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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Feb 25 - Mar 3

Gee, last week there was lots of movies to choose, but this week, eh...not so much. Plus, the monsoon didn't help. Olympics are over, but next Sunday is the Academy Awards! The movie lover's super bowl. So last chance to catch up on some of the nominations if you haven't seen them all.

Feb 25 - Mar 3

Tue - Feb 27

Love, Simon - 7:00 pm - AMC's Northpark, Highland Village, Stonebriar and Firewheel

Wed - Feb 28

Death Wish - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Fantastic Woman

The Chilean film directed by Sebastián Lelio who wrote the script with Gonzalo Maza has garnered numerous awards and nominations around the world, including The Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. This is mostly due to the fierce and sensitive powerhouse performance by Daniela Vega as Marina Vidal. She dominates the film with a truly amazing portrayal of love, loss and discovery that will stay with you after the credits roll.

Marina is a night club singer in the evening and a waitress during the day. She is involved with Orlando (Francisco Reyes), who is about 30 years older. But they are totally enamored with each other and she just moved in with him. For her birthday, he promised her to take her on a trip to Iguazu Falls, but he may have left the tickets at the sauna. The beginning of the film embraces their free and non-judgmental relationship. After a night of celebrating, Orlando wakes up in the night saying he doesn't feel well before collapsing. Marina rushes him to the hospital but he doesn't make it. The doctors question her about her status to Orlando. Is she family? Is she his partner? Is her name a nickname? She calls Orlando's brother Gabo (Luis Gnecco) who tells her he will take care of everything. It would be awkward for the family if she is involved. Grief stricken she runs from the hospital only to have the police drag her back. Apparently they have some questions since Orlando was covered in bruises (he fell down the stairs). They demand her ID, and ask why she wants to be called Marina. A detective who specializes in sexual abuse contacts her wondering if there was something going on. She forces Marina to have a physical exam to check for anything untoward, but it's only humiliating. On top of all this, Orlando's ex-wife calls and wants Marina to drop off Orlando's car at her office. Meeting for the first time, Sonia (Aline Küppenheim), in a typical passive/aggressive move, understands her grief, and tells her don't worry about moving out of his apartment right away. Then tells her she cannot attend the wake or funeral because how it would look to their young daughter. Orlando's older son, Bruno (Nicolás Saavedra), makes it clear to Marina that she has to vacate ASAP and she can't keep Orlando's dog, that he had given her.

Rutter-less, Marina, goes to work in a fog. Orlando's family treats her like a freak. She is not allowed to mourn the loss of her lover, the one person who treated her like a human being. She tries to go to the funeral service, but is kicked out. She moves in with her sister and husband, who try to encourage Marina to let it go. Move on with life. But Marina needs closure. She finds the cemetery, and confronts the family by jumping on their car demanding them to return the dog. In the wake of Orlando's death, Marina struggles and endures the prejudice, and the resistance of being accepted in Chilean society. She turns to her mentor, her singing teacher, who encourages her to find her voice again.

It's truly about time that trans characters are played by actual trans actors. They should no longer be regulated to be sidekicks, secondary background, and the butt of jokes. The story makes one assess your attitude of a person's gender identity. The challenges that Marina faces are universal whether it be race, gender, or religion. In the end, you can only find strength in oneself, then ideally love and acceptance will follow.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Feb 18 - Feb 24

We actually have a few screenings this week. As usual they are crowded into one night. But it looks like it's going to be raining all week. Y'all keep safe out there.

Just a note to all our Facebook group members. If you add your friends to the group, please make sure they live in the DFW area, and they WANT to be added. If they don't live around here, then why would they want to get messages of screenings here?

If you have any info about screenings not listed here. Please share with the group. If you are too shy to post, just email me and I'll share. But really, I can't tell the players without the program. Appreciate it.

Feb 18 - Feb 24

Tues - Feb 20

Game Night - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Love, Simon - 7:00 pm - Cinemark West

Wed - Feb 21

Every Day - 5:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Annihilation - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Annihilation - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17
Game Night - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Northwest Hwy

Thu - Feb 22

Red Sparrow - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark

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The Female Brain

This excellent comedy with a touch of drama follows the life of Julia, a neurologist who seeks to prove that women are just as good as men in the brain. She does this by tackling the flaws perceived of women by society. The story begins with her continuous efforts to prove that men and women basically have all of the same starting components in their brain.

We see her as scared of love and we also see a few other couples as they are navigating their relationships. The film had some strong points of hilarity within the couples’ interactions. In one scene, one of the couples, Lisa and Steven, ingest Molly which has them subsequently behaving in extremely strange fashions in front of their child. Another scene is when Blake Griffin’s character, Greg, walks in on his wife masturbating to porn.

The film definitely walked the line well with its mix of comedy and serious notes. It did a brilliant job in illustrating how Julia’s obsession with the brain rendered her almost incapable of just being in a normal loving relationship. There were several fantastic performances by James Marsden, Whitney Cummings, Cecily Strong, the aforementioned Blake Griffin, Sofia Vergara and many others.

Whitney Cummings co-wrote and directed the film. She did an incredible job by bringing a feel good comedy that wasn’t fluffy as to ignore reality. In probably the most melancholy scene, Cecily Strong’s character, Zoe, has just quit her job and has to ask her husband, Greg, for starting capital for a business. We see that she is a strong woman against the discrimination of her sex and that her previous boss infused her work with discrimination. That was a good piece of the script that made one feel empathy for Zoe and a sense of sadness that she had to do what she did.

Julia develops a love interest with Jimmy, a participant in her neurological study, as she constantly combats his natural feeling of loving her. This relationship is basically the turning point for her. The way the script was written in relation to this connection was well executed to point out Julia’s flaws. How her passion and career overcame her ability to just feel loved was well illustrated.

Cummings brilliantly communicated for her role a sense of orderliness and constant focus. She transferred the message of her character being so straightforward that it was constricting her perfectly. This was a highly enjoyable film that consisted of a myriad of superb performances in a story of how complicated love and the brain is.
(Review by Wyatt Head)

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Black Panther

“Marvel Studios Black Panther”

Despite all the shortcomings and nuances, Marvel Studios “Black Panther,” like the myriad of other Marvel based superhero tales is a full-on otigin story to the title character who lives in the fictional country of Wakanda, a third world country that has tech and assets beyond its means. America was first introduced to this character and persona in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

Like the colorful “Thor: Ragnarok,” the studios have finally realized this stuff is mainly geared for the kids, since the humor and sarcasm are geared for the audience its meant for. Gone are the days of brooding characters with endless back stories filled with stifling tales galore. Instead, director Ryan Coogler fashions a tale that is equal parts fun thrill ride coupled with a minor dose of straight emjoyment and fun banter galore.

This tale finds T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returning to his home of the fictional Wakanda after the death of his father. Involved in his life are his mom, Ramona (Angela Bassett), his uncle Zuri (Forest Whitaker), sister Nakia
Top 50(Lupita Nyong'o), as well as American colleagues in Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), who works for the FBI and villain Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis).

I like what Marvel has done with their product. Gone are the days of so-so flicks being produced just for the sake of retaining the rights to said properties. It all changed with Jon Favreau’s
“Iron Man” in 2008. But that is another story altogether.

With “Black Panther,” Coogler has crafted a fun thrill ride that should appeal to all the masses. Be warned that it clocks in slightly over two hours, actually 2 hrs. 14 min., but one will not notice it since they are having such a good time.

Grade: A-

(Review By Ricky Miller)

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Black Panther

Director: Ryan Coogler Studio: Marvel Studios

Hands down to “Black Panther”

I’m having some “What are you up to?” thoughts for this film when it comes to superhero films and comic-to-life adaptations.

Marvel’s eighteenth film is entering the worlds and the minds of Marvel Cinematic Universe. Gives a highly-anticipating, yet expensive look on the face to see Cooley and Chadwick Boseman working together to create this awesome scenery after Chadwick’s minor role in “Captain America: Civil War.” The cast and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios and a man with great visionary to MCU films, done an outstanding job on keeping the Marvel superheroes and families easily energetic to the audiences.

The movie itself is extremely (and expensively) important on what was happening to the focus on the black lead character and the supporting characters. Every Marvel film, except for Iron Man 2, which I gave this film a D, all started out with a nice, soft tone for the character, the setting, detailed-backgrounds, and the action-packed performances. It was a smart move just like Iron Man and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange. Also, extra credit for the Easter eggs from previous Marvel media (a similar manner from Pixar films) and Stan Lee’s cameo, which made him big extra bucks.

The cast is easily-compared to the cast from Pixar’s Coco when Lee Unkrich have found the majority of the cast to be Latino/Mexican, which was the similar ingredient to Black Panther, using African Americans on a high-budget production. Disney always keeps the tradition of diversity films and score composing. The score and music background was a same stunt gig from Michael Giacchino (Coco) and Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther). My experiences for the score and the future diverse-films is somewhat problematic, but of course, easily overwhelming with excitement. Comic book writers, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, created this non-white hero that would lead this character making an impact on shining the light on the characters’ eyes of Marvel Comics like Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk.

The movie is a better [and suitable] choice for a February movie outing. This goes for Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, Lunar New Year, and people’s birthdays on February. I highly recommend this as an historic address to Black History Month. Of course, you minus will wait for a DVD release as take-home for your family. If you planning on seeing this film, then go straight to the movie theater rather than going out to dinner nor watch the Olympics (if you have time though). “Black Panther” is considered a Valentine’s Day treat for you. So, always save room for dessert and if you don’t like this film, don’t hesitate to ask.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Feb 11 - Feb 17

Well the big movie of the season is this week. Passes will appear and disappear just as quickly. Please be patient. There may be some last minute postings by sponsors. Don't flood the list with requests just yet.

At least the Olympics are on this week. And there's Valentine's Day.

Feb 11 - Feb 17

Mon - Feb 12

Black Panther - 7:00 pm - Cinemark 17

Tue - Feb 13

Every Day - 7:00 pm - Cinemark West
Black Panther - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Black Panther - 7:30 pm - AMC Grapevine

Wed - Feb 14

Midnight Sun - 6:00 pm - Cinemark Grapevine.

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Feb 4 - Feb 10

Wow, what a Super Bowl game. But now we get back to normal, that is until the Oscars which is March 4. Looks like a few interesting features are heading our way, but it seems few and far between. Then before you know it, it's time for the Dallas International Film Festival. You may start thinking of volunteering this year, if you have not before.

Just a note, if you sign up your friends to our Facebook page, please make sure they want to be included beforehand. AND they live the DFW area.

As usual, the studios have decided to compete for us promo audiences by having all the movies one day. Choose wisely.

Feb 4 - Feb 10

Wed - Feb 7

The 15:28 to Paris - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Game Night - 7:00 pm - AMC Stonebriar and AMC Mesquite
Fifty Shades of Freed - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17 and Angelika Dallas
La Boda de Valentana - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Sat - Feb 10

Early Man - 10:30 am - AMC Northpark

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Insult

**** (out of ****)

In The Insult, a religious and geopolitical conflict is examined on a microcosmic scale: A Christian of Lebanese descent and a Palestinian Muslim enter into a heated battle of egos that spider-webs into an event whose stakes are far greater than any one participant in an argument. Through careful observation of human and behavioral impulses, screenwriters Ziad Doueiri (who also directed) and Joelle Touma have crafted a cautionary and urgent fable about the biases, both unconscious and learned, that drive all of us and how violence trickles up through the roots of those biases to cultivate and grow. Eventually, the dividing lines are drawn, and no matter how we try, we cannot escape our shared histories.

The argument starts simply enough, as most arguments do: Tony (Adel Karam), the Christian, is watering the plants that reside on his outside porch, which exists about a floor above ground level. The water splashes through the broken drain, at times onto the people who might walk underneath his porch. It’s an easy thing to do, too, as that side of his apartment building faces a sidewalk that divides the residences in half. Obviously, it would be up to Tony to have the drain fixed, but stubbornness and, perhaps, more than a bit of pride have factored into the decision not to fix it. If it comes to that, in any case, he’ll do it himself. He won’t have an unknown man in his house alone with his pregnant wife, Shirine (Rita Hayek).

The reality of the water splashing from above is exactly what causes Tony to cross paths with Yasser (Kamel El Basha), the Muslim. He is a handyman for such occasions as fixing a broken drain, and when he notices the problem, he offers to fix it. Tony, of course, refuses. Yasser, still wanting to remain cordial but also remind Tony of the local safety codes, fixes the drain anyway. Tony, with his pride in full view of everyone, callously destroys the newly repaired drain as a way of flaunting his disdain for Yasser and everything for which he assumes Yasser stands. Yasser’s response is to use a compound vulgarity (one part of which is a seven-letter adjective that acts as a redundant modifier for the noun of the phrase, which is one of the three stand-ins for male genitalia), for which Tony demands an apology.

Yasser, who himself has a bit of the old pride in him, takes a long time to work up to feeling apologetic. It’s understandable, too: He performed a service for Tony, and even if the other party did not consent to the service, it seems unworthy of the destruction of property. When it finally seems ready to occur, Tony returns the vulgarity with a different kind (the invocation of tyrannical violence from a specific source), which turns the situation into a physical one. A legal situation develops, with lawyers (played by Camille Salameh and Diamand Bou Abboud) hired to defend and prosecute, respectively.

Revelations, some expected and others enough to bowl over viewers, occur during the litigation of the event. Neither has been totally forthcoming about their shared, relative experiences with Christians and Muslims. Shirine’s pregnancy is put into jeopardy by the stress of the events. The lawyers are connected in an unanticipated way, entering their own battle of wits informed by longstanding insecurities. The legal question becomes two-sided: The argument should not have turned physical, as that is a literal assault, but Tony’s comment regarding the wish for genocide is an assault of a different kind. The answers in The Insult do not come easily, and Doueiri never has delusions of subtlety regarding this material. The nuance in its arguments remains, though, and through expert filmmaking and superb performances, the film fights the good fight.
(Review by Joel Copling)

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Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Reel Time with Joel and Chase

A Solid Romance that is Equally Charming and Heartbreaking. Jamie Bell and Annette Bening Make for a Great Duo.

Title: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Rating: R for Language, Some Sexual Content and Brief Nudity
Run Time: Ihr & 45min

Joel’s Review
*** (out of ****)

The young man with promise has his entire career ahead of him. The aging star has seen her spotlight readjust elsewhere upon the younger stars of the man’s newer generation. By the end of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, the title surely has adopted philosophical and psychological qualities atop its literal one. Neither party in this eventual romance ever expected to be involved romantically with the other. Each found himself or herself in a place of emotional vulnerability that the other strengthened in some way. For the young man, it was a maturity beyond his years that proved formative. For the older woman, it was a newfound attention that she had lacked in others for years.

For a while, Matt Greenhalgh’s screenplay (adapted from the memoir by Peter Turner) spends a lot of energy on the will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic that seems to be cultivated in a lot of such romantic melodramas. The fact that this story is at least based on a true one (to what degree would need to be discovered by further research than merely watching this movie) obviously doesn’t change that fact. Real life is real life, and cinema that aspires to reflect it directly is, to almost any degree, an exaggeration of it that involves a specific perspective. The telling of the story from either perspective will certainly color the story in some way that the reality of it is a bit warped.

Greenhalgh does a fascinating thing with one’s concept of perspective here, and it means that the frustration of the film’s melodramatic elements is decisively squelched at precisely the moment it counts. Until then, the story follows Peter Turner (Jamie Bell), the young stage actor with some talent but also a struggle for his “big break,” and Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening), a troubled startlet despite a surprise Academy Award victory some years ago. They meet and fall quickly into a physical attraction that becomes something more.

The drama oscillates between their families’ responses to the romance in the past (particularly given his naivete in such matters and her past proclivities involving romances with younger men) and Gloria’s declining health in the present. The back-and-forth energy between Peter and Gloria grows tiresome, but then the film clues us in when it shifts from Peter’s perspective of certain events to Gloria’s. That transforms Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool from a romantic melodrama to a melancholic meditation on mortality that ultimately delivers.
(Review by Joel Copling)

Chase’s Review

(Review by Chase Lee)

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Bilal: A New Breed of Hero

Reel Time with Joel and Chase

Imagine if Pixar and a Bad Animation Studio Took a Crack at a Movie…

Title: Bilal: A New Breed of Hero
Rating: PG-13 for Violence/Warfare and Some Thematic Elements
Run Time: Ihr & 45min

Joel’s Review
** (out of ****)

Not even Bilal seems to buy what it’s selling. An account of the turbulent life of Bilal bin Rabah, who rose to political prominence in the Arabian Peninsula following a life in captivity as a slave, the film certainly weaves a tale of sought-after freedom that is broadly empowering for being among the first of its kind. The screenwriters (Alexander Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, Yassin Kamel, and director Khurram Alavi) populate the dialogue with dime-store clichés and inspiring declarations of equality, yet Alavi and co-director Ayman Jamal cannot be bothered to inject much urgency into the proceedings. Nearly everything is played as glum and drab.

The contradiction is particularly notable in the backgrounds and establishing shots of what surrounds the characters, particularly in sequences of warfare (This, by the way, is not a film for children, boasting a fairly moderate-to-heavy PG-13 rating that it earns). The animation style utilizes slow-motion and quick-zoom photography, careful to pay close attention to the geography of the action. The climax of the film is a battle of appropriately epic scale, featuring fight choreography that must have been coordinated in reality before being rendered with the animated figures onscreen: An archer uses the stirrup of a horse’s saddle as a slingshot to gain momentum for a meticulously aimed shot, the sword fights are not mere swashbuckling feats but genuinely exhausting battles of will, and so forth.

The action sequences are impressive, then, but also indicative of a problem: The existence of a beating heart here is in question. Outside the rousing combat, the film’s story consists of only the broad strokes of bin Rabah’s story, so that there isn’t much in the way of emotional engagement in the specific events. Perhaps that is by design, as the story itself is a fixture of the Islamic faith. Hagiography would go hand-in-hand with the priorities of a screenplay that structures the tale as a religious fable. There are few complications within this story, as told by the screenwriters, yet, as with any religious story, one can tell that the nuances are trying break free of rigid expectations.

The Bilal of the film, voiced by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, still comes from a childhood of enslavement under the rule of Umayya bin Khalaf (voice of Ian McShane), a trader who acquired Bilal under brutally violent circumstances that culminated in the death of Bilal’s mother (voiced by Cynthia McWilliams). He proved himself an able fighter in scuffles with Safwan (voiced by Mick Wingert), Umayya’s snarling son and, in adulthood, rises to do battle with Umayya’s forces after aligning himself with a local Islamic leader, seeking freedom for himself and for his sister Ghufaira (also voiced by McWilliams).

Until it puts its characters into action (which is almost exclusively at the end of this story), the pacing is sluggish, and the character designs have been rendered too imprecisely for the emotional beats to earn the necessary power behind them. The result is a strangely robotic telling of a tale that certainly had a lot of potential. Bilal struggles with the follow-through, offering only benign storytelling avenues, some broadly defined archetypes as characters, and a generic climax that solves everything in battle.
(Review by Joel Copling)

Chase’s Review

(Review by Chase Lee)

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