Austin History Center
"...The found footage horror received its U.S. premiere, suitably enough, in the Dark Matters strand at last year's Austin Film Festival..."
"...That it should be accomplished by a Mexican filmmaker/producer and a comic book writer/artist shooting at an Australian location that doubles for Lovecraft's eldritch, ichor-infused New England probably says something about the globalization of the film market and the necessity of outsiders upsetting the cinematic corpse-cart, but that's not important right now. The fact that Troy Nixey's debut feature is one creepy-ass frightmare is what matters, and boy, does he put the nail in that metaphorical coffin the first time out..."
"...False Matters, created by Shannon McCormick and the popculture mavens of Gnap! Theatre Projects, is a series of shows that may well do for improvisational performance what a little LSD-25 does for a person's cerebrospinal fluid...."
"...Martin’s Game of Thrones, so ambitious and lengthy King’s continuing series has become over the past three decades. McConaughey’s overly dry performance as the Man in Black (who is also, quite likely, Randall Flagg, “the walkin’ dude” of King’s holiest of holies, The Stand) and Elba’s epically one-note take on Roland the Gunslinger don’t help matters..."
"...There's a nasty bite to Gilmour's vocals and astral guitar break in "Time," while "Money" flares like Halley's Comet behind Waters' snarling bass. In total, this Immersion offers nine different studio versions of the LP, but not the one that matters most: vinyl...."
"...ICE holds an operation like Cross Check annually, but the circling question is whether Cross Check 2017 is different from earlier iterations. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly called this iteration "routine" and "a targeted enforcement operation," but online, President Trump dubbed it a "crackdown." Making matters less clear is that the Mexican Consulate is reporting different numbers than ICE: They've indicated that 53 people were detained in Central Texas over the weekend...."
"...Many more women and families will suffer from the lack of reproductive health care, increasingly criminalized in Texas, and soon accompanied by the state-sanctioned humiliation and emotional torture of treating fetal tissue as "unborn children" to be granted ritual burials. Should any of this sanctimonious nonsense be challenged in court as unconstitutional, we can expect that a feckless Donald Trump – for whom all such matters are beneath alpha-male consideration – will appoint federal and Supreme Court judges who will do as they are told by "pro-life" demagogues...."
"...This is the true, harrowing story of how three astronauts came very close to being left dead in orbit as a result of a freak loss of oxygen. The script is by Texans Bill Broyles and Al Reinert, Reinert being an expert on Apollo matters as director of For All Mankind..."
"...As usual, Octavia Spencer is game, and her God the Father has a playful lightness of spirit. Also to the film’s credit is its willingness to dip into the deep end of dark matters instead of shying away from harsh truths and hard-earned faithlessness..."
"...Fantastic Fest may have a lock on the crypt of terror when it comes to grave cinematic doings, but smart Austin Film Festival goers know from past experience that some of the best horror films tend to fall through the cracks of the exhibition/acquisition floorboards, where they end up beating away a siren song of dread like Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." We've screened three of the four AFF entries in this year's late-night Dark Matters sidebar, and we're fiendishly happy to report that your room at the Driskill is going to seem mighty creepy come bedtime this year...."
"...From Rosemary's Baby to The Sacrament, filmmakers have been obsessed with the twisted vision of cults. Austin Film Festival Dark Matters Features competition jury award winner The Cliff (aka Acantilado) continues the tradition with a distinctly Iberian twist...."
"...3, and his perceptually perfect suburban life is running perilously close to jumping completely off the tracks. To make matters worse, but infinitely more interesting, he finds himself on the train eyeing a leggy bank exec by the name of Lucinda Harris (Anniston)..."
"...Chris Hemsworth, already adept with a massive hammer as Marvel Comics' Thor, wields a mighty axe here as a drunk and grieving townie bullied into hunting Snow White. Nostrils flaring and nearly blowing steam, he practically paws the ground with a bull's fervor: a man of action, and some subtlety when it comes to matters of the heart, framed in the body of a matted-haired beast..."
"...By all reports, it’s been sitting on Miramax’s shelf for the better part of two years, and the version the Weinstein brothers have so graciously chosen to release has been editorially hung, drawn, and quartered to the point that the story makes no sense whatsoever. To make matters worse, the recutting (necessary to bring the film down to a PG-13 level from its previous hard R) seems to have been performed by a blind marionette-operator on crack, but no, it’s actually by the highly competent Luis De La Madrid of the recent, excellent The Machinist..."
"...Father Charles (Eccleston) is away at war and hasn't been heard from in many months, and Grace is struggling to keep her frayed nerves from failing completely. To make matters worse, the children suffer from an extreme photosensitivity -- exposure to direct sunlight can kill them, and so Grace (looking very much like a dour Grace Kelly) keeps the house in perpetual twilight, drawing thick velvet draperies against the light and allowing the children out of their rooms only at night..."
"...The scene is so fairy tailored in its normalcy it seems straight out of Tolkien. Matters take an abrupt shift in tone, however, when Tom, returning from a shopping trip with Mum, inadvertently spies his sister and father in the bathtub together..."
"...This story of a beleaguered father (Petersen) trying to protect his smitten teenage daughter (Witherspoon) from a drug-dealing, trash-talking, randomly violent psychopath (Wahlberg) was written by Christopher Crowe, who showed promise with his work on Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans re-make in 1992, but betrays that promise here with a terribly generic screenplay filled with stock characters and unintentionally funny dialogue. To make matters worse, the film is directed by James Foley, the gifted filmmaker who brought us At Close Range, After Dark, My Sweet, and the stunning Glengarry Glen Ross..."
"...Filmmaker Amelio (A Blow to the Heart) has set himself a difficult task. He has made an investigation movie in which all that is discovered matters little, and he has made a movie about an internal battle in a very reticent man..."
"...You can rest assured if you’ve been worrying that Jim Jarmusch – the arthouse auteur and one of the reigning royals of independent cinema – has bowed to the demands of Hollywood trendiness with this vampire picture that’s been making the festival rounds since its debut in Cannes last May. Despite being a film that features vampires as the central protagonists, Only Lovers Left Alive is less about matters of blood and its acquisition than what it takes for love and romance to survive over centuries...."
"...Jane, who speaks with the bizarre delivery of Highlander’s Christopher Lambert (he sounds poorly dubbed even though he isn’t), plays this broad vendetta of a character ramrod straight, which turns The Punisher into an overwrought, melodramatic comedy. It doesn’t help matters that the script, from Hensleigh and Michael France, has more holes in it than all of its corpses put together, and never misses an opportunity to milk any bad action cliché..."