Monday, September 6, 2010

Week of Sept. 3 to Sept. 9 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

It’s New Week at the Tropic. Three new movies and a whole new concessions layout. As I write this column (on Tuesday) the lobby is a mess, so much so that they can’t even sell a bag of popcorn. That goes to the heart of things, doesn’t it? But by Friday, everything should be working. Not every last detail, but popcorn will be popping, cokes fizzing, cellophane-wrapped treats crackling, and beer and wine flowing.

And, of course, the movies will be unspooling all the while.

Opening this week is MIDDLE MEN, a comedic take on the adventures of a couple of entrepreneurs who discovered how to sell porn on the internet. This was back in the last century, when connections were dialup and the internet was mainly for geeks. You won’t be surprised to learn that there’s a market there, a very lucrative one. But there’s also a pile of trouble, given the kind of guys who lurk in the world of rackets. The writer/director George Gallo, wrote the screenplay for Brian DePalmas’s gangster flick Wise Guys and for the hit Midnight Run, so he’s earned his chops in the genre. The movie is “smart and tense, with each scene drenched in dread,” says the Village Voice.

MICMACS is tough to describe. I can tell you the plot is about a group of inventive weirdoes who try to bring down an evil munitions manufacturer, but that hardly captures the movie. The writer/director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is best known for the delightful, offbeat Amelie, and Micmacs likewise has “visual invention and imagination up the wazoo.” (Roger Ebert) It’s a delightful French pastry full of exploding bon bons.

THE SWITCH is something else, a pure Hollywood rom-com, where the only special effect is microscopic. Kassie had a sperm-donor baby seven years ago, but not from the guy she thought. That’s the setup, and we need Jennifer Anniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis to deliver the laughs. They do, giving us a “a light, sweet, curiously enjoyable misfit romance.” ( Nice date movie, and you don’t have to read subtitles. Heck, you don’t even have to read.

The Special Events calendar, which has been resting this summer, fires up this week for WomenFestKeyWest. You know of course that this week (Tues. Sept. 7 through Sun. Sept. 12) is the event that proclaims itself “the southernmost party for lesbians and their friends.” The Tropic, as always, is joining the party, this time with a special screening of the summer’s hit indie film THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. Here’s your chance to catch this Julianne Moore-Annette Bening story of a lesbian couple whose two A.I. kids go looking for their father. One show only on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8:00pm.

THE KIDS had a successful multiweek run at the Tropic earlier this summer. But WomanFest is enhancing the show with personal appearances by the actors YaYa Da Costa and Eddie Hassell. For those of you who have seen the movie, she was Paul’s African-American girlfriend Tanya, and he was Laser’s bad-influence buddie Clay. It’s all thanks to our wonderful local Anne O’Shea who was Executive Producer on the movie and will also be in attendance on Thursday night. A sellout is likely, so get your advance tix at the Tropic box office or at

Full info and schedules at
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