movies this week: I need more time

The universal forces that control film (no, I don’t mean Sony and Time-Warner, either) must have looked down from their celestial screening rooms last weekend, shuddered at the number of mediocre films opening in theaters, and decreed that this would be a better week. And believe me, I am truly thankful. (Also, I finally got my expectorant from Amazon yesterday … no more formula! yay!)
Most of the movies opening in Austin this week look very promising. I can think of at least two that I want to see while they are in theaters, and a few more I think I’ll enjoy on DVD. And of course there are still some movies hanging around from previous weeks that I haven’t seen, like Garden State and Silver City.
Why is the weekend only two days long? Why are night movies so expensive? How will I make time for everything I want to see? How important is a good night’s sleep, anyway, if you’re lying down watching movies instead—isn’t that sufficiently restful? I wish.

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movies this week: formula in bulk

I ordered some Mucinex from Amazon last weekend. Mucinex is an expectorant, or as my doctor calls it, “the mucus thinner,” which is the kind of pills you get to take all the time if you have crazy-bad sinuses. It was weird ordering something so boring from Amazon, and I did consider buying the fourth season of The Simpsons in order to get free shipping, but the practical, dull part of me pointed out that if I ordered two bottles of the stuff I could get free shipping anyway.
Yesterday I found the box from Amazon hidden near the front door when I got home. I scooped it up with the rest of the mail and wondered how two small pill bottles could be so heavy. Maybe they packed them in lots of stuff so nothing bad would happen? Still, it seemed suspiciously weird.
I opened up the box and found … three tins, about the size of medium paint cans, of Isomil Advance formula. Powdered baby formula. (No, you don’t get babies if you add water, smartass. It’s for babies to drink in their little bottles.) Formula everywhere. I have to take the box back to the post office today and hope that next time I get something resembling my actual order.
In Austin theaters this week (you knew I’d get to movies eventually, didn’t you? What a surprise), it’s formula everywhere, too. Instead of Isomil Advance, we have Advanced Sitcom Formula in cans of film.
When I write these weekly movie previews, I write the summaries for the movies before I write the lead-in. After writing three or four summaries where the storyline reverted to that old film-school cliche, “Hilarity ensues,” or better yet, “Wacky hijinks ensue,” I realized that a pattern was emerging. A pattern of the standard formulaic (unfunny) comedy.
It’s like wanting The Simpsons, expecting something less interesting that’ll at least make you feel better, and ending up with an enormous amount of useless formula.
Add water—or better yet, strong drink—and enjoy.

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movies this week: distracted by books

The Monster Book Sale is going on this weekend in Austin. Tons of library books and donated books are going to be on sale for $1 or $2, and then on Sunday the leftovers will go for $3 a bag or $5 a box. And all the money goes to Austin libraries, so how can I resist?
A smart bookcase store really should post ads outside of this sale, they would absolutely clean up on business.
Anyway, you can see where my mind is today, since I am going to the book sale after work. I have the baby stroller in my car so I won’t have to lug around a big bag of heavy books. My mind is not on movies, other than wondering if I can get some cheap film books. Last time I found a nice copy of The Celluloid Closet lost on the Architecture table.

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movies this week: summer ends (in theaters)

It’s Labor Day weekend. The summer movie blitz is over. In Austin, the Paramount summmer movie classics series is over. All that’s left is the lure of air conditioning in theaters since Austin still gets triple-digit weather in September.
It’s time for the long dark interval of mainstream movie programming before the Thanksgiving and Christmas releases start closing in. It’s a good time to catch up on the movies you might have missed earlier, as they drag on for one final week in theaters or hit the discount cinema.
It’s also a good time to keep an eye out for an interesting independent film, if you live somewhere like Austin where new low-budget films appear in theaters almost every week. Some are the same old routine indy-movie fare, but you never know when you might find a little gem.

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keep Austin.

My boyfriend and I have been lazy slugs all weekend. We didn’t want to cook on Saturday night (or Saturday lunch, or Friday night), so around 5:00 on Saturday, we started debating where to go for dinner.
“You know what I’d like?” I said. “A fruit salad. I would love a nice fruit salad.”
“Where do you want to go for that?” he asked.
“I can think of two places where I’ve had a good fruit salad: Mother’s and Katz’s,” I told him. After a little more discussion, we decided on Katz’s, which had more choices for him for dinner (especially if he wanted meat—Mother’s is vegetarian).

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looking for Central Texas feedback

I’m one of a group of Austin bloggers and journallers who are planning a one-day workshop (probably in October) that will focus on aspects of Web writing and publishing. Because, y’know, I didn’t get enough of that kind of organizing fun when I worked on JournalCon last year, right? (At least this time I’m a meek follower and not the one in charge.)
We created a survey to find out what kind of programming would appeal to Central Texas online writers.
We’re certainly not trying to compete with JournalCon (in DC this August). But we enjoyed the programming and social aspects of the conference so much last year that we wanted to organize a similar, smaller-scale experience for Central Texans. (Either that or we’re masochists. Possibly both.)
I’ll post more details about the workshop as we finalize them. In the meantime, if you’re in Central Texas and are interested in this workshop, please fill out the survey. (If you don’t live in/near Central Texas, don’t fill it out, although you’re welcome to post comments here that I’ll forward appropriately.)

summer film squealing

Y’all just excuse me a minute while I jump up and down and make little squeaky happy noises.
Because the Paramount Theatre summer film schedule is out, and despite a sad lack of Peckinpah movies, this is some of the best film programming they have done in years. I am very pleased at the number of movies they are showing that are currently not available on DVD (and are damn hard to find even on VHS). I am also pleased at the films they are showing that need a big theater screen or a large audience, in order to truly shine.

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Chez Gaufres

[Still not part of the Schmoop Saga. Please be patient.]
Some of you know my boyfriend, and if you do, you already know about his crazy passionate love for the Waffle House.
I can understand it, sort of. I have been attached to certain diners myself. I still cherish fond memories of Louie’s Cafe in Baton Rouge, for example, although I don’t have any desire to go back there and see the place again. Some places are better remembered than re-experienced. I can say that I like ordering breakfast from dingy little diners, but I would really rather have some good biscuits and honey, or hash browns, or some non-greasy egg-based breakfast while playing Tom Waits’ “Night Hawks at the Diner” in my head.

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good news from Alamo

Back in December, I was extremely cranky with Alamo Drafthouse Downtown for discontinuing Dollar Night ticket prices and not updating their Web site to reflect this change, and for being somewhat misleading about the change.
An email from the Alamo mailing list today states that Alamo Downtown is returning to $1 admission on Monday nights (for most movies, with exceptions to be labeled as such). I could not be more pleased. Upcoming Dollar Night movies include Drugstore Cowboy and The Dreamers.

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stop it, Alamo

Normally I am one of the Alamo Drafthouse’s biggest fans. Austin currently has three Alamo Drafthouse theaters and I like them all, even the one waaay up north, which is a bit of a drive for me but the sound and picture quality are better than the Alamo Village right by my house. And then Alamo Downtown shows all these groovy movies and they have special events and Dollar Night …
Well, Alamo Downtown doesn’t quite have Dollar Night anymore, and the story behind how I found out will explain why I am rather cranky with the Alamo folks this week.

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