Movies This Week: August 15-21, 2014
The Austin Film Society's "Films Of Roger Corman" series (Jette's preview) continues this weekend at the Marchesa with 1961's The Pit And The Pendulum starring Vincent Price. Tonight's screening is a Free Member Friday event for any members of AFS (with General Admission tickets also available). It will also screen again on Sunday afternoon. Tom Gilroy's The Cold Lands is scheduled for a "Best of the Fests" booking on Tuesday at the Marchesa and Thursday's Essential Cinema selection features Barbara Stanwyck (Elizabeth's preview) in William Wellman's Lady Of Burlesque. This extrememly rare 35mm print is on loan from the Library Of Congress, making it a night you won't want to miss!
Austin Film Society is also presenting the Texas premiere of Sin City: A Dame To Die For in 3D on Wednesday evening at the Paramount. Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and (just announced!) Frank Miller will be in attendance for an introduction, post-screening Q&A and at the after party. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who appears on the soundtrack, whill also be at the screening. Tickets, including VIP packages, are available on the Paramount's website.
Cinema East will be hosting Above All Else (Don's SXSW review) on Sunday night on the lawn of the French Legation Museum. There's only one more film in this summer's series after this, so head out for this all-ages, BYOB-friendly event. Doors are at 7 pm and the film will begin at 9. This documentary had its world premiere at SXSW this year and examines the battle over the Keystone XL oil pipeline, introducing us to an environmental activist from East Texas who tried to block it.
The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series is winding down over the next few weeks, but not before bringing you some of Hitchcock's finest work. You can catch 35mm double features of Psycho and Vertigo tonight and North By Northwest with The Birds on Saturday and Sunday. Digitally at the Stateside, you can choose Rope and The Trouble With Harry tonight or the master of suspense's final works, Frenzy and Family Plot on Saturday and Sunday. Headed into the week, Monday night's theme at the Paramount is "Beautiful Schemers" -- you'll find Diabolique paired with Hitchcock's Strangers On A Train for a 35mm double feature and two Japanese classics are paired there on Thursday night with Tokyo Story and Ikiru. The Stateside goes for sci-fi on Tuesday and Wednesday with digital screenings of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers with Forbidden Planet and then the theme for Thursday is "Portraits of Stoicism" with the Western classics High Noon and The Quiet Man.
There is a lot of great programming at the Alamo Drafthouse this week, boosted by the relaunch of their South Lamar location after 18 months. Now with three added screens, full showtimes are expected to resume on Saturday afternoon. Tickets have not yet gone on sale online for Saturday, but they'll be screening Boyhood, Calvary, The Giver, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Expendables 3, Let's Be Cops and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Once we have further word about any specialty screenings, we'll update this post.
"The Complete David Lynch" series continues at the Alamo Ritz this weekend with an "influences" screening of Mon Oncle paired with Lynch's The Straight Story in 35mm, his long G-rated film that was released in 1999 by Disney. Both films screen on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but if you have a series pass your reserved seat is only good for Sunday (unless you sort that out with the Alamo box office). Another "influences" selection hits on Monday night with Peyton Place and Lynch's Mulholland Drive in 35mm on Wednesday night (with added Monday and Tuesday matinees). Also at the Ritz this week, Woodstock screens late on Sunday, Girlie Night has Steel Magnolias on Tuesday and there are quote-along shows for Wet Hot American Summer on Sunday and Thursday.
Gross-out Fantastic Fest alumni Septic Man adds evening screenings at the Alamo Slaughter Lane beginning tonight. That location also hosts Jane Eyre for Afternoon Tea on Saturday afternoon, The Monster Squad for Zzang!!! on Tuesday night and adds a Robin Williams memorial screening of Good Will Hunting on Wednesday with all proceeds going to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
Alamo Lakeline wlll also have a memorial screening of Hook on Sunday afternoon with all proceeds going to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. There are three more chances to catch The Warriors in 35mm at Lakeline on Sunday, Monday and Thursday night. On Wednesday, Lakeline will also be hosting another amazing feast, this time for Lasse Halstrom's The Hundred-Foot Journey (Elizabeth's review prediction was correct!). The meal, created by Alamo Chef Trish Eichelberger, will feature a Nicoise Salad, Saag Goat Cheese Crepe, Vegetable Vindaloo and a Mango Fluer de Sel Lassi and Pistachio Tuile along with drink pairings for each course. The Alamo Village presents Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs on Sunday and Tuesday
Finally, the last Sound & Cinema event of the summer from Do512 and the Drafthouse happens on Wednesday night. They'll be screening Close Encounters Of The Third Kind on the lawn of the Long Center. The family-friendly event features food trailers that open by 6 pm, a live concert at 7 pm and the movie to follow after sunset.
Movies We've Seen
Calvary - Writer/director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) reteams with Brendan Gleeson for a powerful drama about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Don's review says "it is one of the years's smartest movies, as it considers the nature of religion and its role in an increasingly secular world." (Alamo South Lamar, Regal Arbor, Violet Crown Cinema)
The Giver - Based on the award-winning young adult novel by Lois Lowry, this teen thriller features a cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and even Taylor Swift. Even though the book was published long before The Hunger Games and Divergent, the film adaptation now comes along and looks like a retread of those franchises instead of the forerunner. Debbie says in her review that she was impressed by the cinematography, art design, special effects ... but not the plot or the main character. (wide)
Mood Indigo (pictured above) - After screening at last year's Fantastic Fest, Drafthouse Films acquired the U.S. rights to Michel Gondry's romance with Amelie's Audrey Tautou and Roman Duris (Dans Paris). Tautou and Duris have previously played lovers on screen in the films of Cedric Klapisch's Spanish Apartment trilogy. Gondry's quirky storytelling methods are not for everybody. In fact, Elizabeth's complains that the movie is "utterly drowning in whimsy and lacking any figment of truth." Look for her review this weekend. (Alamo South Lamar with select showtimes at Alamo Lakeline and Alamo Slaughter Lane)
Also Opening In Austin
The Expendables 3 - If you're looking for more than non-stop explosions and a bunch of "remember him?" cameos from this film, you're not the target audience. (wide)
Let's Be Cops - Scraping the bottom of the barrel with an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this buddy comedy with Damon Wayans, Jr. and Jake Johnson from Fox's New Girl was, quite unsurprisingly, not screened in advance for critics. (wide)
What If - This Canadian romantic comedy was originally titled The F Word. While it was released that way up North, the MPAA refused to allow the PG-13 film to enter the U.S. marketplace under that title, so it's been generically altered. Daniel Radcliffe is paired here with the charming Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks). The A.V. Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky says the film is "proof that, with a likable cast and a good grasp of tone, it's possible to make a decent romantic comedy out of the genre's most played-out cliches." (AMC Barton Creek, Tinseltown North, Tinseltown South, Regal Arbor)