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Guardians blasts Marvel in a different direction

BURBANK, Calif. — Despite its flawless superhero pedigree, there’s always been apprehension about Guardians of the Galaxy.

Since the president of Marvel Studios first teased the possibility of making a movie based on the comic book about a team of intergalactic do-gooders, the proposition has been called risky — by critics, by fans and by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige himself. That never mattered to writer-director James Gunn, the horror maven best known for 2006’s Slither. READ

Going Gaga for jazz

Lady Gaga is a bona fide pop star, but the singer says recording jazz music was easier than pop. Gaga has spent two years recording an album of jazz standards with Tony Bennett called Cheek to Cheek, to be released Sept. 23. READ

A Midsummer Night’s delight

Get thee hence — forthwith! — to Bard on Bower’s delightfully over-the-top presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and you will absolutely laugh yourself silly. READ

First Friday offers variety

An intriguing mix of visual, literary and musical arts will be offered at Red Deer’s First Friday gallery openings for August. READ

Sharknado sequel has bite

NEW YORK — Don’t worry about me. The Sharknado Evacuation map supplied by Syfy network places me, as a resident of Lower Manhattan, smack in the zone most in peril this sharknado season. READ

Persistence, talent key to Jacobson’s success

Anyone who sees local guitarist Charlie Jacobson playing with blues heavyweights Kenny Wayne, Donald Ray Johnson and Russell Jackson will have one question in mind. READ

Punk rock quartet part of Slumland bill

Calgary punk rockers Streetlight Saints will be bringing their “Joe Doe revolution” to Red Deer. READ

Sylvan art on display on three Wednesdays

Sylvan Lake’s Centennial Park will be turned into a beautiful “outdoor gallery” when a variety of artists sell their wares. READ

Hercules: a strong film

If you’re feeling the summer box office is lacking muscle, try Hercules, a surprisingly satisfying blend of action, adventure and swift plotting. It’s surprising in part because the film’s distributors, Paramount and MGM Pictures, held the only press screening the night before the movie opened in theatres, making it virtually impossible to get critics’ reviews into their traditional spot in Friday newspapers. READ

Heroics take flight

Feisty prop-spinner Dusty Crophopper makes another pass around the tower and finds a second chance gives him a new purpose in life in Planes: Fire and Rescue. READ

Boom Chucka Boys have shot at country music group of year

Sylvan Lake’s The Boom Chucka Boys are joining Gord Bamford to make up a solid Central Alberta contingent of nominees for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. READ

Free concerts at MusiCamp

Music lovers can enjoy free concerts at the Red Deer College Arts Centre main stage starting on Monday. READ

Diamond Forever show at Sylvan

The timeless music of Neil Diamond will be performed in the Diamond Forever show on Saturday in Sylvan Lake. READ

Terry Gilliam ponders the meaning of life with The Zero Theorem

TORONTO — Over 30 years after starring in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, filmmaker Terry Gilliam is exploring the significance of existence once again with his new sci-fi drama, The Zero Theorem. It’s a theme that’s been on his mind since he was young, says the American-born British writer-director, who got an Oscar nomination for co-penning the 1985 film Brazil. READ

Boom Chucka Boys nab nod for country music group of year

Sylvan Lake’s The Boom Chucka Boys are joining Gord Bamford to make up a solid Central Alberta contingent of nominees for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. READ

Sheepdogs performance: Undeniably optimistic

It was a grand — some might even say heroic — return to Red Deer for The Sheepdogs. READ

Hamlet on the prowl

The very heavens opened up and doused Bard on Bower’s opening night of Hamlet with a steady drizzle. READ

Science funk-tion

Shirtless Tayo Branston really stands out in a crowd — even when his crowd is a funkadelic nine-member band that performs songs about a giant robot destroying the earth. READ

Underside Pattern coming to the patio

Upbeat pop group Underside Pattern performs this week on Red Deer’s Ross Street Patio. READ

Matt Blais to rock Red Deer

Calgary’s passionate blues-rocker Matt Blais will perform next week in Red Deer. READ

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