Thursday, January 30, 2014

Week of Jan. 31 to Feb. 6 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Fills your Calendar with Great Films

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Flip your calendar ahead to Labor Day. Or back, as the new Jason Reitman film titled “Labor Day” starts off in the year 1987. That weekend a ten-year-old boy and his mother are held hostage by an escaped prisoner ... or are they? Depression is lifted off the mother (Kate Winslet) as their captor (Josh Brolin) touches her heart. But will this unexpected romance survive the manhunt for the stranger who came into their life? Los Angeles Times calls it “a lovely, intimate film about longing and love.” And New Yorker observes, “It looks swell, and Winslet adds another portrait of pained watchfulness to her gallery of suffering heroines.”

The recent death of Pete Seeger reminds us of the early days of folk music. And the Coen brothers’ pay homage to those folk singers who haunted the stage of the Gaslight Club in NY’s Greenwich Village with a film titled “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Oscar Isaac personifies this egocentric musician who treks from McDougal Street to Chicago with a yellow cat named Ulysses … and back. Ending up in the same place. Richard Roeper declares, “The Coen brothers have crafted another unique period piece.” New Statesman sees “its ability to evoke unease or melancholia.” And Atlantic City Weekly says it’s “a movie you chew over days after seeing it.”

Sandra Bullock takes us into space with “Gravity,” the story of astronauts marooned when the space station gets hit by errant debris. Can this medical engineer and her commander (George Clooney) make it back to earth? Denver Post calls it “Nerve-racking, sentimental and thrilling.” And the Verge says, “We’ve seen films set in outer space before, but nothing has ever felt this real.” That’s reinforced by the Tropic’s state-of-the-art 3-D.

Leonardo DiCaprio gives us a shocking portrait of a penny-stock wheeler-dealer in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” With this biting Martin Scorsese satire, we find a rapacious guy who makes Gordon Gekko look like a philanthropist. Hookers, cocaine, stolen money -- it’s a blueprint for a life of debauchery. Until the FBI steps in. Passionate Moviegoers calls it “a modern operatic debauch that leaves its viewer is woozily addicted.” And the Atlantic sees it as “a magnificent black comedy: fast, funny, and remarkably filthy.”

And with “August: Osage County” we visit an out-of-control Oklahoma family. Meryl Streep screeches and screams as the soured-on-life matriarch, while Julia Roberts challenges her as the embittered eldest daughter. notes that “Tracy Letts adapts his own prize-winning play into a blistering depiction of one of cinema's most dysfunctional families ever.” And Daily Mail says, “There is more than enough misery to wallow in, a few good laughs, and lots of marvelous acting to enjoy.”

So put these movies on your calendar. They are all playing at the Tropic.

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