Eugene Martin

Caught by borders

Media arts professor Eugene Martin tells the story of three women who are surprised by the kind of information that can shift identities and expose a previously pedestrian life to a harsh new political glare.

Universal Pictures

Brothers in buffoonery

The Coen brothers’ successful careers are so well established that their names on a poster are enough to trigger eager anticipation.


Familiar ‘Choice’

What makes a movie so appalling that it transitions from ordinary ineptitude into something of true wonder and glory? Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “So bad, it’s good.” Many movies reach this status, from Showgirls to ConAir.



Twice the fans for Year 2

The Denton Black Film Festival wrapped up Sunday with a passionate tribute to gospel music and attendance more than double last year’s.


DVD reviews: Lawyer up

This is a crowded movie release week for home viewing, especially for movies based on true stories. So let’s get started.


Imperfect storm

Rescue missions seem to be all the rage these days. Gather a bunch of strapping lads, place them in peril on the high seas — whales, storms, whatever — and run them around on deck with enormous waves crashing in from every direction.


Still teaching

Actress Irma P. Hall said she never imagined being in the movies. She thought of herself as a teacher and an activist. For her, there was no siren song from Hollywood. No fantasies of fame, no yearning for riches.

Roadside Attractions

DVD reviews: ‘Goosebumps’ and empty-handed awards contenders

This week’s titles bring spooky thrills home for kiddos and films studios hoped would have Oscar voters salivating.


Arrested development

Sadly, neither of my grandfathers is alive anymore. But if they were still around and we took a road trip together? It would look nothing like DirtyGrandpa.


Courtesy photo

Comedian’s latest animated feature aims to entertain and educate

Wouldn’t the Arctic be a great place to live? Don’t we all long for those infamous snowpocalypse days where you never have to de-robe and can binge-watch all those Netflix shows you’ve been meaning to catch up on?

Paramount Pictures

Bay-hem in January

There are few great modern war stories captured on film compared to the cinematic tales from Vietnam, World War II and the American Civil War. Historical conflicts are far easier to frame and less fraught with political pitfalls than the wars that made headlines yesterday. This may be why the modern war genre is slim compared to historical dramas.

Twentieth Century Fox

‘Revenant’ leads Oscar nominations with 12

The brutal 1820s frontier saga “The Revenant” landed a leading 12 nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards, while the acting categories were again filled entirely by white performers.


DVD Review: Family-friendly dog tale finds hope in dark places

Looking for an inspirational film to watch with your family? One capable of sharing beautiful life lessons of hope and courage? Consider Susie’s Hope, a Dove Foundation family-approved film.

Staff Photographer

Actress gets her dues

During its second year, the Denton Black Film Festival plans to honor a longtime actress who calls Dallas home. Irma P. Hall, who has more than 80 film and television credits, will pick up a Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 29.


Real American beauty

A lot has been said and written about this film, especially regarding its troubled production. The travails of cast and crew serve as a fitting prelude to the experience that is The Revenant.



Review: Will Smith, ‘Concussion’ deliver hard hit to pro football community

Long before the anticipated release of Concussion, Sony Pictures was under fire for leaked emails which gave the impression parts of the movie would be softened by its December release to avoid upsetting the National Football League.


Year in review: Top films handled stories, subjects with care

From a sweeping epic of survival and revenge to a heartbreaking portrait of a late musician, the best films of 2015 have brought screenplays to life with astounding care that still left room for stunning artistic expression.

Cinematic time capsule

There are many reasons why a film could be deemed important: It could have made technological advances, broke ground in a particular genre, altered the conventions of cinema, or perhaps it’s purely an educational piece of entertainment.


Cinema treats and burnt cookies

How can we get excited for this week’s releases after coming off the thrilling high that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Whether you want it or not, Christmas is here and we still have some rather big movies hitting theaters before we say goodbye to 2015. Get ready for Concussion, Daddy’s Home, The Hateful Eight and Joy.


‘Force’ destroys first-day record

NEW YORK — Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already surpassed $100 million in North America and $250 million globally, setting it up for a record-breaking weekend.


Hope renewed

Few franchises capture every generation at once. Some children’s movies may include sly puns for the parents watching along, but rare is the grown man or woman eagerly awaiting the next Spy Kids or the kid thoroughly captivated by 2001: A Space Odyssey. Star Wars is one of the few exceptions.

Clothes make the Jedi

When the Force awakens for the latest, hotly anticipated Star Wars movie, thousands of people across the country will be dressed for it. They’ll be dressed as Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca the wookiee and Darth Vader.


Holiday classic

Frank Capra’s holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life screens at 2 p.m. Sunday and 5 p.m. Christmas Eve at the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, and Plano, 7205 Bishop Road.



Shy of depth

It is understood that water makes up most of our world, yet we’re told we know more about what’s in space than what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.


History Channel

DVD review: History Channel releases collection covering U.S. wars

This week, we begin in 1776:

Adopt Films

One-take wonder

In 1948, Alfred Hitchcock released Rope, a crime thriller starring James Stewart that consisted of only 11 takes. It was Hitchcock’s intention to make the film appear to be one, continuous shot.

New Line Cinema

Elf not on the shelf

It might be too soon to call it a classic, but the 2003 holiday comedy Elf is still a favorite 12 years later.


Patti Perret

DVD reviews: 'Mississippi Grind' plays hands without needed guile

This week, we begin at the poker table:


Dino might

If dinosaurs were still around, there’s no doubt many of us would probably have one as a pet. Whether small and friendly to cuddle with or big and mean to scare unwelcome guests, these prehistoric animals would make great companions. In its latest animated tale, however, Pixar reverses the idea and crafts a wonderful world where dinos can keep humans as pets. The Good Dinosaur had all the signs of being a doomed movie: delayed release, production fumbles and a story that doesn’t exactly roar “original.” But, as usual, Pixar manages to shock, surprise and pack an emotional wallop in its cannon.


Stings like a bee

We all know the rote formula of boxing films, and Creed doesn’t push those boundaries much. An underdog wants to make a name for himself, undergoes training montages, pays lip service to a throwaway love story and enters one big bout to reach the top. However, every now and then a sports film finds that sweet spot of balancing both action and drama. Once in a while, the fights in a film are justified with stories full of enough crushing emotion that they become all the more intense and gratifying. Creed is that film. Extending the highly regarded Rocky franchise into a spinoff involving the previously unseen son (Michael B. Jordan


Courtesy photo

DVD reviews: Movie house opens vault for 11 works of noir

This week, we begin in the late 1940s:


Grand finish

If you favored the gladiatorial action of the first two Hunger Games and disliked Mockingjay — Part 1 for its lack thereof, odds are you might not appreciate Part 2’s politically charged human drama and grim tone.



DVD reviews: Hawke celebrates music teacher in documentary

This week, we begin with Seymour:


Stale eggnog

It’s that holiday time of year again when we obsess over family, stuff our faces fuller than Augustus Gloop, compete with our Pinterest frenemies in decor. And, of course, time for the annual obnoxious Christmas movies.


Getty Images

DVD reviews: Buckley, Vidal debates change political landscape

This week, we begin in 1968:


Worthy romp for a beloved gang

Maybe the Peanuts gang hasn’t been on the big screen in decades because they’ve had so much success on the small one, with specials like The Great Pumpkin and A Charlie Brown Christmas that have been annual TV traditions since the 1960s.



DVD reviews: Inventive insight

Pixar scores another win with ‘Inside Out’This week, we begin inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl:Inside Out 4 starsRated PG, 94 minutes.Available Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray and in various digital...