The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

You can use this homepage for posting comments, reviews, and other things that cannot be posted to the group. Of course spam is not allowed. Thanks!

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Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Gloria Bell





Sebastián Lelio won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2018 for his film A Fantastic Woman. His newest project which he wrote and directed had it's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It's almost a scene by scene remake in English of his 2013 film Gloria in which Paulina García won the best actress prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

Julianne Moore plays the fifty something free spirit Gloria Bell. She's been divorced for a dozen years and works for an insurance company. At night she frequents a dance club for the disco dancing mid-life crowd. When we first see Gloria she is sitting alone at the bar. She is not someone that particularly stands out. Even when she approaches someone who she had met in the past, he can barely remember her. We follow Gloria in the everyday minutiae of her life. From her singing alone with the radio in the car of 70's dance music, to smoke breaks with a co-worker while complaining about the job. She visits her children, her son (Michael Cera), a new dad who has been left with the baby as his wife had taken off to find herself, and her daughter (Alanna Ubach), who teaches Yoga and has fallen for a Norwegian surfer. As much as she offers to help them, they insist on living their own lives. She also gets along with her ex-husband (Brad Garrett) and his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn). They share friends with Rita Wilson and Chris Mulkey. It's not a bad life, just very routine and unadventurous.

One night at the dance club she hooks up with Arnold (John Turturro). He's been divorced for about a year but is still very much involved with his ex-wife and two grown daughters who call him at every opportunity to help them out. Despite the early signs of this, Gloria and Arnold get along. Gloria revels in that exciting feelings of new love. They date, meet her friends and her kids, but he keeps getting phone calls and disappearing on her. They even try having a Las Vegas weekend which ends up with Gloria doing a morning walk of shame.

Julianne Moore is probably one of top actresses in the industry today. She can anything from playing the quirky villain in the last Kingsman film to this quiet sensitive performance of Gloria who lives for everyone else but herself. There is no CGI, car chases, shootouts or ghosts. This is a nice quiet performance of a woman finding her self and independence. There can be good stories of older women and hopefully we will see more. It's a slow start, but it's the kind of story that stays with you.
(Review by reesa)



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Carga





Viewers are thrown into the deep end of the pool from the get-go with writer / director Bruno Gascon’s film “Carga.” Gascon’s movie, suitably bleak and dreary, focuses on a human-trafficking network and a few of the people caught within it (both victims and perpetrators).

The key players are introduced within the opening scene – truck driver António (Vítor Norte), network leader Viktor (Dmitry Bogomolov), and victim Viktoriya (Michalina Olszanska, who also plays Viktor’s sister, and right-hand woman, Alanna). António stops on the side of a highway so Viktor and his men can unload the passengers, illegal immigrants hidden among the contents of António’s trailer with the assumption of safe passage into Portugal, into a large van. One of the passengers loaded into the van is Viktoriya, whose dialogue-less initial scenes require actress Olszanska to establish a connection with the audience solely via facial expressions. It is clear that António is uncomfortable with the situation, though it’s not clear how long this discomfort has been around. Was he once ok with what he was participating in? Or has he, in some way, been forced into being an unwilling accomplice? Sensing his discomfort, Viktor later calls António, threatening to harm his wife and granddaughter if he quits.

There isn’t much given in the way of backstory for any of these characters and none have any sort of character growth within the film. Viktoriya is the helpless victim with a strong survival instinct, Viktor is the evil boss, and António is the hapless old man caught in a spider’s web. One of the points director Gascon seems to be trying to make with “Carga” is that anyone could find themselves, a title card at the end of the film proclaims “it could be you,” in this situation. Michalina Olszanska, whose dual characters are on opposite ends of this trafficking network, visibly serves to represent that idea to the audience. Her performance is one of the film’s strengths, she so fully disappears into her roles that I didn’t realize the same actress was playing both women until the movie was over. “Carga” constantly shifts its focus between multiple characters, another way in which Gascon drives home the idea of “it could be you.” You don’t necessarily have to be the victim to be involved in this crime.

Viktoriya finds herself locked in a cold, run-down building along with the other women kidnapped by the traffickers. All of the men that were in the truck are shot dead in the courtyard, an act which Viktor makes sure happens in plain sight of the women. When they come to take away a young girl, who Viktoriya has been comforting, Viktoria is the only one to put up a fight for her. After the men have gone, she reprimands the other women for not putting up any sort of fight.

Technically, the film is well made. It’s well shot, one of the few things I liked about it. “Carga” takes on a blue hue with its photography, embellishing the hopelessness of Viktoriya’s situation while also further establishing the depressing mood of the movie. At times, the subtitles disappear into bright backgrounds, making them initially unnoticeable then, once their presence is noted, very difficult to read. This is something that really should have been noticed by the filmmakers before its release.

As previously stated, the actors do a great job at portraying their characters. Yet, their performances don’t help to sell the movie. Despite grasping her dire predicament, it was hard to empathize with Viktoriya. Gascon’s attempts at connecting the viewers with the traffickers also felt odd. António is the most engaging of the characters but the lack of information leaves you wondering whether or not you should care about the man.

“Carga” plods along aloofly to its conclusion, which goes in an expected direction once certain events start unfolding. Maybe a stronger final act would have helped the movie out, but I felt done with it far before it got to that point. “Carga” is a harsh and brutal film, though maybe not as hard to watch as you’d think considering the subject matter.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

Now available on DVD and VOD





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The Hummingbird Project






Writer / director Kim Nguyen takes on the world of high-frequency trading with his newest film, “The Hummingbird Project.” Nguyen’s movie follows two traders, Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgård), who decide to quit their jobs at a high-profile firm in order to build a run of fiber optic cable – which must be placed in a perfectly straight line – between the stock exchange in Kansas City and New York City.

Vincent and Anton, who happen to be cousins, bring in an investor, Bryan Taylor (Frank Schorpion), to finance the project and a driller, Mark Vega (Michael Mando), to help with the construction. As the group sets out to work on the project, with hopes of beating Vincent and Anton’s former boss Eva Torres (Salma Hayek) with a faster connection (only 16 milliseconds instead of 17), it becomes obvious that they are in over their heads. A whirlwind of sub-contracts, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), property sales (they only ask each owner for a thin strip ten feet underneath their property), and equipment rentals (among other things) ensues. All of which costs ridiculous sums of money. Sums that quickly escalate with the arrival of each new problem.

Eisenberg plays yet another variant of his typical role – the smooth-talking arrogant hustler. He’s done it before but he plays the part well. Pairing the character with the neurotic Anton gives “The Hummingbird Project” its edge. Skarsgård, playing against his usual type, completely disappears into the role of the anxiety riddled, middle-aged Anton. It’s a transformation that requires the actor to walk hunched over with a funky gait and appear with a balding pate while also embodying the personality of someone who is extremely intelligent yet easily riled up. Eisenberg and Skarsgård have excellent chemistry, giving the cousins a believable dynamic.

Ex-boss Torres quickly catches on to what her former employees are up to (despite their NDAs) after sending someone to spy on them. Quickly, she hatches a plan to be the first to a faster connection, finding ways to undermine Vincent and Anton’s work. She pays particular attention to messing with the easily manipulated Anton. Hayek plays the part well. She coolly and venomously delivers her lines, making Eva a great (and oddly likeable) villain.

For the most part, the movie is finely paced. Nguyen sprinkles moments of humor throughout to help keep the movie light, in spite of the heavier topics it touches on (stomach cancer). There are some moments where things start to drag but they don’t last too long. The score from Yves Gourmeur, one of the more engaging scores from recent memory, creates the right mood for the film and helps to build the suspense and drive the story along.

While “The Hummingbird Project” focuses on some dense (and, at times, dark) material, it’s a fun, breezy thriller. After finishing the movie, it’s a little hard to believe that this isn’t based on a true story.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

OPENS 3/22 AT ANGELIKA FILM CENTER DALLAS AND PLANO

OPENS 4/5 AT AMC FIREWHEEL TOWN CENTER 18, GRAPEVINE MILLS 30, MESQUITE 30, STONEBRIAR MALL 24




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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Mar 17-Mar 26



Looks like those Dumbo passes are going to be hard to obtain. I'm sorry but my phone is on the fritz and I don't have access to my computer all day long to jump on the notices fast enough for us to grab them. So I'm asking y'all to keep an eye out and if you see an opportunity please post it to the list or our Facebook page. After all this group was created to share screening notices. Thank you!

Please don't go begging for passes, btw. There are lots of websites out there that will slowly trickle their notices. Be patient!

Mar 17 - Mar 26

Tue - Mar 19
Shazam - 7:00 pm - Angelika
The Hummingbird Project - 7:00 pm - Angelika
Us - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Mar 20
The Mustang - 7:30 pm - Angelika
Us - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Thu - Mar 21
The Best of Enemies - 7:00 - AMC Northpark






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Friday, March 15, 2019

Devil's Path







On a hiking trail, a popular cruising site for gay men, Noah (Stephen Twardokus) sits waiting, eyeing the men who walk by. He listens to a Walkman, one of the few indications – minus the absence of cell phones – that this film, “Devil’s Path,” is taking place at some point during the 1990s. A passerby, Patrick (JD Scalzo), catches his eye. In his haste to catch up, Noah bumps into two other hikers (Jon Gale and Michael Hampton), who seem more than a little upset by the disturbance.

After Noah initiates a conversation with Patrick, the two men continue down the trail, eventually coming upon a roped off area. A nearby sign, slapped with a campaign sticker proclaiming “Perot for President ’92,” warns of missing hikers, Brandon and Michael. As the two men begin to walk into the roped off section, a park ranger (Steve Callahan) stops them, calling their attention to the sign and warning them of, what is assumed to be, bear attacks. When the ranger is called away on his walkie-talkie, Noah and Patrick decide to ignore his warning and continue on anyway.

Patrick, who’s only looking for a hookup, eventually grows tired of Noah’s continual talk of love and decides it’s best the two part ways. Not wanting to be left alone on the trail in this part of the woods, Noah asks Patrick to wait while he goes to the bathroom. But Noah’s pee break takes too long. Going in search of Noah, Patrick sees a man, one of the two men that Noah previously bumped into, walking by with his hands covered in blood. He finds Noah laying on the side of the trail, a bloodied rock nearby. When the two hear the man returning with his partner, Noah and Patrick flee into the woods in search of an alternate way back. “Devil’s Path,” co-written by lead actor Twardokus and the film’s director Matthew Montgomery, follows the two men as they attempt to flee from their attackers.

As with most thrillers, “Devil’s Path” relies on some coincidental circumstances to drive the story; specifics can’t be gotten into for obvious reasons. Moments and events leave you wondering what the chances are that things would have played out exactly in that way or something would have been in exactly that spot. The script calls for the characters to do things that aren’t believable. Patrick does something at one point that really makes no sense, especially considering the character is an EMT. Twardokus and Montgomery attempt to explain it away, but the explanation is unbelievable. It didn’t seem likely that Patrick would have stuck around Noah that long before losing interest or have even allowed Noah to follow him off in the first place. Also, if this trail is in a national park why are the only people on it single men looking for a hookup? Shouldn’t there be some other hiking groups on at least the main path?

The characters aren’t likeable and, for the most part, the acting isn’t entirely convincing. Although Twardokus and Scalzo each do a good job of showing his character’s weakness – Noah has anxiety attacks and Patrick has asthma – neither actor sells his part. Twardokus is the weaker of the two. Noah is too timid at the start of the movie for his actions at the end to work.

Cinematographer Stephen Tringali doesn’t create a daunting or foreboding atmosphere out of the heavily wooded region the cast gets lost in (Ceiri Torjussen’s score attempts to provide one but is only slightly more successful). Colors are kept focused on those found in nature, mainly greens and browns. The supporting cast is clothed in neutral colors, mostly beige, while Noah and Patrick both wear red. A color which causes them to stand out against the foliage and make the viewer question why neither suggests removing their outer layer to better camouflage themselves from their pursuers. The color makes sense for the two characters thematically but it doesn’t make sense once they are on the run.

It isn’t hard to figure out that more might be going on than meets the eye in “Devil’s Path.” The camera frequently shoots close-ups of the actor’s reactions, implying that we are not dealing with particularly honest people. Astute viewers will probably be able to tell which direction the film is going even if the final destination isn’t exactly what was expected. Those who go with the flow and don’t attempt to figure things out might find the experience more enjoyable.

Released on DVD & VOD on March 5.
(Review by Bret Oswald)



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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Captain Marvel






Director: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck Studio: Disney

Review: Captain Marvel

Marvel Cinematic Universe releases their first film featuring a female-lead character that will surpass the box-office revenue from several superhero films. MCU all started with 2008’s Iron Man and continues the timeline, telling stories of each of the Marvel characters before 2012’s the Avengers which later became an important setting. Like I said earlier, I’m a devotee to comic-book films but I can’t say all comic-books films are good like the mediocre “Iron Man 2” or “The Incredible Hulk.”

In “Captain Marvel,” Carol Danvers, a fighter pilot and a soon-to-be member of an elite Kree military unit called StarForce, becomes Captain Marvel after Earth encounters the biggest conflict between two alien planets.

As the story flows in the 1990s setting, “Captain Marvel” reaches a perfect height of bringing the action sequences and lovely performance of Brie Larson, who appeared in 2015’s Room for which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and Kong: Skull Island, towards American audiences. Not only Larson, but I love how the filmmakers also use the Blockbuster Video setting as it seems to be more like flourishing back in time as one of company’s best franchise before the bankruptcy. It gives a similar taste and emotion as if Toys “R” Us are still around in the 1990s.

Back then, Blockbuster Video as well as Toys “R” Us were popular and still around until both companies went bankrupted. The only things people don’t have in 1990s are smart phones, iPads, and streaming services such as Netflix. These three don’t exist in their lively hoods when aging through 1980s and 1990s. Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us really delve deeply and heavily on childhoods.

I described the action sequences, the setting, and the character development of Larson as female “Captain America” as the entire course throughout the film serves as a familiarity of 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.” I also admired on the direction from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck as they take full commitment and dedication on helming this anticipating film with awesome stunts compared from seeing the trailer as well as the music from Pinar Toprak.

The main actor providing a supportive advices to is Jude Law who played as Yon-Rogg, Danvers’s mentor. The performance from Jude Law came out similarly like The Ancient One from 2016’s “Doctor Strange,” portrayed by Tilda Swinton. They both mentored the training protagonists but often made [somewhat] indirect threats toward their respective trainers. By the way, “Captain Marvel” is Jude Law’s first Marvel film while Robert Downey Jr., who played as 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” in which Law co-starred with him, appeared as Iron Man starting in 2008.

Aside from Law, the supporting cast of Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, and “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Lee Pace who plays as Ronan the Accuser. What is more surprising as that I met Gemma Chan at the press screening of “Crazy Rich Asians,” co-starring with Constance Wu and Henry Goldings, and really enjoyed chatting with her and her performance to both “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Captain Marvel.”

Also returning are Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in MCU, and Clark Gregg in which both are digitally-aged by the usage of CGI due to the 1990s setting. Recalling Gregg’s words from 2008’s Iron Man that the film “isn’t his first rodeo.” Gregg always pops and goes whatever the film served him. Although, the main question about Jackson’s Nick Fury role is ecstatic as the setting takes place before he loses an eye. And let’s not forget about the cameo appearance from the late Stan Lee as a heartwarming tribute.

The chemistry between Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson becomes and proves to be a greater reminiscent of Marty and Doc from “Back to the Future,” Marlin and Dory from “Finding Nemo,” and Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler from “Jurassic Park.”

As for everything, I can’t give out too much spoilers away but I will say this, “Captain Marvel” is a good movie for full-price of admission and maybe the easier, wise choice for a Spring Break movie outing. It’s not like a topsy-turvy environment or some kind of a crash-and-burn technique being orchestrated by filmmakers, it’s just a story that lives up the expectations for both teenagers and young adults.

Keep this in mind that Captain Marvel will return sooner in the forthcoming “Avengers: End Game” which is less than a month away (My answer is “End Game” will be in late April 2019 to be exact). Running time: 125 minutes



GRADE: B
(Review by Henry Pham)




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Movies Scheduled for the Week of Mar 10 - Mar 16


So did y'all remember to set your clocks...Spring Forward. Especially that microwave clock which makes one all confused when you glance at it thinking it's noon, but it's really 1pm.

Just be careful driving with all this rain.

Just want to take a moment to remember our dear friend Koko who passed away last week. Koko and her beloved hubby Carlos were always found a the beginning of our movie line. They were star volunteers for the DIFF. She always had a ready smile and dry wit. Our love and prayers are with you Carlos. She will be missed.

Mar 10 - Mar 16

Tue - Mar 12

Five Feet Apart = 7:00 pm = AMC Northpark

Wed - Mar 13

Wonder Park - 6:00 - Look Cinema
Five Feet Apart - 7:00 - Alamo Lake Highlands
No Manches Frida 2 - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Fri - Mar 15

CinéWilde presents "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (in 35mm) - 9:00 pm - Texas Theater







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Friday, March 8, 2019

Captain Marvel





I’m at the point where superhero movies don’t really bother me; since they are just here to entertain us as a viewer, no life lessons can be found here.

"Captain Marvel" does what it’s supposed to do in bringing American audiences a new superhero to embrace, and it does so in giving Oscar winner Brie Larson (“The Room”),” a role all her own as the title character, who essentially shows up in the early 1990s, when Blockbuster Video was still a flourishing neighborhood American franchise.

“Captain Marvel” contains a deluge of inside jokes only the most discerning viewers will get. For instance, a tabby cat is named “Goose,” one of the leads from 1986’s blockbuster that was “Top Gun.”

Also woven into the story are glances at another space-involved flick when Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers glances at a video box cover of Philip Kaufman’s “The Right Stuff”, an Oscar-winning flick that was very popular in the early 1980s, especially when the home rental market was booming, segueing into the mid-1990s.

Mind you readers, streaming services were not even popular then at all. As a matter of fact, they did not even exist!

Returning to the Marvel universe is Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, who has been around since his first appearance at the end of Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” in 2008. They somehow went into “Captain Marvel” and digitally manipulated him, making him look a tad bit younger.

“Captain Marvel” is also based in realism since the Blockbuster store had promotional items such as a standee promoting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “True Lies,” one of the last few rentals to ever grace the shelf in a video store.

So readers know, prior to my writing I spent years managing an independently owned video store in Plano, TX (it was called American Video) prior to my school work here at Richland. I think that was one of the last titles I rented to customers, back in the day when helping customers was just part of the daily activities. .

Also of note is that “Captain Marvel” will return sooner than readers think, because she will have a significant role in “Avengers: Endgame,” set to grace screens in less than a month. (April 26 to be exact.)

Like the greatness that encapsulated 2014’s awesome “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain Marvel” acknowledges the Cree race, another part of verbage only known to comic book readers, as well as viewers of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” entry.

Again, like I’ve said in the past, I cannot give away too much without spoiling it for others.

“Captain Marvel” keeps the Marvel brand intact, since as aforementioned, it delivers in virtually every single department.

“Captain Marvel,” for all intents and purposes is a giant flashback. The movie centers on Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, who is a member of their Cree race. She has dreams that she cannot recall, but shuffles them off as a past memory from a time long ago.

In order to keep and maintain her balance, she spars with Jude Law’s Yori Rogg, an ally she confides her problems and predicaments with.

This flick is just fun since it touches and delves into childhood from the 1980s and 1990s, all the while knowing its limitations in reality.

“Captain Marvel” is worth a full-price admission, just be warned to stay for the end credits, since there are two Easter eggs at the very end.

Grade: B+







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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Dallas Film Announces First Ten Films for the 13th Annual Dallas International Film Festival






Dallas Film Announces First Ten Films for the 13th Annual Dallas International Film Festival

DALLAS, March 5, 2019 – Dallas Film today announced the first ten film titles for the 13th annual Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) powered by Capital One. The films include two World Premieres, three Texas Premieres and four Dallas Premieres. The festival, which is the largest film festival in North Texas, will be held from April 11 to April 18, with screenings at Magnolia Theater, West Village in Uptown Dallas; Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane; and at the Dallas Museum of Art. Additional venues will be announced later.

“The purpose of the Dallas International Film Festival is to bring people together to celebrate a relatable art form that connects individuals through shared experiences,” said Johnathan Brownlee, CEO & president of Dallas Film and executive director of Dallas International Film Festival. “Last year, DIFF welcomed more than 100 filmmakers, screened more than 130 films from 22 countries and achieved an attendance of more than 80,000. This year, in order to offer our guests a better customer experience, Dallas Film is partnering with Atom Tickets to offer reserved seating via a mobile app. DIFF is the pilot film festival to offer this benefit to festivalgoers. In addition, Star Pass holders will have an opportunity to reserve premium seats.”

“Each year, it becomes increasingly difficult to select which films to showcase from among the thousands of submissions we receive from filmmakers all over the world,” said James Faust, artistic director of Dallas Film. “As we finalize the programming for the 13th annual Dallas International Film Festival, we are pleased to offer you a sneak peek of the lineup. Our goal is to bring an eclectic and vibrant mix of films that speak to the varied interests and life experiences of DIFF festivalgoers. We have many exciting events in the works and are eager to create an exceptional festival experience for all who attend.”

The first ten official selections include (listed alphabetically):

Movie Title: Her Smell

Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere

Director: Alex Ross Perry

Country: USA

Running Time: 134 Minutes


Synopsis: Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss) is a '90s punk rock superstar who once filled arenas with her grungy all-female trio Something She. Now she plays smaller venues while grappling with motherhood, exhausted band mates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom. When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success.

Movie Title: Hurdle

Premiere Status: World Premiere

Director: Michael Rowley

Country: USA

Running Time: 87 Minutes

Synopsis: As the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories approached its 50th year, Hurdle reveals an important and intimate story emerging from the hearts and actions of Palestinian youth. The new generation responds to a world of walls, checkpoints and arrests in an unexpected and inspiring way. Hurdle’s protagonists, Sami and Mohammad, begin teaching the creative practices of parkour and photography, respectively, to the youth of their communities as a means to overcome the personal and political obstacles that often feel inescapable. Though these young men are separated by a wall, they are united in leading the next generation toward freedom and self-determination through non-violent, creative practices.

Movie Title: Jumpshot

Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere

Director: Jacob Hamilton

Country: USA

Running Time: 73 Minutes


Synopsis: JUMP SHOT uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball. Introducing his never before seen 'leaping one-hander' to the masses on a national level, Kenny quickly grew to be a fan favorite while leading his Wyoming Cowboys to the Collegiate National Championship in Madison Square Garden in 1943. But after playing on several losing teams in an unstable, emerging league now known as the NBA, Kenny disappeared into the Alaskan wilderness only to be forgotten by the sport he helped pioneer. Now, nearly sixty years later, the multitude of people he has touched along the way have forced Kenny’s humble reemergence.

Movie Title: Live from Astroturf

Premiere Status: Texas Premiere

Director: Steven Gaddis

Country: USA

Running Time: 58 Minutes


Synopsis: Alice Cooper reunites with the surviving members of the original lineup of the band to perform a blistering set on a small stage of pink astroturf at independent music store Good Records in Dallas, TX, 40 years after the band parted ways. Store owner Chris Penn pulls off the near insurmountable task of organizing the event and keeping Alice's appearance a secret until the original shock-rocker hits the stage.

Movie Title: Running with Beto

Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere

Director: David Modigliani

Country: USA

Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis: This behind-the-scenes HBO documentary film follows Beto O'Rourke's rise from virtual unknown to national political sensation through his bold attempt to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. Embedded with Beto for the final twelve months of his campaign, the film follows his journey in real time through intimate access to O’Rourke, his family, and a team of political newcomers who champion a new way of getting to know a candidate — one Texas county at a time. The film reveals the challenges and triumphs of an unconventional campaign as Beto navigates an onslaught of negative advertising, inevitable strain on his family, and the pressure of delivering for legions of supporters. This film is creatively and financially independent from Beto O’Rourke and his campaign. It will debut later this spring on HBO.

Movie Title: Seadrift

Premiere Status: Texas Premiere

Director: Tim Tsai

Country: USA

Running Time: 68 Minutes


Synopsis: In 1979, a Vietnamese refugee shoots and kills a white crab fisherman at the public town docks in Seadrift, TX. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupts into violence and ignites a maelstrom of boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast. Set during the early days of Vietnamese arrival in the U.S. "Seadrift" examines the shooting and its dramatic aftermath, and reveals the unexpected consequences that continue to reverberate today.

Movie Title: Shadow

Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere

Director: Zhang Yimou

Country: China

Running Time: 116 Minutes


Synopsis: With SHADOW, director Zhang Yimou (HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create a film like no other, masterfully painting a canvas of inky blacks and greys punctuated with bursts of color from the blood of the defeated. In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a “shadow”, a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself. Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want.

Movie Title: 40th Anniversary Screening of The Muppet Movie (1979)
Director: James Frawley

Country: UK, USA

Running Time: 95 Minutes


Synopsis: While living the quiet life in a swamp, Kermit the Frog is approached by a Hollywood agent to audition for the chance of a lifetime. So Kermit takes this chance for his big break as he makes the journey to Hollywood.

Along the way, Kermit comes across several quirky new friends including comedic Fozzie Bear, beautiful but feisty Miss Piggy and the Great Gonzo. But Kermit must also watch out for ruthless Doc Hopper, who plans to use him as his spokesman for his Frog Legs food chain.

Movie Title: Them That Follow

Premiere Status: Texas Premiere

Directors: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage

Country: USA

Running Time: 98 Minutes


Synopsis: In the rugged wilderness of Appalachia, the members of an isolated community of Pentecostal snake handlers led by Pastor Lemuel (Walton Goggins) risk their lives to attest themselves before God. Lemuel’s daughter Mara (Alice Englert) prepares for her upcoming wedding to the young believer her father has singled out for her under the watchful eye of Hope (2019 Oscar Winner, Olivia Colman), while scrambling to hide a secret that has the potential to drive her father’s church to ruin.

Movie Title: This World Won’t Break

Premiere Status: World Premiere

Director: Josh David Jordan

Country: USA

Running Time: 148 Minutes


Synopsis: A Texas troubadour's quiet life is upset by the realization that he isn't where he had hoped to be at this point in his career. He questions the decisions of putting off a family life in hopes to one day "make it" by isolating himself on the open road and playing small honkey-tonks. Too late to stop following the dream and too early in his career to be a legend, Wes Milligan's struggle for a better life begins to spiral out of control. In these darkest moments, he writes THE song.


To purchase passes, please visit https://dallasfilm.charityproud.org/EventRegistration/Index/1710 or go to www.dallasfilm.org

For members of the media who are interested in covering this story or arranging an interview, please email Lauren Witt at lwitt@thepointgroup.com or call (214) 378-7970 ext. 306.

About Dallas Film


Dallas Film (www.dallasfilm.org), established as Dallas Film Society in 2006, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to celebrate the past, present and future of film in our community. The organization provides leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television, and digital media. Through a variety of screenings, educational programs, and festivals, Dallas Film raises awareness of the world’s most approachable and inclusive art form.








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Ruben Brandt, Collector






Ruben Brandt (voiced by Iván Kamarás), an art therapist, has recurring nightmares featuring several works of famous artwork, among them Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” Andy Warhol’s “Double Elvis,” and Édouard Manet’s “Olympia.” Currently treating a trio of patients, all of them criminals, Brandt welcomes newcomer Mimi (voiced by Gabriella Hámori) to the group. Mimi is herself a criminal, a kleptomaniac who recently stole a piece from a museum. Her getaway, thwarted by a detective Mike Kowalski (voiced by Csaba «Kor» Márton), caused her to throw the piece into the river, forcing the detective to fetch the artifact over his criminal. Realizing that her doctor is just as troubled as his patients, Mimi proposes to the others – Bye-Bye Joe (Matt Devere), Membrano Bruno (Henry Grant), and Fernando (Christian Nielson Buckhold) – that they steal the pieces tormenting the doctor to help him overcome his nightmares. As the group, assumed to be a solo thief and soon known in the media as the Collector, continues to enrage the art world Kowalski is hot on their heels.

Writer / director Milorad Krstić creates a distinctive work with his animated film “Ruben Brandt, Collector.” The animation, reminiscent of the surrealist movement, looks like a combination of hand-drawn and computer imagery. No two characters look the same. Some have a fairly normal and realistic appearance to an extent but most do not. Faces are often unusually structured and oddly shaped with characters having too many eyes, an extra nose, or features where they shouldn’t be (eyes in their hair or on their hats). Similar to a lot of early animated work, think the Fleischer studio’s (famous for the Betty Boop and Popeye shorts) output of the 1920s and 1930s, Krstić’s movie has a lot going on. The background of many scenes are active with a flurry of gags, keeping the viewers eyes busy as the action unfolds on screen.

The film combines and pulls elements from many genres. Brandt’s nightmares take on the tone of a horror movie, complete with the overbearing score you’d hear in most of those films. A train ride takes a horrific turn when characters from famous pieces attempt to drag Brandt off the train. At one point, Botticelli’s Venus transforms into an Ursula-like octopus that attacks him during a visit to an art museum. The story takes on a heist / action movie theme as Brandt and his patients attempt to steal the works of art, driving the story to its finale via car chase. Elements of film noir are scattered throughout, most apparent in the lighting of some scenes which use the exaggerated contrast and shadows of that genre. As it does with works of art and film, “Ruben Brandt, Collector” also toys with the music selections. Night club scenes – also oddly animated, the singer’s lips don’t move but the shadow of her lips do – feature sultry versions of pop songs by artists like Britney Spears while classical music (Mozart) is also thrown into the mix.

For a film like Milorad Krstić’s “Ruben Brandt, Collector,” it’s probably best that viewers don’t go in completely cold to the experience. An overview of art, music, and film history – pop culture in general – would probably increase the enjoyment of an initial viewing, though it’s not necessarily a prerequisite for one. “Ruben Brandt, Collector” is enjoyable in its own right, a fun animated movie.
(Review by Bret Oswald)




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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Mar 3 - Mar 9



Cold enough for y'all? It's going to be chilly for the next couple of days, so if you plan to get to the movies, please drive carefully. Look out for icy roads. By mid-week we should be back to normal. Typical TX weather.

Everyone is going to be desperate for those Captain Marvel passes so please try not to beg...too much. I haven't gotten any within reasonable distance, so I feel your pain.

Mar 3 - Mar 9

Mon - Mar 4

AGFA Secret Screening - 7:00 pm - Alamo Richardson
Triple Frontier - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill Northwest HWY

Tue - Mar 5

Captain Marvel - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark, AMC Grapevine, Cinemark 17

Sat - Mar 9

Wonderpark - 10:00 am - AMC Northpark, Studio Movie Grill Northwest HWY






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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Furie





There is a story told in the middle of this film about never messing with a tiger mother defending her cubs. This case in point blows out all the other revenge type films created in the US with pretty and slick actresses or older actors who possess a "a certain set of skills". Veronica Ngo who also produced Furie plays a single mom living in a small village as a debt collector due to her gangster past. Le Van Kiet, who is from Vietnam but grew up in California and is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Film and Television fills the screen with some intense and emotional scenes as Hai Phuong goes in search of her 10 year old daughter who is abducted by a human trafficking gang who sell the children for their organs.

Veronica Ngo (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” and as Paige Tico in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) was the number one female action star in Vietnam after her leading role in Clash. As Hai Phuong she supports her daughter collecting debts for a loan shark. Her job causes Mai(Mai Cat Vi) to be bullied by her classmates and humiliation from the villagers. She suggests to her mom that they should start a fish farm as she notices the bruises on her mom's hands after her day on the job. One day after having an argument with her mom, Mai is kidnapped while sitting by the river. Phuong sees the abductors and gives chase. From this moment on the actions is pretty much non stop. Chasing their boat from a stolen motorcycle, then jumping on the back of a truck heading to Saigon. She tries to use her old connections when she worked at a hostess bar before she found herself pregnant. She goes to the police where she finds a wall of missing children. Stealing some of the information from the desk, she tracks down one of the bad guys. The main detective Luong (Phan Thanh Nhiên) finally catches up with her in the wake of her confrontations with he bad guys. He tells her it's an international operation that they are close to breaking. Phuong is single minded in her mission to find her daughter. Realizing she knows the number of the train that the bad guys are transporting the children, he helps her as she works her way through the bad guys on the train.

The future of Asian martial-arts movies just may well be female. The mano-a-mano beat down between Phuong and the female gang leader choreographed by stunt coordinator Kefi Abrikh is truly outstanding. There's no slo-mo shots and those hits looks like it hurts. Veronica Ngo sensitively portrays the tough mom who regrets breaking off with her family during her willful and rebellious youth, while now having to live with the consequences. Her daughter was her savior from her previous lifestyle. As she says to her nemesis, "I may be in the wrong place, but you took the wrong Kid". She is the mother tiger.
(Review by reesa)



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Holiday




Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne) has been sent to Bodrum, a port city on the Turkish Riviera, with a bag of cash to deliver to an associate of her boss Michael (Lai Yde). While waiting to give the money to his associate, Bobby (Yuval Segal), she decides to go shopping and, after having her credit card declined, uses a bit of the cash for the purchase. It’s a decision she later comes to regret when Bobby pulls the car to the side of the road and slaps her in the face several times after hearing this bit of news.

Director Isabella Eklöf, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Johanne Algren, uses the picturesque setting of Bodrum to serve as a dichotomy for the gangster world Sascha has entered into. Bodrum, with its vibrant landscapes, oceanic vistas, clear skies, and all-around cheerful façade, seems the least likely place for the harshness of the criminal underworld. Though, as most cinema-goers know, this is not the case. After all, to use a popular example, Brian de Palma’s remake of “Scarface” takes place in sunny Miami.

Following the interaction with Bobby, Michael himself arrives at the hotel to take Sascha to his seaside villa - a massive, gorgeous, yet clinically sterile, house he’s staying at with a handful of his workers. Despite his associate becoming so enraged upon hearing of Sascha’s actions, Michael is seemingly nonchalant when picking her up. One of the first stops they make is to a jewelry store where Sascha picks out an expensive pair of earrings, with Michael complimenting her on her expensive tastes. Later, the group is seen on the beach as they pretend to not understand a fellow vacationer who continually asks them to turn their music down. Michael threatens the man when he tries to do it himself, showing the casual cruelty of the group.

Shortly after arriving at the villa, Sascha meets a Danish man, Thomas (Thijs Römer), at an ice cream shop. The two seem to hit it off fairly well causing Tanja (Laura Kjær), another of Michael’s many workers, to repeatedly attempt to get Sascha’s attention when it’s her turn to order. After another meeting with Thomas – Sascha goes out of her way to say hi to him when she notices him and his friend eating across the room at the same restaurant where she is dining with Michael and his group, a greeting that doesn’t go unnoticed by Michael – Sascha begins to find herself attracted to the friendly man, who serves as another antithesis for the brutal Michael. Sascha finds herself stuck between her desires for both worlds, drawn to the allure of Michael’s money and promise of financial comfort and of Thomas’s caring and adventurous nature.

“Holiday” has a good sense of rhythm as Sascha’s story is told, though its alternating bursts of on-screen and implied off-screen violence still don’t prepare the viewer for the events of the final act. The film ends with its share of shocking moments, (spoiler alert – as much as I hate spoilers, I think some people would appreciate knowing about this before viewing the movie) amongst these is one of the most graphic rape scenes I’ve ever seen, all shown with the same indifference. The acting from the main cast – Sonne, Yde, and Römer – is excellent. Sonne finely plays the dainty, easily manipulated, Sascha, who can’t seem to make up her mind what she wants. Meanwhile, Yde and Römer’s performances offset each other very well, with Yde’s cruel, controlling Michael firmly opposing Römer’s warm-hearted Thomas.

Eklöf keeps the viewer in the dark about the inner workings of Michael’s organization, only allowing the viewer to know what Sascha does – she doesn’t know much. This allows Eklöf to imply violence instead of always showing it, since Sascha isn’t directly experiencing the actions. There’s a scene toward the middle of the movie in which Sascha, Tanja, and Michael’s young son Emil (Saxe Rankenberg Frey) sit attempting to watch TV while Michael and the rest of his gang beat up Musse (Adam Ild Rohweder), a worker who has botched a job and potentially led the police back to the villa. The three sit, steely-eyed, trying to watch a cartoon, ignoring the sounds of the beating taking place in the other room. Sascha finally picks up the remote and announces she’s going to turn up the TV’s volume. While most of the movie is presented in a serious tone, this moment felt oddly humorous to me, making me wonder if that was the intent of the scene.

Cinematographer, Nadim Carlsen, keeps the camera at a distance, allowing the viewers to take in the characters and the space they inhabit, giving the movie a cool indifference. The opening scene rests the camera at the end of the lobby of a clean, polished airport devoid of any travelers except for the lone Sascha, who is patiently captured by the camera as she serenely walks out rolling the bag of money behind her. The airport’s doors unleash an onslaught of street noise as they open, releasing Sascha into a turbulent future. Most scenes are shot with the camera focused on the action from a distance, only occasionally breaking the form to include close-ups of the actors during conversations or reaction shots. Each action, whether cruel or not, is shown in the same indifferent light. Locations seem to have been chosen to show an environment in stark contrast with Michael. The airport, the hotel, the villa, and even Thomas’s boat, which Sascha and Michael visit toward the end of the movie, all have an unnaturally clean look about them, their colors all implying an insidiously calm atmosphere with their blues and whites. Sascha is often scene in clothing that visually contrasts the color schemes of the sets, a bright yellow top or a vibrant red dress, which foreshadows the aggression in the film’s conclusion.

Eklöf’s film is a bold debut that is sure to be polarizing. It’s a well shot and acted movie but the content is sure to make some people uncomfortable.
(Review by Bret Oswald)




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Birds of Passage






In “Birds of Passage,” co-directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra use the coming-of-age of 15-year-old Zaida (played throughout the film by Natalia Reyes) to segue into a story about the nascent drug trafficking business in Columbia, specifically within the Wayúu society in the Guajira region. Upon her reemergence from her year of seclusion, Zaida performs a ritualistic dance with suitor Rapayet (José Acosta), who wishes to marry the young woman. Her mother, Úrsula (Carmiña Martínez), agrees on the stipulation that Rapayet pays a stout dowry for her hand. Rapayet’s uncle, Peregrino (José Vincente Cotes), tells Úrsula that Rapayet has been working his way up in the business world and has found a way to work with the alijuna (a Wayúu word for outsiders). Not happy with his current position and wanting to accelerate his marriage to Zaida, Rapayet, along with his alijuna work partner Moisés (Jhon Narváez), decide to start selling marijuana to Americans working in the area by teaming with his cousin Aníbal (Juan Bautista Martínez).

“Birds of Passage” is a rags to riches story of a man (Rapayet) and his family finding wealth through the drug trade that’s differentiated by telling the story through the eyes of the region’s indigenous people. The traditions and beliefs of the Wayúu propel the story, which spans across two decades (the 1960s into 1979). Úrsula, the matriarchal guiding force of their society, interprets dreams to influence the advice she gives out. Throughout the movie, wildlife often serves as metaphorical signs as locusts and birds come to be seen as omens of things to come, causing Úrsula to warn her family of bad business dealings – not that her advice is often listened to.

As business builds up, things begin spiraling out of control. Troubles begin with workers not listening to commands, signs of disrespect that Úrsula and Peregrino think should be corrected by the reluctant Rapayet. Eventually Úrsula’s young son Leonídas (Greider Meza) – who has come of age knowing the wealth of the family’s illicit business dealings – becomes an uncontrollable brat using the family money and influence to get his way, stepping on some of the wrong toes.

Guerro previously directed “Embrace of the Serpent,” a film lushly shot in black-and-white. While “Birds of Paradise” isn’t as visually stunning as that one was, it is similarly well shot. In her ritualistic dance in the film’s opening, Zaida wears red, a color that pops off against the dull brown of the Earth and visually shows her fertility to the men. The camera nicely frames the action throughout the film, clearly showing the events unfolding on screen. The landscapes of the region are used as a visible reminder of the family’s humble beginnings. Úrsula builds a lavish mansion amongst the desolate land of the desert, the intricate architecture sticking out on the parched horizon.

Performances from the cast are fine with Reyes and Martínez standing out. Reyes believably portrays Zaida in multiple stages of her life as she grows from naïve adolescence to becoming a mother herself. At times the pacing does slow causing sections of the movie to drag on a bit too long though this doesn’t hinder the film enough to become too much of a distraction. The story arc might be predictable but “Birds of Passage” remains interesting due to its unique angle on the material.

Opens 3/1 at the Magnolia




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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Alamo Drafthouse Special Screenings and Events Feb 25 - Mar 3








This Week's Highlights...

1999 Rewind and other Anniversary screenings

- 1999 Rewind: Relive an entire year of movies month-to-month and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of one of the greatest years in film ever! This week, catch the 1999 Rewind 20th Anniversary screening of Office Space at the Lake Highlands locations.
- Other anniversary screenings include Ace Venture: Pet Detective (25th Anniversary), The ‘Burbs (30th Anniversary) and Footloose (35th Anniversary) at various locations.

Blazing Saddles Movie Party
- Hold onto your horses for the most irresponsible Movie Parties the Alamo has ever produced! Blazing Saddles, the classic western comedy will be playing at four of the locations with plenty of opportunties to quote the lines with Black Bart and Waco Kid.

Hopped Up Cinema: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with Deep Ellum Brewing Company
- The monthly special screening highlights a local brewing company, which is paired with a film! This month, Hopped Up Cinema pairs this action packed and psychedelic movie and five favorite brews for a special viewing experience.



MONDAY | FEBRUARY 25


Cedars
Screening: Fist City: Police Story at 7:00PM

Denton:
Screening: Deconstructing The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Deconstructing The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour at 7:00PM; 30th Anniversary Screening: The 'Burbs at 9:10PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: Blazing Saddles Movie Party at 7:00PM; Deconstructing The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour at 9:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: 25th Anniversary Screening: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



TUESDAY | FEBRUARY 26


Cedars:
Screening: Blazing Saddles Movie Party at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: 25th Anniversary Screening: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at 7:00PM; Video Vortex: Blood Tracks at 9:10PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: 25th Anniversary Screening: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at 7:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Fist City: Police Story at 9:00PM; Hopped Up Cinema: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with Deep Ellum Brewing Company at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo at 7:00PM



WEDNESDAY | FEBRUARY 27


Cedars:
Screening: 25th Anniversary Screening: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Denton:
Screening: Anaconda Movie Party at 7:00PM; 35th Anniversary Screening: Footloose (1984) at 9:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: 35th Anniversary Screening: Footloose (1984) at 7:00PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: 35th Anniversary Screening: Footloose (1984) at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Blazing Saddles Movie Party at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM





THURSDAY | FEBRUARY 28

Cedars:
Screening: The Fifth Element Movie Party at 7:00PM

Denton:
Screening: The Madea Family Funeral at 7:25PM and 10:20PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Office Space Movie Party at 7:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Twisted Pair at 7:30PM



FRIDAY | MARCH 1

Denton:
Screening: Blazing Saddles Movie Party at 7:00PM



SATURDAY | MARCH 2

Lake Highlands:
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink Brunch - Vetted Well at 2:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Anaconda Movie Party at 4:15PM; Fried Green Tomatoes at 1:00PM



SUNDAY | MARCH 3


Denton:
Screening: All About Eve at 1:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? at 1:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: All About Eve at 1:00PM





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Alita: Battle Angel






“Alita: Battle Angel” has had an interesting life. It was supposed to come out in August of 2018. The powers that be over at 20th Century Fox delayed it until December of 2018, just in time for the holiday Christmas rush, but to no avail.

It finally came out on February 14 but with no big boom or degree of excitement or fanfare of any kind whatsoever. Sure, “Alita: Battle Angel” opened in the No. 1 spot, but with a number even under 30 million, the 28-plus initial gross was less than stellar. It actually had one of the worst President’s Day weekends in the past 15 years.

Now, the pluses outweigh the negatives in this James Cameron produced tale of a Robert Rodriguez film. This

little excision is probably the biggest budgeted film Rodriguez has ever worked on. What works well here is the 3-D visuals that accompany this journey. Cameron to me is the only one who has a firm grasp on the medium.

Like his well-written Kathryn Bigelow-directed tale “Strange Days,” (1995) he knows how and where to move the story along. That is what he does in the storytelling tale of “Alita: Battle Angel. He essentially sets op a story with the chance and idea of further chapters.

Both Cameron and Rodriguez know where the characters and story are heading, since the dramatic scenes pause for an action set piece that is woven into the story for just the right degree.

Like the Luc Besson directed 2017’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” “Alita: Battle Angel” landed with a giant thud accompanied with a “Ker-plat! as well.

Too bad, since I would have liked to see what happens to all the denizens of this futuristic society wherein a “Rollerball”-like game is the end all be all way to win in this complex and intriguing tale.

Lead Rosa Salazar exudes the right degree of naiveté as the lead character of Alia. She knows what she needs and wants in the world. Her part was done with what essentially is motion capture technology. It has-progressed immensely since the days of the so-so "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" in the late 2000's (2004) to be exact.

Aiding Alita in her journey is Christoph Waltz’s Dr. Joseph Ido, who once had a younger daughter that fell ill to the outside world around her. Also woven into the story is Jennifer Connelly’s Chiren. Ido’s ex who still hangs around for further interaction.

Filling out the antagonist role is Mahersheli Ali’s Vector, a heavy in the game for his own self-serving interests. At various stages in the movie, his eyes glisten with a bright blue hue, a character dynamic mentioned only briefly in passing.

Part of the story also involves Alita becoming a bounty hunter for hire, so she can repay the debt she feels shew owes to Dr. Ido. Like Joss Whedon’s awesome “Serenity” (2005), the nomenclature and dialogue utters word phrases that become commonplace later on.

When it comes down to it, this one is a must see for the big screen. “Alita: Battle Angel” contains 3-D visuals that actually work within the structure of the story, so the extra money for the upgrades is worth it.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)





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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Feb 24 - Mar 2



Did y'all watch the Oscars? Some surprises and unexpected moments. Not too bad without hosts and lots of awkward acceptance speeches. Overall loved that The Black Panther got some recognition and Spider Man too! So now we start all over again. Hope this year gives us good things to look forward to at the movies.

Happy Leap Year!

Feb 24 - Mar 2

Tues - Feb 26

Greta - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Thu - Feb 28

The Widow - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Free drink and popcorn too!




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Thursday, February 21, 2019

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World







Director: Dean DeBlois Studio: Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation

Review: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World



How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World comes to a warm, cozy conclusion for both Hiccup and Toothless. The third and final film is a bucket of adventure, emotion, and a bit of a romance along the way. DreamWorks Animation delivers a second sequel that takes you on the last dragon ride to where a nice quiet place comes and goes for their journey to meet its end. The things that we see that are good, must come to an end.

DreamWorks Animation have suffered the downfall throughout the years but The Hidden World really bounced the studio back after years of box-office downfalls on the films and the acquisition from Universal Studios. Dean DeBlois return to the director’s chair to helm this final sequel of the How to Train Your Dragon series.

In this sequel, picking up just about a year How to Train your Dragon 2 left off, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, searching for the safest place for his dragon all the other dragons from his fellow dragon riders. Though during their plans to do so, Toothless encountered a female light-fury dragon.

The film brings the return of the actors Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig, and Gerard Butler to record their final moments for their final film respectively onscreen while newcomers F. Murray Abraham and Justin Rupple step in for their roles of the villainess Grimmel the Grisly and Tuffnut Thorston (with the latter replacing T.J. Miller).

Director Dean DeBlois has built some strong relationships between Hiccup and Toothless. They are meaningful, brave, and encouraging to keep their home, the dragon riders, and the dragons from being destroyed from antagonists from all three films. Their chemistry never dies down when it comes to forming a friendship and fighting for peace and freedom. Though animal/dragon freedom plays the signature dynamic for the film. The freedom of the dragon(s) proves to be the most difficult challenge ever of the film and to the human characters.

Producers Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, Tarzan, How to Train Your Dragon) and Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, Cars 2, Storks) really fit the bill on assisting the director and the cast and crew for making this possible for The Hidden World. Also, what’s more nicer is the music produced by composer John Powell who return to create a nice, emotional music piece that makes the beginning and the ending more fitting.

However, I dislike the personality traits of the villain Grimmel the Grisly as the director made the character more boring, darker, but weaker as well as the battle between Hiccup and Grimmel that makes the battle somewhat confusing. Having a weak villain doesn’t seem to be entertaining when it comes to making any battle scenes more dramatic and cunning. I somewhat did not enjoy small bits of the first half of the film.

Not only DeBlois, but DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg announced the idea of The Hidden World while using his leadership talents to supervise the studio. His leadership led the studio to create such beloved movie-to-be-franchises Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. Before co-founding DreamWorks Animation, Katzenberg has previously worked at Disney Animation Studios where he was involved in four of Disney’s biggest hits The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King as the studio’s chairman and supervisor until 1994 when he stepped down the position.

To conclude this review, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a great film to watch. The fans of How to Train Your Dragon will find the ending perfectly to conclude the franchise. To those who haven’t seen the first two films, you will be mystified of seeing this so don’t jump to conclusions when you’re ready to watch The Hidden World. To me, it’s great movie, but doesn’t add up the expectations from the film like the first two films. It is anticipating film but with small downfalls in the way. I love it but I am waiting and rooting for Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and Avengers: Endgame. Running time: 104 minutes



GRADE: B+

(Review by Henry Pham)



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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Feb 17 - Feb 23


Y'all know that next Sunday is our movie lover's Super Bowl with the host-less Academy Awards Show Wisely they decided not to award some categories during the commercials. They should fire the guy who came up with that idea, really. So if you are having a Oscar watch party come by our Facebook page and share your reactions. Who do you think will win?

Not too many choices this week. Plus there's the Monday holiday for some folks. The optional President's Day. This is a good chance this week to check out the movie events at the Alamo Drafthouse's in our DFW area.

Incident of the Week That Was Uncomfortable For All Involved: At at recent screening at the Angelika, a woman plopped her chair at the beginning of the line in because she said no one was there. The people who had that space were in the theater sitting in the soft seats on the side. So it's not like they planted their chairs and took off. There were in the theater. Her excuse was that no one was there even though the line was full out side of the spaces in the front where the people were sitting off to the side. Even after speaking with her, she insisted that she had every right to sit there. Apparently she does this a lot. So please keep an eye out, be polite, but forceful that cutting in line is not how it works. You come in and go to the end of the line.


Feb 17 - Feb 23

Tues - Feb 19

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Fighting With My Family - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark

Wed - Feb 20

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World - 7:00 pm - Cinemark 17





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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Alita Battle Angel







(Review by Chase Lee)





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Happy Death Day 2U







(Review by Chase Lee)




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Alita Battle Angel






Gunnm (銃夢 Ganmu, literally "gun dream") is the Japanese cyberpunk manga series created by Yukito Kishiro in 1990. Producer James Cameron has been trying to develop this project for almost 20 years getting sidetracked by Avatar and other things. Good thing they waited for the advancements in the motion capture technology. With producer Jon Landau on board, Robert Rodriquez as director with the screenplay by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis the shooting began in October of 2017. The story would focus on the first four books with the Motorball sports from the third and fourth books.

The floating city of Zalem/Tiphares rains down it's metal trash to the earth below where the ground dwellers of the apocalyptic world have lived off their scrap. Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) finds a part of a cyborg female and rebuilds her using the mechanical body he created for his murdered daughter. Alita (Rosa Salazar) wakes up with no memory of her past life. We see the world of wonder from her perspective as she discovers oranges and chocolate. She befriends a human young man Hugo (Keean Johnson) who introduces her to the sport of Motorball which is part roller derby, Quidditch, and stock car racing, Alita is quite quick to learn and the danger in the game triggers a memory. Ido as her surrogate father doesn't want her to put herself in danger. Alita is headstrong and fearless. She decides to become a registered bounty hunter when she discovers that Ido is one too. She finds out that she is skilled in the ancient martial arts of Panzer Kunst that had disappeared when the wars destroyed the world.

Ido's ex-girlfriend Dr. Chiren (Jennifer Connelly) had escaped from Zalem but broke up when their daughter died. She now lives with Vector (Mahershala Ali) who rigs the Motorball games while Chiren works on enhancing the heavily modified cybernetics of their players. That includes stealing tech from other cyborgs with the help of Hugo and his gang. Vector gets his orders from the powerful scientist Nova from Zalem who has the ability to take over someone's body and talk through them. As Alita comes closer to the truth of who she is, Nova seeks to stop her by any means.

The live action motion capture is amazing. It's worth paying the extra to see it in IMAX and/or Dolby for the whole experience. The world that Cameron, Landau and Rodriquez have created is flawless and fascinating. Rosa Salazar gives enough heart to Alita that one is drawn totally into her dilemma. The story does get muddled in spots and the various characters are hard to keep track of with all their mechanical parts. The CGI is not so overwhelming to make you dizzy. The film sets up some sequel possibilities that will hopefully fill in the character development and explore the political world of the rich hovering city and the earth scavengers.
(Review by reesa)



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Happy Death Day 2U








“Happy Death Day,” a pleasant surprise when it was released in 2017, twisted the slasher formula by combining it with science-fiction and sprinkling in a dash of humor. Following its success, a sequel was inevitable (director Christopher Landon says a trilogy is planned though you can see them keeping this up for multiple sequels if they remain profitable). “Happy Death Day 2U” fleshes out the world more than we saw in the original movie, finally revealing the how and why Tree, short for Theresa, got stuck in the time loop.

The sequel opens with Ryan (Phi Vu) waking up in his car and returning to his dorm room to find Tree (Jessica Rothe) and Carter (Israel Broussard) in bed. After quickly leaving the room, he’s called by one of his lab partner’s Samar (Suraj Sharma), who tells him to come to the lab. The group – Ryan, Samar, and Dre (Sarah Yarkin) – have been working on a device as part of their thesis project. They aren’t quite sure what the device does, but I’m sure you can guess. Soon, the dean (Steve Zissis) is barging into the room with some security guards confiscating the machine. As Ryan sits upset over the loss of his project, he begins receiving text messages that include pictures of himself. Using the pictures as a guide, he winds up in a lab where he is promptly murdered by the baby-face wearing masked killer and then awakens again in his car to repeat the day.

Writer / director Christopher Landon gives the impression that the film is going to start going in a different direction by focusing on a character who didn’t get much screen time in the previous movie. But what seems like a new approach is quickly dropped, leaving one to wonder why it was even brought up (though it could be addressed in the planned third movie). One thing leads to another, and the group find themselves face to face with Ryan’s killer, who then activates the machine, sending Tree back into her time loop. Once again stuck on her birthday, Tree goes on a rampage across campus. If you haven’t seen the original, don’t go see this one until you do (a quick recap is included but will spoil some of the fun of the original).

On the surface, everything seems the same as it did the last eleven times she lived through this day but as she rushes across campus to confront her murderous roommate Lori (Ruby Modine), Tree begins to notice differences. Lori isn’t where Tree is expecting her to be and she doesn’t know anything about the poisoned cupcake she previously gave Tree. Further confusing things, uppity sorority sister Danielle (Rachel Matthews) is nice to Ryan and is dating Carter, causing Tree to realize that she’s in an alternate reality. No longer sure of people’s personalities or their motivations, Tree finds herself having to find the new killer and a new way to break the cycle.

Jessica Rothe is again fantastic in the lead role. Her range is on full display as she captures the anger of someone realizing things have just taken a significant turn for the worse and, in the film’s more tender moments, as she relays her feelings for other characters including an emotional reunion with her mother – who isn’t dead in this reality. The rest of the cast is fine but Rothe outplays everyone else.

“Happy Death Day 2U” is well made from a production stand point, the photography looks great, the effects are believable, and the score works, yet, it isn’t able to match the energy and rhythm of the original movie. This time Landon decides to focus the movie more on the comedic and sci-fi elements. As previously mentioned, the included exposition attempting to explain the time loop causes scenes to grind to a halt and make the movie feel longer than it should.

Topping something as unique feeling as the original (even if the basic premise was taken from a 20-year-old comedy) was going to be a difficult job. While “Happy Death Day 2U” lacks the bite and wit of its predecessor, it’s still a fairly fun movie
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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Monday, February 11, 2019

Alamo Drafthouse North Texas Movie Events






If you haven't heard of the special programming and events at the Alamo Drafthouse's, then you are missing out. Not only do you get to see some of your favorite films on the big screen, you can join in for some interactive activities that will enhance your appreciation to the film.
Dallas Movie Screenings had a chance to enjoy The Princess Bride with inflatable swords, bells, and bubbles. Moulin Rouge included light sticks, rubber frogs, flashing diamonds, and maracas. Audience participation is a blast! Before each film they offered games and contests to win movie passes like sword fights or doing the can-can.

Go see it tonight!
https://drafthouse.com/dfw/show/alamo-encore-moulin-rouge-movie-party

This Week's Highlights...

- Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party
Enjoy this musical classic with interactive props and loads of audience participation. Experience Moulin Rouge! like never before, at all 5 Alamo Drafthouse DFW locations through Valentine’s Day!

- Galentine’s Day: Bridesmaids
Grab your gal pals for these special screenings on Feb. 13!

- Moonstruck Valentine's Feast at Alamo Drafthouse Lake Highlands
Our chef is whipping up a special 3-course Valentine’s Day dinner for one of the best romantic comedies of all time. A celebration of love, passion, and life, Moonstruck starring Cher and Nicholas Cage is a must see for this week's holiday.

- Alamo Drafthouse’s Valentine’s Day Hub
Movie screenings, gift cards, Mondo gift ideas, and more!

- 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action and 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action
​The entire collection of Oscar nominated shorts screening at the Denton location! Catch up before the actual ceremony on February 24.



MONDAY | FEBRUARY 11

Cedars:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM

Denton:
Screening: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated at 5:15PM;
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action at 2:20PM and 7:35PM;
Deconstruction The Beatles: Birth of The Beatles at 6:00PM;
The Arc of Texas Presents: Intelligent Lives at 7:00PM;
Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:15PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Deconstruction The Beatles: Birth of The Beatles at 9:05PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Deconstruction The Beatles: Birth of The Beatles at 9:15PM

Richardson:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 9:00PM;
AGFA Secret Screening at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



TUESDAY | FEBRUARY 12

Cedars:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM

Denton:
Screening: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated at 10:50PM;
2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action at 7:55PM;
Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Video Vortex: Blood Tracks at 9:10PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Fist City: Police Story at 9:05PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Champaign Cinema: You've Got Mail at 9:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Air Time: Big Fish at 7:00PM;
Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:30PM
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM



WEDNESDAY | FEBRUARY 13

Cedars:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Denton:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM
Bridesmaids at 9:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Bridesmaids at 9:05PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Bridesmaids at 9:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Bridesmaids at 9:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



THURSDAY | FEBRUARY 14

Cedars:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM

Denton:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
Moonstruck Valentine's Feast at 7:30PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Alamo Encore: Moulin Rouge! Movie Party at 7:00PM;
My Bloody Valentine (1981) at 9:00PM



FRIDAY | FEBRUARY 15

Denton:
Screening: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Movie Party at 9:00PM



SATURDAY | FEBRUARY 16

Cedars:
Screening: We Heart Hepburn: Roman Holiday (1953) at 1:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Old Fashioned: Sabrina (1954) at 1:00PM;
PBS KIDS at the Alamo: Valentine's Mix at 10:00AM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 2:00PM

Las Colinas:
Screening: Moonstruck Valentine's Feast at 1:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: Moonstruck Valentine's Feast at 1:00PM



SUNDAY | FEBRUARY

Denton:
Screening: We Heart Hepburn: Funny Face (1957) at 1:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink Brunch - Vetted Well at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands:
Screening: Dallas Children's Theater Presents: Ella Enchanted at 4:00PM;
PBS KIDS at the Alamo Valentine's Mix at 10:00AM

Las Colinas:
Screening: We Heart Hepburn: Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) at 1:00PM

Richardson:
Screening: We Heart Hepburn: Funny Face (1957) at 1:00PM


First Run Movies Now Playing...
The Lego Movie Movie 2: The Second Part
What Men Want
Cold Pursuit
The Prodigy
They Shall Not Grow Old
Miss Bala
2D Alita: Battle Angel
The Kid Who Would Be King
Green Book
Glass
The Upside
Mary Poppins Returns

​Releasing This Week...
Happy Death Day 2U
Isn't It Romantic

Stay connected…
www.drafthouse.com/dfw
www.facebook.com/alamodrafthousedfw
www.twitter.com/alamodfw
www.instagram.com/alamodfw
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