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, January 31, 2016

Movies Scheduled 1/31-2/6

Good morning all!!


First off I don't have movie swag to pass out. So emailing me about swag will not get you anywhere I don't know how many times I have to say I am just like y'all only I send out these emails weekly!

Now I know some of y'all have been complaining about how quickly some passes go. You have to know if a movie is wanted by the masses it could go as quickly as a few minutes!! Trust me I have had that happen to me like 3 minutes after it was posted! Let's not "ask" for passes as soon as we post where to find them. Also they usually get posted on facebook first so maybe keep a eye out there.

Okay I think I got all of that off my chest. I hope we all get passes to the movies we want to see!!


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


Sunday Jan. 31st


Monday Feb. 1st

The Choice AMC Northpark


Tuesday Feb. 2nd

How To Be Single AMC Palace 9, AMC Northpark, AMC Firewheel, AMC Mesquite
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies AMC Northpark
Hail, Caesar! TBA
AGFA Secret Screening Alamo Drafthouse


Wednesday Feb. 3rd

Daughter of the Dawn UTA Rosebud Theater, Arlington
How To Be Single Regal Macarthur Irving
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies AMC Northpark


Thursday Feb. 4th

Deadpool Angelika Dallas


Friday Feb. 5th

Saturday Feb. 6th



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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Finest Hours



In going to the theater to see The Finest Hours be sure to bring a jacket or sweater or even a life jacket. The new film by director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl and Fright Night) from a script by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson, sets one in Wellsfleet, MA in a cold snowy winter with an angry ocean. Based on the book by Michael J. Tougian and Casey Sherman called The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue, it recounts how four young men in 1952 over came treacherous seas, wind and waves to save a tanker's crewmen. The film puts you right in their dilemma with a little bit of romance to soften the blow.

Chris Pine plays Boatswain Mate First Class Bernard Webber. He lives with memory of an ill fated rescue and one of the town's fisherman and some of his Coast Guard's mates remind him of it. It almost affects his confidence, but Bernie is a good guy and steadfast in his work. So when his boss Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) tells him to go help tie up the local fishing boats he does it despite the pressing need to rescue the SS Fort Mercer that broke in half from the storm and floundering off Nantucket. They soon discover that another tanker, the SS Pendleton had also split in half and they are five miles off the coast from them. Cluff tells Bernie to pick a crew and take the small surf boat USCGC Yakutat over the sand bar and see what they can do. Everyone knows that getting over the sand bar in a storm is a chancy operation with a high chance of failure due to the high waves. It's one of the most exciting moments of the movie.

While this is going on, the crew of the Pendleton were shocked to discover the big bang they heard was their tanker splitting in half taking the captain the rest of the crew to the deep. There's a terrific scene when a crew member goes running to the bridge to discover there is no bridge or the rest of their ship. The mission to stay afloat falls on Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) who runs the engine room. He's a bit of a loner but knows the ship like no one else. Some of the hot headed survivors want to drop the life boats and abandon ship, but Sybert steps in and shows them that they will never survive that way. They have to figure out how to build a tiller and hope to hit a shoal before the ship sinks. They do manage to send a message for help.

The rescue, and the efforts of Sybert to keep the crew safe is pretty amazing, but there are lots of slow, cold moments. Setting up the romance of Bernie and Miriam (Holiday Grainger) makes the emotional stakes for Bernie wanting to survive. The real life couple managed to stay married for 58 years after this event. Chris Pine's Bernie is almost a little too dull and laid back, but maybe that's the way Bernie was in real life. Affleck fare's better was the taciturn Seybert who discovers his own sense of leadership while MacGyvering the ship to the shoal. Since this is Disney movie, you can be sure there is limited curse words, and not a dry eye in the house heroic. The movie is a nice honor to those who serve in the Coast Guard and if nothing else, it's worth a look.
(Review by reesa)





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Remember






Remember is one of those films that gets in your psyche and rewires some things to make you remember in the future. The film follows Zev Gutman, who is played by Christopher Plummer, as he is lead on a journey facilitated by a nursing home companion, Max, to kill a Nazi from their past. The film features an awe-inspiring performance by Christopher Plummer as we see his elderly character struggling with dementia in an outside world. After seeing a Nazi-era related film, I was hit at home by this thriller. The way that Max uses Zev to fulfill this mission is as risky as it is brilliant. Throughout the film, we see the environment of nursing homes and are reminded of Zev’s escape from the tiredness there. I noticed how the guide, Max, was in a wheelchair but had all of his mental capacity. It was a thoughtful connection to have Max be guiding Zev, who was able to walk but again had dementia. One sees Max by the phone which is his sole way to operate the mission and you feel a sense of need by his character. When I first saw Zev step out of the residency and take a taxi, I felt very concerned for him. Yes, this is a fictional movie of course and not a documentary. It is incredible where Plummer’s Zev goes throughout the film and the cinematography that is captured with that. He even crosses country lines in and out of Canada. With his multiple episodes of dementia, Zev is kept alive by a letter that Max has thoroughly written. As an audience, we feel a sense of care between the friends. There is a scene of misunderstanding that hurts and presses my heart. It is one where Zev pulls out a gun on someone that he thinks is the Nazi he’s looking for. It turns out that this frail person lying flat and who can barely talk is a homosexual from a camp. The man shows him his arm containing prisoner numbers and Zev cries in the bed in one of the most powerful scenes in the film. Plummer has a fantastic sense of emotion that is amplified only sometimes in the story. We are at another time reminded of just how frightening current hatred can get. Dean Norris brilliantly and terribly portrays this in a scene that turns from good to outright evil. Remember is certainly a thriller that has us visit needed areas of our minds.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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Kung Fu Panda 3




The third of the animated series that began in 2008 set in a wuxia genre of ancient China continues the story of the giant Panda who was prophesied to be the Dragon Warrior. The acclaimed movies have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson who directed the 2nd film is back at the helm with Alessandro Carloni from a story by Jonathan Bibel and Glen Berger who also wrote the last two movies. It's packed with visual candy and the great voice talents that make this such a beloved adventure for children and adults.

Po (Jack Black) always believed he was the last Panda on earth having been raised by his goose father Mr. Ping (James Hong) at this noodle shop. One day Po meets his biological father Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) and discovers that there are other pandas living in a secret village. Mean while there is an evil spirit Kai (J.K. Simmons) who wants to steal the powers of all the kung fu masters. He can manipulate the physical bodies of the defeated masters into jade warriors or “jombies”. He captures the chi of Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), Mantis (Seth Rogen), and Crane (David Cross). Po discovers that Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) had banished his once brother in arms, Kai to the spirit realm when his friend became obsessed with gathering all the chi in the world. Pandas were once the master of chi, and when they were attacked Po's mother hid him and they were separated. Now Po must return to his home and master the power of chi to battle Kai. It would have been all fine and good, but the panda's in the village pretty much forgot their legacy. Tigress (Angelina Jolie) and Viper (Lucy Liu) track down Po to tell him that Kai is on his way. They have to get the village ready for attack, and that means making everyone into kung fu pandas.

The bright artwork and colorful effects are the work of DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks with one third of the work being made in China. It makes sense that there is a certain authenticity to the understanding of Chinese culture and heritage that informs the film. At the same time the creatures who inhabit this world are lovable and quirky. The pandas love to eat and Po realizes he has to live up to his potential. He discovers that panda's don't use chop sticks because it slows them down when eating. Stand out Mei Mei (Kate Hudson) as Po's love interest is a bit of a diva, but in a good way. The film also touches on nature vs. nurture as Po's two father's come to terms to how they fit in Po's life. The core lesson is to 'be the best you can be'. Hopefully this won't be the last of Po's adventures.
(Review by reesa



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45 Years






Opening:
Thank you 45 Years for making me question getting married. Well, my dating life isn’t that extravagant in the first place but that’s beside the point. This is a scary film on marriage and what it means to love someone, especially when you realize the person you married has been hiding something. Let’s get reel and break this down.

Plot:
A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receive shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

Director Andrew Haigh brings us a self-contained story about marriage and shows us the terrifying nature of when someone’s trust is shattered. It plays like a horror/thriller and drama all at once really showing emotional range in terms of the story and its characters. The story is engaging and you want to know how this will end and what will happen to this couple.

Cons:
The writing is ok, but nothing special. However, this is the one major issue I have with this movie and that is the husband. He comes off as a selfish and extremely unlikable person to a point where it felt like he just didn’t care about his wife and what she was going through, even though I knew where he was coming from and how he was feeling. I don’t spoil anything so it’s hard to explain and I have to dance around it.

Acting

Pros:

Despite the unlikable character, I enjoyed everyone in this film. I felt the raw intensity, love, anger, and fear from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay’s portrayal of a marriage. It was very well done and felt natural. Rampling is the standout and her facial expressions alone sell her performance and what her character is going through. The final shot left me in goosebumps.

Cons:
None.

Cinematography

Pros:

The way its shot has a rustic charm of the couple’s house and adds an eerie setting considering it’s out in the middle of nowhere, adding to the story of isolation. There also a few shots, as stated above, that add a creepiness factor to it going into that horror/thriller category.

Cons:
None.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

When the “turn of events” happens, the film really picks up and I became more invested in the characters. Overall, it does have a nice pace to it and it flies by with a run-time around an hour and a half.

Cons:

It does have a slow start, which doesn’t bother me, but it takes a bit to get going with the hard-hitting drama.

Overall:
This is a haunting film about trust, love, and marriage, but the average dialogue, unlikable lead character, and slow start makes this film good not great for me. I still recommend it.

Grade: B

(Review by Chase Lee)








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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Movies Scheduled 1/24-1/30

Good morning!! Finally got me a movie pass so I will be going to the movies this week!! It looks like a good movie as well! I am just like y'all and have to enter contests or grab passes when they are available. I work nights so the nights I work I don't get or even try for passes for those nights. I try to be let the ones who wants to go try to get them.

Make sure when you respond to someone's offer you don't just hit reply. Sure I know that is what we do to normal emails but here is just goes back to us. Down at the bottom of the offer or the want email is a line that says it is posted by and their email address. Copy that and forward the email to the address you just copied. Super simple and then your email gets to them quicker and doesn't have to wait for one of us to get to our email and let you know your mistake. Sure there have been a few times I have just deleted the response since it was so late.

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


Sunday Jan. 24th


Monday Jan. 25th

The Finest Hours AMC Northpark


Tuesday Jan. 26th

The Finest Hours Cinemark Town Center
Sable Firewheel
Eddie the Eagle AMC Irving Mall


Wednesday Jan. 27th

The Finest Hours Cinemark 17


Thursday Jan. 28th

How To Be Single Angelika Dallas


Friday Jan. 29th


Saturday Jan. 30th





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Friday, January 22, 2016

Mojave




Opening:

The definition of a made for TV movie is exactly what this is. This is a perfect thriller for Lifetime on a Tuesday afternoon. It’s about as average as it gets, which is not a bad thing. However, let’s get reel and break this down

Plot:
A suicidal artist goes into the desert, where he finds his doppelgänger, a homicidal drifter.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

From writer/director, William Monahan, writer of such films as The Departed, Body of Lies and Edge of Darkness, brings us an engaging film and heightens our curiosity on how this will end where are characters are going. But…

Cons:
…the writing and story in particular are where the problem with this film lies. The writing is a toss-up. It’s good and enticing in one scene but then in others it feels long winded and a bit self-indulgent. It didn’t know what it wanted to be and kind of felt incoherent sometimes with tone and plot. For the story, I am not going to lie, was a waste with many scenes that felt like they were in a different movie. As for the ending, I have seen it in other movies and, ultimately, I didn’t see the clear goal for the main character. I feel like if I say anymore I will go into spoiler territory, and I don’t do that here no matter how average or terrible the movie is.

Acting

Pros:

Surprisingly, everyone does a great job. Oscar Issac is terrific as this gross, creepy drifter and Garrett Hedlund was great as this great representation of how some people act in the film industry. I loved their back-and-forths, even when the dialogue felt too long sometimes

Cons:
The supporting cast, while good in their performances, felt wasted and honestly didn’t see the point with the overall story. There is a surprise actor as one of the supporting roles that caught me off guard and they were entertaining to watch. And while Hedlund did a good job, I didn’t care for his character, since he was kind of an A-Hole, so I didn’t really care about his family or reasoning’s for the actions he did.

Cinematography

Pros:

This is a well shot movie with some good desert shots with a feeling of isolation to creepy, almost Hitchcock like, shots when they are back in the city.

Cons:
None.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

Once the movie gets going it is intriguing, even with its bland ending.

Cons:
But, it took a while to get going, and if I am honest, I wasn’t locked in until Oscar Issac comes on screen. He is always my favorite part of every film when he is surrounded by a great cast.

Overall:
This is an average thriller but has some major story problems, emotional weight, and incoherent and unanswered plot points. But if you want to be surprised by a movie ending, I guess this is a movie that will make you want to go back and re-watch it for hints and clues to the puzzle after the fact; however, I won’t be revisiting it, one time is enough for me. You can check it out on VOD, that would be the choice I would tell you to watch it in and not in the theaters unfortunately.

Grade: C

https://youtu.be/6iif0vEMLFk




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Son of Saul





Son of Saul is a pure illustration of horridness that is justified. It is not a horror film in that it is not trying to be sickening just for the sake of it. The film reaches and shakes us as an audience with its take on the pitch black reality of those persecuted under Hitler. The story follows a man, Saul, who comes across the dead body of his child while working at the gas chambers. He then goes in a death-risking search for a Rabbi in order to have a proper burial of his son. I had no idea what to expect when the camera opens being stuck to Saul’s face. One can hear the whipping of somebody while we see Saul’s emotionless eyes. We slowly realize that the setting is a gas chamber and we have been thrown into the hell of decades ago. One hears the cries and sees the children in this plot being completely ignored of their innocence while they die painfully. The camera goes away from Saul at one point and catches a woman, who’s naked, sobbing because she realizes what is going to happen to her. I don’t think we realize how gruesome and satanic this situation was. The film bashes our skull with its reenactment. Saul has no choice but to continue working in the gas chamber unless he wants to end his life. We see a stone face while his fellow Jews are hollering, screaming, and crying while they are suffocating. László Nemes captures the desperate condition of inaction that all of these men are dealing with every death-inducing day. A Nazi at one time suffocates a survived boy with a macho-like no mercy attitude. The scene is angering and horrific. The film raises the concentration of a hatred for racial-hate groups in me. The Nazis rise to a caliber that justifies the fiction somewhat of Inglorious Basterds. You feel a rush of suspense and fear when Saul checks for the passports of the recently murdered to confirm if his child had died. We think of a likely probability that he will get caught and killed. The all-around degrading act of having someone condone the massacre of his own people is baffling to me. Saul is made to scrub up the blood of the victims of heinous crimes while being surrounded by those same crimes being carried out. This piece of history was a purely thought film that had to startle to be accurate.
(Review by Wyatt Head)



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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Movies Scheduled 1/17-1/23

Make sure you enter the contests and try to get passes before you ask the group for passes. We posted a contest this week and like 5 minutes later someone was asking for passes. At least try a little bit. Sure if they all got taken in the 5 minutes that is one thing.

Don't forget if you want passes you need to ask the group and not me. I get passes only to the movies I can go and that is less than half the week.

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


Sunday Jan. 17th


Monday Jan. 18th


Tuesday Jan. 19th

Keith's Comics and Big Fan Boy present DC Comics Night Angelika Dallas
Where to Invade Next Angelika Dallas
Dirty Grandpa AMC Northpark


Wednesday Jan. 20th

The Boy Cinemark West
The 5th Wave SMG Spring Valley


Thursday Jan. 21st


Friday Jan. 22nd


Saturday Jan. 23rd

Kung Fu Pand 3 AMC Northpark



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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ride Along 2




Opening:
From the director of the critically acclaimed Fantastic Four (2005) & Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, comes the most talked about sequel since the release of The Dark Knight. Ok, not really. Excuse me, folks; my sarcasm is showing. Let’s get reel and break this down.

Plot:
As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer who's supplying the dealers of Atlanta with product.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

Technically, this isn’t a badly directed film. The action set pieces are ok, at best, and the constructs of the actors and their scenarios are entertaining like most buddy cop movies. However…

Cons:
The writing is very generic and doesn’t add anything new to the buddy cop genre. The writing almost feels like someone went to Walmart and dipped their hands into the five dollar bin, pulled out a random movie called Buddy Cop: The Movie, studied it, and made the jokes even lazier in this movie. There are certain elements of the story that are fixed in a matter of minutes and there is no gravitas to the characters or story. It’s extremely basic and I didn’t find the jokes at all funny.

Acting

Pros:

The actors got paid and it seems like they had fun shooting it? I will watch anything with Ice Cube because he is the most entertaining grumpy actor since Clint Eastwood.

Cons:
Listen, is anyone unbearable? Not really, but it was so average across the board that no one stood out. The hero, villains, love interest etc. were so bland. Listen, I am fan of Kevin Hart but he is starting to wear on me just a bit.

Cinematography

Pros:

The action scenes were cool, I guess if you haven’t seen any action film ever.

Cons:
The one problem I have noticed with a bunch of Universal films, I recently watched Kickass 2 again, is that some of their movies have that extreme soft lighting where everything is evenly lit and looks like a set. Ride Along 2 falls into that category. Maybe it’s their comedies, but they have to light it a tad more professionally with some creative spark and not like they are on a soap opera.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

The explosions were cool, I guess, and Michael Bay would have given this movie a lower score since the explosions weren’t spewing out fireworks too.

Cons:
There was an alligator in one scene that was so bad that I was baffled that a sequel, with a supposed bigger budget, had a special effect that looked like someone made it in Window’s Paint in 1993. The overall flow of this film is running at a snail’s pace. I didn’t find any of the jokes funny so my experience was a lot longer than most.

Overall:
Listen, if you liked the first Ride Along, you will probably like the sequel. I never saw the first one; however, I didn’t think was the worst thing I have seen. It was entertaining ever so slightly that it was miles better than Daddy’s Home, so that might be why I won’t give this a terrible score. This is about as generic as buddy cop movies come.

Grade: C-








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Ip Man 3





Wing Chun is a form of martial arts that was originally created by a woman, but over the years it has developed to become highly regarded around the world and popular with foreigners due to the late actor Bruce Lee. But before Bruce, there was his teacher, Ip Man. The first two movies of this series tell of his time in Foshan, the Sino-Japanese War, and his days in Hong Kong where he established his school. If you haven't seen the previous movies, it's highly recommended, but really not necessary to enjoy the latest. Wison Yip who also directed Ip Man 1 and Ip Man 2 is back at the helm with Yuen Woo-Ping (The Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) as the action director. The first Ip Man was not only earned 12 nominations at the Hong Kong Film awards, it currently is the highest grossing Hong Kong films to be released in the country.

The story begins in Hong Kong 1959 where Ip Man(Donnie Yen) has settled in a nice stable life with his wife Cheung Wing-sing (Lynn Xiong) and their younger son Ip Ching. Ip Man meets Bruce Lee (Danny Chan) who asks to become his disciple. The producers wanted to CGI Lee's face on the actor, but could not get permission from his estate. The actor does a credible performance with the cocky attitude that is Bruce Lee. One day, the young son Ip Ching gets in trouble with another boy at school. Cheung Fung says that his father Cheung Tin-chi (Max Zhang) is also a practitioner of Wing Chun. The single father is a rickshaw puller trying to earn enough money to open his own school. He also fights for extra cash at black market boxing matches run my Ma King-sang (Patrick Tam) a local triad leader. His boss is Frank (Mike Tyson) an unscrupulous real estate tyrant. He sends King-sang's men to get the principal at the school to sign over the property. Fortunately Ip Man shows up to help dispatch the thugs. He seeks the help of his friend and police detective Fatso (Kent Cheng), who can't do anything because his British boss is in cahoots with Frank.

There are some amazing fighting scenes as Ip Man confronts Ma and multiple thugs while Ip Man and his students protect the school. He also sees the skills of Tin-chi who aids preventing the principal getting kidnapped. Later Ma gives Tin-chi lots of money to carry out a job hurting Master Tin (Leung Ka Yan), Ma's old teacher. Later, Ma tries to kidnap some of the students in exchange for the principal, but it's Ip Ching and Cheung Fung who are captured earning the ire of their well skilled fathers. There's an amazing battle sequence involving shipyard workers with Ip Man and Tin-chi fighting a never ending supply of bad guys. Frank sends a Thai fighter to take out Ip Man, which he does in an elevator while protecting his wife. Finally Ip Man decides to confront Frank and we see Tyson and Yen tough it out. The previews make a big thing out of their confrontation which seems a small part of the overall movie. It is almost like it's just something that Ip Man scratches off his list of things to do that day. It doesn't mean that it's not exciting. It's a very visually stimulating clash of fighting styles.

The final confrontation is between the Tin-chi who wants to become the Grandmaster of the traditional Wing Chun martial arts faction. The prideful Tin-chi and the cool calm Ip in a meet at the bequest of Ip's dying from cancer wife is one of the best so far. They use poles, knives, and fists. They both seem evenly matched. At the end, Ip Man tells him that nothing is more important than having your love by your side. At times the movie is floating too many plot lines, and not enough resolutions between the fighting sequences. Ip Man is so laid back at times, he doesn't seem to break a sweat when he's working it. The script by Edmond Wong is serviceable but somewhat pedestrian. The real heart of the story, is Ip Man's devotion and love to his wife. This is a good reason to go see the first 2 films to understand the chemistry between them.
(Review by reesa)





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Anomalisa





This film about a man at the top of his career who is just fed up with his life’s aspects is a one of a kind treat that uses animation for adults. The engaging use of stop-motion blended perfectly with the story. The set pieces were incredibly detailed and looked as if they were real airports and hotels. When the film opens, the audience sees a light brown sky with an airplane right in the middle of velvet clouds. I was so interested on how they did that as it looked very realistic. Throughout the whole experience I was thinking about how much time it took the team behind this project to complete it. One part of the creative process that I found very likable was the line in the middle of the puppets’ faces. This reminded us that they were just figures that needed to be moved all of the time. Then with that you realize how well of a performance the filmmakers did in achieving completion. The water that we saw on the pavement in the airport pick-up area looked so cared for that it was a little eerie. In regards to the story, there is an early scene when the focused on character, Michael Stone, checks into his hotel. The clerk looks at him the whole time while he is typing to get a special room for him. This tiny segment was pretty laughable when we see Michael Stone’s tired face looking back at the clerk. Another way the filmmakers put everyday situations in the movie was when the bellhop asks for money without saying anything. These puppets were the perfect use for comedy. Michael Stone seems like he’s tired of his life and the routine of people catering to him all of the time. He doesn’t like where his mind is at because it seems bleak and sort of depressed. He has a son and an on the rocks relationship with his wife. He is a customer service guru with a book that has just come out. He’s sad and angry at the same time. I could fully understand all of the character’s emotions through this puppet thanks to some wonderful acting from the voice for Mr. Stone. A relationship occurs through one night in the film and there are some huge factors of loneliness that are turned to love which was beautiful to me. I was very impressed because now I know about one more action that animation can bring to us.
(Review by Wyatt Head)




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Norm of the North




Most animated for kids movies involving the frozen north or south involve penguins, whales and climate change. Norm of the North deals with a talking polar bear and his lemming sidekicks against wanton real estate development. The debut directorial effort of Trevor Wall was written by Steven M. Altiere, Daniel R. Altiere, and Malcom T. Goldman. The film is filled with caricatures and somewhat amusing slapstick humor, not to mention an annoying twerking dance called the Artic Shake. The movie was originally supposed to be a direct to video feature. Two more follow ups are due to your Red Boxes soon.

Polar bear Norm (voiced by Rob Schneider) is basically a failure as a predatory hunter. His attempts at chasing seals are never successful, that even with tourists egging him on to kill so they can film it, he just can't do it. The rest of the local arctic critters all tease him of his inability to hunt. Norm had sought advise from his grandfather (Colin Meaney) who told him that Norm was given the gift like him to talk human. The reason for this gift is something that he has to discover on his own. He tells Norm that he is a bear with too much care and not enough scare. But now his grandfather has disappeared. Socrates (Bill Nighy), the psychiatric seagull tells him that he may have gone to stave off some impending doom. The clue to that possible doom shows up on the ice as a “model home". A land developer of Greene Homes (Ken Jeong) wants to offer condos in the arctic. He sent up his marketing manager Vera (Heather Graham) to find ways of selling the concept. Norm and some of the lemmings (looking and sounding somewhat like Minions), sabotage the commercial shoot. Except that Vera manages to catch some footage of Norm looking mean and charging the camera. Greene loves it and puts out a call for actors to play a polar bear as their mascot.

Norm and 3 of the lemmings follow Vera back to NYC where they hope to stop the development. He gets confused for one of the actors hoping to represent Greene Homes because after all he speaks human. He gets the job because he looks, smells and sounds like a polar bear. He becomes friends with Vera and her genius daughter hoping for her help in stopping the project. At the Greene's office he smells his grandfather who is being held captive in a hidden room. Together they plot to save their world.

It's pretty predictable even for kids to figure out. Greene is so over the top representative of corporate greed. The cute little lemmings for some reason urinate in planters and fish tanks. And nobody realizes that Norm is actually a polar bear. It's one of those watch and forget kind of kids films.
(Review by reesa)






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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Movies Scheduled 1/10-1/16

Well I didn't win the power ball last night. So I guess I won't be traveling the world.

Since I keep getting the times wrong I am just going to stop putting the times. Just look at your ticket it will have the time.

We don't always get the link to approve your msg's right when you send it so if you wait late in the afternoon for passes we won't get it until after the movie has started. I have asked you don't wait to the day of to ask for the pass. I want everyone to get tickets to the movies they want to see. Also remember to get there early since seating is limited.

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


Sunday Jan. 10th


Monday Jan. 11th


Tuesday Jan 12th

Ride Along 2 AMC Northpark
Anomalisa Angelika Dallas
13 Hours: The Secret Soliders of Benghazi AT&T Stadium


Wednesday Jan. 13th

Ride Along 2 AMC Northpark


Thursday Jan. 14th

Anomalisa Angelika Dallas


Friday Jan. 15th


Saturday Jan. 16th




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Friday, January 8, 2016

The Revenant




A Revenant. A visible ghost or animated corpse sent to terrorize the living. A 2002 literary release by the same name from Michael Punke, that tells the story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his miraculous survival from a visceral grizzly mauling, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds when left to die by fellow fur trappers. He drags himself, crawls, floats, limps, walks and sometime rides 300 miles over two months from abandonment point to an established Fort and was able to seek out the main one who abandoned him. A story of the human spirit, spurred on by revenge and the drive to survive until the last breath is taken. The 2015 film, The Revenant, is already being hailed and the top picture of the year, and a shoe in for Oscars for male actor, cinematographer and possibly director and film editing.

Alejandro Inarritu (director) is fresh off an Oscar win for Birdman and Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematography) is in line for a third consecutive Oscar following Gravity and Birdman. Emmanuel also was cinematographer for Tree of Life and Children of Men and is inarguably one of the best. We last heard a score from composer Ryuichi Sakamoto in 1987, with The Last Emperor. Combine this level of talent with a special effects staff of 28, 30 make up artists, 56 art department workers, 49 sound professionals, 47 stunt actors and 222 visual effects artists and send them to Canada, Montana and seeking snow in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, for some of the most amazingly spectacular scenery ever put on film and you have a future classic that will be talked about for months and be hard to get out of your mind. The filming angles and approaches, the portrayals of raw and savage nature, the close focus and wide angle showcases exist to make the viewer become a part of the backdrop.

The Revenant is truly spectacular and unforgettable. The setting and scenery compete for best actor as captured by the crew. You feel the cold, can hear the ice melt, sense the trees move and the leaves rustle, hear the sounds of wildlife in the distance and endure immersion in frigid rivers. A favorite scene shows Glass and his enemy engaged in a to-the -death fight while light moves in from the upper right to illuminate trees on the incline up from the riverbed. The movement of light and snow is a powerful effect. Icy breath fogs the camera lens but blood spatters it too. The movie is also terrifyingly brutal all the way around. There is blood and gore aplenty via Native American attacks (an Arikara massacre 30 plus trappers), man vs man struggles and man vs nature encounters. It is not an easy watch but once pulled in, it is very hard not to look away as the draw is substantial. The film portrays accurately what the life of a trapper would have been like in the 1920's to near perfection. Leo is in the finest and hardest role of his life and took it very seriously, taking four months to grow a beard and consuming real raw bison liver on screen. He has possibly 15-20 actual lines of dialogue, yet he conveys anguish, pain, suffering, anger and determination with his face and body. The 80 day, 9 month shoot used natural light and as a result, limited the time shooting could take place each day. Sometimes they only had 2 1/2 hours. But the result is simply stunning. One of the most beautiful pictures made or seen. Other players are the Pawnee, the Sioux, the Ree, French fur traders, Glass nemesis John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and an 18 year old Jim Bridger (British actor Will Poulter- delivering a huge performance surprise after a comedic turn in We are the Millers ), one of the greatest mountain men in US history. The moral component lies within Bridger and expedition leader Captain Andrew Henry (Donhnall Gleeson).

The filmmakers and writers took some liberties with the story. Glass did not have an Indian wife or son. His epic journey was in South Dakota and not in winter and in real life, he forgave Fitzgerald but these additions in the film add fuel to Glass's struggle and desire to live. There is a spiritual component written in via his visions, onscreen, of his Pawnee wife (Grace Dove) and half breed son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) whom Fitzgerald murders in cold blood. There is lively debate as to whether Glass could have actually survived the conditions in the film, as shown, with the majority saying no way. This reviewer, having stood in a glacial river for only two minutes time, and knowing how the rapidly numbing sensations feel, believes that Glass surely would have succumbed to hypothermia, especially when immersed and wet for extended lengths of time. When you read and actual list of Glass's injuries, it is indeed a miracle he survived to become the legend he did. At 2 1/2 plus hours of constant wonder and empathic stress, the possibility for emotional exhaustion exists for the movie goer but it is so very worth it. One will never quite look at or hold respect for the power of the wilderness again. The Revenant is a must see.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Revenant





Opening:

As I approached the theater to see it, I was thinking to myself, “Leonardo DiCaprio goes into hiding in the woods, grows a beard, and wrestles a bear. It's either "The Revenant" or a documentary of Leo going insane after his last Oscar loss.” Terrible jokes aside, there is a reason why this is Reesa’s and my favorite film of 2015. Let’s get real and break this down.

Plot:
A frontiersman named Hugh Glass on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s is on a quest for survival after being brutally mauled by a bear.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director of last year’s best picture winner Birdman, does it again and brings us a visceral, brutal experience of survival in the harsh wilderness. All in all, this is a revenge story and the film doesn’t let go. Every single frame you are on the edge of your seat in bone chilling suspense and sheer awe from the luscious imagery. You always felt cold and like you are going along on this harrowing journey.

Cons:
If I had to make any criticism, the writing isn’t particularly strong. It’s there and it moves the story along, but you won’t sit there going, “Well, that story and dialogue was top-notch.” The visuals sweep you off your feet and keep your eyes glued.

Acting

Pros:

Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of the year and of his career. I felt the rage, pain, and despair throughout his character and I wanted him to succeed in the end. Leo’s dedication seeps through the screen as your jaw is dropping when you realize what he is doing is out in actual cold landscapes, it’s quite amazing to witness. Tom Hardy plays an A-Hole and he plays a dang good one. The supporting cast is also good as Will Poulter surprised me with an unexpected great performance.

Cons:
Domhnall Gleeson was good and everything but I didn’t really buy into a certain choice he makes, however, I understand why he did it. You will know when you see it.

Cinematography

Pros:
Emmanuel Lubezki is one of the best cinematographers in the business and every time he shoots a films it is a painting come to life. This film is no different. It is the most beautiful film of 2015. The harsh environment is filmed in a rich, dream-like, gorgeous way that the cinematography is, without a doubt, the best thing about this film. I also have to give huge accolades to Inarritu and Lubezki for wanting to shoot in natural light to get the most authentic feel.

Cons:
None.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

The gorgeous imagery and grounded performances keep you interested throughout. The infamous “bear scene” is one of those scenes you will be talking about for quite some time. The special effects, acting, and cinematography in that scene are so impressive that it boggles my mind on how they created that scene with a CGI bear and the fact that it was shot in natural light.

Cons:
It clocks in at about two hours and forty minutes and, for some people, it can seem boring and repetitive, really weighing the film down. This is a long movie, but for me, it was engaging. It won’t be for everyone.


Overall:
This felt like I was transported into a brutal, breathtaking, dream set in 1800’s frontier times that I didn’t want to wake up from. This grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. This is my favorite film of 2015.

Grade: A
(Review by Chase Lee)







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Sunday, January 3, 2016

NTFCA Announces the Best of 2015





The North Texas Film Critics Association announced the Best of 2015!

BEST PICTURE
The Martian

BEST DIRECTOR

Ridley Scott/The Martian

BEST ACTOR

Leo DiCaprio/The Revenant

BEST ACTRESS

Brie Larson/Room

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Idris Elba/Beasts of No Nation

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh/The Hateful Eight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Emmanuel Lubezki/The Revenant

BEST ANIMATED

Inside Out

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Amy

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Son of Saul



https://sites.google.com/a/northtexasfilmcritics.com/www/home/best-of-2015-from-the-ntfca




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Movies Scheduled 1/3-1/9

Well we made it to 2016!! I hope you made some cool plans for the year!! I know I have!

Not a lot of movies this week. Maybe you can catch up on movies that maybe you missed.

What movies are you looking forward to this year. For me it is Superman vs. Batman


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


Sunday Jan. 3rd


Monday Jan. 4th


Tuesday Jan. 5th

Shades of Blue 7:00 p.m. AMC Northpark


Wednesday Jan. 6th

The Revenant 7:00 p.m. Angelika Dallas
The Forrest 7:30 p.m. AMC Northpark
The Boy 7:30 p.m. Cinemark West


Thursday Jan. 7th


Friday Jan. 8th


Saturday Jan. 9th

Norm of the North 10:00 a.m. AMC Northpark




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