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Home / Articles / Entertainment / Reel To Reel /  Reel to reel | Week of August 9, 2012
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Thursday, August 9,2012

Reel to reel | Week of August 9, 2012

Will Ferrell, still taking things too seriously in The Campaign.

ADIEU, GARY

In the middle of nowhere, a mill town’s population emptied over the last few years. However, some have decided to stay, more out of choice than necessity, because this is where they were born and grew up. Among them: Francis, a conscientious worker who continues to maintain the machine on which he’s worked all his life; Samir, his son, who returns to the neighborhood after a long absence; and Maria, the neighbor, who lives alone with her son Josť, who believes his father is Gary Cooper. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax — Denver Film Society

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY

Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio and held him in secret detention. At Chez Artiste and Century. — Landmark Theatres

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

Peter Parker gets a new look (and an origin story) in this Marvel remake of everyone’s favorite web slinger. Unlike Toby Maguire’s emo-esque rendition of the wall-crawler, actor Andrew Garfield’s portayal hopes to bring Spidey back to his roots with more wit and fewer tears. Rated PG-13. At Colony Square.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

Forget concerns about star power and familiarity. Fight to see this movie and to let it be seen. We have never needed a coming-of-age fable set against environmental and poverty concerns as much as we need this. And it is more than up to the challenge. At Century and Mayan. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.

BERNIE

Filmmaker Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunset) returns to his Texas roots for this delightfully poker-faced black comedy — based on a true story — about East Texas assistant funeral home director Bernie Tiede (Jack Black). Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Driven by her cruelty to put four bullets in her, Bernie goes to great lengths to keep up the illusion that she’s still alive. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

A group of British retirees (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith) decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel, they arrive to find the place a shell of its former self. At Century. — Landmark Theatres

THE BOURNE LEGACY

A Bourne installment that will actually make you wish the bad guys would just hunt down this super-spy and put him under lock and key. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

BRAVE

Brazenly red-headed Merida, princess, skilled archer and general nuisance at the royal dinner table, accidentally unleashes a curse on her kingdom. She then fights bravely — get it? — to defend her kingdom. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

THE CAMPAIGN

A long-term congressman faces off with a CEO-appointed opponent in a congressional race sure to whet your appetite for the ongoing political dramas this election season. Oh, except, it’s Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, and what they really want to score is another stream of one-liners that will fasten themselves to the lexicon as well as half the script of Talledega Nights and Anchorman. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

A CAT IN PARIS

An Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature, A Cat in Paris is a beautifully hand-drawn caper set in the shadow-drenched alleyways of Paris. Dino is a pet cat that leads a double life. By day he lives with Zoe, a little mute girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a detective in the Parisian police force. But at night he sneaks out the window to work with Nico — a slinky cat burglar with a big heart. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT

This documentary follows a group of teenagers in rural southwestern China who are recruited as their country’s next Olympic hopefuls. It also focuses on coach Qi Moxiang, who turns them into Western-style boxing champions. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax and Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

DARK HORSE

Writer/director Todd Solondz (Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse) enters somewhat more upbeat territory with this quirky, tragicomic romance between eager underachiever Abe (Jordan Gelber) and insecure, over-medicated Miranda (Selma Blair). In his mid- 30s, Abe is an avid toy collector who still lives with his parents (the wonderful Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow), and resents working for his father. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax and Chez Artiste — Landmark Theatres

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Director Christopher Nolan’s D.C. superhero legacy comes to an end as unwelcome and reluctant hero Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) dons his cape and deepens his voice once more. Batman battles for the future of Gotham against ruthless criminal Bane (Tom Hardy) with the help of the “catty” Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS

The latest installment in this series based on the popular books sends the wimpy kid off on appropriately wimpy summer misadventures. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

FAREWELL, MY QUEEN

A glimpse at the opulent debauchery that was the cake-addled court of Marie Antoinette shortly before that ugly incident with the guillotine. Rated R. At Century.

HYSTERIA

Hysteria tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. A feisty love story and a trip into hidden history, Hysteria is an exploration of women’s passion and a celebration of the forward-thinking spirit that has always kept human progress buzzing. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

HOPE SPRINGS

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a married couple seeking to rekindle a big romance in the hands of a couples counselor (Steve Carell) in a small town. Tommy Lee at his most endearingly gruff and Meryl at her most blushingly flustered. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT 3D

The endless chase for that acorn has continental ramifications. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

THE IMPOSTER

Documentary meets film noir in the riveting jaw-dropper The Imposter, a true story that has the twists and turns of a thriller. In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnap and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? And why doesn’t the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It’s only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes an even stranger turn. At Chez Artiste — Landmark Theatres

THE INTOUCHABLES

The Intouchables, by French writer/directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, is the inspiring true story of two men who should never have met — a quadriplegic aristocrat who was injured in a paragliding accident and a young man from the projects. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

IRON SKY

In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the dark side of the moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax — Denver Film Society

MAGIC MIKE

While it would be great to think that a movie about male strippers would be for women what movies like Striptease and Showgirls were for men, the loose threads of a plotline here suggest that Magic Mike really is just about encouraging more men to womanize and more women to fall for their ploys.

Rated R. At Colony Square.

MOONRISE KINGDOM

Once more, writer/director Wes Anderson dips his stylish pen into murky, melancholy tales of whimsy. This time out, the Royal Tenenbaums auteur follows a young “Khaki Scout” who flees from his troop and troop leader (Edward Norton) while camping on an island to unite with his prepubescent and troubled gal pal. Her parents, played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, and the island cop (Bruce Willis) give chase in this Instagram fairy tale. At Century and Mayan. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.

OPERA: BORIS GODUNOV

Mussorgsky rejected Western conventions in classical music in what is considered the most important Russian opera ever written. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

OPERA: NORMA – TEATRO ANTICO TAORMINO

Norma is considered Vincenzo Bellini’s magnum opus, and the apex of the bel canto operatic style. Flowing, lyrical melodies –— including the infamously difficult soprano aria “Casta Diva” — heighten this sweeping drama. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

OTTER 501

As an abandoned otter pup is rescued and returned to the wild, we follow a young marine biologist as she learns about the plight of sea otters, the ocean ecosystem, and the efforts to save this species from the brink of extinction. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

PULP FICTION

By turns violent and very funny, this blistering black comedy weaves together three lurid tales of small-time criminal life in Hollywood. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES

With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles follows billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the innate virtues and flaws of the American dream. At Chez Artiste — Landmark Theatres

THE ROLLING STONES: SOME GIRLS - LIVE IN TEXAS

This never-before-seen concert movie captures this world famous band at the height of its career. Shot on 16 mm in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1978, the film has been upgraded to high definition with a 5.1 audio track. It opens with a Sir Mick Jagger interview filmed in August 2011 in which he introduces the concert and offers an insight into its significance in the band’s history. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

THE ROOM

A midnight cult sensation, this quirky black comedy has been running for more than nine years in Los Angeles and is ready to take the rest of the country by storm. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

RUBY SPARKS

In the romantic comedy Ruby Sparks, Calvin (Paul Dano) is a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing — as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Zoe Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person. At Esquire and Century. — Landmark Theatres

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED

In the scrappy romantic comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle Magazine employees (Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni) to look for the story behind it. They discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth (Mark Duplass), a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he’s solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

SAVAGES

A Mexican Baja cartel threatens three close friends and their prime marijuana-growing operation. Rated R. At Colony Square.

STEP UP REVOLUTION

A would-be professional dancer gets entangled with a flash mob leader and joins a campaign to save the world from capitalism — by dancing. Rated PG-13. At Century and Twin Peaks.

TED

John, an awkward 30-something with a dead-end job (Mark Wahlberg), has his world turned upside down when his girlfriend (played by Mila Kunis) gives him an ultimatum: Ditch the best friend, a teddy bear (voiced by Seth McFarlane) who miraculously came to life when John was a child, or lose the girl. Rated R. At Century, Twin Peaks and Colony Square.

TO ROME WITH LOVE

While Rome is a city abundant with romance and comedy, To Rome With Love is about people having adventures that will change their lives forever. Directed by Woody Allen. At Century and Esquire. — Landmark Theaters

TOTAL RECALL

See full review page 46. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

TRISHNA

Frieda Pinto soars in filmmaker Michael Winterbottom’s drama Trishna, in her most revealing performance yet. Trishna (Pinto) lives with her family in a village in Rajasthan, India’s largest state. As the eldest daughter, she works in a nearby resort to help pay the bills. Jay (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions) is the wealthy son of a property developer. When he takes up managing a resort at his father’s request, he meets Trishna at a dance and their fates cross. At Chez Artiste — Landmark Theatres

TRUE WOLF

True Wolf is the story of a wolf called Koani. Koani, with the help of her human companions, became an ambassador for her species, traveling the country to help raise awareness about wolves. Koani and her humans, Pat and Bruce, presented 1,400 programs about wolves to 200,000 people. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax — Denver Film Society

THE WATCH

If you have the gift of imagining what a sci-fi comedy is like that features Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, congratulations! You lived longer than is necessary. All parties involved deliver a tepid, tofu performance. And for those who don’t know, that’s kind of an insult. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.

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