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Classical landscapes interrupted by flying lemons. Silk camisoles carved from wood. Justin Bieber’s famous face painted into Renaissance-era art portraits. All this and more will be on display this fall at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Is Morgan Spurlock selling out?
Recognized by his popular song “I’m Awesome,” the 26-year-old has performed with artists including Drake, J. Cole, B.o.B., Wiz Khalifa, Ke$ha, Weezer and Mike Posner.
NEW YORK — In these hyper-connected, over-shared times dwell two kinds of people: those preoccupied with taking and uploading photos of themselves and those who have never heard of the selfie.
Once again it happens with sickening suddenness — a jolting shock that alters and cruelly mocks our assumption of “normalcy.”
If a big, dumb action movie knows it's a big, dumb action movie and revels in that fact, is that preferable to a big, dumb action movie making the mistake of thinking it's significant, relevant art?
That's the question to ponder — if you can think straight and your ears aren't ringing too badly — during "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." This sequel of sorts to the 2009 blockbuster "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" seems to have some cheeky fun with itself, from Bruce Willis cheerily revealing the arsenal he's hiding in his quiet suburban home to RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan essentially showing up and playing himself. A major city is obliterated with the touch of a button and several others are in peril as the world hinges on nuclear destruction in what amounts to a hammy game of chicken.
Nothing matters really. This is a movie based on a Hasbro toy, after all — it's all spectacle and bombast. But at least "G.I. Joe" is aware of its vapidity compared to, say, last week's "Olympus Has Fallen," in which North Korean terrorists took over the White House in self-serious fashion but our secret-service-agent hero found time to make wedged-in, smart-alecky quips on the way to saving the day.
That's not to say that this "G.I. Joe" is good, aside from a couple of dazzling action set pieces, but at least it's efficient in its muscular mindlessness.
The elite military team of Joes, now led by Duke (Channing Tatum, returning from the first film), is sent to Pakistan to recover some nuclear weapons. But they find themselves double-crossed by their own government, led by an imposter president, and lose many among their ranks in a massive ambush. The survivors — Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, reliable as ever), Flint (D.J. Cotrona, who's given no personality) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki, in full makeup for covert ops) — must find out who's running the country and get to the bottom of this villain's dastardly plan.
Turns out it's master of disguise Zartan, part of the enemy group Cobra, who's posing as the president while the real commander in chief is locked up in a bomb shelter. (Jonathan Pryce plays both roles; he's far too qualified for even one of them.) The three Joes realize they need help to bring him down, so they round up the far-flung Snake Eyes (Ray Park), the petite warrior Jinx (Elodie Yung, whose character trains with the Blind Master, RZA) and the reluctant Storm Shadow (Korean superstar Byung-hun Lee, an athletic and elegant specimen).
They also need some firepower, so they track down Willis' Original Joe, Gen. Colton, who provides his own personal gun show. (You'd never know there's a gun control debate in this country from watching this movie; it's all very macho and rah-rah. The flip side is, none of the casualties from all this sophisticated weaponry results in any blood. This is an astonishingly violent PG-13 movie.)
"Retaliation" initially was scheduled to come out last summer, but the studio pulled it and delayed its release to convert the movie to 3-D. With a director like Jon M. Chu, who's shown a flair for integrating 3-D with the dance extravaganza "Step Up 3D" and the concert film "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," why not just shoot it that way in the first place? As it stands now, the extra dimension doesn't add much, and often is used in that simplistic, tried-and-true way of flinging things at us from the screen: bullets, throwing stars, etc.
There is one absolutely astounding extended sequence about halfway through, in which two teams of ninjas face off in a battle on the sheer cliff faces of the Himalayas. Using cables and zip lines, it's as if they're running, leaping and practically dancing on walls in the sky — a breathtaking piece of choreography in its own right, regardless of the dimension through which it's viewed.
"G.I. Joe Retaliation," a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality. Running time: 110 minutes. Two stars out of four.
Motion Picture Association of America rating definition for PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
“I just poured Gatorade all over my plants.”
The party is at your house this year.
Here are The Associated Press’ reviews of selected holiday albums:
In these days when American political partisans are obsessed with making sure their political team wins, and when Justin Bieber’s hair is the subject of thousands of well-read articles on Google, politics and celebrity are momentarily overshadowed elsewhere by the tale of a brave Pakistan girl whose only wish was to go to school — and is battling for her life because of it.
The first movie Selena Gomez remembers seeing in the theater: "Seed of Chucky."
For those predicting that Carly Rae Jepsen might be headed to one-hit wonder-dom, take note: she’s got another song on the charts — “Good Time,” with Owl City — and her second album, “Kiss,” was released last week.
Cases of Bieber Fever are expected to be on the rise this week due to the singing sensation’s live performance Saturday at Jobing.com Arena.
In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Justin Bieber walks the red carpet to the screams of adoring fans for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Sunday, May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Glenn Pinkerton)
Performing Arts 2012-13 season preview
Music has become a driving force in the life of a Gilbert 16-year-old — and may lead him to appear on this season’s The X Factor in the hopes of winning a $5 million recording contract.
With "Step Up Revolution," their second summertime at-bat after "Rock of Ages," producers Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot return to one of the things they do best — making young unknowns look like the next big thing. In its fourth installment, however, the "Step Up" franchise has traded an air of inevitability for one of predictability. While die-hard fans and dance fanatics will respond on the opening weekend, ongoing competition from superheroes and cute cartoon characters may slow momentum in subsequent weeks.
Imagine for a moment if Justin Bieber, overwhelmed with a sense of patriotism and duty, volunteered for a year of military service in Afghanistan. Before he leaves, his publicist and manager organize a farewell performance on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” where the teen idol performs a new song and gives one lucky girl a goodbye kiss.
You could probably learn more about Katy Perry reading Wikipedia or watching YouTube than sitting through her biopic-concert film, “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D.” While the movie promises to show a side of the pop star audiences have never seen, it only plants her on a pedestal and becomes a 1-hour, 37-minute PR piece for everything Katy.
It's a good thing the makers of "Katy Perry: Part of Me" aren't in politics. They'd probably steal the election.
Registration has begun for Queen Creek’s summer session recreation classes.
Fashion is calling, and Kelly Ripa is running late because of it.
After the better part of a year battling leukemia and living in a hospital, an 8-year-old Chandler girl is finally going home — thanks in no small part to the support of the East Valley community that’s been rallying around her, and a lifesaving gift from her brother.
New York • It seems like we can never say goodbye, bye, bye to boy bands.
NEW YORK (AP) — Since its beginnings in the 1970s, rap music has transformed from an underground, street-based sound to a definitive part of pop culture, transcending race and becoming one of the strongest — and most prolific — voices of today's generation. But at the Grammy Awards, rap has had a long-lasting losing streak in the top categories.