You know what many might find terrifying? The idea of watching Jaws in a body of water.
You know what people really like to do? Be terrified.
Which is why the Alamo Drafthouse’s “JAWS On The Water” is back for summer 2017.
The movies hit the shores of Volente Beach on Austin’s Lake Travis for a month-long run of weekend “dive-in” shows, including – for the first time – screenings of “Jaws 2,” “Jaws 3D” screened in 3D, and “Jaws: The Revenge” hosted by Master Pancake.
Tickets to these On the Water shows include full access to Volente Beach attractions including Lazy Lagoon, The Sidewinder, the water slides, a shark-ified inner tube, fireworks display and the experience of watching Jaws with your feet in the water.
The Alamo Drafthouse locations nationwide are hosting screenings from June 30 through July 6, including interactive movie parties.
Also look for a Mondo-designed Jaws pint glass, featuring original artwork by acclaimed artist Kevin Tong available exclusively at our Movie Party screenings.
The 70th Cannes Film Festival wrapped Sunday with jury prizes, including best director Sofia Coppola for her film “The Beguiled.” The Palme d’Or went to “The Square,” a Swedish satire set in the art world. See the full list of winners here.
Charles Ealy, who attended his 20th Cannes Film Festival this year, wrote about the challenges facing the storied event as it reacts to changes in viewing habits and technology. There were no high-profile studio films to draw mass attention, but Ealy says the lineup, with an emphasis on arthouse and European titles, was one of the fest’s strongest in its 70 years. Read that story on MyStatesman.com.
Also on MyStatesman.com, Ealy writes about going through a virtual reality installation by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, titled “Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible).” The experience puts participants with migrants on a journey across a desert border. From Ealy’s story: “They’re old and young. Some are injured and tired. Most are scared of what lies ahead. You can’t make conversation with them, but you can go up to them, and if you get close enough, you can see their hearts beating.”
Fortunately, Austin is the best city of its size for cinephiles in the United States. (Yeah, I said it.) And a possibly rainy three-day weekend is a fantastic time to catch up on new releases, repertory screenings and second-run movies.
The big movies opening this week are “Baywatch,” the self-consciously parodic reboot of the insanely popular TV series, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” both of which are playing all over the place.
The Austin Film Society’s newly refurbished AFS Cinema is now open for business. This weekend’s screenings include the Italian comedy “Divorce, Italian Style” and the genre classic “Teenage Gang Debs.”
Then AFS goes into its “Texas Christening” with screenings of such films as “The Last Picture Show,” “Rio Bravo,” and “Tender Mercies,” as well as other films. Check out the full slate at www.austinfilm.org.
Over at the discounted Southwest Theaters Lake Creek 7 we have “Kong: Skull Island,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Get Out,” “The Lego Batman Movie,” “Power Rangers,” “Logan,” “The Shack,” and “Ghost in the Shell.”
Of these, “Get Out” is absolutely essential viewing. Jordan Peele’s horror film about race and privilege is that rare bird: a smart film that is also one of the year’s most unexpected hits.
If you don’t feel like leaving the house, you really should do what you can to catch up on Showtime’s new season of “Twin Peaks.” All 18 episodes were co-written and directed by David Lynch; the first four are currently available for streaming on the Showtime site (subscription needed). It is very easily the weirdest thing on television, a showcase for Lynch’s tics, interests and singular vision.
Over on Netflix, David Michôd’s “War Machine” stars Brad Pitt as a general very obliviously based on NATO-forces-in-Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal. With Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Topher Grace and more.
It also happens to be the 20th anniversary of the Drafthouse itself– the first one opened May 25, 1997.
Since then, the Drafthouse has become one of the most influential brands in American cinema. They’ve opened dozens of locations, thrown thousands of events, started Fantastic Fest and catered to movie nerds of all stripes while retaining a pro-active, progressive social stances.
So it seems fitting that, given their dexterity in changing with the times, their social media person delivered a burn so sick in re: the Wonder Woman screening that you could hear jaws drop all over the internet.
Are you sitting down? You should sit down:
Note that THEY TAGGED THE ENTOURAGE FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.
“The most iconic superheroine in comic book history finally has her own movie, and what better way to celebrate than with an all-female screening?” the screening announcement on the Drafthouse website reads. The one-night-only event is for “Women (and People Who Identify As Women) Only,” and that includes the theater staff. According to the Drafthouse, the venue staff, projectionist and culinary team for the screening will also all be women.
Unfortunately, the screening is now sold out. But stay tuned, Themyscirans, in case the theater decides to lengthen its lasso for additional dates. According to a comment from the Drafthouse on Facebook, more Amazons’ nights out are on the way.
My all-time favorite piece of writing about Moore isn’t actually about him; it’s about Bryan Ferry and his band Roxy Music.
In the “Spin Alternative Record Guide,” critic Rob Sheffield — then all of 28 or so, later to pen “Love is a Mixtape” and this year’s amazing “Dreaming the Beatles” (which isn’t just probably the best book ever about the Beatles, but one of the best books of 2017 in general) — wrote that Roxy Music was divided into two parts: the Sean Connery years and the Roger Moore years, meaning the first five albums (bleeding-edge art rock, a few with Brian Eno, beloved by hardcore) and then the final three, recorded after a band hiatus (slicker, more Romantic, all surface, total pop).
This is a brilliant characterization of both Ferry and Moore. For much in the way that later-period Roxy could write “Avalon” or “Oh Yeah,” it is impossible to see the rougher, realer Connery raising an eyebrow and delivering a one-liner the way Moore could, or in space, a la the admittedly terrible “Moonraker.”
(Bedding Grace Jones in the admittedly terrible “View to a Kill”? They probably both could have handled that one.)
And besides, for anyone between the ages of, say, 30 and 50, Moore was the guy they grew up with as Bond.
After playing bit parts in American film and TV, then doing time in the thriller series “The Saint” for 100 episodes (wherein he refined the style he would bring to his next role), Moore embodied 007 for seven films and about 2,000 (OK, 12) years.
Playing Bond as suave and corny, dashing and dopey, Moore traded in Connery’s hairy chest and weightlifter physique for a guy who flat-out refused to take himself so seriously (or maybe ever work out).
Because, man alive, if anyone deserved to be made fun of a bit, it was the character of James Bond. This was Bond as a British Dean Martin (who himself played the spy Matt Helm) — Moore as Bond approached being a spy the way Martin approached acting, as the true player for real who truly did not give a [beep].
Moore’s Bond liked shooting people, making jokes and sleeping with any available lady, probably not in that order. Indeed, as Bond, Moore out-Martin’ed Martin-as-Helm, if that makes sense.
And say what you will about the scripts and Moore’s wry vibe, the stunts and chases in Moore’s Bond pictures, all pre-CGI, were uniformly terrific.
As far as the actual films, the best Moore Bond flick is probably, oh, let’s say “The Spy Who Loved Me,” with Barbara Bach as the Bond girl, that dope Lotus and Richard Kiel as Jaws. (Which reminds me, Moore-era Bond had the best villains.)
I also remain fond of “The Man with the Golden Gun” (Christopher Lee killed it as the always-fun-to-say Scaramanga) and the extremely racially sketchy “Live and Let Die,” which is what happens when British people make a blaxploitation movie. Amazing theme song, though.
As for the others, well, “For Your Eyes Only” tried to get serious (the skiing stuff was cool), “Octopussy” was almost unforgivable trash, “Moonraker” is in spaaaace and “A View to a Kill,” while sporting one of the best Bond themes, is not good but featured Christoper Walken in a part that was supposed to be for David Bowie and Grace Jones, who is welcome in anything, anywhere, at any time.
Requiescat, Mr. Moore. You were a smooth operator.
League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, will be an executive producer on the film, described as “an irreverent comedy that follows the misadventures of Moondog (McConaughey), a rebellious and lovable rogue who lives life large.” Sounds about right for Austin’s spirit animal.
“Bonnie & Clyde!” “To Kill a Mockingbird!” “Saturday Night Fever!” “My Cousin Vinny!” (Yes, “My Cousin Vinny.”)
All are part of the 2017 Paramount Summer Classic Film Series, which kicks off May 25 and closes out Sept. 2. Film tickets are on sale now at austintheatre.org.
This year’s Series kicks off with a 75th anniversary screening of “Casablanca” May 25 and a 20th anniversary of “Titanic” May 26.
Look for a 50th anniversary presentation of “Bonnie & Clyde,” a 55th anniversary look at “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a 40th anniversary run of “Saturday Night Fever” and 25th anniversary screening of “My Cousin Vinny” followed by a Q&A with the screenwriter Dale Launer.
Brand-new restorations of “The Graduate,” Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” “The Lion in Winter” starring Peter O’Toole (whose stuff is now at the Ransom Center) and Katharine Hepburn (whose stuff is not), and “The Awful Truth” starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are also included in this year’s lineup.
The Family Film sub-Festival will have discounted pricing for kids. Films include the occasionally terrifying, totally brilliant “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” June 17, “The Sound of Music” June 24 and “The Parent Trap” Aug. 13.
Classic romances including “The Philadelphia Story” (one of the best movies of all time), “An American in Paris” and “Roman Holiday” will play at the Paramount in July Look for a double-feature of “Harold and Maude” and “Raising Arizona” July 21.
The popular Martinis & Manicures will return this year with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Clueless,” with martinis and manicures before the show goes on.
Additionally, Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam will return to the Theatre this year to host a special screening of present of the under-seen 70s gem “Fat City.”
Hitchcock Week kicks off August 22 and includes screenings of “Psycho,” “Strangers on a Train,” “The Birds” and more.
Additionally, Austin’s own Graham Reynolds will compose a brand-new score for Alfred Hitchcock’s silent masterpiece “The Lodger” and perform it live with our screening of the film on August 27.
Starting August 29, the Series celebrates the West with screenings of “Red River,” “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “Giant.”
The Summer Classic Film Series will draw to a close with everyone’s favorite romance “Gone with the Wind” Sept. 2.
Other pre-film activities include an “Anything for Selinas” happy hour featuring live music by Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda prior to the 20thAnniversary screening of “Selena,” a pie auction and live music by Devin Jake before “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” a performance by Weldon Henson before “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” a Dress for Success clothing drive before “Working Girl” and “9 to 5,” various themed photo booths and so much more. Plus, every Tuesday will be $2 Tuesdays with sodas and Lone Star beers just $2 during the films.
Additionally, Capital Metro will be hosting monthly Transit Adventure Nights at this summer’s Film Series. Riders will receive a free Commuter Pass, film ticket, and popcorn.
Aliens, apes, other dimensions and a thousand planets. Here are four sci-fi films we’re looking forward to.
“Alien: Covenant.”Well, it certainly looks terrifying (and pretty gross). Ridley Scott continues his re-mining of the “Alien” franchise with this sequel to “Prometheus” starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir and James Franco, whom I can easily see being destroyed by a xenomorph. Full review later this week. (May 19)
“Kill Switch.” Dan Stevens, so brilliant in FX’s “Legion,” starring in a lowish-budget sci-fi movie about inter-dimensional travel? Sign me up. COME ON, IT LOOKS FUN. (June 16)
“War for the Planet of the Apes.” I have warm feelings toward the rebooted Planet of the Apes series — it will never be as cool as the original, but what is? It’s Caesar the ape (Andy Serkis) versus Woody Harrelson and a whole mess of humans. Given the events of the past few years, it is pretty much impossible not to root for the apes. (July 14)
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Oh, man. Luc Besson knocked it out of the park with the visual lunacy in “The Fifth Element,” which took a mess of inspiration from French sci-fi comics. So some of us have probably inappropriately high hopes for this adaptation of a French comic book space opera. We hold out hope for something seriously weird. (July 21)
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” Not a reboot, but the cast of the first three Wimpy Kid movies have officially aged out of usefulness as wimpy kids, their siblings and their parents. Steve Zahn, we’ll never forget you. (May 19)
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.” The children’s book series moves to the big screen as an animated feature (that “first” really does seem like a slightly undignified request to the audience — “please make this a franchise!”). Stand-up comedian Kevin Hart and Thomas “Silicon Valley” Middleditch voice the kids who pull their comic book character (voiced by Ed Helms) into the real world. (June 2)
“Cars 3.” “Is Lightning McQueen dead?” was the questions thousands of parents had to hear from extremely upset little kids who made the mistake of watching the incredibly grim first trailer for this third film in the “Cars” franchise. The answer is probably not, but wow, that trailer was rough. (June 16)