Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week of Sept. 18 - 24 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Old Friends and New -- Tropic Cinema Presents Both
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

Some old familiar faces -- Gore Vidal, Lily Tomlin, Ben Kingsley, and Robert Redford -- make new film appearances along with cinematic newcomers on Tropic screens.

An oft-time visitor to Key West, Gore Vidal was a witty pundit, brilliant novelist, and two-time
political candidate. He gained national attention from his battle of words and ideas with erudite commentator, big-word author, and conservative publisher William F. Buckley, Jr. You might call
them “Best of Enemies,” the title of a new documentary about their televised debates during the 1968 National Conventions. “Reminds us how thrilling and provocative an intelligent debate can be,” applauds the film. Detroit News posits, “Did anyone win? Most say Vidal, since Buckley descended to physical threats.” And Illinois Times sums it up as “a riveting look at a TV revolution.”

No longer the snorting telephone operator Ernestine or the precocious Edith Ann, Lily Tomlin has become a grandma. Not in real life, but in her latest film role. In “Grandma” she’s a feisty mentor to
her pregnant, unmarried granddaughter (Julia Garner). St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls it “a small film, but one with huge things to say about the meaning of family and the value of living on one's own terms.” And Miami Herald says, “Tomlin is a wonder, the embodiment of a woman who isn't at all melancholy or remorseful as she slides into her golden years.”

As the title suggests, “Learning to Drive” gives us Patricia Clarkson as a woman taking driving lessons from an Indian cabbie. And Sir Ben Kingsley is the instructor. Nut we learn more about moving forward in life than about motoring. Philadelphia Inquirer tells us it’s “a story of companionship, loneliness, resilience. It's a small, artfully crafted thing, but it resonates in big ways.” And San Diego Union-Tribune terms it “charming and often very funny.”

A different mode of transportation is found in “A Walk in the Woods,” a comedy about two aging curmudgeons (Robert Redford and Nick Nolte) who decide to hike the Appalachian Trail. Tampa Bay Times muses, “Darned if Redford’s easy charm and Nolte’s gravelly lack of it aren't enticing throughout.” And Laramie Movie Scope says that “it is worth joining these two guys on this trip.”

For more pulse-pounding action, here’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Base on the ‘60s TV show, this Guy Ritchie film is a stylish retelling of the adventures of two dashing spies, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin (Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer). Reforma says, “With great action sequences and unbelievable chemistry between its two leads, the movie is everything a spy film should be.” And agrees that it’s “a good spy movie that doesn't disappoint.”

Docs, comedies, dramas, actioners -- a great selection at the Tropic

No comments: