The Daily Texan

All content by Charles Liu
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Second annual Austin Chicken Wing Festival didn’t chicken out in spite of stormy weather

May 23, 2018

Some people may prefer dry rubs, but on Sunday, May 20, attendees at the second annual Austin Chicken Wing Festival got a heavy helping of wet as they braved heavy rain and wind to pick wings clean and...

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Austin Chicken Wing Festival: Waller Creek Pub House hopes to mix and mingle with attendees, share wings brined in ale

May 19, 2018

After participating in the Austin Chicken Wing Festival last year, Waller Creek Pub House will return for a second go-around on Sunday, May 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the festival’s new, larger...

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Austin Chicken Wing Festival: Wild Chix & Waffles to serve up wing-inspired food

May 14, 2018

Chicken wings might be the main attraction of the Austin Chicken Wing Festival, but they won’t the only food attendees will find at the event, which takes place this Sunday, May 20th at the The Auguste...

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Austin Chicken Wing Festival founder promises more wings, more fun

May 4, 2018

The Austin Chicken Wing Festival returns for its second year after selling out fast in 2017. This time, the festival will ramp up with a larger venue, The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, and...

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30: Life&Arts editor trades free movies for a white coat

May 4, 2018

I came to The Daily Texan to review movies. The gig was too good — I went to free screenings, saw the biggest blockbusters before almost everyone else and met some of my favorite celebrities (except...

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Four essential Marvel movies to watch before “Avengers: Infinity War”

April 25, 2018

This Friday, the end begins. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest event yet, “Avengers: Infinity War” is the culmination of a 10-year journey. This might make it a confusing...

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‘Fifty Shades Freed’ won’t pleasure anyone with flaccid storytelling

February 9, 2018

Sex is a commodity in “Fifty Shades Freed.” Gone are the trepidation of first kisses and the smoldering glances hinting at burgeoning romance. Those meaningful elements somehow made “Fifty...

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The Daily Texan’s most anticipated movies of 2018

January 23, 2018

Twenty-seventeen had some heavy hitters at the box office, but 2018 promises to be even more jam-packed with superheroes and sequels — for better or for worse. To help you navigate the busy...

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Daily Texan critics select top 8 films of 2017

January 16, 2018

‘The Florida Project’ Sean Baker once again revisits forgotten America in “The Florida Project,” portraying a summer in the life of young Moonee and her unemployable mother....

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“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” powerfully pushes the saga to uncharted territory

December 13, 2017

When most film franchises achieve titanic size, they find themselves enslaved to formula and expectations. The heroes and villains don’t really change because to do so would risk alienating the fans....

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‘The Shape of Water’ is fantasy romance at its best

December 11, 2017

Not any movie can make you believe a lady and a frog can fall in love, but “The Shape of Water” does. Thanks to strong writing and direction by Guillermo del Toro, this picture is a stirringly...

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The streaming wars continue: a battle of content and services

December 8, 2017

Next year, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will face their toughest battle yet as more streaming services rise to challenge their supremacy. YouTube, Apple, Facebook and other platforms all appear poised to...

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‘Mudbound’ mirrors modern America with depiction of 1940s racism

December 1, 2017

To call “Mudbound” a period piece would do it a disservice. Yes, the film is about two families — one white, one black — who struggle to get by on unforgiving Mississippi farmland...

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‘Justice League’ is a mixed bag of superhero fun

November 17, 2017

After spending years in development hell and encountering numerous production setbacks, DC’s “Justice League” finally makes its long-awaited splash on the silver screen. Like Zack Snyder’s...

Murder_on_the_Orient_ExpressCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Agatha Christie adaptation has trouble staying on track

November 13, 2017

Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” has been subject to numerous film and television adaptations, but none of them looked as crisp and rich as Kenneth Branagh’s take....

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‘Stranger Things’ channels classic Stephen King, expands universe

October 31, 2017

The first season of “Stranger Things” merely dipped into a wider universe, but “Stranger Things 2” dives headfirst into a realm of fascinating monster mythology. Buoyed by excellent...

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‘Only the Brave’ celebrates old-fashioned heroism

October 19, 2017

“All men are created equal,” former vice president Joe Biden once said while quoting an old saying. “And then, a few become firefighters.” “Only the Brave” brings...

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‘Happy Death Day’ is a charming, uneven ‘Groundhog Day’

October 13, 2017

It’s hard for movies about jerks caught in time loops and becoming better people to escape the shadow of “Groundhog Day.” But with enough cleverness and originality, a time loop picture...

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Visionary “Blade Runner 2049” successfully expands on its predecessor’s ideas

October 10, 2017

Science fiction and noir blend together once again in this incredible sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece, “Blade Runner.” With Scott’s blessing, Denis Villeneuve carries...

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Five alternatives to Austin City Limits music festival

October 5, 2017

If you had reservations about donating a kidney to get ACL passes, don’t fret! There are plenty of great activities to enjoy during both ACL weekends at a cheaper price. Here are five events that...

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“American Made” acts as vehicle for star Tom Cruise

September 29, 2017

Over the last twenty years, Tom Cruise has built an image best  described in only two words: Tom Cruise. He rarely disappears too far into a character, bringing his familiar cocky, yet charming, persona...

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Dobie pastry chef to star on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship

September 21, 2017

Cliff Butler, the pastry chef at Dobie Twenty21 Student Spaces, serves hundreds of students a day.  Starting next Monday, Butler will serve up not only sweet treats, but also large helpings of entertainment...

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Dobie pastry chef to star on Food Network show

September 21, 2017

Cliff Butler, the pastry chef at Dobie Twenty21 Student Spaces, serves hundreds of students a day.  Starting next Monday, Butler will serve up not only sweet treats, but also large helpings of entertainment...

The_Shape_of_WaterCourtesy of Fox Searchlight

The Daily Texan’s guide to the most highly anticipated fall movies

September 11, 2017

This fall, enter a world of superheroes, monsters, espionage and androids, or travel to planets far, far away with mystical warriors and powerful gods. With only four months left in the year, it’ll...

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“It” meets expectations

September 7, 2017

The 1990 ABC adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” was an enjoyable experience thanks to Tim Curry’s performance as the titular evil clown. Nonetheless, the ABC “It” was...

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Get in the back-to-school vibe with these movies

September 1, 2017

Summer might be over, but you can keep the fun going by studying up on these classic school-themed movies. “Back to School” In this comedy classic, the legendary Rodney Dangerfield plays...

DarkTowerCourtesy of Sony Pictures

‘The Dark Tower’ reduces Stephen King’s novels to mindless noise

August 5, 2017

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” These iconic words open  Stephen King’s first novel of “The Dark Tower” saga, “The Gunslinger.”...

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‘Atomic Blonde’ is shallow, but easy on the eyes

July 27, 2017

It’s a cold, cold war in David Leitch’s vision of 1989 Berlin. Hyper-violent spies from the West and East play deadly cat-and-mouse games along streets and inside foreboding buildings. The...

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” brings Marvel down to earth

July 13, 2017

Spider-Man is home at last, and Marvel Studios hasn’t wasted an ounce of his potential in this fun-loving superheroic ode to John Hughes comedies. Director Jon Watts wisely skips the radioactive...

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“War for the Planet of the Apes” caps off a great sci-fi trilogy

July 13, 2017

“War for the Planet of the Apes” concludes the best sci-fi trilogy in recent memory. Like 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” it’s a dark and foreboding film uninterested...

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Andy Serkis and Joe Letteri bring it home in “War for the Planet of the Apes”

July 13, 2017

With the help of motion capture technology that maps his performances to digital characters, Andy Serkis has played the ring-obsessed Gollum, a gentle reimagining of King Kong, the mysterious Supreme Leader...

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“Despicable Me 3:” harmless, unremarkable family fun

July 3, 2017

The nefarious Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions return for another unwarranted sequel in “Despicable Me 3.” This time, Gru discovers his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also played by Carell),...

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“Despicable Me 3:” harmless, unremarkable family fun

July 1, 2017

The nefarious Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions return for another unwarranted sequel in “Despicable Me 3.” This time, Gru discovers his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also played by Carell),...

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“Band Aid” is quirky directorial debut for Zoe Lister-Jones

June 23, 2017

Zoe Lister-Jones, known for her roles in “New Girl” and “Life in Pieces,” demonstrates her versatility as a leading actress, writer and director with “Band Aid.” It’s...

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After rocky start, “Cars 3” comes in for a decent finish

June 21, 2017

Out of all the movies under Pixar’s belt, “Cars” least deserved a sequel. Though decent, it lifted its plot straight out of the Michael J. Fox comedy “Doc Hollywood” and simply...

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“It Comes at Night” terrorizes with tense human drama

June 7, 2017

What lurks in the shadows beyond the trees? Anyone who’s even a little horror savvy will immediately think they know the answer while watching “It Comes at Night.” They’ll recognize...

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”: twice the size, almost twice the fun

May 4, 2017

The first “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a gamble. And yet director and co-writer James Gunn opened the picture with such vigor and wit that he grabbed the attention of moviegoers around the...

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“Sand Castle” screenwriter bases film on military experiences

April 19, 2017

Iraq War film “Sand Castle,” to be released on Netflix on April 21, tells the story of an American platoon tasked with repairing an Iraqi village’s water supply. The platoon encounters...

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“The Fate of the Furious” toes line between awesome and silly

April 17, 2017

No one could have predicted the fate of “The Fast and the Furious” back in 2001. The franchise started off as a “Point Break” clone before straying off-road to find its identity....

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UT lecturer takes flight with Civil Air Patrol

April 7, 2017

When he’s not teaching math or developing curriculum for the engineering department, UT lecturer Van Herd takes to the sky with the Civil Air Patrol. CAP is a volunteer reserve that supports the...

Scarlett Johansson saves “Ghost in the Shell” from clunky writing

March 31, 2017

Adaptations of beloved franchises are bound to invite criticism from die-hard fans. This year’s live-action “Ghost in the Shell,” based on a Japanese manga and anime series, incited controversy...

SXSW: Alien horror film “Life” isn’t out of this world

March 19, 2017

The crew of a space vessel comes into contact with a terrifying creature that picks of its members one by one. As the casualties mount, the crew must find a way to kill the organism, or at least prevent...

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Live Blog: SXSW 2017 | Saturday, March 18

March 18, 2017

South by Southwest is drawing to a close, but we're not done yet. Here's what we're checking out today! Follow the blog for updates.  (Update, 2 p.m.): Snoop Dogg, Weldon Angelos,...

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SXSW: “Colossal” uses monsters to explore alcoholism, domestic violence

March 18, 2017

Monsters are great metaphors for mankind’s demons. “Gojira” is about nuclear holocaust. “A Monster Calls” is about accepting death. Nacho Vigalondo’s “Colossal”...

SXSW: “Give Me Future” gives young Cubans a voice

March 18, 2017

On March 6, 2016, electronic music band Major Lazer played a historic concert in Havana, Cuba, before half a million fans. Their performance came at a time in which the United States began seeking to repair...

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SXSW: “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” proves enjoyable though flawed

March 18, 2017

Writer-director Jason Headley makes a great feature film debut with “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong,” an indie comedy about two friends who manage to bungle an easy robbery job. This light picture owes...

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SXSW: “The Honor Farm” is wimpy, wannabe horror

March 17, 2017

What did I just watch? That’s the question most people will ask after seeing “The Honor Farm,” a teen horror film that has seems more interested in telling a coming-of-age story than...

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SXSW: “Easy Living” delights with great performances, writing

March 17, 2017

Adam Keleman’s debut feature, “Easy Living,” is the kind of movie you want to see at SXSW: an intimate indie picture produced by an up-and-coming filmmaker who isn’t afraid to take...

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Live Blog: SXSW 2017 | Friday, March 17

March 17, 2017

Update (12 a.m.): Debuting songs from their new LP Feels Like Summer, Weezer performed at Brazos Hall to a packed crowd. Update (11 a.m.): If even Pharrell Williams was brought to tears by Maggie...

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SXSW: “The Strange Ones” is a haunting exercise in mood and mystery

March 16, 2017

“The Strange Ones” is a slow burn. It’s a moody mystery that withholds as much as it can from us, allowing questions to rack up one after the other before it provides any answers. Viewers...