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  • Rick Romancito
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Jodie Foster’s new film “Money Monster” is designed to provoke a level of outrage against too-big-to-fail systems in the same way “Network” (1976) had viewers yelling, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” over corporate control of TV news. Yet, in the intervening years, altho…

  • Rick Romancito
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The Dennis Hopper Rebel Film Festival is part of the Dennis Hopper Days celebration organized by Robby Romero’s Eagle Thunder Enterprises. The films to be screened include “The Trip,” “Easy Rider,” “The American Dreamer,” and “Blue Velvet.”

  • Rick Romancito
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There is probably no greater way to spray kyptonite all over a well-meaning movie that supposedly celebrates a revered occasion than by coming up with an utterly cringe-worthy script that is acted by distracted, uncommitted A-list stars and have it directed by Garry Marshall.

  • Rick Romancito
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The familiarity audiences may possess toward this story, which has been filmed several times in various formats and iterations over decades, is something to set aside before watching this version. But, that’s not a bad thing because it’ll keep you from wanting to hum some of the well-known s…

  • Andy Jones
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This week’s “Tonal Ranger” reviews two albums from artists who have had completely different trajectories in the music industry – and in life. Charles Bradley is 25 years Andrew Bird’s senior, yet he wasn’t discovered until he was age 62. He ran away from home when he was 14, living on the s…

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There’s no downside to seeing 80 films in a long weekend, except for maybe a sore rear end. After this, my first experience with the Taos Shortz Film Fest — which happened April 7-10 at the Taos Community Auditorium — I’m officially a fan. Though I may be booking a massage soon.

  • Andy Jones
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The Golden State is well represented in this edition of “The Tonal Ranger,” with two artists who buck the musical stereotypes and traditions of their respective cities. Hip-hop rapper Open Mike Eagle’s new collaboration with British producer Paul White is an album that coyly operates in the …

  • Rick Romancito
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I’ve seen worse. I walked out of “Pink Flamingos” when it was showing once at the Taos Plaza Theater many years ago. I’ve never seen the end of “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space” or “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” As for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” I’m a b…

  • Rick Romancito
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You know a movie based on a theme of revolt falls apart when the characters seem to lose their political momentum and wind up merely petulant. That’s kind of what happens to Tris and Four (Shailene Woodley and Theo James) in the next-to-last installment of the “Divergent” series, titled “Allegiant.”

  • Rick Romancito
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A movie with “Cloverfield” in the title, plus having J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves in the producer list, might make audiences assume this is a sequel to Reeves’ 2008 breakthrough monster-in-Manhattan shaky-cam flick. And, well, it kinda sorta is.

  • Andy Jones
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Everything old is new again, but not in such a direct manner. The Tonal Ranger is constantly amazed by the evolution of popular music and the way new acts borrow from the past to make something new. Sometimes the influences are obvious, but somehow manage to make the results unique. That is …

  • Rick Romancito
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Animated films take a long time to make, even ones that depend on computer-generated imagery. So, how is it that “Zootopia’s” creators could have anticipated the troubling climate in the world to which it appears to be a perfect antidote?

  • Rick Romancito
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‘My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!” —”The Generous Gambler” (1864) by Charles Baudelaire

  • Andy Jones
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The marks of a great career include being able to adjust to the times while maintaining a high level of creativity and artistic value. It also includes never, ever resting on your laurels. This week, The Tonal Ranger looks at two new albums by American icons, Lucinda Williams and Mavis Stapl…

  • Rick Romancito
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The new film, “Race,” which dramatizes the events leading up to and during the landmark wins for American athlete Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics, is, like its title, an embrace of two meanings: There is the race Owens ran that pointedly embarrassed the Nazi regime before a world stage, and…

  • Rick Romancito
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Disney’s new film, “The Finest Hours,” could easily have been a cookie-cutter disaster epic featuring a cast of attractive-looking Hollywood stars trying their best to look earnest amid splashes of cold water from off-screen production assistants.

  • Rick Romancito
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You can’t blame Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan of TV’s “The Walking Dead”) for letting out a nervous giggle when she is first introduced to Brahms, the young charge for whom she has been hired to care. Her new employers are an elderly couple, the Heelshires (James Russell and Diana Hardcastle), w…

  • Rick Romancito
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There’s a lot that boils beneath the surface in the drug war drama, “Sicario,” directed with a sure hand at suspense by Denis Villaneuve (who incidentally is attached to a “Blade Runner” sequel now in pre-production). Largely shot in Albuquerque and Southern New Mexico by the great cinematog…

  • Rick Romancito
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Manifest Destiny was not only about fulfilling an ideal; it was about conquest — of a land, the indigenous people and nature itself. It was a mindset, a kind of blood-born virus that infected every immigrant who felt the need to take whatever they wanted because it was their divine right. Th…

  • Rick Romancito
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The life and times of the real Joy Mangano will remain an enigma, at least for now. The new film by David O. Russell, although patterned loosely on Mangano’s real-life rags-to-riches rise in the home shopping TV business, veers wildly into its own territory, becoming another of Russell’s exp…

  • Rick Romancito
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If George Lucas had started his landmark sci-fi trilogy by leaving off the words, “Episode IV” from the first “Star Wars” movie in 1977, we would have been spared Jar-Jar Binks, flying ninja Yoda and Hayden Christiansen’s mopey-whiney-psycho Anakin Skywalker — not to mention all the digital …

  • Rick Romancito
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Imagine a version of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” in which the lovable Griswolds are attacked by a bloodthirsty band of evil elves led by a vicious anti-Santa Claus who has no qualms about literally … well, I can’t go on. If you’re really curious about the lengths this horrific ch…

  • Andy Jones
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This week, The Tonal Ranger reviews its final two albums of 2015. The next two columns will be dedicated to our year’s best. And we go out on a high note, with new music from relatively obscure artists who are each really good at what they do. Whether you need some reflective folk music or s…

  • Rick Romancito
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The promise of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finally taking charge of her destiny is realized in “Mockingjay, Part 2,” the long-awaited conclusion to Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy of dystopian young adult sci-fi novels.

  • Andy Jones
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This week, The Tonal Ranger has the rare opportunity to examine the recent releases of two women who grew up in the same small town. Joanna Newsom (1982) and Alela Diane (1983) were both born in the Northern California Sierra foothills community of Nevada City (a town half the size of Taos),…

  • Rick Romancito
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Movies about famous rich people tend to exist primarily as a way for audiences to confirm already formed opinions about them.

  • Rick Romancito
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If you happened to have caught “Man on Wire” (2008) — the Oscar-winning documentary by James Marsh featuring the real high wire-walker Philippe Petit and his cohorts (available now on Amazon Prime) — find a way to clear your head of all memories before seeing this new feature by Robert Zemeckis.

  • Andy Jones
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Often times, music critics and fans find themselves in a pigeon hole when it comes to their expectations of certain genres. But when it comes down to it, some of the most exciting music of this, or any, era has come from artists who bend the perceptions of genre.

  • Rick Romancito
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At one point Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney is seen walking across the sandy Martian landscape, which looks somewhat like Monument Valley. I couldn’t help but remember a scene from “National Lampoon’s Vacation” where Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) heads off into the desert to find help fo…

  • Rick Romancito
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There’s a harsh undercurrent of disdain for adventure tourists in director Baltasar Kormákur’s feature, “Everest,” an edge-of-your-seat thriller starring Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Robin Wright and Keira Knightley.

  • Rick Romancito
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Having recently seen “Maze Runner” and now its sequel, subtitled “The Scorch Trials,” it’s easy to see how many people have been calling this series “Hunger Games – Lite.”

  • Andy Jones
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This week, The Tonal Ranger explores two new albums from two of the most unique artists working in indie rock today. Whether it’s the slow, hauntingly sparse music of Low, or the more intricate and worldly sounds of Beirut, these are two band’s that are hard to confuse with anyone else.

  • Rick Romancito
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There is no doubt that all the men who survived the Bataan Death March during World War II and their subsequent incarceration in various Japanese military work camps and prisons from the South Pacific to Mongolia were heroes. What these men endured is nothing to take lightly and should stand…

  • Rick Romancito
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This Sherlock Holmes isn’t the whiz-bang seven-percent-solution-charged hipster of Robert Downey Jr. nor is it the meticulously dour Basil Rathbone of yesteryear, but, oddly, Ian McKellan’s modern take embodies them all as the elder detective takes stock of his life — and finds it somewhat wanting.

  • Rick Romancito
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A lot of things have been shaking up the comfort zones of complacent America of late. If it isn’t major hacking scandals it’s offensive sound-bytes from politicos desperate for attention. But topping all of this are the still-prevalent headlines about police brutality and the killing of citi…

  • Rick Romancito
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I blame Marvel. In their effort to suck up all the oxygen in the comic-book-to-megabudget-film universe, they have allowed reboot after reboot of their movie franchises to start each time with yet another origin story. So it is with the latest “Fantastic Four,” a picture that was a lot like …

  • Rick Romancito
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It’s not surprising that a group of high school thespians would want to revive a play called “The Gallows,” which took a frightening turn for the horrible when it was performed back in 1993.

  • Rick Romancito
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Imagine a firefighter entering a burning building full of people, but rescuing only one woman because he’s related to her. Then, he leaves everyone else to fend for themselves because another relative needs his help — in another city.

  • Review by Rick Romancito
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The sad thing about modern movies targeted to kids is the sense of trust that has been lost.

  • Review by Rick Romancito
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It was an image that burned into the consciousness of the American people ...