Gillespie Life


'Horrible Bosses 2' fails to live up to standard set by original film

It’s easy to tell when a screenwriter is actually trying and when they’re filling in the blanks around a tired, formulaic plot.

“Horrible Bosses 2,” the sequel to the aptly named “Horrible Bosses,” is a fill-in the-blanks kind of movie — largely unfunny and 100 percent a cash grab sequel in a “Spaceballs 2: The Quest for More Money” sort of way.

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Bay reprise their roles from the original, which saw the trio poorly attempt to murder their terrible bosses.

Scenes between the trio, which worked well in the original film, fall much flatter in the sequel as none of the characters have developed beyond the loose framework created in the original.

The film suffers from the same fate “The Hangover 2” did as neither sequel is able to replicate the humor or maintain the momentum created by the first film despite trying to copy the original beat for beat.


'Hunger Games' sequel saved by its 'Mockingjay'

Lionsgate got really lucky.

The movie studio, hoping to leapfrog on the success of the “Twilight” film franchise, dove headfirst into the young adult book trilogy market, coming away with a violent dystopian world and needing a female lead to match Bella of “Twilight” fame.

When they cast the girl from “The Bill Engvall Show,” they probably had no idea that she would become the most successful young actress in years, dominating multiple movie franchises and single-handedly carrying the studio forward in much the same way that Katniss carries the rebellion in Lionsgate’s latest installment of the “Hunger Games” series.

What separates the “Hunger Games” films from “Divergent” or the “Maze Runner” is the difference between Lawrence and Shailene Woodley.

Woodley, a nice up-and-coming actress in her own right, could settle into a Kristen Stewart career arc with a little less venom from the general public.


Celebrating the flavors of Texas

With the October release of “Texas on the Table,” Terry Thompson-Anderson has eight cookbooks to her credit. The author calls Fredericksburg home. — Photo courtesy Sandy Wilson

By Yvonne Hartmann

Terry Thompson-Anderson’s newest release is more than just a cookbook.

“Texas on the Table” is 448 pages filled with 150 new and classic recipes along with stories of people — the farmers, ranchers, shrimpers, cheese-makers, winemakers and chefs — who inspired the recipes and who are changing the taste of Texas food.

Also featured in the book are 189 color and 14 black and white photos taken by Thompson-Anderson’s sister, Sandy Wilson of Houston.

The book also includes a number of recipes from some of the state’s most renowned chefs.

“This is so much more than a cookbook,” Thompson-Anderson said. “It took us three years and 30,000 miles.”

“We enjoyed working together so much and meeting all of the fascinating people in this book who opened their homes, their hearts and their businesses,” Thompson-Anderson said. “Without them, the book would be just another collection of recipes.”


Eisbahn to open Nov. 28

One of Fredericksburg’s Christmas-time traditions, Eisbahn, will open for the 2014-15 holiday season on Friday, Nov. 28.

Eisbahn, which means “ice rink” in German, will give residents of the Hill Country and their guests a chance to celebrate the holiday season with a bit of ice skating, regardless of the weather outside.

The rink is set to open 10 a.m. on Friday after Thanksgiving. The rink will remain open until 10 p.m.

Hours will be 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays, 1-8 p.m. on Sundays and 4-8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 4-10 p.m. on Fridays (before school is dismissed for the Christmas holidays.) Once classes are out for Christmas break, hours will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays–Fridays.

On Christmas Eve, the rink will have shortened hours from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The rink will be open as usual on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.


Strike up the band with 'Whiplash'

How can you see jazz? It’s easy to hear and a delight to listen to, but how can one visualize jazz in pictures rather than sounds?

Is it in a contrast of colors? Harsh browns and tans counterbalancing bright hues of blue? The dueling colors of black and white intermixing like yin and yang.

The best independent film of our time — winner of both the audience and grand jury awards at the 30th Sundance Film Festival in January — explores just such a topic.

“Whiplash,” which easily moves into the top spot as 2014’s best film, features Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in an emotional tug-of-war style dance that engulfs the viewer in a 106-minute free-style jazz duet of obsession and the pursuit of greatness.


Epic 'Interstellar' encompasses best, worst of Christopher Nolan


Everything about the space odyssey “Interstellar” crafted from the mind of director Christopher Nolan oozes with the grandiose brushstrokes of a supreme master of cinema.

One of 2014’s best offerings, the film is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise lifeless year of filmmaking.

Where most new movies lack creativity and originality, “Interstellar” bathes in it. There is no other movie like “Interstellar,” a rare feat in cinema.

Watching the film in its native IMAX is an experience all to itself as the cinematography and visual stimuli on a mammoth screen help give “Interstellar” the weight and impact that is needed to completely immerse the viewer into the experience Nolan creates.

So much of the film is shot using IMAX-specific cameras that missing out on the “Interstellar” experience on an IMAX screen is like showing up 30 minutes into the film and expecting to see a complete movie.


'Stories through art' – Cowboy Bronze now at home in new space

At home in his new space at 226 W. Main Street, Bub Vickers of Cowboy Bronze Fine Art Gallery stands beside one of his bronze sculpture, "Veterans' Day." Vickers' and the other artists represented at the gallery will be celebrating the move with a "Fall Group Show" that opens on Friday night during First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg and continues throughout the month. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

By Yvonne Hartmann

Bub Vickers is a storyteller, but not in the traditional sense.

Standing in his new gallery space at 226 West Main Street, Vickers looked around at his bronze sculptures. “There’s a story behind all of these pieces,” he said.

The bronzes tell the stories of Vickers’ life from his days as a cowboy with titles such as “Hog Wild,” “Trophy Hunter,” “Bogged Down,” “Barrel of Fun,” “Veterans’ Day” and more.

Along with his bronze sculptures, Vickers is also a painter.

Celebrating a new space

Vickers and his late wife, Susan, opened Cowboy Bronze Fine Art Gallery in Fredericksburg in 2009, and he recently relocated to what he describes as “one really big gallery space.”

To celebrate the move, the gallery will host a “Fall Group Show” starting Friday, Nov. 7, and showcasing the work of the gallery artists.


Trail Rider – Langerhans' pastime has taken him racing across the country

Carl Langerhans (right) and Mike Seward (left) begin the trek up a vertical rock face at Canyons off Road in Fredericksburg on Saturday, Oct. 25. Lnagerhans and Seward eventually won the race. — Standard-Radio Post/Austin R. Eck

By Austin R. Eck

It’s the roar of the engines that pierce through the quiet Saturday afternoon.

Out Ranch Road 2323, the terrain becomes more and more formidable with each mile, and cut into the rocky, tree-covered hills are a series of paths used for racing.

One of the engines roaring the hills and the trees belongs to Fredericksburg’s Carl Langerhans, who won this year’s Central Division Dirt Riot Endurance Racing Series, an organized off road racing series.

Langerhans’ first experiences with dirt racing started in high school in his 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser when he started recreational wheeling.

“I did that for years and years,” he said. “Just going out, hitting the trails and hanging out with friends.”


Enigmatic Gyllenhaal shines in near-perfect thriller 'Nightcrawler'

You’ll probably need more than one viewing to fully appreciate the incredibly cerebral “Nightcrawler,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a neurotic loner who stumbles into a career as a “nightcrawler” — a freelance television cameraman tasked with filming crime scenes and car accidents.

Though its trailer focuses more on the action, “Nightcrawler” is a fairly “talky” film, with Gyllenhaal’s Lou getting most of the movie’s best — and most ominous — lines.

Lou’s insistence to his intern that he “will never ask you to do something that he would not do himself,” is a common enough phrase used in business taken to a bone-chilling and intense level when viewers actually learn what Lou will do to be first and best at filming a crime scene.

The faint at heart will not appreciate some of the imagery depicted in the gruesome scenes that match the “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality of the television news programs the film is centered around.


Serviceable thriller 'John Wick' overcomes various obstacles

Nothing much is surprising about the latest action thriller “John Wick,” except for the fact that it isn’t completely terrible.

The plot is raw and unoriginal — vengeful assassin Keanu Reeves takes out a lot of bad people after they steal his car and kill his dog, a final present from his dying wife.

Every indication points in the direction of an absolute bust of a movie. The trailer is downright comical in the worst possible way.

It shouldn’t make sense that “a vengeful Keanu Reeves” is something anyone really wants to see, given what poor quality Reeves has put out over the last decade.

Yet somehow, despite all the tell-tale red flags of a poor movie, “John Wick” overcomes them all and is actually a pretty serviceable traditional action film, reminiscent of a more modern homage to “The Boondock Saints,” a film about vigilante killers who don’t really have, or need, a good reason to kill the bad guys.


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