Band is hell. Oh sure, the “American Pie” movies might have you believe it’s nothing but fun and games. Anyone who majored in music or even took band class in high school, however, knows that it’s like prepping for war. The hours are brutal, your teachers push you to be the best, and it’s literally the end of your world if you fail. You might think I’m exaggerating and to some extent maybe I am. After all, not every band instructor on the planet can be a ruthless slave driver. The instructor in “Whiplash” on the other hand most certainly is.
Members of the United Fantasy Flight will host a fundraiser on Thursday at My Wine Cellar and Bistro in Ahwatukee to raise money for two underprivileged Valley schools and its upcoming 2014 United Airlines Fantasy Flight.
“The Book of Life” has most of the same pros and cons as “The Boxtrolls” from a couple weeks ago. Both films are absolute joys to watch for their delightful characters, unique worlds, and dazzling animation. As creative as they are in terms of presentation, neither film is all that original when it comes to storytelling. “The Book of Life” isn’t just a familiar story like “The Boxtrolls,” through. It’s also a very overstuffed and awkwardly paced one too. So exactly how problematic is the story? Well, read the synopsis below and find out for yourself.
With “Thank You For Smoking,” “Juno,” and “Up in the Air,” few modern directors have done a more authentic job at capturing the age we live in better than Jason Reitman. It’s actually pretty surprising that it’s taken him this long to make a movie concerning digital media’s effect on culture. What’s even more shocking is the fact that some of these innovations are barely a decade old. On top of all that, it’s only been 13 years since the 9/11 attacks, which instigated the need for every man, woman, and child to have a cell phone. We might have gotten by fine without them for years, but now it’s impossible to imagine life without any mobile devices or social networking.
‘Fury” is a good wartime drama that might have been considered great had it come out anywhere in between 1930 and 1998. In the year 2014, however, the film might come off as too familiar to those who have seen classics like “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Platoon,” and “Saving Private Ryan.” That’s not to say “Fury” is too little too late. On the contrary, the film is exceptionally made, wonderfully acted, and effectively portrays the horrors of war. It’s just hard to totally give yourself to a movie when you can tell who’s going to live, who’s going to die, and what’s going to be learned 10 minutes in.
Horizon Community Learning Center’s executive director, Betsy Fera, and Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School’s principal, Michael Lamp, both received an Administrator’s Appreciation Award at the 2014 Arizona Health & Physical Education State Convention on Thursday afternoon.
The football regular season is already past its halfway point and before long, a group of talented seniors will be donning new uniforms for teams all over the country at several different levels of play.
The Republican candidates were nowhere to be found at the Clean Elections debate for Legislative District 18 Thursday night, but Democrats Janie Hydrick and Mitzi Epstein took the opportunity to share their vision of a bipartisan Arizona legislature focused on education.
As an investor, you’re well aware that, over the short term, the financial markets always move up and down. During your working years, you may feel that you have time to overcome this volatility. And you’d be basing these feelings on actual evidence: the longer the investment period, the greater the tendency of the markets to “smooth out” their performance. But what happens when you retire? Won’t you be more susceptible to market movements?
A live-action, feature-length version of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” produced by Disney? That’s got to be the most unpromising synopsis for a kid’s movie since Warner Bros. made an entire film about LEGOs. Then again, “The LEGO Movie” ended up being awesome. Maybe this adaptation of the classic picture book from Judith Viorst will be a pleasant surprise too, right? Well, the film isn’t terrible, horrible, no good, or very bad. It’s not exactly great either. It’s just OK, which is still at least better than expected.
You’d think this past decade’s vampire fad would have brought us a number of movies starring Dracula. Strangely enough, however, everyone’s favorite public domain vampire has been missing in action as of late. That’s what happens when you choose to do films like “Dracula 2000,” “Van Helsing,” and “Blade: Trinity.” Dracula should stay cozy in his coffin because “Dracula Untold” isn’t going to reboot his film career. As badly as he needs a comeback, this is one Dracula story that should have remained untold.
Kyrene de los Cerritos Elementary School celebrated its fifth annual Leadership Day earlier this week, which showed parents and members of the community how the school’s Leadership Academy molds its students for a successful future.
Phoenix Public Library invites young artists in kindergarten through eighth grade to submit original artwork for a new children’s book about water conservation by Sasha and Rodney Glassman, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Saves Every Drop.” Selected artwork will illustrate the book to be published by the Glassmans in April 2015. More than 50,000 copies of the book will be distributed free of charge — one for every kindergarten student in Maricopa County.
“The Equalizer” is a superhero movie without an actual superhero. Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall, a kindly man who spends his days greeting people with a smile at a home improvement store. By night, he roams the streets beating up/killing crooked cops, thugs, pimps and mob bosses. He might not have Batman’s costume, gadgets, car or money, but he just as easily could have tracked down the Joker and vanquished Bane in about a day. With his skill set, he’s basically Dexter, Sherlock Holmes, MacGyver and Liam Neeson in “Taken” rolled into one.
It’s great that we’ve been getting so many stories these days that intelligently address dynamics between siblings. The best recent examples include Richard Linklater’s all-too-authentic “Boyhood,” Disney’s beloved “Frozen,” and the brilliant animated series “Gravity Falls.” “The Skeleton Twins” is another strong look at the relationship between a brother and sister.
Drawing inspiration from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” the talented animators at Laika have done a wonderful job at bringing the strange and grotesque back to animated features in an age of more welcoming digitally animated fair. Their last two films, “Coraline” and “Paranorman,” were some of the most charmingly creepy of this recent resonance of diverse animation. “The Boxtrolls” keeps in the tradition of those movies, being a weird, visually splendid escapade of stop-motion animation. It’s all good fun, although the familiar story often holds it back from ever being a masterpiece.
I’ve heard it said that parenting is a lot like surfing. One moment, we can be in the midst of serene, calm waters, peacefully floating in the sea of harmony; the next, we are immersed in an enormous riptide, trying desperately to keep our heads above water. I’ve actually never been surfing, but this sounds about right. If you are a parent reading this, you know all too well the ebb and flow of the parenting journey.
Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at the East Valley Tribune office in Tempe on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2014.Question 2: What are your thoughts on the restriction on RU486 and should the state continue to pursue the case to the Supreme Court?