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Fantastic Fest 2015: Remake, Remix, Rip-Off
Rewriting the cinematic history of a nation
DAILY Screens  September 26, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Film historians have lavished much celluloid recently on the bizarre corners of global cinema. But Remake, Remix, Rip-Off does more for the Turkish post-war movie machine than just marvel at the weirdness...."

Rip Torn: All in the Family
Screens Story  March 9, 2001, by Margaret Moser
"...When Rip Torn takes the stage on Friday, March 9, to induct Sissy Spacek into the first Texas Film Hall of Fame, it won't be just one Texas actor honoring another; it will be a family reunion. The Emmy-winning Torn is a native of Temple, and it so happens his mother was Thelma -- Thelma Spacek, that is -- and thus the two Texas talents are related..."

RIP Lou Whitney
Postmarks  January 6, 2015
"...Dear Editor, It was disappointing to note that your musicians RIP list [“Critics Poll,” Music, Jan. 2] did not mention the passing of Lou Whitney, engineer/producer, bassist/vocalist, and bandleader for the Symptoms, the Skeletons, and the Morells; three of the greatest Midwestern bar bands from the late Seventies to the late Aughts..."

RIP Clifford Antone
Postmarks  May 24, 2006
"...His spirit and love for music will live on. RIP, Cliff...."

RIP Jesse Taylor
Postmarks  March 8, 2006
"...Dear Editor, RIP Jesse Taylor. He gave Joe Ely the courage to step out front and sing his ass off..."

RIP, Biscuit
Postmarks  August 19, 2005
"...I know he is in heaven keeping the angels laughing. RIP...."

RIP Paige Martínez
Doc filmmaker and former Austin resident passes away
DAILY Screens  December 2, 2014, by Paul Stekler


RIP Corey Mitchell
Housecore Horror Festival co-founder dies during load-out
DAILY Screens  October 27, 2014, by Marc Savlov


RIP Paul Mazursky
His films included 'Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,' 'An Unmarried Woman'
DAILY Screens  July 1, 2014, by Kimberley Jones


RIP Will Indian
Postmarks  February 25, 2014
"...I remember my first visit to Austin, where Will invited me up on stage to sing with his band the Rhythm Rats at the Flamingo Cantina on Sixth Street – me a total stranger with an English accent! As well as being a superb guitarist, he was a generous and funny guy. I have many fond memories of sitting on the deck at his home in Dripping Springs watching the sun go down, listening to Will play guitar and tell his many stories. His contribution to the Austin music scene is legendary, working with vast numbers of musicians and many fine bands including the Fur Trappers, the Rhythm Rats, the Nortons, and the James Hand Band. Rest in peace and harmony, Will..."

RIP Outbox
Austin-based mail service closes up shop
DAILY Screens  January 22, 2014, by Monica Riese


RIP Chet Flippo
Noted music critic Chet Flippo dies in Nashville
DAILY Music  June 20, 2013, by Margaret Moser


Joe Kubert, RIP
The brilliant comics artist and teacher has died at age 85
DAILY Books  August 13, 2012, by Robert Faires


Don Cornelius, RIP
‘Soul Train’ Host Commits Suicide
DAILY Music  February 1, 2012, by Margaret Moser
"...Don Cornelius took his place in music history in 1970 as the first host and producer of a Chicago area dance show called Soul Train, “the hippest trip in America.” The show went national within a year, a musically ripe time for black music, attracting a caliber of stars that read like a soul hall of fame: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown. In its reign from 1971 to 2006, it bested its archetype, American Bandstand, with hip bands, funkier music, and better dances, including the show’s popular “Soul Train Live” segment...."

Etta James RIP
The voice of Chess Records makes its last move
DAILY Music  January 20, 2012, by Margaret Moser


Joe Gracey RIP
Once-time radio DJ Joe Gracey dies
DAILY Music  November 17, 2011, by Margaret Moser


RIP Pinetop Perkins (1913-2011)
Iconic blues pianist passes away; memorial follows tonight (Tuesday)
DAILY Music  March 21, 2011, by Austin Powell


Eric Mitchell, RIP
Outspoken City Council member passes away
DAILY News  February 15, 2011, by Amy Smith


RIP Dobie Theater
The Austin landmark is set to close on Sunday
DAILY Screens  August 17, 2010, by Kimberley Jones


RIP: Rusty Wier and Jon Pettis
Mourning the loss of two fine local musicians
DAILY Music  October 9, 2009, by Austin Powell
"...Guitarist Jon Pettis of Bankrupt & the Borrowers, a promising young band that in many continued the traditions of Wier’s insurgent country, was found dead after a house fire at the Central East Austin dwelling he shared with his bandmates. According to officials, the fire appears to have been caused by an accidental electrical malfunction of a power strip, and one of the other seven residents of the home was treated by treated by Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services paramedics and released...."

RIP Sky Saxon
The Seeds frontman passes in Austin
DAILY Music  June 25, 2009, by Audra Schroeder


RIP Isaac
Daaaamn right
DAILY Music  August 13, 2008, by Thomas Fawcett


HighTone Records RIP
A roots label goes under; a Geezer cries
DAILY Music  April 2, 2008, by Jim Caligiuri


RIP Stella Boes
The Carousel Lounge's dancing waitress passed away Monday.
DAILY News  March 7, 2007, by Christopher Gray


RIP Bill Gossett
Postmarks  August 11, 2006


RIP: Ram Ayala
Postmarks  June 27, 2005


Fans Rip Off Artists, Too
Postmarks  October 6, 2003
"...These people who claim to be the ultimate fans don't seem to realize they are ultimately hurting their musical heroes. Even creepier than a music label ripping off artists for money are fans doing it to aggrandize themselves...."

Rip 'em to Shreds
  December 19, 1997
"...Currently, they are serving a client base of over 2,000. They also offer seasonal workshop series, addressing problems to help consumers avoid over-spending during stressful financial times, like the end-of-the-year holidays, trips, summer vacations, and back to school...."

Fantastic Fest Gets Arty
First titles, plus Nicolas Winding Refn on exploitation
DAILY Screens  July 30, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Things are about to get weird: Fantastic Fest 2015 has announced its first round of programming, with a mix of world premieres, Turkish rip-offs, and a unique trip into the exploitation cinema obsessions of Nicolas Winding Refn...."

Where the Rivers Flow North
The basic story is a familiar one: people fighting to protect their land and their established way of life from the encroachments of “progress” and modern civilization. Set in the...
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Film Review  July 29, 1994, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Directed by: Jay Craven. Starring: Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal, Michael J..."

April and the Extraordinary World
Animated French steampunk fantasy is delightfully imaginative
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Film Review  April 8, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...Thanks to a rip-roaringly excellent story and the film’s utterly beautiful traditional (non-CGI, that is) animation, both tree-huggers and climate change-deniers should, for once, unite in being swept up into this fantastical, utterly mesmerizing tale...."

Turbo Kid
This irreverent throwback is a loving homage to kids' adventure pictures
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Film Review  August 28, 2015, by Josh Kupecki
"...After making a slew of shorts during the past decade, Montreal film collective Roadkill Superstars (RKSS) finally drops their feature debut Turbo Kid, into which they stuff Eighties Mad Max rip-offs and youth-driven B-movies (Solarbabies, BMX Bandits) in a blender to create a satisfying (if blood-drenched) smoothie of awesomeness. Set in the postapocalyptic future of 1997 (the world ended in acid rain and robot wars, of course), our titular hero, known as the Kid (Chambers), is an orphan living in a fallout shelter, who spends his days scavenging for trinkets in the wasteland and trading them for water and comic books at the nearby settlement..."

This Is Where I Leave You
Awfully likeable ensemble comedy.
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Film Review  September 19, 2014, by Kimberley Jones
"...Perhaps fearing the audience wouldn’t connect the dots of Judd’s emotional distress, Tropper practically chunks Judd’s journey through a GPS (this is where his sister explains his hang-ups to him; this is where he mentions a secret aspiration that will inform the final shot; this is where the music swells). Subtle it ain’t, but there’s an undercurrent of palpable rage that pokes through the (very funny) banter-banter gloss of the thing, and the actors rip into it with relish...."

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Martin Lawrence revisits his FBI undercover alter-ego, Big Momma.

Film Review  February 25, 2011, by Marc Savlov
"...And unlike Wilson's Geraldine, Lawrence's Momma does modern mommas no favors: She's hugely obese and crude. The comic, his career now apparently in total free fall, tackles the (dual) role(s) so broadly (no pun intended) that it's just plain annoying – doubly so when you consider that the entire plot (no thanks to scribe Matthew Vogel) is just a cheap rip on Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot...."

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The third coming of C.S. Lewis' Narnia fantasy/allegory series has arrived.
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Film Review  December 17, 2010, by Marc Savlov
"...However, what's really lost in translation is Lewis' effortlessly adventurous sense of wonder. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has all the elements of a rip-roaring Saturday-afternoon matinee (including 3-D, natch) and the intended Christian allegory, yet a more appropriate rechristening would be The Voyage of the Yawn Treader..."

Green Zone
With Matt Damon's Bourne director at the helm, the actor plays an officer in Iraq who's mystified by why he's unable to uncover any WMDs.
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Film Review  March 19, 2010, by Marc Savlov
"...Everything was a lie, and suddenly, everyone was dying – literally, morally, spiritually – and it all went wrong. British director Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum), working from a breathless and fine script by Brian Helgeland (Mystic River) based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's equally riveting book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, posits the immediate and fruitless search for WMD as an exercise in 120-degree, sun-drenched neo-noir, with Damon's Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller as first a pawn and then a dogged seeker of the truth..."

College
New frat-house comedy is timed for the new semester.

Film Review  September 5, 2008, by Marc Savlov
"...Mostly. Speaking of totally retarded senses of humor, director Hagan and screenwriters Dan Callahan and Adam Ellison have scored big-time in the Suckiest Rip-Off of Superbad Ever department with their excruciatingly unfunny debut feature, College, a film so persistently loud and annoying that it single-handedly makes the case for drugging yourself with a roofie, Nembutal, and GHB cocktail (add bitters to taste) prior to entering the theatre..."

Hee Haw Hell
Dash Rip Rock's journey through H-E-double hockey sticks.
DAILY Music  January 22, 2008, by Margaret Moser
"...You know that saying about always remembering your first love? Dash Rip Rock was my first band love at South by Southwest. The SXSW you know today is unrecognizable compared to the early years, before the attendant film and interactive festivals. Before the Convention Center, when it was held in the Sheraton (now the Radisson), there was a little van system to take you around to clubs. The vans got dropped after about three years but while they had them, for one night during every conference, my best friend E.A..."

Slow Burn
Slow Burn – starring Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, and Mekhi Phifer – becomes one of those movies that’s so bad, it’s almost entertaining. Almost.

Film Review  April 20, 2007, by Toddy Burton
"...Though the scene is played in all earnestness, it’s pretty near impossible to stifle a giggle. Like a manual on the art of the cliché, writer/director Beach’s script is rife with inanities..."

Paradise Now
Inside the mind of a Palestinian suicide bomber: That’s the guarded territory broached in Paradise Now, a film fashioned as a thriller rather than a psychological study.
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Film Review  November 18, 2005, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Starring: Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Amer Hlehel, Hiam Abbass, Ashraf Barhom and Mohammad Bustami. Inside the mind of a Palestinian suicide bomber: That’s the guarded territory broached in Paradise Now as two young men from the West Bank city of Nablus are given 24 hours' notice that they are next in line to cross over to Tel Aviv and pull the final rip cord on themselves and as many Israelis as possible..."

The Guru
There’s not a whole lot of heft to von Scherler Mayer’s romantic comedy with ethnic Indian entanglements; it’s like overdone naan, too flaky and ephemeral for its own good, but...
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Film Review  February 14, 2003, by Marc Savlov
"...He’s smitten, and the next thing we see he’s all grown up and heading to New York City, the better to make his own Great White Way (or brown, as the case may be). How are you gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen the Pink Ladies? You’re not, of course, and though Ramu (British comic Mistry) moves in with a trio of Indian friends who are making their way along the ever dependable cabbie/waiter route, he soon finds his actorly calling as a faux sex guru when he’s thrust into the role by happenstance and shallow Manhattan debutante Lexi (Tomei), who wants him for his spiritual body and "to save the world." It turns out he has a knack for the aesthete’s life and the cunning naiveté to rip his New Age verbiage straight from the book o’ love by porn star Sharonna (Graham), which, in this cockeyed skewering of the American dream, means new Beamers and boho affairs for all..."

The Adventures of Pluto Nash
I have to admit being at least a little bit curious about a film whose release dates have been shuffled more times than a tired deck of cards and was...
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Film Review  August 23, 2002, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Filmed in the style of an old-time action serial, The Adventures of Pluto Nash is an episodic narrative. As such, it throws continuity and plausibility out the window in favor of rip-roaring adventures, scene by dimly related scene..."

Call It a Draw
Last year's eye-catching Earthlink commercials imitated local animator Bob Sabiston's -- and his software's -- style. A little too much, in his opinion.
Screens Story  August 31, 2001, by Marc Savlov
"...His main complaint about what transpired is that the ads didn't just approximate the look and feel of his software -- they copied them note for note. He says as much on his Web site, under the none-too-subtle heading "Earthlink Sucks": "Honestly," he writes, "I didn't think they'd be able to rip off the style so closely..."

Wrongfully Accused
I was wrong: There are worse things than Mr. Magoo. With any luck, this parody of The Fugitive and other on-the-lam thrillers will sound the death knell for the once-talented...

Film Review  August 28, 1998, by Marc Savlov
"...The Farrelly Brothers (There's Something About Mary) and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) may be the saviors of millennial comedy in that respect, although their obvious penchant for bodily functions exceeds even that of the Proft/Zucker/Abrahams camp. Que sera sera; still, Wrongfully Accused is a misstep of terrific proportions, the cinematic equivalent of biting into an Eskimo Pie and finding half of Rip Taylor...."

Blues Brothers 2000
Along with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, John Landis' The Blues Brothers remains one of my favorite screwball comedies. Both films take the notion of chaos theory and...
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Film Review  February 6, 1998, by Marc Savlov
"...Both films take the notion of chaos theory and apply it to filmmaking in ways so absurd and ludicrous that they hit a sublime high note in the comic register. There's a direct and easily traceable line to be drawn from the seminal work of Mack Sennett and Buster Keaton to Landis' original film, and this rip-snorting, charmingly silly sequel gleefully upholds that tradition..."

Moll Flanders
Moll Flanders is as picaresque as tales come, though that's not a word we generally associate with 18th-century female literary heroines. This new screen adaptation of the Daniel Defoe classic...
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Film Review  June 14, 1996, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Hibble, he challenges us to consider the realities of life for a black man living in London during that era. Moll Flanders is a rip-snortin' epic, one told with spit and determination and honesty, despite its sometimes lagging pace...."

Total Eclipse
This never less-than-fascinating bio-pic recounts the relationship between the two 19th-century French poets, Arthur Rimbaud (DiCaprio) and Paul Verlaine (Thewlis). Theirs, of course, was a fascinating relationship: two great poets...
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Film Review  November 3, 1995, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Also, DiCaprio (The Basketball Diaries, This Boy's Life) and Thewlis (Naked, Life Is Sweet) are phenomenal to watch. Fearless about appearing onscreen as mean, cruel, or ugly, they both rip through the screen with wild-eyed abandon..."

Species
From the unlikely team of producer Frank Mancuso, Jr., one of the key players in the long-running Friday the 13th slasher franchise, and director Roger Donaldson, the man behind the...
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Film Review  July 7, 1995, by Joey O'Bryan
"...Starring: Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger and Natasha Henstridge. From the unlikely team of producer Frank Mancuso, Jr., one of the key players in the long-running Friday the 13th slasher franchise, and director Roger Donaldson, the man behind the recent remake of The Getaway, comes this gory creature feature that, despite a very promising first 15 minutes, proves to be nothing more than another tired rip-off of Alien, with a touch of Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce thrown in for good measure..."

High Voltage Asian Cop
Little known but talented Hong Kong action director Andrew Kam (responsible for the incredible Eighties gunplay epic The Big Heat) teams up with underrated action hero Donnie Yen (Iron Monkey)...
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Film Review  June 16, 1995, by Joey O'Bryan
"...The plot follows him as he travels to the Philippines to escort an important witness back to Hong Kong, only to find himself teaming up with a local cop (Filipino actor Edu Manzano) to bring down a wicked crime syndicate, not to mention facing down an old enemy from his past (Wicked City's Roy Cheung in a nicely psychotic performance). At times, the script steers dangerously close to becoming an uninspired Lethal Weapon rip-off and, to be sure, the story is far from original, but the film is redeemed by a number of offbeat touches and non-stop, breakneck pacing..."

A Chinese Odyssey II: Cinderella
More outrageous fantasy and comedy from stylish director Jeff Lau and superstar goofball Stephen Chow, this second installment satisfyingly concludes the epic story line begun in the original, in addition...
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Film Review  June 2, 1995, by Joey O'Bryan
"...More outrageous fantasy and comedy from stylish director Jeff Lau and superstar goofball Stephen Chow, this second installment satisfyingly concludes the epic story line begun in the original, in addition to providing many thrills and laughs along the way. Picking up where Pandora's Box left off, Cinderella gets off to a rip-roaring start as Chow is accidentally sent 500 years backward in time to witness the original destruction of the Monkey King, the mythical god to whom he may or may not have a supernatural connection..."

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