Cinema

Friday, November 17, 2017

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 3:48 PM

The next week should be a busy one. Between trying to avoid the El Tour de Tucson route, hanging out with (or protesting against) Steve Bannon—and maybe his local, exclamation point-loving brother—and everything else this sunny city has to offer right now, I can't image anyone is going to have much time to hang out at home and watch movies with their cats.

... but just in case you do manage to squeeze in a few low key hours at home, here are the top 10 rentals at Casa Video right now:

The Dark Tower

Wonder Woman

War for the Planet of the Apes

Continue reading »

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cinema Clips: Thor: Ragnarok

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:48 AM


Somebody was smoking some laced wild shit and licking frogs when they put together Thor: Ragnarok, a film so nutty it easily surpasses the Guardians of the Galaxy films as the screwiest offering in the Marvel universe.

When you hand the keys to the Thor franchise over to a director like Taika Waititi, you know you are going to get something bizarre, and Waititi doesn’t disappoint. Waititi is the New Zealand comic actor/director responsible for the hilarious vampire faux documentary What We Do in the Shadows and the funny family drama Hunt for the Wilderpeople. There’s really nothing on his resume that screams, “Hey, let’s have this guy direct an action-packed, highly expensive Thor film!” But he got the gig, so there you go. Sometimes the wild card pays off.

Borrowing from a host of Marvel comics, including the famed “Planet Hulk” storyline, the hallucinogenic plot drops Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a crazy garbage planet bent on round-the-clock, violent entertainment and led by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, finally getting a high-profile role worthy of him outside of a Wes Anderson film). The Grandmaster cuts Thor’s hair, dresses him in gladiator gear, and throws him into the ring for a weaponized bout with his prized competitor. That prized competitor is the Hulk, held captive on the planet for the past couple of years. He’s been nothing but the Hulk the whole time, with Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) trapped inside him.

Thor and Hulk have a battle royale for the ages, followed by some great scenes where the Hulk actually speaks. Ruffalo provides the voice, and this is the first time in the recent Marvel films where Lou Ferrigno isn’t providing Hulk’s growls. There’s a whole other apocalyptic subplot going on, where Thor’s long-lost sister Hela (a striking and devilish Cate Blanchett decked out in black) is causing major havoc on his home planet of Asgard. Blanchett immediately sets herself high in the ranking of Marvel movie villains. She’s played a baddie before, but never this entertainingly.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Loft Film Fest Kicks Off With 'Revenge of the Nerds' Party Featuring Special Guest Curtis Armstrong

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 12:34 PM

Curtis Armstrong, aka Booger - CHRISTINE ELISE
  • Christine Elise
  • Curtis Armstrong, aka Booger
The Loft Film Fest kicks off tonight with a screening of Revenge of the Nerds," a performance by ’80s cover band 80s and Gentlemen and an appearance by Curtis Armstrong, who played Booger in the film. It's just the start of the Loft Film Fest, which you can read about in last week's Tucson Weekly cover story or at the Loft Film Fest's official website.

The Weekly caught up with Armstrong ahead of his visit to Tucson. This interview has been edited for clarity.

You have a new book, Revenge of the Nerd: The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger. Tell me a little bit about that and what your impetus was for writing.

I don’t know exactly how it manifested. It was one of those things. I’ve written a lot but mainly it’s been articles for literary journals that I subscribe to. It’s not a part of my life that a lot of people know about. I guess I reached a point where I was starting to look back on these things, as you do. I think you get to a point in your life and you starting thinking, “How did I wind up here?” My daughter is in college now and she’s going for her master’s degree at Oxford and I’ve had this career lasting 40 years. You start doing the conventions and you see how many generations are into work that you’ve done over the years and it just makes you reflective.

I look at Revenge of the Nerds as the coolest movie ever shot in Tucson. Tell me what you knew about Tucson before you filmed here and your experience of Tucson as a city while you were here in ’84.

I had never been to Tucson before. When we got there, we really were very focused on making sense of this screenplay, which was kind of a mess. We spent the first week with the writers and the director, just going through everything and trying to find the humanity in these cartoon characters. The thing that Jeff Kanew, the director, felt strongly about—having been a recovering nerd himself—was that we needed to be able to make the characters human so we would empathize with them. It was a tough challenge. In my case, of course, I’m playing someone named Booger and I’m picking my nose, belching and saying all these horibble things, but you still have to find a way to make that character accessible. So we did a lot of things, a lot improv, a lot of working out stuff on our own about who these characters were. That was the first week, and in the meantime, we were going out in the evenings and going to bars and restaurants, most of which, I think, are gone now. We would go to these places and party. I remember going out to Old Tucson, and that was a thrill to all of us, because we were all film nerds. We shot the interior scenes of the Nerd House inside a house at Old Tucson. It was really strange because you’d shoot all day inside this house and then you’d walk outside and you were in an Old West town.

Talk a little bit about Revenge of the Nerds as the proto-nerd culture movie. Nerd culture has kind of taken over, with computer culture and the conventions you were talking about. Did you have any sense you were on the cutting edge of that?

Continue reading »

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cinema Clips: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM


Angelina Jolie directs the memoir of Loung Ung (who also wrote the screenplay), a Cambodian woman who, as a child, survived the genocide brought upon her country by the Khmer Rouge in the mid-seventies, after the Vietnam War. The result is a triumph for Jolie and Ung, who succeed in telling the story through Ung’s eyes as a child.

Young Sareum Srey Moch is a movie miracle as Ung, a happy child the day the Khmer Rouge arrive in her town, marking her dad for death and causing her family to flee into the jungle. Jolie keeps the vantage point of the movie through the eyes of this child, ingeniously filming the landscape around her in a way a child would see it: as something beautiful being invaded by monsters. Moch is required to deliver every emotion in the role, and she delivers them in a way that would seem impossible for a child actress.

The movie is terrifying, and it should be. It stands alongside 1984’s The Killing Fields as a fierce, unyielding depiction of this terrible time in human history. Jolie filmed the movie in the Cambodian language, and it is actually Cambodia’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. It’s definitely a contender.

Available for streaming on Netflix during a limited theatrical run.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Film On Poisoned U.S. Soldiers Coming To Loft

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:23 AM

20449155_1425901574167625_5965830368364675525_o.jpg
Plastic, paint, chemicals, tires, trash, batteries, appliances, human waste and even some body parts. All of these were incinerated by the US military and private contractors in burn pits during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Thousands of soldiers who were exposed to the toxic smoke returned home and found themselves sick with respiratory diseases and rare cancers.

Delay, Deny, Hope You Die, a recently completed documentary about the burn pits and their effects on soldiers, is screening at The Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.) ,at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12.

Director/producer Greg Lovett first heard about the story when he read Joseph Hickman’s book, The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers, two years ago.

“When I read the book, I was just really disturbed and mad and upset that this is going on, and that nobody is really doing anything about and nobody really knows about it,” he said.

Lovett started the documentary a year later, and it took about a year to complete. The film interviews doctors, lawyers, journalists and sick soldiers, like Sgt. Brian Alvarado, who was exposed to the burn pits as a Marine in in Iraq and now has cancer, hyperthyroidism and a feeding tube that leaves him unable to work.

In a promotional clip of the film, Hickman explains that soldiers were producing at least nine pounds of trash a day in the early days of the way, and the military turned to burn pits to dispose of waste. But a temporary solution became a permanent health hazard when the burn pits remained open despite new options becoming available.

“I think most people don’t understand that this is even happening,” Lovett said. “Maybe with knowledge comes change”

Here’s the thing: in order to make sure the film’s one-night-only screening at the Loft actually happens, the showing needs to sell 74 tickets by Oct. 1. Buy your ticket today here for $10 and click here to view the trailer.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Cinema Clips: Columbus

Posted By on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 12:00 PM


When his father falls into a coma, Jin (John Cho) goes to Columbus, Indiana to sit by his bedside, which drudges up a lot of issues. He meets Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a recent college grad who is stuck in limbo due to anxiety about her mother (Michelle Forbes). The two share some cigarettes, then start taking in the city’s architecture, while gradually getting to know each other a bit more.

Sound boring? Well, it isn’t, thanks primarily to the work of Richardson (The Edge of Seventeen, Split), an actress quickly becoming one of the best of her generation. She creates a fascinating character in Casey; very intelligent, perhaps a bit aloof and sensitive about her family and others. Her struggles aren’t portrayed in a melodramatic way, and her relationship with Jin is handled with class.

Casey seems like a real person, to the point where her scenes almost feel like a documentary. Cho is very good as a guy who really can’t figure out where he stands on his father, while Parker Posey the Indie Queen shows up as a former crush and friend. By the time the film ends, you will miss the characters. This is a great ensemble cast, and a sweet film.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cinema Clips: Birth of the Dragon

Posted By on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 1:15 PM


This is a fictitious take on the real-life fight between Wong Jack Man and martial arts legend Bruce Lee, has a couple of good fight scenes in it. In fact, they could be called very good. And, yet, I’m forced to give this movie my lowest mark because those fight scenes are surrounded by crap.

Picture a diamond like the blue one that the old lady had in that Titanic movie. Dip it in gold and put it in a bag with $780 million dollars and a Babe Ruth autographed baseball, and then drop that bag into a communal spot where a bunch of sick hippos have taken massive shits and formed a virtual lake of shit. Let that bag sink to the bottom and become immersed in the lake of sick hippo shit. That’s what happens to the very good fight scenes in this movie. Lost in shit. Sick hippo shit. (Sorry to pick on hippos for this analogy, but, hey, they are huge, and, I imagine, rather disgusting when overcome by intestinal stress, making them capable of generating the amount of shit I needed for this particular illustration.)

The movie deals a little bit with actual, real-life fight between Lee and rival martial arts teacher Wong Jack Man, but it blows the details up to ridiculous extremes, even turning Lee and Jack Man into Batman and Robin by film’s end. It’s garbage.

Marvin Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM

marvin_838237.jpg

Hi, I'm Marvin!
I am a 2 year old black male cat looking for the purr-fect home! I am very independent but will come to you for attention. I L-O-V-E LOVE to be affectionate. I will purr and even roll over to let you rub my belly. Playtime is my second favorite thing and I could easily spend my whole day on a cat scratch tree. On my lazy days I will sit in a window and watch for hours. I do good with kids and have been nonreactive with the cats here. I will need to go to a home that will let me be indoors only and does not have any dogs. I have a food sensitivity and will need to be on a special diet as well as Advita for life. Come see me at PAWSH in La Encantada, or give an adoption counselor a call at 520-327-6577 for more information!
Lots of Love,
Marvin (838237)

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