Thursday, January 1, 2015

Week of January 2 to January 8 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Knows When to Hold ‘Em…

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Tropic Cinema is holding over all its films this week, each worthy your taking time to catch it, if you haven’t already.

Still playing is “The Imitation Game,” one of the Top Ten Movies of 2014 on my list. Here Benedict Cumberbatch gives a spot-on performance as Alan Turing, the British math whiz who cracked the German’s Enigma code during WWII. Chicago Sun says, “This film’s overall success hangs on Cumberbatch and what is, to date, his finest performance on the big screen.” And Creative Loafing calls it, “A vibrant work that refuses to be relegated to the status of just another Brit biopic appearing in the thick of awards season.”

Also still here is “Wild,” an insightful film about a woman hiking the thousand-mile Pacific Coast, bringing along all her memories as she treks on. Laramie Movie Scope observes, “This is a fine performance by Witherspoon, further stretching her range as an actress.” And Philadelphia Inquirer adds, “A moving (literally and figuratively) experience, a road movie where the road is a trail that sometimes disappears into the trees, or takes a turn onto a jagged precipice.”

“The Theory of Everything” may prove that British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has a grasp about the nature of Black Holes, but does he understand the nature of love? This biopic tells his romance with his first wife just as his Lou Gehrig disease sets in. Richard Roeper calls it, “A well-made, well-acted but unexceptional film about one of the most exceptional figures of the last half-century.” And opines that “Eddie Redmayne's committed performance captures his subject with thrilling conviction.”

“Big Eyes” is wacky director Tim Burton’s take on Walter Keane, the artist behind all those paintings of kids with big eyes. But it turns out, his wife Margaret was the real artist. Arizona Republic notes, “The story is just so downright weird that the film can't help but be compelling.” And Leonard Maltin says, “Amy Adams adds another excellent performance to her formidable résumé, with an equally impressive show by Christoph Waltz who plays her bellicose husband with panache and a chilling edge.

And you’ll want to see it just so you can talk about it -- “The Interview” carries on its silliness about two doofuses (Seth Rogan and James Franco) trying to assassinate the Glorious Leader of North Korea. This is the film that brought Sony Pictures to its knees and changed Hollywood forever. says, “’The Interview’ may be caught up in turmoil -- considering how smart it is about how dumb we can be when pop culture meets politics, that’s pretty funny -- but it's also a funny, risky and well-done comedy far ahead of most of its studio peers.” And Peter Travers of Rolling Stone concludes, “It’s stupid. It’s in bad taste. It’s impossible. I know all that. But Rogen’s instinct to try anything for giggles and sticking it to dictatorial assholes is worth fighting for. Screw Kim if he can’t take a joke.”

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