Thursday, February 14, 2013

Week of February 15 to February 21 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Continues Oscar Build Up

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Determined that its members get an opportunity to see the leading Academy Award contenders, Tropic Cinema is bringing two more Oscar-worthy films to its screens this week.
The powerful -- and somewhat controversial -- Katherine Bigelow film about the ten-year search for Osama bin Laden leads the charge. “Zero Dark Thirty” chronicles the CIA’s efforts to find the elusive mastermind behind the 9/11 attack on America -- including the waterboarding scenes that imply torture was key to breaking the case.
Some pundits and politicos object to this, denying that any substantive information was gained by these methods. But many of these same people were objecting that Bigelow and her producing partner Mark Boal had been given unprecedented, detailed access to the confidential details behind the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Whatever you think about the tactics described in “Zero Dark Thirty,” the film is an intense look at this bit of recent history where the U.S. of A. delivered some payback on the al-Qaeda leader.
Jessica Chastain is stoic as the dogged CIA officer who refuses to give up. Her performance is one of five Academy Award nominations the film has received. Others include Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and, Best Original Screenplay.
Joining “Zero Dark Thirty” t the Tropic this week is another movie with five Oscar nods -- “Django Unchained.”
This Quentin Tarantino southern (a western set in the south) tells of a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter. “Kill white people and get paid for it,” he says of his new profession, “what’s not to like?”
Jamie Fox climbs into the saddle (that’s his real-life horse he’s riding up there on the screen) to join Christoph Waltz in a quest to rescue Kerry Washington from evil plantation owner Leonardo DiCaprio.
By now, we all know that the “D” in “Django” is silent. But the guns and dynamite aren’t as our boy (can I say that?) does battle with crooks, the Klan, henchmen, and slavers.
This film has its own controversy -- playing loose with history and using the n-word over 100 times in the 165-minute movie. But nobody denies that it’s entertaining.
The five Academy Award nominations for “Django Unchained” includes Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best sound Editing, and Best Cinematography.
Still holding its anchor spot at the Tropic is “Silver Linings Playbook,” the rom-com about two people (Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper give us this couple) who are crazy enough to fall for each other. In the process, the film has scooped up eight Academy Award nominations.
Also, you can still catch the Oscar Shorts, that unique chance to see all those short subjects that are up for a golden statuette.
Better hurry. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony is only a week or so away.

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