Monday, November 23, 2015

Week of Nov. 20 - 26 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

This Week’s Minimalist Lineup at Tropic Cinema Delivers Big Films
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Tropic Cinema opened a new film this week that’s sure to be an Oscar nominee, and carries over three others that are getting lots of popular buzz. As it happens, all are based on actual events.

“Spotlight” takes its name from the team of Boston Globe investigative reporters who uncovered child abuse in the archdiocese in Boston, a scandal that reverberated all the way to the Vatican. Think: “All the President’s Men.” Here the reporters were supervised by Ben Bradlee, Jr. Trust me, this is a great newspaper movie you don’t want to miss. Capital Times reports, “The film takes the dogged, persistent, mundane work of old school newspaper reporting -- digging through records, interviewing people, connecting dots -- and makes it the stuff of high drama, exciting and even heroic.” Detroit News says “Spotlight” is “spot-on.” And Tri-City Herald raves, “Simply put, one of the best -- if not THE best -- movies of the year.”

Another great movie is “Bridge of Spies,” Steven Spielberg’s retelling of the ‘60s prisoner exchange between Russian spy Rudolph Abel and downed U2 pilot Gary Powers. Tom Hanks plays the everyman lawyer who negotiated the exchange. Dallas Morning News says, “Authentic re-creations of the period, including duck-and-cover clips about a nuclear holocaust that frightened young students, serve as a reminder of a time, not unlike our own, when the threat of terror kept a steady and disturbing beat.” And Buzzfeed describes it as “a heart-on-its-sleeve affirmation of American values.”

“Suffragette” gives us Carey Mulligan as a 1912 London woman who joins the women’s suffrage movement. While this is a fictional character, the events were grittily real. Fresno Bee observes, “Mulligan turns in a strong performance, going from a woman who has quietly resigned herself to a certain life to a woman who is willing to speak out for others.” And X-Press calls it “a worthwhile reminder of how far women have come and the price they had to pay to get here. We’re left to imagine how much more there is to be done.”

“Steve Jobs” is Aaron Sorkin’s take on the founder of Apple -- his rise and fall and rise again. But the true focus is on his ruthless rule, personal hubris, and the illegitimate daughter he denied. Daily Star says, “Brainy, brilliant and intensely frustrating -- the latest Steve Jobs movie is a lot like the man himself.” Legend of Leia notes, “The staginess of the movie is its greatest benefit, allowing the characters and the dialogue to shine...” And Ex-press concludes, “Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet create all the dynamic tension required to propel Aaron Sorkin’s minimalist screenplay into epic terrain.”

Four films, four must-see moviegoing experiences.

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