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Blair Witch
Stay out of the (noisy) woods
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Film Review  September 16, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett’s sequel to 1999’s phenomenally successful found-footage freak-out The Blair Witch Project knows it can’t recapture the magic of the original – that would require deleting the internet, for one thing, since back in the late Nineties, the original was touted as being a real documentary, thus massively upping the disturbathon quotient – but it does its best. A sequel by marketing PR only, it’s actually a remake updated to include some better hand-controlled tech (a drone, ear-cams, walkie talkies) for the characters to use, but that’s really minor stuff..."

The Happening
In M. Night Shyamalan's mystery spooker, logic-defying episodes of death and destruction suddenly erupt across America.
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Film Review  June 20, 2008, by Marc Savlov
"...Maybe then he'll learn the inestimable editorial and creative value of the half-hour television format when it comes to dishing out socially relevant yet ham-fisted morality tales like The Happening. Despite his ever more wiggy attempts to recapture the box-office sucker punch of The Sixth Sense, every Shyamalan film since 2000's underrated Unbreakable has smacked of increasingly formulaic filmmaking..."

Eight Legged Freaks
Giant spiders invade a small town in this fun B-movie throwback.
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Film Review  July 19, 2002, by Marc Savlov
"...Doug, Scott Terra, Kari Wuhrer and Leon Rippy. An intentional attempt to recapture the goofy, goopy B-movie magic of those great Fifties giant-bug movies in which, as the song goes, “Leo G..."

Dracula: Dead and Loving it
Watching the colorfully titled but ultimately banal would-be comedy Dracula: Dead and Loving It, one is immediately struck with a burning, painful, but obvious question: “What the hell happened to...
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Film Review  December 22, 1995, by Joey O'Bryan
"...Watching the colorfully titled but ultimately banal would-be comedy Dracula: Dead and Loving It, one is immediately struck with a burning, painful, but obvious question: “What the hell happened to Mel Brooks?” It's hard to believe that Brooks, once the incredibly talented director behind such comic masterworks as The Producers and Blazing Saddles, has lost it this badly, having left behind the wicked style and invention of his earlier work for a series of uninspired ZAZ (meaning, of course, the team of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker -- the talented trio behind the original Airplane!) imitations. This latest effort -- a blatant and sadly unsuccessful attempt to recapture the flavor of his superior Young Frankenstein -- purports to offer a merciless parody of Bram Stoker's classic novel, while also taking time to lash out at its many film adaptations (with the chief target being Francis Ford Coppola's overwrought 1992 version, and rightly so)..."

Top Dog
Talk about your bad timing… Top Dog chases after balls that turn out to be grenades. Karate kicker and action star Chuck Norris here plays an ace San Diego cop...

Film Review  May 5, 1995, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Top Dog also reteams the Norris brothers, Chuck and Aaron, who have been frequent collaborators through the years. Obviously, the two are trying to recapture some of the financial success of their other recent “PG” outing, Sidekicks..."

The War
To paraphrase an old slogan: The War is not healthy for children or other movie-goers. Despite its no-doubt good intentions and its wholesome PG-13 rating, The War is a meandering...
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Film Review  November 4, 1994, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Not even the presence of mega-star Kevin Costner in a sizable supporting role (and delivering some of his best recent work) can snap this project into reasonable shape. Set in rural Mississippi during the summer of 1970, director Avnet seems to be trying to recapture with The War some of that Southern-steeped charm that wooed audiences his last time out with Fried Green Tomatoes..."

Brain Donors
Executive producers David and Jerry -- The Brothers Zucker -- best known for the Airplane! and Naked Gun sequels, veer away from their usual venue of biting satire in an...
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Film Review  April 24, 1992, by Pamela Bruce
"...Starring: John Turturro, Bob Nelson, Mel Smith, Nancy Marchand and George De La Pena. Executive producers David and Jerry -- The Brothers Zucker -- best known for the Airplane! and Naked Gun sequels, veer away from their usual venue of biting satire in an attempt to recapture the long-lost energy of anarchistic comedy a la the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers (even though the film proclaims to be “in the tradition of Abbott and Costello,” there is more of A Day at the Races/A Night at the Opera essence at work here than a hint of Bud and Lou)..."

F/X2
1985's F/X was never anyone's idea of an Oscar contender, but it was still a nifty little action flick with a watertight script and amiable performances from Aussie Brown and...
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Film Review  May 17, 1991, by Marc Savlov
"...1985's F/X was never anyone's idea of an Oscar contender, but it was still a nifty little action flick with a watertight script and amiable performances from Aussie Brown and character actor-ubermensch Dennehy. F/X 2 (subtitled The Deadly Art of Illusion), valiantly tries to recapture the spit and polish indie feel of the original, and comes up looking more like something Franklin might have directed on a Bad Day..."

Shortchanged
A lot of belt tightening and creative thinking make getting by with low dollars possible for AISD
News Story  September 3, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...The term used repeatedly is "perfect storm." Under the state's school finance system, expensive housing means AISD is classified as a Chapter 41 district. That means the state believes the district has more property tax money than it needs to educate its kids, and so this theoretical excess is sent to the state under the recapture system, aka "Robin Hood." Those recapture payments are nominally to support districts with less money and more expensive kids to educate..."

House to Address Education Funding
Speaker Joe Straus sets school finance as interim item
News Story  June 9, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...First is a review of the end of Additional State Aid for Tax Relief (ASATR). In 2006, when the Legislature last revised the recapture system, a fix was put in place that would offset the payments made by some ISDs..."

AISD Proposes a Budget
AISD sees its money go back to the state
News Story  April 28, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...Blame the Legislature. On April 25, trustees received the draft budget for the next school year, and it contains a 49% increase in recapture payments to the state under the "Robin Hood" system...."

Balancing the Books After Years of Neglecting Schools
The Texas Legislature wants to fix school finance, but how?
News Story  April 6, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...When senators unanimously approved it on March 28, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, claimed it would add $4.6 billion into school finance, including $2.6 billion for enrollment growth. But some smoke and mirrors might be in play; the Senate's proposal depends on recapture payments extracted from supposedly "property-rich" districts to balance the books..."

AISD Prepares to Slice the Apple
School district battles its budget monsters
News Story  December 6, 2018, by Austin Sanders
"...For each of the past six years, AISD has lost more students than it gained, and district staff expect that trend to continue. Meanwhile, the amount the district is required to pay into the state's "recapture" fund – theoretically a tool to equalize school funding across the state – has continued to grow, ironically in part due to the declining enrollment..."

School Finance Plan Headed for Hearing
Aycock promises no losers as Senate obsesses on vouchers
DAILY News  April 8, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Again, moved to basic allotment. • Ending non-professional salary increases, which encourage districts to hire staff other than qualified teachers. Again, moved to basic allotment. • Fractional funding, a complicated development in 2005 that actually penalized frugal districts: to be partially ended, allowing them to keep more cash. • A 1992 "hold harmless" proposal that has been in place for 25 years, which Aycock simply wants to end. • Pulling as many districts as possible off Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction, another misshapen fruit of the poisoned tree that was the 2006 school finance revision. • Revising the mid-size school adjustment, which gives more money to schools of a size that are normally the most cost-effective anyway. • Making permanent the adjustment for small schools, which see the biggest impacts from any financial changes. • To offset property value increases, as the basic allotment goes up, the amount taken under recapture goes down..."

What's So Special?
Gov. Perry calls a special session, and pits property taxes against schoolchildren
News Column  April 23, 2004, by Michael King
"...Indeed, I'm already learning – edit that opening sentence to read, "the special legislative session on property-tax cuts." If you'll remember, the pressure has been building for action on public school finance for more than a year, as more and more school districts have hit the state-mandated property-tax cap of $1.50 (per $100 valuation) and wealthy districts are increasingly disturbed at having to send "their" property-tax dollars back to the state for redistribution to poorer districts, via the recapture system (disdained or praised as "Robin Hood")...."

Is the Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door?
AISD's budget cuts could be deep and painful.
News Story  January 31, 2003, by Michael King
"...The proposed cuts, even in summary form, are formidable: $6.1 million from central administration, $10 million from "nonteaching" campus staff, and a whopping $17.2 million from teaching positions, including not just the special-ed reductions described above, but 99 "special area" elementary teachers: art, music, physical education. The district says those cuts, along with a $25.5 million dip into the "fund balance" (AISD's savings account), will make up next year's anticipated revenue shortfall, aggravated by an increasing state "recapture" obligation (aka "Robin Hood," under which Austin is a "rich" district) even as local property values are falling...."

City Budget Squeezed Between Basic Costs and State Neglect
The city has $1.03 billion in taxpayer money. Here's where it's going.
News Story  August 10, 2017, by Michael King
"...Making headlines from last week's budget work session was the civil but pointed debate between Adler and Troxclair, triggered by an unusual budget focus on the increasing portion of local property taxes heading to the state from Austin ISD taxpayers. Van Eenoo noted the unusual tangent for these discussions, addressing a chart reflecting the spike in "recapture" payments from AISD to the state, growing markedly over four years..."

Lege Session Dealt Blow to AISD Budget
AISD grapples with impact of this session's bills on its financial future
News Story  July 9, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...After the legislative session, the district's finance department calculated AISD would receive $10.6 million in recapture relief – the reduction in payments to the state under the Robin Hood recapture system. However, new calculations from the Texas Education Agen­cy suggest that could fall to $2.4 million, a figure AISD Finance Executive Director Leo Lopez called "negligible for a budget our size."..."

The Challenge of Judge Dietz
School finance decision puts responsibility where it's always been - on all of us
News Column  September 24, 2004, by Michael King
"...We know that we don't have a system that is fair in taxation [and] we don't have a system that produces a quality education for every child in Texas, and that should be our goal." Perry's response, "I happen to think that this state has made great progress," sounds increasingly wan, and politically feeble.Robin Hood Lives The weeks of trial were as important for what did not happen as for what did. Despite headlines in several of last week's state dailies (and almost universally in TV coverage), "Robin Hood" – the share-the-wealth "recapture" system – was not overturned in the courtroom, and indeed was hardly even addressed..."

Naked City
Austin joins the list of school districts taking Robin Hood to court
News Story  October 3, 2003, by Michael King
"...eliminating or reducing the reliance on recapture ("Robin Hood") to adequately fund poorer districts...."

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