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Movie review: ‘Hitchcock’

More of a portrait of the sometimes strained marriage and creative partnership of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville than an in-depth exploration of the psyche of The Master of Suspense, Hitchcock walks the fine line between the man and the myth. It also gives meaty roles to its lead actors, Anthony … Continue reading

From the Vault: ‘Mother Night’ (1996)

Adapted from Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 novel by actor-director Keith Gordon, Mother Night delivers a haunting, lingering impact thanks to its unsettling core theme, summarized by Vonnegut thusly: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” In this case, the pretender is one Howard W. Campbell Jr. (Nick … Continue reading

Texas Theatre Presents ‘Burn’ Special Screening

The Texas Theatre will present a special one-time screening of the documentary Burn at 7:30pm, Wednesday, November 28, with filmmakers in attendance. Executive produced by Denis Leary, the former star of Rescue Me with deep ties to the first responder community, the film records a harrowing year with members of the Detroit  Fire Department as … Continue reading

This Week’s Special Screenings:

The Magnolia’s Big Movie film series presents a screening of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western masterpiece The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1967), starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, 7:30pm, November 27, at the theater. Details Cinemark Theaters and Paramount Studios kicks off the holiday portion of their Reel Classics series with Miracle on 34th Street (1947), 2 and 7pm, … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Anna Karenina’

Visually lush but otherwise over-thought and overwrought, Joe Wright’s misguided adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic tragedy sucks the life out of a classic staple of literature and film. Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) stumbles from the moment the curtain literally raises by presenting the story as if it were a stage play inside a film, … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Life of Pi’

With Life of Pi, Ang Lee turns in his most engaging and  confidently made feature since Brokeback Mountain (2005), and perhaps  his most visually resplendent one ever. With fully realized characters inhabiting a carefully structured story embellished with stunning — but not overwhelming — visual effects, it’s part elemental survival epic, part coming-of-age fable, and part … Continue reading

Second Oak Cliff Film Fest Announced

Well organized, well executed, and well received, the inaugural Oak Cliff Film Festival managed to carve out a niche for itself this past summer in a metroplex that already had about a dozen other film fests competing for attention and resources. Its founders are ready to prove it’s here to stay, officially announcing the OCFF’s … Continue reading

This Week’s Special Screenings:

The Magnolia’s Big Movie film series presents a screening of the classic Howard Hawks western Rio Bravo (1959), starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson, 7:30pm, November 20, at the theater. Details The Dallas Film Society continues its weekly Movies at Sundown Series with a screening of Zach Braff’s romantic comedy Garden State (2004), 8pm, November 21, at Sundown at Granada. Details The … Continue reading

Hunger Games: Some Inappropriate Thanksgiving Viewing

The four-day family food fest known as Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s a special time of year, all about spending time with people you may or may not like, obligated to do so simply because you share some common DNA. Times are tough these days, with the world experiencing its worst recession ever, and groceries … Continue reading

From the Vault: ‘Six-String Samurai’ (1998)

Ordinarily, mixing aspects of samurai movies, westerns, post-apocalyptic science fiction, faux ’50s kitsch, and rock and roll icons into a single low-budget road movie is a pure and simple recipe for disaster; yet writer-director Lance Mungia managed to (mostly) sidestep the pitfalls of such a bizarre hash and deliver what quickly became a textbook cult … Continue reading

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