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, July 30, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 30 - August 5


Can you believe its almost August. Basically the last month of summer vacation and school will be back in session.

Lots of sources for passes have been posted for the few selections this week. But if you want to help out please put OFFER in the heading of your email if you have a pass to spare. And to those responding please write directly to that person, and not to the list. Also, if you are looking for a pass, please put NEED or WANT in the heading of your email.

July 30 - August 5

Sun July 30

Wind River - 7:00 pm - Four Day Weekend 312 Houston Street Fort Worth, TX 76102

Mon July 31

Kidnap - 7:30 pm - South Harkins

Tue August 1

The Glass Castle -7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Wed August 2

Kidnap - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
The Dark Tower - 7:00 pm = Angelika Dallas
The Dark Tower - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Annabelle Creation - 8:00 - AMC Mesquite

Sat - August 5

The Nut Job 2 - 10:00 am - Cinemark Tinseltown Grapevine





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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sci-Fi Summer Film Series






The USA Film Festival and the
Angelika Film Center Dallas
Present Sci-Fi Summer Film Series

DALLAS -- The USA Film Festival and the Angelika Film Center Dallas will partner to present Sci-Fi Summer Film Series, a 4-film series in August featuring contemporary and classic science fiction films.

The series will take place at 7:00pm on Tuesdays in August at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.

Village of the Damned (1960) - Tuesday, August 8th, 7:00pm
Logan's Run (1976) - Tuesday, August 15th, 7:00pm
Dark City (1998) - Tuesday, August 22nd, 7:00pm
Attack the Block (2011) - Tuesday, August 29th, 7:00pm


"For this fun, big-screen series, we picked some of our favorite films from the past five decades that rightly deserve classic status - several of which were overlooked at the time of their release (Attack the Block and Dark City)," said Ann Alexander, Managing Director for USA Film Festival.

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)
-- After all the residents (human and animal) of the quaint English village of Midwich go mysteriously unconscious for 4 hours one day, all of the women of child-bearing age awake to find that they are pregnant. When 12 otherworldly children are subsequently born - all on the same day - the fun really begins. The wonderful George Sanders gets to play a sympathetic and heroic character for a change and he does it with terrific grace as the children's chief advocate. Faithfully adapted by German director Wolf Rilla from John Wyndham's spooky novel ("The Midwich Cuckoos") in gorgeous black and white, this eerie classic still has the power to chill -- and the last scene will have you holding your breath! Not rated.

LOGAN'S RUN (1976) -- Welcome to the 23rd Century - an idyllic domed world of pleasure where everything is perfect. Until you turn 30 years old, that is, when inhabitants are sent for "renewal" ascending heavenward on a carousel as friends and family applaud (where they are actually killed). Logan 5 (Michael York) is a "sandman" in this fabulous futuristic world assigned to intercept "runners" who attempt to escape the city. When Logan is double-crossed by the computer-mind that rules the city, he decides to take a runner himself and the beautiful Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter) joins him. The Dallas-filmed cult classic features super-cool shooting locations including the Dallas Apparel Mart and the Fort Worth Water Gardens. The cast also includes Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov. Rated R.

DARK CITY (1998) -- In a city that never sees a sunrise, who are the mysterious group of bald men who drug the city's inhabitants and manipulate their memories - and what do they want? Nothing is as it seems in Alex Proyas' grimy neo-noir masterpiece. Starring Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, William Hurt, Richard O'Brien, Ian Richardson and Colin Friels. Rated R.

ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011) -- Alien invaders get more than they bargained for in this London-set kids-vs-aliens super-fun, old-school creature feature. Overlooked at the time of its release, Joe Cornish's feature debut is a rip-roaring good time that deserves modern classic status. The cast of (then) unknown kids includes the film debut of John Boyega who stars as Finn in the new Star Wars films. Also starring Nick Frost as the tower block's resident drug dealer and Jodie Whittaker who, as announced this summer, will be the first woman to play The Doctor in the Doctor Who film series. Rated R.

TICKETS are $11 each per screening and are on sale now at www.angelikafilmcenter.com

ABOUT THE USA FILM FESTIVAL -- Now celebrating its 48th anniversary year, the USA Film Festival is a Dallas-based, 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in the film and video arts. The Festival's year-round programs and events include KidFilm®, special monthly programs and premieres, and the USA Film Festival, held each spring, one of the oldest film festivals in the U.S. The USA Film Festival is supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.

For additional information about the program, contact the USA Film Festival at 214-821-6300 or usafilmfest@aol.com






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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Women in Texas Film Festival






The Women Texas Film Festival presented by Studio Movie Grill
announces selections for 2nd edition of the film festival
(August 16-20)

Savannah Bloch’s Award-Winning AND THEN THERE WAS EVE
is Opening Night Selection

Brooke and Doug Purdy’s QUALITY PROBLEMS is
the Closing Night Selection


Dallas, TX (July 25, 2017) – The Women Texas Film Festival presented by Studio Movie Grill today announced the official selections for the second year of the critically-acclaimed Dallas-based film festival which focuses solely on the work of female filmmakers. Screening exclusively at Studio Movie Grill’s Northwest Highway location in Dallas (10110 Technology Blvd.) on August 16-20, WTxFF has chosen Savannah Bloch’s award-winning, AND THEN THERE WAS EVE as their Opening Night selection, with Brooke and Doug Purdy’s festival favorite, QUALITY PROBLEMS, taking the Closing Night slot. This year’s edition of WTxFF will showcase 8 feature-length films, 38 short films, and 3 VR projects screening.

WTxFF Founder and Artistic Director Justina Walford, said, “Following the success of last year’s WTxFF, our challenge this year was to grow in the areas where our hopes and ambitions led us, without jeopardizing the things that worked so well in our debut. Of course, that starts with the films, so while we added a dozen or so, including a few that have made a mark at other noteworthy fests, we were very careful to hold fast to our programming vision that people responded so well to during our launch. As the only full-fledged film festival in Texas focusing solely on the work of women behind the camera, the heart of WTxFF is shining a light on women pulling the strings and at the helm of visual storytelling. Once again, we look forward to putting the women responsible for these stories on a pedestal here in Dallas."

Newly installed WTxFF Executive Director Vanessa Cook added, “As a presenting sponsor, Studio Movie Grill will enhance the viewing and dining experience for our patrons in their state-of-the-art theaters. Their belief in Women Texas Film Festival speaks volumes and will contribute to the success of our mission moving forward. I’m in love with our lineup this year and thrilled that many filmmakers will be in attendance! We have the essential elements in place for a fantastic film festival." She continued, “The Dallas Film Society, Women in Film-Dallas, Dallas Comedy House, Dallas Comedy Festival, and Texas Frightmare Weekend are co-presenting several of our films, and the Dallas Film Commission and Selig Polyscope Company have returned as sponsors. The support of these incredible organizations is a huge boost for WTxFF and female filmmakers."

The Opening Night selection is immediate evidence of WTxFF balancing it’s acclaimed programming acumen with the ability, in just its second year, to attract award-winning films from larger fests to Dallas. Winner of the LA Muse Award for Best Fiction Film at the LA Film Festival, Bloch’s AND THEN THERE WAS EVE is a rare psychological thriller/romance hybrid about a photographer, who wakes one morning to find her apartment ransacked and her husband gone. Without anything to offer the police to help find him or investigate, she turns to his colleague Eve, a jazz musician with a flirtatious charm and disarming grace. Eve helps the woman confront her husband’s longtime struggle with depression and to, over time, accept his absence. While getting to know this woman through such unusual circumstances, Alyssa is surprised to find herself falling in love again. AND THEN THERE WAS EVE will screen on Wednesday, August 16, with Bloch expected to attend the screening.

Brooke and Doug Purdy’s QUALITY PROBLEMS will serve as the Closing Night selection on Saturday, August 19, co-presented by the Dallas Comedy House and the Dallas Comedy Festival. The film has been a popular performer on the film festival circuit thus far in 2016 with appearances at notable regional fests like Cinequest, Bentonville, Harlem, and a scheduled appearance at Woods Hole before screening in Texas for the first time at WTxFF. The husband and wife team co-directed, co-produced, and co-starred in the entertaining film, which skillfully manages to balance both grass-roots humor with “life in crisis” events as the couple deals with a breast cancer reoccurrence diagnosis at the same time her father’s ability to deal with his Alzheimer’s condition deteriorates, and perhaps, most alarmingly – their 8-year-old daughter’s birthday party is fast-approaching. The film also stars a host of recognizable names and faces in cameo appearances, including Chris Mulkey, Robbie Rist, and Mo Gaffney, among others. Brooke Purdy and co-writer/producer Colette Freedman are expected to attend.

Another highlight in the 2017 WTxFF lineup is Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak’s sexually charged drama, MAYA DARDEL. Co-presented with the Dallas Film Society, the film, which screened earlier this year at SXSW, features Lena Olin as the title character, who issues a challenge to male writers to visit her in an effort to compete to be executors of her estate. A Samuel Goldwyn Films release, MAYA DARDEL also stars Rosanna Arquette. Other highly anticipated features include Cati Gonzalez’s EKAJ, and the Brazilian duo of Monica Demes’s LILITH’S AWAKENING, and Luciana Canton’s PUBLIC INTIMACY. EKAJ is a love story between two young male drifters, a naive teenager and a sarcastic hustler. The film has been described as a cross between the infamous KIDS and MIDNIGHT COWBOY. LILITH’S AWAKENING, which is co-presented with Texas Frightmare Weekend, is a psychological horror art film that tells the story of Lucy, a sexually repressed woman trapped in a loveless marriage and a dead-end job at her father’s service station in a small Iowa town. Until the appearance of a female vampire in her dreams and her world changes everything. PUBLIC INTIMACY deals with sexuality and love on public and private levels via four stories touching on profound themes, like homophobia, prostitution, transsexuality and madness.

A pair of feature-length documentary selections demonstrate WTxFF’s desire to not just zero in on filmmaking skill, but also to explore subjects and issues that women in this country face. Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir’s I AM EVIDENCE, which is produced by Mariska Hargitay and includes the Emmy-award winning actress’s appearance in the film, looks at the alarming backlog of unprocessed rape kits and the enduring issues and trauma that survivors must deal with due to their cases hanging in perpetual limbo. Signe Taylor’s IT’S CRIMINAL: A TALE OF TWO AMERICAS (which will be co-presented with Women in Film – Dallas) explores the plight of incarcerated women and the economic and social divide it highlights and exacerbates through a program where inmates connect with Dartmouth College students.

The shorts programs include themes of “Liquid Lunch,” “Comedy,” (which is also co-presented by Dallas Comedy House and the Dallas Comedy Festival), “Dark Minds, Dark Worlds” (also co-presented by Texas Frightmare Weekend), “Strong Female Characters,” and “Wonder Women.” Like last year, the shorts programs skew toward darker and edgier material highlighting “WTF” moments, with the added emphasis this year of emphasizing strong, dynamic female characters put in the forefront of the storytelling.

The Women Texas Film Festival will also, once again, offer virtual reality (VR) programming, free to any festival attendee, in the lobby of the Studio Movie Grill’s Northwest Highway location. The three female-created projects include; Kelsey Sante’s FAMILY PORTRAIT, which puts the viewer inside a family’s home as they deal with the repeated cycle of tragedy caused by drug addiction; Susana Gibb’s HOMELESSNESS 360, which explores the immediacy of the homeless lifestyle in Dallas through a 360 degree viewing experience; and for a lighter VR experience - Maggie F. Levin’s VAIN: THIS PARTY SUCKS, which places the viewer in the middle of a warehouse rave as it is being attacked by a bunch of hungry vampires.

Film festival passes and tickets are on-sale now. Trailblazer VIP passes are $95 and allow access to all films, parties, and events, Film passes are $75, and Student passes (including access to all WTxFF parties and events) are $50. Individual Tickets are $10. For more information on the Women Texas Film festival go to WomenTxFF.org. To purchase VIP passes, the special Shorts Programs package, or tickets to individual screenings go to: https://prekindle.com/event/58319-women-texas-film-festival-badge-sales-dallas.



The 2017 Women Texas Film Festival official selections:

OPENING NIGHT SELECTION
AND THEN THERE WAS EVE

Director: Savannah Bloch
Country: USA, Running Time: 97min
Alyssa, a successful photographer, wakes one morning to find her apartment ransacked and her husband mysteriously missing. Left without even a photograph to offer the police, she turns to his colleague Eve, a talented jazz pianist with a flirtatious charm and disarming grace. Eve helps her confront her husband’s longtime struggle with depression and to, over time, accept his absence. While getting to know this woman through such unusual circumstances, Alyssa is surprised to find herself falling in love again.

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION
QUALITY PROBLEMS
Directors: Brooke Purdy, Doug Purdy
Country: USA, Running Time: 106min
Bailey and Drew are a 40-something couple much like other couples: They have two kids, two jobs, one dad with Alzheimer’s and one boob with cancer. Toss in planning a birthday party for an 8-year old, and the only thing you can do is laugh.


EKAJ
Director: Cati Gonzalez
Country: USA, Running Time: 80min
A love story between two drifters, a naive teenager and a sarcastic hustler. EKAJ is a film packed with real life drama and raw sense of humor. The film capture’s a runaway journey to New York City. After a few rude awakenings, Ekaj (Jake Mestre) meets Mecca (Badd Idea) who takes him under his care. Mecca is a foul mouthed character who has AIDS and multiple problems of his own. He is high all day but still manages to be the only voice of reason in Ekaj’s hopeless world. They cruise the city together looking for money and places to stay. The core of the movie is Ekaj, who thinks he will become the lover of a rich man and be taken care of for life but ends up finding his dreams quickly shattered. Although he makes some money as a prostitute, he finds he is disposable, replaceable and lacking what it takes to survive in the city. Mecca shows him how to endure and not lose hope. As the film progresses, their relationship develops into true friendship and love as they lean on each other for survival.

I AM EVIDENCE
Directors: Trish Adlesic, Geeta Gandbhir
Country: USA, Running Time: 87min
I AM EVIDENCE exposes the shocking number of untested rape kits in the United States today. Despite the power of DNA to solve and prevent crimes, hundreds of thousands of kits containing potentially crucial DNA evidence languish untested in police evidence storage rooms across the country. Behind each of these kits lies an individual’s unresolved sexual assault case. Produced by Mariska Hargitay, I AM EVIDENCE follows stories of survivors who have waited years for their kits to be tested, as well as the law enforcement officials who are leading the charge to work through the backlog and pursue long-awaited justice in these cases. The film reveals the high cost of the lingering lassitude surrounding rape investigations in this country, and the positive effects of treating survivors with the respect they deserve and an opportunity for justice.

IT’S CRIMINAL: A TALE OF TWO AMERICAS
Director: Signe Taylor
Country: USA, Running Time: 78min
IT'S CRIMINAL: A TALE OF TWO AMERICAS is a powerful critique of the economic and social inequities that divide the United States. Featuring incarcerated woman working with Dartmouth College students, the film shows that empathy is a powerful force in bridging the divide.

LILITH’S AWAKENING
Director: Monica Demes
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 80min
LILITH’S AWAKENING is a psychological horror art film that tells the story of Lucy, a sexually repressed woman trapped in a loveless marriage and a dead-end job at her father’s service station in a small Iowa town. The highlight of her existence comes at night, when she dreams of a mysterious and beautiful woman who haunts the woods outside her modest home. One night, a mechanic who works for her father forces himself on Lucy, awakening in her an uncontrollable dark force. When he makes her promise to meet him later at his hideaway in the woods, it may be the girl of her dreams – not his – who shows up for the fateful rendezvous.

MAYA DARDEL
Director: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak
Country: USA, Running Time: 104min
The film depicts the final weeks leading to the ambiguous disappearance of Maya Dardel, an internationally respected poet and novelist, who lived until 2016 in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Maya announces on National Public Radio that she intends to end her life and that young male writers may compete to become the executor of her estate. They are challenged intellectually, emotionally, erotically, until one of them begins to fathom Maya's end game. The film stars Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette.

PUBLIC INTIMACY
Director: Luciana Canton
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 71min
PUBLIC INTIMACY is a movie about how we deal with sexuality and love on public and private levels. The four stories within the film deal with urgent and profound themes, like homophobia, prostitution, transsexuality and madness. PUBLIC INTIMACY proposes a cinema that is focused on its characters. They struggle to become who they really are.



SHORTS PROGRAMS

SHORTS PROGRAM #1: LIQUID LUNCH
(TRT: 43min)

ALTERNATIVE SCENARIO
Director: Jennifer Ford
Country: USA, Running Time: 2:09min
A study in objectification of the male form on film

BANANA FILM
Director: Emily Miller
Country: USA, Running Time: 1:15min
The product of a beard, a banana costume, and some bored teenagers in the summer.

CALL OF CUTENESS
Director: Brenda Lien
Country: Germany, Running Time: 4min
Whilst we remain safe and sound, watching the highest grossing cat fail compilation - all that is kept out of sight gets back to us in this consumerist nightmare. On a global playground, without bounds, the cat’s body is devoured, exploited and controlled - its fear of pain being stronger than its longing for freedom. Objects are fetishized and subjects made into things that are quantifiable and ready for use. They are the natural resources of a luxury they will never know. We are here because you were there – and waste is dumped in the ocean. In the end, bodies reveal the causes and effects of power, pleasure and hate.

COLOR
Director: Emily Miller
Country: USA, Running Time: 5:40min
A young woman tries to create a piece of art.

THE CONTEST
Director: Aimee Morgan
Country: USA, Running Time: 7:54min
A darkly comic horror film about an annual cherry pie contest in a small town where one - or more - of the contestants is a murderer

GONNA GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU
Director: Saylor Ley
Country: USA, Running Time: 2:20min
A love story with creepy masks and dancing.

HI STRANGER

Director: Kirsten Lepore
Country: USA, Running Time: 3min
The story is about 50 shapes of you drawn by a cute nutty human being that stares directly into your soul.

IMAGINARY LOVE
Director: Beatrice Bellino
Country: USA, Running Time: 4:20min
A story of objects, shadows of possibility, processing that, and letting go. A burlesque fantasy of objects buries a memory of childhood trauma until it can no longer remain hidden.

THAT’S MY BOY
Director: Rudy Cervantez
Country: USA, Running Time: :30min
A baby is fed his favorite dish.
(Producers: Rudy Cervantez, Nicole Pence, Director of Photography: Director of Photography: Nicole Pence)

TROLL: A SOUTHERN TALE
Director: Marinah Janello
Country: USA, Running Time: 11:30min
An eccentric artist navigates self-expression through his experiences living and growing up in the South.


SHORTS PROGRAM #2: COMEDY

(TRT: 91min)

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Director: Atheena Frizzell
Country: USA, Running Time: 4:09min
A teenage girl must figure out a way to keep a secret from her devout family.

BLOOD SISTERS
Directors: Caitlin Koller, Lachlan Smith
Country: Australia, Running Time: 10:30min
Amateur witchcraft conjures up bloody consequences

DUMPED
Director: Desiree Nash
Country: USA, Running Time: 8:52min
Dee gets dumped while sitting on the toilet. Mostly based on a true story.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEX EDUCATION
Director: L. Elizabeth Powers
Country: USA, Running Time: 14:57min
In 1976, a 12-year-old girl tries to unravel the mysteries of sex ed.

NATHERINE: FUTURE EXPERIENCE
Director: Rachel Wilson
Country: USA, Running Time: 21:15min
Nat and Kat - the world’s worst drug dealers - are cut off by their parents right at the cusp of their experimental band’s rise to internet infamy. They’re thousands of dollars in debt for their bad business investment - a huge brick of skunk weed. On top of all that, they are being fined $25,000 by the US government (a real thing!) for their use of real eagle feathers in their radically offensive culturally appropriative music video, shot by a fake shaman in a fake sweat lodge in Joshua Tree. When the rent is due on their luxury loft in DTLA, they must take in roommates to be able to stay: Gideon, an aspiring musician/comedian from Illinois, and Chloe, a successful Instagram model/philanthropist. Will they pay their rent and save their band and their pet hedgehog Kiki?

SERVICE ELEVATOR
Director: Sarah Adams, Maggie Reith Austin
Country: USA, Running Time: 8:30min
On her way to a life-changing meeting, Claire takes a moment of meditation in the quiet solitude of the service elevator. Her focus is interrupted when she is abruptly joined by a manic stranger. Claire struggles to regain her calm, finding peace in the knowledge that elevator rides don't last an eternity. Then, between floors, the elevator stops. The next few minutes feel like eternity as Claire unexpectedly finds herself at a crossroad. She did not plan for this.

SOCIAL HOUR
Director: Leelila Strogov
Country: USA, Running Time: 10min
Nora only wants two things for her 72nd birthday: the demise of her patronizing retirement home orderly and some reefer. A Columbia College Chicago senior thesis film created by an all female team (director, editor, production designer, producer, and director of photography). This film about women by women features music from the female punk rock group, The Coathangers.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD

Director: Ching Wang
Country: USA, Running Time: 12:06min
The ideal world of a compulsive alienated young man shatter as a spontaneous woman shakes up his everyday routine. A sparkling adventure between Bob, Alex, and Kiddo.


SHORTS PROGRAM #3: DARK MINDS, DARK WORLDS
(TRT: 75min)

A BIRD’S NEST
Director: Christine Chen
Country: USA, Running Time: 14:41min
A lonely boy hides from his troubled life in his secret hideout, until the day he befriends the girl next door.

JAPANESE LEGENDS: SLIT
Director: Pablo Asento
Country: Japan, Running Time: 8:57min
The film tells about a part of a famous urban legend, which is believed to be based on true events. A strange character walking around the empty streets was terrifying locals in 70s-80s of the last century. Rumors of alleged sightings began spreading around the Nagasaki prefecture, then spread throughout Japan and caused panic in many towns.
(Producers: Pablo Absento, Satoru Fukuyama)

JULES D
Director: Rodolfo Cervantez
Country: USA, Running Time: 10:40min
A woman bullied by a clique of bake sale mean girls takes action.
(Producer: Sierra Robinson, Producer and Cinematographer: Nicole Pence)

MIMI’S MISADVENTURE
Director: R.D. Womack II
Country: USA, Running Time: 12min
This tongue in cheek dark comedy follows Mimi, a former prostitute and heroin addict who is down on her luck. While working at her job in a strip club, Mimi overhears a conversation that can change her life forever.
(Producer/Screenwriter/Cast: Ashley Atwood)

REAL ARTISTS

Director: Cameo Wood
Country: USA, Running Time: 12min
Against all odds, Sophia Baker just scored her dream interview at the world-famous Semaphore Animation Studios -- who’d have thought a fan edit of one of their hit films could land her a shot at a job? But when she meets arch, mysterious executive Anne Palladon, she soon learns all is not as she expects behind the curtain. Every instinct Sophia has ever had about art in filmmaking is about to be challenged. Based on Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning author Ken Liu’s short story of the same name, Real Artists asks a poignant question: In a dystopian near-future where big data, AI and natural language processing learn and create quickly and at massive scale, what role can a single artist play? Is Sophia a creative rebel who can make a difference? Or is the situation more serious than that?

SOMBRAS
Director: Alycya Magaña
Country: USA, Running Time: 9:30min
Ana, a broken, young woman, must choose between living in the past or finally overcoming it.

TWO TEXAS

Director: Emilie Biason
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 7min
Isabella is an 18-year-old girl who collects knives waiting for an intervention of destiny to use them. The Intervention occurs when her grandmother, watching a TV show, recognizes the bride of the son of Denis, the man who abandoned her at the altar. Suddenly, two armed boys arrive in the house, and she finds a reason to use the knives.



SHORTS PROGRAM #4: STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER
(TRT: 79min)

DRIVER’S ED
Director: Chase Norman
Country: USA, Running Time: 14:34min
A shy, overweight young woman leaves the safety of her home for an unwelcoming high school classroom.

EASY GIRL
Directors: Adam Goldhammer, Katie McMillan
Country: Canada, Running Time: 10:48min
A young woman struggling to come to terms with a traumatic sexual experience finds herself in competition with her roommate over the same man. Over the course of one night, a startling discovery forces her to confront her past and re-evaluate her relationships. EASY GIRL is a reflection on patriarchy, rape culture and female relationships, that seeks to challenge representations of “cattiness” as a natural or inevitable relationship between women.

EMMI
Director: Andrew Carslaw
Country: UK, Running Time: 10:08min
EMMI is a powerful drama about a teenager living in a tower block who has a dark secret. One evening she crosses paths with Sarah the kindly but nervous resident living in the flat below. The events which follow later in the night will change both of their lives forever.
(Producer/Screenwriter: Susan Stead)

FREEZE

Director: Nelicia Low
Country: Singapore, Running Time: 15min
When her husband cannot give her the love she desires, the lonely and insecure Hui will do anything to feel loved.

PAPARAZZO
Director: Angelika Bräuml
Country: Austria, Running Time: 16min
The encounter between a devoted fan and his big idol, a popular professional athlete, is changing both lives. Whilst the course will be set for a perfidious act in this drama, the question, who is using who for his own ends, is spotlighted more and more.

POSSIBILITY
Director: Siena Pinney
Country: USA, Running Time: 12:54min
A young woman takes a pill that changes the course of her life. Dreams and memories blend into reality as she faces herself and her relationship in a new light.


SHORTS PROGRAM #5: WONDER WOMEN
(TRT: 90min)

CHRISTINE
Director: Jessica Adler
Country: USA, Running Time: 10:03min
With the help of her best friend, Christine redefines her perception of strength and what it means to be herself.

DAYDREAM
Directors: Genevieve Kertesz
Country: Australia, Running Time: 14:15min
Mitch is a man who lives a controlled life with a self imposed strict set of rules and boundaries. One night he is dragged against his wishes into a fantasy strip club called “Daydream". He sees himself above the debauchery and depravity displayed by his work colleagues but then struggles to cope with his own hypocrisy and desires when he becomes obsessed with an exotic dancer named Scarlett.

HOODS
Director: Maja Aro
Country: Canada, Running Time: 20:14min
Upon finding her beloved Grams dead, Scarlet must unravel truths about Grams torrid past in order to carry on her legacy.

IF YOU ONLY KNEW
Director: Allison Unger
Country: USA, Running Time: 8:40min
An accomplished law student must endure her graduation party as she struggles to hide her obsessive compulsions that threaten to expose her.

IRON
Director: L. Gabriel Gonda
Country: USA, Running Time: 16:59min
During the First World War an unflinching young woman determined to defy traditional roles, travels west to pursue a job working the rails.

MAMA KIM

Director: Jaime Wilken
Country: South Korea, Running Time: 11:48min
MAMA KIM is a short film based on the life of a 77-year-old Korean woman who owns one of the oldest standing bars in Seoul. Mama is a tough, funny and charismatic woman who has lived through the Korean War and has dealt with insurmountable hardships. However, her silver lining has been her husband and the happiness he has brought her. The film briefly takes you through Mama Kim’s ups and downs and eventually highlights the unique coping mechanisms humans develop and adhere to.

SEARCH PARTY
Director: Tesia Joy Walker
Country: USA, Running Time: 7:39min
SEARCH PARTY is a short film about a lower middle class mother living in the projects, hosting a surprise party that is interrupted by an uninvited guest—the police. The police are on a manhunt looking for an unidentified suspect in the area, but she fights hard to keep them from ruining her son’s special day.


VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) PROJECTS

FAMILY PORTRAIT

Director: Kelsey Sante
Country: USA, Running Time: 4:53min
A family falls victim to the vicious cycle of addiction in a children's drawing brought to life. This virtual reality experience depicts history repeating itself through the lens of a young child. Featuring the live art of GSN SkinWars winner Natalie Fletcher and the choreography of Los Angeles dance duo The Psylence. FAMILY PORTRAIT is a collaboration between young filmmaker Kelsey Sante and We Are Famous.

HOMELESSNESS 360
Director: Susana Gibb
Country: USA, Running Time: 6min
In 360 seconds and 360 degrees, homelessness is explored in Dallas, TX.

VAIN: THIS PARTY SUCKS
Director: Maggie F. Levin
Country: USA, Running Time:
A warehouse rave makes a colorful snack for a coven of hungry vampires.



ABOUT THE WOMEN TEXAS FILM FESTIVAL

The Women Texas Film Festival (WTxFF) promotes established and emerging female storytellers in film, TV, and VR, celebrating the grit and range of women's voices. WTxFF screens qualified films that have women in at least one key creative role: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer. The WTxFF also organizes a host of activities for the festival and year-round focused on the craft and artistry of filmmaking, including moderated Q&As with filmmakers, panel discussions, networking events, and a gala night with filmmaker red carpet. For more information about Women Texas Film Festival, visit www.WomenTxFF.org.





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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 23 - July 29


Where did the month go? It's almost August with triple digit weather promised in the coming weeks.

Does it seem to you there are not as many screenings coming up this summer? I wonder if they will all hit us in the fall.

Reminder everyone...please respond to the person offering the passes directly to the person and not to the list.

July 23 - July 29

Mon - July 24

Ingrid Goes West - 7:00 pm - Alamo Drafthouse Cedars and Richardson
Atomic Blonde - 7:30 pm - Cinemark West

Tues - July 25

Atomic Blonde - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - July 26

Detroit - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Atomic Blonde - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Thur - July 27

Kidnap - 7:30 pm - AMC Mesquite





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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets






(Review by Chase Lee)



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A Ghost Story




Some people are calling David Lowery's enigmatic "A Ghost Story" the best indie film of the year. Before you go, there are some things to know. It's not a traditional ghost or horror story, Filmed over 19 days in a house in Irving ( Lowery's town) that was slated for demolition, it has plenty of Texas tie ins in the way of prop placement ( yes, I spotted you Lakewood Temptress, Four Corners El Chingon, and Spiral Diner gluten free chocolate pie- was that you 903 out of Sherman?), it is more a story of love, loss, time and an earthly residence on a plot of ground, which our main characters are planning to leave. This ghost is trying to reconnect with his grieving wife but has no idea how. Our ghost walks along the Trinity River floodplain, crosses DFW fields and visits other Dallas locations. An official selection at Sundance ( it took Lowery 15 tries over the years to gain admission) , the film is distributed by A24 who brought us Moonlight last year. It was also screened at Oak Cliff Film Fest in June, for it's Texas premier, and was self financed from monies made on Pete's Dragon.

The pacing in torturous at times so don't be in a hurry. Paranormal activity is limited and very deliberate. Cue lights flickering, shadowy lights dancing on the wall, a picture smashing. In fact, there is precious little interaction between Casey Affleck, as C in a white sheet with black eye cut outs, and Rooney Mara as M, or the other residents that follow in the house. This ghost is a watcher. The actors have reunited again for Lowery, after doing "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" in 2013. Our ghost is a brooding observer, who has returned to the house, after dying in a car accident near by. We can best interpret his thoughts and moods by how the sheet fabric is draped and lays on his invisible frame. Time has no meaning to C but as it passes we sense an unhappiness, confusion and sense of urgency building. He perceives time very differently than the living do.

Super long camera takes and natural lighting set the tone for the overall feel, giving the viewer lots of time to take it all in and ponder the meaning of life. Rounded film edges suggest the audience is peering in, observers watching the observer. The storyline is straight, with a few time travel jags into the past and future, atop Museum Tower and the Tower at Cityplace in Dallas. All in all, our ghost is trapped, claustrophobically in one location (past and future), next door to a house with another silent ghost inhabitant in a floral printed sheet, who waits for someone or something to return. They chat via subtitles.

It appears that only one person can sense or see him, a young boy child, and our ghost tends to be resentful of the new family that has moved in. He is bored during the parties the next owners throw, despite a way cool existential soliloquy about the end of the universe and what man will leave behind (don't blink or you'll miss a Kesha cameo) by a Texas craft beer drinker ( Will Oldham) credited as Prognosticator. It's interesting that even our main characters do not have names. But we are reminded to leave something of ourselves behind "to make sure you're still around after you go." Realizing "we do what we can to endure". C had written a song for M and perhaps that's the type of legacy being referred to.

M places a note in a door jam before she moves out, as a memento and to "leave a piece of me there" after which C spends time trying to retrieve it. So much of the viewer's experiences will depend on how the long pauses are handled; at the hospital, on ghost walks and during the kitchen pie eating scene, as M consoles herself on the floor. Estimates range from five to nine minutes folks. I didn't time it but it is lengthy and emotionally painful. Empaths be forewarned. That's a lot of fork digging and pie-hole filling. Mara had never had pie before this scene and she did not like this one. But there is certain awards buzz for her heartstrings-pulling performance. Run time for the film is short at 90 some minutes but it packs a lot in that time.

With an Oscar caliber actor in a white bed sheet for the audience to project upon, the action levels are low and we are forced to witness the same events our specter is, and forced to think some really big thoughts. Affleck actually handled grief infinitely better in last year's multiple award winning "Manchester by the Sea". Perhaps watching "A Ghost Story" once, just to sort things out, and then perhaps viewing it a second time, like I'd like to do, to experience the ethereal beauty and resonance of the messages, would be good advise. Enjoy the music by Daniel Hart, for the emotional score adds so much to the film without distraction. The production company is called Scared Sheetless, and when the name appeared, it gave us all one of the few big laughs of the evening. Action fans will get one full on bored tantrum via C and a look at a double house demolition by some dozer drivers who have, undoubtedly, the best jobs on this film.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Dunkirk




This is not your typical war movie. It's an immersive visceral experience with a soundtrack by Hans Zimmer that vibrates your seat in the IMAX theater with an almost thrill ride experience. The cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema creates an up close and personal experience while following the foot soldiers waiting for evacuation while bombs hail down upon them, the cockpit of fighter pilots in their aerial maneuvers and the civilians on the small boats from England that were commissioned to help. This is by no doubt an Oscar worthy contender from writer/director Christopher Nolan who began writing this story some twenty five years ago.

The film begins with a small troop of soldiers moving towards the beach for the massive evacuation as the German army had pushed the Allied forces at the beginning of WWII. Some 400,000 men were basically stranded by the water waiting for escape. The actual evacuation happened over a couple of months, but this story occurs over a day. The camera follows one resourceful young man who tries in various ways to get on a ship, but with every effort is stymied by sinking ships. Destroyers and first aid vessels are bombed and destroyed while the waiting men in long lines on the shore and piers dive for cover. Most of the military resources at the time were dedicated to other battles, so there scant help in fighting the attacking planes. Tom Hardy plays one of the pilots of three Spitfires sent to defend. Kenneth Branagh is the commander in charge of the evacuation, and Mark Rylance is piloting one of the small vessels that had set sail across the English Channel for the 39 nautical miles to rescue the troops. Cillian Murphy plays a lone solider rescued from a sinking ship that is suffering from the trauma. Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles play the two main soldiers who do everything they can to survive.

The minimalist dialogue reinforces the intimate immediacy of the experience, the fear, isolation and desperation. Little is given in the historical background of this particular event, instead the focus is what the individuals involved have to endure to get home alive and well. You become hyper aware of the smallest sounds of waves lapping on the beach over rows of bodies, seagulls flying overhead, the distant sounds of aircraft slowing getting closer, then bombs dropping. The sight of the motley group small vessels approaching the beach brings the most heroic moment in the film. A small story of the big war that could be mostly forgotten. The technical achievement of Nolan's film will certainly bring rightful kudos as it should. But one should not forget the profoundly moral message about the effects of war.
(Review by reesa)



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A Ghost Story







(Review by Chase Lee)




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Valerian the the City of a Thousand Planets





I wanted goosebumps.

I wanted them so bad. All I I got was a mild case of the disappointment blues.

The concept for “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” has sat on the shelves for many a year. This is ecause technology had not yet evolved and technology had not caught up to the way viewers ingest their entertainment and want that secondary instant satisfaction.

I was not looking for a high, rather something that just dazzled me to no end. It comes down to a certain spark, kind of like when one hears the first notes of a John Williams score like either the first chords of the “Superman: the Movie” or the original “Star Wars: A New Hope” theme.
I was left with a shrug of the shoulders, and another one to debate and to friends and colleagues.

This title is misleading, because it is Alpha, not the lead character of Valerian played by Dane DeHaan, who the story centers on. His character of Valerian shares a certain kinship with Lauraeine (Cara Delevingne), his partner for many a year. The duo receive orders from a higher up played by Commander Arün Filitt (Clive Owen), who wants "the situation" taken care of so that everything will revert back to the normal.

Also a minor part of the story is Bubble (Rihanna), a character brought in to seduce Valerian, who does nothing more than a couple of dances for the hero. She works for Ethan Hawke’s jerk of a human being Jolly the Pimp. Their appearance is brief, but filled with some amazing visual eye candy that works wonders in the latter part of act three in in the movie.

The plot twists are not in abundance here, but just enough to get by and not trick the viewer too much.

Honestly, I wanted more of a movie from “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” but America will just have to wait for the inevitable sequel years down the line.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)



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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Disney Shorts (1989-2016)




Walt Disney shorts spread magic!

From the minds of Mickey Mouse, “Frozen,” and “Tangled,” comes a string of short films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios that will take you directly to the magical world of Disney. These shorts have contain full of slapstick, cartoonish gags, drama, chaos, and musical adventures. Eighteen unforgettable short films I have watched that will experience the histories of animation from past to present. (Randomly selected)

· Tummy Trouble (1989): First Roger Rabbit short about a rabbit named Roger is taking his baby friend, Herman, to a hospital after Herman accidentally swallowed a rattle. This was shown in front of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” (7:40)

· Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990):
Second Roger Rabbit short about Roger taking his baby through the country fair and ends up in a scariest, fiery roller coaster. This was shown in front of “Dick Tracy.” (7:50)

· Off His Rockers (1992): a rare short film about a wooden horse tries to gain affection from a video-game playing boy. This was shown in front of “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.” (4:50)

· Trail-mix Up (1993): Third (and last) Roger Rabbit short about Roger rescuing his baby through the adventures of campgrounds, saw-mill, and watery rivers with cartoonish mishaps. This was shown in front of “A Far Off Place.” (8:50)

· Runway Brain (1995):
This short about Mickey Mouse trying to find a wonderful anniversary gift to Minnie Mouse, but finds himself wind up in a science lab to switch the brains from him to the 15-foot monster. This was shown in front “A Kid in King’s Arthur Court.” (Approximately 7 minutes)

· John Henry (2000): A short film based on the railway steel-worker and African American folk hero: John Henry. (10:20)

· Lorenzo (2004):
a short about a mean-spirited cat who cares for his tail until a mysterious black cat forced him to get of his tail desperately. This was shown in front of “Raising Helen.” (4:50)

· The Little Matchgirl (2006): a short about a lonely girl struggling to stay warm by using matches whilst remembering the memories with her grandmother. (6:40)

· How to Hook up Your Home Theater (2007):
A Goofy short about him buying lots of home theater equipment for his home to watch the football game. This was shown in front of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” (6:20)

· Tick Tock Tale (2010): A short a lifeless clock comes to life and stops the clock stealer after the owner leaves. (6:00)

· Prep & Landing-Operation: Secret Santa (2010):
a holiday short about the two elves who are on a mission to retrieve the secret box from Santa’s secret room. (6:55)

· The Ballad of Nessie (2011):
a short about a creature named Nessie who was forced to find a new home after the old one have turned into a mini-golf course. This was shown in front of “Winnie the Pooh.” (5:30)

· Tangled Ever After (2012): After the events of “Tangled,” the horse and the chameleon, Pascal and Maximus, have lost the wedding rings for the married couple, Rapunzel and Eugene, and must retrieve it through the series of chaos. This was shown in front of a 3D re-release of “Beauty and the Beast.” (6:30)

· Paperman (2012):
a short about a male worker tries to get an attention to a young woman using several flying paper airplanes. This was shown in front of “Wreck-It Ralph.” (6:35)

· Get A Horse! (2013): A Mickey Mouse short about him and his 1920s friends emerge from the movie theater and rescue Minnie from Pete. This was shown in front of “Frozen.” (6:00)

· Feast (2014): a short a food-loving dog enjoys eating food with his owner but finds his eating life even more when the owner falls in love with the waitress girl, who persuades him and his dog to take up on a healthier lifestyle. This was shown in front of “Big Hero 6.” (6:10)

· Frozen Fever (2015):
Another “Frozen” adventure about Elsa preparing a birthday party for Anna but gets into a cold fever. This was shown in front of Disney live-action film, “Cinderella.” (7:55)

· Inner Workings (2016):
a short about inner-working body parts control the average worker to perform a daily routine, which is a typical day at work, but gets fun-filled attentions on the way. This was shown in front of “Moana.” (6:25)

These short films are outstanding with some good usage of CGI, compared to Pixar, and got some unique story twist that fits the G-Rated genre and tradition of Disney. They put some raw energy, great focus, and main conflicts of each shorts with different backgrounds.
However, the only short film that is not G-Rated is Roller Coaster Rabbit, which had garnered a PG-Rating. This short film contain a little bit of the disturbing scenes that you should be on a lookout for your children or anyone. I don’t why they did it but they did just to add comedy in the background. It makes sense for this short.

Overall, all of the short films are outstanding with a great piece of work and mind to show the audience as a great showcase, especially some shorts that was screened in front of a Disney animated film (or live-action). Like the Pixar shorts, all of the short films would never disappoint you as these bring you the magic gift of adventure. You’ll love all the fun from the characters.

Grade: A+
(Review by Henry Pham)

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AFFD2017: Student Short Films




Asian Film Festival 2017: Student Shorts

I know it’s my first time here but I actually enjoyed some of the greatest, most emotional shorts ever in my experience for Asian Film traditions. I seen most of the student shorts but I can’t think which names for the short films I been tracking. Here are some of them I can remember I just watched.

· Ocean Waves: a documentary short about an Asian immigrant talks about his past of boating to the island, then to America, which was Dallas, TX.

· After Taste:
a short about an Asian girl who has relationship problems and issues with her boyfriend in five different taste (salty, sweet, spicy, bitter, and sour).

· The Return: A short about an ambitious artistic, violin-playing girl who seeks passion of been a great artistic through the abilities of drawing.

· Not Johnny: A short about a girl who was concern about her brother Johnny, which turn out to be imposter.

· The Red Eye: A short about a girl crushing a red gumball with a hammer.

· No Point:
A short about a circle who’s was bullied by sharp shapes (such as triangle) but finds a non-sharp shape friend: oval.

· Fast Hands:
A western short about a man looking for a wanted criminal.

· Not Made Up: A documentary short about girls talking about how make-up affects many occasions.

· Fish Cakes: A short about an insane man who believes the pills and water are “fish cakes.”

· The Other Brother: A short about a boy taking a test to get a perfect score in order to be accepted to a four-year institution.

· Grab a sip, Grab a sin:
A short about two girls taking a drink while playing with the toy cars before passing out.

· The Fall:
A short a girl developing sense of sight, hearing, and “hell.”

· Harper: A short about a teenage girl who tries to tell the truth and makes amends to her female friend who had not been in speaking terms with her ever since.

· The Classic:
A documentary short about teachers sharing their favorite book or classical novel to discuss about the books’ masterpieces.

These short films, including the ones I listed, are outstanding with some good discovering elements to know about based on reality. They put some good classical music on the background and the storytelling seems emotional, especially for those people who are in a relationship with friends and families. One short film, The Return, was favorite one as it was based on my life as a violinist but also a film student and film critic.
However, I have trouble with some shorts because some parts of the short are shocking and disturbing as some of them contain bloody images and mild strong language. Seems irrational, but a little too much on the PG-Rating or No-Rating films. I didn’t like the writing on few shorts with negative contents. Also, some short films don’t center on “Asian people” literally as they’re little more shorts have different people, but it was meant to be a showcase for cultural film festivals.

Overall, these short films are amazing as these produce from any schools, such as SMU, Garland High School, and other. They put all the hard work together in film classes and video editing sessions. One thing about this is to be careful about the warning on the short films with negative contents. These could be heard in several occasions whenever the characters talk in a non-happy mood. Nevertheless, all of them are amazing under one screening.

Grade: A
(Review by Henry Pham)


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Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 16 - July 22


Is it hot enough for y'all. Lots of rain and humidity makes for a very wilted movie fan. Seems a bit quiet for movies this time of year, but at least we are getting plenty of screenings of the big ones. Hopefully it will spread out the crowds.

The Asian Film Festival of Dallas is still running at the Angelika. Hope you get the time to stop by and enjoy.

Please remember if someone is offering passes, you must write to that person and not just hit reply. If you do that it goes to the list and becomes deleted. Email the person offering, not to the list.

July 16 - July 22

Mon - July 17

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Tue - July 18

Dunkirk - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Girls Trip - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Wed - July 19

Atomic Blonde - 7:00 pm - AMC Mesquite and AMC Stonebriar
Step - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark




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Friday, July 14, 2017

War of the Planet of the Apes




This latest “Apes” entry delivers the goods.

“War For Planet of the Apes” works because the director (Matt Reeves) knows his material all too well. The director, Reeves handled the last monkey entry with 2013’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

Everything about the recent tales is more mature and serious in tone. That is not to say the past entries were horrible, but they lacked a certain dynamic and milieu that had them resting in the C grade of mediocrity.

What is cool is seeing the apes communicate via sign language.

New into the group is Bad Ape, voiced by Steve Zahn and Nova (Amiah Miller), a mute girl who adapts to the monkeys way of sign language.
Woody Harrelson returns again to the antagonist role he played so well in director Oliver Stone’s overrated “Natural Born Killers” in 1994. In that one, h was part of the serial killer duo of Mickey Knox that had him pairing with Juliette Lewis’s Mallory Knox, who were just despicable human beings.

With “War,” he is an AWOL soldier just referred to as “The Colonel,” who even brags about killing his own son. He is not a guy you will be bringing over for Sunday dinner anytime soon.

What occurs is essentially a modern day version of “The Great Escape” (1963) wherein soldiers flee the jails to absolute freedom and live outside of the confines of their jail.

Going back to the 1970’s incarnations that included “Beneath” (1970) and “Escape” (1971), the movies back then were more cornball and out of touch with reality.

When they were initially made and produced, I’m sure the filmmakers took their time and care to make them as realistic as possible.

No complaints here, because “War For the Planet of the Apes” does this as solid as a monkey entry can get.

Grade: B
(Review by Ricky Miller
Entertainment Editor)


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

To The Bone




TO THE BONE
** (out of ****)

A convincing portrait of anorexia is woven into an otherwise unconvincing tapestry in To the Bone, the semi-autobiographical feature directorial debut of Marti Noxon (who also wrote the screenplay) that exists in some no man’s land between admirable and frustrating. It’s admirable because of the subject matter – a young woman’s eating disorder – and the candor with which Noxon approaches it. It’s frustrating because so much of what surrounds this is melodrama of a middling, often predictable order. There are good forms of manipulation, and then there is piling on the protagonist for the purposes of seeing all sides of suffering.

Noxon’s personal history with anorexia certainly informs her telling of this story, and so, for that matter, does the shared history of Lily Collins, who quite effectively plays the young woman in question. Her name is Ellen, although it does not stay that way for the entire movie. She is, indeed, anorexic, only biting into and chewing food before spitting it out onto a napkin. She is remarkably thin, and having returned from inpatient treatment to a tense home (We never see her father, the maternal figure in the household is her stepmother, and her biological mother left years ago, after a mental breakdown), the impulse not to swallow becomes stronger.

Her birth mother Judy (Lili Taylor) came out late in life after a short affair with her then-best friend Olive (Brooke Smith) and cut herself off. Her stepmother Susan (Carrie Preston), whom Ellen insists is not her mother, desperately searches for new answers, and her stepsister Kelly (Liana Liberato) vocalizes sadness that barely masks contempt for Ellen’s non-eating habits. The only viable option for intervention comes in the form of William Beckham (Keanu Reeves), an unconventional doctor whose institution is predicated upon an honest and open confrontation of the psychology behind eating disorders.

His two colleagues (played by Alanna Ubach and Retta) hold weekly counsel with all patients in the institution (housed in, well, a house, which has no doors as a form of accountability) and observe daily behavioral changes, however small. The patients are mostly interchangeable, except for the lone male of the group, Luke (Alex Sharp), an eccentric, English-accented fellow who cheers on everyone else while concealing his own deep troubles and a terrible knee, and Pearl (Maya Eshet), who conceals by retreating into her collection of stuffed animals.

The film doesn’t quite fall into the trap of retreating too deeply into the tragedy of these other characters, but it does distract itself often with a halfhearted romance between Ellen, who later takes on the moniker of “Eli” because of the archaic nature of her real name, and Luke (The two share a silly dinner at a restaurant, conniving an order of alcohol from the waitress by playing a sympathy card) that never feels convincing. The result often feels like a soap-opera account of the gravity of eating disorders. Everything feels calculated and contrived in To the Bone, a well-meaning but familiar issues drama with half the conviction it needs.
(Review by Joel Copling)




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War of the Planet of the Apes




The last of the current trilogy in the new Planet of the Apes series may be the most satisfying of them all. Thus said, it will probably not be the last. Matt Reeves who directed the first Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is back with co-screenwriter Mark Bomback as they close out the story of the ape leader Caesar. The story follows an unknown span of time after the Rise of the Planet of the Apes in their battle with the humans and Caesar's murderous rival Kobu. The peace loving Caesar and his tribe of simians live in the deep forest hiding from the humans who are determined to wipe them out.

Andy Serkis is digitally transformed into Caesar who must save his followers from extinction when they are attacked by humans. A family tragedy forces him to go after the authoritarian human leader Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson), while he sends the rest of the group to safety. His close friends and advisers, refuse to let him go alone. Along the way they encounter a mute young girl Nova (Amiah Miller) who Maurice (Karin Konoval), a wise and benevolent Bornean orangutan, adopts as a daughter. Trying to locate the human camp, they meet former zoo chimpanzee who is hiding out at a desolate ski resort who calls himself "Bad Ape" (Steve Zahn). "Bad Ape" is sure to be a trending catch phrase on meme's and T Shirts. Eager to please, he also is strong on self preservation and not very happy leading the party to the human fortress. They find out more humans are expected to arrive soon. Caesar discovers that his tribe, including his son Cornelius (Devyn Dalton), had been captured by McCullough's army and forced to work building a wall. Caesar is captured and confronts the Colonel who rules his troops with a religious fervor. Humans are losing their capacity to speak due to the virus that caused the apes to make their evolutionary leap. McCullough is racing against the clock until the remaining humans are infected. The ensuing battle, escape, and retribution is exciting and inevitable.

Director Reeves has claimed many elements of other films referenced from Spartacus, Apocalypse Now, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Ten Commandments, The Great Escape and The Bridge of Over the River Kwai. The action is well paced allowing for characters to be fleshed out with memorable moments. The close up digitally enhanced shots of the simians creates a sympathetic view of their plight, meanwhile the humans look more like faceless Stormtroopers. Only Gabriel Chavarria as Preacher, who Caesar had let live after the attack on the apes camp, shows conflicting moments of conscious in the face of Caesar's torture by The Colonel. Obviously the message being that humans in their self righteous battle to survive at the expense of other living creatures is their own path to destruction. We empathize for the simians who are more human than the humans. In the broader scope of the current political climate, the movie is a reminder that we should be embracing and supporting our differences whether it be race, faith, gender, and in this movie's case, inter-species. We need to survive together or we will be screaming like Charlton Heston's famous line in the 1968 Planet of the Apes, "YOU MANIAC! YOU BLEW IT UP! AH, DAMN YOU! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!"
(Review by reesa)







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Pixar shorts come to life! (1984-2017)





From the team who produced “Toy Story,” “Monsters’ Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Cars.” Comes a string of short films that innovates the great life of animation, motion pictures, and the usage of computer technology systems that will bring the world into such great heights of storytelling and depth of the characters. Here’s the list of shorts from 1984 to now.

· The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. (1984): Lucasfilm’s created short about a character named Andre receives a pesky visitor. (1:55)

· Luxo Jr. (1986): First CGI short nominated for Oscar and the first Pixar short about an adult lamp, watching over a child lamp playing with a ball, which accidentally deflates. This is one of my favorite shorts to watch. This was shown in front of “Toy Story 2.” (2:10)

· Red’s Dream (1987):
A short about a unicycle that dreams about being a better place, which was the circus. (4:15)

· Tin Toy (1988): Winner for the Best Animated Short Film Oscar about a one-man band toy escaping from toy-torturing baby. (5:10)

· Knick Knack (1989): This short tells about an unlucky snow globe snowman who tried many attempts to escape from his snow globe. This was shown in front of “Finding Nemo.” (3:35)

· Geri’s Game (1997):
Oscar-winning short about a man playing chess against his greatest opponent: himself. This was shown in front of “A Bug’s Life.” (4:50)

· For the Birds (2000): Oscar-winning short about the flock of small birds, picking on the wrong, tall victim. This was shown in front of “Monsters’ Inc.” (3:25)

· Mike’s New Car (2002): A short about Mike and Sulley who are trying out the new car with disastrous results. (3:50)

· Boundin (2003):
A short about a sheep who finds life difficult after being sheared. This was shown in front of “The Incredibles.” (4:40)

· Jack-Jack Attack (2005):
This short, during the events of The Incredibles, about a baby who has looked after the babysitter with secretive super powers. (4:45)

· One Man Band (2005):
A short where the two street musicians fighting over the child’s money. This was shown in front of “Cars.” (4:30)

· Mater and the Ghostlight (2006): A Cars short about Mater believes that the mysterious “Ghostlight” is after him after hearing that story. (7:10)

· Lifted (2006): A short film about a novice alien trying to capture a human through the series of toggle switches. This was shown in front of Ratatouille.” (5:00)

· Your Friend the Rat (2007): After Ratatouille, A short about Remy talking about the history of rats. (11:15)

· Presto (2008):
A short about magician trying to perform a show with his carrot-hungry rabbit. This was shown in front of “WALL-E.”(5:15)

· BURN-E (2008):
During the events of WALL-E, a short about a robot trying replace a lamp spire after it got destroyed. (7:35)

· Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales (2008-12): Eleven short films about Mater talked about his past with his previous occupations, and with McQueen’s sudden participation.

· Partly Cloudy (2009): a short about a stork delivering a baby from baby-making cloud. This was shown in front of “Up.” (5:45)

· Dug’s Special Mission (2009): After Up, a short about Dug, from Up, receiving a mission from his fellow dogs. (4:40)

· George & AJ (2009): A 2D short based on Pixar’s Up, about what happen to the two nurses after Carl took off with thousands of balloons. (4:00)

· Day & Night (2010):
these two characters who have opposite events happing: one daytime activities and one nighttime activities. This was shown in front of “Toy Story 3.” (6:00)

· Hawaiian Vacation (2011): One of three Toy Story shorts about a couple taking a vacation in Hawaii but in the little girl’s house. This was shown in front of “Cars 2.” (5:55)

· Small Fry (2011): One of three Toy Story shorts about Buzz, replaced by mini-Buzz, trying to escape the fast-food joint. This was shown in front of “The Muppets.” (7:05)

· La Luna (2011): a short about three different-style men who are set to clean the moon, filled with stars. This was shown in front of “Brave.” (7:00)

· The Legend of Mordu (2012): After Brave, a story about how an evil prince was turned into a bear. (6:55)

· Partysaurus Rex (2012): One of three Toy Story short films about Rex, left-behind in the bathroom, gets into a wild, funny bath party with the bath toys. This was shown in front of the 3D re-release of “Finding Nemo.” (6:30)

· The Blue Umbrella (2013): A romantic short about blue umbrella trying to be close to the female, red umbrella. This was shown in front of “Monsters University.” (6:45)

· Party Central (2013): After Monsters University, A short about Mike and Sulley throwing a party to his fraternity brothers, while disturbing the married couple’s sleep. This shown in front of “Muppets Most Wanted.” (5:40)

· Lava (2014): A musical short about a volcano singing a song in order to find love. This was shown in front of “Inside Out.” (7:10)

· The Radiator Springs 500 ½ (2014): a short about Lighting McQueen challenges to a race against the gang racers. (6:00)

· Riley’s First Date (2015): After Inside Out, a short about Riley’s parents and emotions are suspecting that a boy is going a date with Riley. (4:40)

· Sanjay’s Super Team (2015): A short about the little boy’s experience between religion and superheroes. This was shown in front of “The Good Dinosaur.” (7:05)

· Piper (2016): A cute, short film about a baby bird looks deep in to the water to overcome his fear of water. This was shown in front of “Finding Dory.” (6:05)

· Lou (2017): this latest short about a mysterious lost-and-found monster that tries to stop the bully from destroying and stealing the children’s toys. This was shown in front of “Cars 3.” (6 minutes)

All Pixar short films are outstanding for a good opening act before the main feature film begins. The storylines for each shorts gives a good twist, comedy, drama, romance, and a turning point for the events. All these shorts are part of the animation tradition. Pixar kept a good work ethic between short films and features for their tradition to them and to Disney. I do like the theatrical shorts that have a good taste of original ideas as Pixar put some good unique way to showcase to the audiences. Overall, all of the Pixar shorts performed in a cinematic style like the Pixar feature films.

I’ll have you know that these short films would never seem to disappoint you when watching these in front of a Pixar film or all together on Blu-ray/DVD. Although there are a few shorts, such as Party Central, that are hard to find but you’ll have to look harder for a good version if you want to see it. However, the only thing you might concern about is the time length for all shorts so I suggest you need to check the time lengths before watching this is but you can watch it separately. You don’t have to watch it all together unless you wanted to get more fun than ever.

Grade: A+

(Review by Henry Pham)



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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 9 - July 15


Hey guys it is me Daina. 😊I have been doing a lot of over time so haven't had time to go to the screenings so I have been having to pay to see the movies. I know a crazy thought to have to pay to see a movie.

When you are kind enough to offer passes make sure you do it early. We don't always get the emails right away saying we have to approve your email. So you may send out your email at 2 in the afternoon but we may not see it until like 5.

Okay stay safe until I can come back to screenings

Monday July 10
Wish Upon AMC Northpark

Tuesday July 11
Wish Upon AMC Northpark
War of the Planet of the Apes AMC Valley View

Wednesday July 12
Atomic Blonde Angelika Dallas
Girls Trip AMC Mesquite.







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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Spiderman: Homecoming




Director: Jon Watts
Studio: Columbia/Marvel Studios
Spider-Man have sprung into action!

It’s not Andrew Garfield this time, it’s Tom Holland becoming the new Spider-Man in this film after his previous debut in “Captain America: Civil War.” This film focuses on Peter Parker who was willing to balance his life between high school and his time working as a Stark intern, under the disguise of Spider-Man, that Tony Stark/Iron Man have offered to him from the previous Captain America film. Meanwhile, a criminal named Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), later called “the Vulture,” is building a new suit with powerful gadgets and brings threat to the world and to the Avengers tower. Later, he has crushed his girlfriend, Liz (Laura Harrier), the smartest girl in his life.

I like how Tom Holland provided a young-generating performance as Spider-Man as he was able to produce more comedy than the previous “Spider-Man” films as well as he is able to join Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in The Avengers team like before. Coincidentally, this film and the future “Spider-Man” sequels, starting with Holland, will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is very interesting to see how Parker’s reaction according to the audience. Also, it was funnier when Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) showed up to him in the bathroom when he wants to talk to him at the end.

The plot of this film was amazing compared to “Civil War” as this film made several action sequences and familiar fighting styles, back in the previous films, while Parker had snuck out from school events and home to find some awesome missions to do like Tony Stark. It’s like James Bond or maybe Perry the Platypus due to his secret of playing Spider-Man while working for Stark. I love how Parker broke the fourth wall by using a video camera to record himself in the event of “Captain America: Civil War” as if he was ready to fight against Captain America’s team or just acting in the scene with the film crew. The music, the cast, and the direction seems lovely and funny. I love the cameos from Chris Evans, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Stan Lee.

However, I did not like the scene involving The Vulture, being a father of Parker’s girlfriend, Liz. Sounds like he is the main root of chaos throughout the city. I find that surprising to see this but highly shocking. I also don’t like the script writing somewhat and the lack a post-credit scene unlike the previous MCU films. The post-credit scene fits the Marvel tradition.

Overall, this film was outstanding with several improvements than “The Amazing Spider-Man” films. This film put a lot of good work and storytelling to this film and I’m pretty sure this film was worth to watch rather than “The Amazing Spider-Man” films. You should also watch the original “Spider-Man” trilogy and “Captain America: Civil War” before watching this. You’ll find it very interesting. Seen it twice already.

Grade: A-
(R)
(Review by Henry Pham



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The Little Hours






(Review by Chase Lee)




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Spiderman: Homecoming




This one, along with Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” (my grade: A) are the best Marvel has offered save for the pair of “Guardians of the Galaxy” entries in crafting compelling and intriguing tales that work as stand-alone tales.

Tom Holland marked his first turn as web slinger Peter Parker in last year’s amazing and fun ride that was “Captain America: Civil War.” With his latest starring role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Holland has taken the reigns from predecessors and made it all his own.

Sure, he has inexperienced when it comes to the ladies in his life, but Peter still has a shy streak that many viewers will find endearing.

The villain here is Michael Keaton’s construction foreman Adian Toomes who was aiding Robert Downey Jr.s Tony Stark in cleaning up the mess that was made in the battle many a year ago.

Toomes has an alter ego named The Vulture, who brings terror to various individuals in the city. He has a normal everyday life that finds routine and stability to his humdrum life.

Iron Man only appears in this movie when it is only absolutely necessary. Downey Jr. has said recently he only wanted to appear in the Marvel movies when it is absolutely required. Downey Jr. does not want to overstay his welcome into the character and identity that is Tony Stark, but when filmmakers keep making solid stories and franchises that work, his stay is more than welcome in my book.

Marisa Tomei also returns as Aunt May, a character most recently played by Sally Field in the Andrew Garfield entries.

I have no complaints, since it was on my ten best list of last year. I do not normally like to put comic book adaptations in my top ten, but when they make the movies right, who am I to judge?

Grade: A-

(Review by Ricky Miller)



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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of July 2 - July 8


Happy 4th of July!!!! Hope you have a safe one.

Seems like last week was full of movies and all on one day. Because of the holiday there is only one screening this week. If you hear of anything, please share it on our group page, or email me and I will do for you.

July 2 - July 8

Wed - July 5

Spiderman: Homecoming - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark




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