Can Anne Hathaway save the world? It’s ‘Colossal’!

Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway in “Colossal.” Contributed

Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo has defied expectations again with “Colossal,” his new sci-fi tale starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis.

It’s hard to explain that opening sentence without giving away some key plot information, but let’s just say that this is one of the most unusual, imaginative tales to come along in quite some time.

Vigalondo’s first film, 2008’s “Timecrimes,” was a sleeper hit on the arthouse circuit, and “Colossal” will probably do the same kind of box-office business, if not more.

Hathaway stars as a party animal who gets kicked out of her swanky New York apartment by her fed-up boyfriend (Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” and FX’s “Legion.”)

Without a job and without any money, she heads back to the home of her childhood and quickly meets an old friend, Oscar (Sudeikis). He owns a bar and offers her a job as a part-time waitress.

It’s clear that he wants to rekindle what he thinks might be a romance, but there’s something amiss. And then a monster begins mysteriously appearing in the middle of Seoul, South Korea, terrorizing the city. For some reason, Hathaway’s Gloria feels a strange connection with the monster.

And one day she discovers that she can influence the actions of the monster if she stands in a specific spot in the middle of her hometown park.

So Gloria thinks it’s up to her to save the world and get the monster under control. Other people, as you might suspect, have different agendas, and that leads to some of the biggest surprises.

Hathaway is her typical charming self, struggling to get her life back together and stop her serious drinking while simultaneously trying to control a monster across the world.

The supporting cast, including Tim Blake Nelson and Austin Stowell, is excellent. So are the soundtrack and the special effects.

It will be interesting to see how the movie is received by critics as well as audiences. It definitely has an independent, offbeat vibe.

The movie is notable, in part, because it’s the first release from a new distribution company, Neon, co-founded by Austin’s Tim League and Tom Quinn, formerly of Radius and Magnolia.

League, the Alamo Drafthouse owner, has been friends with Vigalondo ever since “Timecrimes” debuted at League’s Fantastic Fest in 2007. League has also been friends with Quinn for quite a while, especially since Quinn eventually acquired “Timecrimes” for his former company, Magnolia Pictures.

“Colossal” is expected to open in New York and Los Angeles on April 7 and in Austin a week later. It screens three more times during South by Southwest: 4:15 p.m. March 14 at the Alamo Ritz; 2:15 p.m. March 16 at the Alamo South; and 8:30 p.m. March 17 at the Alamo South.

 

 

 

 

Alamo Drafthouse celebrating 20 years of ‘Selena’ film with movie party

Twenty years after the debut of the “Selena” film, movie-goers can celebrate the late singer’s legacy in a place familiar to fans of the Queen of Tejano music.

Later this month, the Sunset Station in San Antonio will serve as the spot for Alamo Drafthouse’s next Rolling Roadshow, a two-day movie party, featuring the iconically Texan film “Selena.” The movie chronicles the singer’s short life, and Jennifer Lopez stars as the Corpus Christi native.

RELATED: Tejano music star’s legacy lives on 20 years after her death

Guests can buy tickets for the Friday, March 24 or Saturday, March 25 showings inside the extravagant Depot building or under the nearby covered Lone Star Pavilion.  

RELATED: Selena to receive Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2017

Ticket holders will have access to bars and food from Frank. Visitors can also stroll down the steps inside the Depot building where Selena herself filmed the music video for “No Me Queda Más ” and Lopez walked during the fashion show scene.

The cover band Bidi Bidi Banda will also perform, and attendees are encouraged to dress in Selena-inspired attire for a lookalike contest.

RELATED: Selena influenced style, beauty

Make a weekend trip out of the show too and go on a scavenger hunt for more places where the film was shot. On the other side of the highway sits the Alamo, along with that very romantic pedestrian bridge on the Riverwalk. The public library also served as a stand-in location for Selena’s visit to Mexico in the film.

RELATED: Austin Selena fans wait hours in line to purchase limited-edition makeup

RELATED: Selena Quintanilla to be honored with Madame Tussauds wax figure

 

Alamo Mueller will open March 9; tickets on sale now

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller will open for business March 9.

The increasingly-insanely-popular-on-a-national-scale, Austin-grown cinema chain’s sixth location in the city will feature the usual mix of first-run films and curated specialty programming, nice seats with individual tables and all kinds of food.

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller is also home to Barrel O’ Fun, a bar and event space. Yay, booze!

mueller_drafthouse_800_600_81_sThe Alamo is located in the heart of the Mueller neighborhood next door to the Thinkery.

How great would it be if the Thinkery started a program in conjunction with the Drafthouse that let parents drop off their kids off at the Thinkery in a supervised environment — essentially babysitting at the Thinkery — while the parents go to a movie?

 Staff training days begin March 3, where those eager to get a first taste of Alamo Drafthouse Mueller can enjoy discounted food and non-alcoholic drinks while staff trains in the new space.

Tickets are on sale now, with the first shows on March 3 and 4 offered exclusively to the Alamo’s highest-level Victory members.

RELATED: NEW ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE LOCATION WILL HAVE FAMILY FOCUS

 Alamo Drafthouse Mueller features six auditoriums that range from 45 to 140 seats, with combined seating for 609 moviegoers. Free, four-hour validated parking is available in the McBee garage located adjacent to the theater.

The theater will offer its own unique twist on the Alamo Drafthouse’s food and drink menu, with new items like chilaquiles and a grilled jerk chicken sandwich along with longtime Alamo Drafthouse menu favorites such as the brussels sprouts, smoked bacon and goat cheese pizza.

Inside Alamo Drafthouse Mueller is another destination all its own: Barrel O’ Fun.

By day it’s a family-friendly hall with a vintage boardwalk feel, complete with functioning carnival games. When the sun goes down, however, the “R-E-L” on the sign goes out and the space transforms into the “Bar O’ Fun.” The carnival games fold into the ceiling to reveal a curated selection of fine spirits and craft beers, with an emphasis on barrel-aged offerings (naturally) and craft cocktails.

Barrel O’ Fun bar Manager Ryan Hollowell comes to Alamo Drafthouse with deep cocktail and draft beer experience, most recently as the opening bar manager for Lonesome Dove in Austin.  In addition to the rotating local tap wall for the theater and the bar, Ryan will oversee the barrel-aged cocktail program and themed specialty drinks for the cinema. The Barrel O’ Fun will also feature an array of old-fashioned soda fountain classics, like the Pineapple Fizz Up, real egg creams and the Cherry-Lime Rickey.

During happy hour and most weekday evenings, Barrel O’ Fun will feature a schedule of entertainment that will include DJ sets, live bands, Geeks Who Drink quizzes and more. Most live music shows in the space will be all-ages. Families and kids will also enjoy a selection of special events with hands-on creative activities during early evening and weekends.

Barrel O’ Fun will offer its own carnival-inspired menu designed to delight both kids and adults. Younger palette-friendly eats like mac and cheese and hand-battered Corn Pups can be found alongside more grown-up dishes, like the cedar-planked pork belly.

Mueller’s new Alamo Drafthouse location will have family focus

They’re not quite ready to announce an opening date – soon, though! – but the Alamo Drafthouse location planned for the Mueller development does have some news to pass along to anxious moviegovers.

The Austin-based chain says it aims to make the Mueller cineplex its most family friendly location to date. Helping lead the charge will be newly hired programming and promotions manager Katy Daiger Dial.

Dial comes from the Austin Film Society, where she was director of operations and, before that, community education manager. A University of Texas graduate, she’s also worked for the Texas Film Commission.

“Katy is the perfect addition to the Mueller team and this role specifically,” Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League said. “Her family and youth program experience and passion for film are exactly what we were looking for. I couldn’t be more pleased to have Katy join the Alamo Drafthouse team and help launch our new family and community flagship location in Austin.”

Katy Daiger Dial (Annie Ray photo)
Katy Daiger Dial (Annie Ray photo)

With numerous families living nearby, not to mention the Thinkery, Alamo Drafthouse has set out to make the Mueller theater “a hub for family, kids and youth programming” – and Dial says she’s up to the challenge.

“I have the most wonderful memories from Alamo Drafthouse events, and I’m excited that I’ll now be able to create those memories for the audience at the Mueller location,” she said. “Knowing that Alamo Drafthouse wants to have a focus on youth and families at the new Mueller location particularly drew me to the job. I love the idea of building programming that will create the next generation of film lovers and bring the tried and true Alamo Drafthouse spirit to Mueller and Austin’s east side.”

Look for more details soon on the sixth Alamo location in the Austin area – including that opening date.

Check out these custom-built LEGO Alamo Drafthouses on display at two Austin locations

In celebration of “The LEGO Batman Movie,” a custom LEGO builder constructed two structures that will look familiar to Austinites: The Lakeline and South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse locations.

Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) has to learn to get along with others, including his ward Robin (voiced by Michael Cera), in “The Lego Batman Movie.” Contributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) has to learn to get along with others, including his ward Robin (voiced by Michael Cera), in “The Lego Batman Movie.” Contributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Glen Bricker, co-founder of Brickyt, a company that creates custom LEGO builds and kits, tweeted photos of the recreations Thursday.

The shockingly accurate designs will be on display at the Lakeline and South Lamar locations courtesy of the Texas LEGO Users Group, Bricker said, so don’t miss them when you swing by to check out the movie this weekend.

The movie opens Friday, and make sure to read Statesman music critic Joe Gross’ review before you see it.

Matthew McConaughey chills at Highball, hosts ‘Gold’ screening at Drafthouse

Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez star in "Gold." Contributed by The Weinstein Company
Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez star in “Gold.” Contributed by The Weinstein Company

He didn’t say “Alright, alright, alright.” He didn’t thump his chest, either with his fist or his Oscar (which was really too bad).

But Austin spirit animal Matthew McConaughey mingled at an invite-only cocktail party at the Highball on Thursday before introducing his new film “Gold,” his inspired-by-true-events film about a 1980s precious metals prospector named Kenny Wells who, with a geologist partner, heads to Indonesia to make his proverbial fortune.

Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League introduced McConaughey by big-upping not “Dazed and Confused,” the traditional starting place for talking about McConaughey, but by discussing his “intense screen presence” in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation” (except for the robotic leg; nobody liked that leg).

RELATED: Matthew McConaughey, coach Tom Herman and Chancellor McRaven walk into a bar…

McConaughey introduced “Gold,” a project he had been developing for five or six years before getting director Stephen Gaghan to sign on, by telling a great story about his dad. When McConaughey was 17 years old, he and his dad went out to get “stocking stuffers” for the holiday season.

He and his dad head off to a parking lot, at which McConaughey Senior introduced his son to a man named Chicago John, who had a variety of items in the back of a van (“microwaves, hair dryers”). McConaughey said his father purchased an item from this gentleman. McConaughey couldn’t see what it was, but it was the sort of thing for which one peels off stacks of bills and one wraps in a bunch of paper towels.

“I don’t know if I’ve got a ferret or what,” McConaughey said. He and Matthew get back in their car, the item stuffed in the glove box. Said McConaughey Senior to son: “See if it’s still in there.”

McConaughey unwraps it. It’s a watch. “‘That’s a $22,000 titanium Rolex I just bought for $3,000,’ Dad said.

RELATED: Professor Matthew McConaughey talks about teaching at UT on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’

“Now, that watch was probably not worth $500,” McConaughey said, “but my dad loved a shady deal,” the sort that captures the spirit of Kenny Wells, whom McConaughey said is his favorite character he has ever played.

The extremely enjoyable “Gold” opens Jan. 27. Look for a review of the movie before that date.

RELATED: Matthew McConaughey talks UT, ‘Dazed and Confused’ and post-Oscar roles in Esquire cover story

The site of the original Alamo Drafthouse is for rent

The space the original Alamo Drafthouse theater once called home is on the rental market.

09-06-07 Laura Skelding AMERICAN-STATESMAN The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is moving into the old Ritz building on E. 6th Street in downtown Austin. Construction is underway to convert the old building into a cinema with two screens. The original building was built in 1929 and then it was doubled in width in 1937. The original facade will be kept including the historic Ritz sign above the awning, said Superintendent Daniel Osborne, bottom left of frame. POD
09-06-07 Laura Skelding AMERICAN-STATESMAN The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is moving into the old Ritz building on E. 6th Street in downtown Austin. Construction is underway to convert the old building into a cinema with two screens. The original building was built in 1929 and then it was doubled in width in 1937. The original facade will be kept including the historic Ritz sign above the awning, said Superintendent Daniel Osborne, bottom left of frame. POD

In the heart of Austin’s Warehouse District, the second floor space at 409 Colorado St. was most recently used as a nightclub. But longtime Austinites remember the space as the original location of their favorite movie theater chain. Tim and Karrie League opened the first Alamo Drafthouse in the space in 1997, and it remained there for 10 years until moving to the Ritz Theater on Sixth Street due to high rental costs in the Warehouse District.

Related: Alamo Drafthouse’s Ritz Theater celebrates 87 years

The Craigslist posting suggests various uses for the second floor space:

“Uses include creative office, bar, restaurant, nightclub, brewery, theater, comedy club, day spa, entertainment venue, gaming venue, bocce, arcade, cocktail lounge, ping-pong social, bowling, musical performance, music venue, corporate event space, art gallery.”

But those 8,100 square feet won’t come cheap. The Downtown Austin Alliance lists the lease rate at $34 per square foot per year, which means you’ll have to shell out $275,400 a year (that’s $22,950 a month) if you’d like to turn the space into your next business venture. Not to mention they’d like you to commit to a long-term lease of five, seven or 10 years in order to rent the space. No big deal.

Gender identity, moonlight towers and the almighty ‘Inherent Vice’ in this week’s special screenings

“Don’t Call Me Son.” Brazilian writer and director Anna Muylaert delivers this darkly comic character study about a 17-year-old exploring his gender identity to his family. The Austin Film Society is co-presenting the film with the Austin Gay and International Film Festival. 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday. $7-$10. Texas Spirit Theater at the Bullock, 1800 Congress Ave. austinfilm.org.

inherent-vice-joaquin-pho-010
Joaquin Phoenix in “Inherent Vice.” How can you not love that face?

“Inherent Vice” in 70mm. Man alive, I loved “Inherent Vice.”  Still love it. Still pretty sure it stands easily with Paul Thomas Anderson’s other works. Audiences, however, did not.  They stayed away in droves — it made only $8 million, which was half as much as “The Master” (which itself made less than half of “There Will Be Blood,” still Anderson’s highest grossing picture). Give yourself over to its shaggy-dog rhythms and it will delight, especially in opulent 70mm. 6 p.m. Sunday. 6:45 p.m. Monday. Alamo Drafthouse Ritz. 320 East Sixth St.  drafthouse.com/austin/show/70mm-inherent-vice

“Last of the Moonlight Towers.” The Austin History Center is hosting a special screening of this doc about one of Austin’s most celebrated landmarks and how the city became a refuge for these structures. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Free. 810 Guadalupe St. library.austintexas.gov/event/last-moonlight-towers-376552.

“Command and Control.” Director Richard Linklater and author Eric Schlosser will be in attendance at the screening of this new documentary film based on Schlosser’s book of the same name, about the 1980 accident in an Arkansas missile silo that nearly caused a nuclear catastrophe. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. $7-$10. Texas Spirit Theater at the Bullock, 1800 Congress Ave. austinfilm.org.

with Arianna Auber

The Alamo Drafthouse is honoring Carrie Fisher with a lightsaber vigil

The Alamo Drafthouse will hold a lightsaber vigil for the late Carrie Fisher outside Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar at 6:30 p.m. tonight (December 28).

“Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite “Star Wars” characters, bring along as many lightsabers as you own, and invite your fellow Wookiees, Bounty Hunters, Ewoks, and Stormtroopers,” stated the entry on the Drafthouse blog.

Don’t own a lightsaber? Feel free to bring flashlights and glow sticks.screen-shot-2015-11-12-at-08-28-48

Some Austin movie fans’ screams might be in the next ‘Star Wars’

Just this weekend, in a galaxy that’s real, real close, some movie fanatics learned their voices were more powerful than they could have possibly imagined.

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Butt-Numb-A-Thon — that’s the off-the-wall film marathon masterminded over the years by film buff Harry Knowles, Drafthouse founder Tim League and Kristen Bell — was held this past weekend at Alamo Drafthouse. According to Knowles, attendees at this year’s 18th edition unwittingly attended a voice-over session Sunday for the eighth episode of the “Star Wars” franchise.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ ‘Batman v Superman’ and the limits of fan service’

Apparently, director Rian Johnson, who’s helming that upcoming film and is a longtime BNAT supporter, showed up this year with something special in mind.

That’s right: Johnson asked a bunch of film geeks to scream into his phone and said the noises will make their way into the next intergalactic “Star Wars” adventure. (Besides “Rogue One,” of course.) Plenty of folks in the audience backed Knowles up on Twitter, too.

No clues about what the sound will be used for, however. Johnson was mum on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/rianjohnson/status/808052092497776641

Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to Kristen Bell as an actress. The Butt-Numb-A-Thon organizer is also the director of Fantastic Fest, not the star of “Frozen.”