Category Archives: Opening

Film Openings – Wide and Limited Releases

Opening: ‘National Gallery,’ ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain,’ ‘The Better Angels’

Tsui Hark's 'The Taking of Tiger Mountain' at Cinemark Legacy (Well Go USA)
Tsui Hark’s ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain’ at Cinemark Legacy (Well Go USA)


  • The Taking of Tiger Mountain (d. Tsui Hark) Set in 1946, this wartime drama pits multiple sides against each other, all in quest of a strategic mountain post. Not being familiar with the battle nor the players, I found it a challenge to keep track of the heroes and villains, but the film is rarely static, which means it’s easy to sit back and get caught up in the visual experience. (Being familiar with Tsui Hark’s past work helps; I’ve often been baffled by elements of his storytelling , which is usually rescued by his ability to orchestrate action sequences.) Granted, the effects work is not always top-rate, but, again, by the point that became an issue, I was already captivated for whatever unfolded on screen. Again, it’s a pleasure to see Tsui’s ability to stage and assemble action sequences remains strong. The film is playing an exclusive engagement at Cinemark Legacy in Plano; it’s a smaller auditorium, but features good sound and projection, and the stadium seating is fine. The English subtitles are well-timed and easy to read.
  • National Gallery (d. Frederick Wiseman) The new documentary by master filmmaker Frederick Wiseman explores the famed museum in London. Texas Theatre.
  • The Better Angels (d. A.J. Edwards) Abraham Lincoln’s childhood. With Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, and Wes Bentley. Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art.
  • The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (d. Tom Harper) Sequel to 2012 gothic horror piece takes place four decades later, as a group of children are evacuated from London during World War II to the apparent safety of a mansion in the rural countryside that, they soon learn, is still haunted by a vengeful ghost. In wide release. Reviewed at Twitch Film.

Indie Weekend: ‘Hell’s Angels’ at the Texas Theatre

Howard Hughes' 'Hell's Angels' at the Texas Theatre
Howard Hughes’ ‘Hell’s Angels’ at the Texas Theatre

With only one new indie release limping into the area this weekend, look to the air for some highly personal — and extremely daring — filmmaking.

  • Hell’s Angels.‘ From the legendary Howard Hughes comes a legendarily expensive war picture that takes place most notably in the air, with real people risking life and limb. With Jean Harlow. This special, one-time only presentation of a 35mm, fully-restored print will be followed by a performance by Matt Tolentino and the Singapore Slingers (7 piece variant).  Highly recommended. (The Texas Theatre)
  • Kill Your Darlings.’ A wan drama about the writers who would become the leaders of the Beat Generation a decade later. With Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster, Elizabeth Olsen, Jack Huston. Reviewed here. Not recommended. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano)

Opening in wide release across the Metroplex:

  • The Best Man Holiday.’ A sequel to 1999’s ‘The Best Man.’ College friends reunite; expect sexy talk, laughter, tears, and so forth.  Help yourself. With Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chesnut, and Harold Perrineau; written and directed by Malcolm Lee. Not previewed

Indie Weekend: ‘Birth of the Living Dead,’ ‘Oldboy,’ ‘The Wicker Man,’ and More

'Birth of the Living Dead' at the Texas Theatre
‘Birth of the Living Dead’ at the Texas Theatre

Two new indie titles open today, along with two classic films. (Title links lead to official sites for more information, where available.)

  • 12 Years A Slave.’ Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in mid-19th century America. A powerful drama. Reviewed here. Recommended. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano)
  • Birth of the Living Dead.’ Documentary on George A. Romero and the making of ‘The NIght of the Living Dead.’ (The Texas Theatre)
  • Oldboy.’ Park Chan-wook’s harsh revenge tale is an ugly, magnificently disturbing drama. See it before Spike Lee’s new version opens in late November. (The Texas Theatre) Screens 10/25-27 only.
  • The Wicker Man: The Final Cut.’ Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, and Britt Ekland star in a classic tale of pagan practices vs. Christian teachings in an isolated community. Directed by Robin Hady; this version is said to restore footage cut from the original edition and thought to have been lost. (Angelika Dallas)

Opening in wide release across the Metroplex:

  • The Counselor.’ Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz in a high-toned legal thriller. Directed by Ridley Scott, based on the first original screenplay written by novelist Cormac McCarthy. Reviewed here. Recommended.
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.’ Johnny Knoxville disguises himself as an old man and travels around the country with his “grandson” as the ‘Jackass’ crew engages in more physical hijinks. Not previewed.

Opening next week in wide release:

Indie Weekend: ‘Chinese Zodiac,’ ‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane,’ and More


Can you smell the autumn in the air? Yeah, me neither, but at least we’ve had some cleaning rain this week and actually been able to justify wearing a jacket again, which makes this the perfect weather for an indie movie weekend. (Title links lead to official sites for more information.)

  • Chinese Zodiac.’ Jackie Chan in what he says will be his final action movie, an adventure sequel in his ‘Armour of God’ series. Not previewed. (AMC Valley View, Stonebriar, Grapevine Mills)
  • All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.’ Amber Heard in a horror thriller. Delayed from 2007, it’s the first film from director Jonathan Levine, who went on to direct ‘The Wackness,’ ’50/50,’ and ‘Warm Bodies.’ Not previewed. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano)
  • Beyond the Farthest Star.’ A minister must decide between television stardom and his family. With Barry Corbin as a small-town Texas sheriff. Not previewed. (Cinemark West Plano, Harkins Southlake)
  • The Stream.’ A family comedy benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. With Mario Lopez and Kelly Rutherford; narrated by Rainn Wilson. Not previewed. (UA Grand Prairie)

Opening in wide release across the Metroplex:

  • Carrie.’ Indie director Kimberly Peirce gives Stephen King’s characters a different spin around the horror clock. With Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore. Reviewed here. Recommended.
  • Escape Plan.’ Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up to break out of a secret prison, said to be impregnable. With Jim Cavaziel; directed by Mikael Hafstrom. Reviewed here. Not recommended.
  • The Fifth Estate.’ Benedict Cumberbatch stars as political activist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. With Daniel Bruhl; directed by Bill Condon. Not previewed.
  • I’m in Love With a Church Girl.’ A former drug dealer is “torn between a life that he knows and a love that he feels.” With Jeff “Ja Rules” Atkins and Adrienne Bailon. Not previewed.
  • Seasons of Gray.’ A spiritually-themed drama. Not previewed.
  • The Snitch Cartel.’ Crime drama, based on true events, about a man involved with Colombian cartel. With Manola Cardona and Tom Sizemore. Not previewed.

Indie Weekend: ‘Escape From Tomorrow,’ Dallas Video Fest, and More

'Escape From Tomorrow' at the Texas Theatre
‘Escape From Tomorrow’ at the Texas Theatre

Disney, Dallas, and adult children of divorce are among those who come under scrutiny in this weekend’s openings.  (Film title links lead to official sites for more information.)

  • Escape from Tomorrow.’ Filmed at a Disney theme park on the sly. Advance word has been mixed to positive, with the setting and guerilla-style production perhaps pushing it into must-see territory. Not previewed. (Texas Theatre)
  • Dallas Video Fest. The longest-running film festival in the Metroplex is now in full swing, celebrating its 26th edition. Much more information here. (Alamo Richardson)
  • A.C.O.D.‘ Comedy starring Adam Scott about Adult Children of Divorce. Advance word has been mixed. Not previewed. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano)
  • Concussion.’ A 40-something housewife reexamines her life and pursues a romance with another woman. Not previewed. (Angelika Dallas)
  • Ghost Team One.’ Two men accidentally awaken the dead, and then team up with a “sexy amateur ghost hunter” to deal with the evil they’ve stirred up. Not previewed. (AMC Grapevine Mills)
  • We Are What We Are.’ A tight-knit family in West Virginia harbors a horrific secret. Reviewed here. Recommended. (Angelika Dallas)

Opening in wide release across the Metroplex:

  • Machete Kills.’ Danny Trejo returns in the second installment of Robert Rodriguez’s trilogy of self-styled Mexican exploitation / action-comedies. With Demian Bichir and Mel Gibson. Reviewed here. Recommended with reservations.
  • Romeo and Juliet.’ A new version of Shakespeare’s classic tale about two young lovers from feuding families. Reviewed here. Not recommended.
  • The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.’ Two young boys are set loose on the mean streets of New York City. Not previewed.

Indie Weekend: ‘Blue Caprice,’ ‘Parkland,’ ‘Pulling Strings,’ and More

Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond in 'Blue Caprice' (Sundance Selects)
Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond in ‘Blue Caprice’ (Sundance Selects)

Talk about variety!

  • Wadjda.’ The titular character, a 10-year-old girl living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, gently kicks against the patriarchal system in which she lives; meanwhile, all she really wants is a bicycle. The beauty of the film is in its simplicity, perspective, sincerity, and gravity. Reviewed here. Recommended. (Angelika Dallas)
  • Bad Milo.’ A man discovers that a demon is living in his intestines. It’s a horror comedy starring Patrick Warburton, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Marino, Peter Stormare, and Mary Kay Place. Not previewed. (Texas Theatre)
  • Blue Caprice.’ The real-life case of the young sniper who terrorized Washington, D.C. under the command and control of another man. Advance reviews have been mostly positive. Not previewed. (Texas Theatre) Pictured above.
  • Parkland.’ Billy Bob Thorton and Paul Giamatti head an all-star ensemble cast in a movie that revisits November 22, 1963, focusing on the supporting characters on that terrible day in Dallas. Not previewed. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano)
  • Running Wild: Life of Dayton O. Hyde.’ Described officially as “a documentary that chronicles a cowboy’s triumph in his quest to protect wild horses and the American West.” Not previewed. (AMC Grapevine Mills)

Opening in wide release across the Metroplex:

  • Gravity.’ Gripping, often spectacular thriller set in orbit around the Earth, as Sandra Bullock and George Clooney desperately struggle to stay alive after a disaster in space. Reviewed here. Recommended highly.
  • Runner Runner.’ Justin Timberlake plays a college student who thinks he’s been cheated at online gambling and heads to Costa Rica to get his money back, only to be ensnared by the evil, evil Ben Affleck. Not previewed.
  • Grace Unplugged.’ Faith-based drama set in the musical world follows a teen facing a crisis of conscience. Not previewed.
  • Pulling Strings.’ Romantic comedy about a diplomat who becomes involved with the Mariachi singer whose visa she has rejected. Not previewed.