Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week of April 3 - April 9 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview
Wild Tales Abound at Tropic Cinema

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Six films offer up some wild tales this week at the Tropic Cinema.
In fact, one is called "Wild Tales." This Argentinian-Spanish anthology of short vignettes gives us stories both ironic and bleak … but fascinating. You’ll encounter revenge on an airplane, road rage, a demolition man versus a tow truck, battling newlyweds, and more. TV Guide says, "Very few films have been as appropriately titled as writer/director Damian Szifron's omnibus black comedy." An the Observer calls it "a splendidly anarchic portrait of a world on the verge of a nervous breakdown."

Another wild premise is found in "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter," the story of a Japanese woman who travels to America in search of the hidden money in the movie "Fargo."

What if we all assumed that movies were real? Minneapolis Star Tribune describes it as "a supple combination of Little Red Riding Hood adventure, ironic road film and cross-cultural confusion," while Examiner opines, "Fans of obscure cinema will fall in love with this beautiful, cryptic, and outstanding treasure hunting pilgrimage."

"It Follows" is a wild horror flick, a new twist on unseen ghosties and ghoulies. Here they are transmitted by sex. Just like in the old slasher films, sex can be a death warrant! ReelViews notes, "Good horror films rely on suspense and tension, and this one has both elements aplenty." And Globe and Mail calls it "less a conventional scary horror film than a fitful, disturbing dream."

"Focus" is the story of a con man, a wild puzzler filled with plot twist that keep you surprised. Will Smith and Margot Robbie are the romantic swindlers in this fun ride. Seattle Weekly observes that the movie would "like nothing more than to evoke the easy style and playful personality of the Oceans movies." And Antagony & Ecstasy find that it "soars just enough to be, on balance, an enjoyable bit of fluff."

Offering a calmer setting (but rippling with wild emotions) we have "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," the sequel about a gaggle of Brits who retire to a rundown hotel in India. Salt Lake Tribune says, "Mostly it's a chance to hear some saucy senior citizens trade barbs, with the delightful dames, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, making the most of it." And The Atlantic decides, "Sometimes second best is good enough."

And not to be ignored is a documentary from actor Ethan Hawke, "Seymour: An Introduction." Here we meet Seymour Bernstein, a beloved pianist and teacher, who

shares a poignant guide to life. Washington Post calls it "a soaring, sublime and enduringly meaningful glimpse of a man who is undoubtedly the real thing." And Philadelphia Inquirer tells us, "One needn't be a music aficionado, or a musician, to appreciate the modest erudition coming from this man."

Wild tales … good times … at the Tropic.

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