Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week of April 5 to April 11 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Adds More Mystery, Holds Onto Comedy

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Want to see a good thriller? It’s hard to choose which spine-tingler to tackle first, for Tropic Cinema is showing both “Side Effects” and “Stoker” in this week’s movie lineup.
Steve Soderbergh’s “Side Effects” is a medical thriller about two shrinks (Jude Law and Catherine Zeta Jones) who prescribe an antidepressant for a suicidal woman (Rooney Mara). However, her hubby (Channing Tatum) isn’t going to like the new drug’s unexpected side effects. This complex mystery has more surprises than hide-and-seek in the dark. Murder, betrayal, trickery, revenge -- it’s all here.
However, “Stoker” is a psychological thriller of a different pedigree. Sort of a “family that slays together, stays together” theme. Young India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) is not happy when Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) moves in after her father’s death. And he seems a little too friendly with her mom (Nicole Kidman). And why do people around them keep disappearing? A scary tale from Park Chan-wook, the director who gave us “Oldboy.”
Want to lighten up? Tina Fey co-stars with Paul Rudd in “Admission,” the comedy about a Princeton admissions officer who encounters a potential student who may just be the child she gave away. Humor with a touch of pathos, along with wry laughs, can be expected from this Saturday Night Live and “30 Rock” alumna.
Also in the lighter mood is “Quartet,” Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut. While this wonderful film about retired opera singers has a plot about recriminations and a life reexamined, it leaves you with a sigh of satisfaction. You truly will come to care about this Rigoletto quartet played (to perfection) by Tom Courtney, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Maggie Smith.
Meanwhile, “Barbara” is of a more serious vein, the story of a doctor (Nina Hoss) seeking to escape from East Germany. With the Stasi snooping about, she can trust no one -- not even the physician she’s beginning to like.
And topping off the Tropic’s lineup is “The Playroom,” a suburban drama that may remind you of “The Ice Storm.” Here, kids playing in the attic spin fanciful stories, while downstairs their parents and friends party. John Hawkes, Molly Parker, Olivia Harris, and Cody Linley headline this ’70s tale of dysfunctional families.
What a range of films. How can you ever go to the Tropic and not find something you want to see?

1 comment:

Lori said...

What a sad day for moviegoers everywhere with the passing of Roger Ebert today.

Roger Ebert wrote reviews for real people. When he talked about the movies on his television shows, his passion and love for the movies was so evident. His enthusiasm when discussing a new star, a new director, or a new issue that was being represented on the screen always made me want to see that movie, follow that new actor, or go back and watch a director's other movies. Even his negative reviews were written in a way that often provoked me into seeing a film. Many times our thumbs would point in opposite directions, but I'd go to see for myself if Roger was right.

He never seemed to become jaded or cynical in his reviews. He did not condescend nor did he patronize he readers. No movie was ever too small. If there were something in it that would grab his attention and make him want to share it with us, Roger would let us know.

His courage and endurance through so many struggles with his health were inspirational and his dedication to the art of filmmaking never seemed to waiver even in the face of those personal struggles.

I will miss Roger Ebert. I believe that those of us who find ourselves in the business of showing movies or just being avid movie lovers will greatly feel the passing of such a dedicated follower of the movie industry.

The End.