M.V. Moorhead, Author at PHOENIX magazine

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

In wide release: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil—Not really evil, exactly. In her live-action star vehicle from 2014, the horned sorceress from Sleeping Beauty, here played by Angelina Jolie, got both a backstory and a whitewash. She placed the curse of perpetual sleep on poor innocent Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), sure, but she was driven to it when Aurora’s jerk father did her wrong, and she later repented her spite and became the girl’s doting godmother....

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/image001.jpg

It’s hard to imagine that Vincent Guerithault has been cooking for 50 years. But the smooth-faced fellow in the chef’s smock with the full head of hair and the handshake like a vise—five decades of squeezing a piping bag, maybe—was the guest of honor at his own place, Vincent’s on Camelback, this past Friday for a “Toast and Roast” celebrating a half-century at his craft. “Did you start when you were eight?” I asked him,...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Peoria Film Festival—This weekend, through Sunday, October 13, marks the second annual edition of the west side fest, a presentation of Phoenix Film Festival. With the exception of a “Family Film Day” from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at nearby Huntington University and an afterparty Saturday evening across the street from the multiplex, all of the Peoria festival’s events are conveniently located at one venue: Harkins Arrowhead 18. Features this year include: The Cat and the...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Opening this weekend: Joker—This is an origin story for Batman’s white-faced, green-haired original nemesis, probably the most famous of all super-villains. Debuting in Batman’s first adventure in 1940—his appearance is said to have been based on Conrad Veidt in 1928’s The Man Who Laughs—the character helped to popularize the “sinister clown” archetype that ultimately led to Pennywise. But this new film, directed and co-written by Todd Phillips of the Hangover flicks, shows us the Clown...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Judy—The frightened little-girl eyes, the face constantly shifting in an attempt to resolve itself into a mirthful expression, the reeling, infirm stage presence—Renee Zellweger captures the quality of the very late-period Judy Garland impressively in this biopic. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a great performance. Adapted by Tom Edge from a play by Peter Quilter and directed by Rupert Goold, the film dramatizes Garland in the late ‘60s, dragging her kids to low-paying...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Opening this weekend: Rambo: Last Blood—With the obvious exception of Rocky Balboa, troubled Vietnam vet and former POW John Rambo has been Sylvester Stallone’s most enduring character. He debuted in First Blood, the 1982 adaptation of David Morrell’s novel, as a PTSD-afflicted ex-Special Forces drifter who makes some small-town deputies wish they hadn’t messed with him. It was one of Stallone’s more intense and poignant early performances. The 1985 sequel, Rambo: First Blood Part II,...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Opening wide this weekend: The Goldfinch—When he happens to be in the Metropolitan Museum of Art during a terrorist bombing, 13-year-old Theo takes the opportunity to walk out of the wreckage with the title painting, by Rembrandt’s student Fabritius. Motherless after the disaster, Theo is taken in by a rich Manhattan family led by weirdly knowing Mom Nicole Kidman, until his greedy washed-up-actor Dad (Luke Wilson) and Dad’s floozy girlfriend (Sarah Paulson) show up and...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

At Harkins Shea: One Child Nation—This is a riveting, deeply personal documentary on an epic, and appalling, theme: China’s one-child policy and the human rights outrages, little understood in this country, that it wrought. The director, Nanfu Wang (in collaboration with Jialing Zhang) was born in the rural Jiangxi province in 1985, but has lived in the U.S. for many years. Inspired by the birth of her own child, she returned to her hometown to...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Opening this weekend: Good Boys—The title characters are three preteens; much has been made in the publicity of the fact that the stars are too young to see their own R-rated movie unaccompanied. Max (Jacob Tremblay from Room) is interested in girls, one in particular. His friend Thor (Brady Noon) aspires to sing, but aspires even more fervently to be thought cool and to shake off the nickname “Sippy Cup.” Lucas (Keith L. Williams) just...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FridayFlicksUSE.jpg

Opening this weekend:   Them That Follow—Shot in Ohio, this is set in an isolated community of Pentecostals who practice “snake-handling” to demonstrate their faith. Our heroine is Mara (Alice Englert), the beautiful daughter of the Pastor, Lemuel (the great Walton Goggins); she’s engaged to the devout and devoted Garret (Lewis Pullman). Mara’s a sincere believer, but she has feelings for the lapsed Augie (Thomas Mann). It’s possible that Augie is the father of the...

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.