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Special Screenings

FRIDAY DEC. 19
  • 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 Pops Sing-Along

    Action Pack: Sing along with all your favorite pop and video stars' Christmas carols.

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

  • Christmas Pops Sing-Along

    Action Pack: Sing along with all your favorite pop and video stars' Christmas carols.

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

  • 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

  • Cracking Up

    Cracking Up (1983)

    Rated PG, 89 min. Directed by Jerry Lewis. Starring Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle and Sammy Davis Jr..

    AFS: Jerry Lewis: A hopeless klutz who botches his suicide visits a psychiatrist, with whom he exhumes episodes from his past. Bryan Connolly will discuss the film after the screening.

    8PM The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N. I-35, 512/454-2000

  • 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.

    Elf embraces the absurd with arms outstretched, not unlike the comic way Buddy’s surrogate father Papa Elf (Newhart) stretches out his arms for a hug with his many-times-larger son (former SNLer Ferrell) and gets more than he bargained for. In addition to Ferrell’s comic pulse at the heart of the film, and the choice group of actors that surrounds him, Elf has in its favor a low tech look. Actor-director Jon Favreau makes it appear as if he has just graduated from Blue Screen 101 – and I mean this as a compliment. What’s created is a look that’s completely refreshing amid all the technological razzmatazz we’ve come to expect from movies these days. The aesthetic also comes closer to fitting in with the whole Christmas spirit in reminding us that the season is all about believing. Ferrell and company make us believe in this "deranged elf man," and in doing so offer the greatest gift of all. Read a full review of Elf.

    1PM 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, 1:40PM, 3:40PM, 6:45PM, 7PM, 9:15PM, 10:15PM Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/383-8309

  • Love Actually

    Love Actually (2003)

    Rated R, 135 min. Directed by Richard Curtis. Starring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Billy Bob Thornton, Joanna Page and Rowan Atkinson.

    Girlie Night: This merry skein of loves lost and found is set in holiday-season London. Read a full review of Love Actually.

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

  • SPACES

  • Die Hard and Gremlins Double Feature

    Happy Holidays at the Drive-In

    8PM 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.

    10AM 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.

    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.

    10:10AM 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.