There are two movies currently in theaters about American heroes. One of them is “American Sniper,” which centers on a white American hero. The other is “Selma,” which centers on a black American hero.
"The kingdom of God is like kudzu planted in a field." Would Jesus have ever said such a thing? Yes, I think so. You see, he once compared God's work in this world to a growing ""mustard seed" and like ""yeast mixed in with the dough." Making the jump from mustard and yeast to kudzu is not as far a leap as you might think.
I streamed the first State of the State address given by Gov. Doug Ducey. In general, it was a very vanilla kick off to the new session. Rhetoric on taxes, education and administrative agenda; all intended to guide the Legislature on where to focus their bill-making powers.
Almost 30 years ago, Adrian Lyne directed “Fatal Attraction.” His film took a fairly basic thriller premise and distinguished it with Oscar-caliber performances, a well-structured screenplay, and legitimate terror. Since then, we’ve gotten numerous retreads like “Swinfan,” “Obsessed” and now, quite possibly the dumbest of all, “The Boy Next Door.” Even if “Fatal Attraction” never existed, though, “The Boy Next Door” would still be a downright embarrassing standalone movie. How embarrassing is it? So embarrassing that the audiences for “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives” would boo it off-screen.
While 2014 brought us a ton of tremendous blockbusters about superheroes, LEGOS, and talking raccoons, it was also a banner year for smaller movies about life itself. No matter what the budget, this year had no shortage of great films. Today we’ll be taking a look at my 10 personal favorites.
J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” is a unique crime drama primarily due to its central character, Abel Morales. With a title like “A Most Violent Year,” you’d think Abel would be a hostile pig that’s constantly ordering hits and shouting obscenities. While he engages in unlawful activities, Abel is probably one of the most reputable and humble criminals cinema has ever seen. He doesn’t cheat on his wife, do drugs, or abuse the second amendment. Even when he has to put a dying animal out of its misery, he’s reluctant to do the deed.
From “Boogie Nights” to “Magnolia” to “Punch-Drunk Love” to “There Will Be Blood” to “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson has distinguished himself as one of the greatest and strangest filmmakers of the past two decades. “Inherent Vice” is another mystifying tale from Anderson, although it’s not the plot or meaning of the film that’s mystifying this time around. It’s the film’s quality that’s mystifying. “Inherent Vice” has too many talented actors to count and a strong atmosphere to boot. While there’s much to admire, it feels surprisingly hollow and dull on the whole.
Last year, Steve McQueen gave us “12 Years a Slave,” arguably the first truly great film about slavery in America. This year, Ava DuVernay gives us “Selma,” the first truly great film centered on Martin Luther King, Jr. King has been portrayed in various films and TV movies since his death. Yet, no actor has done a finer job at capturing his spirit better than David Oyelowo, who also played an African American preacher in “The Help.” Passionate, well spoken, and unrelenting in his cause, not a second goes by when you aren’t convinced that Oyelowo is King.
In December, Congress approved and the president signed into law legislation that paves the way for the expansion of the Resolution Copper Mine in Superior, Ariz. I’m extremely proud to have worked as a team with my Arizona colleagues in the Senate and House, most notably Sen. Jeff Flake, Congressman Paul Gosar, and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, to advance this legislation.
This energetic networking group meets at noon every Monday to exchange leads and referrals. Arrive early to order lunch and network in a one person-one profession group at Native New Yorker, 5030 E. Ray Road.