Gillespie Life

Wed
01
Apr

Promising “Get Hard” fails sensitivity test

Things would have been better off if Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell teamed up to develop a remake of the classic Eddie Murphy-Dan Aykroyd comedy “Trading Places.”

It’s the direction that their latest film, the double-entendre heavy “Get Hard,” heads down and the part of the raunchy comedy that actually works.

Aside from some gratuitous rear nudity from Ferrell to “set the mood,” the first 20 minutes of “Get Hard” is actually inspired comedy, filled with thoughtful, well-conceived jokes that skirt the outside edges of decent taste without outright jumping the shark.

Once the plot really takes shape and a straight-laced Hart has to fake a prison record to help a frightened Ferrell prepare for jail time, things go from funny to sad in short order.

There’s no reason for most of what ensues, as every racial stereotype under the sun is broadly reinforced in highly amateurish ways.

Wed
25
Mar

Davis keeps watchful eye on Fort Martin Scott


Master of all he surveys, Duke Davis keeps watch over a city historical treasure as keeper of Fort Martin Scott. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Matt Ward —

Duke Davis could well have been the first person to die at Fort Martin Scott in over a century, at least so he thought.

Davis, primary caretaker for the fort, ran afoul of a flak jacket-wearing, knife-carrying prospective criminal on the site one evening several months ago.

“I thought I was dead. I really did,” Davis recalled of the incident.

An insistent — and somewhat belligerent — visitor to the City of Fredericksburg-operated facility on the edge of town along U.S. 290 East took Davis by surprise and immediately went on the verbal offensive, accusing fort caretakers of withholding payment to the site’s original surveyors.

After a brief argument, Davis ended the conversation and retired into the fort’s office inside the welcome center, thinking the incident was over.

Wed
25
Mar

‘Divergent’ series idles with uneven ‘Insurgent’

Powerful and bold performances from young women have dominated the cinematic landscape early in 2015, from Dakota Johnson’s career-changing performance in “Fifty Shades of Grey” to a Disney blockbuster in “Cinderella.”

While the year’s most gripping performance from a leading actress so far — Jennifer Lawrence in the limited release “Serena” — has been relegated to the second tier of cinema known as video on demand, the first quarter of 2015 will be capped off with yet another top young actress ruling the box office.

Shailene Woodley, star of last year’s summer romance “The Fault in Our Stars,” returns to blockbuster action with “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” now blasting its way into theaters.

Wed
18
Mar

Lyrics, laughter and life


"It's a Hard Knock Life!" a group of young ladies sing during a scene from "Annie Jr." at the March 12 unveiling of Season 19 at the Fredericksburg Theater Company. Singing the song are (from left) bottom row, Kaylee Welch, Hailey Knudsen, Audrey Benefield, middle row, Lauren Benefield, Prayer Palau and top row, Jenna Rickerhauser, Josie Ford, Haley Cole, Teya Grace Martin. — Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post/Austin R. Eck

and “Into the Woods” will be brought to life in the Texas Hill Country as the Fredericksburg Theater Company announced its 19th season, entitled “Lyrics, Laughter and Life!” during a special event for donors Thursday.

Also on tap for Season 19 are the comedies, “Greater Tuna,” “A Tuna Christmas” and “The Nerd,” the drama, “Our Town” and the Freddyburg Youth Theater production of “Annie Jr.”

“Without a doubt, this is our most ambitious season ever,” said executive director Steve Reily. “Last year for Season 18, we made the bold decision to expand our offerings to seven productions. The result was a resounding success.

“Looking to the future and building upon this achievement, FTC will continue to offer seven productions a season along with eight special events,” he added. “These events will be a collection of music, guest artists and classic cinema. Our goal is to present a wide variety of offerings throughout the year.”

Wed
18
Mar

Disney hits mark with 'Cinderella' adaptation

Somewhere in between “Maleficent” and “Snow White and the Huntsman” lies the latest live-action fairytale feature film adaptation, Disney’s “Cinderella,” starring Lily James in the title role and Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother.

A very familiar tale to most moviegoers, “Cinderella” doesn’t stray much from conventional Disney retellings of the fairytale, though there is an added emphasis on Cinderella’s parents prior to their off-screen deaths in order to help strengthen the backstory. Director Kenneth Branagh utilizes his Shakespearean roots to full effect as he elevates pedestrian conversations to uneven effect. Some scenes, especially between Cinderella and her father, hit home, while conversations between the Prince and his father feel unnecessarily heavy. While younger viewers will happily ignore the depths of Branagh’s effort, older viewers may feel the film too heavy in terms of its emotional stakes for a traditional Disney fairytale.

Wed
11
Mar

Artists add color in their own ways


Robin Hegmier and Matina MacDougal met with art fans during the most recent First Friday Art Walk on March 6 at The Fredericks-burg Good Art Company. Both use colors and tex-tures to help bring their art to life. — Standard Radio Post/Austin R. Eck

By Austin R. Eck

 

The colors are the first thing to grab the attention of someone walking through The Fredericksburg Good Art Company.

For First Friday Art Walk, the gallery opened its doors to the public to meet with Matina MacDougal and Robin Hegmier, two of the gallery’s artists.

Both MacDougal’s and Hegmier’s works are characterized by eye-catching use of color.

For Hegmier, she prefers to use bold colors to make an impact on the viewer.

Hegmier classifies her works as contemporary realism.

“It’s defiantly representational, but has a contemporary slant to it with brighter, bolder colors,” Hegmier said.  

Hegmier’s favorite subjects to paint are animals and trees. Often times, she tries to find humor in the animals that she paints.

“I like to paint things that are fun and happy,” she said.  “I like to give my works fun titles that make people laugh.”

Wed
11
Mar

'Marigold Hotel' sequel charms

Not much needs to be said about big budget R-rated films “Chappie” and “Unfinished Business,” which both crashed and burned commercially and critically this weekend. Hollywood can sift through the wreckage for what’s left of Vince Vaughn’s career at another time.

But there’s something to be said for an upward trend in cinema that shined brightly this week on the big screen as the sequel to the 2012 hit film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” outdrew most movies on the opening weekend of Spring Break season despite playing in a third of theaters nationally.

With the success of films like “Marigold” (now in its “Second Best” installation), “The Bucket List” and “Last Vegas,” it seems that there’s an emerging marketplace for light-hearted comedies starring big-name actors beginning to reach the twilight of their careers (and lives). 

Wed
04
Mar

Climbing the ladder, rung by rung


Among the daily duties of Fredericksburg Elementary School assistant principal Patricia Rivera (background) is to meet with school counselor Kelli Rode (foreground) to discuss students, policies or any problems that might arise. Rivera began her career at Fredericksburg Independent School district as a part-time school nutrition worker. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie

When she was a little girl, Patricia Rivera liked to pretend she was a teacher.

“I always thought that I’d want to grow up to be a teacher,” said Rivera, a Mexican native and a 1987 graduate of Fredericksburg High School. “I grew up in a large family of seven girls. Due to financial reasons, college wasn’t really an option for us.”

Today, Rivera is the assistant principal of Fredericksburg Elementary School.
Getting to her current position has been a ladder with several rungs to climb.

She began working for Fredericksburg Independent School District in 1996, part time in school nutrition. A year later, she worked full time. She recalled a conversation she had with then-FMS principal Dr. Marc Williamson, who would later serve as FISD superintendent.

Wed
04
Mar

Top young shooters advance to state


Young marksmen take aim Saturday afternoon during the 30th annual Gillespie County 4-H BB Gun Competition. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Matt Ward

Multiple weather delays slowed action early Saturday, but did not stop 21 youth from advancing to state competition after earning high marks at the 30th annual Gillespie County 4-H BB Gun Competition.

Originally slated for an 8 a.m. start time, organizers pushed back the meet two hours until 10 a.m. before postponing the match a second time, with events finally getting underway around 1 p.m.

Eighty 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 Charles Schmidt, who finished the contest with 465 points.

Wed
04
Mar

Promising 'Serena' can't stay on track

Pair a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor with an Oscar-winning actress and put them in a hauntingly beautiful period film and it would seem like a recipe for instant success.

Yet “Serena,” the third on-screen pairing between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, takes major missteps that equal or slightly outpace its positive strides, making for an uneven and mundane film as a whole.

Most of the blame, as it were — because conceptually, this is a film that should have fared significantly better — should be laid at the feet of Danish director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Christopher Kyle for their mismanagement of the film adaptation of the 2008 Ron Rash novel of the same name.

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