Thursday, May 22, 2014

Week of May 23 to May 29 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Serves Up an Entertaining Stew

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

What’s cooking at the Tropic? Well, a tasty entrée is “Chef,” the new dramedy by John Favreau. Returning to his indie roots after the success of his “Iron Man” blockbusters, Favreau direct, produces, writes, and stars in this delicious story about a hot L.A. chef (Favreau) who gets fired for insulting a food critic. Philadelphia Inquirer says, “Jon Favreau’s bouncy paean to the culinary arts wins you over in a stridently upbeat, crowd-pleasing way...” And SSG Syndicate calls it “a succulent, sweetly simmering amusement.”

Another main course is “Belle,” based on the eponymous historical character, Dido Elizabeth Belle. This 19th-Century mixed-race aristocrat (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) faces a staid British society that ostracizes Belle because of her illegitimate birth while at the same time recognizing the power of her great uncle, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Denver Post says “Luminous British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw brings a hope and intelligent hunger to Dido. She’s loved by her family enough to have a sense of belonging but hemmed in by broader cultural realities to experience moments of unease.” And Movie Habit tells us that it “gives an Austen-like treatment to a historically important story.”

“The Railway Man” serves up Oscar-winner Colin Firth as a British World War II vet who remains haunted by his ill treatment as a Japanese prisoner of war. Is it ever too late to seek justice? Seattle Times says, “The truth of what happened to him is devastating; the truth of how he found forgiveness in his soul is astonishing.” And East Bay Express describes it as an “old-fashioned, sorrowful WWII drama that shows an even grimmer side of ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ story.”

Still on the menu is “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s stylized story of a European concierge who’s comically on the lam for murder. You’ll enjoy trying to recognize the supporting cast under their layers of makeup. The Denver Post says, “If a movie can be elegantly zany, this wholly imaginative, assured fable of a legendary concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), his protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), and the murder of a countess, is it.” And The Standard adds, “An argument could be made that this is Wes Anderson’s best film.”

For those looking for a second helping of blockbuster entertainment, here’s Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in 3-D. In this epic non-stop-action adventure, a newly-thawed-out Cap meets up with a nemesis from his past. Vulture notes, “Beneath the expensive, computer-generated business of this second Captain America installment is a bracing, old-style conspiracy thriller made extra-scary by new technology and the increasingly ugly trade-offs of a post-9/11 world.” And The Atlantic concludes, “A movie that is, in the best sense of the word, a Marvel.”

So have a hardy cinematic helping.

srhoades@aol.com

1 comment:

Karli Demeza said...

Any info on the summer kids movies what they are going to be..