Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Week of August 8 to August 14 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Twelve Years and One Hundred Feet Go In Tropic Cinema’s New Fare

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

The movie promo could read “Twelve Years in the Making!” -- for that’s exactly how long it took director Richard Linklater to film “Boyhood,”  a mosaic about the life of a Texas family (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette). However, the film’s focus is on Ellas Coltrane, the kid he signed for the movie back in 2000. Watching Coltrane grow from boy to man is like amazing time-lapse photography. Newsday says, “Richard Linklater's latest feels more like living a life than watching a movie.” And Creative Loafing calls it “a work that easily breaks free of the shackles of ‘just a gimmick’ and emerges as a superb motion picture in its own right.”

Also new to Tropic screens is “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a delightful foodie film starring Helen Mirren as the proprietress of a snooty French restaurant who isn’t happy when an Indian café moves in across the street. Directed by Lasse Hallström, this comedy will tickle your tummy as well as your funny bone. Variety observes that “it contrasts the heat and intensity of Indian cooking with the elegance and refinement of French haute cuisine, then balances the two with a feel-good lesson in ethnic harmony.” And Village voice calls it “almost embarrassingly enjoyable.”

“And So It Goes,” which is holding over, appeals to baby boomers with its sweet tale about a crusty realtor (Michael Douglas) and a weepy songstress (Diane Keaton) who find each other at an age others are thinking of retiring. Director Rob Reiner makes a cameo as Keaton’s sometimes suitor and piano accompanist. says, “These legendary stars don’t disappoint in their first screen teaming.” And Urban Cinefile describes it as a “discerningly funny rom-com with a pedigree.”

Another comedy is “Tammy,” a road trip movie that’s tailored for Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon. Playing a down-on-her-luck daughter and an out-of-control foul-mouthed mother, the pair has great chemistry. Forbes calls it “Melissa McCarthy at her best, frank and raw but in a much more honest way than we've seen before.” And Real Film Reviews describes it as “a decent comedy/drama that hopefully marks McCarthy's first step towards a more varied selection of roles.”

And the dramatic high point of the week is “A Most Wanted Man,” a John Le Carre espionage tale about German spies trying to recruit an agent. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in his last role as the enigmatic spymaster. Impulse Garner says “This slow-burning film about surveillance asks moral questions regarding how long we must contain our racial and prejudicial impulses before acting on our suspicions.” And Richard Roeper calls it "one of the best spy thrillers in recent years."

Yes, lots of reasons to spend your extra hours at the Tropic.

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