The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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

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

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

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Monday, June 29, 2020

Invisible Man




This one is a nifty entry into the saga, not even recognizing H.G. Wells into the source material at all. One of the co-creators of the original “Saw” franchise, writer Leigh Whannell the source material here, with the 2019 all-new version of “The Invisible Man.”

The star here us Elisabeth Moss, who viewers might recognize from her role on television’s “Mad Men,” which ran o cable in the early 2000s, 2007-2015 to be exact. A couple of years back she was part of the female led ensemble that was “The Kitchen” (2019).”

She also had a small yet memorable role in director Jordan Peele’s “Us” from 2019. Currently, Moss is starring on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is currently in its fourth season.

Going back to Whannell’s “The Inivisible Man,” she plays Cecilia Kass, who leaves an abusive ex-boyfriend, Adrien Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen.) This tale contains some very intriguing pretzel plot twists, something atypical of a genre picture of this type. Usually viewers are forced to endure some piece of hokum and derivative mess.

She has a younger sister she confides in, one who know of her ex and the baggage that came with the over demanding lout.

“The Invisible Man” delivers in every single department because there is not an overabundance of “boo” scares or “bagul jumps. It is a finely crafted and nuanced storytelling technique, one that realizes not everyone is a dolt or an idiot. ” This movie, for all intents and purposes is just a well orchestrated tale of deception filled with some genuine scares and terms of suspense.

Also commendable is Aldis Hodge as James Lanier, a family friend of Kass, who shares a close relationship with Cecilia. He also has a daughter named Sydney (Storm Reid, “A Wrinkle in Time” 2018).

She gets along well with Cecilia, thus ensuring their strong bond and connection with one another.

Also woven into the story is a subplot involving Tom Griffin, the younger brother of the now deceased Adrien Griffin.

“The Invisible Man” is worth a definite look, since it takes some older themes and placates twists them for just the right sweep of modern technology.

Grade: B+
(Review by Ricky Miller)



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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Satanic Panic





Normally, I don’t do horror, but this one falls into a variety of categories I do cover, namely the horror-comedy hybrid of which I am a big fan of. Some examples of this are Peter Jackson’s “Dead-Alive,” (1992) Edgar Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and Dan O’Bannon’s “Return of the Living Dead” (1985).

“Satanic Panic” was actually shot here in the Dallas area, hence another reason why I am covering this.

The main stars of this tale are Hayley Grifith and Rebecca Romijn. Griffith is the new employee on the beat, a pizza delivery girl who lands into some unexpected territory on her route. Rebecca Romijn is Danica Ross, the leader of a coven of witches who worship satan and everything evil. In their wisdom they would like to conjure up the dark lord to reign hell here on earth.

Griffith’s Sam Craft is also in demand with the witches because of her virginity status. This one receives bonus points for some of the witty writing.

I watched “Satanic Panic” on the SHUDDER app.

“Panic” also falls under the Fangoria banner, since they actually produced this fun piece of forgettable fodder.

Those who are in the entertainment business know about Fangoria, since it was a regular mainstay of comic book collectors and the like.

So readers know, Fangoria was a big deal throughout the 1980’s era, when Freddy Kreuger (“A Nightmare on Elm Street” series and Jason Voorhhees (“Friday the 13h”) were the mainstays of the horror world. They also covered popular movies, like David Cronmberg’s “The Fly” (1986), “Fright Night” (1985) and Wes Craven’s “Deadly Friend” (1986).

Directing chores for “Panic” were handled by Chelsea Stardust. She was involved with horror entries such as “Sinister” in 2012. Her lengthy resume goes back even farther, having worked as assistant Judd Apatow’s assistant on 2009’s “Funny People.”

She worked on various horror-suspense entries like “Sinister” in 2012 a well as “The Purge” in 2013.

Stardust seems to be a smooth fit within the horror genre, having worked with producer Jason Blum on a variety of projects, including the Kevin Bacon led “The Darkness in 29016.

Writing for this intriguing tale were scribed by Grady Hendrix, who even pokes fun at the fact all Sams need to stick together.

Although not a great movie by any means, “Satanic Panic” does an adequate job of keeping the viewer entertained for a brief spell.

Grade: C+
(Review by Ricky Miller)






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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Babyteeth






(Review by Chase Lee)




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7500






(Review by Chase Lee)



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Four Kids and It





Director: Andy De Emmony Studio: Kindle Entertainment

Review: Four Kids and It

My mind has a soft spot on British family films when it comes to telling stories about an imaginative character coming to life in kids' eyes. The world has Paddington, Harry Potter, The Lorax, and any films that feature magical creatures based on the books. Co-written by Mark Oswin and Simon Lewis, the story of the film is based on the book called Four Kids and It, written by author Jacqueline Wilson. The film stars Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen, Ashley Aufderheide, Billy Jenkins, Ellie-Mae Siame as main leads while Paula Patton, Matthew Goode, Russell Brand, and Michael Caine as supportive characters.

The film focuses on the four children who are taking a holiday at Cornwall, only to find a magical creature at the beach that grants wishes to anyone who encounters it. Meanwhile, a notorious man named Tristan Trent is obsessed with searching for the magical creature so he can make his wishes and let all his dreams come true. With that, it’s now up to the four kids to keep the creature out of sight.

Director Andy De Emmony really gets the children cast off the ground by explaining about the situations on how they can deal with this creature and to themselves when it comes to sibling conflicts and issues in front of the family. Taking advice and inspiration from Steven Spielberg’s movies, including E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, De Emmony and the duo writers, Mark Oswin and Simon Lewis, tackle each scene to create the perfect shots and dialogue from the child stars in order to imitate the perfect flavor and colorful, body language from those movies, especially when the child actors are trying to express their motives and relationships in real life on the set.

However, the plot on the first half of the film seems a bit off as the film storyline left me a bit confused and unmoving during the course of the scenes between the four kids and Psammead. Not to mention the lazy-script writing coming from the duo right there which puts Wilson's literature into a different universe (That is if anyone has read that book).

The magical creature in this film is Psammead — a timid CGI lovable, lookalike of E.T. and voiced by Michael Caine — who provides the children’s imagination by granting any wish per day to children or anyone who comes across Psammead in person. Actor Michael Caine provides a supportive, yet caring friendly-figure for his Psammead persona compared to how much Caine provides for his fatherly relationship with Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy.

The actor who played as the man named Tristan Trent who selfishly wants Psammead is Russell Brand. Brand was an English native hailing from England around the Sussex area. He has contributed to a plethora of films as an actor, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Bedtime Stories, the Despicable Me films, Trolls, and the 2011 remake of Arthur, directed by Jason Winer.

This fleeting, tonal flick may not land on the bad movie section like the junky Spiderwick Chronicles movie but may not land on the good movie section like the Paddington films either. Four Kids and It just lands on the average-pleasure, rather than a guilty-pleasure. For me, Four Kids and It is an 110-minute average-but-somewhat-okay movie, though not as enjoyable to say the least. To make this a simple choice, I say be careful what you wish for before you select this film for your viewing pleasure. If you regret watching this, I say go back to and watch any of the Paddington films just to make up for that time.


GRADE: D+

(Review by Henry Pham)



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The King of Staten Island






Director: Judd Apatow Studio: Universal Pictures

Review: The King of Staten Island

Imagine if a character Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation watches this film, he would have a good laugh and taste at this. Director Judd Apatow offers a good comedy movie everybody needs in order to sweep up the darker days away. The film is practically based on Pete Davidson’s past where his firefighting father died due to the aftermath of September 11 attacks and suffers a disease of ADHD whilst battling depression as a result of his father’s death. The film stars Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, and Bill Burr.

The story centers on the young tattoo artist named Scott whose father died while working as a firefighter, an tragic event that deeply affects him. As he continues to mourn and suffer the loss of his father, he must get his life together in order to accept his father’s death as well as focusing on his future and himself after learning about his mother’s new relationship with the new man, who is a firefighter and the father of a young child whom Scott encountered.

Directing chores for The King of Staten Island, Judd Apatow is widely known for spending much of his time directing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This is 40, Knocked Up, and Trainwreck under Apatow Productions, a movie company he founded.

As the film progresses, the chemistry between Pete Davidson and Bill Burr becomes the primary focus of the film as the scenes with them really add a nice, touching, but sophisticated relationship compared to any films that feature unhealthy and dysfunctional families. This one is the main trigger for both father and son’s character developments that become the dynamics of the story. At first, their relationship is a bit of a rocky start, but later they start to have a time of their lives.

The film also includes Steve Buscemi, Pamela Adlon, Bel Bowley, and Maude Apatow, the director’s daughter.

This engaging flick really stands out to both fathers and sons out there. I say The King of Staten Island is a great movie for teens and adults out there, if not better. The director has really nailed his role as director like the previous films. It’s not like Trainwreck (a little titular reference right there), it’s just the best way to address one's own subject matter and humanism that can become powerful messages on one’s own depressive experiences. The King of Staten Island really touches me increasingly to be honest. I am heavily surprised that there’s children appearing on screen despite the R-Rated genre for this film, but everything else is pretty spot on. The picture, the quality, and the storyline are such wonderful improvements throughout the whole sequence. I believe if anyone wants to watch this, it’s the best movie for Father’s Day and for a father-and-son outing.


GRADE: B+
(Review by Henry Pham)











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Scoob!






Director: Tony Cervone Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Scoob! revives the franchise but falls short for both kids and adults.

It’s been some long, quiet years since the last Scooby-Doo film, Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed, which was a live-action film produced by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, was released in theaters back in 2004. Now, Warner Bros. stated that the reboot of the franchise went into effect, bringing down some childhood thrills and chills that kids and adults can engender nostalgia in front of their eyes on the big screen (or as one says “television” before it became a major thing in the fifties).

The Scooby-Doo franchise was founded by MGM animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera under their own production company, Hanna-Barbera, an animation studio that was established in the late 1950s before being sold to Taft. The animation company was later acquired by Turner Broadcasting System and, following the merger between Turner and Time Warner, the studio was absorbed back to Warner Bros. Animation as a holding company.

Here in the film, it starts where the origins of how Mystery Inc. has been established with Shaggy as a kid who befriends a dog that is later named Scooby. After becoming best friends, they both come across the three kids: Freddie, Daphne, and Velma for the first time. They later run into superhero Blue Falcon whose plan is to capture his arch-enemy Dick Dastardly and it is up to Scooby Doo and the gang to stop Dastardly from his evil plan.

Taking inspiration from the classic Scooby-Doo television shows, director Tony Cervone knows the tips and tricks on how the film flows smoothly for the storylines and the characters’ personalities to capture each moment based on every show of the franchise, including the shows’ nostalgic episodes. The directors and the crew really outdid the CGI-colorful animation tackling around scene to scene with canine slapsticks, heroic James Bond-typed adventures, and encountering dangerous, risky journeys ahead. Cervone, along with the producers Pam Coats (Disney’s Mulan) and Allison Abbate (The LEGO Movie), really wanted to make this as some sort of a “challenge obstacle” beyond the film’s and the characters’ focus on this mysterious story. It takes much commitment on the story development and more Scooby-Doo influential episodes to watch in order for the film to cinematically create the perfect tone and the beatable, pricy outlook for the entire film as a whole.

Aside from this, the cast of the Scooby-Doo gang includes Will Forte as Shaggy, Zac Efron as Fred, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne, Gina Rodriguez as Velma, and Frank Welker who made his sensational return to voice Scooby. With Zac Efron voicing as Fred, this marks the first time Fred is not voiced by Frank Welker himself not counting the live-action films. Similarly, what’s very hard to believe is that veteran Scooby-Doo actors Matthew Lillard and Grey DeLisle didn’t appear to reprise their roles of Shaggy and Daphne respectively.

Also appearing in the film are Mark Wahlberg (The Departed), Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan, and Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs who provide the voice of Dick Dastardly, the main villain of the story.

While the film is enjoyable to watch, there are some downfalls about this piece. The plot doesn’t provide enough details compared to the television shows as well as not bringing the old-school 90s and 80s flavor to the party while the script-writing seems very unfitting and completely filled with lazy-writings while trying to make a film that echoes the classic and modern day shows nowadays. Like those two live-action films, which received negative reviews from critics despite the box-office successes, the film did not save them from being a great film series nor redeeming itself as a good movie. Even, the newer cast playing as the Mystery Gang didn’t help much as the casting strongly ruins the originality from the franchise, though the filmmakers manage to make up for that by securing the voice-actor Frank Welker to return as Scooby-Doo as well as working things out with the characters’ personalities as friendship becomes the main theme and the central point for the film.

On the side note, “Scoob!” is a bit okay but isn’t as good as the classic series nor the modern sitcoms that was aired on Cartoon Network but it certainly is a fun-filled adventure with canine slapsticks and loads of heroic laughter for kids and adults to enjoy while in quarantine. I believed the director over did it, but Frank Welker did a bang-up job on his role as Scooby. I didn’t like it or hate it, I just wanted to see how this film turned out to be. It’s really hard to tell whether it’s a good film for adults who grew up watching Scooby-Doo in their lifetime, but for the kids, surely yes. To make this simple, you can watch it, but if you don’t like it, then go back to watch the classic ones I mentioned to make up for that. I think this 90-minute-movie would be a rental rather than owning this on Blu-ray/DVD when it comes out. Just to let you know, the film is up on VOD now.


GRADE: C-

(Review by Henry Pham)





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Monday, June 15, 2020

The USA Film Festival Announces Schedule of Events for USAFF50 In-Theater Program





The USA Film Festival Announces

Schedule of Events for USAFF50 In-Theater Program

June 24 - 28, 2020


DALLAS – The USA Film Festival announces the schedule of events for the 50th Annual USA Film Festival, June 24 - 28, 2020. The in-theater program will be held at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.

One of the oldest festivals in the U.S., the USA Film Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The first festival to devote itself to the American filmmaker back in 1970, today presents over 50 days of diverse programs every year.

The recent shutdowns caused the USAFF to re-schedule its annual April festival, which will now take place on June 24-28, 2020 at the Angelika Film Center Dallas.

“As Dallas theaters begin to reopen, we are so glad to be able to bring our program to the community.” USAFF Managing Director Ann Alexander says. “With support from our Sponsors, this year’s program will be presented as all-free-admission.”



“We know that a lot of people are experiencing financial challenges and that people have missed being able to get out to a theater and see a movie. We wanted to present an accessible program that offered something for people of all ages.”

This year’s opening night, “Free Dinner and a Movie,” will feature two classic films – Hal Ashby’s beloved, offbeat dark comedy Harold and Maude (1971) and a 40th anniversary screening of the ever-popular disaster movie parody Airplane! (1980). A new animated family film for younger kids, 100% Wolf, rounds out the opening night line up which also includes a free box dinner courtesy of USAFF sponsor Norma’s Café.

“The full line-up includes new feature films, documentaries and true stories, and short films” Alexander continued. “And of course, safety measures will be in place. Masks will be required and social distancing seating protocols will be observed for this year’s contact-free event.”

Additional programs featuring Master Artists will be scheduled later in the year.

USAFF Award-winning Short Films were selected by USAFF National Jury Members -- director and teacher Karen Allen; actor, producer, director and teacher Diane Baker; actor, playwright, screenwriter, author and film historian Jim Beaver; cinematographer Bill Butler; actor Dale Dickey; visual artist and filmmaker Rosson Crow; actor Peri Gilpin; animator and animation supervisor Bill Haller; motion picture sound mixer, writer and director Ron Judkins; filmmaker and teacher Sandra Luckow; actor, producer, writer and director Ralph Macchio; manager, writer, producer and director Chris Roe; actor, author and storyteller Stephen Tobolowsky; and actor Brian Van Holt.

For more details and to view the full schedule, visit www.usafilmfestival.com

OFFICIAL SPONSORS

USA Film Festival 50 is supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Presenting Sponsors include TACA – The Arts Community Alliance, Sidley LLP, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Gaedeke Group, Carol and Alan J. Bernon Family Charitable Foundation, Moody Fund for the Arts, Headington Company, Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, Mary Fox and Laura Fox, Norma’s Café, Texas Film Commission, SAG-AFTRA, Dallas Producers Association, The Downtown Business News, and the Angelika Film Center.

ABOUT THE USA FILM FESTIVAL

A year-round film festival featuring 50 days of programs

The USA Film Festival is a 50-year-old Dallas-based 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the recognition and promotion of excellence in the film and video arts. Year-round events include the annual KidFilm® Festival; monthly screenings; special programs and premieres; and the USA Film Festival, held each Spring. Throughout the year, the Festival presents a variety of membership, exhibition, educational, and cultural programs designed to promote equity and equality, and to bring together audiences and artists.










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