M.V. Moorhead, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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At Harkins Arizona Mills: I See You—Helen Hunt lives in a gorgeous waterfront home in an affluent Ohio neighborhood. But she’s seriously in the doghouse with her police detective husband (Jon Tenney) and even more so with her enraged teenage son (Judah Lewis) over a recent affair. Weird, seemingly supernatural things are happening in the house, and in the community, where adolescent boys have gone missing. This brooding thriller manages a polished look on what...

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Knives Out—Remember those facetious mysteries of the ‘70s, like Murder by Death or Sleuth; the sort of thing that unfolds mostly in one old-dark-house setting, with scherzo strings or tinkling harpsichord on the soundtrack? If so, you may feel a special nostalgic pull from this goofball all-star ensemble whodunit from writer-director Rian Johnson. The story concerns Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) a rich mystery writer living in a cluttered rattletrap Massachusetts manse with a bunch of...

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Opening this weekend: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood—The life and career of Mr. Rogers is a truly remarkable story, and it was very capably told in last year’s documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? This drama, in which the kid-show host is played by Tom Hanks, is trying for something different. To begin with, Mr. Rogers isn’t the central character; most of the movie’s screen time is devoted to Matthew Rhys, as a fictionalized...

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At Harkins Fashion Square: The Report—From its generic title on, this political drama is all business. Even the protagonist, played by Adam Driver, has a generic-sounding name: Daniel J. Jones. If memory serves, there isn’t a single scene in the film that shows him at his home, or tells us anything more about his personal life than that he was a jogger. The focus of the film, written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, is...

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Opening wide this weekend: Last Christmas—The holiday season is here, whether we approve of it starting so early or not; the first Christmas movie of the season has opened. The title of this English romcom refers, of course, to the Wham! hit of 1984 penned by George Michael, and the soundtrack (and soundtrack album; the perfect stocking-stuffer) is packed with other Michael favorites. So for some audience members it might be a relief simply that...

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Opening wide this weekend: Terminator: Dark Fate—Another day, another killer robot from the future for Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in this newest sequel to the sci-fi classic of 1984, directed by Tim Miller. This time the murderous cyborg has the handy multitasking ability of separating his handsome human form (Gabriel Luna) from his scary mechanical skeleton. He arrives in Mexico City to terminate Dani (the charming Natalia Reyes), a seemingly ordinary young factory worker. The...

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If your kid loves fire trucks, he or she should come to the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting. If you love fire trucks, for that matter, you should come to the Hall of Flame Museum. And both you and your kids should definitely come to the Hall of Flame this Saturday, November 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for “Safety Day at the Museum,” a festival of fun and fire safety education. And...

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At Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Chandler: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein cereal party—Out of the many Halloween-appropriate movie-going options available right now, from The Lighthouse to Zombieland Double Tap to The Addams Family, you might want to consider a fun old-school possibility, the 1948 favorite in which the comedy team mixes it up not only with the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange) but with Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), and the tortured Larry Talbot, aka the Wolf Man...

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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....

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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