Movies & TV


‘Handmaid’s Tale’ makes you work but pays off as few shows ever could

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is not easy to watch. And it’s certainly not fun to watch, either. It is unrelentingly oppressive and dark, even more so in its second season, whose first two episodes premiere Wednesday on Hulu. Chances are that if you gave the series a shot last year and couldn’t take it, you probably aren’t planning to try again this season. But make no...
‘Super Troopers 2’: Comedy sequel stalls at the side of the road

‘Super Troopers 2’: Comedy sequel stalls at the side of the road

From the beginning, the makers of “Super Troopers” and “Beerfest” have built these politically incorrect odes to nonsense practically daring you to disapprove. The Broken Lizard comedy group embraces the lowbrow to predictable extremes. If you see a pyramid of cans somewhere, it will be knocked down. If a taser enters the scene, it must at some point be used on someone&rsquo...
What would Prince want? Two years later, his estate is a mess and his legacy unclear

What would Prince want? Two years later, his estate is a mess and his legacy unclear

CHANHASSEN, Minnesota — Near Influence Hallway, past Paisley Park's platinum album-lined entry, our tour group is led to Prince's inner sanctum, a two-story atrium painted sky blue with clouds — his take on heaven. A trio of doves flutter in an ornate cage. They don't cry. They coo. The late artist's residence and recording complex sprawls alongside a well-traveled highway, 20 miles from...
‘I Feel Pretty’ is bold but superficial take on self-love

‘I Feel Pretty’ is bold but superficial take on self-love

The Amy Schumer vehicle “I Feel Pretty” tackles a very real epidemic — the crisis of confidence. Low self-esteem is part of the human condition for people of any age, gender or race, but it’s particularly virulent and destructive in the young female population, resulting in eating disorders, imposter syndrome, plastic surgery, billions of dollars spent on beauty products, diets...
‘Final Portrait’ a look at the frustrations of creating art

‘Final Portrait’ a look at the frustrations of creating art

Let’s say you’re going to make a movie about the celebrated 20th century artist Alberto Giacometti, and you’re going to set the film in his Parisian studio, while he’s painting the portrait of a young man who’s not only an admirer but also his future biographer (the well-bred, upper-class writer James Lord posed for Giacometti and eventually wrote a memoir about the experience...
‘Lean on Pete’ shows why Charlie Plummer is destined to be a star

‘Lean on Pete’ shows why Charlie Plummer is destined to be a star

At first, “Lean on Pete” seems like it’s going to be a traditional tale about a teenage boy who bonds with a horse and learns significant lessons. That’s part of the new movie starring Charlie Plummer and directed by Andrew Haigh. But “Lean on Pete” is about traumas that no teen should ever have to face. Plummer plays Charley Thompson, who moves to Portland, Ore...
‘The Endless’ a nifty horror film about UFO cult

‘The Endless’ a nifty horror film about UFO cult

Crafty and mind-bending, “The Endless” is a highly effective, psychological horror thriller in which two ex-cult members return to their apocalyptic commune, only to get trapped into supernatural time loops that challenge their memories of the past. It’s an almost impossible movie to describe; it has to be experienced. And though every frame isn’t tidily wrapped up at the end...
‘China Hustle’ a mildly engrossing yet wonky investment documentary

‘China Hustle’ a mildly engrossing yet wonky investment documentary

The phenomenon of “shorting” — a financial maneuver in which an investor only makes money if a stock fails — is the subject of “The China Hustle,” a documentary by Jed Rothstein (director of the 2010 Oscar-nominated short “Killing in the Name”). Its setting is China, where many companies have lured American investors with fraudulent promises of financial...
Movies in theaters, 4/20/18

Movies in theaters, 4/20/18

OPENING THIS WEEK “I Feel Pretty” Grade: C. Review page 30 “Super Troopers 2” Grade: D. Review page 31 “Lean on Pete” Grade: B+. Review page 28 “The Endless” Grade: B+. Review page 33 “The China Hustle” Grade: C. Review page 32 “Final Portrait” Grade: B. Review page 27 NOT REVIEWED “Traffik.” R. 96 minutes. A couple...
Shia LaBeouf stars in story of one of tennis’ greatest matches

Shia LaBeouf stars in story of one of tennis’ greatest matches

Here are a few interesting new releases that are available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available through streaming services. Video on Demand “Borg vs. McEnroe”: Swedish director Janus Metz takes on the infamous tennis rivalry between Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf). In 1980, Borg was riding high after...
Actor Armie Hammer says he wants to make art, not blockbusters

Actor Armie Hammer says he wants to make art, not blockbusters

Armie Hammer, who has been getting the best reviews of his up-and-down career for his role in “Call Me by Your Name,” thinks he has finally found “what I want to do” as an actor. “The year 2017 was a turnaround for me,” he says during a recent visit to Austin for the South by Southwest premiere of his latest film, “Final Portrait,” an arthouse movie...
‘Ismael’s Ghosts’ is a messy but vibrant drama

‘Ismael’s Ghosts’ is a messy but vibrant drama

In more ways than one, “Ismael’s Ghosts” immerses us in the head space of a gloriously undisciplined movie director. At the center of this sad, funny, sprawling and fragmented story is Ismael Vuillard (Mathieu Amalric), an unruly French filmmaker with a very strange family history. His latest picture is a thriller about a globe-hopping spy named Ivan Dedalus, a heavily fictionalized...
Joaquin Phoenix riveting in the haunting ‘You Were Never Really Here’

Joaquin Phoenix riveting in the haunting ‘You Were Never Really Here’

Seven years ago, the gifted Scottish writer-director Lynne Ramsay made a bleak and unsettling domestic horror film titled “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Her latest feature, her fourth in nearly two decades, is a hypnotically grim New York crime thriller called “You Were Never Really Here.” Both movies are named after pre-existing source material, which makes it a sly coincidence...
Tale of canine hero ‘Sgt. Stubby’ deserves heftier treatment

Tale of canine hero ‘Sgt. Stubby’ deserves heftier treatment

The tale of friendly stray mutt-turned-war hero is the kind of true story built for cinematic adaptation. Director Richard Lanni, who has worked on documentary films and series about World War II, co-wrote the animated film “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” with veteran and Hollywood military adviser Mike Stokey. It depicts the inspiring and unlikely story of Stubby, a mutt who made his...
‘Rampage’ is big, dumb fun that diminishes Dwayne Johnson

‘Rampage’ is big, dumb fun that diminishes Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson has become a genre unto himself. Outfit the hulking former WWE star in a pair of cargo pants and a snug henley tee, and throw him into any extreme situation — jungle-based video game, diesel-fueled car stuntery, beach crimes, fighting an earthquake, starring across Kevin Hart — and it just works. So pairing Johnson with a giant albino gorilla in the video game adaptation...
‘Borg vs. McEnroe’ expertly follows clash of tennis titans

‘Borg vs. McEnroe’ expertly follows clash of tennis titans

The sport of tennis is inherently dramatic, at once meditative and explosive, a study in individual struggle and triumph. Personality tics and habits under extreme pressure and stress are laid bare for the whole world to inspect, with all eyes focused on the court. The rivalry of Björn Borg and John McEnroe, which came to a head at the 1980 Wimbledon final, pitted perfection against passion and...
Movies in theaters, 4/13/18

Movies in theaters, 4/13/18

OPENING THIS WEEK “Rampage” Grade: C. Review page 21 “You Were Never Really Here” Grade: A-. Review page 22 “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” Grade: C+. Review page 24 “Ismael’s Ghosts” Grade: B-. Review page 25 “Sweet Country” Grade: B. Review page 26 “Beirut” Grade: C-. Review page 27 “Borg vs. McEnroe” Grade...
Australian western spotlights race relations in the outback

Australian western spotlights race relations in the outback

Compelling and uncompromising, “Sweet Country” is anything but sweet. A bleak story presented with great style, it’s a finely made Australian western that demonstrates the malleability of that most American of genres as well as the impressive gifts of Indigenous filmmaker Warwick Thornton. Thornton’s first film, “Samson & Delilah,” which he wrote, directed and photographed...
In ‘Beirut,’ Jon Hamm heads a murky spy movie

In ‘Beirut,’ Jon Hamm heads a murky spy movie

“Beirut” is a spy story. But what’s its mission? Set on the eve of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, it’s a complicated story of Americans, Israelis and competing terrorist groups. There’s a mess of double-crosses, disloyalties and secret agendas. But the movie’s just as murky. It starts in ’72, with an unconvincingly de-aged Jon Hamm showing up as...
How ‘New Girl’ avoided the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope

How ‘New Girl’ avoided the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope demonstrates our culture’s compulsive need to categorize people. Coined by critic Nathan Rabin, it initially referred to an eccentric female character whose sole purpose is to teach a brooding man to appreciate life — a long-existing phenomenon in film and television, and one that became more apparent once we had a way to describe it. But as often happens...
Take a peek at Matthew McConaughey’s childhood home

Take a peek at Matthew McConaughey’s childhood home

You may have seen this image making the rounds on social media last month: Yes, that is (or at least appears to be) the under-21 identification of one Matthew McConaughey, Texas legend, Oscar-winning actor, alright guy. READ: Austin’s Nick Foles explains his church connection with Matthew McConaughey The Houston Chronicle noticed the Missouri City address on the ID card, speculating...
Documentary shines light on farmworker activist Dolores Huerta

Documentary shines light on farmworker activist Dolores Huerta

Here are a few interesting new releases that are available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available through streaming services. Video on Demand “Dolores”: Fresh from its recent airing on PBS’s “Independent Lens,” this award-winning documentary from Peter Bratt (brother of actor Benjamin, who serves as a producer) shines...
Filmmaker Uwe Boll would like to fight Alex Jones. To which we say: Austin, let’s host.

Filmmaker Uwe Boll would like to fight Alex Jones. To which we say: Austin, let’s host.

You might know 52-year-old retired German director Uwe Boll from such films as “Alone in the Dark,” the "Bloodrayne” series and lots of genre pictures of questionable taste. What you might not know is that Boll also likes challenging people to fights. (See also the 2006 tournament “Raging Boll” in which he requested critics of his work step in the ring. Read ...
How Mack, Jack & McConaughey grew so big so fast

How Mack, Jack & McConaughey grew so big so fast

On Feb. 18, 2013, event wrangler Jennifer Horn Stevens faced a “go/no-go” deadline as to whether to greenlight the first Mack, Jack & McConaughey benefit. Namesakes Mack Brown, Jack Ingram and Matthew McConaughey — plus their wives, Sally Brown, Amy Ingram and Camila Alves — had only two months left to prepare for a two-day benefit in April 2013 that nobody knew would produce...
‘Trading Spaces’ returns to TLC, as comfortable as an old sofa

‘Trading Spaces’ returns to TLC, as comfortable as an old sofa

TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” one of television’s most primordial home-improvement reality shows, was ending its eight-season run in 2008 at roughly the same moment that American homeowners experienced a disastrous housing bubble-burst, pushing the economy into the Great Recession. Though it was technically impossible to indict the cable channels — especially HGTV — for...
‘Chappaquiddick’ holds Ted Kennedy accountable

‘Chappaquiddick’ holds Ted Kennedy accountable

“I’m not going to be president” are the first words uttered by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) when his friends Joe (Ed Helms) and Paul (Jim Gaffigan) find him sopping wet in the backseat of a car parked outside a house party on Chappaquiddick Island in the wee hours of July 19, 1969. It’s not the car in which he left the party with Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara), and she...
Movies in theaters, 4/6/18

Movies in theaters, 4/6/18

OPENING THIS WEEK “A Quiet Place” Grade: B-. Review page 26 “Blockers” Grade: A-. Review page 24 “Chappaquiddick” Grade: B. Review page 27 “Foxtrot” Grade: A-. Review page 28 NOT REVIEWED “Gemini.” R. 93 minutes. A horrible crime strains the complex relationship between a Hollywood starlet and her indefatigable personal assistant, who unravels...
Teen sex comedy ‘Blockers’ balances raunchy humor with some heart

Teen sex comedy ‘Blockers’ balances raunchy humor with some heart

It is rare to come across a film that is as funny as it is heartwarming, or as charming as it is daring. “Blockers,” the directorial film debut of “Pitch Perfect” and “30 Rock” writer Kay Cannon, finds the perfect balance of all these qualities. Prom night has arrived, and friends-for-life Julie, Kayla and Sam (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon)...
Tense ‘Quiet Place’ thrills but leaves some questions unanswered

Tense ‘Quiet Place’ thrills but leaves some questions unanswered

There is much to enjoy about “A Quite Place,” but one would do well not to pull on any of the plot threads, lest it unravel. John Krasinski, directing only his third feature, from a script by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and Krasinski, delivers a solid genre picture with a remarkably high concept that folks seemed to go nuts for when it had its world premiere at South by Southwest. Starring...
Amusing and sobering ‘Foxtrot’ addresses the contradictions of Israel

Amusing and sobering ‘Foxtrot’ addresses the contradictions of Israel

In “Foxtrot,” an intriguing jewel box of a film, Israeli writer-director Samuel Maoz creates an elegant allegory of self-examination and the unmaking of myth, employing symbolism, theatricality and misdirection to question some of the most reassuring stories his home country tells itself. With a fluent mix of irony and sincerity, Maoz interrogates — gently, but with unwavering insistence...
‘Fixer Upper’ is over, but you can get your fix with these homes for rent in Waco

‘Fixer Upper’ is over, but you can get your fix with these homes for rent in Waco

The last episode of “Fixer Upper” aired Tuesday night, but don’t worry -- Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t going anywhere. They still own Magnolia Homes and operate Magnolia Market and the bakery next door in Waco. They also just opened Magnolia Table, a breakfast and lunch restaurant. So you can still get your “Fixer Upper” fix -- and if you’re a superfan...
‘Blockers’ director talks consent, telling women’s stories and ‘Me Too’

‘Blockers’ director talks consent, telling women’s stories and ‘Me Too’

“Blockers” director Kay Cannon said she quickly found a connection with the story about three parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz) attempting to stop a sex pact made by their three daughters (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon) for prom night. “First, I thought the script was really funny, but I connected to both sides of having been a young teenager...
‘Quiet’ storm: John Krasinski and Emily Blunt on making a film together

‘Quiet’ storm: John Krasinski and Emily Blunt on making a film together

John Krasinski is kind of dazed. The night before, his new horror-thriller, “A Quiet Place,” which he directed and also stars in with his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, debuted at a sold-out Paramount Theatre as the opening-night film at South by Southwest. The opening-night part is key — traditionally, SXSW opens its film festival with something fun aimed at a wide audience. The theater...
Check out enormous baked goods on ‘Dallas Cakes’

Check out enormous baked goods on ‘Dallas Cakes’

In keeping with that city’s more-is-more tradition, if things are bigger in Texas, things tend to be really feakin’ gigantic in Dallas. To wit : Food Network is about to launch ‘Dallas Cakes,’ a TV series about bakers in Dallas and the ginormous cakes they make. Premiering 9:30 p.m. April 30. ‘Dallas Cakes’ looks at North Texas bakers who makes really intense-looking...
Go to a galaxy far, far away with ‘Last Jedi’ on VOD

Go to a galaxy far, far away with ‘Last Jedi’ on VOD

Video on Demand “Small Town Crime”: Brothers Eshom and Ian Nelms premiered their latest movie at South by Southwest 2017, and it was picked up for release shortly after. It follows an alcoholic former cop (John Hawkes) who becomes obsessed with tracking down a killer after he discovers the body of a young woman. The acclaimed mystery also stars Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, Anthony...
2018 Final Four: Moe Wagner is a Michigan icon and a Jennifer Aniston fan

2018 Final Four: Moe Wagner is a Michigan icon and a Jennifer Aniston fan

SAN ANTONIO — When he’s not breaking glasses or glass slippers, Moe Wagner, deep down, is a Jennifer Aniston man. “He usually watches Friends on his laptop,” Michigan backup center Jon Teske said of Wagner, whose 24 points and 15 rebounds powered the Wolverines to a 69-57 win over Loyola-Chicago in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. &ldquo...
Texas screenwriters take new look at Ted Kennedy’s ‘Chappaquiddick’

Texas screenwriters take new look at Ted Kennedy’s ‘Chappaquiddick’

If you happen be older than, say, 40, you might want to sit down for this. Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, the Texas-born co-writers of director John Curran’s new movie, “Chappaquiddick,” first learned about the 1969 car wreck involving Ted Kennedy and the subsequent drowning death of Kennedy friend Mary Jo Kopechne in 2008 from “Real Time With Bill Maher.” “I blame...
For live ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ NBC turns to a Legend

For live ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ NBC turns to a Legend

Most Easter Sundays, you can find John Legend at home, helping cook a big dinner for family and friends. Except this Easter. He’ll be a little busy — being Jesus Christ in front of millions. Legend leads a cast that includes Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper in a live NBC version of the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It will be the latest...
‘Loveless’ is a grim, pitiless gaze at present-day Russia

‘Loveless’ is a grim, pitiless gaze at present-day Russia

“Loveless” begins and ends with virtually the same series of shots: a wintry riverbank somewhere in Russia. In the opening sequence, there’s a sense of quiet foreboding, of some evil lurking in, or just beyond, the snow-covered trees. By the time the film, which centers on the disappearance of a 12-year-old boy, has returned to the site, you will better recognize — while still...
A portrait of an artist exploring the nature of nature

A portrait of an artist exploring the nature of nature

In 2001, filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer made “Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy,” a captivating, visually rich documentary about the British sculptor known for land-art creations and museum installations. “Leaning Into the Wind” catches up with the sculptor 15 or so years later, still foraging quarries, meadows, bogs and forest floors for his materials, still creating disruptions...
‘Leisure Seeker’ — strong Helen Mirren, weak movie

‘Leisure Seeker’ — strong Helen Mirren, weak movie

It is difficult to reconcile the loveliness of the performances in “The Leisure Seeker,” particularly that of Helen Mirren, with the movie’s undeniable failure. Likewise, it’s difficult to quite take in the range of Paolo Virzi’s direction here, from sensitive and perceptive to thumpingly clueless. Virzi is an Italian director, one of the best working today, but parts...
‘Roseanne’ reboot draws big numbers and mostly positive reviews 

‘Roseanne’ reboot draws big numbers and mostly positive reviews 

The reboot of the popular 1990s sitcom “Roseanne” aired Tuesday night to mostly positive reviews and big numbers for ABC as millions of loyal fans tuned in to see how the beloved Conner family is faring 20 years later. >> Read more trending news  The back-to-back-episodic premiere drew 18 million viewers and a 5.1 rating share in the critical 18-to-49-year-old demographic, according...
Alamo Drafthouse fetches Japanese flavors for ‘Isle of Dogs’-themed menu

Alamo Drafthouse fetches Japanese flavors for ‘Isle of Dogs’-themed menu

For Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion film, “Isle of Dogs” — get ready for a flurry of furry puns — Alamo Drafthouse is treating customers to a special menu of “Japanese-inspired” food at its theaters for a limited time. The chef behind the menu, Brad Sorenson, said he wanted to take Japanese flavors and weave them into Drafthouse’s...
Take a fun ride on the star-studded “Orient Express”

Take a fun ride on the star-studded “Orient Express”

Here are a few interesting new releases that are available now from cable and digital providers as well as some titles that have recently become available through streaming services. Video on Demand “Murder on the Orient Express”: Kenneth Branagh had a surprise hit in theaters last fall with this lavish mystery based on the beloved Agatha Christie novel. From an industry that does not...
Austin’s Ernest Cline talks about seeing his ‘Ready Player One’ on screen

Austin’s Ernest Cline talks about seeing his ‘Ready Player One’ on screen

From the screenwriting to the filming to the world premiere at the Paramount Theatre during South by Southwest, it would be difficult for Austin author Ernest Cline to be happier with Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of his 2011 novel, “Ready Player One.” “What happened to me is what should happen to every novelist whose book is made into a movie,” Cline says from Los Angeles...
ICYMI: Holy O(+>! ‘Sign O’ The Times’ is streaming on Amazon Prime!

ICYMI: Holy O(+>! ‘Sign O’ The Times’ is streaming on Amazon Prime!

Dude. DUDE. (And I mean that in the most gender neutral way, which is how you should talk about all things related to today’s topic.) In fact, it has been on Prime since the end of February. And yes, you would be completely within your right to stop reading right now and fire up Prime. How was there not an announcement from heaven above is beyond me. And yes, I understand that this thing screened...
‘Panther’ still breaking records, but ‘Uprising’ tops weekend

‘Panther’ still breaking records, but ‘Uprising’ tops weekend

For the first time in six weeks, Disney’s juggernaut “Black Panther” has been knocked from the top box office spot with the debut of Universal’s “Pacific Rim Uprising.” “Pacific Rim Uprising,” the big-budget sci-fi sequel estimated to have cost $155 million, came within range of analysts’ expectations of $25 million to $30 million with an estimated...
Rebooted Roseanne is a proud ‘deplorable’

Rebooted Roseanne is a proud ‘deplorable’

They wake in their creaky bed, as if thawed from cryogenic storage, and immediately begin telling jokes in a 2018 context. Mostly about age. He’s wearing a CPAP mask for sleep apnea. “I thought you were dead,” Roseanne Conner tells her husband, Dan. “I’m sleeping,” he snorts. “Why does everyone always think I’m dead?” (They think that because when...
Matthew McConaughey would like to tell you about Wild Turkey Longbranch...and the weather

Matthew McConaughey would like to tell you about Wild Turkey Longbranch...and the weather

Tuesday afternoon, noted thespian, Longhorns fan and Wild Turkey creative director/spokesman Matthew McConaughey took to Facebook live to promote a new 86-proof bourbon called Wild Turkey Longbranch. It will retail out at $40 list price and will be available in May. It was described in a press release as “a rare small-batch Kentucky bourbon is refined with Texas Mesquite and oak charcoals...
Check out the trailer for ‘Why We’re Here: 15 Years of Rooster Teeth’

Check out the trailer for ‘Why We’re Here: 15 Years of Rooster Teeth’

  For 15 years, the multimedia company Rooster Teeth has quietly, then not so quietly, become of the most significant creative forces in Austin. Here is its story. “Why We’re Here: 15 Years of Rooster Teeth” provides exceptional access inside Rooster Teeth, the studio behind “Red vs. Blue,” “RWBY” and “Achievement Hunter.” Founded in a spare...
Alamo Drafthouse is selling ‘Sandlot’-inspired baseball caps for its 25th anniversary screenings

Alamo Drafthouse is selling ‘Sandlot’-inspired baseball caps for its 25th anniversary screenings

It’s almost summertime -- and almost baseball season. To celebrate, the Alamo Drafthouse is offering screenings of everyone’s favorite (don’t fight me on this one) baseball movie: “The Sandlot.”  It all kicks off on Saturday at The Long Time, Austin’s only actual sandlot baseball field, with a party to celebrate the movie’s 25th...
‘Jaws’ and camp and ‘The Sandlot:’ Check out Rolling Roadshow 2018

‘Jaws’ and camp and ‘The Sandlot:’ Check out Rolling Roadshow 2018

Jaws on the Water!” “The Sandlot!” A stunt ranch! Let’s check out the events in the Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Roadshow series. An outdoor screening of “The Sandlot” at Austin's one and only sandlot venue, The Long Time. The Drafthouse is celebrating the coming-of-age baseball film with an Amateur Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby contest, food trucks featuring classic...
Alamo Drafthouse offers free movies for first responders

Alamo Drafthouse offers free movies for first responders

After the recent series of bombings in Austin, Alamo Drafthouse is offering free admission to first responders for a limited time, the theater chain announced Friday. According to Drafthouse, the offer is in gratitude for the work police, firefighters and EMS have done to keep the city safe over “a long month.”  From the Drafthouse’s website: According to Drafthouse...
‘Cobra Kai’ trailer remembers an important thing about ‘The Karate Kid’

‘Cobra Kai’ trailer remembers an important thing about ‘The Karate Kid’

So YouTube Red released the final trailer yesterday for the long-discussed 10-part “Karate Kid” sequel “Cobra Kai.” Here is the trailer: So, a couple of things: * This looks like a decent titration of the original’s action and heart with a dollop of self-aware humor.  * If you watched movies at all in the 1980s, it was kind of impossible to avoid William Zabka...
A letter to moviegoers on the arrival of a faith-based film about Paul

A letter to moviegoers on the arrival of a faith-based film about Paul

I, Jacob, a web producer and sometimes film reviewer for the Austin American-Statesman, tasked with writing a review of the latest faith-based film to hit theaters this year, “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” a release from Sony Affirm starring Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner: To all in Austin (and beyond) who are reading this review: Grace and thanks be upon you, and thank you for entertaining...
In ‘Rebel Without a Crew’ Robert Rodriguez issues a $7,000 challenge

In ‘Rebel Without a Crew’ Robert Rodriguez issues a $7,000 challenge

Back in 1991, a young filmmaker named Robert Rodriguez spent about $7,000 shooting his debut feature “El Mariachi.” A few years and several movies which helped kick start both the 1990s independent film movement and the 1990s Austin film scene later,  he published his diary about the experience in a book called “Rebel Without a Crew.” Starting March 19, the go90 streaming...
Bill Murray just recited a poem while wearing overalls and a bucket hat on Sixth Street, because SXSW

Bill Murray just recited a poem while wearing overalls and a bucket hat on Sixth Street, because SXSW

Bill Murray has arrived at South by Southwest, and approximately nobody is surprised (he’s done it before, you know -- multiple times). He’s in town for multiple reasons -- the premiere of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” on Saturday night, a dedication at the Belo Center for New Media at the University of Texas Saturday afternoon and an appearance at the Long...
Hugh Jackman brought his new coffee shop to SXSW 

Hugh Jackman brought his new coffee shop to SXSW 

Wolverine, coffee connoisseur, “Greatest Showman” ... is there anything Hugh Jackman can’t do? The Laughing Man Cafe, Jackman’s latest coffee shop project, is in Austin for South by Southwest, and the man himself was at the festival Monday to discuss it and its mission. The coffee shop is open at the G’Day USA Australia House at Lucille on Rainey Street from ...
San Francisco theater welcomes actual dogs to ‘Isle of Dogs’ screening

San Francisco theater welcomes actual dogs to ‘Isle of Dogs’ screening

Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” which closes this year’s SXSW Film festival 8 p.m. March 17 at the Paramount, is a stop-motion movie about a young boy’s attempting to reunite with his dog, Spots, which has been exiled with many other dogs on a trash island off the coast of Japan. One expects many, many dog owners to sob uncontrollably the entire time.  So, in a move...
South by Southwest Film turns 25: Let’s look back at some key moments

South by Southwest Film turns 25: Let’s look back at some key moments

Look, South By Southwest isn’t Sundance. It’s not Cannes. It’s not Toronto. For 25 years, it’s been its own thing, a stellar venue for young and developing filmmakers to come and, as one once put it to me, “launch your weirdness.” Here are some highlights of weirdness being launched or celebrated or developed at SXSW over the years. 1. 1994 -- The first fest. You...
Roger Corman will receive AFF’s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award

Roger Corman will receive AFF’s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award

    Legendary-no-really-actually-legendary producer/director Roger Corman will receive the Austin Film Festival’s  Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the 25th annual AFF, which takes place Oct. 25 to Nov. 1. With studios at first and then as an influential independent executive, creative and mentor, Corman, now 91, produced or directed over five hundred films...
10 tips to make the most of your SXSW Film experience, with or without a badge

10 tips to make the most of your SXSW Film experience, with or without a badge

The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival starts March 9, offering up hundreds of films, feature-length and short. Don’t have a Film badge but still want to get in on the action? Here are 10 points to remember (and, to be honest, a lot of this applies to people with badges as well.) In keeping with the notion of SXSW convergence, if you have an Interactive or Music badge, you can get...
10 documentaries to watch out for at SXSW

10 documentaries to watch out for at SXSW

For documentary fans, South By Southwest is a bit like Christmas and your birthday rolled into one. As with features, it’s a chance to see sharp, often boundary-pushing nonfiction in a theater setting, something that happens rarely even as the market for docs has exploded thanks to streaming services. Here are 10 docs that we have not yet seen but are looking forward to checking out. &ldquo...
Eight South by Southwest feature films with ties to Texas

Eight South by Southwest feature films with ties to Texas

Every year at South by Southwest, there is a mess of films with Austin and Texas ties. Here are eight worth keeping an eye on. “Support the Girls.” Austin director Andrew Bujalski’s new one concerns the general manager at a highway-side “breastaurant” who has her incurable optimism and faith tested over the course of a long, strange day. With Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson...
What’s new at South by Southwest for 2018?

What’s new at South by Southwest for 2018?

From its roots as a humble regional music conference to the cross-discipline behemoth it’s become, South by Southwest is an ever-evolving beast. Here is what’s new with the festival in 2018. This function can be found on the SXSW GO phone app, the online SXSW schedule, and on the digital event status boards located around the Austin Convention Center and other venues. This system &mdash...
Marvel or DC? Texas wants it both ways on comic book favorites

Marvel or DC? Texas wants it both ways on comic book favorites

The most boring question in all of geekdom: Are you a DC or a Marvel fan? Hold on a second, I need to push my glasses up on my nose. DC and Marvel are the world’s two dominant comic book companies, the ones that have published the adventures of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (on the DC side) and Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men (on the Marvel side) for decades. Asking which company...
Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris and more to speak at SXSW

Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris and more to speak at SXSW

“Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, Blumhouse Productions founder and CEO Jason Blum, “Ready Player One” author Ernest Cline, actress Dakota Fanning, “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King, Paramount TV & Digital Entertainment president Amy Powell and, hello, actor and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger will all speak as part of South By Southwest...
Austin 'Black Panther' fans put on their Wakanda best this weekend

Austin 'Black Panther' fans put on their Wakanda best this weekend

It has come to pass as many (eventually) thought it would: experts are predicting “Black Panther” will deliver a $235 million-plus debut over the four-day weekend, making for the third highest four-day gross in history.  As Box Office Mojo noted, it is only the fifth movie to debut with over $200 million over its opening weekend. Just for a little bit of perspective, know...
Matthew McConaughey is now the voice of Carl’s Jr. Not Whataburger, but Carl’s Jr.

Matthew McConaughey is now the voice of Carl’s Jr. Not Whataburger, but Carl’s Jr.

The universe contains many glorious mysteries. Why does Ashton Kutcher’s fame continue? What exactly was going on with Fergie’s National Anthem? And how has Whataburger never tapped Matthew McConaughey as a spokesperson? Welp, it’s too late now, as Carl’s Jr., of all places has made Mr. McConaughey the voice of Carl’s Jr. In a press release that starts with the admittedly...
Man dressed as Black Panther proposes to his girlfriend at New York Alamo Drafthouse

Man dressed as Black Panther proposes to his girlfriend at New York Alamo Drafthouse

In case you live under a rock, “Black Panther” hit theaters this weekend and cemented itself as an instant classic, breaking box office records in the process. Theater lines went out the door, screenings sold out, fans dressed in traditional African attire and some even donned the Black Panther costume. And at an Alamo Drafthouse in New York, a man dressed as the Black Panther...
Mr. Incredible stays home? ‘Incredibles 2’ Olympic-sized teaser trailer drops

Mr. Incredible stays home? ‘Incredibles 2’ Olympic-sized teaser trailer drops

The Olympics were the perfect venue for Disney and Pixar to release their latest installment of “The Incredibles” franchise. And if you’ve seen any of the teaser images, they’re starting to make sense. >> Read more trending news  Recently, they’ve teased fans with Mr. Incredible, voiced by Craig T. Nelson, at an ironing board. We also know where the super suits...
Is Alamo Drafthouse toying with its own version of MoviePass?

Is Alamo Drafthouse toying with its own version of MoviePass?

Some Alamo Drafthouse customers recently received a survey asking them if they would be interested in a “subscription service that would let you watch unlimited movies at Alamo Drafthouse for a flat monthly price.” Which is to say, something very similar to MoviePass. Questions touched on such topics as a flat fee for watching a movie a day at Alamo Drafthouse, the possibility of...
7 spring break road trips for college kids (inspired by movies)

7 spring break road trips for college kids (inspired by movies)

Whether you're a genuine college kid taking a break from the books or you're a few years out and trying to recapture those carefree days, it's time for some spring break inspiration. Why not take a cue from a cinematic adventure? Let's just start by getting “Dirty Grandpa”(2016), starring Robert De Niro and Zac Ephron, out of the way. If you haven't been introduced to the time-honored...
Sean Penn coming to Austin April 3

Sean Penn coming to Austin April 3

Actor/director/activist/colorful personality Sean Penn is coming to Austin to chat with historian Douglas Brinkley about Penn’s debut novel “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.” They will be talking about the book and probably some other things (Penn’s Oscars, his blend of activism and journalism, not finding Chris Rock’s 2005 Oscars joke about Jude Law funny) 7 p.m. April 3...
Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ to close SXSW

Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ to close SXSW

The North American premiere of Wes Anderson’s highly-anticipated and somewhat controversial stop-motion animated film“Isle of Dogs” will close the 2018 South By Southwest Film Festival, it was announced Wednesday.  Starring the voices of Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances...
Armie Hammer and Paul Thomas Anderson coming to Austin for Film Hall of Fame honors

Armie Hammer and Paul Thomas Anderson coming to Austin for Film Hall of Fame honors

Screenwriter and director Paul Thomas Anderson will accept the inaugural Jonathan Demme Award, and Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos will present Armie Hammer with Variety’s “One to Acclaim” award at this year’s Texas Film Awards. The March 8 gala will be held at the Austin Film Society Cinema.  Jonathan Demme, a longtime Austin Film Society Advisory Board member...
Reading the best Black Panther comics is cheaper than a movie ticket

Reading the best Black Panther comics is cheaper than a movie ticket

It’s well established that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not all that closely related to whatever has gone on or will go on in the comic books published by Marvel. However, there’s also no getting around the fact that the MCU have always taken characters, plot points, situations and relationships straight from the comics. Which is to say, you don’t have to read the comics to understand...
John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’  will open 2018 SXSW Film

John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’  will open 2018 SXSW Film

John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” will open the 25th South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, which runs March 9 to 18.  During the nine days of SXSW, 132 features will be shown, with additional titles yet to be announced.  The full lineup will include 44 films from first-time filmmakers, 86 world premieres, 11 North American premieres and five U.S. premieres. ...
Spike Lee, Lena Dunham, ‘Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson all coming to SXSW

Spike Lee, Lena Dunham, ‘Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson all coming to SXSW

Spike, Rian, Lena and Wright!  Look for Oscar- winning director, writer, producer and Knicks lifer Spike Lee, actress, writer, controversy magnet and director Lena Dunham, actor, writer and country music fan Ethan Hawke, “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi” and “Brick” director Rian Johnson; and Westworld cast members Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden ...
Omarosa returning to reality TV after White House exit

Omarosa returning to reality TV after White House exit

Omarosa Manigault Newman, “The Apprentice” star-turned-White House aide, will return to reality television next month, CBS announced Sunday. Manigault Newman submitted her resignation last month as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, effective Jan. 20. Reports indicated Manigault Newman was escorted from the White House last month after an argument with Chief of...
Beavis and Butthead are headed to Texas State (as part of the Austin Film Festival archive)

Beavis and Butthead are headed to Texas State (as part of the Austin Film Festival archive)

The archives of the Austin Film Festival are headed to the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University and you can check them out in the fall. Beginning in September 2018, the AFF’s audiovisual and feature materials from Festivals and Conferences between 1997-2002 will be viewable online and in-person free of charge in San Marcos.  This is made possible via a grant from the Texas State...
Sky Cinemas, a cinephile's 14-screen dream movie theater, has come to Dripping Springs

Sky Cinemas, a cinephile's 14-screen dream movie theater, has come to Dripping Springs

Sky Cinemas, the new 14-screen cinema from the folks who brought you Violet Crown, opens Jan. 26 at 13201 U.S. 290.  The plan is for a mix of new release blockbusters, popular indies, some repertory stuff and more.  Featured food will include fresh beef hamburgers, hand-cut fries, pizzas, salads and an assortment of vegetarian options along with traditional theater concessions, self-serve...
#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy

#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy

“Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and thousands of children may have a chance to see it for free thanks to the #BlackPantherChallenge.  Earlier this month, Frederick Joseph, of New York, launched a GoFundMe to help students from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem “see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life,” he...
Two years after violent arrest, Breaion King 'more at peace' upon learning of officer’s firing

Two years after violent arrest, Breaion King 'more at peace' upon learning of officer’s firing

7:30 p.m. update:  Breaion King, the Austin school teacher whose violent arrest in 2015 sparked national attention, said Tuesday that she felt “a sense of peace” upon learning the Austin police officer she encountered two and a half years ago is no longer on the force. “I became OK with living again,” King said in an interview with KVUE-TV and the Austin American-Statesman...
Alamo Drafthouse promises new staff initiatives, code of conduct for events

Alamo Drafthouse promises new staff initiatives, code of conduct for events

Several months after controversy surrounded the Alamo Drafthouse regarding the firing, rehiring and firing again of Devin Faraci  -- and the organization’s relationship with longtime Drafthouse staple Harry Knowles -- the Austin-based chain of movie houses released a new code of conduct and announced several initiatives aimed at reforming their own staffing issues. In a blog entry...
Six movies to get you into the Winter Olympic spirit

Six movies to get you into the Winter Olympic spirit

It’s Winter Olympics time, which means the enormous height of the ski jumps, the enormous spins of the free skate and the enormous thighs of the speed skate. Also biathlon and curling, the official sports of “wait, this is a sport? How is this a sport? Might as well watch it. THIS IS FANTASTIC, GO GO GO!!!!” Ahem. Here are six movies to get you into the Olympic spirit: Look, I didn&rsquo...
'Game of Thrones'-themed ice hotel opens in Finland

'Game of Thrones'-themed ice hotel opens in Finland

In collaboration with HBO Nordic, a Finnish hotel chain has built the ultimate experience for fans of “Game of Thrones,” made entirely from ice and snow. Lapland Hotels’ SnowVillage, set about 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, opened last month with an ice restaurant, an ice bar, an ice chapel and a “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel. The hotel features a life-sized...
‘Get Out’ wins Best Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best First Film from Austin Film Critics Association

‘Get Out’ wins Best Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best First Film from Austin Film Critics Association

The Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) announced its 2017 awards Tuesday, with Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” winning Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Best First Film. (I am a member of said organization.) Guillermo del Toro took Best Director for The Shape of Water, which leads the group’s Top Ten list. Acting award winners include Timothée Chalamet, as Best...
Priscilla Presley, Olivier Assayas, Richard Linklater to speak at SXSW

Priscilla Presley, Olivier Assayas, Richard Linklater to speak at SXSW

Mrs. Presley is coming to Austin. Priscilla Presley, who is executive producing “Elvis Presley: The Searcher,” a new documentary about her late husband, will join doc director (and longtime Bruce Springsteen filmmaker) Thom Zimny as well as writer and director Olivier Assayas; director and noted Austinite Richard Linklater; and “Westworld” showrunners...
Which is bigger: Texas or the Death Star?

Which is bigger: Texas or the Death Star?

It’s the match-up of the millennium: Lone Star State vs. Death Star vs. Starkiller Base.  In the war of stars, who comes out the biggest? An image from “Star Wars” Instagram meme account gungan_grand_army has been making the rounds on Texas social media, and it plays to the state’s well-documented obsession with size. That’s right, everything is bigger in Texas,...
Jinger Duggar, husband Jeremy Vuolo, announce they are expecting their first child

Jinger Duggar, husband Jeremy Vuolo, announce they are expecting their first child

The Duggars are shaping up to have enough family members to fill a football team -- and there’s another one on the way. Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar) is expecting a child with her husband, former professional soccer player Jeremy Vuolo, the couple announced Wednesday. “The past 14 months have been the best of our lives as we have had the wonderful privilege of beginning our journey...
WATCH: San Antonio boy sings ‘Remember Me’ from ‘Coco’ in memory of his sister 

WATCH: San Antonio boy sings ‘Remember Me’ from ‘Coco’ in memory of his sister 

Get some tissues. No, really. Do it. San Antonio couple Samir and Stephanie Deais recently filmed their son, Alexander, singing "Remember Me" from the Disney film, "Coco," to an altar dedicated to his late baby sister, Ava Lynn, on what would have been her first birthday. The Deais family told mySA.com that their daughter was born with hydronephrosis, a kidney ailment, and died...
Talks on for a 'Mad About You' revival: reports

Talks on for a 'Mad About You' revival: reports

Nearly two decades after its series finale aired, talks are on for a possible revival of NBC’s hit show “Mad About You,” according to multiple reports. “Mad About You” followed the lives of newlyweds Paul Buchman, played by Paul Reiser, and Jamie Stemple Buchman, played by Helen Hunt, as they built a life together in New York City. Its seven seasons aired on NBC from...
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