The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Knives Out




There is no better film to see, this weekend, than Knives Out, a thoroughly rousing romp of a murder mystery that is highly entertaining. A stellar ensemble cast, bitingly witty script, a fantastic setting in a wonderful old house that could be it's own character, a fast paced and intelligently delivered storyline that's enjoyable to follow, all combine to make for a great night out at the movies. Knives Out is a must see for the holiday season. Writer/director Rian Johnson has created quite a few memorable characters in the process.

Successful author and publisher Harlan Thrombey, the family patriarch, has invited all of his descendants to his large Victorian house, with the hope of reconciliation for several of them, and for his 85th birthday celebration. He dies sometime late in the night and is discovered by his nurse. It's very complicated. Then the real party begins. As per usual, it turns out that several people have motives.

Daniel Craig is eagle-eyed Detective Benoit Blanc, a private detective who investigates the murder of Harlan (Christopher Plummer). Chris Evans shines as Hugh Ransom" Drysdale, the victim's independent and very high maintenance grandson. Ana de Armas portrays Marta Cabrera, Harlan's beloved nurse and close caretaker, who was the last to see him alive. Jamie Lee Curtis is Linda Drysdale, the oldest daughter, a successful real estate exec with husband Richard (Don Johnson) . Michael Shannon is Walter Thrombey, the youngest son who appears to have attained control of his father's publishing company. Toni Collette is wacky as Harlan's daughter-in-law Joni, a lifestyle coach who's husband has passed on. Add more detectives, Walter's wife Donna, a social activist grand daughter, a wonderfully quirky internet trolling younger grandson, Harlan's elderly mother who sits and listens and watches but cannot see well and does not interact, a reserved behind the scenes housekeeper, and the complicated pot begins to get stirred. Frank Oz even makes an appearance as Harlan's lawyer. This film certainly puts the fun in family dysfunction.

Highly rated on rotten tomatoes and favorably reviewed by critics everywhere as a modern take on the classic who-done-it, the redirecing twists and turns make for a fun ride. Avoid spoiler exposing reviews at all costs because the people with motives have some deep dark secrets. Letting them all unfold during the film adds to the viewing pleasure, once you figure out the cast, and all of their relationships and histories. Enjoy.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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Greta





From Carnaval Filmes comes Greta, a Brazilian LGBTQ drama from director Armando Praça in his directorial debut. Staring Marco Nanini as Pedro, Greta tells the story of a 70-year-old gay nurse who is troubled with the task of saving his best friend, Daniela, played by Denise Weinberg, by finding her an empty bed in the hospital in which he works. Pedro sees an opportunity when a criminal in police custody who is charged with involuntary manslaughter named Jean, played by Démick Lopez, is admitted into the hospital that same evening. By helping Jean escape from the premises and police custody, Pedro can free up a bed for the reluctant Daniela, who needs to stay in the hospital and receive her test results.

Upon escaping, the lonely Pedro offers to allow Jean to stay with him at his home, as he is worried about the status of Jean’s wounds. By allowing Jean to stay in his home, Pedro knows he would be able to treat his open sores. The two men enter into a highly sexualized affair as Jean’s external wounds begin to heal, and Pedro’s internal wounds slowly begin to deepen as he is forced to come to terms with his best friend’s inevitable and untimely death.

The title of the film, Greta, comes from the lead character’s deep admiration for the actress, Greta Garbo, which he frequently requests to be called during his sexual encounters. This daring drama does not shy away at all from these sexual encounters, which makes for a very explicit film. It was very refreshing to see gay love scenes not being censored in a time of mainly only heterosexual scenes being shown in film.

A seasoned stage, film, and tv actor with a very full career spanning the past five decades, Nanini gives a strong performance in the lead role, allowing the audience to fully immerse in the solitude and sorrow that Pedro is experiencing. The director did a remarkable job adapting this film from the 1973 stage comedy, Greta Garbo, quem diria acabou no irajá, into the strong drama that this film is. Praça’s goal of developing the character’s in the source material from stereotypical caricatures to real people was achieved with flying colors, making for a heartfelt drama that keeps you fully immersed in its 97-minute-long running time. Greta comes to video on demand services Tuesday, November 26.
(Review by Alyssa Lurvey)



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Monday, November 25, 2019

This Week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW (11/25 - 12/1)





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

This week is all about December scares, getting your brunch on, and partying it up at the Alamo Drafthouse. Get sleighed with holiday-themed horror movies shorts and other some other surprises to stuff your bloody stockings at A December to Dismember. What could be a better combination than Jude Law and Mimosas, so come out for THE HOLIDAY Brunch Party. Get your party on at the Alamo with movie parties for popular holiday films like like ELF, THE POLAR EXPRESS and PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES. For a full calendar listing, please visit drafthouse.com/dfw/calendar.

See y’all soon at the Alamo Drafthouse!



This Week's Highlights…

A December to Dismember #3

Deck the halls with bowels of bodies at A December to Dismembe - a holiday-themed horror movie mystery marathon for all of you on Santa’s naughty list (think of it as the seasonal sequel to Alamo's annual Dismember The Alamo mystery marathon in October)! Get your tickets now to see three holiday horror films at Richardson.

The Holiday Brunch Screening
We could all use an escape every now and then. That’s certainly true for Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) two strangers who connect online and temporarily swap houses as a means of escaping from the stresses of their lives. And Alamo DFW is inviting you to escape with them for a little bit with this special brunch screening of Nancy Meyers’ utterly charming rom-com THE HOLIDAY. Get your brunch on at Las Colinas and North Richland Hills.

Elf, The Polar Express, and Planes, Trains & Automobiles Movie Parties
Come out to Alamo Drafthouse this season as we celebrate one of the best holiday films ever made! Enjoy movie parties for classic holiday films like ELF, THE POLAR EXPRESS and PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES at Denton, Lake Highlands, Las Colinas.



MONDAY | NOVEMBER 25

Screening: The Last Waltz at 7:00PM



TUESDAY | NOVEMBER 26

Las Colinas
Screening: Terror Tuesday: Blood Rage at 8:30PM

North Richland Hills
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM



WEDNESDAY | NOVEMBER 27

Cedars
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Planes, Trains & Automobiles Movie Party at 7:30PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



THURSDAY | NOVEMBER 28

Las Colinas
Screening: Planes, Trains & Automobiles Movie Party at 7:30PM



FRIDAY | NOVEMBER 29

Richardson
Screening: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM



SUNDAY | DECEMBER 1
Denton
Screening: Elf Movie Party at 6:30PM
Screening:
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: The Polar Express Movie Party at 2:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: The Holiday (2006) Brunch Screening at 11:00AM
Screening: Elf Movie Party at 6:30PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: The Holiday (2006) Brunch Screening at 11:30AM

Richardson
Screening: December to Dismember #3 at 12:50PM



First Run Movies Now Playing...

21 Bridges
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Charlie’s Angels (2019)
Ford V Ferrari
Frozen II
Harriet
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Last Christmas
Terminator: Dark Fate
The Lighthouse

Premiering This Week…

Knives Out
Queen & Slim


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




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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Nov 24 - Nov 30


Thanksgiving week y'all. Only one movie happening but it's also playing again next week. So if you are busy preparing food, cleaning the house and generally getting ready for the big feed, followed by Black Friday deals, then go ahead and take a break. Have fun, eat well and drive carefully.

There was in issue being discussed on our Facebook page regarding the ending of bringing chairs at AMC's while waiting for the movies. It got kinda heated. But that is why our FB page was set up to open the dialogue and express our views. Our Dallas Movie Screenings group has been operating since 2005 and we have seen a big change in the line policies. We try to keep everyone on track and make it easy to enjoy their time waiting. Plus assist the studio reps from being barraged by complaints and attitudes. The main thing to remember is these screenings are a privilege not a right. We don't seem to keep reminding people not to sit in reserve seats, not to save spaces in line for everyone in your family and the kitchen sink. Many problems arose, but we weathered them and I'm grateful for the help our moderators have given. We appreciate your support in keeping our group afloat. So hopefully when we send out warning about possible situations...like leaving your chairs in line and not coming back for hours...then maybe you will listen.

Nov 24 - Nov 30

1917 - 7:00 pm - Angelika




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Friday, November 22, 2019

21 Bridges





Black Panther actor, Chadwick Boseman is now a driven cop (Andre Davis) who has a history of being a "Dirty Harry" type with quite a few bodies to his credit. He lost his own policeman father, as a young child, to violent criminals and has grown into an investigative version of his father, with the skills of Sherlock Holmes of TV's "Elementary" fame.

The film, by Brian Kirk, begins with Davis's reputation under fire. Fast forward to a botched cocaine robbery , at a restaurant after hours, where 8 cops and a civilian die horrifically. The two robbers leave with just a portion of a shipment that's way to big to have been expected. The cops calmly arrive, mid robbery, and tap on the door to gain entry when no apparent call has gone out. After that there are many clues that this impending pursuit of more than just a chase to apprehend and arrest two cop killers.

Originally titled 17 Bridges, but amended when discovered the count was wrong, this film is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining ride through Manhattan Island. In a rare move, all ways off the island are shut down to prevent the cop killers' escape. Time is of the essence. This film is presented with time stamps, like a well known older TV series was, as the night unfolds. The camera is used to give us some bird's eye views of street scenes and skyline. We think we have just three populations to keep track of in the film. Civilians, bad guys and cops. But we come to learn that there is more to the story and it is more complicated than we realize. Boseman is joined by a fellow officer Frankie Burns of that local precinct, played by a terribly serious and intense Sienna Miller.

J.K. Simmons plays her boss, Captain McKenna, in whose precinct the incident happens. Taylor Kitsch plays Ray, the trigger-happy, animalistic cop killer whose younger and more innocent partner, Michael (Stephen James), doesn't share the same comfort level with blowing people away. On to selling the cocaine and laundering the bills before plans are made to get out of the city while every stop near TV news reports brings more detailed public exposure of the criminals, to their chagrin. The nets grow smaller.

It is interesting to see the interplay between the investigators and modern technology. Eye in the sky is alive and well in NYC. The pursuit through the city streets and buildings is tense and action filled. The violence just gratuitous enough. The surprises and jumps are real and well filmed. (I don't jump and it got me 4 times). Plot holes aside ( I mean seriously how far does a Subway train go before it's next stop?), I pleasantly enjoyed this film and it's immersion in the arena where we wonder who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. The conclusion is certainly satisfying. There will be shake your head questions regarding the storyline as to "was that realistic and entirely possible?" but it's still a good time at the movies if an action crime drama is a favorite genre of yours.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood





I cannot talk about this without getting choked up about it.

This is in reference to Tom Hanks turn as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” It is a nice pleasant film sans any grandiose events that occur or take place. Not a single explosion occurs here. It is not that kind of movie.

“Beautiful Day” is just like a “Seinfeld” episode in that nothing happens. It is just a slice-of-life tale about the ongoing in the small Pittsburgh town in which he resides with wife Joanne (Maryann Plunkett).

As aforementioned, this tale finds reporter Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) essentially doing an expose on Mr. Rogers and how he has always put a smile on kids faces.

Vogel begins to see there is nothing dark and sinister hiding under the cloak that is Fred Rogers. He is just that relatable through and through.

Vogel wants to dislike this man, but he is just so polite and cordial as well as down-to-earth, he beams joy through his smile and brings forth pure genuine friendship. Fred Rogers was the real deal.

Directing chores on “Beautiful Day” were handled by Marielle Heller who worked on the Oscar nominated “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” in 2018. She never moves the camera beyond the down-to-earth wholesome that inhabits the set of Mr. Rogers neighborhood. She just glides the camera and sets the pieces at the right mark.

“A Beautiful Day” looks at how the life of everyday people can get affected by even the most mundane of things. Lloyd is upset by the fact that he has to write an entire article on the world’s nicest man. Sure, he would rather have something that involves intrigue with some form of action.

I hate to admit it, but this one is actually on my ten best list for the calendar year. It clocks in at number five.

Hanks is aces as Fred Rogers. He brings a certain charm and easiness to the role. One thinks of him as Fred Rogers through and through. He is the genuine article.

Sure he might have had problems, but that bit is never even mentioned here. He had his own brand and stamp on characters that resided in his own world. I like the fact that I grew up in a day and age where comic book style cartoons were not all the rage.

Hanks will probably be nominated come Oscar time this year. He really is that good in the role, since one thinks less of him as a performer, but the genuine real deal.

I was speaking with a colleague friend of mine and we figured out he is just the nicest, kindest person on this planet. He is just that and so much more.

As aforementioned, I feel a certain blondness with this gentleman. He always put a smile on my face and joy to my day, since the time I spent with him felt special and genuine.

Grade: A-

(Review by Ricky Miller)





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Frozen 2





Director: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee Studio: Disney

Frozen 2 becomes another Frosty-Filled adventure for fans and children.

Fans have been waiting for this much-anticipated Disney animated sequel, Frozen 2. The original cast and crew are back to join another Frozen adventure like last year’s Ralph Breaks the Internet after the first Frozen film have garnered $1.2 billion at the box office and was the highest grossing-animated film of all time. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee also return to helm the sequel as well. The studio originally wanted Frozen to be an original film, but decides to make a franchise out of it by crafting short film sequel (Frozen Fever), a Christmas special (Olaf’s Frozen Adventure), and this. For that matter, animated Disney princess movies don’t get theatrical sequels – they end, by definition, with a happily ever after.

The film focuses on Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) who is back on the throne in Arendelle with Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) by her side, but when Elsa keeps hearing this haunting melody wafting in from up north. Elsa must embark on the journey out of Arendelle, along with her sister Anna, Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff), Olaf the snowman (voiced by Josh Gad), and Sven to find answers about the source of her own mysterious powers.

The story is truly inspiring on the themes of humanity and nature when it comes to snowy adventures and the conflicts the characters (and the directors themselves) put as one of the main dynamics on the film. It’s similar like you’re watching a film that has snowy road-trips settings you watch on winter times, especially Christmas. The themes of the film also compared to Hayao Miyazaki’s films (including 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind), characterized by the recurrence of themes such as humanity's relationship with nature, having young women or young girl as a strong protagonist, and the wholesomeness of natural and traditional patterns of living for characters (both protagonists and antagonists). Winter, autumn, or any season kind of puts the definition on nature and humanity for the Elsa character.

For the original cast, actors Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad done a remarkable job on their character roles as well as having fun with the comedy routines and drama they put like in the first film. Not only the original actors, but newcomers Sterling K. Brown (who voiced Lieutenant Destin Mattias in the film), Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto also appeared in the film.

The animation of the film is photo-realistically remarkable as the directors, producers, and animators have worked on every scene on computer and hand to make the snowy and watery scenes make more live-action(ish) like a real lake or river, not to mention the action from Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. The main key for this film is not just ordinary CGI for the film and the characters, but also requires strong usage of photorealistic computer animation on some parts and levels like Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book and 2019’s The Lion King. Not just animation, but the music itself coming from the composer Christophe Beck and songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez is just as stunning like the original film, with several musical numbers like "Into the Unknown" which meant to be as catchy, yet successful as “Let It Go” and Olaf’s "When I Am Older" song which brings the comedic trauma back like his “In Summer” song.

Frozen 2 is a great movie, if not as painstakingly anticipating as it looks like the original film, Avengers: Endgame, the remake of The Lion King, and Pixar’s Toy Story 4. The directors, the cast, and the animators done a great job of keeping the pace and the track of the film and its musical numbers to fit the storytelling without a fuss. I certainly have no complaints on this film, but you can have the option of seeing this film, but if not, you can stick with the original film or go back and watch Endgame or Toy Story 4 if you like to get more enchantment. For my easiest choice, this film is must-see for Frozen fans. Just to let the readers know a month after this film, Disney will release the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theaters.

One last thing, this is the final Disney production with the involvement of John Lasseter.



GRADE: B+
(Review by Henry Pham)



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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood








(Review by Chase Lee)




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Honey Boy







(Review by Chase Lee)




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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood





Director: Marielle Heller Studio: TriStar Pictures

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood brings kindness and childhood back on the big screen.

Fans and children of all ages have heard about Sesame Street, Thomas and Friends, and even Arthur, but let’s not forget the greatest children’s television show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Marielle Heller (2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?) shows up at Mister Rogers’ television house set as the director of the film while Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys portray as an child entertainer Fred Rogers and Lloyd Vogel, an award-winning journalist for Esquire magazine.

The film focuses on cold-hearted journalists Lloyd Vogel who finds his perspective life transformed after he was tasked to interview and to profile the world’s beloved television icon Fred Rogers. Though, the biggest problem Lloyd has recently was a major, struggling relationship with his father, Jerry Vogel (portrayed by Chris Cooper).

With the direction from Marielle Helmer and the script written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on a 1998 Esquire cover story in which Tom Junod, the magazine’s star feature writer, set out to profile Fred Rogers, only to learn that spending time, as an adult, with Mister Rogers was having a profound effect on him. The flow of the story builds up climaxes on how people in real life are dealing with these issues as if a friend is there to assist one’s need. Director Marielle Heller wants to make things simply easier and playful to both children and adults when she shoots the scenes from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as if the audience is watching an old episode on television. The director and writers really wanted to make a film that could bring childhood back in front of one’s eyes and learning about kindness and things that are cynically difficult to other people around the globe.

The chemistry between from Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers and Matthew Rhys as Lloyd really gives the audience some sort of a feel that if anyone desperately needs help, a person is here to offer some comfort when these circumstances or issues they been struggling has gone too far from them, such as family issues, anger, divorce, war, and even death. The film, like the show itself as a whole, really explains how difficult it is to recover from these situations in the entire world. Either anger or stress, it doesn’t solve anyone’s problems. The one thing the world needs the most is kindness, which is the medicine of anyone’s dear life. Hanks made his Fred Rogers character fitting like the show and provide the power of love to every moment and every person — because that’s what the child in all of us deserves.

While the film focuses on Fred Rogers and Lloyd Vogel respectively, supporting actors Chris Cooper and Susan Kelechi Watson also appeared as Jerry Vogel: Lloyd’s father and Andrea Vogel: Lloyd’s wife who they served as the primary focus to the Lloyd character, which is the main dynamic and climax of the film. The cast also includes Maryann Plunkett as Joanne Rogers, Fred's wife; Tammy Blanchard as Lorraine, Lloyd's sister; Carmen Cusack as Margy, a producer of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood; Maddie Corman as Betty Aberlin, an actress starring as Lady Aberlin; and Christine Lahti as Ellen, Lloyd's editor. The music from Nate Heller gives a wonderful nostalgic feel and provides a signature twists of childhood with familiar notes to be played in order to get the key correct from the show entirely and the film, especially in the beginning of the film when Fred Rogers sings Won’t You Be My Neighbor? while changing the suit jacket and putting on a sweater in the show’s intro and this film.

Overall, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a wonderful movie to adults and children of all ages. Tom Hanks did a bang-up job on nailing the role as Fred Rogers and same as Marielle Heller as the director of the film. The film gives me a lot of tears and it really lead me to put this film on the top of my list for best films in 2019. The film might be as Oscar worthy as it looks, but I guarantee this one’s a game changer. I would highly recommend watching this movie just as you watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood again on television.

Bonus points for the cameos of Joanne Rogers, the wife of Fred Rogers, and David Newell who portrayed as Mr. McFeely in the series.



GRADE: A

(Review by Henry Pham)



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Honey Boy







“Honey Boy,” written by and starring Shia LaBeouf, is a semi-autographical work. In it, LaBeouf takes a fictionalized look at his life. While revealing and personal for those who know nothing of LaBeouf’s troubles, the film comes across like a therapy exercise, created to help the actor deal with unresolved issues. The film, directed by Alma Har’el, cuts between a twenty-something actor, Otis (Lucas Hedges), and his twelve-year-old self (Noah Jupe), exploring how his time living with his father (LaBeouf) in a junky, run-down motel during the shooting of a television show as a child influenced his present, in which he is going through rehab.



Presentation is everything with movies like this because, by this point, this is a story we’ve seen many times before – behind the glitzy, glamorous face of a young Hollywood hot-shot lies a troubled past. As presented here, “Honey Boy” feels more like a bottle of dried up honey. It’s like an old container of that sticky, sweet goo – hard, crusty, and unpalatable. It’s revealing but never seems like it’s even starting to attempt to scratch beneath the surface of things. This is more like someone drily relating some of their life events to people who probably have little to no context, unless they closely follow celebrity gossip.



Shia LaBeouf’s performance as James is the highlight of the movie. Though he’s a supporting character, viewers will realize that James, based off LaBeouf’s own father, is the most important character in the story. He’s a former rodeo clown and a felon, paid to be Otis’ chaperone but doing a poor job. It’s obvious to us that James is a bad father; the movie offers no expansion beyond that. Still, this is a fairly strong performance from LaBeouf, who must have gotten some therapeutic relief from playing the role. LaBeouf’s strongest recent performance is in this year’s “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” I’d recommend that movie over this one.



“Honey Boy” isn’t an unbearable experience but it’s close. The biggest issue with Har’el’s movie is its lack of momentum. There’s a lot going on in both timelines but neither ever seems like it’s progressing towards anything. Worst of all, there’s no emotional impact, something you’d expect from a film that’s autobiographical. We witness events that have caused young adult Otis to wind up in rehab, but there’s no insight offered beyond the superficial level. Har’el and LaBeouf only show the beginning and end result, completely ignoring the progression to that end.



“Honey Boy” winds up feeling aimless. It listlessly moves through events before abruptly concluding. The characters never form any meaningful connection with the audience. It’s like Har’el and LaBeouf expect the audience to connect with the material solely because of its autobiographical nature. To boil this all down to a brief statement – I wasn’t into this movie at all.
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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John Cleese to Receive the Ernie Kovacs Award at DVF






JOHN CLEESE TO RECEIVE THE ERNIE KOVACS AWARD AT DALLAS VIDEOFEST 32 ON DEC. 4 AT TEXAS THEATRE IN PERSON

THREE ANNIVERSARIES WORTH CELEBRATING:
*Ernie Kovacs Centennial
*50th Anniversary of “Monty Python and the Flying Circus”
*45th Anniversary of Monty Python airing in USA, first presenting station: Dallas’ PBS station: KERA in December 1974



DALLAS (Oct. 31, 2019) – Dallas VideoFest is proud to award actor and comedian John Cleese, best known for the British comedy, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and “Fawlty Towers,” with the coveted Ernie Kovacs Award at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd. – Oak Cliff/Dallas). To purchase tickets, go to http://VideoFest.org


The trifecta anniversary celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ernie Kovacs’ birth coupled with the 50th anniversary of the start of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” in the UK adding in the 45th anniversary of the British comedy making its debut of airing in the United States starting itts American journey at Dallas’ PBS station, KERA-TV.

Cleese will be on hand to receive the award as well as Ron Devillier, retired KERA programmer who brought “Monty Python” to Dallas and then to the rest of America in 1974, will be recognized. Joshua Mills, son of Edie Adams and keeper of the Kovacs flame, as well as Ben Model, official archivist for the Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs collection will both be in attendance.

Ernie Kovacs has been a key component to the Dallas Video Festival since it began in 1987. Over the years, the Pythons’ work has been a highlight in Dallas VideoFest’s programming including showing the rarely seen German version of “The Lumberjack Song,” screening the 2014 documentary: MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE, and awarding the Ernie Kovacs Award to Terry Gilliam in 1998.



Ron Devillier, retired programmer of KERA-TV, Dallas, who brought the broadcast of the Python series and the wonderful craziness surrounding the decision to do so:
“What a pleasure it is for me to be joining the celebration and salute to my two favorite comedy TV series: ‘The Ernie Kovacs Show’ and ‘Monty Python.’ ‘The Ernie Kovacs Shows’ of the ‘50s and the ‘Monty Python’ series of the ‘70s are two outrageously original comedic creations that shattered the boundaries of television broadcast tradition in a most hilarious way. John Cleese, a key Python creator and performer is a first-class selection to receive this Kovacs Award. Cleese’s writing and performing in ‘Pythons’ and ‘Fawlty Towers’ are classics in the genre.”


Bart Weiss, founder/artistic director of Dallas VideoFest, on the importance of Ernie Kovacs:

”The very first program our festival was Edie Adams showing the work of Ernie Kovacs. Ernie’s innovative spirit has been with us these 32 years of running the festival. The Kovacs Award became the perfect way to honor those whose comedy change the way we look at TV/Video much like Kovacs did. With John Cleese, we have a direct line in how Kovacs used the lens, the mise-en-scene cutting, and a sophisticated vision of silliness, that leads to moments of television that reign deep in our collective memories and can help make you smile during the worst of days.”


Joshua Mills, Edie Adams’s son and keeper of Ernie Kovacs Estate:
“Alec Guinness said upon meeting Ernie Kovacs on the set of the film, OUR MAN IN HAVANA that there was a comedic connection between mad-cap American Kovacs and the silliness of the iconic British comedy of The Goons. It’s only fitting that the recipient of the 2019 Ernie Kovacs Award at the Dallas VideoFest be given to John Cleese, who shares the same sensibilities as Kovacs in finding humor in authority figures, a cockeyed world view and of course, a love of silly walks.”


Ben Model, Official Archivist for Ernie Kovacs & Edie Adams, Ediad Productions:

“Ernie Kovacs’ anarchic television comedy lives on in the Monty Python television shows. Ironically, most American audiences (especially those of a younger generation) discovered both shows on public television around the same time, in the mid-to-late 1970s. In both cases, the programs’ disparate sketches jump from one topic or style to another with reckless abandon, bridged briefly by Kovacs seated in a TV control room, and by John Cleese at a desk announcing 'And now for something completely different.’ John Cleese’s comic vision that manages to be simultaneously smart and silly, cultured and outrageous makes him an excellent choice as the recipient of this year’s Ernie Kovacs Award at the Dallas VideoFest.“



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On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thejohncleese




About John Cleese
John Cleese describes himself on social media as “a tall person who likes lemurs, coffee and wine. He's also been known to write and act a bit.”

While the people who work with him say: John Cleese was born and brought up in Weston-super-Mare. However, he recovered to win a place to study science at Cambridge. After sampling the conversation in the Chemistry laboratories, he switched to Law. The success of the 1963 Cambridge Footlights Revue, which played in the West End and on Broadway, saved him from a legal career.

He first shot to fame in England with The Frost Report in 1966 and in 1969 co-created Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The team went on to conquer the world with four cult TV series and four hugely successful films, And Now For Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), The Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983). The Pythons reunited for a one-off series of 10 live stage shows in the UK in 2014.

After leaving Python, Cleese moved on to create Basil Fawlty, the hotel manager from hell in Fawlty Towers. As one of the most successful TV series ever made, the 12 episodes of "Fawlty Towers" have been repeated on the BBC many times.

In 1988, he starred in and co-wrote A Fish Called Wanda. He reunited the stars of Wanda in 1996 to make Fierce Creatures, a film about a zoo, which went on worldwide release in 1997.

As well as his work with Monty Python, Cleese’s film credits as an actor include The Great Muppet Caper (1980), Time Bandits (1980), Privates on Parade (1982) Silverado (1984), Clockwise (1986), Terry Jones’s Erik the Viking, Eric Idle’s Splitting Heirs (1992), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), The Jungle Book (1995), The Wind in the Willows (1996), The Out-of-Towners (1999), and Rat Race (2001), Cleese has also appeared in both the James Bond, and Harry Potter movie series.

For his work on television, Cleese won an Emmy Award for his guest role on the comedy series “Cheers,” and received another Emmy nomination for a guest stint on “3rd Rock From the Sun."

Less well known is the fact that John Cleese co-wrote (with Robin Skynner) two best-selling books on psychology, Families and How to Survive Them, and Life and How to Survive It. He also co-founded Video Arts in 1972, which became the largest producer of management and sales training films outside the United States. Video Arts was sold in 1991.

John started the Secret Policeman’s Ball concerts for Amnesty International and has continued to do a lot of charity work, much of it, like The Human Face (2001), for the BBC.

In his twilight years, he passes his time writing film scripts, making speeches to business audiences, doing seminars on creativity, teaching at Cornell and constructing a virtual reality (his website, www.thejohncleese.com)


About the Ernie Kovacs Award
The Ernie Kovacs Award recognizes the career and talents of some of television’s greatest visionaries. Kovacs’ work in the 1950s and early 1960 summed up the spirit of innovation and the development of the language of television as art.

The Dallas VideoFest and the Video Association of Dallas announced the first Ernie Kovacs Award at the 1997 festival. Comedian Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science 3000 was the first recipient and subsequent honorees have included Terry Gilliam of Monty Python; Robert Smigel, writer/performer of Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O’Brien; Paul “Pee-wee Herman” Reubens; Martin Mull; Mike Judge; George Schlatter, creator of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In; Harry Shearer, Spinal Tap and The Simpsons; Michael Nesmith; in 2017, Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald of The Kids in the Hall; and in 2018, Amy Sedaris, the first woman to receive the Ernie Kovacs Award.

Actress Edie Adams (www.edieadams.com), Kovacs’ wife, came to Dallas to host the awards program annually until her death in 2008. Today, Edie’s son, Joshua Mills runs Ediad Productions the video and audio archive of both Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams. As the official archivist for the Ernie Kovacs/Edie Adams (Ediad) Collection, Ben Model curated the “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box sets for Shout! Factory, as well as the box set of “Here’s Edie” shows for MVD.

Sponsors:

Half Price Books
The British Emporium in Grapevine
AMS Pictures
Dallas Film Commission
Texas Commission on the Arts
Selig Polyscope
SullivanPerkins



2-Day Event Listing:

Over the years, VideoFest has only shown short snippets of Ernie Kovacs’ work. This year being the Kovacs’ Centennial, Dallas VideoFest hosts will have a full evening of Ernie Kovacs TV work the night before the Award Event.

Celebrate the Centennial of the birth of offbeat comedy genius, Ernie Kovacs, with this hilarious retrospective of his greatest live gags on early TV in the 1950s along with his career highlights, which have inspired the likes of Pee-wee Herman, Kids in the Hall, Amy Sedaris, Mike Nesmith, and Monty Python. Hosted by Dallas VideoFest's artistic director: Bart Weiss, Ernie Kovacs archivist: Ben Model, and Josh Mills, the son of Ernie’s wife, Edie Adams

Dallas VideoFest 32 presents an evening retrospective of "The Ernie Kovacs Show" on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Richardson (100 N Central Expy #14, Richardson).
Admission - $5 voucher redeemable for food reserves your seat at Alamo - Richardson.
Tickets now available - https://drafthouse.com/dfw/show/ernie-kovacs-centennial-retrospective


The following day, VideoFest awards the Ernie Kovacs Award to comedian John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd. – Oak Cliff/Dallas).
Admission - $35; Limited reception admission - $100
Tickets available - http://VideoFest.org





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Monday, November 18, 2019

This Week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW (11/18 - 11/24)





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

This week is all about channeling your inner ice princess, and remembering the classics. Let it go this weekend and enjoy some family time while seeing Frozen II at the Frozen II Cereal Party and Family Party. Join the boys of Sportsradio 1310AM/96.7FM The Ticket's BaD Radio for a special showing of TROPIC THUNDER. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the “3 Days of Peace and Music” with Michael Wadleigh’s documentary Woodstock. For a full calendar listing, please visit drafthouse.com/dfw/calendar.

See y’all soon at the Alamo Drafthouse!



This Week's Highlights…

Frozen II Cereal Party & Family Party

Belly up to an all-you-can-eat cereal buffet where bowls, spoons, and a big selection of cereal to crunch on throughout the film are provided and pajamas are highly encouraged at the Frozen II Cereal Party at Cedars, Denton, North Richland Hills, and Richardson. Enjoy activities, games, and fun family photos before seeing the film at the Frozen II Family Party at Lake Highlands.

BaD Radio Presents: Tropic Thunder

Join the boys of Sportsradio 1310AM/96.7FM The Ticket's BaD Radio for a special showing of TROPIC THUNDER! Get some and come watch the movie they think they’re making… that isn’t a movie anymore at the BaD Radio special showing of Tropic Thunder only at North Richland Hills.

Woodstock 50th Anniversary Documentary Screening

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival that promised "3 Days of Peace and Music” Drafthouse DFW showing Michael Wadleigh's (and his small army of cameraman and sound technicians) groundbreaking documentary. This three-plus hour historical document / concert doc / cultural artifact set the bar for all live music documentaries that came before it. Catch it only at Las Colinas



MONDAY | NOVEMBER 18

Cedars
Screening: Hanksgiving: Champagne Cinema: A League of Their Own at 7:00PM

Denton
Screening: The Jerk Quote-Along at 7:00PM
Screening: Deathtrap at 8:30PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Hanksgiving: Rotten Tomatoes Presents: The ‘Burbs at 6:30PM
Screening: Cream of the Cult: Blue Sunshine at 9:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Woodstock at 6:30PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Hanksgiving: Champagne Cinema: A League of Their Own at 6:30PM
Screening: The Last Waltz at 8:30PM



TUESDAY | NOVEMBER 19

Cedars
Screening: Terror Tuesday: Blood Rage at 9:25PM

Denton
Screening: Graveyard Shift: Sleepwalkers at 8:30PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Video Vortex: THE F13TH FAN Film Mixtape at 9:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Terror Tuesday: Street Trash at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Terror Tuesday: Blood Rage at 6:30PM
Screening: BaD Radio Presents: Tropic Thunder at 7:30PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM
Screening: Video Vortex: THE F13TH FAN Film Mixtape at 8:30PM

Richardson
Screening: Hopped Up Cinema: Road House with Martin House Brewing Company at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM



WEDNESDAY | NOVEMBER 20

Cedars
Screening: Hanksgiving: Rotten Tomatoes Presents: The ‘Burbs at 6:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Denton
Screening: A Face in the Crowd MUBI Free Victory Screening at 7:00PM
Screening: Murder on the Orient Express at 8:30PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Galaxy Quest Movie Party at 6:30PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Hanksgiving: Rotten Tomatoes Presents: The ‘Burbs at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Hanksgiving: Joe Versus the Volcano at 6:30PM
Screening: Death on the Nile at 8:30PM

Richardson
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



FRIDAY | NOVEMBER 22

Cedars
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Denton
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Richardson
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM
Screening: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM



SATURDAY | NOVEMBER 23

Cedars
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Denton
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Las Colinas
Screening: The Jerk Quote-Along at 7:00PM
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM

Richardson
Screening: Frozen II Cereal Party at 10:15AM
Screening: Advance Screening: Knives Out at 7:40PM



SUNDAY | NOVEMBER 24

Cedars
Screening: Frozen II Cereal Party at 9:50AM

Denton
Screening: Frozen II Cereal Party at 11:15AM
Screening:
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Frozen II Family Party at 11:15AM

Las Colinas
Screening: Flashback Brunch: Labyrinth at 11:00AM
Screening: T he Jerk Quote-Along at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Frozen II Cereal Party at 10:15AM



First Run Movies Now Playing...

Countdown
Doctor Sleep
Ford V Ferrari
Gemini Man
Harriet
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Last Christmas
Midway
Terminator: Dark Fate
The Addams Family (2019)
The Lighthouse
Zombieland: Double Tap

Premiering This Week…

21 Bridges
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Charlie’s Angels (2019)
Frozen II


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, November 17, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Nov 17 - Nov 23



Greetings all. Hope everyone is enjoying some warmer weather at last. And lots of movies to see this week. The big one is obviously Frozen 2. Passes are gone it seems before they are even posted to the group. So if you plan to beg from anyone, please make sure you respond off the list and directly to the person offering, if they do so offer. I didn't get any either.

I've heard through the grapevine that AMC's theaters are not going to allow folding chairs in line. We have told y'all that when you park your chairs and don't come back for hours then the theaters are bound to take control and not to our convenience. For us poor souls who can't get on the floor (or even getting up off the floor), it will certainly deter me and my boo from standing in line at that theater. So y'all been warned this was bound to happen. Happy now?

Nov 17 - Nov 23

Tue - Nov 19

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood - 7:00 pm - AMC Grapevine
Dark Waters - 7:00 pm - Angeika
Frozen 2 - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Frozen 2 - 7:00 pm - Cinemark 17

Wed - Nov 20

21 Bridges - 7:00 pm - Angelika
21 Bridges - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Knives Out - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Knives Out - 7:00 pm - AMC Grapevine

Thu - Nov 21

Queen & Slim - 7:30 pm - Angelika




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Friday, November 15, 2019

Charlie's Angels






When it was announced, a new film adaptation of “Charlie’s Angels” wasn’t a particularly welcome addition to the year’s cinematic releases. The original movie adaptation, directed by McG, was a lot of fun but any attempts at establishing a franchise died after the sequel. The franchise was left alone until a new TV show was attempted in 2011 which didn’t do so well and promptly disappeared into obscurity. To be perfectly honest, as much as I thought this new version was a bad idea, a viewing of the trailer for writer/director Elizabeth Bank’s take on the material changed my mind. This one looked like it too would be fun, a piece of escapist cinema in line with McG’s early 2000 movies. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. Banks has a lot to work with here including a fine cast and a good budget but the movie never completely comes together.



In this version, the Townsend Agency has been expanded into a global operation by a forward thinking Bosley (Patrick Stewart), enlisting multiple Angels and Bosleys in operations scattered throughout the world to keep up with their workload. Banks, who also stars as one of the many Bosleys, uses a series of badly photoshopped images to insert Stewart amongst the cast of the original TV show and the 2000s movies, showing how the agency has evolved over the years.



Angels Sabina (Kristen Stewart) and Jane (Ella Balinska) are tasked with accompanying a Bosley (Djimon Hounsou) to meet with a whistleblower, Elena (Naomi Scott). Elena has created a handheld gadget for her boss, Brok (Sam Claflin), that can power an entire office building and much more, but the kinks haven’t been worked out yet. One of Elena’s co-workers ended up in the hospital following a power surge from the gadget. But, despite her warnings, the company still wants to launch the product. As Elena begins to give her insider information to Bosley, they are attacked by an assassin (Jonathan Tucker). Banks’ Bosley comes to their aid, acting as the Angels handler following the attack. Now, Sabina and Jane have to keep Elena safe while trying to recover her creation and figure out how someone knew about their meeting.



This is not the fun, over-the-top action movie implied by the trailers. By this point in her career, Banks may have a handle on directing comedic and dramatic sequences, but she doesn’t yet have a handle on action sequences. Those presented here are dull, lifeless, and by-the-numbers. They get the job done, but they aren’t all that interesting to watch. Not exactly a positive note for an action movie. At least Banks has the good sense to make her action sequences visually stable. These scenes might lack the expected punchiness, but they are handled in a coherent manner, avoiding the choppy, chaotic mess a lot of modern action movies fall victim to.



The cast works well in their roles. There’s a nice rapport created between the three leads. Kristen Stewart especially shines here as the film’s slickly cool comic relief, though her characters’ spunk doesn’t help to liven up the picture. The jokes, more often than not, fall as flat as the action set pieces. Balinska’s Jane is ice to Sabina’s fire. There’s something of a friendly, non-competitive rivalry going on between the two throughout the movie. Like in the other iterations, these Angels are smart and smooth - fast and ingenious, fully capable of handling themselves in any situation.



Banks’ script tries too hard to confuse the viewer on the true identity of her film’s villain. If things seem too obviously laid out, it’s because they are. By the time all is revealed, you probably won’t care anymore if you ever did at all. Elaborate sequences are used to advance the story in small or non-existent increments. I often found myself wondering what the point of some scenes were after they were over. If this sparks a sequel or two, I suspect neither, hopefully the follow-ups will be better. “Charlie’s Angels” isn’t an outright terrible movie - it’s just bland.
(Review by Bret Oswald)






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Ford v Ferrari









(Review by Chase Lee)





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Better Days





Taking final exams in China seems to be a terrifying experience. Over 10 million young people endlessly study to pass the National College Entrance Exam or gaokao that will ultimately set your future as to the university you will be able to attend, and secure your career. On top of that stress young people are subjected to bullying by their peers. Director Derek Tsang’s film was recently pulled from distribution by the Chinese government with no explanation. The government relented in October and the film has been declared one of the best films of the year earning over $80 million dollars.

High school senior Chen Nian (Zhou Dongyu) is a loner whose only friend commits suicide by jumping from the balcony at school. While other students stare and take pictures, Nian covers her up with her jacket. Soon Nian becomes the object of bullying from other students. A group of mean girls ask her to join their study group as Nian is rated high in her class. When she refuses, she becomes their target. Nian's mother travels around trying to earn money. In fact many parents are usually absent from their children's lives as they are usually working somewhere else, or too busy to pay attention to what's going on. Students terrorize each other creating a situation where teachers and police have no good way to handle it. Nian tries to help Xiao Bei (Jackson Yee, singer and dancer from a wildly successful boy band in China TFboys), a drop out and low rent hood, who is getting badly beaten. To thank her he offers to protect her for payment. But she asks how can he protect her when he can't even protect himself. Nian does need protection as she had reported the mean girls earlier and got them suspended. The mean girls are set on revenge.

Despite Nian's passive nature, she is strongly aimed at passing her tests. It's the only way she can escape her life and save her mother who is being targeted for selling face masks that causes rashes. Bei also has been on his own since he's been 13 selling stolen phone parts to make a living. Bei follows behind Nian while she goes to school. But one day he is picked up for rape and spends the night at the police station. Unprotected Nian is brutally bullied. Her hair is cut off, her clothes torn from her body. Nian keeps Bei from going out to pay them back.

There is a sweet love story from these two unlikely teens. They watch out for each other and hope for better days when Nian is able to go to college in Bejing. They know its a long shot for them to go together, but they enjoy the dream. That is until one of the mean girls ends up dead. The police detective who has been handling Nian's bullying complaints think there is something going on between the two. He asks why she didn't report the bullying from before and realizing there wasn't much he could have done to have helped her.

The movie begins and ends with the seriousness of bullying in schools. It's an issue that seems to be wildly out of control in Chinese society. The message stresses how the government is taking steps to launch a policy to address bullying in primary and middle schools. Then there is the societal pressures of the national tests that students must take to succeed in their world that cause many children to commit suicide. The tests are so important that the mean girls may have been suspended from school, but they were still allowed to take the tests.
(Review by reesa)





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The Report







(Review by Chase Lee)




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Charlie's Angels







(Review by Chase Lee)





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The Report






Writer/director Scott Z. Burns returns to cinemas with the political thriller “The Report.” It’s a stronger film than his previous effort – the recently released “The Laundromat” (although Burns only wrote the screenplay for that one, Steven Soderbergh was the director). While “The Report” is, as a whole, stronger, it’s still not a wholly satisfying movie.



As the film opens, Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) is meeting with a lawyer, Cyrus Clifford (Corey Stoll). Jones has obviously done something that has had negative legal ramifications, leading to this meeting. The mood is grim as Jones begins to tell Clifford his story. It is revealed that Jones came to Washington D.C. as an idealistic young man, someone who wanted to make his contribution to the world by working in the background. He wound up employed by the Senate, a staffer working under Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening), who tasked him with investigating the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program that was created following 9/11.



The film bounces around in time as Jones works to uncover the facts about the CIA’s program. Burns gives the past a seedy, sickly yellowish tint, filming these segments that dig into the CIA’s secrets with a hand-held, home movie look. These choices highlight the grimy nature of the subject matter – the CIA’s inhumane treatment of their prisoners. Much of the footage is uncomfortable to watch, featuring government employees torturing their prisoners in hopes of finding answers although the techniques had already been proven ineffective well before these events took place in the early 2000s. Conversely, the “present-day” segments, meaning the scenes that focus on Jones as he and his team work on the report, have a more polished, cleaned up appearance. The framing is stable and images take on a more clinical, sterile look, mirroring the windowless office in which Jones and his teamwork.



Adam Driver plays the part well, showcasing a man who grows continually obsessed with his work as he uncovers more of the story. Unfortunately, Burns’ script doesn’t allow viewers any insight into Jones’ personal life. To us, he’s just a man obsessed with work. It’s stated that he lost a relationship while working on the project yet the partner is never shown. The other actors don’t fare as well. More often than not, the acting is poor as the cast overacts their parts. Burns might be a good writer but he doesn’t seem to have a handle on directing his performers yet.



One of the problems with this film is that it is covering so much detail that it feels like it is glossing over almost everything, condensing a 500-page summary of a nearly 7000-page report into a two-hour movie. We don’t need all the grim details but this probably would have worked better as a miniseries. Two hours barely gives Burns enough time to convey what’s happening over this 10 plus year period, let alone establishing any of the characters. Still, there’s enough here to hold the audiences’ attention. Burns keeps the story compelling enough to maintain his grip on the viewer. It just never totally clicks into place. This one is being distributed by Amazon. Soon, it will be on Prime for streaming. I suggest waiting to watch it then.
(Review by Bret Oswald)





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Ford v Ferrari





Director: James Mangold Studio: 20th Century Fox



Ford v Ferrari kicks into the high gear!

Auto racing films can be tricky task when film directors needed much commitment on crafting racing films that takes people out for a drive out in the open field to practice and to testify every track and ability to get though tougher times and reaching their goal to the finish line. As much as the brand recognition of two rivalry automotive companies, Ford and Ferrari, will probably get their racing fans’ butts into the theater seats, it isn’t just about racing but it’s all about love and friendship when it comes to racing ambition to save and improve the company. James Mangold, known for helming 2017’s Logan, calls the front seat of the car as the director of the film.

Ford v Ferrari is focused almost exclusively on the exploits of automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), enlisted by the Ford Motor Company to build and drive a car in order to beat Ferrari in the ultimate enduring race of the seasons. Though, the biggest problem for both characters is the ambition of winning is just got wacky and they both realized what their main singular goal is and how that can define them.

Matt Damon not only plays the as the protagonist but also a supportive character to Christian Bale’s Ken Miles character as Damon’s character really put the pace and effort on showing and demonstrating the Miles character on how the race car turns out as the test driver in hopes of winning of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France with countless of incremental improvement over the race car. Their chemistry between Damon and Bale really set the boundaries on putting their team to craft and develop a prestigious Ford GT40, a new racing car that will have a higher chance of beating Ferrari out in the racing competition.

On the other side of the film, actor Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) is present as Vice-President of Ford Motor Company who sides with Damon and Tracy Letts who portrayed as Henry Ford II, the CEO of Ford, in this film. There are other characters that are involved in the film: Remo Girone as Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Italian automobile racing team Scuderia Ferrari, Ray McKinnon as Phil Remington, actress Caitriona Balfe as Mile’s wife, and Noah Jupe as Mile’s son. The film also includes Josh Lucas as one of Ford executives with a secretive source of antagonism that will outpour the duo’s victory of winning and beating Ferrari out.

The duo’s chances of winning and beating Ferrari becomes the main climax of the film as Shelby and Miles took much time and commitment on building the best, most fastest car ever, with Miles doing more test drives into place with lots of changes and improvements over the car with Josh Lucas’s Beebe character threaten to discourage Miles put his glory, self-ambition, and self-aggrandize out of place. Perhaps, it is the most difficult task to test the ability with humorous laughs, shocking twists, and lack of redundant feels that can easily make the audience tinkle their legs and feet. Though, the story is a bit too drawn out for the purposes of historical accuracy between this film and real life racing shows in France being televised in America. Director James Mangold is just having fun filming the racing scenes and be curious on the racing histories and on the cast and crew during the racing games.

Over the top, Ford v Ferrari is a great movie, it has all the car parts anyone would ever need to make this movie as great as any auto racing films, It’s an well-oiled machine for both families and race car fans out there that will rock your seats front and back. The direction and script-writings are just as charming and with Bale and Damon putting their character developments as supportive duos into action. Just to let the readers that this movie is really long within two and the half hours from vehicle manufacturing to auto-racing extravaganza. You will love this to see who crosses the finish line first.



GRADE: A-
(Review by Henry Pham)


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Monday, November 11, 2019

This Week at Alamo Drafthouse DFW (11/11 - 11/17)




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

This week is all about getting your wings and partying it up at the Alamo Drafthouse. Enjoy a draft beer and some sci-fi with the Hopped Up Cinema: The Fifth Element screening with Hop & Sting. Get ready to party with two movie parties for Galaxy Quest and This Is Spinal Tap. For a full calendar listing, please visit drafthouse.com/dfw/calendar.

See y’all soon at the Alamo Drafthouse!



This Week's Highlights…

Hopped Up Cinema: The Fifth Element with Hop & Sting

Each month the Drafthouse DFW combines cinema with suds for Hopped Up Cinema - a collaboration between Alamo Drafthouse and one of their favorite local breweries featuring a selection of beers curated specifically for this series! Every guest will receive a flight of five favorites along with a commemorative pint glass from the brewery. Come out and watch the classic Bruce Willis/Gary Oldman film The Fifth Element at Denton.

Galaxy Quest & This Is Spinal Tap Movie Parties
Get your party on with movie parties for your favorite films. Join Alamo DFW for two exciting movie parties this week. Get out of this work with the classic sci-fi film Galaxy Quest starring Bruce Willis and Gary Oldman and revisit the original rockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap this week at Denton, Las Colinas, and North Richland Hills.



MONDAY | NOVEMBER 11

Cedars
Screening: Anime-Zing: Mind Game (Subtitled) at 6:30PM

Denton
Screening: Hanksgiving: Saving Private Ryan at 6:15PM
Screening: Hanksgiving: Champagne Cinema: A League of Their Own at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Hanksgiving: Champagne Cinema: A League of Their Own at 6:30PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Hanksgiving: Saving Private Ryan at 6:00PM
Screening: This Is Spinal Tap Movie Party at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Hanksgiving: Saving Private Ryan at 6:00PM
Screening: This Is Spinal Tap Movie Party at 7:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Hanksgiving: Saving Private Ryan at 6:15PM
Screening: The Last Waltz at 8:30PM



TUESDAY | NOVEMBER 12

Cedars
Screening: Terror Tuesday: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors at 7:00PM

Denton
Screening: Hopped Up Cinema: THE FIFTH ELEMENT with Hop & Sting at 6:15PM
Screening: Video Vortex: THE F13TH FAN Film Mixtape at 9:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Hanksgiving: Apollo 13 at 6:30PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Terror Tuesday: Night of the Comet at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Anime-Zing: Mind Game (Subtitled) at 6:00PM
Screening: Terror Tuesday: Night of the Comet at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Air Time Presents: Diner at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM
Screening: Video Vortex: THE F13TH FAN Film Mixtape at 8:30PM



WEDNESDAY | NOVEMBER 13

Cedars
Screening: Hanksgiving: Joe Versus the Volcano at 6:30PM
Screening: Stop Making Sense Movie Party at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Anime-Zing: Mind Game (Subtitled) at 6:30PM
Screening: The Last Waltz at 8:35PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Hanksgiving: Joe Versus the Volcano at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Hanksgiving: Apollo 13 at 6:30PM
Screening: Charlie’s Angels (2019) Advance Screening at 7:00PM
Screening: Murder on the Orient Express at 8:30PM

Richardson
Screening: Hanksgiving: Apollo 13 at 6:30PM
Screening: The Jerk Quote-Along at 7:30PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



THURSDAY | NOVEMBER 14

Lake Highlands
Screening: Dark Waters with Livestream Q&A at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Deathtrap at 7:00PM



FRIDAY | NOVEMBER 15

Richardson
Screening: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM



SATURDAY | NOVEMBER 16
Denton
Screening: PBS KIDS at the Alamo: Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum at 10:00AM
Screening: The Last Waltz at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: PBS KIDS at the Alamo: Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum at 10:00AM

Las Colinas
Screening: Galaxy Quest Movie Party at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: PBS KIDS at the Alamo: Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum at 10:00AM



SUNDAY | NOVEMBER 17

Cedars
Screening: A Face in the Crowd MUBI Free Victory Screening at 6:00PM

Denton
Screening: Flashback Brunch: Hook at 11:00AM
Screening: Galaxy Quest Movie Party at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Stop Making Sense Movie Party at 6:30PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Flashback Brunch: Flash Gordon at 11:00AM
Screening: Anime-Zing: Mind Game (Subtitled) at 7:00PM

North Richland Hills
Screening: Flashback Brunch: Labyrinth at 11:00AM
Screening: Galaxy Quest Movie Party at 6:30PM



First Run Movies Now Playing...
Countdown
Doctor Sleep
Gemini Man
Harriet
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Last Christmas
Midway
Terminator: Dark Fate
The Addams Family (2019)
The Lighthouse
Zombieland: Double Tap

Premiering This Week…

Ford V Ferrari

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Nov 10 - Nov 16



A big thank you for all the Veterans out there, plus the firemen, police and first responders. We appreciate your selfless service.

Lots of choices this week. Which ones are you seeing?


Nov 10 - Nov 16

Mon - Nov 11

Veterans Day

Tue - Nov 12

The Good Liar - 7:00 pm - Angelika
EarthX The River and the Wall - 7:00 pm - Texas Theater
Charlie's Angels - 7:30 pm - Alamo Lake Highlands

Wed - Nov 13

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood - 7:30 pm - Alamo Richardson
Charlie's Angels - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
The Report - 7:30 pm - Angelika

Thu - Nov 14

Honey Boy - 7:30 pm - Angelika

Fri - Nov 15

Waves - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark







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Friday, November 8, 2019

Last Christmas









(Review by Chase Lee)




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Midway






At first glance, one would think Roland Emmerich the director of “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow” was changing his mind about helming big budget disaster movies, but with “Midway” he executes a decent film that actually captivates in certain spots.

I was actually surprised by the immersive quality that went into this production, since one feels like they are on the bombing mission when a character bombs his target.

Going back through his resume, Emmerich has tried at times to divert from his resume, 2008’s “Anonymous” was his attempt to shift gears and do something off the beaten path that just blew up in his face. So readers know, I gave it a C when I originally reviewed it.

With his new release of “Midway,” Emmerich tries to weave as much as he can with his tableau to make audiences grasp the levity of anything and everything that happened here. He even manages to squeeze in a mini nod to Pearl Harbor, by just using that as a mere segue into what happens here.

Patrick Wilson is Edwin Layton, who thinks outside the box and plans ahead for what operations the army is involved with. Woody Harrelson is Admiral Chester Nimitz a tough-as-nails soldier who values other people’s opinions when it is warranted.

Another major part of the story is Ed Skrein’s Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Best, a rugged fighter pilot who knows the ins and outs of everything involved with his plane, as well as his desire to return home to his family with Mandy Moore’s Annie Best.

What Emmerich has done with this film is that it is engaging as well as memorable. He never lets the film slip into a period of doldrums or sheer boredom. He keeps the pacing smooth and steadfast and never overdramatizes the events that unfold.

This one actually improves on what director Jack Smight did with the 1976 incarnation of the famed battle. Fast forward from that time to advancements in modern day technology, Emmerich has crafted a tale with a movie dynamic that is more fluid and faster paced and more altogether riveting.

Also worthy of mention in “Midway” is the always cool and reliable Dennis Quaid as William “Bull” Halsey. His screen time, however is limited to just about two or three scenes. Also commendable is Aaron Eckhart as Jimmy Dolittle and he suffers the same fate as Quaid in that his presence is not required for the whole film.

Also nifty was Luke Evans as soldier Wade McClusky, since he is usually in other big budget adaptations such as Paul W.S. Anderson’s retelling of “The Three Musketeers” (2011) as well as the little seen “Dracula Untold” in 2014. With his American accent as Wade is spot on, since most Americans don’t really know about his British background.

“Midway” is not a great war movie, but it at least takes advantage of making this big screen ensemble worthwhile for a theatre experience.

Grade: B

(Review by Ricky Miller)




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Cyrano, My Love






“Cyrano, My Love,” an adaptation of writer/director Alexis Michalik’s stage play, “Edmond,” gives viewers a fictionalized look at the creation of a hit – Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Perhaps not so well known now, though Cyrano’s large bulbous nose might strike a few bells, “Cyrano de Bergerac” is considered by many to be the greatest success story of French theater.



Rostand (Thomas Solivérès) is an out-of-work playwright, his only produced play is shown to be a massive flop in the film’s opening scenes. Loaded down with debt and various other responsibilities that come with adulthood, Rostand’s future isn’t looking too bright. When opportunity finally comes knocking, Rostand jumps at the chance – the only problem is that the promised play hasn’t been written yet and the premiere date is only a few weeks away.



Michalik’s choice of Solivérès as the lead was one factor that kept taking me out of the movie. Rostand is nearly thirty when this film takes place; while Solivérès is nearly thirty himself, he looks closer to twenty. As if to mask his youthful demeanor, the makeup department throws a goofy looking mustache on Solivérès. It’s not convincing. Solivérès gives the role his best, but he looks too young for the part.



It doesn’t help that Michalik takes a generic approach to the material. “Cyrano, My Love” hits all the familiar beats for this type of story. In other words, expect the expected. Rostand is confronted by pushy backers, prideful (and equally pushy) actors, and a series of sudden strokes of genius and a handful of setbacks, all of which are conveniently timed. There’s no sense of urgency to the movie because you know everything is going to work out fine.



Despite these problematic elements, Michalik’s movie manages to work. It’s engaging and frequently humorous. Viewers might know exactly where this story is going but this movie is far from dull. The supporting cast is made up of oddballs - from famed actor Constant Coquelin (Olivier Gourmet), whose search for a new project leads to the play’s creation, to the show’s brothel owning backers, Simon Abkarian and Marc Andréoni. These supporting roles help to give the film an energetic flourish that keeps it from feeling stale.



Michalik finds a good rhythm for his movie. The film has a brisk pace that flows smoothly along from beginning to end. There are no moments where the movie feels “slow.” Scenes aren’t unnecessarily stretched out and there are no awkwardly included subplots. The subplots that are included work into the writing of the play – most notably one that involves Rostand writing letters to woo his friend Volny’s (Tom Leeb) love interest Jeanne (Lucie Boujenah), who has become his muse. Although it’s a generic work overall, Michalik handles the material fairly well. It’s nicely shot and the production design is well done. “Cyrano, My Love” is by no means a great movie, but it is an entertaining one.
(Review by Bret Oswald)






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