This Week at the Movies
As Sundance kicks into high gear up in Park City, Utah, unveiling a slate of films that will surely find their way to Austin screens in the coming months, there are new films coming to the city now for your enjoyment. This weekend, be sure to check out an action thriller starring a tough Texas woman and a fascinating documentary about an Austinite's quest to get to outer space.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
Indie maverick Steven Soderbergh recently terrified audiences with his shockingly realistic epidemic thriller Contagion, and already he's back with another thriller, this time of the action variety. Haywire is an action film built around a star: MMA fighter and Dallas native Gina Carano, playing Mallory Kane, a black ops operative looking to get out of the game but finding it hard after being double-crossed during a mission.
The plot isn't so important as the real success of the film is Soderbergh's precise action photography and non-intrusive, yet exciting, editing. It's a novel exercise to be sure, but it's an independent action film that deftly shows up most of the big boys at just a fraction of the budget. Rounding out the stellar cast are Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas and Ewan McGregor. Haywire opens Friday at the Alamo Drafthouse's South Lamar location.
Also opening Friday at Alamo South Lamar is Man on a Mission: Richard Garriott's Road to the Stars, a documentary about video game designer legend and Austinite Richard Garriott's goal to become the first second-generation astronaut. The film chronicles Garriott's life as he builds his fortune then uses $30 million of it to accomplish his dreams.
Unprecedented footage of secret training in Russia, a launch in Kazakhstan and the fiery return to Earth is included. Man on a Mission is not just the story of one man's dream, its about mankind's drive to explore the furthest reaches of space and beyond at all costs and by any means necessary.
Beyond the Weekend
The Alamo Drafthouse's Terror Tuesday series frequently wallows in splatter, cheap thrills and other-worldly monsters. Every now and then, though, the series' programmer Zack Carlson puts a certifiable classic on the schedule. Next Tuesday (1/24), audiences will be treated to a rare screening of a 35mm print of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
Driven by an impossibly intense performance by Michael Rooker, Henry is a based on the real life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, who was convicted of 189 murders and was ultimately jailed and prosecuted in Williamson County, Texas. It's a chilling, daring film that remains the definitive serial killer horror movie.