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Harry Reid invoked the so called “Nuclear Option” — a critical change in the rules of the Senate that provided a voice for the minority party. When Obama had control of the House and the Senate we saw him ram through Obamacare. Obama has three more years to exercise his agenda but is fearful that he may actually lose control of the Senate in 2014 due to the public backlash against Obamacare. His burning agenda is to stack the D.C. court with left-wing judges and place more liberals in key positions within the government. He has stated that he feels these nominees are being held up by the GOP via filibuster. So, getting rid of this provision allows Obama to act with impunity in regards to nominees thus ensuring that he can place liberals in any position he wishes.
Robert Rodriguez's "Machete Kills" is a sequel based on an end-credits joke from a film that was itself based on a joke trailer contained within a half-joke grindhouse homage. Exactly how many degrees such an endeavor is removed from anything resembling serious cinema would require Jean Baudrillard to calculate, yet for more immediate filmgoing purposes, all there is to see here is a surprisingly long-lived gag finally running out of gas. As violent as its predecessor yet noticeably duller and less outrageous, "Machete Kills" is dragged to the finish line entirely by its director's madcap energy and an absurd cast of major stars in strange cameos.
This time, we are not talking about Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Dog the Bounty Hunter, John Mayer, Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Paula Deen, or Riley Cooper.
Even if everything Secretary of State John Kerry says about chemical weapons in Syria were true, the evidence would prove only that Bashar al-Assad committed crimes against civilians. It would not prove that the U.S. government has either the moral or legal authority to commit acts of war.
President Barack Obama on July 31 announced his nomination of Kenneth L. Mossman, an Arizona State University professor of health physics and an international expert in radiation health and safety, to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.
The grilled "nuclear" shrimp skewers at Nabers on 54th St on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.
"We're the Millers" is an identity comedy with identity issues.
Early in President’s Obama’s presidency some critiques of the president were claiming he was traveling around the world on what they called an “apology tour,” but nothing can be farther from the truth. Looking back, yes, President Obama seemed to be uneasy when meeting some world leaders, but no one can deny the fact that his presidency has taken on our foes with a precise and deadly intensity.
I did it. Even though it might make me the last person in Ahwatukee over the age of 9 to do so, I have a smartphone. It was not a case of desire; the screen on my “vintage” phone was so scratched I couldn’t see it, and it turned out I could get the smartphone and pay $10 less per month. I suspect the kid that sold it to me was like a seedy, back alley pusher — “come on, its even cheaper” — and that a smartphone is gateway technology.
You may better know her sister, Dakota, from box-office smashes like “War of the Worlds” and “The Twilight Saga,” but 14-year-old Elle Fanning has already made quite a name for herself among the arthouse set, appearing in such acclaimed works as “Babel,” “Somewhere” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” This month, she takes center stage in a new drama from writer/director Sally Potter entitled “Ginger & Rosa” – a coming-of-age tale set in 1962 London as the threat of the Cuban missile crisis looms overhead.
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.
If a big, dumb action movie knows it's a big, dumb action movie and revels in that fact, is that preferable to a big, dumb action movie making the mistake of thinking it's significant, relevant art?
That's the question to ponder — if you can think straight and your ears aren't ringing too badly — during "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." This sequel of sorts to the 2009 blockbuster "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" seems to have some cheeky fun with itself, from Bruce Willis cheerily revealing the arsenal he's hiding in his quiet suburban home to RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan essentially showing up and playing himself. A major city is obliterated with the touch of a button and several others are in peril as the world hinges on nuclear destruction in what amounts to a hammy game of chicken.
Nothing matters really. This is a movie based on a Hasbro toy, after all — it's all spectacle and bombast. But at least "G.I. Joe" is aware of its vapidity compared to, say, last week's "Olympus Has Fallen," in which North Korean terrorists took over the White House in self-serious fashion but our secret-service-agent hero found time to make wedged-in, smart-alecky quips on the way to saving the day.
That's not to say that this "G.I. Joe" is good, aside from a couple of dazzling action set pieces, but at least it's efficient in its muscular mindlessness.
The elite military team of Joes, now led by Duke (Channing Tatum, returning from the first film), is sent to Pakistan to recover some nuclear weapons. But they find themselves double-crossed by their own government, led by an imposter president, and lose many among their ranks in a massive ambush. The survivors — Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, reliable as ever), Flint (D.J. Cotrona, who's given no personality) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki, in full makeup for covert ops) — must find out who's running the country and get to the bottom of this villain's dastardly plan.
Turns out it's master of disguise Zartan, part of the enemy group Cobra, who's posing as the president while the real commander in chief is locked up in a bomb shelter. (Jonathan Pryce plays both roles; he's far too qualified for even one of them.) The three Joes realize they need help to bring him down, so they round up the far-flung Snake Eyes (Ray Park), the petite warrior Jinx (Elodie Yung, whose character trains with the Blind Master, RZA) and the reluctant Storm Shadow (Korean superstar Byung-hun Lee, an athletic and elegant specimen).
They also need some firepower, so they track down Willis' Original Joe, Gen. Colton, who provides his own personal gun show. (You'd never know there's a gun control debate in this country from watching this movie; it's all very macho and rah-rah. The flip side is, none of the casualties from all this sophisticated weaponry results in any blood. This is an astonishingly violent PG-13 movie.)
"Retaliation" initially was scheduled to come out last summer, but the studio pulled it and delayed its release to convert the movie to 3-D. With a director like Jon M. Chu, who's shown a flair for integrating 3-D with the dance extravaganza "Step Up 3D" and the concert film "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," why not just shoot it that way in the first place? As it stands now, the extra dimension doesn't add much, and often is used in that simplistic, tried-and-true way of flinging things at us from the screen: bullets, throwing stars, etc.
There is one absolutely astounding extended sequence about halfway through, in which two teams of ninjas face off in a battle on the sheer cliff faces of the Himalayas. Using cables and zip lines, it's as if they're running, leaping and practically dancing on walls in the sky — a breathtaking piece of choreography in its own right, regardless of the dimension through which it's viewed.
"G.I. Joe Retaliation," a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality. Running time: 110 minutes. Two stars out of four.
Motion Picture Association of America rating definition for PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
In a week when North Korea posted a homemade video showing the U.S. Capitol building being destroyed by a missile, what more logical response could Hollywood offer than a macho thriller about a Secret Service agent who takes on North Korean terrorists who attack the White House? The first of two similarly themed action dramas set for this year ("White House Down" arrives in June), "Olympus Has Fallen" will put to the test the question of whether American audiences are ready, 12 years after 9-11, to watch, strictly as disposable popcorn entertainment, a film in which the United States and some of its most prominent landmarks are devastated by foreign terrorists.
The new chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission signaled Monday that the days of pushing solar and renewable energy over other sources are over.
Wow! I didn’t know that, “Wind and solar provide many jobs and wind is cheaper than new coal per kilowatt hour.” But local science experts, Michael and Kat Shores, assure us that it is so (“Energy we can’t afford,” AFN, Oct. 21).
Fifty years ago, the world woke up to a crisis that brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of a cataclysmic nuclear war.
We don’t want any more subsidies for expensive, unsafe nuclear power or dirty coal.
They are our neighbors. They live to the north of us in rural Arizona. Some are Native Americans, many still live in primitive conditions; other folks dwell in small communities, eking out livelihoods. Various are generational Arizonans, whose pioneer forefathers settled this state.
The outcome of next month’s race for the Arizona Corporation Commission will determine how much more solar and other renewable energy electric utility consumers will have to buy.
I’d like to both agree (on one view) and take issue with Susan Stamper-Brown’s Guest Commentary of Aug. 3 (“The Futility of Gun Control”). I find several of her views to be very closed-minded and illogical, as I do those of many people who advocate no attempt at sensible gun control.
I’m willing to bet that, if you’re a new parent, you’ve lain awake some nights hearing that first little cry over the baby monitor, and prayed that Li’l Bundle o’Joy will just snortle himself back to sleep.
Here's Jenny McCarthy, the 2.0 version.
David Schapira, candidate for Congressional District 9, made it clear that he’s running for office to support education and jobs during his appearance Friday at the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee meeting.