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Thursday, April 2,2015

Unlucky harms

‘’71’ features a soldier with many troubles

By Ryan Syrek
Americans can barely be bothered to care about civil unrest and violence currently unfolding on their own soil, let alone on another continent… let alone a conflict that has since resolved years ago.
Thursday, March 26,2015

Home is wherever I’m with you

Tim Johnson brings families together at ‘Home’

By Michael J. Casey
I’ve just always been fascinated by what happens when you take a doodle and breathe life into it,” animation director Tim Johnson says, describing his career and passion. Ever since the birth of the flickering image, writers, directors, animators and viewers have been enamored by the simple act of watching an idea come to life and move.
Thursday, March 19,2015

Define ‘run’

‘Run All Night’ has old men slowly shuffling

By Ryan Syrek
At this point, there is just one Liam Neeson movie: Taken a Non-Stop Run All Night to Walk Among the Tombstones 3. Neeson isn’t in the midst of some Nicolas Cage supernova, in which an actor’s need to perpetually work and “get dat paper” creates an acting black hole more realistic than anything in Interstellar. It’s worse. Sadder somehow. Neeson is still trying, still making a genuine effort in each of these rote, clichéd, repetitive “old man” action movies.
Thursday, March 12,2015


‘Chappie’ is too weird or not weird enough

By Ryan Syrek
Instead, the plot is nothing but a tired reworking of artificial intelligence clichés. Deon (Dev Patel) is a programmer who helped bring an automated robotic police force to Johannesburg. He wants to take the tech even further, much like the real-world scientists who are undoubtedly hastening our demise at the hands of our future robot overlords.
Thursday, March 5,2015

Cons, vexing

‘Focus’ is irritatingly almost good.

By Ryan Syrek
Despite its title and the fact that Will Smith continually mouth-dumps exposition about how pulling a con requires attention to detail, Focus is hella sloppy. It’s not just that genuinely thrilling “who’s playing who” moments bump up against a holistically unbelievable romantic core, it’s that writers/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa never decided on the movie’s tone. Lithe and funny until it’s leaden and obtuse, Focus would be pleasantly forgettable were it not for Margot Robbie, who is announced here as a capital letter Movie Star.
Thursday, March 5,2015

What happens when a son sets out to profile his father?

Documentary reveals the history of far more than a record store

By Elizabeth Miller
The documentary film Old Man is as much a story of a troubled, perhaps marginally dysfunctional family as it is the story of a troubled record store — and, in many ways, a dysfunctional town. The portrait of Boulder is not graceful. It’s a critique of the town’s ability to win both for greatest number of advanced degrees per capita and for high incidence of teen suicide and drug use. That’s the context the film’s director Dan Schneidkraut leans on to make a far more personal story make sense — one that’s about his father, Andy, owner of the Boulder institution Albums on the Hill.
Thursday, February 26,2015

Please sir, may I have my job?

‘Two Days, One Night’ pits poor versus poor

By Ryan Syrek
Sit down, Sartre. Writers/directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne get it a bit more right: Hell isn’t just other people. Hell is asking other people to surrender their bonuses so you can keep your job. Two Days, One Night is a harrowing social allegory, a dramatic minimization of a growing socioeconomic reality. The bosses of the world are greedily devouring an ever-expanding amount of wealth, leaving the impoverished to fight each other for table scraps. It is undignified, disgusting and downright heartbreaking to watch human beings alternate between fighting and begging each other for basic survival needs.
Thursday, February 26,2015

Best in show

BIFF brings another great year of films

The Boulder International Film Festival is the cherry on top for a town with an already-impressive film scene. Throw in some big stars, up-and-coming filmmakers, foreign favorites and fascinating documentaries and you’ve got the perfect weekend for a cinephile. Here’s a look at a handful of stand-out films visiting this year.
Thursday, February 26,2015

Hello, GoodBye

Bidding Farewell to a long-time friend Bill Vielehr —a Rembrance

By Dave Kirby
The BIFF Chairman and longtime Boulder metal sculptor left this planet unexpectedly last October — a shock to the system for his staggeringly wide circle of friends, including this writer — but Kathy Beeck, BIFF co-founder and a friend of Vielehr’s...
Thursday, February 19,2015

Shadyac's Travels

Boulder has a new face, CU has a new professor and a filmmaker has a new lease on life

By Michael J. Casey
The artist’s life is one of constant searching. Theirs is a restless journey, one constantly straining to see over the next horizon — and filmmaker Tom Shadyac’s journey has taken some unexpected turns that have finally brought him to Boulder.