Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week of November 17-20 After the Film Festival (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Lures You Back Into the Theater

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

As we recuperate from non-stop movies at the Key West Film Festival, Tropic Cinema gives us new reasons to go back into the theater. Although a shortened week, the lineup is noteworthy.

“St. Vincent” offers a pitch-perfect performance from Bill Murray as a grumpy old guy who takes the youngster next door to the racetrack, bars, and other questionable activities without knowledge of the boy’s mother (Melissa McCarthy). He gets rewarded with “sainthood.” Aisle Seat calls it “a funny, charming, feel-good movie that rises above a few clich├ęs.” And amNewYork notes, “It’s a chance for Murray to act the hell out of a juicy part.”

Another not-so-nice character is played by Jake Gyllenhaal is “Nightcrawler.” A wannabe TV news cameraman, he becomes the ultimate immoral ambulance chaser in this indictment of the TV news industry. ChristyLamere.com sums it up, “Crashes and crime scenes are his bread and butter. He is driven. He is innovative. He is happy. He is also a monster -- a fiend who preys on people at their weakest and worst moments.”

Catch “Gone Girl” is you haven’t already. This missing-wife story is one of the best movies of the year, with Ben Affleck as the husband under suspicion and Rosamund Pike as the wife who indicts him by her diary. Fan the Fire calls it “a dark and intelligent thriller.” And 2UE That Movie Show adds, “’Gone Girl’ lives up to the hype.”

A heartwarming courtroom movie is “The Judge,” with Robert Downey, Jr. as a slick big-city lawyer back in his hometown to defend his estranged father, the local judge, in a murder trial. Denver Post says, “There are a number of fine reasons to see the courtroom-meets-family melodrama The Judge. As you might suspect, two stand out: actors Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr.” And Daily Star calls it “Downey Jr.’s meatiest role in years.”

“Fury” is a war movie starring Brad Pitt as a tank commander behind enemy lines in Germany. Lots of action here as he and his men stand their ground. New Yorker says it’s “literally visceral -- a kind of war horror film, which is, of course, what good combat films should be.” And ABC Radio Brisbane concludes, “Like other war films, ‘Fury’ covers the familiar themes of heroism, comradery and brutality. It's also tapping into our love of underdog stories.”

There you have it -- five good reasons to go back to the movies this week.

srhoades@aol.com

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