Friday, October 9, 2015

Week of October 9 - 15 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tightrope Walkers, Educational Crusaders, and Computer Nerds
Lead a Parade of Interesting Characters at the Tropic

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

“The Walk” is a breathtaking 3D biopic based on Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the
twin towers of the World Trade Center. Playing Petit, likeable Joseph Gordon-Levitt demonstrates his newly acquired French and tightrope-walking skill. “This is the kind of unbelievable true story that you couldn’t make up if you tried,” says And Indie London promises, “It won’t fail to impress.”

“He Named Me Malala” is a documentary about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani girl who got shot by the Taliban simply for attending school. That set her off on a global crusade that led to a Nobel Peace
Prize. Boston Globe says, “The film forces us to think about the prices paid by our unexpected heroes.” And Toronto Star notes, “It’s impossible not to feel affection for and protective of this young woman.”

In “99 Homes” a conscience-tormented guy helps a sleazy realtor foreclose on people’s homes. New Yorker calls it “a simplistic but stirring morality play centered on the pressure point of the savings-and-loan crisis.” And Toronto Star tells us, “Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield make for an incendiary combo, as a predatory realtor and his desperate protégé.”

“Meet the Patels” is the true story of Ravi Patel’s quest to come up with a wife. Seattle Times calls it “a touching, funny documentary about family and cultural forces putting pressure on a first-generation Indian-American man to do what should come naturally: find love and a life partner.” And Detroit News says it’s “just plain fun to watch.”

“Phoenix” is a postwar mystery about a concentration-camp survivor who isn’t recognized by her husband when she returns to Berlin. Salt Lake City Weekly observes: “Hitchcock’s Vertigo has been invoked repeatedly as a comparison for Christian Petzold’s mesmerizing drama, but while he’s adapting a French novel that has already been turned into a film once before, absolutely nothing here feels second-hand.” And Advocate sees it as “a deftly executed, suspenseful drama.”

“Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine” is an award-winning documentary that demonstrates the genius of the creator of Apple computers as well as recognizing his personal flaws. Philadelphia Inquirer opines that it “brings home the complexities and contradictions of the man.” And TheWrap calls the film “wholly engrossing.”

Fascinating people, fascinating stories.

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