Texas Film Awards set for March 10

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The Austin Film Society announced Tuesday that it will be hold the Texas Film Awards on March 10 at Stage 7 of Austin Studios.

The annual event honors the best of Texas films, with red-carpet arrivals, a catered awards ceremony and an auction. The event will cap a year of celebrating the 30th year of the Austin Film Society and is a key fundraiser for the group’s programs.

This year’s honorees have not been announced.

For more information on tickets and sponsorships, visit austinfilm.org.

Texas ties to Spirit nominees

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“Krisha,” the drama from Houston-based director Trey Shults, was nominated Tuesday for the annual John Cassavetes Award for features made for under $500,000, at the 31st Spirit Awards.

“Krisha” won the narrative feature competition at South by Southwest in March and was picked up for the Critics Week sidebar in Cannes in 2015.

Shults, 26, grew up in Houston, and lives with his family in Montgomery, Texas. A lifelong film fan, he started studying business at Texas State before dropping out. That’s when he started studying movies, not just watching them, he says. “I learned about film grammar,” he says.

Shults shot the movie in his mother’s home, and it took a little over a week. He raised money through a $15,000 Kickstarter drive.

Other Cassavetes nominees are “Advantageous,” “Christmas, Again,” “Heaven Knows What” and “Out of My Hand.”

Austin-based Drafthouse Films secured a nomination for the documentary “The Look of Silence.” Other nominees in the best documentary category were “(T)error,” “Best of Enemies,” “Heart of Dog,” “Meru” and “The Russian Woodpecker.”

Kevin Corrigan, one of the stars of Austin director Andrew Bujalski’s “Results,” was nominated for best supporting male actor in the film, which was shot in Austin.

He’s competing against Paul Dano of “Love & Mercy,” Idris Elba of “Beasts of No Nation,” Richard Jenkins of “Bone Tomahawk” and Michael Shannon of “99 Homes.”

Overall, director Todd Haynes’ “Carol” scored the most nominations, with six, followed by “Spotlight” and “Beasts of No Nation.”

“Carol,” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, is tentatively scheduled to open in Austin on Dec. 25. “Spotlight” and “Beasts” are already in release.

 

 

Hardy gets to show his two sides in gangster film ‘Legend’ (Our grade: B)

Tom Hardy in "Legend." (Photo courtesy Universal Pictures/TNS)
Tom Hardy in “Legend.” (Photo courtesy Universal Pictures/TNS)

Tom Hardy has to be one of the most handsome — and talented — actors working in movies today. But he often tries to hide his good looks and disappear into unsavory characters.

His dual characters in “Legend,” the story of the gangster Kray twins of 1960s London, are as unsavory as any he’s played, especially Ronnie Kray, the psychopath who startles U.S. mafiosos with his casual admission of homosexuality. But while simultaneously playing Reggie Kray, the obviously reluctant Hardy shows us how stylish of a star he can be. And that alone makes “Legend” worth seeing.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Legend”

‘The Good Dinosaur’ lacks magic of other Pixar films (Our grade: C)

The Disney/Pixar animated family film "The Good Dinosaur" opens on Nov. 25. Contributed by Walt Disney Pictures
The Disney/Pixar animated family film “The Good Dinosaur” opens on Nov. 25. Contributed by Walt Disney Pictures

by Rick Bentley – Fresno Bee

Production was halted early in the process of making “The Good Dinosaur” because it had some dinosaur-sized problems. Peter Sohn was brought in as the new director, and he started the process over two years ago.

The second attempt ends up so flat it would have been smart to scrap it and try a third time. It is weighed down by a flawed concept, unappealing characters and a soundtrack that lacks anything close to a memorable tune.

The only aspect worthy of high praise is the background work, which is so stunning it keeps the movie from heading for a tar pit. Even Mother Nature can’t make a landscape this amazing.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “The Good Dinosaur”

Ring the bell: ‘Creed’ is the ‘Rocky’ movie we’ve been craving (Our grade: B+)

This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures', Warner Bros. Pictures' and New Line Cinema's drama "Creed," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and New Line Cinema’s drama “Creed,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Throughout the exceptionally enjoyable “Creed,” essentially the seventh movie in the “Rocky” franchise — and the best one since the original — you keep expecting to hear the bell, the bong-bong-bong from Bill Conti’s rightfully iconic 1976 score, amping up the drama as the titular boxer straps on his gloves.

But no, it never comes, perhaps because “Creed” is a movie about getting out of family’s long shadow, about figuring out how to negotiate one’s past while shaping one’s future. It is also about punching. Lots of beautifully shot punching.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Creed”

‘Victor Frankenstein’ is a mashed-up mess (Our grade: D)

Daniel Radcliffe, left, plays Igor and James McAvoy plays Dr. Frankenstein in "Victor Frankenstein."
Daniel Radcliffe, left, plays Igor and James McAvoy plays Dr. Frankenstein in “Victor Frankenstein.”

by Rene Rodriguez – Miami Herald

Someone left a copy of Mary Shelley’s novel out in the rain, threw the wet mess into a blender, hit puree and came up with “Victor Frankenstein,” the 758th movie retelling of the seminal horror tale, this time with a dash of Marvel Comics and a revisionist perspective thrown in for flavor.

Although the mad doctor with a God complex (played by James McAvoy) gets title billing, the star this time is his faithful assistant Igor (Daniel Radcliffe), a circus sideshow freak whose hump turns out to have been a really big zit (no, seriously) and whose curved spine is quickly fixed by wearing a backbrace. There, good as new!

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Victor Frankenstein”

Mondo opens up the vaults for Black Friday “Flat File” sale

CUggAzDU8AAlMrlMondo Tees, the poster/t-shirt/pop culture stuff retail arm of the Alamo Drafthouse empire., is opening up their flat file (this sort of thing, either literal or metaphorical) for a Black Friday sale that should make poster nerds drool.

To wit: About 400 different prints, dating back to 2010, will be sold at original cost. Look for work from artists such as like Aaron Horkey, Tyler Stout, Olly Moss, Daniel Danger, Ken Taylor, Martin Ansin and more. Only a few copies of each vintage poster will be available; for a few, only one copy is available.

Mondo has hosted flat file sales in the past, but this is their first-ever online flat file sale, which start 10 a.m. Nov. 27.  All posters featured in the sale will go live on the site, they will NOT be rolled out over the day. According to Mondo, “Posters are in mint or near mint condition.” However, Mondo says “some of these posters have a couple years worth of normal wear to them.” So…mostly mintish?

Another important note: What with the volume of transactions the sale is expected to generate, Mondo cannot guarantee that your orders will be fulfilled before the New Year.

Ronan shines in ‘Brooklyn,’ a classic immigrant tale (Our grade: A-)

Saoirse Ronan as Eilis and Domhnall Gleeson as Jim in “Brooklyn.”
Saoirse Ronan as Eilis and Domhnall Gleeson as Jim in “Brooklyn.”

Some readers complain about the state of movies, saying that Hollywood fare has far too much sex and violence and that they don’t go out to theaters much anymore.

If you’re one of those people, then you might want to change your habits and see “Brooklyn.”

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Brooklyn”

‘The Night Before’ is naughty but nice (Our grade: B)

Mindy Kaling and Lizzy Caplan in “The Night Before.”
Mindy Kaling and Lizzy Caplan in “The Night Before.”

Katie Walsh – Tribune News Service

“The Night Before” proves the stoner comedy and the holiday movie to be a surprisingly wonderful combination. Directed by Jonathan Levine, the film features plenty of nice characters doing very naughty things to celebrate the season.

But fortunately for audiences, this updated twist on seasonal cheer isn’t a lump of coal, with a warm-hearted message to be found among all the Christmas Eve mischief.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “The Night Before”

‘Trumbo’ a witty film about a tortured period (Our grade: B)

Bryan Cranston in "Trumbo." (Bleecker Street/Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/TNS)
Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo.” (Bleecker Street/Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/TNS)

Mick LaSalle – San Francisco Chronicle

Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplays for scores of movies, but he probably never wanted or expected to live a drama worthy of one. And then life intruded, in the form of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and he was faced with a crisis that tested everything he had — his will, his talents, his finances, his faith and his family.

He had to become as strong as the hero of a movie, or fall to pieces.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com