Tropic Cinema Gives Seven Good Reasons to Go to the Movies
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen
No Elvis hasn’t left the building … Tom Hanks could sell sand to the Saudis … and Melissa McCarthy is indeed the boss of you. At least that’s the logical conclusion based on the seven films screening this week at Tropic Cinema.
Based on a true event, “Elvis & Nixon” recounts the surreal meeting between the King of Rock ‘n Roll and the Prez. Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) tries to convince Richard Nixon (Kevin Spacey) to make him a federal narc. Really. Entertainment Weekly says, “As a surreal slice of history served up nearly half a century later, it feels oddly satisfying.” And Chicago Reader observes, “The spectacle of Presley visiting Nixon’s buttoned-down White House in his jeweled sunglasses, silk scarf, open shirt, and giant gold belt is inherently farcical….”
“Hologram for the King” gives us Tom Hanks as an American businessman trying to do a deal in Saudi Arabia. Yes, it’s a comedy. Seven Days describes it as “A nuanced geopolitical parable … repurposed into a generic romantic comedy.” And Spliced Personality tells us, “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.”
Melissa McCarthy is “The Boss” in this comedy about a Martha Stewart-esque businesswoman who goes to jail for insider trading, then tries to remake her public image. About.com says, “McCarthy puts on a good show, whether you prefer absurdly implausible slapstick or shocking insults or awkward and comically violent gags involving female anatomy.” And Paste Magazine concludes, “This is clearly Melissa McCarthy’s show from beginning to end…”
British artist David Hockney is profiled in “Hockney,” a documentary that looks at his transition from pop artist to establishment darling. Edge tells us, “The artist comes across as an affable raconteur, and his personal input gives this film a sense of humor and irony ….” And rec.arts.movies.reviews describes it as a “mesmerizing documentary on an artist who is both modern and very old-fashioned in his painterly approach.”
“Green Room” is a horror flick about an evil club owner (Patrick Stewart) who lures a punk rock band (Anton Yelchin et al.) into a trap, but they’re not so easy to kill. Esquire calls it “95 minutes of pure, unbridled Mosh Pit Cinema.” And Ex-Press.com explains it as “a zombie movie -- without zombies … a different brand of walking dead: neo-Nazi skinheads.”
“Papa Hemingway in Cuba” was filmed at Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s longtime home outside of Havana. Adrian Sparks looks just like Papa; and Joely Richardson makes sparks as Papa’s wife. San Francisco Chronicle says, “For those with an interest in Ernest Hemingway, ‘Papa Hemingway in Cuba’ is a remarkable treat.” And We Got This Covered calls it “a fascinating depiction of the great American author’s later years, anchored by a strong performance from veteran stage actor Adrian Sparks.”
“Marguerite” is the story about a rich woman who loves to sing … but out of tune. Nonetheless, Marguerite (Catherine Frot) starts training for a recital that’s sure to embarrass everyone within earshot. Detroit News calls it “a dark delight, a cringe comedy that skirts tragedy throughout, examining delusion, entitlement, denial and the question of whether the truth is essential.” And Filmink says, “This could be a weird or sad tale, but it is so well done that, unlike Marguerite’s voice, it is more or less pitch perfect.”
Seven films -- seven good reasons to go to the movies.