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Why the DFW South Asian Film Festival Is a Breath of Fresh Air for North Texas Moviegoers

Cinema lovers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will finally have a compelling and contemporary South Asian film festival of their own. The sheer depth and diversity of the films on display at this new festival also stand out, with movies showcasing issues ranging from the Indian education system to LGBT rights to race relations.

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Who Will Enjoy Hot Tub Time Machine 2: A Pie Chart

I actively disliked the original Hot Tub Time Machine, which squandered its delightfully absurd story in favor of countless variations of the same joke: isn’t it funny to mention penises and the things we do with them?

Aside from some clever bits at the beginning and the end that took full advantage of the central time-traveling premise, I didn’t much care for the sequel either. This time the gang (Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke) visit the future, and the screenplay’s vision for what’s to come is frustratingly unimaginative.

But will you enjoy the sequel? This pie chart breaks down the composition of its target audience:

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You’ve Probably Seen McFarland, USA, Before, But That’s OK

Think of how many Hollywood movies today could be set anywhere: plots that could be easily transplanted to whichever generic big city or faceless suburb offers the best film-production tax breaks. Think of how many times we’ve seen New York and Los Angeles, Vancouver and (in recent years) Atlanta on screen and how so much of the rest of the country really does get treated like flyover country.

That’s why I’m giving several bonus points to Disney’s McFarland, USA, as overbaked as it gets in its attempts to stir/manipulate its audience’s emotions. This is a true story about a specific place, a look at a corner of our nation too often ignored.

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Lee’s Strange Vampire Saga Turns Sour in Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Spike Lee took a bunch of provocative ideas, put them in a blender, and poured out Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, an audacious but muddled character study that nevertheless proves the veteran filmmaker can never be easily dismissed. This material isn’t as shocking or as groundbreaking as it would have been 40 years ago. For all of its high-minded esoteric conversation, the movie ultimately doesn’t have much to say.

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First 10 Films Announced for Dallas International Film Festival

The North American premiere of Playing It Cool, a romantic comedy starring Chris Evans (Captain America) and Michelle Monaghan, and the follow-up to an Oscar-nominated documentary about the 1965 Indonesian genocide are among the highlights of the first 10 films announced for the Dallas International Film Festival. Director John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) is also set to receive an award from the Dallas Film Society at the 9th annual festival, which kicks off April 9 and runs through the 19th.

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Fifty Shades of Grey Doesn’t Bring the Heat

At a time when any detached sexual fantasy can be satisfied with a couple of clicks on the Internet, a movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey seems to lose its significance. Part of the appeal of the tawdry romance novel by E.L. James is that the visuals are left to the imagination for its legions of fans, whose faces might have turned various shades of red while flipping the pages but whose expectations for steam and sizzle will inevitably be left unfulfilled here.

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The Dapper Gents of Kingsman: The Secret Service Look Good While Saving the World

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a spy film that combines the cheekiness of early James Bond with the frenetic, blood-soaked action sequences en vogue today. The cartoonish tone — complete with meta-jokes about the tropes of big-screen secret-agentdom that allow the movie to give itself permission to indulge in those very clichés — befits the story’s comic-book origins.

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