Diversions

‘Unstoppable’ on track to reprise popular runaway-train theme

Runaway locomotives have a long and noble history in movies, and I've been a fan at least since the TV movie Runaway! back in 1973. Since then, I've enjoyed the premise in...

‘Due Date’ chaotic but still boasts worthy acting

An uptight guy is forced to travel across America with an obnoxious guy. That’s the simple, and by no means original, premise of the new road comedy Due Date, a 21st-Century spin...

Original ‘Invasion’ still a good scare

If you’re looking for a scary classic DVD for this month of ghouls and goblins, you might consider the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In this 1956 classic, big parasitical seed pods...

‘Buried’ frightens with primal terror

October at last! It’s my favorite month in the Valley because it’s the one in which summer begins to give up her stubbornness, and my favorite month anywhere because it’s the month...

‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’

The title of Oliver Stone’s new film is Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. For all I know, that may be true—my relationship with Money, to date, hasn’t been intimate enough to say....

Now that school’s back, nearby Phoenix Zoo becomes an even more appealing destination

A couple of weeks ago I had a strong wish to see a donkey and a howler monkey. This didn’t come out of nowhere. I was in the middle of reading Beatrice...

‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ Original charm lost in an unrelenting siege of special effects

Possibly the finest hour onscreen for Mickey Mouse was “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” the segment of 1940’s Fantasia in which he played the title role. The episode is a wordless pantomime, which helps a...

‘Knight and Day’ Cruise super-spy tale more a super-snoozer

Several times in the course of Knight and Day, hero Tom Cruise drugs heroine Cameron Diaz or otherwise causes her to lose consciousness. This happens when the two of them are in...
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