Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Local Haps: NYE Week Edition

With New Year's Eve, we have the end of the hectic holiday season and the promise of a new year full of movies! As such, it seems once again there's a bit of a drought of film-related events but I was able to scrounge up enough new and special repertory screenings for you to enjoy these last few days of 2014 unto 2015. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30th
Alamo Drafthouse: While it's no GHOSTBUSTERS, GHOSTBUSTERS II is still fun if only because the chemistry between the four 'busters is undeniable. You can check it out at 8:00 pm. In addition, as part of the Shiner Soundtrack series, there is a 9:20 pm screening of director Paul Thomas Anderson's MAGNOLIA.

Angelika Dallas: Not much in the way of special screenings, but there's some of the most talked about movies of year currently playing at the Angelika. Follow this link for showtimes and tickets.

Texas Theatre: A screening of A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT begins at 9:15 pm. In addition, there's a screening of THE INTERVIEW at 7 pm.

Wednesday, December 31st
Alamo Drafthouse: Not really a movie event, but the Action Pack will have their Rockin' New Year Music Dance Party at 10 pm.

Texas Theatre: Once again, this isn't movie related, but the Texas Theatre always throws a badass NYE party. This year it's no exception. The party, New Year's Noir, will have live music from Nervous Curtains, a burlesque show, champagne and a human ball drop! It all starts at 9pm and you can go get your tickets here.

Friday, January 2nd
Texas Theatre: THE INTERVIEW and A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, will once again screen but this week's new movie is the Fantastic Fest dark comedy favorite, FORCE MAJEURE. The movie deals with the fall out of a father's cowardly actions in the face of potential danger and the strain it causes on his marriage and his relationship with his kids. This will be its only screening so I encourage you guys to check it out.

Saturday, January 3rd
Texas Theatre:  Apart from the aforementioned movies, there is a screening of the documentary NATIONAL GALLERY at 2 pm. The doc deals with the National Gallery in London. I'll be real, I haven't heard much about this doc but it sounds really interesting.

Sunday, January 4th
Alamo Drafthouse: Big Screen Classics, a new series that highlights films that everyone SHOULD have seen already but maybe haven't, will be screening CHINATOWN at 12:30 pm.

Texas Theatre: This is a busy day at the theater. Apart from screenings of THE INTERVIEW, A GIRL..., and NATIONAL GALLERY, there will be one-time screening of the family drama, SABBATICAL at 7:30 pm. Check out the link for a synopsis.

Friday, December 26, 2014

INTO THE WOODS Review- Jonesy's Take

Directed by Rob Marshall
Written by Stephen Lapine
Starring: James Corden, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, and Meryl Streep.
Synopsis: Fairy tales converge to try and stop a witch's curse in this modern musical.

This review was originally run on Centraltrack.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ANNIE Review - Javi's Take

Directed by: Will Gluck
Written by : Will Gluck, Alien Brosh McKenna, with stage play from Thomas Meehan, based on the comic strip, Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray.
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale
Synopsis:  A spunky orphan gets adopted by billionaire. Singing, and dancing ensue.


Director: Peter Jackson.
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philipa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo Del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R.Tolkien.
Cast: Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellan, Richard Armitrage, Cate Blanchett, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Hugo Weaving, and Christoper Lee.
Synopsis: In the epic conclusion of the most unnecessary trilogies in recent history, CGI characters clash and fight for 2 hours.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Local Haps - Christmas Week Edition!

Christmas is almost here and of course there's a lot of Christmas-related movies are still being screened. This week is once again pretty light and there are some events that I didn't list due to the fact that they're sold out. But check out the rest of the events after the break!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Netflix Instant: Movie & TV Picks - Expiring in January 1st Edition!

To be honest, the end of the year always sucks. Christmas keeps up busy without having any time to just chill. Then to make matters worse, a lot of movies are expiring from Netflix! Go check them out before they all leave January 1st!

Ever since Serial created podcasts, true crime seems to be a huge pop culture topic. The podcast, at least in my opinion, was more about the fallacy of the justice system than trying to find out the truth. But decades before Sara Koenig was investigating a teenager's murder, director Sidney Lumet adapated 12 ANGRY MEN from its original teleplay about 12 jurors deliberating on a young man's fate and shows how subjective the juror system can be. This is one of my favoirte movies of all time so go check it out if you haven't yet.

This comedy came out at a time where I was one of those really annoying atheist and the movie's portrayal of Christian youth culture was one of those things that I used in my very pleasant arguments against religion. Now that I'm not such an asshole,  I checked it out again and it's one of those comedies whose smart writing was not apparent to me at all. It's actually both critical and flattering about Christian youth and even non-Christians. The story deals with Jenna Malone's Mary trying to "fix" her gay boyfriend by having premarital sex and then hilarity ensues as she's ostracized from her various social groups. 

If you know me, this should be a no-brainer. As big of a TF fan that I am, it's actually embarassing to say that I haven't seen all of the original cartoon. Anything past Season 1, to the best of my knowledge, was never dubbed to Spanish for broadcasting in Mexico so this was a great way to finally see the original cartoon without having to plop down the $100 for the set. If you can get past some cheesiness, there are some legitimately good stories in there.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Local Haps: December 15th - December 21st

Leading up to the holidays, we all get pretty busy between parties and get-togethers and trips to the hell that is a mall during this time. But if you do happen to find some time, why not check out some of these special screenings? Check them out after the break.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Netflix Instant: TV and Movie Picks

Are you decorations up yet? Now is the perfect weekend to throw up your tree and lights before the rush of all the holiday parties and festivities begins next weekend. Here are some titles for you to enjoy as you prepare for the holiday season!

Usually there's not much of a chance to see foreign submissions for the Oscars before the actual ceremony. However, IDA is now streaming if you want to branch out and gain even more knowledge for your Oscar ballot. It's about a woman who learns that she is Jewish after WWII and embarks on a journey to learn about her past. I've heard pretty great things, but looks like you should be a happy mood to watch this. 

Say what you will, but the first one was such fun. Yes, it was cheese to the core, but SHARKNADO was very much aware of how ridiculous it was. It reminded me of SNAKES ON A PLANE, which is still one of my favorite movies. So now when I'm looking for something mildly entertaining, I'll throw this on. It's not as great as the first, but it's a fun ride. 

Joe Swanberg is a great indie film maker. He made one of our favorite little films from last year, DRINKING BUDDIES, and this is his follow up. Also, how can you go wrong with a film that has Anna Kendrick in it?  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

INSIDE OUT Trailer Is Full Of Emotions

It's safe to say that Pixar is at its best when creating original films. Sure, most of their sequels are pretty good (except CARS 2, but we don't talk about that one), but there's something about the magic they bring to their original stories.

For their next film, INSIDE OUT brings human emotions literally to life. Emotions become a physical thing, and we get to see how they run our lives.

Here's the synopsis:
Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Check the teaser after the break!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Netflix Instant: Movie & TV Picks

As if Netflix knew Christamas is one of the bigger binge-watching seasons of the year, they made sure to release so good stuff right at the beginning of the December. Check out four of my picks below.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Embracing the Dark Side: One Fan’s Attempt To Go Spoiler-Free On STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

Editor: This is a guest post by my friend, Nick, in what will hopefully be a series of posts about his struggles to stay as spoiler-free as possible for THE FORCE AWAKENS while being active on the internet and how hard that can be. 

Star Wars, we've had an interesting ride, you and I. You have been the blanket to my Linus for years now. You’ve been there for me through both good and bad. You've also broken my heart, specifically with the prequels; well, after I came to grips and acknowledged them as bad films. It’s been over 9 years since Revenge of the Sith, clearly the best of the prequels, and you've since been through some hard times. You've been over-saturated, fucked with in service of half-assed Blu Ray releases and sold off to the House of Mouse. When I heard J.J. Abrams was tapped for Episode VII, I was cautiously optimistic. I mean, could it get any worse? I loved ALIAS, LOST and his first STAR TREK film. On the other hand, I  didn't like the laziness of Star Trek: Into Darkness’s third act, but I blame Orci & Kurtzman for that. STAR TREK had so much of the Star Wars feel that I think it unintentionally put some purists off of Trek, but not me. Fast forward to 2014, and I am numb to the prospect of a new Star Wars film. Disney had street cred with me since taking over Marvel, but I still wonder what a post-RETURN OF THE JEDI Star Wars movie could be.

Then, it hit me. Why not try and give this thing a chance? What if I tried to go into the theater as cold as possible? This would entail not reading spoilers, movie blogs (present company excluded of course), (editor's note: awwww, shucks!) Toy Fair announcements, toy packages, etc. In this day and age, that’s harder than hitting a target no bigger than two meters without using a targeting computer. Even as I write this, I am not sure I’ll be able to do it! With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, etc. spoilers are in your face whether you like it or not. People live to spoil shit. They get off on it. I have a challenge ahead of me. I want to rekindle that old feeling of SW love, and this is a test of my mettle. I just want to see if I can do it, so I've tasked myself not to seek out spoilers of any kind.

When the teaser trailer dropped, it came in like a hurricane. I’d heard rumblings there may be a trailer coming out, but somehow it still wasn't real. About a week out from its release, I was at an impasse. Do I watch it? Is this technically a spoiler? I need to know for myself and considering how Abrams was about his “Mystery Box,” I figured the trailer would be mostly safe. On Black Friday, I was at work trying desperately not to watch the teaser online. On my Twitter feed, there was a flood of snark, awe and a general consensus of positivity. My interest was at an all time high. Suddenly, the reality of wanting to experience the trailer in a proper setting was palpable. I had to find a way to view this in a theater. All day long, I avoided viewing it online; I had to see for myself and judge the trailer on it’s own merits. So, I found a theater in Minneapolis and decided I had to go.

Ultimately, I was pleased. It was a great teaser, just enough to scratch the itch while combining something new with something familiar. It was 88 seconds of pure, unadulterated Star Wars. The teaser showed me weird droids, new characters and familiar iconic imagery. This thing was firing on all cylinders! For what it’s worth, I didn't walk out of there feeling the slightest bit of compromise. My resolve was intact, and I think my expectations have been set.


Whether we want it or not, a new Terminator trilogy (yes, you read that correctly) has begun. The last two films, RISE OF THE MACHINES and SALVATION, left almost no impression on the film going audience. I saw both and can't even tell you what they were about. But apparently some believe there is still enough people out there who want to see yet another version of this story.

Here's the synopsis:
The year is 2029. John Connor, leader of the resistance continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John's fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when TECOM spies reveal a new plot by SkyNet that will attack him from both fronts; past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.
On the verge of winning the war against Skynet, Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese back through time to save his mother's life and ensure his own existence. But what he finds on the other side is like nothing he ever expected. After being orphaned at age 9 by a Terminator, Sarah Connor has since been brought up by another Terminator, played by Schwarzenegger, programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject.
Check the trailer out below!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Local Haps: December 1st - December 7th

I'll be honest, while I love Halloween time much more, I'm always more interested to see what theaters program during Christmas. Do they go for standard holiday fare, or do they dig into the surprisingly numerous Christmas slasher sub-genre or movies that just happen to take place during Christmas. That all goes to say, that there's quite a bit of Christmas related programming this week in Dallas. Check them out after the break as well as my Pick of the Week!