Film: Special Screenings
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THURSDAY MAY 5
  • Purple Rain

    Purple Rain (1984)

    Rated R, 111 min. Directed by Albert Magnoli. Starring Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day, Olga Karlatos and Clarence Williams III.

    Cry with the doves.

    4PM Gateway Theatre, 9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

  • Time Chasers (1994)

    Rated PG-13, 89 min. Directed by David Giancola. Starring Matthew Bruch, Bonnie Pritchard, Peter Harrington and George Woodard.

    NCM/Fathom: RiffTrax Live: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett revisit one of the most beloved and oft-quoted films of the MST3K era, Time Chasers, which tells the story of a man who turns his airplane into a time machine with the aid of his beloved Commodore 64.

    7PM Cinemark Cedar Park, 1335 E. Whitestone, 800/326-3264

SPACES
  • Hamlet

    Hamlet (1948)

    Not rated, 155 min. Directed by Laurence Olivier. Starring Laurence Olivier.

    Shakespeare Our Contemporary: The first non-American film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, its stark black-and-white designs mirror the designs of Edward Gordon Craig and Norman Bel Geddes featured in the Ransom Center's accompanying exhibition. Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts Eric Colleary introduces the film.

    7PM Harry Ransom Center, 300 W. 21st, 512/471-8944

  • Merchants of Doubt

    Merchants of Doubt (2014)

    Rated PG-13, 96 min. Directed by Robert Kenner.

    Controvesy & Conversation: A Difficult Dialogues Program: This doc calls out the spokesmen for Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and Big Oil, as well as the tactics they use to blur the facts. Read a full review of Merchants of Doubt.

    7PM Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/472-7312

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

    Rated PG, 115 min. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Denholm Elliott, Wolf Kahler and Paul Freeman.

    Austin Parks Foundation: Movies in the Park: Free. Read a full review of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    8:15PM Palm Park, 601 E. Third, 512/477-1566

  • 1800 Congress, 512/936-4629

  • "A Beautiful Planet" (2016)

    Rated G, 40 min. Directed by Toni Myers. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.

  • "National Parks Adventure" (2016)

    Not rated, 38 min. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Narrated by Robert Redford.

    Stunning imagery and an overview of the national parks’ history is combined with reflections on what the wilderness means to us all. The film is narrated by Robert Redford.

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War (2016)

    Rated PG-13, 146 min. Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Holland.

    Nobody ever accused Marvel Studios of not playing the long game. With Captain America: Civil War, we’ve now entered Phase 3 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe rollout/cash grab. But I do wonder if the MCU masterminds anticipated Civil War would be a better Avengers movie than, well, the last Avengers movie. While not all card-carrying members of that superhero supergroup report for duty here (Thor and the Hulk sit this one out), promising new recruits like Chadwick Boseman’s steely Black Panther and Tom Holland’s eager-to-please teen Spider-Man are introduced – fresh fodder for future phases. You know this franchise is going to outlive us all, right?

    That’s a little bit chilling, considering the ripple effect these movies have had on popular entertainment – in Marvel Studios’ super-saturation of the market, its double-dog-dare-ya to other studios inspired them to launch their own hydra-headed franchises, and the lamentable squeezing out of midrange budgeted studio films (go big or don’t bother seems to be the mantra these days). But that’s a conversation – maybe a funeral dirge – for another day. For now, why not enjoy the contact high from Civil War?

    Joss Whedon’s swan song Avengers: Age of Ultron was a bit of a slog, but it laid necessary groundwork for a growing rift between Captain America (Evans) and Tony Stark’s Iron Man (Downey Jr.) that turns chasmic in this follow-up. Notably the second superhero movie of the spring to hang its plot around collateral damage – is conscience catching? – Civil War hinges on a public outcry for accountability and oversight. Which sounds about as sexy as the minutes from a zoning meeting, but in practice makes for a toothsome debate. Stark, troubled by the win/loss ledger of their Age of Ultron battle in Sokovia (“Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all,” Alfre Woodard’s grieving mother schools him), sides with UN officials wanting to register and rein in the superheroes, while Cap’s healthy suspicion of authority and his uber-patriotic defense of civil liberties compels him to defy U.N. orders to comply. That’s a hard line in the sand that forces the various Avengers to pick sides, but the film’s sympathies are strategically fluid (or flip-floppy, if you’re feeling cynical; don’t want to burn any bridges when we’ve got Phase 8 on the horizon!).

    As with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, returning directors Anthony and Joe Russo confidently assemble the action set-pieces but mount in the downtime stretches a sly audition reel to take over the Bourne franchise, or maybe the next le Carré adaptation: The sturm und drang that gets asses in seats never feels perfunctory, but you get the feeling their hearts thump hardest for the spy-intrigue shoe-leather in between the fight scenes. (Marvel is all in with the Russos; they’re also slated to direct the next Avengers extravaganza, the two-part Infinity War.)

    Also returning from Winter Soldier are screenwriters and Marvel vets Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, creators of the TV offshoot Agent Carter and tapped to write Infinity War. They also co-wrote Thor: The Dark World, in which they smartly opted for a mano a mano final battle, and not the heroes vs. an anonymous swarm of villainy so common to these movies. That lesson carries over here: Civil War’s main battle sequence is so effective because it’s six-on-six, and we’ve spent the past decade getting to know the combatants. Friends turned hesitant foes, they pull their punches, but the effects don’t – the whole point of being super-powered is so you can be flung against a wall or off a roof to no real damage, but the audience gets a dizzy rush anyway (the 3-D is top-notch). Apologies are made mid-wallop, and jokes cushion the blows, but there’s no doubting this is personal, for the reluctantly warring Avengers, and the paying audience, too. After so many forgettable baddies, and so much random blasting, it’s nice to put a name to the face when the Black Widow (Johannson, third-billed but forever playing backup) jujitsus her best friend, Clint (Renner), or when Iron Man and Cap’s brotherly bond is broken. Thirteen films in, that’s a real return on investment.

    Read a full review of Captain America: Civil War.

  • The Jungle Book

    The Jungle Book (2016)

    Rated PG, 105 min. Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Neel Sethi.

    Walt Disney Pictures’ beautiful and thrilling live-action/CGI/3-D (whew!) adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless collection of fables about man-cub Mowgli (Sethi) and the furry denizens of his tropical habitat is fast-paced and engaging entertainment, but lacks some of the pathos you might expect. The Jungle Book is intense, scary, and occasionally brutal, but the film frequently shields its young viewers from the consequences of its dark narrative, as the 10-year-old Mowgli – separated from his devoted protector, the black panther Bagheera (Kingsley) – flees the malevolent tiger Shere Khan (Elba) or encounters the violent demands of the outsize orangutan King Louie (Walken), before meeting the sloth bear Baloo (Murray). The movie is superbly executed in many ways, but what gives? Still, for any baby boomer who danced around the living room singing about the bare/bear necessities of life, the familiar tunes here are bound to summon a smile. Forget about your worries and your strife, indeed. Read a full review of The Jungle Book.

  • FESTIVALS

  • Cine Las Americas International Film Festival 2016

    Cine Las Americas International Film Festival 2016

    Now in its 19th year, this annual festival showcases films from Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean and Iberia. It's five days of premieres, parties, and an opportunity to see films that rarely screen on these shores. For the complete schedule, go to www.cinelasamericas.org. For a preview of the festival, see "Pushing Past La Periferia," p.XX.

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