ARIZONA REPORTER



You are currently viewing the April 2010 Edition of Arizona Reporter
TUCSON, Ariz. - A pair of Tucson-based scientists has developed a plan for Arizona's energy future that proposes a dramatic increase in the use of solar and wind energy.
They say the plan, if pursued aggressively, would have Arizona generating all its electricity using 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2040 and exporting excess electricity to other states.
Oh, I guess were not sporting that media blitz any longer in light of an ecological disaster? Our deep regrets go to the families; however, we have a point. We get lots of emails touting a hidden agenda typically Democrat , Republican or Tea Party rhetoric seeking more press time. It seems like only a couple months ago the news was filled with offshore drilling news and the ongoing American energy crisis.
By Susan Granger - Most observers were stunned when this Argentinean film won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar - mainly because to many, outside of Academy members, this part thriller/part tale of unrequited love was unknown.
NEW YORK, NY - Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators covering New York theater for out-of-town newspapers, national publications and other media beyond Broadway, announced today (April 26, 2010) its nominees for the 2009-10 season in 23 categories. Broadway stars and siblings Sutton Foster, Outer Critics Circle Award winner, and Hunter Foster Outer Critics Circle Award nominee, presided over the (11AM) announcement ceremony at Manhattan's historic Algonquin Hotel.

Susan Granger Reviews
The Joneses - Phony baloney

By Susan Granger - It's a brilliant premise but wretchedly executed as German-born, American-educated Derrick Borte, who co-wrote the script with Randy T. Dinzler, takes the materialistic idea of "Keeping up with the Joneses" to a whole new level.

Harvey Critic
OSS 117 - LOST IN RIO

In his final statement, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, aka OSS 117 (Jean Dujardin)--France's number one secret agent who for all his competence is racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic, references what he calls Jewish humor: "It not funny and there's no mention of sausages." I don't know about sausages but you can locate the wisdom of the statement if you substitute "OSS117 humor" for "Jewish humor." "OSS 117-Lost in Rio" is the most unfunny comedy since--"OSS 117-Cairo, Next of Spies." If you're researching other "comedies" that are almost as unfunny as those two titles, you'd have to go back to Jay Roach's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." These tales take us back to the repressed decades embracing the fifties and sixties, at least in the West. The gags have long ago been done to death. "Lost in Rio" features some good visuals of Rio, Brasilia, and Igaçu Falls in Brazil, making the movie quite worthwhile for those who have traveled and feel like reminiscing and for those who dream of going to Brazil but have little more than the price of movie admission. Otherwise, this film is remarkable for having not a single successful bon mot or gag in its entire 100 minutes. For an alleged comedy, that's probably not a good sign.

Susan Granger Reviews
The Back-Up Plan (CBS Films)

By Susan Granger - It's fortunate that Jennifer Lopez has her own back-up plan as a pop singer because her taste in romantic comedies reeks of formulaic and stale.
A Suburban Girl's Journey into a Prince's Palace of Pleasure

By Edward Ebbert - It could be the plot of a hit reality show: Forty beautiful women from all over the world living together in the lavish palace of a sultan, competing for the favor of a billionaire prince.

If your reading is restricted to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, you may think that lobbyists are those uniformed people who hand you UPS and open the door for you. If you took Poli Sci 101, you could imagine that these are honest people who legitimately try to educate members of Congress about the businesses and organizations that pay them for representation. If you're well beyond these examples and, in fact, are news junkees, subscribers to C-Span who have followed every day in the President's struggle to provide health to the uninsured, you have a cynical idea about the institution of lobbying. "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" would be ignored by the Sports Illustrated fans, might be glanced at by those who took freshman Poli Sci, and might well be found endearing to that last group, the eggheads who have been accustomed to being considered on the dorky side.
By Harvey Karten - In two different ways, Brian Cox reveals his Dick Chaney persona in French-born, Icelandic bred Dagur Kári's "The Good Heart," the most interesting aspect being not the film itself but its origins among producers, director, and location in Iceland as well as some scenes in the U.S. (The production team also includes folks from Denmark, France and Germany.) The heart of the title bears a metaphor that you won't find in the Hallmark section as Valentine's Day approaches, the physical organ being nothing like the red symbol of Eros and Cupid but a rather ugly piece of machinery that we're more than happy to keep inside of us.
By Harvey Karten - People of Middle-Eastern descent have regularly protested racial profiling at airports, wherein they would be stopped by the customs authorities as though they were all members of Al Queda. As a result, customs authorities now have no problem stopping little old ladies in tennis sneakers as though these grandmothers have sinister plans for Grand Central Station or the Empire State Building. Maybe stopping the least likely suspects is a good idea. After all, what's to stop our enemies from sneaking explosives into the luggage of the most innocent looking people, or even masquerading themselves as 90-year-olds with canes? Such an idea happened not long back wherein a group involved in smuggling Ecstasy pills from a huge operation in Amsterdam to New York hired Hasidic men to carry contraband in their fur hats and large sums of money in luggage.
By Susan Granger - Somewhere in the jungles of Bolivia, Special Forces ops have scoped out the hacienda of a narcotics kingpin and signaled for a military air strike to blow it to bits. But wait, the sneaky drug lord has just brought in a busload of 25 children as his mules!
Governor Jan Brewer has captured the attention of a nation in an effort to preempt further crisis within US borders, more specifically in Arizona. A region that has become a free-for-all hot bed of drug mules, cartel killings from Nogales to Tucson with street level drug pushers and drop houses operated by those same cartels. Alongside; just as visible as the setting Arizona sun, billions in US dollars being transported back into Mexico annually that goes largely unnoticed.

States within the US under the constitution have the right to form militia in its defense and Arizona Law Enforcement Officers now have the power to act in a capacity that allows them to put a stop to the rising immigration and the crime associated with it. You don't expect us to sit by and wait for Washington any longer do you? The Calvary didn't show up previously and this time Arizona will take the first step of defending its borders in a defense effort unmatched in Arizona since the Civil War.
"Minute to Win It" (NBC) is a new family-friendly competition series, hosted by Guy Fieri, featuring 10 deceptively simple games that require savvy contestants to complete under pressure with a prize of $1 million awaiting the winner.

Competitors will face 10 challenges that escalate in level of difficulty. Each game has a 60-second time limit and failure to finish the task on time will eliminate the contestant. At various points throughout the game, the contestant can walk away with the money earned up to that point, but it'll take nerves of steel to complete all 10 tasks to win the $1 million.

If you are interested in trying out for the show here are your options.
Arizona Game and Fish collects ocelot found dead near Globe

The Arizona Game and Fish Department yesterday collected a dead, intact carcass of a cat resembling an ocelot, a rare small to medium-sized cat that is listed as a federally endangered species.

The animal reportedly was accidentally hit and killed by a motorist on Sunday, April 18 on Highway 60 between Superior and Globe. 

In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Department is in the process of shipping the carcass to the Service's national forensics laboratory located in Ashland, Oregon, where it will undergo testing to determine if the cat is actually an ocelot of wild origin. 
By Susan Granger - Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, 2010, Disneynature delves into a true-life adventure: "Oceans." Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, who made "Winged Migration" about creatures of the air, now dive deep into the mysterious waters that cover nearly three-quarters of our planet's surface. For this Franco/Spanish/Swiss co-production, they filmed more than 200 species on 75 diving expeditions in 54 different locations in all five oceans over a period of four years.
Move over, Freddy Krueger; you're just a cupcake and "Nightmare and Elm Street" is a wet dream. And Dracula's favorite dish is raisin bread pudding. At least that's what all this seems when compared to "Countdown to Zero." You're looking for a horror movie? "Countdown to Zero" makes Jello out of Hostel 2. Don't be surprised if you leave the theater shaking and have nightmares, real ones, for the next week or so. This excellent documentary is about the destruction of the human race, or at least what could have happened several times in the past, and what might happen tomorrow. Think of this charming fact raised by Lucy Walker, who wrote and directs: there are 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world ready to be fired. They could be fired for several reasons other than by an actual attack. 1) Countries or individual terrorist groups can buy what's needed in both technical knowhow and actual Highly Enriched Uranium known as HEU; 2) Terrorists or countries or individuals can steal the weapons, a feat that might still be possible given Russia's casual security measures wherein, as one person states, "Potatoes are better protected than nuclear missiles"; 3) Countries or terrorists can build their own devices.
Al Pacino was thirty-two years of age when he performed in the role of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's classic "The Godfather." Now at seventy, he plays-nay, he is-Jack Kevorkian, a retired doctor dedicated to performing what he calls a medical service, which is ending the pain and suffering of serious ill people who request his attentions. Michael Corleone got his way by techniques such as putting a bullet into a rival's brain. Yet one gets the impression from the hysteria surrounding the Kevorkian case that the American people were more upset about what Dr. Kevorkian was engaged in than what Corleone had done--had that fictitious person been real.
By Susan Granger - There's a universality and timelessness to losing a loved one and the ritual of grief, which is why the idea of transferring the concept of this droll British comedy of manners into an African-American family situation must seemed so appealing.
For college students who feel miserable that they are only freshmen, envying seniors who get all the girls and who are soon to graduate into the real world, Ben Kalmen (Michael Douglas) has the right advice. He more or less states that it's better to be sophomore than a senior "Look at all the fun that's ahead of you." Douglas performs in the role of a man in about to turn 60 (he is 65 in real life) who had been diagnosed with a heart problem six and one-half years earlier but refuses to get a CAT-scan that would reveal the extent of his condition. The way he acts in "Solitary Man," which is written and directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien ("Knockaround Guys" and writers of "Ocean's Thirteen" and "The Girlfriend Experience") he looks like a fellow with mid-life crisis. But we suspect he has always been the way he is: a compulsive womanizer, heavy drinker, one who acts toward his own daughter and former wife without an appropriate sense of responsibility.
TUCSON, Ariz - Sims Recycling Solutions, the world's largest electronics recycler was recognized as the top recycling firm of the six recyclers in Tucson, according to the Tucson Business Journal. Sims Recycling Solutions is excited to be a part of the list and is proud for Sims Recycling Solutions to be recognized as the leader in the industry.
There's been a slew of "happiness" books lately, the best being Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project." Some authors don't all see the road to happiness as one that's paved nice and smooth but they all agree: money, at least beyond a certain family nominal amount, does not buy it since the well-off soon become adjusted to their good fortune, to which one wag once responded, "Maybe money doesn't buy happiness, but give me a million and let me shop around for a while."

By Susan Granger - Make no mistake: this is an ultra-violent, R-rated action fantasy, adapted from a graphic novel that's an irreverent, wish-fulfillment riff on superheroes and aimed at a specific, comic-book crazed audience. Even though I don't consider myself part of that niche group, I can see where - for the enlightened - it could be gory, depraved fun.
TUCSON, Ariz. - SharMoore Children's Productions is pleased to announce the 5th annual Best of Stories that Soar! An ensemble of professional actors, Stories that Soar! spends the year creating performances using stories written by students from local elementary schools. Each performance is different, created entirely for a specific school from stories written by students at that school. Children are given the freedom to let their imaginations run wild when writing for Stories that Soar's hungry Magic Box. The Best of Stories that Soar! provides a current snapshot into the minds and thoughts of young writers across Tucson. Michael Jackson and zombies increased their appearances this season, as well as stories reflecting families' financial struggles. Stories of friendship, dragons, and evil lunch ladies always seem to be of interest!
It's not at all uncommon to plan for your death, whether buying a piece of a family plot or arranging with a firm for cremation. What is unusual, though, is to plan for your entire funeral--while you're alive--to hear what other people including the reverend are going to say about you. So rare is this event that a hermit during the 1930's in Tennessee did exactly that. He had his own story to tell the people who would gather, and he expected the congregants to tell stories of their own about him. "Get Low" is based on such an event, filmed in George by David Boyd with Aaron Schneider at the helm and with a screenplay by Chris Provenzano and C. Gabby Mitchell.

Arizona News
Cutting and Coping

Q: I think my son is cutting himself. Why is he doing that? What should I do?

By Dana Sherman - My heart goes out to you; you must be very scared and upset. You are not alone. Adolescent self-injury is happening more often and at younger ages. Adolescents are using this disturbing behavior to cope with stress. As uncomfortable as it may be, we need to start a conversation about this destructive trend.

An estimated 150,000 to 360,000 adolescents in the U.S. self-injure. Cutting behavior can begin as early as 12 or 13 years of age; boys and girls are equally as likely to cut (NYU Child Study report, 2008).
By Susan Granger - James Ivory's first cinematic excursion since the death of his longtime partner Ismail Merchant continues their richly refined, tantalizing and exotic storytelling tradition.

After a young Iranian-American graduate student, Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally), is refused permission to write the authorized biography of Jules Gund, a little known Uruguayan novelist who recently committed suicide, his assertive American girl-friend Deidre (Alexandra Maria Lara) convinces him to travel to South America to try to get Gund's reluctant executors to change their minds.
Steve Carell and Tiny Fey perform in the roles of Phil Foster and Claire Foster respectively, a tax lawyer and a real estate agent who describe themselves as a "boring New Jersey couple." Trouble is that Tina Fey's character in Shawn Levy's "Date Night" is hampered by Josh Klausner's by-the-numbers script making Ms. Fey herself only slightly less vapid than Sarah Palin. There is some merit in the film: a critic could grudgingly concede that it would make the grade as a date movie, but otherwise even if you're a regular fan of Saturday Night Live, you may find that the caricatures of cops, criminals and especially an African -American cab driver are alarmingly obvious. "Date Night" has some laughs and one of the better car chases of any modern romantic comedy, but even at an economical 88 minutes and despite its moving along briskly offers limited entertainment value.
By today's sexual standards, burlesque shows look just slightly more risqué than "The Sound of Music," which explains pretty much why you don't now see the places my gang used to go to as kids. Somehow back in the early fifties, we in New York had to go to Union City, New Jersey to see the gals take it off (though I went there strictly for the comedy acts and the bands).
Green is the new black. Unless you stay in bed all day, you can't fail to see at least one message that encourages you to put bottles in the left-hand bin and paper and cardboard in the right. One bathroom has a poster, "Don't flush unless it's number two." A few months ago a documentary movie focused on a man who was determined to be so green that he consumed goods for a year with only a single plastic bag to dispose of.
Phoenix, Ariz. - Join celebs Jimmy Jean Louis (Heroes, Tears of the Sun), Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums), Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar), Graham McTavish (Quantum of Solace), Rade Sherbedgia (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) for the Phoenix Film Festival featuring and Opening Night Gala a Friday Night party and screenings like Multiple Sarcasms, starring Timothy Hutton, Oceans, from Disneynature, Arizona Shorts Program and screenings from the winners of the Copper Wing Awards to be announced. Its all in Phoenix starting this weekend!

In 2010, the Udall Foundation and the National Park Service will begin a pilot partnership to expand the Udall Foundation's Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus Program to include components of the National Trails System.

Since 1999, Parks in Focus has been creating the new generation of public stewards by connecting under-served youth to nature through the art of photography. With the help of trained Udall Scholarship alumni leaders, the Udall Foundation organizes week-long trips to introduce members of local Boys & Girls Clubs, many of whom have never before left their communities, to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. The Udall Foundation provides digital cameras to the young participants to use and keep and teaches the basics of photography,
ecology, and conservation while exploring national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.
By Susan Granger - It's rare that a movie totally captures the essence of an international best-seller, particularly a grim, suspenseful thriller, but this Swedish screen adaptation of the first novel in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" succeeds on all levels.

Susan Granger Reviews
Crummy Clash of the Titans

By Susan Granger - Who would have believed 3-D burnout would happen so quickly? While enhanced visual technology was an integral part of "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland," it's been added onto this cheesy remake of Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion F/X fantasy - and the distraction is definitely not worth the added box-office bucks.

Arizona News
Downtime

By Dana Sherman - I want my kids to participate in after-school activities but I don't want to over-schedule, how do I strike a balance?

This is an issue that most parents struggle with, I know I do. My kids want to do all the after-school activities their friends do and I feel responsible for exposing them to a variety of activities while they are young.

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In Our Last Issue

  • REVIEW: LOVELACE

    I suppose one could criticize Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's new movie 'Lovelace' because, in its 93 minutes, it fails to cover several important events in the life of Linda Lovelace. Nonetheless the biopic, which sometimes jumbles chronologically, is involving in every frame even without our knowing that the title character had hepatitis, was involved in 'Dogarama' (about bestiality), and was addicted to pain killers and pot, and had a liver transplant. For those of us (especially) whose religions or spiritual philosophies allow us love a person who redeems herself, "Lovelace" should be on your movie-going agenda. The star of "Deep Throat," which made $600 million with only $1,250 going to Lovelace, is far more a tragic figure than a source of disgust for appearing in a blockbuster of a movie about a woman whose clitoris is allegedly in her throat. Whatever you may think of this "handicap," it's a lot better than having vagina dentate, or having a vagina that sports a set of teeth as in Mitchell Lichtenstein's 2007 movie "Teeth."
  • REVIEW: FRUITVALE STATION

    Leaving the screening I compared notes with a fellow critic who said that the incidents surrounding Fruitvale Station on one tragic New Year's Day would be served better as a documentary. In this age of smart phones that can take pictures, there would be enough archival material for such a project, and this is an undertaking that deserves to be seen both in narrative form (as available in July) and in doc form (which may or may not be considered). 'Fruitvale Station' is based on an actual event, one that resulted in the shooting death of a twenty-two year old African-American living just outside San Francisco, one in which the shooter, a cop, was convicted only of involuntary manslaughter and released after eleven months. Never mind that the jury must have been either thick or racist to buy the shooter's defense that he confused his pistol with a taser gun.
  • Carbon Under Pressure Exhibits Some Interesting Traits

    August 7, 2013 - TEMPE, Ariz. - High pressures and temperatures cause materials to exhibit unusual properties, some of which can be special. Understanding such new properties is important for developing new materials for desired industrial uses and also for understanding the interior of Earth, where everything is hot and squeezed.
  • RED 2 - A Globe-Trotting Action Comedy

    "RED" is an acronym for "Retired, Extremely Dangerous," a designation that aptly suits the former secret agents/trained assassins who are reunited after the surprising success of their 2010 caper.
  • The Conjuring - Silly, Scary

    Living in Fairfield County, there are few people who haven't heard of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the renowned 'Amityville' demonologists who, back in 1952, founded the New England Society for Psychic Research. Over the years, they've assembled an Occult Museum at their home in Monroe, CT, housing a collection of 'dangerous' artifacts connected to black witchcraft, sorcery and curses. Based on a true story about one of their earlier exploits, it begins with the Annabel doll, a conduit for malevolent forces.
  • Monsters University - Stunning

    When 'Monsters Inc.' (2001) teamed Billy Crystal with John Goodman, Disney/Pixar knew they had a winner. Now they're together again in this generic prequel, showing the early days when Mike (Crystal) and Sully (Goodman) met at college. While 'Monster's Inc.' was Sully's story, this is more about Mike.
  • PARADISE: LOVE (Paradies: liebe)

    When you come home from a trip to an exotic land, what do you tell your friends? 'Beautiful out there. We had a wonderful time. Can't wait to go back.' And what do you hear from your pals when they return from trips to exotic lands? Probably more of the same. Did you ever hear someone say, 'The trip sucked from start to finish'? Maybe, but not likely. After what you paid, you don't want your friends to think you were a sucker, and what's more you went there to make them envious, didn't you?
  • PARADISE: FAITH (Paradies: Glaube)

    There is this expression 'the world would be a better place if people would learn to just sit quietly in a room.' As Ulrich Seidl's movie 'Paradise: Faith,' the second in the director's trilogy, begins, we think that the principal character, Anna Maria (Maria Hofstätter), is such an ideal person. After all, when she leaves her job as a lab technician, she tells her co-worker that she is going on vacation, and that she is "staying home." Too bad this is not literally true, as Anna Maria is an intensely pious Catholic who does missionary work in her own Austrian city--something like the way Jehovah's Witnesses reach out to others by talking to strangers in the street and knocking on doors. In this film, the director and his regular co-writer Veronika Franz, are not taking aim at religion but they appear to have little use for those who go to extremes in trying to force their beliefs on others.
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