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Just about a 10 minute ride west of Page sits one of the most elegant resorts in the Southwest. You just don’t know about it. There are no billboards, no splashy advertising in the local press. Even if you knew about the place, it’s still hard to find.
When “300” came out almost seven years ago, you probably either thought it was the coolest movie of all time or the lamest movie of all time. While it was dumb and silly, the film’s glorified violence, striking look, and classic one-liners did admittedly have an effect on the macho dinosaur in me. The sad truth is that the style over substance appeal of “300” is only good for one movie. The first time you see such eye candy popping out at the screen, it’s friggin’ awesome. The second time around, it’s about as repetitive as watching Optimus Prime transform over and over again. That’s just one of the reasons why “300: Rise of the Empire” is dead on arrival.
It’s easy to imagine how the pitch for “Non-Stop,” the latest action thriller starring Liam Neeson, went down. “Okay, guys, how about this? It’s ‘Taken,’ but on an airplane!” The surprise is that “Non-Stop” not only could have been a sequel to “Taken,” but it’s also everything “Taken 2” should have been. The film finds Neeson is a familiar role in a plot that mixes together elements of “Air Force One,” “Flightplan,” and various Hitchcockian thrillers. While this sort of thing has been done before, the result is just fresh enough to stand out from all the rest.
You may not recognize the name Megan Hilty, but if you’ve ever watched NBC’s “Smash,” you’ll discover a familiar face. Hilty starred as Ivy Lynn in the musical sitcom, singing the hit song “Let Me Be Your Star,” but her career actually started on Broadway with starring roles in “9 to 5: The Musical” and “Wicked.”
How does an ordinary guy who drives a cab in London end up with an extraordinary life — two wives, two flats and two teenage children who know nothing about each other? How does he keep his stories straight and manage his time? And what does he do when his son and daughter get acquainted in an online chat room and decide to meet?
Not recommending “Gimme Shelter” feels about as low as kicking a lost puppy. The film’s heart is definitely in the right place. All writer/director Ron Krauss wishes to do is uplift audiences with an inspiring true story. If it were being graded on good intentions alone, “Gimme Shelter” would be an A+ movie for sure. On an overall filmmaking level, though, it’s more of a C+ movie.
There’s a good film somewhere in “The Truth About Emanuel,” but unfortunately, you won’t find it in this muddled hour-and-a-half of tired movie tropes and big ideas gone haywire. Tossing around plot twists and clunky dialogue absent of any sensible logic or reason, what once appears to be a Stepford-esque horror story soon turns into a meditation on grief, completely devoid of any actual emotion.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a new kind of project for the Coen brothers to take on. To an extent, the film is a musical of sorts along the lines of “Once.” In addition to being a love letter to old folk songs, it’s also one of the most brutally honest, if not disheartening, movies about the cruel nature of show business. While different territory for the masterful directing duo, “Inside Llewyn Davis” still has the Coen’s distinctive signature all over it. As with many of their films, they find the comedy in bleakness and the bleakness in comedy, resulting in a narrative that’s either saying a lot or saying nothing at all. However you view it, boy is it fascinating to watch.
A cinematic sparring match unlike any other in recent memory, “Some Velvet Morning” offers an unflinching glimpse into the lives of an alluring prostitute, Velvet (Alice Eve), and her domineering lover, Fred (Stanley Tucci). Over the course of 83 minutes, we eavesdrop on this toxic pair as they engage in an impassioned war of words – chatting, groping, yelling and sobbing, all within the confines of her upscale townhouse. Written and directed by Tony-nominated playwright Neil LaBute, this low-budget chamber piece has been flying under the radar since its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, but will surely blindside audiences this winter with nuanced performances and a certain shocking plot twist. Ahead of its Valley release at Harkins Shea 14 in Scottsdale this weekend, GetOut spoke with LaBute about the film, his French influences, and experience collaborating with Tucci and Eve.
A Belgian drama with bluegrass music may seem like an unlikely combo, but director Felix van Groeningen pulls it off spectacularly in his heart-wrenching new film “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” which is already garnering whispers of Academy Award recognition. While other foreign-language Oscar hopefuls such as “Wadjda” and “The Hunt” have come and gone from theaters (with others such as “Gloria” and “The Past” not making their way to Phoenix until early 2014), “Broken Circle” is arriving this month, opening at Harkins Camelview 5 in Scottsdale this Friday, Dec. 6.
“Why do some people think that human rights and civil rights are the same thing? Everyone has human rights, just by being human. Civil rights are the rights of a person who has legal citizenship to a specific country. If you are not a citizen, then you do not have the privileges of these civil rights. Civil rights activists should be backing the rights of citizens not the illegal immigrants, who have only human rights.”
It’s a dream for bodybuilders across America to compete at the national level. It takes a lot of dedication, hard work and sweat. Some, never make it. But those who do, never look back.
Those with a passion for genealogy research or others who are novices but want to trace their family roots, will find a wealth of helpful tips and tools at the second annual Mesa AZ Family History Conference on Oct. 26.
Long before the 20-second sound bite was even a gleam in CNN founder Ted Turner’s eye, Cliff Hillegass began serving the needs of the impatient, the overwhelmed, the confused, or just in a hurry among us all.
“If you’ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time; we’ll go honky tonkin’ and we’ll have a time.”
A nearby, decades-old military operation little known by locals is coming to an end, but not without skeptics who say satellites are now left vulnerable.
The Expect More Arizona movement for world-class education in Arizona depends on Arizonans across our state raising their voices in support of our students and our schools. One infamous Arizonan, however, has been very vocal about his lack of support for quality education in our state. Gerald, from the iconic Arizona children’s show, The Wallace and Ladmo Show, reemerged from seclusion this summer in Expect More Arizona’s “A Message from Gerald.”
The “Grand Old Peace” party is still just the same ol’ Grand Old Publicity party.
An upcoming event scheduled just a few days before the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month will offer a first-hand experience about domestic violence, as well as resources to help.
About 40 entrants in the seventh Fireball Run “adventurally” will spend a few hours in Mesa Sept. 26, where its presence should benefit at least one local charity and a number of city businesses.
Barack Obama said this summer that he would be “happy to hear” any healthcare ideas that rivaled his beleaguered Obamacare, “but I haven’t heard any so far.”
Music and motivational messages will be among the highlights of an evening designed to showcase individual courage and resiliency, while raising money for cancer research
As African-American males in Arizona, we are stunned, though not altogether surprised, at the bold assumptions, presumptions, and downright racist stereotypes Linda Turley-Hansen offers in “Not racism, and not guns; it’s moral absence that’s doing the killing” (East Valley Tribune, Sept. 1; also available at evtnow.com/5ua).
The recent diatribe by Tom Patterson (Tribune, “Deferring Syria decision to Congress pure political masterstroke for the president”; Sept. 8) concerning recent events in Syria is typical of the arrogant, duplicitous, attitude exhibited by him and his ilk toward any plans by the president.
Classical landscapes interrupted by flying lemons. Silk camisoles carved from wood. Justin Bieber’s famous face painted into Renaissance-era art portraits. All this and more will be on display this fall at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.