Thursday, October 4, 2018

"A Simple Favor" Movie Review

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 4:30 PM

If you liked the movie (or the book) "Gone Girl," read on. Don't worry, though — no spoilers here.

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick star in director Paul Feig's new drama "A Simple Favor."

The film had every member of the audience on the edge of their seats when I saw it. With at least three twists that I didn't see coming, I really didn't know how this one was going to end, and that's how a movie should be.

Anna Kendrick plays a seemingly innocent single mom named Stephanie who streams cooking videos and shares her recipes for other moms around the country. One day at school, her son (Miles) and his friend (Nicky) ask her if they can have a playdate, but Stephanie says she needs to check with Nicky's mom.

At that moment, Blake Lively, whose character's name is Emily, steps out of her Porsche in a fancy business suit. Stephanie is in awe when they meet, but the boys get their playdate.

Stephanie and Emily become best friends because of their sons' relationship. Emily is enigmatic, inconsistent and loves her cocktails. One day, Emily asks Stephanie to pick Nicky up from school, which wasn't abnormal. However, Emily never comes to pick Nicky up that day, or the next day, or the day after that. After a few days Stephanie and Emily's husband file a missing person's report with the police, but they don't have any luck for weeks.

The rest of the movie is a flurry of twists and turns and it does not disappoint. I don't want to give anything away, but I have to say "A Simple Favor" is one of the better movies I've seen in a while.

Another good comparison, aside from "Gone Girl," could be "Ex Machina." If you've never seen any of these movies, do yourself a favor and watch them. You won't regret it. 

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Loft Cinema to Show Free Films at Tucson Meet Yourself

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 4:15 PM

click image An outdoor screening and sing-along of Selena, a 1997 film about the life and career of Tejano music will be shown at Tucson Meet Yourself on Friday, Oct. 12. at 7 p.m. - THE LOFT CINEMA
  • The Loft Cinema
  • An outdoor screening and sing-along of Selena, a 1997 film about the life and career of Tejano music will be shown at Tucson Meet Yourself on Friday, Oct. 12. at 7 p.m.
One of many highlights of the upcoming 2018 Tucson Meet Yourself festival includes free showings from The Loft Cinema.

The films will be shown Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Pima County Pavillion on Jácome Plaza.

Films include Selena, a sing-along to the 1997 musical drama written and directed by Gregory Nava about the life and career of Tejano (folk and pop music primarily of Mexican and Mexican American artists in Texas) music starring Jennifer Lopez as the late Tejano star Selena Quintanilla-Perez (127 min.) and RUMBLE: The Indians who Rocked the World, a 2017 feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, Redbone, Randy Castillo, & Taboo (103 min).

This is the second year Tucson Meet yourself is in partnership with the Loft working with Loft directors Jeff Yanc and Zachary Breneman to choose films that have meaning and significance at a folklife festival.

click image An outdoor screening of RUMBLE, a 2017 feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history will be shown at Tucson Meet Yourself on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. - THE LOFT CINEMA
  • The Loft Cinema
  • An outdoor screening of RUMBLE, a 2017 feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history will be shown at Tucson Meet Yourself on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.
Selena was known as the ‘Queen of Tejano’ and her music both was influenced by and has influenced music along the borderlands. This says a lot about the lasting interest in her as a musician and in the style of her music.

RUMBLE focuses on the influence of native musicians on rock and roll. This is an important story to tell at a folklife festival because “so often people think of "folklife" only as something that celebrate static traditions. That's not true,” said Kimi Eisele, Communications Director for Tucson Meet Yourself.

“Folklorists are interested how traditions are expressed and shared and passed on, and especially in how they change and evolve and make their way into contemporary expressions,” said Eisele.

She believes this film will open a lot of people’s eyes and ears to the influence of indigenous musicians on popular music and be a fun way to bring people together at the festival.

The films are free and open to the public. 

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Come for the Food, Stay for the Culture! Tucson Meet Yourself is Just Around the Corner

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 1:46 PM

Tucson Meet Yourself will run from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14. - COURTESY OF STEVEN MECKLER
  • Courtesy of Steven Meckler
  • Tucson Meet Yourself will run from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14.
The Annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival celebrates 45 years and will take place on Oct. 12 to 14, running on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Pima County Library’s Jácome Plaza and adjacent blocks of Church Ave., Stone Ave. and Pennington Street.

Festival organizers say while food is often what draws the public to the festival, it’s the music, dance and folk arts that keep them there.

This year there will be 56 food booths for dishes $12 and under representing Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Peru, Russia, Somalia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, Laos, Hawaii, New England, the U.S. South, and the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui people who are indigenous to the Sonoran Desert region.

Tucson Meet Yourself is free, fun and educational for all ages with a diversity of faces, ages and cultures. - COURTESY OF STEVEN MECKLER
  • Courtesy of Steven Meckler
  • Tucson Meet Yourself is free, fun and educational for all ages with a diversity of faces, ages and cultures.
“Many of our vendors come from churches, clubs, and community groups. They cook and sell food that represents their culture and tradition and absolutely love to share that with the public. The money they make they keep. We keep their costs low and assist them with the logistics and organization to be successful. TMY is the largest grassroots entrepreneurial event in Tucson,” said Maribel Alvarez, Program Director of Tucson Meet Yourself and Associate Dean of Community Engagement at the University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Tucson Meet Yourself is produced by the Southwest Folklife Alliance and presented by Casino del Sol Resort. Special partnerships with AIDSWALK Tucson, The Loft Cinema and Low Rider Show & Shine will be sharing culture and heritage of our region.

Join the fun at this free, three-day festival for all ages and enjoy the music, food, films, arts, cultures and much more!

Keep an eye out for our festival highlights blogs coming up on The Range up until the festival!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Film Fest Tucson Expands to Multiple Locations Downtown

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 4:49 PM

Film Fest Tucson is back for its third year with more movies, more viewing locations and more features than ever before.

“The main difference this year is that we’re a lot bigger.” said Herb Stratford, director of the event. “Instead of just being at one location, we’re at three locations.”

Film Fest Tucson will show their films on Oct. 12 and 13 at the Historic Scottish Rite Cathedral, the Fox Tucson Theatre and the AC Marriott Hotel, with the latter two being new venues. There will also be four free outdoor screening options nearby.

  • Courtesy photo

The event website describes the festival as a “destination festival, a place for filmmakers and audiences to meet, discover and experience unique and important stories told on film.”

This year includes 38 films screenings with 26 being features, and 12 being shorts. This is an upgrade from the previous year where there were only 27 films.

“Sometimes it’s really hard to take the films that you want to show and cut them down to the number of slots,” Stratford said. “So, we wanted to make sure that we had enough locations to show all of the great films that we had.”

Stratford is also a film critic and is the centerpiece in choosing which films feature in the festival.

“I do the first pass,” he said. “And then I have a committee that I share those films with before we pick what is going to be shown. It’s kind of a group effort.”

The film festival will also include a tribute event for the first time where they will highlight the work of three women in film. They will do this by showing clips of their work and have conversations with the women about their work. This year’s special guests include Catherine Hardwicke, Haley Lu Richardson and Sophia Mitri Schloss.

The event does not carry a special theme in terms of content, but Stratford believes that there is rather an overarching theme.

“We are all about collaboration and sharing audiences and shining the light on other fellow non-profit arts organizations here in town,” he said.

Every year Film Fest Tucson collaborates with six to ten local arts and cultural institutions in town to help with films. Stratford expects the festival to keep expanding over the years.

“We are growing a festival that will take over downtown eventually, so our idea is that we’ll eventually be in even more venues,” he said. “We just have to grow it at a sustainable pace.”

Tickets start at $10 for individual shows and Stratford hopes that despite it being a busy weekend, people will come and have fun.

“If you look at the program, I think people will find something they are interested in and we just hope that everybody will join us,” he said.

For more information, visit

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Moonrise Kingdom showing at Loft Cinema

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 3:58 PM

click image Visit the Loft Cinema to see Moonrise Kingdom on Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29. - FRINGE ARTS
  • Fringe Arts
  • Visit the Loft Cinema to see Moonrise Kingdom on Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29.
The Loft Cinema will be showing the movie Moonrise Kingdom, a movie set in the summer of 1965 about a young love between characters Sam and Suzy who decide to run away together. Directed by Wes Anderson, the film features actors like Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray.

The showing dates are Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. The Loft Cinema is located on 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets for general admission will be $6 and Loft Members admission is $5.

Find more details here.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Four Great Things To Do in Tucson Today: Tuesday, July 31

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Isle of Dogs - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson Trivia and Costume Party. Dear reader, please disregard the following palaver and rigmarole if you are not of the cultivated mold. Casa Video humbly petitions your appearance for a most festive gala lauding the preeminent auteur of our time, one Wes Anderson. The trivia comprises factoids from Anderson’s first eight films (Bottle Rocket to Grand Budapest), and you are of course obliged to adorn yourself with any befitting cravat, periwig, or tunic. Properly ornamented personages receive a dollar off their aperitifs. And they’ll also be celebrating the release of Isle of Dogs on DVD/Blu-Ray. 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Details here.

Rivers and Tides. The critically-acclaimed documentary is a vision of the natural world molded by currents, driftwood, ice and mud, all modified with human hands. Andy Goldsworthy’s art forms sculptures from the natural world and inherently degrade and return to the soil. Hosted by the Loft Cinema, in partnership with Sky Island Alliance and UA Water Resources Research Center. Also featuring a panel discussion from the aforementioned groups. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Regular admission prices. Details here.

Mars Magnified. Tuesday, July 31 is a special day, and not just because it’s Harry Potter’s birthday. Cosmically speaking, Mars is going to be closer to Earth on this day than it has been in many years, and Flandrau and the Steward Observatory are celebrating by pointing their telescopes up to the Red Planet and opening up to the public. Planetary scientist Steve Kortenkamp will start off the night with a “Mars Madness” presentation, explaining why Mars is so close right now, and what other planets you can look out for in the night sky. After his talk, there will be planetarium shows every hour. There will also be telescopes pointed up at the other planets, so you can get a planet fix even if Mars doesn’t do it for you. Fair warning, the telescope viewing is weather permitting, because there’s hardly a point in staring up at the clouds through a telescope. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday, July 31. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, Steward Observatory, UA Mall. Telescope viewing is free, and the “Mars Madness” presentation, planetarium shows and laser music shows are $5. Details here.

The Western Attraction. The Wilde Meyer Gallery is hosting a month-long group show featuring artwork that’s all about the West and why we love it. From contemporary cowboy and Native American interpretations to western landscapes to some of the area’s most iconic features, you’ll walk through the gallery and be reminded of why we love where we live, even in the heat of summer. With artists like Karen Bezuidenhout, Judy Choate, Ka Fisher and Jim Nelson, there will also be plenty of variety. Through the month of August. Gallery summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, when there is a weekly art walk from 5 to 7 p.m., and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 170. Details here.

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, Dylan Reynolds, BS Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Three Great Things To Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, July 26

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 1:00 AM

  • Hotel Congress
Christmas in July at Hotel Congress. It’s a sentiment shared by Americans everywhere on Christmas morning: “Wht a wonderful day. If only it were 105 degrees outside, then it would be perfect.” Well, at long last, HoCo is making all of our dreams come true. Holiday drink specials! Sexy elves! Mistletoe! There’s even going to be a snowball fight hosted by Santa Claus himself. Summer Christmas attire is not required, but is heavily encouraged (a Hawaiian shirt with reindeer on it? A red and white pool cover up? Flip flops decked out with jingle bells? It’s up to you to decide). 10 p.m. Thursday, July 26. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Free. Details here.

The Effect. Ah, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of new love: Pounding heart, sweaty palms, libido through the roof, thinking for the first time in a long while that maybe the world’s not all that bad. You know the drill. Unfortunately, the lead characters and lovers in this show, Connie and Tristan, aren’t totally confident that all of these symptoms aren’t just side effects of the antidepressants they’re taking as clinical trial participants. This clever look at love, attraction and all the mysteries that come with them is the second show in Live Theatre Workshop’s 2018 to 2019 season. Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, Aug. 25. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and 3 p.m. on Saturdays. $15 to $20. Details here.

Cinema La Placita Outdoor Movie. It's time for a classic. Get out and enjoy the cooler evening temperatures and beautiful Tucson sunsets at La Placita tonight with "Cabin in the Sky" (1943). $3 admission includes popcorn! Grab a blanket and snuggle up under the stars for this classic film starring Ethel Waters, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, and Lena Horne. The event runs 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 140 North Main Avenue. There will be movies shown every Thursday night through August as part of the Cinema La Placita series. Details here.
  • Tucson Museum of Art

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, Dylan Reynolds, BS Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Check This Out: Upcoming The Loft Cinema Events

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 12:30 AM

What better way to take shelter from the summer heat than in the oasis of an air-conditioned movie theater? The Loft Cinema’s got you covered with a variety of events over the next few weeks. Here’s a few to check out:

Andy Goldsworthy’s Rivers and Tides
This event spotlights the documentary about one artist’s integration of nature and human change. It chronicles the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy, who uses natural media, like ice and rock, to create works of art in nature. A panel discussion organized by the UA Water Resources Research Center and the Sky Island Alliance will follow the film. 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 31. Regular admission prices; general admission $9.75.

First Friday Shorts
Now’s your chance to show off your talents as a filmmaker. Each month, the Loft Cinema holds a short film contest, where any film under 15 minutes long has a shot at making it to the big screen. It’s up to the audience to decide which film wins the monthly grand prize of $200. Limit to show the first 15 films brought in each month. Films must be brought in prior to the start of the show. Some material may not be suitable for all audiences. For more complete rules and terms, visit the Loft's website. 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. $5 for Loft Cinema members, $6 general admission.

The Doctor from India
Take a look into the world of holistic health practices with this film, presented by Backyard Healthcare Project with Rupa Ayurveda. The movie follows Vasant Lad, who brought Ayurveda, an ancient medical practice, to the West from India in the 1970s. The movie will follow up with a short Q-and-A session on Ayruveda. 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. $10 general admission and $8 for Loft members.

Avengers: Infinity War
If you missed out on this hero-packed adventure when it first came out or simply want to fill the void until the next Marvel movie release, head over to the UA Mall on the University of Arizona campus for an outdoor screening. The movie will be projected on the Loft’s inflatable Solar Cinema screen. Open to the general public. 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. Free admission. UA Mall.

The Greatest Showman Sing-A-Long
Belt out your favorite hits from The Greatest Showman with this Sing-A-Long. The lyrics to songs such as “This is Me” and “The Other Side” will be onscreen and ready for the crowd to join in. Don your best circus-inspired outfit for a chance to win a prize. 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. $10 Loft members and children 12 and under, $12 general admission.

All events, except the Avengers showing, will be at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. 

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Staff Pick

Northern Lights

Led by Dale Warland, the True Concord season begins with a flare – exploring the unique draw… More

@ Catalina Foothills High School Sat., Oct. 20, 7:30-10 p.m. 4300 E. Sunrise Drive.

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