" By now the conquest of Nanga Parbett is a national obsession "
— Brad Pitt, Seven Years in Tibet

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Pic of the Week

Each week we pick a recommended "Pic" from our archives. Below are our most recent picks.

Enchanted

***1/22007, Kevin Lima

Its gimmick allows, in our post-ironic era, big musical production numbers in Central Park

Although I had heard good things about Enchanted, I didn’t have high expectations, since some of the good things I had heard came from 3- and 6-year-old girls.

Enron

***1/22005, Alex Gibney

Real-life villains shock and appall; they get groans and boos from the audience

Filmmaker Alex Gibney presents a tale of greed, deception and corruption in this epic documentary on the Enron scandal that destroyed the corporation and put thousands out of work.

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

***2012, Lasse Hallström

The agile leads are forced to swim upstream when it comes to the romantic entanglements.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a fun satire, although its agile leads are forced to swim upstream when it comes to the romantic entanglements.

Police, Adjective

***2009, Corneliu Porumboiu

Law and order overbalance liberty in a police, adjective, state

Police, Adjective is a minimalist Romanian film which means it probably won’t get much love from the box office. However, if you’re not completely turned off already, then you may like this film.

Rango

***1/22011, Gore Verbinski

Rango is a terrific movie, but it isn’t for the kiddies.

Rango is a terrific movie, but it isn’t for the kiddies. That’s not to say it’s dirty or otherwise inappropriate; it’s simply that the story will likely soar way over their heads.

3:10 to Yuma

****2007, James Mangold

It’s a pleasure to watch Bale and Crowe play off each other

Christian Bale and Russell Crowe embroiled in a battle of wits. Oh yeah. That’s worth the price of admission.

Heist

***1/22001, David Mamet

Whether the credit goes to Hackman or Mamet doesn’t really matter; Heist is a pleasure to watch

Not Robbery or Theft, but Heist.

That ought to tell you exactly what kind of movie this is. Smart crooks, intricate plans, and a big reward for anyone who can pull it off, as David Mamet and Gene Hackman do.

Words of Advice

***2008, Lars Movin, and Steen Moller Rasmussen

A little more Burroughs trivia for the Old Bill junkies

Asked to pick the two most visionary books of the 20th Century, I’d choose James Joyce’s Ulysses for the first half and William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch for the second half. Ulysses was written in 1918, published in 1922 and its Modernist stream-of-consciousness style is perfect for the relativistic Jazz Age that came after World War I. Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch in the late 1950s, published it in the early 1960s, and its mix of sex, drugs and violence brilliantly predicts the post World War II Atomic Age.

Spartan

****2004, David Mamet

Spartan demands you participate. I hope I’m not the only person who finds that refreshing.

Spartan is the first outstanding movie of 2004, although not everyone will agree. At least three people walked out of my screening, and afterwards I overheard many negative comments. Among them were “that certainly won’t do well at the box office” and “yeah, well I’ll see anything with Val Kilmer.”

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

***

Pairing Jessica Chastain with Chris Hemsworth makes for a surprising enchantment.

Pairing Jessica Chastain with Chris Hemsworth makes this grim Grimm fairy tale a surprising enchantment.

The American Astronaut

***1/22001, Cory McAbee

A cult phenom, with the longest mis-told joke and The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman’s Breast

The American Astronaut is a cult phenomenon, at least here in Boulder/Denver, where it was booked maybe a dozen times at four different independent venues. Now, finally, after years of word-of-mouth hype and independent screenings across the country, you can finally take The American Astronaut home on DVD.

Rock the Kasbah

2015, Barry Levinson

A pointless outing, despite a few chuckles

The new Bill Murray comedy, Rock the Kasbah, makes room for a worthwhile story of courage: A brave Pashtun woman risks her life to defy cultural norms so that she can sing on Afghanistan’s version of American Idol.