Friday, April 29, 2016

Week of April 29 to May5 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Delivers Variety in Film Choices

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Everybody in Key West knows the story of Ernest Hemingway, making his home here during the ‘30s, drinking and fishing and carousing at Sloppy Joe’s. But do you know about his many years in Cuba, his life at Finca VigĂ­a outside of Havana, his friendship with a young newspaper reporter named Denne Bart Petitclerc? In “Papa Hemingway In Cuba” Adrian Sparks is a dead-ringer for Papa, Joely Richard is effective as wife Mary, and Giovanni Ribisi is a perfect Ed Myers (as Petriclerc is called in the film). Rolling Stone says, “As the first US film shot in Cuba since Castro came to power in 1959, Papa gives us sights to revel in.” The Newman Times Herald calls it “sincerely written and well acted…” And San Diego Reader concludes, “In the end, it’s a museum piece…”
Director Richard Linklater echoes his earlier film “Dazed and Confused” in “Everybody Wants Some!!” This time around he looks at a day in the life of college kids rather than a return to those high school antics of yore. Associated Press writes, “Linklater’s light touch remains a marvel. Though his characters are often just bouncing from conversation to conversation, night out to night out, the film's direction is never lackadaisical.” And Your Movies says, “It’s the likable cast that will bring constant smiles to the faces of anyone who remembers the freedoms of being young and enjoying them unabashedly.”
Tom Hanks stars in “A Hologram for the King,” the story of a businessman trying to close a deal in Saudi Arabia with the help of a talkative taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful local doctor (Sarita Choudhury). Entertainment Weekly observes, “If it sounds like ‘Hologram’ is basically about a middle-aged white guy getting his groove back in the Middle East, well, yes, it is that. But if you squint hard enough, it's also a little bit more.” And Spliced Personality adds, “This film isn’t a masterpiece by any means, but it is at times very good, with an unfussy jewel of a performance by Tom Hanks that’s all the more remarkable for appearing so effortless.”
You’ll meet all the fashionistas in “First Monday in May,” a documentary about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion exhibit “China: Through the Looking Glass.” Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Baz Luhrmann, Andrew Bolton, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Rihanna are on hand for the dazzling event. Chicago Reader describes it as a “gorgeous, gossipy, yet penetrating documentary about the marriage of culture and commerce.” And Salt Lake Tribune notes that here “art and celebrity collide, with celebrity winning.”
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” is a sequel to that boisterous comedy about an outsider marrying into an American Greek family. Nia Vardalos and John Corbett return in their original roles, this time getting the parents re-married. Reforma decides that “the movie works because of it’s endearing characters.” And Popcorn Junkie says the film “delights in the dysfunctional wholesomeness of unwieldy families.”
“Miles Ahead” offers an impressionist look at the life of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. This Is London tells us, “Actor Don Cheadle, the star, director and co-writer of this ambitious biopic, doesn’t want to play nicely. He wants to play.” And Daily Express calls it “an incredible journey that touches on aspects of Davis’s life, loves and self-destructive urges in a smoothly handled labor of love.”
Biopics, comedies, documentaries -- what a nice variety to choose from!

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