Thursday, December 17, 2015

Week of December 18 - 24 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Delivers Gifts for the Holidays
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Tropic Cinema unwraps two great new films, along with some topnotch holdovers, making for a great holiday lineup.

One of my Best Movies of the Year picks is “Room.” Here we have a fairy-tale approach to a horrible subject, a young woman kidnapped as a sex slave. The story focuses on her five-year-old son, born in captivity, a boy who thinks the 10” x 10” room is the whole world.  Newsday says, “This dramatic thriller is small-scale but profound, with great performances from Brie Larson and a young Jacob Tremblay.” And Virginian-Pilot observes, “This movie, memorably, asks us what life means in a big world that is beyond our control and how we are shaped by the confined scope of our upbringing. It demands attention.” And Lyle’s Movie Files tells us, “2015’s most multi-layered film. It’s complex, charming, a little frightening, but ultimately it’s a wholly unique viewing experience unlike anything I’ve seen in years.”

 My favorite movie of the year is “Spotlight.” Reminiscent of “All the President’s Men,” it tells the true story of a group of Boston Globe reporters who uncover sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The ensemble cast includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery, Liev Schreiber, and Rachel McAdams. Aisle Seat calls it, “Riveting from its first second to its last. With a smart script, perfectly paced direction, and superb acting, this is a work that manages to be as entertaining as it is important.” And says this film is “destined to be one of the great film procedurals.”

“Brooklyn” follows a young Irish woman to America where she marries before returning to the Old Country. There she meets a man that conflicts her emotions -- about love and about homeland. Phantom Tollbooth notes, “Saoirse Ronan plays the role of the Irish girl who comes to America, with determination and personality.” And Nashville Scene says, “After a week of shameful anti-immigrant rhetoric, ‘Brooklyn’ is the big-hearted bear hug of a movie a lot of folks could use.”

“Trumbo” is an interesting look at screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (played by Bryan Cranston), the two-time Oscar winner who was blacklisted by Hollywood for being a Communist. Spiritually and Practice describes it as “an ethically stirring biopicture about the courageous screenplay writer who triumphed over the Red Scare crusaders of the 1950s.” And Film Threat says, “Cranston brings style and brio to the part.”

“Spectre” is the latest 007 outing, a spy thriller that pits James Bond (Daniel Craig) against his archenemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christopher Waltz). calls it “a solid, serious spy film that still has a playful glint in its eye.” And AllMovie observes, “‘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.”

Sneaking in a few days later we get “The Big Short,” an acerbic comedy about the banking crisis. The cast -- Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Christian Bale -- delivers a big dividend. declares, “Adam McKay’s funny, intelligent and depressing examination of the financial crisis is must-see entertainment.” And Christian Science Monitor says, “The actors play their roles to the hilt, but in the end, the role of these investors in extenuating the crisis they took advantage of is played down, as is the disastrous life consequences of all those who were severely hit by it.”

So grab a sprig of mistletoe and head down to the Tropic for some holiday treats.

No comments: