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Special Screenings

SATURDAY DEC. 20
  • The Better Angels

    The Better Angels (2014)

    Rated PG, 95 min. Directed by A.J. Edwards. Starring Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger and Brit Marling.

    Three years of Abraham Lincoln's childhood are depicted in this film from frequent Terrence Malick collaborator Edwards.

    4:10PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • Christmas Show

    Christmas Show

    Master Pancake: This seasonal show features the Master Pancake regulars and clips from favorite holiday TV specials and other weird holiday programs.

    7PM, 10PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/476-1320

  • Foxcatcher

    Foxcatcher (2014)

    Rated R, 134 min. Directed by Bennett Miller. Starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, Guy Boyd and Brett Rice.

    A palpable sense of doom hangs over the chilling Foxcatcher, like a vulture resembling the beak-nosed billionaire John E. du Pont (a prosthetic-enhanced Carell), who’s at the story’s twisted center. As the film slowly inches toward its inevitably tragic ending, you can’t help but think: Nothing good can come from this. Based on page-two headlines from nearly two decades ago, it recounts the uneasy relationship between wrestling enthusiast du Pont and the Olympic gold medal-winning Schultz brothers, one that ends in cold-blooded murder in a driveway one snowy day in January. There’s a studied creepiness that informs Foxcatcher, one that suggests its pregnant pauses and deliberate pacing will contribute to a greater meaning beyond the tabloid fodder that advances the otherwise mundane narrative of a privileged rich man with delusions of grandeur. Director Miller’s execution is beautifully evocative, but to what end? Once the film concludes, the letdown weighs as heavily as the dark mood that permeates this contemporary American horror story.

    The performances anchor the film, though not in the way you might expect at the outset. Much has been said about Carell’s approach to playing the role of the borderline wacko du Pont, the wealthy heir to a family fortune who recites Reaganesque platitudes of patriotism while snorting cocaine, drinking scotch, and coaching – in the loosest sense of the term – the Foxcatcher wrestling team he believes will somehow elevate America’s standing in the world. No question: There’s something unnerving about this cringe-inducing turn that separates Carell from the rest of the pack, something that will undoubtedly attract award nominations given his literal about-face here. But aside from the Mommy fixation and homoerotic impulses that the film tritely references to explain this enigmatic man, you’re left with a performance that feels gimmicky, one in which an actor primarily known for his comedic chops goes weirdly dramatic. As Dave Schultz, the older brother unwittingly drawn into the psychosexual drama between du Pont and the impressionable Mark Schultz (an intense Tatum, taking it up a notch), Ruffalo goes to the mat when the rest of the film wavers in its purpose. Although it’s only a supporting role, he’s the true champ in Foxcatcher.

    As much as you want to admire (even like) this film, it’s ultimately an unsatisfying experience, largely because you have no idea what to make of it. Is it a commentary on the frequent hypocrisy of red-white-and-blue political values? A critique of the extraordinary entitlement of the 1%? An unrequited love story in which repression mutes the expression of desire? Whatever the case, Foxcatcher provides little insight. Art can shape the truth in ways that resonate beyond the obvious. Regrettably, the truth-shaping here grapples for significance, without any apparent aim. Catch as catch can.

    Read a full review of Foxcatcher.

    10:10AM, 12:10PM, 2:35PM, 3:40PM, 6PM, 7PM, 9:15PM, 10:15PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • Gremlins

    Gremlins (1984)

    Rated PG, 106 min. Directed by Joe Dante. Starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain, Polly Holiday, Dick Miller, Judge Reinhold and Corey Feldman.

    Zzangarang! A teenager’s furry little pet of mysterious origins spawns a whole town full of snaggle-toothed killer gremlins. It’s suburban splatter mixed with humor and in-jokes. Read a full review of Gremlins.

    4:30PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/476-1320

  • Little Women (1994)

    Rated PG, 115 min. Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Starring Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, Samantha Mathis, Christian Bale, Mary Wickes, Gabriel Byrne and Eric Stoltz.

    Afternoon Tea: Louisa May Alcott's March sisters remain resonant in a new season. Read a full review of Little Women.

    4PM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • Meet Me in St. Louis

    Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

    Not rated, 113 min. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor and Lucille Bremer.

    Broadway Brunch: Set during the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904, this musical is heavy on the Americana but loaded with great songs and performances.

    1:30PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/476-1320

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

    Rated R, 95 min. Directed by Jim Sharman. Starring Richard O'Brien, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry.

    Austin fans have been dressing up and doing the "Time Warp" thing live for more than three decades. For more info, see www.austinrocky.org.

    11:59PM Alamo Drafthouse Village, 2700 W. Anderson, 512/459-7090

  • Totally Eighties Sing-Along Dance Party

    Action Pack

    10:25PM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter Ln., 512/476-1320

  • SPACES

  • Elf

    Elf (2003)

    Rated PG, 95 min. Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner, Bob Newhart, Daniel Tay, Faizon Love, Amy Sedaris and Peter Dinklage.

    Happy Holidays at the Drive-In: As the titular elf, Ferrell embraces the comic absurd with arms outstretched. Read a full review of Elf.

    7PM Blue Starlite Drive-In at Austin Studios, 1901 E. 51st, 512/850-6127

  • KIDS

  • Arthur Christmas

    Arthur Christmas (2011)

    Rated PG, 100 min. Directed by Sarah Smith.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: The worst thing I can say about this sweet little slice of holiday cheer is that it is preceded by evil incarnate: a Justin Bieber music video. Happily, once Bieber scuttles offscreen and the Aardman Animation (Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run) titles come up, you're in good, competent, and refreshingly funny hands. Arthur Christmas is an inspired take on the hoary clichés of the Santasploitation genre. This time, Aardman has left its trademark Plasticine stop-motion designs behind in favor of CGI and 3-D techniques, both of which turn out to work splendidly in the service of a very Aardman take on the notion of what it means to be Santa (voiced here by Broadbent) and the perils (and perhaps inevitability) of taking one's profession for granted, no matter how special, magical, or outrageously awesome it may be. If you can get past the Bieber, this is smart, funny stuff. Read a full review of Arthur Christmas.

    9:40AM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter Ln., 512/476-1320

  • Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977)

    Not rated, 48 min. Directed by Jim Henson.

    Alamo Kids' Club: Henson's original cut of this holiday story will grace the screen in a rare screening of this family charmer.

    11AM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

    Rated PG, 95 min. Directed by John R. Cherry III. Starring Jim Varney.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: Ernest P. Worrell, Varney's hayseed busybody, meets up with Kris Kringle.

    9:55AM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

    Rated G, 85 min. Directed by Brian Henson. Starring Michael Caine.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: The Muppets bring cheer to Ebenezer Scrooge. Read a full review of The Muppet Christmas Carol.

    10AM Alamo Drafthouse Village, 2700 W. Anderson, 512/459-7090

  • BULLOCK MUSEUM

    1800 N. Congress, 512/936-4629

  • D-Day: Normandy 1944

    D-Day: Normandy 1944 (2014)

    Not rated, 40 min. Directed by Pascal Vuong. Narrated by Tom Brokaw.

    Tom Brokaw narrates this film about the largest Allied operation of World War II.

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar (2014)

    Rated PG-13, 169 min. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Wes Bentley and David Gyasi.

    Majesty and mawkishness combine in Christopher Nolan's film about humans' last-ditch attempt to find a habitable planet in another galaxy. Read a full review of Interstellar.

  • Jerusalem 3D

    Jerusalem 3D (2014)

    Not rated, 45 min. Directed by Daniel Ferguson. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

  • Texas: The Big Picture

    Texas: The Big Picture (2003)

    Not rated, 39 min. Directed by Scott Swofford. Narrated by Colby Donaldson.

    Texas is shown to be a land broad enough to produce everything from grapefruit to microchips.