proud to be able to feature these cinematic treasures on the big screen for cinephiles and classic film lovers alike," said James Wallace, creative director and programmer, Alamo Drafthouse – DFW.



Saturday Sept 5 4 pm
Le Mépris (Contempt, 1963)
Jean-Luc Godard

Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife, Camille, disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.

Le Mépris, Directed by Jean-Luc Godard (1963). Based on the Italian novel "Il Disprezzo" (1954) by Alberto Moravia. Stars Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, and Fritz Lang.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wjDWnKTROI

Saturday Sept 12 4 pm
Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim, 1962)
Francois Truffaut

Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules et Jim charts the 25-year relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession.

The legendary Francois Truffaut directs, and Jeanne Moreau stars as the alluring and willful Catherine, whose enigmatic smile and passionate nature lure Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) into one of cinema’s most captivating romantic triangles. An exuberant and poignant meditation on freedom, loyalty, and the fortitude of love, Jules et Jim was a worldwide smash in 1962 and remains every bit as audacious and entrancing today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRdMuLXP2Do


Saturday Sept 19 4 pm
L’Année Derniere à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961)
Alain Resnais

Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal L’Année Derniere à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades.

Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering.

Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9sBL_f2M5k

Saturday Sept 26 4 pm—Double Feature
Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7, 1962 ) Agnes Varda followed by La Jetée (1962) By Chris Marker

Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7)
Selfish pop singer Cléo (Corinne Marchand) has two hours to wait until the results of her biopsy come back. After an ominous tarot card reading, she visits her friends, all of whom fail to give her the emotional support she needs. Wandering around Paris, she finally finds comfort talking with a soldier in a park. On leave from the Algerian War, his troubles put hers in perspective. As they talk and walk, Cléo comes to terms with her selfishness, finding peace before the results come.
back.https://youtu.be/VYeZsW267P8

La Jetée
Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. Marker’s La Jetée is one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made, a tale of time travel told in still images.

Tickets available at http://drafthouse.com/dfw/richardson


About Dr. Frank Dufour
Dr. Frank Dufour teaches sound design in the school of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. An active conceptual artist Frank co­founded Agence 5970, an independent laboratory dedicated to conceptual art, using predominately sound to explore concepts emerging at the conjunction of perception and representation and of Time as a structural support of expression.
THE FRENCH NEW WAVE SHOWCASE is made possible in part by The City of Richardson through the Richardson Arts Commission.

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.

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**BONUS FREE SCREENING IN SEPTEMBER AT LATINO CULTURAL CENTER**
CHILDREN OF GIANT

Tuesday, September 15 at 6:00 pm
Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St, Dallas, Texas 75204


CHILDREN OF GIANT is a documentary that unearths deeply wrought emotions in the small west Texas town of Marfa, before, during and after the month-long production of George Stevens’ 1956 feature film, GIANT. Based on the controversial Edna Ferber novel of the same name, the film, GIANT did not shy from strong social-issue themes experienced throughout post-WWII America. Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Hector Galan (in attendance at screening) weaves clips from the feature film with the voices of the Mexican American and Anglo townspeople, cast and crew who experienced this unique conjunction of art and life in the summer of 1955.
https://www.facebook.com/events/385351318326905/
This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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ABOUT VIDEO ASSOCIATION OF DALLAS

The mission of the Video Association is to promote an understanding of video as a creative medium and cultural force in our society, and to support and advance the work of Texas artists working in video and the electronic arts. The Video Association of Dallas (VAD) is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated on April 25, 1989. It began in 1986 as a weekend event, “Video As A Creative Medium”, presented at the Dallas Museum of Art by independent curators Barton Weiss and John Held. That first event, which included two nights of video by selected local and national video artists, was a great popular success, which led to the founding of the Dallas VideoFest (DVF) in 1987. Video Association of Dallas also presents the 24-Hour Video Race, the Texas Show Tour, North Texas College Film Festival, Texas Fllmmakers Production Fund workshops, Three Star Cinema, and other programs throughout the year.








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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No Escape





Plot:
In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

When comedic actors and actresses take a more serious role, rather than playing their usual comedic roles, it can be a hard transition and there is no escaping the comedic persona that they create. See what I did there? I am going to go crawl in the fetal position now, excuse me. But seriously, it is hard to see actors in a different genre if we are already used to them in another. No Escape felt like a long third act of a film and nothing else, it was a bit flat.

Directing/Writing

Pros:
Director John Erick Dowdle brings us a suspenseful chase scene stretched into an hour and forty minute film and it was thrilling for a few scenes. John has directed films like: Quarantine, Devil and As Above, So Below and, for me personally, I actually liked Devil and As Above, So Below. He can capture horrific scenarios and make them feel gripping and there were a few times in this film that made me never want to go to Asia, so thanks?

Cons:
The dialogue is very one-note with Owen Wilson’s lines either “I will get us out of here.” or “We need to hide.” I felt like there were no risks taken and this dangerous situation seemed more implausible with unlikely scenarios that borderline on laughter. The movie is a giant chase scene and, I hate to say this, but it was kind of boring and monotonous; I wanted a bit more to it.

Acting

Pros:
The acting is serviceable for the film and Pierce Brosnan was pretty awesome as his “character” (I only put it in quotes because I don’t spoil films, I ain’t about that life.)

Cons:
Like in my opening, it’s hard for comedic actors to breakthrough to another genre and that was kind of the case here. No one was bad, and I even bought Lake Bell and Owen Wilson as a couple, but they also didn’t do anything special and could have gotten anyone to play their roles.

Cinematography

Pros:
It has a dirty, gritty look to it to compliment the setting and the action sequences are shot well and add a sense of urgency for the most part.

Cons:
Some of the sequences have a lot of shaky-cam and it’s hard to tell what was going on within the frame, but it wasn’t too bad.

Editing/Special Effects


Pros:
None.

Cons:
For an hour and forty minute movie, it was a chore to sit through. It was very repetitive with its plot and I felt like we were watching the same hide and then escape scene over and over. This also bugged the heck out of me, and that was the slow-motion shots randomly placed in a scene. Just stop that. It didn’t add anything emotional, suspenseful etc. It was almost like the director wanted to emphasize the scene and make it more intense but it comes off more comical, especially the roof scene.

Overall: An average thriller at best with decent acting, very thin plot, slow pace and unnecessary slow-motion. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t really like it either. I usually like John Erick Dowdle directed film's, however, this is one of my least favorites from him.

Score: C
(Review by Chase Lee)








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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Movies Scheduled 8/23-8/29

It is the last full week of August and the kids are headed back to school. I don't know about y'all but I am kind of happy. It means fall is almost here and we are getting done with the 100 degree temps!!

I want to thank y'all you have posted in facebook about contests that we may have missed.


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


Sunday Aug. 23rd

His Gal Friday 3:00 p.m. Dallas Performance Hall


Monday Aug 24th

Everest 4:00 p.m. AMC Northpark
We Are Your Friends 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas
No Escape 7:30 p.m. Magnolia


Tuesday Aug. 25th

Mistress America 7:30 p.m. TBA
Learning to Drive 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Wednesday Aug. 26th

The Visit 4:00 p.m. UA Grand Prairie


Thursday Aug. 27th


Friday Aug. 28th


Saturday Aug. 29th



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Friday, August 21, 2015

Hitman: Agent 47






HITMAN: AGENT 47: Fireworks; Sparkler; or Misfire? Misfire!

Action-Adventure
MPAA Rating: R
Release: August 21, 2015
Director: Aleksander Bach
Screenplay: Skip Woods and Michael Finch
Producers: Charles Gordon, Adrian Askarieh, Alex Young, Skip Woods
Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann

HITMAN: AGENT 47 is an action filled romp that makes you feel as if you are trapped as a voyeur inside the gun driven video game. But who wants to be trapped with no powers in a video game? FOX and first time Director, Aleksander Bach, had the opportunity to bring the mega Hitman video game franchise to the big screen. But HITMAN:AGENT 47 has fallen victim to the dreaded video-game-to-big-screen-movie curse. Such a shame with a built in audience that has purchased over 8 million copies of the six game series!

The movie was cast well with Rupert Friend playing the robotic, genetically engineered, elite assassin "Agent 47" with precision. Hannah Ware (Betrayal, Oldboy) is the believable girl on the run "Katia" searching for an unknown man from her past while being pursued by several ruthless killers.

HITMAN: AGENT 47 should have been a very interesting science fiction movie, but regretfully to its detriment, it is sci-fi light. We never learn about those barcodes tattooed on the Agent's heads. We never learn how these assassins have been genetically altered. The film has great fire powered chase sequences that are shot creatively. Unfortunately, there is not much of a story to go along with all the high powered video game like action. The film and its investors would have benefited greatly if someone had just given it more time. Sadly, we see this with many Hollywood films that are all big action and no story. If HITMAN: AGENT 47 had been given proper script development , it could have been the beginning of a wildly successful film franchise instead of just another forgettable Summer flick. Maybe FOX will take more time developing the sequel it has already ordered.

Honestly, I recommend saving your money to buy the next Hitman game installment due out in December. It will be a lot more enjoyable use of your cash.
(Review by Erin Nicole Parisi)






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Thursday, August 20, 2015

American Ultra




Director Nima Nourizadeh known for Project X and writer Max Landis known for Chronicle, both surprisingly entertaining and smart youth orientated adventures collaborated on American Ultra, a super spy story with a stoner slant. It's sort of Jason Bourne meets Chuck the TV series meets the Matrix, mixed up with smoking pot, romance and kick @ss action. It's a nice end of summer kind of break for those heading off to school.

Jesse Eisenberg really has that low keyed self effacing character down to a science. He plays Mike Howell who works at a Cash and Carry convenience store while drawing his cartoon character Apollo Ape. He's crazy in love with his girl friend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) who works for a bail bondsman. Which is a good thing because the local sheriff is constantly busting him for pot smoking. Mike plans to take Phoebe on a trip to Hawaii but he gets a panic attack every time he tries to leave town. One day a woman comes into the store and relays a phrase to him. She tries to say it several times, but Mike looks at her blankly. The woman Victoria (Connie Britton) was head of a CIA experiment that Mike was a subject. He was the only one that survived and now the new boss Yates (Topher Grace) wants to eliminate him in favor of his own experimental program. Victoria was hoping that activating Mike, he would give him a better chance to survive once Yate's goons show up. And this is when the action goes full throttle when Mike is able to take two guys out with a spoon and a cup of hot ramen noodles.

Mike is the perfect everyman. He's innocent, neurotic, and becomes totally overwhelmed by the secret deadly skills that take over when fighting for survival. Yates is the perfect tool who is working without approval to take Mike out. A former desk jockey, a little bit of power makes him full of himself and annoying. Walton Goggins plays one of Yate's experimental operatives that loses his front teeth thanks to Mike's martial arts moves. John Leguizamo, Mike's dealer plays Rosie who hides the couple at his house. Both Stewart and Eisenberg have an awkward chemistry but they are the sweet to each other amidst the chaos around them. Britton gives a nice motherly kind of lethal protection to her only successful student. And Tony Hale as Petey, Victoria's former assistant comes through by standing up to Yate's insane orders. The film is rated “R” for the strong language, uber bloody violence, drug use, and mild sexual content.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Movies Scheduled 8/16-8/22

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

Make sure to enter the contests for the movies or at least try. Yes we see the same people asking for passes. Sure we don't mind you asking for passes but at least give it a try on entering. A lot of places just have a link to click just to get passes.


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


Sunday Aug. 16th



Monday Aug. 17th

The Visit 7:30 p.m. Angelika Plano


Tuesday Aug. 18th

American Ultra 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Fox Tuesday Night Advanced Screenings 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Wednesday Aug. 19th

Learning to Drive 7:30 p.m. SMG Spring Valley


Thursday Aug. 20th


Friday Aug. 21st


Saturday Aug. 22nd





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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Do I Sound Gay?





What does a gay voice sound like? Is a more feminine voice in a guy annoying? Do gay men want to sound like the stereotypical higher pitched and flamboyant person? These are some of the many questions explored in this film that is definitely underrated on IMDB. It was an interesting dive into a topic that I think grabs a lot of people’s attention. There were several different people interviewed and we were given a taste of what their voice means to them. One news anchor used to have a southern draw and now his family says he talks like a white man. He said that he didn’t like his accent at all when he heard himself on the tapes. That was a pretty alerting scene that told us that he had to change his authentic background into something different for the public. That story was just like when you have a kid change himself at school to try and fit in. Scenes like that were crucial in order to lay out the final message. When a fashion icon says “We enunciate, if that’s gay” and then blows a kiss, you feel a reinforcement of gay power. What the film actually follows throughout is a man who wants to change his voice because he is tired of what he sounds like. On the way he interviews high up people who are openly homosexual and explores what they think of their voice. There are pleasant family videos from the childhood of the main focus who’s in his 40’s. The man is not confident and that is why he has become obsessed with his voice. This statement ties into the fact of the gay mindset. The film is sprinkled with how gays were persecuted throughout their lives and how they want to hide their identifying voice. In one segment a boy is shown on the news being pummelled by a student in a classroom where nobody is doing anything. The aspect of being gay but feeling slightly uncomfortable in the documentary was definitely one of the strongest parts. One man who lives with his loving husband is so frustrated when he’s on the phone. He calls a hotel and they think he’s a woman. He states “I don’t think I sound like a woman. I think I sound like a little man.” That was a line that made my chuckle. Having that gay voice is not a tell all that a man is homosexual and I loved the film for proving that. I think this is a well-executed piece that chose a gravitating and prominent topic to explore.
(Review by Wyatt Head)




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The Man From U.N.C.L.E.





MeTV plays the 1960's TV series with Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, but it's not necessary to watch it to enjoy director Guy Ritchie's version which he wrote with Lionel Wigram. Ritchie is no stranger to high octane action films with snarky characters and a graphic novel visuals set in 60's “mod” period clothing, cars and set decoration. The movie veers from the TV show by exploring the beginning of the spy partnership of the lead characters. It also helps that the cast is not only talented but genetically blessed.

Superman's Henry Cavill plays Napoleon Solo, a once art thief who is recruited by the CIA due to his particular skill set. He's dashing and damper as they say, with a blase aloof attitude, eyes of a shark and a way with women. He's sent behind the Berlin Wall to extract Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) who is not only a good car mechanic, she is the daughter of a nuclear scientist who was working with the Americans but has disappeared. KGB's Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is also after the same person, and basically on the same mission. Gaby's father is working on a new weapon that will spell the end of the world, of course. The two once cold war enemies decide to collaborate with their agents to find the scientist and thwart the plans of a mysterious international crime organization with Nazi ties led by Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki) and her playboy husband Alexander (Luca Calvani).

There is an animosity between Napoleon, who always maintains his cool demeanor and Illya who can't seem to keep his anger in check. Illya is just as skilled as Napoleon and the story follows their rivalry. Gaby's cover is to be Illya's fiancée when they go to visit her Uncle Rudi (Sylvester Groth) who owns the shipping company run by Victoria. While Solo has to get close to Victoria being, an unsurprisingly, an art thief. There are lots of action sequences, pussy footing, flirting, bickering. It's a fizzy sort of confection bordering on camp but not quite as slap stick as Get Smart. This seems to be a tent pole movie to set up for a series for the continuing adventures of the team that has just been formed under the umbrella of United Network Command for Law and Enforcement better known as U.N.C.L.E. Their new boss Mr. Waverly is played by Hugh Grant looking older and grainier, but still chipper. Cavill and Hammer give it their all, but it's Vikander who steals the movie from the both of them. Her screen presence so effective in Ex Machina proves once again, she is the next big thing.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Movies Scheduled 8/9-8/15

I hope y'all are staying cool. I feel like I am melting in this heat! Make sure you check on the elderly.

Not a ton of movies this week so hopefully you can catch up on some you might have missed.


Sunday Aug. 9th


Monday Aug. 10th

AGFA Secret Screening Alamo Drafthouse
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Tuesday Aug. 11th

Straight Outta Compton 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark


Wednesday Aug. 12th


Thursday Aug. 13th

IFC Free Screening: Best of Show Alamo Drafthouse


Friday Aug. 14th



Saturday Aug. 15th


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Friday, August 7, 2015

MegaFest and The International Faith and Family Festival




DALLAS (8/05/15) – The International Faith and Family Festival will return for the second time during MegaFest’s five-day run at the Omni Dallas Hotel from August 20-22. The film festival will feature a slate of Hollywood stars and influencers, and highlight the impact films can have through positive messages and telling relevant stories pulled from headlines. All MegaFest ticket holders can attend the film festival and reserved seat tickets for those passionate about film are available individually at Mega-Fest.com/FilmFestival.



Acclaimed television producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will present a Morning Inspiration Session, a new feature of the film festival this year. The husband and wife team has created numerous successful television series including reality television megahit shows like “Shark Tank,” “The Voice,” and “The Apprentice,” as well as Christian programming like “The Bible” and “A.D. The Bible Continues.”



Breakout “Selma” star David Oyelowo will also make an appearance for the screening of his next film, “Captive,” which follows the true story of Brian Nichols, who escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on March 11, 2005, and held Ashley Smith as a hostage. The film is set to be released worldwide on September 18, 2015.



The International Faith and Family Festival will also screen poignant and timely films, including HBO’s documentary “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets,” which chronicles the aftermath of African-American teenager Jordan Davis’ death during a confrontation and shooting at a Florida gas station on Black Friday 2012. Following the screening, a panel session will discuss racial tensions, hidden racial prejudices and the role media plays in these situations. Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Benjamin Crump, who represents Martin’s family and the family of Michael Brown, another African-American teenager killed during a police altercation in Ferguson, Missouri; Tina Naidoo; and Dr. Nsenga Burton, a professor of communications and media studies at Goucher College and former editor of TheRoot.com, will sit on the panel.



Additionally, films from the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase will be presented for the second year during the film festival. Embodying the core elements of the International Faith and Family Film Festival, these uniquely-themed films from the across the globe, including regions like Africa, North America, Australia and the Caribbean, give life to globally diverse characters and stories to which we all can relate. Originally screened in France as a part of “Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes Diversity Day,” these films are a direct reflection of our mission to ensure the promotion and preservation of the underrepresented story at the Cannes Film Festival and beyond.



“What is exciting about these films is they allow us to celebrate creative talent while displaying the wide diversity of faith voices from around the world,” Bishop T.D. Jakes said. “I’m thrilled to not only have these films showcase a festival of talent, inspiration and excitement, but also provide a unique atmosphere for attendees to mix and mingle and learn from successful actors, producers, directors, talent agents and other insiders.”



Additional films being screened at the festival include:



· “Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” chronicles the spectacular and unlikely rise to prominence of the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. The music of Hillsong is so popular it is estimated that on any given Sunday, more than 50 million churchgoers around the world are singing their songs.

· “Captive” is a crime-drama thriller based on the non-fiction book “An Unlikely Angel” by Ashley Smith. The film follows the true story of Brian Nichols, who escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on March 11, 2005, and held Smith as a hostage. Starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, the film is set to be released worldwide on September 18, 2015 by Paramount Pictures.

· “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” chronicles the aftermath of a violent confrontation on Black Friday 2012 at a Florida gas station. After parking next to another car, a white middle-aged male and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the young man’s car. Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and fled. Three of those bullets hit 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who died at the scene. Arrested the next day, Dunn claimed he shot in self-defense. “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” follows the journey after the confrontation, reconstructing the night of the murder and revealing how hidden racial prejudice can result in tragedy.

· “War Room,” distributed by Sony Pictures, is an upcoming Christian drama directed by Alex Kendrick and produced by his brother Stephen Kendrick, best known for “Facing the Giants” (2006), “Fireproof” (2008), and “Courageous” (2011). “War Room” follows Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, a couple who seemingly have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, their dream home – as they fight to stay together and provide a loving home for their daughter.

· “The End of Malice” is an intoxicating first person narrative from an extraordinary artist confronting the dualities of fame and family, success in the dope game and the demanding world of mainstream music. Told with revealing authenticity by Malice and insightful commentary by Pusha T and Pharrell Williams, this documentary transcends its subject matter and openly deals with subjects that have consumed mainstream culture.

· “Covered: Alive in Asia” features a behind-the-scenes look at Israel Houghton and NewBreed’s tour of Asia from rehearsals in Los Angeles to sold-out performances in Asia. The documentary chronicles stops in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul and Manila. Joel Osteen, Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond also make special appearances in the film.

· “The Jones Family Will Make A Way” follows Bishop Fred Jones and his family as they make a last ditch effort at success on the Southern gospel circuit. After performing for 30 years, the Jones Family has been largely unseen by those outside the Pentecostal faith. When the Bishop, despite objections from many within his faith, decided to take his family's musical ministry outside the church, he unexpectedly connected with the oddest of allies -- a jaded, atheistic rock critic, who also happened to be a gospel historian. To Michael Corcoran, the Jones Family Singers represent a living link to a style of gospel he thought had disappeared. These most unlikely of friends bonded through perhaps one shared trait -- a deeply rooted rebelliousness.



In addition to the thought-provoking stories on film, the International Faith and Family Film Festival will feature keynote speakers and panelists who represent expertise in all aspects of film making, producing and marketing, including:



§ Hill Harper, actor and author

§ Kevin Frazier, co-host of “Entertainment Tonight”

§ Jamila Hunter, Vice President of ABC Network Comedy

§ Darrell Miller, Chair of the Entertainment Department at Fox Rothschild LLP

§ Nikkole Denson-Rudolph, Vice President of Specialty & Alternative Content at AMC Theaters

§ Stephanie Drachkovitch, Emmy-nominated director, president and co-founder of 44 Blue

§ Kristin Wilder, Vice President and Managing Editor for Variety

§ Lee Papert, President and CEO of the Dallas Film Society and Executive Director of the Dallas International Film Festival

§ Robi Reed, Emmy-winning casting director

§ Bill Duke, Award-winning actor and director

§ Adriane Hopper-Williams, Emmy-winning producer

§ Amir Shahkhalili, William Morris Endeavor agent

§ Michelle Ohayon, Emmy-nominated director

§ DeVon Franklin, producer

§ Charley Humbard, President of UP TV

§ Tasha Smith, acclaimed actress



The festival will also feature master classes with Hollywood’s elite including acclaimed directors and producers, and breakout sessions and panels. This year, IFFFF has added sessions in financing, TV/film scriptwriting, marketing, directing and more.



All registered MegaFest attendees are permitted entry into IFFFF. Tickets for an IFFFF day pass are $39, or $99 for a guarantee pass. Registration is available online. For a complete list of scheduled events for the film festival, please visit mega-fest.org/filmfestival.









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The Gift




THE GIFT: fireworks; sparkler; or misfire? Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks!

The multi-talented Australian actor, Joel Edgerton, has dazzled us many times before in diverse roles in films like THE GREAT GATSBY, ZERO DARK THIRTY, WARRIOR, and KINKY BOOTS. Edgerton in his directorial debut feature THE GIFT asks, "What happens when you think you are done with the past but the past is not done with you?" We can all relate to and be scared by that question. THE GIFT challenges you to ask yourself do you believe in revenge or forgiveness? If someone hurt you long ago and you ran into him by chance, how would you behave? What would you do? What would you say? Would you apologize or hope to hide the past transgression? I find the scariest story lines in film to be plotlines that are highly familiar and likely to occur in real life. THE GIFT is a true psychological thriller in the same vain as CAPE FEAR and FATAL ATTRACTION (F.Y.I. the bunny is replaced by a dog and koi fish). It is ride of twists and turns that will keep you questioning long after you leave the movie theater.

Adorably cute, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), a young married couple, have just moved from Chicago to LA for a new job. While shopping for items for their modern LA Hills home, the couple runs into Gordo (Joel Edgerton) a former high school classmate of Simon. Gordo tries very hard to ingratiate himself into their lives through surprise visits, dinners, and lavish gifts which eventually prove troublesome. After a series of events, Robyn slowly uncovers the truth about what really happened between Simon and Gordo all those years ago and in doing so their present day lives are changed forever.

THE GIFT makes a strong statement against bullying. Studies have proven that in the cycle of abuse, a bully is a person that was once a victim. The fear and helplessness the victim feels manifests into an angry desire to overpower another person to reclaim their lost power. We have all heard the English nursery rhyme that says, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." THE GIFT twists that phrase around and shows that words can be far more dangerous than stones. In doing so, Gordo and Simon characters blur the lines between who is the victim and who is the bully. The film's real gift is it leaves you wondering how your actions are perceived and received. Hopefully the introspection will make us all more mindful and the world a kinder place.

Link to THE GIFT film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjF5wdY8zE0



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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fantastic Four




Plot:
Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.


Back in the day, as I was watching Fantastic Four (2005), I was introduced to Michael Chiklis making rock puns as The Thing and it was just awful. In 2007 I was treated to Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. In the sequel I had the pleasure of Morpheus voicing a reject T-1000 model from the group of extras in Terminator 2: Judgment Day as the Silver Surfer. Needless to say, I didn’t care for Fox’s attempts at adapting Fantastic Four from the hit Marvel comics. There was a version made back in the 90’s as well…we won’t talk about that. There have been many chances to launch one of the oldest groups of superheroes onto the big screen. I was hopeful for this version and hopefully branching off a pretty good franchise. This isn’t the big steaming pile of junk everyone is making it out to be, but it also far from good.

Directing/Writing


Pros:
Director Josh Trank, recently helmed the critically acclaimed Chronicle, does gives us some changes to the superhero genre diving into a sci-fi horror realm and I liked the feel of what he was going for. I also appreciated that the characters weren’t experiencing powers given to them, but a genetic mutation that they wanted to get rid of. It felt different and fresh. I enjoyed most of the buildup to their conditions, but afterwards was a different feeling. That being said…

Cons:
…there were a lot more issues. First, it was the script and dialogue. The dialogue was stale, cheesy and downright laughable in some parts. Secondly, Trank didn’t give any life into these characters. Everyone appeared soulless and The Thing and Doctor Doom were wasted and were given nothing but a passable role to further the story in some areas. Thirdly, this wasn’t a self-contained film and it was all setup for sequels. Everything after the halfway point felt rushed as if they were trying to hit certain points to setup the future of the franchise. And last but not least, Doctor Doom was one-note with no development and provided a weak climax for our four characters in the “final” battle.

Acting

Pros:
I did rather enjoy Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm and Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. I thought their chemistry was really well done and I felt that connection.


Cons:
Everyone delivered cringe-worthy lines, but no one was staler than Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm and Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom. There was no life to them and there was no development between either. Kebbell played a one-dimensional villain with no emotional weight. He was there and then, bam, he was gone. All in all, I never felt like they weren’t in any true danger. That’s how flat the acting was for the most part.

Cinematography


Pros:

Some of the set pieces and a few shots were memorable and nailed the sci-fi horror tone to it and gave kind of a creepy vibe.

Cons:
I didn’t care for when they went to discover the planet. The terrible CGI took me out of the movie and it reminded me of those terrible set pieces on the CGI-heavy film, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. It wasn’t believable in the slightest. How much was the budget again? The action sequences weren’t filmed very well either and were pretty flat. I wished they had breathed a bit more life into the action scenes with more creativity.

Editing/Special Effects


Pros: I am jumping to the cons for constructive criticism.

Cons:
I rarely say this, but this film should have been longer. Clocking in at about an hour and forty minutes, it felt rushed and there were spots of under-developed characters and plot points. They needed to make this longer and put a bit more into it. At the same time, some of the scenes they have in this cut are boring (this goes back to the stale and lifeless acting). I wanted more added. That isn’t a bad thing. Trust me, most of us would have wanted it longer. And as stated above, the CGI scenes on the planet are deplorable.

Overall: This isn’t an awful movie, but isn’t necessarily the best comic book movie either. The wooden acting, under-developed characters and plot, and lame, under-whelming final battle really brought this movie down. It also doesn’t help the fact that they were more concerned about setting up the sequels versus focusing on a self-contained story. With the problems I have, I still want them to continue the franchise and learn from their mistakes.

Score: C-




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The End of the Tour






Plot:
The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.'


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stay after class one day and talk to your philosophy professor for hours and hours? I am sure it would be either fascinating or the dullest talk you have ever had. That’s what this movie is like, except it’s a great talk and not one to bore you out of your mind. This is a well written and acting piece with engaging dialogue. Let’s REEL-y break this down.

*I am working on catchphrases for these reviews. Did that one work? No? Ok, scratch that one.

Directing/Writing


Pros:
Director James Ponsoldt, who also directed my favorite movie of 2013, The Spectacular Now, brings another intimate story following an author and a reporter doing a piece on him for The Rolling Stone magazine. This film is dialogue heavy and it is all focused on the relationship between Jason Segal’s character, David Foster Wallace, and Jesse Eisenberg’s character, David Lipsky. Every piece of dialogue that comes out of Segal’s mouth is very intriguing and there is meaning to it and it wasn’t filler and pointless. What Ponsoldt does is create this quiet environment and have us really focus on these characters and study Wallace as a person. I have never heard of Wallace until this movie. Apparently, he was a well-known author and I didn’t know because I am dumb and I don’t know words. This character is also very depressing to watch. He is extremely smart; but there is something that is bothering him and I just wanted to go help him. It’s first and foremost and relationship movie and it captures that friendship perfectly.

Cons:
I don’t have much to say, but I kind of wished there was more development with Eisenberg. There were a few things we learned about him, buy I wanted more. He is the main character. If Ponsoldt would have focused a tad more on Eisenberg, it would have taken this to another level.

Acting

Pros:
Jason freaking Segal. This is his breakout role. Listen, Eisenberg is terrific in the film and brings a lot to the movie, but Segal steps out of his comedic box and tries a more reserved role and he kills it. We have seen Eisenberg in dramas, such as The Social Network, but this was Segal’s movie. The supporting cast was good, but it’s mainly focused on these two powerhouse actors. I don’t know if I am exaggerating but I think Segal and Eisenberg takes up 90 percent of the runtime alone.

Cons:
Like I stated up above, I wanted more to Eisenberg. I loved his performance and he had the emotional depth, but I wanted more character, as we only knew a small amount of him.


Cinematography


Pros:
It’s a beautiful movie which reflects on the beautiful friendship forming. It’s the type of cinematography that makes you feel warm. This maybe weird, but I really enjoyed the shots of the sun with the characters. To me, it showed us how enlightening and profound Wallace actually was. But then again, I have said some dumb things in my reviews before.

Cons:
None.

Editing

Pros:
This is an engaging, dialogue driven movie that will captivate you and make think about your life, as many questions are presented about your own. It deals with depression, loneliness, fame, being loved and a lot more. Everyone can relate to this to where it should very well.

Cons:
People that aren’t into movies where it’s all talk may think it’s boring and uninteresting.

Overall: This is, simply, a humble movie about two guys questioning life and themselves and James Ponsoldt knocks it out of the park again. This is a great and competitive year for films and my top ten list is tight, but I think The End of the Tour will be on there.

Score: A








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Dark Places





Plot: Libby Day was only seven years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Twenty-five years later, she agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.


How many times will I reference Gone Girl? Guess the amount and you get a gold medal. Scratch that, I can’t afford a gold medal; I will get you a cookie. Never mind, I can’t afford a cookie; I will give you a handshake. Gone Girlis an adaptation that came out last year and the author, Gillian Flynn, of said book, also wrote the screenplay for the movie. Dark Places is also based on a book of the same author. I loved Gone Girl, so is this one the same level or a Lifetime movie at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday?

Directing/Writing

Pros:
Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner brings us a very basic, kind of bland Lifetime movie. Let me set this straight, I think Gone Girl is a Lifetime story and movie all on its own, but the difference between that and this is that Gone Girl was heightened by its directing, acting, writing, cinematography and music. It was turned into something different, but Paquet-Brenner doesn’t heighten the material, making it at the television movie level. It’s well-made Lifetime movie that you don’t really need to see in theaters.

Cons:
The story isn’t really memorable and the “killers” felt like they were thrown into the overall story and not really fitting in. The dialogue is cheesy in some scenes and I didn’t particularly think the narration by Charlize Theron fit and felt a bit jarring. Most of the characters were unlikable, so it was hard to get invested in the story. Another point was that there were a few things that were a bit unanswered and I kind of wanted closure.

Acting

Pros:
This is one of my favorite aspects. I thought everyone was on their A-game, even though the story was basic and the script was kind of weak, they all made it their own. Charlize Theron was great, it’s nice to see Corey Stoll, Tye Sheridan is always great, and Christina Hendricks delivers, maybe, my favorite film role from her from what I have seen.

Cons:
I thought a few actors were stale, such as Nicholas Hoult, but the biggest one was Chloe Grace Moretz. I thought her character didn’t really fit well with the story. The other supporting characters were forgettable.


Cinematography

Pros:
I do like the dark, harsh shadows in the shots dealing with this very, very dark story. It sets a mood that’s appropriate for the subject matter, but…

Cons:
…this irritates the heck out of me. I hate it when directors choose to do the quick, or sometimes slow then quick, zooms while characters are talking to add “intensity” to the scene. Directors like Paul Greengrass, who use this method for the Bourne Franchise or Captain Phillips, make it work because the cinematography is in the documentary style throughout the movie. This movie has no consistency with its cinematography and randomly does the quick zooms. Stop it. It doesn’t add anything.

Editing

Pros:
The story is ok to keep your interest at best.

Cons:
Since the characters are pretty unlikable, I couldn’t invest myself in the story, thus slowing it down. If you are into murder mysteries, then this will probably fly by.

Overall: This is an average, run-of-the-mill murder mystery with little substance among an extremely dark story. The acting is there and it works, even though I don’t particularly like the characters. It’s not good, but it’s also not bad. This is no Gone Girl and I will probably forget about it. This was a one and done for me.

Score: C









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Assassination




One of the most successful directors working in Korea has brought another blockbuster film which will have a global run thanks to Well Go USA. It will play here in the DFW area at AMC Grapevine Mills Theater with dine-in options beginning Friday. The comfy seats and food are necessary as this is a long movie clocking in at 140 minutes. Director/writer Choi Dong-hoon who brought the world the wildly popular film The Thieves a couple of years ago continues to use the chemistry with the same stable of actors used in that movie. When Assassination opened in Korea it had the best opening day for a local film in 2015 and second best opening day over all behind Avengers:Age of Ultron.

The Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945 is often seen as a dark and unhappy history. The colonization brought an influx of Japanese merchants and the political subjugation of the Korean people. In 1911 a pro-Japanese Korean business man saves the Japanese Governor/General when a bomb explodes and a masked man shoots up the place. The meeting was supposed to be secret, so the Korean asks his wife if she told anyone about it. Turns out she's hiding the masked man in their house. So the Korean husband orders her to be killed but to take the newly born twin girls. The wife's escape plan split the daughters and one was secreted away by the nanny. The masked and was Yeom Seok-jin (Lee Jung-Jae).

Korean resistance activists based the provisional Korean government in Manchuria. In 1933 Yeom, now an agent of the provisional government is asked to prepare a covert team to go to Seoul to kill the pro-Japanese business man and a Japanese military commander before they can build a airplane factory. He is given a deadly sniper An Ok-yoon (Jun Ji-hyun) who is locked up for shooting her superior officer, Soksapo (Cho Jin-Woong) an expert in rapid fire, and Choi Duk-moon (Hwang Deok-sam) who learned explosives in Hungry. But Yeom hires bounty hunters Hawaii Pistol (Ha Jung-woo) and his assistant Younggam (Oh Dal-Su) to follow the assassination team and take them out. Ok-yoon and her team arrive in Seoul staying with at a cafe that is a cover for one of the provisional Korean government hideouts. They decide on a plan while the team assigned to take them out are dressed like Japanese officers. They meet a Japanese Lieutenant on the train who is getting ready for an arranged marriage to the Korean businessman's daughter, Mitsuko who strangely looks just like Ok-yoon.

The story informs unfamiliar history for most Americans. However the multiple layers of plot are interesting and characters are nicely formed. The action will keep the viewer at the edge of their seats as the different assassin teams shoot it out with each other and the Japanese. Not to mention Yeom is watching and following manipulating everyone to his benefit. The film sympathizes with the independence fighters and even allows some insight into Yeom's backstory. Even after the fateful mission, years later there is closure that is rightfully due. It may be a long movie, but it keeps your attention.
(Review by reesa)



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Ricki and the Flash



When you think of Director Jonathan Demme who has done some serious dramas and documentaries pairing with writer Diablo Cody who did the fabulous Juno, one would expect a little something more than the light confection of ageing rock star wanna be confronting her middle American family life that she left behind. Cody based the story on her mother in law who fronted a bar band for years. Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline help elevate the light script with some nice turns by Mamie Gummer (Streep's real life daughter) and rocker/actor Rick Springfield. What makes this film more interesting than it is would be the music.

Streep plays Ricki, the lead singer in the Salt Well bar band in Tarzana that plays covers to a small but loyal group of regulars. Ricki wears thick makeup and freaked out hair, dressing younger than a woman her age would normally be attired. During the day she's a cashier at a uppity food store where customers purchases are more than she makes in a week. She lives in a run down apartment and dates the lead guitar player in the band, Greg (Rick Springfield), but she is wishy washy about making a commitment with him. She gets a call from her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) who informs her that her daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) is having a melt down as her new husband left her for another woman. His current wife Maureen (Audra McDonald) is in Seattle taking care of her father, and he thinks that Ricki, whose real name is Linda, should come and offer emotional support. Using the last of her money she flies to Indianapolis making Pete pay her cab fare as he lives in a fancy home in a gate community.

Ricki had left her family of Julie, Adam (Nick Westrate) and Josh when they were little to pursue her dreams of being a rock star. She loves her kids, but she hasn't really had any contact with them for years and now they are all grown up still harboring resentment to their mother who abandoned them. Julie who hasn't bathed or changed out of her pajamas for days now blows up at her mother's return. Even meeting her sons for dinner is a dysfunctional family disaster with Josh admitting that they were not going to invite her to his upcoming wedding. Somehow she kinda gets an understanding with Julie before Maureen comes back and tries to use her grown up voice to let Ricki know that it's “her” family now. Ricki goes home resigned to accept that life she has chosen.

The last part of the film ties up nicely with the family finally appreciating what Ricki is doing what she loves and that's all she has to give to them in a Bollywood style dance party. While this melodrama makes one uncomfortable with Ricki's arrested development, she really loves playing music and performing. And her band of ageing musicians are better than any bar band out there. They include the late Rick Rosas on bass, Parliament-Funkadelic’s synth-pioneer Bernie Worrell on keyboards. Streep looks like she if having the time of her life singing and playing guitar. It's a mindless piece of fluff, but fun to rock and roll.
(Review by reesa)




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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 2 - Aug 8


Not much happening this week, but getting passes seem to be easy and available. As for asking for passes to screenings where it hasn't been offered, or there are contests pending, asking others for their passes is not cool. As members of the Yahoo Group, check the calendar on the group page to find where and who are giving out passes. Enter on your own. It's only if and when you didn't get a pass when they are allotted, then you may ask others for help.

There are other screenings that we moderators are not aware of, so we rely on our group membership to share that info. If you are too shy to post that yourself, please write to either reesa or Daina and we will post it for you.

Also if you are just on Facebook, you are missing some of the other stuff that gets posted just to the group.

Have fun, enjoy the movies and stay safe in this 3-digit heat wave.

August 2 - August 8

Sun
Aug 2
Pee Wee's Big Adventure - 3:00 pm - Texas Theater

Mon
Aug 3
End of Tour - 7:30 pm - Magnolia

Tues
Aug 4
Ricki and the Flash - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Dark Places - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Wed
Aug 5

Thurs
Aug 6

Fri
Aug 7

Sat
Aug 8







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