You know what many might find terrifying? The idea of watching Jaws in a body of water.
You know what people really like to do? Be terrified.
Which is why the Alamo Drafthouse’s “JAWS On The Water” is back for summer 2017.
The movies hit the shores of Volente Beach on Austin’s Lake Travis for a month-long run of weekend “dive-in” shows, including – for the first time – screenings of “Jaws 2,” “Jaws 3D” screened in 3D, and “Jaws: The Revenge” hosted by Master Pancake.
Tickets to these On the Water shows include full access to Volente Beach attractions including Lazy Lagoon, The Sidewinder, the water slides, a shark-ified inner tube, fireworks display and the experience of watching Jaws with your feet in the water.
The Alamo Drafthouse locations nationwide are hosting screenings from June 30 through July 6, including interactive movie parties.
Also look for a Mondo-designed Jaws pint glass, featuring original artwork by acclaimed artist Kevin Tong available exclusively at our Movie Party screenings.
The 70th Cannes Film Festival wrapped Sunday with jury prizes, including best director Sofia Coppola for her film “The Beguiled.” The Palme d’Or went to “The Square,” a Swedish satire set in the art world. See the full list of winners here.
Charles Ealy, who attended his 20th Cannes Film Festival this year, wrote about the challenges facing the storied event as it reacts to changes in viewing habits and technology. There were no high-profile studio films to draw mass attention, but Ealy says the lineup, with an emphasis on arthouse and European titles, was one of the fest’s strongest in its 70 years. Read that story on MyStatesman.com.
Also on MyStatesman.com, Ealy writes about going through a virtual reality installation by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, titled “Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible).” The experience puts participants with migrants on a journey across a desert border. From Ealy’s story: “They’re old and young. Some are injured and tired. Most are scared of what lies ahead. You can’t make conversation with them, but you can go up to them, and if you get close enough, you can see their hearts beating.”
Fortunately, Austin is the best city of its size for cinephiles in the United States. (Yeah, I said it.) And a possibly rainy three-day weekend is a fantastic time to catch up on new releases, repertory screenings and second-run movies.
The big movies opening this week are “Baywatch,” the self-consciously parodic reboot of the insanely popular TV series, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” both of which are playing all over the place.
The Austin Film Society’s newly refurbished AFS Cinema is now open for business. This weekend’s screenings include the Italian comedy “Divorce, Italian Style” and the genre classic “Teenage Gang Debs.”
Then AFS goes into its “Texas Christening” with screenings of such films as “The Last Picture Show,” “Rio Bravo,” and “Tender Mercies,” as well as other films. Check out the full slate at www.austinfilm.org.
Over at the discounted Southwest Theaters Lake Creek 7 we have “Kong: Skull Island,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Get Out,” “The Lego Batman Movie,” “Power Rangers,” “Logan,” “The Shack,” and “Ghost in the Shell.”
Of these, “Get Out” is absolutely essential viewing. Jordan Peele’s horror film about race and privilege is that rare bird: a smart film that is also one of the year’s most unexpected hits.
If you don’t feel like leaving the house, you really should do what you can to catch up on Showtime’s new season of “Twin Peaks.” All 18 episodes were co-written and directed by David Lynch; the first four are currently available for streaming on the Showtime site (subscription needed). It is very easily the weirdest thing on television, a showcase for Lynch’s tics, interests and singular vision.
Over on Netflix, David Michôd’s “War Machine” stars Brad Pitt as a general very obliviously based on NATO-forces-in-Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal. With Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Topher Grace and more.
My all-time favorite piece of writing about Moore isn’t actually about him; it’s about Bryan Ferry and his band Roxy Music.
In the “Spin Alternative Record Guide,” critic Rob Sheffield — then all of 28 or so, later to pen “Love is a Mixtape” and this year’s amazing “Dreaming the Beatles” (which isn’t just probably the best book ever about the Beatles, but one of the best books of 2017 in general) — wrote that Roxy Music was divided into two parts: the Sean Connery years and the Roger Moore years, meaning the first five albums (bleeding-edge art rock, a few with Brian Eno, beloved by hardcore) and then the final three, recorded after a band hiatus (slicker, more Romantic, all surface, total pop).
This is a brilliant characterization of both Ferry and Moore. For much in the way that later-period Roxy could write “Avalon” or “Oh Yeah,” it is impossible to see the rougher, realer Connery raising an eyebrow and delivering a one-liner the way Moore could, or in space, a la the admittedly terrible “Moonraker.”
(Bedding Grace Jones in the admittedly terrible “View to a Kill”? They probably both could have handled that one.)
And besides, for anyone between the ages of, say, 30 and 50, Moore was the guy they grew up with as Bond.
After playing bit parts in American film and TV, then doing time in the thriller series “The Saint” for 100 episodes (wherein he refined the style he would bring to his next role), Moore embodied 007 for seven films and about 2,000 (OK, 12) years.
Playing Bond as suave and corny, dashing and dopey, Moore traded in Connery’s hairy chest and weightlifter physique for a guy who flat-out refused to take himself so seriously (or maybe ever work out).
Because, man alive, if anyone deserved to be made fun of a bit, it was the character of James Bond. This was Bond as a British Dean Martin (who himself played the spy Matt Helm) — Moore as Bond approached being a spy the way Martin approached acting, as the true player for real who truly did not give a [beep].
Moore’s Bond liked shooting people, making jokes and sleeping with any available lady, probably not in that order. Indeed, as Bond, Moore out-Martin’ed Martin-as-Helm, if that makes sense.
And say what you will about the scripts and Moore’s wry vibe, the stunts and chases in Moore’s Bond pictures, all pre-CGI, were uniformly terrific.
As far as the actual films, the best Moore Bond flick is probably, oh, let’s say “The Spy Who Loved Me,” with Barbara Bach as the Bond girl, that dope Lotus and Richard Kiel as Jaws. (Which reminds me, Moore-era Bond had the best villains.)
I also remain fond of “The Man with the Golden Gun” (Christopher Lee killed it as the always-fun-to-say Scaramanga) and the extremely racially sketchy “Live and Let Die,” which is what happens when British people make a blaxploitation movie. Amazing theme song, though.
As for the others, well, “For Your Eyes Only” tried to get serious (the skiing stuff was cool), “Octopussy” was almost unforgivable trash, “Moonraker” is in spaaaace and “A View to a Kill,” while sporting one of the best Bond themes, is not good but featured Christoper Walken in a part that was supposed to be for David Bowie and Grace Jones, who is welcome in anything, anywhere, at any time.
Requiescat, Mr. Moore. You were a smooth operator.
League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, will be an executive producer on the film, described as “an irreverent comedy that follows the misadventures of Moondog (McConaughey), a rebellious and lovable rogue who lives life large.” Sounds about right for Austin’s spirit animal.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” Not a reboot, but the cast of the first three Wimpy Kid movies have officially aged out of usefulness as wimpy kids, their siblings and their parents. Steve Zahn, we’ll never forget you. (May 19)
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.” The children’s book series moves to the big screen as an animated feature (that “first” really does seem like a slightly undignified request to the audience — “please make this a franchise!”). Stand-up comedian Kevin Hart and Thomas “Silicon Valley” Middleditch voice the kids who pull their comic book character (voiced by Ed Helms) into the real world. (June 2)
“Cars 3.” “Is Lightning McQueen dead?” was the questions thousands of parents had to hear from extremely upset little kids who made the mistake of watching the incredibly grim first trailer for this third film in the “Cars” franchise. The answer is probably not, but wow, that trailer was rough. (June 16)
The Alamo Drafthouse’s Birth.Movies.Death wants to help you get in the mood for summer with a “Baywatch on the Beach” movie party May 24.
The 6 p.m. event at Volente Beach Water Park in Leander celebrates the new movie version of “Baywatch” starring Dwayne Johnson and his pecs, as well as Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra and iconic red swimsuit-wearers Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff.
In addition to seeing the movie on opening night, partygoers can enjoy the water park and will get dinner, drinks and a shark-themed inner tube to take home. You can even show off your faux lifeguard skills in a slow-motion running competition.
For a few years now, hardcore “Star Wars” have celebrated May 4 as Star Wars Day. It’s a pretty easy pun on “May the Force be with you,” even if “Star Wars” aka “Star Wars: A New Hope” actually debuted May 25, 1977.
According to the news release, “4th Tap will also be renaming their Zephyr served in the taproom to ‘The Iron Knight’ to represent the Light Side of the Force. A third taproom offering will be a ‘black and tan’ with The Fist of the Empire served over The Iron Knight. This special beer will be called ‘The Voss Mystic,’ as it represents the blended or balanced.” Got all that?
C-Boy’s Heart & Soul (2008 S. Congress Ave) is hosting its Second Annual May The 4th Be With Y’all Star Wars celebration from 5 p.m. to midnight. Kids will be welcome (with parent or guardian) from 5 to 8 p.m.; it will be 21 and older only from 8 p.m. to midnight. The celebration will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. Look for the Baffles to perform surf rock versions of “Star Wars” music, local pin-up belly dancer Michelle Manx performs her Oola dance, Saber Guild-Jakku Temple will put on a light saber display, and Fan Force Austin will host a Star Wars trivia game. There will be nail art by Nails Y’all and sweet treats by PMS Bakery.
Beer lovers aren’t being left out, either. Friends & Allies Brewing is launching a new beer on the heels of its grand opening in East Austin: Protocol Droid, a Belgian golden ale with hibiscus and yerba mate. The sassy brew debuts at Banger’s, at 79 Rainey Street, Thursday evening with a Friends & Allies tap takeover that will have four of their other beers on draft. Come in wearing your “Star Wars” costume.
Over at the Windsor Park Branch of the Austin Public Library (5833 Westminster Drive) look for a kid-oriented Revenge of the Fifth celebration from 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 5 complete with a costume show, trivia contest, games, prizes, photo booth, button and bookmark crafts and snacks.
McConaughey IS the Man in Black. Idris Elba IS the Gunslinger. Stephen King IS the author of the source material “Dark Tower” series. Everyone hopes this DOES become a franchise.
Behold, the trailer for Danish director’s Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King.
“For thousands of generations the gunslingers were knights sworn to protect us from the coming of the dark,” Elba says.
Tom Taylor plays Jake Chambers, our POV character, a kid who starts dreaming of another world. He brings Roland Deschain aka “The Gunslinger” to our world, which is in mortal danger from the Man in Black, aka McConaughey’s Walter Padick.