reel to reel | Week of June 23, 2011

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Bad Teacher

Having played sweet, good girls for too long, Cameron Diaz gets in touch with her bad self as the world’s worst schoolteacher, 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

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. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

Blood Simple

In a jealous rage, Texas tavern owner Julian Marty hires unscrupulous private detective Loren Visser to not only tail his two-timing spouse, Abby, but also murder her and her bar-keeping paramour. Events take a surprising turn, however, when the gumshoe doublecrosses his client. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Bridesmaids

As maid of honor, a single woman leads her best friend and a colorful group of bridesmaids on a wild ride. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

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 Chez Artiste.

— Landmark Theatres

The Canal Street Madam

Until an FBI bust upended her life, Jeanette Maier was a successful New Orleans madam. Her discreet clientele included a number of powerful, high-ranking politicians. The ensuing very public trial focused salaciously on the fact that Jeanette’s brothel was a family affair — Jeanette ran the business with her mother and she employed her own daughter as an escort. Jeanette and her family ended up infamous, their futures blighted by felony convictions, yet their well-connected clients escaped exposure. Now, the Canal Street Madam sets out to reinvent herself, reclaim her public persona and protect her family as she fights back against a system that silences the powerless and protects the elite. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Cars 2

The 2006 smash hit Cars, about a world popu lated by living, talking automobiles, was the only Pixar film I didn’t like. But I was skeptical about Toy Story 3, too,
and look how that one turned out, so let’s hope for the best. Rated G.
At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez

City of Life and Death

In
December 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army laid siege to the Chinese
capital of Nanking, killing as many as 300,000 citizens during a
six-week reign of terror, the details of which Japan and China dispute
to this day. Abandoned by the outside world and with no resources or
defenses, the people of Nanking were subjected to torture, rape and
death by a chaotic army that had little experience operating in a
foreign country. Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan’s bold re-creation of these
events is told with startling humanism through the eyes of both victims
and occupiers. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

Crossing the Net

Crossing the Net captures
Denver’s culture, spirit and passion for tennis. The film showcases the
words, deeds and aspirations of a few local heroes — pioneers who have
made Denver City Park a true home for tennis and real community of avid
players — players who are young, old, rich, poor, beginners,
professionals, black, white, Asian and Hispanic. At Denver
FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

The Double Hour

Sonia
and Guido, a penniless maid and a chilly ex-cop, each go about their
daily routines like ghosts, both tormented by mistakes and loss from
their individual pasts, unable to truly move forward with their lives in
any meaningful way. But when the two meet for the first time at a
schmaltzy speed-dating event, wary flirtation blooms into desperate
passion. Only a single, shocking incident, an ill-timed robbery,
threatens to destroy the salvation that Sonia and Guido so quickly find
in each other. The Double Hour is at once a stark romance, a
touching, psychological thriller and a story about possibilities. At
Chez Artiste and Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Landmark Theatres

Green Lantern

See full review on Page 37. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.

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,
Century, Colony Square. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Hot Summer

In
this East German teen musical, a group of girls from Leipzig are
planning to take their summer vacation together on the Baltic coast.
When a loud and obnoxious group of boys from Karl-Marx-Stadt intrude on
their holiday, the girls are horrified to learn that the boys have the
same vacation plans as they do. The two groups quarrel with each other
and compete over a number of things, but gradually attractions start to
form. This is East Germany’s own version of Grease.

I AM

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

The Inspector General

This
hilarious vehicle for Danny Kaye is loosely based on Nikolai Gogol’s
19th-century masterpiece of dramatic satire, which is being produced by
the Colorado Shakespeare Company this summer. The celebrated American
actor, singer, dancer and comedian stars as a schlemiel in a traveling
Gypsy medicine show who is mistaken for the feared Inspector General by
corrupt town officials. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Jerk

After
discovering he’s not really black like the rest of his family, likable
dimwit Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) runs off on a hilarious misadventure
in this comedy classic that takes him from rags to riches and back to
rags again. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Kung Fu Panda 2

The
martial artist panda Po and his friends must once again protect the
Valley of Peace from a formidable villain. At Flatiron, Century, Colony
Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

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 and Flatiron. — Carrie Rickey

Mile High Sci-Fi: Big

Big is
about a little boy who wishes he was big, and his wish comes true, and
then his clothes don’t fit and his mom freaks on him, then he gets a job
at a toy company and tap dances on a big piano at FAO Schwarz, which
makes their stock jump $10. Yes, it is adorable. Yes, we all loved it.
Yes, it is one of your sacred childhood memories and, yes, you are going
to feel guilty as hell laughing your big butt off when we lampoon it
this weekend. But your guilt will be erased when you remember Tom Hanks
was also partially responsible for Money Pit and You’ve Got Mail. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

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, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
— Rene Rodriguez

North Face

Based on a true story, North Face is
a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most
dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges
the nation’s Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss
massif — the Eiger — two reluctant German climbers begin their daring
ascent. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Of Gods and Men

Eight
French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a
monastery in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s.

When
a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist
group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection,
but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in
their midst, they realize that they have no choice but to stay. At
Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Orpheus

This
modern telling of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice depicts the
poet Orpheus’s loss and regaining of his wife, and his love for the
illusive Princess Death, who travels constantly between the world and
the “Zone.” This film is the second installment of Cocteau’s films %uFFFD
clef trilogy of Orphic identity. At Boulder Public Library. — BPL

The People Vs. George Lucas

The passion the original Star Wars trilogy
inspires in its fans is unparalleled, but when it comes to George Lucas
himself, many have found their ardor has cooled into a complicated
love-hate relationship. This hilarious, heartfelt documentary delves
deep into Lucas’ cultural legacy, asking all the tough questions. Has
Lucas betrayed his masterwork? Should he have left the original trilogy
alone? Will he ever redeem himself in their eyes, and more importantly,
does he have any obligation to do so? At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. —
Denver Film Society

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, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los
Angeles Times/ MCT

The Princess of Montpensier

Against
the backdrop of the savage Catholic/ Protestant wars, Marie de
Mezieres, a beautiful young aristocrat, finds herself married to a young
prince she does not love, haunted by a rakish suitor from her
childhood, and advised by an aging nobleman, harboring his own forbidden
desire for her. At Boedecker Theater.

— Boedecker Theater

Stephen Sondheim’s Company

Neil
Patrick Harris leads an all-star cast which included Patti LuPone,
Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Christina Hendricks, Craig Bierko and Martha
Plimpton. Company’s plot revolves around Bobby (a single man
unable to commit fully to a steady relationship, let alone marriage),
the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three
girlfriends. It’s a concept musical composed of short vignettes linked
by a celebration for Bobby’s 35th birthday. At Chez Artiste and
Boedecker Theater. — Landmark Theatres

Submarine

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 Mayan. — 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 plat form, 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 Boulder Public 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 pop will be served. At Boulder
Public Library. — BPL

Tell Them Anything You Want/I Knew It Was You

Tell Them Anything You Want is
a deeply moving tribute to Maurice Sendak, a seminal talent whose
conflicts with success and lifelong obsession with death have subtly
influenced his work. Sendak is best known for his book Where The Wild Things Are, which he wrote 12 years into his career as a writer and illustrator. I Knew It Was You is
an exploration into the life of the exceptional but little-known actor
John Cazale. Cazale’s film career consisted of just five movies, but all
of them were Academy Award nominees for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

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. Through Malick’s
signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace
shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life. 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 beautiful
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
with constant competition and showdowns of competing celebrity
impressions, 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

!Women Art Revolution

An entertaining and revelatory “secret history” of feminist art, !Women Art Revolution deftly
illuminates this under-explored movement through conversations,
observations, archival footage and works of visionary artists,
historians, curators and critics. Starting from its roots in 1960s
antiwar and civil rights protests, the film details major developments
in women’s art through the 1970s and explores how the tenacity and
courage of these pioneering artists resulted in what is now widely
regarded as the most significant art movement of the late 20th century.
At Denver FilmCenter/Colfx. — Denver Film Society