Skills Like This

Skills Like This, which makes its Boulder debut on Wednesday, April 8, prior to a run at Starz FilmCenter that begins April 17, is a funky, if minor, valentine to the Mile High City. The story, about a talent-free playwright turned one-man crime spree (Spencer Berger, who also wrote the script), is too slight to fill a full-length feature, necessitating the insertion of a job-seeking subplot that constitutes obvious padding. Fortunately, director Monty Miranda exhibits real visual flair, and he draws amiable performances from the entire cast — especially Brian D. Phelan, who comes across like John Elway's venal, cheerfully amoral doppelgänger. Moreover, the cinematography, by Robert F. Smith, makes Denver look great, and Miranda finds room for cameos by Andy Monley, who composed the vivid score, and the Reverend Leon Kelly, who appears in a bar-side photo that's labeled "Got a ho?" Which I'm sure is meant in a respectful way.

Academy Award winner Donna Dewey, who produced Skills, plus executive producer Greg "Freddy" Camalier are scheduled to appear at the screening, an International Film Series event that gets under way at 7 p.m. at Muenzinger Auditorium on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Tickets are $5 for students with identification, $6 for the general public. Get details at 303-492-1531 or


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