Date Night Archives

Review: Will you sleep with the lights on after ‘Lights Out’?

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

It’s unbelievable that Lights Out didn’t exist until now. Nearly everyone is afraid of the dark. When I first started watching horror movies, I slept with the lights on (ok, occasionally I still do) — why hadn’t a filmmaker directly exploited our infantile reliance on light yet? Turns out the director of the fiendishly well-made… Read More →

Does ‘Star Trek Beyond’ work without Abrams?

Famous movies

Star Trek Beyond boldly goes where many filmmakers have gone before, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. As a film critic sometimes I have to know when to be skeptical. For example, I loved J. J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of Star Trek. But when I saw that Justin Lin — the testosterone vehicle… Read More →

5 celebrities who should be running for president instead

Copyright: kamigami / 123RF Stock Photo

With the ridiculousness of political coverage headlines growing exponentially, many people — myself included — end up looking for temporary escapes from the inane insanity. For some — definitely myself included — that escape is the wonderful world of movies. When you’re calming down in the dark of a movie theater, certain ideas can arise:… Read More →

A feline first: Entrepreneur hopes to launch cat café

Melissa Pruitt: Future owner of LaGattara Cat Café.

Seventeen years ago, an entrepreneur in Taipei, Taiwan opened the world’s very first café with cats as the guests’ accompaniment. With this attraction being as bizarre as it sounds, word got out and the cafés began to blossom worldwide. These “cat cafés” have become such a trend that they have gained publicity on shows like… Read More →

5 Best Films Made in Arizona

Films made in Arizona

Rumor has it that Flagstaff was almost the filmmaking capital of America, but it was abandoned in favor of Hollywood due to cold weather. I feel we were unfairly represented. 470 miles from Hollywood isn’t that bad though. Not all of Arizona looks like the ugly stretch of desert between Tempe and Tucson, and as… Read More →

Review: One big meh for ‘Ghostbusters’

movie

We are living in an era of unnecessary reboots and sequels, and we are powerless to stop it. Next in line for Hollywood’s endless quest to capitalize on our collective childhood is the reboot of Ghostbusters. Criticism of the reboot has ranged from caution to blatant misogyny: online groups without a modicum of intelligence, respect,… Read More →

Drug drama ‘The Infiltrator’ starts slow, pays off

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It’s quite rare that I know little about a movie before I’m watching it. Normally I’m reminding myself of a film’s writer and director before the opening credits have a chance to kick in. The Infiltrator somehow slipped under my obsessive radar though: as I sat down to watch it, I hadn’t even seen a… Read More →

Review: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ drops the ball

The Secret Life of Pets

Voice actor casting can make or break a movie. In The Secret Life of Pets, it was a huge distraction for me. The voice behind central dog Max is Louis C.K., renowned comedian and professional sardonic jerk. As a fan of his comedy, I could NOT get past the fact that the perpetually profane sad… Read More →

Carlson Creek Vineyard announces Scottsdale tasting room opening date

carlson creek vineyard

As part of the biggest expansion in the company’s history, Willcox-based Carlson Creek Vineyard will be opening its second tasting room in Scottsdale’s arts and entertainment district the weekend of Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17, 2016 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Throughout the weekend, Carlson Creek will not only be pouring its entire wine catalogue, but… Read More →

Review: ‘Swiss Army Man’ is a rootin’ tootin’ ride

Swiss Army Man

A lone man prepares to hang himself, stranded on a small island for who knows how long. He tightens his noose, sings a song from his childhood, and prepares to end his life… Until he sees a body wash up on shore. He checks for life, but it’s a dead man. But wait- it’s farting!… Read More →

Review: The BFG is a faithful adaption for better and for worse

BFG

Movies have an uncanny ability to transport you to another time. Steven Spielberg, irrefutably one of the greatest living directors, has created this feeling in film masterfully over the years. Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, the first Indiana Jones — they’re a few of many classics that thrive off of Spielberg’s directorial magic, absorbing audiences… Read More →

‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is a miserable failure of a nostalgia ride

Independence Day: Resurgence

2016 must hold some record by now for terrible sequels. I’ve seen 42 of the year’s movies, and of the five worst, four have a colon in their title. These are all action movies, and three of the four are sequels. For future reference, an action movie sequel with a colon in the title is… Read More →

Review: ‘The Neon Demon’ mostly shock, little story

Neon Demon

I have never seen so many people walk out of a movie before. And I once saw the midnight showing of The Last Airbender. Granted, The Neon Demon — Nicolas Winding Refn’s hellish landscape of bright lights and selfish souls — is a better film than M. Night Shyamalan’s should-be career ender. The latter upset… Read More →

Review: ‘Central Intelligence’ proves “The Rock” can be funny

Central Intelligence

There are different kinds of cinematic comedies. Some, like the films of the illustrious Edgar Wright, are masterworks that design groundbreaking methods to make moviegoers laugh. Others subvert real life to find its funny side: satires like Dr. Strangelove wittily comment on culture; parodies like This Is Spinal Tap skew popular movie trends. And then… Read More →