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Latest from Joe Gross

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J.A. Bayona brings his all to ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’
 (The following contains mild spoilers for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”) When “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” director J.A. Bayona was about 9 or 10 years old, he went on a field trip. A bunch of fifth graders at his Barcelona elementary school headed up to a house in the mountains where a teacher showed a 16...

Posted: a day ago

(The following contains mild spoilers for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”) When “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” director J.A. Bayona was about 9 or 10 years old, he went on a field trip. A bunch of fifth graders at his Barcelona elementary school headed up to a house in the mountains where a teacher showed a 16...
‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’: You will believe a dino can be dull
 There comes a time in every monster movie, from “Dracula” to “King Kong” to “Godzilla” to “Jaws” to today, when you ask yourself the question the movie is designed to make you ask: Am I supposed to be rooting for the monster, or the humans, or both, or what? The “Jurassic Park” movies...

Posted: a day ago

There comes a time in every monster movie, from “Dracula” to “King Kong” to “Godzilla” to “Jaws” to today, when you ask yourself the question the movie is designed to make you ask: Am I supposed to be rooting for the monster, or the humans, or both, or what? The “Jurassic Park” movies...
In the mood for Texas ghost towns? Of course you are.
 The fine people at My SA.com have asked an important question: Aren’t you or ain’t you not afraid of no ghost (town)? In a piece called “Creepy Texas ghost towns totally worth a road trip this summer,” MySA makes the case that, well, if you are going to take a hot day trip in Texas, you might as well hit up some ghost...

Posted: 2 days ago

The fine people at My SA.com have asked an important question: Aren’t you or ain’t you not afraid of no ghost (town)? In a piece called “Creepy Texas ghost towns totally worth a road trip this summer,” MySA makes the case that, well, if you are going to take a hot day trip in Texas, you might as well hit up some ghost...
An ode to the good dads
 The text popped up at around noon on a Wednesday: “Page 92. Clevenger. ‘Geez, Tex, maybe you should.’” The text is from my father. I look up from my phone and reach to my right. I’m at my desk at work, but I know exactly what he is talking about, and the page in question’s in a book on my desk, right next...

Posted: 7 days ago

The text popped up at around noon on a Wednesday: “Page 92. Clevenger. ‘Geez, Tex, maybe you should.’” The text is from my father. I look up from my phone and reach to my right. I’m at my desk at work, but I know exactly what he is talking about, and the page in question’s in a book on my desk, right next...
‘Incredibles 2’ is incredible looking, thematically confusing
 It is the rare animated feature, and the rarer superhero movie, that will leave the audience thinking, “That was a lot of fun, but I wish there was more of the raccoon.” Welcome to “Incredibles 2,” writer/director Brad Bird’s often beautifully kinetic sequel to the 2004 Pixar smash, “The Incredibles.&rdquo...

Posted: 7 days ago

It is the rare animated feature, and the rarer superhero movie, that will leave the audience thinking, “That was a lot of fun, but I wish there was more of the raccoon.” Welcome to “Incredibles 2,” writer/director Brad Bird’s often beautifully kinetic sequel to the 2004 Pixar smash, “The Incredibles.&rdquo...
When the robots come to Austin, we will probably kick them.
 Last year, the Austin City Council approved the use of delivery robots in town. The robot delivery company in question is called Starship Technologies (even though based on their robot design Droid Technoiogies would probably been a better... wait that’s been taken twice, hasn’t it?) Here’s a photo gallery, in...

Posted: 9 days ago

Last year, the Austin City Council approved the use of delivery robots in town. The robot delivery company in question is called Starship Technologies (even though based on their robot design Droid Technoiogies would probably been a better... wait that’s been taken twice, hasn’t it?) Here’s a photo gallery, in...
Austin author, ‘Doctor Strange’ screenwriter puts his short story skills to test
 Many short story collections bring together previously published work, assembling in one place pieces that an author’s fans might struggle to find in the wild. “We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories,” the first short fiction collection from Austin-based author and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, is not such a...

Posted: 13 days ago

Many short story collections bring together previously published work, assembling in one place pieces that an author’s fans might struggle to find in the wild. “We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories,” the first short fiction collection from Austin-based author and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, is not such a...
Make this your ‘summer of movies’ with these 12 Austin film series
 UPDATE:  The Sound and Cinema titles have been revealed! There are two kinds of summer film series in the fine city of Austin: The kind where you sit in an air-conditioned theater and watch movies  curated around a particular theme, and the kind where you sit on a blanket after sundown and, well, watch movies curated around a particular...

Posted: 13 days ago

UPDATE:  The Sound and Cinema titles have been revealed! There are two kinds of summer film series in the fine city of Austin: The kind where you sit in an air-conditioned theater and watch movies curated around a particular theme, and the kind where you sit on a blanket after sundown and, well, watch movies curated around a particular...
‘Ocean’s 8’ is solid summer fun that could use a little more snap
 “Ocean’s 8” starts exactly how you’d want a movie in the “Ocean’s” franchise to start: Someone named Ocean is talking to a parole board about what a good citizen they are going to be. The parole board is convinced, and said Ocean keeps their nose clean for about five minutes. The gal in question is...

Posted: 14 days ago

“Ocean’s 8” starts exactly how you’d want a movie in the “Ocean’s” franchise to start: Someone named Ocean is talking to a parole board about what a good citizen they are going to be. The parole board is convinced, and said Ocean keeps their nose clean for about five minutes. The gal in question is...
Alamo Drafthouse to introduce large-format auditoriums in Frisco, Denton, elsewhere
  The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Alamo Drafthouse chain is introducing premium large-format theaters in several markets in the coming year, including Denton, Frisco, Woodbridge, Va., Woodbury, Minn., and St. Louis. “The Big Show" auditoriums will  feature giant screens (reportedly a minimum of 66 feet), as well...

Posted: 16 days ago

 The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Alamo Drafthouse chain is introducing premium large-format theaters in several markets in the coming year, including Denton, Frisco, Woodbridge, Va., Woodbury, Minn., and St. Louis. “The Big Show" auditoriums will  feature giant screens (reportedly a minimum of 66 feet), as well...
Are YOU the biggest Metallica fan in Texas? Enter this contest to find out.
 What with Metallica as one of the headliners during the Austin City Limits music festival, the folks at ACL would like to know if you (yes, YOU) are the biggest Metallica fan in Texas. To wit, from the website: “Do you have an epic Metallica tattoo? Massive collection of tees repping the band? Have you perfected your air-guitar performance...

Posted: 19 days ago

What with Metallica as one of the headliners during the Austin City Limits music festival, the folks at ACL would like to know if you (yes, YOU) are the biggest Metallica fan in Texas. To wit, from the website: “Do you have an epic Metallica tattoo? Massive collection of tees repping the band? Have you perfected your air-guitar performance...
Austin stuntman Gary Kent has lived a life right out of the movies
 Gary Kent has heard sentences no person wants to hear.  Here’s an example: “All your ribs are broken.” Then again, the former stuntman/actor/writer/director has heard sentences every person would love to hear.  Here are some from the actor Esai Morales, whom Kent cast in “Rainy Day Friends,” the 1985...

Posted: 20 days ago

Gary Kent has heard sentences no person wants to hear.  Here’s an example: “All your ribs are broken.” Then again, the former stuntman/actor/writer/director has heard sentences every person would love to hear.  Here are some from the actor Esai Morales, whom Kent cast in “Rainy Day Friends,” the 1985...
Zips Dry Cleaners offers free American flag cleaning service
 Let’s say you fly an American flag outside your home. Assuming your home is in Austin, it is entirely possible that your flag will, at some point, be covered in various allergens, grackle poop and good old fashioned American dirt, as kicked up by the hot, dry winds of summer. Which is to say, at some point, you will need to clean this...

Posted: 21 days ago

Let’s say you fly an American flag outside your home. Assuming your home is in Austin, it is entirely possible that your flag will, at some point, be covered in various allergens, grackle poop and good old fashioned American dirt, as kicked up by the hot, dry winds of summer. Which is to say, at some point, you will need to clean this...
Snow cone alert for South Austin: Bahama Buck’s is here!
 Watch out, Sno-Beach! Hold your dome, Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs! Duck down, Sweet Carolines! The Austin shaved ice game just got more competitive now that a Bahama Buck’s has opened in Austin at 105 E. Stassney Lane, as noted by Community Impact. The Texas-based chain (stores for which can be found all over the country)...

Posted: 21 days ago

Watch out, Sno-Beach! Hold your dome, Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs! Duck down, Sweet Carolines! The Austin shaved ice game just got more competitive now that a Bahama Buck’s has opened in Austin at 105 E. Stassney Lane, as noted by Community Impact. The Texas-based chain (stores for which can be found all over the country)...
Jukebox Cinema debuts June 3 with ‘Ballmastrz: 9009’ animator Christy Karacas
 Man, Beerland has been killing it of late. First, they announce all kinds of tremendous shows: The Scientists Oct. 5 and 6! The June 1  And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead show is early, which is pretty great given that most of their fans are in their 40s! And now Beeland is getting into what annoying money types call “the...

Posted: 21 days ago

Man, Beerland has been killing it of late. First, they announce all kinds of tremendous shows: The Scientists Oct. 5 and 6! The June 1  And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead show is early, which is pretty great given that most of their fans are in their 40s! And now Beeland is getting into what annoying money types call “the...
Eight things the other 49 states need to understand about Texas
 As we who live here are painfully aware, Texas can seem absolutely baffling to outsiders. In his latest book, “God Save Texas,” Lawrence Wright takes the myth and truth of the Lone Star State head-on in a series of essays that, the more one reads them, feel like a Texas 101 primer, the sort of thing to hand your relatives back...

Posted: 25 days ago

As we who live here are painfully aware, Texas can seem absolutely baffling to outsiders. In his latest book, “God Save Texas,” Lawrence Wright takes the myth and truth of the Lone Star State head-on in a series of essays that, the more one reads them, feel like a Texas 101 primer, the sort of thing to hand your relatives back...
And your next Blues on the Green headliner is: Bob Schneider!
 What with May 23 being the first Blues on the Green show of the season, the BotG powers that be waited until the end of the Black Angels show to announce that Bob Schneider and Superfonicos would be the next act to play the storied series. Ol’ Bob and Superfonicos plays the Green (aka Zilker Park) June 13.

Posted: 27 days ago

What with May 23 being the first Blues on the Green show of the season, the BotG powers that be waited until the end of the Black Angels show to announce that Bob Schneider and Superfonicos would be the next act to play the storied series. Ol’ Bob and Superfonicos plays the Green (aka Zilker Park) June 13.
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