Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week of October 26 to November 1 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

What are THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER? A beguiling title, but really the movie is more about how cool it is to be different… and not care. It’s a tough role for most high school students, but the brother and sister pair of Sam (Emma Watson – Harry Potter) and Patrick (Ezra Miller – We Need to Talk About Kevin) are triumphantly beyond the pale, so good-looking and self-confident that they create their own little circle of senior-year superiority. Charlie (Logan Lerman), a clueless freshman – the wallflower of the title – stumbles into their penumbra and has the experience of a lifetime until it all collapses and he has to step to the fore.

“A sweet surprise, a funny, touching terrific and quite wonderful movie that gets it all right about the joys and heartbreaks of growing up circa 1991.” (Pete Hammond, Box Office Magazine)

“Touching and brimming with the energy, enthusiasm and tides of teenage love and life, 'Perks' could very well be the next classic of the genre.” (Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist)
Moving on in life, LIBERAL ARTS takes up the angst of a 35-year-old “kid.” Jesse (Josh Radnor) is single and adrift when he returns to his old college for a dinner to celebrate the retirement of Professor Hoberg, his favorite teacher (Richard Jenkins). But it’s a pretty young sophomore, Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) and a sexy older English professor (Allison Janney) who capture his attention. “Nobody feels like an adult, that’s the world’s dirty secret,” Professor Hoberg warns him. Question is, can Jesse at least act like one?

“Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts is an almost unreasonable pleasure about a jaded New Yorker who returns to his alma mater in Ohio and finds that his heart would like to stay there.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

“An artful blend of tenderness and sharp, clear-eyed observations. Its characters talk like real people -- who also happen to be smart, appealing and thoughtful. “ (Claudia Puig, USA Today)
Don’t confuse MEET THE FOKKENS with the similarly titled Meet the Fockers, the Robert Di Nero gagfest from 2004. This one is the real thing, a documentary about an aging pair of Amsterdam prostitutes (Meet the Fuckers?). These 69-year-old twins haven’t lost their sense of humor, or their enjoyment of sharing their ribald past. “Rob Schroder and Gabrielle Provaas' raunchy, hilariously uninhibited documentary should wow arthouse audiences.” (Ronnie Schieb, Variety)
 Lots of holdovers this week: Joseph Gordon Levitt’s loopy sci-fi LOOPERS; the a cappella delight PITCH PERFECT; Tim Burton’s animated goof FRANKENWEENIE (3D); and Nicole Kidman’s slut turn in THE PAPERBOY.
This week’s Monday night Creature Feature is THE THING, the 1951 classic about a vegetable monster at an Arctic research station (played by Gunsmoke’s James Arness in a rubber suit). “One of the seminal 1950s creature feature films that paved the bridge between the horror and science fiction genres,” says
Have you seen the announcements about the upcoming inaugural KEY WEST FILM FESTIVAL? Four days of premieres, parties and panache from November 29-December 2. The festival will be taking over all four Tropic screens, plus the San Carlos. It kicks off on Thursday night with director Kat Coiro introducing her film While We Were Here, starring Kate Bosworth, and concludes on Sunday night with a final free movie on the beach outside Salute! You’ll be able to see Dustin Hoffman’s directoral debut film – Quartet, the first ever Judy Blume novel brought to the big screen, featuring Willa Holland and Russell Means – Tiger Eyes, and the Tribeca Film Festival winning movie starring Alan Cumming – Any Day Now. I’ll be telling you more as the event draws closer. But you can get full info and buy tickets now at

Liberal Arts (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets 
by Ian  BrockwayLiberal Arts
The tepidly titled "Liberal Arts" is a new film written and directed by actor Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother). The film stars Radnor himself as Jessie, an admissions worker at a New York City college (name unspecified). Jessie gets a call out of the blue from his beloved anarchist teacher, Professor Peter Hoberg (Richard Jenkins) and begins to get school-sick like a pining lover.  This is  one of the few Indie Rom-Coms that I have seen that romanticizes academic life.
Once Jessie arrives at his profs house, he meets the waif-like and idealistic Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) who has skin like poured heavy cream and ice-blue eyes.
Jessie becomes platonically smitten.
Josh Radnor is clearly the star of the film, he possesses a quirky staccato charm and has a way of making his neurotically absurdist dialogue feel spontaneous. Radnor has a twinkling sincerity and like Woody Allen before him, has a way of making romantic struggle slapstick, poetic and compelling. 
In his black beard and sensitive eyes, he is a bit like a young Tony Roberts. And just when you might think he is insufferable with his endless philosophy, Jessie does something unexpectedly irreverent to pull us back in.
It is Radnor himself who is the prime mover of the story in his pensive romanticism for his old college days and by extension, printed novels. Richard Jenkins is as low-key and as metaphysically downbeat as ever, which is no great stretch for his repertoire. Of course, we expect him to be a gentle curmudgeon and with some subtle iconoclasm. Yet like an argentine bohemian dragon, Jenkins has a way of making old protests comforting and still authentic.
Elizabeth Olsen, too, is fine  here although not very enticing. Sure, She is warm  vulnerable, empathetic and all things that go gushy in an Ivy Leagued night but so many other wide-eyed ingenues have spilled ink and trailed tears before her. 
Her Zibby is a person we expect. 
The best surprises in "Liberal Arts" come with the appearances of its minor characters. Professor Fairfield (Allison Janney) is a refreshing surprise as a crude Romantic Literature instructor who has a mouth like Lenny Bruce and is fond giving the middle finger without remorse. Radnor and Janney have an exchange together involving impromptu sex that will give you more than a few chuckles. Then there is the flaky stoner Nat (played with such goofy, earnest energy by Zac Efron) who still has me giggling.
 But like an oft-recited syllabus, "Liberal Arts" follows the romantic playbook: bookish guy finds girl, bookish guy insults girl through misunderstandings, sensitive guy finds himself. 
All I was hoping for was a little extra credit, given the Indie reputation of Radnor.  Finally, although  the story is a bit matter of course, the role of Jessie has a shaky joie de vivre  (almost as if Ferris Bueller is  suddenly a father) which makes the film a solid, if mostly singular, entertainment.
Write Ian at

Meet the Fokkens (Rhoades)

“Meet the Fokkens” –
Ageless Twin Hookers

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

People call it the world’s oldest profession – but I don’t think they were talking about Louise and Martine Fokken, 70-year-old twin sisters who work in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.
Hard to believe, but both women have been working as prostitutes since 1961.
“Meet the Fokkens” – a documentary about these so-called working girls – is currently showing at the Tropic Cinema.
Next to my door is the room where Martine works,” says Rob Schröder, one of the film’s directors. “She is by far the oldest on the street. I was fascinated by her. She’s old and fat. She does not look a day younger than her actual age. Do some men really prefer a grandma?”
“The moment Rob moved to that little street five years ago, it was clear that a movie had to be made,” laughs co-director Gabriëlle Provaas. “The women lined up there are older and wiser.”
As the film points out, in the world of prostitution “you’re not allowed to be old.” Yet these two old-timers have bucked the trend.
Louise was 19 with three children to support when her husband forced her into prostitution. Martine joined in as a show of solidarity with her twin sister.
Deciding to make the most of a bad situation, the girls said, “If I have to be a hooker I’m going to be the best hooker there is!” Eventually, they become independent of their pimps, working on their own.
The Fokkens have children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. “As everybody can imagine, it is hard for children to have a mother who’s a prostitute,” says Rob. “Nothing new about that. And Martine’s children were very much ashamed of their mother still working. They refused any cooperation and did not even want to be mentioned.”
However, the oldest of Louise’s daughters was just the opposite. “Now it’s Louise who blames herself, and Caroline telling her mother to leave the past behind.”
Rob has become quite fond of the ladies in the Oude Nieuwstraat. “Martine has an easiness about her,” he observes. “I liked chatting with her. She takes care of the little gardens in the street. She really has green fingers. Before I moved into the house, she also tended mine. This is how we came to talk.”
But he quickly adds, “I could not imagine anyone paying for her.”
Prostitution was finally legalized in the Netherlands in 2000.
“We do not believe prostitution will ever disappear,” says Rob. “It has a social function that goes beyond a quick shag. It’s good those women are there.”
“The fact that women are forced into prostitution does not mean prostitution itself is wrong,” agrees Gabriëlle. “Human trafficking is wrong. By blaming prostitution, these women are victimized twice!”
When a Key West friend recently took a vacation to the Netherlands, I teased him: “Amsterdam? You have to go that far to find a Red Light District?”
He jauntily replied, “Yeah, it’s the Pink Light District I’m looking for – they have one of those here, too.”
But that’s another story.

Liberal Arts (Rhoades)

“Liberal Arts” Is
About Growing Up

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

My wife and I are hooked on the TV comedy “How I Met Your Mother,” the ongoing misadventures of five friends in New York City. The story is told from the viewpoint of Ted, a guy recounting to his kids how he, well, you know.
Ted is played by Josh Radnor, all 167 episodes so far.
We’ve watched the careers of his costars soar. Jason Segel (Marshall) has had an active film career, even resurrecting “The Muppets” franchise. Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) after his youthful success as “Doogie Howser, M.D.” went on to do movies like “The Smurfs” as well as hosting the Grammys and Tonys. Colby Smothers (Robin) turned up as a leather-clad S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in “Marvel’s Avengers” and is slated for sequels. Alyson Hannigan was already a star, having made her name as the Band Camp Girl in those raunchy “American Pie” comedies.
But what about poor Josh? Was he destined to be the perpetual loser like his character Ted?
After a career on so-so TV shows (not counting the brilliant “How I Met Your Mother),” our boy Josh Radnor seems to have finally graduated to the movies. He wrote, directed, and stars in a funny film called “Liberal Arts.”
“Liberal Arts” is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.
In it, we find thirtysomething Jesse Fisher (Radnor) returning to his alma mater for an old prof’s retirement party, only to fall for a peppy, wacky student known as Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen).
Lizzie, of course, is the talented younger sister of the Olsen Twins. Her breakout role was “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
“What’s so great about Lizzie is there’s this great kind of mash-up of elements with her,” says Radnor, putting on his director’s hat. “She’s very sophisticated, she’s got kind of an old soul, poetic quality to her, but at the same time, every once in awhile, she’ll remind you that she’s a young person. She’s got this adolescent goofiness that pokes out at points.”
As one moviegoer described “Liberal Arts”: “It’s is a small, endearing film about idealism, the reality of life, the complicated nature of aging, and the beauty of experience.” Another called it “Lyrical.” And still another observed the film’s message as being, “No matter how old you get, you still have more growing to do.”
Radnor admits that Jesse Fisher is grappling with some of the same arrested development as his "HIMYM" character. “I have to play it with some naiveté,” he says.
This is not a pro-dating-college-students-when-you’re-too-old-to-do-that movie,” he hastens to explain. Maybe it’s a matter of kind of adjusting to whatever age you are and realizing that’s perfect.”
 “Liberal Arts” is a follow up to his 2010 film “Happythankyoumoreplease,” about a thirtysomething guy feeling stuck with his life.
“Liberal Arts” is Radnor’s way of getting unstuck. As he puts it, “Maybe one of the reasons I wrote the movie was to allow myself to grow up, or to retire some of the old thoughts or parts of my personality that were no longer all that useful. Maybe it’s a matter of kind of adjusting to whatever age you are and realizing that’s perfect.”
Filmed at Josh Radnor’s real-life alma mater, Kenyon College in Ohio, the film had a sense of déjà vu for him. While at Kenyon he won the Paul Newman award from the theater department. (Newman was a grad from there too.)
What was it like to be back on campus after 15 years? He says, “The only thing making me feel old would have been the Kenyon interns working on the movie.” He adds, “They were adorable, right?”
“They were my age,” replies 23-year-old Elizabeth Olsen. “I can’t call them adorable.”
“I’ve never felt older than right now in this moment,” groans 38-year-old Radnor.
And so it goes, on-screen and off.
“The movie is really kind of sweet and earnest, in a time where it seems like cynicism reigns supreme,” shrugs Josh Radnor. “That’s how I see the world.”

Perks of Being a Wallflower (Rhoades)

“Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Pay Off for Director-Writer

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Do you remember high school? Were you one of the popular kids? Or were you a didn’t-quite-fit-in wallflower?
Stephen Chbosky wasn’t all that popular while in high school. Maybe that’s why he wrote a coming-of-age novel about a boy like himself in a suburb of Pittsburgh.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” he titled it. The story is written in an epistolary style, like a series of anonymous letters.
The book begins:
“Dear Friend,
“I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that.”
This first novel was published by MTV Books and became an immediate hit with teenagers.
Not satisfied with that (after all, Chbosky was a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program) he turned it into a movie.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is currently playing hooky at the Tropic Cinema.
In it, we meet Charlie (Logan Lerman). On his first day as a freshman at a Pittsburgh high school, the 14-year-old feels really out of it, only making friends with his English teacher (Paul Rudd). Eventually, he adds two more friends, Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) – odd-duck seniors who invite him to join the “Island of Misfit Toys.”
From ingesting Alice B. Toklas brownies at a party to performing lead roles in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the threesome grows closer. Sam delivers Charlie’s first real kiss; Patrick is outted; and Charlie reveals a dark secret.
Yes, it’s a sadly realistic look at the life of an introverted teen.
You’ll remember Logan Lerman from his titular role in “Percy Jackson & the Olympians, his bid to be the next Harry Potter at the box office. He will be following that up with “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.”
Emma Watson has an even better pedigree, that of Hermione Granger in the eight “Harry Potter” films. She’s slated to appear in Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” Logan Lerman joins her in “Noah,” this time playing her stepbrother.
Ezra Miller cut his acting teeth as Tilda Swinton’s troubled son in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Next up, he’s going to be in Sophie Barthes’s adaptation of “Madam Bovary.”
Director-writer Stephen Chbosky admits that his “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is semi-autobiographical, although protectively pointing out “my life in high school was in many ways different.”
Not surprisingly, Chbosky says his writing was influenced by J.D. Salinger’s “Cather in the Rye,” as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams. Screenwriter Stewart Stern (“Rebel Without a Cause”) became his mentor.
Do you get the picture here? A “resistance to growing older and desire to protect childhood innocence,” as Salinger’s Holden Caulfield has been described.
Along with certain books by Key West’s Judy Blume, Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has appeared on the American Library Association’s lists of the 10 most frequently challenged books. This due to parental complaints about sex and drugs in the book.
As Judy Blume says, “Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.”
I’m pretty sure Stephen Chbosky would agree.

Meet the Fokkens (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
Meet the Fokkens
With a jolt, the camera opens on a quaint Amsterdam street. We hear a friendly 'hello", an open greeting. A lavender beret fills the screen.
There is a dictatorial sound of high heels on pavement together with the confrontational sight of a black leather boot with several smiles of wrinkles imbedded in its folds. No this isn't Halloween, or even  a scene from Hitchcock, but it could be. It is the beginning of the self-conscious joke-titled documentary "Meet the Fokkens" about two older sisters who let it all hang out.

Louise and Martine Fokken are two 69-year old identical sisters who are hookers in Amsterdam's Red Light district but were not always such. Hasty choices combined with abusive men led them down this path, but fear not. True, their lives have been no beds of roses, although they seem to take it all with a lightness of spirit and even a carnal glee, if not an outward joy.
Louise had three children. They were taken away from her after her monster husband turned pimp, proved Louise unfit and abandoned the kids. Louise worked as a seamstress but fate took her down a fleshy financial  path and Martine followed. Louise has since given up the trade because of crippling arthritis, but Martine still soldiers on due to monetary needs.
Yes, there is no sugar coating here and there are tears, but this is no sob story. Louise and Martine are lascivious elves. Nothing phases them. They enter a sex toy shop like it was a Pier One.  When they are interviewed they talk of men's orgasms like it is a matter of vacuuming a rug or milking a cow. They laugh and titter as if to say, "These men, how silly they are!" 
Throughout the film, there are red-lensed interludes and we see all the seamy details as Martine services various men with all the curt efficiency of a mechanic. Most of the men are sprawled out on a mat like pale poultry. Next!  You have to give her credit for persevering and getting results, however soft. For the Fokken Sisters, sex is a mere matter of plumbing. 
For the most part, at an accelerated rate, both sisters paint. Louise's paintings in particular are wildly colorful. They quiver with life and are reminiscent of Grandma Moses and the inimitable Red Grooms.
Going down the road, arm in arm, the two are treated like celebrities. They meet the postman, the grocer, and various fans. But once night falls and Martine is alone waiting for a bus, dusk makes a long black ribbon home to a bowl of soup and a rat terrier. Periodically, placed throughout the film like cinematic parenthesis, Martine is visited by a small group of spiritually-based advisors who urge her to leave the business.
But to no avail.
We get the feeling that because of their age and experience, what was once an anxious albatross around their necks, is now a prelude to a joke, and the sister's see both the freedom and the folly of the flesh. In the final scenes, as they fall in the snow, the sisters seem to enfold, overlap and absorb each other, like Russian Nesting Dolls. Together, the two make another and no conundrums of cleavage or dilemmas of dereliction can tear them apart.
"Meet the Fokkens" sneaks up on you like a quirky smirk along a right-angled street. It is about memory, painting and the passage and haunt of Time, just as much as it is about the push and pull of sex, red-jacketed with silliness. 

Ultimately, it is about two sisters who love each other. At the sight of Martine and Louise Fokken, the ghosts of both Hitchcock and Bunuel will surely rejoice and you will too.
Write Ian at

Perks of Being a Wallflower (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is the film version of the hit 1999 Young Adult book of the same name. The epistolary novel, by Stephen Chbosky, a kind of Catcher in the Rye narrative, remains quite popular and has been banned in several schools, presumably for its honesty. No doubt, many teens and adults alike will be looking forward to this adaptation and rightly so. 
The film stars Logan Lerman ( Percy Jackson) as Charlie, a soft and shy emotionally reticent teen who faces his first day of high school, which at first, might be as scary as Stephen King's Carrie with packs of big oversized kids ready to knock some heads. Charlie, who is a bit like Peter Parker in the Tobey McGuire version of "Spiderman", inches and smirks his way through classes. We know he's bright---he's the first one to speak up in English class and he takes everything in, including insults with a Zen passivity leaving only quizzical expressions in his wake. Charlie is not really a nerd at all, it's just that he is a bit misplaced, having been in a mental hospital for a long stretch and not able to talk with anyone beyond  his family for months.
By chance, the energetic and theatrical iconoclast Patrick, played with some fiery and very comic gusto by Indie heartthrob Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin) becomes drawn to Charlie and vice versa. Patrick becomes an entertaining and protective friend to Charlie and also his vehicle for an  entrance into a new glib and sophisticated world---a figure of light antic fun that illuminates Charlie's melancholic suburban Pittsburgh. Charlie, as we might guess, also becomes smitten by the waif-like Sam (Emma Watson) who is Patrick's stepsister by marriage. Patrick and Sam take to Charlie almost instantly and we might wonder why given the fact that Charlie doesn't say much of anything.
But then, as if by magic, it all changes with a pot brownie. Charlie becomes devil-tongued and catty, a bit like Ferris Bueller and Truman Capote. No one can believe that such wild and witty things have been uttered by the pale and wilting Charlie. 
Awesome! Patrick and Sam, it appears, have made a good choice in this misfit friend.

But OMG! all is not rosy in this precocious Teen-terrain. Charlie's disturbing visions return: he is consumed with guilt over his aunt's sudden death. Not to mention, his devastating honest faux pas during a game of Truth Or Dare.
Under less competent hands, this film might have been a mere diversion. Charlie is a bit like a John Hughes character from the 80s, as is Sam. Emma Watson does bear an uncanny resemblance to Molly Ringwald in "The Breakfast Club".  And Ezra Miller is like a galvanic and churning Matthew Broderickish actor swimming with electricity and the characters spend a bit of time moping and slinking around, commiserating and wondering "why me?" just as in the past. 
What makes this film so watchable is the superb and crisp direction by the author Stephen Chbosky himself.
 The depiction of Charlie's fugues specifically, are emotional and stirring, as is the acting of Ezra Miller who is magnetic and full of dynamism with not a stale note in his role. While Patrick's enthusiasm for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"  might not be so surprising these days, Miller's immediacy is, and he captures his role.
Young odd ones who listen to David Bowie or Morrissey are nothing new by now, but the film has a buoyant retro feeling  that entrances as it entertains. The Perks of Being a Wallflower's greatest and most sincere trick is that it makes everything old seem new again, and applaudably so. 

Write Ian at

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week of October 19 to October 25 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

The test of a great actor is the ability to switch personas. Nicole Kidman certainly qualifies. In her latest release, THE PAPERBOY, opening at the Tropic this week, she’s Charlotte Bless, a tackily dressed slut, whose hobby is corresponding with convicts. Meanwhile, she’s currently filming the role of the definition of elegance, Grace Kelly (in Grace of Monaco).

In The Paperboy, she’s fallen in love with one of her more sinister correspondents, a murderer named Hillary Von Wetter (John Cusak), who seems to have a way with words. This brings her in contact with Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey), a crusading journalist who thinks that Von Wetter was wrongly convicted. McConaughey continues his 2012 role roll at the Tropic, following up on Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and Bernie, in which he’s been showing his acting chops.

With the help of his brother Jack (Zac Efron), another journalist (David Oyelowo) and Ms. Superslut, they form a team to take on a redneck Florida town and Evergladian swamps, where the corrupt officials and demon nature seem to be conspiring against them. And they have little help from Von Wetter, who, when the team visits him in prison, is more interested in getting Charlotte to spread her legs for his amusement than talk to his saviors. She obliges with gusto.

“A fever dream of a mystery yarn - about sex, about race, about violence, about wide lapels and bouffant hairdos. And did I say it's about sex?” (Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer)

 “Everybody in this lurid insane asylum of a movie wants everybody else. This is just the sort of movie certain people are hoping to see when they go to the movies but would never say they go to the movies for.” (Wesley Morris, Boston Globe)

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON is also about sex, about a gay affair that begins as phone sex and builds into a long term relationship that lasts for a decade. The place is New York City, and stresses of gay life and a drug habit create a tense and revealing portrait.

“A haunting, immersive portrait of a romance between two men, one that's marked - and marred - by both drug dependency and emotional codependency. Not unlike last year's gay-themed drama, Weekend, it proves an important and mature piece of business.” (Gary Goldstein, L.A. Times)

“Its subject is not addiction or ambition, or even love in a conventional romantic sense, but rather the more elusive and intriguing matter of intimacy: how it grows, falters and endures over time.” (A.O. Scott, New York Times)

On the lighter side, we have PITCH PERFECT, a breakout role for Rebel Wilson, whom you’ll recognize as the plus-sized girl from Bridesmaids. Now she’s the self-described “Fat Amy,” part of a college song and dance group that’ll knock your socks off. Bridesmaids meets Glee, and what’s not to like. “A comedy about an all-female collegiate a cappella group. And to paraphrase one of the characters in the movie, it's A-Ca-Awesome.” (Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic)

Or what about FRANKENWEENIE 3D, Tim Burton’s animated, black and white tribute to a rogue’s gallery of horror villains. It’s all about a boy who reanimates his beloved dog with a Frankenstein-like electrical jolt. “Great cinema, good fun, a visual feast for pie-eyed Burton fans - and a terrifically warped reminder of just how freaky a PG film can be” (Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle)

If that appeals to you, then break out your costumes for THE UNDEAD LIVE… a revival of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD on Sunday. It’s a benefit for the Tropic Volunteer Program, with a raffle, appetizers and Blood Punch!

Full info and schedules at or

Pitch Perfect (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
Pitch Perfect
"Pitch Perfect" is some well needed sonic popcorn sprinkled with fun from start to finish. Yes, it is bubbly with Pop and fluff filled with visual fructose and cinematic CO2, but it is free-wheeling and unpretentious with more good natured irreverence than five John Waters comedies. In this age of all-too serious films overworked with technique and intention, it is nice that a critic can let his hair down and be immersed in corn.
It also echoes the 1980s Teen comedies "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Sixteen Candles". True, these films didn't contain much content, but they did have an unbound glib spirit and the courage to be silly.
"Pitch Perfect" doesn't pretend to be anything else but what it is: carbonated entertainment. For this alone, it has my respect. And "Pitch Perfect" does one better, it delights in giggles and maintains its momentum throughout.
Based on a book by author Mickey Rapkin, the story posits a semi-surreal collegiate world where virtually everyone depends on their a cappella groups for their own self esteem and survival.  The students form packs ala Lord of the Flies and Brave New World (a bit) and simply fight tooth and nail. 
Aspiring DJ Beca (Anna Kendrick) arrives at a preppy and uniform college and she is soon pressured by numerous singing groups. The Stepford-like Aubrey (Anna Camp) moves right in--into the shower no less--and puts the moves on the isolated and bohemian Beca. She reluctantly agrees and what follows is a non-stop catty laugh-fest that has elements of John Waters and the dry humor of  Christopher Guest ( "Best in Show", "A Mighty Wind" ). Although not as pointed as Guest here, the film's director Jason Moore still achieves some non-threatening and gleeful barbs.
A highlight is actor Adam DeVine as the egocentric Bumper who is actually so obnoxious as to climb on teammates and rivals alike. DeVine is a bit like Jack Black and Jim Carrey combined, but that doesn't matter. Not since Steve Martin in "The Jerk" have a seen a character so silly. Another stand out is Rebel Wilson as a girl called Fat Amy who is more fun than Rikki Lake in "Hairspray" and even might give the legendary comic Divine a run for his money before the year is out with her eccentric lack of self consciousness which is essential for any real comic.
"Pitch Perfect" is not cerebral, nor is it supposed to be, but it is sheer fun from start to finish. It is pure candy but it will delight the eyes as well as make you hoot and holler from laughing. I enjoyed the dance numbers too; they managed to be both heartfelt and ridiculous like most of the 80s films.
Actors John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks almost steal the film away from Adam DeVine and Rebel Wilson in their roles as catty, superficial and vacuous judges full of nonsense. Move over Will Ferrell. These two have you pegged.
I never thought I would ever recommend a musical comedy with actual projectile vomiting, especially given my recurring fears of "The Exorcist", (and at this time of year, no less) but by all means go see it, just for fun.
You will laugh your nodes off.
Write Ian at

Frankenweenie (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway


Now here's an animated film that puts the "Boo" in boo-tiful, that is more paranormal than "ParaNorman" and more Evilicious than Elvira. I'm speaking of course, of the much anticipated "Frankenweenie" playing now at The Tropic. This rollicking grue-fest will satisfy the junior Goth in all of us. It is unapologetically joyful, cute in its creature features, and masterfully affectionate.

Director Tim Burton seldom disappoints and here he has crafted a winner. The jokes and jests, although aimed at the tiny tots and the Halloween Tweens among us never panders or talks down to its audience and actually has some genuine suspenseful moments, harkening back to the black and white bedrock of the old Universal horror classics from the 1930s and 40s.

"Frankenweenie" is a picaresque valentine to the ritual of Halloween. In theme and attitude, it is a nostalgic twin to Burton's first short film, the lyrically clever "Vincent" (1982 ) which can be viewed online. In that film, young Vincent, (modeled after Burton himself) is obsessed with Poe and actor Vincent Price. "Vincent" pays homage to the German Expressionist films "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" by Robert Wiene and F.W. Marnau's "Nosferatu" with all its stark shadows and jagged cubist lines. 

In "Frankenweenie", Burton lampoons the 1950s sensibility (his personal trademark) and his own films, specifically "Edward Scissorhands".
We are, as usual, deep in a bright gray suburbia. This is Burton's favorite landscape where everything Gorey goes pop. 

In his latest outing we have a little Victor, (as in Frankenstein) voiced by Charlie Tahan, who is obsessed by movies and electricity. Victor's mom and dad, voiced by Catherine O' Hara and Martin Short respectively, are conveniently out of touch with their gray-eyed and galvanic son. During a game, Victor's dog Sparky, an adorably anemic dachshund, gets hit by a black-finned chrome car. 

Alas, weakness and woe, very rightly so, ensues.

Inspired by his science teacher, a Mr. Rzykruski,  (voiced by Martin Landau, and having a long chin reminiscent of both Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price) Victor begins reanimation. Rzykruski is later called to the carpet for causing trouble. He brings  the message of  science as a springboard to the imagination and by extension, monsters and magic. 

This idea of imagination and open-mindedness is central to almost every Burton film.
The visual dance of  "Frankenweenie" is a delight. It is a tour de farce of early horror and  everything sent up from "Gremlins" to "Poltergeist". There is an "Igor," the annoying Edgar who resembles Peter Lorre. There is an ambitious Asian student who inadvertently makes the first Godzilla film from a mutant turtle and there is also a kid who involuntarily mimics Boris Karloff. 

Every Gary Larsonesque ("The Far Side") moment is intentional, filled with a personal significance and not a bit of film is superfluous.

Many of us are familiar with Burton's filmic cues: pale, big-eyed children in split level houses who moonlight with movie monsters or white washed Hollywood directors who live to bring a sinister schmaltz to a Transvestite Tinseltown, and every hemoglobin-challenged hero looks like (or actually is) Johnny Depp.

This territory has been spooked many times over, that's true. But Burton is so exuberant and meticulous here that all his self reverent shocks of black hair and silliness is like seeing an old fiend. And in an age where much of today's 3D animation looks bubbly and innocuous, with many of the self-same punch lines about Reality TV and smartphones, Tim Burton's Fall of the Split-Level House of Usher with all of its repetitive  references to a Suburban Dreary and a bygone Hollywood, is forever refreshing and even against the cinematic status quo.

Write Ian at

Keep the Lights On (Brockway)

Tropics Sprockets by Ian Brockway
Keep the Lights On
"Keep the Lights On" has the rare distinction of being so authentic it is almost beyond reproach. Like life, it builds slowly in subtle motions and the rise and fall of its characters revolve around each other as satellites, both soft and desperate.
The film concerns a shiftless documentary filmmaker, Erik (Thure Lindhardt) and his co-dependent relationship with the anal and self-absorbed Paul (Zachary Booth). When we first meet Erik in the late 1990s, he is at an artists' retreat, using the phone for anonymous sex. His face is sleepy but wired. He wears loose and baggy clothes.  Erik is part Van Gogh and part predator which makes him all bohemian wolf, without direction except for the nocturnal. 
One night Erik's telephone leads him to the dark apartment of the boyish and delicate-faced Paul, who reminds one of a young Anthony Perkins. He is halting and tentative, but on the other hand he can be curt, severe, and just a bit deadly. Erik soon falls hard for the rigid Paul, who takes the heaps of Erik's affection with a stoic passivity. Paul is in the closet and hetero appearances mean everything to him. Paul reminds one  of an unbending business pen that never strays from its linear path. Paul is also addicted to crack and cannot let go intimately without being high.
A push me-pull you love soon develops. The story is clearly told from Erik's perspective who outwardly strives to keep his passion and worry at bay, but his nonchalant detachment gives way to a volatile cacophony within his spirit.  When nervous, Erik frequently makes retching noises and practices hitting himself with metal kitchenware. 
Loving Paul is toxic but giving him up is unthinkable.
Erik goes into a scarlet land of limbo, walking the streets and clubs in search of sensual pacification. He meets various characters along the way including the formidable narcissistic body-worshipper Russ (Sebastian La Cause) and a dedicated painter Igor (Miguel del Toro). We feel for Erik as his heart is tortured and tugged upon and he is as familiar as a friend.
In style and content, given its claustrophobic wanderings on urban streets, the film echoes the equally excellent "Weekend" which played at The Tropic last year. 
In its bright palette, "Keep the Lights On" registers upon our emotional chakras: when a room is bathed in warm yellows, we know Erik is safe, but a dark gray tone signals the return of Paul's crack addiction. The film smartly recognizes that the world of the flesh is a painterly one. During the opening credits, a bestiary of male nudes done by the artist Boris Torres spins across our eyes. Like the documentary on the Mapplethorpian photographer Avery Willard that Erik works on, flesh is both a vision and a vexation that Erik hopes to reach. Lost in an abstract millennium, gay life in the 1990s is a nostalgic concept filled with bygone  leather and quaint exuberant raves, becoming a long ago Holiday.
But when Erik crosses the street, he is fully part of the present.
"Keep the Lights On" is organic and moving. It is a lively portrait  that chronicles want and aversion, flesh and frisson and ultimately poses a caution regarding our muscle-driven, visually based culture.
Write Ian at

The Paperboy (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
"The Paperboy"
Here is "The Paperboy", the latest effort by Lee Daniels who directed the earthy and very affecting "Precious",  which was  deservedly the Indie hit of 2009. In this outing, Daniels, strives to capture the essence of The Southern Gothic with an adaptation of Pete Dexter's novel. The cinematography is as immediate and visceral as the previous "Precious". It has a prismatic sense of direction, complete with a few Saul Bass style titles and DePalma-era split screens with some startling images, including eviscerated alligators and mealy-mouthed killers running about on swamp-seeped legs. All this set in the 1960s where racism was at a sickening peak but also thankfully, near its last gasp in the Mainstream. This is presented with virtuosic fade-ins, double images and overexposures that give an eccentric and jarring flavor, the visual roux that is unique to Daniels. In watching the film, we are both part of history and removed from it, at an isolated distance, given that the images are grainy as in a 1970s exploitation flick.
Now for the story. 
Baby Blue Dreamboat Zac Efron (I'm not kidding, but I wish I was) plays Jack. Jack tags along with Ward, his amphibious-looking older brother played by Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey who has a trademark with such shifty Southern roles is just not all that interesting or inspired here. If you are familiar with his roster you may  already predict what smarmy things might come from his twice scarred mouth. Ward is a journalist but more often than not , he drunkenly sways and caterwauls about some article. He flirts and cajoles and does neither very well. Ward is trying to get a killer out of jail, striving to get at the truth, but his role is too thin.
Then "The Bombshell" Charlotte enters (Nicole Kidman). She is tall, chromium and Barbie-infused. Charlotte is in love with the killer but God knows why. He certainly is a smooth talker. 
Kidman does do her best with the role,but her character is so shallow, I admit I didn't care. Invariably , she pouts and preens with little sense of growth or development.
And although Macy Gray as the street smart- maid, gives a bit of gusto with her quick and facile one-liners, she infuses her role with such an overdone narcotic aura and slurred speech (whether intentional or not)  that she loses impact and turns annoying.
The melodrama is so over-the-top that I found it little more than an arty creep-show, ala Stephen King. John Cusack plays Hillary, a really dumb psycho with a face like a pizza who  just might have one of the most unconvincing roles of the year. And McConaughey has a fate straight out of "Deliverance" or a Sam Peckinpah film.
The racial tension scenes together with the romantic frustrations of Jack  could have been compelling, but the film is way too pulp, too fast. The swamp episodes alone make it into a "Cape Fear" /"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" hybrid that lacks power. Is there really a need to see Charlotte pee on Jack, or Ward beaten into feta cheese and trussed up like a pig? Cusack's character was so repulsive as to seem ridiculous and I couldn't suspend my disbelief, a vital quality for engagement within a story.
The entire film turned a brown shade of depression and all at once, it felt too sour on a sudden moment, vinegar-gone in its viciousness with no trace of humor to lighten its coarse camp load.
I wonder. Is "The Paperboy" a conceptual exercise with its 70s Drive-In  presentation? 
I do not know. All I can tell you is that the camera's artful dodges lead to seedy stuff and none of it all that inspired or provocative by film's end.

Write Ian at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Paperboy (Rhoades)

“The Paperboy”

By Shirrel Rhoades

Before Pete Dexter was a celebrated novelist, he was a newspaperman. He worked at such papers as The Sacramento Bee, Philadelphia Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post. His syndicated columns were collected into a book called “Paper Trails” and his “Paris Trout” won a National Book Award.
So why should anyone be surprised that he’d write a novel called “The Paperboy.” It won a PEN Center Literary Award.
“The Paperboy” has been turned into a hard-hitting movie of the same name, directed by Lee Daniels (“Precious,” “Monster’s Ball”). It’s currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.
Like the book, it’s the story of a couple of news guys from a Miami paper out to win a Pulitzer Prize at any cost.
Matthew McConaughey stars as an ambitious reporter named Ward Jansen. Jansen along with his younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and a colleague named Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) set out to free a man on death row. Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was convicted of murdering a shady lawman and many supporters, including a sexy jailhouse groupie named Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), believe Wetter to be innocent.
How far will Ward Jansen go to win his Pulitzer? And at what cost to others? That’s the nub of this thought-provoking film.
Some blog sites like /Film have declared this “The Year of Matthew McConaughey.” We’ve seen him recently in “Magic Mike” and “Killer Joe.” The one-time star of “Failure to Launch” has certainly overcome that trait, earning high marks for his appearance in this lurid Southern Gothic tale.
Even more than McConaughey’s acting turn, you will want to check out Nicole Kidman, almost unrecognizable as the loud, trashy girlfriend of the accused killer. Her transformation from the elegant actress we know so well to this toxic lowlife is amazing, an applause-worthy performance.
Director Lee Daniels says, “What I loved about that film is they were all lost, little, fragile birds, with several of whom on a death wish. I think Nicole Kidman‘s character and Matthew McConaughey‘s character had death wishes. I mean, wow, what interesting people, huh?”
Some critics have loved “The Paperboy” while others have hated it. “An unmitigated disaster” said the AV Club’s Mike D’Angelo. But the Atlantic’s Jon French called it “pulpy, sweaty, outrageously entertaining.”
Film blogger Angle Han opines, “’The Paperboy’ seems worth checking out for the performances alone.” I agree.
Daniels shrugs. “I think you will love it or hate it. There’s no grey area. You’ll either understand the world I created and go for it, or you’ll resist and say, “What the (blank)?”
Pete Dexter who wrote the screenplay based on his book didn’t like the film. “Everything would be all right if I’d had a chance to take my name off that screenplay credit,” he says. “Essentially, it’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever been associated with.”
Lee Daniels doesn’t care. “Look, my own mother doesn’t like my movies. I’m okay with it, because you’re entitled to your own opinion.”
Dexter got his wish. The film’s credits now attribute the screenplay to Lee Daniels. “I never try to make a film for the masses,’ Daniels says. “I just try to tell my story.”

Keep the Lights On (Rhoades)

“Keep the Lights On”
Tries to Keep
Romance Burning

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

A movie’s title sequences sometimes foretell the film’s theme. For example, “Keep the Lights On” opens with a series of paintings depicting nude male bodies, often intertwined. Early in the film that gives way to actual bodies intertwined as this love story plays out.
Set in 1993 New York City, we meet Erik, a gay documentary filmmaker from Denmark who is trying to raise money for his next film, arguing with his sister over his career, dealing with his doctor about HIV test results, and looking for a relationship. Erik hooks up with Paul, a lawyer at Random House. Paul’s still in the closet. “The people in the publishing business like to gossip,” Paul explains his secrecy.
Erik likes him. “He’s like nice, very nice,” the blond filmmaker describes his “first American American boyfriend.”
They smoke dope. They go to art museums.
They eventually move in together.
There’s lots of graphic sex along the way.
Like any dysfunctional romance there are bumps to overcome. Erik struggles to be true to himself while involved with an addictive partner.
Danish-born Thure Lindhardt is winning as the thirtysomething filmmaker. He’s played it straight (opposite Laetitia Casta in “The Island”) and gay (with David Dencik in “Brotherhood”). You’ve also seen him in “Angels and Demons” and “Into the Wild.”
American actor Zachary Booth is both lean and handsome as the young lawyer. You’ve seen Booth on TV’s “Damages” and with Mel Gibson in “The Beaver.”
“Keep the Lights On” is current playing at the Tropic Cinema.
Directed and co-written by Ira Sachs, the film is based on Sach’s previous relationship with Bill Clegg, a literary agent whose own memoir is called “Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man.”
“Keep the Lights On” won a 2012 Teddy Award, an international recognition at The Berlin International Film Festival for films with LGTB topics.

Frankenweenie 3D (Rhoades)

Comes Alive in Time
For Halloween

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Years ago I had a running joke with my friends that I had created a Dead Pet Club. To belong, you needed to have a dead pet (my cat had recently died). If you didn’t have a dead pet, I’d tell them, you can buy one cheap at the pet shop.
I extolled the virtues of having a dead pet: They follow commands like “Stay!” and “Play dead!” They don’t have to be walked. And you don’t need to buy a lot of pet food.
Sick humor? Yes, but a way of dealing with my cat’s demise.
Director Tim Burton has a dead pet too. Well, more specifically, he has a movie about one, a remake of a short animated film he did back in 1984.
Called “Frankenweenie,” it’s like a kid’s version of that old “Frankenstein” movie. Shot in somber black-and-white, it tells the story of young Victor who uses his science-class skills to bring his beloved pooch Sparky back to life after he’s hit by a speeding car.
Uh-oh. You just can’t expect a stitched-together electrified weenie dog (a bull terrier, I think) to be quite the same after that kind of jumpstart. And, needless to say, the neighbors are not amused by this bolt-through-the-neck monster dog.
Back when Burton made that first “Frankenweenie” film, he was paying his dues as an animator at the Disney Studios. Ironically, Disney fired him after the film was completed claiming he’d wasted company resources on the project and that it was too scary for young audiences. Thus, the 29-minute film was shelved, never to be released theatrically in the US.
(Psst! – I still have a bootleg VHS tape of the original “Frankenweenie.”)
Now, 28 years later, Tim Burton has remade that long-lost short, turning it into an 87-minute feature film. Still in grisly black-and-white. And the characters look pretty much the same. But we have new voice stars and the story has been (forgive the term) fleshed out. Plus it’s in 3D.
Daniel Stern and Shelly Duvall lent their voices as Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein in that first film. This time around we hear the voices of Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara. You will remember Short from Saturday Night Live and such silly movies like “Clifford” and “Three Amigos.” And O’Hara is an alumna of Second City TV, but best remembered as the forgetful mom in “Home Alone” as well as spots in all those Christopher Guest farces.
Charlie Tahan provides the voice for their son Victor, the precocious kid who refuses to say goodbye to his pet. You may remember Charlie from “Nights in Rodanthe,” “Charlie McCloud,” or the “Blue Bloods” TV series.
Winona Rider does the voice of the little girl next door. Atticus Shaffer is E-Gore, a takeoff on the old hunchbacked Igor character. And doing a thick Eastern European accent, Martin Landau is great as the science teacher who encourages young Victor to try this wayward science experiment.
The stop-motion animation process took two years. That’s with more than 30 different animators working simultaneously with 200 puppets to film different scenes at the same time. Swiss watchmakers helped assemble the intricate mechanisms that allow the puppets to be positioned in (ahem) lifelike ways. The dog alone had over 300 moving parts.
“Frankenweenie” is currently showing at the Tropic Cinema. If you’re a fan of Burton’s other two stop-motion treats, “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” you’ll love this spooky little movie too.
Now, guess which studio is releasing this remake?
Yep, Disney – the same company that fired Burton for making the first film.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Week of October 12 to October 18 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

The plot thickens this week. While THE MASTER and THE IMPOSTER are held over to work their enigmatic ways, LOOPER now weighs in to really befuddle us.

Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a “Looper,” a hit-man with an odd role. He kills people teleported back, via a time travel device, from 30 years in the future. It’s a modern method of disposing of bodies, a big step up from Tony Soprano’s cement boots three miles offshore. But then Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) shows up in his sights. If young Joe doesn’t kill old Joe, his bosses will kill him, so he’s ready to do the deed and get himself thirty more years of life. Old Joe is in a bit of a dilemma defending himself – even though he’s Bruce Fucking Willis – because knocking off his nemesis would mean knocking off himself. Also, to complicate the plot, there’s a five-year-old with the ability to cause earthquakes and levitate people and furniture. Old Joe wants to kill him because he thinks the kid’s gang murdered his wife in the future, but Young Joe wants to save him, because he’s got a soft spot for the kid’s mother (Emily Blunt).

 “Pounding action, elegant style, steady-state suspense, marvelous acting and, despite that droll pooh-poohing every now and then, haunting explorations of youth, age and personal destiny. It's a lot to claim for a sci-fi thriller, but I was blown away by Rian Johnson's Looper.” (Joe Morgenstern, Wall St. Journal) If this appeals to you, you know what to do.

 You may not ever face a situation where you have to kill your alter ego, but most of us have all had to face situations where we are uncomfortable with things that duty calls upon us to do. COMPLIANCE is based on an actual reported case, or more correctly, a series of cases in which a manager of a fast food restaurant was tricked into doing repulsive things to an employee by a villainous prank caller.

In the movie, Sandra (Ann Dowd) is the manager of ChickWich. On a busy Friday night, she gets a call from the police telling her that one of her clerks is suspected of a theft. You’ll watch with growing discomfort and even horror as things progress on from a strip search, as Sandra complies with the instructions of the caller.

With a slow, relentless buildup focused on sexual humiliation, Compliance intensifies the requests put on Sandra, and eventually other employees, to behave immorally in the name of cooperation.” (Lisa Schwartzbaum, Entertainment Weekly) “Provides insight into large and frightening events, like the voluntary participation of civilians in the terrible crimes of the last century.” (David Denby, The New Yorker)

In RUBY SPARKS, the blocked young writer Calvin (Paul Dano – There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine) finds that the character in his new novel Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan – It’s Complicated, Revolutionary Road) has come to life in his kitchen. All writers will tell you that they become enamored of their characters, and that these typescript people grow as they are written and often guide the writer in unanticipated directions. When asked by a reader a question like “Why did Marjorie do that?” a writer often responds more in the vein of “Because she wanted to,” than “because that’s what I decided to have her do.”

The multi-talented Ms. Kazan, who is also a playwright and screenwriter, has taken that notion and breathed life into it, via a script and a wonderful performance, made all the more real because Dano is also her real-life partner. Author Calvin struggles with the joys and dilemmas of having a girlfriend whom he can shape and define, while character Ruby struggles to define herself.
“A sleek, beautifully written and acted romantic comedy that glides down to earth in a gently satisfying soft landing.” (Stephen Holden, New York Times)

“Hits that sweet emotional spot much in the same way Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind does. While you are at once charmed by the whimsy and romance, there’s still a gut punch of emotional rawness….” (Katie Walsh, The Playlist)

For lighter fare, the Pixar classic FINDING NEMO is now back in 3D. The fish are coming right at you, glub, glub. “A genuinely funny and touching film that, in less than a decade, has established itself as a timeless classic.” (Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger)

Extra treat this week is the Monday Movie Classic, HOUSE OF WAX, the grim tale of Vincent Price’s macabre trumping of Madame Tussauds. (no 3D, I’m sorry to say)

On Thursday, Reef Relief returns with another installment of its WILD AND SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL, this time with the theme Climate of Change.