Saturday, July 20, 2013

Week of July 19 to July 25 (Rhoades)

Travel the World (and Beyond) at the Tropic Cinema

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

This week Tropic Cinema takes you to back to school with monsters, to North Korea with zombies, to Hollywood with backup singers, to Heaven with movie stars … even to (groan) New Jersey. That’s quite an itinerary.
In “Girl Most Likely” we meet Imogene (played by SNL star Kristen Wiig), a playwright who gets sent home to New Jersey by court order after a failed suicide attempt. Things haven’t been going well on Broadway or with her boyfriend, but being put in the custody of her zany mother (Annette Being) may be even worse. Critics haven’t been kind. Village Voice describes it as a “disingenuous city-vs.-suburbs comedy.” And Reel Film Reviews says, “This could very well be the premise for an off-the-wall new sitcom...”
With “20 Feet from Stardom,” music documentarian Morgan Neville provides a tuneful look at backup singers, those “unsung heroes” of the music world. You’ll meet half a dozen singers who make the big-name headliners sound good. Footage includes Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Steve Wonder, Bette Midler and other stars weighing in with praise. This documentary scores 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. “Lovers of classic R&B and rock will never get tired of revisiting this movie,” says the East Bay Express. And Chicago Tribune opines, “Just about everything in this movie is right.”
For lighthearted entertainment there’s “Monsters University,” a prequel to Pixar’s other monster-friendly animation “Monsters Inc.” Here we find out how Mike and Sulley met -- in your choice of 2-D or 3-D. Time Out says “It has enough of the right stuff to haunt the imagination long after the immediate buzz of its fluffy-furred cuteness has melted away.” Daily Express tells us “If you enjoyed ‘Monsters, Inc.’ 12 years ago then you're not going to be disappointed even if it does feel a little slight at times.” And SFX Magazine calls it “A worthy addition to the Pixar class of classics.”
Do all movie stars go to Heaven? Only the self-sacrificing ones, according to “This Is The End,” the frat-boy comedy starring Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel. Seems a bunch of real-life comedians are partying at James Franco’s house when the apocalypse comes upon them. Quad City Times describes it as “profane, shocking, and absolutely hysterical,” while ABC Radio calls it “one of the most fun movies I've seen in ages.”
And jumping from Philadelphia to North Korea and parts beyond, Brad Pitt saves the world from Zombies in “World War Z.” Part action adventure, part mystery, this big-budget thriller will keep you riveted in your seats even if you don’t like zombie movies. Spectrum calls it a “not overly gory horror thrill ride...” And Cinephile terms it “...distinct, off-beat and fearsomely entertaining.”
There you have it, travel all over the world and beyond, for the price of a movie ticket. And you don’t even have to pack your bags.

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