Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Local Haps: August 31st - September 6th

School's been back for a week now. The traffic jams have increased, there's less teenagers at the mall during the day, and hopefully there's less of them at the movies during the week which should make all of these special screenings a nice and quiet refuge. Check them out after the break!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Netflix Instant: TV and Movie Picks- Back to School Edition!

Most students went back to school this week, and as a teacher, I'm definitely spending this weekend recovering from week one with my students. As a celebration of school starting again, I have three picks for you that are all school related!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Local Haps: French New Wave at the Alamo Drafthouse DFW

French New Wave Showcase

Video Association of Dallas and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW co-present the French New Wave Showcase Saturday afternoons in September!

French New Wave, or in French “Nouvelle Vague,” is the style of highly individualistic French film directors of the late 1950s—early ‘60s. Films by New Wave directors were often characterized by fresh techniques using the city streets as character in the films.

The New Wave films stimulate discussion about their place in the history of cinema and film. So whether a cinephile or a casual filmgoer, learn more about this distinctly French film movement. French New Wave Showcase, presented by the Video Association of Dallas and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - DFW, screens every Saturday at 4 pm at Alamo Richardson.

“The French New Wave was a reaction to the bigness of Hollywood. Serious film scholars, writers and lovers started the movement to counteract the regimented Studio System. Their poetic way of taking filmmaking to the streets was immediately inspiring to a new generation of American filmmakers, showing them that creating original meaningful cinema was in reach. Their movement inspired many other cinematic moments that continue to propel cinema today,” said Bart Weiss, founder of Video Association of Dallas and founder of Dallas VideoFest, which starts its 28th year Oct. 13. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Local Haps: August 24th - August 30th

Monday, August 24th
Alamo Drafthouse: There's not nearly enough cool Latino characters around Hollywood so of course DESPERADO is one of the most badass movies from the 90's. Vinegar Syndrome's monthly series continues with SWEET TRASH.

Tuesday, August 25th
Alamo Drafthouse: You can see just how evil the penis is at the "late night" screening of ZARDOZ at 7:00 pm. THEY LIVE  ranks among John Carpenter's best. With Roddy Rod Piper's untimely passing it's definitely a must-see if you've been living under a rock for the 3 decades.

Wednesday, August 26th
Alamo Drafthouse: As many of the late 90's/early 00's teen movies I saw, BRING IT ON was not one of them. But I know a lot of friends that loooooOOOOooove it. So you check out the quote-along at 8:05 pm.  Horror Remix returns after a hiatus with an old classic, BOAT SHOW at 10:00 pm.

Texas Theatre: There's a double bill of DO I SOUND GAY? and BEING EVEL  starting at 7 and 8:45 pm respectively. Jonesy's seen both and they both are pretty interesting documentaries. I'm more particularly interested in DO I SOUND GAY? as it involves a lot of interesting sociological issues.

Thursday, August 27th
Texas Theatre: In anticipation of the upcoming appearance, there will be a 35mm MALLRATS screening at 8:45 pm. I'll be honest, I'm curious how it holds up. Most of Smith's movies have all of the rage of a teenager but no nuances. But if you're a fan of his work, you'll be all about it.

Saturday, August 29th
Alamo Drafthouse: BETTER OFF DEAD is a hole in John Cusack filmography but it's celebrating its 30th anniversary and the trailer looked pretty crazy.

Sunday, August 30th
Alamo Drafthouse: Wrapping up the Alfred Hitchcock month, the post-WW II spy thriller, NOTORIOUS at 1:00 pm

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Netflix Instant Movie & TV Picks

We're back with some hot and varied streaming picks to tide you over! They all have a comedic/romantic aspect to it but in their own unique way. Check them out after the break!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fantasia International Film Festival Review: KUNG FU KILLER

Director: Teddy Chen.
Writer: Teddy Chen, Ho Leung Lau, and Tin Shu Mak. 
Starring: Donnie Yen, Charlie Yeung, Bing Bai, and Baoqiang Wang.

Crime thrillers when done right keep you invested in the mystery. Martial arts movies are fun as hell because while it might not always be possible to understand what is going on, it's easy to appreciate the technical mastery required to pull off elaborate fight sequences. KUNG FU KILLER mixes both of these premises in a generally efficient way and manages to be a seriously fun movie wi

The movie deals with an incarcerated martial arts master Hahou Mo (Donnie Yen). When he sees news reports of other specialized masters getting killed by an unkown assailant(Baoqiang Wang), he tries to help Detective Luk Yuen-Sum (Charlie Yeung) catch him. 

The killer's pattern is to challenge a master in a particular skill set of martial arts and somehow is able to beat them all with relative ease.

The first part of the movie is a cat-and-mouse chase between the police who seemingly cannot cathc up to the killer fast enough. This does, however, lead to some pretty awesome fights all in completely different styles that unfortunately end too quickly.

Still, it's really fun to watch Donnie Yen grow more and more frustrated as the bodies pile up and detective Yuen-Sum is starting to feel the pressure from her superiors. It's at this point where the movie turns into less of a thriller and more of an action movie. But here we get to see that the killer's whole mantra is that "martial arts is for killing." Hahou clearly does not agree and that internal struggle permeated through this second half.

The highlight of the movie really comes from the final fight between Hahou and the killer. This is a tense fight that's the culmination of so much emotion and soul searching as Hahou tries to decide what the true purpose of martial arts is.

KUNG FU KILLER might not be a groundbreaking movie, but it is a fun mix of two genres. Donnie Yen and Baoqiang Wang are a joy to watch.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Netflix Instant: Movie & TV Picks

This hellish weather has had me staying inside a lot watching Netflix especially TV shows. They just feel the right length of time especially if you want to walk around. Anyway, here's 3 rad shows you can check out to get you through the weekend heat. 

Lately I've been crazy nostalgic for anything from my childhood in Mexico. It just so happens that this TV show was one of them! It deals with a wacky set of neighbors in a poor neighborhood. Obviously you probably want to be fluent in Spanish to watch the show since a lot of the jokes are fast-paced puns and play on words.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome. Ever since 30 ROCK FROM THE SUN the guy has taken on fun projects. This one in particular is an extension of his Hit Record project. The basic premise is that this is a multi-media collaborative project where people can contribute to a movie/song/poem, etc. and then they are paid! They've been doing this for a few years now and the HR brand includes vinyl records, books, and the TV show which is essentially a variety show.

Everyone and their mom should be watching this show but if you're not familiar with it, it's the prequel show for the 2001 cult movie of the same name. While the movie took place on the last day of camp, the show takes place during the first day (duh!) and it gives a lot of context and backstory to the movie and why the characters are the way they are. Between the fact that the writing is as sharp if not better than the original and the showrunners managed to get the now-famous all back together, you'll be watching and re-watching this show for the rest of the summer.