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.

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Eating Animals







You may wonder if we need another film about the food industry. It turns out that we do. Eating animals is based on a book published in 2009 about the factory farm industry which produces our meat and meets our ever-growing demand for animal proteins.

The film is directed by Christopher Quinn and narrated by actress Natalie Portman and is predictably full of statistics, facts and figures. It also does have its share of images that are difficult to watch, but they are the reality and the filmmaker feels it's important for us to know just exactly where are food is coming.

A brief history of the farming industry is presented and we meet one of the 1% of traditional livestock farmers still in production. He raises turkeys, in Kansas, the old-fashioned way. We also meet the factory chicken farmer in the east and the massive hog farmer in South Carolina. The chicken farmer is under contract and we explore his ethical concerns for how the birds are being raised and how the corporations treat him as a producer. We discover that the hog farmer's methods are contributing to the pollution of the waterways and ultimately the ocean, contributing to fish kills and the development of sores on humans.

We learn how factory farming is contributing to greenhouse gases and global warming. Another talking point is how these animals have been genetically manipulated to grow fast with the least amount of food intake, to meet increasing global demand as our diet spreads to other parts of the world that were traditionally plant-based.

The role of the industry in the development of super bug caused illnesses, that won't respond to antibiotics, is also explored. What is most important is that factory farming not only is not good for the planet, it's not good for the animals, the meat consumers, and the 99% of all farmers who are raising their animals this way. It becomes clear very quickly that there will be a price to pay and in quite a few arenas.
There is a very real danger that the traditional versions of these animals will be lost from this world forever as their numbers dwindle. Today's livestock does not even remotely resemble the livestock from 100 years ago being raised in traditional family farms, and there is a very real danger we will lose these methods in the next generation.

The film delivers its information in a gentle, dignified and informative way. Thankfully, it does not utilize much shock value when addressing the storyline involving the humane treatment of lifestock. But some such scenes are necessary in order for the viewer to get a full picture of the impact the raising methods have on the animals, when cows and pigs cannot move and chickens cannot even bear their own weight on their legs they have grown so fast.

One darker side of the industry involves what the giant corporations do to whistleblowers and former employees who are able to leak information to the outside world about the inhumane treatment and methods used inside the large structures. There is discussion that the FDA is unable to successfully monitor the industries and help bring them back to health due to the power of the large corporations and governmental influence due to corporate donations and donors who want to make sure that their products are heavily promoted and sold to every as many people as possible.

The goal of the film is to make the viewer fully educated and aware, and able to make choices not to eliminate meat from their diet entirely, but to consider alternatives and a reduction in the consumption of animal protein, for the sake of our health and the future of our planet.

The film is hopeful in that it presents developing alternatives to animal protein in the form of plant proteins. The messages are not an attempt to create a world full of vegans or vegetarians but to reduce the total impact the industry has in negative ways as our world population continues to grow. The overall message is our planet cannot handle continuing to meet the demand at this pace and that change must occur. That change lies within each and every human being on this planet and depends on the choices that they make.

Having been able to grow up and have access to a family farm on a regular basis, this reviewer was directly able to observe traditional farming methods in her formative years, with respect to livestock. The current giant buildings that house so many chickens that they cannot move bears little resemblance to the chicken house of my childhood where chickens could freely walk around, eat bugs, and exercise, building up muscle tissue instead of fat tissue. The cows were fed grass and hay instead of corn and feed laced with antibiotics to kill the inevitable bacteria so rampant in the giant pens spanning for miles and guarded by security trucks who quickly run off anyone with a camera.

The call is to encourage the consumer to demand meat sources from and thereby supporting traditional farmers and a call for the few farmers left with traditional knowledge to educate the next generation so we are not so quick two raise that next generation to think that factory farming is the only way. We as a consuming public oh it to ourselves to know everything about where our food is coming from.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)





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Sicario Day of the Soldado






The original “Sicario” released in 2015 was an amazing well-crafted tale that actually made my ten best list of that particular year.
This follow up in the “Sicario” saga finds our antiheroes played by both Oscar-nominated Josh Brolin and Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro reprising their roles from the original flick. Del Toro’s Alejandro character was the muscle of the group, even taking out an entire family for their involvement in past indiscretions.

Brolin returns as a high ranking FBI man Matt Graves, who is given a clean slate to run a no holds barred operation. He feels that more will get done since the federal government gives him a blank check to do whatever he wants.

Missing is the female lead occupied by Oscar nominee Emily Blunt. Instead, the woman with a high position of power is played by the Oscar-winning “Get Out’s” Catherine Keener as the mean and malicious Cynthia Foards, who does not care about high body counts. She does not care about human life in the very least, since to her they are just numbers on a wide spreadsheet.

Alejandro’s past comes into play when he befriends a Mexican family with a deaf caretaker. Earlier in his life his own daughter was deaf so he learned how to talk via sign language.

The directing chores here are done by little known Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima, who helmed “A.C.A.B.,” “Suburra” and TV’s “Gammorah.” His lens in “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” perfectly captures the dusty chaos of everyday Mexico wherein a local shopping mall serves as a backdrop for this fluid and dynamic tale that does not disappoint in the very least.

Returning from the original “Sicario” as well is writer Taylor Sheridan, who was as Oscar-nominated for “Hell or High Water” in 2016. Sheridan’s pen alludes to some great wordplay, something I admire in filmmaker David Mamet, going back to his superb script for the Oscar-nominated “The Verdict” in 1982 and even like a writer such as Cormac McCarthy, who shared Oscar-winning writer duties with the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, for 2007’s Best Picture winner “No Country For Old Men.”

This was a great flick because it sets aside normal conventions and offers something that is just plain gritty.

What was real and intriguing in this action-suspense-drama-thriller hybrid is just when you think it’s going to shift off course, both Sollima and Sheridan throw you off the beaten path to end with yet another great “Sicario” tale. Like what has happened with the “Die Hard” entries, I like and admire the fact that roman numerals are not prevalent in further “Sicario” stories.

Grade: B+
(Review by Ricky Miller)






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Eating Animals







(Review by Chase Lee)




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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of June 24 - June 30


30 days has Sept, April, June and Nov. Can't believe it's going to be July! Hope everyone is enjoying summer...in a nice air conditioned space.

Again, not too many movies, but lots of outlets offering passes and several screenings of the same film. Like it when they spread it out so it's not so crowded. Have you noticed that there hasn't been any screenings at the Angelika? Just wondering.



June 24 - June 30

Tue June 26

Sicario Day of the Soldado - 7:30 pm - Angelika
Dr. Drew - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - June 27

Eating Animals - 7:00 pm - Magnolia
Dr. Drew - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Dr. Drew - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Thu - June 28

Sharp Objects - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark





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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom




Director: J.A. Bayona Studio: Universal Pictures

Dinosaurs spared no expense!

Once again, dinosaurs roam around the Earth.

It’s been three years since I saw Jurassic World and now the new sequel officially came to my eyes. Director Bayona, known for directing The Impossible and Monster Calls, made his first non-horror feature film, but he did add some suspense to it. The retuning the cast of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the legendary Jeff Goldblum, who return the favor from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, have climb on board for this anticipated Jurassic Park/World sequel.

This film centers two former Jurassic World workers, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, who are trying to rescue their dinosaurs and their species from the impending doom of volcanic eruption. As the two, along with the two handy-helpers (portrayed by Justice Smith and Danielle Pineda), have rescued and brought to the island, a man who was in charge of the dinosaur-rescue mission reveals his plan to sell dinosaurs for profit. The four must stop the man from selling dinosaurs and setting them free to the world while facing a new dinosaur form called Indoraptor.

The film itself was okay as I enjoyed most of the scenes: Pratt and Howard together as this forms a character relationship and funniest, yet surprising suspense coming from the dinosaurs unexpected. This suspense reminds of the events of The Lost World: Jurassic Park as the film involves character ambition of the villain(s).

I also enjoyed the performances of Rafe Spall, B.D. Wong, and Isabella Sermon. Spall done good job on his juicy role. In addition, I heavily enjoyed the performance from the English actor Toby Jones and the duo of Justice Smith and Danielle Pineda. Jones and Smith give me all the surprising laughs ever in this film. Even the director Bayona can make this happen if he knows what comedy is.

Although I didn’t enjoy this film because of the usage of volcano eruptions, lazy writings, and the producers and the director taking away the original sensations from the first Jurassic Park film and Jurassic World. It really ruined my spirits of Jurassic Park. This film falls under the average town when it comes to dinosaur movies. I really hated it.

As I aforementioned this, this film seems okay, but I don’t mind seeing another sequel as long as they put something good that familiarizes the nature from the original Jurassic World movie back into its place rather than adding something new. I cannot say it’s a bad film or a one-out-of-five-star film. I can watch this, but I’ll save my excitement for Incredibles 2 as well as going back to watch the original Jurassic Park and World. You have the option between any sequels.

Remember what Jeff Goldblum said, “Life will find a way.”

Running time: 128 minutes

GRADE: C

(Review by Henry Pham)



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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Jun 17 - Jun 23



Yes, at last! It's dinosaur week. Fortunately there are a couple screenings for this and hopefully everyone got the passes they needed. Remember the lines are going to be crowded with kids out of school for the summer. Everyone getting in line should responsibly be there, and you are not holding spaces in line for more than handful of your posse. Also don't assume that someone is saving a space in line for you. Make arrangements before hand so there is no awkward moments of WTF. Not pleasant for everyone eavesdropping on your tiff.

June 17 - June 23

Tue - Jan 19

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Jan 20

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Thu - Jan 21

Sicario The Day of the Soldado - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Fri - Jan 22

Milk - 8:00 pm - Texas Theater







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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Incredibles 2




Director: Brad Bird Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Round “2” for Pixar’s The Incredibles!

If you ask me, I’m a sucker for one big thing: Walt Disney animated films.

What I’m saying is after 14 years of waiting to see what’s next, it’s finally here. The family of supers in Incredibles 2 has come to life onscreen with Brad Bird, who previously directed his three critically-acclaim films The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and his most recent film, Tomorrowland, returns to his post at Pixar Animation Studios to helm this anticipated animated feature. As the filmmaker, Bird takes charge of storytelling ideas. This comic-adventure picks up immediately after the first film. A simple, yet energetic news came when the characters are ready to continue to fight back for justice. This time, they’re doing this just to get all the supers and themselves accepted by society again like it was before.

The film involves Helen Parr going out on the secret crime-fighting mission to bring back equality to any supers and finding a way to get the supers accepted to the world again while her husband Bob Parr, known as Mr. Incredible, has to stay home and be a mindful househusband to the kids. While on a mission, Helen discovers a villain hacking into every system and brainwashing the citizens and the other supers to wipeout supers once and for all. Helen must find a perpetrator to restore glory.

Nuff said on the kids with high speed heist, force-field productions and multiples of powers coming from the baby. These kids’ characters got some real fiery roast when trouble is happening. When I look at the movie poster, I saw a raccoon appearing in this movie and mistook this as Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy films. What a sight!

Bird, along with the producers John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle and executive producer John Lasseter, have done an incredible job of keeping the longest track of storytelling. He will not make a sequel or film that would be terrible according to the critics and audiences. This explains why the plot looks very similar to the original film but in reverse with Elastigirl’s main role. It would have been too many puzzle pieces to solve under a timely manner. Once the puzzle was complete, story ideas came to light up their days. Even when the very beginning of the film gives me mighty laugh.

Featuring the returning cast of Holly Hunter, Craig Nelson, Brad Bird, and of course Samuel L. Jackson, who was best known as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they have done an amazing, mindful job of providing the best familiar voices from the original film to create more like a “floating timeline” personality compared to Spongebob Squarepants, Fleischer Studios’ Superman cartoons, Pokémon cartoons, and Disney’s Alice shorts from the very early ages. Floating timeline is the best tool Pixar has ever use to create more depth just like cartoons on television. Also a better job for supporting actors Jonathan Banks, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener and the newcomer Huck Milner (the voice of Dash).

Not to mention the Michael Giacchino’s composing, which sounded remarkable for the continuation of the film and the reuse of the original film’s soundtrack. The music has brought the audiences not only a strong feel but also nostalgic twists and themes from the story and background as many folks who have grown up watching the original film which made this film became incredibly sensational. His compositions are as ageless as those works from Hans Zimmer and Alan Silvestri.

As a big Pixar fan, this film was twice as incredible to watch. Easy attentive for movie goers who grew up watching the Incredibles. I highly recommend this film not only for children and grown-ups, but also parents. My main thought about this film is that the box-office projections for this film would earn bigger stacks of money since people been waiting for this film for years. This is the best bet for a summer movie decision for you out all the films releasing in June/July. Let me remind you that this is Pixar’s 20th film release and the second-to-last sequel. The last sequel [for now] is Toy Story 4, which comes out in June 2019. So please enjoy the sequels while they last before the studio decides to move on to original storytelling ideas. But if you don’t like Incredibles 2, go back to watch the original film for your own perspective of originality. I promise you this film will make your lives easier.

Let’s not forget the short film, Bao, directed by female artist Domee Shi, involving a lonely mother making dumplings as a symbol of motherhood. The short film from Shi offered some strong message of motherhood about parents spending time with their kids as they grow up to have their own lives. Makes me tearful and it’s tough to see this coming unexpectedly.

Bonus points for the red signal on the Disney and Pixar logo.

Running time: 118 minutes. For Bao: 6 minutes.

GRADE: A+ (for Bao: A+)

(Review by Henry Pham)


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Jun 10 - Jun 19



Wow, last week we had a movie everyday! Hope we get a few more of those last minute screenings.

Obviously it's gonna be crazy with school being out and the big animated blockbuster. So please everyone try and be civilized out there. Don't have 20 people line with you showing up in increments.

June 10 - June 19

Mon - June 11

Incredibles - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark, AMC Grapevine, Cinemark West
Superfly - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark

Tue - June 12

Tag - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Tag - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill NWY







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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Oceans 8






This one is all about the girls.

Whereas the 2001 update led by George Clooney and director Stephen Soderbergh was one of the biggest blockbusters of the past decade, “Ocean’s 8” finds director Gary Ross and star Sandra Bullock as Clooney’s sister, Debbie Ocean.This all new tale has cameos from the 2001 remake with the appearance of Elliot Gould as well as Shaboo Qin. In the 2001 version, Gould was Reuben, one of the right hands of staging the heist while Qin’s Yen persona was the small acrobat thief who helped pull off the caper.

Helping Debbie is Cate Blanchett’s Lou, Debbie’s best friend from years ago. She is a good sounding board for Debbie’s trials and tribulations. Their friendship and interaction keep this movie afloat, despite all the ridiculous cliché’s that sometimes take center stage.

The duo share some great scenes with dialogue, such as when Debbie gives Lou the rundown on how long she’s planned the robbery stating 5 years, 8 months and 12 days. Like Clooney’s character in the 2001 remake, Debbie knows what she’s good at, and that is a robbery, with The Met gala in New York City.

That is only a portion of the script, since the rest of the time is spent with the characters and the dilemmas they each face.

Rounding out the eight are Sarah Paulson’s stay-at home grifter mom, Tammy, who leaves her child alone “so she can get some much needed time apart.”

Also part of the group is Mindy Kayling’s Amita, who helps biding time away from her parent’s restaurant business. Her skill is that of conceiving and implementing face jewelry into the mix, because she feels her skills are put to a better use.

Also included is disgraced fashion designer Rose Weil, whose fall from grace finds her fashioning Anne Hathaway’s starlet Daphne Kruger, whose always on the inside track of finding someone hip.

Also in the group is Rihanna as Nine Ball, (her real name) and Awkwafina as Constance. Each adds a nifty moment of sparkle and pizzazz.

The chemistry between the various members of the troupe all work, especially with a score and theme that harkens back to previous chapters in the “Ocean’s” arsenal.

Director Gary Ross knows how to film actors in their moment with a fluid pace that never hits a dull scene or transition. I hate to say it, but I wanted more. He has done credible work before, most recently with the Matthw McConaughey-led “Free State of Jones” in 2016.

In the full scheme of things, I gave the 2001 remake a grade of an A-, with “Twelve” a less than stellar D-, while “Thirteen” received a mediocre C+.

As I said earlier, this one works, but not to the right degree of vim and vigor.

Grade: C+




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Hereditary




The best way to review this film is to say that it's perfectly weird. And in the best way. From the moment the movie starts with it's dark discordant music that washes over the slow and intimate scenes of family home, you can only surmise that something is somewhat afoot. Written and directed by Ari Aster, in his feature directorial debut, it may seem like just a mere haunted house tale. The craftsman style home with it's rich wood, and clutterless rooms is like an additional character with it's odd dark corners and creaky floors. Then there is the lack of typical chaotic family yelling and screaming that lets you know, it's not quite normal around here.

Toni Collette is Annie Graham an artist who works from home. She creates diorama's of carefully detailed miniatures of scenes in her home and other random buildings she is creating for an art show, in which she is behind schedule. She is married to Steve (Gabriel Byrne) the stoic and kindhearted father who can't seem to grasp his repressed family unit. They have Peter (Alex Wolff), a quiet and spaced out pot smoking teenager and younger daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) who spends most of her time drawing in her notebook and collecting odd bits and pieces. The family is grieving, but mostly kind of relieved by the passing of Annie's mother Ellen. Annie and Ellen had been estranged for a number of years. Annie explains to a grief support group that her father starved himself to death, her brother hung himself because he believed his mother was trying to put another person in his body, while Ellen suffered from dementia. So it seems to be expected some cray-cray is coming.

It's best this movie is seen without anymore information, just lest it seep into your senses and linger in your memory. It's a well crafted supernatural drama, that doesn't go in for the laughable shock scenes that fill other films of this genre. It's a psychological study of how our family ties influence and affect your world. It would be great if one of the DNA tests that can tell your ancestry, can also tell how your linage has some genetic influence on your mental health issues. Everyone is outstanding in this, especially Toni Collette who seems to be just hanging on the threads of sanity for the sake of the family. Alex Wolff stands out the most as his facial acting tells the unsettling bigger story of what this young man has to endure.

Grade A





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Hotel Artemis





Hollywood screenwriter Drew Pearce’s directorial debut takes place in 2028 Los Angeles where there are riots in the streets over a water crisis. That's not really important to the story except that it puts everything on edge as criminals must make their way through the chaos to their subscription health care center that only caters to bad guys. Everyone must follow the rules, and only members are allowed to have gunshots and knife wounds tended under code names based on their themed rooms, like Honolulu, Waikiki, Nice, Acapulco and Niagara. The posh Art Nouveau hotel had seen better days, but now only uses the penthouse floor to house it's robotic medical facility.

The Nurse (Jodi Foster) has her hands full at the moment with a beautiful French assassin (Sofia Boutella) and a complaining arms dealer (Charlie Day). They are joined by Sterling K Brown, a thief, whose young brother (Brian Tyree Henry) was shot during a bank robbery. He's been trying to get out of the life, but his brother talked him into this job. Good thing he didn't stop paying his premiums. Nurse is assisted by Dave Bautista who plays Everest. He is quick to remind people to read his badge as he's a licensed medical assistant. He also makes repairs and hauls off unwanted clients and enforcing the rules of the hotel. The night becomes more complicated when the owner "The Wolf King" (Jeff Goldblum) is 50 minutes out as his son Crosby Franklin (Zachary Quinto) and his thugs seal the doors to the hotel to insure the safety of his father. Complicating things, an injured female cop is at one of the doors seeking help. She knows The Nurse's real name and the reason why Nurse never leaves the building. But helping her is breaking a major rule of the hotel.

The film is only 97 fast paced minutes. The dialogue is funny and the action is extreme and satisfying. Hotel lives in the same kind of alternative universe as the Hotel Continental that caters to assassins, only not as plush and civilized. Hotel Artemis has high tech equipment that can operated and created 3D body parts to replace injured ones. The Nurse only has to push the right buttons and go check her other patients. It's great to see Jodie Foster back on the big screen as the Nurse who has a unique shuffle/runs with her big medical bag, badgering her patients and administering heavy duty elephant tranquilizers. It's a nice mindless romp and worth the popcorn.

Grade B



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Hereditary








(Review by Chase Lee)




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Hotel Artemis








(Review by Chase Lee)





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American Animals







(Review by Chase Lee)





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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Jun 3 - Jun 9



Yahoo Group Calendar is on the fritz again, so I'm posting this from memory. Which is not that reliable. If something is missed please advise.

School is going to be out soon. The big kids' screening is going to be Incredibles2. We also have Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is coming up so crowded crazy theaters are going to be a given. Plus the demand on passes. Just a word to the wise.

Jun 3 - Jun 9

Mon - Jun 4

The Gospel According to Andre - 7:00 pm - Magnolia
Oceans 8 - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Gotti - 7:00 pm - Studio Movie Grill NWY

Tue - June 5

Won't You Be My Neighbor - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Hotel Artemis - 7:00 pm - Studio Movie Grill HWY

Wed - Jun 6

Oceans 8 - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Thu - June 7

American Animals - 7:00 pm - Community Beer Company








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Friday, June 1, 2018

Adrift




This movie is based on a true story about a young woman, Tami Oldham who decided to move to Tahiti. She was from San Diego. She was very young, with no real work history, no experience and never gave an indication of how long she would be there on the island. She decides to stay there to live and work. While there she finds work cleaning and the boats and yachts. During one of those work times she meets this guy name Robert Sharp who has his own boat and discovers that they have a lot in common. He comes from London England and has this sense of adventure. He tells her of his travel all over the world. Of course, she is fascinated with all his stories and his good looks that she gets involved with him. During one of their many outings Roberts runs into some old friends, an older couple. They know of Robert’s sense of adventure, so they ask if he could help them with their dilemma. They need to return to London immediately because the wife’s father is ill. They offer Robert a deal of life time to return their beloved yacht back to San Diego. For the job they will pay him ten thousand dollars and a first class ticket back to the island. For Robert, this is an idea plan since he traveled a lot on water. Tammy is reluctant because she does not want to return to San Diego. But after proposing to her she finally agrees to go with him. Since the couple luxury yacht was much larger than his small boat they are both impressed.

Robert and Tammy take sails on the water to complete the journey to San Diego. Their journey is like a idea love story of couples traveling the world together. However, their journey takes a turn for the worse when they encounter a hurricane. After the storm Tammy appeared to save Robert and kept him alive while she took care of him and look for ways to be rescued. The story gave the impression that Tammy was handling everything well and that the drift was just a walk in the park. But by the 41st day when she realized that she was going to die and could not take it anymore, she gave up this hallucination in her mind that Robert was still with her. She realized her only source of survival was reliving her early days with Robert and all thoughts of her love for him that lead her through her journey to keep her mind together until she was rescued.

In many ways this story seemed like an ideal love story until it plays out. Although, some of the scenery of the sunset and underwater scenes were beautiful there were a lot of unrealistic things that the director failed to make the movie realistic. For instance, a beautiful young woman like Tammy to leaves San Diego for Tahiti alone, not once did it focus on her survival skills on the island or her need for safety. The movie never states how long Tammy and Robert was on voyage before the hurricane. The days that she adrift only starts after the storm. The story never talks about whether the couple inquire about the yacht once she returned or even considered that they were looking for the young couple. Although the movie seemed to follow a different path of other movies, it failed to deliver something unique or different that would set this move apart from previous movies.
This movie was rated C+.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ary)



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How to Talk to Girls at Parties






Author and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman's 2006 short story has been brought to the big screen by director John Cameron Mitchell in his first movie in 8 years. The director of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (2001) and “Shortbus” (2006) also wrote the script with Philippa Goslett, clearly loves early punk era hairdo's and nihilistic attitudes. Then the story throws some visiting aliens trying to break from their own conformity and embrace this new power of individual freedom. It doesn't make much sense, but it's still charming and entertaining.

Enn (Alex Sharp), a budding cartoonist and graphic artist, hangs out with his buddies looking for Queen Boadicea's (Nicole Kidman) party. They end up getting lost and stumbling into a strange but fascinating old house that is filled with multi-colored costumed characters. Each group seem to embody a section of their group collective. His friend follows the Stella who promise sex encouraging Enn to go talk to a girl. The first girl is wearing a huge glove that hides her middle finger having a split digit. Then Enn connects with a beautiful young woman Zan (Elle Fanning). She is arguing with her group that they should expand their exploration rather than just be tourists. Enn offers's her the opportunity and soon they embark on the punk rock scene. Boadicea decides to take Zan under her tutelage by transforming her into a punk queen.

The 18 page short story does not include most of the poetic license taken here. The aliens are revealed to be indeed travelers, but their times are limited in each new journey. The leader of each group is considered to be the parent/teacher who eat their young when they depart, and then they in turn are eaten by the eldest. Zan's challenge to stop this almost passes, but the time to depart is quickly approaching forcing everyone to continue with their usual practice. The fact that Enn and his friends are not too weirded out by hooking up with an alien visitors is also curious but somewhat expected.

Fanning and Sharp are very agreeable as the young couple. While Nicole Kidman as the punk diva is played for all it's worth. The soundtrack is notable and keeps the energy up. The aliens in their color coordinated vinyl costumes are very kitchy and screams the 60's. Each group represents elements of a whole person, like the brain, heart, sex, etc. Where they originated, and how they travel from place to place is never explained. The ritual of "the eating" becomes the punk song in the middle of the movie. Just don't try and make sense of it all, and just enjoy it.
(Review by reesa)


Adrift







(Review by Chase Lee)





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Upgrade







(Review by Chase Lee)






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Adrift





Just because “it’s based on a true story,” filmmakers think they will get a favorable review.

I only say this because for some unknown reason the filmmakers behind “Adrift” thought they had an automatic gold mine on their hands with this true life tale about one woman’s ordeal with the ocean blue.

Oscar nominee Shailene Woodley (2011’s “The Descendents,” “Divergent”) and Sam Claflin (“Me Before You,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) are a couple in love each finding their place in the world. Her character, Tami Oldham comes from San Diego, one of her pit stops in her diversified life. Calafin’s part is Richard Sharp, a slightly older gentleman who just hits it off with Tami and he offers to sail around the world with her as their duo embark on a journey neither will forget.

Like my recent bout with superhero movies as well as that “Star Wars” spin-off, “Solo” A “Start Wars” Story,” I can’t give away too much in “Adrift” without running the storyline.

Another one of my main complaints about the H2O aspect is that filmmakers have never found a way to make water suspenseful in the least. For every great movie, Like Steven Spielberg’s amazing four-star masterpiece that is “Jaws,” there is nothing truly remarkable about anything to do with the ocean, lake, or the like. Another one that was involving was 1972’s “The Poseidon Adventure,” wherein a big name cast faced dilemmas galore aboard a giant ocean liner. It got made because it was a big budget disaster movie. It had an all-star cast with recent Oscar-winner Gene Hackman, (“The French Connection”), Red Buttons, Shelly Winters and Ernest Borgnine.

The whole point is that water doesn’t work in movies. The only recent release that surprised me was “American Assassin” last year that actually had enthralling action sequences that actually worked. The subplot involved anti-hero Taylor Kitsch as the antagonist of that tale, who wanted to bring death and destruction to our beloved planet. His scenes with both Michael Keaton and Dylan O’Brien made the movie worth watching. I gave it a grade of a B last year.

In “Adrift,” the antagonist is mother nature herself since Tammi has to switch her vegetarian diet and feast on fish to survive. The other dilemma is the amount of time our characters spend at sea.

The other predicament is that all the communication aboard the boat was destroyed by outside forces.

I wanted to like this movie so much, but in the end game of things I felt it did not have enough positive moments to merit a favorable review.

Grade: C-

(Review by Ricky Miller)





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