Friday, April 10, 2015

Week of April 10- 16 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

4 Newbies, 2 Holdovers -- A Half-Dozen Winners at Tropic

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Tropic Cinema adds four new films to its lineup, while holding onto two favorites.
New to the screens, "Danny Collins" gives us Al Pacino as an aging rock star who wants to make amends with his illegitimate son. All because of a letter from John Lennon that went astray. Philadelphia Inquirer says, "Comedy, pathos, and some schmaltzy couplets about the changing seasons follow forthwith." And Movie Mezzanine notes, "This is a hugely entertaining, mainstream crowd-pleaser about how we can all try to be our better selves, fail spectacularly, and then pick ourselves up and try again."

In "’71" a British soldier (Jack O’Connell) gets separated from his squad in a dangerous section of Belfast back in 1971. Will he survive? Popcorn Junkie writes that the movie "takes the simple ‘behind enemy lines’ concept and turns it into something that resonates strongly within the historical context of the political instability of The Troubles." And Chicago Tribune adds, "The movie excites, but intelligently, without stoking blood lust or Old Testament revenge impulses."

As the title suggests, "Deli Man" is a documentary about a third-generation deli man in Texas. But in doing so it delivers the history of the Jewish delicatessen and how it reflects Jewish culture in America. Washington Post calls it "the cinematic equivalent of comfort food: warm, generous and made with love." And St. Louis Post-Dispatch promises, "The audience gets a crash course in kreplach, pastrami and matzo-ball soup."

"3 Hearts" is a coincidence-based French love triangle featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni, and BenoƮt Poelvoorde. And it tosses in Catherine Deneuve for good measure. Newsday says, "A chance encounter, a missed rendezvous, a marriage and a torrid affair make for an intoxicating mix." And San Francisco Chronicle calls it "A French romantic drama directed as though it were a thriller."

Sticking around for another week, "Wild Tales" is an anthology film with six stand-alone stories, all offering an ironic twist. Ranging from a strange coincidence on an airplane to road rage gone awry, from a battling bride and groom to a man who hates tow trucks, you’ll laugh between horrified gasps. Chicago Reader ponders: "How to discuss this giddily inventive Argentinian feature without ruining its many surprises?" And Scotsman tells us the movie "succeeds not only by being outrageously entertaining, but by functioning as a sort of hellish magic mirror..."

And "The Second Best Marigold Hotel" is also holding over. You’ll want to see this sequel following the exploits -- and romance -- of a group of Brits who retire to a cheap hotel in India. Spectrum observes, "The audience for whom this sequel is targeted will enjoy the predictability of a well-executed sequel." And Movie Habit opines, "Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are the best excuses to see the second best film of the pair."
Six winners worth seeing…

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