So listen, the other day I was watching Superman II and I totally came up with an idea that will fix everything.
It happens toward the end of the movie, when General Zod is using his laser beam eyeballs to heat up semi trucks and make them explode. So then Superman comes in and uses his freeze-breath thing to cool the truck down, and bends the truck’s mirror to reflect the laser beam burny thing back on Zod.
And then it hit me. All the Nasher needs is a carefully placed mirror reflecting toward the Museum Tower. Then it can fry them right back.
You’re welcome. Just tell me where to send the bill.
Prosecutors Don’t Like Municipal Judges: Ethical breaches, favoritism, and failure to follow the law are some of the accusations leveled at Dallas municipal judges by prosecutors (paywall) who submitted evaluations to the City Council. Naturally, municipal judgesÂ weren’tÂ pleased with the evaluations, and one lawyer called the prosecutors “babies.” Prosecutors called judges “bullies.” That’s how the city handles a shake-up of the municipal judicial system.
Dallas Oak Cliff Has Its Own Indie Film Scene: The crew at the Texas Theatre, which launches the Oak Cliff Film Festival next weekend, gets the New York Times treatment via Texas Monthly (and the Texas Tribune), withÂ Star-Telegram scribe\ Christopher Kelly (isn’t media complicated these days?) writing about the tight group of local filmmakers who call the Texas Theatre home and how Dallas’ relatively small indie film scene actually helps filmmakers get things done.
Man Cuts Ex-Fiancee With Sword: It all started with a Facebook update, Darryl Daniels, 47, changing his relationship status from “engaged” to “it’s complicated.” Then things got really complicated, as Daniels punched his ex-fiancee repeatedly, slammed her head to a door, and held a sword to her neck before cutting her.
What? You haven’t heard about Crooked Arrows, the new lacrosse movie opening this weekend? It’s like Hoosiers, only with hunky Brandon Routh as the coach instead of a recovering alcoholic, and a bunch of Native Americans instead of Indiana farm kids. Really? No? Not ringing a bell?
Anyway, Jacques “Bunky” Vroom III (who recently returned to Dallas) co-produced the film. Kelly and Wade McClure and Stuart Fitts are investors. I know at least one husband of one managing editor who will be watching this one. Here’s the trailer.
Speaking of Tincy Miller, SMU anthropology professor Ron Wetherington is in the new documentary called The Revisionaries, an unflattering look at the Texas State Board of Education. Which gives me an excuse to post the following. Watch it. Laugh. Then cry. Then jump if you want the full release from SMU.
Back when actress Laura Linney starred with Kevin Spacey in The Life of David Gale, a movie about the death penalty that was set in Texas, the country’s No. 1 state for executions, Linney rebuffed questions early on about her own position on the controversial topic. David Gale was really a “murder mystery,” she said then, adding, “It’s not important what I think.” Friday night in Dallas, though, the graceful, New York City-born actress was a little more forthcoming.
Capital punishment “doesn’t sit easy with me from a humanitarian or economic viewpoint. I certainly know it isn’t an easy topic,” Linney (photographed by Jeanne Prejean) said on the “red carpet” at the Hotel Palomar, before accepting the Dallas Star Award at the Dallas International Film Festival. “I’ve never been the victim of serious crime, nor have members of my family been murdered,” she went on. “If I was sitting in a trial, I hope my convictions would stay the same. But I certainly sympathize with the families of the victims, who might feel differently.”
Dallas Film Commission director Janis Burklund probably wouldn’t have used the exact words that Mayor Mike Rawlings did last night, when he talked about states that compete with Texas for film projects. But she liked his point about staying competitive in the battle for movie business.
Addressing the opening-night crowd at the Dallas International Film Festival, the Dallas mayor (pictured with his wife Micki) drew a rousing ovation when he said, “I’m a businessman by heart, and we can make money in film in Texas.” A little later he added: “We must lobby to make sure we’re competitive with second-rate states around us.”
Here’s your time-waster for the morning. Dallas’ own Half Price Books is looking to garner some attention from the currently bracket-mad public by hosting a Tournament of Villains. Now through the end of the month they’re inviting you to vote on their website to determine the top bad guy of all time.
Hard to quibble with the No. 1 seeds: Darth Vader, Professor Moriarty, Lord Voldemort, and the Joker. And it’s a pretty good set of match-ups throughout the bracket.
But no Harry Lime (from The Third Man)? Â No Borg Collective (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)?
My favorite first-round matchup is Keyser Soze Â vs. Mr. Potter (of It’s a Wonderful Life). Be warned that the description of Keyser Soze on the Half Price bracket contains a MAJOR SPOILER for The Usual Suspects. Of course, if you haven’t seen that movie by now, I’m not sure what to do with you.
Trinity River Project Backers Find New Ally in Sen. Cornyn: No matter who wins Sen. Kay Bay Hutchison’s senate seat, backers of the Trinity River Corridor Project will have Sen. John Cornyn stepping up to take her place as the project’s champion in Congress. Cornyn, clearly not speaking with Jim Schutze in mind, told the Dallas Regional Chamber Friday that “there is a lot we can do with the Corps of Engineers and with the regulatory part of this to help remove obstacles and help expedite the Trinity River Corridor Project.” I hope those “obstacles” don’t include the corps’ general opinion that building a toll road in the river bed is a really dumb idea.
Will Dallas ISD Teachers Follow Through With Sickout? This Wednesday is supposed to be the day when Dallas teachers bang-in sick en masse to protest the school board’s decision to extend the teachers’ workday. But will the educators keep their nerve? On the blog Teachers for Change, the anonymous organizer writes, “I am disappointed in how many of you are giving in to the fear.” It is illegal in Texas for employees to strike or organize work stoppages against school districts.
Animated Short Doesn’t Get Into USA Film Festival, Goes On To Win Oscar: Last night’s Oscar winners included Deep Ellum-based Reel FX’s co-founder (and Traveling Man co-designer) Brandon Oldenburg’s animated short, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” Curious fact: the Oscar winning short was rejected from the USA Film Festival.
This Sunday, the 84th Academy Awards will take place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, and to celebrate the movieland version of the Kentucky Derby, we’ll be making predictions, offering up armchair opinions, talking celebrities, sounding off on the red carpet antics, and taking swipes at the official coverage and commentary with a live blog. We may even throw out a few drinking game suggestions. Â So join us here.
The Morning News is all over a breaking story that today Dallas ISD took about 5,000 fifth-graders to see the movie Red Tails, about the exploits of the famed Tuskegee Airmen – the first black American combat pilots – during World War II. Reporter Matthew Haag’s blog post is right to ask why only boys were taken to the show. (The DISD spokesman says there was only so much space available at the theater, so the girls were left at school, with principals given the option of showing themÂ Akeelah and the Bee.)
I am less concerned with the differing treatment of the genders in this situation than I am with the fact that any kids at all were taken, by our public school system, to see Red Tails. Â I gave it a so-so, better-than-a-kick-to-the-teeth review on FrontRow. The movie’s not very good. More importantly, it’s not a history lesson. It’s more like propaganda.
I spent a number of years writing for community newspapers. I understand that sometimes you’ve got to try to shoehorn national stories into your coverage by dressing up a lede or writing a headline to suggest an AP-written story has more local significance than it really should. But look what DallasNews.com has done with this morning’s Oscar nominations:
By that headline, you might think that Dallas expat actor Owen Wilson were himself nominated for an Academy Award. Though I think his performance might have been worthy, he’s not. Midnight in Paris really only has that single, tenuous local connection.
So it’s a stretch. Which wouldn’t be so bad except that there’s another film on the list of Best Picture nominees that actually had segments filmed in downtown Dallas: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. The Chapel of Thanksgiving and Reunion Tower can both be prominently seen in the movie.
Plus Art and Seek notes a local nominee in the Best Animated Short category.
But yes, I know, Owen Wilson has got more star power.
Way back in 2004, an engineer-turned-filmmaker from Richardson named Shane Carruth won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival with his head-scratcher of a $7,000 science fiction film, Primer. D Magazine explained how the project came to be.
Since then, not much has been heard of Carruth, though he apparently is still working on his next project. IMDB says he’s in preproduction on something called Upstream Color. This week, The Colony Courier-Leader reports, Carruth was visiting family in The Colony and Frisco, and decided to get a little work done on his film at the The Colony Aquatic Park. The crew consisted of just Carruth, his producer, and a “well-known actress” from the Dallas area whose name the newspaper was asked to withhold from the article:
Attired in a one-piece, modest, black swimsuit, she worked tirelessly diving to the bottom of the pool, performing an action that may have been pretending to pick up things. She and the director did this over and over.
All of this went on for several hours after the pool closed. The Colony Aquatic Park Manager Elise Knox stood by to make sure the trio had everything they needed. Lifeguard Josh Naph also was on hand, just in case.
Knox said she thought at first Carruth was doing a film project for school, but was delighted to discover she had seen his first film, “Primer.”
She charged them the same rate a small group renting the pool for a party would be charged. She also showed the director other locations he could use. She said he would consider The Colony for other projects.
“It took two hours and we got about 10 seconds of film we’ll use,” Carruth said as he dried off.
Let’s get right to it:
I’ll start by noting that if you still want to go to the game out in Arlington that’s not really the Cotton Bowl, there areÂ tickets available online. And if you’re a fan of Anderson Cooper’s favorite “comedian,” she’s in town too.
Those who prefer a higher brow evening should hit the First Friday at the Modern in Fort Worth. I know, I know, it’s such a long drive to get to Cowtown, but where else are you going to be able to enjoy cocktails, dinner, jazz by the group Outer Circles, a docent-led tour of the museum galleries, plus a movie about the Shakespeare of Germany, Young Goethe in Love? Â Yep, nowhere else.
Wow. How about that 2011, huh? What a crazy, mixed-up roller coaster ride it’s been. To think: this time last year you’d never even considered using “best waffles” as a valediction. Yet where would you be today without it? That’s a frightening thought.
We’re glad you shared so much of your valuable wasting-time-at-work with us this year at DMagazine.com. We feel it’s our sacred duty to provide you hilarious, insightful, provocative, sexy content. Even when we’re all off on our holiday break.
So we humbly present to you a countdown of the 10 most popular postings of the year from our D Empire of Web Logs, including FrontBurner, SideDish, FrontRow, ShopTalk, BridalBuzz, RealPoints, D Home, and StyleSheet.
Don’t blame us if you don’t like the list. You’re the people who kept clicking on these things.
I hope you’ve already secured your FREE tickets to FrontRow Live, which will take place at the Dallas Contemporary on November 3, from 8 p.m. until midnight. If you haven’t, you can get them right here. If your response to that sentence was, “what the what?” then allow me:
FrontRow Live is something we’re calling the “one night high brow, low brow blowout,” and all that means is that we have created an event at the Dallas Contemporary that will bring together an eclectic mix of all sorts of cultural exploits.
Like what? Jump