Friday, July 24, 2015

Week of July 24 - 30 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Mind Over Matter? You Can Have Both at the Tropic Cinema
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Yes, you can have it both ways -- cerebral deduction or brute force. Or even a few a good laughs. That’s the range of films showing this week at the Tropic Cinema.

Cerebral is the approach of “Mr. Holmes” -- Sherlock Holmes, that is. The world’s most famous consulting detective is retired at 93 in this new film starring Ian McKellen in the tile role. With
memory failing, and seeking a cure, Holmes is trying to set the record straight on his last case. New York Magazine observes, “It's a gripping little tale, to be sure, but it's more than that. Somewhere in its tangle of timelines, false starts, and red herrings is a great truth about the unsolvable mystery of the human soul.” And adds, “Mr. Holmes is not simply brilliant, for it is not simple. It is complex, multi-layered and probing. But it is brilliant and also entertaining.”

Physically is the approach used in “Southpaw,” a drama about a down-and-out prizefighter on a comeback trail. Jake Gyllenhaal gives us this bleaker Rocky story. Reason Online says, “Packed with raw energy, but never quite knocks you out...” Movie Talk opines, “A boxing melodrama that pummels the viewer into submission with a one-two combo of brutal action inside the ring …” And NPR decides, “Southpaw wins on points.”

“The Wolfpack” is a documentary about a couple that homeschooled their seven children, locked away in an apartment on the lower east side of New York for fourteen years. Then one escapes. Time Magazine says, “Everything about The Wolfpack is extraordinary, beginning with the subjects of
Crystal Moselle's mesmerizing documentary.” Christian Science Monitor calls it, “Undeniably fascinating.” And Detroit News notes, “It all adds up to a story of the human spirit’s ability to survive and even thrive despite twisted circumstance.”

Another look inside a kid’s head is “Inside Out,” Pixar’s brilliant animation that stars Amy Pohler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith as an array of childhood emotions. Daily Mirror proclaims it to be “an animated masterpiece, one of those rare movies that will speak to kids and adults alike.” And Sky Movies says, “Wise, witty, warm ... and Pixar's most audacious move yet.”

Need a good laugh? “Spy” will do it, the fish-out-of-water adventures of a CIA desk jockey (Melissa McCarthy) sent on a dangerous assignment. John Hanlon Reviews calls it “a refreshing return to form for Melissa McCarthy.” And concludes, “The ace partnership between filmmaker Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy evolves into something formidable with this raucous action comedy, which simultaneously spoofs the espionage genre and provides some genuine thrills.”

A head trip? A fist in the face? A belly laugh? Movies entertain us head to toe.

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