Diversions

Our film guy lists his top 2011 picks

Phoenix Film Critics Society, of which I am a proud founding member, announced its 2011 Award winners shortly before New Year’s Day. Among those selected were The Artist for Best Picture; its director Michel Hazanavicius as Best Director; its star Jean Dujardin as Best Actress; and its sultry costar Berenice Bejo as Best Supporting Actress. […]

Marcos teacher credited with launching alum’s film career

Marcos teacher credited with launching alum’s film career

Opening Dec. 23 at Harkins Valley Art theater in Tempeis Footprints, a mystery tale in which a woman wakes up with amnesia in front Grauman’s Chinese, and searches for her identity on Hollywood Boulevard. The independent film’s editor is a Kyrene Corridor native by the name of Travis Rust, who credits two experiences at Marcos […]

Penguins: They’re back

Penguins: They’re back

2006’s Happy Feet was a truly crazy movie, a blend of Pixar-style animation, Bollywood musical and a streak of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Set in a world in which penguins sing to connect with their soulmates, the film focused on the unfortunate young Mumbles, unable to carry a tune but endowed with a natural […]

‘Martha’ a poignant exploration of cult phenomenon

‘Martha’ a poignant exploration of cult phenomenon

At the beginning of Martha Marcy May Marlene, the title character—all those names are hers—flees a cult in rural upstate New York. In desperation, she calls her older sister Lucy, who’s had no idea of her whereabouts for the past couple of years. Lucy comes and picks her up, and takes her to the upscale […]

‘Thing’ remake still frightful

‘Thing’ remake still frightful

All it means, really, is “object,” yet somewhere along the line in American pop culture the word “thing” came to mean something scary, a monster, a freak. Maybe it says something about humans that it’s what’s undefined, not consigned to a pigeonhole, which raises our collective gooseflesh. There were Lovecraft stories like “The Thing on […]

‘Dolphin’ tale a quixotic charmer

‘Dolphin’ tale a quixotic charmer

“From the studios and producers of The Blind Side.” That’s how Dolphin Tale is being marketed. This may strike you as a tenuous aesthetic connection, but it’s savvy advertising—Dolphin Tale, loosely based on true events, is another story of a wounded foundling becoming a star. The young dolphin in question is injured when she runs […]

‘Hoodwinked Too!’ redux ready for girls (and boys, too)

‘Hoodwinked Too!’ redux ready for girls (and boys, too)

Made in a less-expensive, not-so-lush form of computer-generated animation, 2005’s Hoodwinked! was a fractured retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood myth. It was filled with wacky references to other fairy tales, something like Shrek but without the same effortless wit. The voice cast was good and the film certainly had its moments, but on […]

Pooh tale best of animal epics

Pooh tale best of animal epics

Opening this weekend is Winnie the Pooh, a new Disney feature chronicling the adventures of the title teddy bear and his various pals in the Hundred Acre Wood. I must admit that I come to the Disney incarnations of these characters with a bias. The low-key, quietly witty original stories, by A. A. Milne, and […]