Film: Special Screenings
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FRIDAY JULY 31
SPACES
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

    The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

    Rated R, 102 min. Directed by Stephan Elliott. Starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter and Sarah Chadwick.

    Drag at the Drive-in: A trio of “showgirls” – two drag queens and one transgender – venture out of tolerant, big-city Sydney and into the wilds of central Australia. Live drag performances begin at 8pm. Read a full review of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

    8:45PM Blue Starlite Drive-In at Austin Studios, 1901 E. 51st, 512/850-6127

  • Bordertown (2015)

    Bordertown is an upcoming animated sitcom executive-produced by Seth McFarlane. Lalo Alcaraz, a Bordertown writer and political cartoonist and creator of the comic strip La Cucaracha, will be in attendance for a Q&A. Earlier in the day, at 3pm, Alcaraz will conduct a Cartooning Workshop (open to those 13 and older), followed by a screening of Bordertown at 4pm. Sign-up by calling 512/974-3785. La Cucaracha, writer at Bordertown

    7PM Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River

KIDS
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

    How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

    Rated PG, 102 min. Directed by Dean DeBlois.

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

  • Kung Fu Panda 2

    Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

    Rated PG, 90 min. Directed by Jennifer Yuh.

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

  • The Parent Trap

    The Parent Trap (1961)

    Not rated, 124 min. Directed by David Swift. Starring Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith and Leo G. Carroll.

    Alamo Kids Camp $1.

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

  • Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985)

    Rated G, 88 min. Directed by Ken Kwapis.

    Alamo Kids Camp $1.

    9:45AM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter Ln., 512/476-1320

  • 1800 N. Congress, 512/936-4629

  • Dark Universe (2015)

    Not rated, 25 min. Directed by Carter Emmart. Narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    Explore the universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson and the American Museum of Natural History.

  • Humpback Whales 3D (2015)

    Not rated, 49 min. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Narrated by Ewan McGregor.

  • Living in the Age of Airplanes (2015)

    Not rated, 47 min. Directed by Brian J. Terwilliger. Narrated by Harrison Ford.

  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

    Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

    Rated PG-13, 131 min. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Starring Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris.

    While the subtitle to this latest entry in the Mission: Impossible series may be better suited to a Keith Urban song or a right-wing talk show, Rogue Nation actually refers to the Syndicate, a shadowy organization hinted at near the end of 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. IMF (that’s Impossible Mission Force, not International Monetary Fund) leader Ethan Hunt (Cruise) believes this organization is behind a number of disparate international incidents set to destabilize global geopolitics, from vanishing airplanes and financial crises to military coups in third-world countries. Back for the assist are field agents Benji Dunn (Pegg), William Brandt (Renner), and series stalwart Luther Stickell (Rhames). Joining them in this go-round is Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) as a British intelligence agent with the dubious moniker of Ilsa Faust. Chases ensue. Plots are twisted. Impossibilities become, well, possible.

    The pleasures derived from this film franchise are twofold. On the one hand, there is the intrigue of espionage, the parlor game of who exactly is zooming whom, of misdirection and mask-revealing reversals. On the other hand, there are the intricate set-pieces that rely on a series of calculations and circumstances that must unfold just so, high-wire acts that invariably go wrong and cause the audience to gasp as Hunt and his operatives must make split-second decisions to save the day. But beyond that, McQuarrie infuses the story with some existential weariness on the part of Cruise’s character, but not too much (this is an action film after all, not a John Le Carré novel). And while some of those action sequences feel a bit well-worn (Chases with motorcycles! A facility inadvertently designed for stealth infiltration!), there are wonderfully choreographed scenes, notably the in medias res opening mission (that’s Cruise hanging on the side of a plane from the trailer), and a rousingly tense trip to the Vienna Opera House. Ferguson’s Ilsa is a step up from the usual female characters in the franchise, having actual agency and not having to navigate a forced romance with the 53-year-old lead. Overall, Rogue Nation is a solid, mildly subversive entry into the series that will have you humming Lalo Schifrin’s indelible theme music for the rest of the week, but probably not lingering over the finer points of the plot. Accept the mission and pass the popcorn.

    Read a full review of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

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