Archive for October, 2011

Late Summer Movie Screenings in Austin

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Shortly after arriving to Austin, my roommate discovered that there were far more opportunities for movie screenings than there were in Houston.  This coupled with the lack of familiarity with local live music bands in Austin meant movies would be more frequent than music for awhile.

My full-time schedule and my roommate’s Wednesdays off opened up the first opportunity for my roommate to see a screening for Attack the Block.  After hearing all the raves about it, it would be clear that I should try to see some of the future screenings when my schedule permitted.  Before leaving the extended stay hotel, my roommate insisted on seeing the 8th Harry Potter movie on opening day.


Redemption Road.  The screening invitation was offered to me to see Redemption Road at AMC Theaters in Southwest Austin on August 23.  The movie was about a musician in Austin who was dealing with issues surrounding his father’s death many years earlier and the events that followed.  Upon meeting an individual with claims of having an inheritance from his grandfather, he finds himself traveling back to his home town in Alabama after some unexpected encouragement from a former benefactor.  Redemption Road is a limited release movie to select audiences and venues, however I do recommend it as a must see movie.

Dolphin Tale.  Early on Saturday morning of August 27, the line for this screening at Galaxy Highland was rather short considering this movie’s obvious attraction to children.  Shown in 3D format, an injured Dolphin named Winter captures the hearts of the audience in her struggles with her handicap.  When news of Winter’s remarkable survival from a crabbing mishap spreads, children with handicaps begin to show up to share in the experience as the rescue center is on the verge of foreclosure.  The property is scheduled to be sold and placed under new ownership as an unrelated business venture.  This movie is based on the real-life story of Winter who is at the aquarium in Clearwater, Florida.  Definitely a must see movie, and already in the first two weeks since opening, it is still topping the charts.

Bucky Larson, Born to be a Star

Bucky Larson, Born to be a Star

Bucky Larson, Born to be a Star.  On August 30, this screening was a special treat with actors from the movie arriving in SUVs to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.  Every screener was given a movie poster while waiting for the actors to arrive, a box of popcorn when entering the theater, and a free soda with refills if ordered from the menu.  Other orders from the menu were not free.  I understand that the avant garde movie snippets shown before the movie are normally shown before every movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, but these were bizarre enough to fit with the theme of the movie.  Having been recently let go from his job as a bagger at a local market, Bucky Larson discovers his true calling while hanging out with his friends watching an adult flick which just happened to feature his parents.  Bucky then announces to his parents that he wants to follow in their footsteps and heads to California to chase his dream.  This movie lives up to the expectations of an Adam Sandler production by being both strange and filled with humor.

Contagion.  The screening for this movie was a few days before opening, early in September at Galaxy Highland and the line extended to the end of the building and started to wrap around the NE corner  before the doors opened.  The scenes in this movie take place over a year’s time after the development of a viral strain near Hong Kong where a combination bat and pig DNA become introduced into the flu bacteria.  During the progression, scientists looked for ground zero, or the first person who passed the virus into the population.  After watching this movie, the audience wants to pay closer attention to hand-washing and personal cleanliness while interacting with others.

50/50. On September 26 at Regal Metropolitan Stadium 14, I presented my first free popcorn scan code to watch  this movie screening.  Given the serious nature of a rare genetic form of cancer, a 27-year old man deals with his disease with an odd sense of humor with his friends and family.  As the disease progresses he discovers deeper relationships with those around him who are supporting him through learning about his disease and how to cope with it as support peers.  Little clues begin to appear that bring him to the realization that they care more than he expected.

Anonymous. This screening was on September 27 at auditorium at University of Texas Union Underground.  The movie unfolds a discussion on the mysterious background behind the Shakespearean plays and sonnets.  The controversy over authorship of Shakespeare’s collection has been discussed for 20 years, but with the collection of documents and research into the life of Shakespeare.  How he came to know of the places, culture, and languages of Italy and Greece without having traveled  there himself, coupled with the lack of personal and business documents outside of these known works and the addition of over 3,000 words into the English language, gives rise to the controversy.  The storyline explores a highly probable anonymous author who provided Shakespeare with his works for the enjoyment of Queen Elizabeth, patrons of his theatre, and general audiences in London.  Following the movie, the director and a number of others involved with the movie, actors and educators formed a panel to discuss the movie, its origins, and its controversy.  Definitely for those who are familiar with the Shakespearean works and the political background of England during the time of Shakespeare.


There will be more screenings to come, however this closes a chapter in the travel blog.  I will post more in the next chapter.


Other Movies

Prior to the move to Austin, I did manage to see a fair share of movies while I was in the Houston area.  My roommates had a collection of movies already, including Rio, Rango, the X-Men story so far, Despicable Me, Paul, and Happy Feet.  One of them shared these movies with me over the course of two months prior to moving into the apartment in Austin.

Cars 2. Before leaving Houston, one of my roommates took me to see Cars  2 in the Tomball Cinemax. The movie was released June 24, however I do not recall this being a movie screening.  This story about Mater (the tow truck) and Lightning McQueen (the racecar) places Mater in the spotlight as he unravels mysteries in a spy ring during the European Grand Prix to which McQueen has been challenged to compete.  Although I enjoyed this movie, I would like to see the first incarnation to have a more complete background on the characters.  I count this movie among the really good animated stories I could watch many times.

Horrible Bosses. Before July 8, one of my roommates made the screening for this movie while I was at work.  He described the harsh treatment of the employees and the ultimate fates of the bosses to me the next day and for a few days after.  By the time I was tired of hearing him rave about the movie, I determined I’d have to watch more movies and more screening with him so I would get a little peace after each movie.  His mom was in San Antonio at the time, so she did not see the movie.  She accepted an invitation to move in with her boyfriend shortly after this screening.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. On July 15, my remaining roommate insisted on seeing this movie the day of release.  He was so excited that he wanted to go to the first showing in town.  However, after waiting until I was stirring and awake enough to go, he found a showing at the AMC at Barton Springs Mall.  He drove through the heavy Mo Pac Expressway traffic and we arrived just in time to make the show.  This movie is as exciting to me as all the other Harry Potter movies, and my roommate, who is a big Harry Potter fan, made certain that I was able to see all of the seven preceding movies over the course of the following week.  I was actually surprised as to how many I’d actually seen on satellite before moving to Texas.

Attack the Block.  Prior to its July 29 release, this movie was screened by my roommate while we were staying in temporary lodging.  He was excited about the south London youth who fended off extraterrestrials in order to save their neighborhood.  I would like to see this movie as the trailer was interesting to me.  Unfortunately, I was working the night of the screening so I will have to wait until it comes available through other means.

Before going in separate directions in  October, my roommate had planned to take me to screen other movies, including Footloose, The Ides of March, Happy Feet Two, and Fireflies in the Garden.


Images of the panel for Anonymous to be posted if/when they become available.