Movies This Week: March 1-7, 2013

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Dazed and Confused Still PhotoPolari and Stateside Independent present the Austin premiere of Any Day Now on Monday night at 7 pm at the Stateside Theatre. Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt star as a gay couple who take in and provide a loving home to an abandoned teenager with Down syndrome. More information, including how to buy tickets, is available here.

The Austin Film Society celebrates the 20th anniversary of Dazed and Confused (pictured above) on Wednesday night at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, with screenings at 7 and 9:30 pm and a cast Q&A and after-party. Purchase tickets here.

This week's Austin Film Society Essential Cinema offering is Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story. An Egyptian female talk show host stirs up political controversy when she focuses her on-air discussions on the topic of women's issues. Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story screens Tuesday at 7 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Village.

And don't forget the Slamdance on the Road event on Saturday, complete with a Q&A I'm moderating.

Movies We've Seen

A Place at the Table -- This compelling documentary exposes the truths and debunks myths about the critical issue of hunger experienced by millions of Americans on a daily basis. I find myself discussing several key elements of this film with friends days after watching the screener, and hope that others will join the dialogue about hunger insecurity. Read more in my review. (Violet Crown Cinema)

21 and Over -- In what appears to be the college version of The Hangover, medical student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) is convinced by his best friends to celebrate his twenty-first birthday with "one beer" ... the night before a big exam. J.C. saw it and says it "isn't quite the mess Project X was ... but it has the same level of immaturity and homophobia, with an out-of-nowhere romantic ending it doesn't deserve." Look for his review this weekend. (wide)

Jack the Giant Slayer -- The classic tale of "Jack and the Beanstalk" takes a new twist with an action-packed fight between humans and giants as farmhand Jack fights for the love of a princess as well as a kingdom. Mike says, "In a time when, with few exceptions, strong female characters are disappearing from Hollywood, this re-imagining strikes a particularly anti-feminist tone." Look for Mike's review this weekend. (wide)

Other Movies Opening in Austin

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga -- Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog and Russian co-director Dmitry Vasyukov present a visually stunning documentary about the indigenous people living untouched by modern civilization in the heart of the Siberian Taiga as they follow a Siberian trapper through all the seasons of a year. (Violet Crown Cinema)

The Last Exorcism Part II -- Ashley Bell returns as Nell for another chapter in the story that garnered her a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for best supporting actress. After Nell picks up the pieces after the events of The Last Exorcism, she once again encounters an evil force hellbent on possession. (wide)

Phantom -- Ed Harris (The Abyss, A History of Violence) stars as a Soviet submarine captain who leads a covert mission that could determine the fate of the world. (Regal theatres, Cinemark Tinseltown 20)