Alamo Drafthouse

Idiocracy just won't leave Austin

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IdiocracyAlamo on South Lamar is showing Idiocracy nightly for one more week. I've got to find time this weekend to see it again, because who knows when in the world Twentieth Century Fox will release it on DVD. I realize there are lots of films in local theaters that I haven't seen for the first time and really should prioritize over Idiocracy (The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Jesus Camp, Matador, and a bunch of other titles that I just realized have left theaters, damn it), but I'd like to see if the Mike Judge movie makes me laugh as hard as it did when we saw it on opening night.

Meanwhile, Movie City Indie has linked to an alleged pre-production copy of the Idiocracy script. The date on the cover page reads August 2003. I haven't read the whole script yet, but I tend to agree with Movie City Indie's assessment that the script is closer to the released film that you'd think. There's voice-over narration, although not as much as in the finished film. And the script is 110 pages long, which at a page a minute is rather longer than the 84-minute running time. However, there's no proof whatsoever that this script is genuine, so take it with a grain of salt.

Updated: After reading the whole script -- if it is the actual script, my guess is that there wasn't enough money in the budget for the National Fart Museum, the Liberry of Congress, or the Extreme Court. Too bad.

And ScreenGrab found an extra still. That makes three, wow!

Terror Thursday: Raw Force! and October film festivals

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Raw ForceIf anyone ever asks you what's so special about the Austin film community, take them to one of the free midnight screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. Terror Thursday is a good choice for horror fans, though Weird Wednesday is usually a better choice for those looking for the cinematically absurd as a form of entertainment. This week's Terror Thursday, however, was pure gold: Raw Force is a tour de force that combines cannibalism, the undead, kung-fu, and the '80s sex comedy in a way that can't help but delight. You can read my full review over at Blue Glow.

Fantastic Fest: Aphids in my shake and other stories

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BugEating and drinking at Alamo Drafthouse while watching movies, especially horror movies, can lead to some very weird moments. I ordered a chocolate shake during Bug, and it was the first time I'd had a shake at Alamo. The shake is one of the best I've had in Austin, rich and chocolate-y, and is served with a wide straw like the kind you get with bubble tea. It was dark in the theater when I got the shake, so I didn't get a close look -- I mean, shakes are shakes, right?

Turns out that Alamo's shakes are topped with these little chocolate/hazelnut candies, like M&Ms but smaller -- the size and shape of a sunflower seed, I think. I found this out by sucking a couple of them up in a straw ... at the precise moment in Bug when Michael Shannon's character held up his fingers, pinched together to trap a miniscule bug, and said, "Aphids!" Fortunately I quickly realized that aphids don't taste like hazelnut, or I would have sprayed shake all over Chris and Blake.

In other Fantastic Fest news, I've seen two films so far in which someone is impaled on a garden gnome, two in which someone gets stuck in a bear trap, and a surprising number of horror films with strong female leads who do more than merely scream a lot.

Cinematical has posted my reviews of Tideland, Frostbite (my favorite film so far), The Hamster Cage, and Gamerz. More reviews are coming soon, but in the meantime, here are some quick summaries:

Idiocracy's opening night in Austin

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My husband and I went to Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar last night to catch Idiocracy on its opening night. I was assigned to review the movie for Cinematical, and normally when no press screenings occur I would have seen the movie as early as possible so I could post the review as quickly as I could. However, I was curious to see what kind of crowd (if any) that the non-publicized Mike Judge film would draw, so we bought tickets for the 7:45 pm show.

You can read my review of Idiocracy on Cinematical. I have a few extra comments, particularly related to Austin.

First of all, here's a photo of the audience at Friday night's film. I wish I could send a copy to the studio behind the film, Twentieth Century Fox. With no trailer and no publicity at all, the Alamo audience was hardly sparse:

Alamo crowd at Idiocracy

"Everybody comes to Austin."

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This week's News from Slackerwood post is now available on Cinematical. I'm still trying to decide which Richard Rush-attended movie I should see on Wednesday night: We own The Stunt Man on DVD, but I'd like to hear what Rush says about it. And I've been wanting to see Psych-Out since I was in high school and looked up all the early films of Jack Nicholson for some reason I can't remember now. (I wish Alamo would show Rush's Freebie and the Bean, which I'm tempted to go rent on VHS from Vulcan Video.)

Update: I saw both the Richard Rush movies at Alamo's double-feature. I've got photos of Rush that maybe someday I'll even post.

Live music and A Scanner Darkly

On Thursday night (Aug. 3), Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar is reprising its special screening of A Scanner Darkly with a live performance of excerpts from the score beforehand. Graham Reynolds, the film's composer, isn't just sitting in a dark corner with a guitar or keyboard. When I attended the previous sold-out event a couple of weeks ago, Reynolds was part of an nine-piece band that included a number of stringed instruments, guitars, a keyboard and a xylophone. I wish I'd taken pictures, but it was too dark in the theater even when the movie wasn't playing -- Chris Garcia managed to snap one and posted it to Austin Movie Blog.

The half-hour set took place before the movie and included four longish pieces: the "bug" music during the opening credits; what Reynolds called the "hallway" music (noting that the movie contains many scenes where people walk down hallways) and the background music from the diner scene; music from the scene in Donna's apartment and the subsequent scene in Arctor's bedroom; and what Reynolds called the "Room 203" and "freeway" music. He was very good about describing where the music fit in without giving away any key plot elements.

Forget Snakes on a Plane ... I'm waiting for Penguins on a Harley

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Snakes on a PlaneApparently the Alamo Drafthouse doesn't feel like Snakes on a Plane is quite sufficient. The theater chain wants to encourage other movies with animals trapped on vehicles, wreaking havoc. So they've started a contest: Blanks on a Blank.

Anyone can register a team to make a short film -- you don't have to live in Austin. When you register, the site randomly selects an animal and a vehicle for you. You could end up with Hippos on a Big Wheel, Hyenas on an SUV, or Ants on a Log. After you're assigned an animal and vehicle, it's up to your team to make a 3-5 minute short based on the premise before August 3.

As the shorts are submitted, they'll be posted to the Blanks on a Blank site, so everyone can enjoy Penguins on a Harley. The best shorts will be shown before Alamo's midnight screening of Snakes on a Plane on August 17, with prizes to be awarded to the top entries. Alamo will also host a "Best of Austin" night featuring local submissions.

I'd be tempted to enter, but I'm not sure I could do any better than Cat on a Couch or maybe Cockroach on a Toilet (based on a scary real-life incident in our house earlier this week).

My favorite rule for this contest: "All films must contain the line of dialogue '(your randomly chosen animal) on a motherfucking (your randomly chosen vehicle).'"

Kier-La has my dream job

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I'm a little envious of Kier-La Janisse, one of the programmers at Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, even though I've never met her. Wouldn't it be wonderful to get to program a series for Alamo Drafthouse? Austinist posted an interview with Kier-La today, focusing on her work building up the Music Monday series at Alamo. I haven't been to Music Mondays yet -- we saw Head at Alamo around New Year's, but it wasn't a Monday. I'd like to go to a Music Monday screening soon and report back here on how I liked it, the same way I wrote about Weird Wednesday at Alamo recently for Celluloid Eyes. However, I doubt I'll have time for Music Monday before July, as things are pretty busy chez Jette right now.

Speaking of which, posting here will probably be light for the next week or so, because I'm getting married on Saturday. I wish I'd given Tim League my wedding date as soon as we set it, because of course I am such an important person that Alamo Drafthouse/Rolling Roadshow would never have booked my wedding weekend with a preview screening event for Nacho Libre and an outdoor showing of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with cast members in attendance. Just because I can't be there doesn't mean you can't, though ... tickets are still available for the Russ Meyer-themed extravaganza on Saturday.

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