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  • Patrick King
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Although “Justice League” failed to break the $100 million mark in U.S. ticket sales last weekend, the latest DC Extended Universe action feature did achieve its longer-lasting goal: Reestablish Warner Bros. and DC Comics in the superhero movie death match against the Marvel Cinematic Univer…

  • Patrick King
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A hallmark of many successful films is their ability to tackle common, often repeated topic areas found in other big screen endeavors and yet still surprise viewers. These different perspectives or cultures take us into uncharted characters, adding unique story twists to already well-establi…

  • Patrick King
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Fans of 2014’s highly acclaimed “American Sniper” military drama will find common themes embedded in this latest war film depicting U.S. service members returning home after battle in Iraq. Never once taking the easy route to describe the struggles suffered by tens of thousands of combat vet…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Watching this year’s forest fires scorch the western United States has highlighted the dangers and difficulty faced by those willing to fight fire with fire. The photos of homes and landmarks saved and left untouched seared into our memories—a tribute to the dedication and hard work of so many. 

  • Emily Dieckman, Tucson Local Media
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Children’s author Todd Parr has a way with words. Sometimes they come in the form of useful, timely do’s and don’ts, like “Do wear underwear when you go trick-or-treating. Don’t wear it over your costume.” Sometimes it’s just what a person needs to hear on an off day, like “No matter how you…

  • Patrick King
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It’s easy to understand why the widespread popularity of series like “Game of Thrones” or “Outlander” has garnered so many loyal television fans. Viewers enjoy stepping back in time to witness snappy foreign dialects, the intricacy of throwback wardrobes, and the distinct personalities prese…

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  • Mark Whittaker, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Where does one go after opening several successful restaurants, some with sibling locations and all enjoying loyal fan bases? If you’re owner Brandon Katz, you find a niche in this food-loving town of ours, one that has yet to be fully realized, along with a craving from anxious diners. In t…

  • Patrick King
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Thirty-five years after Harrison Ford brought us futuristic Los Angeles Police Officer Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott’s original science fiction thriller, the “Blade Runner” saga continues using clever puzzle pieces in a complex bid for humans to avoid extinction. 

  • Linda Ray, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Last year “The Odd Couple” enjoyed a short revival on TV. The original series ran from 1970 to 1975, spun from Neil Simon’s repeatedly revived play about two hilariously mismatched men whose friendship withstood the crucible of sharing an apartment. One was an obsessive nit-picker; the other…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat provide countless opportunities to share our instantaneous actions and thoughts. Perhaps too much so, to the point of sensory overload. Each outlet gives us the ability to catch up and reminisce with others near or far. But what if seeing the fortunes and exu…

  • Linda Ray
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Heather Stricker was still a rookie the first time she played Christine opposite Armen Dirtadian’s Phantom of the Opera. The year was 2001, and it was The Gaslight Theatre’s third run of Peter Van Slyke’s original comedy adaptation. Dirtadian had played in all of them, as had Joe Cooper, cur…

  • Patrick King
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Every year, a handful of films are difficult to watch due to a trio of fateful missteps. A common denominator of these dreadful storylines is that they contain toothless scripts with no ability to bite and hold viewers’ attention. Lackluster plots on paper can’t even be saved by excellent ac…

  • Sherilyn Forrester, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Life brings us great gifts: A coveted job, a stable marriage, a newborn full of promise. It also presents us with great, sometimes seemingly unbearable, losses: a fire that destroys everything, a protracted illness, the loss of a spouse. But the real smack in the head is when life gives us g…

  • Patrick King
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Fans of Jake Gyllenhaal and true-life dramas retold on film will find “Stronger” both heartbreaking and inspirational. Starring as 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, Gyllenhaal teams up with movie newcomer Tatiana Maslany to give an emotional account of how Bauman persevered …

  • Logan Burtch-Buus
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Every time I watch a rendition of one of my favorite musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation of the novel “The Phantom of the Opera,” I leave the show or turn off the television thinking the same thing: This performance could have used a lively Justin Bieber song.

  • Patrick King
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Each year, countless movies I review never live up to the pre-release hype, despite award-winning directors and easy-to-watch, proven big-screen stars headlining those films. But, like a history professor reading from a stack of term papers at the end of a college course, a gem will emerge o…

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  • Linda Ray, Special to Tucson Local Media
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In July, 2016, The Christian Science Monitor wrote a business article about an L. A. showcase of comedians who did not swear, discuss body parts or tell sex jokes. The promoter said many comedians wanted to perform clean, but didn’t want to be alone. He hoped to spin the showcase into a seri…

  • Patrick King
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From the screenwriter of last year’s highly acclaimed and Oscar-nominated best picture “Hell or High Water” comes another thoughtful and character-driven crime thriller. In “Wind River,” we find Taylor Sheridan not only providing the film’s ambitious script but also sliding behind the camera…

  • Patrick King
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Headlined by a trio of Hollywood heavyweights, this film adaptation of the 2005 best-seller by Jeannette Walls presents a riveting and raw look inside her real-life nomadic upbringing in a highly dysfunctional family. Riding the same harrowing and shocking family details that kept Walls’ nov…

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  • Mark Whittaker
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For decades, Miracle Mile was the place to be and be seen here in Tucson. It had lively clubs, upscale restaurants, social arenas and motor lodges for those visiting our quaint desert township; the main drag, if you will, of entertainment and nightlife vivacity. 

  • Patrick King
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The mega successful Academy Award-winning duo of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal team up for a third time in this true 1967 civil unrest story. The director and screenwriter from “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2013) once again raise viewer eyebrows over what’s fact and fictio…

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  • Matt Russell
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I knew that my time would eventually come, and turning 50 this summer seemed like the right context for comfortably and confidently ordering my first Singapore Sling.

  • Patrick King
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Disappointing, was my first thought after seeing this latest story from unconventional director Christopher Nolan. Like most of you, seeing this film’s gripping World War II movie trailer earlier this year instantly made it one of my most anticipated films of 2017. 

  • Mark Whittaker, Special to The Explorer
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What is it, exactly, about strip malls and fantastic food? Los Angeles literally prides itself on some of the tastiest and most exotic food coming from a hidden storefront, sandwiched between a vape shop and a bodega. It’s kind of the same here in Tucson. One of my favorite places to grab a …

  • Patrick King
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Fans of last year’s “Captain America: Civil War” will rejoice knowing that the same raw, yet spirited, Spider-Man returns in “Homecoming.” Brit and former gymnast Tom Holland once again provides an infectious charismatic face to the Marvel brand as Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. His youthful …

  • Patrick King
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As a comic-book heroine continues her blockbuster dominance this summer, a much lesser known film has also grabbed moviegoers’ full attention. The self-distributed Native American story “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” has quietly sold out nearly every one of its appearances at multiplex theaters acro…

  • Matt Russell, Special to The Explorer
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In true Pavlovian fashion, all it took was last week’s news that India Prime Minister Narendra Modi was visiting our nation’s capital to trigger my intense craving for garam masala.

  • Logan Burtch-Buus
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Superhero splendor is in full effect at The Gaslight Theatre, which recently began showing another classic, “The Incredible Spider Guy,” a playful take on the classic Spider-Man storyline chock-full of Gaslight flair and hilarity.

  • Patrick King
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Veteran actor Sam Elliott has that famous authoritarian deep voice we can all recognize on television from the other room. He also has that legendary bushy mustache that seems to walk into movie scenes minutes ahead of the star—like in 1993’s “Tombstone” as Virgil Earp. But Elliott’s six-foo…

  • Mark Whittaker
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When you step inside the brightly painted café Atomic Frog, with its pastel greens and electric blues, it’s hard to imagine it any other way. Sitting snug in the Thornydale Plaza, right behind Mountain View High School, the new-fangled, old-fashionedice-cream parlor would have a very differe…

  • Patrick King
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Seventy-six years since her inception, one of the most popular comic book characters of all-time has finally hit the big screen. And what an amazing and historic arrival “Wonder Woman” has made upon audiences. With domestic box office sales topping $100 million for its opening weekend, this …

  • Matt Russel
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Performing in Carnegie Hall and having dinner at the White House are two of the highest honors that have ever been bestowed on me. That is, until the Russell Melt Down was unveiled.

  • Patrick King
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Returning to its successful beachcombing techniques that made it one of the world’s most watched television programs ever, this big-screen comedy reboot exudes unabashed sexy hard bodies with a simplistic, yet effective, crimefighting element. An entertaining and humorous adventure bolts fro…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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With the unexpected but widely applauded 2015 sci-fi  thriller “Ex Machina,” film-goers saw how intriguing and tricky the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) can be for humanity. These synthetic lifeforms, built to accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently than us, quickly turned th…

  • Matt Russell, Special to Tucson Local Media
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I take my food seriously, so it should come as no surprise that preparations for National Elote Day have begun in earnest at the Russell residence.

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Few modern war films give a voice to the enemy. Speaking parts are usually reserved for the battlefield’s victor, with only short glimpses of the losing opponent scrambling through a thick jungle or getting shot down in the sky from behind. 

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Special to The Explorer
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Finding the right bit of entertainment can always be a bit of a hassle, especially as the summer sun begins to beat down on our necks, forearms and ears. Instead of searching through online listings, ads and previews, take a moment to consider Logan’s top five things to do this week.

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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As one of my most anticipated films of 2017, I was anxious to see how this next volume of “Guardians of the Galaxy” stacked up to its first mixtape. I unapologetically gave that first edition a well-deserved Top 5 ranking on my Best Films of 2014 list. In fact, this charming group--led by sp…