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|May 8-14, 2008
See full screen review on page 57. Rated PG-13 (crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference). At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips
This film is based on the true story of the largest counterfeit operation in recorded history. In 1936, a skilled counterfeiter in Berlin, Saloman Sorowitsch, is thrown into the Nazi concentration camps. While in the camps, his amazing counterfeiting capabilities are discovered by guards, and he is put to work for the government’s Operation Berhard, a fake currency program. Sorowitsch faces moral dilemmas as his actions might ultimately prolong the war and damage the lives of his fellow prisoners. Rated R. At Chez Artiste and Colony Square.
The Duchess of Langeais
Antoinette is the Duchess of Langeais, a married coquette who frequents the most extravagant balls in 1820’s Paris during The Restoration, where hypocrisy and vanity reign. Upon the handsome general, Armand de Montriveau’s first meeting with her, he realized it was true love from that moment on. Flattered by his attentions, the alluring Antoinette orchestrates a calculating game of seduction, but she repeatedly refuses Montriveau. Despite his sincere romantic declarations, Montriveau’s passion remains unfulfilled. When the humiliated Montriveau eventually seeks his revenge, Antoinette’s love awakens. But it may well be too late for the star-crossed lovers. Not rated. At Starz. — Denver Film Society
Fight Club (1999)
The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club. Based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name, Fight Club is the story of a nameless narrator (aka Jack’s wasted life) who lives in a bland, corporate world of catalogs, business suits and lonliness. His insomnia leads him to seek solace at anonymous group meetings, faking various diseases and addictions to fit in with the other loners. When his apartment is destroyed in a fire, the narrator moves into a derilect house with Tyler Durden, a soap-maker he met during a chance encounter. The two start a club where men beat the living shit out of each other in order to regain a sense of self and vitality. But as the club grows into a larger force with alternate agendas, the narrator finds himself in a paranoid position. Rated R. At Esquire.
This film marks Jet Li and Jackie Chan’s long-anticipated first onscreen pairing, which unfortunately comes late in their careers. Once the film finally puts these justly revered figures in their element, with Li and Chan battling for supremacy in a crumbling shrine, the film becomes magical. Unfortunately, it’s a long, eye-rolling haul to get there, hampered by lurching exposition and hammy setup. Rated PG-13 (martial-arts violence). At Flatiron. — Tasha Robinson
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
This funny raunchmantic comedy written by and starring Jason Segel (of the film Knocked Up and TV’s How I Met Your Mother) is a post-breakup chronicle of woe and, ultimately, happiness. Segel plays a pathetic whiner who travels to Oahu for a vacation only to run smack into his ex (Kristen Bell). First-time director Nicholas Stoller’s film, produced by Judd Apatow, is full of sharp laughs and has a heart to go with its comic nerve. Rated R (sexual content, language and some graphic nudity). At Century, Flatiron, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips
Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay
The 2004 comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle got by on a mixture of toilet jokes, gratuitous nudity and Neil Patrick Harris as himself. Crass? Yes. But there was a merry spirit to it all. A far more strident crassness pervades this sequel. Roommates Harold and Kumar set off for Amsterdam, but on the plane, when Kumar’s homemade bong is mistaken for a bomb, off to Gitmo! You’ll find yourself smiling at some of the bits and wincing through many, many others. Rated R (strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and drug use). At Flatiron and Century. — Michael Phillips
A manic-depressive hit man (Colin Farrell) and his older, calmer partner (Brendan Gleeson) are sent by their boss (Ralph Fiennes) to Bruges, Belgium, for an enforced vacation after a job goes horribly wrong. Writer-director Martin McDonagh writes sharp dialogue and lets his killers go on, amusingly, as the banter is very much the thing here. Rated R (strong bloody violence, pervasive language, and some drug use). At Starz. — Michael Phillips
See full screen review on page 57. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron, Twin Peaks, Century and Colony Sqaure.
The Life Before Her Eyes
A beautifully photographed, perplexing, ultimately disappointing film about a Columbine-like incident and its effects on one student (portrayed by Uma Thurman as an adult and Evan Rachel Wood as a teen). The story is told mixing flashbacks and the present. The movie’s gimmicky storytelling and overabundance of hot-button issues prove wearisome. Rated R (violent and disturbing content, language and brief drug use). At Chez Artiste. — Scott Schueller
Made of Honor
Patrick Dempsey stars as a rich entrepreneur (he invented the coffee sleeve) who has it all, including a best friend (Michelle Monaghan) who understands him for what he is. But when she threatens to walk down the aisle with her newfound Scottish sweetheart (Kevin McKidd), our hero determines that he must sabotage her plans. This is one of those formula-driven romantic comedies where the audience realizes it won’t be much fun watching the main character get his way, nor will it be much fun watching him get his comeuppance. Rated PG-13 (sexual content and language). At Flatiron, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips
My Blueberry Nights
The first English-language film from Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai features singer and not-quite-actress Norah Jones as a lovelorn New York woman traveling west. The director’s neon-drenched imagery is suffocatingly lovely; unfortunately, this fable refuses to coalesce. With Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz. Rated PG-13 (mature thematic material including violence, drinking and smoking). At Mayan. — Michael Phillips
Mr Brother Is An Only Child
Set in a small Italian city, two brothers come of age in the ’60s and ’70s. Rated R. At Chez Artiste.
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) plays Nim, an independent 11-year-old living with her microbiologist dad on an uncharted island. When dad is lost at sea, Nim looks to her favorite Indiana Jones-type adventure writer for help, only to find an agoraphobic author (Jodie Foster). It’s a fun story with a playful, creative sense of the relationship between fiction and reality. But clunky, overwrought performances make the film’s “real world” less compelling than its fantasy side. Rated PG (mild adventure action and language). At Flatiron, Twin Peaks and Colony Square. — Tasha Robinson
Audrey Tautou (Amelie) plays a gold digger working her way through a series of sugar daddies in resort towns. Gad Elmaleh, nearly as well-known in France as Tautou, plays a bartender and dog walker mistaken by Tautou’s character for a swell. Consciously evoking Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Priceless is a fairy tale about a woman who discovers there’s more to life than shoes. The film may be a contraption, but it is acted with simplicity and charm. Rated PG-13 (sexual content including nudity). At Esquire. — Michael Phillips
A martial arts film directed by David Mamet, this story follows the fateful events of a mixed-martial-arts instructor who finds himself working with Hollywood celebrities and confused over whether or not to enter prize bouts. Rated R. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
Forced to give up his dreams of art school, working class Zach (Trevor Wright) spends his days at a dead-end cooking job and helping his needy sister (Tina Holmes) care for her son. In his free time he likes to surf, draw and hang out with his best friend Gabe (Ross Thomas), who lives on the wealthy side of town. When Gabe’s older brother Shaun (Brad Rowe, Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss) returns home, he is drawn to Zach’s selflessness and talent. As Zach falls in love with Shaun, he struggles to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family. Writer/director Jonah Markowitz’s compassionate, romantic drama is winner of 13 international film festival awards. Not rated. At Starz. — Denver Film Society
The Singing Revolution
Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolutions. But song was the weapon of choice when, between 1987 and 1991, Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. During those years, hundreds of thousands gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence. James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty’s The Singing Revolution tells the moving story of how the Estonian people peacefully regained their freedom — and helped topple an empire along the way. Not rated. At Starz. — Denver Film Society
Based on the Japanese TV series, Speed Racer follows Speed’s life from childhood to his adult attempt to save the family business by entering the risky Crucible tournament. Rated PG. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
Then She Found Me
Helen Hunt directs and stars in this gently comic, surprisingly insightful story of an adopted 39-year-old woman trying to conceive a baby and belatedly getting to know her biological mother, an overbearing, exuberant and not always truthful daytime TV host (Bette Midler). She’s also sashaying back and forth between her estranged husband (Matthew Broderick) and her wounded, tempestuous new beau (Colin Firth). Rated R (language and some sexual content). At Mayan. — Scott Schueller
Jim Sturgess plays a working-class MIT student lured into a blackjack card-counting ring run by a professor played by Kevin Spacey. Sturgess is good, and so is Spacey, who optioned the nonfiction best-seller Bringing Down the House upon which the film is based. So is Laurence Fishburne, playing a Las Vegas security expert who smells rats when the blackjack phenoms start winning big. Everything else, not so good. In trying to whip up a melodramatic morality tale, the film becomes an increasingly flabby slog. Rated PG-13 (some violence and sexual content including partial nudity). At Flatiron. — Michael Phillips
Under the Same Moon
A woman (Kate del Castillo) travels from Mexico to America to find work and leaves her 9-year-old son (Adrian Alonso) with his grandmother. When the grandmother dies, the boy heads north to find his mother. This film does a lot of little things on the cheap, emotionally speaking, but it does one big thing right: Through the eyes of its hardy 9-year-old protagonist, it relays an immigration story heightening the experience of countless subterranean immigration stories written each year in America. Rated PG-13 (some mature thematic elements). At Starz. — Michael Phillips
A reclusive widower (Richard Jenkins) visiting New York City for an economics conference forges an unexpected friendship with a Syrian drummer (Haaz Sleiman) and his Senegalese girlfriend (Danai Gurira) in writer-director Tom McCarthy’s simple, moving story about connections and goodbyes. It’s a pleasure to see veteran character actor Jenkins step up to a leading role. Rated PG-13 (brief strong language). At Century and Chez Artiste. — Michael Phillips
What Happens in Vegas
Clichés abound as a couple awakens with a hangover to find that they had wed in the City of Sin during the previous evening of debauchery. Rated PG-13. At Flatiron, Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?
This second documentary feature from Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) feels self-congratulatory and smug. Spurlock travels to “the world’s most dangerous places” in search of Public Enemy No. 1: Osama bin Laden. Nothing about this sloppily conceived, paper-thin vanity project merits either congratulations or smugness. Rated PG-13 (some strong language). At Mayan. — Jessica Reaves
Young @ Heart
Wry, hilarious and heartbreaking, this resolutely unsentimental portrait of a group of singing seniors is an invaluable reminder that while youth is fleeting, friendship and music are forever. And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen octogenarians belt out Sonic Youth’s “Schizophrenia.” Rated PG (some mild language and thematic elements). At Esquire and Century. — Jessica Reaves
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