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Controversial filmmaker Spike Lee once again fuels dialogue on race relations with his newest endeavor chronicling a true story from Colorado Springs set in 1972. Based on the 2014 memoir “Black Klansman” by Ron Stallworth, Lee’s film depicts the small town’s first hiring of an African-Ameri…

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For mature audiences only. It’s a label that often keeps kids and teenagers—however mature they may be—from accessing content they’re interested in, or sometimes even content that’s about their own experiences. The idea, of course, is to keep young people safe, to stave off the world’s less …

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For the third time in just four years, the adolescent social challenges of grade school are fully examined on the big-screen. In 2014, Richard Linklater’s 12-year journey “Boyhood” was nominated for six Academy Awards, earning Patricia Arquette the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Last yea…

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In one of the best action thrillers ever produced, Tom Cruise reprises his Impossible Missions Force spy character Ethan Hunt once again, giving moviegoers the surprise film of 2018. The sixth chapter in the successful “Mission: Impossible” collection, “Fallout” brilliantly combines a stella…

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Fans of Denzel Washington and action movies will find both elements in this satisfying sequel to 2014’s “The Equalizer.” Once again taking off from its original 1980s television series brand, “The Equalizer 2” presents Washington as a former CIA spook still settling scores. Believed by the c…

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In the highly anticipated sequel to 2015’s wildly successful and eye-opening suspense story “Sicario” is a bland, much less exciting look inside the deadly drug cartels located just across the southern U.S. border. Taking full advantage of today’s toxic political chatter on threats posed by …

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While the summer might still be scorching, the recently revealed lineup for the 2018 Oro Valley Music Festival is sweet enough to make us want to get outside and listen to some live music. 

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This summer, members of the SaddleBrooke SilverBelles Performance Dance Team individually took some time off for travel to foreign lands, help grandchildren  celebrate various milestones at high school and college graduations, attend marriages and plenty more. The group’s choreographer even …

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From the same director that brought us a gripping crime story in 2012 with “The Imposter” comes another nail-biting thriller for moviegoers to endure. Written and directed by Bart Layton, “American Animals” chronicles the true story of four Kentucky college-aged boys and their attempt to ste…

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Sweeping out of the desert, the University of Arizona and the City of Tucson all at once is a new band with as many genres as local influences. Mike Moynihan’s Purple Spectre proves that experimentation needn’t be grating.  

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If you find yourself out and about in Tucson this week with a hankering for a good meal, check out these options.

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I was I was born practically on the banks of Darby Creek, in a hospital up slope from the stream, and it’s only a slight exaggeration to say that its meandering waters drew the map of my suburban Philadelphia childhood.

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Four-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke delivers another sensational performance in this complicated and dark story set in a small town in upstate New York. Hawkes’ latest screen gem, however, isn’t spectacular enough to overcome a slow, depressing journey that tries too hard to do too m…

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a rock star in possession of a successful career must maintain a diet of only cigarettes, bourbon and drugs. But Tucson local and music biographer Mark Bego challenges this notion in his new book, Eat Like a Rock Star. 

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Anyone looking for a bizarre and funny true story this summer will find “Tag” hiding quietly between the highly anticipated “Incredibles 2” and the John Travolta mobster movie “Gotti”. 

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Generally, when you try to combine science fiction, a Western, a spy thriller and a holiday classic, you get a complete mess. But in the hands of the Gaslight Theatre, you get their recently unveiled 2019 Season. Next year’s show calendar contains some long-awaited returns, as well as some s…

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Perhaps my definition of scary movies is different than most. I enjoy suspenseful music to describe approaching danger on-screen. I prefer characters placed in harm’s way either by choice or completely unaware of their surroundings and pending peril. Together, a gripping armchair thriller un…

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Tucson takes its Mexican food seriously. Whether it’s from a sprawling restaurant or a taco truck tucked alongside the street, Mexican food is part of the region’s identity. This Saturday, locals and visitors alike can experience an event entirely devoted to Tucson’s most famous food.

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June has arrived in Oro Valley! Aside from the intense heat, no school, and anticipation for upcoming summer vacation plans, what else is there to look forward to in the month of June? How about spending quality time with dad and the entire family right in your own backyard? Just because Fat…

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Tucson takes its Mexican food seriously. Whether it’s from a sprawling restaurant or a taco truck tucked alongside the street, Mexican food is part of the region’s identity. Next Saturday, locals and visitors alike can experience an event entirely devoted to Tucson’s most famous food.

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Pronouncements of this new movie release as “The film ‘Cast Away’ on a sailboat” is perhaps too simplistic and unfair to the 2000 saga starring Tom Hanks. Yes, both survival dramas take place in the Pacific Ocean after a catastrophic accident at the hands of Mother Nature. But Hanks’ bromanc…

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Set in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, “Hearts Beat Loud” brings us the heart-warming story of a widowed husband raising his teenage daughter about to head off to college in southern California. The father, Frank, once a band member in his younger days who now owns a record sto…

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As the summer sun looms down from overhead with heat that can only be described as oppressive, Tucsonans will begin scurrying for the shadows and wishing they were somewhere far, far away. What better way to be transported to another world than to sit down and watch a great movie? Luckily fo…

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Jacob Acosta has lived in the desert for as long as he’s made music. He was born here, and he’s embraced it. The same goes for songwriting. After releasing over ten albums, Acosta is putting the finishing touches on his most ambitious project yet: Desert Sounds. 

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Leave it to a young, aspiring Chinese director to bring us one of the most compassionate rodeo circuit films in recent memory. Beijing native Chloe Zhao, a product of western film influences inside the communist country following the mid-1980s, wrote, produced and directed this cowboy story …

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Parents escaping their offspring for a Date Night of dinner and a movie will find “Tully” a realistic portrayal of raising children in today’s frantic world. The film provides a gritty yet funny look at the miracle of birth and the challenges motherhood poses to the mother, and the child and…

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There’s a scene in the Arizona Theatre Company’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank in which one of Anne’s housemates, Mr. Van Daan, asks her what a 13-year-old girl could have to write about all the time that could possibly be so important. Anne’s sister, Margot, usually the picture of n…

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Any fears that the nineteenth film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be dull or anti-climactic have been thoroughly quelled by this epic superhero defense of Infinity stones. With an all-star Marvel Comics cast introduction absorbing most of the two hour and 30-minute feature, this ac…

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Once generalized for use only to assist the blind, dogs have emerged into therapy and rescue professionals. At the same time, canines have established a solid reputation in law enforcement as they’ve spread to almost every police department in the U.S., adding a powerful weapon to sniff out …

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Like the potato of Northern Europe or the yam of Western Africa, the agave plant fits a crucial culinary and cultural niche in the Sonoran Desert. For centuries, locals have harvested the plant’s broad jutting leaves for food, art, tools and to black out on tequila. Now, Tucson is once again…

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Moviegoers wanting to jump outside their comfort zone for a couple of hours will find the newly released thriller “A Quiet Place” a perfect choice. Nearly pulling off an astonishing upset of The Rock’s highly anticipated “Rampage” at the box office last weekend, “A Quiet Place” still stands …

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Inundated with thousands of films released throughout the year, a critic must apply emergency room triage procedures to decide which movies get reviewed now—and which must wait for later in the year to be seen. 

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Hey, it’s not all about the big screen. While I may sometimes miss the novelty-sized tub of popcorn, there is something to be said for enjoying a flick in the comforts of your own home. Film enthusiasts looking for movies to watch from the couch or recliner will enjoy these proven rentals:

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Approaching the halfway point into the newly released “Unsane,” my concerns over the film’s labored pace were instantly validated. Above the theater’s dull hush, a different noise emanated from the occupant located two leather loungers to my right in his D9 seat. Yes, while I was losing an u…

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Every year as Easter approaches, religious films are released which attempt to challenge disbelievers while inspiring the Christian faithful. With greatly reduced production budgets and smaller theater distributions than most nationwide releases, these faith-based films rarely create a rippl…

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If you’re a person who gets the blues, a person for whom the blues gets under your skin and into your bones and makes you start thinking about your feelings and feeling your thoughts, then you might agree with Dan Wheetman’s simple answer as to how the genre has impacted music today.

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While last year’s event boasted around 400 patrons, 2018’s Taste of Oro Valley is anticipating upwards of 600 attendees. This is a continuation of the event’s growth, both in numbers and importance in the community. The annual Taste of Oro Valley event is a gathering of restaurants and enter…

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Fans of emotionless, revengeful husband-father characters akin to Liam Neeson in his “Taken” films will find Bruce Willis’ performance in this year’s reboot of “Death Wish” very satisfying. In the sixth “Death Wish” installment and first feature film from the franchise since 1994, Willis tak…

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Historically, between Oscar Night on Sunday and Memorial Day weekend in late May, the pickings to find top quality movie releases are slim. With “Black Panther” destined to continue its box office dominance for several more weeks, don’t except next year’s Academy Award-worthy projects to app…