Cinema

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cinema Clips: Spider Man: Homecoming

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 11:30 AM


The last two Spidey adventures were a bummer.

Things get back on track in a fun way with Spider-Man: Homecoming, a complete overhaul of the Peter Parker character thanks to the effervescent casting of Tom Holland, a fine actor and an impressive athlete (he does most of his own acrobatic stunts).

The film gets a great villain in Vulture, played with snarling glee by Michael Keaton. Director Jon Watts and an admittedly ridiculous number of writers give Vulture an interesting origin. He’s Adrian Toones, a construction salvage worker who had a city contract to clean up the mess in New York City after the events of The Avengers. Some government types take over and kick him off the gig, leaving him pissed and with a bunch of high-tech alien junk in his possession.

Toones constructs some weapons, including an elaborate winged suit, with the alien technology and, voila, Vulture. Parker is a younger incarnation this time out, dealing with typical high school traumas that seem a little trivial after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where he sort of saved the day. He’s gone from stealing Captain America’s shield to worrying about girls, and he’s just a little bored. Enter Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who has given Parker his Spidey suit with some conditions, like that he can only be a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man,” concentrating on local problems rather than the really big, worldly ones.

The film is basically one half kick-ass Marvel movie—Watts is no slouch with an action sequence—and one half enjoyable and frothy high school comedy that would make John Hughes proud.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cinema Clips: War for the Planet of the Apes

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 6:45 PM


The enthralling, modern Planet of the Apes trilogy comes to a close with its best chapter yet.

Caesar (motion capture Andy Serkis) is holding his own in the forest with his band of ape soldiers when a crazed Colonel (Woody Harrelson) finds him and delivers a painful blow. Caesar finds himself on a revenge quest, with the likes of Rocket (Terry Notary), Maurice (Karin Konoval) and a new character named Bad Ape (a funny Steve Zahn) in tow. It all leads to a man vs. ape showdown for the ages, and the special effects that were great in the first movie are ten times better in the third.

For fans of the original Apes films, this movie is a virtual love letter to the series. It even has a mute girl named Nova (Amiah Miller), the same name as the girl who saw the Statue of Liberty with Charlton Heston in the original. Matt Reeves, directing his second Ape film, has managed to imbibe his special effects laden adventure with genuine emotion.

This is a big budget blockbuster with heart and soul. While this concludes a trilogy, it’s a safe bet it won’t be the last for the Apes. If you recall, astronauts went missing in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Events in this film seem to be leading up to the events of the original movie.

We might be getting a new dude in a loin cloth barking at Lady Liberty in our cinematic future.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The monsoons finally made an appearance this week, cooling things down and taking the edge off our desert heat. Take advantage of these two-digit degree days by blocking off time to work in your garden, walk your dog and play in the (hopefully continuing?) rain.

Then, when the humidity gets to be just a little too much, curl up with a glass of iced tea and a movie you never quite managed to see in theaters.

Here's your look at the Top 10 most popular flicks this week at Casa Video:

1. Life

2. John Wick: Chapter 2

3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe


Continue reading »

Cinema Clips: Baby Driver

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM


This is a nice car chase movie antidote to The Fate of the Furious, a car chase movie that made me never want to see a car chase movie again, let alone Vin Diesel’s mushy mug.

The soundtrack is one of the year’s best, and the guy in the title role is a major star in the making. Ansel Elgort plays Baby, who we see in the film’s opening sequence driving the getaway car for a robbery, a kinetic chase choreographed to the great Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms.” The scene snaps with a colorful energy that’s been missing from car chases of late.

The best car chase movie in years, Drive, also featured a lonely driver and great vroom-vroom, but the soundtrack and look for that film were more meditative and hazy—not complaining; it worked beautifully. Baby Driver opts for a more clear-eyed, zippy approach, and it pays off.

Edgar Wright writes and directs for this, a project he took up after his failed dalliance with Ant-Man. The chases go off with precision editing, filmed in a way that makes you feel like you are in the car. And the soundtrack, featuring music ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to Hocus Pocus to Queen, perfectly complements them.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Beat the Heat With These Great Summertime Flicks

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 5:30 PM

As we find ourselves amid monsoon season, treat yourself to a summertime blockbuster to beat the midafternoon, pre-monsoon heat.

The Loft
Cult Classic Series (every Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.): On Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15, The Loft will show neo-noir thriller Lost Highway. This film is a classically David Lynch flick, rich with hallucinatory imagery, delightfully bewildering plot twists and profound analysis of the human psyche—Lost Highway bends the rules of conventional storytelling and challenges the convention of time and logic.

Social Justice Summer (every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.): This series aims to pair hard-hitting social justice issues with cinema, as audiences are invited to explore important issues through film. Leading community experts will be present after every showing to hold community talkbacks. This Wednesday, July 19, the Global Justice Center will air a free screening of I Am Not Your Negro. This must-see documentary examines the Civil Rights movement, connecting African American history with the contemporary #BlackLivesMatter movement. This movie delivers a gripping confrontation of black representation in mainstream culture, and journies into the lives and deaths of three Civil Rights legends: Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
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Mondo Mondays (every Monday at 8 p.m.): Diving directly into the strange, wonderful and unorthodox realms of mondo movies, this series is sure to deliver a weekly dose of weird. This Monday, July 19, enjoy Cheerleader Camp, an iconic piece of 80s slasher cinema. At Camp Hurrah, something possesses the contestants, coaches, judges and grounds staff to K-I-L-L. Rife with bloody pom poms, bad rap, sleazy boyfriends and graphic violence, Cheerleader Camp is a premiere piece of 80s slasher sex comedy.
National Theatre Live: This Loft series presents the best of live British theatre on the silver screen. On Tuesday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 20 at 11 a.m. enjoy a showing of Saint Joan. Watch as history's charismatic Joan of Arc is depicted by actress Gemma Arterson in this classic George Bernard Shaw play.

More details on all of above at loftcinema.org.

Cactus Drive-In Theatre
Cactus Drive-In Summer Showings (every Thursday in July at 8 p.m.): Indulge in the iconic drive-in experience at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet this Thursday, July 20. The Cactus Drive-In Theatre Foundation welcomes audiences to watch the timeless and beloved 80s flick: The Princess Bride. This isn't your run of the mill fairy tale—nay, with Rodents of Unusual Size, Pits of Despair, and Cliffs of Insanity, this movie is a comfortable classic, fit for children of all ages. Will love conquer all? Will good prevail against evil? Or is it simply inconceivable?

More info at cactusdriveintheatre.com.
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Cinema La Placita
Cinema La Placita Summer Series (every Thursday at 7:30 p.m.): Take a trip downtown and enjoy the Cinema La Placita's continuing outdoor summer film series. This Thursday, July 13, enjoy a legendary piece of resistance cinema. Do the Right Thing, is a groundbreaking examination of race relations in America. Directed by the iconic Spike Lee, this movie spans the length of a day and examines the whole spectrum of life and culture in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. By the end of the movie, Lee challenges audiences to decide whether anyone truly does the "right thing" when it comes to race. In addition to the showing, audiences are invited to enjoy the cash bar and food truck on site.

More info at cinemalaplacita.com

The Fox
Classic Film Series: At 7:30 this Saturday, July 15, head on down to the Fox Theatre and view the latest flick in their continuing Classic Film Series: There's No Business Like Show Business. This 1954, black and white musical-comedy-drama depicts the trials of the Donahue family and their time in the showbiz.

More info at foxtucson.com

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cinema Clips: The Beguiled

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 9:30 AM


According to director Sofia Coppola, this is not a remake of the 1971 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood; it’s a new adaptation of the novel both films are based on.

Nicole Kidman stars as the leader of a southern school for girls, shut off from the rest of the world during the Civil War. While out searching for mushrooms, young Amy (Oona Laurence) finds a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) and leads him back to the school. As the man heals, the young students and teachers each have interactions with the soldier and things eventually get, well, complicated.

Everybody in the movie delivers good work, especially Kidman as Miss Martha, a strict leader with risky compassion for the enemy soldier. Longtime Coppola collaborator Kirsten Dunst is on hand as a teacher who gets some extra attention from the stranger, and she’s strong in her role, as usual. Other cast members include Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice and Addison Riecke.

The film eschews the usual Coppola soundtrack exuberance for something very quiet and slowly paced. As the film works up to a boil, leading to a shocking climax, Coppola creates a true sense of claustrophobia and high tension.

This isn’t her best work, but it is good work, with excellent cinematography and art direction.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cinema Clips: Okja

Posted By on Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 10:43 AM


Director Joon-ho Bong, purveyor of spectacularly wacky cinematic things (The Host, Snowpiercer) delivers, perhaps, his wackiest yet with this tale about a future world where meat is scarce so huge pigs are biogenetically engineered for slaughter.

The title character is a prized, giant animal raised in the mountains by Mija (Seo Hyun), a young girl who thinks Okja is her pet. She’s oblivious to the fact that Okja’s days are numbered, so when an envoy for a large corporation (Jake Gyllenhaal going nuts) shows up and takes Okja away, Mija flies into action and the bizarre adventure begins.

Paul Dano, one of the kings of movie weirdness, chips in as the leader of an animal rescue corps that includes Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and Lily Collins. Following up her collaboration with Bong on Snowpiercer is Tilda Swinton, once again playing twins (as she did in Hail, Caesar!), two evil sisters running the corporation that produced Okja.

The movie mixes absurd laughs with mayhem, and the cast is universally great. Like films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Babe before it, this movie looks to shine a light on the cruel treatment of animals and perhaps get you to pass on the bacon the next time you are at Denny’s (Streaming on Netflix).

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cinema Clips: Transformers: The Last Knight

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM


The latest Transformers movie, Transformers: The Last Knight, gets the dubious distinction of being the worst in the series. That is some sort of major accomplishment. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to look at this collective pile of movie manure and decipher which of the five is the worst. It’s like going to a frat house the first week of a semester at Dickhead University and trying to pick out the dumbest, drunkest douche in the place. All of the qualifiers are terribly, criminally lame.

I’m giving the award of franchise worst because it’s just so clear how every participant in this enterprise, from director Michael Bay right on down to the production assistant who smeared glycerin on Mark Wahlberg’s pecs, is jaded, tired and played out. Nobody really wants to be in this thing.

The stink of “Who gives a shit … just pay me!” hits your nostrils with Wahlberg’s first line delivery. The best part of this movie is when Anthony Hopkins inexplicably goes to Stonehenge to witness a robot battle then gets blown up, leading to the silliest death scene ever. Yep, I just issued a spoiler.

Anthony Hopkins, who should be ashamed of himself for participating in this thing, dies hilariously in this movie. I hope this spoiler pisses you off so much that you don’t go to the movie. Be mad at me for the next 10 years, but I know I did you a favor.

Staff Pick

The Harry Potter Charity Ball

Strada Company presents a celebration and cosplay party of all things Harry Potter for the benefit of… More

@ Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral Sat., July 29, 6-10 p.m. 160 S. Scott Ave.

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