Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Week of December 25 to January 2 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Has Wolf at the Door This Christmas

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cook Communications

Yes, the wolf is at the door. That is, Martin Scorsese’s new comedy “The Wolf of Wall Street.” For this tale of financial misadventure the director reunites with one of his favorite stars, Leonardo DiCaprio. This is their fifth film together. Based on a true story, DiCaprio plays an over-the-top wheeler-dealer who misappropriated over $100 million and spent only 22 months in prison for the deed. Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill join him as fellow swindlers. The Orange County Register says, “This sprawling mock epic about a sleazy penny stock whiz contains scenes of astonishing black-comic brilliance.” Fox News calls it “wild, offbeat and insane.” While Grouch Reviews says it “rests comfortably alongside Scorsese’s masterpieces Goodfellas and Casino, but carries a sting that even they don't by examining the most acceptable, yet most rapacious, of criminal swindles.”

Also continuing its visit at the Tropic is “Saving Mr. Banks,” the almost-true story of Walt Disney’s wooing P.L. Travers for film rights to her “Mary Poppins” stories. Tom Hanks dons a mustache to give us an Uncle Walt and Emma Thompson offers a prickly version of the children’s author.  Suite101.com agrees that it’s a “charming confection.” And Minneapolis Star-Tribune calls it “a shameless wad of corporate PR, a feel-good, self-serving Disney film about the making of a Disney film.”

“Nebraska” asks you to take a little journey with 77-year-old Bruce Dern as a farmer who thinks he’s won a $1 million in a junk-mail sweepstakes. Will Forte is the son who joins hid dad on this last hoorah. Boston Globe describes it as “a desolate comedy-drama about fathers, sons, life's highways and missed off-ramps.” Aisle Seat calls it “funny and touch in equal measure.” And Entertainment Spectrum says it’s “a must-see that will spark conversations and please the viewing audience.”

“Philomena” adds humor to a serious subject too. Dame Judi Dench takes the title role of an Irish woman searching for the son she gave away 50 years ago, and writer-costar Steve Coogan plays the down-on-his-luck journalist who helps her. Metro Times observes, “The odd-couple road movie is well-trod territory, so it's a welcome surprise to see it handled as intelligently, deftly and movingly.” MovieFIX sees it as “lovingly crafted and beautifully told.” And Washington Post says, “At its core, this clever, wrenching, profound story underscores the tenacity of faith in the face of unfathomable cruelty.”

“Dallas Buyers Club” rounds out the movie lineup. Matthew McConaughey portrays an HIV man who finds a way to buy needed drugs. Newsday crowed “A solid biopic is made transcendent by McConaughey, who shed nearly 50 pounds and deserves to gain an Oscar for his ferocious, funny performance.” Denver Post describes the performance as “played with raw, rattling fury and grace.” And Toledo Blade calls it “an AIDS drama about tolerance and the ability for even the worst of us to improve our lives and those around us.”

Laughs, tears, comedy, drama -- a holiday bounty from the Tropic.



Paula Angelique Hafner said...

I really enjoyed the movie a lot. It was wonderful to hear such laughter. I have a lot more respect for Mr. DiCaprio after this performance. I cannot believe I spent Christmas waiting to see it after two sold out performances, but it was worth it.

Paula Angelique Hafner said...

A lot of good stuff playing at the Tropic. I must confess it is my most visited place in Key West thus far. A great historical treasure that should be preserved for future generations.