Alamo Drafthouse clarifies its cosplay policies ahead of Star Wars premiere

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and the Highball
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and the Highball

Were you one of the thousands who bought a ticket and helped shatter pre-sale records for the upcoming “Star Wars: Force Awakens” premiere?

If you are, you should note that if you’re seeing the premiere at a major movie theater chain, the Force might not be as strong with you — that is, if you find the Force to be stronger if you’re dressed up in full Star Wars regalia.

Following the “The Dark Knight Rises” premiere shooting in 2012 as well as a shooting during a screening of “Trainwreck” in Louisiana earlier this year, a number of major theater chains have updated their theater security policies.

These updated policies originally only addressed bag checks, but in anticipation of the number of people with Darth Vader masks, Aayla Secura up-dos, Sith robes and Wookie onesies at the Dec. 18 “Force Awakens” premiere, a number of major theater chains have recently announced stricter guidelines on what people can and cannot wear and bring to theaters.

From AMC:

“AMC does not permit weapons or items that would make other guests feel uncomfortable or detract from the movie-going experience. Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks. In short, bring your lightsaber, turn it off during the movie, and leave the blaster and Darth Vader mask at home.”

Cinemark and Regal Cinemas have issued similar statements allowing costumes, but prohibiting face paint, masks and props that might be construed as weapons.

Following a “Jabba-sized” amount of inquiry into their own cosplay policies for the premiere, Austin-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse recently clarified what they will and won’t allow for the premiere on their Facebook page:

Unlike many of the major movie theater chains, Alamo Drafthouse said it will allow masks, “blasters” and any and all Yoda-green facepaint.

According to Brandi Fons, an Alamo Drafthouse spokesperson, the Austin-based theater chain is still finalizing its policies and deciding whether or not to include bag checks or not.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure our guests and employees feel safe and comfortable,” reads a reply to one concerned customer’s comment on Facebook.

Wherever you are seeing “Force Awakens,” stay safe and may the force be with you.

Watch the first trailer for ‘A Very Murray Christmas’

If you like Christmas and Bill Murray, you’re going to want to watch this.

(Photo by Matt Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Carr/Getty Images)

The “A Very Murray Christmas” Netflix special, written and directed by Sofia Coppola, has its first teaser trailer:

It’s not often that a new Christmas movie is allowed to join the canon of Christmas movies that families join together each year to watch and re-watch, but Murray’s special — aided by an all-star cast that includes George Clooney, Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, Amy Poehler, Jason Schwartzman, Michael Cera, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones, Paul Shaffer and the band Phoenix — might just wedge its way into your family’s Christmas tradition.

The film, which will pay an homage to holiday variety shows according to Variety, will be released on Netflix Dec. 4.

Guess which Texas icon won Texas Monthly’s Alamo Drafthouse #DontTalk PSA competition

Remember that neat competition we blogged about a couple weeks back that put Alamo Drafthouse’s iconic #DontTalk PSA’s against each other?

Photo by Ralph Barrrera
Photo by Ralph Barrrera

The sponsor of the competition, Texas Monthly, has announced its winner.

After beating out Danny Trejo, Lewis Black, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler), Peggy, R. Lee Ermey and Danny Devito in the final eight in addition to “the angry voicemail” in the final two, Former Gov. Ann Richards‘ PSA was crowned winner.

According to Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League, the former governor was a “regular customer.”

The director of the film, Austin-based filmmaker Carlos Funes, told Texas Monthly that until he showed up on the set and saw Richards himself, he thought an actress was going to play her. He called Richards “very directable.”

Behold the Texas icon in all her intimidating glory below, and never talk in an Alamo theater again:

You can now vote for your favorite Alamo Drafthouse #DontTalk PSA

It’s perhaps the only competition that would dare put Elijah Wood against Coach Taylor against Danny Trejo against Amy Schumer.

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and the Highball
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and the Highball

The #DontTalk Challenge Bracket, brought to you by Texas Monthly, is designed to name the most convincing famous face to star in Alamo Drafthouse’s signature PSA announcements that air before each showing.

To do so, the folks over at Texas Monthly are asking people to vote for the most iconic pre-movie shush-er in five different rounds of voting. For the all too daunting task of comparing Gov. Greg Abbott to, say, Kevin Bacon, they’ve arranged the brackets by four categories: “current stars,” “staged skits,” “random warnings” and “classic stars.”

Round one of voting opens today and the final round runs through Sunday. As of now, there is no prize beyond bragging rights, but we’ll still be staying tuned for the results.

And don’t forget to check out sometimes Austinite Elijah Woods’ new PSA:

Today is ‘From Dusk Till Dawn Day’ in Austin

Happy “From Dusk Till Dawn Day?”

Executive producer Robert Rodriguez speaks onstage during the “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” panel discussion at the El Rey Network portion of the 2015 Summer Television Critics Association Tour in July. FREDERICK M. BROWN / GETTY IMAGES
Executive producer Robert Rodriguez speaks onstage during the “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” panel discussion at the El Rey Network portion of the 2015 Summer Television Critics Association Tour in July. FREDERICK M. BROWN / GETTY IMAGES

That’s right; Mayor Steve Adler met with Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez at Troublemaker Studios on Monday to make the official proclamation: Aug. 25, 2015 is “From Dusk Till Dawn Day.”

In addition to honoring the Austinite and jack of all filmmaking trades, “From Dusk Till Dawn” coincides with the second season premiere of Rodriguez’s television show of the same name.

The show will premiere tonight at 8 p.m. CT on El Rey, a television network based in Austin that Rodriguez launched last year.

“I wouldn’t be nearly as creative if I had to live and work in Los Angeles, because I’m from here and my roots are here. It’s where you’re the most inspired. It’s why I wanted to create my business at home even though it was kind of unheard of back then,” Rodriguez told Time Warner Cable News yesterday at Troublemaker Studios.

The television series, which Rodriguez recently discussed with Austin360 columnist Dale Roe, is originally inspired by Rodriguez’ 1996 cult classic, considered a breakout film for both him and Quentin Tarantino, who starred in and co-wrote the film.

If you haven’t seen it, that would be a good place to start if you’re going to celebrate “From Dusk Till Dawn Day” today.

More “From Dusk Till Dawn” and Robert Rodriguez news:

• Demi Lovato’s ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ character was written for her

• New season of Robert Rodriguez’s dark ‘Dusk’ takes wing

Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez to make another film for $7,000


Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez to make another film for $7,000

Robert Rodriguez sat down with the nerds behind the Nerdist Podcast this week to discuss the upcoming premiere of season two of “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

Texas Film Awards Honoree Robert Rodriguez walks the red carpet held at Austin Studios on March 12, 2015. Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro
Texas Film Awards Honoree Robert Rodriguez walks the red carpet held at Austin Studios on March 12, 2015. Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro

The Austin filmmaker also announced that to mark the 25th anniversary of “El Mariachi,” which he has repeatedly credited as the film that first got him noticed, he will be making another film with the same budget as that film: $7,000.

“El Mariachi,” which Rodriguez made in 1992, won the then little-known filmmaker a two-year deal with Columbia Pictures and an audience prize at Sundance.

“I’ll have no crew; I’ll just use friends — I’ve got some pretty cool friends I can put in front of the camera — but still no crew, no money,” said Rodriguez, who has more than enough “cool friends” (George Clooney, Selma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino just to name a few).

The filmmaker also said the he will have a documentary crew to chronicle the process and show how to make a $7,000 film in 2015.

“When I made ‘Mariachi’ out of my apartment and sold it, I wanted to go tell everybody that it was possible because I would have wanted to know that,” Rodriguez said during the podcast interview.

“I know how many other people thought the same thing: ‘Oh I’m very creative and I have a talent for this sort of thing — but I don’t live in the right city, that I don’t know the right people — so I shouldn’t even dream about that.”

Rodriguez, hailed by Nerdist as being one of the “brightest, shiniest examples of a creator,” is known for making it on his own as a do-everything-yourself filmmaker.

The Austin director expressed gratitude to fellow filmmaker George Lucas (heard of him?) for telling him to “stay in Austin” and pursue film making outside of Hollywood.

Rodriguez also told Nerdist that his Austin-based television network, El Rey, is the “most gratifying thing” in his career so far because of how it shines a light on up-and-coming, out-of-the-Hollywood-box filmmakers.

For more from Rodriguez, look in Sunday’s paper for Austin360’s Dale Roe’s interview with the filmmaker on season two of El Rey’s “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

Austin filmmakers featured in PBS Online Film Festival

What are the two best things about the this year’s PBS Online Film Festival? First, you can stream all the nominated short films online for free from now until July 17. Second, at least two Austin-based filmmakers are among the 25 nominated for the festival’s “People’s Choice Award.”

Still from "Ex-Votos." Photo from Ivete Lucas.
Still from “Ex-Votos.” Photo from Ivete Lucas.

Born in Brazil, raised in Mexico and now based in Austin, Ivete Lucas ran a kickstarter in 2012 to help her fund her nominated film,”Ex-Votos.” The short film follows a pregnant teenager in Mexico fleeing her dangerous neighborhood with her mother to go on a pilgrimage to the festival of Saint Francis.

John Spottswood Moore’s film “Once Again” made its debut at the Austin International Film Festival in 2014 and has already won a number of awards, including the Barbara Jordan Media Award from the Texas Governor’s Office and the Excellence Award at Superfest: International Disability Film Festival. The short documentary follows the University of Texas MFA alumna’s own childhood and adulthood struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder through home movies, animation and live action footage.

Sugarless Tea,” a short film about an Indian man’s attempt to find his identical twin after 54 years of separation, was made by three Texans and a Brooklyn-based comedian. Dallas-based filmmaker Sai Selvarajan wrote and directed the film, made up of watercolor stop motion still images created by his wife, Amanda Selvarajan. The short premiered at the Austin Film Society SXSW ShortCase earlier this year.

Championing independent filmmakers, the Webby Award-nominated PBS Online Film Festival includes a mix of documentary and narrative shorts sponsored by PBS local member stations, POV and public television producers including the Center for Asian American Media and Latino Public Broadcasting. You can vote online once every day from now until July 17 for your favorite film.

You can find out more about the festival by following #PBSolff.

Richard Linklater’s ‘spiritual sequel’ to ‘Dazed and Confused’ renamed after Van Halen song

Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater will follow up his success to Oscar-winning “Boyhood” with a “spiritual sequel” to 1993’s “Dazed and Confused.”

Photo by Ralph Barrera
Photo by Ralph Barrera

The Film Stage recently reported that the film, which has been in the works for years under the title “That’s What I’m Talking About,” has been renamed after a Van Halen song.

Everybody Wants Some” will feature a group of friends not unlike the group of Texan teenagers from “Dazed and Confused,” but this time around, the moon tower parties will be on a college campus.

The official synopsis for the upcoming fall comedy set in the 1980s is as follows:

It’s the last weekend of freedom before college starts and Everybody Wants Some.

A “spiritual sequel” to “Dazed and Confused” and set in the world of 1980 college life, “Everybody Wants Some” is a comedy that follows a group of friends as they navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. Get ready for the best weekend ever.

According to The Film Stage, the soundtrack will feature songs by the Talking Heads, Pat Benatar,  Devo and Blondie.

Ryan Guzman (“Step Up”), Zoey Deutch (“Ringer,” “Vampire Academy”), Tyler Hoechlin (“7th Heaven) and Wyatt Russell (“22 Jump Street”) are among those confirmed for the film from Paramount Pictures.



Definitive guide to Austin area movie locations

When people think about Austin, live music and barbecue are some of the first things that come to mind. Yet Austin’s film scene, made famous by more than a few big names (Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez) and more than a few big movies (“Boyhood,” “The Tree of Life”), is not to be overlooked.

Photo by Jay Janner
Photo by Jay Janner

» RELATED CONTENT: Photos from the set of “True Grit” in Austin

 Click through for a guide to films shot in and around the Austin area:

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