Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

All content by Alex Pelham

Film critic signs off after two-and-a-half-years

Alex Pelham December 4, 2015

Despite everything horror movies have taught me about going into dark, scary basements, I’m incredibly lucky I plucked up the courage to visit The Daily Texan’s office. Nearly two and a...

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Students anticipate new ‘Star Wars’ installment

Alex Pelham December 1, 2015

Although Longhorns are counting down the days until Christmas, some are eagerly waiting to return to a galaxy far, far away. The upcoming sequel in the “Star Wars” saga, “The Force...


‘The Good Dinosaur’ delivers heartwarming buddy comedy, despite narrative flaws

Alex Pelham November 30, 2015

“The Good Dinosaur,” Pixar’s second film of the year following the critically acclaimed “Inside Out,” decides to play it safe rather than innovate. Director Peter Sohn settles...


Q&A: UT lecturer discusses The Black List, screenwriting

Alex Pelham November 23, 2015

Radio-television-film students interested in screenwriting will undoubtedly search for ways to get their work recognized. The Black List, an online service where screenwriters can submit scripts and get...


Flick picks: Four documentaries take deeper look at terrorism

Alex Pelham November 18, 2015

In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks this weekend, The Daily Texan has compiled a list of documentaries focusing on past terrorism in Europe and the Middle East. The Rise of ISIS This PBS documentary...


‘My All American’ uses overly-familiar sports tropes to retell heartbreaking story of Longhorn legend

Alex Pelham November 13, 2015

“My All American,” based on the true story of famed Texas Longhorn safety Freddie Steinmark, fully embraces the clichés often embedded into sport films. The moments of agonizing self-doubt...


‘The Peanuts Movie’ captures the spirit of the comic strip despite big narrative missteps

Alex Pelham November 6, 2015

In an age where reboots of popular franchises are heavily modernized, it’s easy to hate the idea of seeing the “Peanuts” characters in a new, 3D animation style. The uncreative, awfully-written...


Drive-in theater offers Potter fans a new way to see the films

Alex Pelham November 5, 2015

Without broomsticks or floo powder available, Harry Potter fans will drive to The Blue Starlite Drive-In theater this weekend to re-experience the wizarding world. The Blue Starlite Drive-In theater...


‘Our Brand is Crisis’ fails to find strong identity, despite some respectable performances

Alex Pelham October 30, 2015

“Our Brand is Crisis,” inspired by a 2005 documentary tackling U.S. political involvement in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election, shows director David Gordon Green doesn’t have a...


Austin Film Festival features important industry panels, several dramatic films

Alex Pelham October 30, 2015

Directors, screenwriters and general film-lovers will flock to the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival, which runs Friday through Nov. 5. The event features several domestic and foreign films, as well as...


“Jem and the Holograms” doesn’t come close to summoning charm of ’80s original

Alex Pelham October 23, 2015

It’s clear that something has gone incredibly wrong when it takes a full hour for Jem, the titular alter ego of the main character in “Jem and the Holograms,” to grace the spotlighted...

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McFly’s ‘Future’ comes close to modern day

Alex Pelham and Charles Liu October 21, 2015

Film geeks are dusting off their power-laced Nikes and donning their self-drying jackets to celebrate “Back to the Future Day.” Wednesday marks the exact date when series protagonist, ’80s...


Animal rights group to pay students to watch “scariest movie ever”

Alex Pelham October 20, 2015

During Halloween season, demons, ghosts and witchcraft haunt movie-watchers everywhere, but Students Against Cruelty to Animals are bringing a real-life horror to the screen — animal abuse. Students...


Despite its heavy-handed delivery, Bridge of Spies delivers thrilling spy story

Alex Pelham October 16, 2015

Steven Spielberg’s latest film “Bridge of Spies” transports audiences behind enemy lines during the Cold War. The acclaimed director recreates the true story of a man forced to confront...

Q&A: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks answer questions during promotional screening

Alex Pelham October 13, 2015

Editor’s Note: This Q&A has been edited for brevity and clarity. During a series of promotional screenings of their latest film “Bridge of Spies,” director Steven Spielberg and...

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‘99 Homes’ uses economic housing meltdown to tell thrilling, heavy-handed morality tale

Alex Pelham October 9, 2015

When police investigate the suicide of an evicted homeowner in “99 Homes,” director Ramin Bahrani captures the misery of the housing crisis and sets the stage for this tense, well-executed...

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Fantastic Fest: In single take, ‘Victoria’ tells heart-pounding heist story

Alex Pelham October 8, 2015

In this 138 minutes heist movie, the plot is captured in one uninterrupted take. Much like 2013’s “Gravity,” the film’s major accomplishment has become a major selling point –...

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Fantastic Fest: ‘The Brand New Testament’ explores human aspiration in tonally imbalanced epic comedy

Alex Pelham October 1, 2015

The French dramatic comedy “The Brand New Testament” has a lot to say about religion and humanity, so it’s a shame that it’s unfocused. With many simultaneous storylines and ideas...


Fantastic Fest: ‘Follow’ delivers a good, small story about love, paranoia

Alex Pelham October 1, 2015

“Follow,” the directorial debut of Owen Egerton, features a small story about commitment and paranoia. The film doesn’t try to be big and brash and does a great job building a small love...

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Fantastic Fest: ‘High-Rise’ falls flat with ill-conceived characters, confusing plot

Alex Pelham September 30, 2015

“High-Rise” focuses so much on theme that its story gets entirely left behind. Despite a promising setup involving the residents of a towering apartment complex going insane and engaging in...

Fantastic Fest: Filmmakers face off in battle of with words,fists in Fantastic Debates

Alex Pelham September 28, 2015

Every year, Fantastic Fest hosts an event that features movie fans literally battling over several cinematic topics. The Fantastic Debates feature select filmmakers arguing over certain...


Fantastic Fest: ‘April and the Extraordinary World’ creates stunning world with creative possibilities

Alex Pelham September 27, 2015

“April and the Extraordinary World” presents a charming animated adventure with a beautifully crafted, innovative steampunk-inspired world. Taking cues from animation powerhouses such...


Fantastic Fest Live Blog: Saturday, Sept. 26

Charles Liu and Alex Pelham September 26, 2015

Cinema lovers from across the globe are flocking to Austin for Alamo Drafthouse’s annual Fantastic Fest, which runs from Thursday to Oct. 1. The week-long film festival showcases strange and avant-garde...


Fantastic Fest: ‘Hard to Get’ presents flawed but energizing action epic with sweet romantic edge

Alex Pelham September 26, 2015

“Hard to Get,” directed by Zee Ntuli, presents a loud, audacious ride through the crime rings of South Africa, mixing in a romance between two criminals. Ntuli, who directed the film at...


Fantastic Fest: “February” succeeds with stellar performances, terrifying plot

Alex Pelham September 26, 2015

Everything about “February” — it’s setting, performances and story — is absolutely spine-chilling. Writer and director Oz Perkins takes the simple premise of two girls stuck...


Fantastic Fest: ‘The Lobster’ uses outlandish premise to convey value of relationships

Alex Pelham September 26, 2015

From  the opening scene of “The Lobster," it becomes clear that everything about Yorgos Lanthimos’ film is completely absurd, and that’s a great thing. It’s a film...

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Fantastic Fest: ‘Demon’ disappoints, fails to reinvent genre

Alex Pelham September 26, 2015

Polish director Marcin Wrona’s “Demon” possesses a chilling premise — a groom who's possessed by a vengeful spirit on his wedding night. The premise is full of possibilities....

Q&A: Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League discusses Fantastic Fest film festival

Alex Pelham September 23, 2015

Editor’s Note: This Q&A has been edited for brevity and clarity. Fantastic Fest, a festival celebrating creative genre films, returns to Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar for its 11th year this...


Fantastic Fest headliners offer films about cowboys, animal transformation, Neo-Nazis

Alex Pelham September 22, 2015

Cinema lovers from across the globe are flocking to Austin for Alamo Drafthouse’s annual Fantastic Fest, which runs from Thursday to Oct. 1. The week-long film festival showcases strange and avant-garde...


‘Everest’ thrills with account of disaster on world’s highest peak

Alex Pelham September 18, 2015

“Everest” succeeds in giving filmgoers a reason to never hike again. Man versus nature movies aren’t in short supply, but director Baltasar Kormákur’s film manages to convey...


‘The Visit’ succeeds as admirable, goofy horror parody from M. Night Shyamalan

Alex Pelham September 11, 2015

Considering M. Night Shyamalan’s recent reputation as a cinematic joke, it’s fitting he’s released a horror film that actually serves as a perverse, dark comedy. Released Friday, “The...


Popular YouTuber combats MPAA rating system, offers alternative plan

Alex Pelham September 9, 2015

For many filmmakers, the Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating system has long been a point of contention. Opponents have derided the system, which rates films to determine whether...


UT community reflects on Wes Craven’s legacy

Alex Pelham September 2, 2015

Writer and director Wes Craven, who died Sunday from brain cancer, knew how to spook moviegoers with images of mutants, cloaked madmen and a creep with third-degree burns wielding a menacing “knife...


Filmmakers, students eyeing UT as filming location must prepare for rigorous approval process

Alex Pelham August 28, 2015

With a rapidly growing film industry, Austin has become a go-to filming location for big-budget movie productions. UT is a highly sought-out location for big and small producers, but before filmmakers...


Longhorns find virtual home on UT subreddit

Alex Pelham August 24, 2015

It’s typical for a wide-eyed, bewildered freshman to come to Austin with a million questions about classes, campus grounds and best places to eat around the city. With the unofficial University of...


Artist Griffon Ramsey carves pop culture sculptures out of wood

Alex Pelham May 6, 2015

Cascades of flying wood chips and sounds of chain saws grinding against wood are common sights and sounds in Austin artist Griffon Ramsey’s downtown studio. Ramsey makes a living carving...


Review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” packs powerful punch but fails to beat out predecessor

Alex Pelham May 1, 2015

Fans of Iron Man, Captain America and the other members of the notorious Avengers clan don’t have to worry about. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” not living up to the legacy of its action-packed...


Internships offer real-world experience for film students

Alex Pelham April 28, 2015

Although there are a number of directors who didn’t attend college, such as Quentin Tarantino and Stanley Kubrick, not all aspiring movie makers can simply pick up a camera and make it big. As...


Film review: ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ explores art of performing and confronting past

Alex Pelham April 23, 2015

“Clouds of Sils Maria” presents an intense look at stardom, digging deep into the insecurities actors are liable to face when preparing for deep, complex roles. The film also explores two people...


Q&A: Director Tommy Wiseau discusses “The Room,” advice for independent filmmakers and underwear line

Alex Pelham April 21, 2015

Director and actor Tommy Wiseau created 2003’s “The Room,” which many people claim is one of the best “worst movies” of all time. Online entertainment company RiffTrax, famous...


Free Screening of cult hit ‘The Room’ honors one of best worst films ever made

Alex Pelham April 14, 2015

During the Texas Travesty’s screening of the cult classic movie "The Room," audience members will chunk plastic spoons at the screen, participate in a costume contest and openly crack jokes. The...


“While We’re Young” explores midlife crises, mocks hipster culture

Alex Pelham April 10, 2015

“While We’re Young” serves as an amusing and poignant satire of the hipster generation. It playfully mocks “artsy” New York millennials while exploring a range of more serious...


Independent films journey through a complex process to find distributors

Alex Pelham April 9, 2015

While big-budgeted movies, such as the “The Avengers,” are expected to draw millions in box office profit, hundreds of independently produced films scramble just to make it to theaters.  Independent...


Column: Movie trailers often reveal a little too much

Alex Pelham April 7, 2015

With the purchase of a $10 movie ticket, movie-goers are treated to a pre-show treat: a barrage of often over-produced movie trailers. These short, promotional moments show off the potential of upcoming...

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SXSW Review: ‘Manson Family Vacation’ explores brotherhood set against a backdrop of famous killings

Alex Pelham March 21, 2015

Who knew someone as depraved and vicious as Charles Manson could factor heavily into the lives of two estranged brothers? “Manson Family Vacation” uses the story of the infamous criminal as...


SXSW Review: ‘The Boy’ is an uninspired, tedious journey of a child sociopath

Alex Pelham March 21, 2015

Director Craig Macneill tries his hardest to make the disturbing transition the titular character in “The Boy” undergoes very subtle. The trouble is, that transition is too subtle. The...

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SXSW Reviews: ‘Ava’s Possessions,’ ‘Creative Control’

Alex Pelham March 21, 2015

Ava’s Possessions “Ava’s Possessions” has a brilliant premise, one which explores the consequences of someone who has undergone demonic possession. Unfortunately, the actual...


SXSW Review: ‘Lamb’ is a haunting look at two broken people in a questionable relationship

Alex Pelham March 19, 2015

The key to understanding “Lamb” is to realize it’s a film based on perceptions. Some will look at it as a story about unorthodox friendships and two people trying to make sense of their...


Cannibalism, AI and Melissa McCarthy: The Daily Texan’s SXSW Movie Reviews

Alex Pelham March 19, 2015

SXSW Film is a force to be reckoned with. It's more than a week of premieres, exclusive screenings, comedy, horror and everything in between. The Texan's veteran movie reviewer Alex Pelham...


SXSW Review: 7 Chinese Brothers

Alex Pelham March 19, 2015

“7 Chinese Brothers” is one of those films that focuses on its central character so much that it seems to lose interest in its plot. This wouldn’t be a major an issue if that character...

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SXSW Review: “Wild Horses” tries and fails to blend family drama and crime narrative

Alex Pelham March 19, 2015

“Wild Horses,” the latest offering from director and actor Robert Duvall, attempts to capture the essence of the Texas spirit while juggling a dark crime-drama at the same time. The result...


SXSW Review: “Get Hard” isn’t funny or creative, wastes A-List comedic talent

Alex Pelham March 19, 2015

“Get Hard” takes a tried-and-true premise, one where a satisfied, upper-class weakling is sentenced to a long stint in prison, and drives it mercilessly into the ground. Everything about this...

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SXSW Reviews: “Heaven Knows What,” “He Never Died” and “The Invitation”

Alex Pelham March 19, 2015

Our movie reviewer, Alex Pelham, is tackling SXSW's film offerings as aggressively as humanly possible. He'll glue his eyes to screens for hour after hour so that you can be a little more selective...


“Get Hard” fails to be funny or creative and wastes its a-list comedic talent

Alex Pelham March 18, 2015

“Get Hard” takes a tried-and-true premise, one in which a satisfied, upper-class weakling is sentenced to a long stint in prison, and the film drives that premise mercilessly into the ground....


“Spy” delivers sharp humor and memorable characters in a homage to classic spy films

Alex Pelham March 16, 2015

It seems obvious that “Spy” was produced as a star vehicle for comedian Melissa McCarthy. This isn’t really an issue, as McCarthy is talented and has before proven that she is a comedic...


SXSW Review: “Ex-Machina” is a brilliant thriller that blends sci-fi and terror

Alex Pelham March 15, 2015

“Ex-Machina” is a film that plays with the idea that there is a muddled difference between human and machine. Granted, there have been many films that tackle this subject, but the majority...

SXSW film review: Al Pacino flops in “Manglehorn,” while Sally Field shines in “My Name is Doris”

Alex Pelham March 15, 2015

Festival-goers at South By Southwest evidently know which headliners and other popular films to see this year, as lines to gain entry to the theaters stretched several blocks and even crossed streets...

SXSW film review: “The Final Girls” is a brilliant, emotional satire of classic slasher films

Alex Pelham March 14, 2015

As Joss Whedon’s “Cabin in the Woods” has proven, the concept of a “meta-horror film” works. Scary movies that satirize the silly tropes from classic slasher films, such as...


Russell Brand cancels appearance at SXSW premiere of his own documentary, “BRAND: A Second Coming”

Alex Pelham March 14, 2015

The manic, irreverent Russell Brand is a divisive figure. Some see him as a thoughtful, influential prophet who’s made it his mission to transform a corrupt society. Others view him as an egotistical,...


Review: ‘Cinderella’ uses stunning visuals and great characters to bring familiar fairy-tale to life

Alex Pelham March 13, 2015

Director Kenneth Branagh clearly wants people to grasp that this adaptation of “Cinderella” is a straight retelling of the classic fairy tale.  There are no major twists or unexpected...


High school students’ short films at SXSW offer sneak peek to next generation of filmmaking

Alex Pelham March 13, 2015

Although adult filmmakers produce the majority of the movies showing at South By Southwest, some teenagers are also getting in on the fun. The 12th annual Texas High School Film Competition is their chance...


SXSW Headliners features a diverse lineup of comedy, sci-fi and drama

Alex Pelham March 13, 2015

From all corners of the globe, movie fans are streaming into South By Southwest to catch the latest cinematic treats the festival has to offer. As always, several high-profile films will make their debuts...


Austin production company Rooster Teeth prepares to release crowd-funded comedy

Alex Pelham March 6, 2015

Hilarious dialogue, fast-paced action and great animation are trademarks of Austin production company Rooster Teeth. The next project on the company’s list: a crowd-funded science-fiction comedy. Rooster...


YouTube film critics juggle personal brand-building with quality critiques

Alex Pelham February 27, 2015

For years, newspaper columns and the icons who wrote them were the go-to source for traditional film critiques. These historic mediums are important in the history of movie criticism, but a new generation...


Fans of “House of Cards” have other options to help wait out season premiere

Alex Pelham February 24, 2015

Fans of the scheming politician Frank Underwood will be hunched over laptops Friday for the season premiere of “House of Cards” on Netflix. The series follows a power-hungry U.S. senator, Underwood,...


Oscar predictions: Eighty-seventh annual Academy Awards ceremony promises predictable winners, entertaining host

Alex Pelham February 20, 2015

With the Academy Awards coming up Sunday, all eyes are on host Neil Patrick Harris. The comedian faces high expectations, but his stellar record as a four-time host of the Tony Awards is a strong indicator...


Review: “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a hilarious, action-packed homage to spy films

Alex Pelham February 13, 2015

After years of horrendous spoof films such as “Scary Movie 5” and “A Haunted House,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service” serves as an exhilarating, hilarious revitalization...


Opinion: Casting women in ‘Ghostbusters’ nothing to be frightened about

Alex Pelham February 11, 2015

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Hollywood is the city that never stops. Franchises across Hollywood are either “rebooting” or adding to already complicated plotline tangles....


“Jupiter Ascending” delivers messy, illogical story and uninspired characters

Alex Pelham February 6, 2015

In “Jupiter Ascending,” released Friday, directors Andy and Lana Wachowski attempt to combine a space opera, an action-adventure spectacle and political power struggle into one epic film. Instead,...


Review: “Amira & Sam” features heartwarming relationship between veteran and immigrant

Alex Pelham January 30, 2015

Although “Amira & Sam” takes place in New York City, the film concentrates on a small, intimate love story. This isn’t a flaw; the story is compact and tight. It may seem difficult...


Review: ‘Boy Next Door’ is a hilariously bad thriller lacking depth

Alex Pelham January 23, 2015

“The Boy Next Door” bills itself as a thriller. But it isn’t — it’s a bad counterfeit of one. The characters are bland stereotypes of common thriller tropes that lack anything...


2015 Oscar nominations rife with predictability, harsh snubs and controversy

Alex Pelham January 20, 2015

This year’s Academy Awards nominations saw several of 2014’s critically acclaimed films rewarded for their effort, while the Academy snubbed other prominent films. In a controversial move,...

Fans of Nickelodeon’s “Legend of Korra” worry about network interference

Alex Pelham December 3, 2014

Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” a show set in a world where people can control, or “bend,” water, earth, fire and air, has enchanted children and adults since...


‘Horrible Bosses 2’ fails because of forced laughs and a lackluster story

Alex Pelham November 26, 2014

It’s obvious that “Horrible Bosses 2” was only created because of the success of the previous film, “Horrible Bosses,” which was a crudely hilarious screwball comedy that...


‘The Theory of Everything’ adequately explores the complex hardships of Stephen Hawking

Alex Pelham November 21, 2014

“The Theory of Everything” is a film about both failure and success. On one hand, it pays tribute to the achievements and hardships of Stephen Hawking — one of the most celebrated scientific...


‘Low Down’ fails to find balance in a story of addiction and fame

Alex Pelham November 14, 2014

“Low Down,” a biopic about pianist Joe Albany, is a sluggish exploration of the singer’s battle with drugs in 1970s Hollywood. Narrated by his teenage daughter, the story travels through...


Interstellar boldly explores the galaxy, emotion in epic fashion

Alex Pelham November 7, 2014

“Interstellar,” the latest blockbuster from director Christopher Nolan, manages to secure the trifecta of convincing emotion, stellar effects and an overall creative design. It utilizes the...


Austin graphic design company celebrates Batman anniversary with gallery exhibition

Alex Pelham October 31, 2014

Over the past 75 years, the comic book protagonist Batman has been reincarnated in many forms, from a cartoon to an Academy Award-winning film. An Austin-based graphic design company is now adding to the...


Halloween thrillers and new horror classics

Briana Zamora and Alex Pelham October 28, 2014

Halloween is upon us and with it comes a perfect excuse to indulge in the cinema of the disturbing, the horrifying and the campy. With hundreds of horror films to choose from, The Daily Texan has compiled...

‘The Blue Room’ fails to bring out any passion due to a bad script and measly runtime

Alex Pelham October 24, 2014

Whether someone would enjoy “The Blue Room” or not depends on their predilection for French films. Those who are into mysteries may find something in this small film, but it is likely that...


Christopher Nolan’s latest film reveals debate about most best way to shoot movies

Alex Pelham October 23, 2014

Christopher Nolan, the director of “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” trilogy is a vocal advocate for shooting movies on celluloid film, which has been the traditional method used...

“Gone Girl” presents a dark look at marriage in a brilliantly acted masterpiece

Alex Pelham October 14, 2014

“Gone Girl” takes a lowbrow, clichéd formula — the tale of a missing wife whose sketchy husband most likely has something to do with her disappearance — and manages to analyze,...


‘Dracula Untold’ is an uninspired reimagining of the classic movie monster

Alex Pelham October 9, 2014

It is a bad sign that only about 10 minutes of “Dracula Untold” are actually entertaining. For a movie that promises a gritty remake of a landmark horror film, “Dracula Untold”...

“Cub” is a creepy camping movie with innovations and strange narrative

Alex Pelham October 1, 2014

“Cub” starts out as any good campfire story should — with a creepy legend so frighteningly realistic that it’s almost believable. Of course, in true horror movie fasion, that legend...

“The Babadook” expertly reimagines the classic monster movie

Alex Pelham October 1, 2014

“The Babadook” is a film that calls back to a time when horror movies were fueled by tension rather than jump scares and when they meticulously dissected the psychology and vulnerability of...

‘The Maze Runner’ presents an uneven story wrapped in an imaginative world

Alex Pelham September 19, 2014

Just as the phenomenal “Hunger Games” saga is close to finishing its run, the release of “The Maze Runner,” based on a popular book series, seems eager to become the fresh face...


The Daily Texan’s guide to Fantastic Fest

Alex Pelham September 18, 2014

Film fanatics are gearing up for Austin’s annual Fantastic Fest, a week-long event at the new Alamo Drafthouse location at South Lamar Boulevard. A can’t-miss event for movie enthusiasts, especially...


“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” is a well-acted, but narratively flawed, love story

Alex Pelham September 12, 2014

Ned Benson’s “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” a film that depicts the complex workings of a failing marriage, comes off as oddly flat. There are characters dealing with unspeakable...


Students test skill and strategy at Resurrected Games

Alex Pelham September 3, 2014

The tables on the upper floor of Dobie Mall fill each weekend with students trading, comparing and playing cards. Whether it’s silently debating strategies or arguing over card rulings, the students...


Modern haberdashery seeks to shine a new light on hats

Alex Pelham August 29, 2014

Aaron Sandlin could easily be called a hat advocate. As an employee at Hatbox: A Modern Haberdashery’s South Congress store, Sandlin appreciates hats for their elegant craftsmanship and...

‘Blue Ruin’ is a grizzly but flawed tale of vengeance

Alex Pelham April 25, 2014

“Blue Ruin” is an example of a revenge thriller that adequately portrays horror that stems from blindly seeking vengeance. The world that “Blue Ruin” creates is a desolate place...

“Dom Hemingway” tries to be stylish and outgoing, but bad storytelling dampens the mood

Alex Pelham April 18, 2014

Some films put more effort in their style than their substance, focusing on flashy camera work, sharp editing and elaborate settings. As long as the film contains a rich enough story to support the extravagant...


‘Oculus’ stands a clever, terrifying ghost film with a complex story

Alex Pelham April 11, 2014

Haunted house films have become so common in mainstream horror that they have their own sub-genre, but the notion of a haunted mirror is new to the world of cinematic terror.  “Oculus”...

Captain America makes a triumphant solo return in fun, action-packed adventure

Alex Pelham April 6, 2014

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a prime example of the growth of the Marvel film series. Just as the first “Captain America” film led into the events of “The Avengers,”...

Radio-television-film lecturer, Steve Mims, debuts film at SXSW

Alex Pelham March 7, 2014

Radio-television-film lecturer Steve Mims’ film, “Arlo and Julie,” will premeire during SXSW on March 10 at the ZACH Theatre. The film revolves around a couple who become involved in...


“RoboCop” proves to be a fun, although flawed, sci-fi film.

Alex Pelham February 12, 2014

It’s not hard to make fun of a premise like “RoboCop”’s. The film, a remake of an ’80s classic, is taken from the idea of mashing two subjects into one and calling it a day....


Anticipated movie releases for the spring semester

Alex Pelham January 13, 2014

“The Monuments Men” Feb. 7 Directed by George Clooney Written and directed by George Clooney, “The Monuments Men” is a World War II period piece that focuses on the efforts...

The best moments in culture from 2013

From Beyonce’s Super Bowl extravaganza in January to last week’s debut of the “Bound 2” video, The Daily Texan Life & Arts staff fondly recounts some of the best pop culture...


“The Book Thief” is a charming, yet unrealistic adaptation

Alex Pelham November 27, 2013

“The Book Thief” takes a creative approach to its depiction of World War II. The film is set in a small German community caught in the war, its citizens conflicted about the views of the supposedly...

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“Delivery Man” shows Vaughn’s softer side

Alex Pelham November 22, 2013

Vince Vaughn is well known for playing the lovable loser character, and his performance in “Delivery Man” is no different. Vaughn has a knack for playing the ridiculous, yet likable, man-child,...

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