Gillespie Life

Wed
02
Mar

Running in circles

African-American sprinter Jesse Owens is a more than a worthy candidate to be honored with a feature film biopic of his life story. Unfortunately, the new Focus Features film “Race” isn’t it.

This isn’t to say that Stephan James, the up-and-coming actor charged with bringing Owens to life on screen, doesn’t do a remarkable job in the role. James plays Owens’ inner conflict between doing right by his family and serving as an international spotlight to a greater cause with great subtlety.

His performance shows a long, prosperous career in film, but it is wasted by a lackluster ensemble and shoddy screenplay.

“Race” suffers most from the fact that director Stephen Hopkins and writers Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse try to do too many different things and fail to succeed at most of them, making “Race” a mediocre film.

At 134 minutes, the film sits about a half-hour too long for comfort.

Wed
02
Mar

Straight shooters

Twenty-one youth qualified to advance to state competition after earning high marks on Saturday at the 31st annual Gillespie County 4-H BB Gun Competition.

In all, 98 shooters in the first grade through 15 years of age took part in the contest held in the Show Barn at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.

Competing in the contest were eight-year-olds in the third grade and up. First and second graders are not eligible to compete, only participate.

One of the highlights of the awards program on Saturday afternoon was the presentation of the Houston Brown Memorial Award to Jaci Spies, who finished the contest with 474 points.

The Houston Brown Award is given to the top scoring individual based on both shooting and test scores.

Three individuals were presented the Top Gun Award, which is based only on shooting scores.

Wed
24
Feb

Bridging the gap

Seeking to put a new twist on the Christian story of Jesus Christ’s death, the new release “Risen” focuses on the story of Roman Tribune Clavius and his search for Christ’s body, following the resurrection.

By centering the film around Clavius — an ardent skeptic — the plot allows the movie to appeal to a broader audience base and does not limit it to an evangelical message.

Joseph Fiennes, who played the lead in “Shakespeare in Love,” is methodical in his pursuit of the body of Jesus as Clavius. Fiennes brings a refined authority to the role and his stoic command is the most complex acting found in several years within the faith-based genre.

Much of the film feels like a TV crime procedural and has the plot structure of a typical serialized television show from start to finish.

Wed
17
Feb

FTC ventures 'Into the Woods'

By Richard Zowie 

 

The curtain will rise Friday night on an award-winning musical that’ll be performed for three weekends in Fredericksburg.

“Into the Woods” will run from Feb. 19 to March 6. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are now on sale for Fredericksburg Theater Company’s upcoming musical. “Into the Woods,” will be performed at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater, at 1668 U.S. 87 South.

 

‘Into the Woods’

Opening night of FTC’s production of “Into the Woods” will begin with a celebratory gala at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19.

A selection of local wines will be served along with a variety of hors d’oeuvres. The cost to attend the opening night gala is included in the price of admission.

Executive Director Steve Reily recommends that anyone interested in attending the opening night gala to act quickly.

Wed
17
Feb

FTC ventures 'Into the Woods'

By Richard Zowie 

 

The curtain will rise Friday night on an award-winning musical that’ll be performed for three weekends in Fredericksburg.

“Into the Woods” will run from Feb. 19 to March 6. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are now on sale for Fredericksburg Theater Company’s upcoming musical. “Into the Woods,” will be performed at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater, at 1668 U.S. 87 South.

 

‘Into the Woods’

Opening night of FTC’s production of “Into the Woods” will begin with a celebratory gala at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19.

A selection of local wines will be served along with a variety of hors d’oeuvres. The cost to attend the opening night gala is included in the price of admission.

Executive Director Steve Reily recommends that anyone interested in attending the opening night gala to act quickly.

Wed
17
Feb

Alone, but not lonely

Audiences find themselves thrust into a vapid, unoriginal “Sex in the City” rip-off watching “How to Be Single,” a film that promotes Singles Awareness Day over Valentine’s Day in a Valentine’s Day weekend release.

Dakota Johnson breaks up with a boyfriend to find herself. Rebel Wilson wants to teach her how single life — and sexual promiscuity — can be fun. Leslie Mann puts her job as an OB-GYN over relationships and the possibility of motherhood. Alison Brie thinks she can manipulate the 10 online dating services she uses to find Mr. Right.

What makes this romance comedy work, however, is the general likeability of its female stars. These women help keep audiences engaged during moments when viewers begin to realize what awful people the characters are for much of the two-hour movie.

Wed
10
Feb

A whole world in a single 'Room'

By Matt Ward

 

Odds are good that audiences won’t know much about actress Brie Larson before stepping into a theater to watch the acclaimed drama “Room.”

Larson, who’s been a scene stealer in comedies like “Trainwreck” and an indie darling with “Short Term 12,” takes a major step toward stardom in director Lenny Abrahamson’s drama as Ma, a 24-year-old woman kidnapped and held in a shed for seven years.

Ma is raped repeatedly by her captor Old Nick — played by a creepy Sean Bridgers. Her world changes with the arrival of her son, Jack. Jacob Tremblay, who plays Jack, keeps “Room” from becoming too dark and twisted for a wide audience.

The film will remind viewers of the famous kidnappings of Elizabeth Smart in 2002 and Amanda Berry in 2013.

Thu
04
Feb

2015: A Cinematic Year in Review

Ten years from now, most of us will look back on 2015 and remember it as the year the “Star Wars” franchise returned to something close to its former glory, at least from a cinematic perspective.

Blockbusters helped pace a record-breaking $11 billion domestic box office over the past 12 months, thanks in large part to sequels from major tent-pole franchises like “Star Wars,” “The Fast and The Furious,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “The Hunger Games,” “Jurassic Park,” “Mission Impossible,” “Mad Max,” “The Terminator,” “Rocky” and even the 24th James Bond adventure.

It’s impossible to watch every single new release film put into theaters over the course of a calendar year, but of course, I tried my best. As of this writing, the day after the Golden Globe awards, I’ve seen 94 first run films either in theaters, video on demand or via Blu-ray/DVD.

Wed
03
Feb

Textile treasures

Elizabeth Seibert brought the textile that was passed down from her grandmother, Johanna Mrazek Rektorik, to the Textile Preservation Workshop hosted by Mela-nie Sanford last Saturday. Seibert said her grandmoth-er made the piece in the 1930’s or early 1940’s in Robstown. — Standard-Radio Post/ Tyler Gaudin

By Tyler Gaudin

               

                Memories can fade in the mind, but treasured pieces also can be lost to time.

Melanie Sanford, principal conservator and owner of Textile Preservation Services of Texas, presented a textile preservation workshop Saturday, Jan. 30, at Pioneer Museum.

The event helped Elizabeth Seibert learn to protect textiles that have become family heirlooms over the generations.

Seibert brought a textile that was made by her grandmother, Johanna Mrazek Rektorik, to be evaluated by Sanford.

Seibert said the piece was made in Robstown more than 71 years ago.

“She made it in either the 1930s or early 1940s and they were among the first few families in Robstown,” Seibert said.

Sanford evaluated Seibert’s heirloom and many others at the workshop after her presentation.

Wed
03
Feb

Braving uneven seas

By Matt Ward

If there’s a reason to see “The Finest Hours” in theaters, it has to be the stunning special effects work done to create the film’s biggest character, a near-hurricane level storm called a nor’easter that rips apart several large T-2 oil tankers, including the S.S. Pendleton carrying Casey Affleck’s character, Sybert and 32 other men.

Chris Pine and Affleck star in the “based on a true story” account of a small four-man Coast Guard team tasked with rescuing the crew of a large tanker boat broken in half by torrential weather on the high seas outside of Boston.

Pine offers a competent performance as young Coast Guard officer Bernard Webber, tasked with leading a team to save the stranded crew of the Pendleton. In scenes out of the water, it often feels as if Pine is coasting through the material on cruise control, especially when it comes to his halfhearted attempt at Boston cadence.

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