Monday, October 15, 2012

Stand Up Guys come to Denver Film Festival

The schedule for the 35th Starz Denver Film Festival is out. And while I have not had a chance to go over it in detail (The lineup includes more than 225 features, shorts, and student films.) there is a film that I had hoped would make it: “Stand Up Guys”, with Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken.

My general rule for the film festival is to see films that might not get a later release in Denver; films for which this might be my only chance to see. These include documentaries, small Indies and foreign language film. I will see plenty of those and while I am certain that "Stand Up Guys" will play in Denver next year, I intend to see it at the Festival.

The film, a raunchy comedy, is about three aging bad guys reunited when Val (Pacino)
gets out of prison after serving 28 years for a murder he probably didn’t commit. He took the fall for his pals Doc (Walken) and Hirsch (Arkin) when they were all involved in a shoot-out in which the only son of a top crime boss was killed. Whose bullet it was didn't really matter, someone had to pay.

I have written in the past about the growing movie-market targeted at an older demographic (yes I fit that mold) and this film will tap into that. This year’s “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and the wonderful 2003 “Something’s Gotta Give” with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, are examples.

Pacino, Arkin and Walken each have long and celebrated careers and have a huge fan base. They are each tremendous actors and as with fine wine, just seem to get better with age. I expect standout performances from each individually and in ensemble.

This is a twofer for Walken. He also stars in the Festival’s opening night film “A Late Quartet” It’s also interesting that this is the 40th anniversary of "The Godfather" and Pacino as back with us as a mobster.

The film premiered on October 11 at the Chicago International Film Festival. It was the kickoff screening for the festival. It also played the much smaller Mill Valley Film Festival and now it comes to Denver. At this point it only has two screenings, both on Sunday, November 4th: One at 7:00 PM and one at 9:45 PM.

The film is scheduled to open nationwide on January 11, 2013, but will get an Oscar qualifying run before the end of the year. To qualify for Academy Award consideration a motion picture has to have a commercial run of at least a week in both Los Angeles and Manhattan.

The Starz Denver Film Festival runs November 1 – 11. More information about the Festival.

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