"The Hobbit" arrived in Austin a little earlier than expected. Director Peter Jackson presented his latest epic to a packed crowd at Harry Knowles’ 14th annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon last weekend. The 24-hour movie marathon, which took place at the Alamo South, featured 11 movies, ranging from the old ("Broadway Melody of 1940") to the new (Sylvester Stallone actioner "Bullet in the Head").
Jackson was not the only big name on hand for the event. Guillermo del Toro presented the upcoming horror film, "Mama," starring Jessica Chastain, which he produced. And for a bit of levity, multi-hyphenate Paul Feig popped in to screen the trailer and some scenes from his new movie, "The Heat." The buddy-cop comedy, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids"), is scheduled for release in April.
Feel-bad holiday films
Tugg.com is celebrating the holiday spirit with a little tongue-in-cheek movie fun. Everybody is used to seeing "A Christmas Story" or "Miracle on 34th Street" all over TV around the holidays, so the website that allows audiences to choose films to play in their local theaters is doing some counter-programming.
Tugg has added eight new movies that are set around the holiday season, with titles ranging from the darkly comic ("Bad Santa") to simply dark (Stanley Kubrick’s "Eyes Wide Shut"). Other titles include noir comedy "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "Lethal Weapon," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Batman Returns," "Gremlins" and "Die Hard." Audiences can visit Tugg.com to request screenings at the theater of their choice. If a title gets enough votes, it screens. Tugg’s board of advisers includes Austin filmmakers Terrence Malick and Richard Linklater.
— Matthew Odam