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Critics Name Cream of the Cultural Crop
The nominees for the 2017-18 Austin Critics Table Awards
DAILY Arts  May 14, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Lighting Rachel Atkinson, Scheherazade/TWENTYEIGHT/Catalina de Erauso/The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time/con flama Natalie George, 11:11:10/11:11:11/A Study in Release/Romeo and Juliet/There’s No Such Thing as a Single Stripe Sarah EC Maines, In the Heights Steven Myers, “Fellow Travelers”/”Murmuration”/“Klein Blue/The Void” Stephen Pruitt, Parade/Juana: First (I) Dream/Glacier/Diet Fizz Radio/Bartholomew Swims Alex Soto/Ilios Lighting, Belonging, Part One Tony Tucci, Exit Wounds..."

Annihilation
Alex Garland's SF mystery is weird for weirdness' sake.
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Film Review  March 2, 2018, by Kimberley Jones
"...In adapting Annihilation, the first book in the trilogy, writer/director Alex Garland has seemingly pledged fealty, attempting a speculative film with “weird” baked into its genetic code. Weird is the film’s watchword, its true north, its “why we fight.” It steers the visuals – the mutated flora and fauna living within the mysterious Area X – and the story, a schematic of flashbacks within flashbacks and a headtrip climax that inevitably begs comparison to 2001: A Space Odyssey’s exit into the mystic..."

Jay Trachtenberg's Top Reads of 2017
Four novels depict conflict and compassion in WWII Ukraine, present-day Pakistan and Israel, and a future America
Arts Story  December 28, 2017, by Jay Trachtenberg
"...Tapping directly into the headlines concerning issues of immigration and refugees is Exit West (Riverhead) from Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid. It's a beautifully written story of a young couple who flee civil war in an unnamed Muslim country, making their way to London and then Northern California..."

Justice League
Another ho-hum entry to the DC Extended Universe
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Film Review  November 17, 2017, by Kimberley Jones
"...Of course, we’ve already had the pleasure of two hours spent solo with Gadot in Wonder Woman – not a perfect movie, but a potent one. Lip service is paid in Justice League to the idea of Diana being the natural leader here (aka the Ben Affleck Exit Plan)..."

Blade Runner 2049
This visually lush sequel was worth the wait.
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Film Review  October 6, 2017, by Marc Savlov
"...Alfred Hitchcock warned audiences to please not give away the secrets of Psycho, but Denis Villeneuve’s orders were more succinct: Tell no one anything about the recursive, thoughtfully rich plot of his sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece. This was prescient on his part, because the moment you exit Blade Runner 2049, the urge to discuss its labyrinthine, Russian nesting doll storyline – credited to screenwriters Hampton Fancher and Michael Green – is immediate and profound..."

AISD Board: Next up for Saldaña’s Vacant Seat
Appointee imminent, the ballot for next year's election is already overflowed
News Story  April 27, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...The board had time to ready his exit. The District 6 trustee (representing Southeast Austin) announced on April 7 that this, his 100th meeting, would be his last..."

The Boss Baby
Alec Baldwin voices corporate infant
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Film Review  March 31, 2017, by Steve Davis
"...Of course, he had a lot of practice doing this kind of stuff in the role of network executive Jack Donaghy on television’s 30 Rock. Baldwin can make business vernacular like “exit interview,” “severance package,” and “per diem” sound deliciously unctuous, and even a bit little bit PG-rated..."

Logan
Hugh Jackman sports those famous mutton chops for the final time
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Film Review  March 3, 2017, by Kimberley Jones
"...Returning director James Mangold helmed Jackman’s last stand-alone Wolverine picture – a far slighter thing – and supplied for Logan the story idea as well as co-wrote the script. Critically acclaimed for his Man in Black biopic Walk the Line, he seals Logan with a gravitas kiss by way of Johnny Cash’s biblically-minded “The Man Comes Around” as exit music, but Mangold’s 2007 remake of the classic Western 3:10 to Yuma bears mentioning, too..."

2017 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animation
Watch and prepare for your Oscar pool
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Film Review  February 10, 2017, by Marc Savlov
"...[Editor's note: All the shorts in this program are family friendly, except for the last one, "Pear Cider and Cigarettes." Prior to its screening, a warning card will appear, should you and your progeny need to exit the theatre.]..."

Red River Clubs Grapple With Downtown Homelessness
Beggars, hustlers, and dealers make you wonder how Downtown music keeps from going under
News Story  February 2, 2017, by Kevin Curtin
"...Sternschein said he's asked the city, which owns the alley, to clean it up, offer protection, or put up a fence, but he said city officials have refused because the path is considered an emergency exit for surrounding businesses. Practically speaking, it's more often used as an emergency toilet...."

The Luv Doc: Hold It
Until you can get to that forest where the tree falls and no one hears it
Columns  January 19, 2017, by The Luv Doc
"...Nothing signals the end of the digestive cycle better than an unpleasant odor. It's a scent that says, "I believe we're done here." Other smells come close – like the uneaten remainder of your all-you-can-eat buffet run at the Golden Corral, or maybe the grease dumpster behind an Applebee's, or the trash can by the exit to the Tilt-A-Whirl ride at a carnival, but all of those take a backseat to plain old poop...."

Dukes Up Between Dawnna and AISD Board?
A longstanding vendetta between Dawnna Dukes and the AISD Board?
News Story  December 15, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...Dawnna Dukes may be leaving public office, but her supporters aren't taking the exit so easily. In a letter published in the Dec..."

American Pastoral
Philip Roth's beloved book hits the screen
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Film Review  November 11, 2016, by Kimberley Jones
"...In Philip Roth’s novel, the “getting them wrong” idea comes courtesy of the aging novelist (and regular Roth alter ago) Nathan Zuckerman as he reflects on his one-time childhood hero, Seymour Levov. The movie uses Zuckerman more sparingly – he’s just the bookend narrator, carted out to introduce the story of Seymour, and then usher us to the exit...."

Circulate This!
Postmarks  November 2, 2016
"... Traffic circulation should be reversed. Existing “entry” will be “exit” and “exit” should be reversed to “entry.” There should be a sign posted “enter right way.” No extra money is required for striping the parking lot..."

We Are X
Japanese rockers are the best band you've never heard of
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Film Review  October 28, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...As Gene Simmons notes, “If X had been born in America, they might have been the biggest band in the world.” As it was, their combination of anime and hair metal-inspired, balls to the wall theatrics shook conservative Japan to its core initially. Yoshiki’s life both on and offstage has been riven by disaster, beginning with the death of his father and continuing in that wake with the unexplained suicide of blazingly talented guitarist Hide, and crystal-shattering singer Toshi’s exit from the group into the Home of Heart, a musical organization that, in Yoshiki’s narrative, borders on being an actual “brainwashing” cult..."

Risen
A Roman soldier is sent to track a rumor about the Christ's resurrection
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Film Review  February 26, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...Fiennes renders him with believable nuance as the film progresses to its inevitable conclusion. The many digital effects, ranging from patently fake flames to Yeshua’s final exit into what appears to be either a nuclear blast or possibly the mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, are very much less than heavenly...."

Triple 9
Grimy policier is an electrifying muddle with killer cast
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Film Review  February 26, 2016, by Steve Davis
"...The grimy policier Triple 9 starts off with a bang. A daring daylight bank robbery goes without a hitch until the getaway hits a major bump on an Atlanta freeway, necessitating an off-script exit in which the perpetrators are almost caught literally red-handed..."

Kimberley Jones' Top 10 Films of 2015
Screens Story  December 31, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...2) Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Imagine No Exit set entirely in a rabbinical court. Hell isn't other people – it's the husband who won't grant you a divorce...."

Playback: Triple Crown Ends Historic Streak
San Marcos' Triple Crown ends its live music streak, White Ghost Shivers lose a founder, and Twine Time host Paul Ray hospitalized
Music Column  December 17, 2015, by Kevin Curtin
"..."Thank you, Triple Crown. This is the best place in the whole fuckin' world!" "Rich Guy" Exits White Ghost Shivers..."

Elliott Naishtat Retiring, Dems Brace for Primary
Update: six candidates already filed to replace veteran rep
DAILY News  December 10, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, has known Naishtat as a colleague, a mentor, and as "a dear friend." With his exit, Rodriguez said, "We lose a lot of institutional knowledge..."

The Martian
Circumstances force Matt Damon to become a wily Robinson Crusoe on Mars
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Film Review  October 2, 2015, by Steve Davis
"...True to Andy Weir’s bestselling sci-fi novel upon which it’s based (the book’s devotees salivate at its mere mention), the film’s protagonist astronaut, Mark Watney, is the imagined offspring of Robinson Crusoe and Angus MacGyver, a can-do optimist who must rely on his scientific wits to stay alive after being left stranded on Mars during an aborted NASA mission, mistakenly presumed dead by his fellow crew members. The ever-focused Watney staves off loneliness and self-pity by engaging in a never-ending conversation with himself (and the audience) that serves both to explain the science underlying his methodical plan to exit the Red Planet (mercifully dumbed down for right-brainers) and to demonstrate that human strength is not only measured by muscle mass, but by brains and sheer determination as well..."

The Green Inferno
Eli Roth's long-delayed cannibal movie has passed its shelf life
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Film Review  September 25, 2015, by Marc Savlov
"...The Green Inferno does have a few good things going for it, however, chief among them the hellishly good (and, indeed, hallucinogenically green) cinematography of Antonio Quercia. Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of KNB EFX don’t stint on the gore, either, even if most of it will likely only be seen as part of the DVD extras – one ocular incident, in particular, will have audiences squirming long after they exit the theatre..."

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
YA dystopia franchise continues in this sub-par sequel
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Film Review  September 18, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...The Scorch Trials isn’t about breaking from the herd. This sequel to last year’s The Maze Runner hardly mentions the first film’s maze, through which a group of memory-wiped teenagers scurried like lab rats, sniffing the air for an exit..."

A Walk in the Woods
Robert Redford and Nick Nolte walk the Appalachian Trail in Bill Bryson's memoir
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Film Review  September 4, 2015, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Bryson’s well-ordered life of writing and family routine (Thompson makes the most of a banal role as his wife) needs the trip’s challenge, while the reformed alcoholic Katz grasps this chance for another adventure and, possibly, the avoidance of a stint in the pokey. Katz’s randy banter and attempted sexual exploits (one of which leads to an exit out a back window) are also in marked contrast to Bryson’s monogamous commitment and constant sharing of arcane bits of information about the natural world that surrounds them..."

Summer Fun: Relishing the Recreational Vehicle
Where a home on the range becomes a home with range
DAILY Design  May 18, 2015, by Xander Peters
"...“Coming in hot!” Our driver shouted, as the clumsy RV lunged to the right, the result of a misguided exit ramp – flinging those of us in the back around like tiny, white flakes inside of a snow globe. Some of us shouted obscenities, while the rest simply clung for dear life..."

Day Trips: Katy Prairie, Hockley
Wildlife viewing platform give a bird's eye view of Warren Lake
Columns  April 9, 2015, by Gerald E. McLeod
"...Matt Cook Wildlife Viewing Platform is only about 3.5 miles south of U.S. 290 at the Hegar Road exit in Hockley, but can also be accessed from I-10 from the Mason Road exit near Katy...."

Jupiter Ascending
The Wachowskis' space opera starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum is a visual dazzler but a narrative splice-and-dice.
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Film Review  February 6, 2015, by Marc Savlov
"...Frenetically cut but ultimately dull pursuits and bad-guy-and-gal brinksmanship ensue. They exit pursued by a talking bat-lizard enforcer...."

Incentives and R-Rated Entertainment
Amid bigger scandals, lawmaker plays the movie morality card again
DAILY News  January 21, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Even innocuous, non-political, non-controversial documentaries, such as Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Murderball (which was partially shot in Texas), Exit Through the Gift Shop, Bully (which was forced to recut so its target audience of students could see it), and Rock School, end up with unexpected Rs. Most famously and recently, a little Oscar contender called Boyhood ended up with an R rating..."

DVDanger: Youth Gone Wild
Pre-millenial teen angst, both period and retro, melds with noir
DAILY Screens  January 17, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Originally shown as We Gotta Get Out of This Place at Fantastic Fest 2013, Bad Turn Worse is pure teen noir, with kids desperate to get out of dead-end lives. Their exit route isn't a hidden pile of cash, but a college acceptance letter: Anything else means sticking around for a life of waiting tables and living under Giff's thumb..."

Laggies
Keira Knightley stars with Chloë Grace Moretz in Lynn Shelton's likable but aimless film about arrested adolescence.
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Film Review  November 7, 2014, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Yet the situation strains credulity and in the end, when Megan trades in one guy for another, you can’t help but feel that nothing has progressed. “Counselor, heal thyself,” you’ll hear yourself muttering as you exit...."

The Skeleton Twins
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig co-star as siblings in this dramatic workout.
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Film Review  September 26, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...So sister Maggie (Wiig) packs up Milo and takes him back to their small hometown in New York where she lives with her nice-guy hubby Lance (Wilson). Everyone assumes Milo is the basket case; he did just try to permanently exit the stage..."

The Luv Doc: In Through the Out Hole
Like singing and dancing, everyone is a self-appointed expert when it comes to anal sex
Columns  September 19, 2014, by The Luv Doc
"...Dear Luv Doc, How can I convince my husband to let me strap it on and stick it in? He claims he is an “exit only” man. Peggy..."

AISD Board Races Show Signs of Life
A sudden influx of candidates
News Story  August 14, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...The trigger for the new arrivals was the exit of an incumbent. On Aug..."

AISD Election = Turning Point?
With filing for the November election imminent, Austin ISD's board of trustees has vacancies, and it has candidates. Unfortunately, they're not in the same seats.
News Story  July 10, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...The bigger surprise came five days later, when Lori Moya (District 6) also announced her exit. This was a surprise, since in May she indicated she was leaning toward running for re-election..."

Three Project Options
News Story  June 12, 2014, by Mac McCann
"...In his May 22 presentation, Project Connect team leader Kyle Keahey told Council that the full LPA offers the strongest project for implementation, and the team believes will be a more competitive option for FTA funding, while enhancing multimodal connectivity, reducing automobile trips (specifically via two northern park-and-rides), and maximizing the potential system expansion northward and through other high-capacity transit extensions. B. Exit at Hancock..."

AISD's Carstarphen Atlanta Bound
Superintendent named sole finalist to head Atlanta Public Schools
News Story  April 4, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...There was one big difference between Carstarphen's exit from Austin and how she left Minnesota: Austinites already knew her days were numbered. In 2009, she was expected to sign up with St..."

About Last Night
Sexual perversity is released with gleeful abandon in this second film outing for Mamet's 40-year-old play.
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Film Review  February 14, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...The script is by Leslye Headland, who wrote and directed the snaggletoothed Bachelorette; it’s an intriguing what-if to wonder if her direction might have toughened the film up some, evened out what’s a slight bias of perspective toward the men. (Hot Tub Time Machine’s Steve Pink directs, with a real eye for downtown-L.A.-loft porn but also a bit of a bungling of the film’s exit shot.) About Last Night is essentially one long conversation that shifts locations from a bar to a ballpark to a swimming pool, and so on, and only the surface is scratched on certain ideas and subplots..."

Rock Lobster
How do you eat healthy on tour?
Music Story  February 14, 2014, by Kevin Curtin
"...When it's full speed ahead to the next city, hunger can spread through a van quicker than a sing-along. Do we hit the next exit and go greasy at the golden starches, or do we GPS the nearest Whole Foods and get fresh?..."

Reconnect Austin: Part Two
It's a beautiful vision, but could it work?
News Story  January 31, 2014, by Robyn Ross
"...One of the sticking points is ramps. The Reconnect plan would remove some or all of the entrance and exit ramps to I-35 between 15th Street and Holly Street..."

Reconnect Austin: Part One
The Great Depression
News Story  January 17, 2014, by Robyn Ross
"...Drivers whose final destination is Downtown would exit before the tunnel begins, and follow surface streets to their destination. Those driving farther – whether to destinations outside Downtown or to Dallas or Laredo – would take the tunnel..."

Pauken Quits GOP Governor's Race
Former Workforce Commission chair concedes early defeat
DAILY News  December 6, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...The end result was a campaign going nowhere, and not doing that particularly fast. In his exit letter, Pauken broke down his problems..."

COTA Shakeup: CEO Sexton Out
Circuit boss departs mere days after US Grand Prix
DAILY Sports  November 19, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...In a statement, Sexton called his exit "a tough decision for me to make, but the timing is right." To explain, he added, "The enormous effort required to build and launch an internationally renowned company in a matter of months has left little time for anything but work. I’m looking forward to taking a break and spending time with my family who sacrificed a lot while we were fully focused on opening the circuit and putting COTA on a path for long-term success."..."

Drinking Buddies
Mumblecore pro Joe Swanberg successfully ups his game by using professional actors in this observational drama.
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Film Review  September 13, 2013, by Kimberley Jones
"...Later, Kate will drunkenly bike over to see her boyfriend, Chris (Livingston). She dutifully asks him about his day, but her glassy look tells a different story; the coda comes with her quick exit post-sex...."

Aftermath: Troopers Bust Protesters
In the heat of the abortion protests, some say the DPS used excessive force
News Story  July 19, 2013, by Amy Gentry
"...Kinsolving says she and her boyfriend were among the first seated protesters to be picked up: "My boyfriend was pushed, he fell on top of some girl. An officer was picking up a girl in front of me and kind of lost his balance, and as he fell he kicked my ribcage really hard." And as more troopers poured into the hallway from the rotunda, blocking off one exit route, and others swarmed in the stairwells, some protesters were confused about where they were supposed to go..."

Perry: Not Running for Governor in 2014
Greg Abbott expected to throw hat in the ring
News Story  July 12, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...When Perry exits the governor's mansion, he will seal a term as the longest-serving governor in Texas history, and second only to Iowa's Terry Bran­stad as America's longest currently serving state boss. A former Democratic state rep turned Repub­lican statewide office holder, he has undoubtedly reshaped Texas in his image: While his pre-exit speech laid out what he felt were his main accomplishments (mostly economic), through the power of his position, he has appointed at least one member to every office in the state and overseen a radical push to the right in the political climate...."

Lege Lines
The 83rd session keeps rolling
News Column  July 5, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Strama had resigned his seat immediately after the first special session ended, and will now head up Google Fiber's Austin operation. Three impacts: 1) his exit reduces the Democrats' ability to break quorum; 2) the race to replace him just gets hotter, as his seat will now be contested in a special election; and 3) since Strama was an undeclared front-runner for mayor of Austin, his exit changes that race..."

'Sonya Berg'
In her show at Tiny Park Gallery, Berg's painted-over photographic collages vividly, beautifully, redefine art
Arts Review  March 29, 2013, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Annabelle navigates a raw, lemon-spiked oyster down her throat, turns a page, and considers what her friend Brenner has told her about Exit, one of the bigger and more complex renderings by Berg at Tiny Park. It's a conflation of views of a window hatch and a ladder, it seems, with swaths of painterly, oil-based mimicry standing in for much of the original photo-emulsion, forming the planes and lines and angles of gray, white, black, and blue...."

Stoker
Starring Nicole Kidman, this first English-language outing of Korean fave Park Chan-wook is stylish but wanting.
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Film Review  March 22, 2013, by Kimberley Jones
"...Maybe you’re thinking: Huh. Uncle Charlie? As in, the same name of the murderous uncle in Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt? This Uncle Charlie, as played with unflappable cool by Goode, wears a secret smile throughout as though he just farted and knows in about half a minute everybody else is gonna figure it out, after he’s made his unflappably cool exit...."

Jack the Giant Slayer
Despite a terrific cast, intelligent direction, and state-of-the-art special effects, this fairy tale's gigantic shoes remain unfilled.
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Film Review  March 1, 2013, by Louis Black
"...There are many twists and turns in the plot, some surprise double crosses, and the even more surprising early exit of several important characters. The giants are evil and the knights noble..."

Straus The Survivor
How the coup to remove the Texas House Speaker strengthened him
DAILY News  January 10, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Rumors floated around the day before Tuesday's gavelling in that he was going to pull out. And when he finally asked for a personal privilege moment before the speaker vote, his exit was sealed...."

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