Friday, February 19, 2016

Week of February 19 - 25 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Screens Four Gotta-See Film
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Get in line. Here is a quartet of films that you’ll need to see if you want to enjoy an in-the-know conversation at the next cocktail party you attend. These four movies are getting lots of buzz among cinephiles.

First up: Leonardo DiCaprio will likely win an Oscar for his star turn in “The Revenant,” a gritty western based on the legend of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who meets up with a grizzly bear, a bad man, and a warring tribe of Arikara. The title refers to someone who returns from the dead. Dark Horizon describes it as “Equal parts beautiful and brutal, it’s easily one of the most unsettling films of the past few years. It’s also one of the best.” National Post gushes, “Such beauty almost beggars belief, even as it reminds us what cinema-as-storyteller does best.” And International Business Review concurs, “This is the film that DiCaprio has been waiting for and one that is sure to finally win him that elusive Oscar.”

Maggie Smith stars as “The Lady in the Van,” the mostly true story of a homeless woman who parks her van in a writer’s driveway for 15 years. Poignant and funny, this British dramedy was filmed on the actual street where it happened. Toronto Star says, “The joy of the film comes in watching Smith work her magic.” And Dallas Morning News agrees “Smith’s performance as the bizarre old lady, who manages to get help by rejecting it, is the reason to watch this film.”

Here the title refers to a biblical epic starring A-lister actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), but in truth the Coen brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” follows the tribulations of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a studio fixer out to retrieve his kidnapped star. Along the way you will meet singing cowboys, aquatic actresses, dancing sailors, and a coterie of Communist screenwriters in this funny sendup of Hollywood in the ‘50s. The Atlantic calls it, “An unexpectedly sweet and utterly satisfying confection.” Nerdist tells us, “It’s about putting in everything we know about Classic Hollywood in a single, hilarious package.” And People Magazine concludes, “It’s all nuts, and the actors couldn’t be having more fun.”

In “Where to Invade Next” crusading filmmaker Michael Moore visits nine other countries to learn lessons that America has forgotten. It’s a documentary that makes you think twice about what we want for the US’s future. Detroit News explains, “Moore, taking on his everyman role, delights in sharing that many of the programs and policies he highlights are founded on American ideals.” And Rolling Stone sees it as “a crazy-like-a-fox documentary hell-bent on seeing the best in people. Other people. Not us Americans. Turns out we suck at practicing what we preach. It’s classic Michael Moore.”

So get your tickets and grab a seat. The show’s about to begin.

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