movies this week: nothing new

The weekend after Thanksgiving is generally pretty low-attendance at the box office, since everyone scurried out during the extended holiday weekend to see all the big shiny blockbusters. Didn’t you? I didn’t, but then I was in Boston eating beans and haddock and clam chowder and looking in the holiday-decorated windows at Filene’s and finding a winter hat that covers my ears without making me look like that chick in The Blair Witch Project. I ended up with the most irresistably adorable hat ever. Every time I put it on, my boyfriend stops whatever he is doing to kiss me. Yes, we’re kind of nauseating in that way sometimes. Better hope you don’t run into us on a cold day.
Anyway, the traditional drop in box office is probably the reason why hardly any new movies are opening this weekend. I guess the conventional wisdom is that we’re all planning to stay home, trim the tree, and watch some old holiday favorite on TV like It’s a Wonderful Life or Brazil. Screw the conventional wisdom, there are plenty of good movies still in theaters, from The Incredibles to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie to Sideways. Austin theaters are still showing The Motorcycle Diaries, Kinsey, and I Heart Huckabees.

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movies this week: twoooo weeeeeks

I’m going out of town for Thanksgiving, so I’m not sure whether I will be able to write a “Movies this Week” next week. I don’t want to feel all that pressure on me to get it done, especially if I’ve been eating a lot of turkey and just want to nap.
So I thought I would do two weeks at once, folding next week’s movies into the current format with this week’s new films. This meant I had to face the scary nationwide Thanksgiving releases, for which I was unprepared. I had to be strong. I had to hang on. Or my mind might well snap … See, the whole thing has left me so unhinged that I am unintentionally paraphrasing Rocky Horror. Oliver Stone and Chris Columbus in the same week, it can’t be good for a girl.
My general opinion of the movie fare for the next two weeks is that if you live in Austin, you should check out the Dobie and the Alamo, or maybe go see The Incredibles. Otherwise, proceed at your own risk.

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movies this week: pre-turkeys

I get so anxious about seeing all the movies I want to see and new ones are opening and most of them don’t look all that appealing to me, which is good because I’m still trying to figure out what we can fit into this weekend what with the Netflix rentals pouring in and some friends wanting to go to the “surprise” film at Mr. Sinus and if it’s the film I think it is, I’m dying to see what they do to it, and then there’s Fanny and Alexander at the Paramount that I know I ought to see but I’d much rather see The Incredibles but should we see it at Alamo Village, which I love but isn’t the greatest theater to see a big blockbuster-ish movie, but on the other hand won’t have any kids there, or do we force ourselves to deal with commercials and rude crowds so we can enjoy the perks of a bigger theater, and maybe we should wait until they add an outtakes reel anyway, plus everyone’s been telling me I must see Sideways and heaven only knows how much longer Dobie is going to show it, considering they took out Stage Beauty after only a week and are bringing back, I cannot believe this, Napoleon-fucking-Dynamite, instead of showing Kinsey or something new, for which I think they ought to lose their arthouse theater status, since they’re not even showing Undertow, which was written by an Austinite, but I’d have to go to Arbor Great Hills to see it, which I confess I haven’t been to since it reopened and I really should go even though their pre-show “The 2wenty” gives me migraines, not to mention that I’m trying to catch up on a particular film genre I’ve been neglecting and will have to go to Vulcan Video to rent those films and I’ve been spoiled by a mail-order DVD rental service where I do not have to speed across town at 10 pm to return a movie that I finished watching about 5 minutes earlier because I realized it was due back in the store, and hell, let’s face it, what a large part of me really wants to do is forget all this and just watch Shaun of the Dead again. Mmmmm. Zombies.

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movies this week: let’s escape

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I sure could use some good old-fashioned escapism and entertainment. I’m in dire need of wit and humor and action and adventure and really wild things. And I notice that the ideal movie for these things is playing next week.
No, I didn’t mean The Incredibles. I am too annoyed by noisy crowds to brave a Pixar movie on opening weekend. Maybe in a couple of weeks.
I was thinking more of The Lady Eve, that delightful Preston Sturges comedy with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda and Charles Coburn, which is being shown in Austin next week. Aren’t we lucky?
You know what kind of movie you want. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to find it in a theater this weekend. Maybe you have to go to Vulcan Video (or your local video store of choice) and dig around in the VHS section. But my advice to you is to find your favorite brand of escapism and indulge like mad.
(A special edition of Dr. Strangelove was released on DVD this week. That might be a particularly apt choice. On the other hand, it might seem a little too apt.)

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movies this week: happy holidays

It’s always fun to pick movies associated with an upcoming holiday, and find a few to watch as part of the celebration. And as you know, one of the more important holidays is taking place this week, so I have been thinking about appropriate movies.
(Oh, geez, now she’s going to talk about scary movies again, and probably gush over Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi.)
Of course not. That has nothing to do with the holiday I am talking about. If there’s some lesser holiday involving skeletons and witches and ghosts, it pales in comparison.
(I get it now. She’s going to talk about patriotism and voting and apple-pie American films, probably gushing over The Candidate and Bob Roberts and maybe even Blaze. Give me a break.)
I am not. That’s not really a holiday anyway. And it is not as important as the upcoming holiday of holidays.
I am talking, of course, about my birthday.

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movies this week: bloodless feast

It was 9:00 on Monday night when my boyfriend and I declared that we would never watch another horror movie again. Or in my case, at least not for the foreseeable future.
I was grateful to Alamo Drafthouse Downtown for programming a lot of horror movies this month that I hadn’t seen before and wanted to see. Some were part of a tribute to the recently deceased art director Robert A. Burns. They also scheduled Suspiria. And when Shawn of the Dead was released in Austin, my boyfriend and I thought we should watch some George A. Romero movies first so we could get possible in-jokes.
However, after weeks of seeing Night of the Living Dead and not-quite-half of Dawn of the Dead and Re-Animator and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and various other gory or frightening movies (I was tempted to count Control Room because Donald Rumsfeld looked convincingly zombie-ish, but I will restrain myself), we have Had Enough, Already.
Seeing some of these movies at Alamo made it worse, because in order to get to the theater on time for a 7 pm movie during the week, we ate dinner at the theater. We tried to get there early enough to eat before the movie started, but inevitably I would have a mouthful of fries during some blood-drenched scene and ugh.
Seeing The Texas Chain Saw Massacre while attempting to eat a pizza was the last straw. I think I will wait for another opportunity to see Suspiria because in the past month, I have seen enough Karo-syrup blood to fill up Sam Raimi’s garage. I am making an exception for Shawn of the Dead this weekend (I hope) only because people have assured me that it isn’t a horror movie, it is a comedy.
To prevent anyone else from having such difficulties, I am evaluating the movies opening in Austin this week based on their horror and gore factor. As a further public service, i am including my estimate of dining possibilities for these movies—what would be safe to eat, or if it would be safe to eat at all. You want to be careful. You never can tell what unexpected horrors you might encounter at this time of the year.

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Dear Pillow (2004)

Dear Pillow: 2004, dir. Bryan Poyser. Seen at Alamo Village (Sept. 19).
It’s more difficult for me to write about very good movies than about stinkers. It takes longer, at any rate. I saw this movie nearly a month ago and I truly enjoyed it, and have thought about it a lot, but am just getting around to typing my thoughts about it now.
I think if Dear Pillow had played another week at Alamo, or if I’d seen it earlier in its run, I would have written the review earlier to encourage people to see it. But I didn’t see it until its last week in theaters, which was still two weeks longer than it had originally been scheduled to play at Alamo anyway.
Dear Pillow is about a 17-year-old boy who wants to write porn, such as the kind he reads in a Penthouse-letters-style magazine called Dear Pillow. His neighbor, who writes for this magazine and who used to direct porn movies, acts as his mentor. Meanwhile, Wes (the kid) is living with his dad, with whom he has some complicated issues, and lusting after the apartment landlady, on whom he is eavesdropping.

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movies this week: the puppets are here

The big movie event in Austin this week is the Austin Film Festival. Several movie theaters in town have screens dedicated to showing festival movies. However, there are so many cool movies playing in town this month, even if you don’t make it to the festival, you can see a different movie practically every night. Yeah, even if you skip the lame ones.
There are all kinds of new movies this week: heartwarming, quirky, melodramatic, bursting with big-name acting talent. But only one of them has irreverent puppets fighting terrorism, and that’s the only one I particularly want to see. They’re not Muppets, but that’s all right.

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movies this week: hmmm. interesting.

It truly has been one-week-on, one-week-off in Austin theaters. Perhaps this is a nice gesture on the part of film distributors to allow us to catch up on the good films during the off weeks.
Most of the movies this week look interesting. Not loads of thrills, not full of stunning visuals or amazing special effects, but the kinds of movies that keep your brain occupied and absorbed for a couple of hours. (I’m not counting the Hilary Duff movie. I’m ignoring it. Or the Jimmy Fallon movie, for that matter. Okay, maybe this was a dumb generalization to make, but I can’t think of anything better right now.) And if you want something a little more fun, there are good movies still playing in theaters from previous weeks.

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