Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week of Sept. 6 to Sept. 12 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Offers a Bloody Good Thriller

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Only one new film arrives at the Tropic Cinema this week, but it bursts onto the screen with the suddenness of a murderous rampage. We’re speaking of a much-talked-about horror thriller tauntingly titled “You’re Next.” A quiet family gathering is interrupted by killed wearing animal masks, knocking off the family and friends one by one with arrows and axes. Color it blood red.

The Toronto Star says the film “satisfies the expectations of Midnight Madness gore hounds - and then it happily goes about exceeding those expectations.” Entertainment Spectrum advises “Make sure to check out this fresh scary movie with just enough thrills to have you jumping out of your seat.” And Q Network Film Desk terms it “a smart, gory, and often darkly comical variant on the home invasion horror-thriller.”

Not for the squeamish, the blood and gore comes on like a red tide.

Still playing for those who haven’t yet seen it, or want to see it again, is “Blue Jasmine,” this year’s Woody Allen movie. With echoes of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” we have a fragile woman who must go live with her sister due to adverse financial circumstances. Jasmine had married well, but her Bernie Madoff-like hubby went to jail for pulling a Ponzi scheme. Sister Ginger is divorced, living in a cramped San Francisco apartment with two unruly kids, and has a loutish boyfriend. Even though the sisters were adopted, with no biological connection, we have to ask ourself how different are they?

“A deeply compelling, often darkly comic, and undeniably brilliant film,” says Aisle Seat. And the Fresno Bee opines, “Jasmine's ride is not nearly as dramatic as Blanche DuBois' emotional deconstruction in ‘Streetcar,’ but her journey is made tolerable by an Oscar-worthy performance by Cate Blanchett.

Also sticking around is “The Spectacular Now,” a teen romance featuring Miles Teller as “a high school senior and effortless charmer” who falls for a Good Girl. Not the easiest way to score.
While Chicago Reader calls it “a nuanced and unsentimental coming-of-age film,” the critic at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says it’s “the sweetest, saddest, most humane movie I've seen all year.” The Miami Herald adds, “This adaptation of Tim Tharp's novel, directed with delicate restraint by James Ponsoldt, sneaks up on you. It makes you laugh, then it breaks your heart.”

Finally, but not least, we have “Closed Circuit,” a timely but somewhat underrated film about to British attorneys trying to defend a bombing suspect, only to discover their own government is working against them. In these days of government eavesdropping in the name of national security, this story becomes more plausible by the day. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are terrific as the ex-lovers under siege, and Jim Broadbent adds to the deceit.

The Boston Herald calls it a “taut and timely spy drama.” Denver Post notes that “sharp ensemble work ups this thriller's intelligence quotient.” And amNew York sees it as “pretty solid in an old-fashioned sense, a movie committed to refined, quality storytelling without a whole lot of extra heft.”

Scary, threatening, tragic, sad -- these are movies to touch your primeval fears and heighten your emotions.

No comments: