Friday, November 22, 2013

Week of November 22 to November 28 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Adds Two Terrific New Films

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Cooke Communications Film Critic

Recovering from the chaotic excitement of the Key West Film Festival, Tropic Cinema returns to it usual schedule with two outstanding new films, among the best you will see this year.

“12 Years a Slave” is based on the true 1853 account of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold to southern plantation owners. Aside from the veracity in its telling, what makes this a powerful story it's the thirst for freedom that inspires Solomon to carry on. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 96% rating. St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls it “One of the best and most courageous films of the year.” Miami Herald notes that “at times difficult to watch but always impossible to turn away from.”

Also sailing on to the Tropic screens is “All Is Lost,” the new Robert Redford one-man-movie about a sailor faced with a sinking yacht. Giving a great almost-no-dialogue performance, Redford proves his mettle. American Profile says it’s “a spectacular, galvanizing display of how this one-time Hollywood "golden boy," now 77, can still commandeer the screen.” And terms it “a gripping exercise in visual storytelling.”

Holding over is another sea tale, “Captain Phillips” with Tom Hanks as a cargo ship captain dealing with Somali pirates. Based on the true story of the capture of MV Maersk Alabama, this tense standoff between Captain Phillips and Muse, the leader of the pirates. Christian Science Monitor says, “It's some of the most powerful acting Hanks has ever done.” And 3AW describes it as “a splendidly mounted, nerve-racking thrill ride, building to an almost unbearably tense climax.”

Looking for laughs, you can still catch “Last Vegas,” the older boys’ night out comedy starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, and Morgan Freeman. Think of it as a “Hangover” movie for the aging set. Globe and Mail sees it as “A preholiday trifle that's mildly risqué and a lot sentimental.” And Beliefnet observes, “The greatest pleasure of this film is in watching the evident pleasure five Oscar-winning pros take in each other.”

With movies like this, I expect to see you at the Tropic.

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