Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week of November 29 to December 5 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Serves Up a Thanksgiving Film Feast.

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Cook Communications Film Critic

New this week at the Tropic Cinema is an old theme … World War II. “The Book Thief” tells about a young German girl whose foster parents harbor a Jewish boy from the Nazis. Her love of books supplies the movie’s theme about life and death and hope. TheMovieReport.com calls it “touching and haunting,” while East Bay Express says that it delivers “vivid character acting, superior production values, and a gracefully grim narrative structure.”

Still playing is the masterful “12 Years A Slave,” the true story of a free black man shanghaied into slavery in the 1850s. The remarkable courage and fortitude of Solomon Northup (as portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor) makes this a must-see film. Q Network Film Desk says it “avoids an easy sense of moralizing and propels us deep into the characters' experiences.” And Minneapolis Star-Tribune concludes “The film is both brutal to watch and stunning to contemplate, powerfully challenging audiences -- particularly white audiences -- to examine their consciences.”

“All Is Lost” offers the singular performance of a leathery Robert Redford as a sailor marooned at sea, an event that takes him to the brink of despair. Denver Post terms it “very much Redford’s triumph.” And Globe and Mail says, “The movie is rigorous, serious and well-crafted, with Redford holding the screen using only his economical emotional reactions and physical presence.”

“Captain Phillips” remains afloat, based on the true story of a cargo ship captain who comes up against Somali pirates. Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances in the title role. Detroit News proclaims “This is one of the year’s best movies and it features Tom Hanks’ strongest work in more than a decade.” Also Screenwize says the film “mixes gritty realism with some stirring military ops for an edge-of-the-seat piracy thriller.”

And to cheer you up, “Last Vegas” is still carrying on at the Tropic. This what-happens-in-Vegas-stays-in-Vegas comedy will have you laughing as four 60ish pals -- played by Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, and Morgan Freeman -- whoop it up in Glitter Gulch. Toronto Star writes that “De Niro and Douglas weirdly play versions of their real selves, while Freeman and Kline ham it up as if they’re auditioning for a reality show.” Media Mike concludes “Each character is perfectly cast. These actors are masters at the tops of their game, with over 200 years of experience between them.” And Reeling Reviews gushes that the movie is “a refreshing surprise.”

Claim your seat. These films add up to a great Thanksgiving feast at the Tropic.


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