movies this week: no frills

I had to work late so I don’t have much time and I have a little headache so I’m not feeling very witty, so I think I’ll just say that hey, there are good movies in Austin this week, you should go see some of them. Looks like there’s quite a variety.
What am I planning to see? I have no idea. Too old for movies about magic pants, too cynical for treacly Ron Howard movies, too squeamish for British violent crime movies, too tired for midnight movies, too poor for lavish Robert Rodriguez premieres. Maybe I’ll help perpetuate the current box-office slump by staying home and watching Shaolin Soccer on DVD, although I am tempted by the documentary on Giant.

New movies in Austin this week:
Cinderella Man—I miss the Ron Howard who made Night Shift and Splash. I think he developed Frank Capra Syndrome. Can we stage an intervention?
I thought about invoking Seabiscuit here, but I notice a lot of other reviewers did that, so I don’t have to.
Actually, I notice Mr. Howard is slated to direct The Da Vinci Code and a remake/re-adaptation of East of Eden, so I guess it’s too late for an intervention. So sad.
Layer Cake—If I didn’t want to see Snatch or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, what makes anyone think I’d care about this knockoff directed by the producer of said films?
Lords of Dogtown—Based on the shakeboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys (the screenplay was written by Stacey Peralta, who directed the documentary). Reviews are mixed. I may wait to get my Heath Ledger fix with The Brothers Grimm later this summer.
(C’mon, it just isn’t Movies This Week unless I mention my ongoing delight at possibly getting to see not one but two new Terry Gilliam movies this year. Woo-hoo! My headache just vanished, thinking about it.)
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants—My sister will be pleased. She loves the book. I think I’m a little too old for the movie, but you never know … after all, I loved Holes and I am excited about Matilda being released on DVD next week.
Notable events/revivals in Austin:
The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl—Playing at the IMAX theater in the Texas History Museum on Sun. 6/5. This premiere of Robert Rodriguez’s latest film is a lavish extravaganza for kids, with amusement-park rides and other treats. Tickets are $45 for kids and $90 for adults … even though a lot of that money is going to charity, I cannot imagine spending nearly a hundred dollars to see one movie. (Unless it was the 1930 version of Holiday or something equally rare, or unless you got to sleep with the filmmakers.) I’ll just wait a few weeks and see this movie during its regular run.
American Graffiti—Playing at the Paramount on Tues-Wed. 6/7-8. [Unnecessary George Lucas comment deleted.] What I don’t understand is why the Paramount thinks this would make a great double-feature with Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yeah, I see the thematic similarity (and so would anyone else) but the dissimilar tones would be jarring.
Breathless—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Tues. 6/7 as part of Austin Film Society’s Essential Cinema series.
This movie reminds me of a comment from one of my film-school instructors, discussing jump cuts in Godard’s films: “Traditional filmmakers would call these mistakes. Godard calls them attacks against capitalism.”
Chicken Run—Playing at Alamo South on Sat-Sun. 6/4-5 as part of their new Summer Kids Camp series. So far, the Alamo films have been so much better than the usual kids’ summer movie-camp fare (Regal’s idea of a good film for a similar program is Scooby-Doo 2, ugh). I’m tempted to go myself.
Dazed and Confused—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Sunday 6/5. I really ought to see this in a theater.
Donnie Darko—Playing at Alamo Lake Creek on Fri-Sat. 6/3-4 at midnight. Great choice for a midnight movie.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—Playing at Alamo Lake Creek on Thurs. 6/9. I would love the opportunity to see this movie in a theater again.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High—Playing at the Paramount on Tues-Wed. 6/7-8. Is this the only movie in which Sean Penn has ever been funny? I think he should do more comedies. Paired (inappropriately, see above) with American Graffiti.
Godzilla—Playing at the Paramount on Thurs-Fri. 6/9-10 and Sun. 6/12. This is the recently restored version of the 1954 film, the one that’s the same as the original Japanese-released version. And while we’re on the subject of inappropriate double-features, who in the world thought of pairing this movie up with This is Spinal Tap? They’re smoking something funny over at the Paramount these days, although that double-feature is so bizarre that it borders on being inspired.
The Jerk—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Sunday 6/5. I have never seen this movie in a theater. Again, something I ought to do (but will probably forget).
Lipstick and Dynamite—Playing at Alamo South on Friday 6/3. Documentary about female wrestlers. This sounds fascinating.
Return to Giant—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Wed. 6/8 as part of Austin Film Society’s Texas Documentary Tour. Documentary about Marfa when Giant was filmed there. Texas Doc Tour movies tend to sell out online, so get tickets early if you want to go.
The South Park Sing-Along—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Wed-Thurs. 6/8-9. Alamo is having another sing-along movie evening, this time with South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. I really shouldn’t find this as appealing as I do. Anyone else want to go?
This is Spinal Tap—Playing at the Paramount on Thurs-Fri. 6/9-10. I love this movie. Too bad I just watched the DVD again and have no interest in seeing it in a theater. Paired (bizarrely, see above) with Godzilla.
Viva Les Amis—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Tues. 6/7 and Thurs. 6/9. Local documentary about Les Amis, the off-Drag cafe that closed in 1996. My review here. Although the film has some faults, I recommend seeing it, if for no other reason than Alan Pogue’s excellent photographs. Previous screenings sold out, so you might want to buy tickets online.
The Wizard of Oz—Playing at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Friday 6/10 at 8 pm. Bring a blanket. Maybe a picnic basket too, although not one with a little dog inside it. (“All the way to Round Rock for a one night stand?”)
I still need to write reviews for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Cooler, My Little Chickadee, Slums of Beverly Hills, The Bad News Bears, But I’m a Cheerleader, Spy Kids 2, The Celluloid Closet, The Iron Giant, Raging Bull, and Maria Full of Grace. Yeah, I know. I oughta be ashamed.
One more thing: if you like watching movies at The Paramount, here’s an easy way to help out the theater. Whole Foods is donating 5 percent of all sales on Tuesday, June 7 to the Paramount and State Theaters. So … if you’re a Whole Foods shopper, maybe you can wait until Tuesday to go? Couldn’t hurt.

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