• 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. 

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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. 

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Leave it to three unlikable high school-aged home burglars to rip the top box office spot from one of 2016’s most anticipated movies.  After three consecutive weeks (and $283 million) DC Extended Universe’s “Suicide Squad” has lost its grip on the #1 weekend movie ranking to this low-budget …

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Far out clothes and vintage Hollywood party scenes aren’t enough to save this latest Russell Crowe film from box office disaster. Fellow new release “The Angry Birds Movie” clinched this past weekend’s top spot with nearly $40 million, followed by 2016’s highest grossing film so far--the res…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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We’ve all cringed at movie trailers, those pesky studio previews which have spawned from one-minute commercials into two-and-half minutes of spoiler reels.  Just as movie running times are getting longer and longer, so are the trailers promoting those films.  In today’s critical competition …

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Being considered a wolf hasn’t been this popular since 2009’s “The Hangover”, when Zach Galifianakis’ loner character Alan pronounced his one-man wolf pack allegiance to groom and groom-mates high above Las Vegas. Now seven years later and packing a legitimate PG-rating, wolf fans find thems…

  • Logan Burtch-Buus The Explorer
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It seems as though Ben Affleck isn’t ready to hang up his bat-suit just yet, and is planning to appear in several more films as beloved DC Comics superhero, Batman. Aside from the two already confirmed “Justice League” based films, Warner Bros. recently announced that Affleck will also be di…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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With the comic book-to-film universe getting more crowded by the day, the two primary production studios will need to take further risks to entice viewers.  As we saw with last month’s release of Marvel’s juggernaut “Deadpool”, superhero films can be vastly enjoyable for their serious, crime…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Based on the real-life terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2012, as depicted in the book from Pulitzer Prize and New York Times #1 bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff titled “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi,” this true story follows the heroism of a half-dozen sec…

  • Danilo Castro, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Hollywood has a buddy-cop formula studios continue to follow to this day: two cops, one the goofball comedian, the other a hot shot action junkie. There’s banter, shootouts and a testing of friendship that’s ultimately strengthened by the end of the movie. Call it “Action-Comedy 101” or the …

  • Danilo Castro, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Initially a successful novelist, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo shot to the top of M-G-M Studios in the late 1930s, raking in Oscar nominations (1940’s “Kitty Foyle”) and an impressive $4,000 a week. But, as is the case with most biopics, tragedy struck; leaving Trumbo a blacklisted Communist wh…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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As a big fan of The Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” reality television series, I enjoy the fireworks that fester between a ship’s captain and her crew. And just like you, after about 15 minutes into the crab rings being pulled from the icy cold waters of the Bering Sea, I yearn for the…

  • Patrick King, Special to the Explorer
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Movie buffs old enough, can still remember when and where they watched the original “Star Wars” blockbuster a long time ago, in a theater far, far away. A timestamp etched into our memories, marking the epic start to a hit franchise about outer space civil war. Thirty two years after we said…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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As demand for instant news has increased over recent years, the always competitive news markets have tried to keep pace with the news-thirsty customer demands for timely (and still accurate) information.  Added to the mix is a watchful public armed with immediate access to Internet posts and…

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  • Logan Burtch-Buus, The Explorer
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The Great American Playhouse, which became a glittering gem in the Oro Valley community the moment it opened its doors just two years ago, has closed down amidst payment negotiation issues with its landlord. The theater was located at 13005 North Oracle Rd.

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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As we get closer to the annual Academy Award and Golden Globe film nominations, “Room” is one powerful film to keep a close eye on. A fascinating drama about a teenage girl abducted and held captive with her son, this movie combines daunting societal isolation with the need for long-term cop…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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In perhaps Daniel Craig’s last film as James Bond, “SPECTRE” accentuates why the blonde actor is now deemed by many as the best-ever to play the British secret agent.  With an extraordinary opening scene that rivals even the dazzling start to “Casino Royale,” this latest Bond story maximizes…

  • Patrick King, Special to The Explorer
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Almost everyone is aware of the influence that Apple and Steve Jobs has had on each of our lives — as computers replaced typewriters and data-sharing blossomed into personal communications. Jobs’ vision of meshed computers and ordinary phones gave us encyclopedic iPhones on-the-go and remove…

  • Danilo Castro, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Hollywood doesn’t make movies like “Crimson Peak” anymore. Pitched by director Guillermo del Toro as “a love story with ghosts,” it swaps out cheap scares for languishing horror — fear instead of gore. The story, about a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) trapped in the mansion of her newlywed mys…

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Tucson Local Media
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The iconic gold bikini worn by Carrie Fisher while playing Princess Leia Organa in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” has a new, private owner after an online auction last week.  The costume was just part of a larger group of Hollywood memorabilia sold through Profiles In History, …

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway (2012’s “Les Miserables”) stars as founder and boss of an online clothing sales e-business who grudgingly takes on a senior intern (Robert De Niro) to help manage her chaotic life.  Hathaway is magnificent as a strong working woman who wants it all — and should.  

  • Jonathan Frahm, Special to The Explorer
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Vegas staples and world-traveling icons of the entertainment industry, the Edwards Twins, are returning to Tucson as part of their ongoing “Twintastic – 2 Brothers 100 Stars” set of shows from mid-to-late September. Comprised of Anthony and Eddie Edwards, the identical twins have become an i…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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With summer coming to a close next week, we say goodbye to an above-average 14-week run of movies that boasted the third highest grossing film of all-time (“Jurassic World”), sparked the cognitive thinking of moviegoers from all ages (“Inside Out”) and ended with an unvarnished look at contr…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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In this book-to-big screen adoption, two-time Academy Award winner Robert Redford partners with Nick Nolte to hike along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. With a success rate of only 10 percent for those who start out and actually finish the 2,118-mile journey, even steeper odds f…

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, The Explorer
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Australian actress Cate Blanchett is slated to play American television icon Lucille Ball in an upcoming biopic written by Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin previously penned “The West Wing” and “The Social Network.” 

  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Tucson Local Media
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Horror movie pioneer and one of the most influential minds in film, Wes Craven, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer; He was 76 years-old.

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  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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With a significant number of movies either made from successful bestselling novels or based upon true events, audiences more than ever are filing into theaters already knowing how these storylines will unfold.  

  • Danilo Castro, Special to The Explorer
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Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) and his family have big shoes to fill on their trip to Wally World. Sure, it’s been 32 years since his dad Clark (Chevy Chase) dragged everyone to hell and back in the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” but there’s no time stamp on comedy classics. 

  • Jamie Verwys, Tucson Local Media intern
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In the summer of 1971, one of America's most chilling psychological experiments played out in the basement of Stanford University's psychology building. Twenty-four male students were placed into a prison simulation and given the role of guard or prisoner. The cautionary tale of a group of r…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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From the opening scene, viewers are immediately shocked at the makeover of Jake Gyllenhaal into the junior middleweight boxing champion Billy “The Great” Hope.  The 34-year old Gyllenhaal lost 25 pounds for his role in last year’s dark thriller “Nightcrawler.”  Now in “Southpaw,” Gyllenhaal …

  • Austin Cook, Special to the Explorer
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Adam Sandler used to be one of the kings of comedy. His two most well-known movies Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison are comedy favorites of even some self-proclaimed movie buffs. 

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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With a dozen Marvel films released in the last eight years and another 10 scheduled to hit theaters over the next decade, it’s easy for moviegoers to develop signs of comic book fatigue. As much as I enjoyed last year’s twin success stories of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guard…

  • Danilo Castro, Special to Tucson Local Media
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People can’t get enough of Sherlock Holmes. From Robert Downey Jr.’s wild franchise to television’s “Elementary” and “Sherlock,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth has found rambunctious new life in the internet age. 

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  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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A 2015 Sundance Film Festival winner in both the Grand Prize and Audience Award dramatic categories, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a movie that fights social consciousness and stereotypes. 

  • Austin Cook, Special to the Explorer
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On July 9 a Belgian court acquitted the four founders of The Pirate Bay, Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström of committing criminal copyright infringement and abusing electronic communications. 

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  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Meet Riley. She’s an 11-year-old single child about to turn 12, uprooted from her family’s home in Minnesota for a move to San Francisco. Leaving behind her closest friends, familiar school and beloved sport of hockey, Riley experiences all the range of emotions, feelings and past memories o…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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During my 24 years of Air Force service, I experienced my share of guarded checkpoints entering military bases and embassies around the world.  Over the course of my career, I noticed a distinct change in how entry points were manned and operated.  More security personnel and the rampant dep…

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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In 1961, just as a British band set out from Liverpool to begin their “Beatlemania” ascent into international stardom, across the Atlantic Ocean an American version, albeit from California, was formed. “Love & Mercy” is the gripping and powerful biopic story of Brian Wilson, the singer, …

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Chris Rock flawlessly transitioned from years of stand-up television comedy to instant, overnight leading movie star in 2014’s hilarious movie “Top Five.” Could funny woman Melissa McCarthy make a similar move from television (“Gilmore Girls” and “Mike & Molly”) to big screen headliner?  

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Thrilling suspense movies burden writers and directors with the task of keeping audiences at the edge of their theater seats during several parts of a film. In fact, Steven Spielberg’s iconic 1975 shark adventure “Jaws,” based upon author Peter Benchley’s novel from the year before, went thr…

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  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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In this hilarious continuation to the surprise hit from 2012, Anna Kendrick reprises her role as Beca, orchestrating her collegiate a cappella singing group’s return to competition.  

  • Austin Cook, Explorer Intern
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Do you enjoy the color of sand and dirt?  Are grunts and screams something you yearn to hear?  What about watching somebody drive for three hours?  If all of these apply to you then you will love this film.

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Only within the last decade have cellular devices begun their takeover of our daily lives in earnest--assuming vast new roles outside of just dialing our phone numbers and getting us connected to the World Wide Web. Now they maintain calendars and balance our schedules, ensuring we never mis…

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  • Logan Burtch-Buus, Special to Tucson Local Media
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Activision has officially announced that they are indeed developing a new installment into the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series with the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, slated for later this year. Along with an official statement, Activision gave fans a first peek at some screenshots from …

  • Patrick King, Special to Tucson Local Media
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As Americans gathered around big screen televisions and sipped mint juleps to watch a horse racing tradition unfold in Kentucky this past weekend, another race transpired over an even larger screen.  “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, one of 2015’s most anticipated movie releases, jumped quickly out…