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Urban AZ’s first Spoken Word Showcase brings together a range of poetic performers, along with R&B artists Dwele and Bilal with a band, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.
It’s no secret that Arizona offers some of the best and most luxurious AAA Four and Five Diamond resorts in the country. However, many travelers don’t realize that many of these properties also feature kid camps that aim to please even the pickiest pint-sized traveler. This provides mom and dad with a guilt-free way to indulge in some much-needed couple time, while allowing kids to make friends and create memories of their own.
Even though “The Great Gatsby” has gotten the movie treatment several times in the past, no film adaptation has ever really stood out as the definitive version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s celebrated novel. Director Baz Luhrmann’s film is certainly the most visually arresting interpretation of “The Great Gatsby” ever produced. Catherine Martin, who previous worked with Luhrmann on “Moulin Rouge,” “Romeo + Juliet,” and “Australia,” deserves multiple Oscar nominations for her hyper sets and eye-popping costumes. As wonderful as Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby” is to look at, the enchanting visuals are also ironically the movie’s downfall. In the midst of the art direction, costumes, and music, the story and characters that made Fitzgerald’s book a classic become a mere afterthought.
You may remember one of the most well-known miracles that Jesus performed in Mark, chapter 6: Thousands have gathered, it’s getting late, and most (if not all) are hungry. The natives are starting to get restless, and much like I get when I’m hungry, I’m sure that irritability was going up as patience was on the decline. So, Jesus tells the disciples to feed the masses of people who had followed them there, to which their first thought was to make a run to the local market and buy all the bread they had left (Mark 6:37). We know where the story goes from there — Jesus performs another miracle, turning close to nothing into a feast, satisfying all who were hungry.
Along with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Iron Man 3” is one of the rare superhero threequels that doesn’t disappoint. While Jon Favreau remains an executive producer and co-star, he passes on the directorial duties to Shane Black of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Black maintains all the action, humor, and character development that made Faverau’s first two films so enjoyable, while also incorporating his own unique signature. His film continues to raise the stakes and pushes its characters to their critical limits. In addition, “Iron Man 3” makes some hilarious commentary on the media’s role in terrorism with several inspired twist. The result is the darkest of the “Iron Man” trilogy and, ironically, the funniest.
The Norwegian directing team of Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, whose biopic of World War II resistance fighter Max Manus was a huge hit on home turf, have turned to another native hero for "Kon-Tiki." One of the most-vaunted escapades of the 20th century, Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Peru-to-Polynesia expedition by raft gets glossy big-screen treatment in this efficiently told action-adventure. Delivering visual drama and understated character study, sometimes in disappointingly formulaic fashion, the feature has its incisive moments but falls short as both epic and intimate portrait.
Dr. Neal Lester, author and professor of English at Arizona State University, was honored with an achievement award for the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of West Georgia 36th annual Alumni Association Awards Gala. A native of Jefferson, Ga., Lester graduated from the University of West Georgia in 1981 with a bachelor of arts degree in English.
The Heady Hoop Tribe, an eclectic group of four women who aim to inspire others through the creative power of modern hoop dance, bring a sense of community to Phoenix.
"Oblivion” is another movie that seems better suited for a video game than a motion picture. Watching the characters engage in endless shoot outs and explore vast, abandoned terrains, all you want to do is get your hands on a controller. Since a movie is unequipped with game play, though, you’re forced to sit back and merely observe the story. Then again, most modern video games have more three-dimensional characters and smarter plots than “Oblivion.” This science fiction mystery from director Joseph Kosinski isn’t completely without some good ideas, elevating it above “Transformers” schlock. It’s just unfortunate those ideas never meld into anything that intriguing.
Samantha Blau has travelled outside of the country before, but an upcoming trip this summer is particularly nerve wracking.
An Ahwatukee Foothills native’s life-long love for soccer skyrocketed to professional heights last August, when he became the first amateur player to sign a professional contract from Premier Development League club FC Tucson.
"42” is far from the first movie to explore racial tensions in sports. We’ve seen this subject depicted in other good films like “Remember the Titans” and “Glory Road.” There are plenty of recognizable figures on display here, such as the underdog nobody believed in, the one man willing to take a chance on that underdog, and the ignorant antagonists that wish to see that underdog fail. Familiarity aside, though, “42” executes just about everything wonderfully. This is a good-hearted picture, carried by sincere performances and passionate direction. Not only is it an inspiring story about overcoming prejudice, but an all around rousing baseball movie too.
As a first generation university student and Phoenix native, I chose to study here in Arizona at Arizona State University because of its distinct take on legislative problem solving. Arizona is independent and unique; it incorporates both an agricultural economy and burgeoning city life all in one state.
One arrived before Rudy Valee and the other a year before The Beatles, but together they made beautiful music in nurturing a piece of Ahwatukee that spanned the decades between the roaring ‘20s and this year’s cold winter rains.
Anyone who saw “Scream 4” likely remembers the scene where Hayden Panettiere lists off every horror remake to come out in the past decade, from “Halloween” to “Friday the 13th.” So many of these remakes failed due to a lack of passion on the filmmaker’s behalf. Making a good movie was only their second priority, right after cashing in on an exhausted franchise’s good name. The new “Evil Dead” movie is the rare exception. It’s obvious that director/screenwriter Fede Alvarez has great admiration for Sam Raimi’s beloved cult classic. Along with co-writers Diablo Cody and Rodo Sayagues, Alvarez produces the best contemporary “Evil Dead” movie possible.
In my 55-plus years as a native of Arizona, our state has always been pragmatically independent and conservative. Only lately has the pragmatism been replaced by dogmatic ideology. This ideology has become more hostile and prominent recently and unfortunately was brought to the forefront immediately before the Holy Days leading up to Easter. It is unfortunate that the vitriolic speak that Maricopa County GOP Chairman Mr. LaFaro chose when speaking at a legislative committee was to compare our governor with Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. It is my opinion that supporting Medicaid expansion to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level does not amount to equating Gov. Brewer to Judas.
Whenever Esi Impraim’s mother made jollof — a rich, tomato-laced dish of meats, rice and sometimes seafood — the time it took to bubble away on the stove was always excruciating.
An evening of snazzy clothes, cocktails, art, music and fine dining could be fun for you — but crucial for some of Arizona’s struggling men, women and children.
This weekend marks Josh Mendoza’s first time to have a film screening at the Phoenix Film Festival, but there’s a hunch that this is just the start for the Ahwatukee Foothills native.
Desert Rivers Audubon, which hosts monthly nature programs for families in Gilbert and Chandler, will give outdoors enthusiasts a primer on using smart phones to connect with nature.
Armando Adrian-López doesn’t farm anymore, but he still looks to the natural world for inspiration and materials, using corn husks, dried flowers and found objects to create fantastical winged and horned creatures.
You could pick up some pretty good art for a decent price this weekend.
You may know him as one of the stars of the popular PBS series “History Detectives,” but Dr. Eduardo Pagán is also a Grand Canyon State native and history professor at Arizona State University.
Although it’s not much, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” really deserves credit where credit’s due. Its 2009 predecessor was one of the dumbest action movies of the past 10 years. In this sequel, director Jon M. Chu of those “Step Up” movies makes an attempt to incorporate some humor, creative action sequences, and impressive visuals. That doesn’t mean “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is a good movie, but at least it’s an improvement. The film could have gone down the route of the “Transformers” series, which only got worse with every entry.
Editor’s note: Follows is a one-on-one interview with Joshua Sasse, of the movie “The Big and I,” and Leah Gibson, from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Both are playing key roles in “Rogue,” DIRECTV’s first original series.
© Copyright 2011, Ahwatukee Foothills News, Phoenix, AZ