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If you grew up in the early 90s, you probably remember an animated feature from 20th Century Fox called “FernGully: The Last Rainforest.” It was the environmentally-conscious movie every 90s kid saw, and yet, nobody really liked. The film’s intentions might have been good, but even the youngest children seemed to find its blatant green message overly preachy. The fact that “FernGully” was lacking in any interesting characters or magic didn’t help. “Epic,” which was also coincidentally distributed by Fox, is a bit like “FernGully” if it had smarter, more imaginative filmmakers backing it. While it’s not a massive improvement, “Epic” is at least fun, energized, and subtle with its environmental themes.
On paper, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” is one of those movies that should have crashed and burned. A reboot of a beloved franchise with younger, lesser-known actors stepping into the shoes of an iconic cast of characters. The fact that Abrams went on record stating that he was never a huge “Star Trek” fan didn’t bode well either. Against all odds, though, Abrams not only produced a great “Star Trek” picture, but quite possibly the best “Star Trek” ever made. That’s right, even better than “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
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.
Phoenix film makers Marcus A. Stricklin and Sandy Kim, of Future Legends Production, have been invited to the Cannes Short Film Corner for the production of their film, “The Last Dance,” working with children actors from Ahwatukee.
Dillie Nerios is a Florida food stamp recruiter. Her job is to sign up 150 seniors monthly in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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.
Horrible, the loss of three innocent lives in the Boston bombing. Then what word could one use to express the fact that between 158,000 and 202,000 civilians have died as a result of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan?
According to the majority of the media and most of our elected officials we are not supposed to judge all Muslims by the acts of a few “crazies.” But the acts of a few American “crazies” are enough to judge all Americans who own guns.
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.
The adage “truth is stranger than fiction” is proven in “The Lost Wife,” by Alyson Richman. She has succeeded in blending both for an unforgettable reading experience.
I received a press release today on the Brothers in Arms Classic the Desert Vista football team is participating in the fall.
Centennials are normally cause for celebration, a chance to applaud some thing or person standing the test of time. But not so for the income tax. Even the IRS is declining to mention that this year is the 100-year anniversary of the 16th Amendment of the Constitution, which authorized the tax.
When one thinks of the Holocaust film genre, dramas such as “Schindler’s List” and “The Pianist” instantly come to mind for their harrowing portrayals of victims and survivors who suffered at the hands of Nazis. But what about the German survivors – more specifically, the children of Nazi war criminals forced to come to terms with the atrocities of their parents? This is a question posed by the exceptional new German-language film, “Lore,” Cate Shortland’s follow-up to her acclaimed 2004 feature “Somersault.”
Charles Robinson passed away peacefully on Monday, April 15. He was 82 years old. He was born in Hamburg, Iowa, to Charles and Ruth Robinson. He was married to Sylvia for 58 years before she passed in 2010.
Arizona firms are on the verge of getting new secrecy protections for the internal reviews they do of their health and safety practices.
The gentleman produced a well-written, cogent commentary (“Can anyone seriously argue that the Iraq War was truly justified?” AFN, March 27) on the wisdom of the Iraq War. However, isn’t the Iraq War old news? Unless, perhaps, one wants to review the Iraqi constitution, which is a perfect example of a theocratic state. That constitution specifically says Islam is the national religion. Somewhat contrary to our Constitution, which supports religious freedom. How is it possible to have a free democracy when the government tells you who to worship as your spiritual savior?
Being a person of faith isn’t like being a football player or a plumber. In those cases, everyone knows the rules, the skills and who qualifies. Christians don’t even have universal agreement of what it means to “belong” or “get in” the club, let alone answers to life’s most pressing questions.
Gov. Jan Brewer said Tuesday that enhanced security is being put in place for this weekend's Pat Tillman run in the wake of the bombings in Boston.
He has given standout performances in the likes of “The Big Lebowski,” “Crazy Heart” and “True Grit,” but Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges’ enormous talent doesn’t stop there. His illustrious resume runs the gamut from musician to author to humanitarian, which begs the question: Is there anything he can’t do?
Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” hasn’t just motivated viewers to indulge in the sweet treat. The TV show has inspired Mesa culinary instructor Amee Hoge to host a similar cupcake challenge of her own but with a twist — it’s just for kids.
The night of the shooting in Aurora, Colo., Ahwatukee Foothills mom and lawyer Ellen Davis had enough.
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.
Army Pvt. Jesse A. Blas has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.
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.
Recently, I took one of the most refreshing phone calls I’ve received in a while.
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