Thursday, September 1, 2016

Week of Sept. 2 to Sept. 8 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

You Will Find Family Fare (Sorta) at Tropic Cinema

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Bad mothers, a hippie dad, a lost child, and searching for missing parents – these are the family films that headline Tropic Cinema this week.
“Bad Moms” is a comedy starring Mila Kunis (Mrs. Ashton Kutcher) and other gal pals as a gaggle of mothers who just want to have a little fun – to the consternation of a prim PTA mom (Christina Applegate). BuzzFeed News sees it as “a movie with a subversive skepticism about traditional white picket fence domesticity in general.” And indieWIRE calls it, “A female-driven story that doesn't shy away from bad behavior while also touting the importance of familial bonds and solid parenting choices.”
“Captain Fantastic” still awes audiences with the performance of Viggo Mortensen as a dad who choses an off-the-grid lifestyle for his family – to the consternation of his father-in-law (Frank Langella). Empire Magazine describes it as “A fiercely original, pleasantly unpredictable character piece. This is a gang of outsiders with something valuable to say about the world we live in.” And St. Louis Post Dispatch alerts us that “The film’s title, suggesting a comic-book flick, will likely cause box-office confusion. But in a way, it’s appropriate. ‘Captain Fantastic’ is a truly heroic effort.
“The Light Between Oceans” tells of lighthouse keepers (Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) who find a child adrift in a boat and decide to keep her – to the eventual consternation of a woman they meet on the mainland (Rachel Weisz). Parade Magazine astutely observes, “The movie suggests that, like the waters of the great oceans that cover the Earth, all things are connected -- past, present, and future; grief and happiness; war and peace; life and death.” And Tribune News Service writes, “Fine performances and exquisite cinematography, production, and sound and costume design are almost enough to shake off the clingy soapy residue that comes with the romantic drama territory.”
“Finding Dory” is the animated sequel to “Finding Nemo.” In this one, a blue tang fish (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) goes searching for her missing family – to the delight of young moviegoers. New Yorker says, “While not as visually dazzling as its predecessor, the film is still colorful and immersive; the script, while predictable, puts an engaging spin on the issues of home and identity.” And adds, “It’s gorgeous. It’s lively. It’s got terrific performances from a strong voice cast. It's emotionally affecting without being heavy-handed.”
“Indignation” follows the challenges of a young Jewish college student (Logan Lerman) dealing with sexual guilt and his family’s expectations for his future. This drama is based on a recent Philip Roth novel. Minneapolis Star Tribune proclaims, “With its mature perspective on distant formative years, the film feels true to the spirit of Roth; little from the deep wellsprings of the great novelist’s fiction is lost in translation.” And Spirituality and Practice chimes in, “A triumph of elegant writing, exquisite acting, and a vibrant spiritual treatment of righteous indignation.”
“Florence Foster Jenkins” gives us the real-life story of a bad singer (Meryl Streep) who winds up at Carnegie Hall – to the consternation of music critics. Network Film Desk observes, “Streep’s take on the character is so assured that we can’t help but admire her determination and panache, even as it makes her a fool in the eyes of others.” And Film Racket agrees, “Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant are amazing both when they’re apart and together, their earnest portrayals really lending gravitas to people who would otherwise be remembered as a joke.”
And “Star Trek Beyond” takes a step backward in this retro tale about Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock (Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto) – to the delight of old TV fans. Chicago Reader notes, “This third installment in the millennial Star Trek reboot races along without an idea in its head, often recalling the silly, monster-driven final season of the 60s TV show.” And sees it as “undoubtedly messy, like a Starfleet ship that’s taken its fair share of beatings, but it is frequently a reminder of how good the series can be when all its engines are in working order.”
With both consternation and delight – these films will engage you during their engagement at the Tropic Cinema.

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