Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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September 10, 2012

Popcorn bucket list: 10 must-see fall movies

Fall was my favorite season long before I started writing about film. I hate heat, I rarely see daylight in the winter, and spring is me and my Zyrtec battling against nature. Now that I make part of my living sitting in dark screening rooms, autumn is extra-special: The end-of-summer movie slump is over — "August" might as well be a synonym for "awful" — and the December crush of Oscar wannabes has yet to begin. This fall brings nine movies I can't wait to see (starting with the most anticipated) and one I can't wait to forget.

1. "Pitch Perfect" (Oct. 5)

Covering the world of competitive a cappella singing, "Pitch Perfect" looks to be the spiritual heir of "Bring it On." That means it could not only be a hilarious theatergoing experience but also become one of those films that captures our attention every time it comes on TV. Anna Kendrick leads the cast, and if you've seen the teenage version of her in 2003's "Camp," you know she can bring it.

2. "Argo" (Oct. 12)

Ben Affleck is well on his way to being known as an excellent director who acts when he feels like it. His follow-up to "The Town" is "Argo," based on the true story of how the CIA pretended to be making a movie (titled "Argo") to extract six Americans from Tehran after the U.S. embassy takeover in 1979. The trailer suggests a nail-biter all the more engaging because the story really happened. Also, it promises impressive '70s hairdos.

3. "The Master" (Sept. 21)

I will read anything — anything! — about Scientology, and I think Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the few directors who has never missed a step. After months of dodging the issue, Anderson finally admitted this week that "The Master" was inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Throw in Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and this movie could only be better with a dance-off.

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  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

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