As part of your Black Friday celebration, know that tickets to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” are going on sale very soon.
For the Alamo Drafthouse, tickets go on sale 11:01 p.m. CENTRAL Standard Time on Nov. 27. Here are the showtimes. Click on a showtime to purchase tickets.
Same thing for the Bob Bullock, which will be showing “Rogue One” in IMAX 3D, tickets go on sale 11:01 pm CST on Nov. 27. Go here for tickets. The first 500 on opening night, Dec. 15, will take home their own mini-posters, while supplies last.
We need to talk about “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.”
(Disclaimer: Spoilers abound below, so proceed at your own risk if you haven’t watched the movie.)
I saw the earliest showing I could find in Austin, yesterday at 6 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse’s Slaughter Lane location. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan (I have a Deathly Hallows tattoo, for goodness’ sake), but even I had really low expectations of the film, to be totally honest. I’ve been skeptical of J.K. Rowling expanding the wizarding world beyond what is necessary and turning it into something that’s cheesy and overdone, especially since reading “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” this summer and having seriously conflicted opinions about it.
But I loved “Fantastic Beasts.” Sure, the plot was a little predictable, but the world that J.K. Rowling and David Yates created together was unbelievable. We got a look inside the gilded and golden Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), a mention of the American wizard school Ilvermony and a step inside of Newt Scamander’s case of magical creatures, which hosted multiple rooms, climates and beasts (Bowtruckles, Cccamies, Mooncalfs, Murtlaps and more).
Even more impressive were the intricacies woven throughout the story. If you look beyond the predictable and sometimes cheesy plot, there’s Rowling magic: foreshadowing the big reveal at the end of the film, hints at what’s to come in the next four films and plenty of oblique references back to the wizarding world we know and love from Harry Potter’s time.
Those little hints left me with excitement for the next four films in the franchise but also with way more questions about what’s to come. Here are a few, in no particular order:
Was Ariana Dumbledore an Obscurial?
In this film, we’re introduced to Obscurials, children who have suppressed their magic. Frequently the suppression is due to psychological or physical abuse as a result of their latent powers, and usually the child possessed by an Obscurus (the dark entity itself) dies around their 10th birthday. In the film, Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) is revealed as an Obscurial who lived well beyond the age of 10 due to the strength of his magic. I couldn’t help but think about Ariana Dumbledore the entire time we discussed Obscurials. Potter fans will remember Ariana as Albus Dumbledore’s younger sister, who was attacked when she was 6 years old by three Muggle boys who saw her practicing magic. Afterward, she was traumatized and couldn’t control her magic (sound familiar, Credence?), causing an explosion that killed her mother when she was 14. She died during a three-way duel between her older brothers Albus and Aberforth and the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (more on him later).
Is Credence Barebone still alive?
While we’re talking about our good buddy Credence, it’s quite possible he survived the attack from MACUSA agents at the end of the film. His Obscurus exploded into a billion tiny pieces, but viewers might have caught a moment where Scamander spotted a piece of the Obscurus that didn’t seem like it was completely, well, dead. And, after all, there have been multiple reports that Credence is going to be a “notable” character in the Harry Potter universe. What does it mean?
Will we see the real Percival Graves?
Colin Farrell’s electrifying Graves (who, let me just say, really knows how to wear a suit) was revealed at the end of the film to actually be the big bad Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp (Surprise!), at the end of the film. But who is the real Graves? How long has Grindelwald been pretending to be him? Did anyone at MACUSA have suspicions about him before the big reveal?
What do the No-Maj’s think happened to Senator Henry Shaw?
Now that the New York City No-Maj community had their minds wiped clean thanks to the venom of the aptly named Swooping Evil, there’s still the fact that Senator Henry Shaw Jr. (Josh Cowdery) is dead, killed by Credence at a campaign rally. What do they think happened to him? It’s not like his father, Henry Shaw Sr. (Jon Voight) is just going to forget that his son is dead. Typically, a Memory Charm (Obliviate) just wipes memories clean, while a false memory charm implants new memories in a person’s mind. Were the No-Maj community’s memories altered to give a reason for Shaw’s death?
What’s next with Jacob and Queenie?
The most heart-wrenching scene of the film was undoubtedly Jacob Kowalski’s decision to step in the memory-clearing rain and wipe clean his knowledge of the wizarding world, Newt Scamander and the Goldstein sisters, Tina and Queenie. The film reveals that maybe his memory isn’t totally wiped, though — when he finally opens his bakery, the baked goods have some familiar shapes: that of Scamander’s magical creatures. His bakery is filled with pastries shaped like Erumpents, Demiguises, Nifflers and more. Enter Queenie, who stands in his shop as the two smile at each other. What now?! I ship this so hard, and I really want to see Dan Fogler’s character in the next four films.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald: When? Where? Why? How?
I have a lot of questions about Grindelwald. He went to school at Durmstrang Institute but was expelled and later befriended Albus Dumbledore, and the two made plans to find the Deathly Hallows, end the International Statute of Secrecy and dominate the non-magic community after the wizarding world was exposed (sound familiar? This was Graves/Grindelwald’s mission in the film). However, their friendship fell apart after the aforementioned duel that left Dumbledore’s sister Ariana dead.
Grindelwald, who was born around 1883, is presumably around 43 years old in “Fantastic Beasts,” set in 1926. Grindelwald was defeated in 1945 at the height of his power by Dumbledore himself and imprisoned in his own fortress for more than 50 years until Voldemort comes along and kills him to steal the Elder Wand.
We already know that Dumbledore is going to appear in the upcoming four films in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, but we have no idea what that’s going to look like. My guess is that we’ll see flashbacks to Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s friendship (and rumored romantic relationship?) leading up to the big duel in 1945, but one can only hope.
Most importantly: What’s going to happen in the next four films?
Rowling has said the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise will take place over a period of 19 years . . . meaning it will end in 1945. This means that big Dumbledore-Grindelwald duel will almost definitely take place in the final film. It also means we may get a look at young Tom Riddle, Lord Voldemort himself. He was born on Dec. 31, 1926 and finishes his Hogwarts education in 1945, the same year Grindelwald is defeated. Even if we don’t get a look at Riddle, the film franchise will undoubtedly help us understand the climate in which he rose to power.
The next “Fantastic Beasts” movie doesn’t come out until 2018, so we’ve got a while to wait. Until then, you can find me researching how to make Giggle Water at home and figuring out where I can get a stuffed animal that looks like a Demiguise, because that guy was so cute.
Directors Jeff Nichols and Hector Galan are headed to the Texas Film Hall of Fame, the Austin Film Society (AFS) announced today.
Young actor Tye Sheridan was named Rising Star.
The honors will be presented at the 2017 Texas Film Awards on March 9, 2017, at Austin Studios.
The event serves as the unofficial kick-off for the South By Southwest Film Festival and Conference.
Nichols, who hails from Arkansas but makes Austin home, recently released the critically-acclaimed “Loving,” which will expand to a total of approximately 100 screens on Nov. 18. Nichols has lived in Texas for 12 years, during the making of all five of his feature films, including “Take Shelter,” “Mud” and “Midnight Special.”
Galan will be the first ever documentarian inducted into the Hall of Fame. A San Angelo native, Galan, an incredibly prolific filmmaker, has made 11 episodes for PBS’s “Frontline, contributed to the PBS series “The American Experience,” and made the groundbreaking PBS mini-series “Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement,” among many other films chronicling the Latino experience in all its forms. Hispanic Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential Hispanics and the Smithsonian Institute has screened a retrospective of his work in Washington, D.C.
Sheridan joins previous Rising Star winners such as Ethan Hawke, Owen Wilson and Robert Rodriguez. Sheridan made his film début at the age of 15 in Terrence Malick’s Palme D’Or winning “The Tree of Life.” He was recently named one of Variety’s 10 Actors To Watch. Sheridan can next be seen as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Austinite Ernie Cline’s best-selling dystopian science fiction adventure, “Ready Player One,” which is set to release in 2017. Most recently, Sheridan was seen as Cyclops in Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
The Texas Film Awards raises funds for the Austin Film Society’s year-round, a 501(c)3 organization, for its artistic and educational programs.
Trevante Rhodes could not seem less like Chiron (pronounced shy-RONE), the conflicted man he plays in “Moonlight.” Directed by Barry Jenkins, the story of a young man’s struggle with his sexuality is one of the year’s very best movies.
Instead of quiet and internal and reserved, the 26-year-old Rhodes strides — almost bounds — into the room at the Hotel Van Zandt where he is conducting interviews. The University of Texas graduate moves like the athlete he was in high school and college, all warm, charismatic energy.
Rhodes was born in Louisiana but grew up around the Dallas area before heading to UT. Perhaps like many Texans who head to Los Angeles to seek their fortune in the entertainment industry, Rhodes said he misses Austin’s food the most.
“Nothing’s better than Tex-Mex,” Rhodes said. “I’m in L.A., and it is not the same. We do not have Juan in a Million, which is where we would go after (track) practice on Sunday. We don’t have a Kolache Factory, either. I loved that place.”
Rhodes didn’t get into acting until his second-to-last semester in college. “I took Intro to Theater to exhaust a degree requirement,” he said.
While he was in the middle of the course, he was noticed by a casting director looking to populate a film.
“I am someone who will do anything twice,” Rhodes said. “So I took her card.” He showed it to his theater professor, who urged him to follow through.
“I went to the audition,” Rhodes said. “And I was terrible. But I knew that at some point I wanted the opportunity to be good at it.”
He got involved with the Austin film community and headed to Los Angeles as soon as he graduated in 2013, landing small roles in the TV show “Gang Related,” Terrence Malick’s “Weightless” and a larger part in “If Loving You is Wrong,” a Tyler Perry production on OWN.
But the part of Chiron is by far his largest role to date. Rhodes auditioned like any other actor.
“My manager called me and said, ‘This is the best thing I’ve ever read, stop what you are doing and read it,’” he said. “So I did, and it was legitimately the best thing I have ever read.”
Rhodes originally auditioned for the role of Kevin, Chiron’s one-time high school friend (we see both characters at various stages of life.) A few minutes into Rhodes’ reading, Jenkins got other ideas.
“Barry was in the room and said, ‘I’m gonna bring you back tomorrow and let you read for the other role.’” Two auditions later, Rhodes was Chiron.
“When I booked the role,” Rhodes said, “I called Barry and asked him a bit about the character, and he said ‘I wrote him and I wash my hands of him; he’s yours. Whatever you see, bring that to life, and obviously I will help you, but he’s yours.’ Barry would let you know if you were within the strike zone but would also give you the freedom to really inhabit the role.”
Rhodes paused and laughed. “And we also had to do it within four or five takes, because we were moving fast. You shoot in Miami, you never know when it is going to suddenly pour.”
So Rhodes started adding little details. He had the makeup folks shave a small scar into the back of his neck. “I (thought of) this scar on him, where Paula (Chiron’s mother, played by Naomi Harris) threw a bottle,” he said. “It wasn’t in the script, but I saw that about him. He is this beautifully flawed individual, so insecure. I’ve felt those same emotions. The context was different, but I’ve felt the way he does. I loved everything about him.”
And Rhodes wants to make it clear he and the two other actors playing Chiron as a child and a teen (Alex Hibbert and Ashton Sanders) had no contact with one another.
“I mean, zero time together,” Rhodes said. “Barry didn’t want us to mimic what they were doing. Because throughout out lives, we do change so much. And regarding Chiron, Barry wanted to show how this person specifically, given what happened to him, molded himself into someone completely different from what he was as a kid.”
Nor did he spend any time with André Holland, who plays Kevin as an adult. “The first time I ever heard André’s voice was when he calls Chiron for the first time in 20 years, and even then I didn’t know that was happening until Barry told me about 10 minutes before we shot the scene,” he said.
Rhodes didn’t meet Holland in person until a few minutes before they shot their first scene together.
“I think Barry wanted to keep all those sensations real,” Rhodes said.
Here is trailer for “T2 Trainspotting,” the sequel to Danny Boyles’ ground-breaking 1996 feature “Trainspotting,” about the lives of four heroin addicts in late ’80s Edinburgh.
Directed by Danny Boyle and based on Irving Welsh’s 1993 cult novel, “Trainspotting” was impeccably cast, was acted, shot and directed with a kinetic frenzy that was impossible to deny and featured the greatest music supervision of the 1990s.
In spite of its visual antics acting as something of a poor influence (“Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels” and, say, “Blow,” I am looking at you), it remains an astonishing (and often astonishingly touching and terrifying) cinematic freight train.
Hooo boy. Let’s all take a moment, shall we?
Reportedly based loosely on “Porno,” Irving Welsh’s 2002 sequel to “Trainspotting,” “T2” takes place 20 years later (probably around 2008 or so).
“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family” has morphed into “Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently. And choose watching history repeat itself.”
And that’s about where, Underworld’s still-astounding “Born Slippy” blaring, everyone who adored the film 20 years ago feels the snake-like grip of Time itself.
I wasn’t completely prepared for how moving I would find this 2 minutes. Boyle (and returning screenwriter John Hodge) have kept the visual mania but also perhaps the original’s grimy humanity.
The biggest hurdle, of course, will be the soundtrack. The original was an astounding smash hit, a blend of post-punk and then-current Britpop, both a moment-defining collection on its own and a teach-it-in-filmschool example of how to wed movie to music. (Confession: I saw the thing something like four or five times in theaters, mostly because of the music supervision. As a result, I certainly have never thought about, say, Brian Eno’s “Deep Blue Dream” or Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” quite the same way since.)
While “Born Slippy” (back in ’96 a VERY contemporary song) acts as a nostalgia blast for trailer’s first minute, English band Wolf Alice’s “Silk” holds together the second. Well, we’ll see how this bit goes, but make no mistake: it is incredibly, possibly film-definingly important.