Tropic’s Screens Filled With Interesting Characters
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen
Tropic Cinema welcomes aliens from outer space, brainy chess queens, grumbling misanthropes, cute li’l trolls, gun-blazin’ cowpokes, and crafty murderers to this week’s screens.
Take me to your leader! “Arrival” recounts intergalactic spacecraft landing on earth. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker lead the team trying to decipher the aliens’ message -- is it a greeting or a warning? This has been called a thinking-man’s (and -woman’s) sci-fi film. Village Voice describes it as “a sci-fi movie that looks not up at the stars but rather deep within.” And RogerEbert.com calls it “a film that forces viewers to reconsider that which makes us truly human, and the impact of grief on that timeline of existence.”
“Queen of Katwe” is certainly a feel-good movie, but it’s much more than that -- a metaphor for rescuing your life. A young Ugandan girl becomes a chess master despite her impoverished existence in the slums of Katwe. Associated Press says, “The colors and rhythms of life in the slums of Uganda are what set Queen of Katwe apart from other underdog chess movies.” And New York Observer adds, “The story is true, and the message it delivers -- with care and help, the disenfranchised can become role models and inspire others -- is unabashedly sentimental, but in a good way.”
“A Man Called Ove” gives us a world-weary grump (Rolf Lassgard) who life is turned around when new neighbors knock over his mailbox with their car, sparking an unexpected friendship. San Francisco Chronicle sees it as “a pleasant journey from pawn to king -- spiritually speaking, of course.” And Killer Movie Reviews tells us, “In the end, we take Ove on his own terms, and he shows us how a bittersweet life can be a life very well lived.”
“The Girl on the Train” is a “Gone Girl” wannabe, a murder mystery with twists and turns. An alcoholic ex-wife (Emily Blunt) spies on her former husband and sees things that make her a suspect in a missing person case. ABC Radio Brisbane promises it “offers intrigue and a few red herrings…” And South China Morning Post says it has a “potential to entertain.”
“Trolls” is a sticky sweet children’s outing, a 3D animated musical about those tiny fright-wigged dolls you remember from your childhood. Justin Timberlake provides the bouncy music. Detroit News tells us, “‘Trolls’ isn't likely to advance mankind in any significant way, but it’s a harmless adventure with a few toe-tapping musical numbers and a positive message of togetherness and teamwork.” And New York Times calls it “Exuberant, busy and sometimes funny .…”
Want a good Western shoot-‘em-up? This remake of “The Magnificent Seven” stars Denzel Washington as the leader of gunslingers (and more) who set out to rescue a small town from bad guys. NPR says, “If body count is what you go to Westerns for, by all means drift into this one's corral.” And Detroit News says this “latest spin on the classic outlaw tale -- comes in guns blazing, sweeps the town and gets the job done.”
Meet them all at the Tropic.