Friday, January 30, 2015

AMIRA & SAM Review- Jonesy's Take

Director: Sean Mullin
Writer: Sean Mullin
Cast: Martin Starr, Dina Shihabi, Paul Wesley, and Laith Nikli.
Synopsis: A war veteran and an Iraqi immigrant fall in love under unlikely circumstances.

This review originally ran on

Netflix Instant: TV and Movie Picks

It's Super Bowl weekend. If you're already worn out from talks of "deflategate" and sportsball predictions, then there are plenty of great films for you to watch on Netflix to get you through the weekend. Also, avoid all bars if you don't want to be amidst the sportsball watching. 

Now you have no excuse. If you didn't want to pay to stream this film or was worried the hackers would follow through on their threats of attacking the theatres on Christmas, now you don't have to fear! It's a fun film which definitely needs to be watched with friends. Also has the best use of a Katy Perry song in history. 

If you're more in the mood for a dense, spy thriller, then this is the film for you. It's not a film that you play on your phone while you're "watching". It's a tense thriller full of dense plot and intriguing characters. You might have to watch it a couple times to full appreciate all the details, but it's worth it.

I've been wanting to see this film for a while now. It's about a man who quit his job at a restaurant and in trying to figure out what he wants to do, decides to open a food truck. It's written, directed, and starring John Favreau, and from the previews, looks like there is copious amounts of food porn shots. Sign me up. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First FANTASTIC FOUR Trailer Is Not Bad, Surprises Nerds Everywhere!

There's been a disturbing trend lately where people on the internet, professional and esteemed critics included, will be dismissive of a movie thank to reports of a "troubled" production or reshoots weeks after principal photography has finished. What most people seem to remember is that movies are a complicated beast and many movies have had crazy stuff go down during production.

All of this to say that unlike a lot of people, I really want to see THE FANTASTIC FOUR. I like director Josh Trank, Kate Mara is an amazing actress and Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan have great chemistry as seen in THAT AWKWARD MOMENT. It could also be a terrible piece of crap, but I'm not ready to dismiss it yet.

Now, thanks to the 20th Century Fox YouTube page via JoBlo Trailers, we have the first trailer for the movie. Check it out after the break.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Local Haps: January 26th - February 1st

This is one of those weeks where I'm totes excited for my Pick of the Week. check it out after the break along with other rad screenings.  

Monday, January 26th
Alamo Drafthouse: Weird Al Yankovic's box office bomb, UHF, is screening tonight at 7:00 pm.  It's co-hosted by friends Devin Pike and Mark Walters of!

Tuesday, January 27th
Alamo Drafthouse: One of the most popular sing-alongs is the PITCH PERFECT one and there just happens to be one at 7:15 pm tonight! Then later, as part of the Shiner Soundtrack Series, there's an 8pm screening of WILD STYLE, which is considered one of the first movies about hip-hop including appearances with many hip-hop legends like Grandmaster Flash,  

Texas Theatre: In what may be one of theater's most successful runs, it seems A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT is back for a round of screenings. Then in new movies, there's THE BALLAD OF SHOVELS AND ROPE about the band by the same name. I'll be honest, the band sounds so damn phony and manufactured, unless every recent poppy acoustic band like the Lumineers and Shovels and Rope out there just happened to be salt-of-the-earth types making their own butter and drinking out of mason jars.

Wednesday, January 28th
Alamo Drafthouse: Quentin Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN based on Elmore Leonard's RUM PUNCH screens at 8:00 pm.

Texas Theatre: The second part of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR screens tonight. The first part screened on Sunday, but it should be awesome! Movie starts at 7:00 pm.

Sundown At Granada: As always, there's the free screening on the rooftop with half off whiskey. This week's movie will be COOL RUNNINGS. Movie starts around 8:00 pm or whenever it gets dark.

Thursday, January 29th
Alamo Drafthouse: I can't stand FIREFLY mostly because of the attitude of the fans, so I don't really care that there's a SERENITY quote-along at 7:00 pm but maybe there's some of you that will?
And for the 80's pop fans, there's a Madonna sing-along at 8:00 pm.

Friday, January 30th
Texas Theatre: The S&M-dark comedy R100 starts playing this weekend at 7:00 pm. I'll be honest, it's a really weird movie. I've seen it twice already and I'm not sure if it still makes sense to me. And before that, there's a singular screening of SUBURBAN GOTHIC at 5:00 pm. To be honest, it looks....lame. but choose for yourself!

Saturday, January 31st
Alamo Drafthouse: PICK OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MAN I'm so peanut butter and jealous of anyone that can make this. There's a cartoon cereal party called JAPANESE MONSTER MADNESS. It stars Godzilla, Leopodardon, Ultraman and many other Japanese icons. It sounds so awesome, plus there's a bunch of cereal to eat!

Sunday, February 1st
Alamo Drafthouse: This is essential. There's a screening of the classic CASABLANCA at 12:30 pm. I first saw it at the Drafthouse and it's an amazing movie to see on the big screen.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Netflix Instant: Movie & TV Picks - Expiring Soon!

This week's column will once again focus on movies that will be expiring soon. These are just some cool ones. Not really deep cuts but they're definitely worth checking out.

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY Review- Javi's Take

Directed by: Peter Strickland
Written by: Peter Strickland
Starring: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Chiara D'Anna, and Monica Swinn
Synopsis: An intimate look at the peculiar romantic relationship between two women.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Alamo Drafthouse Opens Fourth DFW Location In the 'Burbs

Why, I remember when we Dallas film nerds were complaining about not having a Drafthouse here. Driving down to Austin to see Master Pancake shows or even some of the special screenings was fun, but it sure is nice to just have to drive 15 minutes up north to go to a special screening or not be bothered by talkers during the movie. 

Now, a year and a half after the first location, we have word that there's going to be a fourth location, this time located in the suburb of Little Elm. Check out the details after the break. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Local Haps: January 20th - January 25th

This post comes late thanks to the short week, but that doesn't mean there's not a lot of great stuff to watch! Check out those after the break, including the Pick of the Week!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Netflix Instant: TV and Movie Picks

We're in a bit of a slump in terms of new releases, but there are always great films to check out on Netflix. Now that the Oscar nominations have been announced, we will begin to see some of these films featured, like a documentary on my list today!

This is such a great film that has hold up over the years. Not only is the music wonderful, but it has fun performances and super quotable lines. It's the perfect lazy Saturday film that you don't have to turn your mind off to enjoy because we are all golden gods. 

This film nominated for the Palme d'Or at 2013 Cannes. I've heard great things about this film, especially in reference to Marion Cotillard's performance. It tells the story of an immigrant who becomes a prostitute when she arrives in America. It also stars Joquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. 

Now that the Oscar nominations are out, several films will slowly begin to pop up on streaming services. This film is nominated for best documentary and is about saving mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's a treacherous area where gorillas are under threat of poaching and their home being destroyed. It's an interesting story about an area which has very limited access. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer Drops..Is It May Yet?

Marvel has been doing a fantastic job at just giving us little teases of their next Avengers film. The first trailer gave us a glimpse to the James Spader's Ultron persona, which I have a feeling will steal the film. And now a trailer was released tonight which shows much more action!

Here's the synopsis:
With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron, a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, and it is up to Iron ManCaptain AmericaThor, the HulkBlack Widow and Hawkeye, along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him from enacting his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, as well as the familiar Vision.

Check the trailer after the break.

The Local Haps: January 12th - January 18th

It's a new year and the only resolutions worth keeping is to watch more movies in the new year. Thankfully, we have a lot of special screenings this week in addition to the new releases. Check them out after the break including my Pick of the Week.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Netflix Instant: Movie & TV Picks

Coincidentally, there's 3 movies on Netflix that are not necessarily my favorite movies of all time but that one point or the other were really important to me. Check them out below why don't you?

This movie has the honor of being my first Criterion disc and one of the movies I was obsessed about during college. At first, I loved all of the crazy drug-fueled antics of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, but I've come to appreciate what the movie and the book that it's adapted from were trying to say about the hippie culture during its waning days. Also, this is one of the good Johnny Depp performances which is always nice to see after his recent streak of questionable movies.

This movie was one of my honorable mentions for best movies of the year. As a guy whose msuicals were never that great, there's a lot to relate to in this movie about an average keyboard player who crosses path with the mad musical genius, Frank (Michael Fassbender) and what happens when they try to record an album and go to South by Southwest. It's funny, it's dark, it's inspirational and even a little sad. It's a movie that should have  you celebrating your place in the world

This is one of the firs movies that got me thinking about movies in a more critical way. At the time I didn't know who Christopher Nolan was. I just knew that the Genie from ALADDIN was the bad guy in this movie. Taking place up north in Alaska  where the sun doesn't set, there's so many amazing shots in this movie about a detective played by Al Pacino whose guilt over planting evidence is making him loose sleep as he investigates another murder. As mentioned before, Robin Williams is an antagonist in this and this is one of my favorite performances by him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Top Films of 2014 - Javi's Picks

I was going to start with an introductory paragraph, and then I read Scott Wampler's Top Ten for Badass Digest and I realized I couldn't top it, so here it is: Unoriginal opening sentence wherein I express the belief that 2014 was a fantastic year for cinema. Standard-issue follow-up statement relaying how this overwhelming number of great films made it difficult to narrow down my favorite titles into a manageable list of 10. Vaguely patronizing mention of the self-imposed "rule" that was applied during the creation of said list ("Must be titles that most people would have had a chance to see in a theater, not just at a film festival"). Paragraph closes with a bit of whinging about how I've not yet seen Inherent Vice or Selma, and am thus unable to factor them into the list below

The movies in this top ten were movies that really stuck with me were the films I was able to remember frame-by-frame a specific scene or sequence. Anyway, you can check out my picks in no particular order after the break. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Films of 2014- Jonesy's Picks

These top films lists really are arbitrary. You read these and either agree with some and yell at your computer screen with the addition or omission of this film or that film. Also, why didn't the author see this amazing film before compiling their list?! What blasphemy! 

But the great thing about the internet is the opinions that get said and the discussions that follow. Yes, it's an arbitrary list of what I think were the best movies I saw in 2014. I didn't see everything, and there were films I wish I had seen before making this list. But that's neither here nor there. 

So to the best of my movie-going ability, here are my favorites from this past year.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Netflix Instant: TV and Movie Picks- New Year's Edition

Have you recovered from your New Year's hangover yet? Have you had your traditional black eyed peas for good luck for the new year? Are you already sick of all the football going on this weekend? Well, welcome to the first Netflix column for 2015! I have a couple picks for you as always. One great television show has finally made its way to streaming, and I have a couple films, which are all perfect for a lazy weekend before back to the real world on Monday.

It's finally here! No longer do the people have to watch reruns on TBS after work. Now you can flip to any season and watch any episode of one of the greatest and most rewatchable sitcoms out there. Perfect lazy weekend show to watch.

The fancy cocktail is slowly making its way back to bars. If you're an adult, no longer are the days where you order a liquor and soda or tonic. Fancy and fresh cocktails are the way to go. This documentary follows some of the forefront bartenders and bars who are trying to revive this pastime. This doc also makes me want to try everything they make. Great drink porn.

Usually dark comedies don't necessarily have a great rematch factor, but that is not the case for ELECTION. In what could easily be Reese Witherspoon's greatest role, this film follows a very determined and assertive student as she runs for student body president. Matthew Broderick plays her teacher, who's life is slowly falling apart and decides to take his frustration out on her. It's quite wonderful in all of its darkness and snark.