reel to reel | Week of July 7, 2011

none | Boulder Weekly

Africa United

Three Rwandan children sneak onto a bus and set off to Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, to audition for the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup — but it’s the wrong bus and they end up in the Congo. Armed with ingenuity, determination and blind optimism, their travels through Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa reveal a side of Africa few people ever see. Africa United is a story of joy, laughter, hope and generosity — the ‘ubuntu’ spirit in which the children make this incredible journey together. At Boedecker Theater.

— Boedecker Theater

Babies and Blockbusters: Babies

See popular movies in the Canyon Theater with your little one in tow! Babies are free to cry, fuss and coo. Admission is free, and all baby-tolerant adults are welcome. Babies, directed by Thomas Balmes, is a visually stunning and joyful new film that simultaneously chronicles the lives of four of the world’s newest human inhabitants — in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo, respectively — from first breath to first steps, on a journey at once universal and amazingly original.

At Boulder Public Library. — BPL

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, 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. 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 Mayan. — Landmark Theatres


As maid of honor, a single woman leads her best friend and a colorful group of bridesmaids on a wild ride. At Century. — 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

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

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

A breathtaking new documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog, who follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Children of Men

Alfonso Cuaron directs this Oscar-nominated film version of P.D. James’ classic dystopian novel, a futuristic drama set in a world in which humans have lost the ability to reproduce and subsequently face certain extinction.

At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

After a much-publicized departure from hosting NBC’s Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien hit the road with a 32-city music-and-comedy show to exercise his performing chops and exorcise a few demons. Filmmaker Rodman Flender’s resulting documentary, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, is an intimate portrait of an artist trained in improvisation, captured at the most improvisational time of his career. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


Akira Kurosawa’s film depicts episodes from the lives of a group of Tokyo slum dwellers. A mentally disabled boy brings meaning and routine to his life by driving an imaginary streetcar. Children support their parents by scrounging or by tedious, low-paid employment, and schemers drink sake and plot or dream of escaping their poverty. At Boulder Public Library. — BPL


This film tells the Old Testament story of Esther, who does not reveal that she is Jewish when she is chosen by King Ashasuerus as his wife. Upon discovering a plot against her people, she manages to save them. Using this myth of survival and resistance, Amos Gitai also narrates the revengeful exterminations perpetrated by the Jews against their enemies. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

The First Grader

In a small, remote, primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children jostle for a chance at a free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One applicant creates a stir when he knocks on the door of the school — Maruge, an old Mau Mau veteran in his 80s. After having fought for the liberation of his country, Maruge is desperate to learn how to read at this late stage of his life — even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside 6-year-olds. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

General Orders No. 9

General Orders No. 9 contemplates the signs of loss and change in the American South. The stunning culmination of more than 11 years’ work from first-time writer-director Robert Persons, General Orders No. 9 marries experimental filmmaking with an accessible, naturalist sensibility to tell the epic story of the clash between nature and man’s progress, and reaches a bittersweet reconciliation all its own. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. ­— Denver Film Society

Green Lantern

This adaptation of the DC Comics series about a human recruited by aliens to wield a ring that gives him superpowers looks, well, a little ridiculous. Then again, Thor didn’t seem all that promising either, and look how that one turned out. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez

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. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

Sometimes, it takes a strange night to put everything else into focus. And that’s exactly what happens to Harold and his roommate, Kumar, when they set out to get the best stoner fix money can buy: White Castle hamburgers. At Denver Film Center/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

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. Sounds promising. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez

The Human Resources Manager

The human resources manager of Jerusalem’s largest bakery is stuck in a job he hates. But when one of his employees, a foreign worker, is killed in a suicide bombing, the bakery is accused of indifference, and he is sent to the victim’s hometown in Romania to make amends. Far from home, on a mission to honor a woman he didn’t even know, the HR manager fights to regain his company’s reputation — and possibly his own humanity. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


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

Intimate Grammar

In Israel in the early 1960s, a new generation is growing up: the militant Israeli that will not go through another Holocaust. Aharon, a 13-year-old with a highly developed inner world, does not quite fit the mold. His soul seeks refinement, art — everything he is unable to find at home. As an expression of protest he doesn’t grow an inch in three years and embarks on a dangerous journey: to cross the boundary dividing childhood and adolescence. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. ­— Denver Film Society

Larry Crowne

See full review on Page 39. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

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, Century and Flatiron. — Carrie Rickey

Monte Carlo

Three girls go on vacation to Paris, where one is mistaken for a famous British heiress. Instead of telling the truth, the girls decide to go with the flow and see how the other half lives. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez

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 and Colony Square. — Rene Rodriguez

Muppets from Space

When Gonzo’s breakfast cereal tells him that he’s the descendant of aliens from another planet, his attempts at extraterrestrial communication get him kidnapped by a secret government agency, prompting the Muppets to spring into action. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society


Oh Dae-su is an ordinary Seoul businessman with a wife and little daughter. But after a drunken night on the town, he is locked up in a strange, private prison for 15 years. The imprisonment lasts until one day when Dae-su finds himself unexpectedly deposited on a grass-covered high-rise roof. He’s determined to discover the mysterious enemy who had him locked up. While he’s eating in a Japanese restaurant, his cell phone rings and a voice dares him to figure out why he was imprisoned. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

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 and chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

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. — Los Angeles Times/MCT


Catherine Deneuve plays a submissive, housebound “trophy housewife” who steps in to manage the umbrella factory run by her wealthy and tyrannical husband after the workers go on strike and take him hostage. To everyone’s surprise, she proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. But when her husband returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated. At Boedecker Theater. ­— Boedecker Theater

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

Risky Business

With his parents on vacation, high schooler Joel turns opportunity into disaster as he transforms the family home into a brothel, sees a Porsche end up in Lake Michigan and watches his Princeton dreams fade. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


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 Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — 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 platform, 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 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 soda will be served. At Boulder Public Library. — BPL


Based on the bittersweet story of food writer Nigel Slater’s childhood, and set to the songs of Dusty Springfield, Toast is a delicious love letter to the tastes and smells a young boy associates with his journey into adulthood. A saucy new house cleaner, played by Helena Bonham Carter, sets her sights on Nigel’s father, and cooking soon becomes the key weapon in the battle between them for his father’s affections. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

See full review on Page 39. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

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. 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 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, 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


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 Mayan. — Landmark Theatres


Talking animals at a zoo teach their beloved caretaker the rules of courtship. Rated PG. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT