2010 in Review: Memorable Austin Movies, Part Two



Check out Part One of our collection of Austin-related films that Slackerwood contributors found memorable in 2010. In addition, keep an eye out for Jenn's article later this week focusing on an Austin actor who was especially prolific last year. Here's the rest of our list:

What was the best time to be had at the movies in 2010? Machete, but of course; no other 2010 film kicked ass with more wit, style and subversive glee than Robert Rodriguez’s riotous, Austin-shot homage to '70s exploitation flicks. (Jette's review) From Danny Trejo's glowering take on the anti-hero Machete Cortez to Michelle Rodriguez's heat-packin' halter top, every detail about this exploitation extravaganza is dead on. And beyond all the murder, mayhem and gloriously gratuitous nudity, Machete also has a lot to say about politics, racism and the immigration debate. As I said to Jette after we watched Machete, "Now, that was the movie Eat Pray Love should have been." --Don Clinchy
How you can see it: Available on Blu-ray and DVD.

"On the surface, Mars looks like science fiction, but in reality, it's a lighthearted love story," Jenn Brown says in her SXSW review of this animated feature from Austin filmmaker Geoff Marslett. Glib reviewers called it "mumblecore in space," which doesn't cover the movie's quirky rotoscoped animation style, or its entertaining performances from Paul Gordon, Mark Duplass and Zoe Simpson. Kinky Friedman also makes an appearance as the President of the United States. Read our interview with Mr. Marslett for stories about casting and animation techniques. Cute and funny. --Jette Kernion
How you can see it: Marslett told Debbie last month that he's hoping for an Austin theatrical release soon.

Red White & Blue
British filmmaker and Fantastic Fest regular Simon Rumley decided to shoot his most recent film here in Austin, produced by Alamo Drafthouse co-founder Tim League. In Jenn's SXSW review, she calls it "an intriguing study of the pressures that splinter a psyche and break the compact with social codes with tragic results" and also warns that this horror film is not for the squeamish. Jenn spent a day as an extra at the Broken Spoke, and Debbie volunteered her house for location shooting. --Jette Kernion
How you can see it: IFC distributed the movie on VOD last year, but no word yet on a DVD release.
Warning: The following trailer is NSFW for sexual and violent imagery.

Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission
Austin filmmakers Mike Woolf and Andrew Yates have a knack for disproving the misconception that documentaries are dry and impersonal. I'd thoroughly enjoyed their quirky short doc Growin' A Beard at SXSW 2003, and was excited to see their take on local entrepreneur and game developer Richard Garriott's mission to become the first second-generation astronaut. I interviewed director Woolf and star Garriott who were both enlightening and engaging. Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission (my review) didn't disappoint with awe-inspiring never-before-seen footage of the re-entry capsule making its fiery return to earth, great animation and cinematography complemented with a cosmic score and music by local composer Brian Satterwhite and Austin band Candi and the Strangers. --Debbie Cerda
How you can see it: Still seeking distribution.

Although young actress Ashley Greene continues her supporting role in the wildly successful Twilight series, currently filming Breaking Dawn in Baton Rouge, she's also getting a lot of independent film projects under her belt. Greene came to my attention at SXSW 2010 with the premiere of Skateland. Filmmakers Brandon Freeman, Heath Freeman and Anthony Burns are The University of Texas at Austin alums and set this coming-of-age film in the 80's in Smalltown, Texas. Since I grew up in this decade at the same time as the main characters, I loved the music and nostalgia depicted in the movie, as you can see in my review. However, the heart of this film is about the changing roles in the household and a young man's transition into adulthood that transcends the decades. --Debbie Cerda
How you can see it: Reported to be set for theatrical release in Spring 2011.

True Grit
On a Sunday morning some months ago as I walked to my church downtown, I noticed a piece of a set sitting in the parking lot across 9th from the Austin Club. I wasn’t too shocked to see it (or the man guarding it) since I had heard True Grit (Mike's review) was filming in town. A cream-colored structure of four columns topped by a cupola, I assumed that this piece was going to be placed in front of the Austin Club as a faux entrance when the movie was shot.

One of the reasons I wanted to see True Grit so badly was to see how the historic Austin building was going to factor into a story based in Arkansas -- and in one of the last scenes of the movie, I saw it! The adult Mattie walks up to a building and hands a showbill to a boy; the setpiece hides any view of the AMOA building as the shot focuses straight on the Austin Club. Of course 9th Street has been 19th centuryized digitally, and the parking meters and streetlights have been removed. But that is indeed the Austin Club! And True Grit is indeed a fantastic film.  --Elizabeth Stoddard
How you can see it: Still playing in local theaters.

Winnebago Man
Austin filmmaker Ben Steinbauer goes in search of the "angriest man in the world," the unknown, gold-throated star of an industrial film, made famous by a clip reel gone viral. Don found the movie funny, watchable, but not profound. I found it suffused with uncomfortable charm. I took particular enjoyment in seeing clips from Austin's own famed The Show with No Name. As Winnebago Man Jack Rebney says, "Will you do me a kindness?" Check it out. --Chip Rosenthal
How you can see it
: Available on DVD, iTunes and Amazon VOD.
Warning: The following trailer is NSFW for R-rated language (but is very funny).