Thursday, February 11, 2016

Week of February 12 - 18 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Offers Diverse Lineup
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

What a diverse group of movies -- documentaries and dramas, satires and parodies, shorts and more lengthy ruminations. How could anyone stay home with these films showing at the Tropic Cinema?
First up is Michael Moore’s latest documentary, “Where to Invade Next.” Moore takes us on a world tour, looking for great social concepts that America should adopt. Flick Filosopher says, “Michael Moore doesn’t hate America. But he does wonder how other nations are doing so many things better than the supposed greatest country in the world.” And AV Club adds, “Moore here makes his strongest bona fide argument in ages, albeit one that still gleefully stacks the deck and avoids examining possible downsides too carefully. He even comes across as genuinely patriotic, in his own way.”
“Youth” gives us Michael Caine as an aging composer and Harvey Keitel as his filmmaker buddy. This is a thoughtful look at how life passes us by, no matter what success we’ve had. The Art Desk opines, “‘Youth’ is as psychologically savvy as it is beautiful.” And Nashville Scene says, “‘Youth’ largely consists of a bunch of people rambling around a resort doing nothing. But I can’t think of a better bunch of people to ramble around and do nothing with.”

 “45 Years” is a portrait of a marriage. Facing a 45th anniversary, a couple (Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay) is forced to confront their true feelings. As Seattle Times describes it: “A marriage lives and dies … we watch its agonized struggle, like a butterfly impaled on a pin.” And St. Louis Post-Dispatch concludes, “Daringly unsentimental, ‘45 Years’ makes a persuasive case that marriage demands not only patience, but guts.”

“The Big Short” continues to school us in the dark forces behind the collapse of the financial housing bubble. Key to the film’s appeal is an ensemble cast that includes Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Steve Carell. notes, “Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using humor to outline the 2008 economic collapse from the inside.” And International Business Times says, “Despite all the praise for Bale, who does indeed do a stellar job, it’s Carell who shines brightest.”

Preparing for the upcoming Academy Awards, here’s a look at “Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action.” These five films only range from 12 to 30 minutes each, but you’ll wish they were longer. Groucho Reviews reminds us, “The 88th Academy Awards ceremony airs on Sunday, February 28, 2016 ... now you have another way to get ready.” And the Patriot Ledger offers, “This is the best overall collection I’ve seen in years, every one a four-star offering.”

And wrapping up the Tropic’s lineup is “Hail Caesar!” This is the Coen brothers’ wacky look at Hollywood of the ‘50s.  Along with George Clooney as the kidnapped movie star that studio fixer Josh Brolin is out to ransom, you encounter an all-star cast that features Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, and several other luminaries. Mountain Xpress calls it “a gleefully playful mood with a film that at once spoofs and honors the last days of the old Hollywood.” And Vox sees it as “a big, Looney Tunes confection of a movie.”

With cinematic choices like this, how could you say no to an evening at the Tropic?

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