Here's Why Fox's Empire Rules (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Chuck Hodes/FOX
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard star in Empire.

There are five reasons why Fox's Empire has become a breakout hit, and on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we run down why the show, introduced as a mid-season replacement, has surged to nearly 14 million viewers an episode by its eighth week.


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5 Must-See Movies in Metro Phoenix This March

Categories: Film and TV

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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures USA
A familiar pair of slippers is back in theaters this month.

In between Spring Training games and getting outside as much as possible before it becomes melt-your-face-off hot, there are some great movies to catch this March. There's a bit of Disney magic, some good old-fashioned action, and a festival for the rest-of-y'all. (Okay, everyone can enjoy the festival, we just enjoy a good rhyme.)

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Leonard Nimoy Dead at 83

Categories: Film and TV, News

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Courtesy of NBC
Leonard Nimoy, who lived long and prospered, has died.

Leonard Nimoy has died, according to a report from The New York Times.

The actor, musician, photographer, and pop culture icon was 83.

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2015 Oscars: The Winners, Awkward Moments, and Losers (PODCAST)

Categories: Film and TV

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Screenshot from Oscars red-carpet coverage on ABC
Things got a little awkward between Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson.

There was an awkward moment between Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, on the red carpet before the Oscars on Sunday. But the world got to see Johnson's impressive talent for pretending uncomfortable situations don't seem to bother her (see also: Fifty Shades of Grey). It was an eventful Oscars, and that was only the start. Your Voice Film Club hosts Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek break down the 2015 Oscars winners and losers, while Amy and Stephanie unveil their all-time favorite Oscar dresses.

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Podcast: Kevin Costner Eases White America Into the Present with McFarland, USA

Categories: Film and TV

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Ron Phillips/© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Disney's McFarland, USA.

Kevin Costner eases white America into the now with McFarland, USA, we hear about the Berlin Film Festival's highs (Queen of Earth) and lows (Knight of Cups), and dip into the lukewarm waters of a second Hot Tub Time Machine movie. Also, there's much praise for teen comedy The DUFF and Wild Tales, a movie filled with stories of humans acting badly. We also hear about the plight of Fluffy, the cat owned by film director Alex Ross Perry. Your hosts (Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek) are joined by film critic Jordan Hoffman for this week's feature-length pod.


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5 Reasons You Should Go to the Sedona International Film Festival

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Courtesy of Sedona International Film Festival
Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss in The Goodbye Girl

Didn't make it to Sundance this year? No plans to attend Cannes in May? Cheer up, Charlie. There's a great film festival coming up and it's only a short drive away. The 21st Annual Sedona Film Festival runs from Saturday, February 21 through Sunday, March 1 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre and other locations in Sedona. With a mix of classic films, insightful documentaries, new independent films and more, it's worth the trip. Here are five great reasons why.

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Greg Sestero on The Room and His Book About Making the Now-Infamous Movie

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Image courtesy Greg Sestero
Sestero will be at Filmbar on Friday, February 31, to talk about his book, The Disaster Artist
Hollywood has produced many great cinematic works.

Tommy Wiseau's The Room is not one of them. "It's a perfect train wreck," says Greg Sestero, one of the film's stars. But the emphasis here is perfect. The film's so-bad-it's-good charm has given rise to a cult following over the years, setting the stage for film discussions, special screenings, and the successful release of Sestero's first book. The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room recounts the bizarre and often hard-to-believe behind-the-scenes stories of Wiseau's egregious 2003 masterpiece. It's a book that Sestero claims even Wiseau himself can tolerate, calling it the "red bible," and one that James Franco has recently decided to turn into movie. Talk about full circle.

Before Sestero comes to FilmBar on Friday, February 13, to discuss The Disaster Artist and to screen a documentary about the making of The Room, Jackalope Ranch caught up with him over the phone to discuss the success of a film and book that even he didn't see coming.


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Podcast: Fifty Shades of Grey, Starring Sex Batman

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Chuck Zlotnick
He's rich. He's handsome. He's got a secret. He's Sex Batman.

Fifty Shades of Grey is opening is nationwide, and in New York, Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl connects via the magic of the Internet with LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson discuss the hotly anticipated movie starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, adapted from the E. L. James novel.

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5 Must-See Movies in Metro Phoenix This February

Categories: Film and TV

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Universal Pictures and Focus Features
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.

February already? Just as the awards season rush dies down from December and January, we hit what is widely considered to be a dead month for movie releases. There may be a few surprises (last year's Lego Movie turned out to be one of the biggest February hits of all time), but that doesn't mean there aren't a few great reasons to head to the theater. Check out these five options.


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Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival Brings Drama, History to Valley Screens

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Photo provided by Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival
The complicated relationship between an Israeli intelligence officer and his young Palestinian informant is explored in Bethlehem.
'Tis the season. Shockingly, we're not talking about football anymore. Instead, we're talking about film. Sundance recently took over Park City, the Oscars are at the end of the month, and Phoenix was just entertained by our own LGBT film festival, Desperado.

But now, it's time for the Valley to add a little kef to the mix with the 19th Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival. And this year's line up is impressive, with an Academy Award-winning director, a viewing with Theodore Bikel, and Glenn Close lighting up the big screen.


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