Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week of April 23 to April 29 (Mann)

What's on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

There's something for all age groups this week.

Are you an adult?

How about a thrilling mountaineering movie. It's 1936 and the "death wall" of Switzerland's Eiger is the last unconquered climb in the Alps. NORTH FACE is based on a true story of a Nazi-driven attempt to send climbers on this quest for the glory of the Reich. But it becomes, like all such movies, a story of man against nature. Winner of cinematography awards, it's a "consistently thrilling, vertigo-inducing piece of cinema" (, a combination of documentary footage with superb studio work. It's a narrative film, not a documentary, so there's a story line woven through the breath-holding, fist-clasping scenes of fraying ropes, slipped knots, ferocious weather, with men's lives literally hanging in the balance. Some reviewers have even suggested that it's ripe for a Hollywood remake. Catch the German version. They know how to do this stuff.

Or how about a philosophical cop drama, with a touch of irony, that won top prize at the Transilvania International Film Festival? POLICE, ADJECTIVE is "a simultaneously realistic and absurdist examination of police work" (Toronto Globe and Mail). Cristi is a cop who is assigned to follow and arrest a 16-year-old kid suspected of smoking dope. That's a crime carrying a sentence of seven years or more. Cristi doesn't want to do that. Are you hooked on car chases? Well, forget about it. In this movie, the excitement comes when they pull out a dictionary to solve an argument. What can I say? The movie scored a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes. I'm not a fan of these ratings, but 100%!? You owe it to yourself to see what it takes to become a unanimous top tomato.

And then there's the sexy thriller, CHLOE, held over for another week by popular demand.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the Tropic is opening the Dreamworks animation, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. "Deserving of the highest praise for a family film," says Michael Smith of the Tulsa World, and those guys out in Oklahoma are experts on family values. But don't be deterred. Even East Coast liberals say "lucky kids will find someone to take them this weekend. Even luckier adults will find someone to take." (Newark Star-Ledger)

A movie truly for everyone is Disneynature's new film OCEANS, opening on Thursday, April 22, in celebration of Earth Day, and continuing all week. This "hypnotically photogenic journey into the depths of the ocean" (Slant Magazine) is "Sublime. Astounding. Fantastic." (Quad City Times). By the way, it also gets a 100% tomato rating. I doubt that any movie theater in history has ever had two of these rare vegetables (fruits?) playing at the same time.

The Special Events calender includes two musical events. There's another live opera from Europe. This week it's Verdi's SIMON BOCCANEGRA, conducted by Daniel Barrenboim and starring Placido Domingo, a story of political/familial intrigue. The illegitimate daughter of the powerful Doge of Genoa is raised as the granddaughter of his rival, who has no knowledge of her paternity, until the whole thing is operatically sorted out.

And the annual SONGWRITERS' FESTIVAL is back at the Tropic for a two night stand, on Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30. The Thursday lineup includes Hugh Prestwood, Kelly Archer, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, Chuck Cannon, Shawn Mullins & Chuck Jones, all live on stage.

Full schedules, info and advance tix at (For the Songwriters' Festival go to

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there.

Just wondering if/when we can expect a 3D theater in Key West?

There are so many great movies coming out in 3D now a days, it would be a shame for Key West to be left behind.