Saturday, January 12, 2013

Week of January 11 to January 17 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Has a Playbook You’ll Like

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Just as film critics are putting out their Top Ten Films of 2012 lists – with “Silver Linings Playbook” appearing on many of them – those crazy-as-a-fox programmers at Tropic Cinema have booked, you guessed it, “Silver Linings Playbook.”
In this satisfying little movie written and directed by David O. Russell (“The Fighter,” “I Heart Huckabees”), People Weekly’s 2011 Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper stars as a teacher who’s been away at a mental institution due to his bipolar disorder, and now wants to get back together with his errant wife. But he meets ups with Jennifer Lawrence, who plays a wacky woman thrown for a loop by the recent death of her husband. Are these two dysfunctional souls a romance made in rom-com heaven? It’s no spoiler to say, we’re rooting for them. And laughing along with their neurotic shenanigans.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is still playing. A must-see film, Daniel Day-Lewis is a sure bet to get an Oscar node for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Besides, you will find it fascinating, the political machinations behind the passage of the US Constitutional amendment that abolished slavery.
Movie buffs will want to catch “Hitchcock,” the story behind the making of the Master of Suspense’s horror masterpiece “Psycho.” That old saw about “the woman behind the man” holds true in this case, because you’ll discover that Hitch’s wife Alma Reville was the muse that drove him to success, not those icy blondes he always sought for his movies.
Lighter fare is provided by “The Guilt Trip,” the road comedy starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as a mother and son who go on an 8-day drive. You’ll wonder if either will survive as they bicker back and forth and milk the generation gap for all the Jewish-inspired laughs in it.
“Chasing Ice” is staying on, making us wish our ice caps had as much longevity. National Geo photographer James Balog set up time-lapse cameras to document the melting glaciers around the world. This six-year fast-forward view should erase any questions you have about the reality of climate change. Chilling, in both senses of the word.
And the pièce de résistance is “Any Day Now,” the bittersweet gay adoption film that was produced by five Key Westers (among others). And along with Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt, it includes performances by our own Anne O’Shea (also an executive producer), Randy Roberts, and Randy Thompson. While Cummings gives the performance of his career, he still manages to get upstaged by real-life Down syndrome kid Isaac Leyva. You know what W.C. Fields said about that….
Yep, it’s a good week to catch up on your movies.

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