Thursday, March 31, 2016

Week of April 1 - 7 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Poses Moral Questions Via Half-Dozen Films
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Morals seem to be a common theme in the films showing at Tropic Cinema this week -- from how we conduct ourselves amid the chaos of war to behavior for older folk to sex and superheroes.

“Eye in the Sky” wrestles with the moral questions that embroil modern warfare -- drones, in this film. Helen Mirren portrays a British military intelligence officer tracking terrorists in Kenyan via an eye in the sky. The question she faces is when to pull the trigger? Toronto Star says, “This riveting drone thriller is contemporary edge-of-your seat stuff.” And Kansas City Star calls it “A taut, well-acted thriller that raises all sorts of moral questions -- Hitchcock with a conscience.”

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” looks at war from the ground, with Tina Fey as a television war correspondent in the Middle East. WTF may be the abbreviation, but it poses questions about putting people in danger for the sake of a story. Creative Loafing says, “it’s nice to see the hilarious Tina Fey playing it straight.” And Sacramento News & Review observes, “Fey’s resourceful, wry and witty performance-pulls us through time and again.”
“Remember” is about forgetting Christopher Plummer gives us a 90-year old concentration camp survivor who gets lured into a plot of revenge. Los Angeles Times says, “Plummer, half-a-century after outsmarting the Nazis in ‘The Sound of Music,’ manages to further hone his reliably persuasive presence.” And describes it as a “masterly acted and suspenseful vengeance flick.”

“Hello, My Name Is Doris” teaches us not to give up on life. Here, a 60ish woman (Sally Field) falls for her younger co-worker in the exploration of what if. Newsday calls it “a winning comedy-drama built around one of cinema’s most endearing leading ladies.” And Tulsa World says it’s “a simple, delightful little human comedy. You know, like life itself.”

“Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” is a documentary about the film’s namesake, the famous art patron who loved the painters almost as much as the paintings. Washington Post says, “As this film's engrossing character study makes clear, this woman of extraordinary tastes and appetites was ahead of her time, in more ways than one.”

And topping off the lineup is “Deadpool,” that Marvel anti-hero with self-healing powers due to a scientific experiment gone awry. Ryan Reynolds has finally found his groove with the wisecracking bad-boy superhero. ABC Radio notes, “As a stand-alone superhero movie, it’s about as much fun as you could ask for.” Hot Press calls it “a deliciously subversive approach.” And Filmsinreview adds, “Ryan Reynolds becomes a certified movie star.”

Killers overhead? Self-serving TV reporters? Vengeful Nazi hunters? Aging cougars chasing younger men? Sex-driven art collectors? Not-so-nice superheroes?

Hey, sometimes it’s good to be bad!

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