Thursday, April 11, 2013

Week of April 12 to April 18 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Let You Pick Your Favorite Years

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Take a step back in time at the Tropic Cinema.
Leading off the films at the “Best Cinema in Florida” is “Emperor,” an epic thriller set in post-war Japan when Gen. Douglas McArthur was the de facto ruler. This is the story of McArthur’s protégé Gen. Bonner Fellers, who was assigned to investigate Emperor Hirohito for war crimes -- a task complicated by Fellers’s memories of a love affair with a beautiful Japanese exchange student. Starring Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones as McArthur and Matthew Fox as Fellers, this is a great historical drama. Directed by Peter Webber, “Emperor” is a joint US/UK/Japan production.
Flipping the calendar, you find “Barbara,” a film that takes us back to the Cold War of the ’80s. An East German doctor finds her plans to cross over to the West threatened by spies, informers, and the Stasi. Nina Hoss gives a convincing performance as this trapped pediatrician named Barbara. Director Christian Petzold won the Silver Bear at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival for helming this moving drama. As the old saying goes, “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean ….”
Also set in the ’80s is “No,” the story of an ad man (Gael García Bernal) who is tasked with creating a campaign to defeat President Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 referendum. Directed by Pablo Larraín, the film is based on an unpublished play by Antonio Skármeta. This was nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.
Director Steven Soderbergh gives us what might be his last film (he’s retiring) with a medical thriller titled “Side Effects.” Jude Law stars as a psychiatrist caught up in a death blamed on the side effects of a drug he prescribed. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rooney Mara, and Channing Tatum join him in this complex murder mystery.
Wrapping up this week’s lineup is a timely film called “Spring Breakers.” Not so much a college hijinks story as a crime caper, director Harmony Korine has cast four young Disneyesque actresses -- Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine -- against type as college girls who rob a convenience store in order to finance their spring break vacation. James Franco joins them as a drug kingpin who draws them into his nefarious fold.
Yes, from post-WWII to the ’80s to modern times, you can pick your favorite place on the calendar at the Tropic.

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