Film: Special Screenings
  • FILM


  • Cruel Intentions (1999)

    Rated R, 95 min. Directed by Roger Kumble. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Joshua Jackson, Christine Baranski, Tara Reid, Swoosie Kurtz, Sean Patrick Thomas and Louise Fletcher.

    Girlie Night: In its fourth film rendition, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is adapted for the high-school set. Read a full review of Cruel Intentions.

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

  • Eva Hesse (2016)

    Not rated, 105 min. Directed by Marcie Begleiter.

    Arthouse Monthly: Documentary showcases the life and times of Eva Hesse, a groundbreaking artist active in New York and Germany during the Sixties. Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, and curator of the exhibition "Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt," will introduce the film.

    7PM Violet Crown Cinema, 434 W. Second, 512/495-9600

  • It Follows

    It Follows (2015)

    Rated R, 100 min. Directed by David Robert Mitchell. Starring Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe, Jake Weary, Kier Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto and Olivia Luccardi.

    Still Awesome: A killer force is spread through sex, and it's all very creepy and evocative. Read a full review of It Follows.

    7:35PM Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline, 14028 U.S. Hwy. 183 N., 512/861-7070

  • Kanye West Glow-in-the-Dark Sing-Along

    Dance Party

    9:45PM Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 512/861-7020

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

    Rated PG-13, 94 min. Directed by Wes Anderson. Starring Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban and Tilda Swinton.

    Still Awesome: Beautiful dreamers and full-time schemers again dominate Anderson's exacting imagination. Read a full review of Moonrise Kingdom.

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

  • The Scarlet Empress

    The Scarlet Empress (1934)

    Not rated, 104 min. Directed by Josef von Sternberg. Starring Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, C. Aubrey Smith and Louise Dresser.

    Austin Film Society: Surrealist Love Goddesses: Von Sternberg brought his intensely expressionistic visual style and his adoringly iconographic represention of Dietrich into play in this Hollywood version of the life of Russia's Catherine the Great.

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

  • The Social Network

    The Social Network (2010)

    Rated PG-13, 121 min. Directed by David Fincher. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara, Max Minghella, Joseph Mazzello and Rashida Jones.

    Still Awesome: This retelling of Facebook's first contentious steps is a blisteringly entertaining film. Read a full review of The Social Network.

    8PM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060

  • "Handicapable" (2016)

    This Austin-made film offers a personal glimpse into the lives of three amputees, highlighting both their difficulties and inspiring successes.

    7PM Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/472-7312

  • Vaudeville and Vitaphone

    Summer Film Series: In the early days of talkies, Warner Bros. hired some of the top variety stars of the day to create "living sound" recordings of their acts. This collection of rarely seen short films breathes life into the extensive vaudeville collections at the Ransom Center.

    7PM Harry Ransom Center, 300 W. 21st, 512/471-8944

  • White Heat

    White Heat (1949)

    Not rated, 114 min. Directed by Raoul Walsh. Starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O’Brien and Margaret Wycherly.

    Austin Public Library: Thursday Matinee: In this gangster classic, Cagney plays a psychopathic gangster with a seriously perverse mother complex.

    1PM Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/472-7312

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

    Rated PG, 120 min. Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Deep Roy, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, Annasophia Robb, Philip Wiegratz, Jordon Fry, Julia Winter, Missi Pyle, James Fox and Christopher Lee.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: I sat through Tim Burton’s generally splendid, artful, and often sinister screen version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book with an enormous grin on my face for much of the time. Nevertheless, Depp’s version of Dahl’s lunatic confectioner hasn’t to my mind displaced Gene Wilder’s antic portrayal from the 1971 version. To be sure, this Wonka is truer to the source material. Screenwriter John August, although he snatches a handful of third-act liberties, bathes the plot in a welter of verbal and physical gags that serve to machinate the kid-friendly unease into sticky new realms of chewy, gooey alarm. But Depp’s Wonka seems less mysterious than he ought to be. Compared with the rest of the film, which dazzles outright with its gob-stopping production design from Alex McDowell and Deep Roy’s unsmiling Oompa Loompas, Depp seems oddly unmoored, even ephemeral: cotton candy to Wilder’s crunchy dark chocolate. Read a full review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    10AM Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060

  • Curious George

    Curious George (2006)

    Rated G, 86 min. Directed by Matthew O'Callaghan.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: It’s not perfect, but this big-screen debut of H.A. Rey’s lovable monkey is worth recommending to audiences of all ages, especially fathers and sons. The production is faithful to George’s gentle spirit while fully exploiting the possibilities of old-school, two-dimensional animation. Movies are magical, it suggests, and everything is beautiful and fascinating to children. But the movie also gets George’s melancholy just right. For this is not a movie about a man and his monkey, but a movie about parents and children. The screenplay skims off some of the source material’s hinky bits in sending museum employee Ted (Ferrell) to Africa in search of a legendary ape idol. There’s a sort of romance between Ted and a field-tripping schoolteacher (Barrymore) and a very simple plot about exposing Ted’s artifact as a fraud, but the story’s best moments are its offhand ones. Jack Johnson’s original songs are a bit heavy on the heartstrings, but you’d have to be made of granite not to be moved. Read a full review of Curious George.

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

  • The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant (1999)

    Rated PG, 86 min. Directed by Brad Bird.

    Alamo Kids Camp: Set during the beginning of the space race, The Iron Giant is a gorgeously animated adaptation of British poet laureate Ted Hughes' 1968 children's book. The animated feature begins as the townspeople of Rockwell, Maine, learn that a giant metal alien has crashed just outside of town. It's a film packed to bursting with golden nuggets of surprise, humor, and pathos, though it also owes a great deal to E.T., Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, and the classic sci-fi films of the Fifties. But it's the movie's genuine, warm heart that sees it through to its breathtaking stand-up-and-cheer finale. And if its top-notch story weren't enough, The Iron Giant also boasts some spectacular animation, a combination of classic two-dimensional processes and CGI for the giant himself that's outright spellbinding. Add to that Michael Kamen's lush, earthy score, and The Iron Giant is clearly the single best, the single coolest animated film in a great while. Read a full review of The Iron Giant.

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

  • A League of Their Own (1992)

    Rated PG, 128 min. Directed by Penny Marshall. Starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O'Donnell and Jon Lovitz.

    Alamo Kids' Camp: The story of the short-lived women's baseball league gives Marshall the opportunity to examine the roots of modern feminism and have a darn fine time doing it. Nestled in these large issues is the story of the two sisters, their teammates and their dissolute coach as played by Hanks. Although many of the elements work well together, the movie as a whole is diminished because it is burdened with a dopey framing device that shows the women in the present. Read a full review of A League of Their Own.

    NOON Alamo Drafthouse Village, 2700 W. Anderson, 512/861-7030

  • Night at the Museum

    Night at the Museum (2006)

    Rated PG, 108 min. Directed by Shawn Levy. Starring Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Ricky Gervais, Mickey Rooney, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Bill Cobbs, Steve Coogan and Jake Cherry.

    Kids Summer Series: Stiller stars as a would-be schemer and all-but-deadbeat dad who finds a job as a night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History. On his first night, after inheriting the instruction manual from the "downsized" Cecil (Van Dyke, who looks like he's having a blast), Reginald (Cobbs), and Gus (Rooney), Larry discovers that the place goes apeshit after dark: The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton reanimates, as do Attila the Hun, an Easter Island Moai, and the entire Hall of African Mammals. Credit Levy – who shoots everything imagination-size, larger than life, and set against amber tones – for unleashing the beasts almost immediately. Amid crummy sight gags and predictable physical comedy, sputtering scenes, and the stale and watered-down talent that is Stiller in another nonsense story, Night at the Museum is at best a rotation of backdrops for its parade of visual effects. Read a full review of Night at the Museum.

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

  • Pan

    Pan (2015)

    Rated PG, 111 min. Directed by Joe Wright. Starring Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried and Kathy Burke.

    Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse: Ill-conceived from any number of angles, this Peter Pan origin story plays topsy-turvy with J.M. Barrie’s beloved characters by showing us how an orphaned Peter (Miller) first arrives in Neverland, befriends a pre-captaining Hook (Hedlund), and battles the despotic pirate Blackbeard (Jackman), who’s seeking eternal life through the dwindling resource of fairy pixie dust. Trotting out old favorites without tracing any of the original’s magic, the film roll-calls Tinker Bell, Smee, a premonitory tick-tock, and Tiger Lily, who’s played by the bizarrely miscast Rooney Mara. It’s not that there isn’t imagination at work here – director Joe Wright cooks up some nifty inventions, albeit in infrequent bursts – but kids aren’t going to have much patience with the film’s drawn-out mystery of Peter’s parentage, while adults will bemoan the overlong, dullish action set-pieces. In that respect, the film takes a long walk off a short plank. Bad form, Pan. Read a full review of Pan.

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

  • 1800 Congress, 512/936-4629

  • "A Beautiful Planet" (2016)

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

  • "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" (2014)

    Rated G, 39 min. Directed by David Douglas. Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

    Not sure why lemurs have taken hold of the the popular imagination in recent years, but maybe narrator Morgan Freeman can do for them what he did for penguins in that Oscar-winning doc of 2006. This 39-minute short has been crisscrossing the country's baby IMAX theatres in recent months.

  • "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.

  • Independence Day: Resurgence

    Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

    Rated PG-13, 120 min. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Jessie T. Usher, Sela Ward, Charlotte Gainsbourg, William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Deobia Oparei, Vivica A. Fox, Robert Loggia, Joey King and Travis Tope.

    There’s one key character missing from this bloated behemoth of a sequel to 1996’s popcorn blockbuster ID4 and it isn’t Will Smith. It’s Randy Quaid. His crop-dusting, boozy, Vietnam vet-cum-alien abductee Russell Casse died a hero’s death at the end of the original movie. The intervening years have witnessed a depressing, surreal morphing of the fictional paranoiac Casse with the all-too-real Mr. Quaid, who until last year was literally on the lam from the State of California (you can Google the whole sordid story if you like). Suffice it to say, Quaid’s manic, frequently hilarious turn in ID4 helped leaven director Emmerich’s overblown aliens vs. Earthlings disaster epic, and of course, a presumed-dead character returning hale and hearty for a sequel is hardly a shocker. Case in point: Resurgence resurrects ID4’s Area 51 mad genius Dr. Brakish Okun (Spiner), who turns out to have been not DOA but merely comatose.

    Independence Day: Resurgence is everything you were probably expecting and less. The aliens return, this time in a 3,000-mile wide mothership that has its own gravitational field, the better to drop Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Singapore’s Esplanade, and pretty much every other global landmark. It’s here, in these frequent sequences of epic destruction, that the film crackles with something approaching giddy, ghastly good cheer. (Nine VFX houses, headed by Digital Domain, handled the CGI chaos.)

    But the movie’s a rollicking bummer, and a messy one at that. Various plot lines involving everything from a Congolese warlord (Oparei) to Jessie Usher as the hotshot pilot son of Will Smith’s original character (lamely, it’s explained that although he survived the first invasion, USMC Captain Hiller perished while flight-testing some alien tech-enhanced hardware) converge and collide to little emotional affect. There’s a nifty ESD (that’d be the Earth Space Defense) moonbase that’s cribbed right out of Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999. (I kept thinking how subversively wild ID:R could have been had Emmerich and company employed Thunderbirds’ “Supermarionation,” but no such luck.)

    On the plus side, Jeff Goldblum returns as Dr. David Levinson, Judd Hirsch is back as his crotchety pop, and even the late Robert Loggia reappears. Charlotte Gainsbourg is on hand as well, as a linguistics expert and love interest for Goldblum. I can only assume casting Serge Gainsbourg’s daughter is some sort of trippy homage to fellow French icon François Truffaut’s sci-guy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” (Eh … probably not.)

    Honestly, I could watch Goldblum and Gainsbourg – two of the most quirkily sublime multihypenate artists alive – reading phonebooks to each other and enjoy the experience thoroughly, but sadly even they seem wasted here. Ultimately, ID:R is what it is, planetary carnage on a mammoth scale, with some humans thrown in for good measure. It renders 1996’s Independence Day slightly less of a guilty pleasure.

    Read a full review of Independence Day: Resurgence.

  • The Legend of Tarzan

    The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

    Rated PG-13, 109 min. Directed by David Yates. Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou and Jim Broadbent.

    Every generation gets the iconic treatments it deserves, and that’s what had me worried about this new Hollywood take on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ enduring fictional megastar, Tarzan. Would the canonical ape-man be marooned in a CGI jungle, and rendered as phony as the animals and vines from which he swung? As it turns out, The Legend of Tarzan isn’t half-bad, and the film deftly put most of my fears to rest by creating animals and jungles that serve and enhance the story rather than detracting from it.

    Visual magic, by now, must be second nature for director David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter movies, and is currently finishing up work on J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Sure, there’s a lot of heavily foregrounded action and dialogue that’s set against hazy backgrounds, but when the apes, tigers, crocs, and hippopotami come storming across the screen or answer their friend Tarzan’s call, there’s little sense of them being fabricated creatures (or Andy Serkis dressed in an ape suit).

    Where previous Hollywood Tarzan movies have seemed uncomfortable with the colonialist agendas and racial divides inherent in the stories, The Legend of Tarzan’s screenwriters Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan) and Adam Cozad embrace the tale’s heart of darkness. They ground this film in a story that stems from the notorious rape of the Congo’s natural resources and enslavement of its people by the minions of Belgium’s King Leopold II at the end of the 19th century. Christoph Waltz delivers what is by now another one of his stock-in-trade villains as Captain Leon Rom, the king’s envoy to the Congo. He’s the covert engineer of the plot to return Tarzan (Skarsgård) to the jungle as the barter price for precious diamonds from a tribal chief (Hounsou). These days, the former feral boy is enjoying his manhood back in England as Lord Greystoke, a member of the House of Lords and husband to his longtime love, Jane (Robbie). When he returns to the Congo, he is accompanied by George Washington Williams (Jackson), an American soldier and adventurer who wants to document Belgium’s rumored enslavement of the native population. (A most curious character, Williams was a real person who actually did visit the Congo on a fact-finding mission and whose scathing letter to King Leopold II is heard at the close of the movie – although we’re certain he was not accompanied by the fictional Tarzan during his journey.)

    Constant flashbacks to Tarzan’s childhood, and cross-cuts between the actions of Capt. Rom (who has taken Jane hostage) and Tarzan and Williams in chase, make the narrative more chock-a-block than necessary. But the film’s full-throated embrace of the story’s colonialist underpinnings, Skarsgård’s finely sculpted abs, Robbie’s self-actualized womanhood, Waltz’s gold-standard villainy, and the historical introduction of George Washington Williams make The Legend of Tarzan if not king of the jungle then at least a member in good standing of the royal court.

    Read a full review of The Legend of Tarzan.

This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)