When Colorado is cast in a film, it usually gets a bit part that winds up on the cutting-room floor -- or worse, Italy or Vancouver stands in for the state. But when Colorado filmmaker Monty Miranda -- who filmed all of John Hickenlooper's mayoral commercials in 2003 -- decided to make Skills Like This (with a big assist from Academy Award-winning producer Donna Dewey), he filmed it entirely in the Denver area. Watch for scenes at Union Station, Arvada's 12 Volt Tavern and Pagliacci's, among other locales. And although this was Miranda's first feature, keep an eye on him, too: Skills Like This won the audience prize for best feature at the South by Southwest Film Festival this month.
With eighteen regular screens and one mondo screen, there's always something to see at the Harkins Northfield 18. And you'll see it from the lap of luxury, since the seats are deep and plush. But Harkins boasts plenty of amenities beyond incredibly comfortable seating, including a water sculpture out front and a walk of fame engraved with the names of local celebs.
Sie FilmCenter
Starz FilmCenter has seen better days. It's a bit tatty around the edges, and the seats make airplanes look comfortable. But no other theater can unseat the king when it comes to must-see programming, including critically acclaimed small fests, special nights and the annual blowout of the Starz Denver Film Festival. There's certainly a place for fast cars/fast music/heist/blow-'em-up movies, but when you're feeling a little overstimulated, a trip to Starz will remind you that moviemaking is a true art. In which things occasionally explode.
Aurora Cinema Grill - Colorado
A night at the Cinema Grill is a guilty pleasure. There's nothing too healthy on the menu, whether cinematic (Happy Feet, The Astronaut Farmer, The Number 23) or culinary (pepper poppers, potato skins, burgers, cheese dogs, ice cream smoothies), but a few hours here are undeniably satisfying. Plus, there's beer! And margaritas! Yeah, that's the ticket...
Elvis Cinemas Tiffany Plaza 6
The only thing better than the $1 show is the 50-cent show. On Tuesday nights at Tiffany Park Movies, all screens are just two bits. There's no stadium seating or fancy digital sound, and your shoes stick to the floor, but that's a fair price to pay for saving twenty bucks on admission. Plus, a small staff makes it easy to sneak in lots of snacks and alcohol. Just be careful where you sit.
When it comes to mainstream TV, the techno-savvy rebels at deproduction are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. So when Denver allowed the local nonprofit to take over its three floundering Comcast public-access channels, it turned them into Denver Open Media. Now insomniac Denverites can enjoy late-night showings of The Art of Bellydancing and Words of Peace on Channels 57 and 58, and wannabe Spike Jonzes can take classes and make shows at the new studio at 700 Kalamath Street. But that's just the beginning. DOM head Tony Shawcross promises that people will soon be able to watch and vote on DOM shows online, with the most popular offerings being broadcast on Channel 59. It's like the Nielsen ratings corrupted by YouTube. While the plan has been delayed by glitchy technology and limited funding, DOM urges its fans to stay tuned, because the revolution will be televised.
Marc Estrin is a smart man. Scary smart. So smart you may wonder if you're capable of reading his books. You are, and you must. Golem Song treads serious turf -- hate, racism, anti-Semitism -- that most writers avoid, but the book redeems both itself and the reader with a wry, sometimes raunchy, sense of humor. Local publishing house Unbridled Books picked up two Estrin novels before Golem Song, and now has a franchise author. Be warned: He's not talking about Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.

Best New Book by a Colorado Author -- Thriller

Kill Me

Stephen White has been writing his Alan Gregory novels for almost two decades. You'd expect his work to have fallen into formula by now, but his fourteenth book, Kill Me, is fast-paced and vivid enough to convert new readers to his particular brand of psychological thriller. The lead character, who lives life on the edge, hires a secret firm to knock him off in the event that he contracts any life-threatening disease -- but then he has second thoughts and.... You'll have to get the book to find out.

Best New Book by a Colorado Author -- Literary

Augusta Locke

If you like Annie Proulx and Kent Haruf, pick up William Haywood Henderson. Having grown up in Colorado and Wyoming, he has an innate sense of how to write Western characters, with reserve and isolation broken up by glimpses of deep emotional currents. Augusta Locke follows six generations through the eyes of a matriarch who defines what it is to be a woman of the West. Turn the page.
Felix Gomez was a soldier in Iraq. Now he's a vampire -- and a detective sent to look into a sweeping case of nymphomania at Rocky Flats. We're serious. With Gomez, Mario Acevedo has created a new literary hero for Colorado. Though a vampire, he doesn't drink blood; he works for the forces of good instead of evil; and he's quite charming. Fangs a lot, Mario.

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