reel to reel | Week of July 28, 2011

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The 400 Blows

François Truffaut sensitively re-creates the trials of his own difficult childhood in The 400 Blows, the film that marked his emergence as one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs and signaled the beginning of the French New Wave. Talk back after 7 p.m. screening with CU Film Studies Professor Jim Palmer. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

9 To 5

Get out your best business casual (no jeans!) and get ready to laugh those office blues away when the comedic geniuses of Mile High Sci-Fi take on this classic ’80s office comedy and target their attention on Dolly Parton and her two amazing co-stars. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

To rescue his beloved blankie, Elmo must face the evil Huxley (Mandy Patinkin) with help from the Queen of Trash (Vanessa Williams). At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Bad Teacher

Cameron Diaz gets in touch with her bad self as the world’s worst teacher, an alcoholic, drug-using party animal who tries to seduce a wealthy new substitute (Justin Timberlake). Rated R. At Flatiron. — Rene Rodriguez Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest is a documentary film directed by Michael Rapaport about one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres


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, ener gized and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

A Better Life

Carlos is a gardener living in East L.A. who performs landscaping work for wealthy clients across town. As he tries to make ends meet, he struggles to keep his son Luis away from gangs and immigration agents. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax and Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Buck 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 Century and Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

Captain America: The First Avenger See full review Page 37. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

Cars 2

Anthropomorphic automobiles head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix in this sequel to the 2006 animated film Cars. Rated G. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Cowboys & Aliens Jon Favreau directs this Western about an amnesiac (Daniel Craig) in 1873 who stumbles into an Arizona town ruled by a ruthless sheriff (Harrison Ford) who doesn’t take kindly to strangers. Then aliens come swooping down and start blasting everything in sight. Tell me this does not sound like the coolest movie ever. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron and Century. — Rene Rodriguez

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Think Eat Pray Love for guys. This comedy centers on a happily married Cal (Steve Carell), whose world unravels when he finds out his high-schoolsweetheart wife (Julianne Moore) is cheating on him and wants a divorce. Suddenly Cal must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of the dating pool, with the help of his overeager wingman Jacob (Ryan Gosling, in a rare comic turn), who believes there are possibilities for romance everywhere. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron and Century. — Rene Rodriguez

Death Wish 3

When his friend is beaten to death by a group of thugs, vigilante Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) steps in to seek revenge. Granted permission by the police to kill punks at will, Paul engages in allout warfare against Manny Fraker (Gavin O’Herlihy) and his powerful gang. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


Ana is reunited with her estranged Israeli stepbrother, Uli, when he travels to France due to the death of their father. She decides to return to Israel to search for the daughter she gave up at birth 20 years ago. Crossing frontiers by car, train and boat, Ana and Uli are caught up in the turmoil and emotion of the military-enforced disengagement of Israeli settlers. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Friends with Benefits

See full review Page 37. Rated R. At Century and Flatiron.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold unmasks the marketing process to bring audiences behind closed doors directly into the pitch meetings and marketing presentations which ultimately inform our everyday entertainment decisions. At Boedecker Theater. ­— Boedecker Theater

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

In the new film, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is still hunting Horcruxes, which contain amounts of Voldemort’s (played by Ralph Fiennes) soul. The so-called Elder Wand, stolen from the crypt of Harry’s mentor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), must be put into the right hands. Smart yet not slavish direction, and the still-perfect casting from way back when, make this final chapter an entertaining and satisfying success. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips

Horrible Bosses

We’ve all had them. We’ve all had to suffer their indignities — or else just quit our jobs. But three friends come up with an alternative to dealing with their monstrous bosses with the help of an ex-con. Rated R. At Flatiron, Century and Colony Square. — Rene Rodriguez

How to Live Forever

Director Mark Wexler (Tell Them Who You Are) embarks on an entertaining worldwide trek to investigate just what it means to grow old, and what it could mean to really live forever. At Chez Artiste. ­— Landmark Theatres


Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother’s last wishes. An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s hit play, this story brings the extremism and violence of today’s world to a starkly personal level. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Man Who Fell To Earth

Space oddity David Bowie lands on late-20thcentury Earth from a drought-stricken planet, seeking water and help for what remains of his civilization. His highly advanced technology allows him to become a wealthy industrialist (a forerunner to certain Californian entrepreneurs), but American decadence — including television, booze, sex and stock issues — proves to have a much stronger gravitational pull. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

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 Century, Colony Square, Flatiron and Mayan. — Carrie Rickey


In the near future, astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is living on the far side of the moon, nearing the end of a three-year contract with Lunar Industries to mine Helium-3 (vital for Earth’s clean energy production). Bored and lonely, Sam’s only companion is GERTY (voice of Kevin Spacey), the base’s helpful computer. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Nora’s Will

Nora had a plan. It would bring her ex-husband, Jose, and the rest of their family together for a magnificent Passover feast. But there is a flaw in her plan — a mysterious photograph from the past, hidden under the bed, which leads Jose to reexamine their relationship and rediscover their undying love for each other. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


While vacationing in Italy, Michael Courtland (Cliff Robinson) spots a mysterious woman (Genevive Bujold) bearing an eerie resemblance to his late wife — who, along with his daughter, was killed 15 years earlier. Blinded by grief, Michael pursues the beautiful doppelganger, but winning her heart turns out to be a dubious prize. Brian De Palma helmed this unabashed homage to director Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Vertigo. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Opera: The Magic Flute

From the Queen of the Night’s pyrotechnic high notes to Papageno’s chirpy birdsongs, The Magic Flute is one of Mozart’s most charming and engaging operas. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Page One: Inside The New York Times

In the tradition of great fly-on-the-wall documentaries, Page One: Inside the New York Times deftly gains unprecedented access to The New York Times newsroom. With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source and newspapers all over the country going bankrupt, Page One chronicles the transformation of the media industry. At Boedecker and Denver FilmCenter/Colfax­. — Landmark Theatres


Two real-life governors — Arnold Schwarzenegger (Dutch) and Jesse Ventura (Sgt. Blain) — use their muscled intellects to pursue a force more sinister than state budget crises: an otherworldly creature deep in the jungle. At  Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Rejoice and Shout

Rejoice and Shout traces the evolution of gospel through its many musical styles — the spirituals and early hymns, the four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing into gospel, the emergence of soul, and the blending of rap and hip-hop elements. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The longest-running midnight movie of all time stars Tim Curry as the kinky yet endearing “transsexual from Transylvania” Dr. Frank N. Furter, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as his hapless guests Brad and Janet, Meat Loaf as motorcycleriding rough trade and author Richard O’Brien as the hunchbacked butler Riff Raff. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

Sarah’s Key

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard — their secret hiding place — and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released. Sixty-seven years later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of an American journalist investigating the roundup. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

The Smurfs

A Smurfs movie was probably inevitable. But doesn’t this feel as if it’s arriving a decade late? Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara and Hank Azaria share the screen with the computeranimated little blue people, who are chased from their village by the evil Gargamel and wind up in our world — right in the middle of Central Park. Rated PG. At Flatiron and Century. — Rene Rodriguez

Stand By Me

In this Rob Reiner dramatization of Stephen King’s novella The Body, a writer (Richard Dreyfuss) tells the story of how four boys sought adventure and heroism in the Oregon woods with their search for a missing teen’s dead body in the 1950s. What they uncover about themselves along the way, however, means even more. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


Thirty years before the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears were regular gossip fodder, Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney made her mark as a tabloid staple ne plus ultra. Academy Awardwinner Errol Morris’ documentary follows the salacious adventures of this beauty queen with an IQ of 168 whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe, into jail, and onto the front page. At Esquire­. — Landmark Theatres


A hit at the Sundance Film Festival, Terri, directed by Azazel Jacobs (Momma’s Man) and produced by the team behind Blue Valentine and Half Nelson, is a moving and often funny film about the relationship between Terri (Jacob Wysocki), an oversized teen misfit, and the loquacious but well-meaning vice principal (John C. Reilly) who reaches out to him. At Esquire and Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

In this third installment, we learn that the NASA space program was a cover-up that allowed the crew of Apollo 11 to explore the alien ruins on the dark side of the moon. Michael Bay continues

to offer up soulless and frenetic trash. PG-13 At Flatiron, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips

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, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life. At Century and Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

Trigun: Badlands Rumble

In a town surrounded by quicksand, an outlaw from Vash the Stampede’s past has resurfaced after 20 years. His name is Gasback — and he’s looking to cause a little trouble. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


The government says there’s nothing to worry about — it’s just a problem with bears making trouble in the mountains and forests of Norway. But local hunters don’t believe it, and neither do a trio of college students who want to find out the truth. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Landmark Theatres

The Virgin Suicides

When 13-year-old Cecilia Lisbon commits suicide, her family spirals downward into a creepy state of isolation. At Flatiron. —

Wet Hot American Summer Set on the last day of camp, in the hot summer of 1981, this comedy follows a group of counselors trying to complete their unfinished business before the day ends. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

Winnie the Pooh Disney’s latest revival, and musical homage, to A.A. Milne’s loveable bear is longer on charm than it is on laughs. Or length. The bear is out of honey, “and a Pooh bear takes care of his tummy.” But Pooh also has “a very important thing to do.” Sad old Eeyore (voiced by Bud Luckey) has lost his tail, and the gang makes various plans to round up a replacement. Rated G. At Flatirons, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Roger Moore

Wild About Harry

You may not know a Muggle from a muffin, but you surely know that Pottermania has been an inescapable part of global pop-culture for more than a decade. This month’s edition of the Colorado Cinema Salon will examine the Potter phenomenon from a variety of vantage points as we try to pinpoint the reasons behind this resurgence of wizardry and wonder on both the page and the big screen. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

White Material

From Claire Denis, the incomparable director of Beau Travial, L’Intrus, and 35 Shots of Rum, comes White Material — a rich and thrilling account of a woman driven to the edge. An official selection of the Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, the film is a riveting exploration of the complexities of racial conflict and the limits of human will.

At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater


Kevin James stars as the title character, a guy getting questionable romantic advice from the talking animals in his care. A comedy that smells like the monkey house. Rated PG. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — David Hiltbrand