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Latest from Joe Gross

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‘Justice League’ a not-so-super mishmash of dark and light
 Warning: Spoilers for “Justice League” follow. Like so much going on in 2017, “Justice League” arrives in theaters aided by audiences hoping — nay, praying — that it meets the lowest possible expectations. Witness the troubled genesis of what was to be the coming out party for the first live-action meeting...

Posted: 2 days ago

Warning: Spoilers for “Justice League” follow. Like so much going on in 2017, “Justice League” arrives in theaters aided by audiences hoping — nay, praying — that it meets the lowest possible expectations. Witness the troubled genesis of what was to be the coming out party for the first live-action meeting...
Attention Austin hoarders: ‘American Pickers’ is coming to Texas
      You know it, I know it, your neighbors know it: Austin is lousy with folks who just will not throw away their stuff. Austin’s garages, its sheds and its crawl spaces are filled with plenty of objects from the good old days, be those the 90s rock/tech boom, the 80s oil boom and bust, the cosmic cowboy 1970s, the &lsquo...

Posted: 7 days ago

     You know it, I know it, your neighbors know it: Austin is lousy with folks who just will not throw away their stuff. Austin’s garages, its sheds and its crawl spaces are filled with plenty of objects from the good old days, be those the 90s rock/tech boom, the 80s oil boom and bust, the cosmic cowboy 1970s, the &lsquo...
What’s the best city for veterans? Austin.
 Turns out Austin has been named the best place in the United States for military veterans.  Personal finance website WalletHub took a look at 17  indicators of livability, affordability, and veteran-friendly attitude for the 100 biggest cities in the U.S. These were then grouped into four big categories: jobs, economy, quality of...

Posted: 8 days ago

Turns out Austin has been named the best place in the United States for military veterans.  Personal finance website WalletHub took a look at 17  indicators of livability, affordability, and veteran-friendly attitude for the 100 biggest cities in the U.S. These were then grouped into four big categories: jobs, economy, quality of...
Ever wondered where to find the Republic of Texas? Here you go.
 The people of Texas will never completely get over the fact that, for a little while there, Texas was its own dang nation. (Nor should they. Come on, it’s pretty cool.) The folks at Wide Open Country noticed something really cool the other day. If you drive roughly 20 minutes from Carthage (yes, the same Carthage in which the Bernie...

Posted: 8 days ago

The people of Texas will never completely get over the fact that, for a little while there, Texas was its own dang nation. (Nor should they. Come on, it’s pretty cool.) The folks at Wide Open Country noticed something really cool the other day. If you drive roughly 20 minutes from Carthage (yes, the same Carthage in which the Bernie...
Linklater ponders war, middle age and loss in ‘Last Flag Flying’
 Austin director Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” is an odd duck, a thoughtful, often low-key-elegant relationship movie the title of which you should ignore completely. To wit: Darryl Ponicsan’s 2005 novel “Last Flag Flying” is a sequel to his 1970 debut novel “The Last Detail. The latter was...

Posted: 8 days ago

Austin director Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” is an odd duck, a thoughtful, often low-key-elegant relationship movie the title of which you should ignore completely. To wit: Darryl Ponicsan’s 2005 novel “Last Flag Flying” is a sequel to his 1970 debut novel “The Last Detail. The latter was...
Richard Linklater wants to make a movie about 1970s Houston
 The Houston Chronicle is reporting that longtime Austin resident, local film godfather and eternal Texan Richard Linklater would love to take a make a movie (or something) about growing up in Houston in the 1960s and ‘70s. “Houston deserves a good TV series and a couple of more movies," the 57-year-old was quoted during a...

Posted: 9 days ago

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that longtime Austin resident, local film godfather and eternal Texan Richard Linklater would love to take a make a movie (or something) about growing up in Houston in the 1960s and ‘70s. “Houston deserves a good TV series and a couple of more movies," the 57-year-old was quoted during a...
In ‘Last Flag Flying,’ Linklater confronts war, friendship and change
 If there is one question Austin director Richard Linklater is probably a little sick of answering, it is this: Is “Last Flag Flying,” which opens in Austin on Nov. 10, a sequel to “The Last Detail,” Hal Ashby’s 1973 New Hollywood semi-classic starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young and Randy Quaid? The very short...

Posted: 9 days ago

If there is one question Austin director Richard Linklater is probably a little sick of answering, it is this: Is “Last Flag Flying,” which opens in Austin on Nov. 10, a sequel to “The Last Detail,” Hal Ashby’s 1973 New Hollywood semi-classic starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young and Randy Quaid? The very short...
Five books we’re looking forward to reading now that the Texas Book Festival is done
 There aren’t many events in Austin that make you think there simply aren’t enough hours in the day quite like the Texas Book Festival. Go to enough panels, look at what people are holding and all you can think is, “there aren’t enough hours in the day to read all of these books.” Here are five we look forward...

Posted: 11 days ago

There aren’t many events in Austin that make you think there simply aren’t enough hours in the day quite like the Texas Book Festival. Go to enough panels, look at what people are holding and all you can think is, “there aren’t enough hours in the day to read all of these books.” Here are five we look forward...
Dan Rather on the idea of alternative facts: ‘You don’t have to have a Harvard or Stanford degree to know this is ridiculous’
 Dan Rather, the 86 years young former anchor and editor of the CBS Evening News, sat down with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune to launch his essay collection “What Unites Us” on Saturday at First Baptist Church as part of the Texas Book Festival. Here is what we learned: Patriotism should not be confused with nationalism. &ldquo...

Posted: 12 days ago

Dan Rather, the 86 years young former anchor and editor of the CBS Evening News, sat down with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune to launch his essay collection “What Unites Us” on Saturday at First Baptist Church as part of the Texas Book Festival. Here is what we learned: Patriotism should not be confused with nationalism. &ldquo...
5 things to know about Texas Book Festival on Sunday
 The second day of Texas Book Festival takes place Sunday at the Capitol and surrounding venues, and most events are free and open to the public. Here are five highlights for Sunday (see all previews and live coverage at austin360.com/bookfest): 1. Jennifer Egan. It has been seven years since Egan’s last novel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning...

Posted: 12 days ago

The second day of Texas Book Festival takes place Sunday at the Capitol and surrounding venues, and most events are free and open to the public. Here are five highlights for Sunday (see all previews and live coverage at austin360.com/bookfest): 1. Jennifer Egan. It has been seven years since Egan’s last novel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning...
Bush twins discuss loss, tonic and a terrible baby shower at Texas Book Festival
 The Texas Book Festival kicked off a little after 10 a.m. Saturday as Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, in town to chat about their book “Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life,” led a packed House chamber in singing "Happy Birthday" to their mother, Laura Bush, the first chair of the Texas...

Posted: 12 days ago

The Texas Book Festival kicked off a little after 10 a.m. Saturday as Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, in town to chat about their book “Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life,” led a packed House chamber in singing "Happy Birthday" to their mother, Laura Bush, the first chair of the Texas...
5 things to know about the Texas Book Festival on Saturday
 The Texas Book Festival is Saturday and Sunday at the Capitol and surrounding venues, and most events are free and open to the public. Although director and actor Tom Hanks is the highest-profile name this year — here with a collection of short fiction, “Uncommon Type” — his ticketed event is sold out. Here are...

Posted: 14 days ago

The Texas Book Festival is Saturday and Sunday at the Capitol and surrounding venues, and most events are free and open to the public. Although director and actor Tom Hanks is the highest-profile name this year — here with a collection of short fiction, “Uncommon Type” — his ticketed event is sold out. Here are...
Arimah, Davis, Dimaline win $50k Kirkus Prizes
 “What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories”  by Lesley Nneka Arimah, “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” by Jack E. Davis and “The Marrow Thieves” by Cherie Dimaline have all won the fourth annual Kirkus Prize, it was announced Thursday night. Each winner receives a cash prize of $50...

Posted: 14 days ago

“What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories”  by Lesley Nneka Arimah, “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” by Jack E. Davis and “The Marrow Thieves” by Cherie Dimaline have all won the fourth annual Kirkus Prize, it was announced Thursday night. Each winner receives a cash prize of $50...
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ blends action and comedy perfectly
 Whether you are in the mood for CGI action or witty chatter, the wildly enjoyable “Thor: Ragnarok” justifies your hard-earned money, your two hours-plus and, indeed, its very existence right up front. Within five minutes, our briefly imperiled hero chats with a skeleton (it doesn’t reply), blasts out of his chains and hurls...

Posted: 15 days ago

Whether you are in the mood for CGI action or witty chatter, the wildly enjoyable “Thor: Ragnarok” justifies your hard-earned money, your two hours-plus and, indeed, its very existence right up front. Within five minutes, our briefly imperiled hero chats with a skeleton (it doesn’t reply), blasts out of his chains and hurls...
‘LBJ’ shows us a fraction of the man
 Lyndon Baines Johnson is easily the 20th century’s most Shakespearean president, a title that for some reason a few folks have ascribed to Nixon. This always struck me as very slightly off — Tricky Dick’s fear and thuggishness kept him light years from his better angels. Johnson, on the other hand — well, it&rsquo...

Posted: 15 days ago

Lyndon Baines Johnson is easily the 20th century’s most Shakespearean president, a title that for some reason a few folks have ascribed to Nixon. This always struck me as very slightly off — Tricky Dick’s fear and thuggishness kept him light years from his better angels. Johnson, on the other hand — well, it&rsquo...
Astros win? Academy has you covered
 Dear Minute Maid Park, Yeah I know it’s been one of the most bonkers series ever and easily one of the most epic. Two teams with more than 100 wins taking it down to the proverbial wire. And sure, everyone, everywhere makes “World Series Champion” merch well before the final out/inning/minute/quaeter of whatever final championship...

Posted: 16 days ago

Dear Minute Maid Park, Yeah I know it’s been one of the most bonkers series ever and easily one of the most epic. Two teams with more than 100 wins taking it down to the proverbial wire. And sure, everyone, everywhere makes “World Series Champion” merch well before the final out/inning/minute/quaeter of whatever final championship...
‘LBJ’ director Rob Reiner: Johnson wasn’t just a ‘bull in the china shop’
 When “LBJ” director Rob Reiner — best known (after “This is Spinal Tap,” anyway) for such high-quality Hollywood classics as “A Few Good Men” and “When Harry Met Sally” — started looking into the idea of helming a movie about Lyndon Baines Johnson, he was not exactly wild about the...

Posted: 16 days ago

When “LBJ” director Rob Reiner — best known (after “This is Spinal Tap,” anyway) for such high-quality Hollywood classics as “A Few Good Men” and “When Harry Met Sally” — started looking into the idea of helming a movie about Lyndon Baines Johnson, he was not exactly wild about the...
Going to the Texas Book Festival? (You should!) What you need to know
 Welcome to the 22st annual Texas Book Festival. Since 1996, the literary shindig has highlighted authors from across the state, the country and ultimately the world — inside and in the shadow of the Texas Capitol. Dan Rather, Jennifer Egan and Jeffrey Eugenides are just a few of the more than 280 authors previously announced for the...

Posted: 20 days ago

Welcome to the 22st annual Texas Book Festival. Since 1996, the literary shindig has highlighted authors from across the state, the country and ultimately the world — inside and in the shadow of the Texas Capitol. Dan Rather, Jennifer Egan and Jeffrey Eugenides are just a few of the more than 280 authors previously announced for the...
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