Arizona’s award-winning ‘Raising Buchanan’ arrives on streaming services, DVD and Blu-ray

“Raising Buchanan”, a wildly-conceived comedy about a woman who steals U.S. President James Buchanan’s remains to extract a big payday, is available to stream or purchase on May 5.  Entirely filmed in Arizona, writer/director Bruce Dellis’ movie debuted at the 2019 Phoenix Film Festival, and it won the Best Arizona Feature Award. Rene Auberjonois (“Benson” (1980 – 1986), “Deep Space Nine” (1993 – 1999)) stars as the aforementioned president in one of his very last film roles, and Dellis also includes veteran character actor M. Emmet Walsh (“The Jerk” (1979),…

‘Hot Summer Nights’ especially delivers but then overheats

“Hot Summer Nights” – Looking back at the 20th century, some years truly stand out, and 1929, 1945, 1963, 1976, and 1984 are some of the more notable ones. Well, outside of the Hubble Telescope launch, the end of the Gulf War, Super Bowl XXV between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, 1991 was not particularly special.   For writer/director Elijah Bynum, he landed on this year in his new coming-of-age comedy/drama, “Hot Summer Nights”. Although his feature-film debut is packed with wonderful script-candy, odes…

The Phoenix Film Festival and Foundation reel off a new movie celebration, the Peoria Film Fest

The Phoenix Film Festival has been living large in the Valley of the Sun for 18 years, but Arizona’s top festival is branching out.  Branching out to the West Valley, actually. Peoria! The first Peoria Film Fest – sponsored by Phoenix Film Festival and Phoenix Film Foundation – will light up Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18 Theatres on Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 and feature upcoming studio and independent movies. “We’ve been looking to host an event in the North Valley and Peoria made the most sense. The growth of the…

‘Abducted in Plain Sight’ is a deeply troubling, unforgettable documentary

“Abducted in Plain Sight” – “It’s such a bizarre thing, but we lived it.  It’s all true.” – Bob Broberg “Horror is like a serpent, always shedding its skin, always changing, and it will always come back.” – Dario Argento The Broberg family did live through a bizarre thing. A nightmare, actually. An unspeakable nightmare, but every member of the Broberg family – Bob, his wife Mary Ann and their three children, Karen, Susan and Jan – decided to bravely sit in front of director Skye Borgman’s camera and speak…

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…

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…

‘Brave New Jersey’ is a charming, almost-alien invasion story

“Brave New Jersey” – “For one night, you can let go of your inhibitions and become someone completely different.” – Peg (Anna Camp) Peg, a schoolteacher who lives in the small, farming community of Lullaby, NJ, harmlessly explains her interpretation of this one night, Halloween, to her students.  Little does she realize that Halloween and its effects will arrive one day early on Oct. 30, 1938. For history buffs, this date owns significant meaning:  Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”.  Seventy-nine years ago, his famous/infamous retelling…