Friday, December 11, 2015

Week of December 11 - 17 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Four Films at Tropic Are Well Worth Holding Over
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

If this list sounds familiar, that’s because all four films are holdovers from last week’s lineup. But trust me, they are well worth hanging onto.

Take “Spotlight,” for instance. This true story about Boston Globe reporters uncovering sexual abuses in the Catholic Church is my pick for the Best Movie of the Year. Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and John Slattery are among the outstanding ensemble cast. Sacramento News & Review calls it, “A taut story well-told, suspenseful despite the fact that the world knows how it all turned out, and energized by an authentic sense of the dogged research and footwork at the heart of serious investigative journalism.” Phantom Tollbooth says, “The spotlight is unforgiving and shines on everyone, from the Church to the reporters. No place to hide.” And Daily Film Fix adds, “The journalistic process has never seemed more interesting nor more important.”

Then we have “Brooklyn,” a luscious coming-of-age story about an Irish lass (Saoirse Ronan) who migrates to Brooklyn, gets married, then finds herself attracted to a boy back home. But which country is really home? Paste Magazine gushes, “The sterling visual qualities director John Crowley brings to Brooklyn pale next to its casting. Ronan, perhaps, is the most obvious choice to play Eilis, but that's because she's perfect. Is she the best actress of her generation?” And Fort Worth Weekly observes, “Of all the qualities a movie can have, lyricism is one of the hardest to achieve, and Eilis' journey toward making herself a home in this strange new country is as beautifully realized as the resolution of a great symphony.”

“Trumbo” gives us Bryan Cranston (TV’s “Breaking Bad” as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, caught up in Hollywood’s blacklist. But thanks to the insistence of Kirk Douglas he still winds up writing “Spartacus” and winning two Academy awards. Groucho Reviews says the film “plays not as straight hagiography but rather as a portrait of a flawed hero ... Cranston gives a floridly theatrical leading performance in keeping with Trumbo's wit.” And Mark Leeper’s Reviews notes, “For a film on a relatively serious subject there is surprising wit and suspense in this story of reluctant heroes.”

Want some mind-clearing shoot-‘em-up action? Then “Spectre” is your martini, shaken not stirred. This latest 007 adventure introduces Blofeld, head of a sinister organization that’s out to get James Bond for personal reasons. Allmovie announces: “‘Spectre’ dances in the gate like an antsy thoroughbred from its very first frames, as if it just can't wait to be a James Bond film.” calls it “a solid, serious spy film that still has a playful glint in its eye.” Laramie Movie Scope says, “Maybe there is some evolution to the Bond character in this movie from the old low-brow misogynistic, testosterone-fueled Bond of the past into something more rounded, grounded and thoughtful.”

Four films … four really good films ... being held over. Don’t miss them.

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