This Week in Movies
Oscar weekend is upon us, and hopefully Austinites have taken time to check the nominees that have been playing around town the past several months. Movie lovers in Austin with some spare time leading up to the event are encouraged to check out the revival of a gimmicky 3D Western and a corrupt cop drama set against the backdrop of a historical scandal on screens this weekend.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
While the purveyors of the latest doses of 3D madness would have you believe they have the ability to add additional dimensions to the narrative itself without calling attention to the gimmick, those utilizing more rudimentary technology in the 80s were all about shoving things in the faces of the audience. The desire to impress was so strong, the narrative played second fiddle to the next to the object that could protrude out from the screen.
Case in point: Comin' at Ya!, the latest release from Drafthouse Films. This violent 1981 Spaghetti Western (a man's wife is taken by some misogynistic bandits, he hunts them down) was on the forefront of that era's 3D revival (the original 3D craze came in the 50s though the technology had been around since 1915). The movie has been fully restored in high definition using RealD technology and opens Friday to audiences wanting to see bullets, blood, bats and boobs comin' at them.
Named after the LAPD division which made headlines in the 90s as a cesspool of police corruption, Rampart is a character study that leaves the historical scandals mostly to the background, instead examining a morally-challenged police officer who once flew comfortably under the radar. Woody Harrelson's David Brown can no longer operate without calling attention to himself. Having once killed a serial rapists without proper cause, Brown is used to exacting his own justice and is doing so when his merciless beating of a thug he has chased down is caught on video.
Content to sweep him under the rug, the assistant DA (Sigourney Weaver) strongly suggests he retires. However, Brown has come too far down his ethical descent and instead of taking the high road out, he plunges even deeper, burning every bridge he might of been able to hold to during his 24 years on the force. Penned by famed horror novelist James Ellroy ("L.A. Confidential") and director Oren Moverman (The Messenger), Rampart is a gritty, unrelenting study of the worst of humanity existing in a role we're all taught to trust.
Beyond the Weekend
In what will certainly prove to be both the weirdest and most ambitious project to come through Austin movie theaters this year, the found-footage collective Everything is Terrible! will unmask their latest creation, DoggieWoggiez! PoochieWoochiez!on Monday (2/27) at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz and Tuesday (2/28) at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.
The film is a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky's psychedelic cult film The Holy Mountain made up entirely of dog-related clips from found footage cultivated from hundreds of different sources. The film is part of a “live in the fur” show, a completely evening of entertainment certain to leave audiences barking for more.