Top Drafthouse Picks
The ball has dropped, the smoke from the fireworks has cleared, and all of the champagne and liquor has been cleansed from your body. Now you’re starting to wonder what the hell you’re going to do this month to have some fun.
It will be awhile before the next holiday where it’s socially acceptable to binge drink (President’s Day is going to be crazy this year), but luckily the Alamo Drafthouse can always be depended on to provide a fun and unique atmosphere to set the new year in motion. Here are my top picks for special events and screenings that can’t be missed by any self-respecting movie lover.
One week into the New Year and the Drafthouse is already promoting a good excuse to imbibe more spirits. Just don’t confuse the cocktails you’ll receive tonight with those crappy screwdrivers that your friend makes with Sunny D.
It was a real boon for the Drafthouse when it partnered up with the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Mixologist” winner Bill Norris, who is quite the master of crafting concoctions. Now patrons will get a special one-on-one with the artisan for two nights as you watch Tom Cruise play a bartender falling in love with the unbelievably gorgeous Elizabeth Shue, while sipping on some of Norris’ unique mixtures.
We all recognize the fact that movies can often take some liberties with science in the name of plot development and whatnot, but some blockbusters are just asking to be called out on their utter disregard for even keeping common sense in check. Coincidentally, many such movies seem to be connected to Michael Bay.
Armageddon is one of those films that burns down the house that Science and Reason built and then blows up the ashes with more CGI explosions. Join astronomer Andy Howell, host of TV’s Known Universe, and Copernicus of Ain’t It Cool News as they lead a discussion with astrophysicists in town for the American Astronomical Society Meeting to discuss why sending a team of roughnecks to nuke a Texas-sized asteroid is just about the worst idea ever.
It’s pretty obvious that Austin has become quite the focal point for the independent movie scene, helping to launch the careers of many popular, homegrown talents. But it’s never too late to start wondering who will make up the next generation of local artists to set the world of cinema on fire.
The Best Damn Shorts Show is meant to help acquaint local cinephiles with the next cream of the crop. A collection of fantastic shorts and local feature film trailers will be screened while a dialogue is carried out with local filmmakers, industry experts and others to discuss the direction of Austin cinema. All genres will be highlighted, and you will have the chance to perhaps, in the future, impress some folks at a party with how you were aware of the latest hotshot director back when he was a starving artist.
Hecklevision, presented by The Action Pack, is one of those regular Drafthouse events that still flies under the radar, but is totally worth checking out. It’s simply the best way for a film audience to come together and act out their fantasies of being a part of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Master Pancake Theater.
During the screening, viewers get the chance to text their best heckles, taunts and jokes that then appear up on the screen. Past targets of collective derision have included Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Jonny Mnemonic. This month, hecklers will get a special treat with Spice World. It’s not so much that it’s a bad movie, but that it fails so miserably to earn the definition of what makes a movie a "movie." But what can you expect when the Spice Girls get an actual writing credit?
If you prefer to watch your movies with professional hecklers, then Master Pancake is a must when it comes to Drafthouse events. They have become a mainstay of the Alamo Drafthouse, and it seems as if there is no movie that they aren’t willing to take down a few notches.
For only two weekends this month, Master Pancake will tackle the film that tried to teach us the “Power of Love” (which was apparently going back in time and kissing our moms). Robert Zemeckis’ time-traveling film is timeless itself, but that doesn’t excuse it from movie mockery exemption for trying to convince us that Michael J. Fox could ever invent rock and roll.
If any of those options somehow don’t quench your thirst for good times at the Alamo Drafthouse, check out their calendar of events to see everything that they have to offer this month. Hopefully you’ll be able to keep 2012 fun and exciting.