Dallas Movie Screening
Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com
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Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com
Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com
Website and Group Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 27, 2020
Director: George Nolfi Studio: Apple
MOVIE REVIEW: The Banker
The Banker is an interesting, but fitting title for the story and the characters’ roles as African American bankers. The film is based on the true story of Bernard Garrett, a banker hailing in the 1950s or 1960s. Director George Nolfi steps into his game to helm this historical film with Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson co-starring with each other as the first African American bankers in the film.
Supposedly, the film was meant to be released somewhere in late 2019, but for some strange reason, was pushed back to sometime in the spring, before shifting its decision to release on Apple TV Plus due to the allegations of sexual harassment from the Beonard Garrett Jr., the co-producer of the film and the son of the real Beonard Garrett. Therefore, he was removed from the film’s project and was uncredited.
Here in the film, we have Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) who are two African American entrepreneurs living in the 1950s. Their main goal is to pursue an American dream by becoming what they want to be by becoming a janitor and chauffeur. They both become successful, though the main conflict is they have been threatened by the attention of the federal government.
While the film serves as a bio-topic for both civil rights and the racial discrimination, director Geroge Nolfi has a done a outstanding job of keeping the pace of the characters, the actors, and the historical setting to maintain its accuracy for that period. He even uses his American history knowledge and the intellect of the American economy to understand what the film explains perfectly when it involves racism and economical struggles. Even when the director overworks with the film, his time and money is well spent on the costumes, which really add bonus points to the film.
The main piece of the film that is highly enjoyable to see is the chemistry between Anthony Mackie’s character Bernard and Samuel L. Jackson’s character as Joe. Their relationship increases more character development, more accuracy, and more structural integrity to the film as this adds much depth for the film’s flavor. Not to mention that they both appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, starring with Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson.
Also appearing are Nia Long as Bernard’s wife, Eunice; and Nicholas Hoult, which both of them are just as perfect and easy to watch for anyone looking for fresh streaming content.
Overall, The Banker is a good movie, if not enjoyable. I enjoyed every aspect of the film the director has done so far. Feels like it’s a good film for both social studies students and history-major students and teachers. Mackie and Jackson both nailed it together on their respective roles (NOTE: I also met Anthony Mackie in person in the summer of 2019). And that’s all there is to it, I can't complain much, it’s just that it’s a good film to watch while you’re at home or studying history during class or anything that has something to do with race or economical issues. The Banker is worth investing your time.
(Review by Henry Pham)
Friday, March 20, 2020
Director: David Silverman Studio: 20th Century Studios
SHORT FILM REVIEW: The Simpsons’ Playdate with Destiny follows Pixar’s tradition.
Is that time of year, Disney welcomes The Simpsons into the House of Mouse.
The company is taking a new step on releasing a short film in front of a Disney/Pixar feature film from 20th Century Fox (now called 20th Century Studios) since Disney oversaw the acquisition of Fox in March 2019. Fame animated-television director David Silverman (The Simpsons Movie) returns to The Simpsons world to helm this new, dialogue-free, beloved short film, Playdate with Destiny, featuring Maggie Simpson as the lead character with the new Simpson character coming on board.
After the acquisition of Fox in March 2019, almost a year later in late February 2020, Disney announced that a new Simpsons short will be in front of Pixar’s next original film Onward, featuring the stars of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt.
Here in the short film, Maggie befriends and becomes smitten with the new baby boy named Hudson at the children’s park. However, the main problem is when Maggie goes home, all she can do is emotionally think about Hudson and wishes to see him again at the park.
While the short is completely silent (compared to the Pixar shorts), the few things that are highly interesting to watch are the hardworking Hans Zimmer-style music produced by Bleeding Fingers Music with much nervousness and less-suspenseful on the tone and the beats per measure, and the strong focus on Maggie Simpson providing a unique, observable character development with a few laughs and tears along the way. Even though the storyline went through much lighter weight than an ordinary Simpsons’ episode, the short really adds a nice touching moment between Maggie and Hudson, giving a proper feel as if the audience is watching a romantic film for that Casablanca-matter for both kids and adults, especially on that nice, soft ending that satisfies both audiences and the the short’s overall performance under the presence from the director.
With that being said, Playdate with Destiny is a wonderful five-to-six minute short film like the previous Simpsons short The Longest Daycare, which was released in 2012 in front of Ice Age: Continental Drift. I love this short just as much as I love Disney and Pixar shorts. The director really did a bang-up job on this short that made it seem more interesting to watch with the Maggie character providing a comedic-yet-dramatic performance on every scene and every setting. Just let the audience know that this short is screened in front of Disney-Pixar’s Onward, so if you get a chance to see this film in theaters, you’ll also get to see Playdate with Destiny short as an appetizer and for more amusement before you get to watch the main feature film.
(Review by Henry Pham)
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Welcome to the Ides of March, y'all. Nothing like starting out the week with a public health emergency. Are y'all staying home and out of trouble? Are you washing your hands? Avoiding crowds. Got enuff toilet paper? (Why are people hoarding TP?)
Don't know if they will be canceling screenings this week outside of A Quiet Place Part 2. Theaters are working to make their spaces hygienic and keeping patrons away from each other. Just keep safe.
If anyone hears of a screening being canceled, please share with the group.
Mar 15 - Mar 21
Mon - Mar 16
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - 7:30 pm - Angelika
Tue - Mar 17
Blow the Man Down - 7:00 pm - Alamo Lake Highlands
Thu - Mar 19
The Banker - 7:30 pm - Studio Movie Grill NWY
Thursday, March 12, 2020
“Bloodshot,” directed by Dave Wilson, is a by-the-numbers action movie that manages to be moderately entertaining in spite of itself. Vin Diesel plays marine Ray Garrison who, along with his wife (Talulah Riley), is kidnapped and murdered while on vacation. The killer (Toby Kebbell) and his cronies take Ray and his wife to a meat locker in an attempt to torture some information out of Ray. In a cheeky sequence, he dances his way to Ray before starting his interrogation. Yes, the scene is as cliched as it sounds.
For Ray, death is not the end. A group of scientists, led by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), enhance his body with nanotechnology, turning Ray into an indestructible super-soldier. Whenever he is injured the nanobots in his body instantly heal him. This ability is first demonstrated by Dr. Harting cutting Ray’s hand open; tiny machines, created with the help of some cheap-looking CGI, emerge from the gash and quickly repair the wound. At first, Ray remembers nothing, but soon his memories come flooding back, instigating an escape from the facility and a search for his wife's killer.
Wilson takes things slow, allowing the viewer to get acquainted with Ray’s new world before getting to the main storyline. It’s too bad that this build-up phase has been spoiled by the film’s marketing. "Bloodshot" is another movie that’s had too much of the plot revealed by its marketing. Most viewers will already know what’s to come, for those who have someone managed to avoid the trailer I won’t say what that is. Thankfully, the movie doesn't focus as heavily on this aspect as the trailer suggests.
The movie is on the clunky side. Wilson handles the action sequences in a sloppy manner. Shots are hectically edited together, creating set pieces that can come across as incoherent at times. There are several slow-motion shots thrown into the mix so the filmmakers can show off the effect of Ray’s body healing itself, again with the help of some not-too-convincing CGI. Even the movie’s score does little to aid the action. It creates a droning effect, a constant barrage of noise that doesn’t establish any tension for the story.
Despite all this, “Bloodshot” still manages to be somewhat enjoyable. There are some well-timed jokes included from the supporting cast, as well as some lame ones that don’t work. Wilson paces his movie well enough to keep it from becoming too dull though the film starts to wear thin by its chaotic finale. Thankfully, by the time it gets to this point, it’s easy to tell that it’s close to being finished.
Obviously, the filmmakers hope to start a new franchise with this movie. I don’t think it’s strong enough to warrant any expansion. It’s fine as a stand-alone work but I don’t see audiences clamoring for more of this in years to come.
(Review by Bret Oswald)
Director: Craig Zobel Studio: Universal Pictures.
“The Hunt” goes on!
Usually, horror films and thriller films can be quite scary and much too tolerant for adult audiences. But for “The Hunt,” it’s actually a sports film with much suspense and satire added to it. The film is loosely based on the story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell. Craig Zobel steps into the game as the director of the film while Jason Blum serves as the producer. The film features Betty Gilpin as the leading role while the cast of supporting actors consist of Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Wayne Duvall, Justin Hartley, Glenn Howerton, Amy Madigan, and Reed Birney.
The film was scheduled to release in September 2019, but it was cancelled by Universal Pictures due to the mass shootings in El Paso, TX. It was then rescheduled for theatrical release in March 2020.
“The Hunt” focuses on a female hunted victim named Crystal, whose nickname is “Snowball,” becomes one of the twelve hunted people who have been kidnapped to serve as the prey for the rich-thrill-seeking hunters. Stranded and not knowing where she is, she puts her strength to the test by tracking down every hunter in many areas to find out who is responsible for creating an illegal hunting game and putting their lives in danger.
Here in the film, actress Betty Gilpin (Netflix’s GLOW) plays a meatier protagonist as Crystal/Snowball, who hunts and fights back the hunters who are obsessed with kidnapping the strangers and taking them to the hunting grounds where they are forced to become the hunters’ preys. Gilpin’s performance leaves a fun trail for the character's personalities and the hard work the director wanted the most throughout the film.
Hilary Swank portrays a hidden, main antagonist as Athena living in the rich, luxury manor who is responsible for kidnapping the strangers and making them become her and her henchmen’s hunting targets. Swank’s performance as Athena seems worthy to watch, expressing the character traits of a rich-vs-poor people conflict.
Though the film is a bit off when crafting a storytelling idea on “The Hunt,” it’s a fun, yet despicable movie to digest when coming into the theater to see the action, the drama, and the suspense flying all over the theater and to people’s minds. Not only that, but there’s a tongue-in-cheek twist to it when it involves life-or-death choices and much graphical violence being given towards the characters. The action sequences and the painstaking music from Nathan Barr gives a political resemblance from the “The Hunger Games” films due to themes and the trauma for rich-people-watching-poor-people-die entertainment, 2019’s Ready or Not, The Great Gatsby, and other films that involve hunting and shooting people and the characters’ force to choose either life or death, which are the main influences and the basic components for the film’s dynamics and the structure integrity for the plot line. Even more included in the film is being a social satire to politics and Donald Trump.
And what positive things about this film that is enjoyable are the comedy, which is somewhat humorous, Gilpin providing a strong character development, and the fight sequences at the end between Gilpin’s and Swank’s character. What’s more fascinating is that the film gives a theme and the tone of Pam Grier’s Blaxploitation films about revenge, dated back in the 1960s and 1970s.
“The Hunt” is an average 90-minute film. I didn’t like it a lot due to much violence and the exposures being splattered. Though, I would never say it's a bad film entirely, it’s just how much the director and producers overdid the film by adding too much stuff in there. It’s like putting too many eggs in the basket in order for the film to become a critical and commercial success, only to be backfired for the filmmakers and the studio. I wasn’t sure whether this film falls into the style of any great horror films like Jordan Peele’s films or the worst ones like Mark Hamill’s Child Play, which was released last year. It would be a difficult choice and a hard pass for moviegoers out there.
(Review by Henry Pham)
This Jane Austen tale has been done before, but somehow filmmakers have an idea of how to put a new spin on it making it more accessible for the masses.
This new version features Anya Tyler Joy of both the little seen “The Witch” from 2016. She then supported in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” from 2016. She also appeared in “Glass” from last year. With this, Shyamalan was able to complete his trilogy he started a decade ago with “Unbreakable” in 2000.
Now with this “Emma.,” this Austen led tale finds Tyler Joy’s Emma Woodhouse finding romance for people other than herself. Besides herself, she looks after dear old dad, Mr. Woodhouse (Bill Nighy).
I would like to go back to director Douglas McGrath’s re-telling of “Emma” in 1996. McGrath did a great job of telling it for the time. Gwyneth Paltrow was great in the title role, since I think I even had it on my ten best list for that particular year.
Directing chores for the new installment of “Emmma.,” were handled by Autumn de Wilde. After helming a variety of short films, this marks his first full-on foray into features.
He has an aptitude for turning this into a noteworthy entry that delivers in every single department.
He knows when and where to place the camera set-ups for his engaging and pleasantly done tale. Tyler Joy has a firm grasp on the dialogue with a firm grasp on how everything works.
What is nice to see is the lack and absence of song and dance numbers and routines. I only bring this up since thankfully they have not gone back in time with the forced song and dance numbers to pad the running time.
This version of “Emma.” is just a plain old sweet romantic tale that has its own heart and ability to capture an 1800’s set romantic tale that has just the right degree of charm and apropos re-telling of romance and the like.
(Review by Ricky Miller)
Sunday, March 8, 2020
So, how has the movie lines been lately? Sorry I haven't been able to join y'all. Hopefully this week (crosses finger).
The SXSW in Austin has been canceled this month. Wondering if the DIFF will be doing this too. How has the current COVID-19 crisis been affecting the movie lines? Are you hesitant about going to the mall and theaters? Just wondering.
Mar 8 - Mar 14
Tue - Mar 10
I Still Believe - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
I Still Believe - 7:00 pm - Studio Movie Grill Northwest HWY
Bloodshot - 7:30 pm - AMC Northpark
Wed - Mar 11
My Spy - 7:00 pm - Angelika
Thu - Mar 12
The Good Liar - 6:30 pm - Cinemark 17
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Review: Red Dog
The film is part of the film festival called Best of Fests being showcased in Dallas, TX, sponsored by EarthX and it’s division, EarthX film. The title of the film doesn’t have to be associated with films that feature dogs in the movie or any kinds of buddy films that feature a doggy adventure. Director and musician Luke Dick will discuss how he grew up from childhood to being a musician by sharing his experiences with life at the bar, strip club, and at home with families. about his childhood in the strip club. Here in the film, it’s all about the family issues and the saloon called Red Dog where several of the families explain about their life situations dealing with alcohol, family struggles, and the times at the bar.
This documentary feature focuses on Luke Dick’s life as a toddler growing up from the family of strippers, bouncers, criminals, and outcasts. He now has kids of his own. As he began asking questions to his mother about his childhood, his mother explains about the struggles and the darkness being spawn all around the family as Luke grew up and so does his other family members and friends.
As the feature goes by time to time, Luke demonstrates the behavior of how he and his family members have overcome the struggles after their time working at the bar as strippers, bouncers, and bartenders. Luke and the director Casey really put more filming angles to it when it involves finding a good bar to shoot and to explore as methods of discovering something that is old-fashioned. Additionally, the direction and the setting are well put together to remember the life in the 1960s where alcohol and drugs were the big impact but most disturbing towards families and children who were born or grew up in the 1960s decade. Other than that, the directors know what they wanted to do in order to dive deeper drifts on Luke's family.
Speaking of that, Luke’s family really carried much dynamics as they represent the struggles of life and battling addiction. These two really define what life working at the bar or saloon can do for the family and one’s future. Not to mention the strong language being used to add much drama and comedy in the background. Despite being a documentary film, language adds much more to the lazy-script writing as one’s life’s own advantages.
As a final aside, Red Dog is a wonderful documentary, Luke and his team have worked such a beautiful work when it comes to rough childhoods and adulthoods. Who knew that something can be small and abandoned can leave a tiny piece of imagination. Luke, his family, and the crew who worked on this film really did a great job on contributing to this project on a number of levels, despite the small budget for an indie film. It definitely deserves more attention than any other documentary films that have been shown widely in front of the public. My feeling is go and see this movie whenever you like.
(Review by Henry Pham)
Let’s Go! Onward to Pixar’s Onward!
After a plethora of Pixar sequels, the studio is going to step away from crafting sequels for a while, but fear not, Pixar has a lot of good ideas to offer for this year and so on. Director Dan Scanlon, who helmed Monsters University, returns to his directing duties to craft the studio’s original film Onward, featuring the two Avengers co-stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as lead roles while actresses Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer have received supporting roles in this feature.
Onward focuses on two elf brothers living in the fantastical world where mythical creatures hold magic before becoming civilized. The brothers Ian and Barley (both voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt respectively) later set on a quest to spend a day with their father by using the remaining pieces of magic to bring back their dad fully before the time runs out.
The story is inspired by Scanlon's relationship with his father who died when Scanlon was a very young child. The relationship between a father and a son plays the key role of the film and serves as part of the film’s dynamics. Given the fact that it is supposed to be kids’ movie, Onward is actually a combination between Dungeons and Dragons games and the The Lord of the Rings trilogy that fits the genre for a fantasy film. The film captures the enduring power, notion, and a strong, deeper tone that writers Scanlon, Jason Headley, and Keith Bunin needed to put in order for the film to produce more emotional support for the film’s plot line, the characters, and the climax in this story. Even setting the astonishing remedy from the colorful CGI boosters. Not to mention with the laughs, there are some unexpected turn of events, physical buttcracks, and the unfair burdens for both elf brothers’ character. Not to mention the hardwork in those orchestral pieces coming from composers Mychael and Jeff Danna whom they previously worked on Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, which became a box-office failure.
MCU actors Tom Holland and Chris Pratt really nailed it on their perspective roles as the elf brothers. Holland really provided much depth and earnestness on his Ian character while Pratt is dropping the ball on his Barley character with much energy and comedy to it. Other than that, these two actors know what to do as they have the palm of their hands since they both worked together before and having the time of their lives as buddies.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who voiced Princess Atta in Pixar’s second film A Bug’s Life, appears as the mother of the two elf brothers while Octavia Spencer appears as the owner of the TGI Friday’s-esque restaurant who helps the brothers on the way. Actors Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, and Ali Wong also appeared as Officer Colt, a cyclop cop, and a satyr cop respectively.
While the film is enjoyable, the three things that are missing from this feature are lacking any other creatures (including gnomes) shown onscreen based from the trailer, the trash-eating unicorns getting less screen time, and lastly, there isn't much variety compared to the Dungeons and Dragons as Onward is actually (and considerably) a road-trip movie, rather than a board-game movie with magical elements burst out onscreen, like Robin Williams’ Jumanji for example.
With the magic being used and the purpose being fulfilled, Onward is a very good movie, recalling from Beauty and the Beast tagline “tale as old as time.” It takes much hardwork, effort, and dedication for the director and the writers to work on this beautiful piece of artwork. Holland and Pratt really fit the bill together. And that’s it, I can’t give too much away from the film. But I’ll admit, Onward may reach its level from other Pixar films, though I'm hoping that this film is going to be a huge success at the box office. But more than that, I have high hopes that the studio will be making more original films like this one. Speaking of that, we have another Pixar original film, Soul, coming up this year. As a die-hard Pixar fan, Onward is worth the watch for both adults and children. You will love it, trust me!
Don’t forget, there’s The Simpsons short film called Playdate with Destiny, featuring Maggie Simpson, will be played in front of Onward.
(Review by Henry Pham)
Monday, March 2, 2020
TO TEACHERS DURING MARCH WITH
FREE $10 SNACK PASS
March is Teacher Appreciation Month at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and participating locations across the country - including all six North Texas locations - are offering educators, professors, and school staff members a free $10 Snack Pass with their ticket purchase at the box office. Good for $10 off their food and (non-alcoholic) beverage purchases, teachers can acquire up to one
Snack Pass per day with a valid form of ID.
Educators and school staff members will be asked to provide the box office with a current ID from their place of employment – preschool, elementary, high schools, or university. Homeschooling parents may bring along documentation that shows that they're a teacher to claim their Snack Pass.
Snack Passes are offered Sunday, March 1, 2020 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at all six North Texas locations including Alamo Drafthouse Cedars and Alamo Drafthouse Lake Highlands in Dallas, Alamo Drafthouse Richardson in Richardson, Alamo Drafthouse Las Colinas in Irving, Alamo Drafthouse North Richland Hills in North Richland Hills, and Alamo Drafthouse Denton in Denton. The offer is only valid with ticket purchases at the box office – online and kiosk purchases do not qualify.
Alamo Drafthouse DFW social media:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | www.drafthouse.com
About Alamo Drafthouse
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX. Twenty-three years later, with 41 locations and counting, Alamo Drafthouse has been called "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired. Alamo Drafthouse has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world-renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. Alamo Drafthouse continues to expand its brand in new and exciting ways, including Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform for movie lovers, and the American Genre Film Archive, a nonprofit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing film.
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Welcome to March. No lions, but some nice weather thank you very much. And we have some movies to choose from this week.
Still wondering how the situation is with having to stand for hours at Northpark. Are the other theaters requiring the same restrictions on sitting while waiting in line? My car is still iffy, but want to be ready just in case we get a chance to go to screenings again.
Then there's the Coronovirus thing, wondering how it will impact our movie experience. Stuff to think about.
It's that time to start volunteering for film festivals again. EarthX and DIFF will be recruiting you movie lovers to help out.
March 1 - March 7
Mon - Mar 2
Hope Gap - 6:00 pm - Cinemark Northeast Hurst
Tue - Mar 3
Onward - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
On the Line - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
The Way Back - 7:30 pm - Angelika
Wed - Mar 4
Miss Virginia - 6:30 pm - Inwood
I Still Believe - 7:00 pm - Grapevine Tinseltown
The Way Back - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17