Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week of June 7 to June 14 (Rhoades)

From Judy Blume to Gatsby, The Iceman to Simon Killer, Renoir to Mud --
You’ll find heartbreak and triumph at the Tropic Cinema

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Key West’s Judy Blume is debuting her new movie “Tiger Eyes” at the Tropic Cinema this week. It’s one of 20 to 50 select theaters across America getting the film based on her bestselling book.
Directed by her son Lawrence Blume, “Tiger Eyes” tells the story of a teenage girl who loses her father and moves with her mother to New Mexico, starting over under the watchful eyes of the relatives who take them in.”
The film stars former teen model Willa Holland, with key roles filled by Native American activist Russell Means and his son Tatanka.
“Being a part of the making of ‘Tiger Eyes’ was one of the most exciting times of my life,” Judy says. “directors don’t usually invite their screenwriters or writers … to be on the set all day every day, let alone their mothers. I thank Larry for this beautiful gift -- not only for the movie, which was his vision from the start, but for the chance to work together.”
The result is memorable, a moving tale of loss, a family dislocated, and finding oneself. Village Voice says it “stands as a respectable first cinematic adaptation of a Judy Blume novel.” And film blogger Cole Smithey promises “there won't be a dry-eyed audience member.”
Also new to the Tropic is “Room 237,” a documentary that examines nine theories about the hidden meanings behind Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” that tale of madness in a snowbound hotel based on the Stephen King bestseller. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune calls it “a wry examination of the crackpot mind at work.”
And even more unsettling is “Simon Killer,” a dark portrait of a young man (Brady Corbet) who flies to Paris to get over a bad breakup, only to be sucked into a dangerous new relationship with a needy hooker (Mati Diop). The Los Angeles Times pronounces it “brutally raw and difficult watching.” Total Film says it has “a quiet, creeping sense of menace.”
For those looking for even more chills, you can still catch “The Iceman,” Michael Shannon’s portrait of a hired killer who puts his victims on ice to confuse the police as to time of death. Chris Evans plays his accomplice, Mr. Freezy. Philadelphia Inquirer calls it “a true-crime thriller directed with grit, gristle and punchy energy.” And the Tri-City Herald terms it “riveting.”
Still playing at the Tropic is “Renoir,” a look at the French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (played by Michel Bouquet) near the end of his days. And you’ll meet his filmmaker son Jean (Vincent Rottiers). The two are linked here by their muse, a model named Andree Heuschling (Christa Theret). The Arizona Republic says “One would expect a film about French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir to look beautiful, to be shot in warm, sumptuous colors. And one would not be disappointed.”
You still have a chance to see “Mud,” that modern-day Huck Finn homage, with Matthew McConaughey as the titular Mud, a fugitive on the run. Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland breathe life into the story as the two boys who stumble upon him hiding out on a small Mississippi island. UTV calls it “Huckleberry Finn meets Stand By Me.” And Aisle Seat says it’s “beautifully acted, intellectually engaging, and dramatically satisfying.”
And topping everything off with great spectacle is “The Great Gatsby,” Baz Luhrmann’s razzle-dazzle 3-D nod to the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel about a man who has everything and nothing. Leonardo DiCaprio stands out as the self-made Jay Gatsby, trying to capture the past with tragic results. Carey Mulligan shines as his lost love Daisy and Tobey Maguire serves as the narrator. The Globe and Mail says it’s “a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel's greatness.” But The Standard counters, “Like Gatsby himself, it comes so close to achieving its dream, only to fall agonizingly and frustratingly short.” Richard Roper reassures us that it’s “the best attempt yet to capture the essence of the novel.”
Judy Blume to Gatsby, The Iceman to Simon Killer, Renoir to Mud -- there lot to discover this week at the Tropic.

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