Gillespie Life


‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ packs on punches thanks to its leading man

It doesn’t matter that he’s flying down a winding Moroccan highway on a motorcycle at break-neck speed without a helmet while assassins are buzzing around him trying to kill him.

Exploding cycles falling off the sides of cliffs don’t bug him, nor does the threat of imminent doom if he leans over a centimeter too far one way or the other.

At the end of it all, his hair never really flutters, and that’s all the proof needed to conclude Hollywood’s worst kept secret.

Tom Cruise is the last true movie star.

“Mission Impossible,” the feature film franchise spawned from the 1960s television show of the same name, has lived through several mediocre sequels thanks to Cruise’s box office draw before reemerging with 2011’s “Ghost Protocol” and last weekend’s smash hit “Rogue Nation.”


‘Paper Towns’ an exercise in managing expectations

The author may be the same, but the latest film adaptation of a John Green novel — “Paper Towns” — isn’t anything like last year’s breakout hit “The Fault in Our Stars,” nor is it meant to be.

Early in the film, Cara Delevingne’s Margo Roth Spiegelman laments how Orlando, where the movie is set, is full of paper people living in paper houses, and that “everything’s uglier up close.”

It’s a warning about placing undue expectations on a person because you only see them from a distance and your mind perceives them to be something that they’re not simply based on a projection in your mind of what you might want that person to be. It’s actually an interesting concept to remember when watching “Paper Towns” — since audiences will likely project expectations on the film based off “The Fault in Our Stars” when this movie couldn’t be further from it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Size doesn’t matter: ‘Ant-Man’ makes superhero out of Paul Rudd

How much audiences will enjoy “Ant-Man,” the latest superhero blockbuster from Marvel Studios, directly relates to how much they enjoy Paul Rudd.

By stepping far away from the big, bruising characters like Thor and the Hulk or the dynamic Iron Man and Captain America, Marvel is banking on Rudd, a comic actor, to keep things moving in a positive direction as superhero movies become more and more obscure.

People who have never picked up a comic book had no idea what Ant-Man was prior to seeing the first trailer for the film, released earlier this year, and probably still don’t get it 100 percent.

Marvel has gambled with this same formula once before, with the charismatic budding superstar Chris Pratt leading a rag-tag group of space outlaws in last year’s surprise hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Charming as he may be, Rudd is no Pratt, but this doesn’t spell doom for his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Cheerleader one year, sister for life

Cindy Bennett still surrounds herself with Dallas Cowboys memorabilia daily. She was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader in 1976 and currently lives in the Texas Hill Country. — Submitted photo

By Autumn Bernhard —

Going from working for corporate America, to being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, to working for Xerox, to currently living in Fredericksburg, Cindy Bennett has done a bit of everything.

Although Bennett donned the fringe vest and short shorts more than 35 years ago, she is still considered a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

“Even though I just cheered for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (DCC) for one season, I have been forever blessed to be included in this incredible sisterhood,” Bennett said. “It is amazing that I can still be a cheerleader as a grandma.”


At the age of 22, Bennett, who had been a high school cheerleader in Rockwall, had already joined corporate America and was working for NCR Corporation full time.


Say what? ‘Minions’ makes the most of imperfect situation

Absolutely no one should be surprised by now that little yellow lemming-like creatures have taken the Hollywood landscape by storm.

Minions are everywhere. From lunchboxes to every other commercial it seems like, to their first feature length animated adventures, the henchmen (is it right to call genderless characters men?) from the innovative “Despicable Me” franchise have rightfully taken center stage with “Minions,” a 95-minute prequel to the events of the original “Despicable Me.”

Because there’s likely an infinite number of Minions out there in the animated universe, directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (who also voices all the Minions) smartly chose to focus viewers on three distinct Minions — fearless leader Kevin, banana-obsessed future rock star Stuart, and diminutive, yet enthusiastic, Bob.


‘Our Way Of Life’ portraits will be displayed at Vereins Kirche

Walter Doebbler kneels by his stock pond in one of many portrait shots in the “Our Way Of Life” book by the late Philip Montgomery. — Submitted photo

A portion of the collection of the framed black-and-white (duotone) photographs from the book, Our Way of Life were donated recently by Carol Montgomery, widow of Philip Montgomery, to the Gillespie County Historical Society. 

These framed photographs make up the exhibit featured at the Vereins Kirche beginning July 15 and continuing through Jan. 15, 2016.

The book can be purchased at the Vereins Kirche or the Pioneer Museum Store. 

The late Philip O’Bryan Montgomery was a Dallas-area native, businessman and philanthropist, but he always viewed Fredericksburg as his second home. 

He worked as an intern in the mid-1970s for the Fredericksburg Standard, and it was there that he worked on the project that resulted in the book and the photos.  The book was published in 2014. 

The book features photographs and interviews of 28 local families, all bearing names of those who helped shape the community into what it is today.


Magic-less Mike: Quality, clothes stripped away in subpar sequel

Calling something “XXL” implies bigger and better.

Double entendre aside, the sequel to the 2012 indie smash hit “Magic Mike” was supposed to blow away female audiences over the Fourth of July weekend like a massive fireworks display.

Moviegoers who came out to the Channing Tatum-helmed male stripper fiesta got their fireworks show, but “Magic Mike XXL” feels closer to the premature explosion from San Diego’s 2012 disaster when 20 minutes worth of fireworks went off in about 15 seconds.

Somehow, someway this film got made as Tatum and writing partner Reid Carolin pieced together a couple of general scene ideas and crammed them into a buddy road trip movie.

Tatum, whose “Magic Mike” character supposedly rode off into the sunset and left stripping behind at the end of the original, hops right back on the Kings of Tampa bandwagon within the first 15 minutes to join his old stripper buddies for “one last ride.”


Nancy Bennett runs cross-country to raise awareness for childhood obsesity

With the White House in Washington, D.C., in the background, Nancy Bennett of Fredericksburg is just yards from the finish line of the 4½-month Race Across USA on June 2. Bennett was among the seven core team members completing the 3,080 miles in 140 days after leaving from California on Jan. 16. Purpose of the race was to raise awareness of childhood obesity and funds for the 100 Mile Club. — Photo by Ted Bennett

By Yvonne Hartmann —

Nancy Bennett has crossed the United States on a bicycle, completed a marathon in each of the 50 states and has now run from one coast to the other.

“For me, this was a once in a lifetime experience,” Bennett said.

Bennett recently returned home to Fredericksburg after participating in the Race Across USA, an event designed to raise awareness of childhood obesity and funds for the 100 Mile Club.  

In all, Race Across USA raised $54,265 for the 100 Mile Club. Bennett was the biggest fundraiser, bringing in $10,154.

The journey

Twelve core team members began the journey on Jan. 16 in Huntington Beach, California and seven, including Bennett, completed the run on June 2 at the White House in Washington, D.C.


Local Farmer's Market offers produce, socializing

Gary Rowland sells many vegetables and tomatoes every Thursday at the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market. Currently there are 22 vendors that attend the market weekly at Marktplatz. — Standard-Radio Post/Autumn Bernhard

By Autumn Bernhard —

“Meet the farmer that planted the seed that grew a tomato that went to market for you to choose to put on your table for you to eat.”

That is the slogan of the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market (FFM) and it stands true to it every Thursday, rain or shine, from 4-7 p.m. at Marktplatz.

FFM offers the public an opportunity to support local agriculture and provide fresh produce to shoppers.

“If people come to the farmers market, they are getting fresher, more wholesome produce,” said Gary Marburger of Marburger Orchards. “The fruit here is picked with more maturity than the stuff in stores.”

This year, the summer market continues until Aug. 27.


Market days

 FFM kicks off with the ringing of a bell to signal the start of the weekly market held at Marktplatz.


‘Ted 2’ reminds viewers why comedy needs originality

Comedy requires originality. It’s as simple as that.

There’s absolutely not a single shred of originality in “Ted 2,” an amalgamation of leftover “Family Guy” setups, hokey premises and half-hearted humor that leaves viewers disappointed from the outset.

Honestly, “Ted 2” shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those who’ve followed the career trajectory of Seth MacFarlane, the mastermind (and vocal talent) behind the cult classic “Family Guy.”

After being left for the television scrap heap, “Family Guy” viewers brought the fledgling, but hysterical comedy back from the dead and vaulted MacFarlane to semi-stardom, where he used his Hollywood connections to make “Ted,” a raunchy and raucous comedy about what happens if a stuffed teddy bear comes to live and basically follows the career path of Justin Bieber.


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