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Special Screenings

MONDAY DEC. 22
  • Carol for Another Christmas

    Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

    Not rated, 84 min. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Starring Sterling Hayden, Ben Gazzara and Eva Marie Saint.

    A reimagining of A Christmas Carol, this oddity was written by Rod Serling and commissioned to drum up support for the United Nations. Need more? Peter Sellers shows up as post-apocalyptic overlord with a 10-gallon hat.

    10:05PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/476-1320

  • Cartoon Cereal Party: Christmas Edition

    Only at the Alamo: Holiday cartoons – with lots of sugary cereal on the menu.

    12:45PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/476-1320

  • A Christmas Story Quote-Along Feast (1983)

    Rated PG, 94 min. Directed by Bob Clark. Starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin.

    Action Pack: The seasonal classic screens with a Chinese dinner feast. See www.drafthouse.com for the full menu.

    7PM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • A Christmas Story Quote-Along Feast (1983)

    Rated PG, 94 min. Directed by Bob Clark. Starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin.

    Action Pack: The seasonal classic screens with a Chinese dinner feast. See www.drafthouse.com for the full menu.

    7PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard (1988)

    Rated R, 131 min. Directed by John McTiernan. Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman and Bonnie Bedelia.

    Tough Guy Cinema: Bruce Willis discovered his movie legs in this superb action movie that thrusts him into the Everyman Hero role when he is coincidentally visiting a high-rise at the same time terrorist thieves are taking it over.

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

  • Donovan's Reef (1963)

    Not rated, 109 min. Directed by John Ford. Starring John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Jack Warden, Elizabeth Allen, Cesar Romero and Dorothy Lamour.

    Supremely goofy in tone, the film pits Wayne (in his last Ford film) and Marvin as drunken pals who careen from one friendly brawl to the next. A Pacific island paradise becomes their silly playpen. Read a full review of Donovan's Reef.

    7:15PM 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.

    10AM, 1:15PM, 2:20PM, 4:30PM, 6:50PM, 7:50PM, 9:50PM, 11:15PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • Home Alone

    Home Alone (1990)

    Rated PG, 102 min. Directed by Chris Columbus. Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, John Candy and Daniel Stern.

    Classics: A long time ago, back when I first saw John Hughes; Sixteen Candles, I thought -- along with quite a few other filmgoers -- here's a guy who knows the score. Well, time has proven me about as wrong as I could be. Home Alone is the apex, the pinnacle, the culmination of every bad bit Hughes has ever written or directed. It overflows with primitive, disastrously unfunny sight gags and neo-hateful familial humor. Read a full review of Home Alone.

    7:30PM Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. I-35, 512/244-3549

  • 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.

    10:35AM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter Ln., 512/476-1320

  • 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.

    10:05AM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

    Rated PG, 152 min. Directed by Chris Columbus. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, John Cleese, Ian Hart, Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: From the sets to the story to the whole tone of the film, this is an almost literal adaptation of J.K. Rowling's beloved children's book. Columbus manages to capture the delicate magic of Rowling's book, about a young wizard named Harry Potter, while simultaneously crafting a very solid piece of Hollywood filmmaking. It's the smaller touches, transposed in whole from the book, that make the film as good as it is. So why didn't the film electrify me like Rowling's book? There's none of the obvious Hollywood downgrading that so often accompanies an adaptation like this, but it is what it is, and that's an adaptation. If you're one of the few who haven't succumbed to Pottermania yet, read the book, then take in this well-done companion piece. Read a full review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

    10:45AM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • 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.

    10:15AM 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.