Thursday, October 17, 2013

Week of October 18 to October 24 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

From Economics to Racing to Romance --
Tropic Fills Its Screens with Excitement

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Does your neighbor have more money than you? Lots more? That’s the topic of “Inequality for All,” the new documentary about the disparity of wealth in America. Economist Robert Reich points out, “The 400 richest Americans, 400 of them, have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together.” Here he explains the societal and economic impact of that 1%. Minneapolis Star-Tribune observes that “President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor lectures on income inequality with a refreshing lack of jargon.” The Dissolve describes it as “an advocacy doc constructed to make a clear political point.” And The Playlist applauds, “That a documentary about economics could be so personally emotional and affecting is remarkable.”

Ron Howard’s “Rush” rushes onto Tropic screens. This Formula One racing film had to be called “Rush” because “Speed” was already taken. Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) and Daniel Brühl (“The Fifth Estate”) give great performances as those real-life rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The Star-Democrat termed it “an incisive character study cloaked in a thrilling, adrenaline-fueled sports picture.” And ABC Radio noted that it’s “an exciting sporting spectacle but more importantly, it makes a few thought-provoking observations about the value of a great rivalry.”

Continuing this week at the Tropic is “Romeo and Juliet,” based on the Shakespeare play about star-crossed lovers. Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld in the title roles are guaranteed to keep you swooning, but for this version the Bard’s words have been slightly retooled by scripter Julian Fellowes, creator of TV’s “Downton Abbey.” Common Sense Media calls it a “teen-friendly take” with “spark.” And Television Without Pity concludes, “If you're looking … to get your kids acquainted with one of Shakespeare's most easily-digestible plays, this is a perfectly fine (if not entirely authentic) choice.”

“Don Jon” is sticking around too, a tour de force written, directed by, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a self-absorbed guy who prefers porn to a real romance … until he meets the “right” woman. Detroit News describes it as “a convincing, authentic, funny, modern romance.” And Antagony & Ecstasy sees it as “a film with tense, ironic energy.”

And rounding out this week’s lineup is “Enough Said,” a midlife romance between two divorcees played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (TV’s “Seinfeld”) and James Gandolfini (TV’s “The Sopranos”). Gandolfini makes this last role before his untimely death count by giving a sensitive performance as a man easily betrayed by words. Empire Magazine calls it “a charming, big-hearted movie.” And The List says it’s “a match made in romantic comedy heaven.”

See you at the Tropic!

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