Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week of June 24 to June 30 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

There’s something new going on at the Tropic this summer. Would you believe ANIMAL HOUSE? Yes, that Animal House, with John Belushi and the whole awful, obnoxious crowd. It’s part of the Summer of Fun Cult Classics Series curated by the theater’s youth movement. The first in the series, THE BIG LEBOWSKI was a sold out hit and will be repeated this week. So it’s Animal House on Monday and Lebowski on Wednesday for double the week’s fun.

What’s the draw, since you can easily sit on your couch and watch these movies for free? Hey, it’s a party. Gather your buds and share the fun. The Tropic has a bigger screen than you do, more seats, and, if I may say it, a better selection of beer. Here’s a tip: Wear a toga and get a free bag of popcorn!

After that intro, I have to pause a moment before turning to the serious program…..

Opening this week is WINTER IN WARTIME, the Netherlands Oscar winner (they call it the Rembrandt Award – that’s class) about Michiel a thirteen-year old Dutch boy who aids a downed British pilot during World War II. Holland is occupied by the Nazis, whose banners hang from the public buildings in his small town. His father is the mayor, a man whose position leaves him no choice but to cooperate with the Germans. As the plot unfolds, no one can really be trusted in this world where resistance fighters, informers, and ordinary citizens are impossible to sort out.

Winter in Wartime is one of a new breed of WWII films, where the good guys and the bad aren’t caricatures. Like The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, it views the moral dilemma of the war through the simplified eyes of a young man, this time one of the age where desire for heroism is natural. Given the situation, every moment is tense, as Michiel skirts the risks of discovery and joins in a plot to help the pilot escape. “[H]andsome, exciting and morally rich….,could become a lot of boys' favorite movie.” (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Tuesday brings a very Special Event, a free concert by the fifty-four person strong Alabama Youth Chapel Choir. Live on stage.

Rounding out the program are four extremely popular films held over for more to enjoy. Woody Allen’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, universally regarded as his best in a decade, is a fairy tale for lovers of the Parisian literary golden era of the Twenties. BRIDESMAIDS is proof that women can be as raunchy as men, though they do it with more style. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES reassures us that Johnny Depp can do no wrong. And DOUBLE HOUR is for all noir thriller lovers.

Things are busy at the Tropic as these summer promotions unfold. Did you know that they are running the Summer Sizzles deal again? Just ask for a free card, and when you get it punched ten times for movie attendance, your next show is free. It’s the quickest route to a free movie pass in town. And if you’re smart enough to sign up for a Tropic membership (only $35 for a year), each movie only costs six bucks. What are you waiting for?

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