Fantastic Fest 2010 began with a bang. Matt Reeves’ Let Me In served as the opening night film at the Paramount theatre in downtown Austin. You can watch my previously recorded review/reaction to the film here.

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Who wants to see Michelle Rodriguez beat up Tim League? Well, it’s probably going to happen at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas this week (which Tuesday announced that 13 Assassins would be its closing night film). Rodriguez vs. League is the main event of the annual Fantastic Debates party, where film journalists and filmmakers debate over an issue, and then get into a boxing ring to really settle the score. In previous years, well known journos such as Devin Faraci, formerly of CHUD, and Scott Weinberg of Cinematical duke it out over such topics as “Does Michael Bay Deserve an Oscar or the Death Penalty?” and “Are Vampires Gay?” In last year’s main event, League famously fought Uwe Boll over the state of independent films.

The topic League and Rodriguez will be debating this year? “Should Avatar have won the Oscar for Best Picture?”

Hit the jump to check out some videos from previous Fantastic Debates and, of course, to debate amongst yourselves. Read More »

Alamo Drafthouse

For the past decade, film screenings at the Alamo Drafthouses in Austin, Texas have gained legendary status in geek culture. Stars show up to premiere films there, incredible posters are designed for many of the screenings, cult classics are paired around specific foods or themed events, not to mention it’s the birthplace of the Rolling Roadshow and the host venue for South by Southwest, Fantastic Fest, Harry Knowles’ Butt-Numb-A-Thon and was recently named “Best Overall Theatrical Experience” by Fandango. And now, that unique brand of incredible film going experience is on its way to both New York and Los Angeles.

Tim League, the founder and CEO of the Drafthouse, said that plans are in the works to bring Drafthouses to New York City and Los Angeles, the two hubs of the film world, “within the next year, year-and-a-half.” With the Drafthouse beginning to distribute movies, having theaters in those markets would be a major plus. Read More »

Tim League

We’ve called The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema the coolest movie theater in the world. The original Austin-based movie theater was created by an awesome man named Tim League. In July 2004, Tim and Karrie League sold the brand, intellectual property and rights to all future Alamo Drafthouse expansion, but retained ownership of the Austin locations (Village, Lamar, Downtown). Anyone who has ever been to any of the non Tim League-owned/operated locations will attest that it doesn’t have the same feel, experience, or level of quality.

Good news: Tim League is replacing John Martin as CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema brand, and will “assume brand and creative leadership for the company after a five-year hiatus.”

“The Alamo Drafthouse has a unique operating strategy different from any other exhibitor in the market today,” League says. “We have a direct relationship with our audiences, are intolerant of advertisements before movies, offer fresh food and demand technical excellence. I envision the Alamo Drafthouse making a significant change in what it means to go the movies.”

This is great news for any town with an Alamo Drafthouse brand cinema. Now if only League could open a Drafhouse in Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I love the New Beverly Cinema — but it lacks the comfortable seating and in theater food options of the Drafthouse. I’d love to see what League could do with his signature events in a town where prints and special appearances from actors and directors would be a short car ride away.Read the full press release after the jump.

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Tim League, the owner and founder of the greatest movie theater on the planet – The Alamo Drafthouse (and co founder of Fantastic Fest), gave me a tour of his newest creation — The High Ball. League revolutionized the movie going experience in Austin and is now attempting to add a before and after party into the mix with an entertainment complex located just a few steps away from the Alamo’s South Lamar multiplex in Austin, Texas. The Highball features a vintage bowling alley, skeeball, a full kitchen, bar, karaoke rooms, party space, and much more. You can see the High Ball, a work in progress, in the video tour embedded after the jump.

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