Latest Alamo Drafthouse PSA star: Coach Taylor from ‘Friday Night Lights’

(AP Photo/NBC, Bill Records)
(AP Photo/NBC, Bill Records)

Joining the esteemed ranks of Alamo Drafthouse’s “don’t talk, don’t text” PSA stars — the membership of which includes Amy Schumer, James Franco, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, Kevin Bacon, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, et cetera, into infinity — is a true Texas hero. He goes by the name “Coach.”

Actor Kyle Chandler reprises his role as gridiron moral compass Eric Taylor from “Friday Night Lights” for the Drafthouse’s latest pre-movie spot. The PSA was uploaded to YouTube on Friday. It may be fan service, but it’s fan service of the highest order.

Check out that Explosions In the Sky music, y’all.

‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ and Demi Lovato

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, Demi Lovato poses for photographers backstage during the Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball in Washington D.C. Robert Rodriguez had been waiting for a chance to work with Lovato since she auditioned for a role in his 2003 movie “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.” The El Rey Network creator and executive producer of its TV series “From Dusk Till Dawn,” spoke to reporters Thursday, July 30, 2015, as part of a TV Critics annual summer press tour.  (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, Demi Lovato poses for photographers backstage during the Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball in Washington D.C. Robert Rodriguez had been waiting for a chance to work with Lovato since she auditioned for a role in his 2003 movie “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.” The El Rey Network creator and executive producer of its TV series “From Dusk Till Dawn,” spoke to reporters Thursday, July 30, 2015, as part of a TV Critics annual summer press tour. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

El Rey Network’s “From Dusk Till Dawn” will have its season premiere on Aug. 25, and the second season will have a new character, played by Demi Lovato.

Robert Rodriguez, the founder of El Rey and the director of “Dusk,” says that he wrote a character specifically for the 22-year-old Lovato.

Rodriguez told reporters that he wanted to work with Lovato since she auditioned for his 2003 movie, “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” the Associated Press reported.

Rodriguez declined to describe Lovato’s new role, but said, “She was fantastic. She’s really got a great screen presence.”

The TV series is based on Rodriguez’s 1996 film and stars D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz.

Is the Future of Vulcan Video’s South Location in Doubt?

As reported in the Statesman here, The owners of Güero’s Taco Bar on South Congress Avenue  are planning an $8 million mixed-use project that would have retail and office space, along with a few condominiums. The new building would be behind Güero’s, in the space now occupied by Eco-Wise and Vulcan Video‘s south location.

logoHowever, building co-owner Rob Lippincott said both tenants would have a first shot at space in the new building.

As noted in the article, Vulcan Video general manager Kristen Ellisor said the business plans to remain in the space as long as possible, and would like to return in the event of a new building.

Former Statesman critic Chris Garcia examined the differences between Vulcan Video and I Luv Video in this 2010 story.

‘Stanford Prison Experiment’ — disturbing and fascinating (Our grade: B)

Michael Angarano (Christopher Archer), Ki Hone Lee (Gavin Lee/3401), Brett Davern (Hubbie Whitlow/7528), Tye Sheridan (Peter Mitchell/819), Johnny Simmons (Jeff Jansen/1037), Ezra Miller (Daniel Culp/8612), and Chris Sheffield (Tom Thompson/2093) in "The Stanford Prison Experiment."
“The Stanford Prison Experiment.”

Mick LaSalle – San Francisco Chronicle

“The Stanford Prison Experiment” is a straightforward dramatization of the 1971 experiment of the same name.

Nothing fancy here — director Kyle Patrick Alvarez and screenwriter Tim Talbott just tell the story and let the material unfold at a natural pace, because they know something that the audience soon figures out: These events are so gripping and so creepy, and ultimately so dispiriting in their implications, that no embellishment was necessary.

» Read full review at » Find showtimes for “The Stanford Prison Experiment”

Unhinged passions boil in ‘Alleluia’ (Our grade: B+)

Michel (Laurent Lucas) in "Alleluia."
Michel (Laurent Lucas) in “Alleluia.”

Stephen Holden – New York Times

The expression “amour fou” barely begins to describe the unhinged passions that boil in “Alleluia,” the Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz’s reimagining of the 1970 crime classic “The Honeymoon Killers.” That docudrama was inspired by the murderous real-life exploits of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, lovers who achieved tabloid notoriety as the Lonely Hearts Killers in the late 1940s.

“Alleluia,” which is set in the present, begins the afternoon that Gloria (Lola Dueñas), a middle-aged single mother with a resemblance to Anna Magnani, connects with Michel (Laurent Lucas), a suave, handsome shoe salesman with an avaricious smile, on an Internet dating site.

» Read full review at » Find showtimes for “Alleluia”

‘Twinsters’ a remarkable story of identical twins separated at birth (Our grade: B)


Michael Rechtshaffen – Los Angeles Times

Korean-born, New Jersey-raised Samantha Futerman had been living the life of a 21-year-old actress attempting to build a resume in Hollywood when she was first made aware of her doppleganger — a 21-year-old Korean-French fashion design student living in London named Anais Bordier.

Some extensive texting and Skyping led to the remarkable discovery that the two young women were, in fact, identical twins who had been separated at birth in South Korea, where they were put up for adoption several months later.

» Read full review at

‘Jimmy’s Hall’: An Irish love story, messed up by politics (Our grade: B+)

Barry Ward as Jimmy and Simone Kirby as Oonagh in "Jimmy's Hall."
Barry Ward as Jimmy and Simone Kirby as Oonagh in “Jimmy’s Hall.”

“Jimmy’s Hall” is a wonderful love story woven into a larger tale about Ireland’s political troubles during the 1930s, with irresistible performances by Barry Ward and Simone Kirby.

The two actors are virtually unknown in the United States but have been regulars on British TV. And their chemistry in director Ken Loach’s new film is undeniable, with a white-hot, silent dance scene coming midway.

The movie is based on a screenplay by Paul Laverty, focusing on the real-life Irishman Jimmy Gralton, who fled to the United States in the 1920s amid political controversy.

» Read full review on » Find showtimes for “Jimmy’s Hall”

‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ is old-fashioned fun (Our grade: B)

Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible III"
Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible III”

For the first time ever — and to the credit of both Tom Cruise and “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” writer and director Christopher McQuarrie — the fifth film in the “M:I” franchise suggests that maybe, just maybe Ethan Hunt is getting too old for this stuff.

After all, it has been 19 years (!) since Brian De Palma helmed the first “Mission: Impossible” reboot flick, and Cruise, though smooth of face, is 53 years old, which, if we are using the Sean Connery-as-James-Bond scale, makes “Rogue Nation” his “Never Say Never Again.”

» Read full review at » Find showtimes for “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”


Kurt Russell, Turkish cinema in first wave of Fantastic Fest films

FF_2015_POSTERFantastic Fest announced the first wave programming lineup for its 11th annual festival of genre madness including the world première of Craig Zahler’s amazingly-named, festival-closing existential horror western “Bone Tomahawk”with Kurt Russell and Matthew Fox in attendance, a retrospective of Turkish Genre Cinema, and a Mondo Gallery event. and programming series curated by filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive”)  in connection with his new book “Nicolas Winding Refn: The Act of Seeing,” about Refn’s collection of vintage exploitation-era American movie posters.

Refn will screen three of the films featured in the book — “Farewell Uncle Tom, The X-Rated Supermarket and “My Body Hungers” — during the fest’s opening weekend, while the Mondo Gallery will exhibit 15 of his posters.

The Turkish genre cinema stuff is tied to the U.S. première of Cem Kaya’s “Remake, Remix, Rip-Off: About Copy Culture & Turkish Pop Cinema;” look for screening of   three seminal films, the lengendary “Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam (aka The Man Who Saves the World” aka “Turkish Star Wars”) , “Yilmayan Seytan (aka the Deathless Devil) and “Tarkan Viking Kani (aka “Tarkan vs, the Vikings”) along with appearances by iconic Turkish filmmaker Çetin İnanç and moviestar Kunt Tulgar.

This year’s poster is comprised exclusively of elements from classic Turkish movie art, of which there will be over 60 original movie posters on display at the festival.

Here is the full list as the folks from FF sent it:

BONE TOMAHAWK (United States, 2015) World Premiere, 133 min

A still from "Bone Tomahawk"
A still from “Bone Tomahawk”

Director – S. Craig Zahler

Kurt Russell stars in this character driven and at times horrific Western about a group of men (including Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins) who set out to rescue a local woman and a young deputy who’ve been kidnapped by a tribe of cannibalistic troglodytes.

DARLING (United States, 2015) World Premiere, 78 min

Director – Mickey Keating

A young woman slowly goes crazy after taking a job as the caretaker for an ancient New York home in the new film from writer/director Mickey Keating.

THE DEATHLESS DEVIL (Turkey, 1972) Repertory Screening, 84 min

Director – Yilmaz Atadeniz

The mysterious Dr. Satan’s nefarious plans threaten the future of everyone on the planet, and the only men who can stop him are the brilliant Copperhead and his assistant Sherlock Holmes!

DER BUNKER (Germany, 2015) North American Premiere, 85 min

Director – Nikias Chryssos

A student rents a room from a family in their converted army bunker, and ends up the tutor to the child and a virtual slave to the parents.

FAREWELL UNCLE TOM (Italy, 1971) Repertory Screening, 123 min

Directors – Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi

The first movie based on historical facts about the rise and revolt of slavery in America is one of the most brilliant, misunderstood and reviled of all time.

GERMAN ANGST (Germany, 2015) US Premiere, 111 min

Directors – Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski & Andreas Marschall

German directors Buttgereit, Kosakowski and Marschall unleash this brutal assault on the senses, a surreal three-part horror anthology touching on love and hate and everything in between.

IN SEARCH OF ULTRA SEX (France, 2015) North American Premiere, 60 min

Directors – Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine

A pandemic infects people everywhere with infinite lust, and the only ones who can save us are a group of astronauts in space, desperately looking for a solution.

THE INVITATION (United States, 2015)  Special Screening, 97 min

Director – Karyn Kusama

A haunted man attends a dinner party at the house he once called home, and becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harboring an insidious agenda.

LIZA THE FOX FAIRY (Hungary, 2015) Regional Premiere, 98 min

Director – Károly Ujj-Mészáros

Somewhere in 1970s Budapest, nurse Liza dreams of romance. But as all her suitors die in violent and extreme ways, she begins to fear the worst: maybe she is really a fox fairy, doomed to remain alone forever!

LOVE AND PEACE (Japan, 2015) US Premiere, 117 min

Director – Sion Sono

Fantastic Fest staple Shion Sono returns once again with a deeply personal (and expectedly odd) film about a lonely businessman with dreams of punk rock stardom and his best friend, a turtle.

LOVEMILLA (Finland, 2015) North American Premiere, 97 min

Director – Teemu Nikk

LOVEMILLA is a delightful peek at life and love in Finland, filled with all the usual zombies, black holes, giant pandas and superheros you’d expect from the land that gave us Renny Harlin.

THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD (Turkey, 1982) Repertory Screening, 91 min

Director – Çetin İnanç

There has never been and will never be another film like THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD, and your only chance to discover why is at this special Fantastic Fest screening!

MY BODY HUNGERS (United States, 1967) Repertory Screening, 80 min

Director – Joseph W. Sarno

A roadhouse hostess goes undercover to investigate the murder of her sister in a little-seen sexploiter from grindhouse rebel and master of erotica Joe Sarno.

OFFICE (Korea, 2015) US Premiere, 111 min

Director – HONG Won-Chan

OFFICE is the story of Kim, the salaryman who one day brutally murders his entire family with a hammer, and Lee, the put-upon intern at his workplace. It’s dark-as-night corporate satire hiding behind a slasher veneer with scares so well timed, you’ll jump out of your seat non-stop.

REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF (Turkey/Germany, 2014) US Premiere, 96 min

Director – Cam Kaya

Welcome to Turkey. It’s home to Yesilcam, the Turkish Hollywood where, in the late ‘70s, dreams were built on nothing more than a dime. Both a loving tribute to the burgeoning cinema of this young country and a trip into history, REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF brings you the most outlandish story you’ve never heard, about filmmaking so dangerous that you need a safety harness just for watching.

RUINED HEART (Phillipines-Germany, 2015) Regional Premiere, 73 min

Director – Khavn de la Cruz

Filipino iconoclast Khavn De La Cruz teams with famed cinematographer Christopher Doyle and Japanese mega star Tadanobu Asano to create a self-described “punk noir opera.”

SENSORIA (Sweden, 2015) World Premiere, 82 min

Director – Christian Hallman

Caroline Menard is a woman in her thirties who has lost everything. As she moves into a new apartment searching for a new start, she’s unaware that something ancient is waiting for her.

THE SIMILARS (Mexico, 2015) World Premiere, 89 min

Director – Isaac Ezban

On a dark and stormy night, eight strangers are stuck in a small bus station waiting for a bus to Mexico City. When strange things start happening, they find themselves trapped in a struggle for sanity and survival.

SPEED (South Korea, 2015) North American Premiere, 104 min

Director – Lee Sang-woo

Four friends navigate sex, love and life in a heart-breaking new film from Korean director Lee Sang-woo.

STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP (United Kingdom, 2015) US Premiere, 65 min

Director – Ross Sutherland

Hypnotically scanning the contents of a VHS tape, this experimental essay-film eulogizes the former custodian of the analog artifact, transforming its recordings of GHOSTBUSTERS and FRESH PRINCE (among others) through rap-infused anecdotal narration, and inscribing both profound and hilarious associations to the tracking-lined images.  STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP will be presented as both a traditional screening as well as a live performance by creator Ross Sutherland.

TARKAN VS THE VIKINGS (Turkey, 1971) Repertory Screening, 86 min

Director – Mehmet Aslan

Based on one of the most popular comic strips in Turkey. this rip-roaring adventure sees Tarkan and his trusty wolf companion Kurt take on the despicable Viking invaders after they leave him for dead!

VICTORIA (Germany, 2015) Regional Premiere, 138 min

Director – Sebastian Schipper

Sebastian Schipper’s fourth directorial work is a single-shot tour-de-force that follows a Spanish barista through a dance club, the streets of Berlin, a coffee shop, a bank robbery and her destiny.

THE X-RATED SUPERMARKET (United States, 1972) Repertory Screening, 62 min

Director – Paul Roberts

Want to save money on your weekly sex toy budget? Look no further than the supermarket shelves in some salacious tips and reactions from suburban horny housewives.

What do you think is Tom Cruise’s best performance?

The over-punctuated “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opens Friday, the fifth movie in the “M:I” franchise. Of late, Cruise has largely confined himself to action roles, movies in which he is very much TOM CRUISE, ACTION FIGURE.

This was not always the case.

This is a terrific piece on Tom Cruise, The Oscar Years. I agree with virtually all of it except for one thing: I think Cruise should have been nominated for, and won for, “Rain Man,” which won an Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director (for Barry Levinson) and Best Screenplay in addition to an Oscar for Dustin Hoffman.

In addition, I think had he won an Oscar for this role, he would have stayed an actor who took (or perhaps would have been offered, for all I know) more interesting parts for longer.

Take another look at his portrayal of Charlie Babbitt, the slick, MV5BMTQ4NTA1NDU3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODUwMTU2NA@@._V1_SX214_AL_20-something hustler who suddenly discovers he has a brother he never knew about. Hoffman played Raymond Babbiit, Charlie’s autistic brother with the spotless memory who has lived in an institution all his life.

Initially, Charlie wants access to his brother for the money — Ray has received the bulk of their father’s estate. Eventually, after one of 80s cinema’s best roadtrips, Charlie decides he doesn’t care about the money but wants a relationship with his brother. They part ways, with Ray returning to the institution.

The neatest trick about Cruise’s performance is that, while he undergoes some growth getting to know Ray, he is essentially the same man. Does knowing Ray make him a better person? Sure. probably. But the movie never implies he turns into a saint.

Cruise is legit brilliant in it with, yes, a harder, subtler part. His growth in the movie is complete credible and a few scenes are among Cruise’s finest (the scene in the bathroom with Ray freaking out about the hot water is beautifully done; you only remember it as overblown because of the size of Hoffman’s panic).

That is my pick. What do you think is Tom Cruise’s best performance.