reel to reel | Week of Oct. 6, 2011

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Jackie Chan’s 100th movie: Starring Jackie Chan and co-directed by the star and Zhang Li, 1911 tells the story of the founding of the Republic of China when Sun Yat-sens forces overthrew the Ming Dynasty. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society


See full review on Page 53. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


A young man who has always felt disconnected from his life begins to piece together his true identity, but he is targeted by assassins and must fight to survive. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Attack the Block

Attack the Block follows a gang of tough inner-city kids who try to defend their turf against an invasion of savage alien creatures. At Century. — Denver Film Society


There is plenty of sweet wonder and celebration in writer/director Mike Mills’ semiautobiographical tale of a straight son coming to terms with his own love’s possibilities after his terminally ill father comes out of the closet. At International Film Series. — IFS


“Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.” So says Buck Brannaman, a true American cowboy. At International Film Series and Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater


A tale of love and family upended by obsession and suspicion, Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden, underground world of Iranian youth culture, where a young woman’s most electrifying passions can become the most dangerous of secrets. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres


Subtle, measured and chock full of major stars, this virus outbreak film exceeds without excess. A Minneapolis businesswoman (Gwyneth Paltrow) falls ill and dies soon after. Her husband (Matt Damon) reels as the resulting pandemic takes the world by storm, while a World Health Organization rep (Marion Cotillard) and Dr. Mears (Kate Winslet) of the CDC try to stem the tide. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony, and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips/MCT

Crazy, Stupid, Love

After discovering his unfaithful wife wants a divorce, a straight-laced 40-something tries to readjust to single life under the tutelage of a young ladykiller. Rated PG-13. At Century. — Los Angeles Times/MCT


Dedicated law-enforcement officers vow to become better fathers and renew their faith after a tragedy in their community. Rated PG-13. At Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/ MCT

The Debt

Two retired Mossad agents receive shocking news about a mission they were presumed to have accomplished decades before, and they might need to finish the job. Rated R. At Century. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom

A bizarre murder mystery brings together the most powerful woman in China, the soon-tobe-Empress Wu Zetian, and a formerly exiled detective, Dee Renjie, at the infamous Imperial Palace. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

Dolphin Tale

This heartwarmer based on a true story follows the tailless dolphin Winter (played by Winter) through all sorts of adversity alongside its human protectors, notably the troubled 11-year-old Sawyer (Nathan Gamble).

What the film lacks in digital effects prowess, it makes up for with some ambitious storylines and, of course, Morgan Freeman as a prosthetics specialist. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips/MCT

Dream House

A high-powered New York publisher quits his job and moves his family to a quaint New England town, only to discover their new home was once a grisly murder scene and they might be the killer’s next targets. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT


A stunt driver for Hollywood movies who moonlights as a wheelman for robberies must use his skills behind the wheel to protect the woman he loves. Rated R. At Century and Colony Square. — Los Angeles Times/MCT


Inspired by Victor Hugo’s famous novel, Notre Dame de Paris, Esmeralda is choreographed by Yuri Burklava and Vasily Medvedev. This classic tale of love and loyalty triumphing over corruption is broadcast live from the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


Gounod’s Faust was the most successful opera of its time, reaching Covent Garden in 1863, four years after its Parisian premiere and quickly becoming a favorite of Victorian audiences. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Guard Two policemen must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang — one, an unorthodox Irish policeman and the other, a straight-laced FBI agent. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Happy Happy

Kaja is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys and who refuses to have sex with her because she “isn’t particularly attractive” anymore. Whatever. That’s life. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

The Hedgehog

Inspired by the beloved New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, The Hedgehog is the timely story of Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic), a young girl bent on ending it all on her upcoming 12th birthday. At Chez Artiste and Boedecker. — Landmark Theatres

The Help

Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer star in this adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel as women in 1960s Mississippi who form an unlikely bond that shatters societal mores of the era. Rated PG-13. At Century and Colony Square. — Rene Rodriguez

The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence

Martin is a mentally disturbed loner who lives with his mother in a bleak housing project. He works the night shift as a security guard in an equally grim and foreboding underground parking complex. To escape his dreary existence, Martin loses himself in the fantasy world of the cult horror film The Human Centipede: First Sequence. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

The Ides of March

In the hectic days before a tight Ohio presidential primary, an up-and-coming campaign press secretary becomes embroiled in a political scandal that threatens his candidate’s shot at the presidency. Rated R. At Century and Colony Square. — Los Angeles Times/ MCT

The Interrupters

From the filmmakers of Hoop Dreams, this is the moving story of three dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they, themselves, once employed. These “violence interrupters” (their job title) — who have credibility

MOVIE REVIEWS from Page 54

on the street because of their own personal histories — intervene in conflicts before the incidents explode into violence. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater

Killer Elite

An ex-special-ops agent is lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor, which will require him to take on a group of assassins. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Let the Right One In

An anxious 12-year-old boy is regularly bullied by his classmates, but never strikes back. The lonely boy’s wish for a friend seems to come true when he meets Eli, also 12, who moves in next door with her father. A pale, serious girl, she only comes out at night, doesn’t seem affected by freezing temperatures and can’t come into a room unless invited. A disturbing, yet poetic and tender, tableau of adolescence. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Lion King

A 3-D version of the classic animated film about a young lion cub who must overcome his devious uncle to lead their kingdom. Rated G. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Love Crime

Within the sterile offices of a powerful multinational corporation, two women come to a face-off in director/co-writer Alain Corneau’s mystery thriller Love Crime. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Machine Gun Preacher

Machine Gun Preacher, directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland), is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris, a new romantic comedy from writer/director Woody Allen, tells the story of a family that travels to the picturesque French capital on business. The party includes two young people (Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams) who are engaged to be married in the fall and have experiences there that change their lives forever. Rated PG-13. At Century and Mayan. — Boedecker Theater

The Mill and the Cross

Pieter Bruegel’s epic masterpiece “The Way To Calvary” depicts the story of Christ’s Passion set in Flanders under brutal Spanish occupation in the year 1564, the year Bruegel created his painting. The Mill and The Cross focuses on a dozen characters whose life stories unfold and intertwine in a panoramic landscape populated by villagers and red-caped horsemen.At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres


Director Bennett Miller’s Moneyball is the best sports movie in a long time and honestly inspirational. It’s based on the true story of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, played remarkably by Brad Pitt. Somewhat of a renegade, Beane bucked the norm and employed a new statistical way of analyzing players called “sabermetrics,” winding up in the playoffs with the second-lowest payroll in baseball. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips/MCT

Mozart’s Sister

Accomplished singer, harpsichordist and violinist Nannerl is Wolfgang’s (David Moreau) elder by five years. Originally held up as the family’s child prodigy, she has now been forced to accompany the star of the family, her younger brother. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

Mysteries of Lisbon

Raul Ruiz’s masterful adaptation of the eponymous 19th-century Portuguese novel is an engrossing tale that follows a multitude of characters whose fate conjoin, separate and then rejoin again over three decades in Portugal, France and Italy. At International Film Series. — IFS

The New York School

American art came of age with the first important modern movement by a group of New York painters who became known as Abstract Expressionists. In the 1940s and ’50s their aggressive action painting challenged the School of Paris. Harold Rosenberg, author of the phrase “action painting,” offers his valuable insights, as does fellow critic Clement Greenberg. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

One Fall

The film tells the story of a man (writer/director Marcus Dean Fuller) who miraculously survived a terrible fall from a spectacular 200-foot-high precipice that is the area’s major attraction. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother has a menage a trois, nudity, pot use and profanity. But the unfailing sweetness of Paul Rudd’s lead performance makes what could have been another raunchy and rude R-rated farce a bracing change-of-pace in a summer of aggressive comedies about aggressive people. Rated R. At Century. — Roger Moore/MCT


Pedal-Driven delves into the escalating conflict between mountain bikers with their hunger to ride and the federal land managers charged with protecting the public lands that belong to us all. Is there any room for mountain bikers in the American landscape. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Real Steel

A washed-up ex-fighter gets one last shot at glory when he teams with his estranged son to build and train a contender in the new high-tech sport of robot boxing. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

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Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska) is a beautiful and charming terminal cancer patient with a deeply felt love of life and the natural world. Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper) is a young man who has dropped out of the business of living, after an accident claimed the life of his parents. When these two outsiders chance to meet at a funeral, they find an unexpected common ground in their unique experiences of the world. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Sarah’s Key

Sarah, a 10-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they arrest Jewish families. To protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard and promises to come back for him when they are released. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres


Brazilian Formula One racing legend Ayrton Senna’s remarkable story, charting his physical and spiritual achievements on the track and off, his quest for perfection and the mythical status he has since attained. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Landmark Theatres

Shut Up Little Man!

Eddie and Mitch move to a cheap San Francisco apartment where they become a cultural phenomenon by recording their neighbors screaming matches (one a homophobic man and the other a flamboyantly gay man) and distribute them on mix tapes. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax and International Film Series. — IFS

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is a hilariously gory, good-spirited horror comedy, doing for killer rednecks what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Turtle: The Incredible Journey

Born on a beach in Florida, she rides the Gulf Stream towards the Arctic, and swims around the entire North Atlantic to Africa and back to the beach where she was born. When she returns to the shores of Florida, 25 years will have passed, and she will crawl out of the sea to lay her own eggs and keep the turtle’s journey alive. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Watching Hour: Tremors

Hick handymen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) can barely eke out a living in the Nevada hamlet of Perfection, so they decide to leave town — despite an admonition from a shapely seismology coed (Finn Carter) who’s picking up odd readings on her equipment. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Warlock Pinchers

In the late 1980s, Warlock Pinchers assaulted Denver with their rowdy antics, noisy riffs and elaborate lyrics. In 2010, the Pinchers decided to play again. The two nights brought back the original mayhem and madness of their final show 18 years prior and was very well documented. At Denver FilmCenter/ Colfax. — Denver Film Society

What’s Your Number?

See full review on Page 53. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.


Wandering ronin Mifune, realizes a skilled Yojimbo (bodyguard) could rake in the ryo (gold) in this town. And after checking out the sake merchant’s thugs squaring off against the silk merchant’s goon squad, twice as much, if he hires out to both sides. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater