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Latest from Joe Gross

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The Alamo Drafthouse, Fantastic Fest and fans: one year later
 One year ago, the Alamo Drafthouse was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal the beginnings of which went back nearly 20 years, a scandal that broke before and during Fantastic Fest, the chain’s signature film festival celebrating all things genre — think horror, crime, science fiction. Here was a company, homegrown in...

Posted: 21 hours ago

One year ago, the Alamo Drafthouse was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal the beginnings of which went back nearly 20 years, a scandal that broke before and during Fantastic Fest, the chain’s signature film festival celebrating all things genre — think horror, crime, science fiction. Here was a company, homegrown in...
10 movies we’re looking forward to at Fantastic Fest
 Fantastic Fest opens Sept. 20. 1. “Halloween.” David Gordon Green makes a direct sequel to the John Carpenter classic. Buzz is way better than that description might suggest. 2. “Destroyer.” Karyn “Girlfight” Kusama directs Nicole Kidman, Tatiana Maslany and Sebastian Stan in this tale of an LAPD detective...

Posted: 21 hours ago

Fantastic Fest opens Sept. 20. 1. “Halloween.” David Gordon Green makes a direct sequel to the John Carpenter classic. Buzz is way better than that description might suggest. 2. “Destroyer.” Karyn “Girlfight” Kusama directs Nicole Kidman, Tatiana Maslany and Sebastian Stan in this tale of an LAPD detective...
Austin’s Scott Von Doviak digs into Boston’s past in new crime novel
 Scott Von Doviak has lived in Austin since 1996. Which practically makes him a native — at least by the standards of an era in which more and more folks flow into town every year about a month or so after South by Southwest makes them say, “Wow, Austin rocks!” But his excellent new crime novel, “Charlesgate Confidential...

Posted: 5 days ago

Scott Von Doviak has lived in Austin since 1996. Which practically makes him a native — at least by the standards of an era in which more and more folks flow into town every year about a month or so after South by Southwest makes them say, “Wow, Austin rocks!” But his excellent new crime novel, “Charlesgate Confidential...
‘Bad Times at the El Royale,’ Tenacious D coming to Fantastic Fest
 Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” will close this year’s Fantastic Fest. And Tenacious D is showing up. “Bad Times” seems aesthetically fitting, what with 1990s filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez having a long association with Fantastic Fest’s parent company and &ldquo...

Posted: 6 days ago

Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” will close this year’s Fantastic Fest. And Tenacious D is showing up. “Bad Times” seems aesthetically fitting, what with 1990s filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez having a long association with Fantastic Fest’s parent company and &ldquo...
Is ‘A Simple Favor’ a thriller or a comedy or what?
 The debate about “A Simple Favor” will likely center around one question: At what point in the often thoroughly enjoyable semi-comic thriller does it shift tonally from elevated Lifetime Movie of the Week (which is not a knock) to overly goofy, in a way that reminds you that, yes, this was directed by Paul Feig, the guy behind...

Posted: 6 days ago

The debate about “A Simple Favor” will likely center around one question: At what point in the often thoroughly enjoyable semi-comic thriller does it shift tonally from elevated Lifetime Movie of the Week (which is not a knock) to overly goofy, in a way that reminds you that, yes, this was directed by Paul Feig, the guy behind...
‘The Front Runner’ will close Austin Film Festival; second wave of films announced
 “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as former presidential candidate Gary Hart, will close the Austin Film Festival, it was announced today.   Director Jason Reitman will be on hand to discuss the movie, which chronicles the rise and fall of the exceptionally talented senator who was the front-runner for the Democratic...

Posted: 7 days ago

“The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as former presidential candidate Gary Hart, will close the Austin Film Festival, it was announced today.   Director Jason Reitman will be on hand to discuss the movie, which chronicles the rise and fall of the exceptionally talented senator who was the front-runner for the Democratic...
Superheroes, slashers and a star is born (again): 40 movies to watch for this fall
 Welcome to autumn, when studios large and small traditionally roll out the quality pictures and indies don’t feel the relentless competition of summer blockbusters (“Sorry to Bother You,” “Blindspotting” and “Eighth Grade” notwithstanding). Until December, that is, which might as well be a second...

Posted: 8 days ago

Welcome to autumn, when studios large and small traditionally roll out the quality pictures and indies don’t feel the relentless competition of summer blockbusters (“Sorry to Bother You,” “Blindspotting” and “Eighth Grade” notwithstanding). Until December, that is, which might as well be a second...
‘John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection’ is an ace
 “John McEnroe wasn’t all that tall, and he was arguably the best serve-and-volley man of all time, but then McEnroe was an exception to pretty much every predictive norm there was. At his peak (say 1980-1984), he was the greatest tennis player who ever lived – the most talented, the most beautiful, the most tormented: a...

Posted: 13 days ago

“John McEnroe wasn’t all that tall, and he was arguably the best serve-and-volley man of all time, but then McEnroe was an exception to pretty much every predictive norm there was. At his peak (say 1980-1984), he was the greatest tennis player who ever lived – the most talented, the most beautiful, the most tormented: a...
Texas Book Festival announces 2018 author lineup
 Journalist Susan Orlean, science fiction author John Scalzi, comedian Phoebe Robinson, astronaut Scott Kelly and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro are just a few of the authors who will be in Austin in October for the 23rd Texas Book Festival, festival organizers said Wednesday. More than 280 writers — including novelists...

Posted: 21 days ago

Journalist Susan Orlean, science fiction author John Scalzi, comedian Phoebe Robinson, astronaut Scott Kelly and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro are just a few of the authors who will be in Austin in October for the 23rd Texas Book Festival, festival organizers said Wednesday. More than 280 writers — including novelists...
Dale Watson looking for extras for ‘Yellow Rose’ (Note: not THE Yellow Rose)
 Dale Watson is in the middle of filming a feature called “Yellow Rose” (based on the 2017 short film “Yellow Rose,” in which Watson also starred) and the man is looking for extras. From his Facebook page: "Do you want to come be an extra in a Dale Watson movie? We are filming a movie called Yellow Rose about...

Posted: 28 days ago

Dale Watson is in the middle of filming a feature called “Yellow Rose” (based on the 2017 short film “Yellow Rose,” in which Watson also starred) and the man is looking for extras. From his Facebook page: "Do you want to come be an extra in a Dale Watson movie? We are filming a movie called Yellow Rose about...
Regina Hall shines in the smart, sweet ‘Support the Girls’
 Andrew Bujalski’s charming “Support the Girls” opens with some seriously boring Austin. This isn’t the impossibly cool, overeducated and underemployed Austin of 1989 in “Slacker,” nor the retro ’70s Austin of “Dazed and Confused” or the Austin-playing-the-Permian-Basin of “Friday...

Posted: 28 days ago

Andrew Bujalski’s charming “Support the Girls” opens with some seriously boring Austin. This isn’t the impossibly cool, overeducated and underemployed Austin of 1989 in “Slacker,” nor the retro ’70s Austin of “Dazed and Confused” or the Austin-playing-the-Permian-Basin of “Friday...
William ‘James T. Kirk’ Shatner coming to Austin in January
   SHAAAAAAAAATNER! SHAAAAAAAAAATNER! William Shatner -- Captain James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker and the man whose face became the mask that Michael Meyers uses in “Halloween,” among other credits  - is coming to Bass Concert Hall Jan. 12 for a conversation following a screening of the almighty “Star Trek II: The Wrath...

Posted: 28 days ago

  SHAAAAAAAAATNER! SHAAAAAAAAAATNER! William Shatner -- Captain James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker and the man whose face became the mask that Michael Meyers uses in “Halloween,” among other credits  - is coming to Bass Concert Hall Jan. 12 for a conversation following a screening of the almighty “Star Trek II: The Wrath...
Austin director Andrew Bujalski on how he supported the ‘Girls’
 Austin filmmaker Andrew Bujalski was once know as a guy who made a mess of the improvised-looking-yet-scripted, lowish-fi movies lumped into the hideously-named “mumblecore” movement (which really has to be the “emo” of subgenre names). But his most recent films have been altogether different. From the shot-on-vintage-video-cameras...

Posted: 28 days ago

Austin filmmaker Andrew Bujalski was once know as a guy who made a mess of the improvised-looking-yet-scripted, lowish-fi movies lumped into the hideously-named “mumblecore” movement (which really has to be the “emo” of subgenre names). But his most recent films have been altogether different. From the shot-on-vintage-video-cameras...
Richard Linklater sponsors short film contest supporting Beto O’Rourke 
 Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater and “Boyhood” producer Cathleen Sutherland have put together a short film contest called “Reel In The Votes” in support of Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to become the next United States senator from Texas. “We are accepting 2-3 minute stories (narrative or non-fiction) ...

Posted: 29 days ago

Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater and “Boyhood” producer Cathleen Sutherland have put together a short film contest called “Reel In The Votes” in support of Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to become the next United States senator from Texas. “We are accepting 2-3 minute stories (narrative or non-fiction) ...
Beerland adds another regular movie event with ‘Staring Down the Barrels’
 Never let it be said that there are not plenty of places in Austin in which you, the discerning viewer, can see cult movies with your fellow mutants. In addition to their Jukebox Cinema series and the Bruises and Brews “skateboard movie night,” longtime Beerland booker/screenwriter/VHS savant/wrestling promoter and all around...

Posted: 30 days ago

Never let it be said that there are not plenty of places in Austin in which you, the discerning viewer, can see cult movies with your fellow mutants. In addition to their Jukebox Cinema series and the Bruises and Brews “skateboard movie night,” longtime Beerland booker/screenwriter/VHS savant/wrestling promoter and all around...
Dallas somehow named the sweatiest city in Texas; Houston baffled as Austin comes in second
   We all know the stereotypes: Houston is hot and humid, Austin is hot yet hipster and Dallas is absolutely a city in Texas (with a famous football team and some terrific art museums). We know these truths to be self-evident, right? According to the fine people at Dallas News, a researcher working with Honeywell Fans ranked 50 U.S. cities...

1:52 PM Friday, Aug. 17, 2018

  We all know the stereotypes: Houston is hot and humid, Austin is hot yet hipster and Dallas is absolutely a city in Texas (with a famous football team and some terrific art museums). We know these truths to be self-evident, right? According to the fine people at Dallas News, a researcher working with Honeywell Fans ranked 50 U.S. cities...
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