Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier 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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Crown Heights

(Review by Chase Lee)

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*** (out of ****)
The man, whose first name comprises the film’s title (because, in a simple but profound way, this is, indeed, a film about this man), is under the heaviest strain. His wife has died. Under the rule of law in the Hasidic Jewish faith, his son cannot stay with a single parent, and so the boy must reside with the man’s sister and brother-in-law. Menashe is unencumbered by the constraints of a plot, though its machinations play out like one in any case. It is about this man and his situation. At only 75 minutes (minus the credits), co-writer/director Joshua Z Weinstein’s narrative feature is compact, occasionally to a fault.

It is also anchored by its lead performance. Menashe Lustig might as well be playing a version of himself here, although the lack of knowledge about the man’s life is a major hurdle to knowing such a thing. Whatever the case, the actor is exceptional in the role of a man suffering hard times after an unthinkable loss. His son, Rieven (Ruben Niborski), doesn’t particularly seem to want to stay with his father, and so he stays with Eizik (Yoel Weisshaus), the brother-in-law to Menashe, who is devoted to tradition. A rabbi (played by Meter Schwartz) presents a compromise as the memorial to Menashe’s late wife draws near.

Rieven will stay with Menashe for the month leading up to the memorial, after which he will be returned into Eizik’s custody. The month simply adds strain onto Menashe’s shoulders, not least when an inattentive mistake costs his place of work a thousand dollars in loss of fish. Menashe’s job is constantly on the line here, as it seems the man is imprecise in his approach to an occupation for which he has no passion or motivation. He oversleeps, causing a lot of grief for his boss, his son, and his brother-in-law. He rejects the women arranged for him by a matchmaker.

Perhaps the reason for that last one is a lack of readiness. It’s only been six months since his wife’s death, and even with the wellbeing of his son as a factor, he can’t face the idea of another marriage. Furthermore, his brother-in-law mocks and scorns him for the tiniest hiccups, blowing each of them up to be much bigger than they are and to be, in some way, a commentary on his character and resolve as a man. In short, Menashe is an exhausted man and a pathetic figure in the lives of those around him, none of whom really extends the courtesy of good faith.

This is a modest film of grounded drama given a quiet treatment that never quite – it is true – takes off into the arena of being genuinely moving beyond Lustig’s portrayal of the man’s circumstances. Weinstein keeps in the shadows as a director, simply observing the actions and reactions of this man and his family, and his screenplay (co-written by Alex Lipschultz and Musa Syeed) is observant in its own way. There is the feeling of improvisation at the edges of the exchanges here, where the dialogue is unforced and natural, but not in the trajectory, which begins at a specific point in this story and ends at a decisive moment, too. Menashe meets in the middle of those two states of being, and it’s surprisingly effective.
(Review by Joel Copling)

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** (out of ****)
Unlocked is one of those “for a while” thrillers, for which one must always provide the caveat after voicing praise. It is, for a while, an intelligent thriller, but Peter O’Brien’s screenplay drops the ball in the third act by embracing the clichés of the Talking Killer and the Shocking Betrayal (not in that order). It does, for a while, rely on the competent staging of its action sequences, but director Michael Apted has less certainty in handling the maneuvering of the pieces of its jigsaw plot. I suppose that also makes the film one of those frustrating experiences for which the conjunction “but” is constantly necessary.

We get the requisite action heroine in Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace), whose limited character history makes her shell-shocked in the present: An interrogation in her past went awry when the planned and coordinated attack on a major city left 12 people dead. The incident forced her into retirement from field duty, at least until she is called in to help with preventing a biological threat. The major incident that jumpstarts the plot involves a twist that is a bit tricky to duck around, although let’s say that Racine is brought in to interrogate a suspect and that the investigation doesn’t last very long.

In any case, Racine goes on the run from the C.I.A., where her division chief (played by John Malkovich, literally phoning in his performance for most of his scenes) scrambles to keep up with the ensuing chaos, and into the sanctuary of her mentor Eric Lasch (Michael Douglas, who unfortunately gets no scenes with Malkovich). Of course, that respite is brief, too, and then we get too much time between Racine and Jack Alcott (Orlando Bloom), a burglar with apparent military training whose entire existence is to be either a red herring or a blessing in disguise, until he simply disappears entirely.

Yes, this is one of those thrillers wherein anyone could be a turncoat. We have no reason to trust anyone in this cast of supporting characters, and O’Brien shifts between each of them with an equal amount of suspicion before resting, seemingly after performing a certain counting rhyme, upon the most obvious of the lot. It’s enough to beg the question of when a screenwriter will choose the character that his audience will not suspect by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn’t happen here, and although the culprit’s identity should be concealed in a review, let us only say that it is apparent from much earlier than the screenwriter and Apted believe.

The film’s opening act provides just enough tension (in the character of Alice Racine and in the initial details of the threat) and a solid performance from Rapace (who conveys the heroine’s increasing aloofness with a bit of sadness in there somewhere) that the film is a bit better than the previous paragraphs make it seem, if only because there is a serviceably engaging thriller here, struggling to break free. And then, like clockwork, Unlocked falls into the routine of providing suspicious supporting players, some generic shootouts, and that blasted variation on the Talking Killer – or, perhaps more accurately, the Talking Biological Terrorist.
(Review by Joel Copling)

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The Villainess

The opening scene of director Jung Byung-Gil's new film, which he also wrote with Jung Byung-Sik, is like from a video game perspective. All you see is an arm with a gun as it shoots it's way through halls of bad guys. Going through floors and room of armies of goons which are finished off effectively and thoroughly. We don't see the owner of that arm, until we see her in a mirror. Injured she manages to escape, only to be surrounded by the police. Although the shot looks seamless, it took several days of planning and precision With the current trend for more action women on the screen, this one is more of a revenge thriller, rather than a benevolent heroic wonder woman.

Kim Ok-Vin plays Sook-hee from Yaiban, China, who as a child witnessed her father's murder while hiding under her bed. She is taken under the wing of Joong-sang (Shin Ha-Kyun) who trains her to be an efficient killing machine. She wants to find her father's killer to exact justice. Joong-sang eventually marries her, then she learns he's been murdered. Hence the rampage on the warehouse of bad guys, and her recruitment by a clandestine agency who gives her an option of working for them for 10 years before she can have a normal life. Sook-hee is pregnant, so her choices are limited. They give her a new face and after about three years of training, she is sent on her first mission. There's a motorcycle chase involving swords that is pretty cool. They finally set Sook-hee up on the outside with a new identity, a nice apartment, and a job as an actress. Unbeknownst to her hey also set their agent Hyung-soo (Song Joon) as her handler. And of course they fall in love. The agency lets them get married, complete with hired guest. Right before the ceremony, she is given a message to go to bathroom and snipe a target. But she fails when she see's the mans face.

There are many elements of La Femme Nikita (the French Version), Kill Bill and other women orientated exploitation films in this. Kim Ok-Vin gives her character singular determination when fighting her foes, and a knowingly hopeless dream of a living a normal life with her daughter and husband. Amazingly she did not use a stunt double. Her chief Kwon-sook (Kim Seo-Hyung) doesn't want her to become as cold hearted as she is, but she is also singular in getting the job done no matter what. The plot with the Chinese - Korean gangs is a bit convoluted at times, and the frequent flashbacks are hard to discern from the present. It's a pretty violent piece with lots of blood splatters. But it's worth it to see some of the amazing battle scenes like the motorcycles, and jumping on a moving bus while hanging from a hatchet.
(Review by reesa)

The p
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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of August 27 - September 2

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Pictures of the floods and devastation are pretty horrific. Evacuees are headed to Dallas and will be desperately in need of basics, so anything y'all can do will be appreciated.

Our Yahoo Group calendar is back and working!!!

School is back, and there's not much in the way of screenings.

August 27 - September 2

Tue - Aug 29

Crown Heights - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas

Wed - Aug 30

Hazlo Como Hombre - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Good Time

Reel Time with Joel and Chase

Good Time was Unpredictable and a [Insert Obvious Pun Here]

Title: Good Time

Rating: R for Language Throughout, Violence, Drug Use, and Sexual Content

Run Time: 1 hr & 40 min

Joel’s Review
*** (out of ****)

Good Time is a deadpan comedy of errors about a man whose ambitions slightly outnumber his ability to think quickly on his feet. The screenplay by Ronald Bronstein and co-director Josh Safdie offers us an original protagonist sucked into a narrative of unpredictable twists and electric turns on the streets of New York City. There is an urgency to the situation in which Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) finds himself, but that doesn’t deter the screenwriters from finding an unexpected joy in the telling of this story of scams, betrayals, street-level dealings, and desperation. It’s all a bit weirder and funnier than one might anticipate.

Perhaps underlining that Connie is not the main character of his universe, the film opens, not on his face, but upon that of his brother’s. Nick (co-director Benny Safdie) is mentally and physically handicapped, but the pair robs banks wearing various disguises. One such robbery is the catalyst for the story of a crazy night on the town for Connie, as the two make it out of a bank with a rucksack full of money and the subsequent dye-pack that explodes in the event of a robbery. Nick ends up meeting a plate-glass door during the foot chase with the police, and Connie ends up on the run.

All of this plays out before the extended opening credits, set to a synth-heavy techno score by Oneohtrix Point Never (an experimental musician who has collaborated on film scores but, with this movie, is making a feature-length debut in that field) and elevated by fleet editing that rarely stops for the easily exhausted. What follows is nearly as energetic, too, as Connie weasels and convinces his way into unlikely situation after unlikely situation. He screws up majorly only once (before the climax has its way): In his attempt to break Nick out of custody in hospital, he breaks out the wrong man.

That man is named Ray (Buddy Duress), and his backstory (which I won’t reveal) is an extended and very funny joke told to a bemused Connie amid a desperate attempt to return Ray to his original situation. Connie holes up with an elderly woman and her 16-year-old granddaughter (played by Taliah Webster in an auspicious debut performance), and when the news broadcasts his robbery attempt, his improvised method of deterring the girl’s attention on the screen is curious, to say the least. It all leads to a climax involving a bottle of soda, a closed-down amusement park, and an ensuing chase that piles on one surprise after another.

Pattinson’s performance is exceptional at finding something empathetic in Connie’s journey. He’s not a good man, but his heart is, for a time, in the right place. He simply wants what is right for his brother. His method is inexcusable, particularly in the final moments wherein he makes a decisive moral choice, but Bronstein and the Safdies focus mainly on the rompish elements of this single-night adventure. Good Time, to make the obvious joke, is one, but there’s a connective emotional component here, too. That makes for a nice surprise.
(Review by Joel Copling)

Chase’s Review

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Logan Lucky

I’m glad he didn’t retire for long. I am talking about one of my favorite directors, Steven Sodrerbergh who had one of the shortest breaks I’ve ever seen!

One second, he was off painting, the next second he was returning to the director’s chair! I think the thought of him painting all the time was just the idea of doldrums.

Right after his “supposed” retirement, “Soderbergh returned to the director’s chair, shooting the Michael Douglas Liberace biopic for HBO. In 2013, he directed “Behind the Candelabra for the network.

What is even more ironic is that everything present in “Logan Lucky” is “based on a true story.”

Going back to “Logan Lucky,” Sodrerbergh re-teams with Channing Tatum who starred in his “Side Effects,” (2013), 2012’s “Magic Mike” and its sequel in 2015.

The plot for “Logan Lucky” deals with brothers Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver) who want to rob the racetrack in Charlotte, the Coca Cola 600, an annual sport scar race.

They even make fun of the cast by stating “introducing Daniel Craig as Joe Bang.” Craig has been around for years, most recently in 2015’s James Bond entry “Spectre.”

“Logan Lucky” contains the same dry wit and sardonic humor present in his past pictures such as “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Out of Sight,” one of my absolute favorites from the 1990’s era of filmmaking.

Also in the cast are “The Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes and Riley Keough.
Holmes is Bobbie Joe Chapman, Jimmy’s ex who deals with his shenanigans, both good and bad.

What is also cool is that Sodrerbergh shots his own movies as well. He uses the pseudonym “Peter Andrews.” He has done this for years, even going back to 2000’s “Traffic,” for which Sodrerbergh received best director honors at the Oscars.

Sodrerbergh directed two of my favorites in the 1990's with the little seen gem “King of the Hill” wherein the hero, Aaron (Jesse Bradford) thinks on his toes deals with the Great Depression in St. Louis, circa the 1930's era. The other is the awesome “Out of Sight,” originally written by crime writer extraordinaire Elmore Leonard. In 1998, I had it as my no. 1 of the year. The chemistry between leads George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez was just sheer amazing to me.

This gem has the same dry wit and wordplay present in the Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s Eleven” remake in 2001.

Life is not to be taken too seriously. Just sit back and let the joy and sorrows come with time. In “Ocean’s Eleven,” both Brad Pitt and George Clooney get emotional when watching a segment with Oprah Winfrey, making each of them get choked up with tears.

Even though the box office has been dismal as of late for this gem, trust me and invest in a ticket to see this gem because you will leave the theater smiling and enjoy talking about it on the way home.

Grade: A-

(Review by Ricky Miller)

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The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon star in this high-energy dramedy that follows two old friends through a journey into Spain. The film is filled with impressions that these friends excel at which makes the story significantly entertaining to watch. Steve, the character played by Coogan himself, is going through a career-crisis in his middle-age. His personal life is also at stress with questionable practices in his romance. Rob, the character played by Brydon himself, is sort of thriving with an unceasing happiness and talent combined with a phenomenal sense of humor. He also has two adorable young children and a loving relationship with his wife.

This film thoroughly engages the audience the entire time with exciting exchanges between the two that involves an almost overfilled humor. They travel on a ferry into Spain to embark on a culinary extravaganza at posh and modern restaurants where the food is tantalizingly delicious. There are gorgeous chorizos, shellfish, and other items that fill the story with delight. This film, however, focuses more on the inner tensions that Steve is going through while his career is taking a dip. His agent drops him close to the beginning of the film and he is having trouble with executing a project the way he would like to. The story excels at exploring the tightening contrast between this glorious trip and the simultaneous notion to Steve that he is not in a good place.

Rob, like mentioned before, is almost the illuminating life at the party or shall we say table. He is perfectly content with where he is and is completely enjoying his lovely time with his pal in another country. In terms of impressions, there are brilliant ones performed by both friends such as ones of Michael Caine, Mick Jagger, Marlon Brando, and others. This is one of the major ways that we see Steve and Rob communicate with one another in their shared passion.

The drama in this film takes a surprising role as we enter further into the journey. One thing I absolutely appreciated about this movie was that it illustrated that even famous individuals can deal with stressful circumstances. Steve is a thoroughly accomplished actor who doesn’t forget that he was in the film Philomena, which got nominated for the Academy Awards. Nonetheless, he is subjected to the negative changes going on for him professionally in the plot of the film.

If one would like to get their comedic tooth satisfied, this is a one-time job type of movie. Just be prepared for a little bit of darkness representing life struggles.
(Review by Wyatt Head)

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Director: Éric Summer, Éric Warin
Studio: Weinstein Company (US)
Leap takes a good dancing practice!

Sounds like a plan for people who wanted to do something their heart desires and passions for. Gives me a good thought based on my own futures to have and struggle on, even on every aspect of dream. In reality, it may take some time to follow the passions like it was a staircase, which is hard work and really stressful.

This film tells a female orphan, Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning in US), who dreams of becoming a ballerina based on hope from her mother through the 1880’s period. They are two main problems in this film: at the beginning, she has a hard time escaping, along with her best friend, Victor (voiced by Dane DeHaan, Nat Wolff in US), and she lacks formal training and ballerina techniques and moves.

After escaping successfully, they find themselves in Paris to find hope and what they’re looking for. Victor goes for inventing start-up adventure while Félicie is entering her ballerina dance floor. Throughout the entire film, Félicie assumes the best dancer’s identity to join the ballet class, but had some trouble with ballet lessons while being judged by a famous male choreographer, who eliminates all worst ballet students and decides to select one of the ballet students to perform the Nutcracker. Later, she improves herself each day, trained by a former dancer, in order to perform the Nutcracker while trying to avoid elimination and prevent anyone who knows about her real identity. When she is nearly there for the Nutcracker show, her real identity is revealed and she got sent back to orphanage, but returned to Paris to follow her passion and dreams. At the end, Félicie succeeds ballerina technique with a great astonishing move she have showed to the students and the choreographer and got into the Nutcracker show like she always dream to.

This film was okay with the emotional plot and characters, especially the best female dancer who Félicie stole the identity from. I did like the music, and some interesting points about the relationship between Félicie and Victor as it is the main conflict about how she could live of being a friend while being a ballerina at the same time. Friendships can be quite distracting from dreams but it is still part of everyone’s life, deep in the heart. Like “The Polar Express,” there’s no greater gift than friendship. Throughout the film, I also enjoyed at overseeing the elements combined and resemble from Disney’s “Cinderella,” “The Little Prince,” “Corpse Bride,” “The Boxtrolls,” and the upcoming Pixar fantasy film, “Coco.” Sounds like a colorful twist for children.

However, I didn’t admired the scripting as well as some points of the film as this film contains several selfish and cruel moments from the real, identified female dancer and her mother, which had a scary look like the stepmother from Disney’s animated classic, Cinderella. The Russian boy doesn’t seem like a good fit as it is distraction from her hopes and the scene interfering with that Russian boy and Victor. It was a backfire for the two.

Overall, this film was good, but I wouldn’t say it’s horrible. This film actually teach people to follow their dreams and their perspective ways when they’re growing up to become who they want to be or somebody famous. It adds a good detail to the plot to see what is happening to the world when they want to get outside their comfort zones. You’ll enjoy this.

Grade: B-

(Review by Henry Pham)

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 20 - Aug 26

Are y'all excited about the solar eclipse tomorrow? Hope you have your special glasses!

The Yahoo Group calendar is still on the fritz, so I'm not totally sure if I am missing any screening. Please let me know if you have a screening that is not listed. Otherwise there is not much happening.

August 20 - August 26

Mon - Aug 21

Good Time - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas

Tue - Aug 22

Patti Cake$ - 7:00 pm = Angelika Dallas

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Trip to Spain

The Trip was a 2010 British television sitcom series that was edited into a feature film, as well as the second season, The Trip to Italy in 2014, and this year's Trip to Spain. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, it follows the adventures of Steve Coogan and Rob Bryton, basically playing fictionalized versions of themselves that they created for the 2004 film, A Cock and Bull Story also directed by Winterbottom. It's a bit of aimless situations while the men improvise impersonations as they travel around the countryside and dine at glorious restaurants.

Coogan is the more successful of the two friends with a writing and acting career. While Bryton is well known for his Man in a Box skit that everyone loved and thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Not much has changed from the last two movies, except for them getting older. Both men contemplate their aging trying to convince themselves they are in the prime of their lives. Coogan, who is bolstered from getting an nomination for a screenwriting Oscar, finds the script he is shopping is a go, but is going to be rewritten by another young hot writer. Meanwhile his young married girlfriend has bad news for him, and his son who was supposed to meet him in Spain has some personal drama. Bryton is more of a stay at home dad to two little ones and jumps at the chance to travel with all expenses paid by the magazines. Coogan is contemplating writing a book of his travels, but is too distracted by his U.S. manager who leaves the agency and doesn't bring him along. Of course, it gets complicated when Bryton gets a call from the manager who wants him to sign on with him.

The British Observer and the New York Times which are commissioning the trip and story ask the duo to pose as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza at a photo shoot during the trip. You can guess who gets to be Don Quixote.

The food looks amazing as you can watch the kitchens preparing these delectable and tiny courses. Of course you have no idea what they are, but they sure look good. The two visit various famous architecture in their travels while discussing random histories of the area. All the while they are riffing on each other singing and doing impersonations. Some are pretty loud while they are eating and amazingly they other diners are not wondering about them. A trip to Spain has to include the Monty Python skit of the Spanish Inquisition as done by Marlon Brando.

It's funny watching them critique each other's impersonations. While it seems a stretch to take a TV series and cut it into feature length films that doesn't really have a plot, car chases, or death and destruction. It just makes one want to join them for a bite and giggle while they do Sean Connery and John Hurt.
(Review by reesa)

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The Hitman's Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard made me laugh.

I was surprised by how few F-bombs were involved in a Samuel L. Jackson movie. There were quite a few, but in the end, things, they were not in abundance.

They were used to just the right degree.

Reynolds is Michael Bryce, aspiring to get his triple A status restored as a reliable bodyguard for hire.

Co-star Ryan Reynolds shares some great scenes with Jackson. The pair even contemplates the use of the word plethora, a word not used much in today’s everyday verbiage. The pair actually crossed paths once, wherein Reynolds client was assassinated by Jackson’s Darius Kincaid.

Part of the story’s dynamics involve Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman. The former is Jackson’s wife, Sonia Kincaid of the movie while the latter is a former president/dictator of a European country. Oldman’s Vladislav Dukhovich is essentially a delusional president who for all intents and purposes a dictator.

Also important is Elodie Yung (Netflix’s “Elektra”), who shares man key scenes with Reynolds’ Michael Bryce, a romantic interest that never goes anywhere. Somewhere along the way, the sparks sputtered and fell flat.

Like “John Wick: Chapter Two” earlier this year, the death scenes are played more for laughs than anything else. The characters meeting their demise are awful human beings.

I think back to James Cameron’s “True Lies,” wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Harry Trasker says “they were all bad” when talking to his wife in Jamie Lee Curtis’s Helen.

As directed by Patrick Hughes, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a better entry for the filmmaker. It improves on either the mixed stylings of 2010’s “Red Hill” or 2014’s “The Expendables 3,” which were both in the C range on my report card.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” knows that kit is not to be taken too seriously, even though part of the story line involves Oldman’s ruthless dictator who slaughtered quite a few people in his day.

Despite the language and violent death scenes, one could do worse than missing this enjoyable ride on the sarcasm train to Pleasantville.
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 13 - Aug 19

Well the calendar on our Yahoo Group has been unavailable for the past week or so. So the following screenings may not be totally complete. If you know of something that is not listed. Please send me an email.

Just want to mention an incident that happened the other night at AMC Mesquite screening of the Hitman's Bodyguard. We had gotten in the theater and selected our seats, and put our belongings on them so we could go to the concessions, when a woman decided that one of our seats belonged to her so moved my friend's bag and sat down. When we told her that was basically uncool, she pulled the self righteous attitude card and refused to budge. After conversing with management and security, the situation was resolved when someone willing gave up his seat to accommodate the woman. Thank you to him. I doubt these people belong to our group and don't know that WE, at Dallas Movie Screenings, don't do stuff like that, right?

Aug 13 - Aug 19

Mon - Aug 14

A Trip to Spain - 7:00 pm - Magnolia

Tue - Aug 15

The Hitman's Bodyguard - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Aug 16

The Hitman's Bodyguard - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Sat - Aug 19

Leap - 10:00 am - Angelika Dallas

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wind River

(Review by Chase Lee

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Brigsby Bear

(Review by Chase Lee)

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The Only Living Boy In New York

(Review by Chase Lee)

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The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower” -- I have been like a kid in the candy store waiting for “The Dark Tower Tower” to come out. The cast, including Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are solid in their particular roles. Elba’s part is of Roland Deschan, the gunslinger, who for all intents and purposes is like a real-life knight of old. He no longer uses a sword, rather a gun that suffices as a weapon. McConaughey is an evil creature simply referred to as the man in black. His identity is that of Walter a , who cares very little for life in the least. He nonchalantly kills some of his servants without a care in the world.

Tom Taylor brings a sense of knowhow and smart sense to life as Jake Chambers, an 11 year-old kid deals with a fiction that becomes fact. He ventures into Mid-World, a link between the real world and another place that is a fiction.

It took more than a decade, but Stephen King s adaptation of his epic fantasy western hybrid finally made it to the silver screen. Quite a few years ago, “House of Sand and Fog” helmer Vladlim Perelman was attached to direct his adaptation of “The Dark Tower, but often times a mere handshake is not a guarantee of seeing his vision was going to do justice to The Dark Tower.

Obviously his vision did not pass the muster with producer Ron Howard, who actually took the reins for director Nikolaj Arcel who usually spends time scribing films like “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Now, this is going back to the 2009 original with Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyvqist. That particular entry was on my ten best list for the 2009 year.

What people need to realize is that King just has his name attached, nothing more. His one directorial effort behind the camera was 1986 s awful “Maximum Overdrive” a popcorn flick headline d by Emilio Estevez. It was not a good movie in the least. Pure drivel, trust me.

A lot of King adaptations are amongst my favorite movies of all time. That would be 1994’s epic drama that was “The Shawshank Redemption,” the fictional story about a convict wrongfully sentenced for a murder he didn’t commit. I also admired his take on 1999’s “The Green Mile,” in which Tom Hanks was a prison guard in the 1930’s and had to oversee the dreaded mile of the title. Michael Clarke Duncan was Oscar-nominated for his role as John Coffey, a giant man who constantly states his name is not spelled the same way as that tasty morning beverage.

The trouble is with most King adaptations, he just sells the rights to use his name, nothing more, nothing less.

King will be a household name because the television episodes spun from “The Dark Tower” will be seguing to TV screens this fall in some capacity as well as the new Mr. Mercedes, a Brendan Gleeson-led tale which will have interesting and dynamic characters galore.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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68 Kill

** (out of ****)

Pulp fiction of the below-the-belt variety, 68 Kill features characters who are supremely unlikable, and that seems about right. It’s a movie, written and directed by Trent Haaga and based on the novel by Bryan Smith, that ultimately places our characters’ moral compasses on about the same level as each other. The so-called hero is thus no better than the villains by the time he’s making his quick getaway, and it only takes a savage amount of senseless violence to bring us to that point of intended catharsis. That is not a problem in itself. The problem, then, is the degree to which we dislike the hero.

Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler, fine for what he’s given, which isn’t much) is introduced to us as the pathetic man-toy for Liza (AnnaLynne McCord), a dominatrix in and out of the sheets. Their throes of passion have duped the man into believing that he loves her, and then, over the course of a particularly eventful night, he doubts that conviction. This might be the specific thing about Chip that ingratiates the audience to the character, but the length of time it takes for him to come to this realization (almost the length of the entire night, basically) makes it impossible to feel even the remotest sympathy beyond fleeting pity.

That’s because Liza, a sex worker written as an impossibly judgmental shrew, concocts a plan to steal $68,000 from one of her clients. That plan inevitably turns on its ear when she kills the man and his wife upon her and Chip’s arrival at their lavish place of residence. As they are about to leave with the money, a hostage situation develops, as another of the client’s potential conquests, a scantily-clad young woman named Violet (Alisha Boe), stumbles upon their bodies. Chip, after noticing Violet’s appealing figure (a real charmer, this one), attempts to help her, but Liza decides in favor of kidnap.

From here, the innocent sweetness of what came before (Please note the sarcasm dripping from those words) turns decidedly toward ugliness, even as the points of the zigzagging plot manage to become more interesting. The film is not merely about extended kidnap but about subverting one’s expectations of that plot as it enters and exits each act. The first act is the robbery-cum-abduction. The second act features Violet’s turn to have her way with Chip, a relationship that bears its own form of seductive/sadistic control. The third act, which disposes almost completely of both previous subplots, regards the sadomasochistic behavior of a seeming innocent in a gas station clerk named Monica (Sheila Vand).

That third act is both the strongest, in clarity of vision and in the performance from Vand (whose menace matches well with a cold, clever gaze that never falters), and the most problematic, in that it sums up, in an opposite-of-graceful way, the film’s regressive view of its female characters and its hero. Chip fears and despises these women, and so does the movie. Its vitriol passes for humor, especially as Chip escapes this nightmarish circle of hell into which the women he hates placed him, and that vitriol is what separates the displeasure of watching 68 Kill from the enjoyable grindhouse pleasures for which it is aiming.
(Review by Joel Copling)

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Aug 6 - Aug 12

Wow...didn't post the weekly calendar yesterday. Forgot it was Sunday.

Remember if a movie theater is offering passes to it's membership, you really can't give your pass to someone else. For the Stubbs screening you have to show your member's card. I'm not sure about Cinemark. They may ID people.

August 6 - August 12

Mon - Aug 7

AGFA Secret Screening - 7:00 pm - Alamo Drafthouse Richardson
Wind River - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas

Tue - Aug 8

Step - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Annabelle Creation - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
The Glass Castle - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
The Hitman's Bodyguard -7:30 pm - Cinemark 17, Cinemark Frisco, Cinemark West

Wed - Aug 9

The Hitman's Bodyguard - 7:00 - AMC Northpark, Firewheel, Grapevine, Mesquite, Arlington
Annabelle Creation - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

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