Tag Archives: Eclipse

From Tevye to Tintin

My daughter Lizabeth discovered, after heading to Times Square in New York to see the movie “Paranormal Activity 3” the night it opened, that there were no more tickets to be had.

It’s just as well from a mother’s perspective since there are plenty of other good films these days that won’t scare the bejeebers out of you — including the Julianne Hough dancefest called “Footloose,” a remake of the 1984 film that many of today’s parents enjoyed during their teens.

Also “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” — an intriguing documentary with special appeal for folks interested in the lives of writers, immigration history, modern Jewish identity or a work of musical theater called “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

Seems Aleihem is the writer behind the character we all know as “Tevye,” a man with several daughters who faced countless challenges to his fervent love of tradition.

Fans of Sesame Street should take note — next month’s Loft Film Fest in Tucson includes a screening of the film “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” — which offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street, the Jim Henson Workshop, and the work of puppeteer and father Kevin Clash.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I” also opens next month, though it’ll be a bit easier to find — coming to not one Arizona theater but to nearly all of them. Fans of the “Twilight” series have long had the date Nov. 18 circled, in red, on their calendars.

Legendary storyteller and filmmaker Steven Spielberg, once a student at Arcadia High School in Phoenix, has two films being released this fall — the “The Adventures of Tintin” (coming Dec. 21) and “War Horse” (coming Dec. 25). Both promise to be visual feasts that bring some of the world’s best storytelling to life.

As we all gear up for the holiday season we allow so often to become all too hectic, we should remember the power of movies to deliver us from everyday worries, to create cherished memories with family and friends, and to inspire both dreams and wonder.

— Lynn

Note: Always consult movie websites to check film ratings and age recommendations before talking children to the movies.

Coming up: Spielberg tales


The forks of July?

Even forks can be patriotic

As our thoughts turn to celebrating the 4th of July and the many things the holiday means for each of us, let’s not forget the simple joys of celebrating with art. Especially when paint and forks are involved. 

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix presents “Fork Painting Fireworks” for children on Sun, July 4, from 9-11am. I could explain it, but you’ll have more fun if you just roll with it. No real fireworks are involved so fingers and toes should be plenty safe. 

To enjoy free admission, head to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix Fri, July 2, between 6-10pm for “First Fridays,” a program from Artlink Phoenix that lets folks tour more than 70 galleries, venues and art-related spaces for free. There’s even a shuttle that travels between the Phoenix Art Museum and several other places along the route.

Phoenix Art Museum’s newest exhibition titled “Cezanne and American Modernism” opened July 1 and runs through Sept 26 in the Steele Gallery. Many of their visiting collections require tickets (not free) for admission so it’s always wise to call ahead when you can. But hey, I think free entry to the general museum during “First Fridays” is a good time if I only get as far as their gift shop. It’s among the Valley’s best–ala funky forks and more.

Keep the “free” theme going with a trip to the Heard Museum in Phoenix for the first of several “Target FREE Sizzlin’ Summer Saturdays” they’re presenting during July. Every Saturday this month from 10am-4pm, the museum will feature free hands-on activities (such as crafts and scavenger hunts) for kids along with music and dance performances. Admission to the museum’s 10 exhibition galleries and all museum programming is included for free during these six hours on July 3. 

Fork art trumps folk art

If you’re feeling especially “wild and free” this weekend, and you have the Bank of America equivalent of the golden ticket, you can enjoy Bank of America’s “Museums on Us and the Phoenix Zoo.” B of A cardholders who show cards with photo ID get in free for the first full weekend of every month the program runs. 

And no, the word “weekend” doesn’t imply that you can spend the night amidst the critters (although the children we know who’ve done another zoo program called “Night Camp” say it’s a hoot). You’ll have to leave and come back the next day to flash your B of A dealies once again. Kudos to B of A for giving folks something they can really enjoy. Arts and culture beat the heck out of coffee mugs and toasters! 

Has Bella hit her fork in the road?

When you’re ready to enjoy a respite from the heat, head to your favorite movie theater for a taste of the Washington town named Forks, setting for “The Twilight Saga” including the newest Bella beaufest titled “Eclipse.” I’m more of a “Toy Story” kind of a gal so I may hit the movies to get my Mr. Pricklepants fix instead. You don’t need a fork to feast on popcorn. And who doesn’t love a thespian hedgehog sporting lederhosen?

As always, check those dates and other fun details before you head out. And visit the Raising Arizona Kids online calendar if you’re looking for holiday-related and other family-friendly events this weekend. 

It’s not only a dry heat, it’s a free heat… 


“Eclipse”: A conversion story

Photo (of Bella with Edward) by Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment appeared June 30, 2010 in "The New York Times"

Ever find yourself laughing at inappropriate moments? I nearly let loose a few howls of my own while watching the first two films in “The Twlight Saga.” Too maudlin. Too morose. Too melodramatic. 

But I’m closer to conversion with the newest film in what looks to be a series of five films about all thing fangs, fur and friendship. (I may even have to revisit the first two….)

Still, I came dangerously close to releasing a gaggle of giggles when watching the movie with my 17-year-old daughter, Lizabeth. As the credits rolled, I found myself thinking “this is clearly the most believable of the three.” 

What’s so believable about a love triangle involving humans, vampires and werewolves? The depths of teen emotions that each portrays. Their struggles with identity. Their bids for independence. Their search for meaning amidst lives fraught with emotional mayhem. 

For “The Twilight Saga,” the third time is definitely a charm (a wolf charm, to be exact.) 

We saw the film with fellow RAK staffers whose children were all old enough for things like teenage trysts and flying limbs, though I have to compliment filmmakers for opting to go mild in the sex and violence department. 

“Eclipse” is actually quite tame compared to prime-time television standards. Of course, the fact that I’ve written my posts of late tuned to reruns of Showtime’s “Dexter” (which features more alarming fire and ice characters) may have skewed my perceptions.

I invited RAK’s calendar and directories editor, a woman I admire for her infinite patience, persistence and attention to detail, to offer a brief review of “Eclipse”–thinking it might be fun to assemble a few “Twilight in 20 words or less” type reviews. 

Here’s the scoop from Mala and her two daughters (both of whom wore their “Twilight” shirts with pride while watching Edward engage Jacob in a food fight of sorts). To their credit, they exercised extraordinary self-control during scenes full of sizzle (and sparkle). 

One word—Jacob! My favorite line: “I’m hotter.” Watch for it! (Mylan, 16). This movie was scarier than the last two—I covered my eyes a couple of times. (Solvay, 11). This was definitely my favorite of the three! Very suspenseful with awesome effects! (Mala, who lists her age as “undisclosed”). 

Way to go, girls. You picked up on the very same line that caught the attention of “The New York Times” writer A.O. Scott, whose Wednesday review titled “Global Warming Among the Undead” noted the movie’s opening homage of sorts to actual “Fire and Ice” poet Robert Frost.

“I’m hotter” is one of several one-liners I enjoyed during this film—although my own personal favorite was “Stay, Jacob.” What’s next? Sit? Beg? Fetch? Jacob is a werewolf, after all, so he has more than a few dog tricks up his sleeve (on those rare occasions when he’s actually wearing one). 

The movie did leave me with several burning questions—which is appropriate, I suppose, given the story’s ‘fire and ice’ motif. 

Why no babies in a movie full of ‘newborns?’ If a wolf isn’t wearing a sheep’s clothing, shouldn’t he at least wear some of his own? Where are the Ewoks of “Star Wars” forest fight fame when you really need them?

What gives with the werewolf telepathy? Why is there so much spooning in Forks? Since when do white tents make for effective camouflage?

And, the most important question of all for me: Doesn’t Bella ever wonder what’s behind door #3?

I’ll save my questions about the biology of the undead for the next film, lest I give anything away to those who have yet to read the entire “Twilight” series.

Movie-going should be fun, and I had a great time watching the latest film version of Arizona author Stephenie Meyer’s work. I plan to see it again with my 19-year-old daughter Jennifer–and I’m looking forward to it. 

The nature scenes featuring vast fields of wildflowers, expansive mountain ranges and lush green forests are stunning. The writing is well-paced and genuinely humorous (in a good way). The music is powerful without being overwhelming. The storyline is compelling–and growing in complexity and intrigue.

With that, it appears I’ve gone over my own 20-word limit…

If you, or any of the tweens and teens you know and love, want to take a stab at “Twilight” in twenty words or less, I’d love to read your thoughts.

Of course, you’ll have to compete with the likes of Ariel Shelton (13) of Peoria, whose aunt sent me this review soon after they enjoyed the trilogy together: Eclipse was the funniest and most romantic of the three. It made the love triangle stronger and had the most action.

Just comment below, and we’ll have some fun seeing what various RAK readers think of the latest big-screen “Twilight” adventure.


Note: If your children are too young for “Twilight” tales, take them to see “The Big Bad Musical” at 3pm or 7pm today (Thursday, July 1). The theater production by summer campers with Arizona Jewish Theatre Company features the trial of the “Big Bad Wolf,” famously accused of eating both “Little Red Riding Hood” and her grandmothers. It’s free (though donations to their camp scholarship program are welcome) and taking place today only at Greasepaint Youtheatre (formerly Stagebrush Theatre) in Scottsdale. 

Coming up: Weekend arts adventures devoid of blood and brooding

Fake lawyers and other bloodsuckers

First, note the word “fake.” I’m married to a lawyer, and a fine one at that. In fact, I married into a family full of them. Lawyers I can live with. Fake lawyers, not so much.

Now there's a bumper sticker you don't see every day!

So I was intrigued to learn about a fictional fellow named Jeremy Troy, the subject of a comedy by Jack Sharkey (please, no ‘lawyers are sharks’ jokes), coming to Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert as part of their recently unveiled “2011 season.”

Jeremy Troy has it all. He’s about to make partner at his law firm. He’s got a beautiful wife, lovely home and plenty of spending money. But he’s got no law degree, and the jig will be up if his secret is revealed. I can’t wait to watch the man squirm when the show comes to Hale Dec 31, 2010 to Feb 12, 2011.

But he’s not the only bloodsucker coming to Gilbert next season…

Poster ala playbillstore.com

Hale presents “Little Shop of Horrors” from the Ashman/Menken pairing so popular in Disney fare (July 15-Aug 27, 2011). It’s a musical tale about “a down-and-out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving.”

Other 2011 offerings from Hale Centre Theatre include “Hello Dolly” (Feb 17-April 2), “Man With The Pointed Toes” (Feb 22-March 29), “Never Too Late” (April 7-May 21) and “Over the River and Through the Woods” (May 27-July 9).

Bloodsucking of a different sort comes to Anthem next season with the Starlight Community Theater production of “Dracula,” the perfect show for folks needing a frequent vampire fix.

For those of you who can’t wait that long, there’s the July 30 release this year of “Eclipse,” the third movie in the “Twilight saga” based on the books by Arizona mother and author Stephanie Meyer, which presents a rare (for a reason) opportunity to encounter a “newborn vampire.”

If your tastes are more tame, you’ll be delighted to know that Starlight’s 2010-2011 season opens with “Oklahoma!” There’s nothin’

Anyone for a trip down 'Memory Lane?'

creepy ’bout that except, perhaps, that the lead cowboy is named “Curly.”

“Oklahoma!” was the first musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. It’s based on a 1931 Lynn Riggs play titled “Green Grow the Lilacs” (itself based on a popular song by the same name). And it nearly inspired me to title this post “Surrey with the fangs on top.”

Starlight rounds out its 2010-2011 season with “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (based on a story by early 20th century English author C.S. Lewis, who often used Christian or morality-related themes), “Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Bye Bye Birdie” (which recently completed its first revival run on Broadway).

Thanks to Hale Centre Theatre and Starlight Community Theater, Valley families will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy classic works, new works, musicals and comedies in the coming season.

As always, read print and online editions of “On Stage”–Raising Arizona Kids’ monthly listing of theater and other live performance events—for news of family-friendly theater, music, dance and more.

Truth be told, more than a few of us at RAK count lawyers among those we love. They all have real degrees and they’re all real good people.


Another treasure from playbillstore.com

Note: Remember that this evening’s Tony Awards party at ASU Gammage has been cancelled–so stay tuned to see the ceremony on that little box that occasionally brings us beautiful things.

Coming up: More new season announcements, ASU Gammage presents “In the Heights” (winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2008)