Until the mercury falls somewhere south of 100 degrees, the only activity you’ll feel like doing is sitting in the air conditioning. It may not matter to some people what they’re watching in the cool confines of a theater, but you can do so much better than Smurfs 2.
There are options galore during the hottest month of the year at the Alamo Drafthouse. Here are just a few of the best bets in August entertainment — and, thankfully, these go well with some cold beer or milkshakes.
Screenings and Q&A with animators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
The names Don Bluth and Gary Goldman may not be as iconic as Disney, Miyazaki or Bakshi, but kids from the 1980s through the next decade would vividly remember their work. Bluth, Goldman and many other animators left Disney to form their own animation studio and even partnered up with the likes of Steven Spielberg to give Disney a run for its money.
Classic kids fare such as An American Tail, The Secret of NIMH and All Dogs Go to Heaven are among those directed by Bluth and animated by Goldman and his team. Their success proved that Disney didn’t have a monopoly at the box office, and now you can view those three films and ask some questions when the two visit Austin for these special screenings.
She Died With Her Boots On: Women and the West
The Western is one of the biggest genres of American cinema, but big, stoic men in the vein of John Wayne or Clint Eastwood have mostly dominated it. We often forget that plenty of women were there struggling to survive in the Wild West, and the Alamo Drafthouse wants to remember the women who also blazed some new trails in the movies.
Every Wednesday night at the Ritz there is a new film that chronicles how women won the West, with such films as Fritz Lang’s Rancho Notorious, starring Joan Crawford, and Robert Altman’s classic McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Little boys had their cowboy heroes growing up, and it’s about time that little girls had their own.
Edgar Wright’s “Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy”
British director Edgar Wright knows how to blend comedy and action onscreen, and his films are mostly parodies of particular Hollywood genres. But they are also heartfelt love letters to the movies that have entertained us during the dog days of summer.
Dubbed the “Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy” — due to each film featuring a different flavor of Cornetto ice cream — Edgar Wright ends his saga of spoofs with The World’s End later this month, and the Alamo Drafthouse wants to end it with a bang. You can view the entire trilogy of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End together in one sitting.
There’s no telling when Wright will team up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost again, so enjoy them all together for one more night.
Semi-Charmed Kind of Sing-Along: The '90s Pop Rock Party
If you’re a regular at any of the Action Pack’s unique brand of interactive quote-alongs and sing-alongs, you’re probably already familiar with the "Totally ’80s Sing-Along." However, if you’re a little burned out on the decade of Reagan, you’ll soon have the chance to party to music videos from the decade of Clinton.
Expect subtitled videos of guys like Green Day, Third Eye Blind and Eve 6 blasted on the big screen, but the 1990s were just as musically diverse as the '80s. If this one takes off like "Totally '80s," then expect to come back to a new playlist each week.