Indiana Jones, War Horse and Alpha Dog: Defending movies critics hate

Categories: Film and TV

On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, film critics Alan Scherstuhl, Amy Nicholson and Stephanie Zacharek defend movies that most critics hate, namely Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, War Horse and Alpha Dog. We also recommend a few new films, including Blue Ruin, Fading Gigolo and Next Goal Wins.

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Maureen "Baby Face" Riordon will make her debut at Glory 16 Fight

Categories: Events, Fitness

Photo courtesy of Hoodlum Photography.
On Saturday, May 3, local mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Maureen "Baby Face" Riordon will make her professional kickboxing debut with Glory Sports International, the top professional kickboxing league in the world. After being out of the fight scene for a year -- she was seriously injured while training someone else -- Riordon will not only be featured in the first-ever female fight for Glory, but be featured in her hometown, at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield.

See also: Scholar and fighter L.A. Jennings talks feminism in the world of Mixed Martial Arts

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Art Makers Denver will create an urban art retreat in town

The first annual Art Makers Denver will present three days of interactive artist workshops at the McNichols Building September 14 through 16 -- and registration is already under way. "It's designed for anyone who has a desire to create," explains Helen Rice, who owns Willow - An Artisan's Market in Littleton, and started planning this event two and a half years ago, founding Art Makers Denver and using her connections in the art world to find instructors for more than 35 workshops.

See also: <100 Colorado Creatives: Lonnie Hanzon

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Five games that changed my life -- from Halo to Sorry!

Categories: Geek Speak

Just the first of many games that changed my life.
Games have been good to me. I've been playing games, in one form or another, since before I started school. Board games, card games, video games, you name it, I love them all. In the grand scheme of pop-cultural pursuits, I consider games to be the equal of any other medium you care to name. To me, this seems self-evident, but I know for most people that's a somewhat radical position.

Every person you know can name the books, movies or shows that changed their life and shaped who they are, but what about the games? They get dismissed as trivial pursuits, disposable entertainment worthy of nothing more than a moment's distraction. Well, that's bullshit. Games deserve a spot at the grownup's table as worthy, meaningful pursuits (at least in the sphere of entertainment -- the "are games art?" argument is something to pursue another day) and to kick that off, I'm here to present my list of five games that changed my life.

See also: Local filmmakers tackle Magic: The Gathering in Planeswalkers documentary

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Lisa Ramfjord Elstun

#87: Lisa Ramfjord Elstun

Denver designer Lisa Ramfjord Elstun has it all going for her: A master seamstress with an eye for personalized, classic tailored designs, she also rocks an entrepreneurial business acumen that's the epitome of professionalism. A 2014 Westword MasterMind in the fashion category, Elstun's at work this year on creating a central Fashion Design Center Denver -- a community-building project that will provide production opportunities and national cachet for local designers. It's a big step for Elstun and for Denver; in her 100CC questionnaire, which follows, she details her plan.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Tricia Hoke

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Stanley Film Fest programming director's picks for the fest

R100 will kick you in your face.
Tonight at the world-famous Stanley Hotel, the Stanley Film Festival will kick off its second year with Alexandre O. Philippe's look at zombie culture, Doc of the Dead. [Disclosure: I appear in Doc of the Dead.] Sunday, the fest closes with the horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows, starring Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. In between, more than two dozen films will show, far more than you can reasonably cram in, especially if you also make time for the audio play, the immersive horror game and the myriad other activities filling the weekend. Some of those films are from big-name horror directors -- Takashi Miike, Ti West and Nacho Vigalondo, to name a few. Some are well-loved classics. Choosing between those is a simple matter of priorities.

But with the rest, there are some hard decisions to be made -- with not much info to go on. To ease this process, we asked Landon Zakheim, the festival's programming director, for his picks for under-the-radar films for every taste, from experimental horror to horror comedy. Here, in his words, are the films to look out for -- and why you should make time for them.

See also: Local filmmakers unleash zombie doc Doc of the Dead at SXSW

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Vagabond Happy Hour caps off Big Read project this Friday

Marilynne Robinson.
Since January, Lighthouse Writers Workshop has been celebrating literature, keying off The Big Read , a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage people to read for pleasure -- not because they have to -- and this year highlighting Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping. Denver has joined 77 other communities in hosting readings, parties and contests, and the winners of Denver's Big Read contest were just announced.

Several of the winning pieces will be featured during the Vagabond Happy Hour on Friday, April 25, the finale to this year's project.

See also: J. Diego Frey's Pocketbucket Lists: Get a slice at Lighthouse Writers Workshop

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Photos: Chuck Forsman in the spotlight at the DAM and Robischon

Chuck Forsman
Chuck Forsman, Overlooking Boulder, Colorado, 2004

Michael Paglia visits the Denver Art Museum and Robischon Gallery in this week's review, taking in two solo shows focusing on Chuck Forsman, as well as three other stand-alone exhibits at Robischon that focus on the role of the landscape in contemporary art. Continue reading for photos from all of the exhibits.

See also: Lauri Lynnxe Murphy returns with Nest/Shed at Mai Wyn Fine Art

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Taylor Gonda and Kevin O'Brien celebrate two years of the These Things Matter podcast

Kevin O'Brien and Taylor Gonda are the voices behind These Things Matter.
Two years ago, friends Taylor Gonda and Kevin O'Brien realized that they didn't just enjoy discussing popular culture, but that they also reveled in the High Fidelity spirit of connecting it to personal experiences. Thus the These Things Matter podcast was born, and Gonda and O'Brien began bringing special guests into their home studio to talk about "pop culture, autobiographically," covering topics like Caddyshack, Weezer, zombies, R. Crumb and more.

Tomorrow night, Westword's Best Podcast in 2014 celebrates two years and one hundred episodes with a live broadcast at the Sidewinder Tavern, inviting past guests back to talk about songs that, for them, represent singular moments in time. In advance of the big live show, Westword spoke with Gonda and O'Brien about what works and doesn't work for a podcast with as wide a scope as These Things Matter.

See also: For These Things Matter's first birthday, its hosts discuss their ten favorite episodes

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Former fashion model Sue Miller hosts a Day of Caring for breast cancer survivors

Categories: Fashion, Wellness

In 1971, 34-year-old Sue Miller had a great modeling career, a husband and three children -- and breast cancer. While shopping for a prosthetic, Miller was asked if she would model for a fashion show. Angry at first, she decided to take the job, and found other cancer survivors to join her on the runway to show that survivors were just as beautiful. That was the start of a Day of Caring. This year will mark the thirtieth year for the Day of Caring Conference and Survivors Fashion Show, sponsored by Macy's. In advance of the event, set for Saturday, April 26, Miller took a few minutes from her busy schedule to answer our questions.

See also: Student Craig Monte James spotted outside the Mayan

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