Movies This Week: September 12-18, 2014

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Love Is Strange 

The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz is turning the spotlight on some of their favorite films of the year this week by bringing in The Dance Of Reality, The Grand Budapest Hotel (Don's review), Obvious Child (Elizabeth's review), The Raid 2 and We Are The Best! (my review) for select showtimes. Each screening is just $5 and these films are all worth checking out on the big screen if you missed them or just want to see them again.

Also at the Ritz this week: Broadway Brunch returns with The Music Man in 35mm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Howard The Duck screens on Sunday with a live Q&A featuring Val Mayerik (a co-creator of the original comic), the original 1987 Robocop on Sunday for Tough Guy Cinema, a rare 35mm screening of The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford on Tuesday and A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 35mm for Terror Tuesday's "Fredtember." 

Alamo Slaughter is bringing back Chef this weekend. They've also got Singin' In The Rain on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday (as does the Alamo Lakeline). Alamo South Lamar will be hosting aGLIFF (Caitlin's preview) all weekend. Individual tickets for most shows can be purchased if you don't have a festival badge, capacity permitting. The Alamo is also teaming up with the Austin Classical Guitar Society for a very special screening this evening of The Unknown. This silent classic stars Lon Cheney Sr. and Joan Crawford and it is going to be presented with a live score composed by the European duo Les Freres Meduses for two guitars and violin. They'll be performing it live in the theater with William Fedkenheuer from the Miro Quartet.

South Lamar is also bringing Boyhood back this week while continuing on with indie faves The One I Love, The Trip To Italy, No No: A Dockumentary, The Congress and Frank through Wednesday. On Thursday, the 10th Annual Fantastic Fest will begin taking over most if not all of the South Lamar venue for a full week. 

The Austin Film Society is serving up a special treat for Free Member Friday tonight at the Marchesa with Gabe Klinger's Double Play. This documentary, which played at SXSW earlier this year (Marcie's review), focuses on the friendship between Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater and avant-garde filmmaker James Benning. On Sunday, you can catch a sci-fi treat from Chris Marker called Level Five. It was released back in 1997, but is currently circulating across the country in its first proper U.S. theatrical release. On Wednesday, Dom Pedro's Tango Negro is playing for Doc Nights and Thursday brings the Essential Cinema selection of Jerzy Kawalerowicz's Austeria. This 1982 film depicts the eve of World War I as Polish, Ukranian and Jewish villagers struggle to survive in a rural inn. 

Violet Crown Cinema has another installment of "Criterion Presents" on Tuesday night with Nicolas Roeg's 1971 Australian classic Walkabout. On Wednesday, they team up with the Cine Las Americas for an "Arthouse Monthly" screening of Somos Mari Pepa. This Mexican film from last year follows a teenage boy living with his grandmother and how his plans for the perfect summer don't turn out exactly as he planned.  

Movies We've Seen

The Drop - James Gandolfini's final screen performance comes in this gritty gangster tale from Bullhead director Michael R. Roskam. With a screenplay written by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), this film also stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Ann Dowd and Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts. In her review, Caitlin calls it "a twisty crime drama that glooms along at a measured pace." (AMC Barton Creek, Alamo Slaughter Lane, Alamo Lakeline, Cinemark Hill Country Galleria, Regal Arbor, Violet Crown Cinema)

Land Ho! - Cowriters/directors Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz present us with two retired men on a charmingly bawdy road trip across Iceland. Jette calls it "far more interesting for you to watch than for me to describe." Look for her review this weekend. (Regal Arbor)

Also Opening In Austin

Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? - The most surprising thing about the Atlas Shrugged trilogy is that they actually got the third installment made. Based on Ayn Rand's final tome, each film in the trilogy has featured a different director and a different cast. This final film only got made through a Kickstarter campaign that raised close to $500,000 towards the budget. (AMC Barton Creek, Cinemark Hill Country Galleria, Regal Gateway)

Dolphin Tale 2 - Thanks to the appearance of Atlas Shrugged 3, this becomes merely the second least essential sequel in release this weekend. (wide)

God Help The Girl - Stuart Murdoch, lead vocalist and songwriter for Scottish twee-poppers Belle and Sebastian, wrote and directed this musical set in Glasgow which played earlier this year at Sundance (where it won a special jury prize for best ensemble cast) and SXSW. (Alamo South Lamar - 2 shows a day through Wednesday, also available on VOD)

Love Is Strange (pictured above) - One of the year's best reviewed movies (currently sitting with a 97% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), this indie drama stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a gay couple in New York City who get married after spending almost four decades together only to find their lives turned upside down after one of them loses their job. They end up having to seperate themselves in order to stay with friends and family after selling their apartment. NPR's Mark Jenkins says the film is "warm, unforced and believable." (Regal Arbor, Violet Crown Cinema)

No Good Deed - Taraji P. Henson stars as a mother whose "ideal life takes a dramatic turn when her home and children are threatened by...a charming stranger (Idris Elba) who smooth-talks his way into her house, claiming car trouble." That description comes straight from the studio as this thriller was not screened for critics. (wide)