The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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

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

To join the Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Monday, October 14, 2019

This Week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW (10/14 - 10/20)






Calling all movie lovers… Here’s what’s happening this week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW!


This week is all about coming back to life. Nut up or shut up: Round 2 with the ZOMBIELAND Double Feature: Zombies Only Screening. Catch the 4K Restoration of THE EVIL DEAD with a reimagined score by original composer Joe Loduca. Get your double fix of Frankenstein with the FRANKENSTEIN & BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN Double Feature. For a full calendar listing, please visit drafthouse.com/dfw/calendar.

See y’all soon at the Alamo Drafthouse!
Fons PR


This Week's Highlights…

Zombieland Double Feature: Zombies Only Screening

Celebrate the second chapter of ZOMBIELAND with a zombies-only double feature. Come dressed as a zombie – the face paint, the tattered clothes, the human limbs, you know the drill. You're going to be in a theater filled with fellow zombies so please don't look alive. Catch the double feature at Cedars, Denton, Lake Highlands, and Richardson

The Evil Dead - 4K Restoration
This special edition of EVIL DEAD presents the horror classic for the first time in 4K plus with a reimagined score by original composer Joseph LoDuca and a thrilling new 5.1 surround mix created by Marti Humphrey and Jussi Tegelman the award-winning sound crew behind DRAG ME TO HELL and ASH VS. EVIL DEAD. Catch the restoration at Richardson.

Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein Double Feature

In 1931 director James Whale brought Mary Shelley's popular novel to screen with Boris Karloff in an iconic role as the titular doctor's creation and later brought the first of the film's sequels in 1935 out in BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN Over the years it has become as revered as Whale's original film (if not more so, in some circles) with heavy focus applied to its grandiose aesthetic and queer subtext. Catch the double feature at Richardson.


MONDAY | OCTOBER 14
Cedars
Screening: The Mummy (1999) Movie Party at 7:15pm

Denton
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 6:00pm

Lake Highlands
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 7:00pm

North Richland Hills
Screening: Anime-Zing: Vampire Hunter D (Subtitled) at 6:45pm
Screening: Night of the Living Dead at 8:30pm

Richardson
Screening: The Host (2006) at 6:15pm



TUESDAY | OCTOBER 15

Denton
Screening: Hopped Up Cinema: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back W/ Armadillo Ale Works at 7:00pm

Lake Highlands
Screening: Snowpiercer at 6:30pm

Las Colinas
Screening: Drácula (1931) [Spanish} MUBI Free Victory Screening at 6:30pm

North Richland Hills
Screening: The Last House on the Left at 6:45pm
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 7:00pm
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM
Screening: Video Vortex: Soul of the Demon at 9:15pm



WEDNESDAY | OCTOBER 16
Cedars
Screening: Zombieland Double Feature: Zombies Only Screening at 6:30pm
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Denton
Screening: Zombieland Double Feature: Zombies Only Screening at 6:00pm
Screening: The Thing (1982) at 7:00pm

Lake Highlands
Screening: Zombieland Double Feature: Zombies Only Screening at 6:00pm
Screening: Nightmare on Elm Street Movie Party at 7:30pm

Las Colinas
Screening: Diner BaD Radio at 7:30pm
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM
Screening: Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Party at 8:00pm

North Richland Hills
Screening: The Fog (1980) at 8:15pm

Richardson
Screening: Scary Movie (1991) at 6:15pm
Screening: Zombieland Double Feature: Zombies Only Screening at 6:30pm
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM
Screening: Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Party at 8:45pm



THURSDAY | OCTOBER 17
Las Colinas
Screening: BaD Radio Live Broadcast 5000th Episode at 12:00pm


FRIDAY | OCTOBER 18

North Richland Hills
Screening: The Gate (1987) at 6:30pm

Richardson
Screening: The Gate (1987) at 7:45pm



SATURDAY | OCTOBER 19

Cedars
Screening: Brunch on Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors at 11:00am

Denton
Screening: The Wolf Man at 6:30pm
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 8:15pm

Lake Highlands
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 6:15pm

Las Colinas
Screening: The Craft Movie Party at 6:45pm

North Richland Hills
Screening: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Sing-Along at 6:30pm
Screening: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) at 9:05pm

Richardson
Screening: Evil Dead II at 9:00pm
Screening: The Evil Dead - 4K Restoration at 6:30pm



SUNDAY | OCTOBER 20
Cedars
Screening: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Sing-Along at 7:30pm

Denton
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM
Screening: The Craft Movie Party at 8:15pm

Lake Highlands
Screening: T2 Fan Screening With Terminator Dark Fate Footage at 7:00pm

North Richland Hills
Screening: Afternoon Tea: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Harbor of Fleet Street at 3:30pm
Screening: The Mummy (1932) at 6:30pm

Richardson
Screening: Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein Double Feature at 2:15pm
Screening: Nightmare on Elm Street Movie Party at 6:30pm


First Run Movies Now Playing...
Abominable
Ad Astra
Downton Abbey
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Gemini Man
Hustlers
Jexi
Joker
Judy
The Addams Family (2019)

Premiering This Week…
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Zombieland: Double Tap


Stay Connected...
Facebook: facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouseDFW
Twitter: twitter.com/AlamoDFW
Instagram: instagram.com/alamodfw
Website: drafthouse.com/dfw
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | www.drafthouse.com






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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Oct 13 - Oct 19


Wow, loved the cool weather for like a day or so. Back to more Texas seasonal craziness of Fall in the 80's.

Columbus Day weekend, or as we would celebrate/protest in Plymouth, MA as Indigenous People's day.

Asking the group for help this week keeping up with the upcoming screenings. I have some personal issues that is going to keep me offline for awhile and need y'all to monitor and share any movie notices. Thank you in advance!

Oct 13 - Oct 19

Tue - Oct 15

Maleficent - 7:00 pm - AMC Mesquite
Maleficent - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Zombieland: Double Tap - 7:30 pm - Alamo Lake Highlands

Wed - Oct 16

Countdown - 7:30 pm - Alamo Denton





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Friday, October 11, 2019

The Battle of Jangsari





The Battle of Jangsari is based on a true story of a little known operation during the Korean War. Co-directed by Kwak Kyung-taek and Kim Tae-hoon and written by Lee Man-Hee and Jung Tae-Won it tells the story which was basically a suicide mission which took place over two days (September 14-15, 1950) at Jangsari in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. The battle was supposed to be a diversionary tactic to buy time for General Douglas MacArthur’s attack at Incheon in a couple of days.

Led by Captain Lee Myung-Joon (Kim Myung-Min) who did not have any battle experience but volunteered to lead his 772 student soldiers who only had a couple of weeks training. He chose his men, whose average age was 17, for their physique and strength of character. They travel during a typhoon with all the young soldiers puking into buckets on the ship traveling over a raging sea. They only have 4 rafts to get to shore so in order to get close enough to the beach, the ship is grounded. The teams have to secure ropes for the rest of the soldiers to lead them to the beach. They are besieged by bombs and bullets in their effort losing many of their battalion. The story centers on a few characters such as Choi Sung-Pil (Choi Minho of the K-pop band Shinee) who escaped with his family from North Korea, Ki Ha-Ryun (Kim Sung-Cheol) who has a tough attitude, Guk Man-Deuk (Jang Ji-Gun) a not so bright big guy who looks after Moon Jong-Nyeo (Lee Ho-Jung) who joined the army so her twin brother the only male in the family would not die in the war. We see the fear and heroism through their eyes as they experience the horror of war at their age.

Meanwhile American jounalist Marguerite Higgins (Meghan Fox) who represents the many female war correspondents on the front line, fights with Colonel Stephen (George Eads) to tell the world that these young men were being used as a sacrifice to distract the North Koreans into thinking the main attack force was hitting Jangsari and not Incheon on the other coast. The addition of the American characters doesn't seem all that necessary except to add some exposition.

The filmmakers bring the magnitude of the inexperienced young men thrust into a life and death situation is the main focus. The Battle of Jangsari was kept secrets for many decades. The filmmakers were able to convey the violence and the bonding of the survivors. They were teenagers fighting with the enemy of the same age. Yes, some of the situations were cliche and some of the scenes were awkward and obvious. But the story was interesting to see this war through the eyes of the Korean people.
(Review by reesa)





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Monday, October 7, 2019

This Week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW (10/7 - 10/13)






Calling all movie lovers… Here’s what’s happening this week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW!


This week is all about pop jams and getting spooky. Party with Her-Royal-Highnesses of Pop at the Pop Princess Video Dance Party. Get all wrapped up in THE MUMMY Movie Party. Get ready to do the monster mash over a bowl of your favorite cereal with the HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Monster Cereal Party. For a full calendar listing, please visit drafthouse.com/dfw/calendar.

See y’all soon at the Alamo Drafthouse!



This Week's Highlights…


Pop Princess Video Dance Party
Dress up like your favorite princess and get down to the Alamo Drafthouse for some sweet aural confections. As always there will be dance party props to use during the show and a specially themed cocktail to quench your thirst between songs. Come embrace all the joy that pop princesses bring ‘cause "we'll keep dancin' till the world ends!” Embrace your inner pop star at North Richland Hills and Richardson

THE MUMMY (1999) Movie Party
An ancient curse. A supernatural monster. A bumbling librarian. A dude who definitely isn’t Indiana Jones. Join Alamo DFW for a night of grand, old-fashioned adventure with fun props to help you get swept up in this rousing throwback to the adventure films of early Hollywood including a Magi tattoo an explorer’s torch (it’s a lighter) a glider to toss around during Winston’s legendary flight and more as we unlock the secrets of the mummy’s tomb with Rick and Evelyn. Catch the movie party at Denton, Lake Highlands, Las Collins, and North Richland Hills.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Monster Cereal Party

Get your Halloween off to a spooky start with a showing of HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA featuring all-you-can-eat classic Monster Cereals including Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Frankenberry! Catch the HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Monster Cereal Party at Denton, Lake Highlands, and North Richland Hills.


MONDAY | OCTOBER 7

Denton
Screening: Video Vortex: Soul of the Demon at 9:10PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Champagne Cinema: The Craft Movie Party at 7:25PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Videodrome at 9:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: The Mummy (1999) Movie Party at 7:15PM

Richardson
Screening: AGFA Secret Screening 6 Year Anniversary Double Feature at 7:05PM



TUESDAY | OCTOBER 8

Cedars
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 6:15PM
Screening: Little Monsters (2019) with Livestream Q&A at 7:30PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Video Vortex: Soul of the Demon at 9:15PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Army of Darkness at 7:15PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Army of Darkness at 6:15PM
Screening: Air Time Presents: Catch Me If You Can at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM



WEDNESDAY | OCTOBER 9
Cedars
Screening: Anime-Zing: Vampire Hunter D (Subtitled) at 7:45PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Denton
Screening: Escape From New York at 6:45PM

Las Colinas
Screening: A Nightmare on Elm Street Movie Party at 7:10PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: They Live at 6:45PM

Richardson
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM
Screening: Dread Presents: Harpoon at 8:40PM



THURSDAY | OCTOBER 10
North Richland Hills
Screening: Fright Night at 6:45PM

Richardson
Screening: Fright Night at 6:15PM


FRIDAY | OCTOBER 11
Cedars
Screening: Under Control with Live Q&A at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: The Devil’s Rejects at 6:45PM

Richardson
Screening: The Devil’s Rejects at 9:00PM



SATURDAY | OCTOBER 12
Cedars
Screening: Champagne Cinema: The Craft Movie Party at 7:15PM

Denton
Screening: Hotel Transylvania Monster Cereal Party at 10:00AM
Screening: UNT Football Watch Party at 6:00PM
Screening: Rocky Horror Picture Show with Los Bustards Shadow Cast at 10:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Hotel Transylvania Monster Cereal Party at 10:00AM
Screening:

Las Colinas
Screening: The Mummy (1999) Movie Party at 7:15PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Hotel Transylvania Monster Cereal Party at 10:00AM
Screening: Pop Princess Video Dance Party at 9:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Night of the Living Dead at 6:15PM
Screening: Pop Princess Video Dance Party at 9:00PM



SUNDAY | OCTOBER 13

Cedars
Screening: Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Party at 4:35PM

Denton
Screening: The Mummy (1932) at 6:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM
Screening: The Mummy (1999) Movie Party at 7:15PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: The Mummy (1999) Movie Party at 7:15PM

Richardson
Screening: The Wolf Man (1941) at 6:15PM
Screening: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Sing-Along at 7:00PM


First Run Movies Now Playing...
Abominable
Ad Astra
Brittany Runs A Marathon
Downton Abbey
Hustlers
IT: Chapter Two
Joker
Joker in 35MM
Rambo: Last Blood
The Peanut Butter Falcon
The Goldfinch

Premiering This Week…
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Gemini Man
The Addams Family (2019)

Stay Connected...
Facebook: facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouseDFW
Twitter: twitter.com/AlamoDFW
Instagram: instagram.com/alamodfw
Website: drafthouse.com/dfw
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | www.drafthouse.com



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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Oct 6 - Oct 12


Don't y'all love October. Not holding my breath for cooler temps and changing leaves. But this is the time when the blockbusters come out to play.

At the Joker screening last week, they checked ID's to match the names on the passes. Also if you guest isn't with you when the wristbands are handed out, you would have to either go in yourself, or go to the end of the line when your guest shows up. The shape of things to come perhaps?

Please folks don't take kids to rated "R" movies. They will not be allowed in. A little research on the films you are seeing by asking your favorite search engine.


Oct 6 - Oct 12

Tue - Oct 8

Gemini Man - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Gemini Man - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Wed - Oct 9

The Addams Family - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17
The Addams Family - 7:30 pm - Angelika







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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Joker






I do not where to talk about this movie without giving too much away. “Joker,” from director Todd Phillips is part of the DC extended universe. It delves into an altered reality wherein Bruce Wayne’s parents are ambushed after leaving a movie theater that was showing “Blow Out,” a great John Travolta led Brian De Palma movie that still kept him on the A list of celebrity.

“Joker” also offers a flipside to Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece “King of Comedy” (1982). In that gem, Robert De Niro was Rupert Pupkin, a terrible stand-up comedian who stalks Jerry Lewis’s Perry Langford. It was not high on a lot of best of the year lists, nut Scorsese was the prestigious Palm d’Or award as a nominee. Paul D. Zinneman, however won an award at the BAFTA’s for best screenplay.

“Joker” also deals with mental illness and the act that it is a story about misplaced youth and coming to find out about one’s past as an orphan. He loves his mother Penny (Frances Conroy), and comes to find out she is mentally unstable and spent time at Arkham Assylum, a mental institution in the city of Gotham, where “Joker” takes place.

Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck even carries a card remarking on his cackling and laughter as a way of showing that he has a disease. Some fellow passengers shrug it off while others bully him.

A major inside joke occurs when Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck sports a yellow cloak a la “The Village,” (2004) a part he played in M. Night Shyamalan’s aforementioned tale.

As I said earlier in my review, I cannot give away too much without spoiling it for the viewer. As a director, Todd Phillips probably has his biggest budgeted titles under his belt. I’m sure after “The Hangover” trilogy, as well as “Starsky and Hutch” (2004). He knows when to lighten the load in spots while all the while offers some brutal scenes and displays of violence.

“Joker” delivers the goods in a big way. I am not sure where this will end up in their library. So readers know, Margot Robbie reprises her Harley Quinn role in “Birds of Prey” next year. It comes out Feb. 7 of next year, 2020 to be exact. The full title is “Birds of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.”

Be warned: this is not like the Christopher Nolan Joker Heath Ledger won the Oscar for. It is just a different take on the twisted clown with a differing personality.

Grade: B+

(Review by Ricky Miller)



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Half Earth Day Celebration at Frontiers of Flight Museum




Join EarthX to mark Half Earth Day - Halfway to the 50th Earth Day Anniversary! We'll celebrate our sponsors, exhibitors, and Half Earth Day with food, drinks, music, and a screening of SEA OF SHADOWS. The event will also feature speakers Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE Foundation, the first female private space explorer and a space ambassador; Ken McQueen, the new Region 6 EPA Administrator; and emcee Leilani Münter from the Discovery Channel's "Planet Green", a vegan hippie chick with a racecar, who is also a Sports Illustrated Top 10 Female Driver and the #1 Eco Athlete in the world.



The film SEA OF SHADOWS follows a team of dedicated scientists, high-tech conservationists, investigative journalists, and courageous undercover agents, as well as the Mexican Navy, as they put their lives on the line to save the last remaining vaquita porpoises. Mexican drug cartels and Chinese traffickers have joined forces to poach rare totoaba fish in the Sea of Cortez, using deadly methods that threaten to destroy virtually all marine life in the region, including the elusive and endangered vaquita. This riveting National Geographic Documentary Film shares the intense story of those looking to bring the vicious international crime syndicate to justice.



Free Event October 22, 2019



Frontiers of Flight Museum

6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, TX 75209



5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with film screening at 7:30 p.m.



Tickets at https://events.bizzabo.com/218170



Further questions - info@earthx.org or 214-310-1200



EarthX will celebrate its second annual Half Earth Day at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on October 22.



Facebook: @earthxorg

Instagram: @earthxorg

Twitter: @earthxorg









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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

NTXFF - The Two Popes







“The Two Popes” sounds promising on paper, a collaboration between a renowned group of artists - director Fernando Meirelles, writer Anthony McCarten, and actors Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins. While it’s a movie that sounds like all the pieces should slide easily into place, it never seems to click together.



The movie begins in 2005, during the papal conclave resulting in Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s (Anthony Hopkins) election as pope, known as Pope Benedict XVI. The runner-up, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) is shown to be a rival, a more liberally minded member of the Catholic Church suggesting an impending change.



Years after Benedict’s ascension, Bergoglio decides it’s time to retire. It won’t spoil anything to say that Bergoglio doesn’t retire. For those that don’t know, he’s the current pope – Pope Francis. Not hearing a response from Benedict, who has to approve the choice, Bergoglio buys a plane ticket for Rome. Coincidentally, Benedict’s response, inviting him to Rome, arrives after he’s bought his ticket. As it turns out, both men see this as an answer from God. The majority of the movie takes place in Rome, focused on a series of, I assume, imagined conversations between Pope Benedict and the future Pope Francis.



Benedict doesn’t want Bergoglio to retire. He thinks the retirement will send the wrong message to the people and he thinks Bergoglio is the most likely candidate to be elected as the next pope, a job that Bergoglio doesn’t want. McCarten uses flashbacks to explain Bergoglio’s hesitation, exploring his past actions in 1970s militant Argentina.



While the conversations on their own are interesting, presenting a clashing of ideals, Meirelles decides to present them in a stylized manner that detracts from the dialogue. Shots are horribly framed. At times, there’s too much headroom. Other shots are sloppy, chopping off sections of the actors’ faces or suddenly zooming in for a closeup. The editing is frenzied, taking on the hectic nature of a Michael Bay action movie. Why choose to present a character drama in this manner? It’s like Meirelles doesn’t have enough confidence in the audience’s attention span.



There’s one scene, late in the film, that works wonderfully. Bergoglio is asked to the Vatican to continue his discussion with Benedict. A guard guides him to a darkened room. As Bergoglio walks into the room, the camera pans up and the room brightens through a vibrant white glow revealing the Sistine Chapel. The ensuing scene is shot in a manner that captures the beauty of the room, creating an engaging backdrop that doesn’t distract from the dialogue. Whenever Meirelles allows the scenes to have a more natural flow they play better. Too bad the majority of the movie isn’t handled this way.



Maybe my expectations were too high from all the glowing praise this has received so far. On initial watch, I’m disappointed.
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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NTXFF - This World Won't Break





Middle-aged troubadour Wes Milligan (Greg Schroeder) is a wannabe star whose time to be discovered is running out. Writer/director Josh David Jordan’s debut feature “This World Won’t Break” opens with Wes playing a gig at a small bar for a handful of people. His career as a musician is stagnant, close to death. Unsurprisingly, we quickly come to discover that Wes is broke, three months behind on rent, and has been evicted.



Despite his desires for fame and glory and his lack of income, Wes isn’t seen to be much of a go-getter. The only time we see him attempt to push his music is when he’s somehow managed to get himself an audience with a local radio personality. “This World Won’t Break” takes place in Dallas. I highly doubt any radio station in a major city (or elsewhere) would allow someone to come in off the street and confront their deejays. Wes is shown giving a number of intimate one on one performances, singing to his ex-wife’s voicemail and playing for friends and family. When he’s not singing, he’s at work, where he’s never seen doing any work – that is until the script requires him to cut himself washing dishes, thereby screwing up his shot at playing live for the aforementioned deejay.



Wes never becomes a character the audience cares about, always seen forlornly moping about. The people around him aren’t much better, caricatures included in place of an engaging narrative. His father (Matthew Posey), his friend Catfish (Mitchell Parrack), and even his landlord (Tim DeLaughter) are all stereotypes, personas seemingly included to relieve the audience of the dreary atmosphere despite the fact that they don’t blend with it. The acting across the board is poor, each actor trying too hard with their character, though the majority of the audience seemed to eat up the presented absurdity.



The movie is lacking a good editor. Scenes drag on for far longer than they should. At one point, Wes is seen playing for bartender Roxanna (Roxanna Redfoot), who works at the bar he plays for at the film’s start. The pair are alone in a large room. As Wes plays, Roxanna picks up a nearby hula-hoop and begins dancing along. The song ends and the two chat a bit before Wes leaves. Instead of ending the scene after Wes’s exit, the shot lingers, hovering long enough to show Roxanna once again start dancing around with the hula-hoop. Why? And why would there randomly be a hula-hoop in this room? The scene adds nothing to the story.



That seems to be the case for many of the scenes in Jordan’s film, left in to lengthen the work. There are too many subplots that go nowhere and add nothing. Later in the movie, Wes is seen cleaning out a dilapidated building, shoveling up mounds of dirt. Why is he doing this? The scene ultimately serves no purpose. To make matters worse, the same footage is shown again from a different angle. This is just one example of a long line of baffling choices in this feature.



Everyone in Wes’s life, besides his ex, repeatedly tells him how great he is. He’s repeatedly told that he has a gift that he needs to share with the world. It’s 2019, why doesn’t he have a YouTube channel. It’s hard to believe he’s tried that hard to be discovered or to share his work. To put it bluntly, “This World Won’t Break” is a self-indulgent melodrama. Running nearly two and a half hours, Jordan’s work is a film that is mostly a grueling endurance test. There’s not much being said throughout the work, other than trite phrases attempting to make the characters seem deep or clever. The runtime is bolstered by Schroeder performing many musical numbers with each of them bringing the movie to a grinding halt.



Jordan’s film lacks a good rhythm, needlessly floundering along for far longer than it should, though I’m not sure a tighter, shorter edit would have allowed this one to play better.
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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NTXFF - Jhalki






Jhalki, the lead character of co-directors Brahmanand S. Singh and Tanvi Jain’s film “Jhalki,” lives in a small village in India. A man from the city frequently visits the village. He’s charming and friendly but, as viewers will be quick to notice, there’s something off about him. He tells the villagers about their children, who he has previously taken to the city, offering them money or presents that he claims their kids have sent them. Then, we see one of the parents offering their child to him, telling him that their son needs a job. The boy is young and scrawny, hardly old enough to be working. The man is a human-trafficker, buying the children from the villagers and selling them to warehouses in the city.



While their father is in the hospital, Jhalki’s brother Babu is taken. She follows, hoping to keep him out of harm’s way and bring him home. But, Jhalki is young and naïve and before she knows it, she’s tricked into going to get her brother something to eat. In the blink of an eye, he is gone. Unsure of where she is, or where she came from, Jhalki fearlessly wanders around the city in search of Babu, thwarted in her search by people who refuse to come to her aid.



Singh and Jain weave a tale about a sparrow and a lost grain throughout the movie. In that story, a sparrow accidentally drops a piece of grain into a hollow tree branch then goes around demanding everyone help her recover it so that she can take it home to feed her babies. The constantly repeated parable, obviously meant to represent the film’s lead character and her search for her lost brother, soon grows irritatingly familiar. To add further irritation, the story is offered in fragments. The beginning of the film introduces the first part of the parable but the end isn’t revealed until the film’s final moments. Each time the story is told, Singh and Jain repeat the beginning. Near the movie’s end, it’s revealed that an elephant will come to her aid.



The comparison is quick to grasp yet the sparrow’s story feels frustratingly incompatible with Jhalki’s search. The more the audience hears the sparrow’s story, meant to illustrate how the actions of one can influence others, the more it sounds like the sparrow is just belligerent. Wouldn’t it have been easier for her to find another grain rather than continually pester everyone else to get this tiny morsel out of the tree? The grain and Babu are incomparable. A human life can’t be compared to a bit of food.



That’s not the only problem with “Jhalki.” The actors frequently seem like they are trying too hard, never totally convincing in their performances. While the young girl who plays Jhalki is believable in her portrayal of the character’s forceful veracity, in some scenes it seems like she’s trying hard not to laugh. The adult performers are better but still not satisfactory.



“Jhalki” also has the feel of the direct-to-video output from the 90s. Shot composition is frequently pleasing but the film has a distracting shot on video look. Worst of all is the film’s soundtrack, which gives the movie an overly cheesy after school special vibe. The directors have a compelling and timely story to tell here, it’s just not well executed. “Jhalki” is worth a watch but isn’t a particularly good film.
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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NTXFF - Dolemite is My Name






Director Craig Brewer’s biopic, “Dolemite is My Name,” is a rather straight-forward biography story. While Brewer’s film may not be a fresh take on the genre, it does offer something that many movies lack – an uproarious energy that parallels its subjects’ spirit.



“Dolemite is My Name” tells of the rise of Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy), who works as an assistant manager at a record store when the movie starts. He’s a man who’s been bitten by the celebrity bug, currently moonlighting as an emcee at a night club, but lacks the talent to get noticed. That is until he gets some inspiration. When a bum comes into the store, spouting out rhymes, Rudy gets the idea to create a character based on the homeless population’s tales and their delivery of them. The end result is his famous character Dolemite.



Murphy is perfect in the role, giving his performance a manic energy that finely parallels the desperation of Moore, washed up before ever being given a chance. But the birth of Dolemite is just the start of Rudy’s journey. Rudy works on exploiting the popularity of his new character, recording a party record and selling it out of his truck. Before he knows it, he’s caught the eye of a record label, leading to more success. But it’s not until he and some friends go to a screening of Billy Wilder’s remake of “The Front Page,” raved as being the “it” comedy to see by critics but not even eliciting a chuckle from his group, that Rudy decides to use the character to make the type of movie he wants to see.



The creation of the “Dolemite” movie is the main focus of Brewer’s film. Moore is shown to be a hustler, a smooth-talker who works his tail off to get his work off the ground. If he was working hard before – trying to make it as a singer, then as a stand-up comic – he’s working even harder now. Hiring friends to start off his crew – singer Ben Taylor (Craig Robinson), comedy protégé Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), and cashier Theodore (Tituss Burgess) – before wooing talent from outside his immediate circle – writer Jerry Jones (Keegan-Michael Key) and actor D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), famous to the group for being the elevator operator in “Rosemary’s Baby,” who jumps at the chance to direct the movie. Snipes nearly steals the movie away from Murphy with his over-the-top performance as the hoity-toity actor too good for Moore’s film. He presents Martin as an actor who’s slumming it in order to get a chance at directing.



There’s an infectious energy present as Rudy and his ragtag group of filmmakers work to create their ideal motion picture, making the film with the people they know around the neighborhood as their target audience. As Rudy puts it leaving “The Front Page,” “film critics don’t know how to have fun.” Brewer’s movie is fun, an absolute blast to watch. It does flounder a bit in areas – the problems that arise during production are a little too quickly solved and Moore’s editing and compiling of a final cut of “Dolemite” is completely ignored – but it makes up for its discrepancies with its breakneck pacing. In addition, the jokes fly at the audience at a steady rate, not a problem in itself, but this causes the slower spots to stand out more.



The biggest issue with this movie is that, for those of us who haven’t seen “Dolemite,” it spoils many of the gags from that film. It would probably be better to view Moore’s movie before viewing Brewer’s. If you don’t care about having another work spoiled, or have no desire to see it (you might after watching this), “Dolemite is My Name” plays perfectly fine without any homework. It’s distributed by Netflix so there’s no reason this shouldn’t become a familiar title.
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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