• 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.

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  • 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…

  • Matt Russell, Special to The Explorer
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I certainly don’t have plans to quit my day job, but I must admit that the plastic pig trophy looks great on my mantle.

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, The Explorer
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Sailing the Spanish Main in search of a treasure chest of cursed gold, saving the woman you love and foiling the aspirations of a pirate crew is an endeavor full of adventure, danger and a bit of romance. Add the cast and crew of The Gaslight Theatre to the mix, and the resultant performance…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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“The Promise” premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival billed as a dual-threat romance and war story. After an enthusiastic reception from festival goers, this early 1900s true Armenian Holocaust account was quickly picked up by a distribution studio and given last weekend as its relea…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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We’ve been awed by brilliant movie minds before, each attempting to cope with the deep personal pain their special brain powers often creates. Russell Crowe shocked us in “A Beautiful Mind” as a Nobel Laureate in Economics. A young Stephen Hawking at Cambridge was superbly personified by Osc…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Attending my second faith-based film in as many weeks, the Christian sermons espoused in last week’s “The Shack” and now “The Case for Christ” are both profound and interesting, yet take starkly different paths towards one’s belief in Jesus Christ.  Whereas “The Shack” invoked an exuberating…

  • Matt Russell, The Explorer
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When the deadliest gunfight in Arizona history inspires the name of a beer that will compete for craft glory later this month, suffice it to say that the brewers are in it to win it.

  • Patrick King Special to The Explorer
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I’m not quite sure why faith-based films draw such skepticism and low marks from movie critics in general.  These reviewers can’t all be atheists or non-believers.  Perhaps many have difficulty wading into religious waters on company time.  Others might find it personally safer to judge a sp…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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No Oscars are awarded to movies released in the calendar months of March and April. These two months are reserved for only fodder films—appetizers if you will—for huge blockbuster summer action adventures kicking off on Memorial Day weekend and lasting until “Back to School” commercials swar…

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Tucson Local Media
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Though rain may have postponed the festivities, the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) has rescheduled the Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show for this Saturday, April 1 at the Oro Valley Marketplace (12155 N. Oracle Road). In its ninth year, the event will inclu…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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The best opening weekend for the month of March ever, Disney’s live-action movie “Beauty and the Beast” hauled in a record-breaking $170 million in the U.S. alone. The wholesome love story also flexed its animation muscle globally, taking in a record $350 million worldwide—making it the bigg…

  • Matt Russell Special to The Explorer
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When I first interviewed Pat Connors more than a decade ago, I learned about the pairing of fried avocados and Irish whiskey.

editor's pick spotlight top story
  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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With DC Comics and Marvel adventures spurning film releases at nearly the rate of presidential tweets, these filmmakers must strive for freshness on-screen that goes beyond only well-choreographed action sequences. These studios must balance staying accurate to their comic book inspired stor…

  • Mark Whittaker, Special to The Explorer
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Tiffany Eldridge actually prefers the title of bartender over mixologist. She does not ignite drinks on fire, there isn’t a lot of tossing shakers and bottles and above all she just wants you to take the time and enjoy one of her signature creations or a classic libation.

editor's pick spotlight top story
  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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This Sunday night’s 89th Academy Awards show on ABC is one of the most uncertain and open races in recent years. First-time Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel kicks off the telecast at 5 p.m., Arizona time.  Despite La La Land netting a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations (joining Titanic and All…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Once again, the month of February has drawn upon us and a handful of friends sheepishly asked if I were going to see this second erotic rollout based upon best-selling author E.L. James’ trilogy collection?  Yes, I unabashedly responded.  And, no, like most book-to-film endeavors, I haven’t …

editor's pick spotlight top story
  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Three years after co-directing the wildly successful and Academy Award nominated “The Lego Movie”, Chris McKay finds himself sitting alone in the director’s chair for this sequel.  And the same can be said for Gotham City’s own Caped Crusader—as Batman headlines this Lego spin-off and must c…

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Special to The Explorer
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More than 1,000 hungry foodies made their way to the Tucson Botanical Gardens last Saturday, Feb. 4 to enjoy dozens of different food samples from some of the region’s most notable restaurants and fill their glasses time and time again at the 4th annual Savor Food and Wine Festival hosted in…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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The uniqueness of documentary films affords us with an unfiltered, first-hand glimpse into a person’s life adventures.  These “reality” movies place us—the filmgoer—directly into the world of non-actors doing what they do best being themselves.  Through these documentaries, we partake in his…

  • Matt Russell, Special to The Explorer
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I suppose it was tough luck on that winter night in 1988 when three punches, which I never even ordered, made me $150 richer.

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Sixty-three years ago, they owned the fast food hamburger market outpacing even Burger King (Insta-Burger King at the time) nationally. Soon, McDonalds offspring popped up along almost every U.S. main street nearly as fast and efficiently as their burgers, fries and milkshakes arrived at the…

  • Margaret Regan, Tucson Local Media
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Michael Cajero has never been an artist of muted views. An expert at making desolate figures out of burnt papier-mâché and twisted wire, Cajero has created a scorched installation summing up his fears about America’s new political era. Displayed at Conrad Wilde Gallery in the aptly named sho…

  • Sherilyn Forrester, Special to The Explorer
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Theaters, like most every other entity, work hard to create their brand. From the beginning, the folks at the Rogue Theatre had a pretty clear vision about what they wanted their brand to be. If I had to name it, without reaching into their statements of purpose and articles of incorporation…

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, The Explorer
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When travelling entertainers Reynaldo and Paco are invited to perform in the village of Santa Feliz by Comandante Maxino, the two men – also known as the Two Amigos – accidentally involve themselves in the village’s local political turmoil. With the people of Santa Feliz seemingly trapped un…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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No one right now in Hollywood is sharper at crafting heroic true-life stories onto the big-screen than Clint Eastwood or Peter Berg. Both directors have powerfully depicted ordinary people doing extraordinary acts of bravery.  Each visionary storyteller is so keen at providing a deep history…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Casey Affleck’s spectacular performance is this film earned him a Golden Globe on Sunday, and should end any further speculation as to which Affleck brother has the best acting chops.  Sorry, Batman. Chatter from the Left Coast early last year told us film critics to expect a particularly st…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Moviegoers’ first reactions to seeing “Hidden Figures” will be to ask themselves how did America not already know this incredible true story? This NASA film is an exhilarating and positive narrative deeply rooted to one of our nation’s greatest feats: Successfully launching a human into spac…

editor's pick spotlight top story
  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Here are the year’s best films in storytelling and performances:

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Rebel Alliance fans will find themselves perplexed as to how bland and timid this Disney stand-alone Star Wars saga feels when compared to last year’s spectacular “The Force Awakens.” This newest space drama debuts a star-studded cast that’s been given an underwhelming and way too serious sc…

  • Brad Allis, The Explorer
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With so many players to choose from, putting together a football all-star team is never easy. Some positions are very deep, others have less options. This year was particularly tough, as all five area teams qualified for the postseason and had great years.