Film: Special Screenings
  • FILM


  • Space Camp and The Explorers

    30th Anniversary: Double bill.

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

  • Zootopia

    Zootopia (2016)

    Rated PG, 108 min. Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush.

    Splash Party Movie Nights: Easily one of Disney’s more imaginative CGI offerings in a while, Zootopia uses the classic tropes of anthropomorphized animals and comic references to pop-culture touchstones to slyly puzzle out what it means to be “civilized.” After a mass disappearance of citizenry in the titular city – wherein bipedal, clothes-wearing predators and prey alike have evolved to a state where they can live and work together in relative harmony – can-do rabbit cop Judy Hopps (Goodwin) gets her shot at the big time, teaming up with ne’er-do-well hustler fox Nick Wilde (Bateman) to unravel the mystery of the missing meat-eaters. The lessons to be drawn from Zootopia’s un-animalistic and civil society are many – some will sail right over younger viewers’ heads – but in this age of rampant xenophobia it certainly can’t hurt to reaffirm what should be obvious to all: We have to get along to go along, or all is lost. Read a full review of Zootopia.

    8PM Deep Eddy Pool, 401 Deep Eddy Ave., 512/472-8546

  • The Boxtrolls

    The Boxtrolls (2014)

    Rated PG, 97 min. Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi.

    Alamo Kids Camp: The third time is decidedly not the charm for the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman). Unlike its two previous releases, The Boxtrolls feels rough-and-tumble and not as much fun by half, with the simplistic yet convoluted story – of an orphan boy raised by box-wearing, underground-dwelling trolls – falling flat almost from the beginning. In the town of Cheesebridge, a boy named Eggs (Hempstead-Wright) is believed to have been kidnapped and eaten by the trolls beneath town. Lord Portley-Rind (Harris) has hired the Fagin-esque Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley) to exterminate every last one of the boxtrolls, who are revealed to be shy, harmless tinkerers. With characters seemingly created by assembly line, devoid of an essential amount of backstory, it’s hard to care whatever transpires. Drawn from Brit Alan Snow’s YA novel Here Be Monsters!, this condensed version doesn’t lack for awful puns. What’s missing is that ineffable animation magic. Read a full review of The Boxtrolls.

    9:35AM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060

  • 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!.

    11AM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. Hwy. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • Ernest & Celestine

    Ernest & Celestine (2014)

    Rated PG, 80 min. Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner.

    Summer Family Film Series: In a landscape where animation is dominated by noisy CGI spectacle, it's refreshing to come upon a gem like Ernest & Celestine, the charming and understated French film from the creators of A Town Called Panic. An Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, this tale of interspecies friendship and dentistry is a sublime example of form following function. One night, while sneaking around in search of errant teeth, orphan mouse Celestine (Foy) has a run-in with Ernest (Whitaker), a poor, bohemian bear foraging for food in trash cans. The pair – outcasts in their respective societies – strike a mutually beneficial deal, and a friendship begins to grow. Based on late Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent's series of children's books, Ernest & Celestine's messages of accepting others and following your dreams are surely well-worn, but the film's wonderful attention to detail lifts it from being merely sweet to being something special. Read a full review of Ernest & Celestine.

    2PM Texas Spirit Theater at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress, 512/936-8746

  • 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

  • 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.

    Not reviewed at press time. Continuing to boldly go where no one has gone before, the crew of the Enterprise find themselves trapped on a hostile planet.

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