Reel to reel | Week of July 5, 2012



No more sensitive, sparkly vampires — Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter takes bloodsuckers back to their grisly origins as terrifying monsters. In the film’s universe, Southern slave owners are vampires, and President Lincoln is the one man capable of stopping them from taking over the United States. Cameos from historical figures abound in this surprisingly watchable blockbuster. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


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. At Century, Twin Peaks and Colony Square.


A team of superheroes including Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and Thor unite to save the world. Rated PG-13. At Century. — Los Angeles Times/MCT


The historical drama based on the 1885 novel of the same name by Guy de Maupassant is the story of George Duroy (Robert Pattinson), who travels through 1890s Paris. From cockroach-ridden garrets to opulent salons, he uses his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute’s embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


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


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 and Esquire. — Landmark Theatres


It’s 1984, and on the rural East Coast of New Zealand “Thriller” is changing kids’ lives. This is the hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about heroes, magic and Michael Jackson. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater


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.


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 Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theaters


Eighty-year-old Jimmy Mirikitani survived the trauma of WWII internment camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by creating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy’s painful past. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


Children of Paradise is the tale of a woman loved by four different men. Deftly entwining theater, literature, music and design, director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert resurrect the tumultuous world of 19-century Paris, teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


A provocative exploration of female sexuality, Elles stars the fearless Juliette Binoche as a well-off Parisian journalist investigating the lives of two student prostitutes for a magazine article. What begins as a routine assignment quickly turns personal as she is drawn into the lives of these fiercely independent young women and forced to confront her own sexual fears and desires. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


One of the world’s greatest living painters, the German artist Gerhard Richter has spent more than half a century experimenting with a tremendous range of techniques and ideas, addressing historical crises and mass media representation alongside explorations of chance procedures.

Infamously media-shy, he agreed to appear on camera for the first time in 15 years for a 2007 short by filmmaker Corinna Belz. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


A lighthearted romantic comedy that tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres


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


Mohamed Nasheed is the handsome, young, crusading president of the Maldives, a paradise composed of 1,200 tiny islands, set jewel-like in the Indian Ocean. In a David v.

Goliath scenario, he is battling the climate change that threatens to destroy his nation. His candid, intelligent, often humorous speeches and asides make for a totally refreshing experience in political activism, as he builds a democracy that replaces decades of oppression and corruption. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s best sushi chef, is the proprietor of a 10-seat sushi restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. As his son faces the pressure of stepping into his father’s shoes and taking over the legendary restaurant, Jiro relentlessly pursues his continuing quest of mastery of his art in this poetic treasure. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater


A 3D motion picture that goes backstage with Katy Perry to cover her year of sparkling stardom. A fan pleaser, and a bone thrown to those fans of celebrity culture, but yet another summer film to dodge for cinophiles. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


The quest continues as zoo animals struggle to return to New York. This time, the path from Africa to America swings through Europe and tags along with a traveling circus. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


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 Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) plays the title character in Monsieur Lazhar, a film that deals with grief in a way that feels surprisingly upbeat. As an Algerian immigrant who inherits a classroom of children whose last teacher killed herself while on the clock, Lazhar works through his own personal loss while helping them come to grips with theirs. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theaters


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.


Verdi’s fascination with destiny and revenge is most fully realized in this epic tragedy, considered by many to be a “cursed” opera for the bad luck it has encountered. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater


Jane Fonda makes a triumphant return to the screen in this comedy about reunion and second chances. Catherine Keener stars as Diane, a conservative New York City lawyer who is in desperate need of an escape after her husband asks for a divorce. Along with her two children (Elizabeth Olsen and Nat Wolff), she takes refuge at her estranged hippie mother Grace’s (Fonda) farmhouse. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Landmark Theatres


His father’s sudden death brings 20-something Sam home, where a family secret forces him to reconsider his life choices. Rated PG-13. At Century and Twin Peaks.


Mid-21st century anthropologists discover cave paintings in Great Britain that share impossible similarities to other cave paintings from the same time period. The reason? Aliens! Humanity sends a spaceship out to the likely source of the alien life, and chaos ensues. All the stars aligned for Ridley Scott’s first science fiction film since the 1982 classic Blade Runner to be a great film, but Prometheus is nothing but a black hole of undeveloped characters and gaping plot gaffes. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


Based on a true story, this is the tale of Quill, a yellow Labrador retriever. Quill’s life as a normal dog drastically changes after his first birthday when he leaves his mother’s side to become a seeing-eye dog. He is a little slower than the other dogs at the school, but he seems to have an unusual “empathy” and remarkable patience with his trainers. His trainer decides that Quill would be the ideal guide dog for Mitsuru Watanabe, the lonely and ill-tempered middle-aged man who is reluctant to rely on him at first. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater


This thoroughly original coming-of-age comedy stars Jason Schwartzman (I Heart Huckabees) as a 15-year-old student who forces self-made millionaire Bill Murray into a battle for the heart of Rushmore Academy’s most beautiful teacher (Olivia Williams). From Wes Anderson. At Esquire. — Landmark Theaters


Do you need to know more than that this film was created by the producers of Little Miss Sunshine? No. But OK. Three jaded magazine employees set out on a quest to get the story behind a bizarre classified ad. They’ll be funny, and they’ll be a little bit sad. Rated R. At Century.


A Mexican Baja Cartel threatens three close friends and their prime marijuanagrowing operation. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


Set It Off is a crime thriller about four women bank robbers from a housing project in L.A. Ever since her parents’ death, Stony (Jada Pinkett Smith) has had to act as a parent to her little brother. She works in various capacities to make a future for him at UCLA. Cleo (Queen Latifah) is a butch lesbian who wants nothing more than to customize her classic car. Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) is the stylish bank teller. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


Sharqiya highlights the complexities of Bedouin communities living in Israel. Kamel lives with his brother and sister-in law at the edge of the Negev desert on land that has been in their Bedouin family since the Ottoman Empire. But since they have no paperwork to prove their ownership, their claim is disputed by the Israeli government. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


When Snow White (Kristen Stewart) escapes imprisonment by the wicked queen (Charlize Theron), she is chased down by the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), which turns out to be a pretty good thing. Featuring most of the same characters and general plot points as the beloved classic story, this retelling slaps a coat of gritty seriousness on the whole affair, resulting in a visually thrilling if overly simple experience. Rated PG-13. At Century and Colony Square. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.


See full review page 40. Rated R. At Century, Twin Peaks and Colony Square.


Because a ridiculous proposition for a film should never be abandoned while tickets will still sell, Madea returns to rescue a nephew who needs witness protection after being set up to take the fall for a mob-backed Ponzi scheme. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


Mark Duplass (co-director of Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Cyrus) stars as Jack, a slacker who’s still emotionally unstable a year after his brother Tom’s death. When he makes a scene at a memorial party, Tom’s ex-girlfriend, Iris (Emily Blunt), offers her family cabin in the Pacific Northwest so Jack can seek catharsis in solitude. There, he runs into Iris’ sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), a lesbian reeling from the abrupt end of a sevenyear relationship. At Esquire Theatre. — Landmark Theaters