Friday, May 8, 2009

Week of May 8 to May 14 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
By Phil Mann

Disney’s EARTH follows three animal families: polar bears, elephants and humpback whales through a year of their lives, full of births, babies and brio. I rarely say this about movies at the Tropic, which tend toward the R ratings, but the G-rated EARTH is a movie that you’ve got to see with your kids. With its emphasis on cubs and calves, and the overwhelming nature-wide pull of parenting, they’ll look up to you in a new way.

The March of the Penguins back in August 2005 was one of the Tropic’s most popular movies ever. With EARTH, the theater is aiming to serve that same audience. The perfect family outing. By the way, this one’s got penguin’s too, but not in the starring roles.

Also in a departure from their usual fare, the Tropic is picking up the blockbuster political thriller STATE OF PLAY from its opening run at the Regal mall-plex. Russell Crowe is a star investigative reporter solving, among other things, the murder of a Congressional researcher. She was having an affair with her boss – so what else is new – and a giant corporation’s stolen briefcase is also part of the mix. A scruffy Crowe gets Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, Married Life) for a sidekick, and Helen Mirren for his tough city room editor, so all the pieces are set for a battle between the forces of good and evil. STATE OF PLAY has been called “refreshingly grownup” (Salon) and “an absolutely riveting state-of-the-art ‘big conspiracy’ thriller” (Charlotte Observer). Along with EARTH, it’s part of the Tropic’s regular summer series. The theme seems to be: summertime and the viewin’ is easy.

But don’t think they’ve gone all soft on you. The George digital theater continues to put the emphasis on art and foreign film.

Winner of best documentary awards at festivals from Big Sky to Woodstock, IN A DREAM is the documentary story of Isaiah Zagar, an eccentric artist who has devoted himself to covering 40,000 square feet of Philadelphia with his unique mosaics. It “abounds in visual pleasure” affirms the New York Times, but it also plumbs the depth of Zagar’s relationship with his wife and the difficulties of holding together a family dominated by such a man.

JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY is a noir thriller from Denmark, nominated for ten and winner of two awards at the Danish Oscars. The hero, Jonas, is a happily married a crime scene photographer until a series of events slides him into a double life with amnesiac Julia, who thinks he is her fiancé. The premise may be a bit hard to believe, but once you go with it, you’re in for a great and frightening thrill ride. “An affecting, mordant comedy about male midlife crisis in its most extreme form,” says

And there are three classic movies this week: Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO and the famous noir mystery D.O.A. for Saturday matinees, and Fellini’s AMARCORD on Monday night.

As they are fond of saying, the films are always hot at the cool Tropic.

Full schedules and info at
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