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Posted August 6, 2010, 8:32 am

The Five

Misha Pemble (left) and Murphy (right) from Second Platoon enjoy a joke at the Restrepo outpost.

Misha Pemble (left) and Murphy (right) from Second Platoon enjoy a joke at the Restrepo outpost.

Finally, fresh plasma to The Five. Nudged off the list but not forgotten: “Cyrus” and “Salt.”

1. “Restrepo”: When Army combat vet and the Denver Post building’s former security account manager Donald Blackwell watched this Afghanistan War doc, he gave the film his seal of authenticity. While Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s powerful doc doesn’t require vetting, it’s good to know its soldiers’ story resonates. Read review of Restrepo and feature.

2. “The Other Guys”: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have good screwball chemistry in this cop buddy comedy that actually has some pretty grand ambitions about high finance and we, the “other guys.” Read review of “The Other Guys.”.

3. “Countdown to Zero”: If you’re reading this on Friday, August 6, then it’s the 65th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. If you’re catching up to The Five on Monday, August 9th, then it’s the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Curiously, neither of these events figure into Lucy Walker’s no-nuke documentary. Yet, watching the harrowing and vividly crated work is a way to begin to move toward a “never again, zero nukes future. The stream of heavy-hitter interviewees makes it clear the situation as it is today, we ignore at our own peril. Read Review of “Countdown to Zero.”

4. “Inception”: Christopher Nolan’s tour de force of cinema tricks and psychoanalytic treats is still holding strong. Read Review of “Inception.”

5. “The Kids Are All Right”: A dramedy about bonds that tie us to each other is so much better than all right. The writing is hilarity and ache. The ensemble is ace. The contemporary insights are invaluable. Read Review of “The Kids Are All Right.”.

Posted August 2, 2010, 6:50 am

Whaddya See?

If it’s Monday this must be Belgium. Okay, too many of you are too young to know Read more…

Posted July 30, 2010, 11:07 am

The Five

A circumfrence of devastation in 'Countdown to Zero.' Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Newcomer “Countdown to Zero” joins The Five this week. What, no “Dinner With Schmucks? or “Charlie St. Cloud”? What can MMG say except she found that too often the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd comedy rhymed with Read more…

Posted July 26, 2010, 8:30 am

Whaddya See?

Sure MMG could do a Monday-morn box-office roundup. A sort of “I love the smell of B.O. in the morning” riff if you will. After all, obsessing over weekend grosses is part of the game. And it’s actually interesting to know which smaller platform releases scored with audiences. For instance, “The Kids Are All Right” continues to do quite well in limited release, on track to match 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine.” But really Read more…

Posted July 23, 2010, 7:12 am

The Five

Angelina Jolie is Evelyn Salt: CIA operative --and mole?

Welcome to The Five, MMG”s cheat sheet for what’s new, what’s been around, what’s worth your while. Only one new release made it on the list — and as kick-hiney as Angelina Jolie is, Read more…

Posted July 17, 2010, 6:44 am

The Five

Welcome to The Five, Mad Moviegoer’s attempt to make your upcoming week’s viewing the best it can be. The five top movies playing in town’s the idea. The list isn’t limited to what’s opening because, let’s be honest, there are weekends when a newly released flick is the last thing you should be spending your money–more, your time–on. See the Rockies. See your friends. See a play. This, however, Read more…

Posted July 15, 2010, 11:50 am

Godard Memories

Patricia (Jean Seberg) and Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) in 'Breathless.' Credit: Rialto Pictures/Studio Canal

Foxy and oh-so-hip in a bored kind of way, lovers Michel and Patricia blow into town Friday when a newly restored 50th anniversary, 35mm print of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” opens at the Chez Artiste. Check out the review tomorrow. So seismic was the arrival of the groundbreaking film in 1960 that aftershocks were still sharp seven years later when “Bonnie and Clyde” rattled critics and thrilled a new generation of filmgoers. Alas, MMG wasn’t around for the original release–or for that matter the screenings that became a ritual for many a college film society. Curious what it felt like to see the film starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg when it was fresh (and, it still is), I asked Denver Film Society emeritus Ron Henderson if he recalled the first time he saw “Breathless.” Here’s what he sent…. Read more…

Posted July 12, 2010, 7:14 am

The Five:

A new week is upon us. What arrives in theaters isn’t necessariy what you should see. For instance kid flick “Despicable Me” is flashy but problematic: from its smug Ugly-American opening, abusing Lynyrd Skynyrd to make its point; to its take on the ye olde Hellish Orphanage. “Predators” is a solid not shattering return to a solid not shattering franchise. While the predators are lethal, “Predators” does not bump any one off The Five. At the arthouse is Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Jim Thompson’s pulp noir “The Killer Inside Me.” It’s a nasty piece or work that doesn’t earn its violence. Here’s this week’s cheat sheet.

1. “The Girl Who Played With Fire”: Tattooed and pierced, wounded and courageous, Lisbeth Salander, genuis hacker of author Stieg Larsson’s trilogy returns. There’s a new director — Daniel Alfredson — and it shows. This thriller moves with confidence while still touching on the sexual politics of corrupt beauracracies and venal men. Regency Tamarac Square and the Mayan. Read Review

2. “Cyrus”: Jay and Mark Duplass’ comedy about a guy facing off against his new beloved’s 21-year-old son is quietly, consistently, riotously funny. Thanks is due in no small measure to the magnetic performances the brothers inspired in John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei as newbie couple John and Molly and Jonah Hill as Cyrus, a son not the least bit ready to be nudged from the nest. Read Review

3. “Winter’s Bone”: Two words for you: Ree Dolly. Okay make it six: Debra Granik, Jennifer Lawrence. Okay make it….well you get the idea. Set and shot in Missouri’s Ozarks, director Granik’s adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s intimate and epic novel about a determined teen named Ree Dolly (Lawrence) who must track down her bail-jumping dad before the family’s house is lost is a gift to behold. (Chez Artiste and Greenwood Village) Read Review

4. “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”: The three leads still have a semester at least of acting classes to take and the aesthetic is sudsy. But this is the franchise’s best effort. New director David Slade makes the action vigorous but disciplined. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg mines themes of loss and making up one’s mind for some fine ore. Plus we love Alice Cullen and Jasper Hale who are as vibrant as Edward and Bella are moody. (Loads of screens) Read Review

5. “Ondine”: Looking for a nice little Irish fable with an edge? Search no further than writer-director Neil Jordan’s mermaid tale, starring Colin Farrell as a fisherman who nets quite the mysterious catch (Alicja Bachleda). The divorced father’s feisty daughter is certain Ondine is a fabled creature. You may be, too. But the world is a beguiling and complicated place. Shot in cool greens and blues, the film make you achefor the chill and call of the sea. (Regency Tamarac Square and Landmark Greenwood Village).

Posted July 2, 2010, 8:32 am

The Five:

Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly in 'Cyrus.'

For far too long, Mad Moviegoer has wanted to add a “Headed Into the Weekend” feature called “The Five,” where I rate the options for a good film-going weekend. Sometimes the list will be led by what’s opening. Not always. There are weekends better left for catching up. So here’s this week’s five in my own rough order. Read more…

Posted April 20, 2010, 8:07 am

Whaddya See?

Three friends shared that they’d seen “The Joneses,” starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny, over the weekend. And they liked it. Phew. Honestly, it’s no fun sending people to movies they’re bored by or hated (strong word, I know, but folk tend to use it often when it comes to viewing experiences). Mad Moviegoer watched “Gladiator” in prep for “Robin Hood” and screened this Thursday’s DocNight offering: Zachary Levy’s cinema-verite portrait “Strongman.” The filmmaker will be at the Starz FilmCenter Thursday night for what should be an intriguing Q&A. He’ll lead a filmmaker seminar Sat. morning. He funded the 10-year project with proceeds from decks of cards of the Bush Administration. What did you see this weekend?

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