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DreamWorks Animation has always been great at being timely, but hasn’t always been that great at being timeless. Some of their films have stricken a decent balance between timely and timeless, like “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda.” Several of their films, however, feel very much like products of the time that probably won’t hold up phenomenally in another 20 years. Chris Sanders’ “How to Train Your Dragon” was a different kind of film from DreamWorks, being one half action/adventure and another half heartwarming tale between a boy and animal. In some respects, it was like a few of their earlier 2-D animated features, but done a million times better. It was the first DreamWorks film since “The Prince of Egypt” that felt completely timeless with no pop culture references and little modern talk, even rivaling some of the best efforts from Disney and Pixar.
Summit School of Ahwatukee recently launched its middle school camp, Camp Summit, and incorporated Harry Potter as a theme for the following weeks.
Hansel and Gretel? Check. Jack and the Beanstalk? Check. Red Riding Hood? Check. Wizard of Oz? Check. Cinderella? Check. Snow White? Double-check! Hollywood’s fractured fairytale train keeps on chooglin’ along and the latest story to be remixed is Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty, which is already a mash-up of the original French fable, La Belle au bois dormant, by Charles Perrault, and Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm.
NEW YORK — When the creative minds at MTV get together, Susanne Daniels must seem like the adult in the room.
A tour of Michael Pollack’s three museums show a man who revels in a past that started well before his entry into the world. One is loaded with memorabilia from bygone days, things that used to linger behind the glass panes on department storefronts to convert window shoppers into spenders. A couple other pieces have a “one of these things is not like the others” ring to it given their relative modernity, like the mini statue of Sonic the Hedgehog.
One of my all-time favorite movies is “The Princess Bride.” “As you wish” is something our hero, Wesley, says to his beloved Buttercup throughout the story. He wants to do everything in his power to make her wishes come true.
"Thank you for coming by my office, Elizabeth. Can you shut the door behind you and have a seat?”
Escapism is an underrated part of life, something devalued from a combination of cynicism and a lack of pragmatic purpose. But flights into fantasy are invaluable when coping with something large and frightful, or simply trying to stave off impending doom.
Learning didn’t always come easy for 23-year-old Scottsdale native Daniel Mazzon, as teachers said his ability to listen and comprehend the material was below average. But instead of going through the motions, Mazzon opted to venture on his own and apply the skills he had to a different project.
NEW THIS WEEK
If you’ve got a teen reader in the house, he or she may be familiar with the characters in a play opening this weekend at Arizona State University in Tempe.
A stage adaptation of novelist Terry Pratchett’s fantasy for young readers, “Nation,” will make its North American premiere this month in Tempe. It's courtesy The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre MainStage Season in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
The next Goofy, Belle or Cinderella could live in Ahwatukee.
300: Rise of an Empire is both a prequel and a sequel to the 2007 film, 300, one of the most stylized action films ever made. The new movie has the same gritty and dark HD tonal quality of the first movie, as well as the sporadic ultra-slow-motion effects that capture the exaggerated battles and blood-spilling in extreme detail; but it’s missing some of the heart from often copied original.
Congressional Republicans are like a pathetic victim of bullying. When faced with a challenge, they draw up into a ball and beg not to be kicked.
A family trip abroad, a foreign deck of cards and the arduous search for acceptance led Ahwatukee native, Daniel Mefford, to write and self-publish his very own fantasy book.
A fast-paced, whimsical coming-of-age film, “The ZigZag Kid” is a witty, spirited and action-packed adventure about an almost-13-year-old boy named Nono, his world of confusions, fears and fantasies that offers old-fashioned entertainment for tweens and adults alike.
Imagine hopping onto the back of da Vinci’s portrait of Mona Lisa and cruising it down the streets of France or saddling up New York’s Charging Bull and riding it into Times Square. Although piggy-backing a piece of artwork and parading it through public venues might sound like a looney fantasy, the art students of South Mountain High School have made it a reality.
New York • Hollywood may be hoping for a little less drama in 2014.
Sen. Patty Murray is an unashamed spender and taxer. She’s never seen a government outlay she didn’t like and she was in high spirits over the “bipartisan” budget deal she crafted with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan. The deal helps “bring some respect to the word compromise,” she crowed.
Ahwatukee resident Bob Miller and his team recently finished with the United Fantasy Flight project, where they took students across the Valley on a flight to a Christmas experience they surely will remember for years to come.
In Japan, the story of the 47 ronin is so central to the country's national identity that a special word exists for the act of retelling it: Chushingura. But despite this long tradition of flexible reinterpretation, the Hollywood-backed "47 Ronin" takes such liberties with the underlying legend that a different term comes to mind, one better suited to American actor Keanu Reeves' involvement: "bogus." So far, Japanese audiences have been slow to embrace a CG-heavy version of the story that offers Keanu as a previously unsung "half-breed" accomplice. Meanwhile, domestic crowds are being deliberately misled to think he's the star — a high-stakes bait-and-switch sure to backfire on this narratively stiff but compositionally dazzling production.