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

Friday, October 30, 2015

Room





This immensely emotional film about a mother and son locked in a shed by a criminal for years made me realize that anything can happen today. The story opens with the five year-old son, Jack, saying a monologue of how when he came into this world it was to be with his mother. Knowing the characters’ circumstances, I understood how major it was that he be company to Ma. His Ma, whose real name is Joy, has been locked in a shed for seven years with a code-locked door that only opens for Old Nick to have sex with her. Old Nick is the criminal who kidnapped her at 17. The confined space they share feels like a safe haven for them during the day. Although very small, we feel as an audience that they have all their basic needs worked out. When Jack turns five, he is given a birthday cake but with no candles which is not like he saw it on the TV. He screams and Ma says “We can only ask for what we need.” As soon as you hear that line, you realize that they are completely dependent on this disgusting criminal. There is almost a sense of them being survivors out on the sea because they’re trapped in this room. Jack only knows the TV and he doesn’t know what is real or not. This is one of the points where I thought “How would any mother cope in a situation like that?” After all, this type of injustice has happened before. What type of power does it take to raise a brand new human being in a false world? When Old Nick comes to violate Joy, the boy is in a wardrobe counting so that he can focus on something else. This film brought to light how much damage is done from crime beyond the physical realm and to other people. The child’s lines are filled with youthfulness, curiosity, and incorrect English. The actor playing Jack was a perfect cast as he realized the back story of the character so well and was completely adorable. It’s amazing what directors can get out of children these days within all sectors of the performing arts. When we see Old Nick giving supplies to the two, Joy always has to thank him and agree with him because she is utterly trapped. This film was a phenomenal look at how love can succeed even in the depths of blackness.
(Review by Wyatt Head)




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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Burnt






Plot:

Adam Jones is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.

Opening:

I took my roommate with me to see this movie and he is a chef who works at Lucia, a five-star restaurant in Dallas, so if there was someone who knows the culinary industry it would be him. He has all the burns on his arms to prove it and the worst injury I got at a restaurant was someone threw a salt shaker at me in a Denny’s…my feelings were burnt. See what I did there? That was awful, but not this movie. Let’s get reel and break this down.


Directing/Writing

Pros:
All-in-all, this is a redemption story and the story starts with the uphill battle of Bradley Cooper’s character, and in the end, you root for him to succeed. The story has some emotional punch to it to where you can get invested in this character. The writing is not anything to be wowed at, but Cooper has some great monologues sprinkled throughout about the current state of the culinary industry and food service in general; it added another layer to his character. However…

Cons:
...I felt like this could have been an even better movie if it added some more backstory in the front of this film, that way the climax would have had a more emotional connection between the audience and Cooper. There was a lot of backstory explained, but I would have rather have seen it to fully appreciate the redemption arc of the character; I just felt disconnected in some parts. Once again, it could just be me being greedy and wanting more story since I was fascinated with this character, but I still thought it was a solid story for what we were given.

Acting

Pros:
Bradley is great as always and does have a nice supporting cast around him. My favorite is Sienna Miller, and ironically, she had more chemistry with Cooper than their turn as a married couple in American Sniper.

Cons:
None.


Cinematography

Pros:
All food movies are going to make the food look inviting or unappetizing and this is more of the latter. The food looked sexy, delicious, and I wanted to immediately ask my roommate to recreate those dishes. The kitchen scenes are also shot with such sleek and beauty that a chaotic kitchen during service looks amazing to actually work in.

Cons:
None.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:
The kinetic energy during the kitchen scenes make the movie fly by and all the smaller character moments make you interested enough to stay in for the long haul.

Cons:
I guess if you don’t like food or restaurant movies then you might find it boring? Or you might be furious that the movie is making you hungry and you won’t be able to eat until after the movie?

Overall:
This is a sensual, enticing looking food movie with some great performances, even though I wanted more backstory in the front for more of a connection when the major plot points hit. I would still recommend it.

Grade: B









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Truth




Plot:
Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush's military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.


Opening:

Let’s play truth or dare. You chose truth. Would you believe Robert Redford as 60 Minutes reporter Dan Rather? No? You would be right. Ok, next up, truth or dare? Dare? I dare you to watch “Truth”. Truthfully, “Truth” is not a bad little flick. Let’s get reel and break this down.


Directing/Writing

Pros:

Writer/Director James Vanderbuilt brings a tense thrill ride of dialogue fueled scenes with great character moments from Cate Blanchett. I think political/reporting movies are going to be either entertaining or downright boring; and I can tell you that this is entertaining. While it may not have the most fleshed out characters for the story presented, it was still intriguing and showed the dirty side of politics through the media. The writing is particularly good as it is what drives this movie. It’s sharp, on-point, and makes news more suspenseful than it actually is.

Cons:
Some of the characters are a bit underdeveloped and, this might be greedy, but I wanted to see more of Dan Rather’s point of view and what he was going through during this whole investigation. We see a bit, but I wish it balanced Mary (Cate Blanchett) and Dan out with equal screen time since they both went through it together.


Acting

Pros:
Cate Blanchett is always incredible and she delivers a solid performance and has the most character development, and towards the end you were rooting for her or against her depending on what you believe. I will say that this was my favorite Topher Grace role after his run on “That 70’s Show”, sorry, not sorry, “Spider-Man 3”.

Cons:
I love Robert Redford to death, and I think he is a film icon, but the man didn’t embody Dan Rather. I felt like Robert stumbled onto set in a suit and the director said, “Mr. Redford will do.” All I saw was the Redford.


Cinematography

Pros:

A typical newsroom setting with each frame filled with long walks through offices of many people and a lot of computers. It’s kinetic and it flows with pace of the film. At least it isn’t shot horribly and when you can do that you will be fine.

Cons:
None

Editing/Special Effects


Pros:
If you are interested in this story then it will fly by, but if you don’t care for newsroom type movies with a lot of dialogue or this particular story, you might find it slow.

Cons:
I kind of ruined my thoughts on that in the pro section, which was dumb on my part.

Overall:
This is a typical, kinetic, dialogue filled newsroom movie focusing on this particular scandal and I found it quite entertaining. Cate Blanchett was fantastic, however, surround by people who felt like they were there just delivering dialogue. I still recommend it.

Grade: B








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Room



Plot:

After 5-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.


Opening:
What if you were stuck in a room for several years? I can tell you right now that I wouldn’t make it. I would lose a lot of weight and look weird as a tall, skinny person, make friends with my pillow, and lose my mind. How did Brie Larson do? And is she is a lock for a Best Actress nomination? Let’s get reel and break this down.


Directing/Writing


Pros

Director Lenny Abrahamson is one of the major highlights in this emotional journey with a mother and her son. Not only does he get two fantastic performances from the two leads, but really showed the impact the world has on a child that sees it for the very first time versus what it’s like for an adult to come back into the world they once were in. Without spoiling anything, because I think its best if you go in blind; Abrahamson adapts this story with so much emotional punch that this story will get to your heart strings. The writing is also very well done. I haven’t read the book, but I have heard good things so I can’t really compare it.

Cons
None.

Acting

Pros
Brie. Freaking. Larson. This wonderfully talented and beautiful actress has been on my radar for quite a while and this is her crowning achievement so far in her career. She brings the full range of emotions and vulnerability that will tear your heart as her performance unravels. She has a natural and authentic relationship with her son and I believed it. Jacob Tremblay plays her son and he is wonderful. He gave a heart-felt performance of a kid who hasn’t seen the world and, when he does, his eyes are opened to an infinite imagination. He embodied that feeling you got as a child when you start exploring the world for the first time, so basically what I am saying is that it hits you in those relatable feels. Do not be surprised if he gets nominated for this role, he just as good as Larson.

Cons
Excluding Joan Allen and Sean Bridgers, I thought the supporting cast was fine and didn’t really add anymore levity to the story, unlike our leads.

Cinematography


Pros
The confinement of the room with the two leads does add that sense of closeness for their relationship making us as an audience become closer to them. Everything else is shot well, so no complaints there.

Cons
None

Editing/Special Effects

Pros
Being super interested in the story and how it would be played out, I was never bored with the length of the film. I will say that the time spent in the room was a bit faster paced than the second half. I can’t stress this enough, I encourage everyone to go in and having known as little as possible for a greater experience.

Cons
Some people may find the story boring and may tune out at the second half because the mystery is kind of gone, but it’s still an emotional roller coaster from start to finish.

Overall
This is a great mother and son relationship movie with powerful performances from Larson and Tremblay. I am not going to lie, I cried and I am not ashamed.

Grade: A







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Our Brand is Crisis




The title of this movie doesn't seem to have a cinematic attraction, and you won't really get it until half way through the story. It is loosely based on the 2005 documentary of the same name by by Rachel Boynton, about the American political campaign strategies used by Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election with a screenplay by Peter Straughan and directed by David Gordon Green. The political satire, although set in South America, seems to be apropos to the current presidential campaigns here in the states.

Sandra Bullock plays Jane Bodine who was once a superstar campaign strategist but quit after losing four elections and earning the nickname Calamity Jane. Living in alone in the mountains, she had stopped drinking and smoking and now makes pottery to fight her depression. Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd playing Ben and Nell come to hire her to help their candidate Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida) win the election in Bolivia. At the moment he's far down the list in the polls. Castillo was once president of the country but his lousy policies got him voted out of office. He is also not very media savvy, not coming across very well on camera. Jane, hit with altitude sickness being in La Paz, Bolivia, is not exactly thrilled with the prospect of doing this job. Her initial reaction is that they are going to lose. She begins to dig in when she learns the leading opponent is being managed by her old time nemesis Pat Candy(Billy Bob Thornton). They politely tolerate each other while playing dirty tricks to each others candidates. One has to wonder why these candidates have hired slick Americans to run their campaigns when they don't really understand the needs of the people living in the country.

It is Jane's strategy to play up Castillo's lack of natural charisma by making him the candidate that is tough because the country is in crisis. They make the campaign...branding it “Crisis”. That's the message to show the voting public that Castillo will not sugar coat like his rivals. Jane has him put on work shirts, roll up his sleeves, and fire up his audiences with what they want to hear.

Eddie (Reynaldo Pacheco) is a volunteer at their headquarters. His father was a supporter of Castillo back during his first term as president. Eddie is the everyman in the story, hoping for the betterment of the country, and falling into the hype being surrounded by Castillo. Even the world weary Jane finds a connection to the innocent hope that Eddie represents.

Everyone does a good job with what they have to work with. Bullock looks absolutely radiant despite the attempts to make her look ill and tired. Thornton channeling James Carville, drips with smarmy sarcasm. There is some excitement as Jane starts to fire up the team and the movie ends with sort of a hopeful outcome. Overall the movie is somewhat entertaining, but it will be hard sell to the general movie going public that want to go out on the weekend.
(Review by reesa)





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Sunday, October 25, 2015

VidFest 28: Here Come The Videofreex




This energetic documentary follows a group of young people in the 70’s that film events surrounding them with their beloved camera. I never knew of these people and found it to be a fun story that I wouldn’t have seen if it were not for Videofest. What put me in the perspective of the film was the fact that there were only 3 networks at that time on TV. Knowing what today’s hundreds of channels are like, I was flabbergasted. I really felt the happiness of the people who were filming the world around them because of the camera. To them, it was so liberating to have a portable camera that you could take with you. Now we have everything on our phones and we take the magic for granted. Some of the footage was depictions of violent outbursts of the public and of the Black Panthers. This was some excellent footage to see because of its historical relevance. The main members of the group said that they could share their stories with an incredible camera that could play-back instantly. When we hear the young people of that day saying we’re going to make the world better, it sounded just like what college students are saying today. From the videos that the Videofreex took, you could see that mission of bringing attention to these monumental events that were outcries from the public. I remember that there was some video footage from the woods that looked really neat and art-like. The ironic thing is that the Videofreex were able to land a show with CBS because of an interest in their work. That just showed me that even back then the television established wanted to go with the times. The Videofreex felt like a rock band in the way that CBS had set them up. It was kind of like a rags to riches story for me in just that part of the documentary. They were filming what they wanted with not a lot of money and then they suddenly are in a big bus. These guys were radical but they were working for CBS. The film really showed the contrast between the goals of the group and CBS which led to a fall out. One man said in the film that no man who was healthy could ignore the war because they could’ve gotten drafted. That line really stood with me in the realization of the purpose of what these guys were doing. As they all say, “We’re all Videofreex.”
(Review by Wyatt Head)






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Movies Scheduled for the Week of October 25 - October 31


Wow...so much rain! Hope y'all are staying warm and dry now that fall has finally fallen. Not too many movies this week as we get ready for the fall/winter season of award courting selections the next couple of months. Remember to keep an eye on your group mail as we try and get you the info to find passes as soon as we can. (We do have lives and are not always on the computer). You are also free to post things if you find them to share with the group.

Some of y'all wait until the weekly calendar comes out to decide you want to see a movie. You should check your group mail as these screenings were shared to the group in plenty of time to enter the contests, or redeem the codes. Don't wait til the last minute! And don't grab passes if you have no intention of using them. Release them, or share with the group.

Have a great Halloween!!!


October 25 - October 31

Sun
Oct 25

Mon
Oct 26

Tue
Oct 27

Room, 7:30 pm, Angelika Dallas
Our Brand is Crisis, 7:30 pm, Angelika Dallas

Wed
Oct 28

The 33, 7 pm, UA Galaxy
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, 7 pm, AMC Northpark
Burnt, 7:30 pm, Angelika Dallas

Thu
Oct 29

Fri
Oct 30

Sat
Oct 31

Boo!



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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Expanded Cinema IV





EXPANDED CINEMA IV – SUNDAY, OCT 25 AT 8 pm

Expanded Cinema is a program of video art works wrapping the exterior of the Omni Dallas Hotel, Texas, with audio simulcast by 91.7 KXT. This year’s edition, curated by Justine Ludwig, Director of Exhibitions/Senior Curator at Dallas Contemporary, will consist of works by artists from across the country addressing the inter-relationship of memory and place. Artists include Andrea Sisson, Andrew Scott, Jeff Gibbons, Gregory Ruppe, Jordan Tate, Wyatt Niehaus, Chris Collins, Joey Versoza, Michael Morris, Rick Silva, Darryl Laster, Pierre Krause, and Kris Pierce.

Each piece has been specifically designed for display on the large exterior LEDs on the Omni Hotel Dallas. Expanded Cinema, first presented in 2012, was named the number one art event in Dallas by several local news publications and attracted media attention worldwide. This year, Expanded Cinema will close VideoFest in the week after the festival on Sunday, Oct 25 at 8 pm. This unique public art project has already added cultural prestige to the City of Dallas.

Justine Ludwig – Curator of Expanded Cinema 2015:
“For this iteration of Expanded Cinema, I worked to pull together artists from Dallas and across the country to create a compelling and diverse selection of videos.

“The artists approached the surface of the Omni as a skin and have drawn upon the dissociative nature of having a display where many individuals are experiencing it without being aware of the nature of the work.

“Each artist has taken a unique approach to the surface of the building—rising to the challenge of this atypical mode of display.”



==========================


DALLAS VIDEOFEST 28



Connect with VideoFest: (#DVF28 and #DVF28ExpandedCinema4):

Dallas VideoFest:
http://videofest.org

Expanded Cinema:
http://videofest.org/expanded-cinema/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Videofest

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/videofest

Instagram:
http://instagram.com/videofest


About Dallas VideoFest 28:

VideoFest (VideoFest.org) is now the oldest and largest video festival in the United States and continues to garner critical and popular acclaim. VideoFest prides itself on bringing films to the theater that are rarely available to be seen anywhere else. Films like Experimental/Art Films, Animation, Narrative and Documentary Shorts as well as Documentary and Narrative Features and some hard-to-find Classic TV episodes and Classic Films are often in the mix.


History of VideoFest: Cutting-Edge Art
Merging art and technology since 1987, VideoFest has specialized in independent, alternative, and non-commercial media, presenting hard-to-find works rarely seen on television, in movie theaters, or elsewhere, despite their artistic excellence and cultural and social relevance. Even in a Web 4.0 environment where everything is seemingly available on the Internet, the VideoFest provides curatorial guidance, a critical voice in the wilderness navigating the vast and diverse landscape of media, helping to interpret its cultural and artistic significance. The event provides a communal environment for real-time, face-to-face dialogue between makers and audiences.

Dallas VideoFest 28 Sponsors

MAJOR SPONSORS: Texas Commission on the Arts; Alford Media Services; KERA; KXT 91.7; CharlieUniformTango; City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs; Prekindle; KellyKitchensPR.com; Selig Polyscope Company; Jeff and Jani Leuschel; Jim and Deborah Nugent. Sponsors: AMS Pictures; Angelika Film Center Dallas; DocArts; Film Freeway; Half Price Books; Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau; NEA; Proof + Pantry; Jersey Mike’s on Greenville. Media Sponsor: Art&Seek; AMS Pictures; The Common Desk; Selig Film News; Sell.com Marketplace; SullivanPerkins; TCM: Turner Classic Movies; TheaterJones. Industry Sponsors: Dallas Film Commission; Texas Association of Film Commission.

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 Video Festival (DVF) in 1987. Video Association of Dallas also presents the 24 Hour Video Race, the Texas Show Tour, North Texas College Film Festival, Texas Filmmakers Production Fund workshops, Three Star Cinema, and other programs throughout the year.

VIDEO ASSOCIATION OF DALLAS 1405 Woodlawn Dallas, TX 75208






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VidFest 28: The Hoax






This film was a terrifying look at the Homeowners Associations of America. Among the horror shows was a captain in the military nearly losing his house, a head board member falsely imprisoning residents, and a property management group not keeping neighborhoods intact while collecting fees. I met the director of this punch in the face documentary and his passion of the subject definitely lined up with the film’s effort. The head board member previously mentioned at one point shoves keys in a resident’s face while telling him to get off of the street which is public property. We are shown how villainous people can get with just a little bit of power as this man yells for most of the videos he’s in. This HOA, which was in Nevada, also threw out a petition that called for this member’s removal. That was a key point I believe this film was trying to make in that the residents HOAs are supposed to be for are not heard. They are at times to the audience’s dismay, damaged by the actions of these associations. As expert researchers on this issue stated, you can basically sign away your freedom when one’s a member of the entities. This concept is so crucial to understand and I was completely thankful for this project to unveil these atrocities. In the case of the captain, his wife was depressed and did not open the mail stating that they had not paid recent HOA payments. The result after the HOA did not call her even though her number was on their record was that they foreclosed on her home. This family had already paid in full around $300,000 for the house which then was about to be sold for significantly less than that. It’s little sneaky bites like these that make us realize that anyone can be prey. The Associa company, who was in charge of keeping the neighborhoods it “caters” to intact, is revealed to have cracked streets, dust on mailboxes, and cracked pots in their clients’ areas. The CEO is a former state senator named, John Carona, who seemed to have a conflict of interest in making laws regarding HOAs. The ways politicians can be corrupted are re-introduced in this fantastic and informative film. There are so many occurrences that are morally wrong in this country and unfortunately this is yet another evil. Rodney Gray, the director, was very involved when I talked to him about this piece. His intelligence and education came forward to fight for help for the afflicted.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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Rock the Kasbah



Bill Murray has cornered the market on the blundering self centered jerk in his last films, and this one is another version. That is not to say that he is not funny. As usual he owns the character of Richie Lanz, a down on his luck talent agent who scams young hopefuls into investing in him to have a career. Director Barry Levinson (Bugsy, Rain Man) working from a script by Mitch Glazer tell a story that is partially a social commentary on the American obsession with celebrity, the unwelcome presence of Americans in Afghanistan and the changing of culture in the Middle East. All wrapped up in Murray's warped but sincere vision to discovering a real star.

The film is a bit uneven at the beginning where Ritchie decides to take his client/office assistant Ronnie (Zoey Deschanel) on a USO tour in Afghanistan. Freaked out with building exploding and soldiers with guns, Ronnie takes off with the plane tickets, Ritchie's money and passport. He's stuck high and dry. He meets up with mercenary gun dealers Jake (Scott Caan) and Nick (Danny McBride) who takes him to a club in Kabul where he meets Merci (Kate Hudson), a prostitute trying to earn enough money to retire. Jake and Nick lure Ritchie with enough funds to help him out in exchange for taking some ammunition to a small town. He's driven there by mercenary Bombay Brian (Bruce Willis) who voice records his adventures because he wants to write a book. Along with taxi driver Riza (Arian Moayed) who is along as an interpreter. It's there in the Pashtun village that he hears Salima (Leem Lubany) singing in a cave with dreams of being on Afghan Star an American Idol talent show. Since it is considered shameful for women to sing (much less show their faces in public), it's going to be a hard sell to make it happen. It doesn't help that Salima only sings Cat Stevens songs in English.

While the movie seems to target the misogyny of the Pashtun, at the same time it overlooks the sexism in the portrayal of Merci (with an “i”). The movie also seems to focus on the white cast while the Pashtun are painted with broad strokes like backward patriarchal heathens. More attention should have been paid to Salima's father, the chief of the village who is trying hard to cope with acceptance of his daughter's talent, and the opinions of his community. Meanwhile Ritchie bulldozes his way through getting her on the show and eventually stopping a war.

Ritchie is filled with stories of his supposed successes in discovering talent like Madonna or getting head butted by Stevie Nicks. He plays his deal making schemes with fast talking and for some reason everyone gravitates and accepts his line of bull. The characters may come in go in this film, but Murray keeps the action happening and tethered to Ritchie. It was nice to discover that the story was based on the 2009 documentary Afghan Star about Setara Hussainzada who gets a dedication at the end of the movie from singing and dancing on the show. Something that is not allowed for women. Times are a-changing.
(Review by reesa)




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The Last Witch Hunter



Let's say there's an alternative world where magic exists. Let's say that Vin Diesel is the biggest and baddest warrior hunting down the evil witch who lives in this huge magic tree in the middle of the mountains. His team of hunters are cut down pretty quickly by the witch queens' minions before Kaulder (Diesel) has an epic showdown with the queen (Julie Engelbrecht). He wins, but not before she curses him with immortal life. So for 800 years, and now living in NYC, he is still hunting down bad witches and turning them over to a witch council who imprisons the bad witches in an underground cavern. Witches have decided to keep the peace between magic world and normal humans. Kaulder in their police.

Director Breck Eisner (Crazies, Sahara) working the CGI heavy adventure from a screenplay by Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless in what they probably hope will be be a series. The visuals are fun and creepy. There's lots of butterflies, nasty wasp bugs, and vine plants erupting from the ground or walls sucking their victims somewhere else. There's exclusive magic night clubs for witches where Kaulder meets cute a beautiful witch Chloe (Rose Leslie) by getting her night club burned down. He is trying to find a memory spell to help remember when he “died” at the hands of the queen. His last handler, the number 36 Dolan (Michael Caine) left him a message before he had been “killed”. His new Dolan number 37 (Elijah Wood) was sworn in the protect and assist the witch hunter. His parents were killed by witches he said, and he had met the witch hunter when he was a child. The three team up to find out who is trying to destroy humanity and why. It doesn't take long before you realize that the evil queen is literally the heart of the story.

Diesel with hair and weird beard at the beginning takes a bit to figure out it's really him. His modern day self is a bit of Fast and Furious and not a whole lot of emotional back story except he complains about living for so long and he's lonely. Caine channels the Exorcist priest with his hat and natty attire. And Elijah Wood looks like a kid pretending to be a priest. The partnership of the Chloe and Kaulder works better but for all the magic between them, they still get pretty beat up. Nothing is really explained, one has to just go with the flow. Why the queen wants to destroy humanity and change the world into the nasty and fearful place doesn't make sense. The queen makes all these pronouncements to Kaulder reminding one of the Borg Queen and Captain Picard. Hopefully in the next film, because you know they will have more, it will clear it all up. Or not.
(Review by reesa)




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Monday, October 19, 2015

VidFest 28: Serving Second Chances





This was a film that I really hope everyone in the US watches. I don’t mean that in the way people say that about most films. This is actually a crucial film for people to understand a huge failing in the US and to have empathy for others. The camera follows The Stew Pot which is a service rendering facility for the homeless of Dallas. Through the way many people are either interviewed or filmed, the audience gradually becomes more educated. A grounding revelation from a mid-aged woman told us that she had a bachelor’s degree in engineering but lost her job. She said that her view of the homeless was completely different before her crisis and that she even used to work at a homeless shelter. In those few sentences, the audience sees how quickly the tables can turn. First Presbyterian Church of Dallas is the creator of The Stew Pot and the film highlights that they serve 3 meals every day at The Bridge. Some documented film was so brilliantly exposed like of the woman who had gotten AIDS from sexual assault. The Stew Pot gave this woman a priceless gift of painting while others gain great benefit from art as well. The documentary brought to light the valid reasons for homelessness that I think people over-look unfortunately. Economic displacement, domestic violence, and mental illness were some of the hurting reasons why the homelessness problem has escalated. Some of the video was really realized like when they film a guy who is trying to be a performer out of a survival instinct. Some of the actions from The Stew Pot were just like hands from God touching us such as providing a newspaper job to a woman who ends up renting an apartment. Other actions were just as equally remarkable like the gun buy-back that the church initiated to prevent danger by destroying the guns. Meanwhile, one realizes how bad America is in disarray while gun owners right across the street offer more money than the church to keep the guns. These stories of resources meeting those who are in need were so uplifting to watch. There needs to be so many more mandated programs from the government for this situation. To film the charities reaching out to the most vulnerable in our society was a much needed objective for Dallas. As it is beautifully stated, “Homelessness is like being out in the ocean with no motor on your boat. The Eagle is free but that does not guarantee it will get fed”.
(Review by Wyatt Head)




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Back to the Future 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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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Movies Scheduled 10/18-10/24

I don't know about y'all but I had a crazy week. I had no internet at my place for two days. Felt like I was going to go crazier! Got my new modem yesterday so back to helping with the group!!

Not a whole lot of movies this week so I hope everyone gets to see the movies they want.

By the way if any of y'all are seeing Paranormal Activity this week I envy y'all!! Dang work getting in the way of free movies!!

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


Sunday Oct. 18th


Monday Oct. 19th

Asian Movie Madness: IP Man the Final 10 p.m. Fight Alamo Drafthouse


Tuesday Oct. 20th

The Last Witch Hunter 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark


Wednesday Oct. 21st

Room 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
Jen and the Holograms TBA


Thursday Oct. 22nd

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark & Valley View


Friday Oct. 23rd


Saturday Oct. 24th




Thursday Oct. 22nd





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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Beasts of No Nation



Stories about the horrific African wars that recruit young boys into their armies are a devastatingly difficult subject manner no matter how important it is to shine a spotlight on it. Based on a 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, it was written, shot and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective Season 1, Jane Eyre, Sin Nombre) who worked on it for seven years. Netflix which bought the worldwide distribution is a game changer, will be released to it's subscribers simultaneously with it's theatrical opening. Some of the main theater chains consider this a violation of the 90-day release window, so the film will have a limited release to smaller independent theaters. It's unfortunate because the film not only won the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, it was a shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

In an unnamed West African country that is strife with civil war, a young boy Agu (Abraham Attah) lives happily with his family. His father is a teacher, his mom takes care of him, his older brother, a younger brother, and baby sister. Their village is somewhat safe and guarded. But political upheaval causes fighting to overrun the villages. His mother and younger siblings are evacuated to the city, but Agu is left behind. When is older brother and father are killed, Agu escapes into the forest, alone and scared. He's eventually captured by a unit of mercenary fighters lead by the charismatic and seductive Commandant (Idris Elba). He runs the rag tag battalion of village escapees. Each new recruit is subject to hazing and those who don't pass muster and eliminated. Commandant takes a liking to Agu and takes him under his wing. Thus begins the slow but intense brain washing of the vulnerable young boy.

The harrowing life that Agu must endure if a far cry from his once idyllic life in his village with family and friends. As he buries his childhood during a symbolic ritual by the unit, he is reborn as a child soldier. His best friend is another boy soldier Strika (Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye). He doesn't speak but understands what Agu is experiencing that forges a bond between them. They endure the battles, lack of food, long marches, death all around them and the loss of innocence.

Idris Elba is amazing as the Commandant who mesmerizes his troops with his speeches and chanting. Abraham Attah who was discovered playing soccer in Ghana had never acted before. But his portrayal of the Agu is so soulful and heartbreaking that it's worth consideration for awards. So what if main theater chains don't like Netflix, it's a movie worth seeing, with a little touch of hope at the end.
(Review by reesa)




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Steve Jobs




There have been a few movies that have tried to depict the life of Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, but none of have them as been as satisfying as director's Danny Boyle's new film. Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Social Network) wrote the screenplay based on Walter Isaacson's biography of the same name. The story concentrates on the three iconic product launches from 1994 to 1998 interspersed with flashbacks. The relentless dialogue keeps your brain hopping as it covers Job's career high and lows, his manipulative but infectious energy, his visionary outlook, and his dysfunctional disconnection with human beings, particularly his daughter. Issues have come to light on the inaccuracies of how Jobs is is portrayed in the film that many of the situations in the film are fabrications and creative liberties. But in the end, the complexities of Steve Jobs would be hard to tell in a linear format. Boyle and Sorkin found a unique story concept that is entertaining rather than historical.

Michael Fassbender makes Steve Jobs come to life with an intense energy. From the early years of working with Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) in his family's garage, to the launching of the MacIntosh, NEXT and the iMac. Their long time friendship is often argumentative. Kate Winslet plays Joanna Hoffman who is in charge of marketing of the new products. She would often win in-office prizes for being the only one who could endure working closely with prickly Jobs for any given time. The movie starts with Jobs wanting the MacIntosh to say “hello” during the launch. His engineers are subjected to his verbal onslaught of threats and bullying. He is unrepentant and absolutely sure he is right in his conception. Jeff Daniels plays John Sculley the CEO of Apple who later fired Jobs when the MacIntosh failed.

While his world is centered on getting the computer on the market, the day is made even more complicated by his former girlfriend Chrisann (Katherine Waterston). She wants Steve to acknowledge their 5 year old daughter Lisa even though Steve stubbornly insists there's only a 94% chance that she is his. (Lisa is played by Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo and Makenzie Moss at different ages). She is a bright child and despite Job's reluctance to accept parentage, he agrees to help finance her existence. (In real life, Lisa lived with Jobs through high school).

The term Reality Distortion Field was a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computer in 1981. It came to describe Jobs' effect on developers with his charm, bravado, hyperbole, and persistence. He was able to convince his employees to become passionately committed to his new projects, even making them think it was his own idea when it came from someone else. This film really shows how his single minded vision for his “closed system” computer changed the world while rubbing people the wrong way through the years.

Performances are first rate, particularly Fassbender and Winslet who tear up the screen. Their conversations zing back and forth like a tennis match. It's impressive to watch and listen. So what if the movie isn't an historical correct. It's a wonderfully written and acted piece of movie magic.
(Review by reesa)


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Crimson Peak



The director of Pan Labyrinth, Hellboy and Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro wrote with Matthew Robbins an atmospheric Victorian romantic ghost story with an attractive cast. Costumes and set decoration prevail with stark colors and things that creep in the night. The mystery is sort of figured out shortly at the start, but the journey to it's ultimate conclusion is a visual treat for the eyes. The ghosts not so much. There isn't any creepy jump in your seat moments and some are quite perhaps unintentionally funny. Still it's a worthy addition to the del Toro universe just not as memorable.

Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) isn't your typical Victorian era young woman whose only concern in life if finding a husband. She is an aspiring writer of ghost stories. When she was a child her mother passed due to cholera. She was visited by the ghost of her mother who told her to “beware of Crimson Peak”. Her father (Jim Beaver) is a rich construction magnet in Buffalo, NY. She wants to use her father's office resources to type out her manuscript as editors have declined her work telling her that she should write romance. Typing her story would keep her sexual identity out of the equation. The city's matrons are excited as a Baronet is coming to town and they have their daughters lined up to meet him. Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) meets with Mr. Cushing in hopes of getting funding for a mining machine he wants to build. He cute meets Edith who is immediately repulsed by his title, but softens when he compliments her on her writing. It probably helps that he's drop dead gorgeous. Tom begins to pursue the young woman, but her father has an initial dislike of the young man. He asks to have him investigated.

What Mr. Cushing finds exacerbates the rest of the story and Edith's eventual move to the Baronet crumbling manor home in northern England. The house is full of holes, creaking pipes, blood red water to match the land around them, and the unsettling sister Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) who is always pushing tea on the innocently in love Edith. The siblings telegraph some weird vibes between the two which for some reason Edith doesn't catch on. Maybe she is distracted by the house which has it's share of ghosts and secrets that it seems to want Edith to discover. Being the writer, her curiosity keeps her from being too shaken for her own good. It's a good thing Edith's former suitor Dr. Alan (Charlie Hunnam) thinks something was amiss and shows up later.

The film as beautiful and sumptuous appearing, lacks any spooky underlings like del Toro's Spanish language chillers like The Devil's Backbone and Cronos. Both Hiddleston and Wasikowska shine with full force gothic romance, while Chastain is perfectly strange with fluctuating mood swings. For a end of October movie it's worth a Saturday afternoon, it's not what one comes to expect from del Toro.
(Review by reesa)




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Bridge of Spies




Steven Spielberg is back with an historical biographical drama thriller which was written by Matt Chapman, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. Like all Spielberg films, great detail is provided with set decoration, costumes, music, and performances. In this case, by the ever dependable Tom Hanks as a Brooklyn lawyer who negotiated the prisoner exchange of Francis Gary Powers and Colonel Abel in the 1960's. The U2 spy plane incident came during the Cold War when the East and the West were involved in intense espionage. When children in school were running through bomb drills and how to survive if the Russians attacked the U.S.. The country was immersed in a Communist paranoia making the Russians the boogie man sort of like how today some fear radical Islam.

Hanks plays James B. Donovan a partner in a law firm that specialized in insurance cases. He graduated from Harvard Law and was an Justice assistance during the Nuremberg trials in Germany. It was one of the reasons why the FBI approached him to be the defense lawyer for Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) a quiet, mild mannered artist who was arrested as a Russian Spy. Besides the fact that no body wanted to do it. The government wanted to show the world that they were giving him the best of what the legal system allows, although everyone involved had already tried and judged him guilty. Donovan loses of course, but takes the case to the Supreme Court on appeal. They lose there too. He then urges the sentencing judge to not execute Abel, with whom he has grown to like on a personal level, just in case they need to use him as a prisoner exchange. The country was not happy with not killing the spy, and Donovan and his family were in the line of fire.

Shortly afterwards the CIA approach Donovan to negotiate an exchange of Abel for Francis Gary Powers, a CIA pilot who was shot down in the T.O.P. secret U2 plane taking surveillance pictures. Powers had been instructed by the CIA to destroy the plane and inject himself with a poison. Unfortunately he doesn't get the chance and he's tried as a spy in Russia, sentenced to 30 years. Both governments use extreme measures to extract information from their “spies”. Both men are subjected to a strong disrespect by their country men for being caught. Donovan is asked to get Powers back because he's not government. That means going to East Germany which just erected the Berlin Wall in the middle of winter. He not only has to dance around the CIA's, the KBG, and the East Germans all wanting some agenda. Donovan learns of a young American student, Frederic Pryor who got caught behind the wall and being held without charges. He wants to include his release in the exchange.

Hanks plays the forthright, honest, and level headed Donovan trying to do his best for his country and the men involved. He's smart and crafty managing to play a poker game with the possible scenarios setting up both the Russians and East Germans. It's interesting and exciting even is you know the outcome of this moment in history. While it's great to see biographies of really famous shapers of the world, it is also important to hear about the quiet unassuming workaday heroes that rise to the occasion.
(Review by reesa)



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Goosebumps




From 1992 – 1997, 62 children's horror fiction novellas by R.L. Stine were published selling over 350 million books world wide. The immensely popular series which would be hard to tackle with such short books has been made into a fictional biography where R.L. Stine writes books about monsters that become real if the original manuscript is opened. The screenplay by Darren Lemke was directed by Rob Letterman (Gulliver's Travels, Monsters vs. Aliens) into a 3D live-action/computer animated horror comedy. It has monsters galore, the story and situations are funny and nobody dies.

Teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) moves with his mom Gale (Amy Ryan) to Madison, Delaware where she has been hired as the new high school principal. They are welcomed to town by Gale's sister Lorraine (Jillian Bell who basically steals the movie). Next door he cute meets Hannah (Odeya Rush) who shows Zach this old fair grounds in the woods. She's cryptic and adventurous, but her father (Jack Black) is very forbidding telling him to keep away. One night he hears a scream and runs over to check on her, even calling the cops. But the father makes everyone believe it was just the television. Zach knows what he saw and decides to break into the house when the father is gone with the help of his new friend from school, Champ (Ryan Lee), a dorky sort of kid. They discover the book shelf and Champ recognizes the titles of the infamous book series. No one knew what happened to the once prolific author. They are also curious why the books all have locks on them until Zach happens to unlock one of them, which has a Abominable Snowman as the monster. Unleashed, the creature causes havoc until the father comes back and saves them by trapping the creature back into the pages.

They discover the father is R.L. Stein (not really a spoiler), who tells Hannah it's time to move again, that is until they discover another book has been opened. Slappy the Dummy, one of Stein's earliest and most dangerous characters decides to unleash all the books and destroy the pages so they can't be captured again. It's up to the kids and Stein to figure out how to put them back before they over run the town. There are ghosts, a giant praying mantis, deadly garden gnomes, aliens, spreading Venus fly traps, the undead, a gelatinous blob and a werewolf in sneakers and gym shorts. The cool thing about them is that they can't be destroyed because they reassemble again. Most of the town has been frozen by the aliens which hopefully will thaw. They have to get to the high school where the students are at a dance to get Stein's original typewriter in the plan to save the day.

Millennials hoping for nostalgia may be a little disappointed with the modern day version of this universe. The movie starts with the typical Goosebump fashion with a young person moving to a new town. The rest of the movie is more like Night at the Museum sort of adventure where it could be dangerous, but it's not in the end. And like the formula for the books, the movie has a beginning, middle and a twisted end.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Oct 11 - Oct 17



Wow, is this year moving quickly! We have some good movies this week and there are many passes being offered by various sponsors. There shouldn't really be any reason why y'all can't to get the passes you need. If you read the emails we send out about the upcoming screenings, we try and get the info to you in a timely manner. But often times, we are standing in line and don't have access to computers. If you see something, you are welcome to post it to the list. There should also be no reason for y'all to get passes that you are not going to use, thereby depriving someone else from getting them. If you need passes, please don't email Daina or Reesa (me) to send you passes or write to the group on your behalf. As much as we would love to help you there are some things you need to do on your own.

Now for some good stuff. Dallas Movie Screenings has the opportunity to offer exclusively to our subscribers a chance for some free DVD's! We have some copies of Golden Shoes to give away.

https://youtu.be/HzNlrpabXw0
With his father MIA at war and his mother critical in hospital, a young boy consoles himself with dreams of playing in the youth soccer league. To do so, he must overcome the adult deception, the bullying and his solitude.

If you want a chance to win a copy, please send an email to DMSContests@gmail.com
Winner's will be selected at random and will be mailed to you. Or we can arrange for pickup at a future screening. Please include in your entry your complete name and mailing address. If it doesn't have a name or mailing address your entry will be eliminated. Only members of this Yahoo Group are eligible. Your email will be checked with our list.


Oct 11 - Oct 17

Sun
Oct 11

Mon
Oct 12

Bridge of Spies - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Steve Jobs - 8:00 pm - AMC Northpark
IFC Secret Screening This is the End - 8:00 - Alamo Drafthouse

Tue
Oct 13

Crimson Peak - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed
Oct 14

Goosebumps - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Thur
Oct 15

Fri
Oct 16

Sat
Oct 17





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Thursday, October 8, 2015

He Named Me Malala




Malalai of Maiwand was a legendary heroine from Afghanistan who inspired the country's army to fight when they had given up. She led them to battle to win, but she was shot in the process. So to most people, it is a sad name. But to the young woman of Swat Valley in Pakistan, it was a name that encouraged hope. The documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) incorporates interviews with Malala Yousafzai and most notably her father with whom she has a powerful bond and the history of that area of the world that is strife with danger.

When the Taliban came to their remote village, it was peaceful and the villagers were welcoming to them. But as time progressed, their politics became more extreme and hostile to western influences. They banned TV's, CD's, movies and educating girls. Malala's father Ziauddin ran a chain of schools in the region had a stammer when he was younger, but overcame it and became a teacher and later speaker to their community on the importance of education of their children. Malala also became an activist and was well spoken at the age of 13. In 2012, the school bus she was on was fired upon by the Taliban and she was shot in the head after she had spoke out about the importance of education of young women. Everyone thought she would die, but she endured. The family had to move eventually to England with the threat on her life and on her family.

When Malala was 11/12 she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under the Taliban occupation. No one else wanted to do it because it was too dangerous. She gained prominence when a New York Times documentary was made about her life. She began giving interviews in print and on TV. She was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu. The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outcry and support for her. Most of the interviews with Malala are when she was 16 trying to fit in to English schools, and for once being a teenager. But her mission in life keeps her from totally indulging in whimsy of just being her age. She wrote a book with British journalist Christina Lamb that was published in 2013 called I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban. The Pakistan schools banned the book as having a negative influence. Some of her countrymen think of her as a agent of the West against Islam. On her 16th birthday in 2013 she addressed the UN which dubbed the event Malala Day. It was her first speaking event since the attack on her. In 2014 Malala was announced as the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize becoming the youngest Nobel laureate.

The movie is very inspirational and probably should be required viewing for all young people. There was a few problems as far as the events jumped forward and backwards giving confusion to the time line. But it was well done, manipulating the heartstrings. Her mother remains mostly in the background, her brothers seem to be typical teasing siblings. Her father is most vocal and you can see where she gets her confidence and fire to speak her mind. It's hard to imagine a world where girls are denied education. Thanks to Malala we can see who we need to fight.
(Review by reesa)




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Pan




The beloved story of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie was first staged in 1904 and later received some notoriety by the casting of women to play Peter in later productions. In director Joe Wright's version written by Jason Fuchs, the prequel explores how Peter came to Neverland and even had a friendship with Captain Hook. Whether we will see how these two have a falling out probably depends on how this movie does at the box office. Wright best known for period pieces like Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and Hanna is great with visuals. Pan explodes with interesting visuals, eye candy, and wondrous costumes. It's unfortunate that the story doesn't quite live up to it all.

Peter (Levi Miller) is left at the door step of an orphanage with only a note from his mother and a necklace shaped liked a pan flute. He holds the belief that his mother will come back for him. The nuns who run the orphanage are fairly despicable and Peter is convinced that they are hoarding food (they are) and are responsible for some boys disappearing nightly (they are). When he discovers what's happening, he's suddenly captured by pirates and flown away to Neverland. There they are put to work in the mines harvesting Pixum dust for the evil Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). The fairy dust keeps him eternally young. He has ruined the landscape of Neverland, and is after the mother lode in the fairy kingdom which is protected by the Neverland natives in the forest. The arrival of Peter makes Blackbeard paranoid as the local legend prophesies that a young man with the sign of the Pan and that can fly will be his death.

Peter manages to escape the mines with the help of Hook (Garret Hedlund channelling Hans Solo) and Mr. Smee (Adeel Akhtar). They are captured by Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and brought to the native village. When they discover that Peter may be the Chosen One, they protect him when Blackbeard catches up, destroying their village, trying to force them into giving up the map to the fairy kingdom. Peter just wants to find his mother and when he eventually discovers the truth, he has to man up pretty quickly to save Neverland.

The controversy about the casting of a white person as a native character still has not made a dent in the diversity in the casting of this movie nor others. It's an annoying issue with the movie, despite the job done by Rooney or Wright's excuse that Neverland's native inhabitants represent all aboriginal populations. Hint for Wright, in future movies, please note they are not all white. The strangeness of the Neverland mines full of former lost boys who are now men with no women around is a bit disconcerting. Jackman eats up the screen with the over the top bad guy, Mr. Smee is just as weaselly, and Levi Miller does well as the intrepid young man who apparently will never grow up. Hopefully the next instalment will take their time in creating a perhaps darker story as to why Hook gets a hook.
(Review by reesa)



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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Movies Scheduled 10/4-10/10

Good morning all!! What beautiful weather we are having!

When you hit reply to the emails it goes right back to the group and then we have to hit reject. I really want y'all to get the passes people are offering so look at the bottom of the email and it tells you who posted the email. So copy their address and then hit forward, not reply, then paste their address in the address bar. They will get your email and you won't get my rejected reply saying please reply to so and so and not the group. Now if I am in line I just reject the emails. I feel horrible about it bur please reply to them and not the group.


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


Sunday Oct. 4th


Monday Oct. 5th

AGFA Secret Screening 7:40 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse
He Named Me Malala 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Tuesday Oct. 6th

Bridge of Spies 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Wednesday Oct. 7th

Freeheld 7:30 p.m. SMG Spring Valley
99 Homes 7:30 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Thursday Oct. 8th

Jaded Reflections 7:00 p.m. Angelika Dallas


Friday Oct. 9th


Saturday Oct. 10th






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Friday, October 2, 2015

The Walk






Robert Zemeckis took on The Walk, the story of Philippe Petit’s World Trade Center illegal tight rope walk in 1974, knowing he wanted Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role of the Frenchman. Levitt actually learned to tight rope walk from Petit and became fluent in French, in order to exhibit a perfect French accent, which he executes beautifully in the film. The movie traces Petit’s rise to notoriety from his early years as a juggler, as his father attempts to kill the exhibitionist spirit within him. He runs away, becomes a street performer and ultimately seeks tutoring from the patriarch (Papa Rudy) of a tight rope circus family from Eastern Europe, played by the amazingly talented Ben Kingsley. This walk has been profiled before in other productions such as the award winning documentary Man on Wire (2008) and the PBS production, Tightrope Between the Towers.

The entire story is narrated by Gordon-Levitt as Petit, aside the flame of the Statue of Liberty on the torch walk, in an enthusiastically delivered oration that at times is a little overshadowing to the actual story line. He comes across like a little boy on Christmas morning about to open and reveal his biggest gift. Throughout the film, Petit desires, learns, trains, practices, makes his first illegal walks and imagines where he will walk next, at all times, no matter where he is. He found a girlfriend, Annie Allix, early on (Charlotte Le Bon) to encourage him and has brought her along to act as muse and cheerleader to his endeavors. The Twin Towers call to him, beginning at the age of 17, from newspapers and magazines, as a siren calls the sailor. He is caught and cannot escape the challenge and the lure, especially when he arrives in New York to scope the location out , still under construction, a month or two in advance of the August 7, 1974 event. He eschews a safety wire and elicits the aide of a motley crew of helpers, from France and America, to deal with transporting, moving and hiding all of his custom equipment.

Released in 2D and 3D, the film is visually stunning. Those who are afraid of heights should probably avoid the big screen, 3D versions. I am not completely afraid of heights but found the walk itself excruciatingly long and torturous and I even knew how the walk itself ended! It Is a must see sequence. Zemeckis allows us to sense the wind, view all the way to the ground, scan the expanse and in essence be on that wire ourselves and every part of our being screams to get off. Petit, however doesn’t mind hanging out on the wire for a while, soaking it all in and being in the zone. It is the culmination of his lifelong dream and after this, there really isn’t going to be much of anything to top it, and he knows this. And so he savors the moment, in its fullest glory. The actual “walk”, which he nicknamed “le coup” was eight passes and 45 minutes long. Just imagine it. The Walk is a story of passion, drive and the fulfillment of dreams and ultimately of purpose. While a singular event, there is so much more to who Petit (at 24 years old) is at the time, and the forces behind what made him that way. Thrill seeker, dare devil, entertainer, dreamer, man with a death wish, Petit certainly had nerve and a kind of “obstacles be damned” blind ambition to become legend. He inspires the meekest in us to just go after something…….anything. All in all, it was poignantly wonderful to see the Twin Towers again, even if through the eyes of their French lover Petit.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)







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Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Martian



It's interesting that Nasa just announced the amazing news of finding water on the planet Mars just when Ridley Scott's new film The Martian is due to open. The film based on Andy Weir's 2011 novel of the same name was adapted by Drew Goddard was able to relay a story that's told mostly from the character's log of being stranded on the planet and the science that helps him survive. Outside of the dust storm at the beginning of the film that precipitates the reason why he gets stuck, it's the only bit that was poetic license by the author. The rest of the movie is technically impressive with a few liberties that unless you were actually a scientist you would not notice. The best part of the movie is telling the world out there that science matters.

The crew of the Hermes has been Mars establishing a habitat and gathering samples. When the storm hits, the mission commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) decides to scrub the mission and leave before their return ship is damaged by the high winds. During the evacuation Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is hit by flying debris which hits his suit knocking out his telemetry leading the others to believe that he's dead. Lewis tries to reach him, but the ship will not be able to fly unless they leave right away. They report his passing to the command center and the world mourns the astronaut. Meanwhile after the storm, Watney wakes up with a piece of metal in him and realizes he's on his own. He doesn't panic and lets his training take over. From repairing his body, to taking inventory of his supplies. His math skills are needed to figure out how to survive the four years it would take for a rescue party to return. But of course they don't know he's still there.

Being the ship's botanist, Watney figures out how to grow potatoes. The book goes into great detail on how he has to give life to the inert Mars soil. Also the tediousness of trying to survive and keep the solar panels free of dust to keep the power running. There's the question of creating water that the plants need. While on earth, a tech Mindy Lewis (Mackenzie Davis) looking at the pictures from the planet, notices something odd about the way equipment at the hab site is moving. Her bosses NASA director Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) and Mars mission chief Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are faced with a huge dilemma. NASA PR spokesperson Annie Montrose (Kristian Wiig) has to dance around the agency's public image while they try to figure out how to get him home.

Damon is wonderful as the curious, talkative and amusing Watney. Astronauts are trained to survive under all circumstances. Everyone on the Hermes, Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie are a good representatives on how real astronauts are trained to exceed mission objectives. The media circus on earth, and the command center trying to communicate with Watney, or launching supplies keep the movie moving forward to the last action packed third act. If you haven't read the book, you should. The story follows closely just fills in the things that you just can't detail in the film form. One of the best movies to open up the fall season.
(Review by reesa)




The Martian at NAS Fort Worth JRB

Military personnel from NAS Fort Worth JRB were invited to a special screening of THE MARTIAN, starring Matt Damon, and served nearly 500 Mars-inspired potatoes at a lunch Monday, Sept. 28. The event was a goodwill initiative as a thank you for their continued service. Lunch was catered by Coburn's of Fort Worth.


(left to right) Navy Personnel YNC Adrien Clark and LCDR Nicholas Michael enjoy THE MARTIAN potato bar at the 20th Century FOX event at NAS Fort Worth JRB on Monday, September 28, 2015

(left to right) Marines LCpl John White, PFC Mason Vielbaum and Cpl Jonathan Morales along with Navy QM1 Brandy Day load up their potatoes at the 20th Century FOX event to celebrate THE MARTIAN at NAS Fort Worth JRB on Monday, September 28, 2015



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