Film: Special Screenings
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WEDNESDAY JULY 27
  • Astronomy on Tap Presents Star Trek Beyond (2016)

    Rated PG-13, 122 min. Directed by Justin Lin. Starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

    Screening followed by a presentation about the science behind the fiction.

    8:15PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/861-7040

  • The Bat Whispers (1930)

    Not rated, 83 min. Directed by Roland West. Starring Chester Morris, Una Merkel and William Bakewell.

    Super Krime: The World of Pulp Supervillains: This visually adventurous, restored film about a master criminal features very early sound effects, and was recorded with the then-new technology of Magnifilm – an experimental, 65mm widescreen process.

    7PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/861-7020

  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

    Rated PG, 90 min. Directed by Stephen Herek. Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and George Carlin.

    Summer Film Classics: High school goofballs travel back in time to score some heavy dudes like Napoleon, Socrates, and Billy the Kid for their history presentation. (Double bill: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.) Read a full review of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

    8:50PM Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress, 512/472-5470

  • Looker (1981)

    Rated PG, 93 min. Directed by Michael Crichton. Starring Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey, Leigh Taylor-Young and Dorian Harewood.

    Weird Wednesday: Models seek surgical perfection in this Michael Crichton thriller.

    9:30PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/861-7020

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

    Rated PG, 90 min. Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. Starring Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin.

    Summer Film Classics: In its second feature film, the wacky Brit comedy troupe does a number on the Arthurian legend and the Middle Ages. (Double bill: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.)

    7PM Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress, 512/472-5470

  • Planet of the Apes

    Planet of the Apes (1968)

    Rated G, 112 min. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Starring Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall.

    NCM/Fathom: TCM Big Screen Classics: The classic sci-fi returns to the big screen with commentary from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.

    2PM, 7PM Tinseltown North, N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

  • RWBY: Volume 2 (2014)

    153 min. Directed by Various.

    Rooster Teeth: Team RWBY begins its second semester and tries to take down a crime syndicate.

    7PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/861-7040

  • Texas Animation Showcase

    Texas Animation Showcase

    Not rated. Directed by Various.

    Austin Film Society: Evening of Austin Animation: Local animators show shorts and works-in-progress in a show co-presented by Austin animation house Mighty Coconut. See "Drawing Together," July 22, for more info.

    7:30PM AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville, 512/454-2000

SPACES
  • An Education

    An Education (2009)

    Rated PG-13, 95 min. Directed by Lone Scherfig. Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams and Emma Thompson.

    Austin Public Library: Read-Watch-Talk: This adaptation of Lynn Barber's memoir about coming of age in the London suburb of Twickenham in 1961 earned three Oscar nominations. Read a full review of An Education.

    6:30PM Yarborough Branch Library, 2200 Hancock

  • The Goonies

    The Goonies (1985)

    Rated PG, 114 min. Directed by Richard Donner. Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green and Martha Plimpton.

    101X Summer Cinema: From a story by Steven Spielberg, this kids' comedy is sick, rude fun. Also on tap is a Cindy Lauper look-alike contest, a sing-a-long with the theme song, a look at the "Making of the Goonies" documentary, and excised footage of the evil octopus.

    8PM Central Market North, 4001 N. Lamar, 512/206-1000

KIDS
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

    Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

    Rated PG, 95 min. Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn.

    Regal Summer Movie Express: Don’t go see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 on an empty stomach – the smorgasbord of animated food is bound to make you hungry. This lazy, 3-D sequel to the 2009 feature about freakish meteorological events merely reboots the premise of comestibles gone wild with little attention paid to a coherent storyline. Once again, zealous inventor Flint Lockwood’s supermutation machine that can transform water into full-course meals is the culprit of the ensuing chaos, this time turning his hometown of Swallow Falls into a world overrun by tacodile supremes, watermelophants, flamangos, and shrimpanzees, among other monstrous animal victuals. For both kids and adults, CWCM2 is little more than a vague memory as soon as it’s over. The movie is simply trying to cash in on its predecessor’s success, and while that’s nothing new for a flick primarily aimed at 8-year-olds, it’s still enough to give you a tummy ache. Read a full review of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.

    10AM Westgate 11, 4477 S. Lamar Blvd, 512/899-2717

  • Despicable Me

    Despicable Me (2010)

    Rated PG, 95 min. Directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin.

    Flix Jr. Everyone knows that the villains are usually the most interesting characters. So the filmmakers were wise to give the megalomaniacal Gru (voiced amusingly by Carell) his own animated movie. The world of Despicable Me is reminiscent of The Incredibles, in which superheroes and supervillains fully participate in suburban life, blending in unnoticed by ordinary folk. Then, snotty new-villain-on-the-block Vector (Segel) pulls a stunt that bumps Gru from his No. 1 supervillain ranking. Gru retaliates by plotting to steal the moon. Part of his plan involves the adoption of three orphaned sisters (Cosgrove, Gaier, and Fisher), through whose demands for him to accompany them to ballet class and read bedtime stories – as well as some flashbacks that reveal him to be a villain with justifiable mommy issues – Gru discovers his sensitive side. Gru's Minions – yellow, pill-shaped, bespectacled beings that gurgle in some sort of fractionally understandable language – are the movie's ultimate scene-stealers. Read a full review of Despicable Me.

    11AM Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. I-35, 512/244-3549

  • Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

    Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

    Rated G, 88 min. Directed by Steve Martino and Jimmy Hayward. Narrated by Charles Osgood.

    Kids Camp: For my money, I've never seen anything much wrong with the animated Chuck Jones version of this Seuss tale, made for TV in 1970. But everything needs an update, I suppose, and this new animated feature does the job nicely, staying true to the playfulness of the Seussian rhymes and messages while ably adding in new bits of business to expand Seuss' verse to feature length. Carrey's general tendency toward comic mania is gently toned down, allowing the rubbery elephant Horton to seem more a lovable goofball than a frenzied nut job, and Carell's readings as the Mayor of Whoville are perfectly on target. Twentieth Century Fox's animation is in the mold of their previous films Ice Age and Robots: a nice blend of rudimentary and inventive touches. The story's key refrain, "A person's a person no matter how small," speaks directly to children's experience of the world; thus, this new movie should enjoy a long life. Read a full review of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!.

    10:50AM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. Hwy. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • Happy Feet Two

    Happy Feet Two (2011)

    Rated PG, 100 min. Directed by George Miller.

    There’s lots of peril but not much story in this sequel to 2006’s animated-penguin blockbuster. The movie opens with a big song-and-dance number in which young Erik (Acres) is unable to dance but is encouraged to do so by his mom, Gloria (Pink), and dad, Mumble (Elijah Wood), who were the central characters in the original. Erik wants to find his own thing, so he takes off with some friends for lands beyond. Mumble soon rescues Erik, but upon their return, they find the penguins’ habitat has shifted, leaving the flock trapped. Concurrently, we meet Will (Pitt) and Bill (Damon), a couple of krill who decide they’re tired of being “one in a krillion” and set off on their own adventure. Although appealing to look at, Happy Feet Two is unable to spark much emotional involvement, and the film’s near-constant peril may intimidate the young ones in the audience. Read a full review of Happy Feet Two.

    10:30AM Millennium Theatre, 1156 Hargrave, 512/472-6932

  • Kung Fu Panda 3

    Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

    Rated PG, 95 min. Directed by Jennifer Yuh and Alessandro Carloni.

    The panda is no longer the grasshopper. Now idolized as a kung fu master, the titular Po (voiced by Jack Black) is tasked in this third outing of the international blockbuster series with becoming teacher to his fighting unit, the Furious Five. And not a moment too soon, what with an evil, horned spirit named Kai (Simmons) threatening to steal the chi of every kung fu master in China. The story is serviceable, ticking off preapproved-for-kids themes of community, sacrifice, and the importance of inner strength, and the humor – gentle, snark-free – is entirely age-appropriate, with roly-poly panda sight gags the order of the day. And that’s how it should be: Sight is Kung Fu Panda 3’s strongest sense. This is a visually stunning picture, a rhapsody of saturated color and contrasting texture which provides interest where the dutiful script does not. (See it in 3-D if you can.) Read a full review of Kung Fu Panda 3.

    4PM Cepeda Branch Library, 651 N. Pleasant Valley, 512/974-7372

  • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

    Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

    Rated PG, 85 min. Directed by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon.

    Kids Summer Series: After adventures in the wilds of Madagascar and Africa, this third installment of the animated series begins where the second one ended: with the animals in northern Africa and newly overtaken by a desire to return home to the Central Park Zoo in New York. Since the penguins and monkeys have hijacked their plane and headed for Monte Carlo, the foursome – lion Alex (Stiller), zebra Marty (Rock), giraffe Melman (Schwimmer), and hippo Gloria (Pinkett Smith) – snorkel their way across the Mediterranean in pursuit. After wreaking havoc in the principality's casinos, the animals flee and find cover in the midst of a traveling circus. Although Madagascar 3 is low on originality and high on volume, it manages to remain amusing due to its talented voice cast and brief running time. Madagascar 3 may not rival the “greatest show on earth” but it’s good enough to pack ’em in anyway. Read a full review of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.

    10:30AM Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7, 13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158

  • Minions

    Minions (2015)

    Rated PG, 91 min. Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin.

    Alamo Kids Camp: Just five years ago, these Minions were mere background noise in the kiddie cartoon Despicable Me. Now here they are starring in their own vehicle – toddler-tiny, banana-colored, and chattering away in their polyglot pidgin gibberish as they search high and low for a dastardly master to serve. Minions is slight, bright, bopping entertainment. Like a child – its target demo, after all – nothing holds the film’s attention for very long, which means it squanders several clever setups in the blink of an eye. But the fleetness of Brian Lynch's script mostly works in the film’s favor. No gag gets overlavished, no plotline overstays its welcome. The film is also set, somewhat arbitrarily, in 1968, which inspires some nifty retro looks. The foregrounded animation of the heroes and villains is well-executed, the background detail is exquisite, and – best yet – there’s a mid-film bedtime story that’ll take your breath away. Read a full review of Minions.

    11AM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/861-7040

  • The Neverending Story (1984)

    Rated PG, 92 min. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Starring Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach and Moses Gunn.

    Alamo Kids Camp: This marvelous, inventive, inspiring fantasy in which the books read by the story's hero actually come to life is directed by the man who later went on make Das Boot and The Perfect Storm. As might be expected, it's amazing to see on the big screen and is also the kind of imaginative tale that sends you out of the theatre craving to read. free Read a full review of The Neverending Story.

    11:10AM Alamo Drafthouse Village, 2700 W. Anderson, 512/861-7030

  • Norm of the North

    Norm of the North (2016)

    Rated PG, 86 min. Directed by Trevor Wall.

    Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse: Are your kids unable to wait for Kung Fu Panda 3, and in dire need of an animated bear fix right this very minute? A whining child who won’t take no for an answer is the only reason I can think of to recommend seeing Norm of the North. Norm (voiced by Schneider) is a talking bear who finds his calling when he travels to New York to discourage a developer, Mr. Greene (Jeong), from building a new subdivision in the Arctic. Instead of making his case, Norm gets co-opted by Greene, who turns the bear into the endeavor’s mascot. Norm's animation is rudimentary, and the story is told in chaotic fashion. The kids who were at the screening I attended did not seem to engage with the movie, and afterward in the bathroom I overheard two tykes tell their mom that they did not like Norm, though they did not elaborate. Read a full review of Norm of the North.

    10AM Cinemark Movies 8 Round Rock, 2120 N. Mays, 512/388-2848

  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

    Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

    Rated PG, 85 min. Directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak.

    Regal Summer Movie Express: The stop-motion animation may be retro and the storyline sentimental, but it’s those quaint throwback qualities that make Shaun the Sheep Movie one baaaaaadass movie. Initially featured in Nick Park’s Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit short “A Close Shave” nearly 20 years ago, our titular hero (voiced by Fletcher) makes his feature film debut here in a tale in which he and the fellow members of the Mossy Bottom Farm mob venture out to the Big City to find their amnesiac owner (voiced by Sparkes), who’s become a social media sensation shearing heads in a trendy salon. There’s something refreshing about the old-fashioned way in which Shaun the Sheep entertains, an endearing combination of silly slapstick gags and a gentle heart. As an added bonus, animal lovers of all ages will find solace in the hope conveyed here that there’s a loving home for every domesticated creature on this earth. Awwwww. Read a full review of Shaun the Sheep Movie.

    10AM Westgate 11, 4477 S. Lamar Blvd, 512/899-2717

  • 1800 Congress, 512/936-4629

  • "A Beautiful Planet" (2016)

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

  • "Hubble 3D" (2010)

    Not rated, 45 min. Directed by Toni Myers. Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

    This documentary follows NASA's May 2009 mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Read a full review of "Hubble 3D".

  • "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.

  • Star Trek Beyond

    Star Trek Beyond (2016)

    Rated PG-13, 122 min. Directed by Justin Lin. Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Idris Elba.

    Captain Kirk (Pine) is bored. A regular Angela Chase, he fills his Captain’s log with long sighs. Three years into a five-year assignment steering the starship Enterprise hither and yon across the galaxy, it’s all just become so ho-hum, so humdrum for him. I’m right there with you, James T.

    Kirk’s ennui breaks when the ship crash-lands on a distant planet, scattering the actors into micro-hives of ones and twos, in a blow to the ensemble cast’s collective chemistry. (They’re better when they’re all buzzing together.) Competent but heavy with dutifulness, the script by Simon Pegg (who co-stars as engineer Scotty) and Doug Jung (who cameos as Sulu’s husband) puts everyone in a place on this rock and gives them a purpose – a reason to go from point A to point B. But there’s none of the joyful, swashbuckling sense of adventure evinced in the film’s predecessors, nor a compelling case made for the stakes: Supervillain Krall (played by Idris Elba, regrettably covered in rhino-hide-like prosthetics) is a real drag, and his superweapon, the Abronath, sounds like something jaunty and tartan Scotty might pick up in a Highlands gift shop.

    This third film of the franchise reboot is the first to be directed by Justin Lin, who took over the Fast & Furious series in 2006 and promptly sent down the assembly line four superjuiced machines of loving mayhem. (He replaces original Trek reboot architect J.J. Abrams, who in the Hollywood game of franchise musical chairs hopped to another Star with last year’s The Force Awakens.) Lin’s F&F films are operatically dumb, which is what makes them so much fun; maybe if Star Trek Beyond were stupider it wouldn’t feel like such a chore. Or maybe he just doesn’t have a feel for the material yet. Lin lavishes his attention on the massive-scale stuff – the space warfare, a Federation ship under construction, and, in the film’s freshest bit, a hand-to-hand combat scene turned hurly-burly when gravity revolts. But the human scale – the tending to these tiny animate beings we’ve been watching for 50 years – feels less carefully considered.

    Read a full review of Star Trek Beyond.

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