Starz Denver Film Festival: Days 1 & 2

It’s been thirty-seven years since Ron Henderson and his friends started the Denver Film Festival, and the city and it’s citizens have benefitted greatly. Now with a premier sponsor, Starz Entertainment, the Starz Denver Film Festival boasts 12 cinematic days in the heart of the city screening 252 movies (features, documentaries, shorts, and music videos). I provided an introduction to 37th Starz Denver Film Festival in this week’s Boulder Weekly, but now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and watch the movies. What follows are not full reviews, but general thoughts from a bleary-eyed moviegoer hopscotching from theater to theater. Almost all of the movies … Continue reading Starz Denver Film Festival: Days 1 & 2

Movie Beat – 04.11.14

Cuban Fury – Once a rising star in the world-renowned and lucrative profession of salsa dancer, Bruce (Nick Frost) tossed in the towel and opted for a lifetime of take-out, pastries and self-pity. That was, until the beautiful Julia (Rashida Jones) walked into his life and lit a fire in his loins that would return Bruce to form. Of course, he has a whole lot of obstacles to hurdle, none of which is more damaging than his own lack of confidence. Co-starring Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach and the always-incredible Ian McShane. Directed by James Griffiths and in limited … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.11.14

Movie Beat – 02.28.14

The Bag Man – The role of a Bag Man is a time-honored tradition. Heartless, ruthless and cold, the Bag Man kills for money and is hired because he kills. This Bag Man (John Cusack) has been hired by this mobster (Robert De Niro) to transport the bag to this rundown motel loaded with these shady people (Rebecca Da Costa, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell). Why bring all these characters under one roof? You’ll have to watch to find that out, but one thing we can be certain of, it will not end without a fair amount of bloodshed. Directed by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 02.28.14

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Star Trek Into Darkness - Poster

Star Trek Into Darkness begins with an action set piece, dropping the audience right in the middle of chaos. Reminiscent of a James Bond or an Indiana Jones pre-credit sequence, Spock is trying to diffuse an erupting volcano while Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy run from an angry mob. Director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof beg you not to ask any questions about what in the hell is going on, just go with it. Why are these natives chasing Kirk and Bones? Because Kirk stole something of theirs. What did he steal? Who knows, probably some significant religious scrolls. How is Spock going to stop this volcano from erupting? He has a super ice-cube of course! Details are not the important part of this scene, what is important is the presence of action. It lets the viewers know right up front what kind of movie they are in for. Abrams and company present us with a bargain, “We will give you two hours of action, just please don’t ask any questions.”

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Movie Beat – 05.17.13

33 Postcards – Mei Mei (Zhu Lin) is a Chinese orphan with a sponsor down in Australia, Dean Randall (Guy Pearce). They write back and forth for ten years, and Mei Mei grows up dreaming of Dean’s perfect life, his perfect family, and the perfect skyline of Sydney. Her choir travels to Australia for the Australian Choir Festival, and Mei Mei uses this trip to visit her beloved pen pal. When she meets Dean, things aren’t quite so hunky-dory as he is a convict with a very shady past. Mei Mei still sees some family as a hell of a lot better than no … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.17.13