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Thursday, June 23,2011

reel to reel | Week of June 23, 2011

Bad Teacher

Having played sweet, good girls for too long, Cameron Diaz gets in touch with her bad self as the world’s worst schoolteacher, an alcoholic, drug-using party animal who tries to seduce a wealthy new substitute (Justin Timberlake). Rated R. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez


Beginners imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion and surprises of love. Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father, Hal, has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father, who — following 44 years of marriage — came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

Blood Simple

In a jealous rage, Texas tavern owner Julian Marty hires unscrupulous private detective Loren Visser to not only tail his two-timing spouse, Abby, but also murder her and her bar-keeping paramour. Events take a surprising turn, however, when the gumshoe doublecrosses his client. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society


As maid of honor, a single woman leads her best friend and a colorful group of bridesmaids on a wild ride. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square. — Los Angeles Times/MCT


Buck Brannaman, a true American cowboy and sage on horseback, travels the country for nine months a year helping horses with people problems. Buck follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. At Chez Artiste.

— Landmark Theatres

The Canal Street Madam

Until an FBI bust upended her life, Jeanette Maier was a successful New Orleans madam. Her discreet clientele included a number of powerful, high-ranking politicians. The ensuing very public trial focused salaciously on the fact that Jeanette’s brothel was a family affair — Jeanette ran the business with her mother and she employed her own daughter as an escort. Jeanette and her family ended up infamous, their futures blighted by felony convictions, yet their well-connected clients escaped exposure. Now, the Canal Street Madam sets out to reinvent herself, reclaim her public persona and protect her family as she fights back against a system that silences the powerless and protects the elite. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Cars 2

The 2006 smash hit Cars, about a world popu lated by living, talking automobiles, was the only Pixar film I didn’t like. But I was skeptical about Toy Story 3, too, and look how that one turned out, so let’s hope for the best. Rated G. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez

City of Life and Death

In December 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army laid siege to the Chinese capital of Nanking, killing as many as 300,000 citizens during a six-week reign of terror, the details of which Japan and China dispute to this day. Abandoned by the outside world and with no resources or defenses, the people of Nanking were subjected to torture, rape and death by a chaotic army that had little experience operating in a foreign country. Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan’s bold re-creation of these events is told with startling humanism through the eyes of both victims and occupiers. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

Crossing the Net

Crossing the Net captures Denver’s culture, spirit and passion for tennis. The film showcases the words, deeds and aspirations of a few local heroes — pioneers who have made Denver City Park a true home for tennis and real community of avid players — players who are young, old, rich, poor, beginners, professionals, black, white, Asian and Hispanic. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

The Double Hour

Sonia and Guido, a penniless maid and a chilly ex-cop, each go about their daily routines like ghosts, both tormented by mistakes and loss from their individual pasts, unable to truly move forward with their lives in any meaningful way. But when the two meet for the first time at a schmaltzy speed-dating event, wary flirtation blooms into desperate passion. Only a single, shocking incident, an ill-timed robbery, threatens to destroy the salvation that Sonia and Guido so quickly find in each other. The Double Hour is at once a stark romance, a touching, psychological thriller and a story about possibilities. At Chez Artiste and Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Landmark Theatres

Green Lantern

See full review on Page 37. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

The Hangover Part II

On the heels of their wild Las Vegas bachelor party, four pals get into more trouble en route to a pre-wedding brunch in Thailand. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Hot Summer

In this East German teen musical, a group of girls from Leipzig are planning to take their summer vacation together on the Baltic coast. When a loud and obnoxious group of boys from Karl-Marx-Stadt intrude on their holiday, the girls are horrified to learn that the boys have the same vacation plans as they do. The two groups quarrel with each other and compete over a number of things, but gradually attractions start to form. This is East Germany’s own version of Grease.


I AM, a probing exploration of our world, what’s wrong with it and what we can do to make it better, represents writer/director Tom Shadyac’s first foray into nonfiction following a career as one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners. At Chez Artiste and Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Landmark Theatres

The Inspector General

This hilarious vehicle for Danny Kaye is loosely based on Nikolai Gogol’s 19th-century masterpiece of dramatic satire, which is being produced by the Colorado Shakespeare Company this summer. The celebrated American actor, singer, dancer and comedian stars as a schlemiel in a traveling Gypsy medicine show who is mistaken for the feared Inspector General by corrupt town officials. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Jerk

After discovering he’s not really black like the rest of his family, likable dimwit Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) runs off on a hilarious misadventure in this comedy classic that takes him from rags to riches and back to rags again. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Kung Fu Panda 2

The martial artist panda Po and his friends must once again protect the Valley of Peace from a formidable villain. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Midnight in Paris

A lark, a souffle, a delightful shaggy-dog story with Owen Wilson as its shaggy hero. What’s he doing in a Woody Allen movie about a B-list screenwriter who time-travels from the present to the Jazz Age? Disarming the audience with his wistful joie de vivre, that’s what.

Rated PG-13. At Mayan and Flatiron. — Carrie Rickey

Mile High Sci-Fi: Big

Big is about a little boy who wishes he was big, and his wish comes true, and then his clothes don’t fit and his mom freaks on him, then he gets a job at a toy company and tap dances on a big piano at FAO Schwarz, which makes their stock jump $10. Yes, it is adorable. Yes, we all loved it. Yes, it is one of your sacred childhood memories and, yes, you are going to feel guilty as hell laughing your big butt off when we lampoon it this weekend. But your guilt will be erased when you remember Tom Hanks was also partially responsible for Money Pit and You’ve Got Mail. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Jim Carrey stars in this adaptation of the 1939 Newbery Award-winning children’s book about a house painter who starts breeding trained penguins and takes his animal act on the road, creating a national sensation. Rated PG. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez

North Face

Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation’s Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif — the Eiger — two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Of Gods and Men

Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s.

When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they realize that they have no choice but to stay. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


This modern telling of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice depicts the poet Orpheus’s loss and regaining of his wife, and his love for the illusive Princess Death, who travels constantly between the world and the “Zone.” This film is the second installment of Cocteau’s films clef trilogy of Orphic identity. At Boulder Public Library. — BPL

The People Vs. George Lucas

The passion the original Star Wars trilogy inspires in its fans is unparalleled, but when it comes to George Lucas himself, many have found their ardor has cooled into a complicated love-hate relationship. This hilarious, heartfelt documentary delves deep into Lucas’ cultural legacy, asking all the tough questions. Has Lucas betrayed his masterwork? Should he have left the original trilogy alone? Will he ever redeem himself in their eyes, and more importantly, does he have any obligation to do so? At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Captain Jack Sparrow returns for another swashbuckling adventure, this time searching for the Fountain of Youth and tangling with the pirate Blackbeard. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/ MCT

The Princess of Montpensier

Against the backdrop of the savage Catholic/ Protestant wars, Marie de Mezieres, a beautiful young aristocrat, finds herself married to a young prince she does not love, haunted by a rakish suitor from her childhood, and advised by an aging nobleman, harboring his own forbidden desire for her. At Boedecker Theater.

— Boedecker Theater

Stephen Sondheim’s Company

Neil Patrick Harris leads an all-star cast which included Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Christina Hendricks, Craig Bierko and Martha Plimpton. Company’s plot revolves around Bobby (a single man unable to commit fully to a steady relationship, let alone marriage), the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends. It’s a concept musical composed of short vignettes linked by a celebration for Bobby’s 35th birthday. At Chez Artiste and Boedecker Theater. — Landmark Theatres


Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents’ marriage via carefully plotted intervention and to lose his virginity before his 16th birthday. Based on Joe Dunthorne’s acclaimed novel, Submarine is a captivating coming-of-age story with an offbeat edge. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Super 8

Joe, the young teenage son of a local police officer, is making a zombie movie with his friends in their hilly Ohio steel town. One night while filming a scene on the train plat form, an Air Force train derails before their very eyes, some strange boxcar cargo making its presence known. Then the strangeness starts happening. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips

Teen Outdoor Movie Night

Teens participating in You Are Here (the Boulder Public Library’s teen summer reading program) vote and choose a movie to show outdoors. We will show three movies, every other week. Movie will show under the library, on the north side by the creek. Pizza and pop will be served. At Boulder Public Library. — BPL

Tell Them Anything You Want/I Knew It Was You

Tell Them Anything You Want is a deeply moving tribute to Maurice Sendak, a seminal talent whose conflicts with success and lifelong obsession with death have subtly influenced his work. Sendak is best known for his book Where The Wild Things Are, which he wrote 12 years into his career as a writer and illustrator. I Knew It Was You is an exploration into the life of the exceptional but little-known actor John Cazale. Cazale’s film career consisted of just five movies, but all of them were Academy Award nominees for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

The Trip

When Steve Coogan is asked by The Observer to tour the country’s finest restaurants, he envisions it as the perfect getaway with his beautiful girlfriend. But when she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. As the brilliant comic duo, freestyling with flair, drive each other mad with constant competition and showdowns of competing celebrity impressions, the ultimate odd couple realize a rich amount about not only good food, but the nature of fame, relationships and their own lives. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

!Women Art Revolution

An entertaining and revelatory “secret history” of feminist art, !Women Art Revolution deftly illuminates this under-explored movement through conversations, observations, archival footage and works of visionary artists, historians, curators and critics. Starting from its roots in 1960s antiwar and civil rights protests, the film details major developments in women’s art through the 1970s and explores how the tenacity and courage of these pioneering artists resulted in what is now widely regarded as the most significant art movement of the late 20th century. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfx. — Denver Film Society

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