Friday, May 1, 2009

Week of May 1 to May 7 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
By Phil Mann

It’s time to have a good time at the Tropic.

THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD stars Colin Hanks as Troy Gable, the somewhat clueless assistant to a faded Vegas “mentalist” magician (think Amazing Kreskin) who gives the movie its title. Hanks is the son of Sir Tom, and you may recognize him as the priest who secretly lusts for Peggy Olson in TV’s award-sweeping Mad Men. But it’s John Malkovitch in the title role who owns the movie.

This doesn’t pretend to be a great film, just a good time. As we segue into summer, it’s time for some light fare, and Buck Howard provides it. As USA Today says, it’s “a nostalgic, easygoing Capra-esque comedy that should appeal to both youthful and older audiences.” The love interest – a movie like this has to have one – is Emily Blunt, who also happens to be the co-star of the very popular SUNSHINE CLEANING being held over for a third week on the Tropic screens. Don’t worry, Ms. Blunt’s relationship is with young Troy, not with the old magician. She’s the publicist who’s trying to help Troy revive Buck’s career.

Just think, an awesome magic show wrapped up in a comedy. Two for one.

SHALL WE KISS? is the new comedy from Emmanuel Mouret, who has been called a French Woody Allen. Like Mr. Allen, M. Mouret stars in the film, as a dork who asks his best, and married, woman friend to gin up his libido. With its charming characters, easy-going dialogue, and a plausibly absurdist premise, it’s easy to see the Allen-esque parallel. Should they or shouldn’t they…. I can’t give the answer away except to say you’ll be surprised. Guess you’ll just have to come and share the fun while you find out.

As usual, the Tropic’s program is rounded out with a provocative mix of revival films. For Saturday matinee the new Alfred Hitchcock in hi def series continues with TOPAZ, starring John Forsythe and Philippe Noiret, a spy thriller with a missiles in Cuba theme. If you’re lusting for bigger stars, how about Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson and Walter Pidgeon. They star in the other Saturday matinee flick, THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS. Set just after World War II, and based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, Babylon Revisited, the movie also features Eva Gabor. Nostalgia fans, take your choice.

The Monday Night Classic surely deserves the label this week. It’s Francois Truffaut’s first film, THE 400 BLOWS. This emotionally gripping story of a troubled adolescent, somewhat based on Truffaut’s own life, is credited with launching the French New Wave in 1959. The New York Times reviewer, Bosley Crowther was prescient in observing that the film “brilliantly and strikingly reveals the explosion of a fresh creative talent in the directorial field.” Not to be missed.

And the next afternoon brings the last of this season’s superb TUESDAY’S WITH ART series, this week featuring the Swiss artist Roman Signer. The film is the delightful “Signer’s Suitcase: on the road with Roman Signer,” and the discussion as always will be led by Deborah Goldman and Joel Blair. Thanks to them, and to Mike Dively for his sponsorship of this series.

Full schedules and info at
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[from Key West, the Newspaper]

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