Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Laughing Stock: Laughter, It's Free, If Not Sublime

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 3:30 PM

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Just throw out those tattered lists of free comedy shows we published in December. Everything has changed. And yet, you’ll still find free comedy several nights a week in some corner of the Old Pueblo. We look forward to the return of Brew Ha Ha to Borderlands Brewery, too!

FREE OPEN MICS

Tuesday:
The Loudhouse Comedy Showcase and Open Mic
The Loudhouse Rock & Roll Bar
915 W Prince Rd.
Sign up at 6:30 pm; show’s at 7 pm
Hosts: Rory Monserat and Cindell Hanson

Second Tuesday:
Comedy at the Wench
Surly Wench Pub
424 N. Fourth Ave.
Sign up at 8:30 pm; show’s at 9 pm
Hosts: Roxy Merrari, Mo Urban

Wednesday:
Critical Comedy Night
Featuring Kristine Levine
The Mint Cocktails
3540 E Grant Rd
(This open mic invites feedback from Levine and other comedians present)
Sign up at 7:30 p.m.; show’s at 8 pm
A regular open mic follows for those not wanting feedback; also, there’s karaoke in the front room.
Hosts: Kristine Levine, Joey G

Third Wednesday:
Caffeinated Comedy
Bar Passé
417 N. Fourth Ave.
Sign up at 6:30 p.m.
Host: Mo Urban

Thursday:
Open Mic Night
Laff’s Comedy Caffe
2900 E. Broadway
Sign up 7 to 7:30 pm; show’s at 8 pm
Hosts: vary
Free Standup Comedy Workshop
5:30 pm, June 1 and every other Thursday

Every Other Friday:
Café con Laughs
Epic Café
745 N. Fourth Ave.
Sign up at 7:30 pm; show’s at 8 pm
June 2 and every other Friday
Hosts: Rich Aguirre, Leland Long

FREE COMEDY SHOWS

The Last Sunday:
Laughing Liberally
(Standup comics take on the news)
The Flycatcher
340 E 6th St
9 pm
Hosts: Pauly Casillas, Jon Jon

Second Monday
The Switch
(Audience members text joke topics to standup comics)
The Hut Tucson
305 N. Fourth Ave.
9 pm
Host: Pauly Casillas

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In Defense of the Summer Blockbuster

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Is the latest Pirates film great cinema? No. But that doesn't mean you won't enjoy watching it. - WALT DISNEY COMPANY
  • Walt Disney Company
  • Is the latest Pirates film great cinema? No. But that doesn't mean you won't enjoy watching it.

What is there to say about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales that has not already been said? New York Times critic A. O. Scott called the flick “the perfect opposite of entertainment.” Ouch.

The movie is, technically, awful. The plot is—most definitely—garbage. And yet I found myself enjoying the film, despite the ridiculously over-long runtime of two-and-a-half hours.

To counter the opinion of Scott (or Mr. Scott in the style of the Times), I would contend movies in the vein of Pirates are meant to be enjoyed much like their theme park inspirations: with bells and whistles and in the company of family and friends.

Let me explain.

I attended a showing of Pirates on Memorial Day with my mom and her friend in Chandler, Arizona. Since I was visiting from out-of-town, my mother suggested we visit a new theater, Alamo Drafthouse.

It’s similar, I’m told, to RoadHouse Cinemas here in town.

Alamo is known for pioneering the “fork and screen” style cinema experience, where patrons can order a brew and some food to help with enjoying a rom-com or summer blockbuster.

The seats also recline, making for a viewing experience more akin to your home den than Harkins 10. Just like rides at Disneyland are similar-but-totally-superior to rides at the Pima County Fair, a movie at Alamo has the distinct feel of first class versus coach.

So maybe it was the good food. Maybe it was the three beers (more likely). But even after reading every legitimate movie critic skewer this Johnny Depp-paycheck machine, I came away thoroughly entertained.

This isn’t to say that Pirates or any other movie can’t be enjoyed at the local megaplex or the small-town cinema. There is definitely more to the equation than decent chicken wings.

After all, recliners and booze can only go so far. It wasn’t until a few hours later, after my buzz wore off, that I thought about why I enjoyed the experience so much. Admittedly, big, dumb blockbusters with no depth are not my idea of a good time.

Yet, I still laughed with my mom at all the dumb “horologist” jokes in the movie. We still marveled at the impressive action sequences.

I probably wouldn’t have done that had I attended by my lonesome. Sure the beer assisted in the enjoyment, but being with family brought out even more of my silly side.

What’s often lost by movie reviewers, who attend most screenings by themselves or with other critics, is the ability of movies to bring families and friends together for fun.

Who really cares if Depp mailed a performance in if you’re enjoying the experience with those whose company you value?

Far from being the opposite of entertainment, Pirates and movies like it offer the opportunity for families and friends to create real, lasting memories. That’s why as bad as it’s a small world is as a ride, you can’t stop talking about it.


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Quick Bites: Pints and Poses

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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Get a little boozy while also getting a nice stretch. Pueblo Vida Brewing Co., located at 115 E. Broadway Blvd., will be hosting Pints and Poses every Sunday through December. This 21-and-over event is $5 (there is a $1 credit card charge) and includes a yoga class and beer.

The one hour-long, relaxed yoga class takes place in the brewery and is accompanied with a fresh pint of craft beer at the end of the class. Classes begin at 10:30 a.m. but they ask participants to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of class. The class is taught by a rotating list of teacher from various yoga studios throughout Tucson. Be sure to bring your own mat and ID to prove you’re old enough to drink.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vote Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 4:46 PM

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You are just about out of time to vote in the first round of Best of Tucson. So, hop on over to the survey, give us your opinion on the 30 (or more!) people, places or institutions you think are the best of the best, and submit your ballot before 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

"But wait," you might be saying. "What do you mean 'first round'?"

A good question. A few years ago, the Weekly decided to shake things up a little bit and put the top five vote-getters in each of the many Best Of Categories up for a head-to-head battle and a second round of voting.

So, vote before the calendar flips over to June (!!! already? How?) if you want a say in who makes it into the finals, then check back on June 15 to see the finalists and help decide the victors. (Note: You can vote in the second round even if you don't vote in the first round—but it's way more fun if you vote in both).

Vote here! Vote now! Vote before the clock hits 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31!

A Look Inside Phoenix Comicon

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 3:14 PM

A look at some Minions, monsters and emojis that attended Phoenix Comicon in Phoenix. The convention was hosted at Phoenix Convention Center May 25-28.

Cinema Clips: Snatched

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 12:00 PM


Fifteen years after her last movie (the terrible The Banger Sisters), Goldie Hawn has been coaxed back onto the big screen opposite Amy Schumer.

While it’s great to have her back, it would’ve been super great had the movie been totally worth her time. Hawn and Schumer play Linda and Emily, mother and daughter, in what amounts to some decent dirty jokes, some dumb dirty jokes, and a lot of flat jokes powered by a plot with no real sense of purpose.

The comic duo work hard to make it all a bit of fun, but they are ultimately taken down by a film that aspires to mediocrity. When Emily is dumped by her rocker boyfriend (the always funny Randall Park), she has no traveling partner for her upcoming, non-refundable trip to Ecuador. In steps Linda, a crazy cat lady mom who barely ever leaves the house. Just like that, the two wind up sleeping in a king bed in a lavish resort, with Emily constantly taking selfies to impress her Facebook friends, and Linda covered up with scarves by the pool.

After Emily meets a hot British guy (Tom Bateman), she ultimately winds up on a sightseeing trip with mom along for the ride. Mom and daughter wind up kidnapped and held for ransom, with nobody but their nerd son/brother (Ike Barinholtz) to save their asses. Director Jonathan Levine (50/50) isn’t afraid to take things to mighty dark places—Emily’s attempts to free her and mom from their captors has a body count—and the film earns its R-rating with raunchy humor (Schumer’s specialty).

Some of the gags are good, including a bit involving a scorpion, an ill-fated attempt to swing on a vine, and a tongueless former special ops soldier (Joan Cusack) flipping through the air like Spider-Man. Hawn and Schumer make for a convincing mommy-daughter combo, and Snatched has its worth for putting the two in a movie together. They rise above the material often enough to make the film somewhat forgivable, especially if you are a fan of both. (And, really, why wouldn’t you be?).

Despite the star power, the movie never really goes anywhere, and winds up being somewhat forgettable and unoriginal.

Chu Chu Needs a Home

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM

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Hi, I'm Chu Chu!

I'm a 2 year old big boy, and I am looking for a new home! I'm a very affectionate dog, and eager to please people around me. I know how to sit for treats, and would love to learn new tricks too!
In my previous home I got along well with other dogs, spent time around children, but had a tendency to chase cats!

If you're looking for a dog's dog to join your home I might be the perfect fit! If you have a current dog bring them over to HSSA Main Campus at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. to do a doggy meet and greet, or give an adoption counselor a call at 520-327-6088 ext. 173 for more information.

Lots of love,
Chu Chu (842523)

Alien: Covenant Isn't the Worst Alien Movie

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM

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Ridley Scott’s third Alien film is an entertaining mashup of the “overreaching but cool” sensibilities from Prometheus and the old-school dread and “Ick!” factor that marked the original Alien as one of the best horror AND science fiction films of the 20th Century.

Alien: Covenant continues the ruminations about the origins of man birthed in Prometheus while injecting a few more Xenomorphs into the mix. It will please those fans of the first two films of the franchise who want the shit scared out of them, while also appeasing those who enjoyed the brainy (if somewhat confusing and slightly inconsistent) ways of Prometheus.

While Scott has leaned harder on the horror elements for this one, his budget is over $30 million less than the one he had for Prometheus. That film constituted one of cinema’s all-time great usages of 3D technology, with flawless special effects. Covenant totally abandons 3D (money saved), and features some CGI in the opening minutes that look befitting of a low budget SyFy channel offering.

The film more than makes up for some shoddy computer work once the crew members of the Covenant, a stricken colony ship in danger of not reaching their destination, sets down to scout out a new planet as an alternate, closer option. The expedition is led by a new commander (Billy Crudup) after the original captain passes away in an eyebrow raising cameo.

Things look encouraging at first; fresh water, breathable air, and even wheat fields get checked off on the pro side. After a quick search for a transmission they received drawing them to the planet, they discover the horseshoe ship piloted by Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David the android (Michael Fassbender) at the end of Prometheus. After this discovery, the con side accumulates a lot of check marks.

They are on the Engineer planet, the origin of Earth’s creation, and the place where they created the bio weapon meant to destroy us. David has been surviving on the planet for over a decade, but where’s Elizabeth? Where are the Engineers? Only David knows, and David, as you might remember from Prometheus, is a bit dick-ish.

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Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays. Continues through April 14 160 South Scott Ave

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