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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Best in Show (2000)

Best in Show: 2000, dir. Christopher Guest. Seen on DVD (March 23).
This movie made me laugh, even though I was watching it alone. I laughed aloud, and I giggled a lot, and I put my hand to my forehead and groaned, “ohhhh, my God, they didn’t,” and then I laughed some more.
I saw A Mighty Wind last year and I thought it was funny and cute, but Best in Show is even funnier. I mean, just in terms of plain old laughs, this is a wonderfully entertaining movie.

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theater entropy

So once again SXSW is over and I didn’t see a single movie. Hell, someone offered me free tickets and I still didn’t go to any of the many fine movies offered by the SXSW film festival.
Somehow I couldn’t muster much interest in the film selection that SXSW had this year. I’m sure the films were excellent, and I heard lots of good things about them, but I can only watch so many Quirky Documentaries, or Angry Independent Films, or Films That Question Your Beliefs, or Low-Budget Films with Mediocre Acting. I still have a long, long list of movies I want to see much more than those, movies like I’m No Angel and Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Gunga Din (which isn’t on DVD) and so forth.

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The Ladykillers (1955)

The Ladykillers: 1955, dir. Alexander Mackendrick. Seen on DVD (March 10).
I realized I had better see the 1955 movie The Ladykillers pretty soon because the Coen brothers have directed a remake of this movie, and it would be fun for me if I’d seen the original one first. (This is a definition of “fun” that only works for film geeks/critics/writers, in which you get to compare versions and notice what elements the filmmakers chose to keep and what to transform in the remake.) I normally don’t like remakes very much, but I like the Coens so I am looking forward to seeing the remake.
I am particularly looking forward to the remake now that I’ve seen the original, because I didn’t find The Ladykillers to be nearly as funny as I’d expected.

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Spellbound (2002)

Spellbound: 2002, dir. Jeffrey Blitz. Seen on DVD (March 7).
Spellbound is a documentary that got a lot of attention last year. It was meant to be broadcast on Showtime, but it was so popular and well received that it ended up having a theatrical release instead. People were charmed by the story of eight children all preparing for the National Spelling Bee.
My coworkers in particular enjoyed it because they are geeky tech writers who like to watch people spell. In fact, I have to wonder how many of my tech writing coworkers might have been in spelling bees in their youth, perhaps losing traumatically and turning to a life of pathologically perfectionistic proofreading and editing as a result. Not me, of course.

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Freaky Friday (2003)

Freaky Friday: 2003, dir. Mark S. Waters. Seen on DVD (March 6).
We saw Freaky Friday because of peer pressure. All kinds of people told my boyfriend and me how funny it was, how surprisingly entertaining, and how much we would enjoy it.
So I think we expected too much from this movie. It would have been better if we had seen it the weekend it opened, perhaps under duress, expecting something formulaic and crappy, and then we would have had a happy surprise.
As it was, we saw Freaky Friday at home on DVD when we had nothing much else to do, and it was entertaining enough, but not quite the laughfest we anticipated.

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Local Hero (1983)

Local Hero: 1983, dir. Bill Forsyth. Seen on DVD (March 3).
Local Hero was on The List for 2003 because people have been telling me for years that I ought to watch some Bill Forsyth movies. Someone suggested I pay attention to the quirky characters in the movie because I write characters in the same way. Back in my screenwriting days, I was always better at writing vivid, interesting characters than I was at developing plot and story.

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Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Heavenly Creatures: 1994, dir. Peter Jackson. Seen on DVD (March 14).
Heavenly Creatures is one of the most intense movies I’ve seen in a long time. It also has one of the most disturbing endings I’ve seen, period.
What I knew going into the film was that it was about two girls who are such close friends that they create their own world and wrap themselves in it, and then something terribly tragic happens at the end when they go too far. I couldn’t remember the details since it’s been such a long time since the movie was released.

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same old babble

I realized I had better write something that isn’t a movie review, even if it’s just a rambling sort of update of my life, so everyone won’t leave in droves.
I don’t know why I haven’t felt like writing anything apart from the movie reviews. Actually I haven’t even felt like writing those, but I keep pushing myself because I would like to keep a record of the movies I saw this year and my impressions of them. I know that already movies have slipped through the cracks and I can’t even remember what they are. (Plus, we saw two this weekend that I need to write about soon.)

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Dick (1999)

Dick: 1999, dir. Andrew Fleming. Seen on DVD (Feb. 27).
You all told me and told me to see this movie, and did I listen to you? Actually I did listen, but somehow I never got around to seeing Dick. This isn’t entirely my fault.
First of all, it is difficult to deal with a movie that has a title that can easily be interpreted as rude when you say it in public. You end up babbling things like, “I’d like to see that movie, what’s it called? about the two girls who accidentally witness Watergate.” And if no one can figure out which movie you mean, well, you’re a bit stuck.

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