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, September 27, 2015

Movies Scheduled 9/27-10/3

Please keep in mind that the screenings are usually for the press and they are nice enough to open the extra seats to us. So if you are willing to stand in line and not get the perfect seat then we are happy to have you line and making friends and having fun!


I have been doing screenings before I had my kid and she just turned 25 this month. Yeah I do love screenings and yes I do need a break from time to time. Back then you couldn’t just print them off of the internet. You actually had to go to different places and pick up passes. Sure some still have a pass pick up but not every single one!

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


Sunday Sept. 27th


Monday Sept. 28th

The Walk 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Finders Keepers 7:00 p.m. LOOK Cinema


Tuesday Sept. 29th

The Martian 7:00 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Wednesday Sept. 30th


Crimson Peak 4:00 p.m. Cinemark West Plano
The Iron Giant: Signature Edition 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
The 33 7:30 p.m. THe Magnolia


Thursday Oct. 1st

Freeheld 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
99 Holes 7:30 p.m. SMG Spring Valley


Friday Oct. 2nd


Saturday Oct. 3rd.


Pan 11:00 a.m. Cinemark West Plano



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Friday, September 25, 2015

BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II FUTURE PAST PARTY




BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II FUTURE PAST PARTY

Special Showing of the Film at Texas Theatre with Themed After Party Celebrating the 2015 Anniversary

The Alamo Drafthouse is pleased to announce a collaboration with Aviation Cinemas and Texas Theatre for a special showing of BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II with a themed after party to celebrate the day that Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel to the future - October 21, 2015.

It will be a night where the past and the future collide at the historic 84-year-old theater. Festivities begin at 6:30 pm and will feature a replica DeLorean Time Machine, custom Wild Gunman arcade, a DJ spinning '50s, '80s and 2015 music, themed drink specials and more surprises!


EVENTS' SPECIAL TIMES

The showing of the film will occur at 7:28 pm on the dot: $15
The precise time Doc and Marty travel from 2015 back to an alternate 1985.

An earlier screening earlier in the day at 4:29 pm: $2
Lining up with the time that they travel to 2015.


ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA Dance
After the movie, the theater will be transformed into Hill Valley High School’s Enchantment Under The Sea Dance

Live music by Austin’s Calling Jack Burton playing all the hits from the film with a themed performance complete with decor, costumes and more
Attendees are encouraged to dress in either 1950s or 1980s attire


ALAMO & TEXAS TEAM UP
James Wallace, Alamo Drafthouse DFW Creative Manager/Programmer, said:
“The BACK TO THE FUTURE series is not only one of the most fan-loved franchises in cinema, but it sits at the top of my own list of favorite films of all time. So I felt personally responsible for planning an event that captured the spirit of the beloved films and celebrated this once in a lifetime anniversary.” Wallace added “And we are thrilled to team up with our friends at the Texas Theatre. As a movie nerd, I can’t imagine many things more heavy than two theaters like ours coming together on one night to co-host a night that fans will never forget.”

Barak Epstein, CEO of Aviation Cinemas and operator of The Texas Theatre said:
"We've been looking for screening event to work together on ever since Alamo Drafthouse came to town and I can't think of a better mashup than this once in a lifetime time space alignment of 10-21-15!"


Ticketing Link:
https://www.movietickets.com/default.aspx?page=purchase&perf_id=818260350&movieid=16502&language=0&_ga=GA1.2.419192025.1404580621


About Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. 17 years later, the now 19-location chain has been named "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short three-year existence and Birth.Movies.Death, an entertainment news blog curated by veteran journalist Devin Faraci.

###






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Meet the Patels



Film Rating: Fireworks, Sparklers or Misfire: Fireworks! Fireworks! Fireworks!

Make sure you go MEET THE PATELS! And take your entire family with you! This a charming, romantic comedy documenting Ravi V. Patel’s real life journey to discover his true love with a lot of guidance and misguidance along the way from his family, the Patels. For better and for worse, we all have experienced the love and chaos of well meaning friends and family members. You will laugh and be brought to tears as you witness the life-changing love story of Ravi V. Patel.

Ravi is a 30 year old, first generation Indian-American who struggles with combining his American and traditional Indian heritage. He has been dating a white American woman in secret for two years. He breaks up with her and travels to India with his parents and sister where he feels the cultural and social pressure to get married.

MEET THE PATELS has universal appeal because in the end it is really a film about family. In fact, it was written and directed by real life sister and brother, Geeta Patel and Ravi V. Patel. What began as vacation video of their annual family trip to India, metamorphosizes into a heartwarming and hilarious feature film about love, family and cultural identity.

Part of the charm of this film stems from the fact that you are watching real life family videos that do not have perfect composition or lighting. You will laugh about it in the beginning moments, but you will soon forget and forgive this technical aspect, as you become a silent member of the Patel family. Yes, this is a documentary but it feels like a narrative film. Creatively, animation is also used to move the story along during descriptive monologues and conversations. Most likely this was because there was not (useable) film footage but it really works and takes the film to a higher level.

In MEET THE PATELS, we get a glimpse of what it is like to be an immigrant family. Immigration is truly a brave and courageous act. Every ethnic group that moves from one country to another deals with keeping their traditions and values alive. And each member of a family is affected in a different way. Our country is a great melting pot of cultures. All our ancestors at some time or another made the choice to move here and with that choice brought consequences both good and bad. In this film, you feel for Ravi’s parents who knew that coming to the U.S.A. would bring better opportunities but they struggle daily with the fact their children have grown up in a different culture and have different values.

This film often gets compared to MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING in the Press, which I feel is an appropriate comparison. Both films deal with immigrant parents and their first generation American children finding love outside their cultural tradition. In both films, the parents desperately want their children to have their same experience of marriage and family. And both movies are brilliant, romantic comedies.

For me, seeing this film was very special and hit very close to home. I have been that “white American girl” who dated a first generation American-Indian boy. And over the years, there have been many funny family moments. My experience has been one of understanding, friendship, and great love that continues to influence my life deeply in every way possible.

The filmmakers spent six years making this film and a few more trying to get it into theatres. Believe me, it was all worth it.
(Review by Erin Nicole Parisi)


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Sicario



Simply put, go see Sicario. Run to see Sicario. Buy your ticket, take your seat and strap yourself in for one heck of a wild ride. A haunting score, stellar camera work, a solid, multidimensional script and exceptional performances by Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro make for a total, awesome movie going experience.

Set in Arizona, El Paso and Juarez, Mexico the film explores the seedy underbelly of the drug trafficking world, in a way that it hasn't been traversed before. Blunt, sans accent, is an experienced FBI agent that enters the movie, during a raid on a drug house that goes horribly wrong on two counts.  Not long after the dust settles, Brolin comes along as a CIA operative on a mission to take out the head or the serpent who is hiding somewhere in Mexico, but he needs Blunt's help for legitimacy and as possible future bait. First, they quickly caravan into Juarez to bring home the number three kingpin (and get out with everyone alive), in order to draw out number two in the US, who will go back to Mexico and lead them to number one.  Dead set on taking out number one is del Toro, a Mexican native who had prior dealings with the snake, that cost him his wife and daughter in a most violent way. A man of intensity, few but well chosen words, he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Movie goers will want to look away on several occasions as the situations become more than real. The tunnel scene is a masterwork of a sequence that makes you feel that you are actually there. It is a taught, tightly wound thrill ride that locks you in, carries you up, down and throws you out onto a seriously long roller coaster ride that makes you queasy, close your eyes, and tense up with anticipation. Not too many twists, turns or surprises here.   Blunt's character is used to doing her job by the book but figures out quickly that the CIA and their invited guests do not follow  any such rule or playbook. Quite the contrary. Her Conscience tells her to walk away, but a total sense of duty and a desire to make a difference keeps her along for the ride. The dilemma intensifies when as she learns that those working around her so not have even the slightest touch of a conscience.  The reality that is Juarez and the drug war are the juices that keep this film humming right along, in all of it's glorious, realistic horror. Enjoy the ride.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)



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The Intern




The Intern produce by Nancy Meyers  is the story of Bill Whittaker (Robert De Niro) who comes to a crossroad in his life after several years of retirement. Instead of the enjoying the freedom of traveling and having an unstructured routine he decides to return to the work place and take on the position as a senior intern at an online fashion site. Understanding that there was no direct path for his position in interning for the CEO and founder of the company, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), who by everyone's account, is challenging. In order to feel useful in his bleak position with the unavailable boss, Mr. Whittaker finds himself  amusing his young co-workers with his work ethics, his personalities, his dress for success "style", his experience and worldly knowledge. Jules is not easily to impress. She is not impressed about having interns in her company especially one who had been assigned to shadow her. She knows hard work, long hours, and great customer services is needed to get the job done. He sees her skills, knowledge, and her business “no-sense attitude”, he quickly senses that Jules is not interested in having an intern shadow her, especially one at his age. With this realization, he will abide his time with her. He begin to analyze each department and start assisting the employees out, to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Although Jules is married with a beautiful daughter, she is also married to her booming business. She finds herself in a situation, based on her consultant's recommendations, to interview and hire someone as CEO with more years of experiences and that can take her business to the next level without the pitfalls that comes with the quick success. But it also means that she will step down from her position as CEO. That tough decision comes in the form of saving her marriage and keeping her family together. Soon Jules realizes that the intern she kept avoiding, ends up turning the table to help her. She gradually warms up to the idea that having a senior intern working directly with her is not such a bad idea. She soon finds ways to utilizing his service that extends beyond the normal working relations. His sense of warm, charming, patience, wisdom and humor helps her to develop a great friendship with him. She realizes that no family is perfect and that there are women out there that have successful businesses and maintain a happy home. In a turn of events, she learns that Bill is a great person and he helps her to find a balance in the two and even help save her marriage.

Although, the movie was a bit unconventional it was a warm, funny and romantic but a bit unrealistic in the fact that, it is not clear what the online fashion business was about, the audience did not have a clue and was left wondering how the business world from Jules’ prospective.  Then secondly, no matter what the friendship becomes between boss and intern there are certain lines that are not crossed in a business friendship/relationship, especially when they were in the hotel room together. There was also the situation where Jules easily forgave her husband after he leaves the other woman when it was clearly infidelity in the marriage.  The balance between young boss and the older employee seem to fit this movie. This movie was warm and inviting and not boring as previously assumed. I would definitely recommend this movie to all ages group.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna-Ary)  



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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dallas VideoFest 28




Video Association of Dallas: Full Feature Film List, Special Programs, Texas Show Shorts Playing 28th Dallas VideoFest

DALLAS, September 23, 2015 —These films and programs will screen during the 28th edition of the Dallas VideoFest from October 12-18, 2015. Overall, approximately 100 videos including narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, and experimental videos will be screened during the 7-day Festival.

This year’s films and events will, of course, include the latest videos, which are not likely to be seen anywhere else, and we also include very special presentations in the history of film with the centennial celebration of both THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR and 3D RARITIES program as well. VideoFest stays true to itself by running the gamut from new documentaries of media, people and societal issues to narrative features and shorts.

VideoFest is proud to be including films directed by 24 women directors in this year’s selections, including THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD and OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICAN.



Dallas VideoFest Films
DOCUMENTARIES AND NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS



ALMOST THERE
Directors: Dan Rybicky & Aaron Wickenden
Genre: Documentary
Category/Themes: Aging, Journalism, Professional Ethics, Outsider Art

For many, Peter Anton’s house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting, and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. But for the filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, Anton’s home is a treasure trove, a startling collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings, and notebooks, not to mention Anton himself, a character worthy of his own reality TV show. Though aging, infirm, cranky, and solitary, Anton also is funny and utterly resilient. The film’s remarkable journey follows a gifted artist through startling twists and turns. By its quietly satisfying ending, ALMOST THERE has provided enough human drama for a season of soap operas, plus insights into mental illness, aging in America, and the redemptive power of art.

Website: https://kartemquin.com/films/almost-there
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/109723683



BAG LADY
Director: Ericka Lemanna
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Social issues, family, African-American community

BAG LADY is based on the true story of Ray, a homeless teenager from a broken home. Ray becomes a father and catches a five-year prison sentence for participating in a robbery that killed his best friend. Refreshed and inspired by his new wife Jessica, Ray emerges from prison a changed man but struggles to balance life as a father, husband, and son. Ray is determined to beat the odds and break the negative cycles that have plagued his family for generations.

Website: http://www.trendsmashers.com/
Trailer: https://youtu.be/e5YMO-7U5Hw



BUCKWHEAT’S WORLD
Director: Andrew Kolker
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Music

BUCKWHEAT'S WORLD is a film about Stanley Dural Jr., aka Buckwheat Zydeco, who has been recognized as one of Louisiana's greatest living musicians, and was most recently honored with a Lifetime Tribute at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Annual Gala. The film tells the story using a variety of thematic threads on a YouTube channel, where the viewer can experience 24/7 full-length performances of Buckwheat's peerless music.

Website: http://zydecocrossroads.org/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/102063801



EXCESS FLESH
Director: Patrick Kennelly
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Eating disorders, obsessive behavior

EXCESS FLESH is a story of obsession. Jill is obsessed with her new roommate Jennifer, a promiscuous and sexy hotshot in the L.A. Fashion scene. New to the city and recently single, Jill is unable to keep up as she binges and purges to stay thin; eventually hating herself and everyone around her. Her jealousy and rage spiral out of control -- Jennifer has everything, and Jill wants to be just like her. If Jill can’t BE Jennifer, she must destroy her.

Website: http://www.excessfleshmovie.com



*EXPLETIVE BLUES (Rolling Stones Documentary)
Director: Robert Frank
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Music

This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their 1972 North American Tour, their first return to the States since the tragedy at Altamont. Because of the free-form nature of filming, *EXPLETIVE BLUES captured band members and entourage members taking part in events the Rolling Stones preferred not to publicize. The title of the film is the same of that of the Rolling Stones song (aka “Schoolboy Blues”), which was written to complete the band's contractual obligations to Decca Records and specifically to be unreleased.

Due to poor health, filmmaker will not in attendance. VideoFest was given special allowances to show the film that previously, by law, required that this film could only be screened when its director, Robert Frank, was in attendance.

Website: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-greatest-rolling-stones-movie-youve-never-seen-cocksucker-blues-20121120

*COCKSUCKER BLUES is the official name of the documentary.


COUNTY FAIR, TEXAS
Director: Brett Whitcomb (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Community, Farming, animal husbandry,

COUNTY FAIR, TEXAS is a portrait of a year in the lives of four, small-town kids as they raise and care for farm animals to show in competition at a local county fair. Presented from the perspective of the kids themselves, the film is a unique look at a formidable time in childhood, and a coming-of-age story that transcends the traditional 'contest' documentary.

Website: http://www.countyfairtx.com/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/108527562



FIELD NIGGAS
Director: Khalik Allah
Genre: Documentary
Category/Themes: Social issues, community

FIELD NIGGAS tells the story of Harlem’s residents of Lexington and 125th Street.

Website: http://www.khalikallah.com/film/
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR-k3gqrpTA



FLORY’S FLAME (USA/SPAIN)
Director: Curt Fissel
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Jewish history, music

FLORY’S FLAME interweaves the life story of a 90-year old legendary Sephardic National Heritage Fellow musician raised in Bosnia and Croatia, and her September 2013 Celebration Concert at the US Library of Congress. Flory Jagoda’s perfect, trilling voice invokes the soulful musical Altarac family heritage stretching back to pre-Inquisition Spain.

Website: http://www.florysflamemovie.com/
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjulmri8MeM


HAVANA MOTOR CLUB (CUBA)
Director: Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
Genre: Documentary
Category/Themes: Vintage cars, history, drag racing

Reforms have offered opportunity in Cuba, but the children of the Revolution are unsure of the best route forward. HAVANA MOTOR CLUB shows how a group of drag racers prepare for the first sanctioned race in Cuba since 1960. This means last-minute changes to their beloved American muscle cars. Punctuated by a lively Cuban soundtrack and beautifully shot, HAVANA MOTOR CLUB offers a fascinating glimpse at the resilience and ingenuity of the competitive spirit.

Website: www.havanamotorclub.com
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/123633476



HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX!
Director: Jon Nealon
Genre: Documentary
Category/Themes: Pop culture, history, television

HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX! opens in 1969. America is undergoing cultural and political revolutions – but you would never know it by watching TV. A forward-thinking CBS executive decides to start a secret pilot project to tell the stories of the counterculture ignored by TV news. He hires a ragtag group of young people – teachers, carpenters, nurses, artists – who have embraced a brand new medium – video. They name themselves the Videofreex and on CBS’s dime, travel the country taping footage the networks could never get, including interviews with Abbie Hoffman and Black Panther Fred Hampton just months before his murder.

Website: http://videofreexfilm.com
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/44773986



I DREAM TOO MUCH
Director: Katie Cokinos
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Themes: Family, coming-of-age

I DREAM TOO MUCH is a heartwarming coming-of-age film that illustrates the challenges that women and families experience from the perspective of three different generations. Follow these women as they discover their dreams.

Website: http://www.idreamtoomuch.com/synopsis/



JACKELOPE
Director: Ken Harrison (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Artists, art

JACKELOPE provides a look into the contemporary Texas art world of the mid-‘70s. Shot in 1975, JACKELOPE is loosely divided into three segments, each focusing on three young artists: James Surls, George Green, and Bob Wade. JACKELOPE captures each artist in the more casual moments of their lives, capturing their ideas about art, the artistic process, Texas and other topics in the process. The film includes appearances by fellow Texas artists Mike McNamara, Letitia Eldridge, Mel Casas, and John Alexander, and is intercut with footage of many of these same artists in discussion with each at parties, openings, and at each other’s studios, giving us a rare glimpse into an often overlooked scene. The film was newly restored film by Blaine Dunlap.



KRISHA
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Family, addiction

KRISHA is the story of a woman’s return to the family she abandoned years before and set entirely over the course of one turbulent Thanksgiving. A potent combination of innovative cinematic storytelling and timeless themes of love, family and forgiveness, KRISHA took the independent film community by storm upon its 2015 SXSW premiere. This is the first feature film from Texas native, Trey Edward Shults.

Website: http://www.krishamovie.com/



LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Director: Laurie Kahn
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Romance, literature, publishing

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS covers three years of the lives of five published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Dallas-Fort Worth writers in attendance.

Website: http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/123626990



MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE (UK)
Directors: Roger Graef & James Rogan
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Comedy

In 2013, the incomparable comedy group Monty Python announced that they would be performing live for the first time in 34 years, performing 10 shows at the 15,000-seat O2 Arena, London. The first show sold out in 43.5 seconds. With a history of documenting the Pythons and its members on stage with films that include PLEASURE AT HER MAJESTY’S and other installments of “The Secret Policeman's Ball” series, award-winning director Roger Graef teamed up with acclaimed director James Rogan and producer Holly Gilliam to document the Python's process of creating the show.

Website: http://www.montypython.com/news_Meaning-Of-Live-UKTV/70
Trailer: https://youtu.be/z7bNziRXDuE



OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICAN
Director: Grace Lee
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Asian cuisine, culinary arts, community

OFF THE MENU is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving community. The film’s locations include Houston and Dallas. The documentary is from the director of the award winning, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.

Website: http://caamedia.org/offthemenu/
Trailer: https://youtu.be/GFMUoSklXyc



OLD SOUTH
Director: Danielle Beverly
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Segregation, African-American history

OLD SOUTH tells the story of two communities steeped in segregation as they strive to keep their respective legacies relevant in a changing American South. Courtesy of Women Make Movies.

Website: http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/pages/c893.shtml
Trailer: http://www.wmm.com/advscripts/wmmvideo.aspx?pid=300


PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA
Director: Peter Miller
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: American history, military history

During the darkest hour of World War II, a team of idealistic filmmakers hoped the power of the movies could reshape the world. As Allied forces liberated Western Europe, the military campaign was accompanied by a vast propaganda effort that centered around 26 short documentaries about American life targeted at the newly liberated populations. The PROJECTIONS OF AMERICA films presented American stories of cowboys and oilmen, farmers and window washers, immigrants and school children—capturing both the optimism and the messiness of American democracy.

Website: http://projectionsofamerica.com/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/129537154



SERVING SECOND CHANCES
Director: Alan Govenar (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Social issues, homelessness

SERVING SECOND CHANCES chronicles efforts to provide survival resources and opportunities for homeless and at risk people to start a new life. Intertwined in the day-to-day operations of The Stewpot, the film focuses on three of its clients and their deeply personal struggles to stabilize their lives.

Website: http://www.servingsecondchances.com/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/105991445



(T)ERROR
Director: David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: National security, social justice, law enforcement

(T)ERROR is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the perspective of Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned FBI informant, viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government's counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them. Taut, stark and controversial, (T)ERROR illuminates the fragile relationships between individual and surveillance state in modern America, and asks who is watching the watchers?

Website: http://terrordocumentary.org/



THE ART OF DIRECTING: HITCHCOCK, SPIELBERG, TRUFFAUT
Director: Allan Holzman (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Film history

THE ART OF DIRECTING: HITCHCOCK, SPIELBERG, TRUFFAUT is a compilation of rare interviews with directing masters Alfred Hitchcock (toward the end of his career), Steven Spielberg (at the beginning of his career) and François Truffaut (at the height of his career). The interviews are culled from the Harold Lloyd Master seminar series from the early days at the American Film Institute.

Website: http://www.allanholzman.com/ - !films/cwzt



THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION
Director: Stanley Nelson (PRODUCER IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary feature
Category: African-American history, society, community

Free Community Screening at the South Dallas Cultural Center.
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian, Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others. Collaboration between the Embrey Family Foundation for Dallas Faces Race.

Website: http://theblackpanthers.com
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/117315935



THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD
Director: Jen Senko (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Media, journalism, politics

Cable news and "conservative" talk radio attract older Americans like graying moths to an angry flame. But why would someone who was either apolitical or a Democrat in younger days become addicted to conservative talk shows in their twilight years? Filmmaker Jen Senko wondered how her WWII veteran and Kennedy Democrat father had been transformed into a Fox News fanatic, suddenly and inexplicably railing against blacks, gays, and poor people. Using her dad as an entertaining example, Senko pulls back the curtain to expose the tools and tricks of the wizards behind the right-wing media revolution. And in discovering what happened to him, Senko reveals the all-too-chilling bigger picture of what’s happening behind the scenes to influence our national discourse. This is a special "work in progress" screening exclusive to the Dallas VideoFest. Be one of the first to see an early cut of the film and provide valuable feedback to the director.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/thebrainwashingofmydadmovie
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh3TeTxgNVo



THE HOAX
Director: Rodney Gray (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Homeowner’s association, community

THE HOAX is an independent examination of the abuse of power and lack of regulation in the homeowners' association (HOA) industry; a business whose key selling point is the protection of property values.

Website: http://thehoaxfilm.com/
Trailer: https://youtu.be/nS2H9DoCTsU



THE WINDS THAT SCATTER
Director: Christopher Bell
Genre: Narrative Feature
Category/Theme: Immigration, family

THE WINDS THAT SCATTER is the story of Ahmad, an immigrant from Syria who dreams of starting his own taxi service. After he loses his job and it becomes more difficult to find work, his situation begins to take a toll on his relationships, faith, and sense of self, with his dream slipping quickly from his grasp.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/71906587



TOPOPHILIA
Director: Peter BO RAPPMUND (IN ATTENDANCE)
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Environment, politics

TOPOPHILIA is an experimental documentary that follows the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), one of the world’s largest oil pipelines. The film seeks to present the pipeline and its surroundings harmoniously as a continuous, giant building; a structure that simultaneously projects modern necessities and the resulting consequences; and an architectural space that not only reorders the landscape and ideas of our place within it, but also offers an unmistakable juxtaposition between the endgame of industrial revolution—and the environment where this scenario eventually plays itself out.

Website: http://peterborappmund.name
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSo5zrOd83k




SPECIAL PROGRAMS

***ART OPENING: EXHIBIT OF POSTERS OF DALLAS-BASED GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND FILMMAKER YEN TAN***


Date and time: October 12th
Location: Texas Theatre, 231 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

VideoFest has organized an exhibit of posters by Dallas-based graphic designer and filmmaker Yen Tan, whose design pen name is “Otto is the One.” Yen was born in Malaysia and eventually landed in Dallas. He has worked as a copywriter for ad agencies and Neiman Marcus.

Over the years, Yen has nurtured his interest in filmmaking and has written, directed and produced shorts and features that have been screened around the world. Yen began exploring graphic design to create the artwork for his films. Eventually, others asked him to design their film posters, which include David Lowery’s “St. Nick,” Bryan Poyser’s “Lovers of Hate” and Clay Liford’s “Earthling.”


***Opening Night: Screening of METROPOLIS, with premiere of a new score commissioned by VideoFest, performed by Dallas Chamber Symphony with a performance by students from the SMU Dance Department***

Date and Time: Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.
Location: Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201

METROPOLIS
Director: Fritz Lang
Genre: Narrative feature
Category: Classic film, history, technology

METROPOLIS is an epic 1927 German expressionist film directed by Fritz Lang and written by Lang and his wife, Thea von Harbou. Made in pre-WWII Germany, METROPOLIS is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city's ruler, and Maria, a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. It is regarded as a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in movies. Roger Ebert wrote that the time, place and characters created in METROPOLIS are "so striking that they became part of our arsenal of images for imagining the world." METROPOLIS is a major influence for Ridley Scott (BLADE RUNNER), George Lucas (STAR WARS), Tim Burton (BATMAN) and numerous other dystopian urban dramas.



3-D RARITIES
Presenter: Archivist Robert Furmanek (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category: Film history, technology, part of the History of Film Celebration of VideoFest

In commemoration of the centennial of 3-D motion pictures, we present 3-D RARITIES. It has taken over 30 years for the 3-D Film Archive to assemble and restore the material in this eye-popping collection of ultra-rare and long-lost movies. Presented in high-quality digital 3-D, all films have been stunningly restored and mastered direct from archival materials. Meticulously aligned shot by shot for precise registration of the original left/right elements, these historic 3-D motion pictures have never before looked this good. Selections include Kelley's Plasticon Pictures, the earliest extant 3-D demonstration film from 1922 with incredible footage of Washington and New York City; New Dimensions, the first domestic full color 3-D film originally shown at the World’s Fair in 1940; Thrills for You, a promotional film for the Pennsylvania Railroad; Stardust in Your Eyes, a hilarious stand-up routine by Slick Slavin; trailer for The Maze, with fantastic production design by William Cameron Menzies; Doom Town, a controversial anti-atomic testing film mysteriously pulled from release; puppet cartoon The Adventures of Sam Space, presented in widescreen; I’ll Sell My Shirt, a burlesque comedy unseen in 3-D for over 60 years; Boo Moon, an excellent example of color stereoscopic animation…and more!

Website: http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/3-d-raritieshttp://www.3dfilmarchive.com/3-d-rarities
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/127092649https://vimeo.com/127092649



AIN’T IT COOL WITH HARRY KNOWLES
Director: Brett Hart (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Television, media

AIN’T IT COOL WITH HARRY KNOWLES, the inventive new television series is a visual romp through of some of the favorite films and genres loved, admired and sometimes even scorned by the iconoclastic film, television and pop culture critic. Set in his “magical basement” full of rare and unique movie memorabilia, Knowles is joined by “Pops,” his miniature projectionist and “Boiler,” his alter-ego and the millennial equivalent to “Oscar the Grouch.” Guests this season include legendary actor Burt Reynolds, famed directors Wes Craven and Danny Boyle, House of Cards creator Beau Willimon and more. The half hour program is available on PBS affiliates nationwide. Check local listings.
Filmmaker and subject in attendance.

Website: http://www.aicwhk.com/http://www.aicwhk.com/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/115006645https://vimeo.com/115006645



THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR
Authors: David Pierce & James Layton (DAVID PIERCE IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Film history, film technology, part of the History of Film Technology Celebration of VideoFest

David Pierce, author of THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR, the first authoritative history of the two-color Technicolor period from 1915 to 1934, will present a 90-minute illustrated presentation that covers the development of Technicolor during the boom period of Hollywood’s early sound musicals. The presentation will include rare photos and behind-the-scenes stills, original correspondence, and high-definition digital clips of newly discovered archival film material.
In attendance: David Pierce

Website: https://eastmanhouse.org/dawnoftechnicolor/book/https://eastmanhouse.org/dawnoftechnicolor/book/
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/J907rQS_Txshttps://youtu.be/J907rQS_Txs



HISTORY OF MOVIE THEATER AT NORTHPARK CENTER
Presenter: Jeremy Spracklen (IN ATTENDANCE)
Category/Theme: Film history, history of Dallas

Movie theaters are a unique intersection where technology, commerce, and entertainment come together, earning them a place in history alongside the films they showcase. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the General Cinema I & II opening at NorthPark Center, interviews, advertisements, photos, and videos are used to tell the story of this much-loved institution.



TRIBUTE TO ALBERT MAYSLES AND SCREENING “IN TRANSIT,” HIS LAST DOCUMENTARY
Directors: Lynn True & Albert Maysles
Genre: Documentary
Category/Theme: Travel, community, family, transportation

Legendary documentary filmmaker and New York staple, Albert Maysles pioneered feature documentary filmmaking and Direct Cinema, his work revealing a patient intimacy and unassuming quest for understanding. This technique is never more apparent than with IN TRANSIT, Maysles’ final project before his passing. He and his collaborators capture a journey through the hearts and minds of passengers aboard The Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route.

Website: http://mayslesfilms.com/film_in_production/in-transit/http://mayslesfilms.com/film_in_production/in-transit/
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/122108467https://vimeo.com/122108467



TRIBUTE TO PAUL BOSNER
Paul Bosner (IN ATTENDANCE)

Dallas’ Paul Bosner has done everything from originating and producing the iconic AUSTIN CITY LIMITS to producing and directing some of the nation’s best instructional programs for college students. He also served as President Truman’s personal photographer and worked for CBS as a television cameraman for both news and entertainment shows. Bosner won an Emmy, a Life magazine award for his photographic work and a Career Achievement Award in Distance Education from Instructional Telecommunications Council. Bosner holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.



TEXAS SHOW

***Closing Night: Every year, Dallas VideoFest closes with the Texas Show, a juried showcase of shorts highlight what filmmakers in Texas are exploring.***

AMERICAN MOTHER
Director: Jordan E. Cooper
City: Hurst
Genre: Narrative Short
Category/Theme: Family, grief

AMERICAN MOTHER tells the story of a woman confronted by the killing of her son.



INHIBITED
Director: Alexia Salingaros
City: Austin
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Anxiety, personal growth

INHIBITED explores the traps and limitations we set on ourselves.



LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
Director: Trish Dalton and Scott David
City: Dallas
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Dog, life

LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE tells the story of a dog who reflects on his happy life.



MOUNTAINS ON THE PRAIRIE
Director: Martin Lisius
City: Arlington
Genre: Documentary short
Category/Theme: Weather, landscapes

MOUNTAIN ON THE PRAIRIE is a 6-minute short film that Martin Lisius photographed, narrated and directed. In it, he introduces a particularly colorful kind of thunderstorm called a "supercell." Martin made the film to show the beautiful and majestic side of this otherwise potentially destructive phenomenon.



PHONE GHOST
Director: Jean-Patrick Mahoney
City: Arlington
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Family, aging, marriage

PHONE GHOST follows the story of Mildred Lane, a widowed retiree and nice old lady coping with the loss of her husband, a strained relationship with her daughter, and the prospect of her own looming death. Also, there's a ghost in her phone.



SQUEEZEBOX
Director: Sam Lerma
City: Austin
Genre: Narrative Short
Category/Theme: Music

SQUEEZEBOX tells the story of Manuel Casillas as he reemerges from a musical hiatus to embark on a new phase of his career. His plans are put to a halt by a collection of vivid dreams, a group of feral cats and a strange box containing a substance that devours whatever it touches.



THE MOCK DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD
Director: Richard Baily
City: Dallas
Genre: Narrative Short
Category/Theme: Toys, arts

THE MOCK DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD is the story of Tommy Roach, an unusual toymaker, one who finds grace in malfunction and creativity in decay. A science fiction story plays out as Tommy's toys come to life and describe his strange cosmological vision.



THE ODDS
Director: Jeremy Rovny
City: Weatherford
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Romance

THE ODDS recounts the story of a duel wherein a man remembers the pain of losing his true love.



UNCOMMON THREADS
Director: Caitlin Stickels
City: Fort Worth
Genre: Narrative short
Category/Theme: Family, personal growth

UNCOMMON THREADS tells the story of Travis, a man who works deep in the pits of the Texas desert, awaiting the day he can finally move on from the murder of his wife. For Travis, life seemed to have paused the day she was killed. Only the execution of the murderer will offer Travis the revenge he thinks he deserves. When his daughter surprises him for a visit, he is forced to come to terms with their distant relationship and reconcile the man he has become.



YOUTH GOIN’ BAD
Director: Ya'ke Smith
City: Fort Worth
Genre: Music video
Category/Theme: Music

The music video for Sammie Zonana’s YOUTH GOIN’ BAD was directed by Fort Worth filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith. The song was written for his short film “One Hitta Quitta.”



###







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Sleeping With Other People





This movie was so charming and so likable that I was scared to fall in love with it and have the fear of it breaking my heart.
UPDATE: the movie and I are going on a second date.

Plot: A good-natured womanizer and a serial cheater form a platonic relationship that helps reform them in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

Writer/Director Leslye Headland created a realistic romance film that had the humor, happiness, tenderness, and heartbreak of a real relationship and nothing felt forced or Hollywood-ized. She created a modern environment with true dialogue of how we feel when we fall in love and the confusion that comes with it. There were a few scenes where the dialogue felt like it was ripped out of my life and slapped on screen, that’s how relatable it was. It also doesn’t hurt that the couple being portrayed felt natural and organic as the relationship blossomed.

Cons:
None.

Acting

Pros:

Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie are absolutely adorable and their chemistry oozes through the screen. Both bring a light-heartedness and level of vulnerability that balance out perfectly through the trials and tribulations of an actual relationship, honing in on being relatable and really connecting with our main characters. The supporting cast is great all around from Adam Scott playing an awful person to Brie’s character to Jason Mantzoukas (Rafi from the hit show “The League”) providing the necessary comedic best friend to have a seamless contrast to the drama.

Cons:
None.

Cinematography

Pros:

It is shot pretty averagely with nothing to really excite you visually, however there is one shot that was a great representation to the feeling of chasing after someone when you know you can’t reach him or her.

Cons:
None.


Editing/Special Effects

Pros:
The film clocks in exactly at 100 minutes and nothing ever comes to a halt. I enjoyed it so much that I had a smile from ear to ear the whole time and sad, angry, or depressed when those scenes called for it. I felt like I was having a relationship with the film.

Cons:
Some might find it to be generic and could be bored from it? I honestly had to stretch to find a negative.

Overall: This is a sweet, down-to-earth, emotional movie for anyone that has ever experienced a relationship with a friend of the opposite sex that you were attracted to and you didn’t want to let them go but didn’t know how to talk to them about it. The performances of Sudeikis and Brie are more than enough to convince you see this pretty dang good modern romance. It’s a true sex comedy for adults with a truthful honesty to dating and love. Did I mention I love this movie?

Score: A






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Hotel Transylvania 2



Director Genndy Tartakovsky and writher Robert Smigel are back with a sequel from their successful 2012 film Hotel Transylvania. Events take place shortly after the first movie with the wedding of Mavis (Selena Gomez), the 125 year old vampire daughter of Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) to the human Jonathan, aka Johnnystein (Andy Samberg). The story advances several years later when the couple have a baby, Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) who may be a "late fanger" or may just stay human like his dad. This film is not as adventurous as the first film with it's new take on monsters, but it does carry a nice heartfelt family message.

The Count is a proud grandfather to little Dennis who has not shown any vampire leanings. Mavis is concerned that maybe Dennis should be raised around more people like him and not feel left out if he is indeed more human. They decide to visit Johnny's parents Linda (Megan Mullally) and Mike (Nick Offerman). Linda, wanting Mavis to feel more comfortable, over compensates by trying to invite other monster mixed couples from the neighborhood. Johnny really doesn't want to move from the hotel back to Muggleland and it doesn't take the Count much to convince Johnny to make sure that Mavis chooses the hotel. Meanwhile, the Count overly concerned with Dennis not dropping his fangs, takes him to his old summer camp where young vamps learn to be vampires. Of course the camp run by an overly cautious counselor (Dana Carvey) is all sorts of politically correct now and pretty much safer and less scary. The Count's friends, Frank (Kevin James), Murray (Keegan-Michael Key), Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Griffin (David Spade) and Blobbly help him as he attempts to force the fangs from Dennis. Mel Brooks voices the character of Vlad, Dracula's father who is concerned about his great grandson is not only half human, but the hotel now caters to humans.

The 3-D element will bring the box office price up for this film, but it's really not necessary. The comedy while somewhat amusing comes in spurts and stops. Parents may even doze while the kids will be mildly entertained. There isn't a really big message in the story outside of accepting everyone's diversity, be it monster or human. Whether the kids will get that remains to be seen. For a weekend family film, it's short and ultimately forgettable.
(Review by reesa)


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Ricky Miller's Best of 2015 - Mid Year Report


Best of 2015 -- midterm for the year:
1. “Woman in Gold”
2. “Kingsman: The Secret Service
3. “Mad Max: Fury Road”
4. “Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief”
5. “Shaun The Sheep Movie”
6. “Infinitely Polar Bear”
7. “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
8. “Ant-Man”
9. “Mr. Holmes”
10. “McFarland, USA
11. Love & Mercy”
12. “Terminator: Genisys”
13. “Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation”
14. “Jurassic World”
15. “Straight Outta Compton”
16. “Trainwreck”
17. “Max”
18. “Southpaw”
19. “Focus”
20. “What We Do in the Shadows”
21. “Ex Machina”
22. “Furious7”
23. “Entourage”
24. “Maggie”

By Ricky Miller






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The Visit




That’s it. I’m out. After suffering through “The Visit,” I am out unless M. Night Shyamalan ever does an “Unbreakable” follow-up. He showed so much promise with the pretzel-twisting thriller “The Sixth Sense” back in 1999. Then Shyamalan achieved near perfection with his next Bruce Willis entry, “Unbreakable,” in 2000. But Shyamalan has offered nothing but disappointments since “Signs” (Grade: B+) back in 2002. He followed that up with “The Village” (2004), a letdown (C+), and the fiasco “Lady in the Water” (C-). The disappointments continued with the annoying and pretentious end-of-the world spoilings of “The Happening” in 2008 (C) up until the ultimate summer bummer of the poorly acted mistake “The Last Airbender” (D+) in 2010. He struck out again with Will Smith in “After Earth,” a flick where Smith helps develop the story. I gave that abysmal flick a C-.

In “The Visit,” a brother-sister duo, Tyler and Becca (Ed Oxenbould and Olivia De- Jonge), go to visit their grandparents. Kathryn Hann’s persona as Mom is estranged from her own mother, hence part of the plot twist. In lieu of cursing, Tyler yells out names of Carrie Underwood and lady singers, like “Katy Perry!” Becca is a filmmaker working on a documentary about the family. There’s a show on Adult Swim called “Robot Chicken” wherein various puppets are used to demonstrate a stand-alone tale. A while back they made fun of his ideas by stating, “What a twist?” Nowadays, any Shyamalan film always has some ridiculous plot twist. Trust me when I say this is not worth full-price admission. Wait a while for it to get to the discount houses. You will thank me later. Grade: C-
(Review by Ricky Miller)




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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Movies Scheduled for the Week of September 20 - September 26


Y'all know that Dallas Movie Screenings also reviews movies. There are a total of five writers who offer their opinions on the movies that are screened just in case you missed it and wondering if it's worth the price of admission. Come check them out on our website and we welcome your feedback. If you would like to write for us too, please email reesas@yahoo.com

Lately we moderators have been receiving emails regarding some screenings. We do not mind answering them, but when asked queries with some various obvious answers it's, well frankly, exasperating. Like where is the screening, what time is the screening, which theater is the screening and how does one get passes. If you are a member of the group, you should have read your welcome letter and maybe picked up some hints from the front page of the group. This is a sort of DYI kinda group. We provide you with the relevant info on how to obtain passes, you do what you need to do to get them on your own. If you missed the pass, you are welcome to ask the group for help. But do not use this privilege to not enter the contests on your own. There are certain people (we see you, btw) who also mooch for passes at the last minute. We send out notices for contests so it's up to y'all to sign up. Screening sponsors are very generous sending out passes. We should give them a word of thanks for their efforts. Without them we would not be experiencing free advanced screenings.

Don't forget to check out the calendar on our Yahoo Groups pages. This will give you an idea of what's coming up next and the sources of the passes.

September 20 - September 26

Sun
Sept 20

Mon
Sept 21

The Martian - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
The Intern - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Tue
Sept 22

The Intern - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Freeheld - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Wed
Sept 23

Sleeping With Other People - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Sicario - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Thur
Sept 24

Steve Jobs - 4:00 pm - Cinemark West Plano

Fri
Sept 25

Sat
Sept 26





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Friday, September 18, 2015

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials



In the sequel of the Maze Runner, Scorch Trials is the second in the trilogy by the author, James Dashner. Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, along with his fellow friends, attempt to survive a powerful organization known as WCKD (pronounce “Wicked”) while trying to stay alive from being brutally attack and eaten by unknown obstacles. This movie is based on the Young Adult science fiction book is directed by James Dashner about a group of young teens whose memories have been erased by a power organization-WCKD. Understanding that their way of surviving the entrapment that imprisoned Thomas and his friends from the oversize maze in the first movie leads them in into the second part as they escape into the unknown. Back from the first is Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt, Ki Hong Lee as Minho, and Kaya Scodelario as Teresa Agnes. They find themselves in the middle of more dangerous obstacles as they try to out run and protect themselves from the scorch of the desert of an abandoned city and Cranks, humans zombified by the Flare virus. But the problems they outrun brings them back full circle to the problems they are currently facing. Instead of heading towards safety, Thomas and his friends must choose to return to WCKD Organization to save their friends.


One of the things that makes this movie popular is the excitement of waiting for the second part of the trilogy and in the direction that the movie encounters. This section included more high action events and more frightful encounters as they attempt to navigate toward safety. More adults are also included in this second movie. Thus, this movie reveals more emotional truth than the first one. Every direction, every surviving events, and every encounter bring them closer to better clarifications, extreme entertainment, and for high anticipation toward the last part of the series. This was a great movie.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)


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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cooties




This will be the shortest review I have written, well shortest grammatically incorrect one so far, because this was one of the most fun, violent, almost perfect horror comedies I have seen since Cabin in the Woods. Let’s get reel and break down Cooties.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

As soon as this movie started, this was a thrill ride that doesn’t slow down. The writing is sharp, witty and a ball of hilarity. I have always been a fan of Leigh Whannel and his writing ever since his writing debut of Saw and this one is another ace-in-the-hole for him. I was astonished by how funny this was and Leigh should consider writing more horror comedies. I was also amazed that it was co-written by one of the creators of Glee. From the writer of Saw and the co-creator of Glee is one the best marketing selling points I have ever seen, if that doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will. The directing is also swift and takes this script and makes one of the most entertaining films of the year. I was on board for 99% of it until…

Cons:
…the end. This is the only complaint I have with this film. The ending felt abrupt and I didn’t feel like there was the correct closure, or at the very least an awesome build-up to a potential sequel. I also might have been angry because I was enjoying myself and I wanted more and I was having a good time. It’s like if you are at a party and the night is almost over, you are relaxed, but then the cops bust the party right as you go home and puts you in a weird mood for the night. Even with my problem with it, I still enjoyed it.

Acting

Pros:

Everyone delivers and it looks like they are all having fun with the material. All the comedic lines are delivered in a “B” movie style that works for the tone and that elevates the fun. This might be my second favorite Elijah Wood film behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Cons:
None.


Cinematography

Pros:

The beautiful, magical thing about horror comedies is that the cinematography is always good. A horror film shoots and lights their movies with atmosphere, tension, and tone. When you have that cinematography with comedic situations, characters, and dialogue at its core, you have an awesome contrast for the story. Cooties executes that with flying colors.

Cons:
None.


Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

For an hour and half, it feels like ten minutes flew by. Usually horror comedies nail that rhythm and can make a kinetic film with no speed bumps, but there are some that fail and Cooties isn’t one of them. The special effects are really good, especially for a film that has a low budget. The gorgeous red colors from the flesh and blood from the violence are great contrast to the playful elementary school colors.

Cons:
None.


Overall:

Take this with a humongous grain of the purest salt; I am a huge fan of horror comedies and these types of gory films. I realize this film may not be for everyone, but if you love horror comedies, you will appreciate this one. I love, love, love this movie. It will be in my top ten of the year.

Score: A
(Review by Chase Lee)





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Everest




Anyone that climbed Mt. Everest is a beast and should be among of the most awesome people on the face of the planet. I will never be in that club of people because I cry every time it gets below forty degrees. On a serious note, I have to be careful of what I say because I know a lot people have passed while climbing this mountain and a lot of families have lost loved ones and I am deeply sorry for their loss. I liked this movie overall, but I have some problems with it. Let’s get reel and break down Everest.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

On one hand, I really enjoyed the second half of this film as it brought: intense, perilous action sequences, emotional weight for the characters, and some pretty great performances. I feel bad for saying this, but when the storm hit and people were still stuck on Everest, that’s when I was locked in and really tensed up. Towards the tail end, I finally connected with the characters and felt their emotional gravitas.

Cons:
The writing is a bit thin and basic to fuel along this film, that’s not a bad thing, it’s just nothing spectacular. The first half of the film is choppy and I didn’t feel like I was connecting with any characters because none of them were fleshed out, minus the basic reasoning’s of why they were climbing Everest.

Acting

Pros:

Everyone was fine and serviced the movie and its story. Jason Clarke and Keira Knightley, however, gave the best performances, but they didn’t shine until the second half. But honestly, no one stood out or really made a memorable performance, not even Jake Gyllenhaal.

Cons:
I felt like I didn’t know any of the characters, but that’s more of the writing, and I could tell the actors were trying. The coupling of Jason Clarke and Keira Knightley was off for me and I didn’t feel the passion, the second half they brought their “A” game, but at first it was rocky.

Cinematography

Pros:
I love the epic, cold, barren scope of the film and, for the most part, had some really well shot sequences really putting you in the situation and feeling the threat of nature. I saw it in IMAX 3D and it helped the experience.

Cons:

None.


Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

The second half flies by and really grabs you and doesn’t let go, but the first half is a bit slow. The build-up is at a snail’s pace, but the payoff and climax are totally worth it. If you are interested in this Everest journey that was based off of an expedition in the 90’s, then you will like this movie. I will put it this way, I was more fascinated by the actual people that this movie was based off and I wanted to research them more after I saw this film.

Cons:
Some of green screen shots are really noticeable and it took me out of the movie a little, but overall it isn’t bad.

Overall:

This is an epic movie that brings the intensity you would want in a Mt. Everest story, but also the emotional weight you really want to connect with these characters, even though the first half is messy. It’s all about the journey and how a journey ends, and that’s why I am going a tad higher since I had my problems with it.

Score: B
(Review by Chase Lee)







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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Movies Scheduled 9/13-9/19

Still not a ton of movies this week.

When you hit reply to one of the emails it goes back to the group. I know normally when you hit reply it goes back to the sender. But here it goes to the group. If you have something you want to say to someone their email is at the bottom where it says posted by johndoe@wherever.com. So just hit forward and copy that email and put it in the to category.

If you have any concerns or comments you can contact me at damitdaina@hotmail.com

Sunday Sept. 13th


Monday Sept. 14th

Black Mass 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Tuesday Sept. 15th

Everest 7:30 p.m. TBA


Wednesday Sept. 16th

Everest 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark


Thursday Sept. 17th


Friday Sept. 18th


Saturday Sept. 19th


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Friday, September 11, 2015

The Visit








He is back, there is no more dusk, it’s M. Night-time. This was the best opening I had and…what’s that? Reesa just fired me.



Plot: A single mother finds that things in her family's life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.





Directing/Writing


Pros:

M. Night is really good with bring the thrills and making some suspenseful sequences and The Visit is no different, but there’s a catch. There is more comedy to this film than in any other film of his. Now, his others movie weren’t void of any comedy as there were some funny written moments, but this one had a more noticeable stamp of comedy than any genre. You heard me right; The Visit is more comedic than anything else. However, it also has a nice blend of drama and suspense lurking in the background. It’s a mixed bag of genres to give us the strangest film M. Night has ever made, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The writing is also good and really has some nice emotional moments with strong dialogue. He is in the process of regaining trust in critics and audiences from his recent retched lineup of films and I think this is a great start. I am trying to keep details about this movie vague because I don’t want to spoil anything; I am not about that life.



Cons:

I really dislike the marketing of this film because it is playing off the suspense alone and really hides the comedic and dramatic tone to it. I am trying to give you a heads up as best as possible, do not watch the trailers.





Acting


Pros:

Everyone brings a certain gravitas to their roles and really sink their teeth into them giving genuine emotions, and authentic creepiness. All the actors and actresses are equally good and the grandparents are the definite winners and the kids are a close second.



Cons:

None




Cinematography


Pros:

I am actually one of the few people who can backup found footage movies, as I feel most of them, excluding a small group, can really deliver an engrossing, terrifying experience putting you in the action. This one is actually the cleanest one I have seen in quite some time. What do I mean by that? It isn’t shaking all over the place. Most of the shots are very stable and we can clearly see what is going on, even when it does shake. The weird thing is it is actually shot very well with some effective shot composition. This is also one of the few found footage movies that actually was shot by the main character holding the camera, and most of the movie was shot from the perspective of the main character, except…



Cons:

…a few establishing shots of the house that clearly looked like it was at the time the kids stayed in their bedroom. Again, vague and I don’t want to spoil. The thing is with found footage movies is that there are shots that are clearly shot by another camera when you know that the main character has “the” camera with maybe another one held by another. But there also some shots to where it looks like it was shot by something else and doesn’t feel like the main character shot it.





Editing/Special Effects


Pros:

This is one of his shortest films clocking in at an hour and a half. I was engaged by the mystery looming over this film that I was glued from the beginning. To be honest, all of M. Night’s films, even the bad, kept me locked in throughout the mystery.



Cons:

If you hate found footage movies, you might this boring and a bit monotonous, but if you enjoy them, you will enjoy the ride. Even the first third, which is notably the slowest parts of a found footage movie until the thrills kick in, flows well just like the rest of the film.





Overall:

If you were skeptical about M. Night, even for me too as a fan going in, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by The Visit. It’s a unique film among his resume, but it’s guaranteed to bring the thrills, laughs and hard-hitting drama. His past few films aren’t good, but this one has him back on track to become one of the greatest again, even when the bar was set very, very low.



Score: B
(Review by Chase Lee)










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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Beauty Inside




In this different take on a love story, a man named Woo-Jin has a condition where he turns into a different person each day. He already has a few people who know of this but later he has to tell somebody who he has fallen in love with. This is where the film’s beauty takes place. The challenges of dealing with this fictional condition are expressed through the character’s emotional state at different stages of his life. Something that surfaced understanding in me was a scene where Woo-Jin at 18 years first discovers himself as a different person. As an audience, you are so scared of how his mother will handle it and you see this boy completely distraught. The mother actually hugs her child despite his unbelievable situation which is one of the most important notes of the film. His longtime friend, Sang-beck, is definitely the comedic relief of the narrative. He is a jokester and can get drunk easily. In the weirdest situation between the two characters, Sang-beck asks Woo-Jin, who is a woman then, to have sex with him. Knowing that the circumstances could not play in real life, I found that so outrageous but perfectly fit in to the scene. Woo-Jin is a furniture designer who actually builds his own things. Some of the pieces used on screen were just so smooth and modern. I was very impressed by how his job was inputted into the making of the picture. The woman who becomes Woo-Jin’s love, E-Soo, is a beautiful and focused woman. The character puts everything into her work and slowly is able to accept Woo-Jin’s habit of changing. There is an ingenious scene where E-Soo sleeps next to Woo-Jin to see him change in the morning. At the time Woo-Jin is also a woman and they just face each other with serene happiness. Trying to be with someone and having something that inhibits that is completely transported to our minds while watching this. It is a fantasy story but it is shot in such a valid way. Some of us have experienced an obstacle like that before and a relation is made. A major take away from this story was Woo-Jin’s closet. We see it in the second half of the time and there are so many different styles of apparel. The fiction just wraps around our heads even more. This was a love story with such thought that it surpassed a lot of more casual Hollywood romances.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Movies Scheduled 9/6-9/13

Happy Labor Day weekend!! Wohoo the unofficial end of summer!

Not a lot going on this week so hopefully you can catch up on some you have missed.

If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at damitdaina@hotmail.com


Sunday Sept. 6th


Monday Sept. 7th

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


Tuesday Sept 8th

The Visit 7:30 p.m. TBA


Wednesday Sept. 9th


Thursday Sept. 10th

Pawn Sacrifice 7:30p.m. AMC Grapevine Mills and at AMC Villiage on the Prkwy 9


Friday Sept. 11th


Saturday Sept. 12th





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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Transporter: Refueled




The transporter refueled? It was more like:

The Transporter:
It was payday and I went to the local gas station and I realized it was fewer than two dollars a gallon. I filled up my car for twenty dollars and I was super happy. I was so happy that I went to Olive Garden to treat myself with a good meal because it was payday and I filled up my car for cheap. I left the restaurant and I got in my car to start it, once I revved up my car it just stopped. I realized someone stole my gas with a hose and replaced it with sugar. At that moment I was unfueled.

That title seems long, boring and isn’t engaging at all, even as you keep reading it and hoping it gets better…it doesn’t. That is exactly what this movie is.

Plot: In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.

Directing/Writing

Pros:
The “relationship” between Frank, Ed Skrein, and his father, Ray Stevenson, was an intriguing story aspect that I would have liked to seen explored further.

Cons:
The writing is atrocious with terrible dialogue being uttered out of everyone’s mouths, and not even in a cheesy, fun way, but more of a cringeworthy experience for your ears. The story is very bland and even when the job is completed and the transporter can go home to Netflix, more plot is added to stretch the movie out and it doesn’t fit well, especially when it’s supposed to have that fun, action tone of the Transporter franchise. The action sequences were dull and uninspired. I am not saying be ambitious with every action set piece, but at least try and do something with your particular signature and make it exciting. Along with the action set pieces, the fight choreography is flat and it looks like they kept the rehearsal take instead of putting in the real take. The overuse of slow-motion drove me crazy and it was mainly used on the Audi car. This was basically an hour and half Audi commercial And lastly, I didn’t care about any of the characters and what was happening; it felt like the actors were going through the motions. Speaking of that…

Acting

Pros:
Maybe Ray Stevenson?

Cons:
Every single performance had little to no charisma and it was about as wooden as your prom night (that joke was funnier than all the actors in this movie trying to deliver comedic relief). I didn’t see The Transporter 2 or The Transporter 3, but I did see the first transporter and I did like Jason Statham. I felt like Statham brought a lot more charisma to his character making us like him more than Skrein.

Cinematography


Pros:
At least some of the action sequences had some steady camera shots so we knew what was going on? Michael Bay stayed away from those certain shots.

Cons:
I don’t know what the obsession is of having the camera on a subject, in a talking scene mind you, and having it do a quick zoom in, but it needs to stop. If it’s a mockumentary or a documentary, it’s fine because it adds a sense of realism of actual people and events as if we are watching it and the subjects are unaware that there is a camera in the room. They do this in several scenes and it’s not a style or a flare to the scene but more annoy than anything, especially if it’s after each shot then cuts to the next shot and does it again.

Editing/Special Effects


Pros:
None.

Cons:
For an hour and half movie, it dragged to a point where I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Since there was nothing elevating this movie into something we haven’t seen before with the action genre, it’s generic and flat, making it feel twice as long.

Overall: A boring, bland action film with little to no substance with the story or its characters to make us care, feel excited or, simply, to have fun with it. Skip this one and stay home to whittle down your queue on Netflix (I realize that is two Netflix references in one review, that you guys know I don’t have a life).

Score: D+
(Review by Chase Lee)








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Grandma




This touching small film tells the story of a grandmother, Elle, who is reached out to by her granddaughter, Sage, in need of urgent cash to get an abortion. They then try and seek out various ways to get the money by re-entering people’s lives with not so good consequences. The grandmother played by Lily Tomlin carries the film the whole way through with her bluntness and motherly ways. The best aspect of this story was how the relationship between the grandmother and granddaughter was displayed. Although Elle is strong, she is not a scary person to Sage and she tries to help her in any way possible. This story was also about a change of heart of people. Relationships go through volatility in real life and here it is nothing different. I absolutely loved the appearances of famous actors Sam Elliot, John Cho, and Judy Greer. Of course Cho had a serious couple of lines which I could not take as real in the wildest comedic scene in the film. Sam Elliot brought a calm and hospitable attitude that soon became anger which brought fantastic contrast. Judy Greer accurately displayed a longing for love from Elle as a younger character who is possibly stuck in a rut in her life. The first scene has Elle calling Olivia, played by Greer, a footnote of a relationship. One thinks about how harsh that sounds to both characters especially when considering their academic backgrounds. The main boy from Paper Towns also makes a turnaround appearance as the jerk of a jock who impregnated Sage. That appearance was startling to me as the actor pulled it off. The audience realizes Elle’s loneliness and sadness that covers her existence. When we first see Sage explaining the focus of the film, we instantly think of youth lacking sexual responsibility. The scene brings up familiarity in our surrounding world and within our families. I thought it was brilliant how Elle went into overwhelming debt and how she cleaned it up while cutting her credit cards. Little parts like that showed her endurance and willpower. I thought this was an entertaining sort of day trip film with surprises at every corner. There is tension, love, and laughter all blended into 80 minutes which really brought taste to this experience. Instances of tension in Elle approaching friends trying to get some money were expertly written like one that’s in a café. These 80 minutes was a wonderful treat that reminded us of the care that is always hidden in Grandma even if she is different from us.
(Review by Wyatt Head)





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