Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week of Sept. 9-15 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Five Films Spill Over From Summer Season at Tropic

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen

Come hell or high water, you will want to see the five films playing this week at Tropic Cinema.
As a matter of fact, “Hell or High Water” is the title of the modern-day western that’s new to Tropic screens this week. It tells of a pair of bank robbers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) being chased by a pair of Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham). Bad guys and good guys aside, you won’t be rooting for the dastardly bank. Christian Science Monitor applauds, “All of the performers in this film, right down to the bit players, are quite good, but Bridges demonstrates yet again that he is one of the finest actors in America.” And Creative Loafing dubs it “The best movie of the summer season.”
“Southside With You” is a new biopic about young Barack Obama going out on his first date with Michelle. It’s a pleasant walkie-talkie tour of the Southside of Chicago as the winsome future first couple (played by Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter) gets to know each other. San Diego Reader tells us, “President Obama’s fans and haters alike will find something to enjoy in this slightly stilted yet oddly fascinating account of the Harvard law student’s first date with Michelle Robinson, the woman who would eventually become his wife.” And The Atlantic describes it as “a gentle, rose-tinted piece of political nostalgia -- one that glances at the divisions in American society, but still casts a optimistic view toward whatever’s next.”
Next up on the movie screens is “Light Between the Oceans,” the weeper about a lighthouse keeper and his wife (Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) who find a baby in a boat and raise it as their own. But then on a trip to the Australian mainland they meet a sad woman (Rachel Weisz) … Rolling Stone points out, “Fassbender and Vikander, who fell in love during the making of the film, fully commit to their roles and hold us in their grip.” And New York Magazine notes, “The movie ends up seeming like an inchoate hybrid of melodrama and psychodrama -- between the oceans, indeed.”
“Bad Moms” is lighter fare, albeit with serious underpinnings. Here some suburban moms (Mile Kunis et al.) decide to live it up, to the consternation of a PT-A prude (Christina Applegate). The indieWire sees it as “a female-driven story that doesn’t shy away from bad behavior while also touting the importance of familial bonds and solid parenting choices.” And Chicago Reader opines, “The movie plays like ‘Mean Girls’ with a big dollop of middle-aged wish fulfillment.”
“Florence Foster Jenkins” is the biopic about a truly amazing singer of that name (played by Meryl Streep) – that is, amazing in how bad she was. She’s abetted by her devoted British companion and a boggled pianist (Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg) on her long journey to Carnegie Hall … where the music critics lie in wait. Toronto Star calls it “enjoyable summer entertainment for grown-ups and anyone else seeking refuge from superheroes.” And South China Morning Post says, “Unsurprisingly, Streep hits all the right -- or should that be wrong? -- notes, with a marvelously tragi-comic turn.”
Yep, these films hit the high water mark in entertainment.

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