Thursday, August 4, 2016

Week of August 5 - 11 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

5 Good Enough to Keep + 1 New at Tropic Cinema
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Tropic Cinema has five holdovers to make sure you don’t miss any of them … and one new film we’ve all been waiting for. Here’s the good-enough-to-keep lineup:

People are singing the praises of “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble,” the documentary about the famous cellist and the multicultural musicians he gathered to perform along the historic spice route that stretches from China to the Mediterranean. Key West musician Skipper Kravitz came out of the theater with a beneficent smile on his face. Washington Post describes it as “an inspiring look at creative people from very different walks of life who nonetheless communicate beautifully with one another. They don’t need to speak a common language: Their dazzling music says it all.” And National Post explains, “As more than one of the performers notes, music transcends culture, history and even language.”

Another movie putting smiles on faces is “The Secret Life of Pets,” the animated comedy that tells of the misadventures of two pooches who get lost in the City while their owner is away at work. Doggie lovers will recognize familiar traits that are canine cuteness to the core. Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet voice the top dogs. says, “The animal antics (plus the nonstop mayhem crammed into every frame) are likely to please children, while some of the sight gags and one-liners will satisfy their accompanying adults.” And Screen Crush declares that the movie “achieves what it aims to be: cute, clever, and pleasantly enjoyable.”

Also bringing out laughs is “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie,” the big-screen spin-off of that fave Brit telly show known affectionately as “Ab Fab.” Two wonky women, a PR flack and a magazine editor, go on the lam after offing supermodel Kate Moss at a fashion show. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley recreate their TV roles. Nearly 90 drag queens appear in this cinematic outing. Urban Cinefile notes: “This odd couple is a hook for black comedy. They do bad things. Bad things happen to them. Life poops in their soup. Just like any of us, really, and that’s why we love to laugh at them, with them, about them and despite them.” And Globe and Mail winks, “Finding deep meaning and satisfaction from this story will be difficult, but if it’s style over substance you’re after, then you’ll revel in the comedic chic.”

Straight from New Zealand is “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” an intergenerational buddy picture about a 12-year-old juvie and a grumpy octogenarian who go on the lam, triggering a nationwide manhunt led by an overzealous social worker. Under the Radar tells us, “Sam Neill could play a cranky old bushman in his sleep, but it’s Julian Dennison as Ricky who steals the film as a rap-loving, pre-pubescent gangster wannabe.” And Newsday calls it “A lopsided gem full of off-kilter humor, hard truths and real emotion.”

Want some action? Well, you’ll find it aplenty in “Jason Bourne,” fifth film in the popular franchise. Matt Damon returns as the spy with no memory who is in search of his past. Here we (and he) learn more. Rolling Stone says, “Damon owns the role and the movie. It’s a tense, twisty mindbender anchored by something no computer can generate: soul.” And Detroit News adds, “Director Paul Greengrass stages three breathless marquee action sequences, including a smash-em-up car chase down the Las Vegas Strip that would make even the ‘Fast and Furious’ gang stop and gawk.”

Oh yes, the new film. That’s “Café Society,” the annual Woody Allen offering. It’s a familiar lost-love story that stretches from the 1930s studios of Hollywood to the nightclubs of New York. Standing in for the Woodman is angst-ridden Jessie Eisenberg, with Kristen Stewart as the girl the heart wants. Ozus’ World Movie reviews finds it to be “an uninspired but satisfactory old-school nostalgia-laden Hollywood love triangle story, set during the late stages of the Great Depression.” SSG Syndicate calls it “Wistfully vintage Woody Allen -- with a jazzy soundtrack worth savoring....” And St. Louis Post-Dispatch sees it as “a film of rare beauty.”

Five plus one – six movies you’ll want to see!

No comments: