Believe the hype, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is Marvel’s crown jewel

“Avengers: Infinity War” – “What is your name?”  “What is your quest?” –  The Bridgekeeper, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975) In this classic comedy from the mid-70s, King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his Knights of the Round Table set out for a most arduous and seemingly impossible adventure: to find the Holy Grail in arguably the crown jewel of the Monty Python big screen collection. For 10 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been building towards “Avengers: Infinity War”, its 19th picture in the staggeringly successful series.  After…

Surprises prove invaluable in ‘$30 to Antarctica’

“$30 to Antarctica” – If someone mentions Antarctica, what is the first word that comes to mind?  Cold, perhaps?  These days, it unfortunately could be melting as well. Even though many of us have seen pictures or video of the world’s most southern continent, actually experiencing this mysterious locale in person might conjure different words such as unexpected and inspiring. Writer/director Joey Chu’s documentary short “$30 to Antarctica” – featured at the 2018 Phoenix Film Festival – is also unexpected and inspiring.  As the doc unfolds, we realize that only…

‘Super Troopers 2’ is worth the wait

“Super Troopers 2” – More often than not, comedy sequels are not as funny as the originals, and one can point to many, many examples.  This is not a universal law, like the inevitability of death, taxes and hitting every red light when running late, but the list of films is lengthy. “Airplane II: The Sequel” (1982), “Ghostbusters II” (1989), “Grumpier Old Men” (1995), “Meet the Fockers” (2004), and “The Hangover Part II” (2011) are just a few that semi-infamously stand out. Regardless of the script, movie audiences can still…

Interview with the Super Guys from ‘Super Troopers 2’

Your five favorite Vermont Highway Patrol officers are back!  Yes, Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Mac (Steve Lemme), Foster (Paul Soter), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), and Farva (Kevin Heffernan) return to the big screen in “Super Troopers 2”, the sequel to the 2001 cult comedy hit. In this film, Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) pulls the guys out of their “forced retirement” to help manage a border dispute between Vermont and the Province of Quebec, and they inevitably clash with three Canadian Mounties. The Troopers stopped in Phoenix for a “Super Troopers 2” screening,…

‘You Were Never Really Here’ is purposely brutal but effectively keeps you present

“You Were Never Really Here” – “McCleary said you were brutal.” – State Senator Albert Votto (Alex Manette) “I can be.” – Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) Joe might look like an average one, but he lives in extremes.  Now, he does not partake in extreme hobbies like sky diving, bungee jumping or riding motorcycles at high speeds but instead, he works irregular hours under extreme circumstances.  Ones that only very brave, very resolute or very damaged individuals could pursue. In Joe’s case, he is all three. Writer/director Lynne Ramsay and Phoenix…

April 12 – 15: Encore screenings of several Phoenix Film Festival competition films!

Each Phoenix Film Festival competition film plays three times during April 6 – 8, but if you had scheduling conflicts – via your kids’ soccer practice, another movie, The Masters, Wrestlemania, or just slumbered the weekend away – don’t worry.  The Phoenix Film Festival is showing encore screenings of several competition films from Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15 at Harkins Scottsdale 101! Other than the festival circuit, you probably cannot see these films anywhere, so Art House Film Wire recommends (if you have the time and means), take…

‘The Miracle Season’ lives up to its name

“The Miracle Season” – “Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels, February 22, 1980. Look up the word miracle in Google, and it’s defined as a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be a work of divine agency.  A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.  An amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something. All of us have an interpretation of a miracle.  From a sports perspective, perhaps…

Fasten your seat belts and celebrate Bette Davis’s birthday with ‘All About Eve’

Ruth Elizabeth Davis (aka Bette) was born on April 5, 1908, and by Art House Film Wire’s calculations, she would be 110 years old this year! Now, the Academy nominated Davis for a Best Actress Oscar 11 times (11 times!!) over her illustrious career, and she took home wins for “Dangerous” (1935) and “Jezebel” (1939). “All About Eve” (1950) features one of her more timeless roles.  She plays Margo, a successful theatre actress who is systematically undermined by her understudy, Eve (Anne Baxter). With a razor sharp script and led…