Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week of August 15 to August 21 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Five Magical Films Fill Tropic Cinema Screens

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Yes, you can set your watch by Woody Allen, with few exceptions delivering a new movie each year like clockwork. This time it’s about magic. Not the time-traveling magic we found with “Midnight in Paris” or the off-the-screen fantasy of “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” but rather the magic of romance. Here in this 44th film from Woody Allen -- “Magic in the Moonlight” -- a curmudgeonly magician (Colin Firth) sets out to expose a mystic (Emma Stone) and finds love. Globe and Mail says, “The cinematography is radiant, the vintage cars and costumes are elegant, and if the comedy feels labored, it’s all too lightweight to matter.” And Mountain Xpress describes it as “A sparkling champagne cocktail of a romantic comedy only Woody Allen could make.”

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” has a magic of its own, a culinary experience where culture clashes are settled by good food and a seasoning of romance. Helen Mirren leads a Bollywood cast in this epicurean rom-com. Christian Science Monitor notes that director Lasse Hallström “follows the foodie-cinema aesthetic by filming the dishes in a gleaming sumptuousness designed to make you famished.” And Herald Sun adds, “The culinary craft on display is indeed mouth-watering, but it is the film’s winning collection of wonderful characters that will truly satisfy all tastes.”

“Boyhood” remains a feat of patient filmmaking, director Richard Linklater taking 12 years to make a movie about a Texas boy (Ellar Coltrane) growing to manhood despite a troubled mix-em-and-match-em home life. Detroit News proclaims, “Linklater has crafted what may be the most ingenious film of the century here and given it a tone like no other.” And Ozus’ World Movie Reviews calls it “one of the great films of modern times.”

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final movie is a murky spy thriller based on the John Le Carre novel, “A Most Wanted Man.” In it, a German spymaster finds himself in competition with his own people as well as the American CIA. Matt’s Movie Reviews describes it as “a contemporary tale of terrorism and intelligence gathering that is as thrilling as it is relevant.” And Richard Roeper calls it “one of the best spy thrillers in recent years.”

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is the 3D sequel to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” a retelling of the franchise that started with Charlton Heston discovering the Statue of Liberty buried in sand. Yep, apes rule the world. Forbes sees it as “an entertaining and intelligent piece of popcorn entertainment,” while Slate calls it “one of the most intelligent and entertaining big-studio releases of the summer so far.”

Five films -- all with a degree of cinematic magic about them.

1 comment:

Carolyn Ferguson said...

I absolutely loved Magic in the Moonlight. Visual treats in every frame.