Saturday, July 27, 2013

Week of July 26 to August 1 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Takes You Way Way Back and Way Forward

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Leading off this week’s Tropic Cinema lineup is a sweetly satisfying coming-of-age film called “The Way Way Back.” Balancing it off you will find is a belly-laugh cop comedy, a serious music documentary, a wonky sitcom-y comedy, and a futuristic zombie flick.
“The Way Way Back” gives us Duncan (Liam James), a gloomy 14-year-old kid forced to go on vacation with his mom (Toni Collette) and her not-so-nice boyfriend (Steve Carell). Life is a drag until he meets Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of a nearby water park. The Kansas City Star tells us, “Liam James is the introverted heart of the film... His perfect portrayal of a skittish boy who is forced to become assertive anchors the whole movie.” And Popcorn Junkie says it “lovingly retraces pubescent steps with mirth.”
New to Tropic screens is “The Heat,” the buddy comedy with Sandra Bullock as a by-the-book FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as a disorderly street cop. notes that “the mismatched chemistry between McCarthy and co-star Sandra Bullock drives the film.” And the Baton Rouge Advocate calls it “A funny new take on one of Hollywood's biggest clichés.”
“20 Feet From Stardom” recounts the stories of backup singers, those not-quite-stars who make Cher and Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder sound good. As the Arizona Republic puts it, “Music documentarian Morgan Neville uses a mix of live interviews and archival footage to let the singers, and their music, tell their stories of vocal triumph and thwarted ambition.” Detroit News observes, “The enthusiasm and love of music on display is just unavoidable.”
“Girl Most Likely” stars Kristen Wiig as a failed playwright who most go home to mother, a zany Zelda played by Annette Being. Richard Roeper describes it as “Another movie about a woman falling into a deep funk because some narcissistic twit dumped her.” Metroactive terms it “a showcase for the superb comic talents of Kristen Wiig.”
And don’t be turned off just because “World War Z” is an epic zombie movie. In it, Brad Pitt races around the world in an effort to head off this living-dead pandemic. The Star-Democrat says it “somehow ends up being an effective action-thriller.” “An intelligent Zombie Apocalypse film, starring Brad Pitt no less. Boy, I sure did not see that one coming,’ says Mark Leeper’s Reviews. And Spectrum calls it a “well-crafted, action-packed, and most impressively, not overly gory horror thrill ride...”
Indie films, documentaries, action thrillers, comedies -- you’ll find it all this week at the Tropic.

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