Reel to reel | Week of July 4, 2013

The Lone Ranger: Johnny Depp turned 50, but Hollywood\'s helping him hide it.
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20 Feet From Stardom
In his compelling new film, director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. At Mayan.

100 Bloody Acres
Brothers Reg and Lindsay Morgan are struggling to keep their organic blood and bone fertilizer business in motion. Their secret “recipe” for success (using dead car crash victims in their product) was a huge boon to business, but lately supply has been gravely low. Months have passed since their last find, and an important new customer is now waiting on a delivery. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society

A Band Called Death
Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early ’70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death’s music — and band name — too intimidating, and the group was never given a fair shot. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society

Becoming Traviata
The reinvention of Verdi’s masterpiece, La Traviata, as sung by world-famous French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, is the subject of this documentary. For more than two months, in rehearsal rooms and behind the scenes, we see director Jean-Francois Sivadier strip away the grandiosity normally associated with opera and follow a minimalist post-punk approach, retaining the ageless passion. With music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

Before Midnight
Jesse and Celine first met in their 20s in Before Sunrise, reunited in their 30s in Before Sunset and now, in director/co-writer Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight, they face the past, present and future. Rated R. At Century and Mayan.

The Bling Ring
The Bling Ring tells the story of a group of teenagers who burglarize celebrities’ homes in Los Angeles. Rated R. At Chez Artiste  — Landmark Theatres

Despicable Me 2
It’s time for more Minion madness, as this animated sequel starring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand and others is sure to be a family favorite.  Rated PG. At Twin Peaks, Colony Square and Century.

Dirty Wars
It’s the dirty little secret of the War on Terror: All bets are off, and almost anything goes. We have fundamentally changed the rules of the game and the rules of engagement. Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill (author of BLACKWATER: The Rise of the World’s Most Mercenary Army) traces the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command, the most secret fighting force in U.S. history, exposing operations carried out by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society.

The East
This espionage thriller stars co-writer Brit Marling as former FBI agent Sarah Moss, who’s starting a new career at an elite private intelligence firm that ruthlessly protects the interests of its A-list corporate clientele. Sarah goes deep undercover to infiltrate The East, an elusive anarchist collective seeking revenge against major corporations guilty of covering up criminal activity. Rated R. At  Esquire. — Landmark Theatres.

Fill the Void
Eighteen-year-old Shira (Hadas Yaron), the youngest daughter in an Orthodox Hasidic family from Tel Aviv, is about to be married off to a promising young man of the same age and background. It is a dream come true, and Shira feels prepared and excited. But on Purim, her 28-year-old sister, Esther (Renana Raz), dies while giving birth to her first child, and the pain and grief that overwhelm the family postpone Shira’s promised match. At Chez Artiste.

Frances Ha
Frances lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren’t really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Rated R. At Boedecker — Boedecker Theater

For this Science on Screen series film, Dr. Nicole Garneau of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will discuss genetics, followed by the film. Gattaca is a brilliant, underrated piece of cinema that the not-too-distant future will, in retrospect, see as one of the more outstanding movies of the ’90s. The Oscar-nominated film stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman in a future in which destinies are officially decided by genetics. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

Hannah Arendt
The sublime Barbara Sukowa re-teams with director Margarethe von Trotta for her brilliant new biopic of Hannah Arendt. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

The Heat
A foul-mouthed, dirty methods cop (played by Melissa McCarthy) is forced to team up with a suit-wearing, micro-managing FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) to go after a drug lord. Rated R. At Twin Peaks, Century and Colony Square.

A Hijacking
The cargo ship MV Rozen is heading for harbor when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. The seamen are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

How to Make Money Selling Drugs
A shockingly candid examination of how a street dealer can rise to cartel lord with relative ease. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society.

The Kings of Summer
This film got great reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It’s a comedy about three teenage friends who decide to build their own house and live off the land. Rated R. At Esquire.

Laurence Anyways
In the ’90s, Laurence tells his girlfriend Fred that he wants to become a woman. In spite of the odds, in spite of each other, they confront the prejudices of their friends, ignore the counsel of their families and brave the phobias of the society they offend. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society.

The Lone Ranger
There is much action and killing as the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) and Tonto (Johnny Depp) take to the Western landscape in this TV-to-cinema redo. Rated PG-13. At Twin Peaks, Colony Square and Century.

Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society.

Man of Steel
The reboot of the Superman series focuses on Clark Kent’s childhood and transformation into a superhero after being transported to Earth from Krypton. Rated PG-13. At Twin Peaks, Century and Colony Square.

Monsters University
This prequel to Monsters, Inc. follows Mike and Sulley through their scare training and their attempts to join the best fraternity. Rated G. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

Much Ado About Nothing
A series of comic and tragic events conspire to keep two couples from truly finding happiness — but then again, perhaps love will prevail. Rated PG-13. At Esquire and Century. — Landmark Theatres

When two boys discover a mysterious stranger hiding out on an island in the Mississippi River, their lives and those of everyone in their small town are changed forever. Rated PG-13. At Colony Square.

Now You See Me
The world’s greatest illusionists take to robbing corporate bad guys and giving the spoils to their fans, all the while avoiding capture by the feds. Think magic Robin Hoods. Rated PG-13. At Century.

Paris Opera Ballet: Don Quixote
Don Quixote, one of the most popular ballets ever, takes on new brilliance in this re-imagining by dance legend Rudolf Nureyev. Choreography: Kevin Rhodes. Starring: Paris Opera Ballet — the Etoiles, Premiers danseurs and Corps de ballet. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

The Rabbi’s Cat
Based on the best-selling graphic novel of Algeria in the 1930s, an intersection of Jewish, Arab and French culture, this animation tells the story of a rabbi and his cat — a sharp-tongued feline philosopher brimming with scathing humor and a less than pure love for the rabbi’s voluptuous teenage daughter. Not rated. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

The Sapphires
Inspired by a true story, the dramatic comedy The Sapphires follows four vivacious, young and talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society

Saturday Night Fever
This zeitgeist film was Gene Siskel’s favorite; Ebert said he watched it at least 17 times. One can enjoy it on many levels: its kitschy charm, the music, the dance scenes, the youthful longing to break away from the mundane and Travolta’s Oscar-nominated role which launched his career. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

The Secret Disco Revolution
Beneath the reverberating vocals, frenetic strobe lights and four-on-the-floor beat, there was a neon epiphany waiting to emerge. This humorous, insightful investigation into the much-maligned genre takes up the claim that disco was in fact a misunderstood culture of protest and a movement of mass liberation for some of American society’s most marginalized citizens: women, African-Americans and gay men. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

Shadow Dancer
This conspiracy thriller set around an act of betrayal within a tight-knit family stars Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson. A woman is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA bomb plot in London and offered a choice: lose everything and go to prison or return to Belfast to spy on her own family. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

SOMM takes the viewer on a humorous, emotional and illuminating look into a mysterious world — the Court of Master Sommeliers and the massively intimidating Master Sommelier exam. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society

Star Trek Into Darkness
When the crew of the Enterprise returns to Earth they find the whole place in chaos. Captain Kirk takes his merry band of space pals to a forbidding prison planet to restore order and exact revenge. Rated PG-13. At Colony Square.

This is the End
When the apocalypse hits, six friends — fictional versions of James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson — find out what true friendship really means. Rated R. At Twin Peaks, Century and Colony Square.

White House Down
A reluctant hero steps in to save the president when the White House comes under attack. Rated PG-13. At Twin Peaks, Century and Colony Square.

World War Z
See full review page 48. Rated PG-13. At Twin Peaks, Century and Colony Square.
Upcoming films from Denver Film Society

Shows playing at SIE FilmCenter next week include: The History of Future Folk, V/H/S 2, The Hot Flashes, One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das.