George Clooney in 'The Descendants' (Fox Searchlight)
Seven years have passed since ‘Sideways,’ the last film directed by Alexander Payne, but he’s back with ‘The Descendants,’ which opens the Lone Star International Film Festival in Ft. Worth tonight. Meanwhile, a retrospective of his films continues at the Angelika Dallas tonight.
Jack Nicholson stars in ‘About Schmidt,’ which plays as part of the retrospective tonight at 7:30 p.m. The film is an introspective road trip, as a recently retired insurance man hits the road in an RV after his wife dies. He’s racing to stop the marriage of his daughter (Hope Davis) to a man he considers beneath her (Dermot Mulroney), but his notions are challenged by his daughter and her future mother-in-law (Kathy Bates).
‘Sideways,’ which screens tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., features sterling performances by Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Mayo, and Sandra Oh, as an obsession (or relative lack thereof) with wine defines relationships between friends and potential romantic partners.
Payne’s latest (and excellent) film, ‘The Descendants,’ serves as the opening night presentation of the Lone Star International Film Festival, followed by a Hawaiian reception. The festival is filled with local premieres along with retrospectives, and runs through the weekend. Check the official site for more information.
10/14/11: Final two shows for ‘Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life,’ an “inventive biography,” will be Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:40 p.m. at the Texas Theatre.
10/14/11: In the space formerly known as AMC Grand 24, a new multiplex, AmStar 14, officially opens today. The usual wide releases, plus Mexican romantic comedy ‘Labios Rojos,’ are on the bill. Official site. (Our previous story.)
10/14/11: ‘Take Shelter’ lives up to advance word. Mesmerizing performance by Michael Shannon, with very strong support by Jessica Chastain, and great visual storytelling by writer/director Jeff Nichols. Opens next week at the Landmark Magnolia and Angelika Plano.
AmStar Dallas 14
Two weeks ago, as I was preparing to leave town to cover Fantastic Fest in Austin, I noticed that Southern Theatres was advertising job openings for its new location in town, at the former AMC The Grand 24. And now an opening date for the newly-christened AmStar Dallas 14 has been set: Friday, October 14.
Before opening night, two charity events will be held on Wednesday, October 12 and Thursday, October 13, offering $5 movie packages to see ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,’ ‘Cars 2,’ or ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,’ with a popcorn and fountain drink. Various giveaways are also planned for opening weekend. (Details at their Facebook page.) The AmStar Dallas 14 promises “wall to wall screens,” “all digital cinema,” 3D capabilities, and “high back rocking chairs.”
The Southern Theatres chain is still advertising for employees — in Spanish, no less, which shows that they’re fully aware of the local demographic, and good for them on that — but we’re awaiting word on regular ticket prices. (Let’s hope they don’t try to set a new, higher price point.)
As to the prospect of the multiplex sharing space with Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Robert Wilonsky at Unfair Park published a portion of the press release: “When it opens later this fall, [it] will offer residents of Dallas a distinctive, one-stop entertainment shop, boasting the latest Hollywood blockbusters, down-home cooking and high-energy live bands all under one roof!”