Thursday, April 10, 2014

Week of April 11 to April 17 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Follows Up on Tenth Anniversary With Great Lineup

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Having just celebrated its fabulous Tenth Anniversary, Tropic Cinema continues the theater’s tradition of screening great films. This week it features Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a film eagerly anticipated by many of the Tropic’s cinephile members.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” stylishly tells the story of an amorous concierge named Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) and his lobby-boy sidekick (Tony Revolori) as they search for an alibi to prove Gustave didn’t kill an elderly matron (Tilda Swinton). The Miami Herald says, “The movie is a flume ride through the imagination of one of the most creative minds making movies today, and the pleasure curls your toes.” And opines, “A stylistic and thematic progression, it’s Anderson's most complex, nuanced effort, and his bawdiest, perhaps funniest, screenplay yet. It may be his masterpiece.”

We agree.

Also opening this week is “Rob the Mob,’ a comedy about two petty criminals (Michael Pitt and Nina Arianda) trying to go straight, but they get drawn into the drama of a landmark trial of a Mafia hit man (Gary Pastore). New York Post calls it “a hilarious mob comedy with virtually no violence, though it’s based on a tabloid-ready true story that did not end at all happily.” And describes it as “breezy, sleazy, and sometimes intense.”

Still playing is “Bad Words,” the Jason Bateman comedy about a grown man who enters a spelling be on a technicality. Chicago Reader describes it as “Trashy, ribald laughs in the Bad Santa vein, this marks Bateman's directorial debut; I’'s not much to look at, but at least he has the nerve to push the insolence, profanity, and brutal insult humor to its absolute limits.” And The Globe and Mail says, “The laughs in this film are all mean-spirited or just frat-boy gross.”

Another holdover is “Le Week-End,” a bittersweet romance about a sixtysomething British couple (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan) who returns to Paris to celebrate a Thirtieth Webbing Anniversary. But all their years of bickering have taken its toll on the relationship. Denton Record Chronicle calls it “funny, original and compelling…” while Arizona Republic says, “Director Roger Michell (‘Notting Hill’) has the good sense to step back and let Broadbent and Duncan work their magic ... They don't disappoint.”

And director Lars von Trier is back with another controversial film, “Nymphomaniac: Volume I” (and yes, there’s a Volume II to come). As sort of a slutty Scheherazade, a woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) recounts her sexually obsessed story to a guy (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd) who rescues her from a bad situation. Detroit News says, “It's funny, it's lewd, it's disturbing, it's odd, it's extremely graphic, it's brutal. And if you can handle all that, it's pretty good.” And the New Yorker concludes that it’s “a pornographic work of art-obsessive, repetitive, at times remarkably eccentric, but never simple-minded or dull.”

Not a dull lineup this week at the Tropic!

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